Cleaner Place (More inspiration from my Raisin box)

So, the motivational quote of the day from my box of raisin’s was “Leave a place cleaner than you found it…”

 

Obviously there is the literal meaning of picking up after yourself, but let’s think outside the box for a moment. (I hope you were paying attention and caught the pun there, because it makes me chuckle.) The question to ask oneself is: Are we leaving the world a better place than we found it? Maybe we don’t go as far as the world, just maybe your neighborhood and local environs. That is something we can all tackle right? Sure there are the clichés like “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. But we don’t have to be talking about trash. Did you help someone today? Did you open your heart to the outside and do something to feel good about today? Maybe you picked up the paper for an elderly neighbor and at least dropped it on their porch while you were walking the dog this morning. You could shovel or salt a walkway while you are out doing your own. For Mother Nature’s sake we have certainly gotten plenty of snow/ice where I live. Did you even just say Hello to that neighbor you see every morning but never talk to. You never know when recognition that someone exists is exactly what they need to get through a difficult time.

 

Never Know…

A kind word or just a Hello
Can have an impact you never know
To someone feeling lost and alone
That brief moment
Can tell them
Someone sees me
Someone noticed

With busy lives and hectic days
Sometimes we forget to smell the roses
Mind cluttered and brain in a haze
We don’t see
What Hello can mean
To those alone
Needing contact

So take the time to say Hello
To that person you pass everyday
It could be just what they needed
To get through a difficult time alone
When they wait to hear someone say
I see you, your presence is heeded

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Change will come… (comments and poem)

Raisin Box Motivational Speech, “Change will come; it’s a lifetime guarantee.”

So, I shared previously another saying from my little box of raisins. I thought this was another good piece of advice to expound upon. Change, that thing with causes us such stress and worry in our lives that there is an entire industry devoted to treating the symptoms of change. Be it something small like taking a wrong turn, or major and life changing like the loss of a job or a treasured loved one; Change is the only constant in any of our lives. We are constantly evolving as we travel this lovely little road of Life. I have struggled with the idea of change at several points in my life, but looking back, it wasn’t so much the changes that made me who I am today, but the way I reacted to those changes that defined me.

Change
Change
Rushing at you like a runaway train
Change
Our constant companion on our journey
Change
Run or hide, it finds you all the same
Change
Will you grow through it?
Change
Or will you collapse under the weight
Change
Making you who you are today
Change
How you react defines you

Walking Alone

This is an old poem I wrote during a darker time in my life, but i wanted to share something I had written to get it out there in the world.

Walking Alone

Walking alone,

The dark of night washes over me

Solitude found,

I await the coming dawn of my life

Waiting, watching,

Ever vigilant for life’s deadly foes

Seeking out a place of safety

Running from the hounds of death

Finding no where to run

And nowhere to hide

Turning, facing down the demons that

Have haunted and shadowed my footsteps

They know not the strength of a man cornered

Of one with nothing to lose but life itself

Who has accepted that fate and is determined

To take some of them with him when he goes

The strength of one with nothing to lose

Is greater than the strength of all

Desperation, hopelessness, determination

Lend strength to failing limbs

Give heart to the faithless

Gazing upward, he gives the battle cry

Of meeting ones opponent honorably

Knowing my fate

But determined to die with dignity.

Inspirational Raisin Box…

So, sitting at work the other afternoon and I grab my little box of raisins for a quick afternoon snack to get me through the rest of my day. You know what I mean, they come in packs of 6 all shrink wrapped together right? Everybody I grew up with would know because we all ate them at some point. Well, the brand I buy, Sun-Maid, puts a little saying on the inside flap of the box. So I pop the box open and take a look. It says, “Mending fences doesn’t always take hammer and nails.” Pretty profound when you think about it.

It put me in a mind to consider the recent months where my biological father and I have reconnected after what amounts to about a decade of not speaking. Not that we were ever that close, but a decade is a long time to not speak to someone. There is a lot of history there that I won’t bore readers with, but it boils down to him never really being there for me growing up. Or, when attempts were made, he bungled them pretty severely in the end. I am not saying that I am totally blameless in the relationship, but I was a kid, and then a teenager. He was the adult and there are times where I think I was more mature than I should have had to be. It has been a different experience reconnecting with the man who sired me and then walked away, for the most part.

I had never considered myself fatherhood material growing up or in my early 20s, but I knew I would never abandon any child of mine like he did. They would never know that sense of abandonment and loss that I experienced. Sure my mother remarried, twice in fact, but I never felt connected to my current stepfather. Not in the way a son is supposed to connect with his father. I always stubbornly lived my life by the memories and stories from my grandfather, and as I got older, by the stories my grandmother told me about him. He was my role model and father figure. He wasn’t perfect either, as I later learned, but he always supported his family.

I think about my family and I often compare it to my wife’s family. Her extended family is very close. My father in law and his siblings are always getting together and connected. Granted everyone lives fairly close to one another, but in today’s tech savvy world, there is no excuse to not be somewhat connected. My family is spread across the Midwest to the Southeast and I have gone years without seeing almost all of them. The last time we got together was when my grandmother passed away almost two years ago. I think that’s a strong commentary on the effect my upbringing had on me. Most people, even when feuding with their siblings/parents, hardly go that kind of time without seeing their siblings. Some days it bothers me that it doesn’t bother me more. Know what I mean?

Now that I have gone far afield of where this post started, I return to my little box of raisins to find I have eaten them all. All that is left is the empty box and a little inspirational phrase on the flap. I just have this advice readers, don’t wait too long to mend those fences, whether it takes a phone call, an email, a personal visit, or even that hammer and nails.