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 necessary to 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.
Even before we take a day to remember and honour our soldiers,
Black Friday and 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.
As a writer I have to believe words have power. One of the words I dislike is hate (note I didn’t say I hated hate). It’s overused. People hate their life. Family. Weight. Home. Car. Cats (maybe they sense your hate). Government. Politicians. Job. Hair. Cake (you are so reading the wrong blog). Books. TV shows. Songs. Actors. Movies. Vegetables (how do you hate something plant-based?).
I’m tired of hearing people say they hate…I’m not sure they know what that word means. Hate should be reserved for really, really bad people and things, like: child abusers, rapists, murderers, Hitler, warlords, dictators, alien overlords, stuff like that.
1. Let’s review, do you really hate your life or just certain aspects? Your whole life is a big category with many moving parts, pick the right part to hate, let the rest roll on.
2. Standing in the middle of a room silently or loudly screaming, “I hate my life” or “no No NOOOO!” repeatedly will probably make you feel slightly better for about 30 seconds, but it’s not a long-term ‘fix’.
3. This is usually the point when advice-giver types tell you to change your life. That’s all well and good, but what if some things are beyond your ability to change? Should you just accept them, or rail against them, lay down and kick and scream until you feel better, or until someone offers you ice cream to stop, or threatens to call the authorities (and no ice cream)?
4. How much time do you spend each day ‘hating your life’, I suggest you cut that in half, help others with the other half, you’ll feel the hate drift away.
5. Take a deep breath. This probably won’t help you hate your life less, but hopefully you might get a nice breath of fresh air, or the smell of fresh-baked goods.
6. Do something, maybe something different, or something to help someone else, again, may not make your life full of singing and woodland creatures doing your housework, but it might remind you of the good things.
7. Take charge of your life, unless you wouldn’t feel comfortable having you in charge, after all, do you even remember where your keys, or the remote is right now?
8. Are you at least changing the things you hate about your life? You’d hate to get stuck in a rut of hating the same things for decades.
9. Check your birth certificate. Are you old enough to hate your life? There are some weird laws out there, you don’t want to be breaking any.
10. Write down what you hate, maybe there’s a great book, or movie or TV show, song, etc. in all that hate. As much as people say they love positivity, so many popular shows, movies, books, plays, songs, etc. are about dysfunction, hate, crime, death, destruction, apocalyptic worlds, and misery, including Misery.
Maybe the haters just need a nap. A nap always makes you feel better. I’ve been enjoying a tiny bit more sleep (even when awake) in the past week (new meds).
Fibromyalgia and sleep don’t get along, but as much as I can hate the pain it inflicts on me 24/7, the constant fatigue, feeling left out of life sometimes, there’s no point, it is what it is. I have a choice, I can choose hate and be all grumpypants, or I can choose love and keep enjoying what I have and hoping for better days ahead.
If I said anything wonky during my blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/29/always-on-my-mind-blog-party/ (still open by the way, drop by anytime and promote your blog, for free, yes, free – we hear that word often, but it’s rarely true, in this case, it is) – I’ll blame it on the drugs (totally legal ones). Thanks to all those who came out. Happily, my bed and I are back on speaking terms, for now, and we didn’t even need sleep counseling.
Haters gonna hate, so let’s bake them a cake…seriously, who can hate when eating cake?
Be brave. Be bold.
Choose love…and naps…and cake
(not necessarily in that order).
Life 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.
6. Finding happiness, peace, or contentment, especially by making others happy, peace-filled, or contented.
7. Life and knowing that most people know it’s worth.
8. Being you. Don’t compare yourself to others.
9. Bad times, so you can appreciate the good times.
10. Giving – stuff, time, comfort, inspiration, hope, information…you.
Terror, in many forms has wormed it’s way into our lives, not just with violence, but with weapons such as: fear, rudeness, abuse, inequality, neglect, distractions, complacency, disrespect, self-righteousness, ignorance, intolerance, lying, scandal, gossip, corruption, manipulation, dogma, bullying, blame, and all those ‘gotcha’ moments.
