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Make time for Needful things

       In today’s world, we are in such a rush that we are forgetting the most important things in life. We hurry to work, eat fast food, while time for family and friends are laid to the wayside. Is this what life is all about in society today? It sure seems that way, but is this a healthy way to live? The answer to this question would be a resounding no. If we don’t find time for the needful things in life, then what kind of life are we really living? This answer would add up to be a very empty life indeed.

Small girl sitting with a smile

       All the money in the world won’t be near as precious a gift as a smile from your child. A child’s smile is more than enough reason to find the needed time for family and friends. How many people live their whole lives working and look back from an old age, knowing they have waited a lifetime? This is such a sad existence and one that should never be lived in the first place. Did you take care of your family with all the work you did? Of course, you did, but how many birthdays did you miss because you got called into work, and you took it upon yourself to answer the phone?

       It is true that working hard for your family is very honorable, but what did you miss because of work? Don’t get me wrong, I respect a hard worker, and I’m sure your family does as well. The thing I’m talking about is the downtime to enjoy your family and friends. Do you find yourself spending all spare time in front of the television or reading all about the bad stuff happening in your newspaper? When was the last time you spent free time teaching your daughter to fly a kite? Maybe it’s something even of a shorter time, like explaining a math problem or teaching your child how to bake a cake. The key is to find time when it seems like there isn’t any to spare. If you can’t spare it now, then when?

        Using your free time wisely is extremely important! Some of this time must be used for relaxation of the mind, other parts need to be used for connecting with loved ones and friends. If you don’t find time for others, why would they find time for you later? Many people grow old alone because they didn’t have time for others earlier in life. Don’t set your life’s goals only upon working that nine to five job. Finding the downtime away from work leads to a much healthier and happier life for you as well as those around you. Why wait until that one-week vacation to find out who is important to you.

Old man sitting alone reading a book

      We live our lives sitting on a time bomb! What I mean by this is, we never know when our time is up. Some die at a very young age, while others live to be very old. Are you going to lay odds that you will have time to enjoy life later? How old will you live to be? More importantly, how long will your family and friends live to be? Will they still be around when you decide it is time to get to know them better? Furthermore, will they be willing to give you the time of day after so many years of being ignored?

     I understand, in this day and age, it is hard to make a living for your family and many friendships may be put aside because of the stresses you have to deal with every day. I also understand how important it is for us to have friends and family in our lives in a social environment.

Dog getting a pat on the head by his owner

      Let’s think of a dog for a moment. Your pet dog is a great pet because they are always happy to see you! You could leave the house and be gone ten minutes. When you return, your dog is so happy to see you that he can hardly stand still. As long as you give your dog a pat on the head or a quick scrub on the belly, your dog is happy. He is always looking for another way to get that pat or scrub. Why do we call dogs man best friend? Because they are forgiving and ready to please you anytime day or night. Now, people are very different in this nature. People have to be reminded that they are loved and needed. If you go long enough without reminding them of this love and need, they will forget and look for another place to receive these things. Dogs are loyal to their owners, but people are their own owners and only loyal to those that show loyalty to them. Are you willing to pass a time to show your family and friends your loyalty? How long do they have to wait on you? Besides, your dog tends to get more attention from you than your family and friends, even if it is only a pat on the head. This is very sad if you think about it.

       When your children were younger, do you remember how excited they were to see you, even if you had been gone only a short time? As you become too busy to spend time with them, are they still as excited or are you now just someone that lives under the same roof? There was a time when you would call your friend, and they were excited to come over for dinner. Now, when you call, they seem to have other things planned. Do you feel any of this happening in your life? If so, then it’s time to find time for others, even if it’s just a few minutes to let them know you care. Make the connection today, or live to wander later when you are alone.

Father and children holding hands and playing

       One final note, and I will let you consider if my words hold truth for you. If you don’t want to grow old alone, I suggest you take this post to heart, and do so today. Don’t wait until it is too late. Remember, people are different from dogs, besides most of us outlive our dogs. Show a need and love for your family and friends today. Tomorrow may be too late. Take care, God bless and remember, we are all in this together.

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My enemy? Not as far as you know

     I have not truly had someone to call my enemy in many years now. I treat everyone that I meet the same as anyone else. There is an old saying that says, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” I learned a long time ago that the best way to achieve this is to not have enemies in the first place. This is easier than you think to accomplish.
I am now in my fifties and have met many people throughout my life. If you were to ask anyone of those, you would hear the same thing over and over, “Oh, that Billy and I have always been good friends.” This in some cases maybe true but in a lot of cases, just plain fluff! The difference is, I know whom I consider my friend and whom I don’t. The other person has no idea which side of the isle they actually occupy unless I allow it to be known. This has been a strategic ploy that I have laid out over several years.

