Small Acts Of Kindnesses Are Needed Beyond Christmas

For some reason the Christmas season brings out our giving spirit and a feeling of altruism. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could incorporate that spirit of giving year around? I think it  would be a wonderful idea if everyone wrote a phrase on their calendar or appointment book as a  reminder. The phrase could be “A Small Act of Kindness”.

This week I was reminded of how small a gesture can be to make a huge impact on someone. Turned out that one moment in my life this week lead to one, then  another, then another, then another.

I was invited to an open house where everyone was given a pie to take home. I avoid sugar, so I needed to find a home for this delicacy. I remembered that I had an acquaintance living near by who was the soul care giver of her husband who has  dementia. In a few minutes I was knocking on her door with pie in hand. I got a full-bodied smile and an invite in for a long visit.

I first met my friend while attending a weekly quilting group who made covers for charity. During our visit she told me that she had a friend with lots of sewing and quilting supplies, who was wanting to donate to some group, who could put her treasures to good use beyond the small group she attended. I told her about the Linus Project. They makes quilts and blankets for children in hospitals from ages birth to eighteen.  Then I told her about a mother whose daughter was incarcerated in a women’s prison here in WA. The prison  has a program where they teach some of the inmates how to quilt. All of the supplies are donated. The quilts the inmates make go to charitable organizations. One special feature of this program is that after the inmate has finished serving her time, she is allowed to chose a quilt she has made and take it home with her as  reminder of her accomplishment. ripple effect

These   slivers of  “An Act Of Kindness”turned into a ripple effect. A gift of a pie was re-gifted, then information was shared that would help someone share her treasures and touch sick children and women trying to improve their lives. Both The Linus Project and the women in prison would both end up reaping rewards. What ever charity received the quilts would also reap the rewards of the donations and  time volunteers spent creating the quilts. Plus the inmates would have the opportunity to learn some life skills that would be at their fingertips for the rest of their lives.

“Acts of Kindness Moments” Do not have to be costly or spectacular. I remember another instance that happened this past year. I love to make soup but get tired of eating it for a week at a time. I have never leaned to make a small batch. My husband once said that in a past life I must have been an army cook. Anyway, I got a light-bulb moment one day when a pot was ready for the fridge. I put a hefty portion of my soup in a container, jumped in the car and picked up a packaged salad, a jar of pickled asparagus, a bottle of apple cider and some cookies from the grocery store, and surprised my friend and her husband with dementia with a surprise dinner. You would have thought I had brought her a Prime Rib Dinner by her reaction. Her gratitude humbled me.

I hope many will take my suggestion and consider putting that short phrase “A Small Act Of Kindness” somewhere where it can be a reminder. I can almost guarantee that the giver’s heart will sing louder than the receivers will.

Posted in Act Of Kindness, Cause & Effect, Emotional Health, Friendship, Holidays, Mental Health | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

I See You

I think everyone could find someone to say these words to that are shared here. The Year is about to end. I think reflecting on the past year and letting family and friends  know how special they have been could be a great thing to do between Christmas and New Years. There is sometimes a let down feeling during this time. This might be a great way to counter this and turn a negative into a positive. Friends and family are not mind readers. People with mental problems are just individuals with a special set of circumstances. The message here is not just for them, but for everyone. ………………………..

A Mind Divided

Sometimes it takes a shock to wake up.

Yesterday I was slapped into a deeper appreciation for all the kind, generous and courageous people in my life.  I see you, and I’m so very grateful for you.

Thank you for doing the hard work with me of untangling our misperceptions so that we can see each other more clearly.

Thank you for sticking with me when I’ve scared you.

Thank you for teaching me what kindness looks like.

Thank you for understanding when I disappoint or fall short of your vision of me.

Thank you for being a role model of Not Taking Things Personally.

Thank you for your humor and making me laugh out loud when I need that most.

Thank you for coming to me when I’ve hurt you so that I can make amends.

Thank you for hugs, and Kleenex, and open invitations.

Thank you for all…

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Posted in Bipolar, Cause & Effect, communication, Emotional Health, emotions, Family, Friendship, Healthy expressions of love, Holidays, Life Process, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mindlessness, Society, Support for Seniors | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Teachers Become Friends?

The transition of a teacher-student relationship to one of friendship is sometimes tricky to accomplish. Both have complex parts. I see Teacher’s  as having a special kind of power that is not a part of a healthy and productive friendship.

In a learning environment there is an unspoken agreement or contract that the teacher will share knowledge, often based on facts, or specific concepts, that the student needs to accomplish his or her goals. In some ways the teacher needs to be somewhat detached from personalities and may seem impersonal. A good teacher is objective.

