Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Continuing Struggle of Wants vs. Needs

This year has been a study in Wants vs. Needs for me. If you missed it and you're interested, you can read about it here. However, this struggle between wants and needs is a bit different.

I've been somewhat at odds with the Universe for a few months and I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who feel as though they've also gotten a bad deal lately, but I'm tired of being resigned to my fate. Although the things I'm doing may not change how the Universe deals with me, I'm blogging about my side of things just to get my message out there.

I started with my "personal ad" and will build upon that. If there's any mistaking what it is I'm looking for, I can point to my blog archive as documentation. So, if the Universe ever sees fit to send an available man along who is actually attracted to me, here's my view on wants vs. needs as it pertains to relationships.

I can remember Pepe saying to me once, "You don't need anybody" and I guess that's true. There are very few things in life which are needed to survive.....and as cold as it may seem, another person isn't one of them. One may be sad or lonely but the heart will go on beating and the sun will continue to rise and set.

The bottom line is this. I'd much rather be wanted than needed. Want implies the person has a choice. Out of all the people in the world, that person chooses to be with me. Not out of some perceived necessity. A need is something you don't have a choice about, at least by definition. And although I think many people use the word "need" in place of "want", I think language should be used more deliberately.

I want to be wanted. It's really just that simple.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Female seeks Male

Youthful 39 yo woman with ever-changing hair color and tattoos seeks companion.

I am:
Formerly low-maintenance
Peace-seeking loner
Lover of stars and the night sky
Reader of books
Writer of blogs
Kind of a big deal
Prefers optimism
Excellent Cook
Fiercely loyal
Neurotic planner
Confirmed geek
Prefers mutually exclusive commitment over marriage
Prefers honesty over all else

You must be:
Available [that about sums it up]*

Oh....and you should agree that Empire Strikes Back is the best movie of the SW franchise.

*this means no girlfriends (live-in or otherwise), no fiances, no wives, no married but separated and not in negotiations.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Virtual Mix Tape, Volume 3

Usually, when something is bothering me, I write about it. However, at the moment, I can't begin to explain what it is that's eating at me because it's almost too ironic for words, so I will go to the music. Music can always calm me and help me feel as though the universe is in balance (although the universe and I still aren't on speaking terms at the moment).

1. Always Something There to Remind Me- Naked Eyes
I have always loved this song and, although the songs of the 80s aren't really know for their lyrical genius, this one has words to which most of us can relate.

2. Wichita Lineman- Glen Campbell
One of the all-time best music collaborations will always be Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb. This is one of the best love songs ever written.

3. I Want You- Fefe Dobson
Some of my selections this volume are a bit melancholy, so I'm including this peppy song just to help balance. However, I do love this song despite all its bubblegum popishness.
"I'm gonna gonna make you mine!"

4. Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer- Joan Baez
"I thought you would go then come back home....."
Alas, I don't think that was so.

5. End Love- Ok Go
I couldn't leave Ok Go out because they are one of my favorites at the moment. They are probably the most creative musicians I have come across in a long time. They always make me smile.
" 'cause you know you gotta eventually make up your mind"
"So won't you, so won't you talk to me. It's time to decide"

6. Til I Kissed You- The Everly Brothers
For a girl who has loved singing harmony since I was a wee thing, the Everly Brothers were a dream to sing with. But, don't ask me to sing any of their songs by myself because I only know the harmony!
'Never had you on my mind, now you're there all the time...."

7. Forever Young- Bob Dylan
I used some of these lyrics on my birthday invitation a few years ago and it's a great example of why I think Bob is one of the best song writers ever.

8. Top of the World- Patty Griffin
Had to include some Patty because she always speaks to my heart and makes me feel better. The world is a more beautiful place because of the songs she has given us and I love her for that.
"I wish I had known you, I wish I had shown you all of the things I was on the inside....."

9. Hey You- Heart
I love this song for so many reasons not the least of which is that Nancy plays the autoharp!
"I swear by my September stars/I will go where you are going/Forever's never very far/As my love is overflowing"

10. Tribulations- LCD Soundsystem
This band has such an eclectic and retro sound, there's no way I wasn't going to love them.
"You try making me wait....."

Monday, November 15, 2010

At Long Last- A Blog about My Lovey Mom

It's November and as Thanksgiving approaches, so many are talking about things for which they are thankful. I'm thankful for many things, but this year I'd like to share my thankfulness for my mother, or Lovey Mom as I call her.

