Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Just thinking...

Plenty of thoughts rolling around in my head without any type of organization this morning. I don't know if I should write them down now or wait until they have some sense of order.

I feel like I should write something--mostly because I want to develop a habit of writing more often. Since today is December 31, it seems natural to reflect on the past year and to set goal for the next one. I am no longer a big "resolutions" kind of guy, but I do have a few things that I would like to accomplish in the year 2014. Most of them have to do with just being a much better John--healthier (working on it), kinder (whatever!), less critical of others, more disciplined (in too many areas).

How about you?
Any New Year's resolutions?

As for reviewing 2013, it was a good year. I think I learned a few things about myself last year. Nothing that was real earth shattering; just stuff that helps me understand me a little bit better. Maybe I'll write about some of that in another post--maybe. Most of what I learned about myself wasn't great stuff, so maybe not.

I guess I'll get things organized in my head before really writing about them.

For now--

Happy New Year!
Party safely!

John <><

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What Happens in Vegas...

Let's face it; there are no secrets. Walking through the airport, there was a sign that said, "Deny. Deny. Deny. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

I wonder how many people come to Las Vegas hoping to be somebody else. I wonder how many people are seduced into doing things that they would never do in their "real" life.

For us, it's nice that the kids are old enough that Vegas works for us. Tonight some of us will take in the Beatle Mania show at the Mirage while the rest of us take in UFC 168 at the MGM.

Yesterday, we walked a lot and just took in the atmosphere of the strip. It's Hannah's first time here. We exchaged Christmas gifts with the kids and enjoyed the family time. I'm not sure what's on the agenda for today. For now, all are still in their rooms while I enjoy my quiet time (relatively speaking) and a cup of coffee.

Once again:
It's a good day to be John Hill.

John <><

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Healthy Living for 2014

I know that it's still a few days until we turn the calendar to 2014 but I'm already thinking about how I might be improving my health in the coming months.

I end 2013 with much better dietary habits and with some semi-regular exercise habits. I am sleeping better (and more) than I used to sleep. I need to be more regular with my exercise and a bit more diversified. Working on that.

Overall, I feel pretty good. November and December have been rotten as far as diet and weight loss go. I'll end the year at -30 pounds (the same place I ended October) from the beginning of June. I'd still like to drop some weight but hesitate to set a number. I'm really hoping that I'll know when it feels right. I'm guessing another 15 pounds or so.

I do have other health oriented plans for '14. I do want to plant the garden that we never planted last year. I also want to cut back on how much meat I eat in the coming year.  I hope to spend more time in the kitchen preparing more meals at home and eating out less often. I plan on purchasing more produce from the farmers' markets and less from the big grocery stores. They say that eating healthier foods isn't a lot more expensive, but it does take a bit more work and more time.

I'll keep you posted as the year progresses.
Wishing you a healthy and prosperous year in 2014.

John <><

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Quiet Time

It's late evening on Christmas night and I am enjoying a little quiet time. We've had a nice, but quiet Christmas Day. Our big gift to ourselves this year is an upcoming trip to Las Vegas as a family. Today we exchanged some gifts, had dinner with the Tice family, and pretty much took it easy. I managed an afternoon walk but didn't really do anything noteworthy on this Christmas Day.

I thought I'd go ahead and get a jump on my Thursday post. I really am thankful for the quiet moments in a day. I'm using this time for writing. Sometimes it is time for thinking; sometimes for reading; sometimes for praying. Sometimes it is for doing nothing other than resting this tired old brain of mine. I like the time when there is nobody to talk to me; nobody to interact with. Most people don't really see me as an introvert, but I think that I possess definite introvert characteristics.

I hope to make better use of my quiet time in 2014. I hope to take the time to recognize the good work that others are doing. A short while back, a woman paid me a very nice compliment along with a thanks for what you do conversation. It was quite the pick me up! I want to share that feeling with others. I do want to encourage good behaviors by recognizing and acknowledging them when I see them. I also want to reward random people with random acts. Several times in the past month I've paid for coffee for the car behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru. It's not a big deal; never more than a few bucks. It's just something generous.

I know that generosity might go farther some place other than a Starbucks drive thru, but it is what it is and you can choose to give your blessings where ever you choose. These are some of the things I think about during my quiet times.

I hope that you make quiet times for yourself, too. I often use the half hour+ commute as a quiet time. Most of the time the radio is off and it's...quiet! It's not the ideal time, but it is something.

