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…
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.
Bloggers and readers of every age. Wouldn’t you like tosee something strange? Come with me and you will see. This, our blog party of Halloween! Share it once, share it twice. Take a chance and roll the dice. Ride with the moon in the dead of night. Everybody scream, everybody scream!
In this blog party (share your links to your or others blog posts, books, social media, whatever!) of Halloween (or not)!
The more the scarier!!! #TheMoreTheScarier
Memories shape our lives and we cling to them as a witch clings to her flying broom (or vacuum). Some memories are comforting, others haunting. Do you remember the first time you heard: One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater? How about Monster Mash? Thriller? Dead Man’s Party…Sympathy for the Devil, Time Warp, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, Devil Went Down To Georgia…Dragula, Welcome to my Nightmare, This Is Halloween…Who You Gonna Call? (Ghostbusters)…2018 version: Who You Gonna Text? (Emojibusters)
Hocus Pocus came out the same year and it’s cheesiness put a spell on me for all time.
Halloween attacked theaters (1978, 40 years ago and still today) and thanks to lax age rules back then, I probably saw it on the big screen. I heard that music and I was transfixed, they had me. Then the cinematography sucked me into the vortex of Michael Myers; I was right there, running scared with Laurie Strode/Jamie Leigh Curtis (Final Girls rule!). https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/
Netflix’s vision of The Haunting of Hill House may thrill and chill you. Starring Michiel Huisman of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society -thanks Netflix for keeping the original book titles, for both and possibly for redoing Sabrina, I think I’m missing the teenage witch angst campiness, but adding MichelleGomez aka Missy from Doctor Who , genius!), Game of Thrones,Orphan Black, Nashville;also,Timothy Hutton; Carla Gugino; Henry Thomas (E.T. Phone Home!)and more, it’s not too scary, er, depending on your definition of scary. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/19/religion-politics-and-the-great-pumpkin/
Something wicked this way comes and horror gives us a way to examine the scary, horrifying, most frightening, the darkest parts of our world in a safe space, so you might say we horror fans are the original snowflakes…let’s hope we don’t melt.
My best motherhood move? Making my son understand I’m flawed… seriously flawed. As is everyone. I wanted him to understand…
1. Not being perfect isn’t necessarily a bad thing.2. No good deed goes unpunished, but do good deeds anyway, it will feel good.
3. You can’t get rid of something or someone until you’ve learned what it or they need to teach you.4. Motherhood isn’t a club. We’re not all the same. We shouldn’t care or compare how someone else is being a Mom, do what’s best for your child or children.
5. We don’t really need a day, or a week, or a month, we need all people to be treated equally and respectfully. A woman isn’t instantly better because she has a child. We need just don’t one day where we get: flowers, diamonds, cards, ecards, buckets of chicken with recorded messages in the lid, spa treatments, edible arrangements… What we need a world where children are taught to treat others with dignity; who don’t see lying as a way of life and cheating as a lifestyle choice; and who think perception is more important than reality.6. I barely remember what I had for breakfast most days, but Jimmy Kimmel is right, that moment when doctors/nurses look concerned about your baby, that’s a moment frozen in time. Despite reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting and other books on pregnancy and motherhood, I never expected to be in the ER when my son was a month old, never expected to see him quarantined, full of wires and tubes, having a machine breathe for him while he artificially slumbered. Not being a doctor (although I play one at home), I didn’t know what was wrong. I’d never heard of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus, while common, for infants it can be dangerous, even fatal). Approximately 11 days in hospital (5 on a respirator, isolated with 24-7 private nurse care). I lived there – slept, ate, read my son: Dr. Seuss, E.B. White, Maurice Sendak, Star Wars, Star Trek (might explain a lot), and more while amazing nurses, doctors, and staff helped my beautiful, tiny, once and future King of the Wild Things heal. These memories still bring tears, some of pain, some of joy.
Family and friends were there for us (I can never thank you enough). People often say not much else matters if you don’t have your health, I say, not much else matters if you don’t have your healthcare.
7.The Handmaid’s Tale might represent motherhood best of all. Margaret Atwood wrote this (although I bet she never foresaw the SNL version) as a cautionary tale, but there’s a more subtle message often lost, having a baby shouldn’t be about power, also, a woman’s worth isn’t tied to her fertility, she shouldn’t be treated better or worse because of it. Women and men should be treated with compassion, empathy, dignity, and kindness no matter their gender, fertility, status, race, religion, marital status, wealth, etc. People shouldn’t be rewarded for bullying, lying, cheating, controlling, subjugating…This latest adaptation (Hulu or Bravo or CraveTV) is addictive, mesmerizing; the cast is stunning, the tale chilling, eerie…if this is how we save the human race, is it worth saving?
Hmmm, maybe James Comey could get a new job on these reunion FBI dramas, after all, he knows FBI drama. The truth is out there? Remember, life isn’t all about what’s under the plastic, it’s about what happens before, during, and after and it’s up to us to make it wonderful, not horrible (take note Trump).
So as I drop this, er, ummm, Mother of all Blogs? Happy Mother’s Day to everyone… not just mothers, but people, enjoy this day and everyday.
The sun set; dusk fell on the shelf, and lights began to appear along the stove. That which blends, so held, in hand or all alone, such power, to mix, to mash, to merge, to fuse, once individual, now as one, together. The upper reaches, the place of monstrous leftovers, marked ominously with a date, huddle in the brooding gloom of fridge light, mocked by the enticing garish glare of magnet cradled take-out flyers.
“And this,” she noted suddenly, “has to be one of the dark places of the earth.”
In the static of their surroundings, the slightly scornful pots, pans, knives and other pointy things lurked, growled their promise, ready to play the food game.
She doggedly tried to follow the medically suggested diet; the worst that could be said of her was she wanted to believe.
Food is not for the faint of heart, it beckons, it bubbles, it boils, it brews, it even burns...Food, as perplexing as the definition of fake news. My food feelings? Let’s just say, my kitchen and me, we’re officially changing our relationship status to, “It’s complicated”.