We can change. Some will say we can’t, or worse, that’s just the way it is. Expect change. Be that change.
People can disagree, debate, wrangle, bicker, even argue, hopefully respectfully.
There’s also no need to agree, you have the right to disagree, again, respectfully.
Attacking anyone, verbally or physically, for their beliefs is pointless.
We can’t overcome hate with hate.
We can’t win by fighting.
Even if you feel hate, choose love or at least, forgiveness.
Even if you feel indifference, choose compassion.
Especially if you feel despair, choose hope.
I worry being ‘shocked’ every time something terrible happens, posting platitudes, changing profile pictures, holding vigils, leaving tokens, decrying the monsters, and placing blame gives the illusion of doing something when really, it’s mostly shopping, social media, socializing, and symbolism.
Wouldn’t it be more comforting to help those in need? To donate food, clothing, money for shelter and medical care instead of making piles of flowers, candles, stuffed animals, and flags that will just become garbage? I don’t understand, if we want to show respect why not help those who are still alive and suffering?
We need to find out how to change what’s happening, or brace ourselves for more of the same, or worse. The first rule of holes, when you’re in one, stop digging, and try to find a way out.
What’s coming will come, so instead of focusing on those who do harm, who spread fear and hate, let’s be grateful for those who help, who protect – those who do good in this world. They deserve our focus, not just after a tragedy, or crisis, or disaster, but all the time.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who have lost loved ones, death is tragic, no matter the circumstances…and to anyone suffering, everywhere.
Are teens and young people at risk for dreaming anymore?
Dreaming has become very expensive…and I think you need an app for it.
Boomers and Gen X were well-intentioned, wanting to give our children everything. Somehow it backfired and we’re leaving them with: a broken system, crumbling infrastructure, crippling debt, dubious morals, attention issues, a yawning wealth gap, a dying planet, corrupt governments and business.
Now in our defence, we also gave them: kittens on the internet, tons of fast food, and technology that might be destroying them.
Yet I’m still hopeful. Why? Because they are.
Many young people still want to try. They want to change things.
The media gives us the impression that all young people care about is
their smart phones, that they don’t vote, they’re unmotivated, or joining terrorist groups.
But that’s because the news is pandering – sensationalism rules.
Saving the planet isn’t sexy.
Trillions in unfunded liabilities (governments are happy if you don’t pay attention to things like this) is boring and incomprehensible.
None of this has ratings potential. Rarely goes viral. But it should. We need to stop focusing on the negative and sensational.
Have we removed our children’s ability to dream? I hope not.
Maybe it would help if we stopped calling them things like, Generation Screwed. That’s uplifting.
Profusely unemployed or underemployed, many live at home longer or return home. Debt, especially from student loans, is weighing them down. They need to have hope.
This generation, Millennials, have been given so much.
Their expectations are high. A new smart phone in their hand, and often. Big TVs, little laptops and tablets, a car to drive, fast food, clothes, trips.
Yet when they get out into the world to earn enough to have those things themselves, they hit barriers – no jobs, part-time jobs, low-income jobs, outsourcing, and even their beloved technology is plotting to steal their jobs.
They’re told to: lower their expectations; accept the new normal; the low-hanging fruit has been picked; and society has reached a plateau. Wow, way to motivate.
That should be a Graduation Speech:
Knowing that society has reached a plateau and all the low-hanging fruit has been picked, we’re all going back home to live with our parents until we’re 40 or so.
This is the new normal, having lowered our expectations of ever getting a decent job or a home.
We accept this is the way things are.
And in conclusion, check out this viral video of a zebra that can paint its own toenails.
The worst part
about growing old,
Wrinkles – although watching your face
become a road map to your final destination isn’t pleasant;
Creaking joints/aches and pains –
maybe shouldn’t have done that.
Learning more than you ever wanted
to learn about some people – sigh.
Losing your nouns, keys, and even memories –
The worst part is loss.
Some experience loss early and often through life,
others face the inevitable and unenviable state of loss
After losing someone you start thinking about your life
and like most people, I have some regrets.
I regret not seeing a friend was really an enemy
And an enemy was really a friend
I regret harsh words spoken
Cuts that will never mend
I regret not doing what I wanted to do
And doing what I did not want
I regret not being stronger
For being frail when I should have fought
I regret worrying about little things
That only mattered in my head
I regret thinking I knew it all
Using sarcasm to cover pain
I regret turning away from love found
Not recognizing love given
Doing too much
Doing too little
But these are backwards
And do not overwhelm
The smiles I was given
The smiles I received
The love that I treasure
Hope lost and recovered
When you rise
bring others with you;
when you descend,
invite no one else along.
Sometimes you will hate.
Sometimes you will be indifferent.
Sometimes you will despair.
Was there always so much anger in the world or does the internet just give it a longer reach?
I guess there were always bullies, meanies, thugs, just generally, nasties.
Maybe there were cave people who told other cave people they were terrible at cave drawings.
But the vitriol online? Treating others as you would want to be treated hasn’t changed because of the anonymity of the internet.
The internet can bring people together, to help, to spread information, but it also has a sinister side where people abuse, use, and destroy others, sometimes for sport.
There are too many Human Tornados – charming and convincing, they cut a path of destruction wherever they go. They blow into people’s lives, wreak havoc, then move on, often pretending they’re the victim. Some of them sure are brilliant, at being cruel.
Do they’re know what they’re doing?
How much they’re hurting others?
The damage they do?
Is it lashing out?
Are they so dissociated from their feelings?
Or so narcissistic that they can’t see past their own feelings?
As you can see, I have more questions than answers.
Social media fights have become notorious – they’ve lead to lawsuits, divorces, estrangement, even death and yet, they rage on.
Venom spewed toward the living, the deceased. Anyone and anything is fair game.
Just because they can.
Strong, confident people don’t have to judge, or tear others down.
All that time and energy wasted, caring about who others love, what they wear, their weight, their income, what they drive or where they live, who they know, what race or religion they are, lifestyle choices, etc.
Instead of attacking – discuss, ignore, show compassion, or see things from another point of view.
Being wealthy, famous, powerful or on the internet are not character references. Character is what you do, not who you are. It’s what you do when no one can see what you’re doing. Or who you are. Or when you don’t get anything for doing it.
Compassion never goes out of style.
Maya Angelou has gone from this world.
After living so many lives.
Who knew such terror, such hardship, and such horror, still recognized and chose joy, love, and hope. She choose courage and laughter.
She told us in words and deeds to live, not regret living.
Lent her voice to those in need until they found their own.
If you have given yourself the gift of her writing you will already know what you need to know. If you haven’t, be good enough to yourself to do so.
I urge anyone who doesn’t know the story of Maya Angelou to learn, for in her story you will find many brave and startling truths worth knowing…
There are no better words to describe the force of Maya Angelou and the light she shone on the world than her own words:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”
“I’m a woman
We will never have to say goodbye because on the pulse of each new day Maya Angelou is with us to say, “Very simply With hope Good morning.”
For those that have read the novella by Stephen King I will alternately title this Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.
For me, both have been irreparably damaged by the Family Guy version, oh great, now I’m humming Hollaback Girl.
This book and movie hold many messages, the most obvious one, hope.
I used to think, many years ago when I was young that no matter what anyone did to you, no matter what they took from you, you’d always have hope.
But then I began to slowly realize that hope itself could be dangerous.
When nothing or no one can hurt you.
When nothing or no one can take anything more from you.
When nothing or no one can break your heart.
Am I cheering anyone up yet?
This is the moment when people have to choose, to take a chance that hope is a gift. Just because you’re in a hopeless position doesn’t mean you’re hopeless.
For people with chronic illness we cling to hope like it’s the side of giant mountain and we never want to look down.
That’s the power of hope. And the danger. It depends how you use it.
It’s been 20 years since we were given Frank Darabont’s (The Walking Dead) vision of Shawshank. Hey, it starred: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, William Sadler, James Whitmore, and Clancy Brown, how could it be anything but cool?
I recommend you also read King’s story and if so inclined, destroy both by watching the Family Guy take on this brilliant celebration of how you can be free or imprisoned wherever you are, it’s all about perspective.
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”~Jack Layton
They’ve adapted this (added a Marley bro so they could use Statler and Waldorf),and made it a little more child-friendly that the original to give us a heart-warming, joyful gift that keeps giving. And we can’t get enough of this redemption ghost story, can we?
Kermit is the perfect Bob Cratchit and Michael Caine is the quintessential Scrooge.
I can’t say how many times I’ve watched this, but it’s still fun.
Tell me you can get this out of your head:
Still love The Muppets. Think I may have to go watch it…er, again.
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS quirky bits:
Done on a small budget, there are quirks, continuity issues, choppy animation and some quite scantily mixed sound moments. I think it adds to the love.
A Charlie Brown Christmas aired Thursday, December 9, 1965. Followed the Gilligan’s Island, “Don’t Bug the Mosquitoes” and pre-empted The Munsters (nooooooo!!!).
Charles M. Sculz insisted ABC not have a laugh track. I like that. I hate laugh tracks. I’ll laugh when I feel like laughing, I don’t need to be cued.
Lucy refers to Charlie Brown as Charlie, first, last and only time he’s referred to by his first name only. He’s been called Chuck and Charles.
It has been rumoured that the negative publicity aluminum Christmas trees received in the special caused their demise. Hugely popular between 1958-1965, just two years after the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas these trees ceased regular manufacturing.
Kathy Steinberg (Sally) and some of the other children couldn’t read yet so the lines were fed to them, sometimes only one or two words at a time. Most obvious in the line, “All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share”. I think it gives an appealing authenticity.
The original broadcasts of A Charlie Brown Christmas includes references to their sponsor, Coca-Cola.
Soldiers fought for their families, friends, and countries. Democracy has been won in many other ways as well, but agree or disagree, their sacrifice is amazing.
Soldiers left their homes, their families and friends and they went to war. Some didn’t agree. Many didn’t understand. Most didn’t want to go. Most were scared.
All came back changed if they came back at all. Some were physically altered, some mentally. But they all gave something of themselves to keep our country free.
Veterans should be treated with dignity and respect. Given help, support, work, and should never be discharged just before they’re about to receive their pensions.
As for the white poppies, they’ve been around in one form or another for over 80 years. I love that they stand for peace. I just disagree with giving them out around Remembrance Day. That time is the for those who fought. You don’t have to agree, but what’s done is done. Give them out some other time.
So next time you see a veteran, buy a poppy, buy a few for family and friends and remember, they fought so you could be free. Whether or not you agree with war, this is a time for respect.
Remembrance Day and Veterans Day are about honouring those who fought for their countries, for others.
You don’t have to agree with war or the reasons for it to remember those that fought and those that died.
I’m saddened and disappointed to see stores, malls, and streets decorated for Christmas before Remembrance Day has been respected.
The commercialism of Christmas is bad enough, but this is rude and disrespectful.
In Tacky Stores
In stores Christmas decorations flow
between the candy canes, row on row,
With disrespect to soldiers gone
Christmas cheer doth early don
Cries scarce heard amid the carols blow.
They are the Shoppers. Short days ago
Was Halloween and now before the snow,
Bought and were bought, and now they shop
In Tacky Stores.
Take up the quarrel with the stores:
Pushing Christmas tackiness galores
The dignity of those we’ve lost.
If ye break faith and ignore the cost
If Christmas before Remembrance tore
In Tacky Stores.
With all due respect to John McCrae and all those who fought, were wounded, and died in service to their countries.
Christmas comes after Remembrance Day.