Father

What seemed to be a typical day at work, was not.  I just received notice of one of my coworkers father being in the hospital.  I know a little about the health history of his father, so the news was devastating.  The only thought going through my mind is death and it is causing me to recall the memories of my father before he passed away.

I remember it was the 25th of November.  I was out having lunch with my daughter and boyfriend at that time.  We were in a restaurant listening to Mariachi and enjoying a lunch.  After the lunch we were going to go to the hospital and check up on him.  He had been hospitalized for a couple of months prior and I had already been accustomed to visiting him at least four times a week.  So today I did not think anything else of it.  But what happened was when I was sitting down enjoying my lunch my phone had been ringing in my purse.  I could not hear the phone because of the music playing on the background.  It was not until we were getting ready to pay for the check and leave that I decided to look at my phone.  I found 4 missed calls and they were all coming from my sister and brother.  My first thought was fear.  Fear that something might have happened to my father.  So I called them back right away.  Once they answered they asked where I was at and requested that I go to the hospital.  They seemed well and not stressed, so I assumed that we were going to talk about other possible treatments with the doctors.  Even though in the back of my mind I was still scared I tried to think positive.

When I arrived at the hospital my father had just had his last breath.  I vaguely remember my mother telling me that he could still hear me.  The doctor has said that his last sense to go was his hearing.  I was in shock and could not react, I just cried.  I stood there looking at him and just kept crying.  My boyfriend at that time was Native American and his first reaction was to sing to him. He began chanting to him as he slowed passed away. 

Now that I hear one of my co-workers is in the hospital with his father, the memory came back as if it had happened yesterday.  It is the saddest, emptiest feeling anyone can feel.  I hope that his father will be in peace and of no pain.  Losing a father is like loosing a piece of the soul.

Mud Run

I was approached today by my boss about a Mud Run in Camp Pendleton.  I was never really stationed there, but I have been there plenty of time visiting friends.  The last time I was there was about five years ago, so when my boss approached me and mentioned it, I was static.  The mud run is held annually and I hear it is sold would within hours upon opening registration.  When he told me that he had two tickets from two people of the group who had cancelled I got anxiety.  The thought of getting in was a powering feeling, but being around my second lost family, was even more powerful. 

I can already picture me running and getting chanted by other marines.  “Come on Marine, finish”, oh I have chills just thinking about it.  It brings back memories about the events we had.  I have never really participated in a mud run, I have been an observer but that was it.  I heard stories about the agonizing pain, but it is justified with the feeling.  So on Sunday June 6th at around 8 am I will be full of anxiety.  I will be among my second family being a part of them one more time. 

The fact that I will be getting attacked with the fire department water hoses does not intimidate me.  I will be soaked running up hill overcoming on hill at a time, while a Marine cheers at the top of the hill telling “this is the last one”, and realizing once I am on top that there is more.  Typical of Marines, lie to give motivation and have yourself push harder. =) 

I will admit I am little concerned about the quarter mile swim/walk.  The water is about 4’ deep and I am not very tall, so I will have to swim and after running in mud it might become challenging.  But then again, being around my second family at Camp Pendleton, I might just not even realize the pain.  Is it June 5 yet?

Mind and Body

Last week was not a very good week.  The signs were there, but I was refusing to acknowledge them.  People around me were asking, and I kept denying it.  My face was starting to show and I had no choice but to admit.  Once I admitted it to myself my body started breaking down.  My body began to emphasize the pain.  I felt my body heavy and dreadful to carry. My head seemed like it was pounding with aches.  I had a hard time breathing through my nose.  My body was adjusting and I had to breath through my mouth. I was getting drowsy and sleepy. I found it difficult to think or even focus.  My mouth was dry and my lips were cracking.  I was not thirsty and had no taste in my mouth. My nose could not stop running.  Swipe, after swipe, and still no control over my runny nose.  My nose started to become red and irritated from the continuous behavior. I realized I had the cold.  Once my body and mind were in sequence I began to heal.  I slept, took medication and just rested.  The healing process took no more after two days to pass me by.  After I had prolonged admitting I was sick for about three days prior.  Maybe if I had admitted to myself that I was ill, my body would not have had just a painful experience.

