Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Lesson in Gratitude


What a day yesterday was! I had great lessons planned for my students and then I received a message from my friend saying that she is at the hospital and that her doctor is expecting her to have the baby any minute. She needed help with her 3 year old and asked if it was ok with me to take care of him at the hospital. Everything that day went well, my friend had her beautiful baby girl and I had a blast with her 3 year old.
After meeting the baby, I hopped into a taxi to drive home. I usually like to talk to taxi drivers to find out about their lives, their opinions or views on certain issues… small talk to establish a rapport… a connection… but in Thailand this depends on whether or not the driver spoke English. Luckily for me, this one spoke good English.
He told me that he was a Civil Engineer who worked in the Netherlands and Libya for sometime. I soon found out what he was doing as a taxi driver. He had taken up this job one month and four days ago because his small company fell through and his wife left him because he had no money. His fighting spirit inspired me. He used to earn $2500 a month abroad and bought many small plots of land around Bangkok but had written all of them in his wife’s name. When his company fell through, he asked her for a plot of land to sell or place it as collateral at the bank when taking out a loan. But she refused his request and left him. She works as a government teacher and earns around 40,000 Thai Baht whereas he barely makes 200 Baht a day, driving a taxi and after paying the 900 Baht a day renting the taxi and gas money.
This man is a fighter… I was amazed at how he did not just give up, go to the pub and drink beer until he got drunk to wash away all his pain of abandonment and failure. He is still trying to seek help from friends to find him a job… he is still striving to work. He also assists young engineers who call him on the phone asking questions about what they should do with certain problems they face at work.  
He is such a gentle soul… he did not say a single negative thing about his wife… he just said she left him because his company fell through… He told me how he trusted people very quickly and he gave money to his friends without a question… he then told me how people called him stupid because he had a driver when he had a job and now he IS a driver driving people around. I had to tell him that he should never be ashamed of what he is doing… that he is a lot better than many who just give up and stop living or trying.
I am thankful that I met this wonderful man. He helped fill my heart with gratitude… I am grateful for how my life turned out… for my children, husband and job and even though we have not saved any money for two years because of our low salary, we still had a good life, roof over our heads and food on the table because of that steady income. I am thankful that we are all healthy and happy. I am thankful that I have clothes on my body and shoes on my feet. I am thankful that we have an extended family that loves and supports us!
 We are fine and I am thankful for that… Ilhamdullillah!
 What are you thankful for?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Recovery and Self-Discovery

 Wow! There is something about running late at night, while drizzling raindrops hit your face, and dancing moon-lit beams guide your way, no one on the streets except scattered car lights and the wonderful smiles of the security guards... this makes me want to run everyday and pay more attention to the calling of my body, mind and soul.
I ran a few kilometers yesterday after I had decided to change my life around a little.... think of me and start paying attention to what I needed to stay healthy and sane. No more will I be a hypocrite who advises women to take time off and then forgets that she needs to do that daily.... and not every once in a while!  
So yesterday, I began the road to recovery and self- discovery. I stopped to take a few breaths and just relax, closed my eyes and meditated for a few minutes, drank tea, ran in the rain at night, then massaged myself with lotion and sprayed some Lilly of the Valley essence on my neck.
It was invigorating... stimulating... freeing. At the end of the day I felt that my body, mind and soul needed that and was asking me what I had been waiting for all this time.... Why hadn't I done that in a long time?
At night and while I lay in bed I thought of what tasks I used to think I was incapable of doing and decided to take them on. I CAN do it if I wanted to... they may take effort and hard work on my part but I am confident that I can do them. I thought of the fact that nothing can stand in my way, if I set my mind to it. 
I thought of how lucky some people are that I am in their life when before I used to only believe that I was the lucky one who had them in mine. 
I thought of how I should believe;
1. my father when he says that he is very proud of me and the woman I have become... that he is not just saying that because he is my father. 
2. my mother when she writes that I am a great mother and achiever... that she is not just writing that because she is my mother.
3. my husband when he declares that I am beautiful and all that he wants... that he is not just declaring that because I am his wife, take care of things and am the mother of his children. 
4. my friends when they voice that I am a loyal and thoughtful friend... that they are not just voicing that because they need companionship.
5. my colleagues when they mention that I am 'the bees knees' and very good at what I do... that they are not just mentioning that because they need assistance with a student or lesson. 
I kind of lost myself for a while... a few months... a year... I was buried under so much rubble, no self-confidence, no self-worth... there was no one out there who could save me from this... No matter what they did or said to boost my moral, I had to be the one to do it. I had to be the one who would tell myself... ENOUGH... KHALAS... pick yourself up and start taking care of your holistic self.
I am happy that I took on blogging because with the help of my loved ones, friends and my wonderful blogger friends, I was able to see that what I was doing was actually hurting me...  that I was the one who needed to snap out of it and do something about it no matter how hard it might be. 
My principles never changed.... Everything I write about is what I truly believe in... Everything on this blog is a true reflection of my beliefs, my values and my principles... What I call, my own religion.... What I stand for.... What I live by.... 
BUT
What I needed to do was be more caring towards myself and I have taken the first step on my road to recovery and self-discovery... I deserve it! I am worth it!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Coincidence or a Sign

Picture: http://carolman.net/blog/?p=23


After posting my previous entry, I received a Facebook alert from my cousin with a website that I can visit, take a quiz and find balance in my life. It was just what I needed and many suggestions given were exactly what my dear Blogger friends had given me.

After taking the quiz, here is what was suggested:

  • Take a gentle yoga class and connect with your body (Maybe I can do a few positions that I remember from previous Yoga classes I had taken with my cousin)
  • Perform a daily self massage with relaxing herbalized oil (I can occasionally do that)
  • Take deep breaths throughout the day (I can do that!)
  • Eat three meals per day and favor sweet, sour, and salty tastes (Sweet, Sour and Salty? I always do and will definitely continue to do!)
  • Drink Relaxing Tea (I should switch from coffee to tea in the morning... good idea)
  • Enjoy a hot bath with Relaxing oils (Ho Hum... no plug in my bathtub)
  • Stay warm (I live in a warm country)

Mind

  • Meditate twice a day to clear the mind and rejuvenate the body (Will try and find 5 to 10 minutes to do that)
  • Wear invigorating fragrances   (Easy to do)
  • Listen to up-beat sounds to invoke your natural energy (OK... easy... we always listen to music)
  • Organize the clutter in your environment – your outer world reflects your inner world (No clutter... I do not think)
  • Awaken at sunrise and create an invigorating morning routine (My daughter does that for me... but maybe I can go outside to enjoy it instead of staying inside and prepare for work).
  • Diffuse invigorating fragrances into your environment
  • Favor bright, strong, bold colors with vivid shapes and designs (Ok... I wear a lot of colors... but will try to take risks with bold designs).
  • Look for opportunities to be more spontaneous (I sometimes am and love it... even wrote a post about it... but maybe not often enough... I kind of stick to routines)
  • Embrace uncertainty (hmmmm... now that is definitely a hard one... but will try... will research ways to do that... it will definitely help my mind stop spinning).

