Focus People – Focus

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On my last trip to Phoenix to help plan a wedding, give moral support to a downsizing friend, and search for an apartment with my daughter, I was driving around A LOT.  I began to think about all the roads I’ve driven on this past year.  I realized that I’m as guilty as the rest of us, thinking about number five on my list while driving, instead of concentrating on the number one thing I’m doing – driving.  My observations: FOCUS PEOPLE – FOCUS especially ON WHAT YOU’RE DOING!

You wouldn’t apply your mascara while performing brain surgery or doze off when pouring cement for an expansion bridge, would you? And what about the people reading a book while driving?  Seen it…

Why do people think speed limits and stop lights are only a suggestion?   And as witnessed on every 5 hour drive to Arizona, 16 wheelers CANNOT stop on a dime, so please don’t try and prove they can.

Why oh why are people, like moths, attracted to lights? I’m talking about the flashing lights on the side of the road?  Aren’t the people involved in those incidents humiliated or hurt enough?  It’s like the roll-over accident I drove by recently; the cars ahead of me caused another accident by looking at the original accident which happened on the opposite side of the road,  geez….

It’s said that in California, people (I’m now one of them) are crazy drivers. Perhaps it’s pent up frustration, since driving on some of the freeways takes over 5 minutes or more to go one mile when at the average speed of 65 mph it should take 55.38 seconds. In defending “some” of these people, the D.O.T. (Department of Transportation) needs to understand that it takes a lot of concentration to follow the painted lines instead of the paving seams.  This is not ok, because yes, it sucked me in …

LA Road

Trying to Focus in LA

In Arizona the normal speed people drive is 10+ miles over the limit. I think it’s because people are afraid their tires will melt when it’s 110⁰.  But in reality – PEOPLE – tires melt at around 752⁰, and it hasn’t quite reached that temp there, yet…

When I’ve driven the speed limit in the suburbs of Chicago I feel like I’m speeding, but realize people have been conditioned. The cars that drive into the city, on the toll roads, are usually moving around 5 mph so… driving 10 mph under the speed limit on a surface street IS like speeding to them.

In Colorado driving at dusk or dawn is like playing the old Frogger game. You’re always trying to avoid the deer and elk who love to dart across the road, JUST when you’re approaching.  My daughter, who lived there, called the cute little deer “so annoying” because they like to stand in the middle of the road and stare you down.

I think that the grills on ALL cars should be redesigned to look like they’re smiling.  Thank you Mazda for initiating that plan.  People would always be happy when they’re driving to and fro, because how do you not smile when someone or something is smiling at you?

Don’t even get me started on the texting thing… I do appreciate that California and 13 other states enforce the hand-free ruling. I use Siri to text or call people for me, and apologize if she inadvertently calls you a slut or insists your legs are hairy.  My diction may not be the clearest into my headset, when texting.  Perhaps we should build texting lanes, like the ones they just produced in China for walkers who text.  These traffic lanes could have five foot walls on each side so those who text would mess up only their cars.

When texting focus is completely lost

Photograph by Associated Press

And what about those “tagging” artists who embellish abandoned buildings in the desert or underpasses in the city?  Why hasn’t some graphic company rushed out and hired them? The artistic talent found throughout my drives was pure talent!  (Oops, I must not have been actually focused on driving when I noticed this…)

By:  Classic Film

By: Classic Film

Multi-tasking is assumed to be a good thing in society, but in regards to driving, it is NOT. Bottom line – I was told when I first learned to drive that I was driving a 4,000 lb. weapon, I can see that now.  I can see that because I’m working on FOCUSING PEOPLE… FOCUS!

Grateful for you,


The Lessons from 9-11

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Sunset Towers

Lesson from 9-11

Today there will be A LOT of stories written about the sadness and the horror.  There will still be people blaming this party or that and the cursing of people’s political beliefs or religions.  Have they missed the lessons that were given to all humans, that day 13 years ago on September 11?

