Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Celebrating Birthdays...

Why is it that so many people say, "I'm too old to celebrate my birthday anymore." That makes no sense to me, just like having a huge birthday bash for a one-year old makes no sense to me either. It's not like anyone remembers their first birthday, or their second, third or fourth birthday for that matter. I think it makes sense to celebrate more with each passing year, particularly as we get older.

Today is my birthday....my 55th...and the official celebration began this past Saturday when my sweetie brought me coffee in bed (that's usually my loving task), and the little treats and surprises have been nonstop ever since, culminating with a get-together with friends this weekend. (Actually, the celebrating started a few weeks ago when my friend Richard treated me to the theatre.)

My loved ones understand that I embrace life, particularly now that I am walking the downside of the hill. This shift in my perspective hit home when I turned 48. Up to that year I felt I could always double my age and see the possibilities...living to be 80, 86, even 90. But 96? Not so much so...and now 110? Why would I want to?

The older I get, the more young at heart I feel. I rarely fret the missteps. I refuse to give up my dreams. I am not afraid to be silly. As George Bernard Shaw said, "Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children."

Celebrate your birthday with vigor each year. Don't let the kids have all the fun.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

Words "Re"Defined...

A few weeks ago someone asked me to give them an example of redundancy.
Redundancy, I said, is living in a mobile home and vacationing in an RV.

So I thought I start a new feature called Words "Re" Defined. Today's word is:

Hedgehog: Goldman Sachs' VP Fabrice Tourre.

Do you have your own unique definitions? Share them with me via the contact form at http://www.ritaschiano.com/category/Contact_Rita/c16.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita "Re"
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Saturday, April 17, 2010

About Apologies....Part Two

Several people commented on yesterday's blog entry via my Facebook page. I'd like to address one comment in particular. Ljo Aktiv wrote:

"What if there is supposed to be apologies from both parties and only one has given their apology? (Even if some people have said it is not a proper apology.) Isn't the other party who is being apologized to obligated to offer a counter apology for their part that started this whole explosive exchange of words? Just curious how this whole etiquette thing works in situations like this!"

Good question, Ljo. In The Last Lecture Pausch stated that if someone owes us an apology, we should not let that be the focus. Our focus, rather, should be on who we owe apologies to because of what we have done. He further explained that some people may not respond to our sincere apologies, but more often than not, most do later down the road. People need to be at that right emotional place.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Friday, April 16, 2010

About Apologies...

There's been quite the brouhaha in my tiny town lately about what constitutes an apology, so I thought I'd share some insights I gleaned while reading Randy Pausch's book, The Last Lecture. (Video of lecture below.)

In the chapter "A Bad Apology is Worse Than No Apology” Pausch writes a “bad apology is worse than no apology” and that when we hurt each other – intentionally or unintentionally, it is like an infection in our relationship. So, no apology would be like letting the infection continue and the Real Apology would be like the antibiotic. The reason a bad apology is worse is because “it is like rubbing salt in the wound.” Examples:
  • ‘I’m sorry you feel hurt by what I have done.’ This type, he states, indicates that you are not really wanting to put medicine on the wound)
  • ‘I apologize for what I did, but you also need to apologize to me for what you’ve done.’ ( You really wanting an apology and not asking for one).
A proper apology, Pausch writes, has three steps:
    1. What I did was wrong.
    2. I feel badly that I hurt you.
    3. How do I make you feel better? ( pg. 162, The last Lecture, by Randy Randy Pausch, 2008)

Pausch made me think of the halfhearted attempts I have made, where I have not been as sincere as I should have been with my apologies. Even more disconcerting is the thought that I may have offended someone without knowing it, for I know at times I can be brusque.

To be responsible and accountable for one's words and actions, to apologize well and to remember to do it when warranted is vital to maintaining strong, sincere, and healthy relationships.

Thank you, Randy, for this valuable life lesson.

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Randy Pausch was a professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In September 2006, Pausch learned that he had terminal pancreatic cancer. He gave an upbeat lecture entitled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co-authored a book called The Last Lecture on the same theme, which became a New York Times bestseller. Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Believe It Or Not, You Can Read This....

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg.The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde
Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the
olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit
pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a
porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by
istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Beef With The News...

Those folks who know me really well know I am famous for talking back to the television. And lately, I find myself saying, "Don't you newscasters know the meaning of news?"

By definition, "news" means "a report of recent events; previously unknown information."
Webster (thankfully) confirms what what I thought....previously unknown information. So, why is it, then, oftentimes the nightly news (11:00 p.m.) is nothing more than a rehash of the Afternoon Report ( 12:00 p.m.) the evening news at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., followed by the morning news (6:00 a.m.).

Okay...I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Man, Rita, you watch way too much news."
Guilty. Truth be told, I'm a news junkie. I crave new information. And like most junkies I need my fix. But recycled news is akin to having a drink at lunch, spitting it back in the glass, and drinking it again with dinner, then before going to bed, and once more first thing in the morning.