Let’s Play – 7 Ways To Survive Your Kitchen!!!
1. Have your recipes, like blog posts and/or synopsis ready – in your head, online, or written down. Have all your ingredients out first, nothing worse than being halfway through and notice you’re not rising to the occasion.
2.Cooking is time-consuming, like blogging, like writing, like life itself, but if you clean up as you go, it’s easier. Try baking soda and vinegar – ecofriendly, frugal, and together they’re an explosive combination, seriously you can make a volcano while cleaning. Don’t forget to snap on your rubber gloves and clean that dirty, dirty oven. Maybe you’ll have naughty dreams about kitchens – hot, steamy dreams about someone else cooking/cleaning for you, oh yeees!!!
3.Tempted by takeaway/takeout, fast food, even processed foods? Remind yourself it’s bad for your waist and wallet. Same goes for blogging, fast and processed, you can get that anywhere, isn’t it better to go for the real thing.
4. Easter is an egg-cellent time to dye eggs, naturally, with family, friends (even imaginary ones), and furfriends. Then you can still eat them, the eggs, not family, friends, or furfriends. Is your egg a good egg? Fill a bowl with water. Gently place “suspicious” egg in the bowl. Does the egg stay on the bottom sideways – a good egg! Does it stand up, but lean drunkenly to the side – still good, but better really a pickled egg. Stands straight up, still ok, but use, like right now. Floating? A bad egg (cue the Veruca Salt song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). I am the maker of merriment, the dreamer of dreams (in case you were away https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/03/09/heres-to-the-ones-who-dream/).
5.Beware The Pointies! It seems like kitchen gadgets, utensils, tools, gizmos, appliances, etc. are designed to somehow maim, mangle, or even murder those innocently trying to cook.
Kitchens are deathtraps. Be safe.
6.Lettuce us celebrate cooking! Like blogging, writing, social media, friendships, relationships, work, and life in general, it can be a time-eater. Orange you glad we didn’t make a big dill about this game? Romaine calm, even if you feel like you’re playing ketchup with all the relish you can mustard. Just beet it and spaghetti out of here.
7.Life is like a paper bag…You just never know when you need to cover, conceal, meltdown, carry, ripen (seriously easy way to ripen your avocados, bananas, apples, tomatoes, etc.), and you really never know when you’re going to need a puppet. Be ready.
Oh life, it’s bigger It’s bigger than you (doesn’t feel like it on a bloat day) And you are not me (not even on a bloat day) The lengths that I will go to, the chocolate that adds to my thighs Oh no, I’ve ate too much I didn’t eat enough?
That’s me in the corner That’s me in the spotlight Losing my willpower…. I thought that I heard you baking I thought that I heard you grill I think I thought I saw you fry
Consider this Consider this, a hint of cake and cookies Consider this, the stroganoff That brought me to my knees That was just a dream Try, cry, why try That was just a dream Just a food dream Just a food dream
Well, dear readers, do you want to keep playing? Awesome, then tell me your: food battles, food love affairs, diets, tips, advice, recipes.
I’d like to thank those who inspired the game: food, Joseph Conrad, Martin Sheen, R.E.M., Liam Neeson – I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for onions or garlic, I can’t have them. But I do have are a very peculiar set of skills, skills I have acquired over years of cooking…
I know this might be a stressful time for some, but I hope this finds you in good stead. Every choice has consequences. In the course of human events it becomes necessaryto distract ourselves at times, I don’t know about you, but there’s no limits to what I can accomplish when I’m avoiding doing something else, yet we hold these truths to be self-evident, some choices must still be made, hopefully informed choices.
Some choices are easy. Some hard. Some seem like a joy or a joke. Some involve danger, some choices even have underestimated peril, ie. household chores – germs, cleaning tools, boredom, hiring strangers, using pets (who hasn’t wondered if pets could help with household chores?) and imagine trying to really ‘clean house’?
Then there’s the danger of choosing ice cream or chocolate and/or chocolate ice cream as a remedy for the common cold, it may not lessen the tyranny of the infirmity, yet if you add whining, comfy clothes, and sniffling, the choice is clear. Sniffle.
Admittedly, choices would be easier if everything was simply spelled out for us, without: lies, manipulation, false promises, hidden agendas, threats, deceit, complex small print, and if we weren’t at the mercy of drama ‘monsters’.
Life is a leap, we’re always jumping into the unknown – every second, minute, hour, day. Life changes, there are peaks and valleys, but as long as you breathe, there’s hope.
Remember, even if…
1. You did something, said something that embarrassed or cost you, and/or offended, disturbed others. Learn from it. Social media can be flat, most humans are 3D. Keeping your dimensions, they’re important.
2. You stayed too long and gave too much, trying to save a toxic relationship with: a partner, friend, family member, group, organization, political party, etc. That doesn’t mean you’re trapped, mentally chew off that leg and get away.
3. You got caught up in the hype machine, most have at one time or another (even if they won’t admit it). Simple answer – accept responsibility, and change, start again.
4. You fell head over heels, with stuff, especially during the holidays. We instinctively hunt and gather, now for stuff. You felt momentarily joyful but less than triumphant. Don’t feed addictions, accept them to overcome them.
5. You found out the hard way talk is cheap – words, words everywhere but not a lot of truth, common sense, or depth.
6. You gave your trust, your love, your dreams to people who sometimes didn’t deserve or care about those gifts; that’s about them, not you.
7. You forgot, while you’re responsible to many in this life, in the end, you’re only responsible for yourself and your words/actions.
8. You took things for granted, got comfortable and forgot everything can change, end or disappear. It can, they can, it does, they do…so don’t.
9. You gave up, settled, but it’s never too late, at least to have a modified version of your dreams.
10. You’ve worried, fretted, brooded, hoped, believed, over thought, agonized and still things didn’t go your way, the other shoe still dropped. You fell and it looks like you’re down for the count. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, get up, dust off, there’s no time limit on getting back up.
Halloween has come and gone, election buzz drones on and on, even if it seemed more like The Hateful Eight and clickbait than democracy. We lived through this horror for 9 years in Canada until we were,er, ‘saved’ by sunny ways.
