Yet during the holiday season we’re bombarded with images of social wealth.
Everything from: Family dinners, parties, drinks with friends, hugging, skating in pairs, walking together looking at lights, Secret Santa and gift exchanges, spontaneous snowballs fights, eating roasted chestnuts, and of course, people running into the arms of loved ones at airports…
But what if those things aren’t in your life?
The social media holiday barrage, Christmas FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), anticipointment (trademark?), Facebook, Instagram, TV, Google+, Twitter, MySpace (kidding, just wanted to see if you were paying attention) – all bursting with shiny images of happy people enjoying the holidays together. It can be overwhelming yet it’s only a day, like any other.
So if you find yourself less-than-surrounded by family and friends during the holidays,try to:
1. Marathon your way through the season, which apparently now begins…
We’d be streaming incessantly (beyond Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime). I’ve been testing all the “Free Trials” of streaming services, I’ve tried: “Acorn TV”, “Disney+”, “Crave/HBO/TMN”, “Britbox”, and heading toward “Apple TV”, “National Geographic”, “Smithsonian”, and “Shudder” – who knows how far I’ll get, drinking my tea, watching me some “free”…
Who knew people would be fighting over and hoarding: hand sanitizer and yes, toilet paper (Seinfeld once again predicts the future).
We’d be trying to not gain something called, “COVID-19”, the virus or lbs.
Thanking our essential workers (literally not enough “Thank Yous” in the universe for that), even though many people and politicians didn’t even think they were worth giving decent pay, or really caring about them at all, until they needed them (newsflash geniuses, you/we always needed them).
Trying to learn languages. For me, I’m trying to learn the important stuff first, for example: “Spero tu stia passando una bella giornata miei adorati lettori, avete pasta per me? “(“I hope you are having a nice day my beloved readers, do you have pasta for me?”); “Ich brauche Kuchen” (“I need cake”); “¿Donde estan las galletas?” (“Where are the cookies?”); “Je veux de la pizza” (“I want pizza”)…just some essential phrases.
Traveling on YouTube (who knew it would take a pandemic to turn me into a travel blogger?).
We’d be learning (some of us) all kinds of new terms, like the ones below (how many did you know?):
Flattening/flatten the curve
Planking/plank the curve
Bending/bend the curve (I feel like these will also be diet names soon)
Data models (or as I call them, data stick insects)
Vector (what’s your vector, Victor?)
Essential workers (again, thank you just doesn’t seem to cover it)
Oropharyngeal swabs (updates from Dr. Fauci, Dr. Tam, Dr. Birx and others are like watching police dramas, they all talk about swabs a lot, “Did you get the swabs?”, “I got the swabs”, “Did you need another swab?”, “What do ya mean we’re out of swabs? Get more swabs!”, “We need billions of swabs!”. Police shows and pandemics, brought to you by Johnson & Johnson, but that’s a whole other story https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/)
ACE-2 is a gateway receptor (who knows what it will lead to?).
Be comforted by bedtime stories from: Dolly Parton, David Tennant, Oprah, Stephen Fry, Betty White, Rami Malek, James McAvoy, Sarah Silverman, Chris Pine, Kristen Bell, Tom Hardy – ooooh, can he read them in Bane (he was so ahead of his time, he worse a mask, quarantined a city and cancelled all events, including sports) or Venom voices too, please?
And James Earl Jones – seriously, Darth Vader reads me to sleep, “May The Fourth Be With You” and Beware the “Revenge of the Fifth/Sixth” and too much spicy food on Cinco de Mayo could cause Revenge of the Shi…well, you know, moderation, ok?.
So much crushing on Andrew Cuomo, so many Cuomosexuals…
Worrying about Murder Hornets, really, who came up with that name, at least make it alliterative, how about “Homicide Hornets” or “Horror Hornets”? Like this: “Slaughter Slugs”, “Maiming Moths”, “Assassin Ants”, “Snuff Snails”…
Getting slightly ever so bored with: baking (getting too warm now anyway); is there enough testing, not enough testing (it’s making me testy);
Zoomfail hashtags (don’t you wish you’d bought shares in Zoom?); “Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo”, kidding, who could ever get tired of that?,
people arguing about “Mandela Effect” online, hmmm, or maybe that never happened.
Making masks, cleaning masks, remembering to bring your masks, remembering not to wear a hockey mask to the grocery store…so many things to remember, what was I talking about again?
Being on video, seriously, before all this I hated going on camera or video, now it’s, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Zoom, no, no, not that close!”.
People actually listening to someone that lies incessantly, slurs their words, and suggests we could kill COVID-19 by injecting disinfectant into the body and/or UV light, no buddy, why are you like this, why are you the way you are?
That we’d be staying so much: “Stay Home”, “Stay Safe”, “Stay Connected”, “Stay At Home”, “Stay Healthy”, Sit/”Stay”/Roll Over, “Stay in place”, “Stay trippy dude”, “Stay the course”, “Stay fresh” (seriously, you need to shower even if you’re isolated alone)…
I can easily imagine self-isolation has lead to re-enacting musicals with Star Wars action figures, Muppets and/or hand shadows, I’m sure someone somewhere is doing this (please, please, please send me links).
That our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (Canada rules!) would tell us the things, the things he knows that stop you from “speaking moistly” (oh baby, speak moistly to me)…
I’ll be here for you When the someone knocks on your door (gasp!) I’ll be here for you When you’re dreaming Obama is still POTUS
I’ll be here for you ‘Cause you’re here for me too (on Zoom?)
No one could ever know me (cause I’m wearing a mask) No one could ever see me (cause I’m doing a flask task at home)
Seems now more people know What it’s like to be…chronically me?
Someone to Facetime (Skype/Zoom/Messenger, text, call, whatever) the day with.
Make it through Quarantine Life (only going out for necessities of life, I don’t know about toilet paper, but donuts count, right?) with…
Someone I’ll always laugh with Even at my worst, I’m best with you, yeah
I’ll be here for you When the sun starts to shine
I’ll be here for you When for the great outdoors we pine…
I’ll be here for you ‘Cause we’re (patiently?) waiting for a sign
I’ll be here for you (speaking moistly)
I’ll be here for you (singing: Andrea Bocelli; Ultravox; Ramones; Ed Sheeran; Elton John; Cher (if we could turn back time); Green Day – don’t wannabe an, well, you-know-what;
Foo Fighters; Nivana; The Beatles – “Don’t Come Together”, “We All Live in Self-Quarantine”;
I’ll be here for you (sissying my quarantine fashion, picture me rocking Mickey Mouse leggings, Guardians of the Galaxy T-shirt, Paddington coat, and Nirvana baseball cap https://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/03/17/im-still-standing-yeah-yeah-yeah/, strangely enough, no pictures, that I know of, while putting red ribbons on the trees to say “Thank You – no thanks are ever ever ever going to be enough for our essential workers, but you could start with simple steps: Be Kind, Stay Home, Wash Your Hands).
Hope you’re here for me too (but like, not here here, like, there but emotionally here, together but apart, but connected, so non-contagious virtual hugs and chats and tweets, comments, Zoom, Skype, Messenger, and all that, but over there while I’m over here, but we’ll both be there, well, here for each other…I’m confused. I need more simplicity https://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/01/26/aggressive-simplification/What about you?).
Oooooh, my little pathogen, my pathogen! Don’t be givin’ me germs, #Corona Ooh, you make me petrified, me petrified! Got it coming off o’ the flight from #China? My, my, my, aye-aye, whoa! M-m-m-my #coronavirus
Did you sing it to “My Sharona” by The Knack? The original lyrics are actually scarier/creepier… Pandemic, more like Pant-demic, am I right?
I thought we all deserved a break from the propaganda of pandemic shopping (what’s with the obsession with toilet paper? Will t.p. be our future currency? Will people years from now be telling their grandchildren, “I was there for the T.P. Wars of 2020, it was ugly, a real sh*tshow!”. Do people not understand COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, this is not the Crappocalypse…Every time someone says toilet paper I think of “Seinfeld”, “No, I don’t have a square to spare. I can’t spare a square.” Really folks, are you going to be those type of apocalypse people who can’t even spare a square?
Also, thinking of t.p. makes me want to sing, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division, but that’s for a psychiatrist to figure out…). Pandemic shopping panic is spreading faster than any virus single-strandedly could…I have my pandemic panic shopping priorities straight, I stocked up on chocolate. You know what kills the most people? Misinformation. Ignorance. And in the end, life.
Make no mistake about why these babies are here – they are here to replace us. ~ Jerry Seinfeld
Finally watched “Rocketman”. As a writer, I adore Bernie Taupin’s mind (played by the delightful Jamie Bell), as a music freak fan Elton John (Taron Egerton,who also sings the part, bravo!)is a tapestry on the castle wall of music. This film is: over-the-top, brilliant and self-indulgent, so basically, Elton John. People compare this with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, DON’T!!! Like comparing the Hope diamond with a million tiny diamonds on a huge pair of glasses, completely different, both dazzling.
Don’t you know I’m still standing, most of the time. Looking like a tightrope walker past their prime. I’m still standing after all this time. Picking up the pieces of my life, kinda like a mime (ummm, on a windy street) I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah Seriously, disequilibrium is discombobulating and even spelling them makes me dizzy!!!
What have you all been doing to keep COVID-19 from spreading and to stave off that beast, boredom? Have you been supporting one another, reaching out to offer help, or a kind word? Email isn’t cancelled. Texting isn’t cancelled. Calls aren’t cancelled. Kindness isn’t cancelled. Smiles aren’t cancelled. Goodwill isn’t cancelled. Some people are complaining they can’t get out, false, walking, cycling, jogging, running, hiking, all safe distancing activity that keeps you moving isn’t cancelled, just stay, stay hydrated and practice safe distancing.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day – wear green, eat green food, drink green beer, smile, get lucky, laugh, share some laughter. Support each other. Stop looking at the negative side and think about all the “me” time you’ve been missing, maybe without even realizing it. Some people are complaining there are too many precautions, maybe, but if nothing comes of this, guess what, that’s the outcome we want, nothing to happen.
Here’s things that have been keeping me amused while Earth is cancelled.
“The Alice Network” (not to be confused with “The Alice Project” or “Alice Cooper” or “Alice in Wonderland” or “Alice in Zombieland”…what was I talking about?) “TAN” by Kate Quinn, suggested by a friend, “thanks” cause I couldn’t put this book down!!! Seriously, my eyes got tired, so I logged onto the library, got the e-audio of it and let my ears do some of the heavy lifting. Ever read a book where the movie starts playing in your brain? Stark. Poetic. Mesmerizing. Unflinching. So many books sit on shelves, unworthy, taking up space, this book deserves a whole section to itself.
Words cannot describe how happy “Avenue 5” made me…Hugh Laurie (reminds me of his “Blackadder-A-Bit-of-Fry-Laurie-with-a-smidge-of-Jeeves & Wooster-glory-days), Zach Woods, Josh Gad, Ethan Phillips and so many more. A delightful disaster you can’t stop watching…more please?“Star Trek: Picard” is a gift to loyal Trekkies/Trekkers. Patrick Stewart reprises his role as the iconic Jean-Luc Picard(please commence arguments about who’s the best Starfleet Captain now) and with a whole host of new and oldie (but still-in-our-hearts) spacies: Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Santiago Cabrera, Harry Treadaway, Alison Pill, Isa Briones, etc. Not already a “Star Trek” fanatic fan, probably not for you; for those who’ve spent a majority of their lives thrilling at: “Make it so”, “Set Phasers to stun”, “Engage”, “I’m a doctor, not a…”, “Resistance is futile”, “Highly illogical”, etc.…you get it, that electric energy zinging through you. And the cherry on top? Picard has a dog named Number One…wonder-filled.
“The Outsider” – I got chills, they’re multiplying!!! Watch the series, read the book by Stephen King and when your inner voice says “Don’t watch another episode before bed!”, listen to it, same goes for what your I.V. tells you about donuts (mostly, sometimes your I.V. is just bossy and should mind it’s own business!).Oh no, I have a scratch on my hand, yikes.
“Hunters” – weirdly reminds me of “The Watchmen” (the mind-blowing movie not the HBO series), but, like, hunting Nazis in the 70s…Al Pacino is still a master of micro-expressions. This is a reminder to trust government…seriously? Obviously kidding.
“Sex Education” on Netflix, there are no words, just watch (and learn?).
“Freaks” (isn’t this just sorta “Firestarter” again?).
“The Stranger”, “The Five”, Safe” all adapted from Harlan Coben books– What? What? What? Oh, the UK sure knows how to do a mystery up right.
Watched “The Hate U Give” and “Where Hands Touch”, apparently Amandla Stenberg likes to make me keep-the-tissue-box-handy because, ok, I’m welling up now thinking about both films, so amazing.
Too many books to list (just when I think I’m getting caught up on my to-read book list, I’m…squirrel! Yes, that easily distracted), for now, yet “F*ck No! how to stop saying yes when you can’t, you shouldn’t, or you justdon’t want to” by Sarah Knight (author of one of my favs, “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck”) stands out. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/01/26/aggressivesimplification/
So before we panic, er, even more (Don’t Panic! Be Cautious! Be Kind!)…
Frankly, I’m feeling a bit panicked about how upset people are about having to wash their hands! And asking how to wash their hands properly! Being put out at having to wash their hands more! Ummm, supergross…) and all the stockpiling hoarding toilet paper, masks, hand sanitizer, medications, water, etc.
Not to downplay the loss, it’s terrible, but to put this into perspective, approx. 500 people die each day to firearms worldwide. Not to mention: cancer, heart disease, poison, fire, flu, diabetes, suicide, murder, driving while: texting, drunk, high, tired, smoking, sleeping, watching TV, checking their phone, hair, make-up, eating, and wow, seriously people, just drive the car, sober, rested, it’s not a toy.
I could go on. People die of preventable illnesses and “accidents” (is anything really an accident?). People are still starving, really, that’s still a thing in 2020? So before we continue to panic (which involves a lot of toilet paper I guess?),
I know this is bad and gonna get a whole lot worse, but let’s look back at all the things that went bump-in-the-night, the “scare-du-jour” that made us run out then and buy, buy, buy (currently residing in the “Where Are They Now?” files):
Ebola (since I was a teen I’ve been saying Ebola and other viruses are just a plane ride away, then again, I also wore a Hawaiian shirt every Thursday cause Magnum P.I. was on…so that happened).
Zika. Iran. West Nile Virus. Ozone Hole. Y2K. SARS. Caravans. H1N1. Acid Rain. Mad Cow (I simply can’t get a disease like Creutzfeldt-Jakob, I can’t even spell/say it correctly). AI. Jellyfish. MERS. Sharks (landsharks?).
Global Thermonuclear War (seriously, watch “War Games” again, you’ll thank me).
Weapons of Mass Destruction (now plagued by Weapons of Mass Distraction). Terrorism. UFOs. Comets. Asteroids (also a cool video game).
Vampires. Pizzagate. FOMO. North Korea. ISIS. AIDS. Momo. Rickrolling.
Remember the world ending in 2012? Mayans must be having a right good laugh at us. Evil clowns, sorry, that was redundant…I meant, clowns.
Chemicals in the water that turn the freakin’ frogs gay!
Swine flu (that’s some pig!). Eggs. Chickens and other birds (which came first?).
And my all-timefav,Killer Beesfrom South America.
Where are they? Did they take a decades-long siesta? Are they still coming? I need answers!
Fear is used to manipulate the population, to keep them docile and easily lead. Then again, how have we survived this long? Seriously… “What, me worry?”Worry is a weird thing to do cause stress/worry hurt your immune system which leaves you open to viruses…see where this is going?
Risk is part of life (and a magnificent game).
