Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.

-Elie Wiesel

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holiday Stress

Before the holiday stress starts, now would be a good time to put together a plan for handling the stressful issues that come up during the holidays.

Cooking, cleaning, decorating, gift buying, parties, family, they all can add to the usual stressors of the day.

Give yourself permission to cut out stress by saying "no". Let someone else do the cooking this year. Clean the rooms necessary and let the others go until after the holidays. Decorate if you want, and as much as you want. Only if it isn't stressful. If you don't want to decorate - don't. Don't be pressured to doing something just because everyone else is.

Gift buying can be a major stressor. Just managing the shopping is enough to give anyone an anxiety attack. Make things easier on yourself. Give gift cards. Or, ask people not to give you gifts and tell them that you will not be giving gifts this year. Donate to a favorite charity instead.

Parties can be fun, but they can also be a place where inhibitions disappear. Watch the alcohol and sugar intake. Leave early, it's okay. You don't have to be the last one at the party. Go with a friend who can be there for you if you have a panic attack or anxiety attack.

Families can be families. With all the drama that goes with them. Holidays and forced togetherness can be a set up for confrontations. Walk away. Don't let yourself get sucked into an argument. It's not worth it. Even if you are right, and your sister did pull the head off your favorite doll when you were six years old.

Give yourself permission to relax this holiday season. Take time for yourself. Make time for yourself. It's important to your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Have a happy and peaceful holiday season.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Contest Winner

Congratulations to our winner, Karen Snyder of Olympia, WA. She won the gorgeous pair of paperback earrings that I was giving away for my birthday. I hope you enjoy them and treasure them for years to come. Congratulations!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How much do I love my dog?

I have an American Eskimo named Jack. Jack Frost. He's the greatest. He's three years old and is becoming an adult. He's gone through a lot with me. I don't know what I would have done if he weren't with me. We're inseparable. I even take him on vacations with me. He's a great traveler. Finding hotels that accept dogs takes a little research work, but it's worth it.

I stay at home all day and Jack is with me. He'll spend time under my desk or sleeping on the bed. Wherever he feels most comfortable. We take walks in the neighborhood where he thinks he owns the place.

Do you want to know how much I love my dog? I created a blog just for him. You can see it here at Jack's Blog.

Take a peek at his blog and see if you can resist his loveable little face. Maybe you can leave him a bone while you're there. Jack barks his thanks!

Friday, November 10, 2006

United States Marine Corps - 231 years old

Once a Marine. Always a Marine. That's what they tell us. That's what the instill in us through boot camp and beyond. It's been twenty-five years since I wore a Marine Corps uniform. But, I still feel that sense of pride and privilege on this special day. The USMC birthday.

Do I ever regret joining the Marines? Not for a minute. Being a Marine was one of the best things that happened to me in my life. They taught me how to stand on my own two feet and be proud of what I can accomplish, and most of all, they taught me to respect myself.

I think boot camp can help a lot of young men and women find faith in themselves. It can teach them self respect, respect for others, and give them a sense of pride. I would support our government if they chose to implement mandatory service for our young people. After high school graduation, too many times, our young people are cut off from the support of their family and their community and set adrift to try and make it one their own. Mandatory service could be their life line.

The skills that are learned in the Marine Corps boot camp will last you for the rest of your life. These are skills that can't be taught anywhere else. They must be experienced. Lived. Ingrained until they are second nature.

Most of all, I think the best thing that you can learn in the Marine Corps is pride for your country. Pride in your country. Pride in yourself. As an individual. A Marine.