Thanksgiving – we should be thankful every day, but maybe we shouldn’t eat that way.
Black Fridayand CyberMonday deals send cash registers pinging, Christmas bells start ringing, everywhere there’s singing. What will it be like this year? Still holiday cheer? More chances to learn and grow, to stop seeing each other as us or them.
Love is all around, going backwards wastes it. You can never tell what’s next so just keep going. You’re gonna make it after all.
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.
I had too much to dream last night.
I feel like I have a dream hangover.
I woke from my confusing, at times,
exhilarating Dickens’ A Christmas Carol-like dream
(unfortunately no Muppets), but
filled with revelations.
First, I was visited by Donald Trump who told me 3 others would visit that night. It was terrifying, he wore the chains of greed, intolerance, and suffering he’d forged link by link…it seemed like there was more of the hairspray than grave about him.
Then Colin Firth showed up as my Ghost of Christmas Pastin the white shirt from Pride and Prejudice(you know the one ladies). This dream just got a whole lot better. He reminded me that all things past are actually always still with us…
1. Christmas songs are playing everywhere yet I rarely hear Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsman. It’s my all-time fav, it’s about peace on Earth, goodwill, and about how even the worst of enemies can put aside their differences, if only for a little while…we sure need more of that.
2. Dean Cain and many others we haven’t seen in a while do still have careers, kinda, hey, I like Christmas movies.
3. And even on a crummy morning a gingerbread man still makes his bed with cookie sheets.
Then Taylor Kinney (without fiancée, Lady Gaga…hey, it’s my dream) floated in as my Ghost of Christmas Present (subconscious you’re so good to me) dressed as Fireman and reminded me that despite the season, it’s getting hot in here. Whether it was just a hot flash or I’m watching too much Chicago Fire (is that possible?), I woke up in a sweat. Back to my dream, rescue me.
4. Christmas is about giving. Though I’m broke and obscure I still believe in giving to others and weirdly, sometimes you get stuff back. For example, by donating, I won a month gym membership and a few other goodies. So now I can be buff like Arnold, though I’m saying this in Schwarzeneggar accent, the buff part seems unlikely.
5. I’ve noticed my Mom (a senior) and my son (a teen with Autism) have a much fuller social life than I do, I need to work on that. And the only action I’m getting is from my latest mammogram.
6. I don’t have to wait in line for some guy in a red suit to make me promises, I’ll make some to myself.
My Ghost of Christmas Future was Norman Reedus, well, actually Daryl Dixon (my dream, so he’s holding a cat reminding us to Shop Cruelty Free https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/ – I’d like to add, that goes for people as well), who showed me that…
7. Christmas could be a little late this year, instead of making toys, Santa and the elves are already lined up to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
8. The Christmas feeling could be there, even without the gifts, the lights, the decorations, chocolate (this one is iffy), turkey and toys, even without the Christmas.
9. Ordinary rules of time and space don’t apply to Santa or The Doctor (Hello Sweetie, Doctor Who Christmas Special on almost Boxing Day – Christmas but late, can’t wait, but it’s times like these I miss David Tennant), but they do apply to us, we only have so much time in this world.
Can happiness or success be measured by what we have instead of the joy and comfort we bring to others? Do we really think in the end, we’ll care about how much we shopped, what car we drove, how big our home was, if we had the latest iPhone, or what we were wearing? Or will we remember the good times, the fun times, the laughter, the kindness, the little moments.
This season, remember a date on a calendar is just that, but life, life is for living, every day.
Oh yes, and if you don’t see me around here for a bit, I’ve checked myself into Clementine rehab.
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).
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 in July with brief visits from other holidays. Don’t limit yourself to Christmassy stuff…be glad you’re not invited to a Game of Thrones Christmas party; see who survived (Christmas) on The Walking Dead; try to figure out what they’re cooking on Breaking Bad; or catch up with Mrs. Brown’s Boys (Dear Santa, I can explain…). Soon itwill be January (sorry, I skipped ahead, was I wrong in assuming you don’t have anyone for New Year’s Eve either?), then you’ll have a few weeks to recover before the Valentine’s Day trauma begins, maybe.
2. Gently ‘add’ yourself to someone else’s Christmas or add someone to yours.
3. Find dating sites/apps and go on a holiday dating spree. Eggnog your way through stories about his/her ex, mom, ex’s mom, work, football, baseball, hockey, fashion, cars…Who knows, maybe you’ll find a Christmas miracle.
4. Adjust your expectations. Social media is one long high school reunion. Everyone is wearing their best outfit, just lost weight, and sharing only highlights of their life.
5. Read, write, blog, sing, bake, work, clean, declutter, exercise, sleep, go to a movie…flashback to the 70s – dance, wear turtlenecks, bellbottoms, ponchos, and go seeStar Wars (or not). It’s all good.
6. Have a Single Christmas Party (not for singles, just you, be your own party).
7. Ignore the season, the gaudy decorations, the commercialism, multiple Santas in multiple malls (unless you work there, try to stay out of the malls altogether) and create a Michael-Bublé-Bing-Crosby-Burl-Ives-free #safespace.
8. Start a new tradition with yourself or others, hopefully one that doesn’t involve eating your feelings (and don’t forget legal).
9. Help others this season – the best way to keep your mind off your problems is to help others with their problems.
10. Under no circumstances drink too heavily, that could lead to calling, texting, or emailing an ex, or watching other people having family time, especially through their windows. Though oddly specific, it’s good advice.
It’s not about what you have, what you get, or even who you’re with, this season is about anything being possible.
Want to know how to get away with Christmas? Simple, enjoy the season and each day, not the way everyone tells you is enjoyable, but the way you enjoy it.
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.
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.
If you are reading this blog there’s a good chance you’re not just a reader, you could also be a blogger yourself…or one of my family or friends (Hi family and friends!).
What I mean is, many people who read blogs are also bloggers who send their creativity out there, into the universe, in one form or another, through an intricate web.
