Happiness Part V: We Know Too Much

computers

Day in and day out, we are being bombarded with information.  Some of it will be correct and some of it will prove to be incorrect yet, we will absorb it all as though through osmosis.  Whether we are truly paying attention or we’re subliminally and subconsciously picking it up, we have most of that info, rumbling around in our brains somewhere and it’s acting upon us like a slow release pill, coming out in dribs and drabs. It’s likely that we don’t even recognize that info is there or that we’re utilizing it in one way or another.  Our brains are wonderous machines with a filing system that makes computers look like toys.  Reality is, we know far more than we need to know and it’s causing us both stress and distress.  It’s a road block to being happy.

Remember back a few entries ago when the scenario of children being happy was the centre point of that piece?  If not, you can review it here.  Part of the reason that children are generally happy is that they don’t know enough to be un-happy.  Not only have the brains of children not developed enough but, they don’t know enough to be upset, stressed, worried or any of the adult things that we, as adults, have come to learn to do.  They live in moment because they can’t really foresee much trouble in the future.  Ignorance is sometimes, bliss.

Let me give a scenario here that may help demonstrate that point better.

Two men are in a car, stuck on railway tracks.  They cannot move back nor forward.  The elder gentleman in the car has a form of dementia and is busily reminiscing about days gone by that he remembers with fondness.  The younger gentleman, fully able to compute the dangers of what is happening, is trying not to frighten the older man while trying to start the car again with no success.  Off in the distance, he sees the faint lights of an oncoming train and keeps trying to start the car, filled with panic now.  The elder man is completely unaware of what is happening and continues on his trip down memory lane with pure joy and delight, laughter and a smile while beads of sweat drip down the younger man’s forehead.  Finally, in vain, as the train approaches rapidly, the younger man exits the car, opens the door of the passenger’s side and drags the old man out of the car to safety.  The train soon demolishes the car into a tangled heap of metal before coming to a stop.  The young man tries to catch his breath while the elder gentleman simply says, “why did you stop me?  I wasn’t finished my story.”  Both men experienced the same situation.  The difference in their reactions were simply that the younger man knew what was going to happen while the elder man was blissfully unaware of the danger lurking down the tracks.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t be aware of dangers or ignorant of facts nor, uneducated.  What it is saying is that we are overloaded with information that oftentimes, is false, misleading and most importantly, un-needed.  We can’t be child-like because we now know too much.  As a matter of fact, we know more than we really need to know and that, in and of itself, causes stress, distress and un-happiness.  We are now incapable of simply living in the moment and being amused with simple things like the taste of our coffee, the smell of freshly cut grass, the clouds that are floating past us above, the purr of our cat, the sound of a stream, a song that we love or many other of the most soothing and amusing things in Life.  Instead, we are analyzing everything silly, thinking about what lays ahead, how much damage it’s doing to us and the world, some study that proves that the caffeine in our wonderful tasting coffee can kill us or how the water in our bottle of water might pollute the earth or be polluted by the chemicals in the plastic bottle or wax that lines the paper take-out cup is toxic.  We’re usually reading or listening to the news which is filled with doom and gloom as that is what sells air/paper time and we’re using technology devices such as our cell phones to look up more crazy-making information.  The list is endless as to how information is slowly not only taking away our happiness and ability to be happy but, is potentially causing us stress that will or could kill us sooner or later.

How many shootings do we need to hear about before we can say, “there’s a lot of kids, killing others with guns”?  How many studies have we all heard, read or talked about that eventually get reversed or at the least, changed because newer studies have proven differently and yet, we’ve given up that great tasting coffee or bread or eggs and, it’s now not only ok to have them but, we find out we should have been having them all along as they’re beneficial to us?  How many car accidents do we need to see on the news at night with people we never met, don’t know and never will know before we get the idea that driving a car in today’s world and in traffic or driving distracted or impaired, can kill us? Do we really need 24/7 news stations that cover a story live and have “experts” on panel to discuss every nuance of the situation?

The bottom line is that we have far too much information floating around in our heads that not only don’t serve us beyond simply having a fact/knowledge but, are harming us in one way or another.  It’s all certainly a stumbling block towards being happy.

