My Unintentional Blog Turned In To A Must Read.

Chat

worldpeace

Unfortunately, the stats show that my blog series called, “Letters from Russia” are proving unpopular with my readers. I understand why. I realize that many people are not concerned with that part of the world and have written Russia off a long time ago. I remember during the Reagan years when each country “knew” the other had their finger on the red button, ready to fire off nukes at a moments notice.

Instead, everything changed. The USSR crumbled, Russia and its neighboring countries left each other alone, while each country tried to make its way through a new, independent way of life. People were encouraged to think for themselves and many grew to love freedom and independence. Finally, the stress we all felt from that part of the world was all but gone.

But all of that has changed now.

Russia’s leader, President Vladimir Putin despises the west, equating it (us) as living in anarchy. This belief is what drives him. He cannot abide by the idea that those countries that border Russia being westernized and pulling further away from Russia. First the Crimea, now, various areas in Ukraine have apparently been taken over by Russian people paid to create major disturbances. In those areas, the Ukraine flag has been taken down and the Russian flag has been erected. Couple this with the continuing and rising unrest on the south and east borders of Ukraine and it appears Putin and Russian officials were lying about moving in to other areas of Ukraine.

Who cares? We ALL should.

If Putin continues taking over areas outside of Russia, the international community will have to get much more heavily involved. President Obama is going to have to do FAR more than he is doing now, which is next to nothing. Most of us were not yet born during WWII, but we know it began with HItler first only wanting Czechoslovakia, then more and more. The question is, does Putin hate (fear) the west so much that he would go back on his word? I believe the answer is yes. He took Crimea with practically no international interference. A few sanctions here and there. Whoop-de-doo. It would be easy enough for him to create disturbances in Ukraine and take them over again, to use his excuse, “to protect Russian speaking citizens”.

The only real risk he would be taking and would be blissfully unaware of is that Russian citizens are not ignorant. They have access to news from around the world. Still, it’s difficult for them to believe anything that shows Russia in a bad light. It is their way to love their homeland and believe in it wholeheartedly. Still, Russians will certainly remember Putin’s promise that he does not want anything from Ukraine (except what he’s already successfully taken). If he takes it further, he will create doubt in the minds of many Russian citizens.

My dear young friend who I have been writing about in my blog series, “Letters from Russia”, contacted me at 1:00am her time, very scared and confused. She desperately wants to know the truth. In her words, “my mind is blown and I don’t know what to believe”. I reassured her at least for now, so she could sleep (they are 13 hrs. ahead of us). I told her it appeared to be localized right now and no big moves have been made yet. I promised her I would continue to research this and she will awake with contact from me regarding the latest news.

The point I am trying to make here is that this is not just about governments and territories. These situations never are. It’s about people, nations of people who are largely left in the dark and worse, lied to.

I am worried about my friend. And she is just one of many. Imagine living in a country where freedom is non-existent. A country where you must subscribe to everything your government says or in my friends words, “you must hide because it is not safe for you”.

I’m going to sign off for now. I have more research to do for my friend. If this situation matters to you, I encourage to reach out to Russian and/or Ukrainian people. Attempt to bridge the gap that our governments have failed miserably at. If I can do it, anyone can.

Talk to you again soon! xoxo

Advertisements

Blog Series: “Letters from Russia” Chapter 3*

Chat

Image

I cannot understand why every human being on this planet does not want world peace. Why? WHY??

I still have much to share from my friend, Jessica Cher. We have committed to each other to not give up. It’s difficult at times, though, for both of us. The information she receives from her government almost always directly contradicts the information I give her. And though she has access to news outside of Russia, she has been brought up, as most Russians have, that Mother Russia loves you and is a part of you. You are taught to believe in the motherland above all others. We have resolved our issues by both believing we can support and love our respective countries and not support our governments. It is my opinion that President Obama has no clue whatsoever what to do outside the borders of this country, therefore, he does nothing. It is also my belief that President Putin rules with an iron fist for one reason, fear. People fear what they do not understand. Putin does not understand being Westernized and he will not stand for it in his country or on its borders.

Border countries have much to be concerned about right now and concerned they are.

Still, Jessica Cher and I persevere.

*I am changing the format slightly. Copy/pasting each conversation takes an incredible amount of time. Some conversations will be condensed though it’s integrity will not be compromised. You will also no longer see quotation marks. The comments made are direct quotes nonetheless. Hopefully, these changes will make it a more pleasant read.

So we pick up right where we left off in Chapter Two.

Jessica Cher: Have you seen those reports how happy people of Crimea now? They are happy that now they live in they motherland.

Me: I am sure there are lots of Russian citizens who are very happy about it. But the way Russia too Crimea is illegal and wrong. Putin has stated clearly that he does not want to take Ukraine. We don’t believe it. Do you?

Jessica Cher: We don’t need Ukraine 100%

Me: I soooo wish you could come to Miami for a visit.

Jessica Cher: Ahah fast friends! I’d love to come;).

