Eliminate The Negative

  
This weekend I asked myself with all the negativity in the world assaulting us from every electronic and wireless gadget attached to our digits, or in front of our faces, what should I blog about this week? What should I tell people to help them to reduce their stress? What can I do to relieve some of my stress? 

 My reply in my own head to myself was to stop – put down my iPhone and turn off the television. Now that’s cheeky advice I thought, knowing how I have been Mrs. News Junkie personified most of my life. How personally I react to everything that’s going on in the world from war to kidnapping to the stock market falling precipitously, ISIS murders and child-abuse. Never ending gloom. And the politicians on both sides! Heaven help us.

Of course a forever withdraw from the worst in the world is not practical, but it sure wouldn’t hurt for a few days, or even a week. Wasn’t it Deepak Chopra who said the same thing? The peace of mind I would have not being bombarded with negative and horrific news about the grand transgressions of the human race every waking moment of my day. It would be refreshing.  

 Most of us are sponges that can’t help but absorb negative energy when we feel the stress of a world that seems to have gone all wrong. I think today I’m going to take my own advice and see how I feel in a few days. 

If you are up to a challenge, come along with me to the land of ‘political and world news’ free. 

Let’s spend our time counting our blessings, walking in the woods, hugging our children and sitting surrounded by nature reading a good book in hand. Add a layer of background music that makes us remember how lucky we are to be in the here and now. “Actuate the positive, eliminate the negative…”

Copyright by Sandra Hart. All Rights Reserved.

  

True Grit

If one lives long enough, change happens. That’s just the way life is. And each time I blog I wonder if I have anything else to say. But I write about my life, so if I really want to be honest, I also have to include the grit. It goes like this.

I find myself waking up in the morning a little bit depressed these days. How about you? Unless you live in a vacuum you must feel something. I have always considered myself a positive person always looking at the glass half full instead of half empty. Could be I’m getting older and recognizing that. Sure. Could be I am a realist. Maybe. Could be that I am inherently a sponge and can’t help myself to change. True. The honest to goodness fact is that I can’t take what is going on in the world anymore.

CNN, just give me some good news already! No more pictures of drunken Ukrainians and dead bodies, people running for their lives and starving children, missing airplanes. For heavens sake, my daughter is a flight attendant! Such an overload of bad news these days beyond my ‘glass half full’ ability.

I get it. The world is an unhappy place. The news is frightening. Everything seems to be falling apart out there. Missiles are flying and people are dying in flames in the Mideast, despots are coming out of the ground like weeds, gaining strength over their peoples and creating fear and conflict, choking the death out of goodness.

Just how much can an old woman take. I don’t ever remember the world being in such wide turmoil, do you? I don’t ever remember the United States being so weak in the minds of even our allies. God help us!

Right now, here at home, we have major economic problems that are affecting the younger generation, especially. Problems at our border. We don’t seem to have a strong American guidance, “rally around the flag” identity anymore. When did this happen? Where is Clint Eastwood when we need him! Or Roosevelt and his big stick!

Honestly, I don’t ever remember the world being in such wide turmoil. I don’t ever remember the United States being so weak in the minds of even our allies.

Am I tempted to turn into an ostrich? I wonder. The first thing I do in the morning to break the silence in my head is to turn on my favorite jazz station, then shuffle along to my Keurig that is waiting for me to pour that first cup of hot wake-up coffee to drink on the deck with a big fat ‘death to my arteries’ Napoleon to ease my anxiety. Privileged. Maybe. Worked for it. Dear God, yes. Take it for granted. Not! I vote, volunteer, work for charities, help others. But obviously it is not enough to clear my head.

It’s just that I want what we all want; my children and their children to have the same benefits my generation had – freedom of open doors as result of hard work. Pathways to a good life. Peace and prosperity.

I want my daughters and granddaughters to have the freedoms and opportunities equal to men. Respect as human beings. Choices of dress, beliefs, careers of their own respected and allowed.

Please. Wake up America before we are forced to sleep with the enemy!

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Bite Your Tongue, Young Lady!

The Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia
Ok. I admit it. I am a news junky. Ever since my days as an anchor for a CBS affiliate, I can’t get enough about what is happening in the world around me. My favorite shows are slanted to all events that impact my life via those intrepid journalists that let us common folk know what is going on between the lines of political jibber-jabber. That is until recently. I am over-saturated. I am done!

In this presidential election I am so finished with the mean political attacks and mud-slinging by those leaders that should know better. Why can’t we just focus on the issues? The economy. Poverty. Jobs. Immigration. Or whatever ligitimate concerns we have as voters.

During my career as I was climbing up the other side of the mountain, I have been privileged to interview many presidential candidates. (I once had to meet Hubert Humphrey in a small airport far away from my home base at an ungodly hour just to get an interview about his presidential hopes). But the closest and most intimate presidential encounter was with President Gerald Ford in 1980. (I know. I AM that old!)

I used to be so conscious of ‘doing the right thing’. Afraid not to follow protocol and, in doing so, putting others needs and wants before mine. It took dinner with a president to set me straight.

My husband and I hosted a financial seminar at the Greenbrier, the famous West Virginia resort within the rolling hills of that bucolic area.

Not only is the Greenbrier famous for its elegance, exquisite accommodations and cuisine, but built in the bowels of this grand hotel was a secret bunker for emergency cold wartime use.

While dining with President Ford on the last
evening of our conference we spoke of things politic and personal. President Ford was handsome and quite knowledgeable on world affairs and the current state of our union. He was so charming and interesting and made me feel so comfortable that I began to think of him as I would a nice next door neighbor and momentarily almost forgot his credentials and powerful position.

In the meantime, the Secret Service who had been hovering in the background with their earpieces and lapel pins, began to nervously look at their watches and finally came and whispered in my ear that Mr. President had his plane waiting for him and it was time for him to leave.

Having my “obey” antennas well extended, I turned to President Ford and politely relayed the Secret Service’s message.

He abruptly turned toward me, looked me firmly in the eyes, then turned toward the Secret Service standing behind us and snapped in a voice of complete power, “I am the President and I haven’t had my desert yet!”

That embarrassing moment in time taught me a valuable lesson about Presidential Power. No matter how much they want you to think you are one of them, you are not! Even if they are considered a ‘good guy’. Presidential power is quite heady and, as we are experiencing today, all gloves are off when that office is up for grabs. What you see is not always what you get. Promises made are not always what will happen when in power. The candidate who takes the moral high ground, in my opinion, is the one I can trust to work for my best interests and be respected by world leaders. A great lesson I have always remembered when I go into the voting booth.

┬ęSandra Hart 2012