Dont touch me! STRANGER DANGER-STRANGER DANGER!

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You know, lately I have been feelings as though our world has been going to hell in a handbasket! ( Yeah I know it’s a dated expression) 

But nothing and I mean nothing has sent me further over the edge than the following story!  It received little coverage, little debate and apparently WE as a society have said this is ok!

Really?

Before Betty fires up her stove as smashes down her ladle please read, enjoy and if, as a parent, future parent or aspiring to be parent you don’t feel sick to your stomach than maybe I am just getting to old and outdated for today’s society.

 

Huffington Post D.C.

Maryland School Bans Hugging: St. Mary’s County Public Elementary Schools Ban Hugs, Birthday Party Invitations And Homemade Food (UPDATED)
Posted: 03/18/2013 1:22 pm EDT | Updated: 03/21/2013 4:51 pm EDT

From the same state that suspended a 7-year-old for turning his Pop Tart into a Pop Tart shaped like a gun, comes a ban on hugging.

Southern Maryland Newspapers Online reports on the new guidelines for visitors, parents and students for St. Mary’s County public elementary schools:

Birthday invitations should not be handed out at school, Hall said, because students who are not invited could have their feelings hurt. She said school PTAs could develop phone and email contact lists, with parents’ approval, to distribute.
Foods for celebrations should be limited to store-bought items that contain ingredient lists so as not to interfere with children’s food allergies, according to the rules.

Parents visiting the cafeteria should not hug or touch children other than their own, nor should they discipline other children, the guidelines say. Parents should also not walk with their child when he or she leaves the cafeteria.

Other changes include limiting recess visits for parents, prohibiting visits from siblings and a new ban on approaching teachers in person to schedule meetings. Visitors must also now check in with the front desk and have their photo taken. The complete list of rules can be read in the Best Practices on School Visitors document.

The rules were chosen by a panel of parents and teachers over four meetings.

To the best of our knowledge, the school has no current plans to ban Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or award-winning books.

This isn’t the first school hugging ban. Schools in Oregon and Florida banned two people wrapping their arms around each other in 2010. For a variety of reasons, the act of expressing emotion with physical contact was also banned in schools in New Jersey, Brooklyn and New Zealand in 2012.

Are you freaking kidding me! I cannot walk with my child, I can only hug my child and not his best friend who looks to me as a father figure! I cannot comfort a child who has fallen and is crying in the hallway as a concerned adult! Or assist the lost and crying child out front who can’t find their mommy! I am sorry but what the holy HELL!

Yes that’s right ladies and gentlemen your local PTA and school board are taking our little futures and pushing them one step closer towards assimilation! Lets teach our children to continue down a mired pathway of insensitivity, callousness and just plain cold emotion! Dont you dare point that bony finger of judgement at me for being angry! You all want to persecute the bullying child yet in the very same breath teach that love and compassion are forbidden within school walls?

You say we need to embed kindness and diversity but let anybody hug a child other than the proposed finger printed and background checked parent during a prescribed time and place tells of the exact opposite! We all need to emphasize the importance of sharing, giving, and respect! But unfortunately now when your child needs love, attention and emotion, a teacher can only remove them from class, point them towards Broom Hilda the school nurse ( no offense to all the wonderful school nurses out there just a reference since your hands are now tied as well) who then sets them on a cold fiberglass chair while mom or dad are notified of their childs emotional needs!

No that’s OK American school systems! Lets continue down this blasphemous path of callousness, coldness and anguish! Yes sir! Move forward (separate subject but tied to this subject just the same) with more of everything is the “teachers” fault! No personal responsibility on the parents behalf! Lead the way school administrators with your obvious collective of higher educational thought process by continuing to pander to a lowest common denominator by punishing the caring, the thoughtful, the loving, and the watchful eye of parents who care about not only their children but all children because we know, and remember the pain and hurt associated with being a small child alone in a large place such as school! Now not only will little ones become callous and cold but as they age they will have learned to show no emotion or caring when another child is hurt or scared! Instead laughing, pointing fingers, verbal assaults and even pointing thier little cell phone/cameras to video, then placing this travesty on You-Tube for amuesment!

Oh wait; that is already happening! I digress….