Maybe we need relax, take a deep breath, calm down and have some tea and some chicken soup (gluten-free, GMO-free, organic with no chicken for our frightened souls). I have just the thing. A delightful friend and tireless blogger, Cher P. Garman https://thechicagofiles.com/ has contributed to “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, Live Happy (101 Stories About Creating Your Best Life)” by Amy Newmark and Deborah Norville (CSS) and good news, none contain tales of rushing to Costco, pushing people out of the way to stockpile toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Cher’s inspirational story is #60. This ex-pat was a fish out of Canadian waters when her family moved to Chicago, but did Cher wallow? No, in the belly of the windy whale the blind taught her to see. Cher helped herself by helping others. You can’t feel alone or sad or frustrated when you give the gift of yourself to those in need.
“Chicken Soup” books are oft mocked as ‘corny’ or ‘cheesy’ (both corn and cheese taste good in soup, by the way), but they’re meant to remind us to see past the doom-and-gloom headlines and “if-it-bleeds-it-leads” stuff because it sells, sells, sells!!!
That the “Breaking News” crap and social media frenzies aren’t meant to motivate you, or to make you content or grateful or happy, they’re meant to disrupt, disturb, depress so you’ll be desperate and despairing.
I’m not dismissing the loss, the horror, the fear…germs are super scary, they’re a killer we can’t see, but really, so are a lot of things, Mother Nature is always trying to kill us and we’re doing the same to her. How about a truce?
Anxiety is my brain telling me to be careful, except fear isn’t using it’s inside voice. Panic, anxiety, worry, grieving, frustration, depression, etc. during these situations is normal, but if we amplify, then fear wins.
I feel sad for so many people in this crisis, including those told to stay home when they have no home. I’m going to rely heavily on science, I know, not popular in some circles, but it’s one of the few things in life that’s always tried to be honest with me.
My thinking is: stay home more, “social distancing” (hmmm, people with Autism were born for this), help “flatten the curve”, stay calm and we can do this…
Also, keep your risk perception under control, toilet paper will not keep you safe from COVID-19:
1) Wash your hands w/ soap often for 20-30 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands. Stop touching your face so much! Seriously! Stop! Humans touch their face anywhere from 15-50 times/hour (what?!?). And clean your phones, they may very well herald the zombie apocalypse.
2) Human contact is important, but again, be cautious (a good general rule). Animal/human is also important, but this is zoonotic, again be cautious and be kind. Stop blaming bats, if we weren’t stomping all over their ecozones, their homes they’d just continue to hand around and be batty.
3) This is a good time to educate people on the risks (“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” Mark Twain would tell you 100x and more goes for the internet) and how to combat them. Don’t Panic! Be Cautious! Be Kind!
I’m going with what the doctors/scientists/experts say, wash your hands. #WashYourHands #SafeHands
The world is a ball of wonder, don’t let the latest storm be your whole life’s weather forecast. Don’t just learn to dance in the rain, learn to dance like you’re in the rain, in a “Wham!” video!
“There is no point in using the word ‘impossible’ to describe something that has clearly happened.” === Douglas Adams
It happened and I let it happen. Not once, twice, or thrice, but over and over again. As impossible as it seemed, I let my life, wait, “let” seems too passive, I actively participated in the over-complication of my life.
Oh, I told myself I was simplifying. I did all the “right” things. I organized, sorted, classified, tidied, de-cluttered…tried to keep only things that sparked joy.
Yet my life felt like I was just moving round those deck chairs on the “Titanic” (there was room on the board for Jack, Rose, remember, never let go?).
Then complications, on tiny clawed feet creep, whether or not I leave them a treat…
1. First stage of grief – denial. In denial my life was that complicated. Ihad balls in the air, juggling like a clown; I like helping people laugh (I’m a bit of a Joker), but clowns wear too much make-up, for mypersonal taste.
“Simplification” always means removing stuff, right? Usually, but not always, sometimes it means: adding, switching, modifying, adapting, accommodating, changing, rethinking, reclassifying, redistributing…a whole lot of re-ing.
2. Next, I hit a wall of pain and guilt.
Yup, those flying “Whys” hit like me like a sock full of pennies. “Why was I so sick?” “Why couldn’t I get better?” “Why me?” “Why?”
3. Anger (Envy?) and Bargaining. “So many people don’t appreciate: their health, their life, the good people and things; why do they have so much of things they don’t appreciate?”
“Whoever may be out, let’s strike a bargain, what do you want to make this better?”
4. Depression/Reflection/Loneliness. “I’m worthless.” “I’m a drain.” “I’m a burden.” Breaks into a chorus of “All by Myself” while fighting her own hand reaching for the cookies.
5. The upward turn. “I can do this.” “I can find even more resources.” “I can find more people who understand.”
“I can help myself.” “I can push even harder.” “I’m pretty amazing.”
6. Reconstruction and working through.When I said it wasn’t all about de-cluttering, it was a big part because…sigh,
I’m a fantastic bargain snifferhunterstalkerpredator shopper.
Brand names for dirt cheap, price/ad matching, coupons/freebies, sales…long story short, had (insert understatement here) more stuff than I realized. More than half of the more is gone now.
Bumped up my phone plan cause counting seconds wasn’t saving my brain and I was missing stuff and things.
Got more medical resources.
Watched stuff that made me smile and think and not think and lot of giggling: “Knives Out”,“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”, “Fleabag”, “The Walking Dead”, “The Good Place”, “Virgin River”, “Lost”, “Grace and Frankie” (want to know if a veteran actor/actress is alive, watch this), “The Orville”, “Jack Ryan”, “SNL”, “Joker”, “Lost In Space”, “Spiderman: Far From Home”, “Marriage Story”, “Glitch”, “The Expanse”, and thank you kindly to Netflix for Season 2 of “You”…You know I like to watch.
Unplugged from social media more; it’s a learning curve of an addiction.
7. Acceptance and hope. Now more organized, but with the understanding things pop up to: disrupt, disturb and displace the calm and toss things into the chaos realm.
Hopefully the extra measures I have taken with my “aggressive simplification” will be enough to keep the monsters of chaos at bay.
There’s no linear path to anywhere or anything, it’s all wibbly wobbly, up and down, round and round.
Most living things grieve, in different ways. We grieve those we’ve loved and lost, friendships, connections, community, hope, opportunities, time, health, jobs, dreams…
I predict complications and chaos will continue, but instead of thinking (or overthinking it, thank goodness I never ever ever ever, did I mention ever, do that!) of it all as a catastrophe, think of it as a chance to learn.
The holiday season stresses out most everyone, but for those who are ill, the holidays can be a nightmare(before and during Christmas); it’s stressful for even those who don’t celebrate Christmas(or try not to celebrate).
The roads are busier. Malls overrun by zombies (We are The Walking Dead, but with brightly-wrapped gifts). Christmas songs drone on, but peace on Earth, really, there’s barely a pretense of civility.
So many Santas, ringing and ho-ho-hoing for money to buy toys – I thought there was a workshop and elves for that…
Expectations. Unrealistic expectations. Too much food (First World Problem).
Frolicking. Accidents. Frolicking accidents. Ugly Christmas sweaters (no longer ironic), now ironically iconic?
Gifts/gift cards/e-gift cards, “the perfect gift” for the “perfect” Christmas – that’s where stress-relievers come in.
First, take a deep breath. Christmas is one day.One.24 hours.1440 minutes. Let’s also enjoy the other 364 days in the year. Relax.
Second, the holidays should be about: giving, helping, hoping, kindness, compassion, and dreams; not pushing, whining, complaining, stressing and screams…Relax.
Third, you need to find out what works for you, what makes you happy, what brings you comfort and joy. If you don’t know that, how can you share it with others? Relax.
Here are some usual ways (and unusual, whatever that means) ways to relieve stress during the holidays (and all the year through)? There are more than 12 so you decide which is which.
If I’ve left some out and I’m sure I did, please comment to tell me what I missed and then share the post on social media so others can tell me what I missed as well…
Read books/ebooks (This is a safe space, no “books vs ebooks” arguments here; all books are welcome and accepted!).
Volunteer (I once knew someone who said more people would volunteer if they were paid, ummm, that’s a job).
Write a blog/journal/novels/poems.
Manicure/Pedicure (at home works too).
Bake (me a cake?).
Aromatherpy (Don’t limit yourself to the usual scents, whatever smells good to you, smell away).
Look for the Fibonacci symbol in nature or fractals, so fun on snowy days.
Design clothes.Wear clothes.Buy New-To-You clothes (Goodwill, Talize, Salvation Army, Value Village, Mission Store, and other Love-Them-Again stores are awesome).
Go see a play, be in a play, write a play, direct a play.
Look at the stars (the ones in the sky).
Plant yourself near a plant to reduce your blood pressure.
Karate (relaxed and ready to defend yourself, probably not against Ninjas or aliens, but maybe zombies or vampires).
Visit an art gallery/museum.
Stream (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV, Disney Plus, Acorn TV, Crave, HBO, TMN, SlingTV, BritBox, and many more; with more popping up every day).
Play board games.
Play video games.
Play card games.
Stay and enjoy.
Do puzzles – crossword, boxed puzzles, puzzle boxes, find-a-word (Have you heard? The bird is the word), sudoku, logic, trivia and if you can figure out people, wow, you’ve solved the biggest puzzle ever.
Apply gentle pressure to the spot between your 2nd and 3rd knuckle, between your fingers, where your finger and hand meet to reduce stress.
Cheer someone up with a fun surprise (Do not break into their home and draw a happy face on the wall or anything in red lipstick on their mirror, apparently that’s considered “creepy”).
Wine/Beer tasting tour (Don’t taste and drive).
Learn some magic tricks (Be nice to rabbits).
Get/give a facial.
Watch the clouds (the ones in the sky).
Jump (jump jump jump around) on a trampoline (safety first).
Smile (I just like to smile, smiling’s my favourite).
Drink water (don’t waste it).
Create the next big fad! i.e. Lint kittens and puppies. Easy to keep – no walks, no food, soft and cuddly, and easy to house-train. Do not expose to water.
Join a team (fantasy or real).
Pet sit (don’t actually sit on a pet).
Tear paper (then recycle then tear again).
Visualize (guided or unguided, just remember to leave some breadcrumbs to find your way back).
Pay it forward.
Be kind (random or deliberate).
Fix stuff (fix something for someone: TV, car, fridge, cellphone, alarm system, computer, appliances, sewing machine, etc. Even it wasn’t broken, er, at the time, they’ll probably understand you were trying to give them a gift…probably).
Give your time.
Offer your knowledge.
Give your full attention.
When a child hands you a toy phone or a banana, answer it and have a conversation (best time with a phone/actually smart).
Take a shower (not at the Bates Motel).
Take a bath (not in a horror movie).
Enjoy social media for what it is not what you want it to be (because the internet).
Take some photographs (not just of your food and selfies with duck lips).
Ski-doo (not on thin ice…it’s all going to be thin ice soon).
Watch a sunset.
Watch a sunrise.
Cook (Combine food and fashion ie. Forget Lululemon, how about lasagna leggings? Pizza pants. Taco ties. Chocolate crop top. Wine wedding dress. Turkey tux. Beer boots. Hamburger hat. Curry coat. Steak scarf. Bacon blouse. This food fashion can be consumed at any time – hopefully not when you’re out in public).
Join a club (not a gang).
Drink green/white tea.
Walk in a park or the woods (not at night on a full moon, just in case).
Climb a wall, so you don’t climb the walls.
Laugh some more.
Make someone laugh.
Spend time with nature and animals (don’t pet grizzly bears, badgers, or snakes, start slow with cats, dogs, rabbits…then move up).
Build a snowman (do you wanna?).
Remember to forget.
Smash stuff (smash plates, bowls, walls, pumpkins,etc., and if you can’t go to one of the places where you pay to smash stuff, I’m sure family and friends will understand you need stress relief, especially during the holidays).
Make soap not dope.
String popcorn (the eat, the popcorn not the string).
Visit (real or virtual as long as you’re there, in the moment).
Watch TV (question what you watch).
Listen to someone.
‘Tis the season, cut down a Christmas tree for a busy family member or friend. Cautionary note, unlike in the Hallmark and other Christmas movies, cartoons, etc., apparently it’s “frowned upon”, some might even say “illegal”, to just randomly cut trees down. Who knew?
One of the best ways to relieve stress, being honest, with yourself and others; we/they/me/whoever may not appreciate it at first, but it could be the best gift ever, someday.
Chocolate. Enough said.
If you know me and/or you’re a reader of my blog (https://yadadarcyyada.com) you know, I think laughter is the best medicine and it certainly qualifies as a stress reliever. Laughing, even if it hurts sometimes, still makes me feel better. I go to a happy place, including but not limited to: Psych, George Carlin, Seinfeld, Community, Friends, Rick and Morty, The Office, Marx Brothers, Flight of the Conchords, and more.
I love to share the laughter. If I can make someone smile, laugh, giggle, chortle, spew liquid from their nose, then hey, I feel better. Get silly. Adulting is tough, who says we can’t be a kid at heart?
Finding ways to help others is a great stress reliever. It’s hard to think about your problems when you’re helping others with theirs.
There are an endless amount of causes out there, try to support those who really need it. Those who are hungry, scared, without shelter, without hope, being abused, ill, falling through so many cracks.
Donate to a cause in someone’s name instead of handing them another gift they may or may not need or want, or better yet, start a foundation in their name, I’m sure it won’t affect their taxes…much. Help yourself by helping others.
Knitting? Did I mention knitting? What I want to knit…a black cable knit sweater and a Doctor-Who-vintage-Tom-Baker-as-The-Doctor scarf. I’ve been talked down to scarf of one colour and even that’s not going well. The holes are there to let hopes and dreams in, yeah, that’s it. They’re a design feature.
Turns out knitting can be a “knotty” stress reliever.
Exercise is suggested for stress relief, but with pain and fatigue, exercise can be challenging. Years ago, someone suggested Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia/relaxation/arthritis/exercise, I thought, how would flailing my arms around, slowly, help with any of those things? I’ll just look weirder than I usually do.
Lifting weights? I’m no Schwarzenegger, but Hasta la Vista, babyweight (my son is in his 20s). I like Yoga (and Baby Yoda), but it can be painful. Walking helps, but my dogs start barking and the rest of my body growls at me.
I love swimming (not so much Aquafit), but getting there and back, dressing, undressing, showering, etc. is exhausting; I sometimes feel worse, certainly less relaxed (and it’s pricey). And of course these days, we’re not sharing any pools. Thanks COVID.
What else? For seniors, VON offers free programs twice a week, (SMART) Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together; there’s Ageless Grace (more like Graceless Aging for me). I’ve tried the gym. Belly-dancing (don’t try to picture it). Dancing (Frankie says Relax).
Yet I stick like glue to Tai Chi because it unsticks me. Relaxes. Soothes. Feeling sore? Tai Chi won’t magically fix everything, but it helps ease some aches and gets you moving.
To learn Tai Chi I borrowed items from the library (having fun isn’t hard if you’ve got a library card). Later bought VHS tapes (yes, that long ago, I fought off a saber-tooth tiger to get home), then DVDs (now on YouTube and streaming services, soon to be uploaded into our brains).
Now I have fun with it, I pretend I’m carrying an invisible jar containing invisible chocolate, so I must guard it with my life. But seriously, once I opened my mind, body and heart to Tai Chi, it gave me a priceless gift – some pain and stress relief so I could have quality of life. I can dance again. Well, sort of. My version of it.
Remember, getting through one day (for example, Christmas Day) isn’t the same as finding and giving joy each day.What about you dear readers? What are some of the usual or unusual ways you know to relieve stress during the holidays and all the year through (remember this is a more or less family-friendly blog).