If you want to feel a bit happier,

  • Turn off the news or put down that newspaper
  • Quit Googling or Binging or whatever search engine you use for a bit
  • Turn off your cell phone or use it to actually CALL a friend or relative and enjoy talking to them instead of texting or ignoring them.
  • Stop taking every study too seriously because it will eventually turn out to be changed or reversed by another that will follow.
  • Either turn up your favourite music and sing or dance with it or, listen to the birds chirping, the stream sounds or your cat purring for a change
  • Watch a comedy or inspirational movie instead of a horror, police or crime show
  • Read a book or story with an inspirational message behind it
  • Buy yourself an adult colouring book and colour for a change.  Heck, get out the crayons and colour a child’s colouring book.
  • Ditch the “Know-It-Alls” who are walking encyclopedias but, are as negative as hell
  • Limit time with or eliminate those people who are bringing you nothing but headaches or demands for you doing something for them
  • Spend more time with people who make you feel good and most of all, make you laugh
  • Get silly. Roll down a hill, play with toys, splash around in a local pool just for the fun of being in water and weightless or buy yourself a teddy bear.  Seriously.
  • Stay out of your head and thinking for even an hour a day.  Just pay attention to things around you that are soothing and relaxing.  If you can’t find that, find them in your memory bank.  They’re there, believe it or not.
  • Be thankful for what you have right now even if it’s not your dream situation
  • Set aside a worry time of 20 minutes where you write your worries out into a dollar store notebook then shut the journal and tell yourself worry time is over until your next planned session then, get on with something light, silly and funny

These are just a few ideas.  There are plenty more.  If you’re going to Google anything, search for ways to have fun.

Stay light, stay laughing, stay away from people or information that brings you down to a stressed out level as much as possible.  Just be.  Be in the moment and enjoy the little things in Life.  Be happy!

Blessings, Love and Light from my little corner of life to yours.

 

Christmas Is Cancelled This Year

child-misbehaviour-christmas-cancelled

Christmas is coming up, fast now.  If you’re Christian, you know what I mean and you’re feeling the pressure building.  If you’re not Christian, you have your holidays and can empathize.  However, this year, I’m feeling nostalgic as well as rather lost in a lot of ways.  In a way, while emotionally draining, I’m not feeling the stress that I usually feel.  I will explain what I mean by this statement but, I’m thinking that The Kranks (Christmas With The Kranks)   likely had the right original idea in skipping Christmas altogether and taking off for a tropical vacation.

First the lack of stress…with visions of The Griswolds in “Christmas Vacation” dancing through my head.

I used to be the accommodating family member who would take over all of the holiday meals and would shop for everyone until there were gifts galore all over the place.  I could barely stand up the day after Christmas and would have a nervous break down when the credit card bills started coming in the end of January.  It would take me months of penny scrimping and creative meals, no buying anything not needed 100% to dig us out of that financial nightmare.  Yes, we were saps.

Over the years, the family has diminished, not grown.  Most of my family has now passed away as has my husband’s family members.  What little family both of us do have left now, are not or barely speaking to us.  You see, we started having to say, “sorry…no” to things.  Hubby and I used to be the biggest doormats around for everyone and let’s just say that no one liked it when we had to politely start setting some boundaries and saying “no” to requests for money, money and more money that we didn’t have to begin with and couldn’t help them out anymore.  Worst, was our own daughter who found herself a boyfriend and they wanted to smoke weed in our home, with our 3 young nephews present and we told them to take it elsewhere.  No one left, likes having us say, “sorry…we can’t” so, they’ve kept their distance.  That leaves us alone for Christmas this year.  I’m not sure if it’s sad or if I should rejoice as I won’t have to scrimp and save to pay off the bills this year nor, do the work for everyone to enjoy?

What I do know is that it’s making me think twice about being too giving from here on out and learning to set up boundaries.  People don’t seem to like the fact that we finally stopped being a bank service or allowing things that aren’t right because we feared the back-lash from them if we said that simple word, “no”.  We’ve found that out and it was a shock at how they reacted to it.  It’s amazing how much people will take and appear to care when they are getting what they want out of you but, put the plug in the giving and they suddenly stop caring about you altogether.

We’re not quite sure what we will do for Christmas this year and, don’t get me wrong, it’s not relished by us that people have taken on this attitude with us but, it’s an eye opener to know that we were always considered not much more than a wish granter and morons to any of them. Their true colours and motives have shown through, including during a recent health issue where I required surgery and not one person bothered to pick up the phone to ask how I was feeling even when it didn’t go well.  Sadly, I realize that in spite of being blood related, it doesn’t mean caring about us but, we won’t be going down the same path of giving and laying down for these same people to wipe their feet on any longer.

As Christmas approaches, we’ve put up our lights at the usual time with the rest of our neighbours.  We’re about to put up our Christmas tree where the cat will knock it down a few times or the dog.  We’ll go on about our days the best that we can but, our hearts will not feel the same about Christmas again nor, will they feel the same about these family members, including our only child who is now an adult and estranged from us because we finally had the nerve to say “no” to them all for differing reasons.

