Good News

I read an article last night that came across my Facebook page. It was about a 2-year-old girl named Hazel who’s been in the oncology ward of a children’s hospital for several weeks, battling a high-risk Stage 3 neuroblastoma. Her family spends a lot of time there and they try to keep her feeling happy and upbeat. A few weeks ago, her grandmother visited and shared a time when she was in the hospital and put a message up on the window of her hospital room.

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Photo: Hope for Hazel/Facebook

The little girl was waving out the window at passersby, but nobody was waving back, so her family decided to put a message up on the window. Using tape, they wrote: SEND PIZZA, RM 4112. A passerby saw the note, snapped a photo of it, and posted it on Reddit. Pretty soon, the hospital was inundated with pizza, so much that they had to begin handing pizzas off to the nursing and other staff, and Hazel woke up to the wonderful smell of hot pizza and had a pizza party in her room. Look at that smile! Isn’t it beautiful?!

This is the kind of thing I like to read in the news; the kind of story that makes you take a second look at your fellow Earthlings and wonder why more people aren’t more kind more often. To see the results of a simple pizza order–the grin it put on a 2-year-old little bald girl’s face–we should all strive for those results. Every. Single. Day.

I don’t subscribe to a local (or national) newspaper. I haven’t for at least 10 years. I first stopped my subscription to our local paper because the writing was so atrocious–or at least the proofreading. I’m a bit obsessive about spelling, grammar, punctuation, and typographical errors, especially in the media. People trained to deliver the news should deliver it as accurately as possible, and nothing bothers me while reading a professional publication more than finding errors. [My favorite was the brochure for my local community college, which offered a course in “Pubic Relations.” Ugh! That’s just unacceptable!]

I do have some news apps on my phone, and I do try to catch the news on a regular basis via my phone or CNN; but sometimes I’ll go days without it, not due to grammatical and spelling errors these days, but simply because there are so few uplifting stories. There’s always a “trial of the century” or a natural disaster or a terrorist bombing, and they’re always overblown and sensationalized, which I find offensive. News anchors should be reporting the news, not making it into a hyped-up reality TV show.

smileyI pay attention to the news and try my damnedest to not let the media color my own perception of the facts. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what really matters and what is just “fluff,” added to make the story more sensational. It seems as though modern media thinks we need crazy headlines and a sensational “name” for everything that happens… Do they not think we’ll watch a news story about a deadly tornado in the Midwest if it doesn’t have a flashy title like “Horror in the Heartland”?

I love the feel-good stories, but they seem so far and few between these days. So every so often, I find myself visiting sites that share good news, and I’ve provided some links below. I’m going to make it a point to visit those sites more often, to remind myself that for all the bad things that happen in the world around us, there are also so many many good things that happen as well.

Good News Websites:
Daily Good
Good News Network
Good News Planet
Good News | Huffington Post
Good News | Today
Happy News
Inspirational and Positive News | ABC
Positive News
Positive News US

Journaling

I know I’m a blog abuser. I’ve had so many websites and blogs over the years that I have let fall by the wayside that it’s ridiculous. I know for a fact that there are a few pages out there in cyberspace that I had started and forgotten about. Every so often, I come across one and in reading it, it brings me back to a specific time in my life–maybe a dilemma I was dealing with or a new artsy-crafty thing I was into–and sparks my imagination and creativity anew.

Lately, I’ve been wanting to write more, to tap into that scrapyard I call my brain and pull out something good, something worth writing/reading, and so I’ve been dedicating some time to myself for writing, setting aside an hour (or two or three) every day to dive back into some old pieces I’d started and never finished and see if I can get them going again. As well, I’ve started doing writing exercises, giving me something to work on when the muse just isn’t singing to me.

I know I’ve posted some fictional writings on this site from time-to-time, and I probably will again at some point, but I thought it might also be time for me to turn this into a “real” journal and so I’m going to try to write more regularly here as well. I found some journaling prompts and I may use those when I’m unable to think up anything on my own;) Like today…

The Mistake You Never Want To Make

This prompt made me think of all the things I’ve said over the years that I never wanted to do or say. It’s difficult sometimes for us to keep ourselves in check, to avoid saying or doing the wrong thing, especially when we’re upset or angry.

Anyone who knows me and who’s read my blog knows that my mother and I have a strained relationship. Part of the reason for this is that my mother’s outlook on life is (and always has been) very negative. She rarely has a nice thing to say about anyone or anything, and being around her can be tiring.

I promised myself long ago that I wouldn’t fall into the same pattern, that I’d always try to find the silver lining and see the good in people and situations. For the most part, I think I’ve managed to do just that. Granted, I’m human and we all have times where things seem so dismal that it’s difficult to find the positive, so there have been times where I have played the “Oh woe is me” card.

My mother is miserable. I don’t think I have ever spoken to her and not listened to her complain about my sister or my brother or my grandmother or my nieces/nephew or this person or that person. The few times I have said something to her about it, like “Wow, Mom, is there anything GOOD going on?” she turns on me. To say it’s stressful is an understatement. What follows then is her calling my sister to complain about me. It’s a vicious cycle.

I see the results of that cycle too. My sister and brother and I have slowly over the years distanced ourselves from our mother. Her negativity has impacted each of us at various times in our lives. As we got older, we began to see how being raised in such a negative environment had colored our own outlooks and opinions and, thankfully, have been able to change our thinking and to adapt ourselves to living in our own worlds.

I see the results as they pertain to her as well. She is alone and miserable most of the time. She will complain that her kids don’t care about her, don’t pay her enough attention, never do anything for her. We used to. In fact, we all used to bend over backwards for her, but instead of appreciating what we did for her, she focused on everything we didn’t do for her, of all the ways in which we “failed.” There are only so many times you can hear what a horrible person you are before you stop wanting to be around the person who’s telling you that.

One of the things I have said many times over the years is this:

There are approximately 7 billion people in the world. If you don’t have something nice to say to someone, then walk away and find someone among the other 7 billion people on the planet to whom you CAN say something nice. Life is far too short to be an asshole. 

I truly believe in that message. Sure, sometimes it’s hard; sometimes someone does something that pisses you off so much that you just want to explode. I can understand that. I’ve been there. But the more often we are able to walk away, the better off we are, and the less likely we are to say something we might later regret.

I struggle sometimes with my decision to limit my time with my mother; I wonder sometimes if I am contradicting what I believe–should I be trying harder, should I be trying to see the positive in my relationship with her instead of turning away from it?

I don’t know the answer to that. I only know that I spent the better part of my life doing that and nothing seemed to get through to her, and the only thing I got in return was the pain of her telling me I was a failure. Sometimes the only way to rebuild confidence in oneself is to turn away from the people who are destroying it.

I tell myself it’s her loss, and in a lot of ways it is. I have a wonderful relationship with my mother-in-law, the kind of relationship I honestly wish I could have with my own mother. But at the same time, I’ve yearned my entire life to have a relationship with my mother, to have her just once say “Good job, I’m proud of you!” Eventually, I just gave up.

Life is too short to focus on the negative in our lives. We should all strive to be good to one another, especially to those we love because we may never get another chance.

Let me end my blog with ten positive things in my life:

  • my husband
  • my stepson
  • my pets
  • my friends
  • my house
  • my job
  • Barq’s root beer;)
  • a car that runs
  • tickets to Wicked in Boston next month with my sister and oldest niece
  • tickets to NecronomiCon next month with my hub