Cell Phones Or Human Contact?

I have quite the quandry on my hands.  I am due for an upgrade on my cell phone.

Normally, that would be great news as I do love technology and learning new gadgets however, upon walking into a cell phone shop to look at the newest models, I found myself totally overwhelmed with the amount of selection available and set out to get help from a sales associate.

He was a nice young man who seemed to have a lot of knowledge and personality.  I figured that at least I’d made the right choice in someone to aid me in my quest.

“Ron” (the sales associate):  How can I help you today?

Me:  Well, I’m eligible for an upgrade on my cell phone but, I don’t know what I want yet and there’s so many to  choose from.

“Ron”:  What are your needs?  Let’s start there.

Me:  Basically, I just want to be able to make a call, check my email, have a camera, and…well….maybe, be able to get onto Facebook.

“Ron”:  Ok, so pretty basic features then so, every phone here will be able to do that for you.

Me:  Great, that narrows it down, Ron.

“Ron”:  (Polite laugh)

Me:  What’s the difference between the iphone, an android and a Blackberry?  I already have a Blackberry but, it might be time to change.

“Ron”:  Everyone has their preferences.  Some love their iphones, some their androids and some their Blackberrys.

Me:  Again, thanks Ron.  That narrows it down yet again.

“Ron”: (Another polite chuckle as he looks at his own android phone to see a message and quickly text back)

Me:   Ron, I see that you have an android.

“Ron”:  Yeah but, I also have a Blackberry and love both for different reasons.

Me:  Ok, Ron…tell me why you love your android and why you love your Blackberry.

“Ron”:  Well, I keep my Blackberry for certain people to contact me and, I have my android for me…my personal use.

Me:  Explain what you mean by why the Blackberry for certain people and the android for your personal use.

“Ron”:  Uhhhmmm…uhhhhmmm….I like my android because it lets me watch sports, listen to music, and play games but, I like my Blackberry because if I want to write long emails, I can do it better on my Blackberry.

Me:  (Thinking we’re finally getting somewhere)  Ok, so the Blackberry is something that you use more for emailing and the android you use more as an entertainment center?

“Ron”:  Well, sorta…I write emails on my android too.

Me:  But, you just said that you prefer your Blackberry for your emails, why?

“Ron”:  I don’t know really.  I’ve learned how to swype on my android now so, it’s just as quick.

Me:  Swype?  What’s that?

“Ron”: (Taking his android, the size of a small book, out of his pocket and making a finger gestures like a voodoo priest over the phone).  I can highlight the letters that I want to type and it will automatically enter the word…see?

He continues to show me words…though they’re all wrong and he seems to spend more time correcting them than anything else.

Me:  Uh-huh….but, it seems to be rather inaccurate.

“Ron”:  Yeah, it is really for texting.

Me:  But, you said that you can write emails just as well on this phone as your Blackberry.

“Ron”:  Well, yeah…when you get used to using the touch typing pad.  I need more practice at it.

Me: (Clearing my throat, getting a little antsy at this point)  Ok, Ron…let’s move on to the other features of the android.

“Ron”:  Oh, they’re so cool.  I can do this (again with the voodoo finger movements and several screens later).  I can sit in the restaurant and look up what movies are playing then, (more finger movements) I can watch the trailer for the movie to see if I want to go see it. (Flips phone sideways to show trailer playing).

Me:  Interesting, Ron.  What else can it do?

“Ron”:  Well, I can watch the sports replays if I miss the game while I’m at work and busy with customers.

Me:  But, won’t that take a large data plan to be able to do those things?

“Ron”:  Yeah but, I have 6 GBs a month so, I never run out.  But, my girlfriend only has 500 MBs a month and she’s close to the edge every month.

Me:  So, then in order to use all of these android features fully, I’d have to have a large data plan.

“Ron”:  Well, it depends on what you want to use it for.

Me:  What if I only want to be able to send emails, text, maybe post something to Facebook or Twitter?

“Ron”:  It depends on how much of that you want to do.  If you want to watch and post Youtube videos, you might need a lot more.  But, you should see the Blackberry Playbook.

Me:  What’s the Blackberry Playbook?

Ron takes me over to a large tablet looking item and proceeds to show me all of its features.

