Your Wish Is My Command

I can’t remember what site I saw this on, but thought it was interesting to see the responses. If you had one “genie wish,” what would you wish for?

I think what makes the question tough to answer is that whenever we think of a genie, there always seems to be three wishes. That’s not the case here. Before you give your answer, let’s just rule out the wish for “more wishes,” too!

Here were some of the answers given by participants in the piece I read:

The ability to be fluent in all languages – past and present

I can see where this would come in handy.

Teleportation ability.

I can totally see wanting to do this! The money we’d save on gas alone would be worth it!!

Money

Well, you knew someone would wish for money. While it would come in handy, if it were me, I’d wish for just enough to get by. No need to have boatloads of it – it is the root of all evil after all.

Time Travel/Live Life Over Again Knowing What I Know Now

These two were separate answers, but I think they both kind of are the same. The problem I have with this wish is all it would take is one major change to your life (knowing what you know now) to change the rest of it. That would mean a whole different time line, as Doc Brown illustrates in Back to the Future II.

The Power To Be Invisible At Will

This reminds me of the “I’d like to be a fly on the wall” cliché. I think the reason someone would want this power would be to be able to spy on someone primarily. Personally, I have found that I’d rather NOT know what others are saying about me…

The Power of Shapeshifting

This one goes along with the invisibility thing. As a matter of fact, the person who answered mentioned that if they could shapeshift, they would become a dog or a fly or a cat or something that would go unnoticed when getting close to whatever they wanted to observe.

The Ability to Do Everything Perfectly

Wouldn’t this get old? Sure, I can see it being nice for some things, but for EVERY thing? This just sounds like the plot line to a Twilight Zone Episode.

Free Healthcare World Wide AND A Cure for Cancer

These two were actually part of the same wish – but is it really two wishes? Anyway, Free Healthcare would be nice and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want a cure for cancer!

Knowing the Answer to Any Question

As most people know, having ALL the answers isn’t always the best thing. Sometimes it is best NOT to know all the answers. I could see where this could work for good – and bad.

Never Having to Feel Anxious or Depressed

In other words, being happy? I can relate! While most of my anxiety and depression is gone, there will occasionally be a bout now and then. It’s not easy to be happy all the time, because sometimes life throws those curveballs at you. It would certainly be nice, though, to get rid of anxiety, depression, anger, and those other emotions that bring you down.

That Every Person Holding a Position of Power Would Have Empathy For Others

Wow! Yeah, that’s a good wish.

Two more and I’ll turn it over to you. One is silly and the other struck a chord.

A Magical Fridge That Always Gave Me Whatever I Was In The Mood For When I Opened the Door

This made me laugh. I also feel like who ever had this wish wanted a whole lot of alcohollic beverages in there …

I Wish I Never Had a Reason to Wish

Let that one run around in your head for a bit. THAT is a powerful wish!

Now – What would YOU wish for if you had just one “genie wish?”

Sending Them Up

Anxiety. Fear. Sadness. Unrest. Nervousness. Sorrow. Overwhelmed. Confused.

Any one of those feelings can be crippling. All of them swirling together are scary. With the wrong mindset, it can be devastating. Those feelings don’t hit me all at once often, but when they do, it is easy to try to figure it out myself. That never works. When I try to fix something alone, I just make it worse.

I can never do anything alone. I’m an imperfect being. I will almost always fail. So I remind myself of one of my favorite verses of Scripture:

Careful in the KJV means “anxious or nervous”. Don’t be nervous or anxious about anything. Instead, in EVERY THING – and I believe every thing means every thing – go to God. He knows the outcome before we do. The key is to take things to Him and TRUST that He’s got it.

So just like every day, today I go to Him. He knows what’s on my mind. I will trust that He hears my prayers and He will get me through. He will give me what I need to be the person I need to be for family and friends. He will provide.

A Two-riffic Birthday!

