When most people think of the people who serve in our military, they think about the sacrifices that are made by the service members. It is important for people to understand, that for every service member they see, there is a family somewhere praying for their safety, hoping that their loved one is finding some comfort wherever they are and longing for the day they return home. It is not easy being a military spouse, and although you are told to expect regular deployments stateside, occasional deployments abroad, nothing really prepares you for the loss and the loneliness you feel when a deployment actually happens.
The average American has no idea in terms of the demands that are placed on the families of military personnel and the sacrifices they make. The impact and the effects on spouses and children of military personnel can be immense. Separation can take a toll on a marriage, and when children are separated from their parents for a significant period of time, it can affect the way they interact with their parents, friends and the way they perform in school. Military families have to strive hard to keep their family unit happy and healthy, and connected, and they have to find creative ways to do so.
When Shannon Sandvig’s husband Gavin was deployed with the Iowa National Guard weeks after the birth of their first child, she was confronted with the challenges of having to balance being a supportive spouse, being a new mother and running a household all by herself. Shannon and her husband managed to keep things together during an extended deployment, but they learned a few lessons along the way. The couple now has three children, and with each child, Shannon learned how to balance the role of military wife and mother, and also how to make sure that her husband had the opportunity to build a strong parental relationship with each child. Shannon recognized early on that children grow and develop quickly, and she needed to make sure her husband had every opportunity to share in their milestones, and pivotal moments even during his deployments.
During Gavin’s deployments, Shannon sends her husband pictures of the boys engaging in their daily activities. One of their children even sent their dad a stuffed chameleon for their dad to include in the photographs he sent to them. The family felt that Rocky the chameleon was a way for them to be with Gavin without actually being there. The toy had a dual purpose of the family. Gavin had something he could see and physically touch when he missed his family, and Shannon and the kids could look at the pictures Gavin took with Rocky and feel like they were a part of whatever Gavin was doing.
One of the most difficult obstacles for service members and their families is trying to connect via phone calls. The service person rarely knows when they will have the opportunity to call home and when they do, they are often in different time zones, which can make staying connected even more difficult. To ensure her children could communicate with their father in real time, when he could text or call them, she provided her sons with cell phones. Being able to respond to Gavin in real time helps the family during their periods of adjustment.
Thanks to technology like smart phones, recordable books, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Hub, it is easier for military families to stay connected and capture every moment. It is important to remember that technology alone won’t solve every issue in terms of maintaining communication among family members and staying connected. Each member of the family unit has to do their own part to find creative ways to stay connected. Whether it’s sending a handwritten letter, or a picture drawn by a child, it is the little things that help to keep things going and mean the most.
The Oldest Girl Scout Cookie Seller Still Selling
Most people reaching the upper range of their 90s in time and years spend a lot of their waking hours focused on their memories as well as doing a lot of talking with remaining friends. And in one’s late 90s not a lot of one’s peers are left to talk to either. However, Ronnie Backenstoe is not your typical senior citizen. She never has been typical her whole life, and that goes back to well before the 1930s.
Her First Box of Cookies Was Sold 88 Years Ago
Ronnie as a young girl joined the Girl Scouts in 1932. The native of Lake George, New York, first earned her green suit and the right to wear at the impressionable age of 10, and she was hooked on the organization even before that. However, her mother wouldn’t let Ronnie join until she was a decade old, and the little girl counted down the days until her 10th birthday waiting anxiously. As soon as Ronnie’s birthday arrived, however, she was off to join the Scouts and the local troop.
Adulthood Didn’t Change Ronnie’s Dedication
And, just like generations of girl scouts after Ronnie’s initial year, she put on her uniform every spring and focused on selling as many Girl Scout cookies in her neighborhood. Ronnie’ dedication paid off; she shot up through the Scout ranks and merit badges quickly, and the dedication didn’t stop in her teen years. As an early adult, Ronnie also earned the extremely rare distinction of staying associated with the Girls Scouts as an active member, and she took on the role of the Camp Mosey Wood director, working with young scouts and staff in the Poconos Mountain area. From that notable position Ronnie was later promoted to a field director position which took her across the country for the Girl Scouts, visiting troops and facilities nationally as well as in other countries too.
Officially, Ronnie put in over 45 years of career service with the Girls Scouts. However, in 1976 it was time to hang up her official hat and ease into a more relaxed phase of life as a senior. It didn’t take long for her to feel the need to be involved again though. And, eventually, Ronnie starting finding ways to stay active with the Scouts again, even as a volunteer instead of paid employee. As Ronnie noted when asked, scouting is simply part of her life and living; it teaches lessons in living right.
Every Box of Girl Scout Cookies Makes a Difference
The world today is a very different place now versus what it was back in 1932 the first year Ronnie sold cookies to customers to support the Girl Scouts. However, believe it or not, Ronnie still goes out and sells cookies every year. Today the boxes are lot more than the 15 cents price she sold them for as a 10-year-old girl. However, the concept is still the same; support the Girl Scouts one little bit at a time. The aggregate effort eventually adds up to greater things. Back in 1932 when Ronnie sold her first cookies there were only three types available. Today there are now seven different flavors, but each one is labeled with the Girl Scouts logo that Ronnie stands behind as an example of Girl Scout dedication. And Ronnie is still going at the spritely age of 98. The cookies are a bit fresher however, produced every year by the Girl Scouts for waiting customers. And Ronnie is there to sell them every box she can to keep the Scouts going.