Yet too often,The Phantom of the Blogging Tips (er, Blogera? No? That’s not a thing?) is inside your mind, telling you how to blog instead of letting you find your own voice.
So before you’re past the point of no return:
1. Don’t second-guess yourself, there are literally millions of others out there willing to do that for you. Go with your instincts.
2. Before you post you may stop and think: will my readers like this, hate this, be offended, not press ‘Like’, will Unfollow, or what if they send an army of robot ants to carry me off in my sleep? Let me help, the answers are: Hopefully. Possibly. It’s a distinct possibility. Maybe. Hopefully not. And it’s the internet, stranger things have happened.
3. You’ll do a post you think is amazing, you’ll press publish (very important step, many bloggers forget this one) and tumbleweeds will roll across your blog and you’ll wonder, what did I do wrong? Probably nothing, most likely it was WordPress..again.
4. Your posts could be awesome, but people are busy and there’s an infinite amount of information out there…or they just can’t find your posts. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/Get out there and be your own Number One Fan (but not in a creepy Stephen King way).
6. Don’t be afraid to try something new or different. Tell us about a movie, a book, something you cook, draw, paint, build, remember, did, crafted, give us advice (we might not take it, doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear it)…anything, but it’s your voice we want to hear, authentic, not copied, or some regurgitated whatchamathingies we’ve read everywhere else.
7. Even if aliens are stealing your likes, keep trying, they’ll give up at some point or move on to another planet.
9. Keep a good sense of humour, balance, and if you can, relax, it’s just your diary you’re letting the whole world read, ok, when I say it like that it does sound kind of terrifying. But remember, when in doubt, chocolate out!
10. Find your own style, your own groove, your own path, your own magic. Cookie cutters are for Christmas, be yourself.
11. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This applies in blogging too.
12. So ignore all The Phantoms of the Blogging Tips, even me. You can do this.
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.
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.
“They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally they became heroes.” Princess Leia Organa of Aldaraan, Senator
This is one of my favourite quotes from Star Wars, though it was never used in the movies. I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or if one believes in fate, perhaps I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Each day is filled with choices, decisions, some huge, life-changing and others little, although who knows, they might be life changing as well.
Today is May the 4th, some may know it as Intergalactic Star Wars Day. For some, that’s everyday.
Nerds greet each other with, May the 4th Be With You. Posts, memes, parties, hash tags, sales, and news stories converge, in greater numbers.
Although this May 4th, the news is more about Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana than Princess Leia.
Tomorrow, to a lesser degree with Revenge of the Fifth, although I think Revenge of the Sixth makes more sense. Is that a thing?
An old nemesis has descended upon me this May the 4th – my Darth Vader, my Boba Fett, Jabba the Hut (probably rather have Pizza the Hut), Rancor (although it smells better), Greedo, or Count Dooku – I’ve loosely titled it, Stars Wars VIII: Return of the Back Pain. Luckily it doesn’t hurt as much when I sit…and if I go over to The Dark Side, I hear they have cookies.
I think I know what brought it on, an unusual activity (not nearly as exciting as it sounds).
It also brings back horrible memories of the car accident where the pain originated and I’m left to watch my back, like the aptly titled book, Watch Your Back! by Richard A. Deyo MD(Cornell University Press). I read this last time my back pain flared, hoping for some answers. It left me with more questions as it’s straightforward information shone a light on The Dark Side of the medical profession which offers people less and less, for more and more.
We don’t like to think that our pain is a business, but it’s big business.
This book won’t be popular, it points out that the medical profession, like politics and other systems, to paraphrase George Lucas, is like a great tree, able to withstand any external force, but rots from within. The lure of money, power, and prestige can overcome common sense and decency.
I understand the temptation of the magic fix, but realistically I know I have to do most of the figurative heavy lifting.
As patients we should be pushing for more treatments that are sensible, empowering, and give effective, long-term results for moderate costs.
I’m used to being in constant pain with Fibromyalgia, it waxes and wanes, but never actually ceases, but in a strange way pain can also be freeing. You see past the Jedi mind tricks or I guess more like Sith mind tricks…you see the truth.
What about you, dear readers, do you ever see The Dark Side of people when they think they can’t get anything from you?
Do you also see the power of The Force of goodness when some people like you just the way you are?
The latter is what I choose to believe in.
What motivates us?
I’m sure the answer is different for everyone.
Praise. Power. People. Passion. Puzzles.
Possessions. Prestige. Punishment.
Pleasure. Position. Politics. Possibilities.
I know what my motivation is to eat Benedict Cumberbatch, that is, the life-size chocolate statute of Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously, there’s now a 40kg Belgian chocolate replica of most everyone’s favourite Aspergian detective, because he was chosen as #1 dishiest UK actor in a survey. David Tennant was the runner-up. Oh I don’t know, that would be a tough call. Can I have both? Er, in chocolate?
Today is Autism Awareness Day worldwide, and those on the Autism Spectrum have often been called, differently motivated. Too many people don’t (or choose not to) understand this. Their theory seems to be if you aren’t motivated by something they can understand then you must be: stupid, lazy, defective, foolish, or a loser. Intolerance shows itself in varied ugly forms.
We’re still in the beginning stages of a long journey to try to get people to understand Autism. It’s a neurological difference. Things changed, doesn’t mean it’s terrible or catastrophic.
Some things we used to believe:
Some thought the Earth was flat (those are called pancakes).
If an elevator is falling, jump up (you’ll just hit the ceiling).
Putting sugar in a gas tank ruins the car (still not a good idea).
Spontaneous generation from inanimate objects (er, no, just no).
The human body is made up of four humors – black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood (some days I wonder).
A duck’s quack doesn’t echo (it does, it does, it does).
Dropping a penny off a high building could kill someone (how about a quarter?).
Quicksand sucks you under (only in the movies).
Earth revolves around the Sun (you’re not our only friend, Sun).
we’re the center of the Universe (actually, a lot of people still believe that they’re the center of the Universe).
My son, who is the center of my Universe has Asperger’s. He’s differently motivated, but that’s not always a bad thing. He doesn’t succumb to peer pressure. He doesn’t believe everything he reads or sees – he questions. He doesn’t worship at the altar of consumerism. He thinks outside the box, actually, I’m not even sure he knows there is a box.
