Translate

Thursday, April 30, 2015

What Does My Zodiac Sign Tell Me?

Nothing.

As Christians, we are warned not to believe in soothsayers, astrologers, magic, mediums and the like, in the Old and New Testaments, because it's a form of idolatry that goes against our Faith. It's a slap in God's face, basically. Now, I may lose or gain a lot of readers because of that and upcoming statements but sit tight. I have some science to back me up, as well. Unlike what many believe, Religion and Science have, can and do work hand-in-hand. Most of it is just common sense.

First, let's get a definition of what the Zodiac is supposed to mean.

In it's earliest known history (talking Babylonia, here!), there was nothing to do at night BUT look up at the stars. Wonderful, informative, and useful astronomical observations were made that way. Where it took a wrong turn into telling you how your day will be or how your personality is, that's a jump I can't wrap my head around. For a more detailed definition, please see the link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac

I would never ridicule anyone who clings to this manner of living their lives, but I need to warn them that it pulls them away from the best place to be, in God's loving embrace as His son or daughter. I can leave the house without checking a Horoscope. But I wouldn't want to leave my BED without God. That's my belief and I'm stickin' to it. We meet our challenges in life head-on with Faith that good or bad, we have God in our corner. It's the one constant we all have as we turn around on this rock.

As Christians, we trust in God. We are not a superstitious people. I just itch whenever I see a Baptized Christian tossing salt over their shoulder or saying don't open an umbrella in the house! Our Faith is our faith. Old wives tales are just that.

No internet update or newspaper Horror-scope will change my day. I know my own personality and have no need for them to tell me about myself or the one the stars say matched me to marry. They don't know me and can't tell me how to live my day. If I believed in that, I wouldn't even be able to leave the house on a day they say not to leave! I'd spend my day looking for the other shoe to drop and in paranoia of an event to come. Where's the control of my own life in that? Where is the Joy of living with that?

That being said, I find no 'thrill' in being a particular sign. I see nothing but coincidence in meeting others of the same, knowing that the odds are I WILL meet another 'sign' with the same characteristics. We ALL have similar characteristics! We are all human. We all have different characteristics due to genetics, environment and experiences, none of which will make us the same as one who happened to be born around the same time as we were. The nearest similarity are study results of people who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is as close as one can get to why a group born during one season, and not another, is affected. The information may help affected people and lead to other research of this type. However, it has nothing to do with Astrology/Horoscopes. I can get on board with this type of study because of the hope that it will help others.

Even the article says, take it with a grain of salt, because there are other factors that may influence the study, like the location of the research far from the Equator.

http://www.iflscience.com/brain/does-season-birth-affect-personality

Faith is not the same as superstition. Historically speaking again, we can back up our Faith. But that's another post. The one and only time I went to a psychic was when I was flailing around in the world and following others in my youth without a voice of my own. I went with friends during a camping trip. We went to town to see this woman. Her husband told us she wasn't home because she was out and had a flat tire. I should have known then to save my ten bucks! How does a psychic not know she's going to have a flat?

Another told my elder brother he'd live to be 81. He was dead before his 30th Birthday.

I'll just keep my Faith in God and live the life He suggests. I'm considering the source, as it's said. It's a source of Love, of Good and, surely, more accurate and trustful than a sponsored ad. He knows His sheep and we know Him.

Done. That's A-to-Z for the month of April, 2015!!! Yeah, me! Met the Challenge!

Hope someone's enjoyed reading this month. Numbers were definitely up! Thank you, All!

God bless you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Being the Best You

Let's say money, time, consequences, and objections were not an issue for you.

What, then, would you do? Where would you want to go? To live? What job? What home would you have and where? What would you create? Who would you want in your life?

Can you answer those questions without using the words "as big as a Kardashian's", "like Beyoncé", or "where Rihanna goes"?

If you can't, you are not searching deeply enough.

I've written a lot about dreams and dreaming and will never knock it. I don't believe we should have identical dreams or the same as those of others that fell ass backwards into extreme lifestyles.

My time was spent  chasing a dog down the street, from my car, because I knew he would, eventually, end up in the street and injured, if not dead. I'm telling this because, I wasn't the only one out there trying to catch this little dog that fearfully ran from everyone. Cars stopped, people got out, people chased him for blocks, I followed him through one parking lot and into another. I tried enticing him with a bottle of water but he wasn't having it!

For a dog, the World on that street, stopped for a while. Despite trying to get home from work, people were taking time out to protect an innocent creature from harm. We all lost him. He escaped and went on the run to who knows where. He's still on the minds of many, no doubt. You don't have to be an animal-lover to appreciate the feeling of compassion.

The reason I mention this is because the experience was bringing out the best of each person that stopped, slowed, asked about him, went out of their way to track him, and are still thinking of him, today. It brought out that humanity for little creatures in us. We were showing the Good in us even for a few minutes. We were black, white, young, old, male and female, wealthy and not so wealthy, out there with one goal. We were trying to be helpful to an innocent creature in need.

It takes incidents like that to reveal just how good we really are, individually, and how great we can be together.

I came home to calls from Mom, ("CNN's unpaid on-the-spot-from-her-apartment Reporter"), asking if I was watching what's happening in Baltimore, Maryland on television. The news was going to bring on tears if I hadn't remembered that little dog and all those people.

Buildings burned, policemen and citizens were injured, there was rioting, looting, brick-throwing, games cancelled, businesses closing, and anger heating. The odd thing is the reason for the anger is because of the death of a man, a black man, whose family asked everyone not to react in this way. This was after the young man's funeral. Sigh. His funeral. If his own family is hurting worse than anyone but reasonable enough to say this to the public, why was Baltimore burning?

That's known as crowd mentality. It doesn't matter what color you are, all humans have behaved this way for a long time when grouped together. Just read or watch the movies of "Lord of the Flies". It's a great example of "groupthink". We can do damage. Or we can do Good when we gather. I thought of the dog again, and then I saw the images, from the light of day. The next day, "crowds" were in the streets, cleaning, and trying to repair their neighborhoods from the Evil that had set in the night before.

My opinion is the kettle finally boiled over because You, and You, and You, and I have not been the best we are capable of being. Because of what and who we are, we should be advocates of Peace and Love every day we step from our homes. We are called to be the Lights in this World. Freddie Gray's family has constantly stated there would be peaceful marches. Clergymen have made it known that they are even gathering gang members discussing Civil Disobedience in the way Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged. There is a way to be heard. There is a way to see justice done correctly.

Baltimore's riot was not the way.

The Personal "I" wanted to gather every child and elderly person who was frightened that night by the yelling, screaming, sirens, flames, pepper spray and crashes and reassure them the World doesn't have to be this way. I want to tell them it will pass. I want to assure them that there are people, of all races, who will take advantage of crowds and anonymity under the cover of darkness and cowardly covering their faces and loot, for no related reason, and there will be those that will take advantage to show it on television to make all people look badly upon and induce fear and loathing.

I want to tell each child to be the best You and it's safe to dream all the dreams you want despite what all the 'adults' are doing and saying.
 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Xanax, Anyone?

Once upon a time there was a young girl who thought she'd grow up to marry Bruce Lee and live happily ever after riding dragons through China's country over trees and into caves.
Except that little girl was me and I have no connection to Xanax, whatsoever, we're off to a good start. Now, that's out of the way, let's examine that first sentence.

That was a fantasy, not reality, of a young person. A very young person.

There are adults living day-to-day with the idea that they live in one type of reality and it causes them great anxiety because it's not real. Others are quick to remind them of this but they can do enough damage in what they tell themselves.

We live and work next to people who may be having trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality and it's causing a lot of problems. As a meme I saw recently noted, and I paraphrase, we used to take LSD to have the fantasies, now we take Xanax to have reality.

If I could get away with it, I'd never take another drug. I have many problems with the taking of prescriptions, especially those that can do more harm than good. I don't claim to say it isn't needed and they do work, only that once a prescription becomes a household name, it's efficacy and integrity is in question, in my eyes. Remember Ritalin?

The product name, Xanax, has become a joke. There are crazy, funny, and horrifying stories of those who have taken it and its effect on them from crazy dreams, to passing out, to losing control of their lives.

Sure, we can say, that their medical provider is handing it out like candy on Halloween, wasn't checking on them properly, that they took a dosage that wasn't appropriate, or that they took someone else's prescription, which also happens. However, when you read the literature on the medication, itself and it warns of everything from being forgetful or drowsy to having clay-colored stools, http://www.drugs.com/sfx/xanax-side-effects.html you gotta balance the scales.

In the old days, people medicated themselves through liquor and still do. The "bad boys" used grass, then pills, then heroin, and still do and more. Older than that in many cultures peyote or opium was used...and still are.

The scariest combination is when you have a person with a true mental illness medicating themselves. A common 'take' is that once they begin to feel good, they stop taking prescribed medications, or they don't like how it makes them feel and stop or add liquor and other drugs to the mix. They spend their lives in and out of hospitals trying to find the balance, knowing the cycle will be repeated until one of the parties gives up.

We've been seeking to bring ourselves up or down since the beginning of time. Why? Why are we not happy where we are and with who we are? What is that voice that makes us think that "right now" and "this way" aren't good enough? Must we always seek to be somewhere else or feel other than we do. If you really want that, read a good book!

If we don't feel our real feelings and, instead, try to mask them with pharmaceuticals or otherwise, what type of humans do we become? That is what makes us human, too. The ability to feel the feelings and express them in healthy ways is something we, humans, do. Or should be able to do.