Wishing everyone a safe, happy and stress-free (ok, low stress/reduced stress) holiday season: Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! ¡Felices Fiestas! Jie Ri Yu Kuai! Laethanta saoire sona! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Yuletide Greetings! Best wishes for 2020! Joyeux Noël! Let it snow…somewhere else! Feliz Navidad! Seasons Greetings! Happy New Year Joy! Celebrate! Be merry! Shiawasena kyūjitsu!Boas Festas! Li holide eximnandi! Happy Christmas! Happy New Year! Wishing you a latke fun this Hanukkah! Hau’oli Lanui! मेरी क्रिसमस ! Forhe Feiertage! Selamat Hari Raya! Happy Channukah! Joyeuses Fêtes! Prettige Feestdagen! Buone Feste! Trevlig Helg! Jingle All The Way! Happy Holidays from owl of us! Tis the Season! Warmest greetings! Happy Holidays, Mate! It doesn’t matter how you say it as long as it’s said with kindness.
WordPress hates me I don’t know why… sometimes it makes me want to cry.They do not like me here or there, they do not like me anywhere.
They steal my Likes That’s just, yikes!
Screwing up my posts, Hurts the mosts.
Fellow bloggers they unfollow A giant bitter pill to swallow.
Ruining posts with unpaid ads Really, really makes me sadz.
They give us new stuff that don’t work. We say enuff! They go beserk!So what if each blog post ain’t a pearl? On them haters I’m gonna twirl…They do not like me early or late… What you gonna do, haters gonna hate. They do not like me here or there. They do not like me anywhere.
“I’m a misunderstood genius.” “What’s misunderstood?” “Nobody thinks I’m a genius.” ~ Bill Watterson
Social media can make people feel inadequate, but true genius is believing in yourself, not worrying about what others think, what others do, or what others have.
Genius, defined many ways by many people. To me, something or someone is genius if they give of themselves. Everyone is talking about the #TrumpShutdown of the U.S. government to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S., instead, why not talk about why so many people are living paycheck to paycheck?Talk about people not having enough for food, chemo drugs, etc. when the rich are buying multi-million dollar houses and apartments. Jewels, homes, cars, clothes – how can these mean more than lives? That’s the opposite of genius, even cruel. Celebrities, don’t peddle expensive drugs on TV and the internet, instead, pay for drugs for those in need. You’re making me regret liking TV and movies…Canada has come up with a genius plan to build our own walls on the Canada–United States border(frontière Canada–États-Unis). This International Boundary (Frontière Internationale), is almost 9,000 kilometres (over 5,500 miles) long, including the border with Alaska (we can almost see Russia from our porch), the longest international border in the world between two countries. Prime Minster Justin Trudeau(seen in the photo demonstrating what the wall might look like)
has commissioned esteemed Canadian Engineers, Scientists, and Zoologists to work with CUB (Canadian Union of Beavers) to put Canada’s National Symbol, the beaver to work.
The Great Wall Of Canada will be eco-friendly using only reclaimed Canuck mud (from facials and mud wrestling) and wood from: basement paneling, square TV units, barns/farm houses (who needs farming anymore, we can just eat from restaurants, er, right?), driftwood, also, celebrities like Robert Pattinson, Matthew McConaughey (alright, alright, alright), Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Drake have agreed to donate their extensive toothpick collections (and to only interact with women, not girls).
Of course, there will be Tim Hortons (Timmies) stores set up every 10 klicks, 1 kilometer is approximately 0.6 miles, so that’ll double-double our protection, eh.
Every border crossing will have clean washrooms, contain a beer store (get yer 2-4 and gain some Molson Muscle, even while waiting to cross the border) as well as shops selling, among other things: Poutine, Butter Tarts, maple syrup, Nanaimo Bars, chocolate bars, flannel plaid shirts, a Mickey or six, Toques, pop, hockey jerseys, KD, and Canadian Tuxedos, eh.
Currency exchanges where immigrants can get their Loonies and Toonies, and Snowbirds can cash theirs in to spend their money in America.
Crossing the Canadian-U.S. borders illegally will become impossible, we’ll have drones, dog sleds, ice skaters, toboggans, The Great White North Zamboni and Ski-Doo fleets, and Canadian police waiting to politely chase you down and say sorry for taking you into custody.
These industrious National Symbols are willing to work night and day, in the snow and rain, to help peace-loving Canadians avoid any further kerfuffles with our Southern neighbours. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/08/17/all-were-asking-is-for-a-little-respect/We’d offer our busy little workers (legally of course) to the U.S., but we know America has its heart set on a ‘big beautiful concrete wall’ or steel slates, or using American Bald Eagles to patrol the border, swooping down to pick up immigrants and return them to their homeland. So you do you, America, simple as A to Zed.
Maybe the best definition of Genius – enough for all, equality for all, safety for all, hope for all, love for all.
George Bernard Shaw reminded us,“The most tragic thing in the world is a man of genius who is not a man of honor.” Especially an alleged Very Stable Genius.
Spongebob SquarepantstoldPatrick Starhis genius was showing,PatrickbeingPatrickwas confused and thoughtSpongebobwas talking about something a bit further South than his brain.Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Nickelodeon’sSpongeBob SquarePantsdied (age 57, ALS) in 2018 soon after another cartoon genius,Stan Lee – FYI,Leewas in the same Army division in WWII with:Charles Addams,Frank Capra, William Saroyan and Theodore Geisel aka Dr. Seuss,how cool is that? BothLeeandHillenburghelped children envision all futures and let us adults keep adulting while glorying in the joy and wonder of childhood.
If someone tells you, Your Genius is Showing, don’t cover it up, don’t try to hide it…show it off, share it. Do you have to be a famous artist, writer, musician, doctor, lawyer, politician, reality star, astrophysicist (enjoyingProject Blue Book so far),astronaut, athlete, actor/actress to be a genius? No. You don’t have to be a famous anything, just be kind, caring, loving, giving, and honest, the world needs way, way, way more of those things. Did I mention way more?
“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” ~ Woody Guthrie
Vague Meanderings from The Great White North Yes, The Great White North, we don’t need to be great again, we just are…oh and by white we mean our snow, not our complexions (what’s that got to do with anything anyway?). We’re proud to be a cultural mosaic. It’s not cold here right now, it’s sauna-like, with the prerequisite nude folks (sometimes a towel can be a lifesaver…mine).
Our news is flooded with the loss of a spectacular voice (for song and human rights) that came from an inspirational woman – Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul will move our ears, feet, and hearts forever…
More people killed with guns (who knew, guns do kill people); Omarosa is a sociopath just like Trump The Great Orange Misleader, they deserve each other, but we don’t deserve either – perhaps they’re in on it together, hey, let’s have a public feud and split the royalties.
Canada has legal marijuana (if ya wanna). Trump is meangirling us, “I’m not even talking to Canada right now!” OMG, cause Kelly told Stephen told Sarah told Jared told Ivanka that Justin Trudeau wasn’t kissing Donald’s butt – I can’t even! New reality show idea: “High School White House”. How’s that cyberbullying campaign going, Melania? Be Best indeed.
HBC (Hudson’s Bay Company)/Britain, now they knew how to dominate trade, unfortunately in an aggressively brutal, demeaning, and evil way, especially the fur trade – can you tell I just watched Frontier on Netflix, originally on Discovery? This is sort of a Canadian Game of Thrones, with less incest and rape; more fur andJason Momoa (oh my, did it just get really hot in here? Blogger fanning herself…
Been watching him since Stargate: Atlantis, don’t judge. Game of Thrones really should have kept him longer, Khal Drogo, oh my, even hotter in here….sure, he’s Aquaman now, but we have to watch the new DC stuff to see him, shudder, also, Allan Hawco, Shawn Doyle,Landon Liboiron, TantooCardinal, Evan Jonigkeit, Greg Bryk, Zoe Boyle and more. But I digress.
Automation killed the jobs, not NAFTA. See, we missed a step, a) Get everyone a basic income, we should all have enough (those who want more are free to pursue it; don’t bother with the ‘we don’t have the money’, we do, it’s just lining the wrong pockets), then, b) Automate the jobs, and lastly, c) Quit whining, learn some facts (they’re fun, I promise).
Taking down all the statues? The American Civil War happened. Slavery happened (and it wasn’t a choice, Kanye West, you’re confused). Genocides. Holocausts. Sir John A Macdonald happened. You can’t erase history like an old VCR tape of Magnum P.I. – learn from it, don’t let it happen again. Redo the plaques on statues with both, oh heck, why not all, sides of the story? No use throwing out all the old drunk white guys with the bath water (at this rate there will just be more).
Saudi Arabia is picking on Canada cause we’re standing up for human rights , women’s rights, and freedom of speech – well excuuuuuuse us! We’re Canada, guys, it’s kind of our thing. We’re Peacekeepers. All we’re asking is for a little respect…just a little (although a lot would better, sometimes more is better).
We don’t have a spotless human rights record ourselves, the Indian Act, Residential Schools,https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/06/people-are-people/ polluted water, poverty, black mold and so much more on reserves, oh heck, reserves themselves (let’s go with cultural genocide), but we’re not just paying lip service to trying to do better, er, mostly…and as a woman, gotta say, equal rights, hmmmm….not so much.
And as the clock moves backwards in Ontario (that’s a Province…honest) – to start, no more electric vehicle rebates, clean energy rebates, carbon tax, oh and moving sex education back 20 years…Wait, so we now have Buck-A-Beer, legalized marijuana, and out-of-date sex ed – what could go wrong?
What else? Children in cages; children stolen from their parents; war; famine; biorisk; healthcare; revoking security clearances (public enemies list, aah, Nixon, the gift that keeps on giving…maybe his ghost is floating around going, “I am not that big a crook!”, so instead, McRaven for Prez 2020?) to stop an investigation. Witch hunt (which hunt?) or rigged election, conspiracy, and a desperate attempt to hang onto stolen power.
ISIS, still a thing (look up the numbers); human trafficking; child abuse (I believe you forfeit your rights as a human when you hurt a child, there, I said it…and I have some ideas on what to do with them).
Racism, sexism and a bunch of other isms; collaborators to the right of us, maybe to the left – there must be some kinda way outta here, because Bob Dylan/Jimi Hendrix got it right, “let us stop talkin’ falsely now” and by ‘falsely’ they didn’t mean believe liars, try it the other way round, there, that’s a better fit.
Climate change, sure, it’s all natural, sure, we’ll just keep telling ourselves that, extreme weather events are good fodder for social media (Instagram that hurricane!); gray/grey tsunami (not fifty shades either).
More tax breaks/loopholes for the poor little rich guys, they’re hard done by you know; opioids; malnourishment/hunger; clean water scarcity;
Russian nesting doll satellites; comets; plastic pollution islands, grieving Orcas; dead sea life; nuclear insecurity (aka spoiled brats holding their, er, weapons in their creepy little hands).
Unemployment/underemployment; lack of education; fossils liking fuels; food waste; The Walking Dead, aka zombies (oh wait, is that just Congress and the Senate, hard to tell)…
Space Force (can I wear space pants in these latest Star Wars?).
Wildfires (how can we sleep when our homes are burning?); scams; scums; lack of social and economic dignity (where’s that respect again?); rape; slime; murder; priests (fix the problem instead of continually apologizing and making payouts).
Tricia Helfer, Alex Trebek, Lorne Michaels, Michael Bublé, Mary Pickford (yes, American’s sweetheart was Canadian), James Doohan, Elizabeth Arden, Joni Mitchell, Arcade Fire, Sandra Oh, Monty Hall, Michael Cera, Tommy Chong, Nathan Fillion https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/24/firefly/
Dave Foley, Yannick Bisson, Cobi Smulders, Wayne Gretzky, The Tragically Hip, Leslie Neilsen https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/04/airplane/ Rick Moranis, Seth Rogen, Neil Young, Margaret Atwood, Martin Short, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Peter Jennings, Rich Little, Morley Safer, Barenaked Ladies, Fay Wray…
Now we’re going to war? Over wood and dairy? Really?
Canadians forced to don our uniforms of toques and parkas, eh, and hoard rations of maple syrup, poutine, butter tarts, and beer for the battles! Ski-Doo Fleets! Canoe Armadas! We’ll cream you with our Tim Hortons donuts, you hosers!
Speak truth to power, tell the Emperor he’s not wearing any clothes, Oh Lord, I feel like scrubbing my mind of that horrifying orange image. How can you trust a guy that says he’s gonna pull out then doesn’t? Obviously talking about Trump pulling out of NAFTA here.
Canada isn’t known as the 51st state for nothing. Canada and America are BFFs, I thought it would be easier…to stay friends, well, except throwing shade during that nasty little war over 200 years ago, but Canada wasn’t even a country then, we’re only turning 150 this July 1st – Happy Birthday Canada! https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/01/happy-canada-day-eh/
Captain Concussion could use his superpowers to fight Iced Z, the Zamboni driver who got turned into an arch-villain during the blast and bring awareness to concussions. Stan Lee could show up selling beer and snacks at the hockey games. And we’ve got some groovy 70’s music too, how about a StarCanuckLord in the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie?
Come on, we’re trying, we elected a moderate-yoga-posing-legalizing-marijuana- -nonorange-hot Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (not perfect, but seems like he’s actually part of the human race).
But it’s not enough, is it, America, I know, Blame Canada, we’re not a real country anyway (thanks South Park).
French is one of Canada’s official languages, some facsimile of English is the other. We have a whole French province, we love French Toast, French Fries, French cheese, Lord knows we drink more than our share of French wine…
France, you have the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Johnny Deppdrinking living there (is there really another Pirates of the Caribbean movie, talk about not pulling out in time).
Please don’t let Russia/Putin control your election like it did with the #Election2016 and #Brexit – aren’t you kinda notorious for revolutions against tyrants?
We still accept endless visits from Prince Charles/Camilla when you know some prefer Kate Middleton, Prince William, Princess Charlotte,Prince George, and Prince Harry. We still have the Queen on our money.
This hating on Canada by The White House will have ramifications for many. In Canada, we already pay more for most stuff than Americans do; now our dollar shrank, meaning we’ll pay even more for books (noooo!), food, shelter, clothes, medicine, and even, gasp, chocolate.
Canadians are, er, unique…
But America,won’t you please, please won’t you be my good neighbour again? I miss you. A lot.
Humans are capable of greatness, but too often it’s just us saying we’re great. With all reverence, I’ll paraphrase the magnificent R.E.M.: In the eye of a hurricane, feeling your insides churning as you hear the pain. Bored of people only mis-serving, wanting to believe, can’t perceive their own needs.
Change the world, stop being fed up, instead follow through and follow-up. Shriek after shriek, holler after holler, anyone will do anything to worship at the dollar, Bumbling, stumbling, perfectly baffled, trumped…
Tethered, biased on all sides, “winning” in a tournament of lies; chopped, cropped, plopped in front of another scream, another screen…
Another moment too obscene. Vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light. Feel like turning it all off and only watching Psych (you know that’s right)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (had some time alone). It’s the end of the world as we know it (in a media cone). It’s once again the end of the world as we know it…and I feel behind.
It’s been a stuffy, screeching, spooky, sweltering summer abundant with the bafflings of humanity and nature alike. Here I am, an oldening woman who blogs alone in a skiff in the Blog Stream trying to find the ‘best words’ and had gone sixty odd days now without blogging a post. Whether I shall turn out to be the heroine of my own life, or whether that prodigious station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a blogger, despite being in a break, cannot in good conscience ignore her blog birthday, a wonderful opportunity to thank her dear readers, who stick with her through ups and downs and even the not hanging around. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely (ok, Summer 2013) – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on TV, I thought to blog about a little and see the bloggery part of the world.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. At any given time it can seem like the worst of times, but is it? There’s no world war. No Inquisition. No Ice Age. No plague. No killer bees. No asteroids hurdling toward the Earth (no worries, Bruce Willis will save us anyway).