Heres and idea, and yes I am now going to lump my hatred for our school system allowing parents to blame their teachers for the lack of education their precious little bundle of joy may or may not be receiving as opposed to reprimanding parents who cannot be bothered to raise their own children with manners such as, oh lets shoot one from the hip here; RESPECTING YOUR FREAKING TEACHER AT ALL COSTS!!!

Yes I am wandering off again, grrrrrr, so back to my brilliant simple idea: There is an old saying which I still adhere to this very day. “It takes a village”.  If a child needs a hug-ask if you can give them a hug! Then point them in the right, responsible direction! (I know images-1shocker huh!) If a child is misbehaving in class; give the teacher back the power to reprimand said student! Man if I was rude or disrespectful to a teacher in my day… POW! I got it when I got home! If we don’t teach our children to respect teachers RIGHT NOW they are going to grow up disrespecting all forms of authority! It starts with parents, then teachers, moves up to bosses, cops, firefighters, employees, and right on down the line until we (society) just ends up having no respect for anyone or anything! This is simple human nature people!!!

QUIT QUIT QUIT ALLOWING OUR SYSTEM TO PANDER TO THE LOWEST OF THE LOW! Yes the boogy man is out there! Yes everyday a child will disappear, be molested, murdered, hurt, and bullied. Do I want that? NO! Does it make me furious? YES and it should you as well! Is the answer taking away human compassion from their little psyche’s? NO! The answer lies within us! Stop thinking about how this (raising our children properly) inconveniences us as adults! Quit expecting the school system to do it for you! Stand up for your children! Put away child molesters for life! Anyone who harms or murders a child needs to be put away for life! Send the message this society will not run scared! This society will not allow this to happen anymore without dire consequences! This society will no longer tolerate bad or inappropriate behavior from children as well as adults.

UnknownWe all need to put our foot down and say: I AM MAD AS HELL AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!!!!

These children are our future! Do you want our future filled with continued callousness, disrespect and hatred for all who walk this earth! If so then I see no other alternative but to lay down and let the Terminators bring us to extinction.

Where are you John Connor when we need you?

Am I crazy, am I wrong? Lets get to talking about this for I feel as though we are on the precipice of social collapse and all we are willing to do, is stand by; let it happen and point a bony finger, because it is obviously someone elses fault.

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Betty needs a hug!

UPDATE, March 21, 4:45 p.m.: Southern Maryland Newspapers Online reports that the no hugging rule was only meant as a suggestion.

St. Mary’s public schools are backing off immediately implementing rules for visitors that initially limited homemade food and hugs for students from anyone other than their own parents, Superintendent Michael Martirano said this week.
What were called “best practices” for school visitors outlined at a school board meeting last week should have only been recommendations, he said, and they were incorrectly announced as new rules that would go into effect immediately.

Lets keep it going people! This school district came to thier senses but others remain in effect and even more have implemented or are about to implement this type of distorted thinking!

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A Confederacy of Spinsters

no-means-No“She was asking for it.”

I thought we were over this idiocy, America. I thought we’d moved on from the old thinking that if a girl acts “slutty” or “wild,” then whatever happens to her from thereon out—whatever horror may befall her or evil may prey upon her—is her own fault. If the coverage of the Steubenville rape trial is anything to go by, however, I was wrong. This is still a conversation we need to have. FINE.

Let’s do this.

You know who doesn’t deserve to be raped? A drunk girl. Just because a woman decides to let loose and drink alcohol, doesn’t mean she should expect sexual assault. The Steubenville case isn’t a cautionary tale of partying, it’s a cautionary tale against assaulting an unconscious or delirious woman. Women shouldn’t have to be warned against going to bars alone or leaving their drinks unattended. Sorority girls shouldn’t…

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A head in the sand

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Oh life would be so infinetly grand, if I lived it like most with my head in the sand

There would be no hunger, there could be no strife

Each day would bring joy not the taking of life

Those who are accused could do so un-judged

A mistake forgotten a reputation un-smudged

Oh life would be so infinitely grand, if I lived it like most with my head in the sand