If we can't be honest with our own emotional states, how do we expect to with others? Where is the shame in being 'us'?

The 'kids' call it fronting by putting on that appearance that you have the bigger, better, faster, more, than you really do and are breaking down inside or financially keeping the illusion alive. What's the worst that could happen from being 'you' and admitting you don't have it all together? That right there should eliminate a LARGE number of Xanax users.

Free yourself by being true to yourself, and to others, by being truly 'you'.

Lastly, yes, I'll say it. God loves you. YOU. Now, go forth and feel and deal!

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Whisper

If you want to get someone's attention....Whisper. 

Does anyone else remember that ad?

It was so accurate that it lasts in my head to this day and it, surely, it was sometime in the 80's when it was out. I believe it was for a perfume? No one else could remember, exactly, when I searched for it. That shows that it was an invalid ad unless the perfume was called Whisper, in my opinion.

But the Madison Avenue guys got it right on target. Who turns around when they hear a whisper? Who leans in closer to understand what's being said? Who will pay more attention to your whisper than your yelling? Everyone! Sorry, everyone.

There is a lot to be said for body language and many have focused on that for personal and business reasons, in modeling, politically, and in advertising, of course. There are plenty of sources written about using the same concept in marketing of the effect of "whispering". It's been shown over thousands of years, it is just as effective in interpersonal communication and in manipulation. It's obnoxious ads that annoy us and can actually cause anxiety and stress-responses. They've figured that out. That's why those cute little cartoons or happy families are in the ads with pleasant music for pharmaceuticals with the gentle voice telling you the drug may cause gastric distress, psychotic episodes and death.

There was a time when the public was convinced we were receiving subliminal messages in advertising, in films, in the music we listen to, and more. Have a look at the John Carpenter movie called, "They Live"*, with the one of the best scenes between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David in an alley. The public may not be wrong. Would we really know how influenced the average Joe is in daily living without closer examination? (I love increasing paranoia in others! Just kidding!)

Manipulation of our senses and our subconscious mind does happen, through media sources, the Internet, in stores with the music they play, where items are placed on shelves, and even in classrooms. You study this in school and actually can receive a degree in Manipulation, I'm sorry, Marketing.

The result is non-reaction. It's as if the Human Whisperer is training us. I'd laugh if it were funny.

I've said before that what we tolerate now, we accept later. That has come true in many ways over years to the point we are no longer surprised by violent or sexual visuals in media forms or art. We've not only become comfortable but our apathy has increased. In fact, we are more likely to scroll past pictures and stories that would have brought shock to us before. The pictures aren't screaming at us. The news is quietly reporting the facts, and then some. We just get used to it because of how it's presented. We adapt. If it only targets our subconscious, we are not disturbed. Yet.

I think we've been whispered to sleep.

There is something to be said for whispering or at least speaking softly. If you do it in a quiet place but glance at others around, insecurities appear and people think you are speaking about them. (This happens when others speak in a different language, also.) If you whisper in a theater it's appreciated, unless the film's rolling. The man in the film whispers into an ear or stares into the eyes, and you get that he's a menacing character. But he's being listened to, isn't he? If you do it privately, it brings about softer emotions. If you do it in response to one who is angry, it may calm them. Or it may make them take your head off, if their meds haven't been adjusted properly. It's a shot in the dark on that one.

At the time your ire is up and you are ready to scream, try it instead and see what reaction you get. We may be able to stop wars with such a simple solution. Too much to hope?

Either way, a soft voice is supposed to turn away wrath.

P.S. Put on the glasses!*

Saturday, April 25, 2015

While My Violin Gently Weeps

Place your pinkie finger like this. Put more pressure on the bow. Your bow is sliding. Push more on that note. Too much extension on that one. Slow down. Speed up through there. And, the more surreal moment of realizing that one note has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It's there. Really. It is. If you listen for it.

I thank my instructor every week for her patience with the student whose left and right sides of her brain are separated, if not divorced. Fortunately, there are no children involved.

I dream of one day being able to play confidently, if not perfectly, for my family and friends. I would love to pass on this love of music and any ability to any young person in my life. Real music requires instruments and commitment, whether a voice, strings, keys, or skins, it doesn't matter. The commitment to build upon basic skills matters.

My search for a beginner's violin was long and arduous (cliche' much?). I went at it as one of those guys taking their sons to their first, ahem, experience with a woman. I've read of such things and seen it in movies. For some reason, Outrageous Fortune with Shelly Long and Bette Midler comes to mind. The first-timer.

Like an inexperienced guy, I cruised the Internet for something nice but not too cheap. I didn't want to have any 'problems' down the road that I'd need a professional to heal. I couldn't afford the Escorts and headed to the old reliable neighborhood of Ebay.

The choices there were from plain and functional to flashy and modern with bright colors and all different shapes and sizes. Some were well-worn and others fresh out of the factory. I decided on a cheap little new one that looked like it was trying too hard to get attention. It offered extras like two bows, a metronome, and rosin all nicely packaged in a cheap cloth case. I felt sorry for it. It was only $50. I decided it was all I needed at this point with absolutely no skills or knowledge.

When it arrived, I was so excited opening my new violin but had no idea what to do with it. Therefore, I unwrapped it and just 'tinkled' with it until I could get more information about it. I put it aside for a while. Even the increasingly dusty case began to look neglected as I passed it daily. Don't worry. I'll find someone to help us.

Voila! A coach was approached and took me on as a student. We finally had our help. The dream could commence. I mean, Youtube and dvd's can only do so much! It's been worth the investment of time and money for me to learn what I have in music theory as well as playing the instrument, itself.

Although there are no 'concerts' in my future, I have finally made my little violin sing a little. She doesn't just sit sadly gathering dust on a shelf. I don't even put her back into the case, most of the time. I like to see her and be able to walk by and pick her up for practice session. It may be a short one but it counts! Those scales I play will enable me to hear the tune I need to hear, to keep my fingers where they belong, to run the entire length of the bow across her strings and hear a wonderful sound emit from pieces of wood and string.

Anyone who read anything else into this...shame on you!



 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Under the Gun

For my International readers, to be "under the gun" is to be under pressure or scrutiny.

I seem to be spending a lot of time under the gun as I attempt to complete tasks I used to be able to do with ease.

I found myself in a t-shirt turned inside out worn all day yesterday wondering what happened to my life?

Today came and went so fast with calls, texts, emails, writing, and thinking that the one thing I was excited about doing today isn't going to happen. It's Friday and everyone I wanted to speak to directly was either away, leaving early, not in their offices, or have mentally 'checked out'. I feel good about having accomplished what I was able to accomplish and reached a stopping point a few minutes ago.

My instructor's last concert of her High School Orchestra is in about an hour and I just cannot see myself getting there. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't even showered yet today, nor have I moved from the chair I've been in for most of the day with my computer, files, papers, pens and two phones nearby. I have had two cups of coffee, one black-no sugar, ginger snaps, raw carrots, and water all day. I'm typing this and haven't even put on PANTS today. Too much info? Well, this is not been a kind day for me, either.

The result will be a hangry, fatigued, broken brained, lump of a body unable to form a thought or make a decision by 6pm. Therefore, as much as I wanted to be at that concert, the thought of showering, dressing, driving, traffic, parking, finding, filming, and, even, applauding, exhausts me.

I will make many heartfelt apologies to Christina tomorrow morning and hope she forgives my absence. She's been so understanding in the past that I'm sure she will.

We all have our stressors. We all have bad days when we feel we are under the gun. When we have days like today, I hope we understand that it's just one day out of many. I hope we don't go home and kick the wife and yell at the dog. Or the other way around.

Tomorrow, hopefully, we get to wake up and have a better day. We have that chance, that hope. In my case, I may be down for the count (pugilism terminology!) for the entire weekend or I may rest tonight and be ready to go by Sunday when the 'crazy' starts again. However it works out, we all should be thankful for whatever kind of day we had and the crazy people in it.

We, at least, HAD a day.

(Dedicated to those who needed to hear they'll have another shot at life and change tomorrow.)
 

Try Anyway!


If you feel it'll never work. Try it anyway.

If you think someone will tell you, "No". Try anyway.

When others tell you it's impossible. Try anyway.

When you feel you can't do it on your own. Try anyway.

The odds are against you, they tell you. Try anyway.

Life isn't like in the movies but try anyway.

Everyone and everything is against me. But I'll try anyway.

Success comes from trying. Don't sit out on the dance.

Because, truly, what is the worst thing that can happen.

You might make it. It might work. You might get it. You might get there.

You might get it all.

Others sat and watched. At least you tried.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grown-up Reality Sucks!

I had revelation that if I get out of bed a little earlier, pray, check Facebook, emails, texts, Twitter, play some Candy Crush, and have a coffee, and remember to take all my meds, I might actually get a post done earlier. I might actually get other activities done, also, like dishes, laundry, dusting, more emails, watch a few YouTube videos, water my poor plants, more management of my Twitter account, prepping for dinner, and get notes and calls done. NOTE: I do NOT watch the news.

Then the day will actually begin.

I don't like that.

I mean, I'm glad I got up this morning but in my youth, I'd be up to watch cartoons, play with toys, ride my bike, read comics, take things apart to see what's inside, wait for someone else to feed me, annoy my big brother, and other fun stuff like exploring the World in my mind as a ballerina or a Chemist! I was a kid that actually liked school. That was my job.

How did my Reality get like this? I grew up.