No hoards, Attila the Hun, saber tooth tigers, or Genghis Khan. No cannibal galaxies hungering for galactic flesh (not to be confused with cannabis galaxies hungering for galactic munchies). No cat overlords, er, well, maybe a few cat overlords. No alien invaders (although there is that signal from HD164595, no worries, Will Smith will save us).
Last I checked, no zombie apocalypse, unless you count the overabundance of movies/TV shows about zombies and of course, smartphone users.
That’s not to say everything is wonderful. How could we not have problems? Over seven billion humans trying to coexist with each other, as well as animals, insects, fish, birds, and of course, Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster (Hi Nessie!), Yeti, elves, golems, El Chupacabra, dragons, Kala Bandar, vampires, werewolves, and all manner of magical beasts.
I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I struggle with first impressions. My instincts, often right, are second, third and fiftieth guessed. As I get older, I’m trying to listen to those first instincts; Maya Angelou was so right, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
It’s sooooo easy to sit around a kitchen, coffee shop, newsroom, living-room, bar, boardroom, online and fix all the world’s problems, but as Edward R. Murrow warned us: “Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”
Cooking competitions, game shows, reality shows, sports – all answers are easy unless you’re actually doing it.
Lies are seductive, there’s no need to prove them, they just float out there in our new Fact-Free World. WTF (What The Fact).
Options? Just believe what we want to believe because we like who says it or how they say it. Forget the facts, it’s all about the feels. We feel like something is true, so now it is. I feel like I’m watching The Blair Witch Projectinstead of an election and as we know, what we feel is more important than the facts.
The biggest feels, fear…but if Star Wars and Yoda have taught us anything, it’s this, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
And it’s been announced Trump is going to write, direct, and star in the next Star Wars film, Star Wars VIII: Make The Empire Great Again.
Oh la la Politics and the Public, seems like a Bad Romance. Elections, like watching children scuffle over a toy in a sandbox, caring less about the toy itself, but the prize of winning it. Divisive politics, like passing gas, it sure feels good, a relief to get it out there. Then what? The stench, the disgust of others…Passing gas is a necessity of life, although the reasons for more gas can be avoided.
I don’t like gossip, rumour, innuendo, speculation, tittle-tattle, lies, hyberbole. I like facts. I miss when the news was news, actual facts and events, not just guesses, conjecture, speculation, and supposition. Taglines, soundbites, and slogans – more important than substance, service, and civility; mocking has become an acceptable form of communication…
Blindly following anyone or anything, without questioning, doubting, challenging, like it or not, no matter what you call it, you’re in a cult…or a mob…or a joke.
When I paused my blogging I felt so far behind I didn’t even know who shot J.R…yes, that far behind!
Now I feel a little better, more caught up. I’ve been writing a book, well, an outline and a chapter. I’ve been reading. Resting. Visiting. Appointmenting. Decompressing. Researching. Regenerating.
Sadly, I was viciously attacked by migraines, but some downtime hooked up to an IV gave me time for deep thought…just kidding, I was thinking the doctor, McDreamy might fall in love with me, Grey’s Anatomy style (preferably with less whining). Also thinking a hospital would be a bad place to be during a zombie outbreak, but with a lot of potential weapons. I also wrote this post in my head, so it might be a bit scatty. Revisiting aspects of my life, including my wardrobe, still going for comfortable, but maybe hobochic. What do you think, dear readers?
What else have I been up to? Planning. Playing. Re-watching a few things, the newer Battlestar Galactica (So Say We All) and Warehouse 13 – thank you dear Teagan https://teagansbooks.com/ for making me want to revisit The Warehouse; I’m always happy there. It reminds me that the biggest adventure, is life itself, and that the spirit of The Warehouse is inside us all, the spirit of endless wonder.
I even know who Gossip Girl is (I’ll never tell xo xo). Caught up on John Oliver back despite popular demand, funny and truth, can’t get enough of that. Almost lapsed into a cheesy made-for-TV movie coma with never-to-be classics such as but not limited to: TV adaptations of Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen murder mysteries https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/05/25/crapathy/Murder, She Baked (where ex-soap stars drop by for a cookie break; Cookie Monster should make a guest appearance!).
I know my heart was heavy and uplifted as The Tragically Hip sang a very public goodbye, a final gift of music to everyone they love: fans, band members, family, friends, hometown of Kingston, Ontario and Canada…I alternated between singing and crying, sometimes both at the same time.
I know I’m thankful to everyone who continues to support my blog – my wonderful readers, fellow bloggers, also, the lovely ladies at #BloggersPitStop for all the support. I know I’m grateful you could stop by for my belated blog birthday bash. Enjoy the party games – watch out, you don’t know what will be pinned where these days!!! Enjoy the virtual cake (as always, you have me at cake) – even chocolate has no calories!
Feel free to visit, we’ll pretend we’re under the sea in an octopus’s garden – that’s where I’d like to be, under the sea, in an octopus’s garden in the shade.
So maybe the best words are…please, be kind, what the hell do you have to lose?
Life is choosing. Choosing to be happy or sad. Nice or mean. Hopeful or hopeless. Among the mass of expectations, concepts, beliefs, abstractions, and stereotypes swirls millions and millions of choices. We’re not always going to make the right choices. Sometimes we’re mean and feel sorry, sometimes we’re sorry we’re not more mean.
1) It’s hilarious, even 15 years later, maybe more so; 2) It’s wise and relevant, especially about how we’re brandwashed, er, brainwashed; 3) The words to the song keep echoing through my head, “Can’t you just pretend to be nice, can you at least pretend to be nice, if you could just pretend to be nice, then everything in my life would be alright.”
For me, people who pretend to be nice are pretty much as annoying as meanies. “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”- Dave Barry Yet there are still tons of genuinely nice people…but we’re designed to notice danger, it’s for survival. We notice loud stuff, outrageous stuff, bad stuff – it was meant to help us notice danger, pay attention to danger, to keep us safe and to keep our loved ones safe, but now, sigh, there’s the internet, you know the internet, like your neighbourhood gossip on steroids, virally, digitally frothing at the mouth.
Texts, tweets, memes, video, posts, gifs, statuses, chats, comments, updates, etc., blaming, blaming, blaming – basically blaming everyone – immigrants, women, social assistance recipients, minorities, religions, etc., well, that won’t get you a job, or make the rich stop screwing you (without consent or foreplay). Just as spewing vitriol won’t change your economic or socioeconomic status, or get you something you want, or bring back those you love. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, sorry Mom and Dad, your famous, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is stone cold dead. We’re all quickly learning you’re entitled to your own opinion and your own facts – just ask The Incredible Trump.
Maybe it’s easier to lash out than look in. Is it easier to yell at a clerk? Or scream at a receptionist (by the way, no one was paying any attention to your information until you screamed)? Or sharpen your claws: ‘You’re so brave to wear that shirt.’ Brave, really, I’m not running into a burning building to save babies and puppies, oh I see, you’re being catty. Than to just be nice?
When I asked an ex (note the word ‘ex’, for many, many reasons) why he couldn’t just be nice, his answer was, ‘it’s too much work’. Really? Could that possibly be it? Is it just easier to snark, snarl, sneer? Easier to mock, mimic, moan? Is meanness, ridicule, viciousness, derision a form of laziness?
Then again, if you’re not: molesting, abusing, being racist, getting all mass murdery, killing serially or non-sequentially, making human skin coats, terrorizing, stealing, lying, raping (yes, creepy, horrible Stanford rapist and any other rapists, no still means no and to clarify, unconscious also means no; not difficult to understand), you probably still qualify as ‘nice’, but hopefully we can try to raise the bar way, way higher.
Speaking of nice, I’m thrilled (thank you kindly) to be one of the winners of the Blogger’s Pit Stop and The Pinterest Game – please drop by, visit, share, it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and lots of fun.
To the best of my knowledge, there’s no standardized testing for ignorance, intolerance, meanness, or unhappiness yet, but I’d buy stocks in that future booming business. Be nice, you don’t know what people have been through or are going through.
Is it too late to say sorry? ‘Cause I’m missing more than just your bloggy. Yeah, I know-oh-oh, I want to be a good neighbour bloggy (ok, perhaps I’m not going to be rapper anytime soon). I know it’s a busy time of year, but drop by whenever, dears, my blogdoor is always open. Please leave links in the comment box. Drop by often. Enjoy the virtual cake, chocolate, cupcakes, tarts, pies, cookies, and er, liquid refreshments. Meet and greet other bloggers. Introduce yourself. Be kind. Be nice. Have fun. Obvious now I’m from Canada, eh? Sorry.
Seeing is believing,
or is it believing is seeing?
Or not seeing is believing?
There are things we can’t see that we believe in, and things we can’t see we don’t believe in. How do we choose? I can’t see atoms, air, sunshine, germs, Wi-Fi, magic, ghosts, hope, despair, Santa, love, hate, vampires, cancer, pain, mental illness, God, aliens, pain, good, evil, a cat’s purr, microwaves, pollution, carbon monoxide, autism, a baby’s breath…
Should we assume none of these are real?
I can feel the sunshine on my skin, hear a cat’s purr, use the internet, witness the horror of cancer…Geez, at this point, I’m held together with the duct tape of atoms and hope. If those things are real without being seen, why not the others? It’s not the same in blogging, we have to be seen. But how?
1. You know those little bubbles in carbonated drinks, all fizzy, tickling the nose, and expanding the stomach? That’s blogging. It can be effervescent, pleasing, irritating, confounding, overwhelming, addictive. And while most of us don’t want to expand our stomachs, we do want to expand our readership. If you’re just doing it for yourself, that’s great, but then why do it online, why not in a journal or diary?
2. Don’t fixate on number of views. Blog as often as you and your readers enjoy. Do it for the fun of it, for money (stupid question, money is a necessary evil), fame, a book deal, movie deal (I just had an image of who might portray me in the movie of my life, Helena Bonham Carter? No, probably Mindy Cohn).
5. Your readers won’t always ‘get’ what you’re blogging about or agree. Some will be disinterested, some downright rude…Keep wandering through the blogging desert (or dessert) and you’ll find the awesome ones, astounding ones, generous ones, hopeful ones, ones that inspire, ignite, and make you overjoyed you ever heard the term, blogging.
6. Blogging is about being part of something, otherwise you’d just sit alone typing…and we’ve seen the movies – that can either lead to a bestseller…or murder.
As a young child I believed many things, if I watched a movie again the ending might change, or the money I put in the bank would be the exact same money I’d get out…my Mom, who worked at the credit union at the time had the delightful task of teaching me this life lesson when I wanted my ‘lucky’ quarter from my account. Oops.
Now, older, wiser, I may not believe what I used to believe, or have to see to believe; I may not always know what to believe, but I still want to believe. What about you?
How many times can you fall off the planet before you start to think, hmmm, maybe I need better gravity boots.
My strange week began with me frenetically organizing and cleaning my house.
At first, I thought it was simply having finally read Marie Kondo’s book, the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and tidying. Though commonsense, it’s all been said and done, in various ways. It’s easy to declutter, you have less stuff that’s more organized. I should write a book. My house looks like a poor woman’s Martha Stewart, with fewer prison ponchos (it’s a good thing).
Then came the gut punch, the calendar explained my sudden need to keep busy – a year ago my 30 year friendship stopped, just as my best friend’s heart had stopped https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/06/goodbye-dearest-friend/ I wanted to do anything but think about my losses, all of them, before and after this one. I wanted to drown my sorrows in the bottom of a neatly folded and lined-up sock drawer. To gamble I could keep the traveling elastic bands and pens all in one place, just one more time.
Even after everything was organized, sorted, recycled, and donated, my feelings of pain, loss, and fear still cluttered my house, heart, and mind. So I purged some of those feelings blocking me from respecting joy, hope, and love. I folded my memories into my life; if I keep hanging them, they’ll take up too much space in my emotional closet.
We’re told we need to be smart, work smart, have smart things, but where is smart really getting us?
For example, if credit cards are so smart, why can’t they pay off their outstanding balances, huh?
If TVs are so smart, why do we have to spend so much time looking for something good to watch?
Maybe we need smart pets that feed, groom, and even walk themselves.
I have a feeling if I got a smart fridge, I’d hear things like: “Are you here again, girl, get yourself a life!” or “What are you doing, Donna, this is highly irregular!”
Why stop there? Smart coffee machines, ha, amateurs, how about smart coffee that changes itself from espresso to latte to whatever passes as coffee, depending on your mood.
Someday your smart car will hold you in contempt without a valid high IQ score.
Smart wine that critiques itself so you can sound like a wine connoisseur, although then everyone will sound the same, so it will be just the wine talking.
Smart couches that tell us the best spot to park our caboose.
War, depression, corruption, terrorism, anxiety, climate change, poverty, prejudice, ignorance, disease, political games, scams, abuse, addiction, melodrama, not to mention simultaneous epidemics of starvation and obesity – we don’t need a zombie apocalypse, we’re doing just fine on our own.
We self-scan, aka us working for a store for free, while putting others out of work (and already over-paying), all the while supporting companies that destroy the environment, while using what amounts to slave labour. Really?
And our complaints are many: my laptop is too heavy, there’s too much food in my house, my smartphone isn’t the latest model, my smartphone doesn’t have a long enough battery life, there’s too many movies/TV shows to stream/watch. I clearly have the wrong definition of ‘smart’.
So I will try to be smarter.
I will thank my body for it’s hard work, especially my heart which has taken a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.
I will commune with my mind, who has respectfully stayed with me through thick and thin.
Everything in its place and a place for everything…as long as it sparks joy.
As a writer I have to believe words have power. One of the words I dislike is hate (note I didn’t say I hated hate). It’s overused. People hate their life. Family. Weight. Home. Car. Cats (maybe they sense your hate). Government. Politicians. Job. Hair. Cake (you are so reading the wrong blog). Books. TV shows. Songs. Actors. Movies. Vegetables (how do you hate something plant-based?).
I’m tired of hearing people say they hate…I’m not sure they know what that word means. Hate should be reserved for really, really bad people and things, like: child abusers, rapists, murderers, Hitler, warlords, dictators, alien overlords, stuff like that.
1. Let’s review, do you really hate your life or just certain aspects? Your whole life is a big category with many moving parts, pick the right part to hate, let the rest roll on.
2. Standing in the middle of a room silently or loudly screaming, “I hate my life” or “no No NOOOO!” repeatedly will probably make you feel slightly better for about 30 seconds, but it’s not a long-term ‘fix’.
3. This is usually the point when advice-giver types tell you to change your life. That’s all well and good, but what if some things are beyond your ability to change? Should you just accept them, or rail against them, lay down and kick and scream until you feel better, or until someone offers you ice cream to stop, or threatens to call the authorities (and no ice cream)?
4. How much time do you spend each day ‘hating your life’, I suggest you cut that in half, help others with the other half, you’ll feel the hate drift away.
5. Take a deep breath. This probably won’t help you hate your life less, but hopefully you might get a nice breath of fresh air, or the smell of fresh-baked goods.
6. Do something, maybe something different, or something to help someone else, again, may not make your life full of singing and woodland creatures doing your housework, but it might remind you of the good things.
7. Take charge of your life, unless you wouldn’t feel comfortable having you in charge, after all, do you even remember where your keys, or the remote is right now?
8. Are you at least changing the things you hate about your life? You’d hate to get stuck in a rut of hating the same things for decades.
9. Check your birth certificate. Are you old enough to hate your life? There are some weird laws out there, you don’t want to be breaking any.
10. Write down what you hate, maybe there’s a great book, or movie or TV show, song, etc. in all that hate. As much as people say they love positivity, so many popular shows, movies, books, plays, songs, etc. are about dysfunction, hate, crime, death, destruction, apocalyptic worlds, and misery, including Misery.
Maybe the haters just need a nap. A nap always makes you feel better. I’ve been enjoying a tiny bit more sleep (even when awake) in the past week (new meds).