We should stop measuring everyone by one standard and enjoy the differences.
So whether you celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, and/or Easter – all the best!
I know what you’re thinking, was it a 3 or 4 leaf shamrock?
To tell you the truth in all this excitement, I kinda lost track myself.
Seein’ as how St. Patrick’s Day is almost here…
people will be wearin’ the green, singing, dancing and enjoying libations,
you’ve got to ask yourself one question.
Do I feel lucky?
Well, do ya, dear readers?
Go ahead, make my St. Patrick’s Day!
The 1st rule of St. Patrick’s Day, you do not talk about St. Patrick’s Day!
This St. Patrick’s Day I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.
I’ve always depended upon the kindness of Irish strangers, except no one’s a stranger on St. Patrick’s Day.
Listen to them, children of the Irish, what beautiful music they make.
If you pour the beer, they will come.
I love the smell of shamrocks in the morning!
The Shamrock Redemption
I see Irish people. They’re everywhere. Some of them don’t even know they’re not Irish.
Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Ireland anymore.
May the Green be with you.
Nobody puts a wee Leprechaun baby in the corner.
What we’ve got here is a failure to excommunicate!
I feel the need, the need for Irish speed.
I’m still Irish, it’s the holiday that got less Irish!
Show me the blarney!
You do know how to whistle Toora Loora Loora, don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow.
We’re goin’ need a bigger bar.
Say hello to my little friend…they like to be called that now, the Leprechauns.
Life is like a box of Baileys chocolates, you just never remember what you got.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my St. Patrick’s Day-goes-to-the-movies edition. Remember, what happens on St. Patrick’s Day stays on St. Patrick’s Day.
With Friday the 13th and St. Patrick’s Day so close this year, will bad luck rub off or will the luck of the Irish prevail? Maybe a cage match between Jason Voorhees and a Leprechaunand may the best, er, whatever they are, win.
Are you among the millions who believe Friday the 13th is bad luck?
Are you especially careful on this day? Statistically, there are actually fewer accidents and injuries on Friday the 13th, most likely because people are more cautious.
Do you have any superstitions?
Do you carry a good luck charm or talisman?
Believe in signs?
Do you wear a special outfit for a job interview or date?
Have a lucky symbol or charm with you when taking a test?
Not shower before the big game?
Bring a troll (hopefully just a toy one) with you to bingo?
Don’t trust black cats?
Never walk under a ladder?
Throw salt over your left shoulder if you spill salt?
Freak out if you break a mirror?
I can’t think of any of that I believe in, then again, I don’t really believe in luck either. I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong in believing, unless it controls you.
Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky? Theories abound.
The combination of 13 being considered an unlucky number and Friday an unlucky day.
Books, movies, urban legends, numerology, deaths, etc. about it.
People coping with grief or trauma often try to find something to blame, perhaps superstitions seemed an easy scapegoat.
Humans always want an explanation or excuse.
Strange thing is, most countries and cultures don’t actually consider Friday the 13thunlucky…
Dear readers, do you do anything different on Friday the 13th?
I could suggest the new Friday the 13th movie released today,
I think it’s called:
Friday the 13th Part XXXV: Jason Kills Again at his Seniors Assisted Living Home
Tuesday Weld (Susan Ker Weld) legally changed her name in 1959. She was born on a Friday. While filming Wild in the Country (1961) Weld was professionally and personally involved with Elvis. Elvis died at 42, on Tuesday August 16, 1977. There are those that believe otherwise…
Tuesday is thankful it’s not Monday; people seem to really hate Monday.
Ruby Tuesday, the classic hit by The Rolling Stones was originally titled, Title B. Hmmm, would a chain of restaurants called themselves Title B ?
People are allegedly the least ‘frisky’ on Tuesdays.
October29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, when the New York Stock Exchange crashed, signalling the beginning of The Great Depression, which may have been badly named.
Tuesday June 6, 1944, D-Day. Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to liberate Nazi-controlled Europe.
If You Give a Pig a Pancakeby Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond is one is a series of children’s books that teaches cause and effect. The usual effect for me? When reading it to my son, I wanted pancakes.
Tuesday is allegedly the most productive day of the work week. If you’re reading this at work, that may not be true.
Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday – all the same day. Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for many Christians. Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras is a time to celebrate and feast on foods not allowed during the austerity of Lent, most of which are rich in fat…now I’m drooling at the thought of pancakes. Even if people don’t observe Lent, many celebrate Pancake Tuesday or Fat Tuesday.
Here’s one of my favourite pancake recipes:
½ cup flour (your choice) 1 ½ cups of oatmeal 1 tbsp honey 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt Mix together lightly in a large bowl. Add 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup sour milk (you can make milk sour by adding 1 tsp vinegar) 2 tbsp olive oil 1 large egg Mix gently and cook with a small amount of butter/olive oil mixture to grease the pan.
Garnish to taste and enjoy!
“He respects Owl, because you can’t help respecting anybody who can spell Tuesday even if he doesn’t spell it right”~AA Milne
So the January blahs have set in and you’re feeling blue…now what?
Is it the weather, Christmas excitement gone, holiday bills arriving, resolutions becoming less resolute by the hour, tired of shoveling?
Or because someone told you it’s Blue Monday?
We only heard about Blue Monday in songs or grumblings until it became an official thing 10 years ago.
But what’s so wrong with being blue anyway? Cookie monster is blue.
So are: Blue bonnets Blueberries Blue birds Dory Blue skies Blue oceans Blue Moons Grover Gonzo The Na’vi Blue eyes Blue crayons
For X-Files fans…
Blue popsicles The Blue Room The Blues Topaz Blue suede shoes…
Doesn’t blue symbolize loyalty, trust and confidence?
It can’t be because it’s the most depressing day of the year, surely there are other days in the running?
What about Valentine’s Day, that can be depressing for those without a Valentine. Tax Day…enough said. Black Friday, it highlights the rank consumerism of our society. Election Day…depending.