There's a good side to being a grown-up. I can make my own bed-time hour, go into bars, drive, vote (ugh!), have cake for breakfast if I want to, read what I want and...and...well. That's kind of it, isn't it?

The rest is filled in with paying bills, 'discussing' and 'connecting', shopping, cleaning, running errands, getting unexpected calls to fill-in or pick-up or drop-off everything from papers to children. No wonder we adults are stressing and there are more prescriptions being pushed at us for it.

This morning I just found that I accidentally deleted a document. It's raining. I have to plan weekend activities with others (I like the plans but hate the 'planning' part, obviously!). I have to get violin practice in there in the day. A not-so-subtle dinner request was made while I was still half-asleep. I haven't seen friends and family in person in a long time.Tonight's a 'shot' night and not the good kind, so I don't know how I'll feel Friday (which is when the weekend begins). I have home projects and my Mom's projects, and "Mom" projects. They don't stop just because they are grown. Sorry.

Why did I have to borrow a library book this week? I know I'll have to renew or return it unread.

There are days I want to say, "Forget everything!" and color in a coloring book.. Wouldn't it be better to just find the Cartoon Network Channel and spend the rainy day cuddled in a blanket dreaming ridiculous dreams. I'd even do one adult thing and make a cup of tea! No. I'd make hot chocolate! Are you sensing the regression, yet?

Since I was on YouTube anyway, I decided to watch a Lydia Senn vlog and, although, she's stressing with all she does, she gets most of it done with two small children and a husband working out of town a lot! It made me think, I shouldn't complain. Things could always be worse.

It's all in how you handle it. For instance, I must wear Jesus' name OUT in a day, talking to Him and to myself, to my Patron Saint, and others, making lists and trying to remember to look at them again. I rely heavily on Husband to remind me to get some things done, then get annoyed when he does. Poor thing.

I look back on days of single motherhood, picking up, dropping off my daughter at school, working up to 4 jobs once, sleep was a luxury, making sure she ate well and got her work done, traveled all around Arizona for volleyball games, and still had time for friends and think, what was I doing differently?

I take my hat off now to those who have more than one child and work outside the home, as well!
.
There are those who have no home, no job, no family, no friends, no Faith, no hope, poor health, and myriad of other problems and they rise and try every day to make the day better. That's why I say I can't complain. That's their reality. And, it sucks even more.

Childhood really is great. I tell every child I know to remain so for as long as they can and not let the World and adults push them through their development too soon. I encourage them to tell me what, if they could do anything, go anywhere, or be anything and nothing could stop them, what would they answer? Ask a child. Their reality isn't stunted at all by being told what's not possible. Adulthood is there and has its joys and pains and tasks. They'll get here. Prayerfully, I hope their realities don't suck now and won't suck, later.

Reboot Challenge? Connect with a child in your Reality and remember how good it felt to be one!

PS: Happy World Book Day!!
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spontaneity vs. Routine

Now that I've spent most of my time watching the ENTIRE Princess Hours Korean drama, I can, hopefully, concentrate on my post for the letter, "S". So far, I write, whenever I write. It can be any time of the day or night. It's probably, glaringly, obvious that I have no plan for the posts I write, no outline, or even an idea until I'm set to type. That's what keeps me amateur, which is fine for now. BUT, if I had a routine, I'd have a few books written by now with outlines, drafts, final drafts, editing done, and a publisher or self-published.

Given my more spontaneous nature, it's been a choice. I have lived without real routine in my life for a very long time. It's worked and it's also been my downfall in many ways.

There is a time for every Season, a time to be spontaneous and a time for routine. If I had a better sense of routine, I would have a uncluttered home and no pile of laundry stacked up. If I'd ignored being spontaneous, I'd never have met my husband. If I was routine, I'd have all of my many books in proper order and in one place.Wait. Maybe, I'm confusing routine with neat?

In the old days, being spontaneous, I missed opportunities and caught a few. I'd run out of gas, miss a payment, take unexpected trips based on a blindfolded point of a finger on a map, get lost or have cars break down on those trips from lack of "routine maintenance", and moved just because. I've missed doctor's appointments and meetings because, although they may have been written down, I don't 'routinely' look at my calendar. I've decided to make a left instead of a right turn and met very interesting people and seen new fascinating places. I stopped wearing watches long before everyone had a phone to tell them the time. I refused to be a slave to Time but just let it happen. Alright. Now it's sounding like I'm confusing spontaneity with irresponsibility or a free spirit. I was told that once and just laughed at the woman. I thought to myself, "Nothing's free in this Life!". As I matured I found out otherwise. Still, I once left my daughter waiting outside of her Middle School because I decided to hit the Drivers' License Bureau for a renewal that day. Irresponsible, I'll give you.

I've been known to watch a craft or recipe or skill and decide I just HAVE to learn that! Ask me anything about Calligraphy, belly-dancing, guitar-playing, painting, decorating, exercising, Chinese cooking methods, Origins of Yoga, how to speak Polish, Japanese, or Latin, or sew a quilt! Ask me! I have all the trappings and a little of the knowledge because something shiny went by and I lost interest and moved on to another. Now, spontaneity is beginning to sound like Attention Deficit Disorder to me.

Where my husband has to have a 'game-plan' before he even gets out of bed, planned the night before, or days before, and restated in the morning (just for clarity), I hardly ever know what my day will bring. I figure, I'm awake, have a sorta plan, I'll take a call or get an email that might bring me out of the house, or not. If I get 3 of the 7 things on the list done in a day, it's a Red-Letter Day! It usually doesn't matter what exact time they get done so I can remain flexible.

I am the one that tells the waiter, bring me what you'd order or get him or her to choose between two of my narrowed-down choices and take a chance. I let Husband pick dinner, movie, t.v. show, whatever because I'll probably like it. If I don't, I know what not to go for again. If I suggest an alternate route, it'll be shot down. If I say, let's stop here on the way home and it wasn't in the game-plan, it takes a little cajoling and a darn good reason to make it happen. I married an opposite.

This has made it possible for me to have the spontaneous life I have and not have to plan every little thing. I have him for that. And, he has me to make him veer off-course, occasionally, and try something new. It's a good fit.

Which one are you? Are you one of the 'normal' people who are a little of both? I truly envy that.

You get places on time, not too early or late. You check your destination before you leave. You have a destination! You plan vacations but leave flexibility in case you discover a fun excursion. You have an orderly life but are able to drop what you are doing without catastrophic results. You probably lay your clothes out for the next day and know what you will eat. Must be nice.

I'm still amazed I've kept up with this A-to-Z Challenge, (www.a-to-zchallenge.com or @AprilA2Z) for blogging. Yes, I missed ONE day but I caught up!

Good thing there's room for all of us on the planet. We serve our functions and live our lives in different ways but we're doin' it!

Scanner!!

That's what Barbara Sher (@BarbaraSher) calls me! I knew I'd think of it. Should I go back and redo this post as Scanners vs. Planners? Nah! I find perfection in imperfection. (Nice save, eh?)

Reboot Challenge? Plan a little more and focus a lot more!

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Respond in Kind

There were many choices for my "R" blog post today. Rest. Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic. Rave. Rise and Shine. Rambunctious. Reactions. Really???

I landed on Respond.

I've made promises to certain people, who may be in my life long-term or not, that I will always respond to them when I'm called. A few of these people are little ones that need an adult to actually answer their questions. This went from my own daughter, to my cousins I babysat for, to my god-daughter, to any child I encounter anywhere.

We often find ourselves so busy with life that we will "Uh-huh" a child in a heartbeat without a thought. They want and need answers and attention to what they are saying or trying to say. They need to know you heard them. Would you do that to an adult? Would an adult tolerate that kind of a response? Well, yes, some would. I don't.

What children ask are important to them at the time. Respect for them as people requires that they have your attention and a response to their cares. Their cares may be tiny to us. Their cares may be a topic they'll forget and move away from in 3 minutes. But, at that time they ask, it's important and should be acknowledged.

Whenever anyone speaks, it's for a reason. Otherwise, it's called THINKING.

That means, the phone is put down, texting is stopped, music is muted, and full attention is given for those few minutes they need you.

If a child knows they can ask anything and get an answer, even if it's, "I don't know the answer to that.", they appreciate it. It makes them feel more confident, supported, and loved. It helps them grow and understand the World. They had something to say and someone bigger heard them.

As a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, that's my job.

Any case I'm given, I listen. I ask questions and I answer a lot of them. Children want to know what the adults in their lives are doing to make their lives better. They want to know what they did wrong (NOTHING!). And, they want to know when things will be better and how.

I answer what I can legally and only what their age can handle. Again, if I don't know the answer, I promise to find out. Then, I do. I respond.

So, respond in Truth. Respond with kindness. Respond with care. Respond as clearly as you can that they will understand.

I've spoken of the program before and hope readers have checked it out. In other States, it may be known as CASA. Volunteers are ALWAYS needed, unfortunately, because there are thousands of children in the Foster Care System that need a voice. Depending on the case you choose to accept, it doesn't take a lot of your time. It takes your caring, sharing a few hours per month, and willingness to be a voice for a child. There are frustrations but there are great rewards, also.

Ginger Kadlec (+Ginger Kadlec) (@GingerKadlec) http://www.beakidshero.com/ is a blogger running a website announcing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. It's definitely worth checking out whether you seek to volunteer or not.

Reboot Challenge? Listen!

 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sucari - Qi?

I just wanted to try that to see how it looked. You see Qi is pronounced "Chee" or you may know it as Chi.

