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RECYCLING
by Christine Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW

Robert Fulghum, author of "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," commented that he wrote a reflective piece once a year. Reminded me of a mission statement. Once in my masters' program, I had the assignment to write my own eulogy. Fascinating to reflect looking backwards at how I want my life to be versus looking ahead. I wonder what it would be like to write my eulogy once a year. . .

For whatever reason, I pondered this on August 18, 1999 at 1:23 AM. The following is the result of looking forward to look backward . . . .

If I were to give my own eulogy today in this technological era, I would videotape the following to be played at my funeral. If not on tape, I would at least have it read and typed up for distribution. Here's the first draft.

"The fact that you are watching me, hearing my words, means that I am no longer on this earth. I've always had quite the flair for dramatics, or perhaps better said, the need to orchestrate things in my life - such as my wedding, the baby showers, births and baptisms of my two beautiful children, Nicholas and Sarah, even down to which day they would be born. . . Since all went according to MY plan (Though clearly God has had His hand in everything), why not create my funeral service and eulogy as well?! For those that know me, I make no apologies" (The instrumental piece on Billy Joel's Cold Spring Harbor CD must be played , and perhaps the song Falling of the Rain. . . gotta check out those words)

Anyway, back to my parting words. "More than anything, I feel blessed to say that I have loved my life! I have died a very happy and content woman, with a loving husband and 2 incredibly beautiful children. In the movie, As Good As It Gets, Melvin told Carol that she made him want to be a better man - Dave, my husband, has definitely made me want to be a better woman! I know that who I am is without a doubt due to his presence in my life.

My life theme has been RECYCLE! I have long told Dave that at my funeral, there needs to be a red Rumpke recycling bin - it better be there!

My prayer and request for you all is that you recycle - EVERYTHING! I pray that in your life, you turn your actual and emotional garbage into something useful, something beneficial to yourself and others.

THE REAL STUFF -- actually recycle plastics, glass, paper, etc; donate clothes to Goodwill, AMVETS, whomever; pass on furniture and baby equipment to nieces, nephews, your kids, St. Vincent DePaul - anyone!

CHILDHOOD WOUNDS have made me the therapist I am, or rather, I was - I have my mom to thank! Today, I do honestly thank her.

RECYCLE ENERGY - give of yourself. Volunteer! My first memories of service work date back to around age 10 when I sponsored a McDonald's backyard fair to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis, I think. . . I've been orchestrating ever since! Help others. Do projects. Create a co-op with friends. For years, Dave and I helped dear friends of ours, Penny and Gary, work on each other's houses. About 8 times each year, we'd alternate - fences, attics and storage spaces got built; light outlets were added to walls; wallpaper torn off, rooms painted and decorated. The list was endless; no project was too big or too small. We did buttons and bows, and hammers and nails. Good times with good friends sharing good food, creating many memorable and productive weekends. Our kids played and learned from us - what a legacy to pass on!

GRIEF and LOSS that you feel today - recycle it! Feel it, embrace it and then turn it into something useful, something beneficial and productive for yourself and others. Don't exist in a vacuum - things die in a vacuum. LIVE, LOVE, LEARN, RECYCLE - ""Just Do It" as NIKE so poignantly marketed. For your sake, for your kids sake, for God's sake - RECYCLE!

Periodically throughout my life, I told Dave, "I love my life." Check yourself - Do you love your life?. . . If not, do something differently, otherwise, you're insane. The Alcoholics Anonymous definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. . . Don't be insane!

As most of you know, I could go on ad naseum. In my final parting words, I will offer a few of my favorite quotes. . .

"When God closes a door, He opens a window somewhere."
(Maria, from Sound of Music)

"I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.

"I believe in love, even when not feeling it."

"I believe in God, even when God is silent."
(Inscription found on a wall of Nazi concentration camp)

"For all that has been, Thanks."

For all that will be, Yes."
(Author Unknown)

Thanks to you all for being along on part of my journey!

See ya in the afterlife!

Christine Turo-Shields



Sincerely,


Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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Happy Thanksgiving!

In a few short days we celebrate Thanksgiving.  First, I want to send grateful thanks to you for being a part of my life.

When I thought about an article for Thanksgiving, Christine's article on recycling came immediately to mind.  Please enjoy it and have a grateful Thanksgiving day!

 

Great Quotes


"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a gift and not giving it."

~~ Anonymous

 

Gratitude List

 

In case you need a gratitude jump-start here are a few to ponder:

 

  • My good health

  • My strength 

  • My belief in God 

  • My family 

  • My amazing mother 

  • My amazing father 

  • My healthy child 

  • My wonderful wife 

  • My loving husband 

  • My terrific partner 

  • My great job 

  • My financial comfort 

  • My mentor 

  • My neighbors 

  • My wonderful friends 

  • My education 

  • My incredible girlfriend 

  • My incredible boyfriend 

  • My loving pet 

  • My full cupboard 

  • My home 

  • My good sense 

  • My determination 

  • My ability to think clearly 

  • My ability to help myself 

  • My ability to express

  • myself 

  • My ability to give back

  • My talent 

  • My intelligence 

  • My fashion sense 

  • My right of free speech 

  • My great sex life 

  • My sense of humor 

  • Nature 

  • Democracy 

  • My favorite website 

  • My favorite sports team 

  • My favorite music 

  • My favorite books 

  • My favorite movies 

  • My favorite TV shows 

  • My favorite video games 

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