Me:  That’s great, Ron but, it’s a tablet, not a phone.

Ron:  Yeah, but you can read books on it and it’s got an onscreen keyboard and….

Me:  (Cutting Ron off, mid-sentence)  Thank you but, I just want a phone.

Ron again texts someone on his phone again and another sales associate takes his cell phone out of his pocket, mid-sentence while with his customer.  I see the smirk and watch him move his fingers in the same fashion over his screen.  Ron looks back at his phone and smiles then, proceeds to type something back.

At this point, I’m sure that Ron and the other sales associate are having a great laugh about my own questions as well as that of his customer, another man, a little older than me, who is also seemingly asking questions.  I’m sure the conversation was comprised of one central message, “Old Farts don’t know what they want. Let’s sell them a house phone.”

Waiting while the two sales associates finish their little banter….I turn to see my husband taking his ancient flip-phone out of it’s holster clip on his pants belt and take a call.  It’s nothing more than a tiny screen with the numbers on the pad and walk away, talking happily, unconcerned about other features.  The phone was doing what we really needed it for, the ability to make a call.

All I wanted was to be able to make a call and perhaps, check email here and there.  Did I really need an entire entertainment center in my purse?  Was I really going to watch tv, check out movie trailers, watch Youtube videos?  I already have a GPS in my car.  An ipod to listen to music with.  An e-reader for my books.  Did I really need much more than I already have?

My husband had blissfully finished his phone call unaware of even how to text someone and completely happy with his archaic dinosaur of a phone so, what was I stressing over?

The answer was so simple.  Forty-five minutes and several sly grins between two sales associates later, I realized that I already had what I needed and wanted.

Me:  Thanks Ron for all of your help but, I’m going to stick with the phone that I have.

“Ron”:  Ok, that’s what I’m here for.  If you change your mind, here’s a catalogue of our phones and what they do.

Forty-five minutes later, loaded down with pamphelets, a catalogue, a business card and feeling drained but satisfied, we crossed the street and hit Tim Hortons for coffee whereupon I realized that everyone was sitting with other people in the coffee shop, cell phones in hand, ignorning those they were with, to play with their phones.  Not one of them were talking to one another.  They were all busily texting, swpying, watching videos or tv, talking to others elsewhere and not giving the actual flesh and blood people they were with, so much as a glance, let alone a word.

It was then that it hit me that we are moving towards a world of technology where other humanbeings will all become cyber avatars on cell phones.  We’re literally carrying around our lives on these things.

I turned to see one young man, doing banking on his cell phone.  He was transferring money over to someone else and it became apparent that he was transferring $10.00 over to the guy, sitting right across the table from him to pay him back for the lunch sandwich and coffees they were eating.

My husband reached into his pocket, pulled out his wallet and paid for our coffees with a crisp $10.00 bill.

We then went on to talk about other things and enjoy our time out together.

Sorry that I wasted your time “Ron”.  While I may be old enough to be your mother, I’m far from stupid.  I recognize that we are missing out on human contact with all of these expensive gadgets.  I’m both old enough and yet, young enough to realize that human contact is still the best thing in the world for us.  And, I’m sticking to that idea.

True Friendship Means Sharing The Good Times Too

 

How many times in our lives have we all sat and listened to problems and tried to help someone we’ve considered a friend, only to find that person not there later for you or, having gone off to share their happy moments with other people and not including us?

 

Recently, having gone through a lot of hard issues in my life, I’ve found that the people I have been there for through thick and thin, without question, without hesitation have been nowhere to be found during my times of trouble. 

 

Not that I’m expecting people to give up their own lives or to cater to my needs but, I’d kind of hoped that they’d have had enough care to have at the least, offered up their friendship…even if it meant going shopping or out for a coffee, just to take my mind off of the issues that I’m dealing with for a bit. 

 

Worse than that, I’ve not only found that none of these people have been available to me but, that they’ve used the old excuse of, “I’ve been busy”. 

 

Sure, we’re all busy in our lives.  It’s not as though I don’t have a life when they have called with their problems.  I’ve simply made the time to be there for them whereas, they haven’t done the same in return. 

 

I can say that what really gets to me more than anything is the idea that these people have taken my friendship when they were in need but, the moment that they were moving on from their problems, they had also moved on from me. 

