Success

I needed to revisit this, as life has taken over again and I lost my way and this definition of success. Trying to refocus and live this definition of success again!

Florence Czok

I recently read an article that talked about success, and how it is taking over how people think and live.  This got me thinking about what success meant to me.  And what I want to teach my kids about success.

There is so much pressure in the world right now to get a good education, get a good paying job, and own all the newest, up-to-date gadgets, cars, houses etc.  The list can go on and on.  Debt is something no one can seem to avoid right now, if they want to keep up with the Kardashians (or the Jones’s as my generation would say). 

Those who can actually afford the extravagant homes, cars, electronics, furniture, clothing etc. are the ones who are working 80 hours plus a week, and they rarely have the time to enjoy the things they have accumulated. 

They are so controlled by their to-do lists…

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Having a Bad Day? Read on…

Frustrated WomanWhen you have an

‘I Hate My Job day’


[Even if you’re retired, you sometimes have those days]

Try this out:

Stop at your pharmacy and go to the
thermometer section and purchase

a rectal thermometer made by
Johnson & Johnson.

Be very sure you get this brand.


When you get home, lock your

doors, draw the curtains and
disconnect the phone so
you will not be disturbed.

Change into very comfortable
clothing and sit in your favorite
chair. Open the package and
remove the thermometer.

Now, carefully place it on a table
or a surface so that it will not
become chipped or broken.


Now the fun part begins.

Take out the literature from
the box and read it carefully.

You will notice that in small
print there is this statement:


“Every Rectal Thermometer
made by Johnson & Johnson is personally tested

and then sanitized.”

Now, close your eyes and repeat
out loud five times,’ I am so glad
I do not work in the thermometer
quality control department at
Johnson & Johnson.’

HAVE A NICE DAY; AND REMEMBER,
THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE ELSE
WITH A JOB THAT IS MORE OF A
PAIN IN THE ASS THAN YOURS!

if you haven’t got a smile on your face
and laughter in your heart…

Maybe you should go and work
for Johnson and Johnson!

thermometer

Enjoy life now – It has an expiration date!

I can not vouch for the validity of this, but I hope it puts a smile on everyone’s face today!  No matter how bad things may seem, someone else out there always has it worse than we do.

The Gift

My most prized gift

My most prized gift

           We all have familial roots, that particular human chain to which we belong that is central to our individual identity.  Some of us care about our origins more deeply than others.  I happen to harbor a tenacious sentiment for my familial roots.  But my roots have traveled a long way over the years, at times seeming very elusive to me.

My Mom immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1953 at the ripe age of 19, leaving behind her parents and 7 brothers and sisters.  Mom boarded the Rijndam for a 10-day boat ride heading for Halifax.  She spent nine of those days suffering from seasickness. Staying above board in the fresh air seemed to alleviate the symptoms somewhat, but not get rid of them altogether.  I am sure that Mom was glad to land in Halifax and board the train to Toronto.  The final leg of her journey was another train ride to Burlington where Mom joined her brother and his wife.

               That brother and sister-in-law of my mother’s were our only relatives here in Canada for many years.  We would have intermittent visits from other relatives, and for me, this was always a big deal.  I loved meeting family, even if there was a language barrier.  As a result of these visits, I did learn some Dutch.

               This teddy bear is a very sentimental treasure from my past.  My maternal grandmother gave it to me on one of those intermittent visits, when I was about a year old.  From stories I have heard, she is the one who taught me to walk when she was in Canada, that summer in the 1960’s  This was also the last visit my maternal grandparents made to Canada.

I didn’t have grandparents around to spoil me, or to pass on the wisdom only grandparents have gleaned.  I didn’t have a Grandma to run to for a comforting hug when life got tough, but I did have the teddy bear she gave me to hold close and offer the comfort she could not.

I could not talk to my grandparents (even on the telephone, since there was the language barrier) but I could pour my soul out to the teddy bear.  This would somehow provide a sense of clarity and soothe my troubled spirit.

 I never did get to meet my grandparents that I remember, but this teddy bear is the embodiment of their influence in my life. Via this teddy bear, they not only attended my grade one talent show, but also actually had a starring role in it!  They have had a “teddy’s eye view” of the many other stages of my life.

Many people have memories of their grandparents to hold onto.  I have this teddy bear as a tangible manifestation of my grandparents.

            I wonder if my grandmother realized the monumental significance this teddy bear would hold to the granddaughter she bought it for. 

What is your most prized gift and why?

Should Kids Be Allowed to Lose?

awards          Recently it has been proposed here in Canada that a certain University remove the Dean’s List since the students who do not make it on the Dean’s List may suffer psychological repercussions.  Naturally, this is the next step after handing out trophies for just attending a sports programme and the fact that there are reported incidents of grade inflation going on in the schools. This leaves us with a coddled generation who feels entitled to the best life has to offer without putting in the necessary effort.

            Just showing up for a sports programme does not deserve a reward.  Being part of a team could earn a commemorative ribbon or pin, but each person has not earned the right to a trophy.  When little Johnny comes home and says that he didn’t get anything out of his sports programme because he didn’t get a trophy, the parent can reassure Johnny that he did indeed get something.  Johnny learned a new skill and he most likely improved in that skill.  My dear Johnny, you don’t always need to win, but learning something new and improving is very important.  You have also learned that you will not always be the best in life.  But, that’s O.K.  As long as you did YOUR best.

              Teachers have confessed to grade inflation in schools.  A certain grade point average has to be met in order to receive sufficient funding.  This results in college/university students who feel entitled to a “B” just for attending class.  If they don’t get the mark they expect on a test they argue with their teacher, “But I studied for that!”  They fully expect their teacher to up their grade on the basis that they studied.