Man Sheds His Clothes and Jumps Into a Freezing Pond to Save a Dog
A man has been commended for going above and beyond his call of duty. Ryan Arens risked his life to save the life of a dog while he was at work in Boseman, which is located in Montana.
In January of 2019, Ryan was making UPS deliveries like he does almost every day. January is Bozeman’s coldest month of the year, and one day in that month was exceptionally different from any of the other days. Something terribly tragic almost happened that day when a dog fell through ice and landed in icy-cold water.
When the UPS delivery driver parked his truck in front of a house one workday, the sound of a dog desperately howling for help caught his attention. Ryan didn’t see the canine, but he could hear it loud and clear, and it sounded like it was in big trouble.
The sun had already started to go down, but he wasn’t about to walk away and ignore the dog’s cries. Because Ryan loves dogs and is the happy owner of a 14-year-old malamute shepherd mix, he couldn’t walk away.
The sound of the howling canine seemed to be coming from a pond. Ryan searched for the hound, and when he found it, he saw that it was fighting for its life in frigid water surrounded by ice. The depth of the pond the dog was trapped in was no less than 16 feet, so he knew the animal was in grave danger if no one tried to help it.
Although someone in a small boat attempted to help the dog, this kind soul had no success. After seeing the man’s failed efforts to bring the dog to safety, Ryan decided to remove all but his undergarments and swim to the dog and save it.
As soon as the canine was pulled out of the freezing water, Ryan took it to a house nearby where he and the homeowner bathed the pooch in a tub of warm water. The dog’s legs were so stiff from being in the cold pond so long, it couldn’t support itself without help. Ryan said he didn’t know how long the canine had been in the pond before he found it.
After Ryan rescued the dog, whose name he later found out is Sadie, he put on dry clothing and went back to work.
The following day, he was blown away when he saw Sadie at the house where his next delivery was to be made.
Ryan became a hero that day. Had he not come to rescue Sadie, this story would probably have not ended well. He proved his love for animals, and he proved how selfless and brave he is. He truly is admired for what he did.
Let this story warm the hearts of all you know by making people aware of it. This is an amazing story about an amazing man, a man Sadie was so lucky to have met that awful day.
Failure Provides Opportunities To Succeed
The fear of failure is failure itself and stops you from moving farther in your life, such as pursuing a relationship a job or anything that requires you to step forward. No one prevents you from achieving your dreams of a better livelihood. The reason why the goal goes unfulfilled is that you undercut your efforts out of fear of failure. You have convinced yourself that making an effort is worthless and is thus not worth doing. But in fact, making an effort is essential to achieve your goal.
Stop Bullying Yourself
The struggle may be as simple as filling out an application or applications seeking the job. Fear of failure has the same effect of bullying yourself by having concerns that you will nor be successful. Failure may lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy of failing, which is a form of circular reasoning in that you know you will fail and then chose a course that leads to failure.
You Are Your Worst Enemy.
Your fears may be directly be related to the thinking that you do not deserve to be successful. How do you overcome the fear of failure? The definition of failure is different, and it varies from person to person who has a) different red lines to cross that defines failure, b) different values, and c) different belief systems. So what may be a failure to you could be on the road to success for another. So what is failure? You could be so afraid of failing that you become immobilized to the point of depression. You may have had bad experiences as a child and received no positive feedback from your parents. At one time, you were traumatized in your life by failure and stopped trying to succeed. As a result, you become trapped in life’s struggle.
With these types of experiences, you may have set a death trap, or mindsets, requiring one to reset your life to a better path. The following mindsets set the trap.
• You sabotage yourself through procrastination, excessive anxiety, or a failure to follow through to achieve your goals.
• No self-confidence, coupled with low self-esteem, pondering on negative self-feedback that your life will not get better or that you lack the skills or the ability to succeed or it’s too late to be successful.
• Perfectionism – You developed artificial high standards and cannot reach a level of perfection or willingness to try.
Breaking the Cycle of Fear
1. Fear of failure has the same effect of bullying yourself by having concerns that you will nor be successful, which leads to the self-fulfilling prophecy of failing, a form of circular reasoning in that you know you will fail and then chose a course that leads to failure.
2. Be your own best friend. Love yourself, be your confidant, and not your worst enemy. Seeking external happiness, like a good relationship, may fatefully tie you to the failures of others that will not lead you to genuine fulfillment. It is up to you to change your own life.
3. Whatever negative trait you may have should be viewed in the whole of a person that you are, so don’t be so hard on yourself or permit any other person’s negative view of yourself to define who you are.
Rational and Positive Thinking
Failure is common and many times, precedes success. The most successful people have experienced palpable failure, such as Michael Jordan failed at basketball in high school. William Buffet was not academically qualified to be accepted at Harvard. Richard Branson does not have a high school diploma. The words “think positive” is not a mind game but a highly successful method of thinking that refuses to accept failure or treats failure as having another opportunity to succeed.
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