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Posts Tagged ‘stress’

It has come to my attention that people will often find themselves doing amazing things after finding themselves in challenging situations.  Take for instance this family i know.  Their son Keegan had cancer…and life got pretty challenging not only for Keegan but for his whole family.  Keegan lives with his parents and he has a younger sibling and an older sibling.  Living in a rural area means that when you have cancer treatments you often have to do a lot of traveling to and from bigger cities that have the facilities that you can not necessarily get in your own small town.  This not only puts a financial hardship on families but it also creates many opportunities for separation of family members.   It is difficult  to be able to work a job or two, balance the physical and emotional needs of all the family members and still find the extra energy to take care of yourself.   Those are issues this family understands, the stress of it all, as they have been through it themselves.

This particular family has gotten through all of that and they decided, as a family, to give back to others going through similar situations.  They were blessed over and over again by friends, family members and  even total strangers during all of the trials they faced while going through testing and treatments.  They have decided to form a non profit to help others.  To get the non profit status, they must raise funds to file all of the necessary paperwork with the state and federal government.

This week they are doing an online auction on their Facebook page Team Keegan   If you believe in doing good things, in taking a challenge and using it to bless others…won’t you visit their page and bid on some of their donated items?  I believe there are wonderful items such as:  a child’s wooden rocking horse, a picture hand-created by Keegan, a sock monkey in a hospital robe, baby chickens, a hand-sewn American made fabric purse, a tote bag with a swaddling blanket and burp rag and a photo package from a local photographer.  This is a fundraiser…and they are planning on doing good things to bless other children and their families facing medical challenges.

If you have ever known someone who has faced cancer then you know just how important support can be.  Please help this family achieve their dream of becoming a non-profit organization who reaches out to others in need.  Thanks for being willing to read this far.  Now won’t you go visit their page at Team Keegan ?

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It appears that some employers are of the mind that, because of the economy, employees should be so grateful to have a job; that they must do whatever it takes to not only get a job, but to keep it.  Some employers are now requiring employees, or even potential employees, to sign an agreement that they are willing to work 24/7; meaning that if and when an employee is needed they must be willing to come in to work; no matter what time of the day, or even what day of the week it is that they work.

It is my understanding that there is nothing against the law about this agreement.  If an employee doesn’t willingly agree to this…they may not be hired; or if they’ve already been hired and refuse to sign this agreement, they can be fired or scheduled for work so little, that an employee is compelled to start looking for a new job.

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sit right with me.  If you would like to finish reading click here: Writewhereyouare

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       Have you ever talked with someone, in person or on the phone, and FELT the pain that they were going through?  Staying connected to those around us demands an attitude of awareness and compassion.  Having a relationship with others, that goes beyond the surface, requires time, attention, and sensitivity.  Are you able to feel someone else’s pain?

        Communicating comfort, love and caring towards others is easy.  All you have to do is reach out to them, for them to feel that love and caring.  Will they talk about their pain; it depends on whether they are ready or not.  Some people internalize what they are going through…they can’t share it until they have processed what they are struggling with.  Others unload their challenges at the drop of a hat. 

       The key to staying connected and being helpful to another person; is knowing that person well enough to know how they handle painful situations.  If they need someone to talk to when dealing with difficulties, try to be there for them.  If they need time to process what they are going through…make sure they know they can call on you when they are ready to talk it out. 

       Lately, it seems like there are too many news reports of people who have broken under stress or pain and have become desperate…hurting themselves or someone else that they professed to love.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  If everyone tried to be more aware of those around them…this world would be a better place.  Do you know someone who is hurting; or, is it you who is going through a hard time?

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      Another chapter to the sad story of 2 year old Caylee Anthony’s death.  Early this morning, Friday January 23, 2009, Caylee’s grandfather, George Anthony, was picked up at a Florida hotel after he disappeared and allegedly sent family members text messages saying that no longer wanted to live.  George also left a five page suicide letter apparently; I wonder if it will reveal information that could lead to the unraveling of the mystery of  Caylee’s death?  He was involuntarily was taken by police to a local hospital for evaluation. 

     All of this pressure has built up in the last year since young Caylee was reported missing and her body was, recently, discovered.  His daughter Casey was arrested for Caylee’s murder and both he and his wife has had to deal with Caylee’s death, family drama, invasive media, and his daughter’s arrest.  I am sure that the death, and his family’s initial feelings of denial of Caylee’s death, as well as the realization that she is gone has led to depression and a general overall feeling of being  filled with overwhelming stress.

       These issues are often overlooked by many when people watch the news…the truth is, that the long arm of the law has consequences for more than just the suspect in a case of murder  or criminal behavior.  There is much to deal with, for the friends and family members of the victims and the suspects who are involved.