Me: It is such a cool city! I’m from SC and moved to Miami 2 years ago to get married. I love it here! Always summer!

Jessica Cher: Sooo cool! It’s 4 degrees outside now. The whole world is scared of Russia right?

Me: Yes, I think so. Our leaders would never admit it but I believe it is the truth. However, we saw all nations getting along at the Olympics.

Jessica Cher:Btw did you like Olympics in Sochi?

Me: Love love love the Olympics! Especially the figure skating and the hockey. Damn Canadians. Lol!

Jessica Cher: Haha don’t want to sound rude but Russians don’t like Americans after that game on Olympics when our goal wasn’t counted. But it’s ok now, we calmed down:))

Me: Oh I know. Wasn’t that game incredible? Haha I must go to bed now. Let’s talk again soon? Just let me know when you have some time!

Jessica Cher: Ninight<3

Me: G’Nite! Talk again soon?!?

Jessica Cher: Yeah for sure!

Me: kk Good night from the USA!

I will stop here for now. You may have picked up on a pattern. Whenever she or I pick up on the fact that we may be insulting the other, we quickly change the subject. The object here is never to fight. What would be the point? The object is to show that we can work through our differences and remain friends.

In the coming chapters, you will see this more clearly.

Talk to you soon! xoxo

 

 

Choose a path, not a goal.

Chat

Hi y’all! As I’ve mentioned, I have totally NOT been myself recently due to an ongoing illness. I will get better, though never back to normal. I am chronically ill but not fatally ill. So I am using ALL of the resources available to me. I may have mentioned before that I do not like the word “goal” for a couple of reasons:

  1. A goal is very specific. Therefore, it can be a set up for failure. OR The goal is reached and it is not everything we thought it would be…extremely frustrating.
  2. Sh*t happens. Life very likely takes us on paths we have no way of knowing they are coming. Therefore, goal missed and the perception is failure.

Image

I much prefer the term, “path”. A path is more flexible and acknowledges my belief that the journey IS the destination. As circumstances happen, life continues, adjustments to our path can be made. There is no failure on the path, provided we always move forward (and that can sometimes mean, we simply haven’t moved backwards). Our path turns and shifts, but we ultimately will go exactly where we are supposed to be. Again, remember the journey is what is important.

On our journey down the path, we learn more about life, other people, our beliefs and ourselves. Heading down the path you believe in and knowing that it can be altered, takes a tremendous amount of stress off of our day to day lives.

It it not easy, however, to change the way we view our lives when we have always been told we much choose a goal and success is measured on if/when we meet out goal.

We need to change our way of thinking in order to teach our children effectively. For kids, sometimes the big picture is too big. And isn’t it a little ridiculous that society expects 18 year old kids to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives? The proof that this kind expectation does not produce effective results is evident everywhere.

Think back. Think back to being 17 or 18 and the goals you set for yourself. Did life work out exactly the way you thought it would? And if so, are you happy doing what you are doing? Your kids do not think so. I had a teenager recently say to me, well how can it be a job if it’s something I love doing? Doesn’t that make it only a hobby?”. This teen, with my help is now on a path towards what he is interested in doing. He understands this path may not stay straight as he gets older and he is very relieved. His path is his direction, his journey, his life.

I actually had a 20 something tell me earlier this week, “we work our *tails* off in our 20’s and 30’s, then relax in our 40’s and 50’s. I giggled to myself.  I honestly could not think of a single person in their 40’s and 50’s who didn’t have to work because of the work they had done in their 20’s and 30’s. Can you?

The biggest and best reason I can give for why it is better to be on a path, rather than headed towards a specific goal is simple. It gives excuse for not living in your 20’s and 30’s. Those who are so goal oriented, so determined, so focused are applauded in our culture. But there has to be some room to live NOW, not just 30 years from now. Let’s face it. No one is promised tomorrow.

So, in closing, put yourself on a path and help your teenage children to figure out their path. Education and jobs are important, but make sure to leave space on that path to enjoy life, in whatever way it is enjoyable to you and yours. Do not be surprised if your teen’s path is short to begin with. Remember, it is a path, a direction. And it should, at first be short. As the directives on the path are met, a reevaluation of the path should take place. Then the path can be added to.

Many people are tired of the, “you only live once” motto, as they feel it promotes laziness. It is only lazy if there is no path in place and/or there is no forward movement.

I’m very interested in your opinion on this piece. Please comment with your thoughts.

Talk to you again soon! xoxo

 

Are you inside out or outside in?

Chat

It starts during our school days. We begin to notice that the best looking kids are the popular ones. Whether we want to admit it or not, if we are not part of that group, we want to be. During these years, the first criteria of whether we “like” a guy or girl is if we, and our friends think he/she is “hot”. When I was in school, the hot guys were called, “studs”. “He is SUCH a stud!”, we would say. ‘

It’s really no wonder then, that as we go through our 20’s, we are looking for the same type of guy. Part of this way of thinking cannot be helped. The first rule of attraction is almost always physical. Because of this, we spend an enormous time trying to look good. Hair, make up, clothes, shoes, going to the gym, etc. etc.etc.