When your sports team loses. Birthdays, for some.
A day with bad news.
A day of a funeral.
The day you try on your swimsuit for the summer.
Come on, some of these days must be more depressing than Blue Monday, especially when Blue Monday coincides with Martin Luther King Jr Day. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/28/is-the-dream-still-alive/
Is Blue Monday just tapping into the epidemic of loneliness that shadows our modern world? Or a First World WhineFest?
If you’re blue, go out today and help someone else.
Take stock of your life, if you don’t like it, make changes.
Be aware. Be caring. Be committed. Be smart. Be kind. Be fun. Be loving. Be compassionate. Be you.
Look around, it’s just another day. 1440 minutes. 24 hours. And it’s not over yet.
And the weirdest part? It’s going to be another day tomorrow.
Yet what about those who don’t celebrate Christmas?
Or don’t have anyone with whom to celebrate?
Or those for whom it holds bad memories?
Or those who have other beliefs?
Or what if you love the holidays, but don’t like the commercialism and drama of it?
They still have to fight the crowds, listen to incessant carols, and have their world look like Christmas has been sick everywhere.
We’re still hearing about the War on Christmas when really, it looks more like Christmas has gone on a bender. Christmas is bigger than ever. Santa is still selling Coke. Jesus is still praised at midnight masses. Commercialism is still going strong.
Stores use terms like Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to allegedly be inclusive, really it’s to extend the shopping period. The sustained commercialism has made for sustained greetings. Offices use these terms because Christmas cheer reduces productivity. Also, Christmas isn’t the only religious or non-religious celebration this time of year, how about: Yule, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Chalica, Bodhi Day, Sadeh, Pancha Ganapati, Hogmanay, Yalda and yes, even Feast of Winter Veil andFestivus. Including others, I can’t think of anyone, especially in the Bible who would be for that…oh wait.
I don’t understand how saying Happy Holidays offends. That’s like saying I can’t eat cookies because you’re on a diet. If someone saying Season’s Greetings will shatter a belief in Christ, there’s a problem. Poor Christmas, maybe it needs to stop worrying about what others think of it.
If only we spent more time worrying about peace, kindness, love, hope, and everyone having enough.
Evil wins when it destroys our belief in good. Santa knew that better than anyone, he specialized in good, he had a list for it. He also had a list for naughty and he was going to have to add to that list.
Santagrimly looked out the window, his white gloves absently touching the papers on his desk. He knew this report would forever change the way people viewed The North Pole and possibly Christmas.
The CIA (Christmas Intensity Agency) could be a little overzealous in their protection and advancement of Christmas, but he hadn’t known or let himself think about the lengths they might have gone to in the War on Christmas.
In their zeal to make people believe in Christmas the CIA had done unspeakable things. People had been forced to: untangle tree lights for hours on end; eat fruitcake, gumdrops, candy, candy corn, candy canes, cookies; watch hours of Christmas movies, even the made-for-TV ones; had been sleep-deprived so no visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; were syrupboarded; made to wear holiday cheer; stand on broken candy canes; endless Christmas songs, and even had their families threatened. Not to mention blowing a large portion of the Christmas budget and for what? The conclusion was clear, the Enhanced Christmas Infusion Techniques were not only sadistic and inhumane, but ineffective.
Santa couldn’t understand what had caused the CIA to do such horrible things. He opened the book entitled, The Naughty List, picked up his pen and dipped it into the inkwell, shaking his head again in anger and disbelief, they’d never even asked if those people believed in Christmas.
“This is Anna Bjorgman, reporting from The North Pole where it appears protesters from The Occupy Movement have set up camp to Occupy The North Pole.” Shivering in her Canada Goose parka, the young woman bravely placed the microphone in front of one of the Occupiers, “Excuse me, why has TheOccupy Movement decided to Occupy The North Pole this Christmas?”
A handsome young man flashed a smile that was whiter than the snow around him before answering, “Actually, the Occupy movement is so three years ago. We’re the Change The North Pole Movement, because we believe the climate up here needs to change!”
Pushing his iPhone6 into the pocket of his Moncler parka, Christian continued, “Santa is a fat rich old white man who has his own town, slave labour, and only works one day a year!”
Christian paused to point to the various tents, barricades, signs, and a handful of protesters milling around the streets of The North Pole. “Santa’s the ultimate symbol of capitalism! He teaches children to be materialistic!”
A beautiful young woman holding two large Starbucks cups, smiled coyly as she handed Christian one of the steaming cup, “I got your fav, Christian, Double Tall Soy Latte,” Bianca crooned before turning a dazzling smile on the reporter. “We want human need, not corporate greed!”
The reporter, slightly stunned by all the dazzling smiles, wondered where they’d managed to find a Starbucks at The North Pole and was momentarily at a loss for words. Recovering swiftly, she nodded at her cameraman Hans to follow her as she walked with the protesters toward Santa’s Workshop. “What is it you hope to accomplish by Occupying, er, Changing The North Pole?”
Christian took a sip of his latte, looking thoughtful before answering. “The income inequality and wealth distribution between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population is no more obvious than here at The North Pole. The elves are the 99%. We want to bring awareness that while Santa sits around smoking a pipe, getting fatter, and being jolly, there is social and economic inequality here and worldwide.”
Bianca stepped brashly forward. “We want people to think, to ask questions, not just blindly follow the Santa Laws!” She then gaily waved at another protester and quickly texted what looked like gibberish before continuing, “There is no better slave than a slave who doesn’t know he’s a slave. I think Bono or Ariana Grande said that and they were so right. People need to wake up! People need see what’s in front of them!”
A frigid wind raged as the reporter watched the two young people start texting, knowing she’d lost the little attention they possessed. With strains of happy Christmas songs emanating from Santa’s Workshop and chants of We Are Changing the Climate of the North Pole! behind her, the reporter smiled weakly at the camera and threw it back to the station with a simple yet bemused, “This is Anna Bjorgman, umm, do you wanna build a snowman?”
