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Happiness Is: When the Kids Grow Up and Move Out of the House

Leslie Tander

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Research tells us that people with children are happier overall than single adults. Why? For a number of reasons, including:

  • Parents don’t have to worry about being alone.
  • Children are evidence of a legacy in this world, and they give parents a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Parents are happier knowing that they have someone to take care of and provide for them in their old age.

However, according to Fartherly.com, the parent’s happiness that exceeds the happiness of single people won’t be realized until these parents become empty nesters, and the kids actually move out of the house. Parents have to daily practice delayed gratification and wait decades before their ultimate happiness blossoms.

But still, is it all worth it? Is sacrificing your youth for decades worth any measure of happiness you might experience later in life?

Yes, according to a study from The Daily Positive, where questions were asked of patients in a terminal palliative care unit. One of the top ten regrets that dying patients had was that of not having children. The research stated:

“With today’s modern thinking, kids may be viewed as inconveniences or hindrances to pursuing your goals. But keep in mind that your children will be the ones to show you love when you are old. They will also be the ones to whom you will entrust everything you’ve worked hard for after you’re gone.” (Top 10 Regrets When You’re Dying, Dale Partridge)

Geraldine had a difficult time raising six children as a single mom in Texas. She often worked multiple jobs while sewing on the side to make extra money. Life was difficult, but with a mind made up, every one of Geraldine’s children grew up, finished school, and made a life for themselves.

When all the children were out of the house, Geraldine began enjoying her life by traveling, modeling, and sewing for fun. On her 65th birthday, her three daughters took her to Hawaii. At the airport, Geraldine ran into Mrs. Phelps, an upstanding career woman in the community who had all the trapping of success, but no family.

Geraldine worked for Mrs. Phelps for over 15 years as her cleaning lady. Mrs. Phelps was in her late 60s, but the onset of Parkinson’s disease made her look 15 years older. When she saw Geraldine, Mrs. Phelps gave a convenient hello, but Geraldine’s energy and bubbly personality took over the conversation as she introduced her daughters and enthusiastically told Mrs. Phelps about going to Hawaii for her birthday.

“Wow, sounds like you’re going to have a great time,” Mrs. Phelps said longingly. “I don’t have any family. I never had kids.”

“While you were busy working, I was busy having babies,” Geraldine said. “Now my children are taking me on vacation for the time of my life. I thank God that I made the better choice.”

Geraldine’s story illustrates what researchers have told us: having children makes parents happier than singles later on in life when the kids move out of the house. The time invested in parenting makes the post empty nester season in life all worth it.

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Life

You’re Never Alone, You’re Always Loved

Mackenzie Freeman

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When you look around, what do you see? You probably see people living care-free, going about their day to day lives with ease. That’s only because you only see the surface. If you were to peak underneath, though, you can see the truth. Everyone has struggles. Everyone has demons they are battling.

We all want to put our best self out for the world to see, so we put on a mask and show what we want them to see. With everyone carefully calculating the exact image the world sees them as, it seems like you might be the only one confused, or struggling, or feeling overwhelmed.

You might push yourself away, feeling like nobody understands the way you feel, like nobody has been through your experiences. Maybe you have even opened up to someone, but the response you got showed they didn’t truly understand you. This feeling of isolation, of being alone, can cause you to lock yourself up. 

But you’re not alone. You’re not the only one going through it. They’re out there, thinking those same thoughts, putting on the same mask for everyone to see, so they don’t seem hurt. So they don’t seem fragile. 

When we all wear masks to hide the pain, the turmoil of emotions that is what makes us human, we emotionally isolate ourselves from each other. If we don’t show the world our pain and struggles, we lose essential opportunities to help others with our shared experiences. We are all more alike than we might care to admit.

Nobody is ever alone. Whether it’s friends, family, caretakers, coworkers, neighbors, teachers, or lovers, we all have someone who can relate to our experiences. We all have loved ones looking out for us. They know you. They care for you. They are there for you.

Just because you might not get a text, call, or knock on the door every day from them doesn’t mean they don’t see you as special. You are important to them.

We all show love in different ways. Not everyone is vocal about their feelings, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. They might show it in different ways: a warm meal, a gift during the holidays, or even a hug when they see you. They love you and they want the best for you.

We all get lonely. We all feel like the only one who has gone through something or has felt a certain way. Even if you don’t feel like someone would care about your experience, you have support– someone to encourage you and help you throughout whatever it is you may be going through. They are always there.

It is corny and a cliche, but you will get through this rough time in your life. You will be stronger and you will have a new perspective. You are much stronger than you may think, and you’re even stronger when you’re not alone.

If you haven’t been told recently, you are loved.

If you haven’t been showed it recently, you are loved.

If you haven’t felt it recently, you are loved

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Life

Dog Goes to College in Michigan, to Study!

Mackenzie Freeman

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Golden Retrievers have long been one of the most friendly, affectionate dog breeds available, and one particular Retriever in Michigan lived up to her breed’s reputation. They are fun dogs, easy to train, constantly social with their human masters and others, and extremely loyal. No surprise, Golden Retrievers are often owned in pairs and referred to as one of the best companion dogs to have. They are also regularly chosen for guide dog roles for the same reasons as well. In the case of JJ McGrath, his dog Tahoe was more than just a home companion.

Going to college at Grand Valley State University, JJ wanted to stay connected with his furry friend as much as possible. So, the fellow decided to ask his sociology professor if Tahoe could join JJ in class. Sent by email, the request was titled simply “Dog” in the header, and at first there was no response. JJ wasn’t one to take silence as an answer, so she kept asking until there was a clear response one way or the other.

Now most teachers, whether in college or high school or some other training institution, probably would not allow a dog in a classroom for a variety of reasons unless the dog was there for a bona fide disability support, such as guide dog. Part of the reason is clearly liability and the fear an uncontrolled or nervous dog might harm someone. Dog bites are one of the most common forms of serious injury across the country every year, and they typically come with legal ramifications as well. No surprise, most schools don’t allow animals in classrooms at all unless under controlled lab conditions or as a certified personal aid. The other reason was the possibility of distraction. Small dogs are noisy enough but a large dog that starts making a rack can be heard around an entire neighborhood block. That clearly wouldn’t be conducive in a classroom setting either.

However, nature of dogs in social settings has changed quite a bit. Dogs are now regularly used in health and community setting such as schools and malls to provide companionship and stress-reduction. Even workplaces are allowing pets to be present. Of course, the dogs have to be trained and extremely calm in busy environments to be eligible, but the world has loosened up quite regarding dog presence versus just 10 years ago.

So JJ kept up the campaign and kept sending additional email messages, most including photographs of him and the dog and stressing how friendly the Golden Retriever would be, including not being a threat to anyone and probably making the classroom more interesting to be in. Finally, JJ was successful. His professor relented and agreed to allow it, probably on a trial basis the first day. Tahoe was so excited, she kept looking out the car window on the way school, dog bandana around her neck and all. But JJ and Tahoe weren’t the only ones wanting to know how things turned out the first day. 4,000 followers on social media were tracking the story, the email posts and the final response allowing the dog to attend class with her owner. The story was so interesting, it started to international.

As it turned out, Tahoe did just fine, and even got to participate in class presentations at the front of the class. There were no disruptions, lots of learning and one very happy, social Golden Retriever who probably became one of the few dogs in history to go to college.

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Life

Surprise! 13-Foot Burmese Python Found in Unusual Spot in Florida

Leslie Tander

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What’s the most surprising thing you’ve come across on the road? Maybe you found a spare tire on the road before or perhaps even some clothes.

You can find all sorts of things over the course of your many travels along America’s roads, although it will be pretty hard to top what one man stumbled upon.

Nick Bishop, a native of Los Angeles, was traveling through Florida together with a friend when they spotted something peculiar. What they saw was a large shadow that looked like it was being cast by a big log.

According to this article from Story Trender, Bishop knew right away that it was not just a log that they were looking at however. Bishop, who goes by the nickname “Nick The Wrangler” and was actually in Florida at the time to look for diamondback rattlesnakes, said that he knew right away that there was a python nearby.

Still, Bishop did admit that he did not expect to find the python when he did. He noted that he did not expect pythons to move that far away from where they usually reside. At the time Bishop saw the python, he said that he was about 30 miles away from where those animals are typically found.

Bishop could not afford to stand in awe of the snake for too long though. He knew that there was a vehicle closing in and that he would have to act quickly if he wanted to save the python from a potentially gruesome fate.

A Dance with the Python

Bishop knew he had to act quickly if he was going to move the python to a safe location. That’s why he decided to take matters into his own hands.

This article from The Daily Mail features a video showing Bishop as he attempts to wrangle the enormous Burmese python.

In the video, you can see that Bishop immediately goes for the python’s tail. The python then responds with hostility to Bishop’s actions by hissing in his direction.

Undeterred, Bishop keeps trying to lift the python off the ground in order to get it to safety. The python is not very cooperative though and even lunges at Bishop with its fangs.

Bishop continues with his efforts to wrangle the python and he eventually wears the animal out. With the snake visibly exhausted, he grabs the head and finally places the python under his control. He celebrates his triumph over the python by giving it a kiss on the head.

The snake wrangler goes on to describe his encounter with the wayward Burmese python as one of the most exciting moments of his life. He also regards it as a gift from Mother Nature.

Following his encounter with the python, Bishop handed the animal over to the authorities so that it could be cared for properly.

Learning More about the Python

Surprisingly enough, the 13-foot serpent Bishop saw that day may actually be on the smaller side. Per National Geographic, some Burmese pythons can grow to over 23 feet in terms of length and weigh over 200 pounds.

When they are younger, Burmese pythons like to spend their time high up in the trees. That becomes more difficult for them as they mature however.

Burmese pythons usually eat birds and small mammals. They prey upon those animals by first suffocating them. Thanks to their stretchable jaws, a Burmese python can fit its suffocated prey entirely into its mouth.

Sadly, Burmese pythons are still being hunted down for their skin and flesh. They are also having a harder time finding places to live. Because of that, Burmese pythons have ended up on the threatened species list.

Hopefully, more people like Nick Bishop will show care for Burmese pythons so that they can thrive once more.

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