Friday Fun Facts- What Happened??

January 27, 2017

Happy Friday, everyone! Today is January 27, 2017. Have you ever wondered if this date was special? I thought it’d be fun to check out the 27th and see how it stacks up in history. Let’s see what happened:

  1. American born sumo wrestler, Akebono Taro, was the first foreigner to be promoted to the highest rank of Yokozuna. 199320100820_qfhkkzhe
  2. Germany observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 1996
  3. Western Union discontinues its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. 2006
  4. The U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears”. Not our finest moment. 1825trailoftears
  5.  Lenigrad was liberated from Germany after 880 days. The loss? 600,000 killed. 1944
  6.  The US and North Vietnam come to a “cease fire” thus ending the longest US war and military draft. 1973
  7. 3 astronauts aboard the Apollo 1 die while still on the launch pad. They were practicing for a two week mission in space. 1967ap-1-fire-cover-color
  8. 60 countries signed The Outer Space treaty which stated that no country would place nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction into orbit around earth. If any country were to do this, no country would be safe again. 1967
  9. Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire while he filmed a Pepsi commercial. 1984article-1199945-05b92f69000005dc-343_634x509
  10. The Red Army liberates Auschwitz in southern Poland. It was the largest of all the concentration camps and is believed that 1,000,000 people were killed there. 19451383280_1400073387745
  11. The US government conducts the first nuclear bomb tests in Nevada. 1951
  12. Coca Cola starts distribution in the Soviet Union. 12 years after Pepsi, I might add. 1985
  13. The first sorority is created- Kappa Alpha Theta. 1870
  14. After accepting the 15th Amendment, Virginia is readmitted to the Union. 1870
  15. Thomas Edison patents the first electric incandescent lamp. 1880thomas-edison1

Peace Be With You

November 22, 2012

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make.  ~Truman Capote, McCall’s, November 1967

 

For all of our American friends, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! For all of our friends around the world, especially in Gaza and Israel, we wish you much peace, joy, and contentment on this day. Our hearts are with all of our loyal Muse Trackers!

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927


God Got My Attention

January 12, 2012

 

God got my attention.

And it was difficult.

From January of last year to now, there have been a series of events that scream,  “Here’s your wake-up call. Don’t be a moron!” Bear with me as I ramble.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind of day to day living that we forget about “living”. Our time is broken down into a series of tasks and micro managing our minutes. Meetings, children, bills, spouses, significant others, deadlines, housework, jobs (…and the list goes on and on) fight for our attention every single moment of every single day. It’s no wonder that we escape to our worlds on the page! But even doing that can take a toll on our brains and body.

I feel overwhelmed just writing that last paragraph. How do we do it all- it’s mind boggling. So what’s my wake-up call? Life is finite and things can change in the space of a heart beat. I don’t know why it took a whole year of events to get me to realize that statement. I mean, I knew it, but I would brush it to the side like an annoying fly.

This past year, my cousin was surprised by a triple by-pass and his wife had a double mastectomy, a young friend and her baby were killed in a car accident, my neighbor was diagnosed with sarcoma and has undergone radiation treatments, her husband has tongue cancer, a close friend was diagnosed with ALS and is in the final stages- we only have 15minute visiting windows, my best friend’s daughter had a baby and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer (she’s 22), my best friend’s mother was killed in a wildfire(it’s been a very hard year for her), and this week our very good friend and Muse Track guest blogger, Will Graham, had a stroke and surgery on his carotid artery. (He’s fine and recovering nicely.) The icing on this questionable cake is the fact that I turned 50. Not a bad thing by itself, but coupled with the events swirling around me, it acts like a very loud alarm clock!

Life is a gift from God. We don’t always use that gift wisely and sometimes do things to screw it up royally, but it is still our gift. Here’s the trick- we don’t know how long it will last. I know there are things I can’t control. I can, however, watch over my body and feed it physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s something the big guy upstairs has been nudging me to do for quite awhile. Nudging is putting it mildly- He’s been hitting me over the head with a baseball bat to get my attention.

I started with the basics:

-I’ve lost 26lbs so far. Weight Watchers is my new best friend and she’s been very easy to hang with.

-I walk 3-4 times a day. I found I enjoy moving better when I do several short breaks rather than trying to do a marathon.

-I take a stretch break every hour I’m at the computer. A few minutes of yoga stretching does wonders for the body and mind.

-I make sure I’m getting enough sleep. One of the first things Will said when we visited him in the hospital was that he was lightening his stress load and working on getting more rest.

-I’m meeting friends to simply visit more often. Visiting is a lost art in this complicated, fast paced world of ours.

-I’m kissing my husband more often. This one might sound strange, but it’s fun and brings us even closer when we take time out to have quiet moments.

-I love to laugh and smile. I try to take a few minutes on You Tube to watch a funny animal video, a comedian, or hysterical animal voiceovers. I’m cracking up and my day seems lighter!

-I turn off all noise makers and electronics in my house for 15 minutes most every day. When was the last time your house was totally quiet and you weren’t staring at a screen? This is when I try to listen to what God is teaching me. Not always easy, but so worth showing up for!!

This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t even new advice. It’s a gentle reminder for you all to be good, really good, to yourselves. It took a jarring year and a birthday milestone to rattle my priorities. I’d like to say that I’ve got it all under control, but that would be a lie. Hopefully I’m developing tools to “stop and smell the roses” and not get totally sucked back into the grind.

I wish for all of us to be happy, healthy, and peaceful every day. It’s a stretch, but it can be done.

 

PS. I started off wanting to write an article about how to stay healthy while being a productive writer, but this is what came out. I hope this resonates with some of you and we’ll get back to tips on being a healthy writer another time.