Would some news director out there kindly explain to me how it is that within an eighteen-hour time frame, only the same 3 or 4 events happened in my state, in the country, in the world? Honestly...nothing else occurred? Nothing? Granted, I'm no math wiz, but isn't that a statistical improbability?

Maybe John Verrilli or Andrew Vrees can explain this to me? Or, since I'm a consumer of news, maybe I should give a shout out to Hank?

"Help Me, Hank!

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Never Too Old...

A friends forwarded this to me and I just had to share it with all of you.

An elderly couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years; the gentleman will be 90 this year.

"To remain young while growing old is the highest blessing." -- Unknown

"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." ~Samuel Ullman

Today's questions: How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Benefits Of Soy Candles

A study by researchers at South Carolina State University found that "paraffin-based candles — the most popular kind — emitted toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene." Most traditional candles are made from paraffin wax which is nothing more than refined crude oil.

Soy candles burn healthy without carcinogens or toxins and they burn longer than petroleum-based wax. Soy candles are soot free—they don’t create smoke or leave black soot behind. And they are environmentally friendly and biodegradable.

I'm fortunate to live near Sturbridge Candle Company. Their candles do not contain harmful dyes and are made from 100% soybean wax. Owner and candlemaker Joyce Stocks creates the most amazing scents too!

If you are in the Sturbridge-Brimfield area, make it a point to stop at the Sturbridge Candle Company (which, by the way, is home to the Green Thumb Florist too). They are located on Route 20 in Brimfield, ab0out 1 mile over the Sturbridge line.

And if you are not in the area, visit their web site, http://www.sturbridgecandle.com/ and have these terrific candles shipped directly to you. Check out their soy soap, too. Smooth and silky on the skin.

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thoughts On Teaching...

Since I first began teaching back in 1978, (Whoa! That even stopped me in my tracks!), I had a great appreciate for those students who chose to go back to school in their later years. I met such a person at Miami University while doing my teaching assistantship. Her name was Barbara, she was 20+ years older than the rest of the students in the class (as well as me).

I think I learned more from Barbara than she did from me, specifically in regards to life lessons. I was awed by her dedication, drive and discipline.

Today I am so grateful to be an adjunct teacher in the One-Day-A-Week Saturday program at Bay Path College. Once again I am surrounded by remarkable women -- women who juggle an intense and rigorous program, as well as full-time jobs and raising children.

If you've been thinking about going back to school, do so. It is never too late. All that is holding you back is you.

"We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves." -- Galileo Galilei

Enjoy your day....Rita

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Who Really Said It....

One of the more memorable lines from the play and movie Steel Magnolias spoken by the character Clairee Beklcher was the following: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Do you know who really wrote those words?

Post your favorite quote from Steel Magnolias. Here's a few more I liked!

Ouiser Boudreaux: I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood 40 years!

Shelby: Well, we went skinny dipping and we did things that frightened the fish.

[about the new mayor's wife dancing]
Clairee Belcher: Looks like two pigs fightin' under a blanket.

Enjoy you day....

Answer: Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thoughts on Obstacles

I view any obstacle that gets in my way as an opportunity to learn something new. Here are a few other perspectives on the topic...

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal." -- Author Unknown

"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." -- Frank A. Clark

"Obstacles don't have to stop you.If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." -- Michael Jordan

"The obstacle is the path." -- Zen Buddhist Saying

...and my personal favorite

"A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." -- Christopher Reeve

Have a joyful day!

Photo source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Reeve

Monday, April 5, 2010

Raising $$ For Cancer Research

As many of you know, I have been involved with the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life for several years...first as a team member, later as team captain. This year I joined the Big Dog Bandits team for the Southbridge, MA Relay For Life.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is more than just an event to me. It is personal. In the past two years cancer took the lives of my beloved brother John and my dear friend Lydia -- and during this small window of time, too, several friends and relatives began fighting their own battles with cancer.

Every year the list of people for whom I walk grows larger and larger. But I believe that one day events like Relay For Life will no longer be necessary, and that the folks who had participated over the years gather simply to remember, to memorialize the efforts of years past.

I hope you'll consider supporting my efforts by making a donation via my Personal Page At Relay or, if you are local, by joining my Relay For Life team. My publishing company, The Reed Edwards Company, will be donating $3.00 from every direct sale from now until June 18, when Relay begins.

Together, we have the power to help create a world where cancer can no longer claim another year of anyone’s life.

Have a joyful day.



Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thoughts on Vision

"People only see what they are prepared to see." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens." -- Carl Jung

"The most pathetic man in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision."
Helen Keller

"Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe." -- Oprah Winfrey

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them--a desire, a dream, a vision." -- Muhammad Ali

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thoughts On Success

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire." -- Arnold H. Glasgow

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." -- Albert Schweitzer

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com

Thursday, April 1, 2010

In The Words Of Maslow

"If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life."-- Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York to Russian-Jewish immigrants. His career in psychology ultimately led to his becoming a founder of the Humanistic Psychology movement and the author of such familiar concepts as the hierarchy of needs and self-actualization.

Have a joyful day - Rita
Visit my website at http://www.ritaschiano.com