Sunday, October 26, 2008

On Sunday...

I took my chair and faced the sun to watch my daughter play tennis this afternoon and now I am sitting here with the lovliest late October sunburn you've ever seen. I love where I live. I can explain it best this way--My heart beats happier here.

I've been doing lots of contemplating here lately--mostly internal stuff--like what I want from life besides what I have right here at my fingertips. I think it's middle age creeping up on me and whispering in my ear and suggesting that I need to be doing something more. The problem with me is this: I always know more about what I do not want than about what it is that I want. I keep thinking that a plan will become clear if I sit still and listen, but so far--nothing. I will be patient. I am good at waiting.

The election is consuming lots of my time. I have made it a point to try to educate myself on both candidates because I want to know everything. I have kept an open mind and have read everything I can on both of them. I worry so much about the future. Not so much for me but for the world my children will live in without me. We're fortunate in that we've made wise financial decisions (we've saved and scrimped and have lived a life with our eyes to the future), but so many people are hurting. But where do we draw a line in the sand and say--I will do my best to care for my family but I cannot take on the rest of the world as well.

I cannot condone a "spread the wealth" mentality, when the road for us to get here has been difficult and not without lots of sacrifice. I think it's easy to sit back and think we have more than enough but no one knows how we got here--what we have given up to get here--the things we did not have or did not do because we didn't have the money at the time. I hate to think that the government might step in and say--you have more than enough, so SPREAD it around. Huh? It makes me angry and sad. We outright own our in paid cash for in no mortgage. I don't know anyone else my age who can say that. But we got here by starting off small and by sacrificing and with lots of hard work. No one ever bailed us out. We lived within our means while dreaming of something more.

My personal opinion is that education needs to be made a priority again in all our lives. I think education is the way out of poverty but it must be taken seriously to have any real impact. Parents have to get involved again on a very HANDS ON LEVEL--like checking homework and backpacks and knowing what is going on. My daughter took the SAT's a couple of weeks ago and when she was finished, she got into the car and told me that she felt sorry for a lot of the kids who took the SAT that morning because she could tell that a lot of them did not have parents who cared for them. I asked her why and she said that MANY kids were unprepared--they did not bring their identification or their admittance ticket and most did not know that they could bring a calculator, not to mention most did not bring No. 2 pencils. These requirements were written on the ticket.

As a mother, I knew this and made sure my daughter went prepared. I consider it MY JOB to help my children succeed and I do this by knowing what is going on as much as possible. How can a parent allow their child to go to take the SAT's without pencils or a calculator? It's mindboggling to me. We must do a better job of telling our children that a good education is the way out and the way up. I know that education is not the key to success for everyone, but it makes the road easier--it gives you options and opportunities that a high school drop out will never have.

My parents always told me that God helps those who help themselves. I believe that. We shouldn't be waiting for someone to swoop in and save us. We need to save ourselves.

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