According to Adler it was an ongoing debate as to what governs what.  It is the mind that controls the body or is the body that controls the mind?  The debate between the idealist and materialists still stands.  What do you think?

Budget Cuts

The frustration is sinking in.  Colleges are closed and not receiving admissions until next year, spring maybe.  The classes needed for graduation are not available at the times desired or the classes are not offered at all this quarter.  With only three classes remaining the anticipation accelerates and the control is lost.

Yes, what you have read above is what many of us students are currently going through.  Because of the budget cuts students and educators are suffering the consequences.  The only problem should be enrolling on time for a class, but it is not.  Students are struggling to get into the few classes available.  For those who work full time for a necessity have to put school second because of the class availability.  Students will no longer be students and full time employees.  They will be full time employees only.  Because of the budget cuts the full time employed students will have to find the motivation and ambition to return to school when the economic crisis has been defeated.

“Budget cuts at community colleges mean different things to different people. For some it means the loss of a job. For others, it will mean less access to the classes they seek. For all, it means opportunities lost.”

“The California State University (CSU) system and the University of California (UC) system have both resorted to increasing tuition and fees to students to deal with the state budget cuts. They have the authority to do that – and do it quickly.”

“If you are a student, the availability of classes will probably be diminished. They won’t be available at the times you need to fit around your work or childcare schedule.”

Dr. Frank Gornick, Chancellor at West Hills Community College District

http://www.westhillscollege.com/district/about/documents/BudgetCuts.pdf

“In addition, no admission applications will be accepted for the 2010 spring term at either quarter or semester campuses, for any enrollment category. CSU has typically admitted more than 35,000 freshmen, undergraduate transfer and graduate students during the spring term.”

“Overall, CSU is looking to reduce its enrollment by 40,000 students system wide for 2010-11 through a combination of enrollment tools. The decision to close spring admissions is part of the overall effort to reduce enrollment.”

CSU Chancellor’s Office at Cal State Fullerton

http://calstate.fullerton.edu/news/Inside/2009/spring-enrollment-closed.html

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

It is a Monday morning and the calls are starting to come in.  They began since early this morning.  First I heard of my voicemail, “I do not feel to well.  I have been sick all weekend, but tomorrow I should be ok”. The voice was cracking and sniffles were heard.  Then an email, which read, Sandra I am sorry but I will not be able to make it to work today.  I want to be honest with you.  I had a rough weekend and I want to take today off to rest.  I should be back in to work tomorrow.  I take both reasons into account and ponder.  Even though the tiring excuse is weak, it is a more acceptable truth.  I heard the voice of a sick person on the phone message, but I have heard that many times.  What triggered the email to be more acceptable was the fact that it was a different reason.  It was a reason that “I” would have imaged to be truer than the role-playing of a sick person.

My reactions to both scenarios differ in the sense of my acceptance of each.  Both reasons may be very well true or false.  What I found myself doing was fulfilling my self-fulfilling prophecy. According to Merton’s concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”. 

Do not get me wrong, I am experiencing cognitive dissonance for each situation, but one is easier to accept than the other.  The role of the sick person seems to be a well-known excuse that makes me question whether the true factor still stands.  For the other person who was honest, I seem to be experiencing less dissonance because the reason falls more on “my” reasons of reasonable actions.  In other words, I am hearing what I want to hear from the person who was honest, which makes her excuse more acceptable.

Self-Actualization

Self-actualization is defined as the full realization of one’s potential.  At least, that how Maslow simply puts it.  There are common traits amongst people who have reached self-actualization.

-          They embrace reality rather than denying truth

-          They are spontaneous

-          They are interested in problem solving

-          They are accept themselves and others

Have you reached your self-actualization? I believe I have.  I was reading the reading about Maslow and his theories and this theory caught my eye.  I, for once found a definition for my happiness or self-fluffiness that I felt inside.  I could relate with little or no effort to what was being explained.  It also made me wonder if age was a factor? I began to drift into thinking about wisdom? Is that the stage that people consider wise?  I don’t think that I have reached my full potential as far as my life or identity stands.  So in a sense I disagree, but I can relate in the sense that I have accomplished up to date what the common traits of self-actualization.  I wonder if there are various points in our lives where our self-actualization is challenged. 

