I can’t pretend to have answers. But I also can’t pretend I’m not angry that our nation is still stalemated about how to respond to the massacre of 20 innocent children and their teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School two years ago in Newtown Connecticut. Looking back on that tragedy, I wonder how this lack of legislative movement for gun control is even possible. Not only have there been no advancements, but since December 14th, 20012, there have been close to 100 more school shootings. Yes, school shootings. As a teacher who enters a high school building every day, who “practices” federally mandated lock-downs, I can’t pretend not to be terrified, both for the need for this practice and for what seems to be looming, eventually, for too many more innocent children.
December 1st is World AIDS Day, and as I reflected back through the last decades, I thought, how far we have come. “AIDS has killed nearly 39 million people since it was first discovered, but new statistics show we are finally at the “tipping point” of the disease, with more people getting access to life-saving treatment than those who are newly contracting the disease. This progress has been called “the beginning of the end of AIDS” and it is critical that we continue the momentum so we can finally end the AIDS pandemic” (CNBC).
As we close out dreary November, let us pause on this day of Thanks to do some Giving. To family, friends, strangers. No matter who where when. Through the ages, the best among us has lead the rest of us to the same state, that of gratitude. For a few moments, join with me to contemplate these sages and their best advice. That is all we need today. “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ― Marcel Proust
Darkness arrives before we get home from work leaving us without much cheer to face the long night. To survive, we need to celebrate the little moments. This November I say take whatever flimsy excuse you got and congratulate without reserve. Work out in the gym five days in a row? Boom, Celebrate! Manage to wake up before hitting snooze to meditate with Oprah and Deepak? You’re a hero, Cheers! Remembered your keys, cell phone and wallet, for once? Take a bow, Santé!
November can be a rut. A grey and dismal month, (thankfully with one grand meal to share). But you can combat November’s dreariness by making a simple plan. Keep your sanity. Your waistline. Your sense of adventure. With a plan you can stick to. One that feeds you. What am I referring to? Find a pool. Dive in!
Yippee!! I’m still blogging after another year! Yup it’s true, I’m sliding past year 5, because, well, I clearly have a vast outpouring of words and ideas and blogging allows me to release all of that into the blogosphere. Thankfully after each post many of you click the like tab, others leave a thoughtful comment, and there are still others who let me know in person exactly what my blog means to you. No matter how you contact me, I am humbled by your continued support and am encouraged to keep tapping my keyboard and publishing every Thursday evening.
Halloween starts the dark months in the northern hemisphere, when clocks race toward night while we still yearn for day, trees that just last week were ablaze are now bare, the mosaic of the forest floor morphs into a brown sepia tone, and the monochromatic blue-grey skyline fades quickly to black. Where can we look to find a spark? How can we edge up a smile that lasts past the early dusk? What lurks just ahead that can transform our outlook? Well, I have three suggestions.