I don’t know what we will do this Christmas but, I do know one thing.  We won’t be in debt this year, over-worked or exhausted and eating hamburg 100 ways for the next 6 months to pay off those Christmas bills that gave everyone a wonderful Christmas which obviously wasn’t appreciated to begin with.

However, from my little corner of life, that may be something that will be a relief and perhaps, the best Christmas we’ve had in decades.  Time will tell and I’m about to search for places to go have dinner out and make reservations.  Ahhh…to not have to shop, clean, set up, cook, serve, clean up and wear myself out this year.  That might be a nice change of pace.  In other words, Christmas as we knew it, has been cancelled this year.  I might like it.

 

 

Justin Bieber News…All Day, Every Day

 

 

I know every star has their fan-base and far be it from me to want to take that away from either him or his fans but…is there any way that we can get through a newscast without Justin Bieber coming up in it?

NEWS STORIES: 6 O’CLOCK NEWS TODAY

There was an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan today.   Thousands were left homeless, looking for loved ones in the rubble.  Many are without water, electricity or a place to go.  A Tsunami warning has now been posted but, Justin Bieber has tweeted his condolences to the people’s of Japan, saying he was sad to hear the news.

The economy took a downturn today.  Stock markets all over the world have taken a beating and investors are scrambling to curtail the damage, hoping for a climb in tomorrow’s trading sessions.  All is not lost though, Justin Bieber has released his new and third album, “Believe” where it’s topping charts in the U.S. and Canada.  If anything can turn us in “Beliebers” it’s Justin.  He’s earned an estimated $55 million over the past 12 months.

Two more tourists were found beaten and dead in Mexico today.  Canada and the U.S. have issued traveller’s alerts.  This news comes in the wake of an escalation in drugs and gang related activities in the country.  Travellers are being warned to stay safe and re-think travel plans to Mexico at the current time.  Meanwhile, Justin Bieber and girlfriend, Selena were caught by paparazzi, enjoying each other’s company on a beach in Cuba.  Bieber was signing autographs, looking healthy and being generous in posing for photos with fans.

A horrific pile-up has sent four people to hospital with one being confirmed dead on arrival.  Names have been withheld, pending notification of family.  Two people are in critical condition and one remains under observation.  Speaking of cars, The Bieb was spotted driving a brand new Porsche this weekend.  Insiders have said that the teen heart-throb bought the car as a birthday gift to himself for his 18th birthday.

Researchers have begun implementing a new cancer care regiment, tooted to be a boon in how cancer patients are receiving treatment.  Individualized Treatment plans will see cancer treatments tailored to each individual patient rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, previously used.  Patients will be tested for genetic make-up, individual health status and much more first so that doctors can approach the patient with options that best suit their particular needs.  Meanwhile, nothing can stop Justin Bieber who is spear-heading the first “Anti-Paparrazzi Case”, claiming that he was just trying to get away from the paparrazzi.  Having been slapped with a speeding ticket for doing 80 mph in a 65 mph zone, Bieber took matters into his own hands to save other celebrities from the perils of being chased by paparrazzi.  Bieber said that these pesky photogs are making celebs feel as though they’re trapped and called it “false imprisonment”.  But, it wasn’t just the celebs that Bieber is trying to protect.  He’s stated that the photogs drive recklessly in trying to get a shot and it’s that factor that he wants to see in court.  Bieber will save lives.

The U.S., Canada and many other nations around the globe, have been experiencing severe heat waves and drought conditions this year.  Corn crops and other agricultural crops are suffering and will likely lead to both a shortage as well as much higher prices in the coming months as farmers wrestle to keep their crops alive.  Many people are finding themselves with health issues from this heat wave especially, those who are without air conditioning of some sort.  Cooling centers are being set up, pools are staying open later and people are urged to check on their neighbors and the elderly during this time.  But, if you like the heat, there’s plenty of it for Justin Bieber fans as they line up to get copies of the latest issue of the hottest new issue of “Rolling Stones” mag where The Bieb graces its cover.  Look out girls.  It may be too hot to handle as Bieb flashes his sexy, hot bicepts in a tank top.  While not quite a man yet, he’s a boy who Bieb fans will cause girls and cougars alike, to have to cool off after seeing this issue.

 

And, that’s just the way it is today.  Stay tuned for Entertainment Gossip Tonight with Shady Galeani and Thomas Toothorn as they give you the latest on Justin Bieber.   Have a good and safe evening, knowing Justin Bieber is part of this world.

