Wednesday, April 28, 2010


If - a poem by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream and not make dreams your master;
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Friday, April 9, 2010

She Drives Me Crazy

Guest Blogger: Vicky Akins

I hate to admit it, but there are things I've done I'm not proud of. Some, I still continue to do, even though I know they're wrong. I don't know why I don't stop these behaviors but sometimes it seems the more I try to restrain myself, the worse I actually get. Sometimes, they're just annoying habits, like tearing at my fingernails because they tear so easily. Another one was smoking, which I finally quit doing in 2008. But others involve people.

I'm a very easygoing, down-to-earth woman. Ok, I'm a little compulsive about certain things, overly emotional and quick-tempered, but for the most part, not much bothers me. I consider myself a good judge of character and have a track record of near perfect accuracy when it comes to analyzing someone's intentions/ulterior motives. I'm also pretty tolerant of idiosyncrasies, having quite the collection of my own. But for some reason, some people just make me crazy and turn me into someone I don't like very much.

There's a woman I see every day who absolutely drives me up the wall. I don't know why, but she brings out the worst in me. Her voice, mannerisms, habits and even her physical apprearance annoy the hell out of me. She's never done anything to deserve this exceptionally horrid treatment but I can't seem to help myself. She's a great worker. When she puts her mind to accomplishing something, nothing can stop her. She's not bad to look at. I've heard others tell her she's attractive, yet I cannot bring myself to look her in the eyes and not feel anger just seething inside me. I can't explain it. I'm definitely not jealous.

I know she has a medical condition that has caused her to gain weight and I know she's very sensitive about it, but I insist on bringing it to everyone's attention and making her feel ugly. I know she's trying to fix it, but I have no patience with her and when I look at her body, I'm repulsed.

She's not a bad person. Most of the time she's very kind. Often times I've seen her put her own needs last so others' could proceed where they wanted or do things they wanted. I know she's experienced some outrageously difficult times throughout her life. But who hasn't? She doesn't seem to have much self-esteem. I've noticed she goes through stages when she seems more assertive and sure of herself but they are always short-lived. Her inconsistancy drives me insane. "

One day I found myself unable to control my anger. I stared her down and began to yell.
Pick a mood, woman!! Stop whining and feeling sorry for yourself. Stop bitching and moaning that you can't do this or that. Get off your ass and just do it!" She tried to explain that she really, really wanted to do just that, but she felt like she was struggling every day against an inner voice that fought her every effort and told her she would never be good enough.
For anyone else, I would've tried to understand, but I couldn't understand her. I would've forgiven a complete stranger for making mistakes, but I couldn't forgive her.
I've always tried to assist other people in eliminating what they consider to be their weaknesses. But I couldn't help her.

She's really no different than anyone else. She has the same emotions, experiences and the right to make mistakes as everyone. But for some unknown reason I always held her to a higher standard and expected more from her than others. For some reason I could forgive anyone's imperfections but hers. I wasn't proud of my actions. I wanted to like this woman, so I developed a plan. I made a point every day to look her in the eyes and tell her she was a beautiful person. I vowed to put all her mistakes in the past and remind myself that mistakes are lessons in disguise. They shape who we are and who we are to become. Oh, it felt like a big lie at first, I'll be honest. But with each day that passed it got easier. I'm think I'm actually starting to like her a little more. She's really not as bad as I thought she was. My anger has subsided for the most part and I've started keeping a list of things she's done that I'm proud of. Sometimes I even read it to her.

I've learned these issues don't have to be permanent. For some of us they are more work than for others but it is possible to work through them. I don't hate her like I used to. I can see her looking back at me in the mirror and see, not mistakes, but potential. I've got a way to go yet, but I think we're going to be okay.

*Just some thoughts. We're harder on ourselves than anyone else. Why is it we can forgive the mistakes of others' but not our own. Is this something only women do or are men guilty of this too? Drop me a note, give me your opinion. As always, to the 4 people who actually read this blog...thank you for your continued loyalty. You're the best!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8