Where do you fall into Maslow perspective about self-actualization?  Do you think that self-actualization falls in place throughout our lives or once it has been achieved there is no more motive?

Hesitation at its best

I am sitting here at work wondering what to write about for today’s blog.  Wait! Should I kept the sitting here at work?  What about if my co-workers read it? It might give me away.  Or maybe I can just say it was for writing purposes.  Yeah! I am going to tell them that, they wont know the difference.

Ok, soooo what to write about.  Man this what everyone has been talking about when the go blank. …..

Oh, I know! I am going to write about the funny I made this morning. Yeah! I think they will crack up when they hear it.  No wait, that is not in reference to psychology.  That will not work.  Ok, so lets see.  Oh I know! Let me talk about my fiancés cooking abilities.  He is a great cook! But wait, it would not work.  I need at least 250 words and he only has three good dishes.  So that won’t work.

Ok let’s see.  How about my family? What can I say about my family? Oh yeah we all love food.  Maybe I can talk about the good foods we enjoy and the daily struggles about our weight.  Naah that can be depressing.  I want something fun and spontaneous.  Something everyone can relate to.  What? What? Something to write about!  This coffee isn’t kicking in.  I need all the caffeine I can get.  I think I just drew a blank.

Oh man, see I took too much time! Now I have a meeting to go to.  Maybe when I come I back I can finish this blog.

Nature or Nurture

Do you think influences our behavior most, nature or nurture?

It is an ongoing debate as to what matters most.  Is it the love, affection, teaching of your parents or is it your environment, society?  Both in fact are very important in your life.  You need the love and affection from your parents to build a self esteem, build confidence and be kind to others as a whole.  Nurture is the stem of the self.  Your parents teach you how to love and treat others with respect.  You learn to respect yourself and share the world with others.  Your parents are the teachers of society’s rules.  On the other hand you have the environment.  Some say the regardless of the nurture of the family you will be influenced by those around you.  Your confidence and self esteem is irrelevant to how the environment plays a role on your behavior.  You become influenced by society and behave in the way that the majority does in order to receive acceptance.  In other words, if your parents teach you to say no, you will more than likely say yes if those around are saying yes.

Both are significant in our lives but only one carries the root of the self.  That is the nurture.  Think about it! The first contact in life if your parents.  You have learned everything from them, trust, love, and society’s rules.  If their teachings to you have been of positive influence you will behave in such matter.  There might some negative encounters and influences, but if your self esteem and respect for the self are in place you will overcome any situation that the environment presents you with.

Accepting differences

Today at the gym as I was looking around and noticed all these women who were fit and looked like magazine models.  They had the hour glass figure and were working out.  My first thought was “man do they really have to be in here with bodies like that”.  But then I gave it a little more thought and accepted that maybe they were here to maintain what they had achieved from vigorous workouts.  So I continued working out and focused on the TV again.  Then again, I see this girl who I hadn’t seen in about a year since I had started working out in the gym.  She looked great.  She was a little over weight the last time I had seen her and now she was fit.  She looked like she had lost at least 30 lbs.  After the admiration I started making excuses as to why she would look that way and I still hadn’t achieve it.  I was a little upset, not at her, at me.  How is that she had come about to look the way she looked?  Well, since I didn’t know her or her life style I began to make excuses, for me.  I said to me “you could have looked just as good if not better, but because of your busy schedule and life style you are unable to”.  I began to justify within me to make myself feel better. 

What I found myself doing was fighting my aggression.  I had a reflection of my identity and was not contempt (id), I was supposed to have lost all this weight and look better (superego), but because I am under different circumstance I was unable to (defense mechanism).  So what I realized was that we are all different and I am should be happy for who I was (ego).

Stress

I was searching for some information about compulsive disorders and I was educated on the fact that daily stressers can be the cause of such disorders.  This video clears and helps us understand our behavior during stressful situations.

  • Stress contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and other illnesses in many individuals.
  • Stress also affects the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases.
  • Stress also contributes to the development of alcoholism, obesity, suicide, drug addiction, cigarette addiction, and other harmful behaviors.

Have you taken care of yourself today?

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