The Holidays Are Upon Us

You are Resilient

Wow! The holidays really are upon us now. How are you feeling? This is such an interesting time to be on this earth. We are right around the corner to Halloween which may have some people celebrating it and probably many others that will not. I feel sympathetic for those parents that were going to take their child to their first trick or treat and the other children that are not going to be allowed to go. That’s okay because it will be more fun explaining to a young child why Santa is not coming down the chimney with presents!

I am, of course, kidding! This year has been something that no regular person could have anticipated. However, it also shows that despite all the roadblocks and difficulties that we have navigated in 2020 we are still finding ways to continue as best as we can. You are resilient and you will find a way to get through! I know that it can be difficult when the pundits say that things are getting better one week and the next it is getting worse. Just trust in yourself and know that one day this will stabilize once again.

Know your Limitations

How are you looking at your situation?

I believe in myself and that is a good thing. However, in this moment I am struggling where do I go now. I feel like someone who was left at the bus stop with no one to talk to. We all know that time doesn’t stop for anyone. We need to look more closely at our situation particularly during these turbulent times. We can only start again and hope that we have learned valuable lessons. 

This story really isn’t about failure. It is about what you do to pick yourself up again. Everyone drops the glass of water, but we eventually get another glass because we need to drink. There is always a chance for recovery and that makes the story satisfying. As humans we do not like to end on a sour note. We live for redemption. It shows that no matter what happens there is always a chance to pick yourself up and change. We cry during movies with redemption stories because they are the most moving. We know that people are going to make mistakes, but it is the lesson that remains with all of us. 

The Election

Rock the Vote!

It is time for the election. We have a month to elect a president. Every person that registered has the right to cast their ballot. I remember my first election. I was so excited because it made me feel like a grown up. I was a Political Science major and I felt like I was doing my part to show my belief in the electoral system. I still believe in the process, but I wonder if our system has taken a couple of wrong turns. It seems like many people simply listen to another’s opinion rather than reading up on their own and making their decision. 

This is a very important election. There are a lot of issues that are important for all of us. We all need to be leaders not followers. In the end, it really does matter if you vote. There is no one quite like you. Your opinion is important. Make sure that you are giving yourself enough time to go vote this November 2nd. This year we need people like you that care about this country and are ready to vote. See you at the polling booth!

One Life is All We Get

Where do you derive your meaning?

My parents were immigrants to the United States in 1959. They came to this country looking for the land of opportunity. My siblings and I were born in Los Angeles. My parents had great expectations for us. They wanted us to be somebody important…a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. They would tell us that we needed to work hard to be somebody important here. That’s why they came to this country. They also talked about not being “un Don Nadie” which translates from Spanish to English as “Mr. Nobody.” I was the youngest of three boys and I was terrified of becoming “Don Nadie.” I could not imagine being nobody.

I’m 57 years old and that scared child is still within me. Being labeled as the person who is going to become a doctor or a lawyer is a heavy weight to carry when it is not your own dream or path. I have spent 30 years in education and it is pretty clear that I am not going to ever be that guy who has a six-figure salary and a grandiose title. I’m the guy that people ask “so what do you do for a living?” and the answer is that I have been juggling several jobs that I actually like. I like mentoring teachers, being a life coach, and teaching psychology. That’s what I do. However, if I break it down into one sentence it would be, “I like helping others on their journey through life.” That is what I enjoy and where I derive meaning for myself. I still struggle at times with it, but this is me.

So, my question to you is where do you derive your sense of meaning? Additionally, are you happy with it? Meaning in our lives helps us to understand ourselves. I still struggle talking about what I do for a living when I should really be happy that I know what I like and I’m doing it. “Don Nadie” can go to hell. I know who I am and what I like. We need to take off the façade and just be our authentic selves. Don’t waste your time trying to be something you aren’t comfortable with. You do you better than anybody else in the world. Focus on your life and meaning.

One life is all we get.

Carlos Lossada May 25, 2018 · 2 min read, originally published on Medium for JRNI.

On Any Sunday There Are No Fans in the Stands

We’re all at home

I know that my title sounds like a Dr. Suess book, but this is where we are. Here we are on a Sunday in September with football. Yet, it doesn’t seem quite back to normal in the grand scheme of things. The NBA is getting closer to crowning a champion. Baseball is playing a third of what they usually do in a season and so are the NHL. Oh, and I almost forgot, that we don’t have actual fans at most of these events. I don’t want to highlight the fact that people are not in the stands, I mean to say it is more about how lonely and strange the stadiums look. 

Like many people in this country I am counting the days until we have sports with fans in the stadiums. I am getting used to the cardboard they use in baseball and the electronic fans in basketball. But at the end of the day I give props for the people that have made these strange images that somehow you find yourself liking just a little bit. However, and again, I am still waiting for the real people in the stands. I can’t wait to have the people there again.

If you are looking at sports tonight remember that those athletes are also missing you as well.   

