Sunday, January 29, 2017

State of Disunion

     It's been a while since I've blogged.  You know how easy it is to let time slip away from you.  Days are filled with going to work, paying bills, running errands, making time for family and loved ones when you can. You know--"adulting".  One day blurs into two days, then five days, a month...then next thing you know the seasons have changed.  Twice.
     Events happen that you want to share with everyone, and you think "I'll get to it later."  Things that were exciting fade in importance, forgotten by the next thing that catches your interest, and again, "Later. I'll write it later."  Occasionally something happens that is so impactful, however, that the want to write morphs into something much stronger.  It becomes a need.  A need to speak out, to commiserate, rage or even simply to ponder out loud.
     Writers are an emotional bunch.  You may even call some of us "hyper emotional", for many of us feel things on such a deep, cellular level that it affects us in a physiological manner.    Because I fall into this category I have, until now, refrained from making political posts on social media.  I did not want to open that Pandora's Box.  But in light of what I have been witnessing on the majority of the social media sites, I find it difficult to continue to remain silent.
     Let me preface what my concerns are by stating that I am not a two-dimensional person.  I rarely see anything in black and white.  The entire world is comprised of so many shades of gray that the idea such complex issues our country is currently dealing with can be broken down into Category A or Category B is ludicrous.  I am astonished by the volume of political posts I see that contain some variation of "if you did this, then that must mean you..." or "if you don't like this that must mean you are in favor of...".
     Let me lay my political leanings out plainly.  I am not a Republican.  I am also not a Democrat.   I am not a conservative or a liberal. I am a registered Independent because I am all of these things, dependent upon what the topic is.  I did not vote for our current president.  I also did not vote for his opponent.  For me with it being between the 2 parties it was a choice of the lesser of two evils.  But the lesser is still an evil, so I could not in good conscience give my vote to either party. Yes, I voted Libertarian.  I have already been told that it's all my fault that the current president is in office, so save your unsolicited, if well meaning sermon on how I have wronged you, please.  We will have to agree to disagree on the concept that I don't have a right to vote my beliefs unless they align with either of the two generally accepted parties.
     I do not believe in increasing gun control.  The people who will abide by whatever regulations are increased or put into place are not the people causing the issues.
     This next topic is a huge conflict for me. I believe in everyone's right to making their own health care choices about their bodies.  Everyone's, not just women.  However, I cannot get on board with abortion in about 90% of the cases.  When an embryo is brought into the equation, for me it now about the rights of 2 living beings.  Victims of rape, assault, incest and severe medical issues aside there are so many means of birth control I struggle with abortion used as any sort of birth control.
    Adding to my internal struggle with this subject is a recent post I saw by a nun of all people, who made it a point of breaking it down in the most thought provoking of ways.  Pro-Choice and Pro-Birth, not Pro-Life.  Pro-Life is about that child's life AFTER birth.  His or her care, education, health care--who will pay for it?  Me?  You?  So is it really pro-choice or pro-birth?  I cannot get this post out of my mind.  How do you untangle all of this?  The idea of a baby being aborted moves me to tears as much as the idea of a child dying from hunger or worse in the streets. Do you understand my conflict?  Remember, I said I cannot see most things in black and white.
     I believe in equal rights regardless of sexual orientation, color or...  Wait.  Let me back up and restate that. I BELIEVE IN EQUAL RIGHTS.  PERIOD.  Why is this still even a topic? One's orientation, skin color or religious beliefs should never be a reason for ridicule, ostracizing or rage.  All reactions which are based upon fear, by the way.  What are racists and bigots so afraid of?  Sexual orientation, skin color or spiritual beliefs are not contagious.  But do you know what is?  Bigotry.  It feeds on fear and disguises itself as anger and self-righteousness, when really it all comes back to being afraid of something we don't understand or cannot connect with.  What right do we have to deny the same rights of anyone based upon ethnicity, belief system or who they love?
     Something that has baffled me is the amount of anger directed towards the Women's March that took place earlier in January.  Why is there so much anger at a group of people who wanted to show a unified front, and managed to do so without rioting, arrests or causing chaos.  I get that not everyone agreed with their views and chose not to participate.  Great!  You didn't attend a march. And that is fine, that is what this country is built upon.  Choice.  Rights.  So...why are so  many people so angry over it?  Personally I thought it was fairly courageous to put one's self in such a predicament during a time when it's uncertain what can occur during a mass gathering, as evidenced by the ridiculous riots that took place on inauguration day.  The potential for ugliness is strong right now.  I give kudos to anyone who believes strongly enough in something to willingly place themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
     Which leads me to my next point.  I absolutely without hesitation support our troops.  I feel nothing but respect and gratitude towards the men and women who willingly sacrifice more than civilians will ever know or comprehend to ensure our freedom and rights.  If you are reading this and you have served or are currently serving one of our countries branches of military, Thank you for your service.  A million times thank you for what you did or do every day.  Words simply aren't enough.
     A point I wanted to make that, for me, ties this with the women's march I just spoke about is regarding a meme that I have seen numerous times on social media.  A picture showcasing women in uniform marching that states, "This is how a real woman marches to make a difference."  I have unending respect for the men and women in service to this country.  I take umbrage, however, with the idea that I am not a real woman and will never make a difference because I have not served. Even if I wanted to join, the military would not have me due to my age. But regardless, I have breasts and a uterus the same as the women shown in uniform in those memes.  How am I less of a woman if I choose to peacefully march with a group of people?  It doesn't.  It is simply a different way of attempting to be heard. Just like this blog is.
     These are just a few the current "hot topics" I see being prominent in online discussions today.  If you can call raging at people who don't align with one's way of thinking a discussion, that is.   And therein lies my upset.  My grief.  Emotions are so high right now that I see people talking at one another, not with.  I see finger pointing, and blame laying, and people being reactionary. Yes, things are happening right now that are cause for concern, though I feel that is too mild a word.  On both sides of the coin, as it were, people are afraid for the future of this country.  And with reason, especially for those who feel it is their very rights they feel will be most affected.
     But here is the thing.  There is so much fear right now that people don't see what is happening.  There is a line being drawn in the sand, and it's getting wider and longer with every fear fueled accusation and pointed finger.  This is a time where we should be remembering that we all come from the same race-the human race.  While we may have different ideas on what being an American means, we must remember that those differences are precisely what this country was built upon.  I fear we, as a nation, cannot see the forest for the trees.  For the fear.  Try to see through the emotions, and use it to fuel the drive to make a difference if that is what moves you.  But do so with critical thinking.  Arm yourself with knowledge. Don't turn to social media for your "news".  Go to the source, and make form your own opinions, not adopt that of a meme or status update posted online. Contact your local political offices to find out how you can help with whatever it is you want to help change.
     If as a result of this blog I lose some friends, I will not say I understand, but I can say I accept your choice. I will never end a friendship because we do not agree on something, because I celebrate our differences as much as I do our common interests.
    I am not a two dimensional being.  And I think and see in shades of gray.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bubble Wrap and Boxes