     The emotional effects of just not being able to grieve properly for the loss of his grandchild is devastating.  First thing, no one knew for sure that Caylee was in fact dead.  She was missing and her mother Casey was telling conflicting stories.  George had to give information to the police at one time that many speculated was not all positive…that had to be a horrible experience for him.  There were search parties out looking for Caylee…this went on for months with little results.  Then there were alledged reported sightings of Caylee which turned out to be false.  In the meantime, the media was invading the Anthony’s personal space.  Conflict was a daily thing.

       George’s wife was giving interviews that alledgedly seemed to conflict with statements she made to the police and to her co-workers about a smell in Casey’s car…that smelled like a dead person.  That must have added to interpersonal problems in their family.  Their son, Casey’s brother, also was drawn into the fray with statements that he made that was reported in the media.  This is a family was that under a microscope.  Then came the confirmation recently that young Caylee’s body was found thrown away in a trash bag.

         The details of that are heartbreaking.  She was put inside of a laundry bag with a winnie the pooh blanket, with some pullups and with a knife…her little mouth was covered with duct tape that had residue from a heart shaped sticker put on the tape over her mouth; that tape was attached to her hair.  Her bones were scattered in the area where she was found.  This is a devastating thing to have to live with the knowledge that someone…maybe the child’s mother…could be capable of such depraved actions.  I am sure it was much more than most people could handle.

        The text messages that George allegedly sent to his family was an emergency cry for help from someone who is struggling to survive in a tidal wave of trauma.  I pray that he will get the help and the support that he needs to be well and whole. 

         Many people have made hurtful comments about the family members…we don’t know the facts of what actually happened.  Judging them and their actions without the full information is unwise.  Who in their situation could be faulted for handling things with imperfection…they have lost their granddaughter, their daughter is in jail for the alledged murder of their grandchild, they have had their lives turned upside down…including their home and privacy invaded…their children have been under the media spotlight…and they could possibly be charged with charges if they were, in any way, responsible for covering up evidence against their daughter.   That doesn’t even take into consideration yet…the nightmare that will be the trial that is coming soon. 

        This case has had many ups and downs.  It is still in the investigative phase and the court process has begun to build it’s case against Casey Anthony.  I truly hope that the grandparents are not involved in anything that could be considered a cover up by the authorities.  It is horrible enough to think about loosing their granddaughter and possibly their daughter to the legal system.  Let’s not forget that a child died…someone did in fact kill her, the truth needs to come out…and they will be dealing with that issue alone for the rest of their lives.  These are not issues that anyone gets over….overnight!

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        A very frightening story hit the news this past week…a Mayor’s family in Maryland was treated to the life changing experience of being treated like a criminal; and surprised by an alledged forced entry appearance by a swat team that was performing a drug raid.  It was July 29th; the Mayor Cheye Calvos arrived home and saw a package on his front door step addressed to his wife, he took it in the home and set it down, unopened.  He then went to change his clothes; but, before he could re-dress…he heard gunfire in his home. 

         He was then taken downstairs and handcuffed on the floor alongside of his mother-in-law.  That is when he saw the bodies of his beloved dogs bleeding on the floor.  They had been shot by the swat team.  He tried to tell them that he was the Mayor; but, he was not believed.  That was something that, seems to me, should have been verified before the raid…who the homeowner was, before they went into the home with guns firing.  There was no knocking, no announcement of entry from what i have heard and read.

         A drug sniffing dog flagged a package in Arizona; sent from Los Angeles, through the delivery service Fed Ex, that contained 32 lbs of marijuana.  It turns out that the package was addressed to the Mayor Calvos’ wife, Trinity Tomsic.  She turned out to be uninvolved and was not home at the time of the police raid.  (more…)

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        Breaking news today that John Edwards is admitting that he lied all through his Presidential campaign when he said, over and over again, that he did not have an affair with a young woman, Rielle Hunter, a filmmaker when the National Enquirer first accused him in October.  She has since had a female baby that he denies is his child; but, there supposedly has been no paternity testing to prove or deny that claim.  Another man has said that he is the father of the child; a man by the name of, Andrew Young.  He  was a former campaign aide.  The child was born in February of this year…the affair began in 2006…but he doesn’t say for sure when it ended…just that the affair ended too soon for the child to be his.

        John Edwards’ wife Elisabeth has fought and battled cancer for years…she was in remission…however, she has now been diagnosed with a form of cancer that is incurable.  I remember an interview, that she did at the time that it was announced she had incurable cancer…and i thought…how strong she was…how composed.  Now to think that she had to also deal with the knowledge of her husband’s affair during that time…just makes me realize how much stronger she was, than anyone knew.  It also makes me wonder how he thought he would be able to support his wife during her battle, run for President, all the while knowing that this affair could harm his family and come out in the press.  How was Elisabeth able to handle the difficulty of the disease as well as the emotional trauma of the affair?