A friendship is more subjective and personal. Good friendships are built on trust and respect. Great friendships allow differences in the individuals and don’t allow those differences to interfere with their connection. I call this the element of tolerance.

I Have two examples that highlight how tricky it is to transition between the two and some additions thoughts.

I have been seeing a Nutritionist for over ten years, and we have become fast friends. I now have to travel two hours, one way, to see her. We keep in touch by phone, send texts or have face to face visits frequently. When I have an appointment with her she pencils in one hour for the consultation and one hour for us to visit and catch up on what has been going on in both of our lives. There is no hint of a power struggle between us. There is ample trust and respect between us. We both have acknowledged that we feel a kind of sisterhood. The “teacher” and “friend” are clearly defined and completely compatible.

The second example involves a professor at a university and his student, named Matt, who were in a communications undergraduate program focusing on journalism and creative writing. The professor took note of Matt and spent some years following him and mentoring him in several areas. During Matt’s senior year he and the professor began working on some projects together, both at school and outside of school, and became, what both referred to, as friends. They worked on the university’s  newspaper together and spoke or saw each other almost daily, sharing life events from each other’s present and past experiences. Matt was clearly the professors “Star student”. Matt was encouraged to apply for a slot in the department’s Master Program by his teacher and friend.

At one point Matt was asked to research and write an editorial on something current in the political world and submit it to the school newspaper for publication. He did, and the professor went ballistic when he read Matt’s work. Evidently Matt’s’ piece went against the professors personal beliefs. From that day on there was never a personal exchange between the two.  Matt reached out several times, thinking the storm was temporary. Not only did the “friendship” end, so did the teaching and mentoring aspect that they shared go by the wayside. Matt was replaced on the school paper. A week later Matt got word that he had not been accepted into the Masters Program. Matt realized that what he considered a friendship was no more than an illusion. He figured out that he had been viewed as a protegé, an extension of his professor, and not a friend in the truest sense of the word. Friends have the capability  of being tolerant of differences of opinions and can be  respectful of one another by setting those differences aside. Matt went on to enter another  Masters Program at another University and did exceedingly well. He never forgot the lessons he had learned under his professor. So some good did come out of this story.

There are other reasons why Teacher-Student  relationships do not transition into friendships. Teachers and mentors usually have many students. It is impossible to have the time to “friend” them all. They can however keep in touch from a distance. I once had an English professor, in a writing class, in a Junior College, who offered to proof any thing her students wrote, after the course was over, if they were trying to get their work published. I thought that was very generous. One student in that class was encouraged to write technical papers in her chosen field. I hope she continued and called upon our professor to help her as a mentor.

So, yes a teacher-student relationship can transition into a friendship, but I think it is very rare. There is a different set of requirements for both. One seems more technical and fact based, while the other tends to be more subjective. “Time” needed and spent for both is usually different and a concern. Some needs to be set aside for a friendship to survive. I see “Power” as being a huge hurdle to get past. The elements of tolerance, power, trust, and respect have been touched on in these stories. For a friendship to emerge a lot of all four need to be present. They  provide a feeling of safety, which is paramount in a successful friendship, in my opinion.

I look forward to writing more about “FRIENDSHIP” in the future.



Posted in Cause & Effect, communication, education, Free Speeh, Friendship, Journalism, Mentoring, Politics, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

When Panic Attacks Here is What You Can Do

I believe people suffering from mental illness need all the support their family and friends can give them. They need to fill their “Bag of tricks” with ideas to help them survive any holiday that triggers extreme ups or downs for them. I am honored to re-blog this information.

Write into the Light

Symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • Racing heart
  • Shallow, rapid breaths
  • Tunnel vision
  • Sweaty palms
  • Feeling faint
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Fear of going crazy
  • Crying
  • Shaking, tremors
  • Irritability
  • Increased sensitivity to sound, lights, touch
  • Inability to focus or concentrate

There is usually a precipitating factor or something that has caused or is causing the panic attack to occur. Or fear about future events or a future incident can incite an attack.

One way of dealing with it is to distract yourself from thinking about said event by reading a book, watching a show or playing a game. Draw, paint, listen to music or go for a relaxing walk. Find something to distract youself from your anxiety producing thoughts.

Another way to cope is to take a short nap. Sometimes your brain just needs a break and it is okay to give it one. Just make sure not to overdo this one…

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Posted in Bipolar, depression, Emotional Health, emotions, Fear, Health care, Holidays, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Panic Attacks, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bipolar Anxiety or Bipolar and Anxiety

I believe any support and information to help any people who have problems getting through the holiday season is worth sharing. This is a great re-blog in my opinion.

