So, how’s life?

Every once in a while I get a question that deals with life. It can be in the form as “How’s life?” “What’s going on?” “What’s the big news?” “What’s happening in town?”

When it’s in the public spectrum I refer to stories that have been in the news lately or that I’m working on. When it’s more personal, I talk about what’s been happening with my family or friends. More often than not, my short answer is “Busy.”

This past week is a good example. There are many events found throughout the paper where I, or someone from The Times, was at. Saturday was perhaps the most packed as there was Run New Prague, the free shredding of paper as part of the City-Wide Cleanup, the first day of the New Prague Farmer’s Market, the Phil Simon Memorial Crappie Tournament and a bicycle fundraiser. Add to that, I went up to the Twin Cities to meet up with a couple of friends and it makes for quite the day of travel around the area.

Of course, “Busy” is a good way to describe life for many of us. I think we all have friends or family who are planning a wedding, a vacation, a high school or college graduation, moving into their first house, starting a new job or we’ve found out they are now engaged. On the opposite side of the positives are the ones that also are part of life that we have to deal with, but often don’t talk about, such things as major surgery, a fire or the death of a loved one. Fortunately, the majority of the time, we’ve seen people rally around those who have to deal with those things. Whether it’s as a community or a family, and it can be the family we have by blood or by choice.

Paying it forward How many people have had a moment when they’ve experienced or helped with “paying it forward?” That phrase is something that exploded in popularity a few years back, even though the phrase and the concept had been around years before. It basically means when someone does something good for you, you do something good for others and so on.

A few weeks back I was at McDonald’s and a woman paid for my and a few others meals. A few of us asked her about it and she said she was someone who believed in karma and she gave her name as Hope.

We’ve all had our times when we’ve paid it forward, although we will consider it as volunteering to help others or doing a good deed or as the slogan of the Boy Scouts goes, “Do a good turn daily.”

It can be as simple as donating a piece of clothing that hasn’t been worn very much or put aside some food this weekend for the annual letter carriers Stamp Out Hunger. For those who have the time they can give blood or donate platelets, a blood component.

I recently did that and it being a first time experience it took about two hours, but then they had one needle going into my arm to draw out the platelets and another needle going into the other arm to return the blood. It was through the American Red Cross and the people were attentive and when I was cold, they provided warm blankets. They also had a small DVD player and a rather large selection of movies or TV shows to watch. I confess I’m not a fan of needles, but I find looking away helps in the process.