Many of the suggestions above are not time consuming and can easily be done... I will definitely try some and help myself recover, find strength and establish a balance... no longer will I advise people to take a break or Me Time and not do it myself. I promise that I will try some and write a post to let you know how it felt and whether or not it worked for me.

If you would like to take the Quiz which is simple, lovely and helps you find a balance in your life and your Vata, Pitta and Kapha follow the link below.

The Dosha Quiz

If you click on some of the green links above, it takes you to a different tips, interesting books or products. 

I am a Hypocrite!



I have not written anything for a few days now and the only reason I can think of is because I have had no energy to do so. I have been sick since last Friday with no voice, a sore throat which hurts every time I swallow anything, even my own saliva and I am physically tired due to lack of sleep and a cough that literally wakes me up in the middle of the night. I believe that my immunity system has taken a beating because I am abusing my body so much... I push it to the brink of exhaustion... and deny it any rest. I am not taking care of the gift that was given to me.

Sometimes I feel like I am a liar... I lie to myself and to others... I advise others to take regular "Me Times"... to rest... not care so much about the mess in the house... the dishes in the sink... cooking dinner  every day... putting toys away, bathing the kids... getting them dressed... and then I do whatever I advise others not to...

I am hypocrite.

There I admitted it…
What am I doing to myself? Don’t I know that if I push myself and my body so much that it would collapse into a heap of nothingness and then I would be incapable of doing anything for days afterwards? I mean things will start to spin out of control if I over do things…
I sometimes become so exhausted, that I get these nasty headaches for days and throw up so badly that all I could do is lay in bed and go to sleep.
Why do I do this to myself??????
At the weekend and during a birthday party (after the photo incident that I mentioned two posts ago), a mother sat down next to me… and even though I did not have much of a voice to converse with her I was pleased to have some company. At first she relayed what she knew about me...
She told me of stories she heard from other mothers of how I organized many activities for my children and made wonderful birthday parties all by myself… She then relayed to me what she herself noticed about what I do… how I made an effort to dress them up well for any event at school and paid attention to details… How I am creative and come up with great ideas...
Then the questions began to role in…
She asked me if I had a nanny… I answered yes, because she takes care of my daughter after she returns from school and while I was still at work…. She then asked me if the nanny was a live-in one… No…. She asked if the nanny came at the weekends and during school vacations… No… My husband and I take care of the kids… then she asked me if I have a cook… huh? What’s that? … I walk into the kitchen the moment I return from work, which is at 4… then wash the dishes and clean the kitchen… then struggle with the kids to eat… read to them… bathe them... etc…
After a minute’s pause… she said, “Wow! You are a Super mom!”
SMILE!
Why thank you! That is very sweet of you to say that…
What I really wanted to say was… it is great that you think that I am… but Super Moms also know how to take time off... so that makes me a hypocrite because I do not head my own advice to others…
I have not had ME TIME in ages… and despite my husband, mother, friends and blog friends advising me to take time off and that nothing will stop working if I did… and all the rest… I still do not…
AND I do not know why… I don’t… am I too lazy to take time off? Does that make any sense? I bet you might wonder how can someone be too lazy to take time off?
Maybe the following example might shed some light... Can You believe that I was too lazy to drive to the hairdresser’s to have my hair trimmed to the extent that I watched a YouTube video of how to cut your own hair and did it at the weekend?… I cut my own hair not to fill me with a sense of self- satisfaction but because I was too lazy to take some time off, jump in the car and drive myself to the hairdresser… did not want all the hassle…
Do I want or need someone to take care of me? NO… I certainly do not want to take care of myself but I do not want someone else to be inconvenienced as well…. I do not like to feel helpless and not in control… but I also do not want to continue working so hard…
I sometimes hope that things will get better on their own… that if I finished my chores today or at this moment, then everything will get better the next day or in the future…That things will not remain as they are now and it will get easier and more relaxing soon…
But what I need to understand is that… This is my life…this is it... and it will always be like this… and so maybe I should just relax about expecting it to change anytime soon as that hope/thought is giving my emotions and my mind a strenuous work out... it is enough that I have to think of all sorts of other things that I must do... my to-do-list is never shorter than 10 items.
I have a stressful mind that won't stop thinking, working, spinning and even on vacations!
How do I teach it to release... to let go?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Young Aspiring Writers



I love it when I find out about young aspiring writers and read their stories. They are such an inspiration at such a young age. To learn to write creatively at an old age is a very difficult task. To capture readers’ interest and attention and offer them a different world where they can travel to and escape their real world for a short time is a tough task. One needs to know which powerful descriptive words to use to have such an effect on a reader.

I believe that this skill needs to be planted at an early stage of a young child’s life so that it would grow and develop within …. Sometimes I feel that schools hamper that sense of creativity… I know it depends on a teacher and the way teachers run their classes but it is more often than not the teacher’s or curriculum’s fault when a student’s creative spirit is controlled and hindered. And this is where I truly believe that it is the parents’ responsibility to make sure that their children’s creative minds never cease to imagine, invent, dream and create. Parents have a huge role in building or nurturing that spark.

AND as a teacher and a parent, I believe that the whole community is responsible for nurturing such an essential skill in life. If a child thought about any problem differently, wrote stories that are different than the other kids, we should celebrate that uniqueness.

I remember one of my favorite students back in Jordan. He was an American handsome blond, with blue eyes, student of mine who visited my office often. I realized early on that he had a wide imagination and I sought to take advantage of that. I was teaching him English, providing him with skills, ways to overcome his spelling difficulties and tackling his lack of interest in writing at the time.  I thought of a way to get him to enjoy writing and it was through topics he was interested in. At first we started writing research essays on interesting creatures but then I thought we needed to move on to topics that he could keep with him for the rest of his life. He started writing his own short stories and drawing pictures that went with each paragraph. We decided together to write stories that had a moral kick to them and he was captivated. He was so motivated and did such an amazing job to the extent that he wrote around 3 amazing short Picture story books. I was so proud of him.