 

Someone gag me now and wake me up when there’s more to the world than Justin Bieber, will ya?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police Re-Visit Area Where Mariam Makniashvili’s Remains Found

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120316/Police-block-highway-ramp-Mariam-found-120316/20120316/?hub=TorontoNewHome

 

 

Friday March 16, 2012
Police closed off the 401 Eastbound ramp between Avenue Rd and Yonge St. to re-examine the area where Mariam Makhniashvili’s remains were found below on The Don Valley Golf Course on February 28, 2012

Ironically, my husband and myself were in the area today where Mariam Makhniashvili’s remains were found.  We had arrived as police were packing up to leave after they had re-visited the site again today for further investigations.  It was eerie that, we too, had wanted to be in that area today at the same time that police had gone back to re-examine that area, cordoning off a large section of the 401 Eastbound Collector’s lanes to do their investigation.

Still reported as being thought of as a suicide, one can only wonder why police were there again today since they are continuing to maintain that this was indeed a case of a disgruntled and depressed teen taking her own life.  Perhaps, they are readying themselves to dot their i’s and cross their t’s to put this case to rest in the near future?  Or, perhaps, public pressure is growing upon them to prove their hypothesis.  As the days go by and the public starts to digest the reality of this tragic loss, a lot of people are beginning to express that they do not believe that Mariam took her own life…especially, there and particularly, in that manner.

By now, it is most likely that there is very little, if any, forensic evidence still available that hasn’t already either been collected by police or has vanished with the ravages of weather, animals, people etc. in that area over the past two and a half years since Mariam went missing.

However, from a different perspective, it’s easier to see that a person, by foot, would have had a great deal of difficulty in not being seen getting onto the stretch of highway above where Mariam’s remains were found.

Aerial View of  Hwy 401  Eastbound Collector Lanes At Yonge St. Off Ramp

 My husband and myself, drove from Mariam’s former home to the front entrance of Forest Hill Collegiate before continuining along Eglinton Ave West towards Yonge Street, heading east then, turning left beyond 120 Eglinton Ave East where Mariam’s backpack was found behind the building.  We also traveled along Roehampton Ave to 101 Roehampton where the backpack had originally been found but, allegedly, moved at some point within a two week period prior to police being notified of it being found behind 120 Eglinton Ave. East.

We then, drove west along Roehampton to Yonge St. and drove north on Yonge to the 401 over pass area where her remains were found below the ramp on the Don Valley Golf Club grounds.

Let me tell you that it was not by any stretch of the imagination, a short stroll to get to that area from where her backpack was found.  It was quite a distance to have walked.

Secondly, had Mariam taken TTC to have gotten to that area, 101 Roehampton and even 120 Eglinton Ave. East, is out of the way of the Yonge Subway entrances.  It’s extremely hard to fathom her having gone that far off of track to have gone past North Toronto Collegiate at 70 Roehampton then, double back to get to the subway entrance.

It makes absolutely no rational sense that Mariam would have left Forest Hill Collegiate, knowing she was going to end her life to walk that type of distance to do so.  Nor, does it make any sense whatsoever that she would have taken that detour along Eglinton Ave. East or Roehampton (the next street north of Eglinton and east of Yonge street, running parallel to Eglinton Ave East) before heading up Yonge by foot or via subway.  Something does not jive with this idea.

There is some reason why Mariam’s backpack was found between the abutting properties of 120 Eglinton Ave. East and 101 Roehampton.  Both properties’ rear areas or parking areas, directly adjoin one another from behind.  That fact gives an easy explanation as to why Mariam’s backpack was found originally behind 101 Roehampton but, found some two weeks later, having been moved from that address to the one behind 120 Eglinton Ave East.  Police have already determined and reported that the backpack was moved from its original placement at 101 Roehampton to the rear of 120 Eglinton Ave East.

I am still formulating what I sense may have happened and will post that in another entry in the next day or two but, today was a sobering reminder that Police have work to do still and we hope that they won’t simply write it off as a suicide or, “misadventure”.

Be the judge yourself.  Can you see how this young woman would have manoevered her way along this highway to leap to her death without being noticed?

Please comment if you have an opinion.

 

 

 

Police re-visit area where Mariam Makhniashvili’s body was found Friday March 16, 2012.

Facebook, The Social Evil?

Has Facebook become The Social Evil Network?

Facebook may have taken us down new paths towards finding other ways to upset one another.  As if Life isn’t fraught enough with misunderstandings, we now have cyber ways to create even bigger slights and more methods to upset one another.

I don’t know about you but, I’ve been finding that going onto Facebook can be an act of “do so at your own peril” activity.  In spite of talking to people regularly in person,  I often end up finding out something about someone over Facebook and wish that I hadn’t have seen it. I’m at the point now of figuring that ignorance is bliss and what we don’t know can’t hurt us.  Sometimes, we’re just better off not knowing.  It saves a lot of heartache and headaches at times.