 

They were sharing the bad times with me but, when the good times were happening in their lives, it was other people that they shared those moments with. 

 

From here on out, I’ve made a pact with myself.  I’m no longer going to put off what I need to do for myself in my life to be there for those who are simply there to use me for their own needs and toss me when they’re no longer in need. 

 

A true friendship means sharing both the bad as well as the good times. 

 

Perhaps, I need a t-shirt made up with the following on it…..

If you want my opinion and ask for it, I’ll give it. If you need a shoulder to cry on and a tissue, I’ll offer you mine and hand you a tissue. If you want a friend to be there for you, I’ll be that friend. If you just need to vent, I’ll listen. But, if I’ve done all or some of that and when you’ve gotten what you needed and walk away, not bothering with me until the next problem arises…..you can keep on walking and don’t look back for I won’t be there next time. I’m not a doormat or a revolving door….if I’ve cared enough to be there for you in the bad times, I’ve been a friend so, think of me during the good times and share those with me too.

~J-me~

 

 

 

 

Jessica Simpson Into Fourth Trimester and Still Not Given Birth?

The rumour mills are running rampant with speculation that J.S. has given birth but, is taking her time in announcing it.

The jokes are flying now with everything from exaggerations to insults.

Even pregnant Snooki got into the mix of insults when stated to media recently, “I would die if I were her size”.  Snooki’s co-star, DJ Pauly D got in two cents-worth by saying, “”She’s like 45 months pregnant right now!”

Image

Jessica Simpson is STILL pregnant.

There’s been a lot of other jokes floating around, like:

“The heffer’s gonna give birth to a toddler”

The baby’s going to be born in time to go to college.

What’s it been….64 months now?

Feels like she’s been pregnant for 10 years.

This is the longest pregnancy in history.

She’s had implants to stop labour and delivery until she’s finished with the publicity.

Sure she’s not Octa-mom?

There’s got to be more than one kid in there!

Seriously though, let’s give the woman a break.

Yes, she’s put on a lot of weight with this pregnancy and oh yeah, she looks like she should have popped 2 months ago already but, the reality of it is, she’s likely just plain and simply past her due date by a couple of weeks.  Though, I’m sure I can hear some smart-wit saying “more like a couple of years!”

It’s also been speculated that because there’s been “no Simpson sightings” since her March baby shower and that her sister, Ashley Simpson had visited earlier this month and stayed a couple of weeks, that Jessica had given birth and was relaxing without paparazzi and media attention.

Who could blame her if it were true?

But, Simpson tweeted this past weekend for us not to believe the rumours, she still hadn’t given birth yet.

I’ve heard it said that the baby would now weigh over 10 lbs.  Let’s hope Jessica’s got the hip width for that kind of birth or has already signed the release forms for the epidural meds to keep on comin’ throughout this labour and delivery.  No doubt this little girl is going to be born a chubette cherub.

I’m taking bets.

Anyone want to make a guess as to when this baby will be born or, whether she’s already given birth?

Portuguese Police Refuse To Re-Open Madeleine McCann Case

One day after Scotland Yard reported that they believe that they’ve found new evidence that may support the possibility that Madeleine McCann may still be alive and released an age enhanced photo of the missing toddler, Portuguese Police authorities have refused to re-open the Madeleine McCann stating that there is no new evidence to warrant the re-opening of the case.

Portuguese police refuse to re-open investigation into Madeleine McCann's abduction case one day after U.K. police release this age enhanced composite photo of what Madeleine might look like today at the age of 9 years.

 

While U.K. police have stated that they sent 30 police officers over to Portugal some seven times during the first investigation, it didn’t seem to have been enough effort on their part at the most crucial time in this case.

Some nearly five years after her abduction, Madeleine could be anywhere at this point in time.

In a case where there has been no body found and no evidence to prove that Madeleine is not alive, there still remains a hope for the parents that their child could still be alive and living somewhere with her abductors or others who may have been given the child.  It’s a nightmare that will never go away until Kate and Gerry McCann either find their child, or find at least evidence that she is not alive.

Portuguese police have been criticized for their investigative methods and skills or lack of them in this case and therefore, there are a lot of unanswered questions running rampant through people’s minds who have been following this case.