Qi is debunked in Western Society as non-existent. In Eastern Philosophy, Medicine, and in any other way you can use it, it has a meaning.

It is energy or life force in a person. It's an energy field. It's related to the meridians used in Acupuncture and pressure. It's broken down as breath or air or gas. Ew.

Anyway, the point I make is that such a little word apparently means a lot to a lot of people. I think in Western Culture our little word that means a lot would be "If". But, that's another post.

My father, apparently, introduced my mother to Chinese food in the early 1960's. He was so cosmopolitan! From that point on, she was in LOVE....with Chinese food.

While pregnant with me, Mom and my older brother would take a daily walk to the neighborhood Chinese restaurant. She would order the same thing and they knew when they saw her coming what to start cooking. Shrimp fried rice. She was hooked! And, so am I with my trusty wok!



She claims that's why I have always (and I mean all my life!) shown an interest in Asian Culture. It was Bruce Lee and the living crush I have on the man two (OK, FOUR) decades later. It's that I went to theaters, then rented VCR tapes, then dvds, now stream movies about every type of martial art or Samurai. Kurosawa was a genius! It's that one of my favorite books is The Book of Five Rings by 'The Man' Musashi. Somehow, it's gotten into my blood!

It's in my breath, my Qi, if you will.

I have a fascination bordering on obsession with watching Korean dramas, lately. I reluctantly took a break from binge-watching "Princess Hours" and imagine what I found! Last night, I could barely contain myself when I saw that Netflix was streaming The Man with the Iron Fists 2 (Go, Rza)! I took Tai Chi and Kung Fu in my early days and again in my 30's...and I was GOOD, if I may say so! My Shifu said it!

Through it all, I learned how we are supposed to breathe. Did you realize that many people breathe wrong? They take these little "wasp breaths", to quote Patsy Stone of AbFab. What brings in breath is working from the diaphragm. Singers learn it. Swimmers know it. The lungs fill and empty based upon the muscle just up under them. Try filling your abdomen before your lungs. There! You've got it! There should be a definite movement there in your torso.

Once you learn to breathe, everything else follows. If you do it right, your posture improves. You relax and drop your shoulders out of your ears.You can't slump in a chair and breathe properly. Your head is held a little higher as you inhale through your nose and out your mouth, gently. Your health and skin improve because you are taking in Oxygen the way we are meant to and it's reaching every cell in your body through your red blood cells. Your mood improves for the same reason. You are calmer and you think and feel...cleaner. That may not be the correct word but when u get it, you'll get it.

Qi may just be some concept to the West and real live meaningful stuff to the East but if it helps you to consider doing good for yourself, then, Dagnabit! Try it!

Reboot Challenge? Get to know how your body works and BREATHE.
 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Personal Plans for the Day! Hahaha!

How do I begin this one?

This will be more of a journal entry involving my plans for the day. After you read it, you'll be thanking God you aren't me!

Wakey-wakey! Violin lesson in an hour!

Went right for the violin and began warming up and practicing the latest little diddy I (I say!) should know by now and personally, getting sick of hearing it! My instructor is a lovely young lady who turned 18 this year and invited me to her last concert of the year at her High School. Last one???! What? That means she'll be graduating soon and off to college, in this State but still too far for our lessons! I got teary-eyed. I really did.

I began to think of my own daughter entering college so far away and how I felt at the time and couldn't help myself. But, our lesson went well, got some tips, and sent her on her way.

Plan #2 was to pick up my god-daughter, Maysa, who is 8 years old now. I was going to take her to an Ecology Festival in the park. PHONE CALL. Mom needs her meds from the pharmacy and needs to go to the store. OK. I'll pick up Maysa and be right there!

Plan #2=Fail.

Met Maysa and her Dad at the meeting place at her mom's office and noted that she had a fever. He says she'd just vomited in the car. Sorry, Maysa. Something's brewing in you. Time for you to go home, drink fluids, have soup, and stay in bed for the weekend to make school on Monday! We were both SO disappointed.

Off to Plan #3. Get Mom and head to Pharmacy. We are chatting and I admit I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing. We shop in the store with me picking up a Birthday card for my little brother, chatting with folks ('cuz that's what I do!), hitting the sale shelves, and $32 later, I check out and head for the exit but not before realizing I didn't have my car key!

I send Mom back into the store to sit and wait and be cool while I get a locksmith to come out. If you've ever dealt with an impatient 72 year old woman, you understand why I sent her back inside. I tried 3 locksmiths and the third was the charm!

Joy, Joy! He made it there quickly. Ed didn't seem very sure of what he was doing with my car but eventually, he opened the passenger side door. Hurray! Here's your $65!

Plan #3=Fail.

Ed can't get his tool out of my window! Sigh. He worked and worked at it but it was caught somewhere in the door. It's getting hotter and I'm getting fatigued, by now. Ed says, I'll just come to your house later and work on getting it out. He'd mentioned taking the door panel off. Uh, I don't think so.

I drive Mom home, with Ed's tool stuck in the window, take her things upstairs to her apartment and head home.

Pulling into my driveway, with Ed's tool stuck in the window, he calls.

"I'm short on time. I'll have to come out tomorrow afternoon and work on it."
"Sure. Late afternoon is fine." Meanwhile, I'm thinking. I've done this before with previous vehicles and I have no intention of letting him take my car apart for his tool.

I patiently worked at it, window up, window down, twist, pull, slide, jiggle. It's OUT!

"Ed. Your tool is sitting on the top of the car in the driveway. Get it when you want."
"I should hire YOU!"

Whatever. So long time with god-daughter! So long Festival! So long everything else planned for this day!

However, Plan 4=SUCCESS!

I'm in my air-conditioned home. I can't walk, I'm hot, I'm exhausted, I'm itching due to something going awry with my autoimmune system this week. I'm taking a Benadryl and I'm going back to bed to wait for Sunday.

It's said, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. I hope He had a good belly laugh over this day!

Goodnight and see you again on Monday! Ta-Ta!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Omissions are Lies Spelled Backward

He'd spent his life lying and/or omitting facts. When the day came, he knew he wouldn't remember the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth.

Rick's wife, Barbara, was fully aware of the omissions. It's said, the wife always knows. Doesn't she? Whether to act on the knowledge was the elephant in the room. Each evening she knew she smelled it. During the day, it occupied every moment at her desk. That cubicle grew smaller and smaller until she wanted to scream and bounce her skull off the grey, carpeted, 5-foot walls to lessen the pain.

They'd once been known as R&B. No one knew their house was singing only the Blues everyday.

Barbara heard the key in the lock and unmuted the television without looking up.

"Hey."
"Hey."

They spoke in shorter and shorter sentences at instead of to each other, lately. They'd edited communication right down to single words or no more than four.

"You eat yet?"
"Food's on the stove."

She heard his shoes hit the floor and felt it like they hit in her head as well. He stomped in his socks toward the kitchen, stepping on her heart.

Tonight is the night. I can't take it anymore! But what if I'm right?

"We have to talk." The most hated words in a couples' life came from the kitchen.

Like a dead man walking, she shut off the TV and walked to face her fate, their fate. Barbara gathered every ounce of dignity she had and never let her thoughts show on her face.

Oh, God! He said it first!  He beat me to it. Now, what? Now, what? Now...what?

"I haven't been at work. Remember when I told you that they were laying people off?"
"Yeah. I remember." She responded dully because she didn't remember. She didn't care as turned her back to him.

She couldn't see his slumped posture, the bags under his eyes, or the slight tremor of his hands. Was she aware of the catch in his voice? She'd stopped listening after the first few words.

"Then where have you been going everyday? I call you, I text you, and NOTHING! Who are you with? Tell me!" The composure was lost now. She heard someone screaming and realized it was her own voice. In a tiny room in her mind, another voice was calmly wondering when she began to sound so shrill. Despite the conflicting thoughts, she continued until she suddenly realized hers was the only voice in the room. He'd better say something! Why is he not saying anything?

Barbara's eyes were 20/20. Why only at that moment, turning to face him, did she see Rick standing there? Why hadn't she seen the tears forming in his eyes? Her hearing was that of a teenager's. Why hadn't she heard the fear and self-loathing? Why was Rick silent? Why did he, for the first time since she'd met him, look frightened?

Her fingers hurt from grasping the sink. She massaged them, actually wringing them, as she stepped towards him. Her voice softened. Her breathing fighting for normal.

She pulled a chair from under the table and sat, leaning forward. She was exhausted but knew what she had to do.

"Tell me everything. And, don't leave anything out."

He did.

"Now. Tell it to me backwards."


“The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time-and then shut up.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

The Power of No

I've often wondered why women have a harder time saying "No" to a request, than men.

True, we are biologically, the nurturers, and if the World had it's way, we'd all be men (The End. But that's another post!). There is a definite hesitation in refusing requests with women. If we do say No, we dwell on it for days until we change our own minds about it. We torture ourselves with it.

This is the reason car salesmen think we are an 'easy sell', why strangers can guerrilla-spritz us with perfume in a store and think we'll follow them to the counter to spend our money, why friends and relatives just 'know' they can count on that female to do what they need done at the last minute.

Why is saying, "No" so uncomfortable for us? Why is it such a problem? Do we not want to hurt feelings? Do we want to be needed, liked or loved? Are we truly always available to help? Do we want to show we can do it all? Who are we trying to please? What are we trying to prove?

This happens in our personal and professional lives. Men? They don't care. I shouldn't say they don't care...no, that's it. They don't care.

