Monday, February 16, 2009

Wanna Know Where It's All Going?

The $787 billion stimulus package has passed and been signed into law. Now, bet you're all wondering where the heck all that money is going. Well, a group of industrious volunteers has set up a great website, www.StimulusWatch.org, where you can check out what projects are being funded by the stimulus package. You can search by State, by City, or by the level of "critical-ness" of projects.

From a cursory look at the website, most of the money is going to infrastructure work and renewal energy projects, which are things we should all be able to get behind. Contrary to what a woman insisted to me this evening, none of the money is going to "pay off Hollywood for all the money they gave to Obama for his campaign." Where in the world do people come up with such ridiculous ideas?!

Will this stimulus plan help us to begin our climb out of the deep, deep hole we all find ourselves in? No, not alone it won't. It will, hopefully, create more opportunities for the hundreds of thousands of us without jobs to find employment, but that's just one step of many needed.

I fear we are becoming the architects of this deep hole, as the less we spend and the more we try to save/cut back/etc., the more we keep the hole going in the downward direction. Silly and contradictive as it may sound, if we don't at least spend a little bit of money, we won't see much change in things. Because the less we buy, the less "they" (whoever the heck "they" may be) make, and the less "they" make the fewer jobs there are for those who make the things that make up what we could be buying. Confused much?

So, little ones, do your part...buy something. And do your duty by keeping tabs on how the stimulus plan money is being spent by bookmarking the StimulusWatch.org website and checking things out now and then. One day we WILL see a light at the end of the tunnel, and with a little bit of luck, it won't be a damn train comin' at us.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I Am Blessed

(Torsten, less than 1 hour old, 2-8-08)

Today is my angel-baby grandson Torsten's 1st birthday. As has been documented in this blog, Torsten was a bit of a surprise. His parents are young and were not planning on becoming parents so soon, but life had other plans for them. Torsten has proven to be the best thing that ever happened to any of us. He has taught us to be open to the unpredictableness of life, to accept the gifts we are given (whether we realize they are gifts or not), and to welcome the joy that is ours for the taking.

I have said over and over that Torsten is the best.gift.ever for me. He reminds me daily to live in the moment. Yes, we need to always be thinking of and planning for the future, but if we do that to the exclusion of living in the NOW, we miss the point. The NOW, this one moment, only exists for a nanosecond...if you keep looking to the future, you will miss the present. I cherish the time I am blessed to spend with Torsten...we play together, we explore the world, and we find joy in everything.

The gifts Torsten has brought into my life are immeasurable. I have learned not to stress too much about things, which is a very good skill to have in these difficult economic times. I have learned that a ton of money is not necessary, but love and the ability to live a joyful life is priceless. I have learned the neatness and order are not the normal, or required, state of living. I have learned that the best way to live life is to dive in with total and utter abandon.

On this most special day, little ones, take the time to live in and love the moment...to dive into life with abandon...to not just taste of life, but to immerse yourselves in it completely...don't just eat the cake, BE the cake. And, most of all, to give thanks for the unexpected joys life tosses your way.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TORSTEN!