Friday, October 22, 2010

Being Barbossa: 6 a.m. Gross.

Being Barbossa: 6 a.m. Gross.

I love my sister, she is a character! This would happen to me...ha ha

Inspired to Pick Up Trash

A few mornings a week I take a walk with Ian in the stroller. It feels good to get out and smell the fresh cool air. Ian takes a nap and I have time to clear my head. After a while I began noticing the trash along the way and thought, “hmmm, someone needs to come and pick that up!” Every day I walked, I noticed more and more trash. I would silently curse those inconsiderate souls who pollute the world with their careless littering. One day a thought entered my head: you should pick it up. Interesting thought, I guess I should pick it up. I mean, who else is going to come along and pick it up? The trash has been there for a while. So reached down and picked up an old candy wrapper and stuffed it on the bottom of the stroller. I looked back and smiled, now that looks better!
I continued along my way and when I got home I threw it in the trash. The next time I went, I decided to bring along a plastic bag to hold more trash. I started to go out of my way to pick up cans, discarded junk mail and other trash items. Since I go the same route every day, I began to notice less and less trash. Hmm, I guess someone did pick up the trash…ME! I smile now as I know everyone who comes along this route may not know or care who did it, but I am sure someone appreciated it. Even if the only someone is me!
MOTIVATIONAL CHALLENGE: Bring along a plastic bag with you wherever you go and pick up just one piece of trash. Imagine what our world would look like if everyone picked up one piece of trash!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Inspired by Coincidence

Jorge Galeguillos was 500 feet below the earth’s surface when he happened to see a lone white butterfly deep in the mine shaft. He and a co-worker slowed down to investigate further. It isn’t a common sight to see a white butterfly underground. That small action saved their lives. The sliver of time it took for them to focus on the butterfly was enough to spare them from certain death. The rocks caved in around them and their lives were spared.
How likely is it that a small white butterfly just happened to appear deep in the mine just in time to save two unsuspecting miners? Was it coincidence? Galeguillos is convinced the white butterfly was a physical transformation of his guardian angel. I wouldn't be easily convinced if I too didn't have my own story of coincidence. I was sleeping one evening and was awakened by an urgent voice in my head telling me to get out of my house. At that time I was working long hours and going to school full time. So when I slept, I slept! Anyway, I got dressed in record time and went over to my friend’s house who lived about 20 minutes away. I had just arrived when my roommate paged me (back before cell phones were affordable). She was letting me know that we had been burglarized and to come home right away. Apparently the intruder was running out the back as she was coming in the front. I don’t know if the voice I heard was God, an angel or a dream. All I know is I listened and I missed being there when the intruder entered our home.
Motivational Challenge:  Are you listening and watching for a coincidence today?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Inpired by Those Who Do the Least

The horrors of war are often unimaginable to everyday citizens, and we should be so grateful. I can’t imagine what it would be like to look out my window and see bombs exploding and hear the constant exchanges of gunfire off in the distance. I am so thankful for the benefit of sleeping without nightmares and for living a relatively peaceful existence. While our country is not without violence, we do not have to climb over dead bodies to get to the grocery store. I know I have our military to thank for that protection. The men and women who leave their homes, their families and put their lives on the line to keep us safe.

Sal Giunta is only 25 years old, but he has more courage than most Americans his age. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded and is most often bestowed posthumously. This soldier lives with the guilt of surviving and being recognized for his efforts even though his buddies died. Remember that for every act of bravery recognized, there are countless others which are not.
As I read this story I am reminded of my grandfather and his memories of war. His name was William Gaskill and he flew P-38’s in WWII. The worst day of his life took place on Christmas Eve 1944 over the north coast of New Guinea.
“By then his engine was on fire. From the time the shell hit his plane, he had about 90 seconds to live. He couldn’t bail out because every time he turned loose of the controls, the plane would try to auger into the ocean. He was too low to bail out. The longer he waited to water land the less his chances of survival; as the fire was burning explosively. If he got out too quickly, he would not be far enough from shore and enemy would be out there in their motor launches to get him. I could only hold them off so long until I ran out of gas. Rescue planes were too far away. We lost radio communication with each other, but I flew right beside him for as long as I could. We both felt so helpless. I am sure we must have prayed. His plane got slower and slower until my plane was trying to stall. I pulled away in the final seconds. The reality of war became very plain to us. His boom was burning badly, also his gas tank - then the plane started getting out of control. He leveled it out several times, the last time he leveled it out it stalled and hit the water - exploded and burned. I stayed until the fire died away - nothing remained above the water….I am still very sad and blue about it all. (We had flown together nearly 10 months) Especially so because I was the flight leader. The best of wing men and a wonderful fellow. He was older than I, married and had a little girl.”
This excerpt was taken out of his book Fighter Pilot. I happened to hear this story again one year when I asked him what his most memorable Christmas Day was. His voice still cracked as he recounted that moment 60 years before on that very day. I could feel his pain as he relived it again so I may know the great sacrifices made to by those who served our country. My grandfather inspired his children and grandchildren to become people with honor and integrity. He inspired my brother to become the C-130 pilot he is today. I hope Sal is able to find peace in his survival and continue to live to share his story with future generations. Thank you to every soldier, current or past, for serving our country. Feel peace in what you do to help a fellow soldier, even if all you can do is be there for them as they take their last breath.
Read the Full Story: Medal of Honor Recipient Sal Giunta

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Inspired by Recognition

I have struggled with my weight for the past 15 years. It seemed the extra 20 pounds I carried was there to stay. I knew what my problem was… I lacked consistency. I would start a diet on Sunday and by Wednesday I was “celebrating” my successes by eating whatever I wanted. I always would preface it with “but I have been doing so good!”
I left the workplace this year to stay at home and raise my babies. I thought to myself “no excuses now, I will have all the time in the world to exercise!”
It doesn’t matter, if we want to find excuses for not exercising, we will find them! Even though I no longer had a job to blame, I did have a newborn baby. “I can’t exercise; I am taking care of the baby…all the time!” HA
I looked at myself in the mirror when Ian was about 6 weeks old and said, “everyone has the same 24 hours in the day, you have to plan or else you will never find the time!” I started making a list of things I wanted to get done. I found I had the most energy and time first thing in the morning. So instead of relaxing and enjoying the morning, I would attack the list. To my surprise things started getting done around the house, but I still wasn’t exercising consistently.
Then Ian turned 4 months old and finally was able to sit safely in the jogging stroller. First time I went out, I wondered why I had waited so long! The weather was cooler in the morning and I had more energy throughout the day. I wanted to create a schedule for Ian, so I made working out in the morning part of our routine.
Today as I was running down the paved trail near my house, I saw this couple walking towards me. I had seen them before; they were always out first thing in the morning. As I walked closer, they recognized me and my stroller (I am hard to miss with my bright green umbrella shading Ian from the sun) and smiled and waved a hearty “hello!” Like we had become friends or something. Hmmm. Had I become a member of some unofficial club that exercises every morning? Had I become one of THEM? I began to smile when I realized, I had become consistent. I am sure the couple had seen people come and go during their walks in the morning. But to see someone regularly is a real surprise. I smile and know, with or without 20 pounds, I am happy and healthy. But I am thinner than I have been in 15 years!