Fibromyalgia and sleep don’t get along, but as much as I can hate the pain it inflicts on me 24/7, the constant fatigue, feeling left out of life sometimes, there’s no point, it is what it is. I have a choice, I can choose hate and be all grumpypants, or I can choose love and keep enjoying what I have and hoping for better days ahead.
If I said anything wonky during my blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/29/always-on-my-mind-blog-party/ (still open by the way, drop by anytime and promote your blog, for free, yes, free – we hear that word often, but it’s rarely true, in this case, it is) – I’ll blame it on the drugs (totally legal ones). Thanks to all those who came out. Happily, my bed and I are back on speaking terms, for now, and we didn’t even need sleep counseling.
Haters gonna hate, so let’s bake them a cake…seriously, who can hate when eating cake?
Be brave. Be bold. Choose love…and naps…and cake (not necessarily in that order).
Decisions. The average person now makes more decisions in a day than most did in weeks, months, even years. Decisions can engulf us. Haunt us. Overwhelm us. Interrupt us. Even stalk us in our dreams, ummm, a Nightmare on Choice Street? Choices are great, but too many can make it difficult, or almost impossible to make and trust decisions. Then comes the morning after, littered with “Did I make the right choice?”, “What did I do?”, “Can I return this?”, “What was I thinking?”.
Even in blogging there are so many decisions. At first, it felt frightening, like I was that boy in Jurassic Park, when Dr. Grant was explaining how Velociraptors kill.
Now I’m more like Chris Pratt, on a motorcycle, riding with the Velociraptors in Jurassic World, which for me was an all-out, action-packed cheesefest (in a good way), but a noticeable lack of Jeff Goldblum.
And yes, we’ve all made the wrong decisions, like someone thinking it was a good idea to make a certain theme park ride that shall remain nameless, ok, Tomorrowland, into a movie. It had its moments, mainly involving George Clooney and Hugh Laurie – I do so enjoy when Laurie’s given a chance to rant.
Even after years of blogging I still have trouble making some decisions, and have more blank-I-just-can’t-make-this-decision-moments than would seem humanly possible..but mostly it’s much, much more like It’s A Small World After All.
Blogging has taken me to places I might never have gone:
2. Hopeful places…
Thank you, Mary Smithhttp://www.marysmith.co.uk/ for your riveting novel, No More Mulberries and equally entrancing non-fiction offering, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women. Reminding us that so much of the stereotypes, drama, and propaganda are fabrications – to sell products, news, and government policies; that strength, compassion, and hope still blossoms, especially in the hearts of the oppressed.
4. Complex places… Ever wonder what happened after? You know, afterDarcy and Elizabeth, afterJane Eyre and Rochester? Some authors take up the challenge and continue the classic stories. It’s awfully daring, foolhardy, or just cashing in. In the case of Luccia Grayhttp://lucciagray.com/ – I’m going with daring. As a reader, I didn’t feel this was just to piggyback on the fame, but because Gray loves the enigmatic character, and wanted to continue Eyre’s story through her Eyre Hall Trilogy. The first book, All Hallows at Eyre Hall draws you in, and by the second, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hallyou’re on tenterhooks, awaiting more.
One way or another, we’re all busy.
Finding blogs we enjoy is challenging enough, but making time to read them is daunting.
Why not put all the awesome blogs in one place?
I promised you a blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/24/take-it-easy/
Here it is! 1. Mix and mingle, refreshments to your left beside the archives (what do you think of the new theme?). 2. Please leave your blog link or post link in the comment box below along with any introductions. One link per comment, but come back as often as you’d like. 3. Please reblog to spread the word or like, share on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, etc. Like, share, reblog, tell your family, friends and blogneighbours. 4. I will visit and respond asap (at the snail’s pace I’m moving these days, the next Star Wars film could be out before my asap…kidding ). 5. Have fun, it’s a great way to find bloggers and have them find you.
Thank you for coming to the party and for supporting my blog…You’ve made blogging a decision I’ll never regret.
Maybe I didn’t blog love Quite as often as I could Maybe I didn’t treat posts Quite as good as I should If you felt like second best Sorry, it’s just lack of time You were always on my mind (you were always on my mind) You were always on my mind
Well I’m a-runnin’
(ok, walking quickly)
down the road,
tryin’ to loosen
I’ve got seven
on my mind
Four million that want to own me, two that want to stone me, one that could be a friend of mine.
Take it easy, take it easy.
Don’t let the sound of your own words drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy…
Whether in blogging, work, love, parenting, friendship…The Eagles (goodbye Glenn Fry) had it right – take it easy. The sound of your own wheels (the ones turning in your brain) aka the sound of your own words – spoken, written, or even in your head can drive you crazy. Instead, I want to Take It Easy, to celebrate – despite the war and strife, the Canadian dollar sinking faster than the Titanic (the ship, not the movie)…
rising food prices (wait, how many were going to eat cauliflower in January anyway? Eat in season, or frozen), Star Wars mania, lack of affordable housing and healthcare, loss, illness…but at least there’s no zombies, and I still have all of you – my readers and other bloggers!
You make me happy when skies are grey, you’ll never know, dears, how much I love you – thank you, thank you, thank you for being here!
Friday January 29th we’re going to beat the January blahs, the winter ennui, the snow woes with a knockout blog party!
I was trying to get it together for this week, but seriously, The X-Files is returning, my hold of Season 3 of Orphan Black came in at the library, my son has a Pokemon thingie, schoolwork, housework, workwork, lifework, adulting, decisions, snow, cold, snow, cold (repeat)…I think I’m catching a cold, oh, and did I mention The X-Files is returning?
And some of you may have noticed I’ve been trying out new themes. Turns out choices are limited for mobile-friendly themes in the ‘Free’ category on WordPress, but I will choose in time to expose it (oh my!) for the celebration!!!
Come back Friday January 29th and join in the fun! It’s easy, leave your blog link or a link to an old post, new post, red post, blue post in the comment box (one link per comment, but come back as often as you like). Introduce yourself, wander around, eat some cake, be astonished at the size of my archives (oh my!), and mingle with the other bloggers. There will be virtual cake, blogging advice, and who knows what else! It may take awhile, but I promise I’ll read, visit, and reply to everyone!
One thing I’ve yet to regret (but the day is young) is blogging. I’ve virtually met some words-cannot-express-how-awesome people here who’ve welcomed me with open arms into their blogging family.
And I get swag! Really, my mail carrier randomly hands me treats! Like books (my drug of choice), or chocolates from Chicago I won from the enchanting Cherhttps://thechicagofiles.wordpress.com/ a delightful friend, blogger, and ex-pat Canadian. Yes, I got a box of chocolates delivered to my door just for reading a blog post! I love blogging! Those poor chocolates didn’t make it through the night – next of kin was notified…then eaten.
It may seem like the internet is a giant virtual haystack and we’re just tiny needles, but we can find each other with blogging parties and thanks to the tireless efforts of amazing and generous bloggers like:
Also known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (not to be confused with the Kobayashi Maru from Star Trek, totally different kind of heart-racing); this condition is most often stress-induced.
Wow, you really can die from a broken heart.
So, how can you mend a broken heart? I’m neither a doctor, nor a therapist, nor one of The BeeGees, but I wish I had the answer, because mine is Under Pressure.
People die. David Bowie died. As did Alan Rickman. And a bunch of other people. We’ve all had family and friends who have died.
My point? Moments in time are just that. Big or small, once they’re gone, they’re gone. Life is for the living, even if you can now fulfill all your funeral needs (with drop dead prices) while buying vats of olive oil at Costco. They offer killer deals on multi-packs too. Check out their 6-foot deep discounts on dirt in the Home and Garden Section. Ok, I’m almost done. Prices to die for! Now I’m done. So instead of spending money on flowers, candles, and stuffed animals that rot in the streets, mourn and honour those we’ve lost by helping the living.
5 Ways I’m Not Under Pressure:
1. Bowie was a voice that told me to be me when I wondered if I should be someone else – I will forever adore and blame him for that, or at least blame him for being so persuasive. Goodnight, Mr. Bowie and thanks.
2.Alan Rickman made me Truly, Madly, Deeply – laugh (Galaxy Quest), cringe and cry (Harry Potter), shiver (Die Hard), and sigh (Sense and Sensibility). Goodbye.
3. I’ve lost many people in the last few years. I miss them. I wish I could see them again, but at least as time goes by my trips down memory lane, while frequent, are less bumpy, the ride is smoother around the edges.
4.When I was young, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, we used to train it to Toronto to see concerts – before train fares and concert tickets skyrocketed. I was a goth/punk girl who didn’t know anything, but I sure had fun learning. My friend (who passed away almost a year ago) and I would hang around places like The Eaton’s Centre, knitting, reading, listening to a giant silver boom box we’d lug around – no cellphones or MP3 players back then. We met loads of cool people, ie. The Ramones, David Bowie, etc. I’m sure the meetings weren’t memorable to them, but for us it was like those voices that made us happy, made us dance came to life. When Bowie walked by we broke into a spontaneous chorus of Rebel, Rebel. This earned us tickets to his show, even backstage (whispered instructions to one of his entourage, of course). If we’d worried about looking silly, we would’ve missed dancing and swaying to the sounds on the stage. We wouldn’t have met lots of fascinating people, famous and never-gonna-be-famous. We wouldn’t have started a music magazine, raised money for those in need, got tons of cool promo stuff…Again, life is not only for the living, it’s to be lived. Take a chance, be brave, be bold, be in the here and now. Memories are fun, but not fuel for life.
5. Speaking of living – The X-Files reboot is only days away. The Truth Is Out There once again, just a,er, tad older…like me. I watched the spooky premiere on September 10, 1993 and never looked back. The only time I remember missing it was the night my son was born (totally, totally worth it). I thought of calling him Fox, but also a major Buffy fan, so…Xander it is.
Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust, we know people we loved and lost are still with us…No Pressure.
Thanks to all of you for standing by me, supporting me, my blog, and my blogging break.
Against all odds, I’ve tried to keep up with your blogs too, but couldn’t seem to muster the energy or inspiration to write a post myself.
I’ve resolved not to make any resolutions this new year, but to keep exploring this uncharted life of mine.
But here’s what happened when I was gone, sort of….
1. I learned I’m never going to be a proper gym bunny. It seems to involve an excessive amount of hair-flipping, giggling, spandex, and a thong or two where they don’t belong or two.
2.Inconsiderate people keep using my public library to take out books I wish to read. On a brighter note, they’ve increased the hold limit to 60 items!
3. Another plane, another train, but no way to get those Beastie Boys outta of my brain. Every time I see or hear an ad for the movie, Brooklyn voices inside my head sing: “No sleep till Brooklyn!”.
4. If you don’t try you can’t fail, but you can’t succeed either.
5.I miss when stuff didn’t have so many names or labels, when you could just like what you liked. My lovely childhood crushes on Tom Baker, Kirk, and Bobby Darin, ok, that one ended badly when I found out he’d been dead for several years (somewhere beyond the sea, for sure), anyway, all that would now be called ‘fangirling’. Long before Mr. Darcy plunged into that lake and Daryl Dixon picked up a crossbow, I had labels I didn’t know about. Forget labels, just be you, that’s enough.
6. People who say, “I’m not going to say I told you so” are really saying, “I told you so”.
7. I missed blogging! I needed a break, to write my book, catch up on life, which is being dreadfully uncooperative, but I missed this and you, dear readers and I bet you missed all my, er, blogging advice.
8. Imagine, you win millions in the lottery, would you spend it on a vanity project? That’s what Alice (Kristen Wiig) does in Welcome To Me, a weird little film with a big, brilliant cast including: Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, James Marsden, Wes Bentley, Linda Cardellini, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Tudyk. Full of uncomfortable moments, it had me questioning quite a few things, especially blogging – is blogging just a vanity project, a sort of emotional exhibitionism?
9. While suffering from Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Haven, The Blacklist, Into The Badlands withdrawal, which wasn’t pretty and mostly consisted of me trying not to whine about it, since these are clearly First World Problems, to the extreme, I decided to read more (is that possible?). Why not get caught up on a few of the fascinating ‘And Philosophy…’ series from Open Court? I started with Doctor Who and Philosophy, then Downton Abbey,Homeland, and The Walking Dead. I noticed all these books toil to shatter the myth that TV is simply a vast cultural wasteland. Fighting zombies, taking tea, traveling through time and space, those are hooks to get us to watch and keep watching, it’s really about the interaction between the characters, the choices, the sacrifices, those moments when we see ourselves and feel or learn something. If it can happen in a book, why can’t it happen on TV or in movies? I love these books because like the TARDIS, they’re bigger on the inside, making me feel all esoteric, ideologicalish, and thinky, but without getting that time-consuming philosophy degree. Just the way I like it.
10. I sometimes forget (or wish to forget) what a tricky beast and ruthless, relentless taskmaster Fibromyalgia can be, but I’ll keep trying to keep on keeping on…easier said than done.
Tomorrow we could be alive or dead, but today, my friends, today we are alive, so go out there and live.
if after all
To go over
Hello, can you hear me? I’m in Canada dreamingabout who I’ll one day be Hello from the other side Feels like I’ve blogged a thousand times I sometimes forget, uphill can make you rest And at least I can say I tried
Not as much tears me up anymore So hello from the other side Feels like I’ve blogged a thousand times
Thanks Adele, like ‘Hello’is ever leaving my head.
Hello, I’m probably one of the most honest people ever – except I lie.
When I say I’m fine, sometimes, I lie.
Even if it’s mostly to myself.
I haven’t been well for a while now, even more so than usual, which is saying something. I’ve been pushing through with sheer force of will, but even that is wearing thin.
Apparently I need more ‘self-care’, which apparently, I’m very not ‘good’ at it.
So when an unlikely source, Groupon threw me a line – 50% off movies and popcorn (I brought the popcorn home for my son), I thought, why not? I wasn’t disappointed to watch The Hunger Games take its final bow on the big screen, except the title Mockingjay Part 2, really, that’s kind of boring, how about The Mockingjay Awakens, or Mockingjay Hurray! or an Australian version, Mockingjay G’day! I wasn’t thrilled by The Hunger Games books, but I did enjoy exploring our world, choices, freedoms and illusions of, through this world, onscreen more. When Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) keeps asking Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), ‘Real or Not Real’, I understood. Too often the world can feel violent and even surreal, but what is real…or not real? I suppose the best we can do is try to stand for something, or we’ll fall for anything.
Christmas music jingled away as I waited for the movie to begin, and I realized, blogging and Christmas have a lot more in common than I thought, like…
1. It’s better to give than receive. Even if you feel you don’t have enough, try to help others in some way. In blogging you can give by: ‘liking’, ‘sharing’, and/or ‘commenting’. You may not agree with every word, but appreciate that blogger took the time to post (as you wish to be appreciated).
2. Connection – you never know who you’re going to virtually meet and how they’ll change your life, or you theirs.
3. Fruitcake and posts – love, hate, like bits of, or given time, both could be used to prop open a door to…
4. Lots of surprises, awkward moments, comfort, joy, regifting, and more than a few ugly sweaters (still, it’s all in the eye of the beholder).
5. Plenty of glitz and fancy bits, yet sometimes, the substance and what really matters still shines through.
6. Gingerbread, yes, delightful, but sometimes hard to handle, especially without breaking.
9. Posts hung like stockings by the internet chimney with care, with hopes that readers soon will be there.
8. Cookies, meals out, eggnog, and other holiday treats, all awesome, but too many and you start to feel sluggish, tired, irritable, and overwhelmed. Blogging can be the same – know yourself, know your readers.
9. We can all be Santa’s Elves filling Santa’s shelves – bringing posts, perhaps comfort and joy…
10. Cookies, carrots, comments, posts, shares, maybe some milk (or in some cases, more adult libations) – all left for those we hope will show up.