A man will say, "Nope. No. Can't do it. Busy. Eh-eh." and shake his head just to drive it home and not give it a second thought. They are seen as decisive, powerful, and of strong substance. A woman does that and, pardon my language, but she's now categorized as a bitch.

My power in saying "No" came after 40. I hate to keep bringing up age but it's true that with maturity comes that confidence and willingness to do for oneself as well as others. That hesitation is disappearing as time passes. Realizing we have a finite amount of time to live, makes you more careful with how you spend that time. Doing anything I don't want to do is not part of the plan. Attempting to squeeze in tasks for others that leave what I want to do, done shoddily, is not in my plan. Prioritizing has become a key element in my life.

I'd like to do it all. It would be nice if I could. But I can't. I'm not built that way. And there are times you must refuse to help for another to learn they don't need you but can handle it, independently. We do that with children in order to teach them, right?

I'd love to know that we are teaching our children that it's alright to say, "No" with confidence and not unreasonably. They are asked a question. The answer can be Yes or No. They must obey for their own safety but they aren't required to please anyone.

While this may not be true of every woman, we must admit there have been times we've been trapped into not speaking the truth. I've witnessed friends raised in the South who say "No" with such firm gracefulness that the person walks away thinking, "That was so nice of her!". Oh, I'm learning.

Obviously, no one is going to deny help to a person in true need. If I have the time and resources and ability and desire, I jump in. I'm still learning to become more realistic and confident in choosing when to say yes and when to say no. I'm learning to do it without apologizing for it, without feeling guilty, without offense, and without hurt feelings.

Reboot Challenge? Find your way to that point. And then, let your Yes be your Yes and your No, your No.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Marriage Means...

(Two dedications of this post as congratulations to Rev. Harold and Mrs. Erma Edmondson on their 43rd Anniversary! Secondly, but not less meaningful, to Alzheimer patients, Lillian Karr Wilson and William "Wild Bill" Wilson, married 73 years and died within minutes of each other on April 7th in separate nursing homes in Kentucky. May they Rest in Peace!)

Marriage means there is a person who wants to date you, permanently.

Marriage means "Club? Not without my spouse!".

Marriage means you no longer are able to make all decisions, independent ones.

Marriage means compromising.

Marriage means you may look but don't touch.

Marriage means you are joined together as one.

Marriage means conversations about future, goals, and what's for dinner or on TV.

Marriage means having someone to come home to at the end of the day.

Marriage means having someone glad to see you at the end of the day.

Marriage means accepting the mundane and appreciating the excitement.

Marriage means being able to give and to take at the right moments.

Marriage means working together to survive this World.

Marriage means you may have to share a bathroom including someone walking in on you.

Marriage means you have conversations through that same bathroom door or wall.

Marriage means no more secrets.

Marriage means you are building your own little Church.

Marriage means protecting that little Church together.

Marriage means protection of another person.

Marriage means you rise and thank God for that other person, daily.

Marriage means you've entrusted another with your past and they are still there.

Marriage means working through little and big things like adults.

Marriage means brainstorming together.

Marriage means sacrifices.

Marriage means thinking of another, first.

Marriage means sharing.

Marriage means seeing and being seen at your best and worst.

Marriage means standing up.

Marriage means sitting it out.

Marriage means picking your battles.

Marriage means fighting battles together.

Marriage means arguments and getting over it.

Marriage means making up, not splitting up.

Marriage means you may lose some friends.

Marriage means you may lose some family members.

Marriage means you may gain some friends.

Marriage means you have extended your family.

Marriage means you are bound by a piece of paper.

Marriage means, most importantly, you are bound by a vow to one another and to God.

Marriage means you become like Superheroes, better than Transformers!

Marriage means you have received a great gift.

Marriage means you've taken a giant step toward maturity.

Marriage means that person is no longer your "bae" or your "boo" but your husband or wife.

Marriage means dignity and honor.

Marriage means that change in status becomes important to you to nurture and grow.

Marriage means never forgetting the one you chose and who chose you.

Marriage means 'til death do you part.
 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Let Your Light Shine

That's a REALLY old song and I'm showing my age, now. I chose the title and then realized it.

It's said not to hide your light under a bushel. That means not to be shy about letting others see your Light. It doesn't mean you have to be the flashlight in someone's eye or the brightest bulb in the room. That's just irritating.

There's is a light within us, though, that makes us able to recognize pain in others, to hope for better, to be kind, to love. That's the light I want. That light is reflected onto others and not lost in the giver. We are stumbling around this planet until we leave it but let us all acknowledge, daily, that we are not alone in our stumbles. Some may fall, our light leads them to safety, to food, to shelter, to forgiveness, to friends, or to a new friend. We need each other.

Light travels in Space until it is absorbed, reflected, or bounces off again into darkness in search of a 'home' to settle in. Light is what makes grass green, the sky blue, polar bears white, and the human race able to live. That's the Sun.

That light within us is like the Sun.

Have you ever seen a person and in their eyes, the light is dimming? I have.

They become eyes like a shark's, dark with no hint of light. One can actually see it, not because that person is dying but because the light is not being stoked like a fire. You have to keep it going or it goes out. It just goes dark, eventually. The World, bad experiences, abuse, injury, evil, or neglect can extinguish it unless another offers them a light. Like a candle, you offer a flame to theirs, and they offer their flame to another, and so on and so on. That's how we keep the Light of the World going!

Showing that kind of light offers Hope where it's fading. It offers hope to the homeless because you cared enough to show your light. It offers a way out to the addicted, as they see there is another way to live. It offers a beacon on a good path for children and teenagers to follow as they mature into adults.

We often want to just be left alone but is that really what we want? When we know we are on this rock together, we should want to do something while we are here. If we don't, maybe it is because our own light is dimming and we haven't realized it yet.

I often encourage others to reach out through these posts. If nothing else is ever written or read, I would like this one to be the one that reaches the most people.

How can you harm or ignore one who is reflecting the same light as you are? How can you try to blow theirs out with an insult or a gun? How can you let money or hurt feelings do it? Fiercely protect your own AND theirs while you have breath within you. It's just the right thing to do whatever color, race, nationality, or religion you are.....it's just the right thing to do.

Reboot Challenge? Be a match to someone's candle.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Knick-knack, Paddy Whack

Let's begin with saying that if there is a surface in my house, I will find something to occupy it.

When I first saw my future husband's home, it looked so empty...so bare, lacking 'stuff' and color. I took it upon myself to make this beige and white house homey! This was not a conscious thought, looking back, I realize it just happened over a short time.

I immediately brought in red fabric and covered the beige barstools. I hung curtains in blue, I brought in other woods besides whitewashed beige. And, I covered those surfaces! Boy! Did I cover those surfaces!

Soon there were knick-knacks, souvenirs, wedding gifts, birthday gifts, picture frames, vases, candles, a fountain, and with each new technological purchase, a remote control. That was only in the living room!

In the bedroom, trays seemingly appeared from nowhere to hold bottles of lotions, creams, and perfumes. A beautiful vanity table was gifted to me by my husband's aunt, and, it would have been rude to refuse it, right? It is now covered with bottles, jewelry, pictures, sprays, and hair products. And, yes, knick-knacks.

Other things have uses. What is the exact use of a knick-knack?

It can bring a happy smile with it's goofiness or tackiness. It can make us think we are cool because it is kitschy. Most often it brings back a memory that comforts us and makes us remember someone or some time we loved.

We need knick-knacks! Those empty soulless clean rooms are no good for the spirit. They don't invite creativity and, Dear Lord, bore me to tears! However, too many and they begin to call you to do a television episode about you and your 'problem'. There is a limit, I guess.

For example, you like clowns. Who likes clowns? Most of them are really frightening to people. Still, we'll say clowns. You buy a nice one at a second hand shop that catches your eye and was only a couple of dollars. It made you smile. Then, you saw it had a partnered piece and picked it up on Ebay. Your family and friends know you have a birthday coming up and struggle with what to get you.

"She collects clowns!", they say, innocently, enough.

For the next ten to twenty years, you receive clown pens and paper, blankets, curtains, pot-holders, towels, clothing, shoes, framed art, and knick-knacks. You, now, hate clowns and anything clown-related.

It was a sweet thought for them to give you a gift they thought you would enjoy ("I saw this little guy and thought of YOU!"). There's that limit, again. They've now turned you into the one they want to do the show about and you are burdened with keeping items just in case that person visits. What's a girl to do?

You do what my Dad did.

For years, after the Man Who Had Everything, was being gifted with all-things-lion (He started it in the 70's since he was proud to be a Leo!), he firmly and directly instructed everyone to not buy anything else related to a lion! Message heard and understood.

Then he switched to clocks. Sigh.

The weird part about all of this is that I have never bought myself a knick-knack, that I can remember.

I have an eclectic style that leaves everyone wondering what I like. I have everything from classy and feminine crystal to a rubber T-Rex that growls when you squeeze her tummy (Yes, she's a girl.). I'm always surprised by what I'm given and always grateful at the time and effort put into any gift for me. I'm also one of those that struggles with what to keep and what to re-gift. I find it hard to let go of pieces. I'm working on that.

Meanwhile, visitors come to my house and tell me how comfortable they feel here. Maybe I shouldn't change too much because that is a great compliment.

One thing, I know, is I'm grateful for the knick-knacks that belonged to my grandmother. They were just little things my grandfather found on his work days and thought she would enjoy. I'm guessing she felt the same way as I do. It was the idea that he gave them to her, these kitschy knick-knacks, lacking style or monetary value, that made her keep them for all those years.