Every Kind of People

Connections

It all begins with people and the connections that you make. Whether we are talking about neighbors, friends, colleagues, coworkers, or someone else along those lines it is very important to have people with whom you can share your thoughts. This is something that is both beneficial for you and for whomever you are talking to. Communication and understanding of other people make it easier to talk with others.

We are living in a world where our communication has been disrupted because of COVID which has separated people and made it harder to feel connected with one another. Although it seems that more people are speaking face to face, albeit with masks. That is the beauty of people expressing their opinions. People will always find ways to let others know what they are thinking. This is one positive thing that COVID has done: We share what is most important to us during the pandemic. We will never give up sharing our opinion and that is a great thing!

In the end, the more creatively someone shares their opinion, the more interesting it is to read or to contemplate. As we continue to see different ways of getting to know people let us also hope that we will have a vaccination at the end of this year. I am looking forward to every kind of people that will help us to get to a brighter future shaped by every kind of people. As Robert Palmer sang in 1978 it takes every kind people to make the world go ‘round. We are all those people. 

Lean on Me

All You Have to Do is Ask

I am facing a new task for this school year. I am not teaching college students like I have done in the last 11 years. No, I am going to be teaching 4th graders for this coming year. It is a one-off situation this year because of COVID and the need for more teachers this year. This is a good challenge for me. It has been 25 years since I’ve taught 4th graders. However, sometimes life surprises you and you have to go with it.

When I first realized in March that my income was not what it had been because of the uncertainty of COVID I was knocked back like someone had hit me in the stomach. I was looking for other jobs but as we all know that the job market fell apart. I felt like I was failing my family and it was very depressing. However, as a family we were able to get through the difficult times. 

Situations like this can often bring up the best and sometimes the worst depending on your attitude and belief. These are difficult times for most people. However, the most important thing is that you remember that you have skills, determination, resources, and people that will support you. 

There may be difficult times that will come up but remember that you have people that will be there for you. It is important to turn to others and ask for help. Everybody needs help. Remember, you don’t get help unless you ask for it. There are always people that can help you. All you have to do is ask for it.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me

I miss people

I saw The Police perform at Hollywood Park in 1983. They were an amazing band live and their energy was electric. The thing that I remember was getting there with my friends and making sure that we sang all the songs and we didn’t miss any of their songs. There were three other popular bands that night, but The Police were absolutely amazing. 

However, I do remember the beginning of the day just as the concert opened up. My memory is still vivid because we were only able to take a few steps at a time and most people were pushing and shoving. I loved that concert– pushing and shoving included. It makes me somewhat sad because despite all the people, and not being the type of person who enjoys being jostled, it was the best concert I have ever experienced. I would love to just see people at a concert again. 

I would not have said something like that before COVID-19 but I do now. I miss people. I miss seeing their faces and watching their expressions. The tone of their voices and their smiles and frowns. I miss people. Let’s hope that 2021 will bring us back to shaking hands and embracing others.  

Don’t Stop Believing

Take the First Step on Your Journey

We always have another choice. We may not like the other choices before us, but they do exist. Often, we believe that there is only one viable solution, but the truth is that there are many choices before us. Our challenge is to narrow those choices and follow what we believe. However, if we don’t stop believing you might find that your own belief is standing right beside you waiting for you to go all in whatever thing you want to do. This is a difficult time for everyone. People are scared with good reason, but you can’t just wait for things to happen. You are the one that needs to take the reins.  

This is about believing in the journey. These are difficult times for most everyone but the road that you take can bring you back to a different time that was not so chaotic. For me, I am going back to teaching this year in an elementary school. I haven’t taught elementary school in the last twenty years. I am excited and somewhat nervous because it has been so long. On the other hand, no matter how things turn out I will remember things that I had forgotten and learn about what’s new. It is exciting and I know that I will learn a great deal.

In the end, we sometimes find ourselves right back where we started. That is not uncommon. However, being able to see what you have gained during the process can be very precious. That can be gift to learn once again. Be thankful for your journey during these difficult times. 

Some Ideas for Changing Your Daily Routine

 It begins with movement

Time to get up and start with the good vibes to help motivate your mind, body, and soul! 

We are all being challenged by COVID-19 and the rest of the trials and tribulations that we are meeting daily. It is very important to find your daily routines. 

Physical movement is important. Whether it is walking/running, going to a gym, lifting weights, or doing yoga it is important part of your daily and/or weekly routine. The blood is flowing, the body warms up, the negative thoughts are harder to hear when the blood is pumping and the endorphins are released.

If you are a prayer person or a spiritual person, spend some time each day in prayer. Ask for the things that you want to attain.

Positive affirmations are a must. Create these affirmations according to your beliefs.  I am exercising and my body is getting stronger. I am strengthening my connection with a higher power. I feel good about the work that I am doing. 

Just get moving. If you are looking for a job make that your intention. Look for new job ads. Talk to people that are doing what you would like to do and ask questions. What training do I need? What experience is needed? How do I start?

Finally, be patient through the process. Remember that we are in a pandemic and it might take a longer time to find what you are looking for. Stay positive, focused, and believe in yourself!!