My observations on the lessons from 9-11…

People were incredibly kind on that day and the days that followed.  The sense of loss enveloped everyone and how reverent we all became.  After coming to grips with the thought that it could never happen here, in our beloved and protected America, we became humble.  We came face-to-face with the far-fetched thought that an action, out of our control, could strip us of our lives, families, careers, and bank accounts.  This caused us to become genuinely caring humans on that day and the days that followed.

Dialogues were opened with families, friends, neighbors, and strangers.  We held our children, spouses, and parents a little closer understanding how precious life is and how in a blink it can be gone.  As a neighborhood we stood by the playground hand-in-hand with strangers, taking turns sharing our own prayers.  Walls we created, cinderblock or imaginary, were removed and we began to see each other as humans not as adversaries or strangers on that day and the days that followed.

When I drove on the nearly empty highways people drove slower, more conscientiously, with more kindness and patience.  Politically driven news stations reported the same thing, with the same angle, with the same truth, not slanted in any one direction, just head on reporting of what had happened on that day and the days that followed.

People talked about the quiet that seemed to emerge on that day and the days that followed.  There was no laughter from children playing outside; no sounds from airplanes and even the birds seemed to stop singing.

On that day the whispers of prayers, the sound of tears falling and millions of inconsolable thoughts had been released into our landscape and with the whoosh of humankind emotions, the land had been silenced.  Did disaster remind us — abruptly — in the silence — to pray, reflect, and apologize on that day and the days that followed?

Have we let the noise and numbness return and replace the feelings we felt and how we treated one another on that day?  Did we remember those lessons on the 4,748 days that followed?

I’m thinking today is a perfect day to reflect, regroup and realign our priorities and remember the lessons that were given to us, the ones that should never be forgotten, today or the days that follow.

Grateful for you,


** In memory of the souls lost in 9-11-01 **

Here’s an incredibly special talk given by the son of a terrorist which was just carried on  I think every child on this planet should hear this gentleman speak.

Zak Ebrahim: I am the son of a terrorist.  Here’s how I chose peace.




Did I Teach Him Enough?

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Did I Teach Him Enough?

Crayons courtesy of dhester

September 1st always marked the beginning of school for me.  And even today I love watching the children scoot up and down the aisles in the stores picking out the perfect #2 pencils (well maybe it’s a tablet now) and stocking up on way too many spiral notebooks.  I long for the smell of crayons just out of the box and the hunt, with my daughter, for the ‘perfect’ backpack.

Sending the children off to the hands of teachers who have the patience of saints –  was a bit of a relief, but in the back of my mind I knew my school year, had just begun.  I’d be the hall monitor at home; homework first and play second.  They’d need snacks to help their brains and bodies grow, so I’d be the cafeteria lady and develop inventive ways to keep them fortified.  Being active was a building block to focus and creativity, so I’d be the water-mom carrying and transporting them to practice and games.  I’d be learning right along with them, everyday, what anglerfish are or how Sitting Bull died and we’d be researching all of this at a library since we weren’t hooked up to the internet back then.  We were teaching them, as a team – school and family – how to live their own lives, intelligently, physically and in a healthy way.

Both of our children have graduated from college, so I’d like to offer this to all those moms who can’t wait to get those little learners off to the bus and who may have an ingrained fear that they may not be ready.  Here are my thoughts 7 years ago when leaving our son at ASU for his freshman year at college….

Today I did what so many of you have done before.  Today I moved my first born into the dorm at ASU, leaving him with sheets, aspirin, towels, water and a couple thousand other items. Did I teach him enough?  Did I teach him to be kind enough, resourceful enough, and courageous enough?  Will he eat enough, sleep enough, and study enough?  After pondering the word “enough”, I discovered when broken down it spelled “one hug”, and that’s what he gave me before I walked out the door.  As I stood in the hallway, I turned and saw him give me one last smile, which turned out to be, just “enough.”

Remember they’re gone in just a breath… Enjoy their journey!

Grateful for you…