It’s Sunday, August 28, 2011 today. There are 125 days left in this year. We’re in week number 34 of 52.

Re: Strengths and Weaknesses

While I was doing my weekly planning and making a pot of chili, it’s a football day at our house, so the chili is ready and it smells like home to me; consider that one of my strengths. I was pondering my life and my work, my family and friends and their personalities. The people I choose to be in my life and those that I have for the lack of a better term, cut out. I decided this…

I am… who I am, not because of where I was born or to whom, but by the people in my life that I value. I value my LIFE. I know that would seem to be a broad statement, if you didn’t follow this blog. If you do, then you know what I mean about my life with style. I’m creative to a point, not as much as my mother, but creative just the same. I hate DRAMA, some consider that to be my weakness. I live to be happy and love how I live. I surround myself with the people I choose and decide whom I will interact with daily. We all decide things in our lives and live with those decisions. Good or bad, we have to live with them.

On Thursday, September 1, my sister-in-law, Mary Metcalf aka Cookie will have her decided 65th Birthday, you may not understand the “decided” part, when she was born, like most births at that time, children were born at home. Mother’s suffered from various ailments anywhere from after pains to child bed fever. They blanked out the pain, losing long periods of time. Her mother simply couldn’t remember when she was born. It was somewhere between the 1st and 3rd. Cookie decided that she liked the 1st so that’s when she celebrates her birthday. It happened to my Grandma Dorothy, as well, so a few of her children have decided on birth-dates. Nonetheless, it is an important date.

I’ve heard it said, “Its funny how there are billions of the people in the world and only 365 days in a year, yet we are always delighted and amazed when we find out we share a birthday with someone.” I did look up some people that were born on my birthday, none really impressed me, I share a birthday with Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band, that’s pretty cool, but does it make us anything alike? Doubtful! Other than we are considered a Libra under the Zodiac Sign.

I’m a Libra born October 5 which is symbolized by the Scales and is a supposed to be a marvelous conversationalist. I think it really means that we just like to talk a lot. I’m not into Astrology at all, but like everyone else, I have read mine a few times. Mostly when I’m bored, but I do like that, someone takes the time to analyze these non-personal quips, like “You’re going to have a great day today, but avoid those people whom are in dark places.” Then I think, Dang, how do I avoid myself today? So, I usually tend to avoid the Charts. That makes my life so much easier. I do think that it does form our personalities. If we’re born in the Fall we tend to love the Fall, and gravitate to the things that are comfortable.

We surround ourselves, mostly with the people we have a lot in common with. I call this the “Bird’s of a Feather Mentality.” It’s so much easier to work with people that you have something in common with, such as those in your age bracket, your religion or politics or your group and/or family affiliations. I do have several friends outside those realms, which I tend to butt heads with, and yet, I never let that cause separation between us. I try to include everyone. Some relationships just take a little more work. The only people that I sever all ties with are those that I feel have betrayed me or my family and there are a few.

Recently, I was telling my cousin Sandy after a funeral, that I never go to someone’s house and disagree with them, but let them come to mine and it’s on. I’m going to tell them exactly what I think. My mom told me that it was rude to go to a man’s home and cause a problem. I see my blog, sort of like my home; a safe place. I don’t make people that disagree with me, take their and go home ball (although some I would like too), but rather ask that they give me some space to be me. You don’t have to agree with me, just let me think.

As a person who over-thinks or theorizes everything, as I was told, I’ll be 50 in October, an upcoming birthday offers me the guilty pleasure of self-indulgent self-reflection. It’s not birthday’s in general that make me pensive, or even turning 50, that should make me a little crazy, but it is the recognition that my year is about to begin again. I don‘t fear turning 50; I’m half way through a life well lived. I fear the unknown. What will this new year bring? A sign of weakness.

My sister Shirley was contemplating her absence, making her end of life decisions, and she was set back a little, by the fact that everyone’s lives would go on the same as before, just without her in it. I hope she can come to grips with that as well. It has been the downfall of many a philosopher.

I do tend to over think, over do and over compensate, rather than pick a careful path and circumvent it. The funny thing is the most significant insights seem to find me. It’s remarkable with the amount of information and observation that plague me daily, that there are some things that hit at just the right time. That stick.

The word “Homologate” means to approve; confirm or ratify. To register: such as a cars vendor or model identification number (make it an individual item). It’s what I commonly refer to as a two dollar word, which really just means to agree, to allow or to recognize as. I only mention this because, some off the cuff remarks made this week, mostly at my expense – that stuck. I cannot, nor will not, allow anyone to take control of my life or lineage. That which belongs to me. Whether or not I’m here or gone.

We will all be gone at some point and life will go on the same as before, just without us in it, but we can leave them that remain with the information that we had, and hopefully they will continue the work. A family by its very definition: any group of persons closely related by blood. We have that to carry on.

When I was accused this week of stealing someone’s previous research on the Family and compiling it with others, not giving them credit for what was theirs. Both adding to and taking away. I asked myself this question: Can you copy write a FAMILY?

I really don’t think so. No one can hold the rights to a Family history. It’s not a tangible thing that one can own. You can belong to it and be a part of it, analyze it, research it, even squander it, but you can’t own it anymore than I can own the 240th day of the year. No matter whom they claim to be or think they are, related to, their works or claim to fame, can take control of that group or families history. I’m saying, not even with a 2/3rds majority can you take control and decide what we can or cannot know about or have the right to know. Maybe the dark family secrets or the gossip you can manage to try to control, but nothing else really.

Many people bring many different attributes to a family. Take a family reunion for example. I just attended the Pearson Family Reunion, yesterday. Anthony didn’t want to go with me, even though it was his side of the family, but I went anyway, because I like them and wanted to hold Kim’s new baby.

I watched the younger ones playing the same games that we played as children, but admittedly a tad more organized, remembering that we’re a high tech world now. Instead of paper plates laid on the ground, they had red plastic safety cones and a prize for the winners of the three-legged race and the timeless task of carrying eggs on a spoon, among other classics games played. Of course, no child could resist the Indian Burial Mound; they would have to trek up the seemingly endless flight of stairs that ascend into the heavens. All while, the adults laughing, talking and filming every minute of it, on Tablets with a screen the size of a dinner plate. Nothing our Grandparents could have even imagined or hoped for.

Change is inevitable, but as the old adage says, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Families are about sharing fun filled events and being together, even if you don’t’ know half the people there, we still share. We’re related. That is what it’s all about.

I love holding new babies, watching the children play, eating too much and talking to people I rarely see, other than at these types of events. Our lives get hectic as we all go about our day to day, but we still need to take the time to be a family. Sharing, caring about one another and learning about the each other, remembering the past, keep those that have gone on before alive in our memories, as we cherish the new that will go on long after we are gone. That’s the way it should be. A time honored sequence of events all brought together by one word, FAMILY. Our hopes, our dreams, and our faith all tied up in a neat little package.

I would add this, “We’re all working toward the same end, but does the end justify the means?” You’ll have to answer that one for yourself. I always receive a great deal of comfort and inspiration from my family.

Our children challenge us all to get involved, you dared us to put aside our complacency and strife and work together toward the same end, our family.

You will never know how grateful and flattered I am that you make me part of your family, as I include you in mine.

Sincerely,
Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

It is better to wear out than to rust out. ~ Frances E. Willard

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