Archive | October, 2011

Once upon a time…

8 Oct

Did you grow up with fairy tales?  I did and from an early age, I always wondered why the horses were pure white, the princesses had long flowing perfect hair, and the princes had solely noble intents… but there are some realities in fairy tales that I think we overlook in our zeal to believe the happily ever after endings.

Have you ever noticed that most of the Disney chosen stories (the most popularized stores) feature heroes or heroines whose best friends are animals (and it doesn’t make them crazy!), they live solitary lives, and are not looking to meet someone to sweep them off of their feet.  I think that we could learn something valuable by the non-spectacular parts of the fairy tales.

Why is it that we rush past the richness of the story to get to the end where the prince or princess meets the love of their life and lives happily ever after?  The pages between the beginning and end have richness we often disregard.

Happy endings are not the way things usually end up yet we want to believe it anyways!  Spouses are real people who often turn out to be opportunists (or worse), human “friends” can turn out to be users, and the promised happy ending is often one with debts and regrets… maybe it would serve us better to abandon the pursuit of such “happy ending futures” in favor of living a wonderful life each and every day TODAY.  Happiness today – isn’t that a novel thought?

This is something I’m learning – to live and enjoy today!  I am fortunate to have a few wonderful animal and human friends who far surpass the volume of acquaintances who are out to get what they can (it is just how the world is today!) I know that the joy from the few is golden in today’s dollars – and that is what matters.

And, I live in a free world where I can walk outside, smell fresh air, drive where and when I want, and associate with whom I please.  A great today indeed.

The past is gone and done (no sense dwelling on spilt milk), the future will never turn out to be the way we envision… why not live for today?  I choose to live the middle part of my own fairy tale life… how about you?

Carol

Just for today, show kindness…

3 Oct

Where have all the kind people gone?  I don’t know about you, but I’m frustrated (as are many Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Asians, and others)!  The economy is horrible and getting worse (I live in Florida, USA) and there is an increasing mentality of disrespect and walking on others.  This isn’t the America I’ve come to expect!

When you stop to consider how many people are losing their homes (after investing for years!), losing their jobs, and foraging for the bare necessities in life (at mid-life!), you’d think that the “haves” (those with steady and good incomes) would show empathy to the “have nots”.  I’m not sure why, but it seems like those who walk on others (“I’m so smart I have a steady income, and look how I can buy a foreclosed property for a song!”) also have an entitlement attitude today (“People should bow down at my feet as I walk by…”) which they figure warrants them special status!

As I go through the short sale of my home (long story, but no, I did not overextend or think I could sell in a few years and get rich quick!), I’ve found that my realtor, along with my lawyers (I hired), the buyers, the buyers’ realtor, the banks (and their expert representatives), appraisers, and the building inspectors all have their own best interests (and greed) in mind first – and each in turn has been utterly disrespectful.  In fact, the ultimate experience in disrespect happened last week when my home was again inspected (this time by a boar who runs Suncoast Certified Home Inspections here in Pinellas County who took a full five hours rambling about my house before he was done!)

When I got home to an air conditioner running full blast in 95F heat outside with the windows fully open (as if it would cool inside with windows open!), I inquired of the group (who deferred their response to the inspector)  just  how long they were going to run the a/c with windows and doors open (wasting electrical power on my dime).  The inspector was so disrespectful with his answers and intimidating manner that my daughter (27) told him several times to stop being so unnecessarily rude!

He (and the others) responded with disrespectful actions by leaving my house unlocked (kitchen windows open and unlatched, and my sliding glass doors unlocked) – together with toilet seats in my bathrooms left up (as a single female I certainly did not leave them that way when I left!) when they vacated the premises.

I am a capable, confident, single adult, who does not worry about small children or job loss or an ailing partner to complicate the stressful process of the short sale (it is bad enough with the level of disrespect I’ve witnessed!!!) – but I can only imagine how stressful the process must be to those who are not so fortunate! Imagine having the parties in the process as disrespectful when children are underfoot!  Stress levels and the lack of kindness and empathy must push some to drink (or worse!)

Can I ask you –  if you are in a more fortuitous position with a steady income, home ownership, and happy days,- to please consider showing strangers and others your kindness and respect – even if it is just for today.  There are millions of people like me who are witnessing the worst in the real estate and banking industries – and a bit of kindness during the day from anyone (like you!) would be appreciated.  For my part, I’m continuing to be kind to others (aside from those mentioned above), and trying to stay giving and optimistic (some days it would be easier not to!)

Would you be willing to be kind to perfect strangers (and those people you know) – even just for today?  Millions of Americans will happily thank you — especially if you do it without expectations of immediate reciprocity! As for me, I thank you too!

Have a great week!

Carol

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