Monday, July 27, 2015

Camp at the age of 84

Yesterday I had the fun task of driving my father to camp. He's 84 years old, blind in one eye and legally blind in the other. We are blessed, and I do mean blessed, to have the Lions Club in North Carolina who provide week long camps all summer for the visually impaired. Camp Dogwood is located on Lake Norman and is beautiful. For a small fee, the camper can go for a week or even two weeks if there is space. Counselors and volunteers make sure their every need is met. They are taken bowling, shopping, to the petting zoo, out on pontoon boats, play games, make crafts, visit each other, and just have a fantastic time. This is the fourth summer my father has gone and even though his eyesight has steadily decreased, his enjoyment has increased.

I am grateful that he can have these little vacations, and I am grateful for organizations that take seriously the mission of positively impacting their community.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

End of June? NO WAY!

I can't believe it is the last day of June. How did this month fly by? I have a choice, I can either bemoan the fact of how fast time is going by, or I can look forward to each new thing that is ahead. Instead of looking at it as only so many days until such and such (panic), I can choose only X days until such and such! (excitement) To help me with this, I've made a list of what to look forward to.

It's ONLY:

8 days until Girls (family) Weekend at the beach!
30 days until my husband's birthday!
31 days until family vacation in Chicago!
46 days until our middle son moves back to college!
47 days until our middle son's 19th birthday!
53 days until our eldest son moves back to college!
56 days until our daughter starts her sophomore year in high school!
148 days until Thanksgiving!
177 days until Christmas!

What about you - what kind of list do you look forward to?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Default or Pay Your Bills?

I recently read an opinion piece that was very disturbing. It was in the New York Times by Lee Siegel who defaulted on his student loans over 30 years ago, and was now in fact encouraging others to do the same thing (sending a message about the high cost of education, unfair burdens on young people, etc.). The gist of his reasoning was that in order to pay the loans he would have had to take a job that took him away from his dreams. There's more to the article and I encourage you to read it.

On the other hand, I read a different article by Kirsten Powers about coming out of college in 1991 and taking a job she hated just to pay her bills and eventually one thing led to another and she wound up in a great career she could not have foreseen. The gist of her article was to encourage young college graduates that they don't have to have the "grand plan" for their lives, but to live life and take the opportunities before them. It was a very encouraging article and I suggest you read it also.

I was disappointed in Lee Siegel in that it seems personal integrity means nothing. Life circumstances didn't keep him from paying his loans, he chose to default because it was seemingly better for him and his dreams. He even seems proud of his decision. I was inspired though by Kirsten Powers because she demonstrated personal integrity in working hard, doing the mundane, and being faithful to what was in front of her. I shared her words with several college students I know (two of them being mine) and hope they felt some of the pressure lift.

Personally I have found it to be true that doing the mundane, and whatever you find in front of you at the time, can lead to great opportunities if you do it with a good attitude and to the best of your ability. I recently received an unexpected job promotion and love what I am doing. Seven years ago when I re-entered the job market I could not have imagined where I am today. Do the small stuff.

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