Why so closed off?

So…I’ve noticed lately that LOTS of people I know seem to be mistaken in the idea that America should just shut itself off from the rest of the world. No country in this era will long survive if it pulls away from the rest of the world. In today’s complex, inter-connected world, isolation is more individual than national. The really bad thing, we miss out on so much if we forget how we got to where we are.

America was the land of promise, but it also served to lift others hopes and aspirations from the work of today to visions of brighter futures. Innovation is not confined the America. People from throughout the world are innovators and we would do well to learn from them. I hope that more of my friends stop looking at how ‘others’ are taking away what is ‘theirs’ and learn to share in a global fashion.

I’ve been extremely blessed to have travelled to various parts of the world and have found without exception wonderful things. From the lush jungles of Central America, to the smiling faces of rural Haiti. I’ve also found warm hospitality in different parts of Europe and the unlikely beauty in the plethora of brown throughout Afghanistan.

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Let’s be open to learning from one another and make this world a much better place. When we decide to enter the broad lanes of global society, we can learn to understand and hopefully see how very much alike we are.

Not so much

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It would seem that I’ve been slow in putting a new post up. Ok..really, really, really slow. The older I get the more I see how quickly time slips away from you. I would have hoped by now I would have learned how to manage my time better, but not so much. I get up, enjoy some silence before the kids get up and then we’re off! It doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon. I would have thought giving up cheerleading and not playing football would have allowed for other things, but not so much. I guess that’s the procrastinator’s theme “not so much”.

I have learned to appreciate people in my life. While I love my kids, I feel like I’m not doing a good job on the adult companion side. Maybe it’s because I tend to reach for those who are slightly out of reach. Maybe it’s because in the five years since my divorce, I’ve learned to enjoy being the chief bottlewasher and decision maker. Who knows? That however, is not why I’m learning to appreciate people more.

Over the last year, 3 people I’ve known have passed away, 2 after long illnesses and 1 very suddenly. The common theme for them all is that I had an impression very shortly before their death I should go by and visit. I unfortunately didn’t take the time and missed my chance. I wish I could go back and change it, but once their gone, your wishes are just that.

Not so much. It should never be an excuse for not making time for people who mean something to you. Even if it’s just a passing thing, go. Even if all you wish for is not so much, don’t let it keep you from adding a moment of relationship in a flurry of activity.

Absence makes the GOL!!!!! seem fonder

Ok…well, maybe it doesn’t make the goals any better, but for the last couple of weeks I’ve been really busy. Part of that busy was sitting around on Saturday watching soccer. Of course the ENTIRE rest of the world calls it football, but we know that football involves really big guys smashing into each other. But I have been busy.

I’ve got this colleague who thinks that if we talk about the world cup and haven’t mentioned it previously, we’re being pretentious and false. I kind of have an issue with that. Why can’t I care about soccer once every four years? Why is it wrong to get my son to chant USA! USA! USA! as he’s walking out of the church right before our hearts are crushed by an epic cross kick that goes in for a draw? I don’t find anything wrong with it. I only show I care about Olympic sports once every four years and no one complains then.

I looked for a good stock photo of soccer players. I don’t really have one because soccer isn’t on my radar most of the time. I love football (real football with helmets and pads) and I follow hockey, baseball and basketball. I really like football though. Soccer at the world cup is different though. It’s more intense. It’s more patriotic and at some level, a part of my childhood.

I spent a number of my childhood years in Germany and over there, soccer is like football over here. People are kinda crazy and passionate about their local teams. During the World cup, they are rabid. The first memory I have of the world cup was seeing it on a german television in a local restaurant. What I saw was mesmerizing. They were literally pushing and shoving and nearly coming to fisticuffs over that stupid ball you weren’t allowed to touch with your hands (unless you’re the goalie). I think I remember some blood and it was fabulous!

I haven’t really gotten that feel for the world cup since then until this year. I just watched what appeared to be (I have to say that because I don’t want to be accused of disparaging and ‘honest’ soccer player) bite another guy on the shoulder, but the one who responded with an elbow got in trouble. Silliness, but that’s the excitement of world cup. You NEVER know what sorts of physical violence you’ll get to see. And then there’s the fans…

I dress up as a clown from time to time and that make up is not pleasant in the best of circumstances. When it’s outside, in the blazing sun, in the amazonian jungle…OH MY! that’s uncomfortable. Then you add the colored wig to represent your nation and shirts and such and everything else and you have full on rabid fan bases. I don’t think American’s get the depth of passion that soccer fans have for their teams. We’ve heard of the hooligans and such, but I’m talking about the normal guys. They LOVE their teams!

 

Anyways, it’s been a couple weeks, but I’m so glad I touched base. I’ll let you know how the rest of the world cup goes (unless the US wins…and then I may not be emotionally able to express myself).

Home sweet home

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So…as I was finally driving home, I figured out that of the last 30 days, I’ve been away for 25 of them. It’s been a long, busy month. I actually have a free weekend coming up. Even so, I am extremely blessed to get to do some of the things I do.

After saying goodbye to my kids Friday, I drove to my military weekend. I had the chance to interact with close to 100 people one on one as well as preach to somewhere about 30 faithful Soldiers. An overall blessing of a weekend even though I came home really tired.

Being home is a feeling like no other. When I got back from Afghanistan, I was never so grateful to drive down my road. Returning to that same road after travels is gratifying. I know not everyone travels. If you don’t, you never get to miss home.

I would encourage you to travel a little, if for no other reason than to be able to drive home and enjoy it. There’s no feeling in the world like it.

Vacations end abruptly

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So…I left the beach today. Before I left, I saw a suicide prevention tweet from The Bloggess. She tweeted “@TheBloggess: #depressionlies Don’t believe the lies. You are needed. Worldwide suicide hotlines & suicide survivors forum: http://t.co/iEpdksljPi”

She is one of my favorite writers because she’s so honest about her life and she aims (at least in my mind) to prevent suicide. The tweet was a bit prophetic of my day. On the way to my next destination, I talked to someone close to me where suicide was broached. Problem was that this person knew what I was doing to try to keep them holding on. It made it very difficult to just listen and try to offer that last piece of rope. At the end of the day, the person went to the ER and got help.

I stopped off to visit a friend. The discussion was very similar in content, but not so desperate in tone. I am grateful that both of these people feel confident enough in their ability to trust me to talk. I hope that each of you has someone like that. If not, please use the resources listed above. Another resource is TWLOHA.

This is a personal thing for me. I don’t want anyone to think suicide is the only viable option. Please know that someone values who you are. Reach for that last rope and get help if you need it.

No Man’s land?

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Today started off a little rough. Dealt with a bit of my vertigo and unfortunately no meds to help. I was able to sleep and take care of most of it and allergy meds work too. Kids had fun at the watermark with their aunt though.

This evening, I decided it was time to go and take some pics of the kids by some dunes. It was a nice, fairly deserted spot and I thought a good place for pics. It was and I got some good ones. What made me a little sad though was how much trash was on the beach.

Why can’t people go somewhere, enjoy nature and clean up after themselves. The above picture shows a little of what I’m saying. It was such a pretty part of the beach, marred by the human ‘touch’.

Even with the human touch I got some good pics and I’ll leave you with those:

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