Women would be considered on the same plane

While chivalry stayed true our manners not tamed

Equality for all would surely make us smile

While punishing those who are striving will cease bringing denial

Oh life would be so infinitely grand, if I lived it like most with my head in the sand

Politicians would serve one or two terms

Then return to normal jobs and quit leaching like worms

With my head in the sand people’s voices are heard without wealth’s dictation

Our appreciation for those who stand tall would be with just admiration

Oh life would be so infinitely grand, if I lived it like most with my head in the sand

Military members are held with the highest regards

While convicted criminals, thieves, scoundrels are called just what they are

Our monies to taxes are used for just purpose

Our budgets are balanced and left with a surplus

Oh life would be so infinitely grand, if I lived it like most with my head in the sand

We’d care for one another like brothers, like sisters

No fighting or bullying, emotional scars bulging like blisters

A country as one that’s just what we’d be without our heads in the sand like you and like me

Oh life would be so infinitely grand, if I lived it like most with my head in the sand

The cost of a gallon gas would mean nothing to me

With my head in the sand I am rich I am free

Everyone would drive their vehicle of choice

Burning clean, or electric,  we all have a voice

Oh life would be so infinitely grand, if I lived it like most with my head in the sand

A house we could own, or rent, a place we could live

The banks couldnt screw us with money to give

With my head in the sand, all lending is fair

Interest rates don’t matter, bankruptcy is rare

Oh life would be so infinitely grand, if I lived it like most with my head in the sand

a world without over population that is where we would live

No starvation, no hunger, no diseases to give

All Gods children have food and fresh water, clean clothes for their backs

Not milk cartons for shoes, their lives lived from a sack

With my head in the sand life will bring me no stress, what do I care about life’s ultimate mess!

I will stay here not heard from, content uninspired. A life filled with darkness my selfishness mired. For you see it’s not my problem, and soon my life will have passed, with my head in the sand the world see’s only my ass.

That is the legacy I’ll leave far behind. A life truly wasted, time spent so unkind. For the selfish only center themselves on one thing.  With my head in the sand I am my own king.

If any of the problems I have listed above, make you crazy, or ring true. Then your head is not in the sand, hurray! Good for you! Now do something about it for time it is fleeting!  Then we can share stories at heavens gate, where one day we all will be meeting!

God put us here for a reason and it’s not to be sedentary. Make a change, do some good, I promise it’s not too much burden to carry.

LIFE IS MUCH BETTER WITH YOUR FACE IN SUN!

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Can you? Could you?

 

Today, if you will indulge me; I feel as though I need to take a little break from writing about the trials and tribulations that befall a family of six living on a farm.

There have been no postings from me for a few days now because; well to be honest I have been in a bit of a funk.  Then last night it hit me, after a long conversation with a dear friend, my brain flooded into neural overload and like riding a DeLorean back through time, images once again began to appear. I don’t like it when they arrive as they do so without cause or care, but it was at that moment I realized it was time to write about them.

These images are like none anyone would ever want to see.  They haunt me from time to time and ruin just about every moment of my life in some strange way or another.  They come and go as they choose, sometimes in the middle of the day, other times late at night.  When I am asleep they wreak havoc upon my subconscious awakening me to sweat, cold and fear.  Some nights they are so real I have to walk our house, stepping into every room while telling myself; “it is just a dream.”  There are other times when nighttime dreams become so bizarre it seems they should be uses as the basis for writing a novel. As though notes should be created, characters molded and then reap the rewards of a story well crafted.  But even as bizarre as they can become I am still able to recognize the truth within their core.

As many of you who follow my blog know I am a firefighter.  As a firefighter there are certain things we just don’t talk about amongst ourselves or our family.  Or when we do we try our best to find the humor in a sad or sick situation.  Laughter has always been the best medicine and if we can find just one thing humorous about any incident we then take a moment to laugh at ourselves eventually feeling better about the outcome. We (firefighters) also refuse to discuss these “things” outside of our close-knit circles. Leaving the general public in the blind, it is done out of fear for the reaction it may evoke. But truth be told we are our own worst enemies, therefore I am about to break that rule and hopefully you will understand why in the end.