I really do relish my time alone. It seems like such a rare thing in our otherwise very busy lives.

Sometime today...Be quiet!
You'll thank me for the small moment of peace.

John <><

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Weighing in on the Duck Dynasty Debacle

I know I'm going to regret this. Maybe I'll come to my senses and delete it all after I've typed it out and purged it from my system, but I doubt it. Coming to my senses in a timely fashion is not how I roll.

I should begin by saying that I am not a fan of the show. It is not a "reality" show and I don't get the whole watch somebody's make believe life and believe that these are their real personalities and this is their real life. I don't watch any so-called reality shows. I have seen this show and can't say that I find the backwoods ways or day to day life stories to be entertaining...at all. I really don't get the attraction.

As to the interview comments, freedom of speech, banned from the network, products removed from stores, Facebook fan pages and all of the other fallout--really? Why does anybody really care?

Some guy that has a cult like following says something and somebody else doesn't like it and reacts.

As a guy that has never really learned the lesson of keeping my thoughts to myself, I can tell you that words have consequences. There are lots of regrettable words in my past...and plenty of words that could have been said in less offensive tones. There are words that were never said in anger that were taken in anger. There have been wasted words, words that had no positive impact. While I am not at all ashamed or shy about what I believe, I've also found that it isn't important that everybody needs to know what I believe.

In the case of the GQ interview; I find it hard to believe that any party was unaware of the potential controversy. The question; the answer; the response and the media attention all seem a little bit contrived to me. GQ will sell a record number of issues. Duck Dynasty and Duck Commander products will be flying off of the shelves. A&E will either gain or lose support from equal numbers of people on either side of the controversy. Duck Dynasty followers will watch the show--on A&E or any other network. All in all, it is a grand marketing scheme that is better than anything anybody could have planned--unless of course, it was planned and everybody is reacting as anticipated.

Whether it's real or not, please--get a life outside of the world of the unreal lives of television characters.

I don't believe anybody is being persecuted for their religious beliefs. I don't believe that anybody has had their rights of free speech infringed upon. A celebrity said some things that are controversial in our society and is suffering the consequences. It happens every time we give undue credence to the words of a celebrity. Personally, I think we have a pretty messed up society that chooses to get its wisdom/theology/social policies from people that are pretending to be something that they aren't.

Okay. That's it. Really it's just my little rant. You are free to comment (and I know many of you will) even though I really don't care to read some of the rants that are sure to come.

But one thing I have learned--words have consequences.

John <><

Why am I Here?

This question was recently asked by my cousin and friend (cousins by the good fortunes of birth, friends by choice). I suppose that it's a question that we all ask from time to time.

It could be that we find ourselves wondering about a particular situation that we find ourselves in (too often the case for me) or it could be a reflection of our impact (or lack of it) in the grand scheme of life in the Universe.

For me, the first is often the consequence of choices that I've made along the way. Not always bad choices; just choices that lead me to a place that I didn't expect to be and a place that leaves me to wonder, "Why am I here?"
The more colorful question is more like, "Where am I going and how did I get in this hand-basket?"

It seems to me that the situation events are pretty easy to figure out. On a small scale, we can deduce how we got to a place and even what our purpose in being there might be.

On the grand scale, "Why am I here?" presents a much greater challenge.

Truthfully, my insignificant existence has no bearing at all in the grand scope of the universe. But just as truthfully, it was never meant to. I know that we all want to do great things; to leave a name, a legacy that people will remember long after we are gone. Unfortunately, not many of us are created to do great things on the scale of universal significance.

It is also true that we are placed in positions of having subtle influence in the lives of those around us and often times, we are in a position to make significant impact in the life of an individual person. Whether a moment of subtle influence or significant impact, you may encounter that person today! You may in one moment be wondering, "Why am I here?" and in the next moment you encounter somebody in desperate need of a simple smile or a friendly gesture.

Maybe we need to be more aware of the opportunities that present themselves to us; more purposeful in our efforts to give meaning to our lives and a little joy to others. Perhaps we need to recognize and acknowledge the people that have made an impact on our lives; to thank them for simple smiles, the words of wisdom, and moments of comfort. It could be that we are the answer for the moments that they ask, "Why am I here?"