Reboot Challenge? Clear a surface!! Only one.

 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Jammin'!

You should have seen and heard me this morning during my violin lesson. I was JAMMIN'!

Well, not the way a real musician would think of it but in my mind, as always, I was.

Learning an instrument at a 'mature' age isn't easy. I chalk up my slowness in building my talent to that and to having a million and one things on my mind (as my husband says) while trying to concentrate on it.

With a violin, the very least you are doing involves, bow hold and positioning correctly, holding the violin in place under your chin, keeping your wrist in a particular position, placing your fingers on the correct strings in the correct place, reading the notes you are playing, knowing the tempo and key you are playing, recognizing where and when notes are stronger and louder or softer and quieter to make a song sound like the composer intended. That's not all, of course, just a sample!

For a woman that can barely chew gum and walk at the same time, I'm doing alright. I used to be a multi-tasker and could balance balls in the air like you wouldn't believe! Those days are gone, obviously. I've reluctantly accepted that. Life changes. When it does, you tweak actions to 'fit', to be successful. But, nothing should make you stop, altogether! But, nothing should make you stop! (That's a bad joke but let's see who gets it.)

In my mind, I know I can get this violin to sing one day. I'm going to keep at it until it does. I'm going to practice like I have no other worries or thoughts in the day. Then I'm going to take a nap.

When I hear beautiful playing, it can bring tears to my eyes. I want to get that sound. I know you know what I mean. Listen to people like Lindsey Stirling or +TheMadViolinist (@TheMadViolinist) and you'll know what inspires me.

True, age is catching up with me and MS makes it a challenge, but I can't and won't let that stop me from this goal of mine. I can play a mean Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and many of the Bach pieces in the study book. I wait for the day when it all comes together, though. That day will come when I don't sound like a "student". I wait for the day it all 'clicks' and comes together. That day, I'll be in tune with every piece, with every movement, with every note, with every sound in the Universe....and play from the heart, not my brain.

I may never be a professional at this. In fact, I really don't expect to get beyond novice but it's something I've longed to do all my life. It was time. Life got in the way earlier and I allowed it.

If there is anything you've dreamed to do or learn, for Heaven's sake, JUST DO IT! Find a way! At whatever age or circumstance you are in, if it's a longing you have, it may be meant to be. This is a one-shot deal with Life.

Reboot Challenge? JAM while you can!
 

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Life of an "It" Girl

Yes. I've been keeping the information to myself. I'm an "IT" Girl. No, not an Internet Tech!

In the fashion world and media, there are those women who grace the covers of magazines for a while because of their style, their beauty, dressed in stunning outfits because they have "It". I'm one of those.

In MY mind.

I'm no Twiggy (reaching back far here!) or Hilton (There! More contemporary reference?) but I believe I could hold my own against any of them. Do you know why?

I can hold my own because I'm real and I'm me and I'm O.K. with that.

There is nothing wrong with aspiring to be better, to do better, to look better. I believe there are women taking it a bit further than it needs to in the beauty and cosmetics realm. It's a HUGE business selling prettily-packaged chemicals to women with the promise to make them flawless. I don't buy into the lie and don't want my fellow female (and some male) humans to, either.

We can be It AND a bag of chips by developing a personality that shines, by having our own individual style (expensive or not is up to your budget!), and in how we relate to others.

We've all met that gorgeous woman in the outstanding outfit that we envied for a bit...until we saw a glimpse of her personality and, suddenly, she didn't seem so attractive. Without a personality that anyone wants to be near, the makeup comes off and with what are you left? A bare-face you don't want anyone to see. That thought that a woman is out there afraid to show her real face, the one she was gifted with at birth, makes me sad.

Clothes make the man. To a degree, it does. Who will ignore a well-groomed man in well-tailored clothes? That's why women love a man in a uniform! But they have it so much easier than women!

Women are given a plethora of choices of what to wear and many are wearing items that just aren't suited to them. We have all seen the too tight, too short, too long, too big, poor color choice, too dressy, too shiny for the occasion, and if we haven't, maybe it was us. Yikes.

If we are to have It, we have to recognize and appreciate our own body types and not try to dress like the It on the mag cover. If you have to keep tugging at it, adjusting it, watching how you sit, pin it, or hike it up, it's either not for you or you need a good tailor. In the real world, the quality and price of most clothing makes it easier to throw away than to tailor it to suit your shape. So, starting off buying the right well-made piece is better on the ole budget. It'll last longer.

None of this matters, though, if we don't know how to relate to others on a personal level. We should aspire to be able to make eye-contact with everyone from the poorest to the richest person. If we can't hold an intelligent conversation, show compassion, form a thought in our heads that doesn't include a Kardashian, we are no better than a mannequin. We are roaming through Life trying to be flawless, delay aging, comparing ourselves with others, and truly unhappy at the results. But it's alright because we can get up in the morning and literally, put on a happy face, with the right products and techniques! We can be an artificial It Girl for as long as we believe others are believing it.

The bottom line is if we are not working on a different definition of the real It for ourselves, individually, what will we have to show for our time on the planet? Perhaps, we can begin to think of it as building ourselves from the inside out and being proud to show our real selves to the world whether they like it or not. No lies. No tricks. No mirrors. This is Me.

Reboot Challenge? Let's change the definition! Show the real you to become an It Girl, too! Make all of our little girls It Girls! Let them know that the It Girls on the magazine covers...have a shelf-life.

 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

To Be or Not To Be Hangry is the Question

When my daughter was a baby, she let it be known when she was ready to eat. It was by an ear-piercing, angry, yelling cry. Not unusual.

She's an adult now. Let's just say when she gets hungry, somebody had better provide some food and QUICKLY.

Don't get me wrong. She's a woman with a good heart. She's loving and sweet. She's helpful and generous. She's a beautiful Soul. But, don't let her get hungry or she becomes HANGRY and everything and everyone will annoy her.

I have a good friend who can get hangry and I married a man who is very much like that, too. What does that say about me? Apparently, I'm a 'hangry-magnet'.

I've had many a, ahem, debate, with them all at the times when they get hangry. I'll be honest, they are not pleasant people to be around. Everything becomes a test of my own patience.

This is why I can make a meal in 30 minutes or less. It's not Rachael Ray's idea. I learned this back in the 80's! Throw the food at them and get out of the way!

As I began this post I wondered, what happens if there is a shortage of food in someone's home and they have a hangry person on their hands? What if there is no money for the food? What if you have to send that hangry child or adult off to school or work in that mood? What about the elderly?

It happens everyday, everywhere.

There are children being sent to school hungry and angry, and rightfully so. Your co-worker may be irritable and the older neighbor may be a pain in the neck over a small issue. These are the times we are all tested. What do we do?

Children are unable to learn when they are hungry. Adults can't focus when they are hungry. If you are well-fed person able to provide for yourself and/or your family, we have an obligation to make sure everyone else is, too.

Lots of people ask why they should be responsible for someone else's belly when they work hard for what they have? My answer is because it's the right thing to do. We should not be able to walk around joyfully full with choices as "foodies", happy as a clam, indulging, even overeating, and still be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, "I've done well, today."

This is my opinion, it's encouraged as a Christian, of course, and should be so obvious that I marvel at how many people don't give it a second thought. This summer, there will be some children that eat and many children that won't have a school lunch. There are elderly people having to decide today whether to get their medication or buy groceries. There are people probably working around or beside you that chose to feed their children that morning but didn't have enough for themselves.

What can you do?

There will always be the poor, it is said. But, there shouldn't always be hungry everywhere, always. In your location, there is a food pantry to donate food or funds, there is a church that collects for the poor, there are agencies that provide meals, there are organizations that can recommend further actions, like www.NoKidHungry.com, http://www.feedingthenations.org/, and http://www.crs.org/ (Catholic Relief Services).

Somewhere in our budgets there is a little extra for those who don't have much or enough. It's a personal fund-seeking mission to find it, but it's there. Do you really need another lipstick? Can you live without Starbucks for a week or have one less dinner at a restaurant in month? Where's the waste in your budget?  If you are reading this, you are likely one that can contribute a few dollars or some of the canned goods or snacks in your pantry to a place that can get it to those who are in need.

On a personal level, paying attention to others helps. That person at work never eats lunch. Why? How about taking them out to lunch with you? What about sharing yours? If you feel there is a problem with accepting charity with that person, I've said, "I brought too much today! Would you like to split this with me?". Get creative if you must!

This is not a guilt-trip post. It's a Make People Aware post. We get so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget and neglect those who are in need. We can all do better for each other. Let's try today.

Reboot Challenge? Feed someone.

Addendum:  Recent scientific explanation for being Hangry. Fascinating! http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/science-hangry-or-why-some-people-get-grumpy-when-they-re-hungry
 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Grandmama Was a GIRL!

Have you ever wondered what your grandmother's life was like when you weren't looking?

Our grandmothers weren't always those gray-haired ladies with genteel manners and kitchens full of food. They were girls, first. Then, they were women.

Growing up, Grandmama was Grandmama. I loved her, rarely said it, showed her respect, tried to learn from her, enjoyed being at my grandparents' home, and was afraid of her wrath even if it was never aimed directly at me. I'd heard the rumors and that was enough for me!

She was a beautiful woman as I remember her. And, she was REALLY a beautiful girl!

I have had the occasion to see a photo of her in her youth and...wow! She looked like a movie star. In the 30's and 40's, women, and most men, took great care with their grooming and their 'style'. They wore gorgeous hats with short veils, tasteful if inexpensive jewelry, tailored dresses and suits. The clothing had details like darts, lace trim, piping, sequins, designs and lovely little touches that no one bothers with today.