     Let me begin by saying I strongly dislike packing.  The moving part can be exciting, yes--but the accompanying preparations (read packing) is repellent.  That being said, i am finding the packing this time to be quite a spiritual lesson for me. When we first moved into this house 4 years ago, I was in my mid-thirties and grieving the loss of my mother.  My father was moving in with my husband and I, and our pets Gizmo and Cubby.  Four years later, I am approaching 40, we have said goodbye to my father, as well as that cat and dog--though we now have Sasha to ease some of the loss. My husband has been forced to make job changes that did not work out, and has faced medical issues.
     A great deal has happened in my life these 4 years--more than I have allowed myself to truly acknowledge and face.  I've just plugged along and taken each day as they came, not looking at the whole of it. This move is forcing me to really be with that understanding for the first time.  Sorting through the mishmash of things collected over the years, I also sort through my memories and examine where I am in life.  More importantly how I am in life.  
     The last few days have been hard, and I expect the next few days will be even more difficult as we say goodbye to this house that we have lived in longer than any other residence since we have married.  This house that somewhere along the way became home to us.  As we close the front door to the house for the last time, we will also be closing an incredible chapter of our lives.  
    For all this, however, I hold close to my heart the saying that one door much close before another can open.  As long as my husband and I face that door together, we can handle anything.  And for that, I am beyond grateful.

