The Most Significant Question of 2018

While most of us have no idea how long we have to enjoy this human experience on earth, we act as if time is infinite.

It’s not.

We think we will get to the fun stuff later.

We don’t.

We believe that, after our obligations are met, we will finally have time to live our lives and bond affectionately with our family.

We never do.

Or it’s too late and they’ve left for college.

We prioritize work, schedules, money and materialism while delaying time with loved ones, self-care and connecting with core values.

When I started reading Mira Kirshenbaum’s book, “The Gift of a Year”, my first thought was that it was impossible. As I read women’s stories about how they changed their lives by gifting themselves something personally relevant, I considered all the women I knew who would benefit from such a plan, but it would never work for me. I was too busy. I had too much to do. I could never manage the time for such frivolity. And then I realized that the book had been placed in my hands for a reason and it reminded me of my friend’s question.

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The Effect of Trauma on our Children

I think about the neighbor’s story of the lasting effects of the flood caused by the 2001 Tropical Storm Allison. She related that her daughter was three years old at the time, and had to be evacuated in a small boat in torrential rain, in raging water, in the dark of night. 

Now, that child 16 years later is a young adult and still is afraid when it rains.

In the middle of this scenario are the children who certainly have had their lives impacted too. The children have had a loss of their home, their toys/possessions, their routine, some of their parent’s time, change of location and friends. 

I think about your friend Bobby and his 5 children (Watch video here). I cannot even begin to imagine what they are going through.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share the resources that I found concerning how to help children cope with natural disasters. I hope that the information will be useful as we interact with our families, friends, and neighbors that have been impacted with the flooding or any other disaster. Children are very resilient however it would seem that this event has left a lasting impression.

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Hell with Harvey

Only minutes later, my flight was officially cancelled, re-routed to Dallas and our family reunion plans were set in place.

Landing in Dallas late Friday night was bittersweet. It was wonderful to see my family, to be safe and “enjoying” a weekend away. It was terrifying to know that a category 5 Hurricane was approaching the Texas Coast.

We were glued to the weather channel.

Harvey made landfall for the first time near Rockport and Fulton, TX and proceeded to stall over southern Texas bringing record-breaking rainfall (up to 52 inches of rain) and flooding waterways to 500 year levels. My husband and I watched multiple on-line weather tracking graphs noting every inch of change in the rivers and bayous by our home with hour-to-hour updates. Our home was spared after this initial landfall and Saturday afternoon was eerily calm. We considered returning to Houston and several times discussed packing up and checking out of our Dallas hotel.

The rainfall continued, water elevations climbed, the death toll rose and we watched with bated breath as our street became a flowing river.

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Play Like a Girl!

I was born the eldest grandchild on both sides and I was dearly loved. But, since I was a baby girl, my grandfather didn’t open the Dom Perignon. They waited until my brother was born to celebrate his succession of the family name. As a young girl, that didn’t make sense to me. Years later, I see the culture that breeds acceptance of these tiny acts of inequity. It is possible that my desperate need to feel “as good as” or be treated “equal to” manifested over-achievement in almost every area of my life. Perhaps that’s positive.

But I wonder what little girls would truly accomplish if we valued them for their feminine attributes and didn’t subtly (or not so subtly), communicate that they need to be like boys to play in this world.

I suggest we play like girls and see what happens.

If we want a world that values the feminine as much as the masculine and treats everyone with the same respect and dignity, we must act and now. There is a call to rise, as a community of people (men and women), who believe that the world would be a better place if greater value were placed on loyalty, communication, compassion, empathy and patience.

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