            This makes Sally feel that she is entitled to that job she applied for.  “Have you not seen my resume?  It’s outstanding!  I am known for regular attendance and doing background work (even if it’s not always right, at least I do it!).”

            Making mistakes is a part of learning.  When we make a mistake, hopefully we will remember what the correct solution was and in this way we have progressed in our learning.  But, if we don’t teach our children that mistakes are ok, how are they going to progress in life?  They will fall apart the first time they are told that they did something wrong.

            Now they want to remove the Dean’s List so that some students won’t suffer self-esteem issues because they don’t make the list?  Shouldn’t they already know that they are not always going to be on the top?  Have they not learned that we will lose more than we win in life?  Of course not because they have always had that trophy handed to them, or the grade bumped up for them.  Now we must take away the next obstacle for their narcissistic personality to continue blooming.

We are living in a society where everything is too easy.  We can access anything at the tips of our fingers via the Internet and cell phones.  Credit cards make it easy to purchase things we cannot really afford.  This creates the need for more.  Happiness becomes elusive, as it is always just 10% more than we have.  We look for quick fixes in all areas of life.

How about teaching the younger generation the three “P’s”—Patience, persistence and perseverance?  Life is a journey, not a race.  We will not always win, but we must keep going, learning from our mistakes and moving on with our head held high knowing that we have done the best we could with the talents we have received.

Precious Moments

 

ImageMy kids are growing up.  This is something I wished for when they were toddlers.  Now, I see those chubby little explorers who are filled with the exuberance of life, and I sigh.  They are so precious,  cute, and full of happiness.  As an added bonus, toddlers still go for naps!

This past Monday my youngest (who is almost 7) climbed onto my lap for a cuddle while we were watching a movie.  I thought at that moment, “This is what I am thankful for today!”  I know those snuggles aren’t going to be coming for that much longer.  Time has a way of passing way too quickly.  These 7 years have passed in the blink of an eye, and I know the next 7 years will pass just as quickly, if not quicker.

Generally, I do not think that boys tend to snuggle as long as girls do.  Hopefully I am wrong on this, for I love to have my kids on my lap and hug them tight.  Even though there are times when they drive me crazy, I love them madly and those precious moments are becoming fewer and farther between. So, I seized the moment, cuddling my son tightly while imprinting the scent and feel of him forever in my memory.  After a hectic day of cleaning and cooking and cleaning again,(it was Thanksgiving Day here in Canada) this is just what mommy needed to recharge her tired spirit.  That single moment made it all worthwhile, once again reminding me that it is the simple things in life that are the most precious.

What are your most precious moments?

Reasons For Life


I don’t know how to say it, but somehow it seems to me,

that maybe we are stationed where God wants us to be;

that the little place I’m filling is the reason for my birth,

and just to do the work I do, He sent me down to earth.

If God had wanted otherwise,

I reckon He’d have made me just a little different,

of a worse or better grade;

and since God knows and understands all things of land and sea,

I fancy that He placed me here, just where He wanted me.

Sometimes I get to thinking, as my labours I review,

that I should like a higher place with greater things to do;

but I come to the conclusion, when the envying is stilled;

that the post to which God sent me is the post He wanted filled.

So I plod along and struggle in the hope, when the day is through,

that I’m really necessary to the things that God wants to do;

and there isn’t any service I can give, which I should scorn,

For it may be just the reason God allowed that I be born.

colour ripple effect

photo credit to rgbstock free stock photos

This is another poem that I have found.  I have to admit that at times I feel like I am not doing enough, and this poem reassures me that I am doing exactly what I am meant to do, no matter how insignificant it may seem.  Sometimes we fail to realize how our small gestures cause radiating ripples in the pond we call life.

Left Neglected

 

Image

We live in a success driven world that tends to push true happiness and peace on the back burner.  We have often heard that a single moment can change our life forever.  Yet, until we experience one of these moments, it is hard to relate to that concept. Lisa Genova has incorporated both these issues into a soul-searching novel.

This is the story of Sarah Nickerson, an over achieving, over scheduled super mom.  She is married, has 3 kids, and works 80 hours a week in a very demanding job.  Therefore every minute of Sarah’s day has a purpose.

One morning, on her way to work Sarah has a tragic accident that turns her whole world upside down.  A traumatic brain injury leaves Sarah with a lot of time to evaluate her life—delving into the past, present and what will be her new future.

The author gives her reader a deeply personal view by letting us experience Sarah’s thoughts and inner struggles throughout the story.  It makes it so easy to relate to everything she is going through—as a woman, mother, wife, and as a daughter. Your heart breaks for Sarah as she struggles, you cheer her on with each new development, and you laugh as she learns to see the funny side of her disability.  The author has a great way of making her character come alive through sarcasm, wit and emotion.

I also liked how the author ran a parallel between Sarah and her son who was dealing with ADD.  They both had to learn to live in the “real world” with their disabilities, and each was able to offer the other suggestions on how to work through certain issues.  If Sarah hadn’t experienced this brain injury, she probably wouldn’t have been able to relate to her son or help him the way she now could.

Even though Sarah can only see the right half of everything (thus the term “left neglected” is used for her type of brain injury) her inner eye has been opened to see the full picture of her life.  Sarah learns that her new life can hold so much more happiness and peace, which her success-driven previous life could never offer.

This was a very inspirational story that makes one reflect on what really matters in life.  Lisa Genova has turned a very traumatic incident into an eye opening epiphany for her protagonist. As we journey with Sarah we experience her loss, her gradual acceptance and bravery that turns to a renewed hope in the joy of a peaceful, happy life.

~~Book Review I wrote of Left Neglected by Lisa Genova.  I hope some one else may enjoy this book as much as I have!  Any comments/remarks about the review would be appreciated as it is an assignment for my writing course.  Thanks for reading!  ~Florence