Spreading Sunshine

10A

As you go through life

be there for the people around you…

loved ones,

family,

friends,

those in need

Be the foundation for their support,

lend a shoulder to cry on,

give a big, tender hug,

share a warm, caring smile,

bring humor to the table

Displaying your light

with unabashed pride,

that’s how

you make everything better…

by

“spreading sunshine”

11A

The Christmas Conundrum

Every day I marvel at the fact that I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful family.  Yeah, we each have our faults, flaws and quirks AND we get on each other’s nerves, but at the end of the day that pales in comparison to the unwavering love and support we have for each other.  Why am I bringing this up you may ask?  At this time every year, I struggle to figure out what to get them for Christmas.  I wrack my brain knowing that I have no clue on where to start.  

So every year, I resort to doing what needs to be done.  The whole process boils down to me being a covert spy.  With a stoic expression, I nonchalantly ask them subtle questions about the things they look at in stores or online; narrowing down their top choices.  Hours pass, days even before I press on.  I ask them more questions without really tipping off my true intent; keenly watching their body language and gauging their emotions.  I take into account every word spoken, making mental checklists about their likes and dislikes.  And that’s usually enough for me to go on and buy their presents.

But there are also times when they don’t say much; even after asking prodding questions.  So in this instance, I resort to using each family member as an asset into retrieving the necessary information I need.  I endear them to my cause and then give them a set of questions to ask a family member.  They can ask however they want as long as they don’t reveal my true intent.  Surprisingly this tactic produces good results as well.

On rare instances when I end up with nothing, rather than buy them something that they won’t like, I’ll just sell out and give them money or gift cards.  I don’t usually like to do this because there is no personal touch but it’s better to give something rather than nothing at all.

The reason why I go through so much trouble is because I feel like I need to get them something really special to show my appreciation for all that they’ve done for me.  A simple hug or words of acknowledgement is usually the norm for most of the year, but at Christmas time, it’s the one time that I can really make them SMILE.  Even though they always say “You don’t really have to get me anything, I’m fine”, I still want to show them my gratitude.  Giving them something that they’ve always wanted really makes me feel good inside.  If I can feel that, then mission accomplished. 

How Do I Define Myself

A1

How do I define myself?

It’s not through

exquisite jewelry,

expensive cars,

a spacious mansion,

a lavish lifestyle

or money

How do I define myself?

By leading a simple life of

love,

laughter,

hugs,

smiles,

hope,

and joy

How do I define myself?

Through years and years

of knowledge and experience,

filled with trials and tribulations,

both good and bad

shared with family,

friends,

acquaintances,

myself

How do I define my life?

By sharing a smile,

offering a helping hand,

lending an ear,

being with loved ones,

enjoying everything around me,

taking nothing for granted,

simply living for now.

A2

Take two aspirins and “HUG” your pet

Hug5

We’ve all experienced a day, or days, when things just didn’t go as expected.  You know what I’m talking about…car getting a flat tire, being chewed out at work, vicious fight with our significant other, being sick to our stomach and so on and so forth. 

 It’s like we felt like the world was against us and we were the butt of a million jokes all lined up waiting to slap us in the face one after another.  We just wanted to crawl into a hole and wake up the next day as a new person who was draped with every good luck charm the world had to offer.

 It’s hard to recover from something like this. Yes it takes time and for some of us a good stiff drink. For the fortunate few that owns a pet, getting through something like this helps accelerate the process much, much faster.

 After life has beaten you to a pulp and your spirits are gone, you trudge your weary feet through the door and are greeted by your beloved pet.

 They make a mad dash for you at the speed of light and greet you like there’s no tomorrow.  Having that “warm” reception, after the day you’ve been through, helps to ease the pain and kick start the endorphin in your body into overdrive.

 They remind you that no matter what transpired “out there”, I’ll make you forget all that ever happened.  Our pets, whether it be a dog, cat, bird, hamster, pig, horse, etc., show us unconditionally what love is all about.

Just the sight of their perked up face, wagging tail and herky-jerky body movements is enough to put a smile on anyone.  Dare I say even the most hardened of faces.

 Having that unabashed feeling from this animal is a truly most extraordinary phenomenon to behold.  They make us laugh in our  darkest of days by just being themselves.  Their power to elicit all that’s happy, funny and joyful in us is just simply AMAZING.

 Being able to hold our pets and confide in them REALLY, REALLY makes our life all that more precious.  We forget all that “terrible stuff” and soon take delight in the positive.

 We no longer feel that doom and gloom and are hopeful for an exceptionally grand tomorrow.  We soon think to ourselves that “Life’s not all that bad” and our luck’s about to change for the better.  All this was because of our pet…all their positivity seeped into our core beings.  It became the perfect antidote to our dilemma.

 Our family member, our pet, that looked past all our faults and unexpected misfortunes and gave us inspiration and hope that life is best experienced together.

 So if you have a hell of a day, don’t despair…just take two aspirins and “HUG your pet!

That’s What Friends Are For.

Friend2

We all have friends in our lives. Some may have an army of them while others a few. Contrary to most social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and others of the ilk where quantity determines popularity and self-value, true friendship is based on quality.

 A friend is someone who is with you through the good times and the bad. They’re there to lift your spirits up and to support you in times of crisis.

Friend1

 We have childhood friends, work friends, family friends, fair weather friends and even befriended friends of friends.  “WOW!” that’s the most that I’ve used the word friends in one complete sentence.

There are some, the “lucky ones”, that are most fortunate to have a life-long friend or friends that have been with you in all stages of your life and you in theirs. You guys, the “lucky ones”, really hit the lottery.

There’s no question that family members can be our friends; but that’s a different type of bond that goes well beyond conventional friendship.

 For the rest of us, we’ve had friends that came in and out of our lives at various points in our life.  Some we lost touch with, some that fell apart, some that passed away, some that abandoned us, some that promised to keep in contact but never do and some that just quietly drifted away.

 Despite what type of friends we have, I feel that the ones that came into our lives at any given point in time was there for a reason.  They were there to serve a purpose, and when it was fulfilled, they moved on so that we could do the same.

 There’s nothing wrong with that.  Sometimes we weren’t meant to be life-long friends with certain people; that’s okay.  In that given time span of when we started that friendship till the time it ended should be cherished whether it be good or bad.

The fact that we shared a friendship with someone is an amazing feat in itself.  We displayed an ability to give of ourselves to another to the point where they liked us enough to do the same.  If we continue to do that throughout the rest of our lives, there will be no shortage of friends.

Friend3

 We all desire friends because life’s too short to go it alone.  We need that special someone to accompany us in our life’s journey because it’s just way more fun.  Having twice the laughs, twice the craziness, twice the smiles and twice the hugs is the best reward a friend could provide.

Friend4