Now back to why I chose to write this entry:

I chose to dedicate this entry to a special young boy whose parents have nurtured his talent for words since he was a little boy and who now has a blog of his own where he can enter his short stories. I have read Jacob's short stories and am inspired by this young man. If he writes so eloquently at such a young age, can you imagine what he would write when he is older? He is an aspiring writer… and I believe that he will publish his own books soon.

Please help nurture his talent by reading his blog and if you had time, I am sure he would appreciate your encouraging warm comments too.

Well done Jacob… I am so proud of you! And I bet your parents are thrilled with your achievement! Keep writing …. Keep creating… Keep me entertained with your wonderful short stories!


Note: Let us nurture our kids’ imagination… It would help transport them to different places… Help open up a whole new world to them… Help them become creative… Listen to their made up stories… Listen to their dreams… Nurture them… Encourage them…

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Disaster Truns Into Wonderful Moments



We had such a good time this afternoon after a disastrous morning trying to get the photo place to get the right size of photos for my daughter's passport... AARRRGGGH! I nearly had a break down at their place yesterday... I was sick with no voice... was taking the kids to a birthday party and was dead exhausted ... I had taken my daughter to the photo shop that morning and went to pick them up right before heading to the birthday party... and noticed they had three the right size and three that they had cut into a smaller size ... I tried to explain in English that I want all of them the same size as the example of a photo of  her that I took in Amman last summer... They came back with all of them cut into the wrong size...the smaller size... I nearly lost it then... teared up... I put my head between my palms and tried to compose myself... I was exhausted and so very sick and tired... it was an effort to talk... It was taking so much energy that I did not have... the energy was my reserve battery and once it finished, I would collapse right then and there... I needed to recharge but there was nowhere or time for me to do so.... I just left after telling them that I will pass by the next morning to collect the correct size because the kids are already waiting in the air-conditioned car... and I cannot keep them waiting any longer...

Note to self:  I need to learn Thai.  

Today, while I kept my husband and the children waiting in the car , I went back to find that they had also done the exact same size as the previous day.... another batch... and wrong again...  sometimes they got the size of the photo wrong and another they would get the size correct but the size of the head wrong...  After they showed me two photos that were the correct size.... I had to wait for another five minutes which turned into ten and then even more... at the end I left the place with two stamped pictures instead of six... I was fed up... and then after all that we noticed that my daughter had a shadow on one side of her face which the embassy would not allow... AAAAAHHHHH

So we needed a better day to start sometimes soon.... like NOW would be a good time... BUT...We went to a restaurant because my husband knew that I was too tired to cook anything... It turned into a disaster as well as my daughter was tired and was not ready to share... screaming and kicking and all... She was just tired so we had to take the food as takeaway and come home to have some pizza and Indian food... My daughter ate two pieces of pizza before I took her to bed.for her nap.. She screamed and shouted that she did not want to sleep and then in 2 minutes she was totally in dreamland... 


I then took the chance to experiment with my own hair... I watched a You-tube video of how to cut your own hair and went up stairs to wet and start snipping... I did a very good job I think... I cut five centimeters off... the dry bits that were making me crazy... and it is straight... it empowered me I swear as I have never done something like this before... even though I have cut my bangs once or twice during my teenage years... but never my WHOLE hair... it sort of filled me with confidence... just that sense of satisfaction of holding a pair of scissors and having the control and power of cutting my own hair... 

After my daughter woke up it started slowly turning into a better day... our friends called us and said that they would pop by... We put water in the kiddie pool... I made pesto with Shrimp and some salad for the kids but it turned out more than they needed and so the grown ups had some as well ... we took pictures... had loads of fun... the kids jumped in the pool... and then after a good time they gathered around the TV and ate their dinner... it was a very good END for the day!


Sometimes I feel things continue to turn out bad and you have so many bad moments happening at the same time.. bad days one after the other and you think that things cannot get any worse... but somehow... it suddenly becomes better....the windows open, bringing in some rays of sunshine to brighten up your day.

Never give up! Never think you are alone! Never lose faith that things will sooner or later become better... even if the end does not seem any closer than it did the previous day... things will get better... Just Believe that it does and it will!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

An International Family




Today, I felt like we were an International Family. We were celebrating International Day at school and each one of my children's year groups were representing a different country... my daughter wore a Saree as her class was representing India, my son was dressed up as a cowboy to represent the US of A, my husband wore his African shirt to represent Madagascar, and I wore my Palestinian Thobe with a Jordanian head dress.... One cannot be more international than that.... I am sure that if we had more children, we would have represented a country from each continent LOL...

My son was born in Jordan, then moved to live in Malawi for 7 months, he then moved back and lived in Jordan for 3 years....his father is Canadian, his mother is Iraqi Palestinian brought up in Jordan and now he lives in Thailand. If you ask him where do you come from... he says, "I am from everywhere!" 

I love that feeling that we are from everywhere... I love his spirit... I love the fact that he does not stick to one nationality... or one group of people and feels that the world is his home. I love the fact that he gets to experience all these wonderful cultures and become a part of them so that when he grows up, he will pick and chose the parts of a culture/tradition/values that he likes and disregard what he does not like or accept.

I do not like fighting... never have and never will... I loathe war... my countries have suffered so much under war that I cringe every time I think of what happened to my family and the people of that country. I believe in peace... and so when my son told me once that he wanted to be a soldier, I nearly fainted.... WHY? NO NO NO... please NO... but I did not say anything except,"Why?" and he said,"I want to be a soldier of the world, so I could protect everybody and everything!" and I breathed a sign of relief... ok... now that is awesome... 

If we had so many soldiers like him, we would not need wars. We would be protecting everyone from everyone... Funny thing to think of! 

If man stopped thinking about power, oil, resources, conquering... If one stopped thinking of wanting  what, or more than, the other one had.... If everyone lived on this Earth to protect it, its living things, its landscapes, its people... then we would not have wars... Everybody would be watching out for everybody else... They would watch out for their family, for their neighbors, for their fellow men/women and children in other countries, for their animals and plants.... 