        It was said that as recently as two weeks ago, he was still denying an affair with this woman…and yet, a month ago he had a meeting with her; an now he admits the affair. 

        That can only mean one thing in my mind; somewhere, someone has proof that can’t be denied.  There will be an investigation, i am sure, about whether she was paid hush money as she denied the affair at one point as well.  If it can be proven that he paid her money to keep it quiet…there will be an even bigger news story here.  (more…)

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        I heard a recent news story about a woman in Germany who chose to commit suicide over moving to a nursing home.   Did she not have loved ones to live with; or some other option?   She consulted with a knowledgable person about what drugs/chemicals to mix together to kill herself because she said she had no wish to struggle with a mediocre life.  She was not going to live the rest of her life, living what she considered to be a less than ideal lifestyle for the rest of her life; how sad is that?  Some families park their elders in a home and neglect to visit them; maybe she was afraid of being abandoned in this way. (more…)

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        You know what…i don’t know much about foreclosures on a home; but, my family came closer to it than i want to think about this past winter.  I know that foreclosure is happening to more and more people.  I live in a state where the economy is all but paralyzed.  People are loosing their jobs, left and right.  The cost of living is skyrocketing.  I know people who are working two jobs and still are struggling to survive.   I also know people who have gone to donate blood and plasma just so that they had gas money to drive back and forth to work.  This puts the quality of life into the depression era, as far as I am concerned.  Foreclosure can happen to anyone because, right now, the economy stinks.

         This past week, we have heard about a couple of high profile people, Evander Holyfield and Ed McMahon, who are possibly loosing their homes to foreclosure.  One of them, Ed McMahon seems an unlikely candidate to loose his home to foreclosure…however, Ed explains his situation.  He says that he wasn’t paying attention to how his money was managed by business people.  He also says some personal difficulties such as divorce and a broken neck decreased his finances and his ability to work.  He says that he worked hard all of his life.  Alot of people are in the same situation…maybe they can’t even retire or pay for their child’s college because of their financial situation and the possible loss of their home.

           Ed McMahon talks about the million, or so, people in the United States that are now facing foreclosure and says that he understands how people are working hard and due to their personal circumstances they could lose their homes.  Many of them, Ed says, didn’t do anything wrong…maybe they lost their jobs or face medical, financial difficulties…but because of those situations…they are being forced out of their homes that they worked so hard to have.  He says he would like to tell them to find the best help available and to not give up. 

         Those explanations are real life for alot of people.  It has been recently estimated that 1percent of home mortgages have gone into foreclosure from January- March of this year alone; that is around 447,723 families.  Divorce, job downsizing, health issues and the economy are putting more and more people in jeparody of loosing their homes.  For most people, their home is one of their biggest assests or investments.  How does this concern you?   Let’s take a look… 

          The problem is…as the economy worsens…more people loose their homes and that means that more homes are on the market.  Say you want to sell your home…how are you going to do that with all of the houses sitting empty on your street, in your neighborhood, or your town or state?  And if you are lucky enough to find someone who wants YOUR house….will they give you what you have to have financially for it?   Housing that is devalued further complicates the issue.  Propety values plummet in areas where there are many foreclosures.   When people owe more on their house then it is worth, because of the devaluing of it…they can’t sell it without taking a huge financial loss; not to mention coming up with the money to move somewhere else.  The stress and the emotional toll it takes is devastating.  It is a bit like a chain reaction…because then their credit is damaged…and finding another place to live is difficult, relationships take a beating in times of financial crisis too.  Other people can be quite judgmental and often people feel ashamed of what they are going through.  The changes that a family has to go through in a foreclosure has a far reaching impact on schools, jobs, relationships, health and emotional well-being.  I heard a random number tossed about in a news report of between 7-8,000 people enter into foreclosure procedures a DAY!  Those numbers are staggering…and devastating to our economy.

         There are those who say…well, those people shouldn’t have tried to live outside of their means.  That may be true in some circumstances; but, many of those in foreclosure had good paying jobs when they bought that home in good faith, they may have been in perfect health when they bought their home, the economy might have been healthier at the time of the home purchase.  Life is full of changes; foreclosure can happen to anyone!

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         Ok, it is June 1st, and you know what that means…it is the start of Hurricane Season; get ready.  Each season is filled with predictions of how many storms and how many hurricanes are expected…but, truthfully, there is no way to know for sure how many hurricanes there will be; or, where they will hit.

        The best thing that can be done is to keep an eye on the weather predictions and to be prepared as best you can.  There are some great ideas such as having an emergency preparedness kit available.  Pack them in plastic tubs so that they are water proof; and, are easily put into a vehicle at a moments notice.