As I write this post, I can't help but think of the times sitting around my cousin's home singing songs or being entertained by music. I remember going to plays and musicals. And there have been more recent memories, too. Social networking has allowed me to reconnect with family and friends; allowed us to share our joys and our struggles; allowed us to rejoice together and to pray for one another; and given us an answer to the question, "Why am I here?"

John <><

Sunday, December 22, 2013


It's hard to believe that "selfie" made the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year. It beat out twerking!

The good news is that I'm not going to be twerking for you today. I am, however, going to post a selfie. Not the traditional kind of cell phone selfie pic; but a less conventional kind of Christmas selfie.

I've decided to give myself a Christmas present this year, one that will benefit other people as well. I know that it's a few days before Christmas, but everybody loves an early Christmas present, right?

The Christmas present that I'm giving to myself this year--my Christmas selfie--is forgiveness!
That's right, everybody gets a clean slate.
To be fair...it's not everybody; if you've earned my respect by your good character and great integrity, you get to keep that. Also to be fair...it's not exactly clean; human that I am, the past is hard to erase completely.

But here's the deal: I am carrying no grudges or bad feelings about anybody into the new year. I'm not going to say that everybody is my new friend or that I now trust all of the people that I didn't trust before, but I will give everybody the gift of a fresh start. I'm going to try to be a more forgiving person throughout the new year and figured this would be a good way, and a good time, to get started.

I realize that most of the people that might benefit from this Christmas selfie probably don't read Out of My Hat. I haven't decided if I need to tell them that I am forgiving the past and giving them a fresh start (some might not even realize they've earned my scorn and distrust), or to just do it and let my new attitude toward them be the evidence. That may vary from person to person.

I hope that you will consider that Christmas should be the season of forgiveness and fresh starts. All of humanity was given the gift of a Savior that offers forgiveness and fresh starts. Maybe you will join me and give yourself the gift of forgiving others for Christmas. Maybe we can all be more forgiving in 2014.

Merry Christmas!
John <><

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It is winter!

Early this morning, just before sunrise in the Midwest USA, the Earth crossed that point in its orbit around the sun and began its journey back towards longer periods of daylight and shorter periods of darkness (at least for us Northern Hemisphere people) each day.

I'm not a big fan of winter (and it always seemed a little weird that the shortest day marked the beginning of winter rather than the mid point), but winter is here, none the less. Weather on this first day of winter is trying to present itself as winter like with rain and temps hovering around the freezing mark. It looks like we will have pretty mild days for the week of Christmas.

Most of you that have been reading Out of My Hat for some time know that I marvel at the complex design of our universe. I love watching the regular celestial events and hearing of the irregular ones like solar flares and colorful auroras. I like reading about passing comets and asteroids and learning about new discoveries in deep space. It boggles my mind that there are people that also marvel at these things but deny the existence of a great Creator.

For me, the marking of the seasons and the passing of time are a reminder of the order of things and give evidence of a Creator. There is nothing random about the design of our world. It is too complex, too perfect to be accidental.

Happy Winter Solstice!
Spring (and baseball season) is just around the corner!

John <><

Friday, December 20, 2013

Some days are diamonds...

This was a good day...and wrapped up a good week!

Late on Monday I checked my voice mail and had a message from a man that wanted to talk to me about evangelistic opportunities. Because I picked up the message as I was ending my work day (it was nearly 11pm), I waited until Tuesday to return the call.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I found out that he wasn't interested in booking me for an event; he was interested in finding out more about being an evangelist and feels God's leading in that direction. After the initial disappointment, I started to get excited about meeting him for breakfast. I was remembering many years ago when I asked an evangelist to meet me for breakfast to ask about the same things.

This morning was that breakfast meeting.

I left our little meeting feeling great! It was exciting and energizing to see a man that is really seeking and finding that God really does have a mission for him. It was encouraging to hear of his doubts and how God is working around and through those doubts. It was a grand way to spend a Friday morning.

All-in-all, it's been a pretty good week: no hassles at work, a few frustrations with banking, cars, kids, cats, etc., but nothing major or out of the ordinary. I did get back to a little bit of exercise and ate a little better. I had a few decent conversations (not your everyday, meaningless drivel) with people. I got to read about some great kind acts and share some good stories.

I even made a couple of good decisions! (More about those later.)

Now the weekend is here and Christmas Day is less than a week away.
I have a good life!

John <><

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursdays are for Thanksgiving

I have some great friends! Admittedly, I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I have are the best.

They tolerate my quirks and love me just the same. They are encouragers, comforters and helpers. They are my friends and I am their friend.