Write into the Light


Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme mood episodes ranging from mania to depression.  Anxiety can be a symptom of bipolar disorder as stated by Dr. Emil Kraepelin, back in 1921.  The International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) also claimed that anxiety is a symptom of bipolar disorder in a Task Force report on “mixed states” in bipolar disorder.  They described this anxiety as:

  • General hyperarousal
  • Inner tension
  • Irritability/impatience
  • Agitation
  • “Frantically anxious”

Individuals in mixed states may feel increased energy and have racing thoughts while also experiencing hopelessness and despair.  They may have insomnia and increased risky behavior but also feel empty and blank inside and have unexplained crying spells.

While anxiety can be a symptom of bipolar disorder, it can also be a separate condition in addition to bipolar disorder.  Having more than one condition or disorder is referred to as “co-morbid” and basically means that the…

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Posted in Bipolar, depression, Emotional Health, emotions, Holidays, Medical Profession, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Society, Therapy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Here is an update on a blog I published several years ago, that I think still holds true today.

I remember how I was feeling the day I wrote the original blog. I was feeling old and sad. Here are some updated thoughts from then. I am amazed at how good I am doing heading into the holiday season this year. One choice I have made is to not zero in on any specific expectations and just let life happen. Another biggie is to not get drawn into things I have no control over. I wish I had followed this years ago.

I have some wonderful interests that make me happy, that need no one but me to engage in. I still quilt, read, and work on “Hard copy” pictures albums I started a few years ago. I hope to finish the nine soon. I have found Flickr as a place to save and share photos as well.

My Blogging has taken off. I love doing it. I have piles of  notes and files for future blogs. I cover many subjects that interest me. I still talk about my take on being Bipolar, but that subject does not dominate my writing. I took a two-year break, because I blogged primarily about my being bipolar and got a pretty good following. The stories of followers affected me negatively, because I felt their pain. I have since learned to read painful stories and not let them become a trigger.
I have adjusted to being “Old as dirt” and not being able to travel. Facebook keeps me connected with family members and friends who are computer savvy. I telephone those who are not. I have three great-grandchildren that keep me entertained with pictures their parents post.
I live mostly in the present, where my power is. I think learning to love myself unconditionally has helped.  I fill my mind with positive, “Self Talk”. Whether I am having a good day or a bad day I honor who I am, and how I am feeling, and keep on keeping on. It seems to be working. I cannot remember a super low or high episode  in a long time. I do not let disappointments derail me as they once did. I consider that a miracle. I hope everyone reading this will take their power back and “HANG ON”  when things look bleak around the holidays. There is probably much joy hanging around the next bend. If sadness pops in, honor it and allow it to pass. If the sadness involves people who are no longer alive concentrate on when they were here and remember and honor them with your memories. One great activity is to write those memories down for future generations to read. That is turning a negative into a positive on the highest level, in my humble opinion.


Holidays change over the years depending on age and circumstances.  I am a senior and Bipolar, and those two thing color my emotions and feelings of well-being.

My extended family lives in TX, CO, AZ, and CA. My kids, grandchildren, and great grand children, who live within 30 miles from me, are busy with their activities. I moved to my present location over four years ago, and I haven’t connected with many people who are beyond casual acquaintances. I have slowed down a lot due to my age. So the holiday season is not anything I look forward to.

Years ago I decided what special days were important to me personally. I came up with my birthday and Mother’s Day.  The other days took on a different meaning for me. I consider Christmas to be the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. A family meal is a nice addition. I give to…

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Posted in Bipolar, Blogging, Cause & Effect, depression, Emotional Health, emotions, Family, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Human Nature, Humor, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Social Media, Society, Therapy writing, Writing as therapy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


This Blog is from a new blogger and Facebook friend of mine. She hit this one out of the park,  in my opinion. She is on fire with her insight on many subjects. She is in two think tanks I am also a member of.  They are World Think Tank and Chandler-Gilbert Think Tank on Facebook. Anyone can read their content, but only members can leave comments. I invite all to consider joining CGTT, win awards on your journalistic writing and get invited to join WTT.

Sigrid's Blog * America Then and Now

The following article is another “addition” to the controversial  opinions of Americans about whether or not standing for the Anthem and/or respecting the American Flag by 

Joy Villa 

“The national anthem stands for freedom—even the freedom to do foolish things…like protesting the national anthem.

But, like my mama always said, just because you are free to do the wrong thing, it doesn’t mean that you should.

Starting in 2016, some professional football players have refused to stand when the national anthem is played before a game. Some of them kneel, some of them sit on the bench, some of them raise their fist, and some don’t even come out of the locker room.

This was all started by San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick. His idea was to protest the alleged mistreatment of black people by police—and by America in general.

As he put it, “I am not going to stand…

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Posted in America, American Flag, American History, Football, Free Speeh, NFL, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment