Posted in Books, Canada, Holidays, Uncategorized, Zombies

Who Loves Ya Baby?

1tidy4How 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. Really impressive, commonsense. Now my house looks like a poor woman’s Martha Stewart, with fewer prison ponchos (it’s a good thing).

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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.

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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.

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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?

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  • 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!”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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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?

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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’.

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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.

Happy Valentine’s Day…Who loves ya, baby?

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Posted in Blogs, Books, Canada, Chocolate, Jane Austen, Movies, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Always On My Mind Blog Party

1blog110Decisions. The average person now makes more decisions in a day than most did in weeks, months, even years. Decisions can engulf us. Haunt us. Overwhelm us. Interrupt us. Even stalk us in our dreams, ummm, a Nightmare on Choice Street? Choices are great, but too many can make it difficult, or almost impossible to make and trust decisions. Then comes the morning after, littered with “Did I make the right choice?”, “What did I do?”, “Can I return this?”, “What was I thinking?”.

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Even in blogging there are so many decisions. At first, it felt frightening, like I was that boy in Jurassic Park, when Dr. Grant was explaining how Velociraptors kill.

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Now I’m more like Chris Pratt, on a motorcycle, riding with the Velociraptors in Jurassic World, which for me was an all-out, action-packed cheesefest (in a good way), but a noticeable lack of Jeff Goldblum.

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And yes, we’ve all made the wrong decisions, like someone thinking it was a good idea to make a certain theme park ride that shall remain nameless, ok, Tomorrowland, into a movie. It had its moments, mainly involving George Clooney and Hugh Laurie – I do so enjoy when Laurie’s given a chance to rant.

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Even after years of blogging I still have trouble making some decisions, and have more blank-I-just-can’t-make-this-decision-moments than would seem humanly possible..but mostly it’s much, much more like It’s A Small World After All.

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Blogging has taken me to places I might never have gone:

1. Magical places…
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/03/sweet-dreams-are-made-of-this/

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2. Hopeful places…
Thank you, Mary Smith http://www.marysmith.co.uk/ for your riveting novel, No More Mulberries and equally entrancing non-fiction offering, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women. Reminding us that so much of the stereotypes, drama, and propaganda are fabrications – to sell products, news, and government policies; that strength, compassion, and hope still blossoms, especially in the hearts of the oppressed.
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3. Intriguing places…
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/09/you-may-say-im-a-dreamer/

4. Complex places…
Ever wonder what happened after? You know, after Darcy and Elizabeth, after Jane Eyre and Rochester? Some authors take up the challenge and continue the classic stories. It’s awfully daring, foolhardy, or just cashing in. In the case of Luccia Gray http://lucciagray.com/ – I’m going with daring. As a reader, I didn’t feel this was just to piggyback on the fame, but because Gray loves the enigmatic character, and wanted to continue Eyre’s story through her Eyre Hall Trilogy. The first book, All Hallows at Eyre Hall draws you in, and by the second, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall you’re on tenterhooks, awaiting more.

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5. Spacey places…
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/12/18/these-arent-the-gifts-youre-looking-for/

6. Even racey places…
Not in a tangible sense, but maybe that’s me, because my idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day is the return of The Walking Dead. Who knows? Love is a mystery.
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/11/why-zombies-will-rule/
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/11/why-zombies-wont-rule/

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If you’re a writer, film, art, whatever, contact me at: iwanttobelieve@rogers.com I do reviews, honest opinions only.

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One way or another, we’re all busy.
Finding blogs we enjoy is challenging enough, but making time to read them is daunting.
Why not put all the awesome blogs in one place?
I promised you a blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/24/take-it-easy/

Here it is!
1. Mix and mingle, refreshments to your left beside the archives (what do you think of the new theme?).
2. Please leave your blog link or post link in the comment box below along with any introductions. One link per comment, but come back as often as you’d like.
3. Please reblog to spread the word or like, share on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, etc. Like, share, reblog, tell your family, friends and blogneighbours.
4. I will visit and respond asap (at the snail’s pace I’m moving these days, the next Star Wars film could be out before my asap…kidding ).
5. Have fun, it’s a great way to find bloggers and have them find you.

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Thank you for coming to the party and for supporting my blog…You’ve made blogging a decision I’ll never regret.