11. Visions of sugar plums. Hoping to inspire and please, but sometimes, as hard as we try, our posts, our holidays, our days fall flat. There’s no time limit on getting up, or starting over. Dust off and try again!
12. Christmas trees, all different, just as all blogs are different. Don’t worry if you have the right niche, enough followers, comments, likes, etc. Don’t overthink. Send your creativity into the world, who knows what will come of it…anything, everything.
With blogging and Christmas and everything else, be brave, do what you feel, even if it goes wrong, you tried and that can’t really be wrong. Slow down, take the time to really enjoy and take it all in (including chocolate).
The good stuff doesn’t always make the bad stuff easier to take, but the bad stuff doesn’t always ruin the good stuff either.
We should try to be grateful for the good stuff, especially when there’s bad stuff.
We Could Be Grateful For:
1. Family and friends. The memory of family and friends. The possibility of family and friends.
2. Knowledge, free will, and finding respectful ways to agree to disagree.
3. Enjoying what you have, instead of always thinking about what you want.
4. Remembering both the good times and the bad – and not living in either.
5. Enjoying the everyday things. Life isn’t about the big moments.
6. Finding happiness, peace, or contentment, especially by making others happy, peace-filled, or contented.
7. Life and knowing that most people know it’s worth.
8. Being you. Don’t compare yourself to others.
9. Bad times, so you can appreciate the good times.
10. Giving – stuff, time, comfort, inspiration, hope, information…you.
Terror, in many forms has wormed it’s way into our lives, not just with violence, but with weapons such as: fear, rudeness, abuse, inequality, neglect, distractions, complacency, disrespect, self-righteousness, ignorance, intolerance, lying, scandal, gossip, corruption, manipulation, dogma, bullying, blame, and all those ‘gotcha’ moments.
We can change. Some will say we can’t, or worse, that’s just the way it is. Expect change. Be that change.
People can disagree, debate, wrangle, bicker, even argue, hopefully respectfully.
There’s also no need to agree, you have the right to disagree, again, respectfully.
Attacking anyone, verbally or physically, for their beliefs is pointless.
We can’t overcome hate with hate.
We can’t win by fighting.
Even if you feel hate, choose love or at least, forgiveness.
Even if you feel indifference, choose compassion.
Especially if you feel despair, choose hope.
I worry being ‘shocked’ every time something terrible happens, posting platitudes, changing profile pictures, holding vigils, leaving tokens, decrying the monsters, and placing blame gives the illusion of doing something when really, it’s mostly shopping, social media, socializing, and symbolism.
Wouldn’t it be more comforting to help those in need? To donate food, clothing, money for shelter and medical care instead of making piles of flowers, candles, stuffed animals, and flags that will just become garbage? I don’t understand, if we want to show respect why not help those who are still alive and suffering?
We need to find out how to change what’s happening, or brace ourselves for more of the same, or worse. The first rule of holes, when you’re in one, stop digging, and try to find a way out.
What’s coming will come, so instead of focusing on those who do harm, who spread fear and hate, let’s be grateful for those who help, who protect – those who do good in this world. They deserve our focus, not just after a tragedy, or crisis, or disaster, but all the time.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who have lost loved ones, death is tragic, no matter the circumstances…and to anyone suffering, everywhere.
Adding blogging to that and anxiety, well, it could be the proverbial straw.
When it’s quiet here on my blog, I have time to think.
Why am I really doing this?
Should I be doing this?
I have so much else to do, is this a distraction?
Or is blogging just another version of chocolate, sappy movies, wanting to cry, desperately wishing a time machine would materialize in my living room to whisk me back to a time when the biggest decisions I had to make were: what to wear to school, who to hang out with, what to listen to…Probably shouldn’t go back, I might scream at myself to quit wishing to grow up and just enjoy growing up.
Some days I feel like blogging is more Hotline Blog (I’m assured Drake will drop this as a follow-up to his famous Hotline Bling) You used to like me on my blog post Late or early when I needed blog love And I know when that hotline pinged It could only mean one thing… But these days, you’ve become a ghost Wonder if you’re out there forgettin’ about my blog post Doing other things, maybe making cinnamon toast
But blogging isn’t all about Likes, it’s about enjoying each other…
I try to imagine what my blog would have been if I blogged as a child, you know, before I knew:
1. I’d have a computer, in my home.
2. I’d use this computer to tell perfect strangers (well, maybe not perfect) stuff about my life.
3. My worst recurring nightmare wasn’t fear, it was the fear of fear.
4. Bacon would become both hero and villain.
5. Everyone lied to me about stuff, including but not limited to: Santa, this won’t hurt (it did), The Tooth Fairy, being “almost there” (we weren’t), there was no more chocolate (there was), and that I’d use math in real life…
6. Life is less Game of Life and more Monopoly.
7. Power is a commodity, not necessarily the one that lights up your home.
8. What skin tags are, let alone having them.
9. The world is crawling with serial killers, if TV is to be believed.
10. Some people will still be mean, even as adults.
11. I’d use numbers from a fortune cookie for lottery tickets.
12. My body would be my worst enemy.
13. I’d look more like Jessica Fletcher than Jessica Alba.
14. I’d still be watching Doctor Who, Monty Python, and so would my teen son.
15. I’d lose hours of my life to a mysterious world that delivers weird yet amusing things to me right at home (yes, including pizza and Amazon).
16. I’d ever tire of Christmas (well, the commercialism of Christmas).
17. I’d try figgy pudding…get out there – try, visit, read, comment, share, take part in something different.
18. I’d let zombies into my home at least once a week…and love it.
19. You can’t eat all the cake, you have to share it, same goes for blogging.
20. I’d have many families – the one I was born into, the ones I found and found me, the ones I’ve made, and this amazing blogging community.
So get out there, hakuna matata – visit some blogs, enjoy each other, and never forget, you’re not alone.
Regrets I’ve had a few, then again too few to mention.
So what if
my life is riddled
with plot holes
and logical gaps?
I have flaws and quirks (I say adorable, some may beg to differ).
I’m thoughtful and thoughtless.
Brilliant and oh so dumb, sometimes astonishingly, at the same time.
I’m a gloriously human jumble.
So why do we expect our entertainment to be perfect when we aren’t? As humans, we get caught up in things, even now, computers are galactically buzzing about the new Star Wars, loving it, trashing it, or both, and it hasn’t even hit theaters yet. I admit, my unease intensifies as The Force Awakens.
There were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew-ie and I didn’t want to become blaster fodder. And Disney buying Star Wars made my complicated relationship go full Death Star explosion (scared of it I am). But Star Wars On Trial looked interesting, so I let the tractor beam pull me in (that’s no moon, that’s a blog post!).
I consider myself an intelligent viewer (is that an oxymoron?), so I selected the 8th charge against the accused iconic franchise, The Plot Holes and Logical Gaps in Star Wars Make It Ill-Suited for An Intelligent Viewer.
I agree, sometimes watching these movies, I just want to say, go home Star Wars you’re drunk, but I believe those who consume the story are culpable, not the storyteller.
Upon first review of the charges, perhaps it does seem like only morons would enjoy movies like Star Wars –I’m paraphrasing, the witnesses for prosecution, Nick Mamatas and defense, Don DeBrandt were actually quite witty and eloquent. Star Wars certainly did it all and not in a shy way, oh no, let the record show George Lucas took the blows, and did it his way.
I’ll state my case, of which I’m sorta certain, the details of the story aren’t nearly as important as the story itself. Why? Because we are the story.
We are Yoda, who trained Luke (more or less), but once said Anakin was too old to train, back in the days of surplus Jedi.
We are Obi-Wan Kenobi, I mean, Ben Kenobi hiding Luke Skywalker in plain sight, on a barren planet where most everything wants to kill him – guess we know who the favoured child was.
We are Darth Vader (really, you didn’t recognize your own kids?), Han Solo, Amidala, Picard, The Avengers, The Doctor, Sherlock, Buffy, Leia, Luke (ewww, dude, you kissed your sister), The Lorax, Bugs Bunny, Scarlett O’Hara, Rick Grimes (You think it’s a plot hole, but it ain’t!), Rocky, Capt. Jack, Batman, Frodo, C-3PO, Scully, Mulder, Scrooge, Kirk, James Bond, Edward Scissorhands, Simpsons, Reddington (The Blacklist is a logical gap, who cares, watching James Spader read menus would be entertaining),
Chewie, Daryl Dixon, Darcy, Katniss, Joker, Boo Radley (having a moment), The Griffins, Keyser Söze, Willy Wonka, Don Draper, Bridget Jones, Charlie Brown, Harry Potter, Walter White, Spock, R2-D2 (the real hero of SW) and more…
No spoilers, I enjoyed all the sci-fi and fantasy authors, including, but not limited to David Brin and Matthew Woodring Stover who diligently prosecuted and defended the idolized, intriguing, yet infuriating series while the Droid Judge (This isn’t the Droid Judge you’re looking for) attempted to keep order.
And enter to win a free copy of Star Wars on Trial fromBenBella Books (Canada or U.S only). In the comment box below, tell me your most hated or loved plot hole or logical gap (any book, movie, TV show, or life). Notification via droid (or me) November 15, 2015 – all contact will be confidential.
I would say life isn’t logical. How could it be when we live it on a baffling blue ball twirling in space like a tattered ballerina in a vintage music box?
Stories are told by humans and therefore, delightfully flawed.
Think of it like extra cheese on lasagna, yes, it’s irrelevant, but does that mean it shouldn’t have happened? Life is messy. Take a bite.
I was working
on my blog,
late one night
When my eyes
an eerie sight
For my post
from its slab,
began to rise
to my surprise
It did the mash,
it did the Monster Meet and Greet Mash!
A monster blogger mash, it was a graveyard smash!
It did the mash, it caught on in a flash…
It did the mash, it did the monster blog mash!
The zombies and bloggers were having fun,
The blog party had just begun…
The scene was rockin’, we were digging the shares,
Some were commenting, well, those who dared
So add your link and des-crypt-ion, girls and guys,
Then suddenly to your surprise…
You can mash, you can monster blogger mash!
While I often say the best part of blogging is ‘meeting’ other bloggers, readers, etc., it’s been too long since we hung together, so welcome to the party, please, feel free to leave your blog name, a link to your blog or favourite post(s), and a des-crypt-ion. And pass it on: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, LinkIn,or reblog, so others can dig it too…
For some special treats, drop by some of the other blogs and Suzie’s Blog Party on Halloweenhttp://suzie81speaks.com (fabulous British blogger and creator of Twitter’s popular #SundayBlogShare). I’ll check back, enjoy the snacks, but I have some busy times ahead, including preparing something completely different…Hopefully I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew-ie and end up as blaster fodder. May The Force be with me.
Yes, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year People dressing as ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, Celebrities, minions, villains, and fools Filled with fun, food, and fear It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all With trick or treat greetings and candy meetings Friends and strangers coming to call It’s the hap-happiest season of all
There never seems to be enough time
to do the things you want to do,
but there might be,
if I stopped blogging…
But I like blogging…
Yet it’s time-consuming…
Once you’ve let that blogging genie out of the bottle, there’s no turning back. I keep trying to get away, but blogging keeps pulling me back in.
I also like making people laugh, I might be the one during the apocalypse: “Knock Knock.” Random guy, “Who’s there?”“Zombie.”“Zombie who?” Me running, yelling, “Zombie, behind you, run!”
Then again, too much time isn’t always good, when I have time to think, I often feel like an alien in this world. Not the rubbery, gray, tall, skinny aliens, more like the ET-hey-I-landed-on-your-planet-I need-to-phone-home-wow-your-long-distance-plan-sucks-at-least-the-snacks-are-yummy-does-this-dress-make-me-look-fat-type alien.
Going out on a limb, I’d say I’m not the only one who’s ever felt they’re waiting for the mothership to take them back to their home planet.
If only I’d arrived with an instruction manual. I know my parents wish I did.
Time runs by us, screaming like a babysitter in a horror movie. And as another Halloween creeps up, let us pay our last respects to things gone, but not forgotten…maybe they’ll return someday (hopefully not as zombies):
1. Hairspray, you once permeated every part of our lives, especially our lungs…guess we’re kinda grateful big hair is dead.
2. Mixed tapes have gone to join the choir invisible – mixed emojis?
3.Adieu giving up your seat to someone elderly or disabled or pregnant; apparently now they must fend for themselves, Game of Thrones-style.
4.Farewell phones, attached to a cord, instead of our hand or head.
5. Once loved and adored, held up on a pedestal, billboards, race cars, own section in the grocery store…poor little gluten, now dead to many, a social pariah.
6. RIP, ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’, and ‘You’re Welcome’, now ghosts of civilities past.
7. Quiet time, without tweets, updates, texts, and emails has kicked the bucket…Remember? Probably not, with all the digital amnesia…
8. Showing up at your new neighbours with baked goods has shuffled off this mortal coil; no friendly greetings, just pepper spray, the police, and/or speech on food allergies.
9. Bereft of life are ‘Thank You’ notes, but I’m still thankful to people who say cardshark instead of cardsharp, so I can picture a shark playing poker.
10.Talking to plants is now pushin’ up the daisies, can’t we just text them, telling them 2 gro?
11. Not asking for gifts and money has kinda bought the farm – #gimme is society’s new hashtag.
12. Wobbly inside-out pools hidden under threads of Egyptian cotton; waterbeds gone to their watery grave.
13. Patience is at death’s door, but really, there’s nothing you could possibly have to do (or explain to a judge) that’s worth putting children at risk, on Halloween, or any time. Please pay attention while driving, I promise that absolutely fascinating tweet, update, text, or email about:
how porcupines mate without stabbing each other,
the shape of dog’s poop,
a divine fat, gluten and dairy-free no-bake cheesecake recipe (can that still be called cheesecake?),
cats robbed of their dignity via the internet,
if Bon Jovi’s hair is still real (see #1),
which Kardashian is getting married or divorced (all of them),
if Taco Bell is health food (it’s not),
finding out who died on The Walking Dead (hint hint, no one, they’re actors),
Justin Bieber’s private parts (what part of private is hard to understand, Justin?),
discussions about Donald Trump’s IQ (rich doesn’t equal smart)…
will all be there later, sadly. If not, what did you really miss?
I guess we make time to do the things we want to do, so I’ll save every blogging day ’til blog eternity passes away, just to spend them with you, dear readers.
October conjures images of:
Fall leaves, crisp nights… pumpkins and pumpkin spice…Halloween, candy, black cats…sexy Hunger Games costumes, yeah, I’ve stopped asking why at this point…
Apparently, scary is definitely different for different people.
For some scary is:
The dark – where all the known and unknown creep.
Horror movies that make people hide their eyes, but have to peak.
The price of groceries or hydro (both terrifying).
Trying on bathing suits (could turn your hair white).
Dating, parenting, love…
Loss of those we love. Christmas or any holidays with in-laws.
Elections, wars, politicians.
Loss of cellphone reception (The horror! The horror!).
Running out of chocolate (now that’s horror!).
Liars, vampires, aliens, monsters, sparkly vampires, zombies…
I started blogging to relax, reignite my love of writing, and to be rich/famous (not necessarily in that order) – 555 posts later, well, two out of three ain’t bad. No one warned it could be so scary!
Life doesn’t come with instructions, we have to grope our way through this at times terrifying funhouse – long strips of goodness, gooey badness, melty magnificence, and squishy horrors – blogging is pretty much the same.
It was a dark and stormy night…Start a blog they said. It’ll be fun they said.
1.You want the blog truth, you can’t handle the blog truth! By the flickering computer light and hum, something wicked this way comes…really, Shakespeare how would thou deal with: endless emails, trolls, glitches, and ghosts in the machine?
