Today’s popular New Year’s resolution is another vague one, but I think in this case I like that. The resolution of the day is “Help Others.” That’s it, and that’s all. Just help people. It’s different from the “do something for charity” resolution because you don’t have to be helping with a specific cause. You can, if that strikes your fancy, but this one is more inclusive of helping just everyday people in the world that you either see all the time or happen to encounter in passing. So for today your big project is that if you see anyone that needs help with anything, big or small, help them. I haven’t had a chance to do it myself yet, but I’ll be actively looking for opportunities all day, and today I’ve been on the receiving end of helping others before it was even assigned. So I’d like to thank community member John and his co-workers for designing our beautiful new logo, without pay. It was incredibly generous, and they did a beautiful job and I am absolutely in love with it.
For anyone who might not know what it is that the semicolon butterfly symbolizes, I feel like a combination of two quotes sums it up beautifully:
The Semicolon: “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”
The Butterfly: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”
That all directly depicts precisely what this site is about and why it was created. Every day our journey could be over, and we could choose to be done, and we could give in to all of the struggles and troubles and pains, but we’re choosing not to. We’re going to use as many semicolons as we need to use and we’re going to let the struggle transform us into something stronger and more beautiful every single time. The logo was pre-decided and supposed to have been ready in time for our site launch on New Year’s Eve but it didn’t end up working out with our IT guy’s schedule, and still hasn’t. I haven’t got the artistic skill or technical knowledge to make it happen myself, only the vision, so I’m truly truly thankful to the men who took time out of their day to take care of that for me. I needed the lift and it was a disproportionate source of stress for me and I wasn’t up for facing another month of having no logo and it felt like a REALLY BIG DEAL. So. Remember that while you may think the thing you’re helping someone with is small and really no big deal with your knowledge and your talents and skills, it can make a world of difference in someone else’s life. My stress level had been escalating daily.
I’m not saying if you see someone trying to do something you know how to do to do it for them. If someone thinks they can do something, let them, that’s how people learn, but if someone is struggling, offer. If someone asks for help that you’re capable of giving without hurting yourself then do it. Sometimes helping can be a very small thing to you that feels like a very big thing to someone else. A smile can remind someone that the entire world isn’t mean and ugly. Holding the door open for someone regardless of the genders involved can remind a person that kindness and courtesy still exist in the world. Sometimes helping is listening. Whether a person is stressed out and unhappy and needs to vent and get something off of their chest, or whether someone just has an opinion that they feel needs to be heard, there are people in this world that no one listens to. Sometimes they need the validation that they even exist, but the validation that their opinions and beliefs are okay and that they can be expressed whether you agree with them or not. You do not have to agree with what someone is saying to listen to it. Nor do you have to change your opinions and beliefs to validate someone else’s.
Helping can be teaching someone something, it can be giving a sincere thank you to a person who feels underappreciated, it can be offering to babysit for the parents that don’t have time to spend with each other anymore, or making an easy to heat dinner for the new parents who are trying to figure out how to do it all, or for the man who just lost his wife and doesn’t yet know how to fend for himself in the kitchen. It can be offering to make a grocery run for your elderly neighbor who struggles with bringing things up the apartment stairs. Or offering to take that elderly neighbor’s dog out for walks. Helping can be, right now in particular, signing a petition or holding a sign or spreading a message and letting your voice speak for the people who can’t or won’t do it for themselves.
Here in Colorado Springs we have an absolute epidemic of people on every single street corner and median panhandling and holding signs and approaching cars that aren’t offering to help them, and a lot of these people are making a lot of money doing it, so I don’t ever offer monetary help anymore. But if someone has a sign that they’re disabled or out of work and hungry, or if someone has just started a new job and is waiting for their paycheck and saying they don’t know how they’re going to feed everyone the rest of the month, it can be easy and cheap to help. A bag of apples is enough to keep a hungry homeless jobless person eating for a good while. A loaf of bread and some lunchmeat and sliced cheese or peanut butter and jelly can keep a persons kids fed for a week.
Help can be mutual. Maybe you have a friend or coworker that seems like they would benefit from the exercise and social engagement of being your walking buddy or gym buddy. You both win on that one from forming a new friendship and having someone to hold you accountable and you both getting fit and healthy out of the deal.