Death, dismemberment, murder, burned and injured people, the stupidity of human nature, sickness, physical abuse (spousal, child, partner etc), drug dependency, alcoholism, and the myriad of sick and twisted things human beings can do to each other and themselves. Not just once in a while, not just what is perceived as truth in the news, but on a daily basis.

We see it all, and no matter how much we try, what we see never goes away and there is nothing anyone can do about that.  Oh sure we have Critical Stress Debriefings (CSD) to help us deal with our emotions.  Everyone sits through them and nods their heads like sheep (me included), each one stating we are “OK”. We have councilors at our disposal, both through our agencies and as part of our health care package, and they do a fine job of once again helping you to understand the basis for your concern, the pattern behind your thoughts and a mental picture of how to evaluate then project the positive image you desire hoping to remedy a current mental hindrance.  But the fact still remains the same. These “things” we see never go away, burned in our skulls for eternity.

When starting in the fire service 18 years ago us probationary firefighters lined up for a presentation from our Chief.  He proceeded to tell us there were incidents we would never forget and mental pictures that would stay with us for life.  Our job was not for the weak of heart and over the length of our careers would weigh on us heavily.  As young cocky cadets we laughed that nervous laugh that so many young people do when puffing out their chests to show manly superiority.  Then afterwards we all joked around with comments like; “that will never happen to me” and “what kind of wuss would ever be sickened by blood and guts”.  Then off we went into our careers to face the unknown secretly praying we WOULD see it all! Just to prove him wrong.

And over the years I have seen plenty and it hasn’t been pretty.

Now I am not complaining by any means! I LOVE my job! It really does define who I am as a person. This career has become everything I ever dreamed it would be and there a thousands of people we have helped during the very worst day of their lives. But over the last couple of years with all the budget constraints, people losing their jobs, and money becoming tight, we (firefighters) have consistently come under attack from the general public, politicians and just about anyone who has an axe to grind. I don’t mind, what I have done, what my fellow brothers and sisters have done over the years far outweighs any mealy mouthing some politician can do. But when its the public, the very people we care about, or when its people you actually know who live within your response area and have protected for many years with pride. Well I don’t care who you are it just hurts. 

So let me move forward by saying, this job has never, ever been about money, (although I found it interesting today that a sheet rockers income per hour is double mine)it has never been about the reported “days off” even though we work almost double the reported “easy 10 day schedule” we supposedly keep.  This job has never been about the retirement. Although, never will I cower and lower my head as so many do when the topic of our supposed “Golden ticket” retirement comes up.  Like we as firefighters should be ashamed of the retirement system we fought so hard for and “hold onto your hats people”; paid for out of our own pockets! Not 100% funded by the people’s money as continually reported by those willing to throw our futures away! Yes we can retire at 50! So what! Statistics show time and again the majority of us will be dead from carcinogenic cancers, blood borne pathogens, and heart attacks within 10 years of retirement! And the majority of us won’t get the luxury of retiring at 50 anyways! It’s just an option there for the lucky few who have 30 years in by 50!  The vast majority of us will work until we are 60-65!

But even after all that, even after we have been bashed for being recliner sitting, engine polishing, self-proclaimed heroes who live off the tax payers dime! I wonder if any of them understand the little mental gift we have all been given from minutes, hours, days and years of seeing the things we see? Is there a dollar amount for that? Is there? Then I wonder while their mouths are engaged and their self-absorbed brains are frozen could they do it? I don’t mean the job, but live through the after effects? Could you? Can you? Seriously, I am not trying to be malicious or indignant or even belittling, but could you?

Can you stand in your driveway watching your son drive away knowing the number one cause of teen deaths their first year behind the wheel is vehicle accidents? Then have your mind flooded with horrible images from every accident involving teenagers you have responded to over the last 18 years resulting in death, dismemberment and sorrow, transposing your sons face upon those that perished and their ghastly outcome!  Can you sleep when he isn’t home yet? Will you stay calm when you can’t get a hold of him on his cell phone, while more images pound at your brain? Could you?

Can you board a plane without starting to sweat and sit quietly during engine throttle up without a care in the world while secretly you are observing every exit, profiling people’s personalities so you will know if this plane goes down who you will have to be very direct too while helping get survivors off the plane.  Or are you able to make the flight without multiple panic attacks about it plummeting into the ground killing all aboard.  Can you sit there and not picture a fire churning its way down the center aisle, burning people while you stay low, trying to figure out how to help? Can you?