While it is questionable why U.K. police and Scotland Yard have seemingly sat on their thumbs on this case for nearly five years, the Portuguese police forces have bungled a lot of the case and the parents have had to resort to hiring private investigators to by-pass both forces’ inept investigations.

It can be hypothesized that U.K. police systems did not take as active a stance as they could have taken.  Equally, many have criticized Portuguese police for having been as sloppy in their investigation.

In the meanwhile, the question of what happened to Madeleine McCann is still looming large in not only the parents’ minds but, also that of the public who knew about and followed this case from Day 1.

This also leaves both police forces’ investigations in question.

One could speculate that U.K. police forces were pressured into what one might consider, publicity stunt to soothe the criticism that fell upon them over this case and therefore, there truly isn’t sufficient evidence to support another investigation.

U.K. forces could also be thought to be doing nothing more than posturing by producing a tactic by which it takes the owness and heat off of them by passing the buck back to Portuguese police and let them refuse to re-open the case then, taking a “what can we do…we tried?” type of stance.

It appears strange that some nearly five years after the little girl’s abduction, Scotland Yard and U.K. police have come forward with this seemingly sudden form of enthusiasm, kind of like The Calvary, with guns drawn and heading off half-cocked with a sudden and bold statement that Madeleine may still be alive and handing out age enhanced photos to the media.

It wreaks of a publicity stunt, designed to save face in an international, heart-tugging and well publicized case.

Meanwhile, Portuguese police’s refusal to re-open the case, appears to also be saving face.   The question is from what?  Are they afraid that their less than stellar investigative procedures in this case will fall upon international scrutiny?  What are they afraid of happening should the case be re-opened?

Perhaps, a more key question should be, what do Portuguese police have to lose by re-opening this case?

As it sits right now, neither set of forces have a star beside their names in this case.  Both have been less than brilliant in how this case was handled from the beginning and most crucial portions of it and has left both forces open to scrutiny was well as criticisms world wide.

What would it hurt for Portuguese police to allow this case to be re-opened, every “new” piece of evidence that U.K. police claim to have only now found, be investigated thoroughly, either ruling each piece in or ruling each piece out?  Either way, both would stand to save face by re-opening the case under what U.K. police have alleged that they have found.  That is, unless, of course, Portuguese police have something to hide about this investigation and their techniques.

In spite of the many questions that can be raised, the fact remains that there’s a little girl who went missing and has not been found.  That leaves the question in many people’s minds of where she is.  Is it right to leave those questions hanging in the air without answers one way or another?  Do the parents not deserve some form of closure no matter what the end resulting answer is?

It’s only my own personal opinion but, I suspect that if enough pressure is placed upon the Portuguese police force and perhaps, the Portuguese government, this case will be re-opened at some point in the near future.

Let’s hope that some sort of resolution can be found so that the question of what happened to Madeleine McCann can be answered.

 

Missing U.K. Girl, Madeleine McCann Possibly Still Alive Years After Abduction

Madeleine McCann, the missing U.K. 3 year-old who went missing from her bed in a hotel in Portugal nearly 5 years ago, while her parents sat outside with friends.

Three year old, Madeleine McCann was snatched from her bed in a hotel room during a family vacation in Praia da Luz in the Algarve, Portugal on May 3, 2007.  The toddler’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had put their three children to bed in a rented ground floor apartment that evening then, went to meet friends for dinner at a nearby tapas bar/restaurant, approximately 130 yards away.

At 9:oo p.m., Gerry McCann went to check on the three sleeping children, finding everyone safe and sound.  However, sometime between McCann’s 9 p.m. check and his wife, Kate’s 10 p.m. check, Madeleine was missing from her bed while the other two children (two-year old twins) continued to sleep, undisturbed.  A bedroom window was found opened at that point.

In between, apparently a couple of their friends had also passed by the unlocked apartment door to check briefly

Both Gerry and Kate McCann were cleared as being suspects in the case but, not easily or quickly.  Portuguese police officials were quick to point their fingers at the parents.  Gerry and Kate McCann have since won a libel suit and accepted 550,000 Lira as compensation.