Isn't that a wonderful feeling? Everybody has the right to be protected and watched out for... every person and living thing has the right to live and be free... What a wonderful peaceful world we would have... but alas... the 7 deadly sins are more powerful than we can ever imagine... This is why one of my favorite classics is Dante's Divine Comedy... We cannot break free of them unless we each work on ourselves one bit at a time... if we continue to make an effort to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others, we will surely be able to move on and be more civilized people of the world and not just one country.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Angel

Picture: http://ispeaksoftly.com/


There is one story that I would like to share with my readers and it is a story of hope, incredible strength and inspiration. It is a story of amazing courage and perseverance.

When I was 16 years old, my mother took me to The Hussein Center for the Physically Handicapped in Amman where I volunteered with a good friend of mine for the summer. I had visited that place during a school trip that very same academic year and fell in love with a beautiful orphaned baby boy who was standing in a crib holding out his arms begging me for a hug. 

It just so happened that my friend's mother used to volunteer there and she suggested to mom that we both work there during the summer.

We used to be picked up by the Center van and dropped there early in the morning. We did our duties, working with the students who were all physically handicapped and then after working hours, we would jump over the wall to get to our club to have a swim before being picked up by our mothers. 

Our duties ranged from teaching the kids, playing with them and then the hard part,  getting them ready for their pool session. We had to undress the kids, get their swim suits on, carry them to the pool, lower them... and then after their swimming session was done, carry them out, shower and dry the little darlings, and then dress them again before taking them back to class. It was a hard job but I got so much satisfaction from all of it. The children, despite their 'handicap' were always smiling, they were always happy and cheerful. Not one day passed during that summer did I see any one of them sad or angry. They left such a huge impression on me to the extent that I knew then and there what I wanted to do with my life. I first wanted to work with children  and second I wanted to teach, help out and make a difference. I wanted to learn from them... learn from their pure innocent souls. They inspired me!

Even though the above kids were a ray of sunshine in my teenage years, there was one little girl who truly made the biggest impact. I remember my mother telling me that working there might be hard as I might see kids or adults who needed help or who were not blessed with every limb working, or were not mentally capable of doing what I was blessed to do. She cautioned me not to take it to heart and be strong, that these children needed someone to be happy around them and help them with a smile. 

One day, while all the other beautiful children were out on their break, I roamed around the classrooms checking if there were any left. There was one little boy in a wheel chair who had to stay inside as his bones were fragile and any bump could cause them to break and another little girl whose skin was all covered in gauze and she wore a thin white cloth cap to protect her head. I think she had leprosy or maybe another skin disease which had begun to eat away her flesh and bones. She had already lost her fingers and palms and all she had left were her wrists. She was such an adorable little girl with beautiful big green eyes. 

After my usual greetings, I sat down beside her and watched her draw and color the most perfectly shaped red apples... these were not just ordinary apples... they were not big apples that would make it easier for her to color... these were tiny apples with green stems on a tree. Now can you imagine how she could have done that?

Think of this first.... We need our fingers to hold a crayon or colored pencil... We need our hands to hold the paper in place while we drew and colored all this. 

Now how do you think this inspirational little girl did all that with no fingers, palms or hands?

Well ... picture this... She had placed the paper on the table... picked up the crayon with both of her wrists which were straight now, held the crayon tightly. between them... then leaned forward and placed her forehead on the paper to stop it from shifting around... and proceeded to draw and color the apples while looking at what she had done upside down.

The image of her doing that and the image of those beautifully drawn red apples have never escaped my mind since I had the pleasure of witnessing it 22 years ago. I will never forget her beautiful face. I will never forget how the teacher told me that her brother suffered the exact same thing. I will never forget the small miracles of life. 

I went back home and told my mother about her. She cried.... I didn't... I was taken by her... taken by her courage, her innocence, her love of detail, her perseverance... by so many things that I cannot explain or put in words.... She touched me... Even now, and as I am writing this, I am shaking my head in awe of her. She still has a huge effect on me. 

I never knew what had happened to her after I left the Center at the end of the summer, even though I did visit it a few times after.... but to think that she still has an effect on me every time I think of her must mean that she was a very very special little girl... maybe she was an angel sent to teach people never to give up or allow weaknesses or disease to eat you up as her disease did to her... I do not know but every time I encourage my students and even my own children, to keep trying and never give up, I have her on my mind. 

My favorite quote is "Do not be afraid of failure... It is a stepping stone to success."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Smarty Pants

My Smarty Pants!

My son is a smarty pants.... He is five and he thinks he can outsmart me... He sometimes does but he will not... this time at least...

I had made chicken balls for dinner. I had never cooked them before but I thought that I would like to have my son try some minced chicken or a different way of cooking it. He loves my home-cooked chicken nuggets made with strips of chicken and beard crumbs... but he would not eat a drum stick... weird huh since kids usually love that part of a chicken. He would not eat ground meat in his Spaghetti but he would eat it if I rolled it into medium-sized balls and breaded them afterwards.

Anyway... while we were at the dinner table and after my son ate 3 big chicken balls, he voiced that he was full and that he did not want to eat his vegetables.... I asked him to eat something... and he did... but not enough.... only one bite is not enough in my book! I asked him to eat a carrot and another 'green bean'... there were some sugar beans and green beans and he had to choose one of them. 

He grabbed the carrot and then went ahead to grab a  sugar bean.... after a few seconds he asked me,"Did you say ONE green bean, Mom?" as he was opening the sugar bean to take out one of them, with that sneaky look on his face... "What? no no no my dear one... you will not outsmart me... you eat the whole thing... the whole thing is considered a ONE, Mister!"

I really found that funny... I had to giggle with him and tell him that I was impressed by how smart he was...

I love my relationship with my son... I sometimes feel like kicking his tiny little cute butt... but on the whole I just love how silly we sometimes act... I feel like a little fun-loving kid all over again when we have those silly moments.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Loving Nature and Other Thoughts


I love nature with all its odd/scary/fierce looking living things; from plants to animals to insect.

Today, my daughter found the above spider in our house, she walked right up to it, looked closely at it and then jumped back in shock... not sure why she did that since she squatted so close to it at first. The spider crawled quickly under our couch leaving my husband wondering how he was going to sweep it outside. In the end he decided to sit on the couch and wait for it to venture out from underneath it.