My mother is the wisest person I know.

Over the years, I have shared my mother's wisdom with friends and I think they would agree; she's phenomenal! Not only is she wise, but she is loving and I can't imagine how different my life would be if I didn't have the knowledge of her unconditional love.

When I look at myself and how I choose to live my life, my mother's mark is everywhere. Concepts and truths which I use in my day to day life can be directly traced to lessons she taught me as a young child. They are simple and practical lesson but the way she conveyed these concepts was creative, immediately effective and unforgettable.

1. Remember to Share.
I must have been about 5 years old when the concept of sharing became very real to me. I was playing with a fascinating toy (which I think was called moon sand, but it's not like the moon sand of this generation). There was blue and white "sand" between Plexiglas and it would swirl and swirl. No matter which way you turned it, the colors wouldn't mix. While I was playing in mesmerizing silence, one of my sisters asked if they could play with which I said, "no". When my mother heard me say no, she warned me that I should remember to share. When I didn't heed her sage advice, she took action. My punishment was that I would have to carry that toy with me for the rest of the day.

At the beginning, it was fine and my 5 year old logic thought I had gotten the better end of the deal.......that is, until I grew tired of the moon sand and moved to something else more fun. When that would happen, there was my mother, moon sand in hand saying, "Heather, you forgot this" and back into my hands it would go. Every time I would leave it, there was Lovey Mom to give it back to me. It was held through meals, in the bathroom, wherever I went until it was time for bed. And there's where the lesson entered the picture. As I was allowed to finally put the moon sand down and I got into bed my mother quietly and lovingly said, "I know you got very tired of playing with just this one toy today, but the next time someone asks you nicely if they can also play with something, remember how you feel right now and you will have an easier time sharing." She was right.

From that point on, every time I was tempted to NOT share, I would remember that day and, suddenly, sharing didn't seem like such a bad option. Not only did this impact my childhood, but it's something I continually use as an adult. It helps me to have the compassion to help others. To share of my time, talents, manpower, etc.....with friends who need it.
Thank you for making me carry the moon sand all day, Lovey Mom!

2. Don't Hit!
Many of you know my sister, Melissa and I are just a year apart, so our whole childhood is kind of a tandem memory. We shared a room for 14 years and over those years, many disagreements would arise. During one such disagreement when I was 6 and Melissa 7, I told her to suck my big toe (this was a big deal, because the use of the word "suck" was risky in and of itself). Melissa said, "okay" and I promptly pulled off my sock and, like an idiot, stuck my toe in her mouth. That's when everything started to spiral out of my control. Melissa bit down and in my shock, I rared back, open palm ready to strike in order to gain liberation for my big toe! And.....that's precisely when my mother walked in.

Although I didn't land a blow on my sister, that was of no importance to Lovey Mom. The intent was there and that was enough to spur her into action. Being the wise mother that she is, she knew there was blame on both sides of the equation, so the punishment was to be shared between us. She made us stand, facing one another just a little less than an arms length away and began to teach a powerful lesson. She grabbed Melissa's hand and made her make a fist and she said to her, "I want you to take your fist and hit Heather as hard as you can" and then she dropped Melissa's hand and grabbed mine and made me make a fist and said, "after she hits you, I want you to hit her as hard as you can". She dropped my hand and continued, "and I want you to take turns hitting each other until you fall down!"

At this point Melissa and I were in tears, thinking our mother had gone off the deep end. Wanting us to hit each other on purpose? That was unheard of! When, through our tears, she heard us say we didn't want to do that, she said, "If you don't want to hit your sister, don't raise your hand". Again, she was right. And I am a pacifist.

Thank you Lovey Mom for teaching me to solve problems with words, not fists.

This blog would be too long if I listed all the wonderful things my mother has taught me and the valuable advice she has given, but I wanted to share a couple of them as a way to show how very blessed I am.

Thank you, Lovey Mom! Thank you for telling me you'd take me with you if you ran away! Thank you for all you are to me. I love you!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fighting Hunger, Serving Others

Throughout the last 9 months, one of the most frustrating things I've encountered is the lack of nutritious food available to those with a limited income. Many times what's affordable are items off a fast food "dollar menu". Those things will keep one from starving, but at what cost to ones health? This food has the potential to create long-term health concerns in the very group which can least afford health care. My personal experience with eating on a limited income has been shocking. Even though I ate less often and was down to eating one meal a day for a couple of months, I actually gained weight because all I could afford was crap......over-processed, empty carbs and food packed with fat.