DNA and toxicology testings have ruled out the McCanns of drugs and also ruled out the possibility that Madeleine’s twin siblings might have been sedated possibly (one can only guess) to rule out that the children had been sedated by either the parents or the abductor in order not to have awoken either while Madeleine was taken or to disrupt the McCann’s evening plans with friends.

In a police interview, a leak in information revealed that Madeleine had questioned her mother the morning before she went missing: “Mummy, why didn’t you come when we were crying last night?”

A couple of million dollars were raised to help the McCann’s find their daughter and the McCanns signed a deal to publish a book about their daughter’s disappearance.

Portuguese police interviews and released several suspects and one suspect sued police for libel and accepted £600,000 in damages.

April 24, 2012, some nearly 5 years since Madeleine went missing from her bed in The Algarve, Portugal, British police are pressing the case to be re-opened, believing that they have found new or “fresh” evidence that Madeleine may still be alive.  Working with three different layers of investigators, they will go through some 40,000 pieces of information equating to about 100,000 pages.  Working with the Portuguese investigation information, inquiries by the UK law enforcement agencies and their files as well as the work of private investigators or agencies, hired by the McCanns, they seek to put closure to this little girl’s disappearance one way or another.

Having poured through the pages of separate investigations, they now believe that it’s possible that Madeleine may still be alive.

They have released a photo that they believe Madeleine may look like today at the age of 9 years.

Police released aged photo of what Madeleine McCann may look like today at the age of 9 years old.

It was clear from the start that Portuguese police and investigators had possibly not done as thorough or forthright investigation as one would hope would have been done to have found a missing child.  The apartment had been rented out again while still being considered a crime scene.  Suspects were brought in and cleared but, their clearances were questionable at best and Portuguese police closed the case in 2008.

Metropolitan police have stated that they are pressing for the case to be re-opened after saying that, “Officers have so far identified around 195 such opportunities within the historic material, and are also developing what they believe to be genuinely new material.”

Prime Minister David Cameron responded to a plea from Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate to have Metropolitan police review the case and have now gotten their wish.

Sadly, for this little girl and her parents as well as her siblings who will now be seven years of age and not really known their missing sister, questions should be raised in everyone’s minds.

  • Where were the Metropolitan police in this investigation from Day 1?
  • How did Metropolitan police allow this case to be closed in the first place?
  • Why are they only now, some 5 years after her disappearance, going over the records this closely?
  • Why was this not done or being done all the way through this case?
  • Why did Metropolitan police not get involved and question Portuguese investigative techniques nor, their investigation?
  • Why did it take privately hired investigators to stir up two police forces (U.K. and Portuguese)?

In rides U.K. police, like The Calvary now, some nearly 5 years after the fact.

“We genuinely believe there’s a possibility that she is alive. I want to make a direct appeal. If you know where Madeleine McCann is or if you have any direct information or evidence about what happened to her, then please make contact,” Andy Redwood, of Scotland Yard’s homicide and serious crime command, has stated, as though the hero of the case.

Where was he for the past five years that this little girl has been missing?

Unfortunately though, while Gerry and Kate McCann have been cleared as suspects in their daughter’s abduction, there still rests a responsibility towards their own actions or lack of them in responsibilities, along with questions about them as well.

  • Why were the McCanns so freely at ease in putting their 3 children, all 3 years of age and under, to bed in a foreign country, in an unlocked, rented apartment and going off for dinner with friends?
  • From the leaked statement in which Madeleine had asked her mother why she hadn’t come to them when they were crying the night before, it appears as though the McCanns were regularly freely socializing with friends, away from earshot of their children in the evenings.  What kind of safety is built-in for those toddlers?
  • What if one of the two-year olds had have awoken, gotten out of bed and hurt themselves?
  • What if Madeleine had have simply wandered off on her own with her parent out?

A three-year old and 2 two-year olds should never have been left alone, sleeping in a ground floor, unlocked apartment with their parents, sitting at a bar-restaurant at night.  No matter how close they may have felt 130 yards was from where they were or whether they could see the door from the bar or not, they were in a noisy, crowded place, distracted by alcohol, food, friends and possibly music.  Should something happen (as it did), screams could not have been heard by these parents.  Nor, could they have kept an eye on the un-locked door of the apartment with all of those distractions throughout the evening.