Four friends laughing together

  Why, you may ask, should I keep my feelings to myself when it comes to the other person? It’s simple really, with the ones that I don’t like not knowing, I have no one that will ever become my enemy. That is unless they were to do something so drastic, that I would have to let them in on my little secret. Without an enemy, I have no drama to deal with and I can just go about my way. I make sure the people, that I truly do think of as friends, know without a doubt that they are my friends. The funny part is, even my closest friends have no idea of anyone that I don’t like. I never talk ill of anyone unless, like I said before, they do something so bad, I cannot keep my secret about how I really feel.

     The main way to find out if you are on the wrong side of the isle with me is to cause harm to someone in my immediate family or a very close friend. In that case, you would find out very quickly that you are on my bad side.
After putting this ploy into affect, going on twenty years now, my life has become so much simpler. I no longer have to wander if someone is talking bad about me behind my back because I give them no reason to. Of course there are always those that cannot say anything good about anyone. Those people are surprised when they find out, I just laugh it off as though they were joking all along. The truth of the matter is, I am just jotting it down in my memory to possibly pull out if and when it is ever needed. I may get mad at this person for the comments they have made but they will never know how I truly feel.

   Basically what this comes down to is another old saying, “If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Granted, I do take this one a step farther. I may mind but will not give said person the satisfaction of knowing so. My belief carries a slightly different approach. If someone is talking bad about me and I don’t acknowledge the hurt they have caused, then the saying should be, “If I don’t mind it’s because they don’t matter.”

    I think if more people would put my philosophy into effect, there would be a lot less hurt in the world. I hope this post has touched your heart and helped you along your way through life. Take care and Remember, we are all in this together.

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short stories

Are they family or relatives?

When does family become just relatives? This I believe is a great question.  People of all walks of life view this question extremely differently. Some believe once you say family, it includes all the people that are in your ancestry. Others feel family means the people related to you that are still alive. Others consider a certain group like clubs, gangs and maybe a whole community they grew up with as family.

My feelings may be welcome or scoffed at, but here goes. I was taught and have passed on to my children that family is you, your spouse and your children. Now, when I say children,  I mean those that are still in your care.  This means, it may be the blood child of both parents or one of the parents and not the other. The other being a stepdad or stepmom.

Before we go on, let me say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a stepparent. Some of the best parents are stepparents. A stepparent has taken the children, knowing who those children are and loving them as their own. This is a true blessing, and don’t ever think otherwise. For any of you that have or had a stepparent, remember,  anybody can make children, but it takes someone special to take you in without creating you. This also goes the same for adoption. I believe these are very special parents. Don’t ever feel you are unloved if you were adopted, you are extremely important and loved. You were chosen from the many.

Now back to my feelings on family and relatives.  I believe when you find that special someone, and you move out of your parent’s house, something really special happens. You are out to start your own family. You, your significant other and your children are now your own family. All others at this point become relatives (nice to visit, but no longer considered home).

Multiple relatives gathered around a baby for her first birthday
Relatives are nice to visit, but it’s also nice to head back home after the visit

We all have that special place that we remember as home. However, home now is where your newly made family lives. I believe this is very important to understand. You and your significant other set the rules for your household.  You two have taken on that responsibility, as well you should. It’s nice to ask Mom and Dad for advice, but ultimately you two should have the final say. Your Mom and Dad did their job, and it’s up to you to decide what is best for your family.

I have seen many times how outside influences can hurt a marriage and family. I personally was involved in such a relationship years ago, and it was not good. Furthermore, I and my wife at the time would decide something for us and next thing I know,  my father-in-law would get too involved, and it would end up a big mess to  put it lightly.

Now, if your little family falls on hard times, and you have to move back in with one of your sets of parents, the game changes. You have to understand if this happens, you are now under the rules of the household you have just moved in with. I’m not saying it’s wrong, just be well aware what you are getting into and make a plan to move back out as soon as you can, if for nothing else but your own  sanity. Also remember, your Mom and Dad did their job with you already,  don’t make them come out of retirement and do it all over again.

Mom's left hand and dad's right hand together making a heart. Within their hands is a teenager's hands holding the baby's feet.
One whole family

I am the first to say that I’m no specialist in family matters, far from it. I have been in some of these situations and I know the problems they can lead to. If you plan on having a happy marriage for years to come,  you must back each other up and don’t let relatives tear you apart. As I said relatives are nice to visit, but home is home. Take care out there and remember,  we are all in this together.