If I worried about doing or saying something stupid I’d never open my mouth, write anything or probably leave the house, but as I get older I hope I’m slightly less stupid.
For me, the Christmas season seems to come with the gift of introspection. Maybe it’s because the season brings out the best and worst in people.
This year the news is filled with bizarre, almost surreal images that still seem vaguely familiar.
Terrorism. Shopping frenzies. Economic manipulations by the rich. Protests against the police for what can only be categorized as cataclysmically abysmal conduct. Since the police aren’t getting in trouble, their behaviour must be explicit or implicit policy, which makes it more disturbing.
Wrapped in a cloak of civility we shiver against the winds of change. As we become more and more comfortable, any discomfort sets off a fear response in us. We’ve been the white meat for a long time now, worth more, and as much as we say we’re not prejudiced, we are. And we’re fearful, why else would we vote in politicians that are self-serving fear mongers who only want to further their agendas?
People hide their fear, but it’s there. As society becomes more inclusive, more politically correct, the fear festers. It’s Christmastime and there is a need to be afraid, about what’s really fearful.
Fearful that corporations run our governments, who don’t serve in the best interests of their citizens.
Fearful we’re more worried about apps, vacations, eating out, fashion, and entertainment than about the environment.
Fearful that a lack of respect for each other has lead to arguing, bickering, even, as we’ve seen, death.
Fearful households are sagging under the weight of their debts, countries are struggling to stay afloat.
Fearful poverty, hunger, inequality, injustice, and war are still accepted.
Fearful in a world of constant connection, we seem further apart than ever.
Police are hired to protect and serve.
Governments are elected to govern.
Kindness and compassion are a language understood by all, we need to remember how to speak it.
We all want to change the world, but not enough people want to change. Waiting in line for a new iPhone, or Christmas wrapping services, or Drake’s new store, concert, movie, restaurant, etc. we have the power in our wallets – stop waiting and stand up for something that will be a positive change.
Sometimes there’s too much going on to see what’s really going on.
As we grow older, wouldn’t it be better if we got slightly less stupid?
This has all happened before and it will all happen again…history doesn’t have to be a broken record.
Unseasonably warm, it seemed a beautiful day to go for a long walk. Little did I know chaos had broken out at The North Pole. As I wandered off to do errands and go to the library, behind the scenes, disgruntled elves had declared war on Christmas! Tired of deplorable working conditions, the Elves went on strike.
Santa seemed bemused, telling the media, “I’ve spent more money on elves, especially Veteran elves than any other Santa in the history of Santas.”
The elves shot back with a list of demands.
“We’re tired of being pushed around!” Chief SpokesElf Snowball exclaimed. “We don’t have glamorous jobs like fighting to save Middle-earth, making cookies in trees, being a warrior in Hyrule, or saving Harry Potter, we just make toys!”
Other elves murmured their agreement.
“We love making toys, but day in and day out, it’s torture!” Snowball climbed up on a festive stool to point at the growing crowd of elves. “No one talks about the harassment we endure when we go into town, we can’t even walk down the street without hearing, Hey Sugarplum, or Twinkletoes, Peppermint Buns, Angel Ears, Sprinklepants.” Snowball sat down heavily on the stool, head in hands, as if unable to carry on.
Another elf patted Snowball on the back and continued, “We want to work, but we have to sing the whole time and some elves, I won’t mention any names, cough cough, Buddy, sing loud for all to hear, off key. And why does Santa’s Workshop have to be at The North Pole, why not Aruba or Belize?” Holly sighed and raised her hands in a gesture of defeat. “We have a mandatory diet of cookies, candy canes, gingerbread, candy corn, do you know what all these gumdrops are doing to my diet?”
Cries of Here, Here! and One Two Three Four Eating Cookies is a Bore! rang through the workshop.
“We have to wear these outfits all the time,” Holly sighed, pointing down at her tacky elf outfit. “And now they’re loaning us out to sit on shelves, what’s with that?”
But while the elves were rallying, the reindeer escaped and went flying around the world, stuffing themselves on fast food and samples at Costco; getting liquored up before knocking down unsuspecting pedestrians. This is where I come in, one minute I was walking, the next I was on the ground, in the mud. The reindeer didn’t even stop, it kept talking on it’s cellphone, at least, I think it was a reindeer.
With only 19 sleeps before the Big Night, let’s hope Santa and the Elves can work this out.
Looking out my window last night, into the dark, still night as I always do before bed, you know, as everyone does to make sure there are no zombies, aliens, purges, or other issues, I noticed a new menace!
This was a foe I’d met before.
Sneaky and untimely, it had arrived.
On the surface it was bright, sparkly and gave the street a contemporary Currier and Ives appearance, but I knew it for what it was!
Snowmg, this was too soon.
I thought, Oh Hell Snow! Snow way!
The only dashing I wanted to do was down to the park to play some tennis or to take a long walk, in shoes.
No jingling. No jangling. No turtledoves or French hens.
No lords leaping or otherwise.
No fat man with a hidden address going on my roof. What is with Christmas anyway? Having children sit on some strangers’ lap and tell him the thing they want most in the world so he can break into their house, eat their food, drink their beverages, leave them gifts after watching them sleep. That’s just freaky.
I don’t want wassail or fruitcake, wait, it’s cold, I’ll take the wassail, but not the wassailers, too early. 4 cups apple cider, or apple juice, or 6 cored apples & 4 tbsp. sugar, honey, or maple syrup (or a combination depending how sweet a tooth you have) 2 cups cranberry juice 2 cups orange juice 3 tbsp. lemon juice 2 cups water 4 sticks of cinnamon or 1 tsp. cinnamon 2 tbsp. Cloves, ginger, nutmeg (or not)
All the ingredients in a large pot, on low for 6-8 hrs; all day in a slow cooker. Add wine or brandy or rum for adults. Orange slices and cranberries for decoration.
Snow is not a signal to start Christmascheer yet. No shopping and definitely no fa la laing. No singing loud for all the world to hear. Signed,The Grinch.
I was enjoying other people’s posts on snow, then it got real. How can I originally be from near Sudbury and still be this traumatized by snow? No idea.