More key to the point was the fact that even their friends had passed by the open door and easily checked in so, how easy could it have been for a complete stranger to have done the same thing?

My sense is that as a parent, you have a responsibility to your children first and foremost.  If you’re going on a vacation where you’ll be socializing as much as possible with friends, either do so in a way in which your children can be kept safe or do not take your children with you.  Either make it a family vacation or a friend socialized vacation but, don’t try to make it both because three children’s safety is at stake.

My hopes are that Madeleine will be found safe and alive but, even were she to be found alive, at this point, her mental and emotional status is at risk.  She will have spent most of her life now with people or a person who she has come to know as her family or likely wondered where her own parents were at first.  Great emotional trauma has already occurred and will grow in intensity should she be found alive, safe and healthy.

No matter which way we look at this case, there isn’t an easy or happy ending for this little girl and all because of selfishness or evil intents of the abductor as well as negligence in protection of their children’s safety on the parents’ behalf.

Such a sad case all around.

If you’re reading this blog and have any information, phone police and let them know.  No tip is too small or silly.

Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees Awakes From Week Long Coma

Former Bee Gees member, Robin Gibb awakes from coma brought on by chemo therapy complications induced pneumonia.

Frail, weak, malnourished and still in Intensive Care in The London Clinic in Central London, Robin Gibb has awoken from a week-long coma and is able to talk to family members who have kept vigil by his bedside throughout the frightening ordeal.

Gibb’s doctor, Dr. Andrew Thillainayagam has confirmed that a combination of chemotherapy and two prior surgeries for advanced colon cancer, had weakened the former pop music star so greatly that he contracted pneumonia which put him into a coma and a life and death fight.

Though extremely weakened, still on a feeding tube and oxygen mask to help him breathe, Robin Gibb has shown great determination to continue living, requiring a deep inner will to overcome the odds and still be here with us.

Gibb’s wife, Dwina, son, Robin-John Gibb, daughter, Melissa as well as remaining brother and former fellow Bee Gee, Barry Gibb, have spent round the clock with Robin, playing him his favorite music and singing to him.  Dwina has reported that Robin cried when she played Roy Orbison’s “Crying” for him.  None of them were willing to give up on Robin or let him succumb to his illness. It appears that neither was Robin, himself.

While in coma, Robin’s composition, Titanic Requiem, a piece co-written with his son, Robin-John and taking some two and a half years for the duo to complete in time to be presented for the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking was presented to the world in London.

Robin-John represented both himself and his father during that world premiere.

Gibb had formed a fascination throughout his life with the fateful ship.  Though made of steel and built to withstand all that nature could throw at it, the Titanic was no match for nature and sank April 15, 1912, killing over 1,500 passengers.

At the same time that the Titanic was being commemorated 100 years after its sinking, ironically, Gibb laid in a hospital bed, unaware of the anniversary or much else, fighting to keep his life much like the passengers of that ship did that day.

Thankfully, Robin has overcome the odds thus far and has confounded doctors as to his remarkable strength and will power to live.

Though Gibb’s fate is uncertain as the colon cancer has reportedly spread to his liver, and the pop music icon remains in a delicate, frail state, one thing is certain.  Love and spirit are indeed, stronger than steel.

May he maintain his form of steel and continue to beat the odds.

Be Careful What You Tell Yourself

Think but, think the right thoughts. Change a thought and you change an emotion.

It’s dull and gray with a misty rain today.  It’s also Saturday so, I had the luxury of pulling the covers back up and resting in the idea that there was nothing urgent to be done.  I had the ability to stay in bed another hour or two, which I did.

I found myself thinking firstly, about the rain and the dullness…how “gloomy” it was.  Yes, I told myself it was depressing simply by using the word that I did.  Instead of simply telling myself that it was raining, I leaped directly to the word that connotated, depressing and actually felt somewhat depressed at that moment.

How could I have gone from a simple fact to feeling depressed?

My big mistake was in using a descriptive word that brought on that emotion.

If we allow ourselves to stand back far enough and simply become observers of our own thought processes, it’s amazing just how we can jade ourselves into a bad mood by what we are thinking.

David M. Burns, writes in his book “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy”   that we cannot have an emotion, without having a thought.  He demonstrates that point with several different analogies.