Can you hold an infant enjoying its very innocence without wondering when it will die? Seeing in its eyes the very infant you tried to save gasp its last breath of air, taking it off its dead mothers chest. Holding it, trying not to cry because you know the end is near for this precious being.  Handing the infant off to a transporting agency after doing all you can then shrugging off a feeling of helplessness and proceeding to the next victim during triage and perform your job flawlessly? Could you, would you?

Can you crawl through blazing hot temperatures in 50 pounds of gear without being able to see your hand in front of your face?  Feeling your way through a burning home, counting your time inside, monitoring how far you have gone, trusting your training and your partners skills. Hopefully finding the seat of the fire rapidly, stopping the beast from growing.  You sweat, curse and pray, sometimes it’s so hot it drives you to the floor, on your belly, but you are close so you press on. Then when it’s over you sit looking at the degraded building and its cheaply made materials that fail in half the time from a mere 20 years ago and picture the roof collapsing on you and your crew.  The Chief coming to your house, sitting your wife down and patting her hand while she cries because you are gone. Your children are fatherless, your wife is a widow and you are no more.  Can you think about that? Can you?

Can you watch your family time and again go on trips without you because you don’t work an 8-5, Mon-Fri schedule? As they turn out the driveway you are reminding them to please call if there is any trouble, to call when they arrive, to call whenever they go somewhere, anywhere.  Why? It’s not because you don’t trust them it’s because where ever they go you need to know if trouble lurks around the corner. You hate feeling this way but you do! Whether hiking, bike rides horse back or even plays dates in the park. The moment they are gone, can you let them go without seeing disaster strike at every turn? Can you?

Can you ever go to a barbecue and not smell burned flesh? Can you?

Can you perform CPR in front of an entire family sometimes successfully, sometimes to no avail and not feel moved by the crying, children sobbing, wives praying, husbands asking why, while holding the newest member of the family? Can you sit with a husband who just lost his wife of 45 years and hold his hand? Tell him you are so sorry while only having an inkling of the pain he is about to go through all while knowing it wont be too much longer now until you respond to him passing away as well? Can you hold a daughter whose mother just died in front of her from a diabetic reaction. Can you do that until the father gets home then go through it all over again? Can you turn and tell a family grandpa has gone and how sorry you are but there was nothing you could do to save him? Can you?

Can you give medical treatment to an abuser without prejudice? Could you?

Can you look a little girl, dying of cancer in the eyes time and again telling her it’s going to be ok? She knows you are lying, you know you are lying, but strangely it makes you both feel a little better. Then watch over time as she fades away, eventually succumbing to her disease and feel some remorse, somehow attached or remotely responsible? Can you do it?

Can you pull up to a random medical aid just in time to watch a man pull a hand gun out and shoot himself in the head? Then rush to his side without worrying if he is still alive and may shoot you! Then calmly do your best and try to save his life?

Can you bury a friend and honestly say he is in a better place when all your training couldn’t save his life and you know the suffering he went through before perishing?

Can you drive down the freeway without wondering what car is going to crash, what bridge is going to collapse, what semi truck is going to jackknife. Whose car is going to survive the crash, how many people are going to die? Where are you going to swerve to avoid the problem? Do you do this?

Can you lay your head down at night and not fear the sleep that comes?

Our job is one we love; we do it because believe in the power of helping those who cannot help themselves! We are a myriad of Type A personalities, we are born to be helpers, genetically it is who we are. Yes we knew what we were getting into.  But what we didn’t know or possibly could have fathomed was the lifelong effects it would have on us, our marriages, our children and our ability to look at the world through innocent eyes.  Something every one of you possess whether you realize it or not. Something (my innocence) I would give anything to have back.  But in the long run I can’t have it back! I gave it away when I took my oath and there is no getting it back.

The other night I received an honorary coin during our annual awards night dinner for saving a life.  I have been a part of a crew who has saved a life (on record) every year since 2007.  Does that one coin make up for the countless others lost? Are we supposed to live by the mantra “people die every day what are you going to do”? I just don’t know anymore.