          Those kits should include bottled water, batteries,flashlights, matches, candles, extra blankets, important documents, non-perishable food items, a couple of changes of clothing for each person, battery operated radios, extra medications that are taken daily, some baby formula/diapers, a phone/address book that has contact information regarding doctors and insurance company information in them.   Those are the type of items that are needed and they can be quickly accessed if you plan ahead and keep these items all in one location.

       It is wise to also have available tools, nails, sandbags, and boarding to cover windows and doors, in case the hurricane should hit your area.  Plan ahead to have an evacuation route to take, to leave the area early if you are going to do so; this is especially important if you have special health needs or physical challenges.   Keep an extra can of gasoline in the garage, for just such an emergency, if you are being encouraged to evacuate quickly.   Gas prices will go up at a time like this and the lines at the pump will be long and filled with stressed out people.

            If you stay…you are risking your life; and potentially, the life of anyone who may have to “rescue” you later.  Keep emergency flares in your vehicle and maybe in the upper most level of your home.  Stored food and water must be sufficient to last for several days; multiply the amount for each person who stays.  Remember, if help is needed…they may be overwhelmed and may not be able to get to you quickly.  It is best to leave the area than to risk lives unnecessarily.

         Communication with loved ones is very important at a time like this; so, if you have a cell phone, keep it charged and if you don’t have one…keep a calling card with you just for an emergency.  Remember, regular utilities such as phone, gas, and electric may be cut off.  Keeping loved ones informed about where you are and what your plans are, will help to cut down on any confusion and extra anxiety that you may experience. 

              Just an extra bit of advice, if you have valuables or pictures or documents that you absolutely can not afford to lose, you may want to consider keeping them on the upper most level of your home or take them with you.  Many people have lost important papers or pictures that are time consuming to replace or are irreplaceable. 

            With a little bit of planning…if the worst happens and your home or business is damaged…at least you can make it easier for your family to get to a safer place quickly.  Get flood insurance if you can get it.  Lessons learned over the last few years from all of the devastating storms that have been hitting around the world…no things are worth loosing your life over…and, the most important thing is to be as prepared as you can be to lesson the pain and suffering that these horrible storms can cause.  You can check out the hurricane storm situation at:  http://www.noaa.gov/

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       Raising children is one of the most important things a person can do.  It not only impacts a family; it impacts communities, businesses, organizations and individuals.  Raising children well; it is an art form.  In our world today, there are many things pulling at a family unit trying to divide it and conquor it.  It’s become the norm to expect families to break up; it is almost extra-ordinary to see a family survive all that life throws at it.

       There are those around us who struggle in ways that we cannot see.  There are stresses that are normal; and then, there are those which have the ability to wreak havoc on our inter-personal relationships. 

        Un-expected pregnancies are one such stressor.  Un-planned pregnancies, no matter the age or marital status of the parents, can overload those involved; due to financial pressures, health issues, as well as, the emotional well-being of the parents. 

        Making a choice to become a parent is an important step; whether you become a parent biologically, or through the adoption process.  Each life that is conceived is precious and full of promise.  A pregnancy should be cause for celebration; however, sometimes circumstances can complicate the miracle of life.  Those type of situations are when the adoption option becomes a lifeline for those affected.

         Organizations such as Bethany Christian Services are just, such a lifeline.  Of course, they offer more than just adoption services; there is counseling, foster care, estate planning, pregnancy counseling, post adoption care, orphan care, infertility ministry and embryo services.  They are all about building, healing, and restoring families here in the United States and around the world.

        If your heart if full of blessings…or if you have a need…go to this link and check them out.  If your heart has been burdened by the complications of life; and, you have been touched by something greater than yourself…can you find a way to give back?  Support Bethany Christian Services either through a financial donation or maybe just by volunteering your time.  Check them out here:  www.bethany.org.  

          Do you see the suffering of those all around the world and feel helpless to do anything about it?  Those who are lonely, without the basic necessities of life, poor, starving, homeless or just without someone to love them; they need help.   Many of us do see the conditions of the world and suffer a sense of guilt at our own good fortune.  Do you feel something within your heart calling you to make a difference?  We all do…don’t turn off that sensitivity to the hurts in the world.  You can make an impact!

          Maybe you already have the gift of making an impact; but, you wish to find ways of increasing that skill…may i suggest a book that will open windows into the system or skill set that will broaden your abilities to impact the world in a positive way?  It was written by Ken McArthur…a man who has felt the need from childhood to impact the world in a positive way.    The world is a big place with lots of needs.   You have a lot to offer, even if you don’t think that you do.  Find out what it is that you were created to do and be.  Read the book, make a commitment to channel positive energy into some kind of a lasting legacy…and make it happen!

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