Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fight Censorship on the Internet

I've censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet--a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit:

I █████ ████ to be ███████ in ████ I can ████ on ████████ and my ████████ ████, not to ███████ ████ the █████████ for ██████. ██████ do ████ you can to ████ ████/████!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


For 2012, I thought I would mention a character trait each month...Something for each of us to think about and, perhaps, decide if we are putting in our best effort. 

It is up to each & every one of us to decide who we want to be and how we want to incorporate different characteristics into our daily lives.  For me, there are times I need to focus on something to be sure I am living the life I want for myself. 

For January, I have picked:

Wikipedia defines generosity as: The habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return.

Generosity of spirit, of money, of time, of love...there are many ways to be generous (or charitable) to ourselves and others.

We can be generous in our attitude toward others.  This is sometimes an area where I struggle most.  When I am wronged, I am not one to easily let go of my hurt or anger.  (I am a Taurus, after all!!)  I am not a happy-go-lucky person, by nature, and I feel things pretty deeply at times.  Many times, I will decide I am just done with that person.  I move on and, usually, there isn't any going back.  I just move ahead without that person.  When I am on good terms with you, tho, my happiness can be contagious (or so I've been told)!! 

We can be generous in our attitude toward ourselves.  Women need to practice self-love and acceptance most, in my opinion.  We are very driven by our outward appearance and can be very hard on ourselves for  weight and other surface issues.  I have suffered from acne as far back as I can remember.  I have tried so many things under the sun in my battle for clear skin, most to no avail.  I will be 40 this year and not only do I still battle acne, but also wrinkles and some hyperpigmentation ~~ fun times, yeah, right!  I do my best to clean, moisturize and treat my skin, but I have yet to truly win the war.  So, while I have not thrown in the towel, I will know that I am doing what I can and that I look pretty damn good these days!  I will continue to find new ways to manage my skin ~~ I won't stop looking for the right combination of products, diet and exercise that work best for my overall health, well-being and looks.  I will remind myself that I am the most beautiful ME!

Charity, being generous with our money, is something we have done for years.  It began years (& years) ago when I worked at WalMart, where we had the Salvation Army Angel Trees.  I would take one angel each year, sometimes two as it got closer to the deadline.  What fun to shop for these unknown kids who may have little to nothing, if not for the generosity of others ~ and to see the request for hats & gloves is a bit heartbreaking.  Chris and I did Angel Tree gifts for several years ~~ you should have seen Chris's wrapping for his gifts!  So creative!!  We began to incorporate monetary donations to various organizations over the years; ones that hold special meaning for us, like hospice.  At Halloween, I like to have a UNICEF collection box on my desk at work.  For the past few years, our dentist has collected unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots and we have given (full disclosure: with the bonus that he gives us a small credit on our accounts).  Last year, we made a charitable donation to one organization each quarter and I plan to do the same this year.  Do what you can without causing undue financial hardship.  I never advocate going into debt.   

"Generosity consists not the sum given, but the manner in which it was bestowed."  (Author unknown) 

And if you can't find any leeway in your finances, the generosity of your time can be just as valuable.  One thing I wanted to do last year was volunteer at a "soup kitchen" and I failed to do so.  I have it on my 2012 To Do List.  I know there is a local church where I live that offers such a service every Saturday.  I must find them and see how I can help, at least once.  If you know of an elderly or ill person who might need some assistance, then you might think to reach out.  It could simply be taking out the trash every week for your widowed neighbor.  How about donating all of those magazines and/or books you have piled up in the corner waiting to be put out for recycling?  Take them to a domestic violence shelter.   

Being generous with our love......not always easy.  Or is it just me?  The whole love everyone, love your enemies, etc. etc. just isn't for me.  However, I will do better showing my loved ones, family & friends, that I love and appreciate them.  At the end of last year, I was watching Joel Osteen one Sunday morning and he was talking about those people in our lives who are our parachutes and that we need to express to them our love and gratitude.  I immediately sat down to write small notes to my mom and sisters (later to my brother) to let them know that, although there have been struggles and we live so far apart, I love each of them, I cherish the part they each have in my life, I am proud of them and to also encourage them to be whatever they want to be.  When Chris returned home from his run, I thanked him for being my parachute (he is also my safety net)!!!  

Generosity can be both paying it forward and paying it back.  It is always rewarding to be on either end, so just think of that when you are setting your intentions for being generous this new year. 

A few places where we donate or where you can find organizations that might be of interest to you:
Meals on Wheels
Local hospice offices
Local rape and or domestic violence shelters
America's Second Harvest
Share Our Strength

Buddha: "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared." 

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