I’m no Spring Chicken and didn’t just fall off the turnip truck.  I’ve been around the block and back a number of times throughout my life and yet, I can still find myself ticked off and hurt by something someone’s done or said on Facebook.  It’s feeling more like I’m back in elementary or highschool.  I guess, in some ways, that might be a good thing but, in other ways, it’s feeling more like a backwards slide in Life.  Afterall, at a certain point, we’re supposed to have grown mentally and emotionally to a level where we’re overlooking these types of things and letting them roll off of our backs with a mature attitude, right?

I recently found out some great news about a friend via a posting she’d made on Facebook.  I was thrilled for this friend and her family.  Quickly, I typed in a congratulatory note then, asked myself what I was doing in just writing to her and picked up the phone to give my sentiments of glee to her in person.  Just yesterday, I found another friend with similar news having been posted on Facebook and did the same thing.  Then, it dawned on me that I had been speaking with both of these people all along but, there had been not a word from them about their news during our conversations.  Not only that but, instead of having picked up the phone to tell me in person, as good friends often do, they both had simply posted their news on Facebook and I’d gotten their good news at the same time as others did who have seemingly no contact with each other except for Facebook.  They don’t even know one another in person and have never met.  That was a kick in the rear to realize that fact when I did realize it.  However, it didn’t stop there.

Both of these friends had been calling or visiting me with their “problems” all along. I’d literally spent hour upon hour, listening and trying to help out in whatever ways that I could help them and yet, when it came to the good news,apparently, I was on the same ranks as everyone else, including pretty much strangers.  What an awakening that was.  To add insult to injury, it became apparent that other people on their Facebook Friends List had known about this joyful news months prior.  Their posts of, “I was so happy for you when you told me about this a few months ago…” hit me square in the face.  It was at that point that I wanted to re-dial both of them and give them a good piece of my mind, telling them to not bother calling me again when they had problems as they could call “Jane or Jack” instead.

I found myself boiling over with feelings of anger, hurt, frustration along with an overwhelming sense of having been used and abused by them all along.  I wondered why I was “good enough” for the bad times but, not on equal footing with the good times.  Was I the opposite of a “Fair Weather Friend”, only there when they need a shoulder to cry on but, not deserving of having the good times shared?

Suddenly, I was transported back to being a kid in a playground where others were sharing secrets that I wasn’t allowed to be privy to and, feeling like the outcast/outsider.  All of the old feelings of rejection and clicks came flooding back.  The sense of being the pariah was as fresh at this point as they were back then and I had a few miserable days and evenings, pouting over and licking these fresh wounds, just as I would have done way back then.

Yesterday, as I was thinking about all of this emotional turmoil I was feeling, I suddenly began to remember having been a “go-between” for two other friends who had developed a total misunderstanding over a stupid technical glitch in Facebook where one friend has seemingly restricted view for the other.  Knowing both, I wasn’t convinced that this was a purposeful slight so, I set about to do some detective work to figure it out.  In the end, it turned out that I had been right.  There was no slight or rejection but, rather a technical glitch and all was righted within a day or two.  However, the damage that was done through school-yard hurts was fairly significant.  The “rejected one” was certain that she had been ousted by the other and didn’t understand why.  Instead of thinking about it more fully and picking up the phone to call the other where the air would have been cleared instantly and all of the hurt, avoided, she’d sat back as I was doing with these incidents, brooding, fretting, crying and feeling totally like yesterday’s garbage.

Have I solved all of my issues with these two friends of mine quite as easily?  No, I haven’t yet come to that point.  I have though, realized that Facebook can be a source of trouble between people if they don’t confront it head on, person to person.  I intend on finding a calm way to approach this with these two friends.  I think I need to have a friendly, open dialogue with both, asking for their sides of the story rather than ignoring this and letting it become an acid that simply eats away at me.  The issue of being talked to about the bad or troublesome issues and not let in on the good, needs somehow, to be addressed on a mature level.  At the least, I’ve come to realize that even though we are grown-ups, the old and primal feelings of hurt can still very much be alive and well and child-like as they once were.  The only difference is how we deal with it all internally and externally.

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss but, these incidents have reminded me that we never outgrow being hurt or feeling rejection and that Facebook can take us back to a school aged level if we’re not careful. It seems that it can turn us back into the giggling, snotty, emotionally immature little freaks we might have been or hung out with while in school.

Be careful of what you post on Facebook.  If you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, make sure that what you post is thoughtful and respectful to all.  Afterall, it’s really just another playground where hurts can happen and none of us are totally grown up in that aspect.