52 Real Women Archives

Breaking Point

Breaking Point Growing up, I was often the subject of teasing. I had red hair, freckles, and my maiden name was “Pigeon”. Yes, just like the bird. I was a “sitting duck”. My mom told me to ignore them. But sometimes I got tired of turning the other cheek. In high school, there was a…

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Breaking Point

Growing up, I was often the subject of teasing. I had red hair, freckles, and my maiden name was “Pigeon”. Yes, just like the bird. I was a “sitting duck”. My mom told me to ignore them. But sometimes I got tired of turning the other cheek.

In high school, there was a boy who sat behind me in math class. Every day he would harass me. He would pull my hair, steal my pencils, and just be a pest. Then one day my patience hit its limit and I clocked him! My teacher saw me hit him and proceeded to reprimand my redheaded temper.

Why do we only notice people when they hit their breaking point? Had the teacher really not noticed our scuffles? Did he think we were just having hormone issues?

It seems we only notice what is happening when someone hits their breaking point. They lose their temper with a colleague. They end up in the hospital with an anxiety attack. They attempt to take their own life. Do we really not see when they are headed for divorce court? Did we not recognize the early signs of substance abuse?

People are good at hiding, and good at pretending too. But it’s time for us to look up and look around. Take an inventory of our friends and family. Are they doing alright? Is there something unusual about their countenance? Take a moment and ask. It may be nothing. But you may also catch someone before they hit their breaking point.

Guest bloggist, Rev. JoAnn Bastien, is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®” and the pastor of Plumb Line Community Church in Livonia, MI. www.plcclivonia.com

 

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To Give or To Judge?

To Give or To Judge? Do you give with judgment or with a cheerful heart?  What I need to remember is that everyone has a story and many times others were not raised to know how to fend for themselves or may be struggling with mental illness or other hardships.  Some are just going through…

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To Give or To Judge?

Do you give with judgment or with a cheerful heart?  What I need to remember is that everyone has a story and many times others were not raised to know how to fend for themselves or may be struggling with mental illness or other hardships.  Some are just going through a temporary tough time. 

Everyone needs their love tanks filled, no one can function while running on empty.  Will you be the person this season to fill someone’s tank?  A few kind words, some spare change or the donation of time could be all it takes to help someone else have hope and begin to turn their life around.  Everyone needs love, encouragement and a sense of self-worth.
 
How can you be part of the change that we all want for our community?  How about spending an afternoon with your children or grandchildren making thank you cards for those collecting money for the Salvation Army, or “We care and are praying for you” cards for someone you might encounter that is collecting money for food on the corner by the mall?  How about providing bus fares at a bus stop and include a nice note?  Anyone can give money, but a little note of encouragement is much more meaningful.
 
Let’s open our eyes and our hearts and give; not to receive in return but to just give with the intent of lifting someone else up in their time of need. It is not our job to judge. In this season of thankfulness and giving as well as year round, slow down and plug into the world around you.  Let’s all do our part to make it a Merry Christmas for everyone!

Guest bloggist, Angie Ashbrook, is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®”, lives in St. Clair, Michigan and is a car salesperson at Moran Auto Outlet in Fort Gratiot, Michigan.
 

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Nature or Nuture?

Nature or Nurture Genes, heredity, inherited traits are real. Of course, we have learned this science through the years.  We agree that genetics works, when we get a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror and see our mom’s face and when we see an expression in our child’s smile, we recognize our husband’s similar trait.…

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Nature or Nurture

Genes, heredity, inherited traits are real. Of course, we have learned this science through the years.  We agree that genetics works, when we get a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror and see our mom’s face and when we see an expression in our child’s smile, we recognize our husband’s similar trait.  

A true proof of inheritance touched me recently, when I discovered some poems written by my grandmother in her retirement years.  She wrote a cute ditty about her love of fishing.   I quickly looked up the poem that I had just written about fishing at the mouth of Fish Creek to compare them. It struck me that fifty years later, I am living my grandmother’s life.  In my retirement years, I have time to fish, to enjoy nature and I have tried to capture those happy feelings on paper by writing poetry.  

