Showing posts from April, 2014

Wild or Tame? Which One Are You?

Finally! Research that explains why I act the way I do. Columbia University’s Motivational Science Center studied people’s activities and what brought them the most happiness. Even more telling were how those activities changed as they aged.
Twenty-somethings tend to equate happiness with high-energy activities. Words like excited and ecstatic are usually attached to spontaneous things—even risky things—and living life full throttle. 

Researchers labeled this Promotion Motivation—the urge to take chances, including career moves that may not work out. Happiness comes from happenings—the more happenings, the more happiness.

By age forty, adults associate happiness with things running smoothly at work and home. It’s also about feeling secure in relationships. Keeping healthy matters more too. This behavior is called Prevention Motivation—and people are more concerned with preserving and maintaining the things they value.

It appears that time often tames our wild side. We learn the downs…

Spike, the Imperfect Easter Messenger

We heard him before we saw him. Heads turned as his motorcycle pulled to a stop near the group standing outside enjoying the sun before the church service. 
Eyes discreetly followed as he made his way toward the gathering. His pointy white beard, black bandana, and leathers were a glaring contrast to the folks in their Sunday best. Pulling off his jacket, he exposed a full length cross tattoo on one arm and a crown of thorns encircling the other.

He extended a meaty palm and started shaking hands. Spike was a traveling missionary. And today was our “divine appointment”. He’d been touring the country, stopping to listen to stories and sharing some of his own. He kept track of people and places in a small leather journal.
 Around his neck he wore a spike. Fingering it, he said it was a daily reminder about the nails hammered into Jesus for him. The small group nodded quietly.  Jesus had taken the nails for us too, but none of us had a 4” spike to remind us. 
Just then the pastor came b…

Investing Without Money

Taking a break from the waiting room, I walked down the hospital corridor. That’s when I saw her name boldly engraved on a large plaque over the double doors. 
Mrs. L. was wealthy enough to have paid for the entire hospital, so seeing a wing named after her wasn’t surprising. But what was unusual was our friendship—all those years ago.

It began on an unbearably hot day. The strawberry pickers had finished hours ago, I’d moved the irrigation lines, and now was cleaning all the picking buckets. 
Just then, I saw the dust billowing behind a car coming to our farm. I groaned at the thought of more u-pickers. I just wanted to take a shower and be left alone.
An older woman hopped out of the car with energy that defied her tightly curled white hair. She wanted to pick, so I grabbed a clean bucket. If this old lady wanted to get on her hands and knees and pick in the hot sun, who was I to stop her?
I turned and went back to my chores. She returned in about 15 minutes with a half- bucket of …

Please Say Yes

    It’s spring prom season—she bought a dress to impress the one she hoped would ask her. But then someone else asked, and she didn’t want to say “yes”.

Kevin was relentless. After every class he was waiting outside the door. His unmistakable scribbles on pleading notes were inside her locker. He’d call each evening after dinner. All he wanted was to go to the prom.

“Can I have your date, Pamela? Please say yes,” he asked sweetly with his halting speech.
What would her friends think if she went to prom with someone like him?

In her heart she knew she should. Down syndrome hadn’t prevented Kevin from loving life, or seeing school, friendships, and even proms as something he also deserved. Why her? Couldn’t someone else go with him? She desperately wished someone else would ask her. But no, this was like a cosmic trap set just for her.
When she couldn’t avoid his pleas any longer, she told him she’d go. The smile that lit Kevin’s face made it impossible not to smile back. She didn’t real…