Today I am thankful for my friends!

John <><

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Caught being nice!

At the beginning of the month I posted about sharing some of the nice things that people do for one another. Yesterday a young first grade teacher shared on of those moments and it was truly the kind of feel good moment that could bring a tear to your eyes.

It seems that there was a young boy in her class was needing shoes as his feet were sticking out of his current pair. One of his classmates told his mom about the boy, the mom contacted the teacher and provided a new pair for the boy but didn't want it known where they came from. When the teacher gave him the new shoes, the boy began to cry. The teacher asked why he was crying and the boy told her it was because he had never had a new pair of shoes!

Kudos to the young classmate that shared the need with his mom. Kudos to the Mom that met the need. And thanks to Ms. Ross for sharing the story so that we can all be blessed and encouraged by it!

John <><

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Career Move...or not?

I wrote the following about a week ago but never posted it. Since writing it, two things have happened:
1) I decided not to bid the job and
2) The bid is now out.

If you are a controller considering a career move into management, I'd encourage you log into your My FAA web page and check out the jobs section for the bid. It says temporary, not to exceed a year, but as with most of those bids, I'm guessing a good supervisor can move to a permanent position without competing. If you are already a supe and want to move to the Queen City of the Ozarks...well, here is your chance.

As it is, this is not going to be the way I wrap up my ATC career.
Good luck. The bid closes on the 26th.

Here is the post (originally written 12/9):

I don't know if this is the right time and place for this post or not. As I begin to write this, I'm not even certain that I'll ever get to the "publish" button. It may just turn out to be a way to help organize my thoughts. If you are reading this now, well I guess I'm coming out with a statement that I am considering bidding on a temporary supervisor's job.

Yeah, it's a little bit crazy and I'm really not sure that it's what I'm going to do. The bid isn't out yet but it should be coming out soon. I've been weighing the +s  and -s of the gig and can't say that they come out with anything definitive in the way of an answer. There could be a little bit of monetary reward, but I'm pretty comfortable with my present income so that isn't a great incentive.

My initial thought was that there is no real benefit to me, so why should I? The problem in the decision making process is that I'm trying to grow beyond the "me" world. Is everything always about "me"? Are there other valid considerations? Is there a benefit to others? If so, who benefits and do I have any responsibility to them?

One of the items in the minus column is giving consideration to my years in NATCA and what effect a supervisory position would have on some of the relationships with controllers around the country and especially with those that are here at SGF. I don't generally give a lot of consideration to what other people think of what I'm doing and so it's not a huge factor; just something to consider. Are those changes in relationships worth a 1 year gig as a temporary supervisor?

Actually, I can easily come up with a lengthy minus list (and have). The problem is in coming up with a plus list. I'm not convinced that anybody would benefit from John Hill as supervisor. And maybe I'm not the person to make that assessment. Do I throw my hat in the ring and let management take it from there?

As it is, I've had members of management and fellow controllers encourage me to bid the slot. I'm pretty certain that opinions vary a great deal on both sides of the labor/management coin.

One thing that is in the plus column (temporarily anyway)...
There isn't a bid out (yet) and so no decision has to be made!

John <><

Wasting time

How often do you waste time?

Wasting time can come in lots of different forms and in varying degrees of wastefulness. Ranting on a blog, reading rants, scouring Facebook for the latest pics and updates, watching meaningless TV shows, playing online games. We can always make our excuses for not doing what we need to do and do the things that are less productive or unnecessary.

As a procrastinator of the highest level, I've found that one can waste time and still manage to appear to be productive. Sometimes not doing the thing that needs to be done in favor of anything else is nothing more than just plain old wasting time.

So what important things to you put off while doing things that are unimportant?
What are your go-to excuses for not doing what needs to be done?
Are they good enough to really work or do they only work because you allow them to work?

We can even waste time and put off important conversations by engaging in small talk and avoiding meaningful dialogue with people that we encounter on a regular basis. A recent testimony by a missionary friend in a foreign country made this very clear. While she had determined that the conversation she was having was not leading her to talk about Jesus (the real purpose of their visit), another member of the party reminded her that Jesus was the purpose of the meeting and asked when she was going to ask their host about Him.

Sometimes we miss those opportunities because we haven't made the decision that we are going to ask about Jesus, and sometimes it's because we decide that the time isn't right (even though the time has nothing to do with it). I have to admit that this has been me...most of the time. I need that friend to whisper the question, "When are you going to tell them about Jesus?"