After around ten minutes, my daughter spotted it again walking right next to her only to stop and turn to face her. She jumped up and said, "I found it! There it is!" I tried desperately to sweep it outside as I did not want any one of us to step on it by mistake... besides it might be eating our dear geckos that live on our ceilings. After a few trials, I gave up... it was so quick to scurry and hide... my husband made fun of my sweeping abilities but I honestly did not want to end up breaking one of its limbs. He was more successful than I was. 

I just love how my kids love nature and all its creatures.... They squat to watch: ants carry their food and walk in neat disciplined lines;  beetles flying and hitting the walls with a thud; catfish and turtles while they feed them in the village lakes; some plants eat insects and so on. 

Insect eating plant
Another one!

A baby bird in our garden


My kids are fascinated by creatures and do not like killing or harming them.... which makes me content and relieved that they will grow up to be caring and compassionate human beings. They are not afraid when spotting weird looking creatures... I have always tried to show them how wonderful the little creatures or plants are by holding them and allowing them to touch or hold them... if they were safe to touch of course... They somehow make connections with living things... and learn that they are beautiful despite their creepy appearances.

My son handling a star fish!
My daughter surrounded by hungry nipping fish!


I honestly do not fear many creatures... BUT I try so hard to control my nervousness of seeing cockroaches in the house. We have plenty now that the rainy season has finally hit Bangkok... They come out of the sewers, which disgust me (The cockroaches don't but where they come from does). I never mind cockroaches that I spot outside but once they enter the house... well that is a different story. 

One time, I was working with my son on the computer... he was 3 years old at the time ... there was an open window right next to me and when I rotated the chair around, I spotted one directly in front of my face, standing on the side of the window... I let out a scream of surprise and then remembered that my son was on my lap... I slowly composed myself and said, "Look Puppy (I used to call him puppy as my mother did), a beautiful cockroach... Let's observe it for a minutes!" I just had to do that because I did not want him to develop a fear of small living creatures... and I am glad that I did that... he was so taken by it... watched its every move and when it flew away into another bedroom,  we ran to follow it. Luckily for the cockroach, we opened a window for it to escape. He learned that these creatures are precious no matter how ugly or weird looking they were and that our first option is to help them escape.

My son and daughter always watched me save drowning insects such as beetles, bees or even flies from the pool... place them on the edge and allow the sun to dry their wings. They watched me do that so often, that now they call me to save ones that they had spotted. 

I love nature... I love its healing powers... I learned that from my mother, who always tore a strip off of someone who cut down a tree or picked a beautiful rare flower... She is opinionated and is adamant to teach people not to litter or destroy nature... I used to be embarrassed when I was a little girl of her approaching total strangers and plead with them to protect nature and never litter. 

I remember once when I was around 7, how she honked her car horn to attract the attention of a driver who threw an empty packet of cigarettes outside his window at a round-about. She made him stop the car and park it beside hers... I distinctly remember how she stepped out of the car, walked carefully to the packet of cigarettes, picked it up and told the man,"I believe this is yours. Let us take care of our country and keep it clean." I have to admit that I was embarrassed because she did that often to the extent that I slid under the seat to hide away. But now, I do the same to people I see littering the streets or park places.... and I believe my kids will do the same.... 

My mom was always afraid of big dogs as she had a terrible experience when she was 7 years old.  But never once did she stop us from petting dogs or make us fearful of them. On the contrary, she pushed us to try and touch them. 

My brother and I always brought home stray cats, fed and bathed them... took them in. Despite our mom's grunts (Not another one!), she never said no and helped us buy food and proper dishes for them. She helped our sense of compassion grow and develop. Now, whenever I see a stray dog or cat, I love to feed them... I get reprimanded by my husband because he does not want them to make themselves feel comfortable and use our children's sand pit as their litter box.

Parents should try their best not to share their fears with their children ... We do not want to influence them negatively... they might develop their own fears but it is not up to us to hand down our fears to them as well. We are role models for our kids and it is such a big heavy responsibility

Sunday, May 15, 2011

'Little' Blessings

 
This morning, both my kids, husband and I ran out of our house's green gate and headed in two different directions around the lake; the two males in my life set off together and I did the same with my daughter. My daughter and I took the shorter circuit to the 7-Eleven store because she is only 2 years old and my 5 year old son is more than capable of running 1.5 Kilometers. I have come to realize that kids love getting tired!

It started to pour down on us but we continued running. We reached our destination soaking wet and waited for the son and dad to arrive. After a short break, we ran back home while it was still pouring down and the kids had a blast jumping and dancing in the puddles. 



On the way there and back, people were stopping their cars asking if we needed a lift, people sitting under roofs giggled at four of us running in the rain. I realized that people do not usually walk in the rain here...and are afraid that their kids would get sick dancing in the warm rain. 

I believe it is wonderful to sing, dance, walk and run in the rain. I used to walk in the rain all the time while I studied in Beirut, Lebanon. It was a similar kind of rain, except that it was a bit chilly. I used to put my headphones in my ears, play some music, and walk without an umbrella reaching my dorm or my class soaking wet. I loved it and I remember the looks on people's faces when I did that...I just loved the feel of nature on my face and in my hair. It is just so beautiful to have your hair washed by untapped water.

Anyway... to get the ball rolling on the true point behind this post... 

I was watching my kids through my camera lens and realized how blessed I was to have a family, to have them in my life... I am a blessed mother. I have watched them water plants, excavating dinosaur skeletons, draw beautiful pictures, read and have fun conversations with each other. I have watched them grow and change so quickly.


I try to be a good mother. I try to adhere to feeding times, table manners, potty training rules and bed time routines. While I am rigid about sleeping times, I cannot help sleeping next to them from time to time. I know that it is a bad habit and we do not usually do it, but sometimes it is like a sweet drug. I love the feel of my children's cheeks on mine, or the touch of their hands on my face or arm, the sound of their breath and their giggles. I am a sucker to all those and so you find me sneaking a minute or two with my kids... or succumbing to their pleading and stay next to them until they slept. 

I know that some mom's might say that I am spoiling them and not teaching them independence... to this I say, my five year old sleeps on his own and he was just like my daughter who does not want to sleep on her own at any time. So I am not worried about my daughter... She will soon gather up the courage and self-confidence to sleep on her own and not care about the dark. She has been having nightmares in the middle of the night which probably affects her willingness to sleep by herself... I will not push her away during her time of need and worst fear.

If I had the opportunity to spend my whole time with them I would never pass that opportunity, knowing that in 10 years time or maybe even much less than that, I could be dreaming of such small blessings.