2. First, you find your way through the woods (aka the internet) to an old mansion (aka WordPress) where you start your blog. Soon, strange things start happening – stuff moves by itself, stuff disappears, and you find yourself alone, in the dark, and still, you hear the click, click, click of the keyboard…
3. Come up with a cunning plan, overly elaborate with, as a random example, a dog with a speech impediment; a drug-addled vegetarian with a groovy van; narcissistic metrosexual; frumpy geek girl who needs contacts; and constantly kidnapped drama queen.
4. Your loved ones look at you oddly as you repeatedly type: All work and no play makes Donna a dull girl…They complain you’re hunched over your shining computer, or using them for…inspiration.
5. Read aloud from online posts, only to realize, you’ve freed some ancient vengeful Babylonian deity…or worse, a telemarketer! Who you gonna call?
6. Invited to Bloggers Bash at a spooky mansion, you accept, bloggers are fun, right?
7.Pop over to Pinterest for a ‘minute’ tofind an image or inspiration…later you’re found wandering through the desert and learn you’ve been missing for 7 years and still didn’t find the right meme.
8. Fall asleep at your computer and wake up in a dream where a serial killer is hunting you, or worse, you’ve lost all your followers!
9. You decide to take a break from writing and take a bath or shower, you know better, but it’s been a long day.
10. You ask for books to review, but then …One, two, writers are coming for you. Three, four, publishers knock at your door. Five, six, who do you pick? Seven, eight, accept your fate. Nine, ten, never sleep again.
11.You turn to run from the glowing ooze on your keyboard, but there’s a evil clown or worse, housework behind you…your furniture is moving on it’s own, but it’s not getting dusted…Why? Oh why?
12.Through a series of unfortunate events, you find out your blog is built on an old cemetery and an ancient burial ground where rituals were performed. You could run to another platform, but that’s a lot of work.
13. So I will think of blogging not as a horror movie, but more like a community garden. We all work together to grow something remarkable. There will be ups and downs, but in the end, we’ll all be part of something amazing…as long as nothing comes alive to eat us.
All that peace and love stuff, it’s just idealistic mumbo jumbo, right?
Or is it?
While I admit I don’t understand a lot of stuff, but as long as it’s not really hurting anyone, why would I care?
Too often, the commonly held view seems to be that if we don’t agree, we’re at odds.
Like somehow 7 billion of us are suddenly going to start agreeing, or we have to battle it out Star Trek style.
For example, I find the rise of pumpkin spice alarming – apparently pumpkin spice is a season now, so the pumpkin spice must flow.
Here’s a completely incomplete list of stuff people do that I don’t ‘get’, or want to (no particular order):
1. Touching wet paint or wet cement – yes, it’s wet, move on. 2. Running water after going to the bathroom instead of actually washing your hands. 3. Lying, lying, and what was that other thing, oh yeah, lying. 4. Judging a person based on their skin tone, religion, race, nationality, whom they choose to love, clothes, home, family, etc.
5. Walking into traffic looking at a cellphone. 6. Bad driving. 7. Hurting others, especially children. 8. Loving something just because it’s endorsed by or has the name of a celebrity.
9. Using racism as a political strategy. 10. Fat shaming, and also those who say fat shaming is wrong, because they’re also calling people fat. 11. Having fictional conversations in your head with others (ok, done this). 12. Not smiling back at a child or being impatient when an elderly person is slowly walking down the stairs in front of you.
13. Yelling at furniture that jumped out and stubbed your toe (ok, I’ve totally done that). 14. Wearing uncomfortable shoes (especially with stubbed toes). 15. People who pretend they don’t fart (you do, we all do, own it). 16. Reading the instructions after you’ve done something.
17. Saying “I’m sorry” when you’re not sorry. 18. Unenvironmentalists (you know that should be a word). 19. Buying non-orange pumpkins. 20. Pretending you don’t wish some cool movie-like thing would happen to you today instead of just the usual stuff…come on, you really haven’t done this?
I can’t understand how people find the time or energy to judge, fight, or generally care so much about everyone else’s business. Does this have to do with our fight or flight response? Not running from sabre-tooth tigers (mostly), our fear response is now triggered by shopping (prices are terrifying), finding info on the internet (bloodcurdling), and politicians (I’ll take the tiger). Obviously our fear of scarcity has survived, so maybe those who are different or disagree feed into that fear. I’m just guessing, frankly, I’m baffled.
The internet just seethes with fear and loathing which is why I’m happy when I find bloggers who make me smile. David Prosser, a wonderful, funny, and caring blogger from Wales offered the world his Buthidars philosophy https://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/ – a hug, a good deed, a simple gesture, a smile…forging a path toward peace.
And he shares his life each week at: https://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com/ and kindly shared one of his novels, The Queen’s Envoy, with the caveat, it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, but I emphatically enjoyed the fanciful flight of fictitious foibles. It reminded me of watching Bond movies with my Dad. As a child I didn’t understand what Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, and “Oh James!”really meant, but the spirit of adventure always made me feel like anything was possible. I like that feeling, wherever I can find it.
It’s Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada;I’m thankful we can all agree to disagree, eh. I don’t tell people they’re stupid for their beliefs and I don’t expect them to understand my complicated relationships with: chocolate, spiders, TV, sleep, housekeeping, kale, Jane Austen, gravity, technology, toenail clippers, Christmas, pools (you know, cause of sharks), clowns, Thanksgiving, meat, and life in general.
We don’t have to agree to have fun, be respectful, and add love and hope to the world.
You’re the one thing I just can’t get enough of.
I’ll tell you something, it could be blog love.
Because I’ve had the time of my life
and I’ve rarely felt this way before,
I swear, it’s the truth and I owe it all to you…
Always liked Dirty Dancing’s message that nothing is impossible (well, except a sequel with Patrick Swayze…or Jennifer Grey’s original nose). And that nobody should put me in a corner, unless I paint myself in (true story).
Which lead me to Laggies, ok Sam Rockwell lead me there, but intrigued and entertained, I stayed. Kiera Knightley plays a quirky woman (no surprise, but this time, no British accent, way to step out there) who too often waits for others to make decisions for her. Instead of living life according to someone else’s schedule, beliefs, and dreams she decides to follow her heart, her dreams, and finds a her version of happiness.
1. Company from out-of-town, got them hooked on Haven, muhahaha…also, food involved.
2. Realized people would be 500lbs if they ate as much food as the characters in Joanne Fluke books.
3. Read a great book on memory…can’t remember the title.
4. Re-pledged undying allegiance to public libraries.
5.Thought about taking up knitting….hmm, instead read a book about women in a knitting club, close enough.
6. Read Beekeeping for Dummies…I have more chance of being a bee than a beekeeper apparently.
7. Tried not to second guess myself, wait, unless that’s a bad idea.
1. Had a zen moment where I just felt floaty – good job remembering not to do this while driving or operating heavy machinery.
2. Donated more stuff.
3. Dental emergency – I know I’ve always tried to be good to you, teeth, but I’ll redouble my efforts.
4. Pain from dental work, watched The Originals and thought, do vampires need dental work?
5. Some pain, not as much as Orphan Black (wow, Tatiana Maslany playing endless clones just never gets boring), had me revisiting The Island of Dr. Moreau, did I almost forgot how epic H.G. Wells was?
6. Went to mall and yard sales, not sure which were more surreal, people buying junk or selling it.
7. Watched Fear The Walking Dead, really, like anyone would notice the zombie apocalypse that quickly these days, especially in LA.
1. Haters gonna hate, but they’re just noise, listened to the good stuff instead.
2. Lost more of my baby weight, sure, my baby’s 17, but better late than never, right?
3. Computer’s dying; it has Windows Vista if that gives you any idea of it’s age. Looked for new one.
4. Worried excessively about passing driving test until I noticed I had chocolate…feeling fine.
5. Passed my last driving test, yup, you can teach an old dog new tricks. They’re dreadfully obsessed with parallel parking, so this is about parallel posting, aka, please leave your link here (in the comment section – any post) for others to find to celebrate with me.
6. Saw a music video that made me wonder if I’d been dancing incorrectly for years as my underwear doesn’t show.
7. Master of Horror Wes Craven, died. I always wondered, could some of my insomnia stem from watching Nightmare of Elm Street?
1. Spent time chatting online with Microsoft; quickly realized I knew more than they did.
2. Reminded again how wonderful and brave my son is.
3. Sang Nothing Compares 2 U, out loud, thinking of my blogging friends.
4. Oh, so that’s what it sounds like when the doves cry.
5. Thought about what I’m going to do next, writing wise.
6. Made a bouquet of pencils.
7. Wrote more emails to politicians and news people.
Remember, it’s just an illusion the world is racing past, go at the speed that makes you happy. Have the time of your life.
Why is everybody so gosh darn anxious to rule the world?
I guess the pay and benefits would be awesome, but I can’t imagine there’s any time off.
It would be high stress and thankless, well, unless you paid or forced people to thank you.
And look at all the decisions you’d have to make; I don’t always know what I want for breakfast.
Then there’s the meetings, slogans, pillaging, fear-mongering, plans, plots, the overthrowing, and feeling like you had to wear a fancy military-looking outfit and get giant pictures of yourself to hang up everywhere.
Sounds monotonous and a lot of work. Tears For Fears might have been exaggerating, for effect, but humans do want what we can’t have.
We can’t seem to help ourselves, it’s a yearning that lives deep inside us.
We want what’s beyond our reach.
It’s what makes us magnificent, but can be our Achilles heel.
Still, the applicants for ruling the world continue to line up:
Terrorists, dictators, villains, supervillains, megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur, evil scientists, and smarmy government types, admittedly, life could be boring without them, but wow, I’m willing to give it a try.
Corporate types who are working so hard on helping everyone, even the homeless, to give their lives a purpose, maybe as a Wi-Fi hotspot, hybrid car/cellphone recharging unit, or solar panel holder. The sky’s the limit!
Pirates and vikings, whom I suspect weren’t keen on hygiene, but apparently look like supermodels when portrayed on-screen.
Supernatural beings and aliens seem to have an unnatural interest in ruling our world, hey, guys, go rule your own worlds!
Laboratory mice whose genes have been spliced, oh, wait, that might have just been a cartoon.
Presidential candidates, sure, let’s include Donald Trump. I wonder, will future GOP debates come with a warning label: Watch at own risk, to your brain.
Criminals – I finally watched Lucy, unsure if it had a pro or anti-drug message, but there was a certain ‘be careful who you hang around’ feel to it.
Hackers, who, for all we know, have tried to save us from some alien invasion or apocalypse and we’ve been all testy with them.
Scammers, who teach us how to weigh pros and cons just by sending us a weird email. Pro, click on it and the subsequent links until all curiosity is satisfied. Con, don’t open it, you’ll always wonder, what if, what if…
Computer software makers who rule the world through versions, chat, and accessories.
Leaders in dystopian futures – I just watched Insurgent and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – definite everybody wants to rule the world vibes and songs.
Cats and they’re doing a purr-fectly fine job.
Vegetarians – unlikely world rulers, but sometimes we just want them to leafus alone…see what I did there?
Hunters, ok, the loss of Cecil the Lion was sad, but humans directly or indirectly kill animals, humans, and other forms of life on this planet everyday, right or wrong.
Gamers, but at least they don’t care if it’s the real world.
Don’t we all rule the world? You know, in that moment, that moment when you make someone’s day with a smile or kind word. Help someone. Do something you didn’t think you could do. Care. Answer that toy phone when a child hands it to you. Grow food instead of a portfolio. Don’t try to control, but to take part. Show patience, compassion, understanding. Offer help, comfort, support, or inspiration. Don’t give in to anger, greed, fear. To be part of something instead of needing to run it.
The occasional broken heart (some courtesy of good-for-nothing teen heart-throbs leering suggestively from glossy magazine covers), the enforced cleaning of my room, scrapped knees and elbows, the tedium of school, bullying, losses…still, I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a time where we knew little.
Sure, pesky facts sometimes showed up, but we were quick to scare them away and defiantly let our ‘ignorance is bliss’ flag fly!
Of course, I knew horrible things had happened and were happening, but for inexplicable reasons (I blame chocolate and kittens), I seemed to believe things would get better.
I don’t know, maybe it was growing up in a small town, but even with all my extensive sci-fi reading and viewing I could never have imagined this strange new world I would someday live in where Donald Trump could be President of the United States; someone would list their dog as a job reference; Kardashians are deities; people fawn and argue on social media over food while many don’t have any food at all; we would still believe governments and corporations who regularly and flagrantly lie to and cheat us…where fiction is fact and fantasy masquerades as reality.
The news, entertainment, internet, politics, business, sports, relationships – it’s like we’re watching The Tudors or The Borgias and the only thing that has changed are the outfits…and the quality of the acting. Lies, intrigues, shifting alliances, hypocrisy, machinations, double standards (like when someone does whatever they want, but when someone else does the same thing or less, they’re outraged, shocked, appalled – insert Fox Newsworthy propaganda rhetoric here).
Tired of the daily circus, I eagerly plopped down on my couch, green tea in hand, sore feet on the exercise ball (hey, it has to be good for something) to distract myself from the distractions and marvel at Colin Firth’s magnificence in Magic in the Moonlight.
But alas, I found the movie full of philosophical questions about the meaning of life. Sigh. Is nothing sacred? While enjoying the witty banter, I also had to think about whether this is all there is. This day-to-day, this cycle of life, the collective cultures, religions, the systems and wealth of knowledge obtained from human history and common experiences…Or is there more? A higher power, a divine plan, magic, a metaphysical world beyond the rational. Are there plans or is it all spontaneous and just happening as it’s happening? Perhaps I should have just revisited the pastoral peace of Pride and Prejudice, but then, I’d probably wonder again whether I would really like Mr. Darcy if I met him, or think he was a rich, pompous jerk.
My brain was awash with questions…and green tea. Do we need illusions or even delusions to survive and then more and more as stress levels build?
Is that why the world is looking more like the final days of an empire?
It might also explain why pop culture has become an avant-garde-Spanx-clad-Salvador-Dali-painting-on-Viagra.
Oh well, off to Outwit, Outlast and Outplay another day.
As a girl you grow up being taught so many things, but many girls aren’t taught how to be single, better yet, singular, or even better, singularly spectacular. I’m pretty sure this goes for boys as well.
One of the big things looming over a single person is dating. The mysteries of the ages look simple compared to dating. Dating is so complex there are times you don’t even know you’re on a date, in fact, you could be on a date right now. And actually getting a date, that’s more complicated than doing your taxes and most often, less fun.
Dating keeps getting weirder…texting, online dating (did they just match me up with my ex?), sexting, digital fantasies – are we dating or on a sci-fi reality show? And what’s with The Bachelor? If I wanted to date a guy who was dating lots of other women at the same time I would have stayed in the music scene. No, I don’t accept your rose, I don’t know where it’s been.
Be ready to let it go. Hypothetically let’s say you and another person manage to agree to see each other, at a specific time and place, not virtually, but the date isn’t going well. He endlessly checks his phone, explains how women who like chocolate are emotionally constipated, tells stories about his spawn-of-Satan-horns-and-all ex (still married, just a technicality, really, we’re waiting until after the baby is born to divorce), the time he was in prison (a complete misunderstanding), asks to see your toes, and then he says, “Hey, I missed you,” when you came back from the washroom. You start looking for exits and wondering why you didn’t take the money you spent on hair, clothes, and make-up for the date and buy lottery tickets; the odds are ever in your favour. In a desperate attempt to save the date, you try to find common ground, only to discover it’s more like quicksand.
Be the change you want to see in the date. Don’t think of a bad date as a disaster (that word is reserved for when your plane goes down, the volcano you’re climbing erupts, or you learn they’re discontinuing your favourite ice cream flavour), think of it as a learning opportunity. Do a forensic exam of the date. It might have gone better if you hadn’t talked about your extreme obsession with Daryl Dixon (not Norman Reedus, Daryl Dixon), or the hilarious time you put laxatives in your ex’s coffee, or enthused about the TV show, Say Yes to The Dress and how you can’t wait to be on it, or told your date his haircut makes him look like Charles Manson. But who can really pin down the exact moment where things went wrong?