Yesterday, I blogged about it being Ella’s last night as a one year old. Today (2-10) she officially turned two! On one of the Facebook “dad” groups I am a part of, someone posted that “Time is a thief.” That is so true. I am still scratching my head and wondering how she could be two already!

On my way home from work, I stopped off and picked up her birthday cake. It came out perfect. I thought it was neat, because they hadn’t written the message on it in frosting. It was actually printed next to the Minnie Mouse design.

The store also had balloons, so I made sure to get a HUGE number “2” balloon to mark the occasion. I helped Sam hang the banner before work last night, and she did the rest of the decorations before bed last night.

She put up streamers and blew up balloons. She then set up Ella’s gift. I guess it is called a “nugget.” It folds, stacks, and such. I can totally see her and I having some fun with this thing.

When I got home, she was still asleep. I was surprised, because she is usually up when I walk through the door. It made the day even more special to be able to sing Happy Birthday to her when Sam brought her out to the living room. She was probably not really ready to be up, so when she came out she wasn’t quite sure what to make of everything. It didn’t take long and she was playing around with the balloons and her “nugget.”

Nickelodeon has a “Birthday Club” where you can schedule calls to your kids from their favorite characters. I had a call scheduled for her from the Bubble Guppies. She smiled when they said her name and wished her Happy Birthday. It was a pretty cute bonus to the morning.

I whipped up some birthday scrambled eggs for her with some cheese on top with a side of blueberries. As she enjoyed her breakfast, I headed to bed because I knew I would be up in a short while.

Ella had a doctor check up this morning and afterward, Sam took her to the Peppa Pig World at the mall. I slept from about 9:30a to noon and got up to head out and meet them there (about a 50 minute drive). She was excited to see me when I got there and she was running from one thing to the next playing!

Because of Covid, Sam and I have been very careful and really haven’t taken her out much. When I walked in, the place was loaded with moms and their “piggies” who were all over the place! My anxiety was through the roof. We must have been hitting the hand sanitizing stations every time we saw one.

She had a blast! We didn’t stay too long, and when we left, we hit the gift shop. Boy, are THEY raking in the money! We saw this Peppa Pig car that we have seen before at Walmart. That was the toy that she picked out. We plopped it on the checkout and it was like $35!! At Walmart, it was like $22. What a markup!!

There is a Build a Bear in the mall and we went to get her Birthday Bear. We did this last year, too. Personally, I like this year’s bear better. It seemed much softer than the one from last year. It is such a cool thing for kids. You pay the price of your birthday. She is 2 – the bear was $2. By the time we got done, the fact that it was naptime was apparent. She was getting cranky.

Sam stopped at Carter’s (which was right by the Build a Bear) to see about an outfit for her birthday pictures this weekend. Sam found an outfit for pictures and some St. Patty’s outfits for them. Surprisingly, she was unable to find a good Valentine’s Day outfit for them (which is probably a good thing and saved us like $60!).

One of my favorite pics of the day – the two most important ladies in my life!

Andrew was at Nana and Papa’s so Ella could go to the doctor. When we left, I drove back home to try to sleep a bit more. Sam and Ella left to go get AJ. Ella fell asleep on the way, so Sam (as most parents would do) drove around awhile in hopes of getting her some sort of nap. I finally got into bed about 3:15-3:30.

Ella got to pick what she wanted for dinner. She loves tacos from one of our favorite Mexican places. Sam picked it up on the way home and woke me about 5pm so we could eat and have cake.

This look! LOL!

After dinner, I grabbed the “2” candle, put it on the cake and brought it out so we could sing Happy Birthday. What was the first thing she did? She starts to grab the flame of the candle! Sam did the best she could to keep her still as we sang to her and then she blew out the candle.

I had a Microsoft Teams meeting I had to call into on my way to work. Normally, I would be there in person, but because I wanted time with Ella, I decided to leave later and just call in on my drive in. By the time the meeting was over, I texted Sam to see if the kids were still awake. (I usually do a video call before they go to bed.) She texted back that they were already in bed and asleep. Both were pretty wiped out from a busy day.