Is it any wonder then, that so many 20 somethings are divorced after only a few years of marriage? Amazingly, both men and women confuse attraction with love. That attraction stays strong for about 18 months. After that time, is slowly dissipates and we “fall out of love” with our spouses. Coincidence? Not likely. The truth is, we probably never were in love with them in the first place. How many times has that hot guy/girl turned in to a hot mess?

Now, imagine if we spent as much time and dedication on our inside (emotional health) as we do on our outside (physical health). Science has proven that the mind and body are directly related. A happy, well-rounded mind leads to a happy and healthy body. We learn that, as cliché’ as it sounds, what is on the inside is far more attractive and important than what is on the outside. The sooner we open our minds to this fact, the quicker we will find a healthy, lasting love.

It is no wonder then, that marriages in our 30’s+ are far most lasting than earlier marriages? Now, I am not saying we should ignore the physical, what I am saying is we should properly prioritize it. Think of it this way, how many “hot” 90 year olds do you know? Um, none.

With this information, it is easy to see why we should all be an inside out person (meaning we count was is on the inside of someone as more important than what is on the outside). Conversely, we can see why being an outside in person (reverse the last sentence) is far more likely to end in heartache.

Now, here’s the hard part. It is really difficult to change the way we think without help. This is because there is a reason we migrate towards certain kinds of people that we are unaware of. This is where counseling comes in. Seeking counseling is not of weakness. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It takes great strength to admit to ourselves that there is always room for growth.

Give it a try. You will be glad you did.

Talk to you guys again soon! xoxo

Technology Relieves Stress?

Chat

technology

Does it really? Does all of this new technology make our lives easier? I say no. The world, in fact, life itself is more difficult and more complex than ever before. Lap tops, cell phones, Ipads, etc.etc. have all been invented as the general public wants everyday life to be readily available at the push of a button.

We do not like to wait…not even for a second. We don’t want to have to manually open our garages, so we have a garage door opener. We don’t like having to keep up with keys, so we have cars and homes we can open without one. We don’t want to fight the crowds in the stores so we buy items online. Paper bills? You must be joking. We go paperless. It saves trees but that’s not why we do it. We do it because it’s easier. We do not have time to watch our shows on TV, so we use the DVR or on demand viewing. Banking…you think I actually go in to that place I frequented so many years ago? Oh hell no. Without that magic box with the money in it, I am lost. Oh, and the box had better be a drive through….

The list is endless. But stop and think about it for a minute….

Have any of these devices made life less stressful for you?  All of this wonderful technology has turned a 9 to 5 country into a 24/7 country. Why? For convenience. To make our lives easier. In many ways, that convenience has proven to be an inconvenience. The problem we face today is that we cannot get away from point and click world we live in. And THAT is stressful.

We are married to our cell phones, addicted to our laptops, and cannot live without social media. Our cell phones are now tiny computers and we use them all day, everyday. 24/7… I’ve actually had people call me and say, “I knew you were up because you posted something on Facebook”.  AHHHH! There is no escape!

Gone are the days when you could jump in your car and go for a drive to clear your head with NO potential of anyone cutting into your “me” time. And here’s the whole point to this blog: We ALL need “me” time! We cannot even go on vacation without our phones and computers. I mean, what if something happens to someone we care about and we weren’t reachable??

Guess what folks? 25 years ago, that’s exactly how we lived. Work was done during work hours and home time was home time. Our off time was spent organizing our lives and living it. I miss those times. I also know that we will never return to those times. So the question now is, how do we balance out our lives in a 24/7 world? As it stands, we work harder and longer than ever before. If we are sick, we “work from home”. We hold conference calls at 3AM to accommodate our peers in other countries and time zones. When, exactly do we get a break?

It’s not all bad. In fact, the very items I am talking about enhance our lives in other ways. Our favorite song is available at the click of a button, face time with family around the world is an everyday lift. Don’t feel like talking? Send a text. Don’t feel like typing? Use talk text. We can meet and reconnect with people we would otherwise have no way to locate. Pretty awesome stuff.

The biggest “Pro” of modern technology is that we are a click away from our loved ones. The biggest “Con” is that we are a click away from our loved ones. Today’s teens hate it. But they don’t hate it enough to get rid of their beloved phones/computers.

As a fun little test I would like to propose a CHALLENGE to my readers and it is simply this: Turn your phone off for one week, 7 short days and enjoy the extra “me” time you will experience. If a week is too long, try it for one day! If you accept my challenge, be sure to comment on this blog and let us know how you are doing with it.

I will be taking part in my own challenge next weekend. Well, more like I will be forced to because I will be on a cruise and I won’t pay 8 zillion dollars a minute to keep my phone working.

But for now, I must sign off. I have blogs to write, statuses to update, tweets to tweet and selfies to instagram. Say cheese! xoxo