As Long as I'm Living

As Long as I'm Living

You only live once.
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When I was a little girl, my mother would read me this story each night as she would tuck me into bed. The story was about a mother watching her baby grow older, and walk through the different stages of life. And no matter how difficult and obnoxious he acted at certain times in his life, every night she would come into his room while he was asleep, rock him back and forth and sing, “I love you forever, I love you for always, as long as I’m living my baby, you’ll be.” At the end of the book, the mother is too old and frail to sing to his son. So instead, he picks his mother up and sings her the very same song she would sing to him.

And although I would make my mom read me this story all the time, it would make her cry, each and every time. I remember reaching the end of the book and already expecting to look over at her tear- streamed face. I do not think that as a little four year old I was able to comprehend the true depth and meaning of the story, and what exactly was making my mom so emotional.

However, it is only in light of recent events that I was finally able to understand the underlying melancholy theme of the bedtime story, and why my mom would squeeze me extra tightly after reading it each time.

“As long as I’m loving, my baby you’ll be.” Nothing in life is forever. And the mere fact that we do not have full control over the course of our own lives is extremely frightening. Here is a story of a mother putting the most precious thing in her life to sleep. She gives everything she has to this child and deals with so much; from the long, sleepless nights, to the illogical, toddler tantrums. No matter how hard he makes life for her sometimes, she would do anything for this little soul, sleeping peacefully in her arms. But at the end of the day, there is only so much she can do, as she is not the only one in control of what’s to come in life.

We all pray that life will take its course, and in the end, it will all culminate naturally. We dream about our future husbands, children, and grandchildren- fantasizing about the joy and light our futures will bring us. But sadly, there are so many who are not given the privilege to even go this far. It’s as if they are taken out of a game they were not yet ready to end. We don’t know why it all happens, but the pain that we’re left with is excruciating.

Sometimes I think about all of the people who were ripped away from their loved ones too soon. I wonder if they too would read this story to their children each night, and promise to be by their side, “As long as [they’re] living.” I wonder if they would pray to only be separated at the right time. But what happens when the time just comes too soon?

These thoughts are painful, and I do not in any way believe that we should go through life with the sound of a biological clock ticking in our ears. However, I do think that sometimes we need to remember that we only live once, not matter how short that time may be.

Too often I find myself waiting for tomorrow. I complain that I’m too young, and wish to be older.. for my life to be settled, and for everything to be perfect. But I’m only realizing now that that life is not guaranteed to me. The only thing I am certain of is right now. The present. This very second. So what will I do with it? Well, for one I should learn to enjoy it. Because from what it seems like, life doesn’t get any easier. With each phase comes different challenges, and I’ll just have to learn to get through them.

Therefore, I’ve decided to make a list. At the end of each day, as I’m getting into bed I’m going to list three things that made me smile that day. They can be as minuscule as seeing someone who made me happy, or hearing a certain song that brought back good memories. Whatever it was, it’ll be put onto paper, so that whenever I feel upset, or eager to be at a different place in life, I’ll review my list to remind myself of how much I have at that very moment.

And one day, if I’m fortunate enough to hold my own, sleeping baby after a long day, I’ll be able to read through my list and remember that each day brings light, and I must cease it for “as long as I’m living.”

Cover Image Credit: http://www.browniephotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Brownie-Photography-orange-county-photographer-3.jpg

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

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5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

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6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

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7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

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8. "Frat" sticker

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9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

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10. Natty light fanny pack 

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12. Beer Opener

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13. Frat House Dr. Sign

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14. Beer Lights 

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Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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Halloween, Then Christmas... What About Thanksgiving?

Everyone notices that Thanksgiving is skipped to make way for Christmas

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, many people are already noticing Christmas items in their local stores. Every time I walk into a store it makes me so angry to see Christmas items. I always say to myself, "Can we wait just a little bit?" Well the answer is no. There is never a retailer that is going to wait to put out Christmas items which to me and many consumers just pushes all the wrong buttons. I always ask why, but i feel that I will never get an answer.

Every time you walk into a store, boom, it is like a a Christmas bomb has gone off. There are Santa's and Christmas Decorations everywhere and i think, why, why does this have to be right now. Can we wait just a couple more weeks because i am not even in the Christmas mood. Yes, I am known as the Scrooge of Christmas. I am not a fan of the snow here in Wisconsin, the cold, and the holiday cheer. I would rather just take a Christmas break and not celebrate Christmas. To me, Christmas is a very stressful holiday and I would like to avoid it as much as possible.

Even when I was in high school people would call me Scrooge. It was not in a mean, bullying way, but it was to recognize that I was not a fan of the holiday or the holiday season. I do not know why I have come to strongly dislike Christmas, but over the years it has just become more of a chore than anything else. Every time I tell someone I am not a fan of the holidays that act like I told them I just was diagnosed with a rare disease of some sort. They have that gasp and say, "OMG WHY!" Then I respond with, "IDK I am just not a fan of it!" People have tired to get me into the spirit of Christmas but I am not in the mood for it at all!

Now this article is not to diminish Christmas, it is to tell you that I am not a fan of it, and I also do not like when retailers put Christmas items out early. For example, when summer starts and you walk into a Target and you already see "BACK TO SCHOOL." That is how I feel. To me, I always try to avoid the holiday section and try to ignore it but it is always up in your face like a perfume salesperson trying to sell you something at Nordstrom. This time of the year is very stressful for me and for many other people. You have the end of the semester, shopping for gifts your people you forgot about all year and so much more. To me, I would rather spend it relaxing from a long semester and not have a care in the world.

So when you walk into a store, just look at how many items thy have for Christmas, and how many they do not have for Thanksgiving. Unless you go to Party City, then they have something for everything. Trust me I try to avoid that store as much as possible, otherwise I will get a headache. So Happy Holidays to the people who want to celebrate them, and to those who do not, give me a call!

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