I still cannot believe that my baby girl is 2 years old. Time is a thief indeed!

Happy Birthday, my sweet Ella! I snapped this picture of you today and it is probably my favorite. There stands a little girl pondering what to do next. She is a little girl full of potential. She is a girl who is smart. She knows she is going to do amazing things – and she is planning just how to get those things done! God has blessed mommy and me with you. We love you as big as the world! We look forward to the many wonderful things you will do in the years ahead!

Daddy’s little girl.

Be careful for nothing …

I needed to read this verse tonight. The Greek word translated “careful” in verse 6 is (μεριμνάω) merimnáō. It literally means “to be anxious” or “to be troubled with cares.” Anxious is defined: experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. So the verse is saying “Don’t be anxious about anything!” “Don’t be full of worry!” It is easier said than done sometimes.

I haven’t really said anything on here or really anywhere about this, but I think my anxiety level is starting to rise a bit too much. Ever get that feeling like things are closing in on you? Feel like you are surrounded by things that are just out of your control? That’s kind of where I am right now. I’ve been in this place before, and have been able to get it under control. It just feels like the things I was able to do to get them under control, aren’t helping like they did before.

Admittedly, there are things that I know contribute to this. Lack of sleep, for example. I am just not getting enough, and won’t be getting enough for some time. With a baby on the way, and a toddler, I’ll be grabbing sleep in little chunks for a while. What is bothersome to me about sleep is that instead of getting my usual 5-6 hours, I am waking up a lot, usually from weird dreams. Then my mind won’t shut off long enough about other things to let me fall back to sleep.

I made the choice some time ago to stop watching the news. This really helped eliminate much of the barrage of Covid stories that I was seeing. Covid and just the fear and uncertainty that came with it led to me having a breakdown a year ago. Staying away from those stories helped. However, my phone continues to “ding” throughout the day and night with Covid stories from Yahoo News and other apps. Then there is the constant stories that friends share on Facebook.

Let me put it this way, I can see why many people are choosing to leave Facebook. There is so much misinformation, countless arguments, and hatred within my newsfeed daily. I have muted or snoozed many people because of it. That doesn’t stop it, though. Any time a post mentions “Covid” or “Vaccine” there is a link that automatically shows up.

Then you have the fight between people who are pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine. This falls into the same category as whether you should wear a mask or not. It is amazing how polarizing this is. It is almost as polarizing as what we saw during the past few elections. Pro/Anti Trump. Pro/Anti Biden. There has always been divisions in our country, but it seems that it in society today, if someone disagrees with you, it leads to hatred and violence. I know way too many friendships that have been broken because of the failure to “agree to disagree”

I digress. If I am being honest, I am beginning to feel overwhelmed again. I know that I shouldn’t, yet I do. I need to take those verses and focus on them. I know that is where I will find peace.

Remember the opening of the Twilight Zone where all the things are spiraling around?

That is how I feel on a daily basis and it is taking my focus away from where it needs to be! I feel like I am surrounded by Covid and cancer and the deaths that they bring about. I feel like the vaccine is being talked about everywhere – whether the talk is good or bad. Then we have all the stuff that is going on in the Middle East, Earthquakes and natural disasters. I seem to have daily conversations with people about whether or not we are in the Biblical End Times. It is overwhelming.

THEN factor in that my wife and I are are expecting a baby and the pregnancy has had its share of scares and worry. Those worries outweigh ALL of the others. As mentioned in a pervious blog, those worries were put at ease to some degree with the latest ultrasound. However, we have 8 weeks left and I still have some concerns.

My mind is one big muddled mess at times.

I am struggling to remember things. I zone out during conversations for no reason at all. I can listen to something or read something over and over and not comprehend what I just heard/read. I’m scared about some things right now. I will spare you the details of that.