I started exploring the community garden concept in the hopes that fresh produce could be offered at an affordable price to those who otherwise could not afford it. I have found a couple of community gardens with whom I will try to work, but in the process of my research, I stumbled upon something which has my belly on fire with a passion I haven't felt in a very long time.

I started out to compile a list of companies who donate leftover food at the end of the day to community kitchens and in the process found this amazing organization: One World, Everybody Eats. This non-profit community kitchen operates on the "pay what you can" concept and offers a healthy, organic meal each day. The thing I love about this concept is that NO ONE goes hungry. If one doesn't have the money for a meal, one can sign up to work a shift. Incredible!

So, I have started the journey to form a 501(c)3 and have several grants lined up to apply for once everything is in place. Hopefully, by this time next year "Courtney's Community Kitchen"* will be fully operational and serving those in the OKC metro area. If you're interested in helping, please contact me via the comments on this blog. If you want to find a community kitchen in your area, please click the One World link above!

*The name is pending approval from Courtney's family.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Strengthening my Resolve: My housing "crisis" annihilated by a humbling reminder

I hate to be hot, and more specifically, I can't sleep when I'm hot. Yes, it's true, I wear a sweater almost every day of the year- even in summer, but if I get too warm, I can take it off. The past two days I've been cooking in a kitchen with no AC. It really isn't unbearable, but when it's coupled with my current "living" arrangement, it has had a very bad effect on me.

The next sentence is hard for me to type, but without this bit of fact, this blog won't make as much sense.

I am homeless.

There, it's out in the open, although that statement is a bit misleading because all of my possessions are still in my house, but I don't/can't live there for several reasons and it has basically become a storage unit until I can get rid of most of the things stored there and find a place to move the rest. That's where the crumbling of my resolve comes in. I'm very fortunate to have friends who allow me to crash at their homes but, as with everything else I've learned through this oddessey of unemployment/homelessness/poverty, it's never as simple or as easy as it might seem.

One of the things I dislike the most in this world is asking to stay with someone. I hate feeling as though I'm imposing on my friends and knowing they wouldn't say no even if it were an imposition. Knowing that is the worst. Worse than having no place to stay. Because of that, I think I understand why a person would go to a shelter, sleep in their car or stay on the streets.

Even now, I hate revealing so much about my circumstances because I worry people will try to "fix" things for me or perceive this post as a plea for a handout. Nothing is broken and I've made a conscious choice to commit to a job that is only part-time so I can have time to devote to helping alleviate some of the hunger and poverty in our community (and I promise there's a blog in the near future about some of the new things I've been working on and towards).

Yet lately, I've felt my resolve to live a simpler life slipping. I've been back to work for 2 months and I already find myself trying to find ways to make more money......but why? So I can help more people? So I can send money to my parents to make their retirement totally carefree and easy? So children in underprivileged areas can have potable water?


Sadly, I've been wanting to make more money so I can have more. Specifically, a space of my own......and air conditioning....and wifi......and, and, and. Sheesh!

I know, I's not wrong or bad to want more, but I know it's not going to make me happy and those things will own ME instead of my owning them. And, just when I think I'm going to start sending out my resume to see if there are any high-paying, full-time jobs to be had, I hear an interview that snaps me back to reality.......the reality I know is the path for me at this point in my life.

Hannah and Kevin Salwen, authors of "The Power of Half" were on the second hour of the Diane Rehm Show today. Just as I was feeling sorry for myself and the fact that I don't make enough money to afford to live on my own, this interview comes on and totally kicks my ass and snaps me back to where I need to be. I've heard a few interviews with them and there is always a mixed reaction about the path this family has chosen to take. Take the time to visit their website here and if you're interested in learning more, buy their book.

The heat makes me cranky but, because there are those who can't find relief from the heat and those who can't make the hunger subside, I will strengthen my resolve; continue on this incredible journey and, as my mother says, get glad in the same pants about my life.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wants vs. Needs

So many times I have heard myself say, "Oh, I need to do that" or "I really need this" but that's rarely the case. The truth be told, there are very few things in life which are truly necessity. Air to breathe, water to drink, a bit of nourishment for energy and, if one is lucky, a place to sleep at night. Outside of that, everything else is really a want.

I was fortunate to grow up in a home where my parents made great sacrifices so I and my siblings would never go without. Not only did we have all the necessities, but we had extras...certainly nothing too extravagant, but I had an ideal childhood. Having grown up in comfort, I believe I came to expect certain things as necessities and the lines between wants versus needs became blurred.

Sometimes it takes a life-changing event to open ones eyes and for me that event was 6 months with little-to-no income. When faced with such monetary challenges of having money for a month of food and still being able to keep gas in my car (necessary in case I was called for an interview), I discovered this great truth: I don't need as much to survive as I once believed. My whole attitude towards salary, possessions and wants versus needs has changed.

At this time last year I was making $35,000 as a single other humans depending on me for food and shelter. I lived in a 2,200 sq.ft. home and thought I was living modestly. WRONG! Once the source of income was gone (from a job I hated and was miserable each day I had to drag myself to the office) I suddenly felt unburdened. I'm not even sure I can effectively explain how I felt, but I knew, despite the seemingly bleak circumstances, I was happy. There were lots of challenges to overcome, but I've arrived at a new place and I don't want to go back to those old habits and confining thought processes.

I currently hold a part time job which pays me $11,500 a year. I maintain a wardrobe of clothing and accessories which will fit in 2 overnight bags. Three mornings a week are spent helping others and 1/4 of my income is giving to charitable organizations who help those who are hungry, out of work and homeless. I don't want to mislead anyone and have someone think I've given up all luxury and am living as lean as possible. I still pay for a cell phone and to have my hair cut and colored every 6 weeks. Maybe I'll be convicted on down the line to give up the haircare routine, but for now I'm happy with how things stand.

One of the things I've noticed is how others are starting to discover their own struggle with wants versus needs. And once that conviction gets a hold of you, beware! It makes one do some radical things. Maybe because of my own experience with being on the edge of homelessness I'm more aware of people who show a passion and compassion for those in need, but I'm encouraged that maybe, just maybe, there's a movement starting which could very well change the fabric of our nation. But, even if I'm too optimistic, I want to continue to live as modestly as possible and help those, whenever possible, who don't have the support and resources I have been given.

Although I think everyone would find simplifying their life a rewarding and blessing-filled endeavor, I realize it's not a journey everyone can/will take and I hold no judgement over anyone and how they chose to live. However, since I have been convicted of my life of excess, I can no longer live it. I really could write on and on about the blessings I've received since "wiping my slate", but instead I want to leave you with a project one of my sorority sister's from college just started. When I read her facebook post about the "Seven" Project I was so inspired and excited for what she was doing I wanted to share it here. For seven months, she and her family are confronting the excess in their lives. To read about how the project came about, you can click HERE, but for the purpose of conserving length, I'll just list her outline for the seven months of project Seven.

1. Month One: "Put the Burger Down and Back Away Slowly"
I only eat seven foods: chicken, eggs, whole wheat bread, spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, and apples.

2. Month Two: “Nice Shirt”
I wear the same seven articles of clothes, speaking engagements included: one pair of jeans, one long-sleeved black shirt, two short-sleeved t-shirts, one pair of exercise pants, one dressy shirt, and two pairs of shoes.

3. Month Three: "Sonic, Barnes and Noble, and Other Places that Will Miss My Money"
Me and my family will only spend money at seven places: Online bill pay, one gas station, Farmer’s Market, the kids’ school, adoption agency, limited travel expense fund, and emergency medical.

4. Month Four: "Going Radio Silent"
The family eliminates seven media and social networks: NO internet (except for work), gaming, TV, radio, iPhone apps, Facebook/Twitter, or texting. Laptops for work shut down at 5pm.

5. Month Five: "The Great Giveaway" (Yes, I’ve Done the Math)
The Hatmakers give seven things away a day that we own. Additionally, The Council is adopting a family transitioning off the streets, and we will furnish their entire apartment by donating items we already own.

6. Month Six: "Composting, Sharing a Car, and Other Hippy Things I Never Thought I’d Do"
Our family adopts seven substantial habits for a greener life: gardening, composting, buying only local products, sharing one car, shopping thrift and second-hand, rainwater harvesting (too hippie?), and comprehensive recycling.