Yes. I am guilty of romanticizing the period because of all of the old films I study. But, here was this woman from the DEEP South who arrived in Chicago and, apparently, took it by storm.

I've mentioned the story before of her brother showing my grandfather, Pawpaw, her picture and he made up his mind right then to marry her. When she said she would not marry him unless he gave up playing saxophone in a band, he did, willingly, God bless him. Marriage and family came and he still, on his hard (and I mean HARD!) earned money, would bring her treats. They had their own types of "date nights" after they thought all the kids were in bed. They may not have been able to afford the 'extras' we are convinced are necessities, but they always seemed to enjoy each other.

She was devoted to Pawpaw. That's why when I heard this story, I took it for what it was, a savvy girl, our grandmother, providing for her family. My mother casually mentioned the day she realized her mother was flirting with the butcher! My Mom was always in her own world, which is why this is still in her head 60-odd years later. It stood out in her young mind. The butcher would add extra to her purchase because he appreciated this gorgeous woman! I tried to picture our grandmother doing this very 'girly' act and just laughed and laughed. This was not the tough woman we all knew!

Suddenly, Mom's Mom was a woman in her eyes....not just Mama. She was just Mama around all those children! She told me Grandmama became a "woman" around men. I can see that, now.

Meanwhile, she'd married her prince, and had no thoughts of anyone else. I like to think that she, like I do at times, just like to flirt for the practice. We see if we still have it. And then, we take it away with a smile. We know what we have at home. Please.

The loveliest thing about this is that Pawpaw knew what he had in having her for a wife, too. He wouldn't have traded his life for anything. It was such a hard life with a lot of struggles and heavy-duty responsibilities. We would step out and see him sitting, smoking on the back porch...just sitting. Was he reminiscing? Would he have done anything differently? He wasn't a huge talker but really was a deep thinker and could really make you laugh when he did finally speak, and when he danced. He was my first Hero.

He grew even bigger in my eyes the other day when Mom let this little diddy slip.

Pawpaw once told my mother, "You know what I'd like?" Mom being clueless as to where this was going was poised to leap to get whatever it was. You didn't just jump when Pawpaw said jump. You asked, "How high and can I get you anything on the way back down?"

However, on this day, Pawpaw said he would love to see our grandmother walking down a platform, in white.

Mom, ever the sentimental one just said, "Yeah. That'd be nice."

Knowing he had that vision, his vision, of Grandmama in white brought me to tears. As they were never wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, they never had a huge expensive wedding, nor did she, likely, have a wedding gown of her own. Since I don't know about that day, I don't know how the actual wedding was. I'm sure there was family, our great-aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends but surely, nothing lavish, like today.

I just know that it says so much about how he cherished her to think of that after many years and experiences later. It was still on his mind.

He made it to Heaven, first. When she arrived, he must have smiled. His Girl. His vision complete.

 
 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fingers are Amazing, Man!

Don't worry. I'm not tripping on anything!

My former career focused a lot on the upper body and regaining the use of functional movement of shoulders, arms, wrists, and fingers. It's not surprising that the thought should come to me about just how much we rely on our fingers but give them little recognition for all they do.

For instance, I couldn't type all of the nonsense I do without them. Or make the typos. And then correct them. And then edit. And then change my mind and get rid of it all and start over.

We do everything with our fingers from creative arts to pick our noses. I know. Gross.

They'll do whatever we want without being conscious of asking them to do it until we concentrate and then become all 'thumbs'. Thumbs seem to be getting ALL the attention these days.

Unless we are training them for a task, such as learning an instrument, we only paint fingers as if they are canvases to be hung in museums. We wear rings to decorate them. We treat them as accessories, whereas, they are major body parts.

They are the body parts we use the most and yet rarely exercise.

http://www.wikihow.com/Exercise-Your-Fingers

We have actual memory in our fingers that bring forward actions we thought we'd long since lost. Then you discover, you used to do that and there it is!

We play games with them with children like "Here's the church, here's the steeple..."and "Got your nose!" (which is fun and freaks little kids out. That can be fun). How many of us still make shadows on the wall? Make the duck, the dog, the snake, the bird! Get a piece of string and try to remember manipulating Cat's Cradle. See what your fingers recall. Does anyone still fart with their hands?

http://www.wikihow.com/Category:Finger-and-Hand-Tricks

Do people still do these things? I've noticed fingers still come together in prayer. They, sadly, form fists and 'give' the finger. They 'High Five' and make Wu Tang symbols. I know the superstitious still cross them for good luck and we make "OK", Peace signs and thumbs up without realizing we do it. (You just did those, didn't you? Haha!)

Are we showing younger generations how to use their fingers to do anything other than text and take selfies? Unless you are hearing impaired or regularly use your fingers to communicate in that way, we often neglect their significance in our everyday lives.


Activities using your fingers can delay or prevent stiffness and ailments, such as arthritis, will relay information to your brain to keep it in working condition, and keep them flexible, supple, strong and in good use well into old age. That's why it's nice to see knitting return as a hobby and braiding, woodwork, quilting, leatherwork, pottery, sculpting, weaving, painting, Calligraphy! There are so many hobbies to choose!

I read an article that said our thumbs are actually changing due to the way they are being used with "smart" phones. They are changing. Pretty soon, we won't even know how to hold a pen, let alone how to write with one. The use of the phones in 'thumb-typing' is even changing our brains over time and causing motor function injuries to thumbs, index fingers, wrists, and even, elbows. "We were made to be hunter-gathers not digital data micromanagers.”, a critic of the overuse of smartphone technology, noted.

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/smartphones_are_changing_how_our_brains_and_thumbs_work_together-151805

Meanwhile, fingers are still providing pleasure through hand massages and touching others. I like that we haven't lost that. That will never be ignored. We shake hands in greeting (when we aren't trying to avoid germs!) but when we touch a baby's cheek or hold the hand of a loved one, or stroke a pet. Nothing tops that. It resonates through our senses and our hearts like nothing else. It lowers stress hormones, blood pressure, and has a calming effect on every part of our body.

There's comfort in these hands. There is assurance of love and acceptance. There is connection. We need to touch and be touched. It's a psychological, physiological, and spiritual need.

Don't forget the fingers today.
 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Never Lose Your Enthusiasm for Life

The "E" word I was going to use included 'egg' but I discussed that in concubines cracking their heads against walls like eggs. Let's try for something more, uh, positive and less weird.

Wouldn't this be a dull World if no one showed enthusiasm for anything?

I'm awake this morning. I woke up above ground, as the Old Folks say. I should feel enthusiasm about what this day may bring.

So, why don't I?

Enthusiasm is so very easily killed by a small action like a phone call to a personal criticism to reading or hearing of tragedies in the news. It can be slowed by a personal argument. It can be stalled by a medical or emotional health issue or medication. It can be brought to a complete halt by a person or persons that desire to kill it in you for their own amusement. After all, Misery loves company.

I've had that experience of working around the negative who don't care about what they do and it's contagious!

How do we prevent that wonderful enthusiasm we had as a child from becoming the stale feeling we have as adults?

As a child, watching an ant was fun. Playing with a large cardboard box brought enthusiastic delight in what to 'make' it become for us. Drawing was fun! We danced with enthusiasm if not talent! Discovering that we needed to learn a task brought enthusiasm to learning that task. It did to the point we would say, "NO! Me!" or "Let me do it!". We wanted to do it and do it right. This same work we put into an action then, is slowing or has stopped. Why?

What happened to us? When did we allow the World and those in it to stomp the enthusiasm out of us and Why? Did we weaken? I don't think so. I think we just weren't paying attention.

We have settled for watching others have fun and work towards their goals. We prefer to watch celebrities 'act' enthusiastically on television, instead of going outside and doing our own thing. We had our lives taken from us slowly and deliberately by increasing technology to the point we don't get excited when the phone rings and are annoyed by texts. We don't want to interact and we rarely have hobbies. We used to have HOBBIES. We used to play. Now, we just trudge and work and want to sit and rest. There is not a thing wrong with rest. We need to rest. But we, also, need balance. Too much of work OR rest OR play leads to an unbalanced life.

What do you show enthusiasm for in your life? When you work, do you do it with enthusiasm? You should want to do your best, not to mention, you are also being paid to do it. If you mop floors for a living, those should be the cleanest shiniest floors in town. In caring for yourself, be enthusiastic because your body and mind are the only ones you get. Is there enthusiasm in your play? Do what you do with fervor and enjoy it that much more! Me? I get enthusiastic about naps. I'm only half-kidding.

Think of the last time you felt actual enthusiasm in your daily life? I say daily life, because it's easy to feel enthusiastic on vacation or holiday.

Challenge? Reboot your Enthusiasm for life whether it involves a person, place, or thing. If it's only being enthusiastic those first few minutes of the day, try to maintain it throughout the day. I wish everyone well in their efforts.

Cheers!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Delights?

The English language is confusing. Ask anyone trying to learn it. I am a lover of words. I am a student of learning about words and their origins. Inquisitive?  Alright. I'm a Big Ole Nerd. I used to read dictionaries as a kid. I think I covered that in the post about Strange Children. Moving on...

Any word that begins with the prefix de- will usually mean there is a reduction, a negation, a removal, an undoing, or a reversal. Words such as decrease, devalue, degrade, delete, and deter display this 'rule'.

So what's up with delight?

