Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hat Tricks Earth and Pocketbook Friendly Hats

Be kind to the earth as well as kind to your pocketbook! Re-purpose your excess jarred candle wax as well as other household items to get every penny's worth of scent as well being good to the environment!

Friday, September 11, 2009


I am going to dedicate this post to memories today.

It is a day that, if you lived anywhere in the US, you can probably recall with very vivid memory. I know I can. In fact, I am writing this, sitting in the same restaurant chain where I met a friend to pray with shortly after the attacks happened. I needed her support that day. I feared for my family in New York. I briefly panicked when I couldn’t remember if and where my husband was traveling that week. I remember my daughter coming home from school in tears because her school wouldn’t let me call her to see if her great grandmother in New York was OK. I so clearly remember thinking that life would never be anywhere near normal again. The feelings, the fear, the flow and the events of that day are burned in my memory and probably will be for as long as I have cognitive function……

This memory is extremely powerful. It has changed my perception of a lot of things. Although I have always respected those in public service, I have an even greater appreciation for the sacrifices that public servants make to protect their fellow man. I am much more aware of what is going on in the world, and make a conscious effort to understand those that are different than me. I pay more attention to my surroundings. I look for exit signs and escape routs when I am in public places. Overall, I realize the world is not always a safe place.

But, even though my perceptions have changed, that event and this memory does not define me. It does not change who I am or control me. As much as the horror of that day could have crippled me and the rest of this country, I took strength and shelter in my loved ones, my community, my places of worship, and my faith in this country. I did not let this event or this memory take over my life.

This memory is specific to September 11, 2001. I know that this was a day of unfathomable pain for so many. I can not even imagine what so many others went through, and I would never even think of trying to minimize or deny those people their pain.

But, any memory, whether it be of this day or another memory, does not have to define us. Our memories and experiences will undoubtedly change our perceptions and become a part of our personal stories. But, we do have the ability to use those memories to make a difference in ourselves, in our relationships, or in our communities.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Choices...The Struggle of Choosing the Better of Two Goods

Not all choices are hard.

The choice between clearly good and clearly bad is a pretty easy choice. I think the vast majority would not have to put much thought into this one. We see a clear line between the two choices. We have clear cut information that helps us decide the pros and cons of each. Usually the tally marks line up with the cons for the bad option and the pros for the good option. We choose the good.

The choice between two clearly bad options is also not that difficult either. Here we know that both options are not good. But in the end, we look at our list of tally marks and the one with the most negative results usually is the choice that loses. Even though we would rather not have to make a choice, the lesser of the two evils usually is the decision of choice.

But what about when you are faced in choosing the better of two goods?

This is where, at least I think, it gets hard.

Some times we are faced with choosing between two good decisions. Either choice will reap benefits. The benefits may be personal, professional, financial, or a combination of any of those things. No matter which we choose, we can't lose....at least we don't think we can. How do we make a choice?

I think the decision making process comes down to a few things.

First, a lot of soul searching needs to take place. We need to look within ourselves and see why both choices are appealing. Are they appealing because they are filling a void in ourselves? Or, are they appealing because it fills a void somewhere else or in someone else? Maybe the two fill different needs. Looking inward - although that sounds selfish on the surface, will help us to see what the appeal of the choices are. When we weigh it out, we need to follow the choice that the compass of our being is telling us to.

Next, we need to look at the long term benefits and effects of our decision. Sometimes, both choices are good in the short term, but not always in the long term. Sometimes it is appropriate to go with the option that does the greatest good for the longest amount of time. Sometimes the opposite is true.

Lastly, we need to not be afraid to commit to a choice. If we don't commit to it, it doesn't matter that the choice is good because we won't see the benefit anyway. Wasting time being wishy washy over the decision gets us no where in the long run. We need to choose boldly without regret, moving forward with the decision.

This process is not always a simple thing to do. People, emotions, situations and life make even two good choices a complex decision. Choosing between two goods can be a daunting experience. But, there is a blessing to having to choose between two goods. Even if we do make the wrong good decision we are still ahead in the game.