I am not what you call a perfect mother, but I am happy that I am not. From time to time I get upset with them and raise my voice, I will not feel ashamed of and be hard on myself because of that (Thank you Paula and Birdie). I think of it this way... if my kids never saw me stressed or sad or angry, they would never be able to know how to recognize the feeling,  manage and contain those negative feelings.... They would never know how to react to them. Granted that they should be infrequent and that I am able to control my feelings, manage and react to them well, but the kids will get valuable lessons by just observing me or my husband. Not only should I show them that I am human but also that I make mistakes and will apologise for them to no matter who.

The important thing is how I make them feel... that I tell them I am proud of them... Be specific when giving my praises... Listen to them... Give them control over a few things.... Enforce discipline but also communication and discussion.... Encourage reading and instill the sense of adventure and discovery...etc. But first and foremost to tell them I Love them every day!

I thank my lucky stars for my 'Little' Blessings!

Have you told your loved ones recently that you loved them?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Understanding the Signs

Picture: http://rickywood.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/chakras-and-chakra-balancing/


Five times now, something happened when I tried posting my 'In A Rut' entry;

First Time: I was unable to post it at first... so I sent it to my gmail and then cut and pasted it onto Blogger.

Second Time: Blogger went down the first time and I was unable to click on the publish icon in time.

Third Time: I finally was able to post it and I received wonderful and encouraging comments from Hilary and Birdie... I even listened to some of their suggestions and went on a date with my husband last night and swam laps, without my children, this morning.

Fourth Time: Blogger went down and I lost the post as well as the wise comments. (They are still in my gmail inbox)..

After Blogger was up and running again, I decided not to try and re-post it a Fifth Time but listen to the signs, the omens, and just take it as something that I needed to put behind me... not place such negative feelings on my blog to read and reread them... and get myself all worked up over and over again...I did not give up the first few times because my inner voice did not say anything...

BUT...

IT DID the last time... it said that I already received brilliant suggestions and therefore, re-posting it would not benefit me in the slightest.

I believe in signs and that I should adhere to them if I recognized them...

I believe in my inner voice and many times that inner voice directed me to the right path or helped me choose the right/best decision.

I know that signs can be good or bad and can be interpreted by different people in a variety of ways, but my inner voice, that interprets these signs, helps me realize my inner self and that I am not separate from the universe around me... It makes me realize that I am somehow connected to it and that the universe might be speaking to me through that inner voice directing me to the path that is best for me... or the path that would help me learn the best lessons... would help me progress and develop and become a better person. 

One time I did not pay too much attention to my inner voice as I disagreed with the warnings... I learned the hard way that it was a mistake.... I was not in a good mental or emotional state then and I slowly realized that my inner voice had started speaking to me less and less, and that it started to fade...I could not hear it often and I allowed my state of mind to cloud my senses...I have to admit that after some time, I missed it and noticed that some decision that I made were not the best for me.

But not anymore... my inner voice is my companion and will always connect me to the universe.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Getting Lost


This past Sunday, I learned a good lesson about life in general… I had planned a lovely outing with my children while my husband was practicing with his student band for the Battle of the Bands competition the next day… I had it all figured out in my head… loads of fun, lunch and then buy crocs for my son, who lost a pair in the Bay of Thailand. He left them on the beach to swim in the pool… came back a few hours later only to find one single Spiderman croc lying there on the sand missing its twin.
I was on the highway ten minutes later but my mind was on something else… I saw the turn off… took it but failed to take the left lane to the mall and continued straight to a long highway and places I had no knowledge of. I was driving into the unknown but I kept calm for my children… after 15 minutes of driving, I looked back and both of my kids were asleep… bliss… as I did not want whining, tantrums, cries or even simple questions such as “Are we there yet?” to disturb my thinking which had gone into over drive trying to figure out where in God's name were we.

I headed off in the car with a cranky daughter who was placed in ‘Calm Down Time’ for throwing her dishes on the floor during a tantrum fit and refusing to pick them up. Getting her to pick up her bowl and cup off the floor took us nearly 20 minutes... all this with ear splitting shrieks, crying, screaming.
I looked at some signs which made no sense to me but continued going straight…There were no exits... now where I can u-turn and go back... the signs were far apart... After a while I read a huge green sign with Rama IX written on it and it triggered a memory… I think I know this road… I have heard people mention it before… ok… anything familiar is better than nothing… so I took it and ended up paying a toll… If I were in the US or Canada, I would have easily asked the person in the toll booth to provide me with much needed directions, but in Thailand, you cannot assume they all speak English… which made me think that I must learn more Thai than the little that I speak now… So I continued on… but after a while, I noticed that my gas light went on permanently (nope it was not just flashing on and off) signaling the need to fill my tank now and only have around 20 KMs left before the car stopped... I was on an unknown highway… and so far away from any gas station…
I had to call my husband… I have to talk on the phone while driving???? I do not like doing that…and I had kids in the car!!!! But this was a different case… it was an emergency…
I then remembered that my phone did not have much credit and after I finished dialing the number, I received an automated message saying that I do not have many Bahts left and had to re-fill. AAAAHHHH! Another obstacle… how many obstacles can I take in a matter of a few minutes… So I called my husband and asked him to call me back because I did not want to lose the little precious Bahts that had left... I needed to save them for later… when he did, he was still at home and had not yet left to his band practice… Great so he is close to a map! The clouds are slowly dispersing…
After a few minutes of talking, he still had no idea where I was exactly to be able to direct me to the right path… (all this and the kids were still sleeping) I informed him that I could see the skyline ahead of me and therefore I was driving towards the center of the city… a place I only took Taxis to… I had hoped that this would help him find me on the map...
I was very calm and I am glad I was because I would not have been able to focus on getting out of that mess… I asked my husband if the Rama IX would take me back to Ramkamhaeng Road…which is a road I am familiar with... but he was unsure of that… anyway… to cut a long story short… I continued on the road I was on and then finally spotted a sign with the name of my road … I found a gas station after passing so many on that road due to the traffic… filled my tank (which was when the kids finally woke up), bought a new calling card and headed to the mall for some fun.... Phew! I was out of that mess.
It was a great day after that incident… the kids and I had a blast for five hours!
I guess what I learned today was this… I will face so many obstacles along my way… sometimes dozens in a span of minutes…. And the saying “When it rains, it pours!” is so true… It is as if obstacles come in crates… I cannot buy one at a time; I have to buy the whole lot…
If I just focused on being calm, knew that there is an end to this, understood that things happen for a reason… then everything will be all right… Maybe the reason behind me getting lost was to actually explore that area and discover that I can venture out more often in my car than taking the easy way out and use a taxi… or maybe it was to give my kids a chance to sleep for an hour and rest so that they would not be cranky and whiny while we were at the mall.
I dunno all the reasons behind me getting lost … but what I do know is that I can face any obstacle in my way as long as I stay calm and know for sure that things will get better sooner or later. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Need To Learn From Children

Picture: http://i-like-nice-life.blogspot.com/2009_09_01_archive.html


On Saturday, I witnessed an awesome interaction between my son and a boy who is one year younger. It triggered many questions and thoughts in my head about how we interact with others and on a larger scale, how countries deal with each other. 

