Birthdays on top of birthdays on top of birthdays…this is January in our house. My dad’s birthday is in January and so are my two oldest children.
This past January was extremely draining as we came out of the Christmas season with four nights of Christmas services at church and end of year shenanigans, AND a new addition to our family by way of fostering. Money was tight and time seemed to be tighter and we honestly had forgotten to make to make specific plans for my daughter’s birthday dinner.
Being the unconventional father I am, I loaded everyone in to the car when I got home from work and declared we were going to get pizza. My wife stressed from a long day of homeschooling was excited; yet worried about the finances of the expensive pizza places near by. Reality set in for me too…what had I just done…plus we had just gotten the new foster baby that wasn’t accustomed to restaurants.
Once again thinking quickly I put on my happy dad face and pulled into a Hot and Ready $5 pizza place and went over to the local Walmart and much to the dismay of my wife had a picnic in the parking lot.
What we thought would be a disaster turned into a great night of eating pizza, and laughing together in the back of our van on a cool January evening. Much to our surprise, our son requested the same thing for his birthday a week later…so we did it again.
Here we are 6 months later and today is my youngest daughters birthday. Her only request this year for her birthday…to eat pizza in the back of our van.
The moral of the story is this; you don’t have to spend tons of money on a Hollywood style party. You don’t have to wait until the time is right or the finances are better to spend time together or do vacations. It is important though, just to be present and to let your kids know that you love them and want to do special things with them. That’s all for now. I hope this small story has helped you in some way.
Love and peace,
For several weeks now this question has been nagging my conscious and subconscious alike. As I wake day after day I am reminded that humanity is lost yet found, awake yet asleep, great yet terrible. I look across the cities that I travel to and through and I see beautiful murals of interracial children holding hands and I see gang signs. I look and see the most vibrant flowers planted with care on the street corners in small flower beds and I also see condom wrappers, pill bottles and loads of trash thrown out of passing car windows. What do I owe humanity?
I see buses carrying children to inner city schools where they will learn not only about the law of relativity but also the law of the land where they must fight for what they have and fight for what they want. I sometimes see farmers riding their tractors down a poorly paved road where they will tend to rows and rows of cotton, a crop of tension in the South, and I ask the question. What do I owe humanity?
I look into the face of my children and think of their white american privilege. They have a mother and father who are still married in a home that is not broken. They will never fear profiling because of their skin tone and yet they may hate their blemishes. They will never know the struggle of abuse, or hunger, and they will still cry if one of their seven dolls break. And then I travel thousands of miles away from America and look into the faces of gypsy children and I see pain, abuse, neglect, fear, hunger, and hope. Hope? I stop and ask myself what do I owe humanity?
I buy shoes because they give one for one. I recycle cans because I’m paid. I raise chickens for my own organic eggs because it’s the hipster thing to do. I post pictures of my food, and my perfect life and yet I still ask the question what do I owe humanity?
Although I do not know which part of humanities’ debt I owe, I will tell you what I am going to pay. I will give hope to the hopeless because I have hope to spare. I will pay love to those unloveable because I have been loved by love itself. I will share peace because I cannot afford hate, and yet still I ask what do I owe humanity?
Have you ever wanted to be more creative? You look at an art piece or new invention and wonder, “How can anyone think to create something like that?” Well, maybe you can be more creative. A recent journal article published on creativity found that it is not necessarily natural ability that allows you to be creative, but rather the ability to let go of what is rational. Based on this study and other observations here are some ways that you can be more creative.
- Forget what you know. Creativity is hindered in most people because of they already know. They have had experiences in life that taught them certain “laws” and those laws cant be broken. Walt Disney created a billion dollar brand when he forgot that mice couldn’t talk. The most creative people are those who look at a process, and challenge why it is done that way. Whatever space you are trying to be creative in forget how its always been done and try looking at it from a new perspective. Go back to this place often while innovating and being creative.
- Don’t stay on task. A time of creative thinking and innovation is not a test in productivity; it is a time to let your mind wander and let thoughts find you.
- Break the rules (in theory at least). Rules are created for limitations and to promote safety. Rules are a necessity, and without rules life would be a dangerous and deadly place. In theory though some rules are ok to break. Use a white board or large poster board and write out what you are trying to accomplish and the rules that are holding you back. Then rewrite the rules to fit the goal and then “reverse think” how it will all work and come together.
I hope this helps in your endeavor to be more creative.
Love and Peace,
Title: On Being Found: How Habitual Patterns of Thought Influence Creative Interest, Behavior, and Ability Author: Paul Verhaeghen, Alexandra N. Trani, Shelley N. Aikman Publication: Creativity Research Journal Publisher: Taylor & Francis Date: Jan 2, 2017 Copyright © 2017 Rutledge
I am not a beach lover and neither is my wife. I know, I know, some of you think its heresy, but she doesn’t like water and I hate sand. Therefore, we never choose to go to the beach on vacation. We both dislike the beach but if given the chance we would rather be on the beach together than in our favorite place separately. Why? Because it doesn’t really matter about the place…its all about the company.
Choosing the right company makes the worst place seem great, and choosing the wrong company will make the best place seem terrible.
Love and Peace,
P.S. So why do we choose the beach? We don’t anymore, but I had a job that sent me there and plus my kids love it so on occasion…we go.
I love the song “Closing Time” by Semisonic. The lyrics, “every new begining comes from some other begining’s end” rings true in all of our lives.
Every day begins when the previous one ends; and so do opportunities. We often decide to hold on too long to the “something” because we don’t want it to end or we are afraid of what the new begining might be. Here are some ways that I combat that feeling myself and embrace change and new beginnings.
- Realize that this new begining may be temporary and might be a good stepping stone to a better life. The best opportunities in my life and I’m sure yours, have come when something that you originally thought was “great” came to an end.
- Put things in prospective of short term, long term and life long. My wife and I make decisions in our life based on how this decision will impact our family in relation to time. Will it impact us this year, or have an impact on our family in five years or will it alter our life long existence. (This really helps when it comes to how we spend our weekends, we know that the lifelong impact of spending time with family is more important than a few hours of overtime.)
- Find change before it finds you. It’s no secret that humanity hates change. Proactively seeking changes and being aware of changes that are in your future makes embracing those changes much easier.
I hope these tips help and don’t ever be afraid of starting over.
With love and peace,