I’m hoping to dig myself out of the rut and get back to normal. I have the support of my wife and family. I have the support of my Christian friends. I have God on my side. I will do my best to “let go and let God.”

Thank you for allowing me to vent.

Weekend Anxiety

The above sign can be seen almost everywhere these days. A similar sign was on the door of the restaurant my boys and I had breakfast at on Sunday. It obviously doesn’t mean anything …. In the past year, I have only eaten out twice. Once was for my anniversary (and they had everything set up perfectly for social distancing) and the other time was Sunday.

My boys wanted to go to Leo’s Coney Island for breakfast, and we met at 10am. When we walked in, there were only two table available (social distanced). There was a table across from us that had a sign on it similar to the one below:

About 10:30a, the restaurant starts to get a bit busier. People are beginning to wait for tables. One group of guys come in and none of them are wearing a mask. I made a comment under my breath to my boys about it and finished my breakfast. My sons were not quite done eating and a waitress comes over and removes the sign on the table across from us and seats the maskless morons at that table.

I could feel my anxiety levels jump out of control. I told the boys to put their masks on and we were leaving. I’m not even sure if they were finished eating. I was done.

Why bother with the signs on door or on the tables if they mean nothing?

I’d hate to think that we may eventually do what they are doing in the UK. Did you see this? They want to put in social distancing “lamp shades” over tables for people to eat at!

I mean, look at that thing! How can anyone enjoy a meal under that thing?? It’s like the friggin’ Cone of Silence from Get Smart!

I don’t think I’ll be ready to eat out again for some time ….

We Need A Little Happy…

Let’s face it, 2020 has kinda been a crappy year. As it draws to a close, many of us will be glad to see it go! Sure, there have been high points, but the bad has outweighed the good throughout most of the year. Covid-19, quarantine, the election, political ads (on TV, radio, and via text message), politics in general, loss of income, unemployment, businesses closing, to mask or not to mask, hate everywhere, and the list goes on and on.

The things we experienced this year have messed with the mental health of all of us. Depression and anxiety diagnoses have skyrocketed. We are going bananas being cooped up in our homes. We miss the interaction with friends and family. We miss being able to go and fellowship with our church friends. Our children are lacking personal interaction with friends. This year has left so many of us scarred for life!

I don’t know about you, but I am physically exhausted by it. I “snoozed” so many friends who were posting countless political things on Facebook. I had to. Come on, how many times has someone’s post on Facebook about an issue changed your mind or your belief about something? I understand that everyone has a right to their opinion, and I am entitled to mine. The wonderful thing about our country is that you and I can share different opinions and still be friends!

What amazes me is how there are some people who just can’t be happy unless they are voicing their disgust about something. Those things don’t even have to be “hot topic” things, like what I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. Here’s an example:

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook:

“What the hell is the matter with people? I can’t believe that people are already putting up Christmas decorations! Trees are lit and in front windows, lights are strung along the gutters, and the blow up Santa’s are sitting on lawns! Radio is already playing Christmas music!! Stop the madness, people!!”

My response to this is simply this: why is this such a big deal to you? Is it hurting you? How does a blow up Santa on the lawn of someone who doesn’t even live in your neighborhood affect your life? It seems like you were just looking for the next thing to complain about, and this was it.

2020 has so many things to look back on in disgust, so I welcome anything that would bring happiness! We could use a little happiness. We could use something to brighten our world. We need happy songs. There’s a song that says “give the world a smile each day.” Maybe if we spent a little more time smiling at one another, there wouldn’t be so much hatred in the world.

You know what? I’m not going to live my life like Debbie Downer (or whatever that SNL character was called). It’s pretty easy to find things to bitch and complain about (pardon my French), but it’s just as easy to find things to rejoice in. If you can’t find happiness – find a way to spread it! Be nice. Be kind. Smile.

To those who are already spreading joy with holiday lights – bravo! Thank you for making me smile!

To those who are walking around grumpy, angry, and looking for something to complain about…. take some advice from Bobby McFerrin: