NEWS FLASH - Third Week of January '08

NEWS FLASH is basically news or thoughts that may be changing over time - an update or an evolution of thought that covers a multiple of topics. It is what makes a blogger tick and it is the reason why we read. So, with that in mind, I came up with NEWS FLASH as an acronym that stands for what is going on in life:

News (or current events)
Entertainment (movies, TV, celebrity, etc.)
Work (thoughts on the job or employer)
Spirit (thoughts on God and/or the supernatural)
Family (or friends)
Anxiety (a rant or a trouble)
Sports (also considered should be contests, reality tv, recreation, cards, games), and
Home (house, yard, or even another family type of thought.
Today's word, boys and girls is SACRIFICE!

NEWS - Senater John McCain has won some respect back from me this week. He was speaking in Michigan to group when he encountered a heckler in the front row. Instead of ignoring him or trying to make him look small, he invited comment from the man. The man told him that he would love to be able to talk to him sometime about the differences in issues and McCain told him that he would call him. Two and half hours later, McCain actually called the guy and SACRIFICED precious time for a guy that wasn't even a supporter to have a ten minute conversation. That shows good character.

ENTERTAINMENT - American Idol returns tonight on Fox. Everyone talks about how this show is waning. I don't know if that is true. I imagine it is going to have a surge in ratings this time because the writers' strike will eliminate a lot of the competition. So, the scripted shows will be SACRIFICED for these type of reality programs. Anyone ready here to talk about Idol this year?

WORK - Big meeting coming up tomorrow. It is so big, mind you, that it is amazing that I am making this post today. I lined up a great speaker for the annual breakfast workshop my commission sponsors every February. There is an elderly nun that runs a nonprofit organization that helps hispanic and latino people that have migrated to the area. This fine lady has SACRIFICED her whole life and has done so much for the area over the years that she is sometimes referred to as the "Mother Theresa of Owensboro, KY."

SPIRIT - I have been thinking a lot lately of SACRIFICE. A lot of people seem to believe that God wants us to give up things just for the sake of denying ourselves - for instance some give up things for the 40 days of Lent. I don't think God is much interested in this type of SACRIFICE. If giving up meat, sugar or alcohol for 40 days enables you to contemplate on God more, then more power to you. Don't stop the practice! Jesus, indeed, SACRIFICED his life for those who believe - to bridge the gap between man and God. We should SACRIFICE, also, but not unto death or pointless denial. I believe that we SACRIFICE unto life. For believers, we identify with the human death of Christ, but SACRIFICE our lives unto Him. Got more than you bargained for in "Spirit" this week, eh? ;)

FAMILY - I discovered this week, that my "long lost brother" is back living in the area. Last I heard, he was living in Florida. My brother runs his own game. He disappears and we find out through various channels that he is living in another part of the country - that sort of thing. It has been years since I have talked to him. He doesn't call. It turns out that he lives in the area and works in my city and has been here since before Thanksgiving. He didn't care to let anyone know or share the holidays with his family for whatever reason. The latest theory is that since my dad died when I was 18, it affected my brother so much that he didn't want to be around the family much after that lest he would have to deal with another loss. So, he SACRIFICES time with those who truly love him in order to not hurt so much when his family of strangers pass away. Who really knows, though? I tried to ask him before about this stuff, but he really doesn't have an answer.

LOVE - The other night, I had it out with my wife. It wasn 't a yelling match or anything like that, it was a state of the relationship speech. The Reader's Digest version is that I told her that I have done all I could do with the marriage and it is on borrowed time. I listed how I have worked hard and SACRIFICED for the marriage everyday, listed the things I do to put her and the marriage's interest before my own personal ones. I asked her what she does for the marriage and she listed two things that she would do anyway even if she wasn't married to me. When I reminded her of that, she responded that she must not do anything for the marriage, then. I wasn't sure if it was sarcasm or realization but I left it right there.

Having talks with my wife is like taking antibotics for an infection. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Either way, one won't know for a couple of days. The rest of that day was shot for anything good; she was surly as ever. However, the next day was better and yesterday was awesome. Then today I get an e-card that read, "Jeff, I'm sorry for not being my best for a long time. I get apathetic and hopless pretty easily and I know it sucks for you - probably more than for me. Anyhow, I want us to be good again and to have those babies someday! Today was good and I want to have carbon copies of it for the rest of our lives!"

We have been through short spells of good days before just to be devistated when the hopelessness sets back in. However, all I can do is take one day at a time and today is a good one.

ANXIETY - I discovered that my car has another problem. It no longer blows hot air for heat or defrost. I suppose that the thermostat needs to be replaced. Sheesh, it is always something.

SPORTS - My wife and I watched my Indiana University Hoosiers defeat her University of Illinois Illini on Sunday. She wasn't too happy about it, but seemed to be happy to watch the game with me. By the way, Brian, if you are still out there, I am still waiting to hear about our IU/UoI bet. They play again Feberuary 7th.

HOME - I went to the visitation at a a funeral home the other day. One of my best friend's father-in-law passed away. The place was packed; undoubtedly this was a beloved man. The deceased's elderly sister passed out next to me in front of the casket.

Death is funny. People work their whole lives for this station or that thing. They SACRIFICE for their families and then all of the sudden they are gone. If this is all there is, than what a pointless waste life is! Fortunately, I know that there is something bigger, something that gives meaning to the multiple lives touched by a single person, and that death is REALLY just the beginning of a larger thing. Truthfully, I don't understand how nonbelievers cope.

This could have been in the SPIRIT part of this entry, but I really was thinking of my family and friends - my friend and his wife with the loss and those who are troubled with no understanding. I hope you aren't in that number, my friends.


Your PR Guy said...

If there's one thing we learn about marriage, it's that lists never work. Or better put, comparing scores always ends with someone losing a point or two just for keeping score.

Hail! Hail! BIG RED.

Jeff said...

PR GUY: You are right about lists. I even tried to tell her while I was listing that I wasn't trying to have a contest with her. It did kind of work out that way, though. However, the moral of this story is that conventional wisdom does not work with my wife. Today is another (that's 3 in a row) good day with her. It is kind of like the Seinfeld episode with "Opposite George". Everything that should work doesn't and evidently everything that shouldn't work does. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Chris said...

Wish I had that magic answer for you. We go through those phases too but I have to say it's 99% good. Funny how those talks go, when you think it helped, it didn't and when you think it made things worse, it didn't. Weird, huh?

Brian said...

Hey buddy! I'm back! Partially in thanks to your comment today on my blog. I might have procrastinated were it not for that...

I'll be catching up with all your posts that I've missed over the next day or two, so stay tuned!

Alice in Wonderbread said...

What is it, exactly, that you want from your wife? What do you want her to SACRIFICE for the sake of the relationship?

I dunno, but maybe asking directly for what it is you're looking for (or even just writing it down for yourself first to see whether or not it truly is something another person can fill) may help even things out.

I don't have the answers- my own marriage has its ups and downs in the romance department, but I know we're both in it for keeps and as we go on in the relationship it evolves- sometimes better, sometimes worse- partnerships are funny that way.

Anyway, best of luck to you. You're a fine writer.

Sayre said...

Interesting theme. One that doesn't run through life often enough, I think. People sacrifice for things that they believe in. And they do it willingly, even happily because it furthers their beliefs and improves the situation - spiritually, maritally, economically or socially. You make sacrifices in your marriage because you believe in your love for your wife and your committment to each other. Maybe her problem is a lack of belief in the first place. She doesn't feel like she brings anything to the table, so she doesn't feel that there is anything to sacrifice for. I've been mulling over some similar things in my own marriage. We're still together, but there have arisen some issues that I'm not sure we can get around. Alcohol is at the root of it, which means things could get difficult. How much sacrifice am I willing to make?

Jeff said...

Alice: Honey, is that you?

Seriously, all I want is the bare minimum of what the wife must do to make a marriage work. She doesn't have to meet me halfway; I don't care. However, she needs to at least get on the road. Now, it seems that she is getting it now, so don't make me jinx it! ;)

If you still think I am unfair, read my archives.