Fine. Bring it on. Polar Vortex. Snowmageddon. Snownado. Snowzilla.
Snow wars. Snow conflict. Snowpocalypse.
Quietus snowus. Snow-nihilation.
Snowreaper. The oncoming snowstorm.
Just know that I will grumble. I will say, How about this snow? Brrr, it’s cold and the classic, Is there more snow than last year?
Society is degenerating to a constant state of anxiety and fear, especially the fear of missing out. What if we missed an email, text, post, tweet, party, sale, invitation, night out, gossip, especially about celebrities, trips, trends…what if we just missed something? The only thing we don’t fear missing out on…voting.
While reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by the stunningly beautiful, talented, and hilarious Mindy Kaling(Three Rivers Press) I had an a-ha moment. The book itself was funny, charming, authentic, very much what you’d expect from the writer and star of The Mindy Project and The Office, she’s a hot mess and makes it work, but I started thinking about why more and more people are more depressed, stressed, anxious, suicidal, homicidal, etc. than ever, even children. I’m sure there are multiple reasons, but being in constant contact, rampant consumerism, extreme inequality, and fear of missing out must be high on the list.
So a bunch of money-grubbing, self-regulating corporations appeal to natural human curiosity, use culturally complex language, jargon, fear of missing out, pop culture references, celebrities, and even bullying to ensure we feel compelled to consume, which leads to wanting and buying and consuming even more which leads to, well, you get the picture. This isn’t just adults, we’re letting our children be groomed, to be exploited, for profit. Isn’t there a name for that?
The good news, there’s no need to stop consuming, or watching TV, or going on the internet…we just slow down and consider the source, who will profit.
Symptoms of a fear of missing out may include, but are not limited to:
1. Forgetting those you love or those in need while rushing around trying not to miss out. 2. Rationalizing buying products manufactured under deplorable conditions. 3. Describing wants as needs or worse believing wants are needs. 4. Obsessing about products, services, and activities. 5. Putting items above people.
There is hope. Some people might be doing things you’re not or having things you’re not, that doesn’t mean they’re happier or more content. It’s not a contest. Hopefully this will all level out and people will finally see what’s important instead of what’s advertised.
Since the holiday season is already being forced on us to stretch out the shopping and socializing so we’ll spend more, don’t fear missing out, celebrate what you have.
The day after Halloween,before we’d even removed all the pretend fear, Christmas is starting, carols are starting, earlier and earlier each year.
People say they respect soldiers and veterans, but instead of respect – Christmas everywhere?!?
Everyone down in malls, the tall and the small,
will stand close together, Christmas sales ringing,
waiting in line, their credit cards zinging!
They spend! And they spend! And they spend!
They’ll spend on tablets! They’ll spend on smartphones!
They’ll spend on toys, clothes, TVs, and even on drones!
Instead of contentment and helping where we can,
filling our hearts with tech, plastic, chemicals, what a plan!
Stop for a moment, look at a soldier.
Dressed all in honour, from foot to head, Poppy on their heart, to remember the brave dead.
The box of poppies sits below a chest full of medals,
honouring the past with each poppy they sell. Christmas isn’t before Veterans Day. Christmas isn’t before Remembrance Day. Christmas is in December.
It begins on the 1st, No, not of November! Christmas blaring through the stores. Christmas decorations, ads, displays.
Crass and disrespectful.
To soldiers fighting.
Families who lost soldiers.
Soldiers who fought for us.
Shop all year round if you must, Black Friday, Cyber Monday,
Months of sales!
Leave Christmas until December, Remember.
Can’t we wait for Christmas until after we’ve honoured our soldiers?
If we showed more respect to our soldiers and our veterans,
we might make our governments show them more respect as well.
Around this time of year people often pose the question: what’s your worst nightmare? For me, something horrible happening to my son, and the rest of my family and friends.
My nightmares, when I actually sleep, are few, but they all start the same, running. Not jogging, all comfy shoes and music, but frantic, desperate, trying-to-get-away-from-something-running. I’m not scared of the running, but of what I’m running from. Maybe that’s why I love to walk, little chance I’m leisurely strolling away from a zombie, vampire, alien, mass murderer, serial killer, etc., right?
Luckily in the nightmares my son is usually running ahead of me; he’s fast, so he makes it.
I know what you’re doing right now…hopefully reading this:
1.The origins of Halloween are ancient and include: sacrifices, celebrating Harvest, fairies, demons, feasts, Druids, Celts, scaring away spirits, appeasing spirits, passion, death, and so much more…and this is for children now, hmmm.
2. In Medieval England hearing an owl’s call meant someone was about to die, well, duh, it was Medieval England, of course someone was about to die.
3. Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween so why does no one drink green beer on October 31st?
4.Harry Houdini died on Halloween 1926…coincidence?
5. We have carved: beets, turnips, potatoes, and pumpkins for Halloween, weird amount of veggies for a candy holiday.
6. Safety first, sadly, children are twice as likely to be killed in or by a car on Halloween.
7. Some animals shelters have stopped adoptions of black cats near Halloween,because people sacrifice them. What is wrong with…sigh, I have no words.8.Orange symbolizes: Harvest, Fall, and strength. Black implies darkness and death, including the death of summer…I just like wearing it.
9.Witch comes from wicce which means wise woman. I know a lot of witches.
10.Halloween can cause poor behaviour and deindividualization. In costume, together, people care less about consequences of individual actions; doing things they normally wouldn’t do alone.
11.The Michael Myers mask in 1978’s Halloween was actually a William Shatner mask. And now he has a renovation show, William Shatner, not Michael Myers although it’s reality TV so who knows?
12.Some suggestions for definitely too-soon Halloween costumes: Sexy Hazmat suits, zombie Robin Williams, terrorist, Ray Rice dragging a doll…just don’t.
13.Halloween has had many names: All Hallows Evening, All Hallows Eve, Samhain, Witches Night, Lambswool, Haunting Night, Summer’s End, Snap-Apple Night, wait, doesn’t that last one just sound like Snapple Night? Mmmm, Snapple.