I’m sure you all get the idea. There are lots of ways to help, and lots of people or even animals who need it. Your mission for today, and throughout the year, is to find those people who need help that you’re capable of giving, and to give it. And let people help you too. Don’t deny other people that joy of helping if there’s something you do need help with and they’re offering, don’t have too much pride or independence to accept help when you need it.
Apart from being helpful, your other little missions for today are:
Take care of your Toe Nails. We did fingernails recently. Now it’s time to check out the shape of what’s going on with your toes. Remember that one dollar manicure set from Walmart that had two different nail clippers in it? The bigger one is for toes. If they’re long, cut em. If they’re sharp, cut and/or file them. If they’re rough and rugged file and/or buff them. If there’s fungus, take care of that. I’ve never had to deal with toe fungus myself but I will never forget going to one of those cosmetology school student salon places for a trim when I was a teenager and hearing a woman say to the man giving her a pedicure “What’s that green thing there?” and him saying “Well, it looks like fungus m’am.” She had been entirely unaware that there was even a green thing there until she had someone else working on her feet. Don’t be that woman. Be aware of your body and what parts of it need help and take care of them.
Have you got a Wii Fit? When’s the last time you used it. Pull it out, dust it off, and have some fun with it. If you haven’t got one, I seriously recommend it. It’s fun and interactive and an easy way to keep tabs with friends and family and help to both motivate each other and keep each other accountable. Don’t be Kirsty Alley and yell at the board for telling you you’re obese. It only knows your BMI, obese is a medical term, it has nothing to do with who you are or how you feel, it’s possible to be obese and healthy, but it’s not common. Either way it’s about having fun, challenging yourself and anyone else who may be in your home, and moving enough to get some fitness in there too. Fitness isn’t always weight loss, sometimes it’s moving better, sometimes it’s breathing better, always it’s feeling better, so don’t worry too much about your BMI when you use the Wii Fit. Worry about holding balance in Yoga poses or figuring out how to use your muscles to successfully navigate obstacle courses. If you don’t have a Wii Fit or the means to get one, that’s okay too. Just do some exercises in your living room. The Wii Fit has some of everything so I’m not even going to tell you which one’s to do, just pick your favorite exercises and put in a good 20 minutes with them.
Climb some stairs.
If you’ve got that gym membership you can use their stair master. If you don’t you can climb stairs in your home, office, mall, library. Anywhere you can find a set of stairs. Whatever you’ve got to work with, aim for going up and down them ten times. It’s okay if you need to take breaks between trips up and down them, just try to get ten in so you’re really working those quads and glutes and getting the full benefit of the exercise. If you don’t do stairs much you’ll feel it tomorrow, but remember that there is satisfying sore that comes from accomplishing something, and that’s what this is.
Then I have one last thing to talk about before I head over to Facebook for the Question of the Day:
“If I could tell the world just one thing it would be ‘We’re all okay.’ and not to worry, cause worry is wasteful and useless in times like these.”
I know I tell you all every day to really listen to the song and really listen to the lyrics and pay attention. I want to put a special emphasis on that today. I avoid taking political stances or soap boxes here though we’re eventually going to get into the nitty-gritty of political issues; I’m going to save any of my opinions for the days we’re actively discussing those things. However, with so much happening right now in my country and around the world, having marches on all 7 continents. and more to follow, I can’t ignore that in good consciousness. So, what I will say is that what I want people to know and remember in times where activism is needed is represented beautifully in this song. Maybe you feel small, and maybe you don’t feel like you can make a difference, but that choice is yours, and no one else gets to take away your power and your ability to act on what you know is right. Don’t let ANYONE, including yourself, make you feel small. When we come together, good triumphs. The power in political movements comes from peaceful demonstrations. “Where there’s a man who has no voice, there ours shall go singing.” March, but march with love. March with the power of the rights that all people should be allowed and love for the people who could be denied them. “We’ll fight, not out of spite, but someone must stand up for what’s right.” The civil rights movements that have been fought successfully in our country to give us all the equality we’ve only recently been able to enjoy and celebrate have been won by people who fought peacefully. Do it with love. Make your voice heard. Don’t do it with hate. Hate is what got us back here.
A word about music: We include songs for a reason. Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much. Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason. If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com: