Life is choosing. Choosing to be happy or sad. Nice or mean. Hopeful or hopeless. Among the mass of expectations, concepts, beliefs, abstractions, and stereotypes swirls millions and millions of choices. We’re not always going to make the right choices. Sometimes we’re mean and feel sorry, sometimes we’re sorry we’re not more mean.
I recently rewatched Josie and the Pussycats, the movie, although I loved the cartoon also – https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/08/09/i-miss-saturday-morning-cartoons/ – it reminded me:
1) It’s hilarious, even 15 years later, maybe more so;
2) It’s wise and relevant, especially about how we’re brandwashed, er, brainwashed;
3) The words to the song keep echoing through my head, “Can’t you just pretend to be nice, can you at least pretend to be nice, if you could just pretend to be nice, then everything in my life would be alright.”
For me, people who pretend to be nice are pretty much as annoying as meanies. “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”- Dave Barry Yet there are still tons of genuinely nice people…but we’re designed to notice danger, it’s for survival. We notice loud stuff, outrageous stuff, bad stuff – it was meant to help us notice danger, pay attention to danger, to keep us safe and to keep our loved ones safe, but now, sigh, there’s the internet, you know the internet, like your neighbourhood gossip on steroids, virally, digitally frothing at the mouth.
Texts, tweets, memes, video, posts, gifs, statuses, chats, comments, updates, etc., blaming, blaming, blaming – basically blaming everyone – immigrants, women, social assistance recipients, minorities, religions, etc., well, that won’t get you a job, or make the rich stop screwing you (without consent or foreplay). Just as spewing vitriol won’t change your economic or socioeconomic status, or get you something you want, or bring back those you love. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, sorry Mom and Dad, your famous, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is stone cold dead. We’re all quickly learning you’re entitled to your own opinion and your own facts – just ask The Incredible Trump.
Maybe it’s easier to lash out than look in. Is it easier to yell at a clerk? Or scream at a receptionist (by the way, no one was paying any attention to your information until you screamed)? Or sharpen your claws: ‘You’re so brave to wear that shirt.’ Brave, really, I’m not running into a burning building to save babies and puppies, oh I see, you’re being catty. Than to just be nice?
When I asked an ex (note the word ‘ex’, for many, many reasons) why he couldn’t just be nice, his answer was, ‘it’s too much work’. Really? Could that possibly be it? Is it just easier to snark, snarl, sneer? Easier to mock, mimic, moan? Is meanness, ridicule, viciousness, derision a form of laziness?
Bad guys, bad boys, charismatic anti-heroes are cool on TV, in movies and books https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/06/charming-savage-events/ but in real life, not so much.
Then again, if you’re not: molesting, abusing, being racist, getting all mass murdery, killing serially or non-sequentially, making human skin coats, terrorizing, stealing, lying, raping (yes, creepy, horrible Stanford rapist and any other rapists, no still means no and to clarify, unconscious also means no; not difficult to understand), you probably still qualify as ‘nice’, but hopefully we can try to raise the bar way, way higher.
Speaking of nice, I’m thrilled (thank you kindly) to be one of the winners of the Blogger’s Pit Stop and The Pinterest Game – please drop by, visit, share, it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and lots of fun.
Julie http://juleskalpauli.com/bloggers-pit-stop-27/ featuring: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ and https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/01/04/so-youve-ruined-your-lifenow-what/
Get out there, be a shameless social media self-promoting bloghussy (like me), most of all, enjoy!
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Endlessly baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The desert where I wander: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google, not nearly as fun as it sounds: https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
To the best of my knowledge, there’s no standardized testing for ignorance, intolerance, meanness, or unhappiness yet, but I’d buy stocks in that future booming business. Be nice, you don’t know what people have been through or are going through.
Is it too late to say sorry? ‘Cause I’m missing more than just your bloggy. Yeah, I know-oh-oh, I want to be a good neighbour bloggy (ok, perhaps I’m not going to be rapper anytime soon). I know it’s a busy time of year, but drop by whenever, dears, my blogdoor is always open. Please leave links in the comment box. Drop by often. Enjoy the virtual cake, chocolate, cupcakes, tarts, pies, cookies, and er, liquid refreshments. Meet and greet other bloggers. Introduce yourself. Be kind. Be nice. Have fun. Obvious now I’m from Canada, eh? Sorry.
Seeing is believing,
or is it believing is seeing?
Or not seeing is believing?
There are things we can’t see that we believe in, and things we can’t see we don’t believe in. How do we choose? I can’t see atoms, air, sunshine, germs, Wi-Fi, magic, ghosts, hope, despair, Santa, love, hate, vampires, cancer, pain, mental illness, God, aliens, pain, good, evil, a cat’s purr, microwaves, pollution, carbon monoxide, autism, a baby’s breath…
Should we assume none of these are real?
I can feel the sunshine on my skin, hear a cat’s purr, use the internet, witness the horror of cancer…Geez, at this point, I’m held together with the duct tape of atoms and hope.
If those things are real without being seen, why not the others?
It’s not the same in blogging, we have to be seen. But how?
1. You know those little bubbles in carbonated drinks, all fizzy, tickling the nose, and expanding the stomach? That’s blogging. It can be effervescent, pleasing, irritating, confounding, overwhelming, addictive. And while most of us don’t want to expand our stomachs, we do want to expand our readership. If you’re just doing it for yourself, that’s great, but then why do it online, why not in a journal or diary?
2. Don’t fixate on number of views. Blog as often as you and your readers enjoy. Do it for the fun of it, for money (stupid question, money is a necessary evil), fame, a book deal, movie deal (I just had an image of who might portray me in the movie of my life, Helena Bonham Carter? No, probably Mindy Cohn).
3. The internet is a giant virtual haystack and yes, in this analogy, you are the needle, I am the needle, more specifically, our blogs are the needles. Shift around the haystack – you can’t expect to just ‘be found’, or find others.
Look for blog parties/linky parties/blog shares…
Jason – https://aopinionatedman.com/
Janice – http://mostlyblogging.com/
Danny – http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Elena – http://www.livingwithbatman.com/
Vicky – http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
April – https://diapersandtutus.wordpress.com/
Read, share, like, comment. And blog engagement groups/boards are rampant on Facebook and Pinterest. Twitter is overflowing with hashtag days (Suzie https://suzie81speaks.com/ gets us trending every Sunday with #SundayBlogShare – the lovely ladies at http://honeyquill.com/ give us #LinkYourLife – there’s also #MondayBlogs #TuesdayShares #wwwblogs #BeWoW #bluskyfriday #ArchiveDay #WeekendBlogShare).
Don’t just attend, participate.
4. Spread your blogging wings! Search out other bloggers, not just on their blogs, but follow them into the depths of the social media catacombs…
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
Yet another place to bloglove: https://www.bloglovin.com/people/donnaparker10-6312637
5. Your readers won’t always ‘get’ what you’re blogging about or agree. Some will be disinterested, some downright rude…Keep wandering through the blogging desert (or dessert) and you’ll find the awesome ones, astounding ones, generous ones, hopeful ones, ones that inspire, ignite, and make you overjoyed you ever heard the term, blogging.
6. Blogging is about being part of something, otherwise you’d just sit alone typing…and we’ve seen the movies – that can either lead to a bestseller…or murder.
7. Pay no attention to all blogging advice behind the curtain…Blog your way today. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/05/12/i-cant-make-you-love-me/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/26/the-phantom-of-the-blogging-tips/
As a young child I believed many things, if I watched a movie again the ending might change, or the money I put in the bank would be the exact same money I’d get out…my Mom, who worked at the credit union at the time had the delightful task of teaching me this life lesson when I wanted my ‘lucky’ quarter from my account. Oops.
Now, older, wiser, I may not believe what I used to believe, or have to see to believe; I may not always know what to believe, but I still want to believe. What about you?
if after all
To go over
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.
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).
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.
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?
7. Pop over to Pinterest for a ‘minute’ to find 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.
I don’t own an iron…
Many of you reading this are WordPress Bloggers. You may have heard of being ‘Freshly Pressed’, where WordPress Editors pick out posts that are instantly given a lot of attention. It feels like their way of saying some bloggers are better than others, that they’re more worthy of sharing.
I even Googled, ‘How to get Freshly Pressed’.
Hmmm, note to self, next time you search, add, ‘on WordPress’, because, wow, that got weird, really fast.
Apparently none of my blog posts have: ‘enlightened’, ‘inspired’, ‘entertained’, or got the WordPress Editors ‘talking’.
Oh well, at least I’ve learned a lot about blogging, sorta…
I’m more concise (applause).
I know about: fonts, stats, sharing, widgets, I know what SEO stands for, Search Engine Oops, maybe I don’t.
I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest – I’m everywhere and as it turns out, nowhere.
I’ve virtually met fantastic people…or who knows, maybe they’re all one giant app that pretends to be bloggers and readers.
I’ve made mistakes…many. I’ve had popular posts and some you could hear crickets chirping as the post sits there being ignored.
I’ve been encouraged, discouraged, disappointed, and delighted.
I’ve learned to not take it too seriously.
Yet for Freshly Pressed folks, apparently I don’t write ‘unique content’ that’s free of ‘bad stuff’ (where’s the fun in that?).
I don’t have a ‘point of view’ (that’s silly, everyone has a point of view, even if they borrowed it from someone else).
I don’t paint them ‘a picture’ or make it easy on their eyes (this seems like a blatant attempt to get me to buy a Premium package).
I don’t add ‘relevant tags’ (too many tags, not enough tags, make up your mind).
My headlines can be ‘ignored’ (I already put the word ‘Obscure’ in my tagline).
typoos, er, typos. Sorry I’m not prefect, WordPress.
I’ve tried, I really have, for over 500 posts, but sigh, I’m still in The-Land-of-Never-To-Be-Freshly-Pressed. It’s worse than being Friend-zoned.
- Well, I never really wanted to be Freshly Pressed anyway (so there).
You can keep your FP Clique.
You keep your special jackets that say FP on them and super-duper secret decoder rings.
Keep your secret Clubhouse where all the Freshly Pressed elite virtually hang out and talk about us losers that will never be Pressed.
Just realized, this little rant probably got me banned from being Freshly Pressed, for my blogging lifetime. So what? I was never going to be anyway (er, was I?).
So, why will I never be Freshly Pressed? Ummm, no clue….