My Faith in the Goodness of Human Kind is Restored (At Least for Today)

With so many daily occurences of rudeness, bad manners, and downright nastiness (National Nasty day is OVER people!), sometimes it’s really hard to have faith in humankind. Being cut off in traffic, being flipped off for not hitting the gas immediately when the light turns green, having to listen to the person in front of you yell at the barista (yes, I spend way too much time at Starbucks) for not hearing her voice over passing truck traffic. There are just some days that I want to pack it in, move out to Montana and leave all of the “bad” people behind. In this, I know that I am not alone. Who’s in?

I am truly appalled at the way people behave- what happened to civility, kindness, and simple good manners? ThoughtFULness instead of thoughtLESSness. What’s up people?!

I digress.

There are some days where you witness things and you know that goodness still exists. I was shopping in a dollar store and as I came around the corner, a woman and her son were suddenly there with a cart. I looked at them both and said, “Oh, excuse me.” The woman kindly replied, “No. Excuse me,” and gently grabbed the cart that her son was pushing to help move it aside. As they continued down the aisle, she spoke to him and it became apparent that her adult son had special needs. She spoke to him respectfully and patiently as she reminded him that he needed to hold onto the cart. As I browsed the shelves in the next aisle, they came towards me from the other direction. She continued to remind her son to hold onto the cart while she begged the pardon of other shoppers in the aisle. Each person she passed replied with the same, “Excuse me,”or “Of, course,” and moved aside to let them pass. Can you imagine? People being nice to each other. AND respectful. I truly stood still for a few seconds to watch. Was it because the people in the store recognized that her son was “different”? Or was it because they were raised to understand that you should always try to be polite? Does it really matter? They were pleasant to each other and everyone was happy. As I moved along on my way I immediately thought of my grandmother. She was always polite and insisted that were we, too. If she had been with me, she would have said, “That’s how things should be.”

It is how things should be.

Next time you’re about to let the door swing closed as you leave a restaurant, hold it open for the person behind you. Next time you’re at the grocery store and try to beat out the elderly lady moving towards the line you’ve scoped out, let her go first. The next time someone reminds you that all you need to do is to try being nice, just say,”Thank you” (and mean it).


March Madness, A Month of Celebrating Obscure Holidays

ScanLooking at my calendar (and by that I mean an actual paper calendar on my desk) I see that, once again, my children have another holiday off from school tomorrow. It is Casimir Pulaski Day. I’m not sure that my children know who he was or why we celebrate this holiday, but they are thankful for the day off.

I know that most of us are familiar with the “big” holidays this month; St. Patrick’s Day, Palm Sunday, and Easter, but did you know that there is a plethora of holidays out there waiting to be celebrated? I was researching Casimir Pulaski when my attention was drawn away by a list of other holidays that are listed for March. My curiosity piqued, I soon followed that tangent and came across a very interesting list of days that I intend to acknowledge this year.

First up, today is What If Your Pet Had Opposable Thumbs Day . Who knew? Although this isn’t an “official” holiday, there are several links on the internet suggesting that pet owners think about what life would be like if their pets were able to do so much more for themselves. I will thank my dogs later by giving them the opportunity to open the baggie of their own treats.

Coming up this Wednesday, is National Frozen Food Day. Not kidding. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed a declaration that March 8th be known as National Frozen Food Day. Maybe the schools could use this holiday to teach the importance of safe food storage. I will be cleaning out my freezer to celebrate.

March 8th, we have a dilemma. Do we celebrate International Women’s Day or Be Nasty Day? They both fall on this date and I’m not at all convinced that this is coincidental. I think how you celebrate is dependent upon the type of person you are. You could carry yourself like a lady and spew nasty comments all day to cover both holidays, or you could just pick the one you like best. I will decide what to do when I wake up that morning.

On Monday, March 11, we have another two-fer: National Napping Day and Worship of Tools Day. (I am not making this stuff up! Look it up!) Since it is the day after Daylight Savings Time, I will be honoring the nap and will take a nice long one in the early afternoon. I think you should, too.