Maybe I just need to pay attention to the voice in my heart that asks the question; the voice that is drowned out by all of the noise of the world around me--around us. It's a little depressing to look back at 2013 and see all of the time and opportunities that have been wasted. If 2014 is going to be better, I'm going to need your help. I'm going to need you to be the friendly (but insistent) voice that asks the question, "When are you going to tell them about Jesus?"

I'll pass on my gentle reminders to you, as well. We can work together to stop wasting precious time and make sure that people know that God loves them and Jesus died for them.

John <><

Friday, December 13, 2013


A short time ago I posted about unplugging from the virtual world a little more often. In that post, I included a statement that wasn't the brightest thing to post in such a public forum. It wasn't meant as an indictment of anybody in particular or of the facility in general. It was meant as general indictment of how attached we have all become to our cell phones, tablets and virtual umbilical cords.

Apparently, the comment upset a number of people and became a topic of conversation at work. For some reason, it was easier to talk about me than to talk to me. I am glad that somebody finally brought it to my attention. As I re-read it, it was easy to see how it could be taken (and misunderstood) by people at work and by people outside of work. I have changed that part of the post.

I'm a little surprised by some of the people involved. However, I guess I'll just make the change and let it go. I am obviously too unapproachable to talk with about something that may be offensive or misunderstood.

C'est la vie!

John <><

Winter Writing

Ugh! It's Friday!
Okay, Friday is a good thing--but tomorrow is our winter reading meeting at the OCACW meeting and I haven't written anything. I may just have to check back at past writings and use one of them. I actually may still write something...or if the weather continues through tonight, we may not meet tomorrow.

In either case, I do need to write.

An afternoon project on a wintry day.

It would appear that Southwest Missouri is not going to be the place for viewing the Geminids meteor shower this year. I believe that overcast skies are in tonight's forecast. Sacre bleu! I do love watching a good celestial event in the night sky!

I hope that many of you have the skies and desire to view one of the best annual meteor showers. Get out around 2am, bundle up and watch the sky!

Break time is over. Back to work...talking to plow trucks instead of airplanes today. At least it pays the same!

John <><

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Elixir of Life

It may seem like a waste of a good Thursday post to write about being thankful for a simple cup of coffee, but it is my blog and I get to write about what I like to write about and be thankful for the things that I choose.

It's easy to understand why early morning thankful thoughts might be about a good cup of coffee. However, coffee provides more than a physiological pick me up. It provides time to prepare to face the day. Later it provides me the time to sit with a friend or my daughter and converse over a hot cup with a little cream. The time it takes to prepare and enjoy a good cup of coffee is relaxing, therapeutic.

I've learned to taste coffee rather than to just drink coffee. The flavor subtleties of a light or medium roast can be very enjoyable. I'm not a flavored coffee fan. I enjoy coffee--black, no sweetener. Sometimes I add a little cream. I make my daily quart of espresso Americano  with a stove top espresso maker and hot water. I may have a cup at work (K-cup) but usually have tea at work (less caffeine and easier to keep fresh).

I didn't set out to be a coffee snob; it just sort of happened when I realized that most store bought stuff is stale (and tastes stale) from way before it ever made it to the shelf. The thing about drinking good coffee is ... well, it's good!


John <><

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Walking in the winter wonderland...

Yeah, not so much on the walking in the snowy neighborhood.
It looks like I'm back to the exercise bike for a while. Actually, I've gotten pretty bad about sticking to an exercise routine so I'm trying something else to shake things up a bit. I've been meaning to add some weight training into my routine to help build some strength in my arms and core. My legs are in pretty good shape strength-wise from hauling around my fat butt for the past few decades.

Exercise program for today will be shoveling the driveway...again, and then hitting the circuit training on the weight machine. Outdoor temperature is 5 degrees F (that's -15C to my international friends). Weight machine is in the unheated garage. Hopefully I'll be warmed up from the shoveling!

Well, I've had a cup of coffee. Guess it's time to get after it!

Have a grand Tuesday.
Be kind to somebody. Share a smile or a cup of coffee.

John <><

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

One would think the cold temperatures and the snowy landscape would be enough to put me in the Christmas spirit.
Yeah, well so far it hasn't happened.

I'm not all "bah, humbug" or anything; I'm just not in the festive holiday kind of mood. Maybe getting some decorations up would put me in a holiday mood. Maybe not.