Am I like my nana, I suppose in some ways I am.
Didn’t know for sure until I put the pen into my hand.
Samples of her writing, in a scrapbook I just found.
Isn’t it ironic,
that both nana and I wrote on the same topic?
Parallels exist between nana and me,
she was a wonderful role model as you can see.

Nana you taught me well, your influence was implanted in me somehow. Nature or nurture, the debate will go on, but for now, I will keep hers and my poems, in case another generation will discover them someday.

Guest bloggist, Jane Vandenbergh, is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®” and is a retired teacher living in Crystal River, Florida.

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Conference Time!

Conference Time! Recently I went to Parent/Teacher conferences at my daughter’s high school. During conferences we are able to speak to the people that interact and influence our children when they are not with us during the day, hear about how they are doing and where they might need support. As I stood in line…

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Conference Time!

Recently I went to Parent/Teacher conferences at my daughter’s high school. During conferences we are able to speak to the people that interact and influence our children when they are not with us during the day, hear about how they are doing and where they might need support. As I stood in line after line waiting to speak to each teacher I thought about how nice it would be to have conferences for other people in my life, like my husband or my friends.

Sometimes in our relationships we become set in a routine or rut and we lose focus on who people really are. We make assumptions about our relationships based on old feelings or interactions and we have a hard time letting those assumptions go. Perhaps if we had someone to conference with, we could open a new door in our relationships and see our loved ones in a new way or even support them through a rough spot. I would stand in line for that.

The Parent/Teacher conferences have helped me learn how my daughter is doing in school. Now I feel I need to spend a little time conferencing more with my husband and others in my life. I do not have the luxury of a teacher to guide me, but perhaps if I ask questions and listen I may get the information I need to reconnect and support them.

Guest bloggist and “A Beautiful Me®” supporter, Ragen Beadle, finds her purpose in empowering women and strengthening their gifts. She blogs for healing and growth at thedeeperpond.blogspot.com

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Happy Squirrels!

Happy Squirrels! Michigan’s rapidly changing seasons still catch me off guard. Hurried to get in a quick morning walk, I soon realize I am not prepared to change out my summer wardrobe. Frustrated that I now have to begin armoring myself with a daily ritual of medicating myself against environmental allergens. Ugh! Feeling the brisk cold…

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Happy Squirrels!

Michigan’s rapidly changing seasons still catch me off guard. Hurried to get in a quick morning walk, I soon realize I am not prepared to change out my summer wardrobe. Frustrated that I now have to begin armoring myself with a daily ritual of medicating myself against environmental allergens. Ugh! Feeling the brisk cold morning air against my exposed arms and legs, my thoughts are creeping into the encroaching winter months with its whoas, blues, and blahs…stop!

I pause to watch the numerous scurrying squirrels in the neighborhood, such busy and active creatures. I become aware that they too are preparing for change. They do not appear full of dread, but full of purpose and excited anticipation. I see the tree leaves beginning to turn from their summer shade of green to their vibrant colors in shades of amber, red and orange; again, with purpose. A cycle of change, dormancy, and rejuvenation.

I quickly become conscious that I too must meet the changing seasons of my life with purpose. Turning over a new leaf with a change of attitude. Let go of the dormancy of over-shadowing negative thoughts and rejuvenate my senses with positive thoughts, words and actions. I need to embrace the crisp cool air and breathe deep, as it will provide a clearer head.

Ah, inhale and exhale. My attitude change is just beginning. Crisp leaves changing into crisp jeans then heading to the nearest cider mill to get some crisp carmel apples!

Guest bloggist, Brenda Vance, is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®” and provides billing services to her husband’s business – Al Vance, owner of Doctor of Dents Inc. www.doctorofdents.com

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