One analogy for instance, involves two men, sitting in a car that is stuck on railway tracks.  One of the men notice a train, heading straight for them.   He is panicked and trying to get both himself and the other man, out of the car and to safety.  The other man, is blissfully unaware of the train heading for them so, he feels no panic, no worry, no fear (bringing new meaning to the phrase “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”).  Yet, both men are facing the same fate.  The difference is that one man’s thoughts are acknowledging the danger fully, while the other man is not even aware of it.  He is going on with his pleasant thoughts and thus, the difference in the two men’s emotions.

My personal favorite is where a husband and wife are both about to sit down to a lovely dinner together.  The husband looks at the very same table that his wife is looking upon.  The dishes are beautiful, the food looks and smells wonderful, they have each other’s company to enjoy.  Yet, both have very different feelings or emotions about the meal and the time together.  One is enjoying it, while the other is ready to leave, feeling their stomach in a knot.  What makes the difference?

It’s easy to figure out should we be able to listen to their thoughts.

The husband is having thoughts like,

“What a wonderful looking dinner.  I’m starving and this all smells so fabulous.  My wife is looking especially beautiful tonight and I can’t wait to taste that roasted beef.  It’s the perfect end to a long day.”

The wife, on the other hand, has thoughts like this,

“That roast looks dry and we’re going to pay so much for it.  Wonder how many calories there are in this meal?  I’m going to have to make sure to get to the gym tomorrow to work some of these calories off.  We have a party coming up in two weeks and I’ll never fit into my dress as it is.  Oh…wait….I can’t get to the gym tomorrow.  I have a late meeting at work.  Which reminds me, I’ve got to ask someone to pick up the kids and I’ll meet them at the soccer field.  How will I do all of that?  Oh, I can’t eat and enjoy this dinner now.”

How many times do we do to ourselves what the wife in this situation has done to herself?

I was in the grocery store the other day.  The line-ups were long as they only had two cashiers on.  I fretted and fumed.  I found myself clenching my teeth, angry with how a large chain grocery store could have only two cashiers on at one of the busiest times of the day.  Didn’t they know that people have other things to do with their lives?  How was I going to get dinner made, cleaned up and get out in time to meet a friend for coffee?  I found myself, wondering whether I really needed the things I was picking up but, realizing that I did and I was stuck, right there, having no choice but to wait.  I could feel the muscles in my neck tense with every moment.

Just ahead of me in line was a younger woman, two young children beside her buggy, who by all means, should have looked been much more stressed with the wait than I.  The children were antsy, bugging her to buy them gum, open up the chips, asking questions and generally, annoying me when I wasn’t the one who had to contend with them both.

I took a moment to watch this woman, much to my surprise, only to see that she didn’t at all seem stressed by the wait nor, her children’s incessant naggings, restlessness or fidgeting.  Instead, she reached into her cart and opened a box of cookies, giving both children one each and proceeded to pick up a magazine, reading it, while waiting.  The hurricane that could have ensued, was thereby, halted in its tracks and the woman was calmly and seemingly enjoying her wait time.

I couldn’t help but wonder what made the difference between her level of peace and the inner tornado that was ripping through my entire body at that moment.  Suddenly, it dawned on me that it was the difference in how we were thinking and handling the situation internally.

At that moment, I realized that all of the teeth grinding, fuming, fretting and toe-tapping in the world wasn’t going to make that line move anymore quickly.  It was my thoughts that were making this situation totally unacceptable to me and creating the levels of stress that were doing no one any good, least of all, me.

I reached into a refridgerated display case beside me, grabbed a Diet Pepsi and a magazine from another stand and stood there, enjoying both while I waited with everyone else.  Much to my chagrin at that point, I was next and having to put my groceries on the belt, feeling much more relaxed and actually, somewhat disappointed that I didn’t get to finish the article I had been reading.

What a difference a change in thinking can make in how we’re feeling.

Today it’s raining outside.  There’s water coming from the skies.  It’s giving the dry ground a much needed and long overdue drink so that the grass can become a lovely lucious shade of green and my rockery garden can bloom with its brilliant colors soon.

It’s actually a beautiful day and I have an umbrella.