I think that I'll make the effort to talk about Christmas more this week. I think that I'll be asking people about their family's Christmas traditions. Maybe in finding out about how different people celebrate the holidays, I'll find a little of the Christmas spirit awakening in myself. I'll begin by asking my readers.

What are your family holiday traditions?
Christmas Eve services? Midnight Mass?
Christmas candies and cookies?
Holiday Ham?
Open presents on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning?
Special Christmas breakfast?
Travel to see family? Stay at home?

I am really interested to know how you and yours celebrate the season. Please take a moment to comment here, on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn.

What holiday are you celebrating and how do you do it?

John <><

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Thankful for mobility

Even down to one car, I am thankful for our vehicles. Chris' car is in need of a replacement engine. Even so, it's something we can do. We have friends that are helping with transportation or loaning us a vehicle when needed.

Inspite of our troubles, we are blessed.

John <><

Monday, December 02, 2013

The month in review

Holy smokes! It's December!

It feels like I'm heading back to work after a long weekend. Although many of you have had a long weekend, mine has been pretty normal as far as my work schedule goes. Maybe it was having Hannah home last week, or maybe the Thanksgiving dinner or maybe it just feels like I've been off work longer than normal. In any case, I'll be back talking to airplanes in just a couple of hours.

November was not a good month on the fitness/weight loss front. I didn't ride as much, walked a little more and started working on some upper body and core strength. On the weight side, I managed to keep it together and steady for most of the month, but blew it over the holiday and with visiting relatives on Saturday night. I end the month a couple of pounds heavier than I started it. Sacre bleu!

No worries, though. I don't think that getting back on track will be a big deal. I did some work in the garage yesterday to make my weight machine/dust collector more accessible and plan to start using it along with the exercise bike, outdoor bike and walking. Still looking to dip below the 220# mark by the end of the year.

Other than the weight thing, I had a great November!

I started with a ministry gig with my old friend in sunny Florida and ended with a weekend revival in the frozen reaches of Northern Missouri. I got to do a little magic, do a little preaching and had a great time doing both!

And December started off with being able to preach the Neos service at my home church of Hopedale! I live a favored life. God is good!

I hope that you will take some time this month for a little self assessment. I plan on looking at the past year to see where my successes and failures have been; looking at my present state to assess weaknesses and strengths; and looking to the future with a plan to serve God by serving others. The end of December brings more than a look back for a monthly assessment. It also brings about occasion for an annual check-up and evaluation.

I think that beginning each month with a plan to assess the month at the end makes for a better life during the coming weeks. As much as I hope that you had a good November, I truly desire that you have a great December. I know that holiday plans will occupy much of your schedule and many of your thoughts. Be a blessing to one another.

Live well.
John <><

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Beyond Thanksgiving

Well it is now December!

It is hard to believe that the year 2013 is winding down and nearly over. It seems like it was just yesterday that everybody was preparing for the end of the world (or at least the end of the Mayan calendar) on 12/21/2012.

This year's big year end fears come from retailers that complain about the short shopping season, Obama haters that rail against the Obamacare roll-out and poor performing website, doom and gloom economic forecasters that would have us believe that the best economy in the past decade is somehow a bad thing or a host of any other negative, fear-generating prognosticators that seem intent on creating drama and disaster where none exists.

The daily "I'm thankful for..." posts on Facebook will come to and end and we can all go back to our normal routines that don't require us to come up with something to post about something for which we don't usually give a second thought.


I say let's keep on being thankful!
Let's look to 2014 with hope instead of fear!
Let's share our hope and our happiness with those that seem to be in darkness and despair.

Let's have an attitude of gratitude that is shown in everything that we say and do.
Let's emphasize the peace and goodwill theme of Christmas rather than the greed and capitalistic part.
Let's treat one another well each and every day.

...And let's share those moments on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

If you feel awkward about sharing something nice that you've done for somebody, share about somebody that did something for you or somebody else. Let's keep our eyes open for the good things that people are doing...and let's share that and encourage others to join us in living with the attitude of gratitude.

Thanksgiving shouldn't be confined to a month...or a day!
Good will shouldn't be confined to a season.

I'm going to be on the lookout for those that are being nice. Schools or kids' camps often have awards that are something like "Caught being good" awards. That's what I'm looking for!

Be kind.
Be generous.
Get caught being good.

John <><