Delight should, technically, mean less light. It should mean darkness. It should mean shutting off the light.

Instead, delight gives you pleasure, lifts you, gives you enjoyment or satisfaction. It pleases you. It brings light.  It's the only word I can think of right now that means the opposite of what it should mean. There are others, I'm sure.

In Spanglish (my word) it would be broken down as such: De (of or from) and light (obvious). Therefore, it would be something or someone that is of light or from light.

Light is always a good thing. We couldn't exist without natural light. We wouldn't want to exist without seeing Light in others. We try to be a light to others. We diet to become lighter. Light is good. Delight is good.

What brings you delight? Is it a good meal, finishing a tough task, discovering a new talent, or having a good time with a new friend?



I feel delight when I see children, when I think of my daughter and husband, when I hear beautiful music, and especially when I wake up and am able to get out of bed in the morning!

There should always be a delight in our life. I say, 7 times per day we should be able to say, "That was delightful!" and mean it! "It was full of delight and I felt it! I wonder what delights tomorrow will bring?" Just keep it to a level that won't bring on the nice men with the white jackets that tie in the back. Although, basket-weaving can be delightful!

Reboot Challenge?

Think about and discover what delights you and pursue it with all your energy. People say life is short. Life is just Life, however long we have it. Make it count. Everyday open the box and see what delightful treat is inside meant just for you!



Happy Easter and Pasach Sameach, Y'all!
 

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Concubine Crashed Her Head into the Wall!

The other night, since I've been on a foreign movies and series 'kick', I decided to watch a Korean film titled, The Empresses of the Palace. The story is about an Emperor in the 1700's and his concubines. It sounds pornographic but it isn't.

The film was set in a province ruled by an Emperor whose Empress, the sister of his other deceased wife, was unable give him another Crown Prince to rule after his death. Therefore, she is charged with the task of overseeing six to eight concubines of which the "Emp" could, uh, date?

He would send for a girl and the servants would carry her in, wrapped in a blanket like a giant burrito.

The Empress was like the Manager and another of the concubines was like a Supervisor. She was unbelievably mean to everyone, except Emp, of course. She did a lot of kissing up to him, annoyingly. It turned out she had a pretty sad backstory that 'made' her that way, so I gave her some slack even though she had a maid killed and dropped in a well for hurting her head with a comb. Bosses can be rough.

A new concubine was a particular irritation to her. The Mean One, along with her clique of concubines and servants, did awful things to everyone like poisoning, torturing, causing others who did become pregnant to lose their babies. Just awful!



The new concubine became the favorite of the Emp and the Mean Girls didn't like it.

The newbie goes to visit Meanie and reveals something to her. They are both made up and clothed in beautiful silks with golden ornaments in their hair and jade jewelry and look stunning. Meanie gets so crazed and in despair at what she hears that she suddenly jumps up and rams her head into the wall!

Again. She RAMMED...HER HEAD...INTO...THE WALL!

I was up late and alone watching this and just sat up and yelled, "WHAT!" because I was truly stunned. Well, not as stunned as she was...she was dead.

This is not normal behavior. There is no other reason than pure fascination that made me continue to watch after that.

There was the usual intrigue, battles, spies, politicking, and love affairs still going around the outskirts of the drama in the harem. I continued to watch. What more could happen, right?

More drama. More poisonings. More secret meetings. More "gotchas". And then...you guessed it.

The Empress takes off running and plows her head into a wall, too!


Whiskey...Tango...Foxtrot!!! Who does that?

Of all the knowledge they'd shown with herbs and combining them for every purpose in the food and medicines and tonics, this is the way these ladies chose to off themselves?

I just stared at the television with my mouth open at this point.

I don't think I've been that shocked by a movie since Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. And, with that one, I was only shocked at how bad it was. OK. It's kind of funny when the guy spying on them dressed like a tomato asks for the catsup for his hotdog and is busted.

I've decided to show this movie to my husband. The next time he says anything that upsets me, which, thankfully, isn't that often, I'm going to jump up and run toward the nearest wall.

Let's see if he stops me. No one even tried with the Concubine. Poor Thing!

It didn't do well in North America, apparently. I can't imagine why. It has lovely scenery, costumes and women cracking their heads on walls.

I'll never look at an egg the same way. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Being Black in the U.S.

Being Black is not as easy as you think. That's a joke.

With this "B" post, I hope to help readers understand how I approach people and how they approach me.

You see, there is no way of 'hiding' the fact that I am Black. I wouldn't want to. When you see me, you know. I look at people and try to see their eyes and personality and how we are going to connect and on what level. I notice color. I look for trust. I look for kindness. I look for similarities. I look for differences. I look for honesty. I'm like Robocop or the Terminator but, corny as it sounds, I feel love and forgiveness for everyone. Who am I not to?

When my husband first showed his co-workers a photo of me, a couple of them said, "She's Black!" and his response was feigned shock. He grabbed the picture back and with eyes wide, said, "She is?!"and it only made me love him more.

Look at him and you'd say...White. His father was a dark Cuban, his mother, of Scotch-Irish descent. My husband had auburn hair and pale skin growing up. Now, his hair is gray and everyone sees White. Cubans come in all tones, like Americans and Africans.

When Caucasians look at others, they know they are Caucasian and begin to assess one another based on clothing, grooming, handshake, whatever. When I am seen, the first thing is, "She's Black." and along with that comes whatever experiences, exposure, rumors, whatever is in the news that week, attempts to remain nonplussed, or bewilderment as to what comes next. Blacks are being 'blamed' for whatever is done by the President of the United States as if he called us first to check-in! The sad part is when I'm looked at by other Blacks, that's also the first thing seen and then it's either a positive or a negative, too. At times, I think we are all harder on ourselves, than who we believe is our enemy.

This can be a source of amusement, bemusement, or frustration depending on the stage on which it occurs.

My entire childhood was spent with other Black children telling me "You talk so proper!" as if it were a confusing problem. Non-blacks were accepting of me in High School because they would say "I don't see color." which would make me think they weren't seeing me. At first meetings I loved to read the confusion on their faces of "She didn't sound Black on the phone!" which is one of my favorite tricks, actually (Naughty me!).

By 40, I really couldn't care less what anyone thought about anything. Ah! The freedom of aging! Don't fear it. Embrace it and all the perks that come with it!

I've spent a good portion of my life being the only Black in the room (DON'T say it, Americans!), at the party, in the meeting, on the plane, in the theater, or the restaurant. People of all colors have attempted to push me to represent an entire RACE of people just because I happen to have more melanin in my skin. I've had men try to pick me up thinking that I was a "sure thing" and try to take liberties they would fight against if it were done to their mothers or sisters. I've been proudly told by people that they get darker than I do when they tan, that they didn't know Black people but watched us on T.V., that we could tan or burn, that I was the first one they'd ever met or had as a friend, would either compare me to whatever Black woman was famous at the time, congratulate me in that way that shows they didn't believe I could do whatever it was, and, yes, call me names outside of my given proper name, of course.

My life has been spent meeting all types of people in and from all types of places in the World. I have learned that if I respect them, usually I will receive the same respect back. My father commanded respect through his demeanor after growing up in the Southern States of the U.S. and he got it. He never shared every story of the times he didn't but know that he was spat upon, called names, and denied progress in his life due to the amount of melanin in his skin as an adult and not only in the South.

Please don't think I'm bitter about any of it. Some of my best friends...(Haha!). It's life with other humans who've had their own experiences with other humans. I won't be placed in the position of speaking for everyone with more melanin any more than I would ask a Caucasian, Asian, or African person to speak for all who have more or less. It's not fair and certainly results in disheartening inaccuracies. 

My skin is brown. My hair is kinky. My nationality is American. My religion is Catholic (a WHOLE 'nutha story!). My race, according to the U.S. is Black (a color). Or sometimes African-American (long time since my ancestors were there). I'm a 'sister' but in Florida, I'm also called "Mami" by Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians, et al. Why I don't have a multiple personality is beyond me! However, I'm still not as confused as poor Raven-Symone if you've been keeping up with her. I'm going to take a wild stab at the idea that she might have faced racism from both sides of the fence in her life and has decided not to be either because of the pain of rejection. No one has a monopoly on racism.

Despite the usage of race and ethnicity in the same way, there are some actual differences in the definitions. It would be nice to all recognize the difference and use them appropriately if we ever seek to have any semblance of peace among us. There's an article explaining how race is "your biologically engineered features. It can include skin color, skin tone, eye and hair color, as well as a tendency toward developing certain diseases. It is not something that can be changed or disguised." I will add, it does not define you as a person and ethnicity is not a statement of what color of skin you have as shown by all countries and many varied people of different colors (skin-tones). Example? There are people of Asian descent born and raised in places like Peru. They are Peruvian. Correct?

Read more: Difference Between Ethnicity and Race | Difference Between | Ethnicity vs Race http://www.differencebetween.net/science/nature/difference-between-ethnicity-and-race/#ixzz3W7Yxx0mI


Watching Trevor Noah's standup act recently made me think of this again. He's having a hard time 'justifying' being chosen as a host for The Daily Show. Really? After considering all the racial problems we have had in the States that I've had to 'choose sides' about, he summed it up as an 'outsider'. As a mixed race person, here he is Black. He also noted, we had a mixed candidate for the Presidency but now have the first "Black" President. Nailed it.

I have hope for future generations who will force the U.S. to remove the 'check one' boxes of race because they will be inapplicable, nor will it matter. There will be no way of breaking it down. I hope I'm around to see that Census.