We are all citizens — of various entities: A classroom, workplace, family, neighborhood, world and the nation. We are a country made up largely of immigrants. Unless you are of Native American heritage, chances are your ancestors came to the United States in search of a new life in a new land as citizens of the United States.
Life is a series of events, and they seem to be multiplying. I'm not referring to events like loading the dishwasher or combing your hair or walking the dog. I'm talking "Events" — the ones with a capital "E" — that are cause for celebration. Exclamation point. This category of Events used to be a manageable group — birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's and Father's days, and even Grandparent's Day, if you were so inclined. They included holidays like Independence Day, which have been around practically since the beginning of our country.
It's been quite a campaign season so far — the election, the debates, the issues and non-issues that somehow become issues nonetheless. It can be overwhelming. And disheartening — for me at least. The negativity and accusations and misinformation and misrepresentation and name-calling and scandals could be enough to discourage and dispirit a regular American — or at least cause her to consider a vacation from social media.
It started with an unexpected flash in the wee hours of the morning. Not long after, a crack of thunder pulled me from sleep as the clouds opened up to share their aqualicious bounty with the earth.
It's the trending Sunday sensation more popular than selfies in restaurants or commercials during the Super Bowl. In a word, it's fantasy football. According to the New York Post, via the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, roughly a quarter of the U.S. population played fantasy football last season. Millions of those aficionados were women. That includes two at my house — my daughter and me. (Who doesn't like a good fantasy?)
We're in the middle of a presidential election year (boy are we ever) and the nation is firmly focused on the next four years. What will they bring? Will things change, or stay the same? My household is experiencing a similar situation, although our focus has nothing to do with campaign strategies, polls or votes. We are staring down the nose of four more years— our last four. It's the number we have to go before our youngest son graduates from high school.
I've been contemplating character lately — not as it pertains to Mickey or Donald. I'm referring to character —what you stand for as a human being. To a large extent, your character defines who you truly are. And whether it is good or bad, strong or weak, your character is built over time through the actions and decisions you make.
We live in a culture where people fear shopping cart handles. To be fair, it's not the handles themselves. It's the germs residing on said handles. Germs can make us sick. Being sick is a logical thing to fear. So we wipe the handles with disinfectant and go about our merry way. Shopping cart handles may be a quirky fear, but that's only the beginning. Some people go to great lengths, and employ considerable superstitious behavior in their quest for a germ-free life. Sometimes I'm one of those people.
It's over. The wedding. My daughter and her new husband tied the knot in a whirlwind weekend of near perfection. The loving couple has been preparing for this for over a year. They were kind enough to allow me to enjoy an active role in the process. I am a planner by nature; my daughter inherited the planning gene. An upcoming wedding is pretty much the epitome of joy for planful persons like us. We dove into the process with gung ho glee.
We are entering the wedding stage of life — better put, re-entering. Since our own wedding, we've been on sabbatical, during which time we experienced all other stages — from the baby shower to the kindergarten and high school graduation stages and everything in between. Now, the cycle has come full circle and I do believe we're back to weddings. (Cue "Here Comes the Bride.")