Be the date. Visualize how you want the date to go. You want to charm your date. Be urbane and witty, your eyes should sparkle like diamonds, your hair should catch the light as your toss it casually over your shoulder (not too close to the candlelight or it will actually catch on fire).
Be who you want to date. Think about it, if you want your date to be interesting and fun, be that yourself. If you want your date to be a bad boy type who may run guns on the weekend and is wiping his fingerprints from all the silverware and glasses he uses on the date, be that yourself (oh, don’t forget to take your napkin, they can do wonders with DNA nowadays).
Be your own date. If dating is getting you down, take a break. Learn how to be a singularly spectacular person on your own. Take yourself out to dinner without reading or checking your cellphone, instead, watch the people (not in a creepy-the-management-has-to-ask-you-to-leave-and-puts-your-picture-up-so-you-can’t-come-back way); appreciate the meal and me time. Take yourself to the movie, but if you’re still on the lookout for Mr. Right even when spending time alone, I don’t recommend Magic Mike XXL, the gents in the audience will be more into Channing Tatum than you.
Being a singular person is about being you, in all situations, so get out there and be your own party.
One life but we’re not the same we get to carry each other,
carry each other.
How to be good to one another. We could start by spending less time arguing about: who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s what, who’s to blame.
The internet exploded last week, with rainbows, due to the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision.
Online profile pictures went rainbow. #LoveWins trended worldwide. June is Gay Pride Month so this added to the parties, parades, pride.
I’m pretty sure if you checked, your poo might be rainbow too.
It’s a great step for equality, I only hope hype and hyperbole don’t bog down the message that it’s not so much about this issue, but about fighting for rights, not just new ones, but the ones we already enjoy.
It’s been 10 years of marriage equality in Canada (Happy Belated Birthday Canada! You don’t look a day over 147), joined by 17 other countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and now The United States of America. Come on, why aren’t there more? Who cares who you love, as long as you love?
Sadly, on the same day of this ruling, there were also:
terrorist attacks, natural disasters, murders, child abuse, rapes, corruption, and more.
This decision doesn’t stop bigotry, hatred, racism, or human rights abuses.
It doesn’t feed the world’s hungry, or stop conflicts,
but it does add some equality (can’t have enough of that),
it makes people happy (especially wedding planners and lawyers),
and it shows that justice is still out there, we just have to expand its reach.
I’m always amazed at how so many people have the time or energy for:
hate, prejudice, racism, hypocrisy, manipulation, machinations, lying, stealing, playing the ‘gotcha’ game, cheating, and judging – especially for people or groups of people they don’t even know.
That must be draining, or maybe invigorating? I can understand, everyone has felt or done that stuff at one time or another, but holding onto that just seems weird and in the end, you must hate yourself the most.
1. Accept that apology never given. This one is soooo difficult, but this is something I really want to do for myself, but more, something I want to teach my son.
2. Embrace my age gracefully, doing a fairly good job, but I’m still going to avoid full-length mirrors, come on, we’ve all seen funhouses, these have got to be the same mirrors, right?
July 1 Do something really Canadian for Canada Day. Maybe respectfully pour Canadian beer on maple syrup butter tarts, Nanaimo bars, and poutine while playing hockey, eh.
4. Drink one more glass of water per day.
5. Pack up a box of stuff and give it away.
July 4 Celebrate our American neighbours by watching that fascinating documentary about the time they saved the world from alien invasion, you know, Independence Day.
7. Clean out that closet. I thought I should tell someone where I’m going so if I’m not back in an hour, send help.
How to be good to one another? Be kind and accepting. Accept that people have different beliefs, opinions, cultures, politics, points of view, religions, lifestyles, life experiences, abilities, neurofunctions; different ways to love, to live, to grieve, to have fun, to be angry, to be sad. Just because someone isn’t the same as you doesn’t mean they’re: wrong, scary, defective, a sinner, a monster, or a loser. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, don’t worry about different.
Life’s way too short to be: feared or fearful, hating or hated; try to love and be loved.
If you really have to worry about something,
worry about being good to one another.
I have always been me and despite many attempts to make me not me, I still seem to manage to be me.
That’s not always a good thing.
Read some of my stuff, comment, critique, praise, ignore, puzzle, or just do whatever you want.
That’s my blog bio…everything else you’ll learn in my posts or you don’t care.
Every time I think I understand, even vaguely, how the world works, it tilts on its axis, spinning me right round, baby right round, like a record. Turns out, the blogging world is no different. Like everyone else on the planet (that might be a slight exaggeration, overstatement was never my strong suit), I have a blog. If I had a cat it would have a blog about sleeping, eating, and occasionally chasing a mouse lurking around the property. The mouse would have a blog about his adventures trying to escape the cat that bothers him while he’s trying to lurk around the property. And so on.
August 2013, I started this blog to relax, to practice writing, and to be more concise, with varying degrees of success. My Very Me-ness doesn’t always translate well, but no need to worry (hear that brain, no need to worry…forget it, it’s not listening), I’ve been embraced by readers, bloggers, etc. and I feel snug as a bug in a virtual rug.
Blogging has been difficult in many ways, but has made me fall in love with writing again, which guided me to start a year-long project to add even more happiness (Or contentment? Peace of mind?) to my life.
This week’s goals: 1. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and play a game with my son (I want chess, he wants Pokémon, maybe we need a Pokémon chess set). 2. Remove 100 calories per day (No cheating, it can’t be veggies…Step away from the cookies). 3. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and just write, doesn’t matter what. 4. Remove 15 minutes or more per day of sitting time (replace with Yoga and Tai Chi). 5. Spend 15 minutes or more per day submitting articles and manuscripts, especially knowing they might be rejected.
6. Change 15 minutes of internet time to relaxation and rest. 7. Give away, use, or get rid of 1 or more items a day.
Blogging myths busted and wisdom learned:
1. Blogging is solitary. Wrong. Blogging, my friends, is social and addictive, like sugar, and as the song by Maroon 5 says (I’ve tried to get it out of my head, believe me), I need a little sweetness in my life, your sugar, yes, please!
2.You need to have something to say to have a blog. How snotty and daft was that assumption? Everyone has something to say.
3.Blogging is simple. Wrong again, complicated, yet worth it, despite the intricacies that sometimes make you feel like your head might explode. Mistakes have been made and more shall be made; it’s all part of learning.
4. Success! I thought I needed to be a world-famous writer, then I saw comments that said I’d made people laugh, smile, and think. Anything else that comes along would be the icing on this delicious, chocolatey cake of a blog experience thanks to you, dear readers.
5. Blogging is constant. Wrong. As with life, the only thing you can count on in blogging is change. For example, I believe the WordPress motto is: If it ain’t broke, fix it a few times a day. Twitter seems to have a midlife crisis every few weeks and I don’t know what happened to Facebook. There are: trolls, traffic, topics, taboos, privacy issues, time, concentration…what was I saying? Oh yes, so the question today is, to blog or not to blog? For now, the answer is…why not?
“People are people so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully? So we’re different colours and we’re different creeds and different people have different needs. It’s obvious you hate me though I’ve done nothing wrong. I never even met you so what could I have done? I can’t understand what makes a man hate another man. Help me understand…” ~Depeche Mode
How can we assume that by birth, or race, or religion some people are somehow less? It’s easy. Just make sweeping generalizations. Drunken Indians. Stupid blondes. Lazy fat people. Violent black people. Muslim terrorists. Nerds all grow up to be millionaires. People with Autism don’t have empathy. All rich people are greedy and unfeeling. All poor people are lazy and want a handout. If you’re depressed you just need to cheer up. Everyone can beat cancer if they fight hard enough. Fibromyalgia is just another word of lazy. People with anxiety just aren’t trying to get over it. And on and on.
I can’t understand why you could automatically like or dislike someone, love or hate someone just because of their: colour, height, weight, religion, bank balance, celebrity status, education, ancestry, culture, etc.
People are people. You should feel the way you do because each person has earned what you feel for them, as an individual.
We need less arguing and letting ourselves be distracted from real issues.
Tolerance isn’t over-rated, it’s just withering away from lack of use.
Imagine a school with no playground, but with a cemetery. It sounds like something out of a horror story. It is.
Schools are about: learning, growth, safety. Aboriginal Residential Schools were just named schools to hide an ugly truth, they wanted to kill the Indian in the child.
Children torn from their families and physically, emotionally, and even sexually abused. Not given proper medical care or nutrition. Used for research and experiments.
This cultural genocide was not only government sanctioned, but paid for by taxpayers.
Generations flayed at the altar of religious and government depravity, because they not only lived on coveted land, but they had the audacity to worship a different Creator, speak different languages, have different customs, and a different skin colour.
At least 6000 children never made it back to their families. Approximately twice the number that died on 9/11. The odds of dying in residential schools in Canada was about the same odds of a soldier dying in WWII.
Many who returned home felt those who died were lucky.
So damaged, they passed that damage along.
How do we reconcile this? Broken systems still abound, half of children in foster care in Canada are Aboriginal; over 40% of water for indigenous populations is high risk; suicide rates are skyrocketing; Aboriginal students get 30% less funding than non-Aboriginal students…yet there’s billions in lapsed funding, arguing, corruption, prejudice, and endless political games.
We like to think horrifying residential schools, workhouses, orphanages can only be found in the pages of a Dickens novel. I wish I could pretend everything has changed since the times of the horrifying details in The Truth and Reconciliation Report and Nicholas Nickleby (recently watched 2002 adaptation with Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Nathan Lane, Anne Hathaway, Christopher Plummer and a veritable who’s who of UK film, by the by, quite decent). Yet each day, children around the world are: abused, neglected, sold as slaves, used as child soldiers, tortured, and raped. If we close our eyes, can we pretend it’s all fixed? It’s not.
The world is looking more and more like Disney’sFantasia where the Sorcerer’s Apprentice/Mickey Mouse tries to find a solution without doing the right things. Everything gets out of control, all the problems multiply, and get poured back in.
No matter the intentions, we need to face the truth, too many children and adults aren’t being treated well and don’t have enough.
They look to the future and see darkness instead of dreams. That needs to change.
Everyday in the media and social media I hear about happiness.
Gross National Happiness,
polls, songs, quotes…
what’s with all the happiness?
Is wretchedness and melancholy really that out of style?
Where are the memes celebrating the drudgery of everyday life?
Where are all the T-shirts promoting doom and gloom?
If happiness is sooooo easy why does everyone have to be constantly reminded to be happy?
When did we become so obsessed with measuring and quantifying happiness? When it became big business, that’s when. I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately so I was drawn to The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being by William Davies(Verso). I felt the book was overly academic, like I needed a degree in something to understand it, but it did have some fascinating, logical, brilliant, and disturbing points about how we’re being sold happiness and at what cost. Happiness is a new religion.
But what if we’re being sold a one-size-fits-all happiness coat? It seems to insulate us against heartache, but instead, it’s drafty, the seams are fraying, and oops, it’s not waterproof. I’ve been sales-pitched happiness for years, and I’m starting to feel consumer fatigue. I’m guessing a lot of people aren’t feeling ‘the happy’ the way they’re told they should be feeling it, especially if the amount of loneliness, antidepressants, and boredom are any indication.
I find people endlessly fascinating, though I could live to be a 1000 and still never grasp their full complexity. Maybe I don’t want to, there’s nothing more thrilling than a mystery. I’ve observed that people seem to think they have to add things and people to their life to be happier, but what if it’s quite the opposite, what if you have to remove things and people to be happier?
I decided to start my own Happiness Savings Plan – pool then diversify my assets and lose some liabilities. I want to make sure I keep falling in love, over and over again, with my son’s laughter, books, music, clouds, chocolate, TV, movies, loved ones, conversation, kittens, dreams, puppies, laughter, hope…I’m tired of hearing about: The Kardashians, FIFA, Bruce Jenner/Caitlyn (I don’t care about the choice, I’m just sick of endless publicity-seeking), spy pigeons, wrinkled selfies (pretty much all selfies at this point actually), drought shaming, fat shaming, age shaming, sex mad marsupials…sigh,I’m feeling less happy just thinking about it all.
So for the next 365 days my plan is to make changes, one per day, mostly removing things; perhaps it will make me happier, perhaps not, only time will tell.
I invite you, my dear readers to join, if you so wish, don’t feel like you need to, or do the same changes. And don’t worry, there won’t be endless posts about my C-C-Changes Plan, just an update here and there…
My first week is as follows:
1. Remove 15 minutes or more of internet time per day.
2. Remove 15 minutes or more of news/politics per day.
3. Remove 15 minutes or more of sitting per day.
4. Give up one TV show.
5. Change 15 minutes of screen time into reading or listening to a book time.
6. Take 15 minutes or more to organize .
7. Learn something new each day.
It might be challenging, but as G.K. Chesterton reminded us, “There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”
Connection is such a tenuous thing, physically or emotionally. You want to connect, to trust, but how do you know when the connection is toxic, or failing, or broken?
Each day, I try to tiptoe around the world for as long as I can, but the internet has made this challenging.
It’s a Catch-22, if I don’t connect to the internet I drift apart from the world, but if I connect to the internet, I’m bombarded with stuff : news, ads, studies, misery and success, and just, well, stuff.
Page after page, link after link of:
People with diseases and those pretending to have diseases, really? Pretending to have a disease? Stuns me every time.
Finding life on other planets – shouldn’t we concentrate on keeping what little intelligent life we have on Earth first?
What’s getting deflated? Definitely not the egos of athletes!
Governments lying to us again…still?
Bragging, boasting, whining, complaining, rudeness, trolls and trouble.
Turtles and snakes in toilets, transformed food, books, social media, movies, cats, TV, music, royalty, and endless things going viral we won’t remember next week.
Riots, wars, conflicts, comets, poverty, abuse, slavery, rape, murder, mutant ants, fires, biker wars, shootings, floods, terrorism, volcanic eruptions, killer bees, public shaming, teachers having sex with students (in the wise words of Pink Floyd, Hey! teachers! leave the kids alone!)…
Hoaxes, scams, and stunts, aarrgghhh, my head is spinning!
NSA, CIA, IRS, CSIS, OMG, ISIS, UFO, LOL, NASA, it might be fun to stay at the YMCA, if we weren’t drowning in abbreviations.
Studies explaining things they think I should know, like: food, drinking, sleeping, the environment, politics, parenting. I figured out parenting, at first you’re disoriented, exhausted, scared to say or do the wrong thing, a bit like being abducted by aliens, then you realize, they’re adorable aliens, like ET and then, they have you, you have X-Files Stockholm Syndrome and you can’t get enough…or wait, is that politics, not parenting?
Ads and commercials for things we don’t need, but apparently should want more than breathing.
And remember when we only knew a little about celebrities and their lives? I miss that.
Remember in Poltergeist, where the eldest daughter is standing in the street screaming, “What’s happening?!?”…sometimes, that’s me, inside my head.
Don’t get me wrong, despite my woes, I’m happy to wake up alive every morning, as opposed to waking up dead, which is most inconvenient and usually alters your plans, not only for the day, but the foreseeable future. Yet I’m struggling, dear readers, to find a balance between using technology and being consumed by it. I suppose it’s the same with any relationship, you need boundaries, compromise and…
1.Mutual respect. If you’re feeling bad when using the internet, take some time away, explore other interests.
2.Independence. If you depend on it for everything, it’s likely to let you down one way or another.
3. Dreams. Does it inspire you to write that novel you’ve always talked about writing, talk to an old friend, travel, try new things, explore, take a chance…dream?
Perhaps sometimes you have to drift to make connections; strong connections, not overpowering ones.