Scene I
Four kids of ascending ages from 2 -5 running around trying to open a packet of sliced cheese to feed a cute fluffy dog. These kids are of different social backgrounds, nationalities, religions, skin colour.... just perfect...

Walk in 'me'... "Hey kids, how about you each eat a slice of cheese before you feed the dog?" 

The kids start eating and I get them going by cheering them on... urging them to finish quickly to be able to feed the dog.... My son finished first and was given a piece of cheese for the dog, then the 3-year old and then my 2-year old daughter... They each got a piece of cheese to feed the dog as well... 

The 4-year old was still eating... trying to swallow every bite before he took another... I had to give him a few tips... "Shove it all in," I said... There was just a small piece left and he really could use a push so that he could get to feed the dog with the others... and he did... while my son  was cheering him on... saying, "Come on... come on... you can do this!" ... Knowing that if the 4-year old finished his piece of cheese, it would mean one less piece for him to feed the dog... but he cheered him on anyway... The 4-year old, getting excited during this whole commotion,  received the last and biggest piece of cheese to give the dog.

Scene II
After the last person ate his piece of cheese, it was time to calm down after the noisy cacophony and excitement... so on the second slice of cheese, I asked all of them to sit in a circle with me, around the doggy... and they did... They collaborated... They listened to instructions and did an amazing job... they knew that if they followed the instructions and did what they were asked to do, they would have more fun and would each get the same number of pieces to feed the dog.

Now I have to mention the order of their seating placements because it is essential to the story... my daughter was sitting on my left, the 3-year old next to her, then my son next to him and the 4-year old was on my right, next to my son. 

I decided to give the kids pieces of cheese in ascending order of their ages... so I gave my daughter a piece.... then the 3-year old... I skipped my son because he was the eldest and proceeded to give the 4-year old who immediately exclaimed that it was my son's turn and that I had skipped him... I tried to explain to him that I was going in the order of ages but he insisted that I give my son the piece of cheese first... 

And so I did... I gave my son the piece of cheese but he waited until the 4-year old was given a piece and they both fed the dog together... jumping up and down in sheer exhilaration...

Scene III
When it was time for the next round and they had to settle down again, my son ran and sat next to me, leaving his place for the 4-year old to sit... I realized that he wanted to give the 4-year old his turn first and that he would be last... he actually thought about it... he thought that the 4-year old gave him his turn and so he must return the act of kindness... Everyone was happy then! The smiles.... The laughter... just wonderful and inspiring!

It made me think of how innocent and thoughtful these little ones were .... They cheered each other on knowing that they would have one less "reward" or "chance" to doing something they loved... They collaborated to make the incident fun for everyone... They were kind to each other and thoughtful... They appreciated each others' acts of kindness and worked to reciprocate it.

These are 2 to 5 year old kids and I was in awe of them... I sat there with a big smile on my face and  warmth in my heart... I felt lucky to have experienced such a moment... To have witnessed it.... To have been a part of it.... It made me think about the world and how grown ups react to one another... if children can do simple acts of kindness like that, why then don't I see similar actions in my every day life... Don't get me wrong... I do from time to time but sometimes I feel that I would love to see more... I watch the news and I stand aghast at how countries, religious groups, leaders, and general populations treat one another.

We should watch kids play and interact more often than we do... Not only would their innocent interactions lighten our hearts but they would teach us lessons... I know I have learned so much by watching my children and my students interact... The best lessons are learned from children who are of different social backgrounds, religions, skin colour, races interact together.... They see NO difference... They do not care what the other person's beliefs or points of views were... they do not care about whether their friend is of a different shade... all they care about is having fun, laughing and just spending time together.

Granted that there are many times our children need our intervention to teach them lessons, on how to interact with each other but there are times when simply magic happens and they return the favor ten times better.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Missing It!

  
Picture: http://pandimasbox.wordpress.com/page/4/


I have umm-ed and aah-ed about whether or not I should write it.... and then umm-ed and aah-ed about whether or not I should publish it. See... writing about oneself is a little touchy and sensitive... I could talk about my grandparents, my family, my adventures and be all right with... feel totally safe and secure. I could write about my opinions and view and that is also not a problem for me.... but when a topic deals with mistakes or the way I feel about myself or if  I actually take it as a chance to pat myself on the back, it is a bit tricky... I do not want to expose myself too much, I do not want to sound like a show-off but sometimes I need outside opinion because I do not get that much chance to talk about my feelings, be understood, and just plane listened to.  

I miss friends........ there I said it.

I am longing to sense that touch of friendship again... to laugh out loud and have no care in the world... to know that your friends will never talk ill of you behind your back or maybe even straight to your face.... to trust that whatever they say in front of you is not a show of any kind but genuine and sincere... to believe that if you ever did anything wrong or anything they disagreed with, that they would tell you straight your face and support you while you make amends and fix whatever it was that was broken.... 

I actually miss feeling the love... the the reciprocated excitement in their voices when I call ... the warm embraces... the sympathetic tear... the ever lasting support... the unspoken appreciation...

I have friends here, where I live... and people I see, socialize with and talk to...They are wonderful... all of them... I like going out with them, have lunch, dinner, drinks...  I just miss the deeper feelings that some with true friendships, where I feel so comfortable that I would just open up about everything and anything and feel certain that I will not be lectured or thought ill of because of my differences in opinion.... I would love to feel that my opinions about certain incidents  that happened to me, are understood and more often than not agreed with.... I miss people with similar views to agree with mine... 

In summary...

