Have you ever been on the receiving end of encouragement? Of course you have. Referring again to my daily-read book, The Power of Kindness, by Piero Ferucci, he calls that type of kindness”
“a warming help: attention and a kind word in a difficult moment.”
My across the street neighbor, Eva, is an enthusiastic, lively person – kind of like me if I do say so myself. We get along quite well. Unfortunately, we don’t get together often enough because life gets in the way. Yep, the intricacies of life even get in the way of spending time with decidedly beautiful people.
When Eva and I get together we operate on the same wavelength: we love people more than we hate people, we get excited about similar things, and we lift each other up just by sharing our energy with each other. And when one of us is down or blahness seems to have taken over our personal orbit, time spent with each other erases a good portion of that blahness. I’m close to twenty years older than Eva, but that doesn’t matter in the least. When we’re together, we’re Besties, and we’re the same age. Period.
Without fail, each and every time we leave each other – whether at the conclusion of a neighborhood walk or a lunch date – Eva throws me kisses. Saying goodbye until next time isn’t good enough for my neighbor, instead, she gives me something that lasts and also makes me feel good about the time I’ve spent with her. Just thinking about those thrown kisses are a warming help that is sometimes needed during my day. Quite frankly, just writing about it has already improved my day exponentially.
My neighbor Eva: a delightful gift of kindness.
Gawd, I love her.
Professional basketball, college basketball, it’s all going on. On today’s date, Monday, April3 3rd, the NCAA Championship game takes place between Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA) and University of North Carolina. Three of my family members graduated from Gonzaga so you can bet I’m cheering for the Spokane team.
Here are some basketball-related jokes for today’s Monday funny.
I play in the over-40 basketball league. We don’t have jump balls. The ref just puts the ball on the floor and whoever can bend over and pick it up gets possession.
Earl and Bob, both obsessed with basketball, never missed their favorite team’s games. They promised, whoever died first, and went to heaven, would come back to earth and tell the other if there was basketball in heaven.
One day, Earl died. Bob waited for him to come back. Finally, Earl did. He said to Bob. “I have good news and bad news. I’ll tell you the good news first. There is basketball in heaven.” Bob said, “That’s the best news ever!”
Then Earl said, “Time for the bad news…You’re starting at guard tomorrow night.”
St. Peter and Satan were having an argument one day about basketball. Satan proposed a game to be played on neutral grounds between a select team from the heavenly host and his own hand-picked boys.
“Very well,” said the gatekeeper of Heaven. “But you realize, I hope, that we’ve got all the good players and the best coaches.”
“I know, and that’s all right,” Satan answered unperturbed. “We’ve got all the refs.”
My novel, REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO, contains a scene where Patrick Quinn – many years before his Alzheimer’s diagnosis – wakes up his high school aged daughters on April 1st and announces that local public high school students have the day off to honor April Fools’ Day. His daughters attend a parochial school – church based – and when they hear of said day off, they become incensed.
The girls get out of bed – anger seething below the surface of their drowsy bedheads – cross their arms, and they yell, “That’s not fair!”
Patrick agrees, April Fools’ Day is no reason to have a day off from school . . . then he claps his hands together, and barely stifling a laugh, he says, “Gotcha!”
That exact scene happened to my sister and I – thus the reason why I had to include it in my novel. My father had the keenest sense of humor – a funny bone that stayed with him even while the plaques and tangles in his brain leeched the very life out of him. As a family, we were very fortunate that his humor survived until the very end. That is not always the case, as readers will discover when they meet the other characters in my novel whose disease journey is far from cool, calm, and collected.
REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO, release date: July 20 2017.
Black Rose Writing, publisher.
Last Friday I mentioned a book that I read daily, Live your dash. Another book I read on a daily basis is The Power of Kindness, The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life, by Piero Ferrucci, I’m actually on my second read-through of this encouraging book.
I think we can all agree that what makes the headline news is rarely the pleasant things that occur around us. Horror sells newspapers.
Mr. Ferrucci says the following regarding that unfortunate truth:
There may be murder, there may be violence, and there may be selfishness, but most human beings at heart are helpful and supportive. Cruelty makes the headlines precisely because it is the exception.
But the world goes on because we care for one another . . .
And yet life goes on precisely because we are kind to one another. No newspaper tomorrow will tell of a mother who read a bedtime story to her child, or a father who prepared breakfast for his children, of someone who listened with attention, of a friend who cheered us up, of a stranger who helped us carry a suitcase.
Think of how long our world has been in existence and consider all the mayhem that has played out as described in history books and in front of our very eyes.
Yet, the world goes on.
Kindness and caring have sufficiently sustained us through wars, terrorism, pestilence, and other natural disasters.
It seems appropriate, therefore, that we should feed kindness so its supply never runs out.
Perhaps some day cruelty will run out of steam and die a natural death.
I mean, a person’s gotta hope … right?
We don’t have to take lessons to excel at complaining; no, we’ve got it in the bag when it comes to such things. Nancy’s article puts things into perspective when it comes to those many things we take advantage of/complain about.
I overheard the most ordinary – yet extraordinary – conversation yesterday.
Two friends were catching up after our Yoga class. One had just returned from visiting her son and grandchildren.
“I see my grandchildren so much more than I ever thought I would,” the woman said. “It’s such an easy trip. Bradley [our Connecticut airport] is so fantastic.”
“I know!” said her friend. “Convenient parking, easy walks to the gates… we are so lucky!”
When was the last time you heard someone say something nice about AN AIRPORT????
But it’s true. We have a nice airport. And there are great airports all over the world. We can go anywhere. I did not travel the ocean in steerage to go to my business meeting in France.
I’m not saying we don’t have lots of problems with flying. But my God, we are flying.
And there are so many things…
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In some places of the world, the weather is improving: snow is melting, the temps are getting a bit warmer, and spring yard cleaning is in the forefront of our minds. Here’s some humor to get you in the mood.
When Phil’s power mower broke down, his wife Kristi kept dropping hints about getting it fixed before the grass got too tall, but the message wasn’t sinking in, and Phil kept putting off the repairs. Finally, she thought of a clever way to make her point. When Phil arrived at home one day, he found her sitting in the grass, clipping it by hand with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. He watched silently for a few minutes, then went into the house. Coming back in a few minutes, he handed her a toothbrush.
“When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the sidewalks.”
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
There’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor’s.
My neighbour Bill asked if he could use my lawnmower. I told him of course he could, so long as he used it on my property.
I own a book – kind of a devotional, but not religious – that I read each morning, Live Your Dash, by Linda Ellis. The subtitle is Make Every Moment Matter. Ms. Ellis’s book encourages readers to live well in the time between the dash that exists between the day we were born and the day we die. Today’s Kindness post directly quotes an excerpt from her book that I thought was relevant to the subject at hand.
Your name, as spoken, and as remembered, represents more than your reputation. Through the years, it becomes an embodiment of the ways in which you have lived your dash, and touched others’ lives.
Live your life in such a manner that when you imagine your name being spoken in your absence, there will never be a desire (or need) to be present to defend it.
Words in italics provided by this blog author.