National Pi Day is on Thursday, March 14. It celebrates the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Einstein’s birthday is also celebrated with Pi Day. I prefer to celebrate National Pie Day , which is on January 23.  It also happens to be National Popcorn Lovers Day on the 14th. I am really going all out to celebrate by making real, oil-and-kernels-in-the-pan, popcorn for a caramel corn recipe.

I don’t typically celebrate St. Patrick’s Day anymore. I hate corned beef and cabbage and I’m too old and tired to bar hop at all of the Irish taverns in the city. Maybe I’ll watch the parade on tv.

I will be ordering (4) one pound bags of Mrs. Fisher’s potato chips to go with the two-16 oz tubs of Dean’s sour cream and onion dip to celebrate one of my very favorite holidays of the year. National Chip and Dip Day is on Saturday, March 23 this year and I can not wait! I will also be serving Fritos for a little variety.

Now, we have something very special happening on Sunday, March 23! On the first Sunday of NCAA Div. I Men’s Basketball, it is National Corn Dog Day! There is an entire website dedicated to this holiday for those of you in need of more information.  ***Just a sidenote: This is not to be confused with Something On A Stick Day, which is being celebrated that Friday, the 28th. That holiday is all-encompassing and not limited to corn dogs.

To round things out in the month of March, we have National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day on the 24th and International Waffle Day on the 25th. I am not a big Raisinette fan, so I think I will pass on this one, but waffles is another story. Belgian waffles are one of my favorite things to eat when we go out. I think this holiday calls for a reservation.

I am not immune to the fact that I have managed to turn this month into a gastronomical schedule for the celebration of foods by eating said foods. It isn’t where I thought my reasearch on holidays would lead me, but I guess that’s what happens when writing takes precedence over breakfast. I wonder if, by chance, today is National Scrambled Eggs and Bacon Day? I’ll check and get back to you on that, but in the meantime, Happy Holidays!

Two Little Words

I’m bored.

It makes me crazy when one of my children says that to me. How can they possibly be bored?! They have iPhones, iPods, movies and tv shows on their computers -all literally at their fingertips. It can not be possible that they can’t find something to do.

But apparently, in the occasional fifteen minutes of unstructured time that they encounter, they are still bored.

I’ve  given them solutions for their boredom. Unload the dishwasher. Take the dogs for a walk. Go for a bike ride. Clean your room. Clean my room. Any of the above, but for Pete’s sake just do something other than tell me you’re bored.

They groan, pause dramatically, and then tell me that they are still bored.

To be honest, they really don’t do it that often. But what is happening now is that I’ve started saying it to them.

You heard me.

When my kids have been eating a snack, texting a friend, or doing homework, I have approached them and spontaneously announced that I am bored. I’m not certain what it is that I’d like them to do about it, but I feel the necessity to share it with them, nonetheless.

I do realize that my boredom is different from theirs, but that’s what it is. Boredom. Like so many other people, I’m tired of doing the same things over and over. I want to do something fun or new to energize my mind and my spirit.

Being retired from teaching for just over a year now, I find that the abundance of free time has had a somewhat negative effect on my daily life. Yes, I’m able to read whenever I want to and can run out to lunch with a friend, but I can’t seem to get much laundry done or finish the projects that I started six months ago. It seems like the less time I had, the more organized I was. And I was rarely, if ever bored. Creating exciting, fun lesson plans and watching them play out fed my hunger for producing something worthwhile. Something that mattered. I know that clean underwear is important, but it doesn’t exactly feed my soul.

So I started writing, again. And I can’t stop. I don’t even want to. Sometimes it’s only for several minutes. I jot down a plot idea or details of a scene that popped into my head. Other times, I sit at my computer typing like woman possessed (You should’ve seen me during the last week of NaNoWriMo! I’ll explain what this is in a later post.) It just depends on when inspiration hits.

And this leads me to understand my current state of boredom. I have not taken the time to structure my creativity. Sure, I’ve made some cute photo coasters that I found on Pinterest and I started making new dining room drapes because we never replaced the temporary ones after we moved in eight years ago, but I need to be creating something on a much more consistent basis to feel fulfilled. It’s just a big part of how I work.

So, here I am because of two little words. Writing, sharing, and being inspired to create because… I’m bored.