I miss the sense of belonging...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Venting






For some reason, even though this song is sad, it spoke to me. It touched me deeply… Maybe it is because of how I am feeling at this very moment… but something about it just made me think of my purpose in this life and how mad this world is… about my feelings and how people react to them…  And maybe it is my raging hormones going nuts again… but something about it just made sense... So please bare with me while I try to work through my very disconnected feelings and thoughts...

EVERYDAY:
We walk around on this planet sometimes not knowing where we are going and why we are doing the same thing over and over again… I, for example, wake up, get myself and the kids ready for school, get in the car, drive to school contributing to the increase in carbon footprints in the environment, teach kids, return home to cook dinner, feed the family, read to /spend some time with them, get them ready for bed, have a sleepless night due to one of my kids, watch terrible TV or spend time on the Internet or read a book, and then the whole day is repeated again the next…
I know my life has not been a total routine with all the activities, vacations and adventures that I partake in and I am lucky and grateful for that… but if I just took a sliver of my ever day life … a week… well then this is it… it is all the same and nothing is going to change… I just feel empty inside sometimes… that there is no real purpose in my life other than to provide for the family, keep people happy, teach kids, and listen to lectures and people who disagree with me… I keep thinking that things will change for the better… that soon something will happen to improve my state of mind… but…
Please understand that I am just using this blog to vent what I am feeling at this very moment… I do not usually feel this way inside… but something triggers such a feeling and sometimes I cannot seem to control it… I am sometimes unable to allow it to wash over me without me addressing it… I always like to address every single feeling that I have… I like to analyze them….  

FEELINGS:
Do I really need to control my feelings and get myself out of this rut? Why can’t I just feel this way for a day or two and then change? I am entitled to feeling this way, am I not? I mean can one really stay happy and smiling every single day of the year? All 365 days and a ¼ days? Can’t one have just that ¼ day off? What works for others doesn’t have to work for me, does it? Each person deals with their ‘insides’ differently and I do not think that I HAVE to do anything just to accommodate people’s feelings, do I? If they do not feel comfortable being around me while I am in this state, do I have to change just because I am making other people uncomfortable? What about how THEY make me feel? I mean, if I am supposed to change my behavior because they feel uncomfortable, then what about how uncomfortable they make me feel? Am I not entitled to the same treatment?

INCIDENT:
I will tell you one incident that happened to me once in my own front yard, in Malawi and then you can tell me whether or not I HAVE to change to accommodate others and change my behavior, which was what I was expected to do.
We were having a barbeque for all our friends… something we did often in Malawi. My baby was about 6 months old and sleeping in our room which was only two doors down a short hall… mind you the doors had slit windows on top and so any noise can easily be heard and wake up the baby. After spending the night preparing for the barbeque, mixing side dishes, washing dishes and all, I sat down for a while to enjoy our friends company. Ten minutes or so passed when I heard my friends screaming and laughing out loud… I loved how they were having fun… Anyway I went to see what was going on to find two friends inside the house trying to close the door and another outside trying to splash them with water from a bucket… there was a lot of noise and it was near the door leading to the baby’s room.
I immediately asked them if they could just lower their voices a little bit so as not to wake the baby… I then went inside and started to wash the remaining dishes when my friend came to the kitchen window and told me that the friend, who was throwing water inside the house, was furious with me and that I should come out and speak to him.
And so I did even though I was totally confused as to why he was upset. I did not think I said anything to bother him. As I was walking up to him, he was yelling angrily and saying “That *itch” in front of everybody else… in MY front yard. I controlled my emotions and went up to him and said. “HIS NAME, are you upset with me?” and he went on a rant … I said,”Well I am sorry that I upset you, I did not mean to offend you... Please do not be upset... I was afraid that the baby would wake up.” I extended my hand and said sorry again and he totally ignored me and stayed seated… that is when I lost it… I walked back crying uncontrollably… it was MY house… MY baby… and I have to apologise for MY behavior (which was not bad at all)… I have to accommodate other people’s feelings? Why couldn’t he accommodate for mine? I was the new mother… I was the one concerned about my baby…
My best friend, who was one of the ladies inside the house trying to close the door, hugged me tightly and she told me then that I need not apologise for anything because I was a mom and concerned for my baby…. After ten minutes of crying, the man who called me names apologized profusely… but I have to admit that I could not forgive him for the longest time… he just broke a bond that was there… he was welcome in my house with his family many times after that… but I could not easily forget what he said about me.
After that incident and till now, I am reminded that what he said was not a big deal and that I should always remember that he whispered blessings into my son’s ear when he first arrived in Malawi… that I should be careful of what I say and let things go…. And yet again, I have to accommodate for other people’s feelings and let go of my own.
After a few months of leaving Malawi and being made to feel guilty about my behavior after he apologized to me, I wrote him an email to apologise for being immature and overly sensitive… and that I hoped we would meet up again in the near future and open a new page. This was in 2006… I have heard nothing back.
So my question is… why should I always be made to feel guilty about my reactions and feelings… if people cannot handle the truth… if people cannot handle my behavior… if people cannot handle my reactions, my points of view, my differences… Why should I be the one to say sorry or feel ashamed? Why in the world should I be made to feel guilty about it? Why can’t they be careful of what they say to ME?
RELIGION AND OTHER MATTERS:
Why can’t people be careful not to judge ME, where I come from or what I believe in? Why do I have to be the cordial one all the time? I believe in God (and also Evolution) but I am always careful about what I say about other people’s beliefs in His/Her existence or lack of and I always respect their views… hey it is a free world, people have choices and so I do not judge anyone based on what they believed in… I will NEVER attack another religion… EVER… I believe that THAT is a part of my own religion…
BUT why can’t they be thoughtful and considerate as well? If I believe that there are so many good points in religion, then why would I have to be the only one who took care of what they thought and not the other way around as well? So what, they have a right to attack my religion and start bringing up issues they do not even understand, making general sweeping comments about it and I have to sit there and accept their views? Why can’t they be careful of how they phrase their words and how they approach a situation before they make such drastic comments?
If I believed that someone wronged me, then why shouldn’t I address it? Why do I always have to be the considerate one who takes care of what she says and which subject she opens up and how sensitive a matter is? Why can’t people be careful how they voice their views about certain groups and be careful not to generalize and only make an opinion based on what they saw on television and the news?

Ok… I think I have vented enough… I actually feel better now that I have placed my feelings on paper… well on the screen… Internet… whatever… This is why I like my blog… I can use it for self-therapy.