Homebodies - Leader of the pack…

By Rita Friesen

Neepawa Banner & Press

There has once again been a change in my family structure. I am privileged to have grandchildren share my home, this time bringing a cat and two dogs.

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Observation - Sept 21, 2018

By Addy Oberlain

Neepawa Banner & Press

How many material possessions do we own? I can’t believe that this is all mine when I look at the boxes that drape my walls in the living room, the dining room, my bedroom and office.

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Homebodies - This is not a good day

By Rita Friesen

Neepawa Banner & Press

The wee lass was asked to put on pants. She was used to the comfort and ease of shorts, but the weather required warmer clothing. Her choice was to put on her pants or not go to the playground. Putting on pants won.  As she was trying to put them on as she remained standing, she listed severely and slowly toppled over. The voice was clear and concise –‘ this is not a good day.’

I thought about that. To a child of four, putting on pants and tumbling over makes the day not good. It is her perspective and she is entitled to it. She shook off the emotion and enjoyed the afternoon.

There are days that many of us feel could be better. The day the car dies, or a pet!, stress at work, ill health, tight finances, - many factors contribute to not a good day day! Some things are truly minor and we should shake it off  and enjoy the playground.

One of the men from our framing community, when asked how things were going, would cheerfully reply –‘could be worse!’. As the conversation would continue and some of the facts of his day unfolded, one wondered how it could be worse. Knowing that of course it could be worse. We were all upright and speaking.

Another, older than me, gentleman would always say-‘As long as you’ve got your health.’ When I was young I had no idea of the deep truth to that saying. The older I get the better I understand and appreciate that truth. When one has set backs and failures there is a chance of a successful redo if you have the health to work hard and dig in. Most times.

There is a difference between a day being the worst day of your life- and that changes as we age!, and not a good day. When I was young the worst day of my life was a variable- failed an exam, broke up with a boyfriend or fought with a best friend, to, indeed the day the family dog died. As I got older, it took an event of greater impact to make a worst day. The day I recognised that my first marriage was toxic and I needed out. The day a child struggled with our definition of normal. Then, the day that ended the competition for the worst day forever, the day my partner of forty years and one day died. After that there have been not good days, but that was the worst.

I go back to the original scene. A little girl wanting to go out to play but needing to put on her pants first, and then the frustration of the fall. She did go play and had a wonderful time. I want to learn from that. I want to remember that when things may not be going my way, to put on my pants and go. The day will get better if my attitude does. Most times. Rather like laughing at myself when I locked myself out of my home!

Faithfully yours - Life changing attitudes: Part One

By Neil Strohschein

Neepawa Banner & Press

In his book “Life is Tremendous,” the late Charles “Tremendous” Jones urges his readers to build two habits into their lives. “The first,” he writes, “is to ‘Say something positive to everyone you meet.’ The second is to ‘Read something positive into every situation you encounter.’”

Now I won’t, for one minute, suggest that doing this will be easy. I know, from a life-time of personal experience that it isn’t—and the older I get, the harder doing the above becomes. So why would I write about the importance of having a positive outlook on life? Because I am tired of living in a world where some people excel in the ability to complain to everyone they meet about everything they see at every chance they get.

Now I will admit that the previous statement is extreme; but I have used it deliberately to make a point. Over the years I have noticed that the more people have, the more they want. The more they want, the less they can afford. The less they can afford, the more they complain. The more they complain, the more they fill their world with negativity.

So I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised when we see this same attitude displayed by those who hold the highest offices of leadership in our country. In fact, our political system thrives on people who complain. When was the last time you heard of an Opposition MP or MLA who commended the current government for doing something right? We’ve had a flood or two in Manitoba since then. Or have you ever heard a Government Cabinet Minister commend an Opposition MLA for having a good idea or making a valid point in Question Period? I have—once—many years ago—in Alberta.

You and I can’t change what others do, but we can refuse to be part of the GMC (Grumble, Murmur and Complain) Society. We can, beginning today, make two significant changes to the way we view the people and conditions around us.

First, look for the positive things in life—the blessings you have received; the food, clothing and shelter you enjoy; the rights and freedoms that are yours because you live in this country—privileges that others in our world know little or nothing about.

Most of all, look for and be thankful for the people in your life who, by their words of encouragement and acts of kindness make coping with serious challenges much easier. Fill your mind with thoughts of these gifts and these people. It will radically change how you respond when people ask you “how you’re doing” today.

Second, do your best to convey a positive outlook on life. You don’t have to lie in order to do this. If you’re having a rough day, admit it. People will understand. We’ve all had our share of them. But don’t dwell on it. State it and move on. Be thankful for those who cared enough to ask how you were doing and for their words of encouragement or acts of kindness that just made your day a little better.

Finally, remember that you are not alone. You are part of God’s world and God is always with you wherever you go. He is fully aware of every need you have and every challenge you are facing or will face today. And he is ready to help. So be hopeful, live by faith, keep smiling and stay positive—your attitude will make a powerful impact on those around you.

Observation - September 14, 2018

By Addy Oberlain

Neepawa Banner & Press

It is an amazing site to see the leaves on the trees change its color and fall on the ground.

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