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Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Where I’m baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The dark hole where I lose hours of my life: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google (seriously, not nearly as fun as it sounds): https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
Another place to BlogLove: https://www.bloglovin.com/people/donnaparker10-6312637

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Maybe I didn’t blog love
Quite as often as I could
Maybe I didn’t treat posts
Quite as good as I should
If you felt like second best
Sorry, it’s just lack of time
You were always on my mind
(you were always on my mind)
You were always on my mind

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Posted in Blogs, Books, Canada, Doctor Who, Family, Fibromyalgia, Food, Jane Austen, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Stand By Me

Posted in Cats, Christmas, Doctor Who, Family, Holidays, Jane Austen, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

The Christmas Carol Awakens

christmas159I 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.

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Then Colin Firth showed up as my Ghost of Christmas Past in 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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

I can quit anytime I want.

Just…one…more.

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Posted in Blogs, Canada, Chocolate, Family, Holidays, Internet, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Hello It’s Me

1hello3

Hello
It’s me
I was
Wondering
if after all
this time
we could
virtually meet
To go over
what is
real
or
bloggerspeak

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Hello, can you hear me?
I’m in Canada dreaming about 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Posted in Canada, Cats, Christmas, Cooking, Family, Food, Holidays, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

How To Get Away With Christmas

1christmas89Christmas is a time of cheer…right?

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, 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.

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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 it will 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.

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2. Gently add yourself to someone else’s Christmas or add someone to yours.

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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.

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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.

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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 see Star Wars, or not. It’s all good.

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6. Have a Single Christmas Party (not for singles, just you, be your own party).

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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.

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8. Start a new tradition with yourself or others, hopefully one that doesn’t involve eating your feelings (and don’t forget legal).

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9. Help others this season – the best way to keep your mind off your problems is to help others with their problems.

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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.

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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.

I triple dog dare you.

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Posted in Canada, Family, Food, Movies, Music, Political, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

10 Ways To Be Grateful Even On Bad Days

1grateful1Life is full of good things and bad things.

Sometimes good things go bad.

Sometimes bad things go good.

Sometimes a bit of both.

The good stuff doesn’t always make the bad stuff easier to take, but the bad stuff doesn’t always ruin the good stuff either.

We should try to be grateful for the good stuff, especially when there’s bad stuff.

We Could Be Grateful For:

1. Family and friends. The memory of family and friends. The possibility of family and friends.

2. Knowledge, free will, and finding respectful ways to agree to disagree.

3. Enjoying what you have, instead of always thinking about what you want.

4. Remembering both the good times and the bad – and not living in either.

5. Enjoying the everyday things. Life isn’t about the big moments.

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6. Finding happiness, peace, or contentment, especially by making others happy, peace-filled, or contented.

7. Life and knowing that most people know it’s worth.

8. Being you. Don’t compare yourself to others.

9. Bad times, so you can appreciate the good times.

10. Giving – stuff, time, comfort, inspiration, hope, information…you.

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Terror, in many forms has wormed it’s way into our lives, not just with violence, but with weapons such as: fear, rudeness, abuse, inequality, neglect, distractions, complacency, disrespect, self-righteousness, ignorance, intolerance, lying, scandal, gossip, corruption, manipulation, dogma, bullying, blame, and all those ‘gotcha’ moments.

We can change. Some will say we can’t, or worse, that’s just the way it is. Expect change. Be that change.

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People can disagree, debate, wrangle, bicker, even argue, hopefully respectfully.
There’s also no need to agree, you have the right to disagree, again, respectfully.
Attacking anyone, verbally or physically, for their beliefs is pointless.
We can’t overcome hate with hate.
We can’t win by fighting.

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Even if you feel hate, choose love or at least, forgiveness.

Even if you feel indifference, choose compassion.

Especially if you feel despair, choose hope.

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I worry being ‘shocked’ every time something terrible happens, posting platitudes, changing profile pictures, holding vigils, leaving tokens, decrying the monsters, and placing blame gives the illusion of doing something when really, it’s mostly shopping, social media, socializing, and symbolism.

Wouldn’t it be more comforting to help those in need? To donate food, clothing, money for shelter and medical care instead of making piles of flowers, candles, stuffed animals, and flags that will just become garbage? I don’t understand, if we want to show respect why not help those who are still alive and suffering?

We need to find out how to change what’s happening, or brace ourselves for more of the same, or worse. The first rule of holes, when you’re in one, stop digging, and try to find a way out.

What’s coming will come, so instead of focusing on those who do harm, who spread fear and hate, let’s be grateful for those who help, who protect – those who do good in this world. They deserve our focus, not just after a tragedy, or crisis, or disaster, but all the time.

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My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who have lost loved ones, death is tragic, no matter the circumstances…and to anyone suffering, everywhere.