7. Month Seven: "Being Quiet, Being Still, Being Grateful"
Together, the family will observe “seven sacred pauses” daily: the night watch, the awakening hour, the blessing hour, the hour of illumination, the wisdom hour, the twilight hour, and the great silence. Additionally, we observe a weekly Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday

What an inspiring list! I know it has given me some new things to think about in my own personal quest for discerning wants versus needs. I hope you find some inspiration in it, too!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Direction

After 6 months of unemployment, I started a new job yesterday. It's only a part-time job an pays only a fraction of what I've been used to making for the last decade, but I've never been happier.

I really didn't write much of my unemployment this time around and I'm not sure why, but I suspicion it had to do more with my outlook than anything. Simply put, I wasn't scared, unhappy, depressed or any of the things one would think came part and parcel with the territory. I really feel it was the best way for me to discern the path I need to take; the new direction.

One of the things which really concerned me during my lean months was the type and quality of foods available [read: affordable] while on a very limited budget. I know I'm guilty of having looked into other carts at the grocery store and thinking, "you wouldn't be overweight if you didn't fill your basket with crap". However, I've changed my opinion. I'm sure there are some who eat junk no matter what their income, but the sad reality is most can't afford the healthy things such as fresh produce and whole grain breads.

Even going to a fast food establishment one sees the same trend. A double cheeseburger is available for $1.00 but a salad (made from iceberg lettuce at that) is $5.00! It doesn't take an advanced mathematician to figure out which economic class is eating the double cheeseburger. And I'm not even going to start on how the very class who either doesn't have health insurance or can't afford it are those most likely to need it once their arteries are caked with plaque because they had to survive by eating meals picked from the dollar menus!

But, I digress.

I've had six months to witness firsthand the challenges faced by countless Americans each day. During those times I was thankful to know my situation was temporary, but my heart was so convicted about how much actual wealth I had squandered over the years. So, I'm switching gears and my life has a new direction. Even this blog has taken a new direction during the last half year and I appreciate those who have stuck with me as I discover the new path. [and, if you miss the fluffier reading, feel free to check out my other blog As Seen in the 405!]

Trying to tie this up and connect the dots, I resisted taking a job which was only part-time. This particular job was dangled in front of me almost 2 months before I acted on it. But, now I feel it's absolutely where I needed to be, for lots of reasons. I really want to do something to make my community a better place. I know I don't have much to give monetarily, but my heart and my drive is full and ready to give, so I'm exploring ways to start some sort of community garden which will, hopefully, make fresh produce affordable to those who need it most. Working part time is going to give me that opportunity and I couldn't be happier about it.

Watch for more info about the community garden as I learn and work through the process. I can't change the world, but I'm going to do my damnedest to make a difference where I live!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Absolute Self-Indulgence

Wednesday was a tough day for me.
I hate not being able to write the blog I need to write. *

And yet, I'm trying.

I miss him.
I miss talking to him everyday.
I miss the ease with which our conversation would flow.
I miss saying the same things at the same time
I miss his bottom lip.
I feel bad for missing his bottom lip, as though it's not allowed.
I miss having lunch with him.
I miss 7 AM meetings.

I miss him.
I miss him and I feel bad bad about missing him
as if it's wrong and unacceptable to miss that which was such a large part of my daily life for over a year.
Past meetings, conversations and touches are all good memories for me.
I feel bad that my good memories are painful reminders to him.
I feel helpless and tolerated
I'm jealous of those women
[single women]
who get to enjoy his friendship while I'm not allowed.
I miss him and don't want to feel bad that my missing him
will be misinterpreted and mistaken for something it's not.

I'm broken.
It's harmless.
I miss him.

*[to the inconsiderate and foolish person who approached him before and made him feel threatened.....I know what you said to him (as if he and I are not still close enough he wouldn't tell me about it) and if it happens again, prepare for your world to change drastically. You got a free pass the first time, but I will not tolerate a second indiscretion on your part.]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Effectuating Change

Effectuating change. Is that really possible?

I believe so.

Maybe it's my optimistic view of the world which makes me think it's possible, but I really do believe all the small things one does to make the world a better place add up. Given recent circumstances in my life, I've become much more aware of those in need of help. I was fortunate to have parents who taught me the "Golden Rule" when I was little. It's such a basic concept, but so very true. If everyone would treat others the way they wanted to be treated, this world would be a better place.