People tout us as heroes. We aren’t, we are like any other trained profession looking to use the skills we have acquired. Everyone needs a hero and I am ok with the title if it eases someones mind, but when I think of true heroes I think of our military! Men and women who wake up everyday, put on their boots and stand up for our country at all costs. Some people bag on our job, put us down, disrespecting our failures and our accomplishments. Yes everyone does have the right to their opinion it is a cornerstone to our countries foundation.  But before they run their mouths giving a public perception that is both false and unjust, I wish once they could see life through my eyes or the eyes of the millions of brothers and sisters walking this earth everyday feeling the very same way I do, carrying the same burden, shouldering the same load and doing it with a smile on their faces.

Could they carry this burden? Even for a little while would be nice.  Can you? Could you? Would you?

Thanks everyone for letting me vent. I am no greater than the person beside me, God created me that way for a reason. Maybe someday I will be by your side as well, giving you comfort and helping you in a time of need.

To those who walked this path before me I have and always will be in awe of the leather boots I fill… 

“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even of supreme sacrifice.”

Chief Edward F Croker FDNY (1899-1911)

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FTM*PTB* EGH* RFB

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My Words of Wisdom for the Day

 

 

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Staring out upon my property this morning a wicked little smile crosses my face. For you see 3 years ago I stood in the very same spot, staring, wondering what to do, where to start or how I could possibly AFFORD to create something viable for our family from this plot of land we own. We asked for advice from “people in the know” and “industry specialists” all which were solely looking out for themselves.  We asked for advice from friends and family members and were inundated with wonderful suggestions as to how we should proceed. But my gut continually said no it wasnt right, (thank you honey for being patient with me) so we waited.  We were offered many different options financially to create and mold our place to look like other places we had seen on television and in magazines. But again procrastination ruled the day, we waited because a little voice in my head wouldn’t let it go, wouldn’t allow me to make a commitment and jump off that financial cliff.

Watching, learning, listening and helping some dear close friends who continually have created the same dream only to rebuild time after time due to unfortunate circumstances was my greatest advantage.  Their wisdom and experience helped shape our priorities and strengthen our resolve. It could be done, it would be done and when we finished, hopefully we wouldn’t owe the bank a dime, we wouldn’t have to worry about making ends meet and we could enjoy the daily fruits of our labor.  It’s taken hard work, the days are long and we have given up a lot of our free time once spent camping, boating, swimming, and fishing to other projects.  WE are nowhere near finished, but standing here today I can see what it will look like when its done.  Something I couldn’t have envisioned before.

There is no place I would rather be on this earth.  No place I would rather call home.  I am surrounded by people I can truly call; My friends!  I am surrounded by a crazy wacky family that drives me insane but I love them more than any words could explain. Now I am surrounded by more horses than I know what to do with, but that’s ok. Each one of them has a personality of their own, each one of them has good days and bad days, each one of them brings the same smile to their owners heart as they do my face.  They all feel like my own and I care about every one of them, they are treated them like family.

So where does all this gushing lead to when it comes to Wisdom?

With hard work comes great reward! If you want it bad enough it doesn’t happen RIGHT NOW, this instant, as so many of our generation believe! You are not entitled to a house, property, a business or even a pot to piss in! What you are entitled to (thanks to God) is the ability to wake up every morning, dust yourself off and MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN!

Use your brain, sweat, work and extend the muscles the good lord gave you, if you can’t figure it out then ask, read, or take a class! But most of all remember life is hard, it takes hard work and DEDICATION to achieve your dreams. No one and I mean NO ONE is going to drop it in your lap.

Tomorrow if my whole world collapsed that would be fine, I would be sad, but it would still be ok. You know why?

Because the very next day I would get up, dust myself off, thank the good lord for the experience, write out a plan and do it all over again.

If you read these words and take them for bragging, patting myself on the back or gloating then you will never understand who I am as a person, my purpose, or this “wisdom” I have bestowed upon you because you obviously have heard it all before, you know everything and therefore my words have fallen upon def ears.   Just saying…

Carry on that is all…..

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