BTW - thanks for coming by and for the nice writing compliment. We aspiring writers eat that stuff up!

Sayre: Yeah, the theme. I don't know where that came from. I was just flying by the seat of my pants (what does that REALLY mean?).

I am sorry to hear about your situation. Usually alcohol is symptom of another problem. Sacrifice is a funny concept. Sacrifice is giving up something dear to you in order to cause a better outcome for someone else. Think about that.

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a week!

Idol: Love that show. I'm not a huge TV person, but this is one show that I will rearrange my life around....sort of. Thank goodness for DVR. I'm ready for the new season!

That is pretty cool about McCain. How many candidates would actually do that?

Out of curiosity.....does your wife suffer from something like depression or anxiety? I'm not trying to pry or come off as rude, but it just seems she might struggle with some emotional/personal things. And if she got some treatment that would help her and you tremendously. But, I could be totally way off....

Knowledge of the afterlife gives me hope. I too don't understand who those who don't believe cope.

Jeff said...

Chris: Yep, it is weird, alright. Women, can't live with 'em, can't trade them in for a Buick. Oops! I think I just lost about 90% of my readers. I didn't mean it, girls, honest!

Kristen: Cool, I will be talking Idol with you and Big Brother with Chris.

Yes, I was very impressed with McCain with that.

And yeah, my wife suffers from a bouquet of psychologocal anomolies. We and she have/has been to counseling.

Brian: Welcome back, Pal! You slacker, you

Sayre said...

Yah... email problems. I can relate...

In light of the events of new year's eve and recent ones as well, I wonder if I will have to sacrifice my marriage for the benefit of my child. Growing up with alcoholic parents isn't ever fun (just ask my husband), and I don't want to put my son through that. There's enough craziness involved in just reaching maturity without adding that to the mix.

I will probably be thinking about your post all day.

Jeff said...

Sayre: The email problem was that I didn't have your address.

If you want to talk or vent about this back channel (email), my address is I have some experience in this and one of my best friends is a substance abuse counselor. I don't give advice very easily, but I do have a caring ear.

Sayre said...

Ah - yes, that would be a problem. When I started this, I only had my work email and didn't want to be innundated by non-work email. I set up a yahoo account for that kind of thing eventually but never got around to adding it to my profile. It's Easy, huh?

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of funny about the word "sacrifice" in relationships. I like "compromise" better. I know its six of one half a dozen of the other, but there's something about the word compromise that seems less dramatic, and more doable for me. ...and I can't really articulate why. It could be some personal issue of mine based on my life history.

Anyway, I'm glad you both had a good day today, Jeff.

The Real Mother Hen said...

I LOVE watching American Idol.
Btw, the show has proven to help in the relationship dept as we both laugh our ass off :)

Hazel said...

hi jeff nice to meet you. thanks for drop by. mind to exchange link?

Meg said...

Love the word of the day. I hope you and your wife can work things out without having to SACRIFICE your own happiness. Good luck with that.

Jod{i} said...

ewwwwww you caught that? Yes we are all kinda trying to ignore that fact!
Sh eis not originally from here though...her myspace is a bit, ummm

Lippy said...

Hey Jeff,
Good catching up with you today. Nice, full entry, a great read. I hope things work out (and that meeting went well, too!)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that your wife has been to counselling before. You can't fight destructive thought patterns or personality problems if you don't acknowledge they exist.

I don't have depression, but I have some similar anxiety/despair type issues. Once I get into those kind of thought patterns negative thoughts compound themselves and it's difficult to get out of it. It sucks for my husband when I get that was, but being aware of it is the start of making it better.

Hope you have more good days!

There's plenty of talk about sacrifice in the bible (Romans 12:1, 1 Peter 2:5), but I agree that God is more interested in you living a holy life for him than all the things you give up. If you need to give things up for that, well that's what you do, but it doesn't get you any extra points.

Loz said...

Hi Jeff - I always enjoy your news flashes. Please drop by my blog and collect your award.