Even with all the bad breaks I've had the past six months, all those things are temporary. I wake up healthy everyday and for that I'm so thankful. So many aren't that fortunate.

My friend, Nick Simpson, is doing his part to make this world a better place. He's part of a team of cyclists who will be riding from Houston to Austin in April to raise money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. This is a cause which hits close to home for me because my dear brother-in-law has an aunt who has been living with MS for decades. He also had an uncle who lived with MS for years before losing his battle.

Instead of trying to describe the many ways MS affects and afflicts those who have it, I will provide links to the National MS Society's page. But first, I'd like to make a personal request:

If you and your loved ones are healthy, please take a moment to visit Nick's donation page and consider making a donation. You can donate any amount you'd like.....even if it's as little as $1.00. Click HERE for Nick's page. You can see his goal and watch his progress towards it.

Thank you in advance for considering a donation. To learn more about MS. Click HERE. Knowledge is power.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Charity Begins at Home?

Although I don't watch much television, I'm constantly connected to the internet via my laptop or phone. It is impossible to escape the on-going reports of the devastation and the chaotic aftermath in Haiti.

It seems everyone (including my Farmville application on Facebook) is launching ways to aid those effected by this tragedy. It makes me proud to know America is still the country all eyes turn to in a crisis, but given my current situation, I think my perspective is a bit different than it would have been just 6 months ago.

Let me be clear by stating I understand our nation is best poised to help with a tragedy of such large proportions. But, for all the private citizens who have dug deep and made donations, I want to pose this question: "Where were those charitable dollars and an attitude to help a fellow human being 2 weeks ago? Two months ago?"

I know it's uncomfortable to confront the problems of poverty and homelessness.....especially in our own backyard, but I find it frustrating there are so many fellow Americans who have no idea where they will sleep tonight or where their next meal will come from. Many of these include families......children without a safe place to sleep.

I feel it's necessary for our Nation to help the people of Haiti, but charity should begin at home. It's hypocritical to open the pocket books for this tragedy while ignoring what's going on in our own home.

I urge you all the take the time to visit the website of the National Coalition for the Homeless for statistics on homelessness and ways to help.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Finally...My First Blog of 2010

I'm not really sure how to explain my lack of blogging over the past few months. One would think it would be easier to blog with so much "free time" on my hands, but that's just not the case. I really am an optimistic person and I'm convinced I have an over abundance of serotonin. The over abundance makes it virtually impossible for me to experience depression...even the common depression most people call the "blues". Lately though, I'm wondering if my inability to blog might be my version of the "blues".

Of course, if that's the worst I feel when I've been unemployed for 4 and a half months and am on the verge of losing the grip I have on the last bit of semblance of my former life, you'll not hear me complain. But, then again, maybe my lack of blogging comes from one of the many wise lessons my very wise mother taught me......"Heather, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

I know her words of wisdom are meant to keep one from saying mean and ugly things to another, but I feel it also helps one deal with difficult times in life if one chooses to filter all the bad things going on through this wise truth. Anyway, everyone knows I've always got some hair-brained theory bumping around in my noggin.....I guess this is just the latest.

Other things which have been on my mind are much weightier topics of which I'm unsure about being ready to discuss. Not because I don't want to share them yet, but rather, because I feel I need to do a bit more research to be as informed as I can before I possibly reveal my ignorance to the blogosphere. However, I don't mind throwing the subject matter out there so it can begin to marinate in one's mind as I begin to put my ducks in a row to write about these things.

Currently on my mind:

The homeless: How and where do they go to survive the bitter cold? Are some shelters more dangerous than others or are they all equally dangerous? How does one apply for jobs with no phone or address? Our attitude toward the homeless and unemployed: perception vs. reality.

Resources for single people with NO children: Why are there no government programs outside of unemployment for those who have chosen to be responsible and not get knocked up? Where do single people go when they have no where else to turn?

I know there are more topics which will probably come about once I delve into the research on these things, but for now, this is what I'll be working on. I've been hesitant to take on these topics as it might be hard to keep my optimistic approach given the subject matter, but as I'm an optimistic person and I'll be drawing on some of my own experiences, I think I'll be able to keep it on the optimistic side of things. I'm trying to boost awareness, not depress people.

I always welcome your comments and posts, but if you feel you have something to share and want to keep it between you and me, just send me a message.

Until the next blog.........grace and peace to you all.