As always...

Saturday, December 31, 2011


The New Year is upon us, and so we say goodbye to the old in order to make room for the new.  For some of us, it is with a thankful heart we leave trials and troubles in the past; for some of us it is with trepidation for what lies ahead.  If you are a die hard who puts stock into the "2012 World's End" belief, I imagine you fall into the latter.  For myself, I find myself somewhere in the middle.  There was a great deal of change in 2011 for me.  Old hats from previous jobs dusted off and doffed once again, adulthood long careers left behind with early medically required early retirement, family leaving and then returning, babies being born.  Some of it scary, some of it thrilling, some of it still taking shape.

I haven't blogged as frequently as I promised myself I would, but I felt that I couldn't let 2011 slip away without a nod if recognition.  And while I am not one of the many who are stockpiling canned goods, bottled water and burying weaponry in the desert to prepare for the end of the world, I cannot ignore the nudge in my gut that says prepare.  Prepare for what, I have no idea.  But with a year of such political change (has anyone else noticed the volume of deaths of leaders that has a history of conflict with the USA?), such technological advances, and more--it is certain there will be a great deal more change ahead than many are comfortable with.  As one who understands that I have little to no control over the change, I ask you-why worry about it?  Energy spent worrying is energy taken away that could be used to be in the present, to enjoy life now.

The birth of my great-nephew and niece have reminded me of how important it is to remain present.  When we are stuck in our heads, we miss so much! Each laugh, tear, and breath is precious-regardless if you are 6 months old, or 90 years old. LIFE is precious.  It is our purpose on this planet, to live. 

On this New Years Eve, I challenge each of you to make a promise to yourself to practice being present this new year. Do not allow yourself to become so rooted in fear in your life that you stop living.  Take chances, step outside of your comfort zone, and tell people you love them.  Don't wait, for tomorrow may never happen.  All we have is this moment...

I am using this moment to enjoy my margarita as I embrace 2012 with open arms, and shout "I am ready!"

...I am ready.

Much Love-and as always, life fearlessly.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ten Reasons to Read Books

I have been an avid reader ever since I could speak the word "Seuss", so it is no surprise that as an adult I enjoy my position as a bookseller.  Stumbling upon a new author who spins a gripping story is like that scary blind date, in which you are surprised to find that you can hold an intelligent and stimulating conversation with the person you just met.  That feeling of excitement and exhilaration as you gently turn the pages, the plot thickening...there is nothing like it.

Though it astounds me whenever I meet a person who tells me "Oh, I don't read", it probably should not when most prefer to text.  Speaking of texting, while I partake in this pastime frequently myself, allow me to state my overall view:

 Texting and online chatting is destroying the majority of America's ability to read and write properly-including their verbal and social skills.

READ America!  It's fabulous, I promise you!  As proof, I offer this list of ten reasons how reading will improve your life:

  1. Reading improves your vocabulary. (Seriously, those of us who do partake of the pastime, can tell).
  2. Reading allows you to travel all over the world-if you have a library card, the journey is FREE!
  3. Reading stimulates the brain, keeping it active and assisting with memory issues.
  4. Did you know that a book can teach you how to fix a leaky faucet, speak a foreign language, or manage your finances in a  more efficient manner?  I do not lie.
  5. Reading reduces ignorance, and therefore potentially reduces racism, intolerance.  (By saying you choose not to read is the same thing as saying you choose ignorance.)
  6. Reading is FUN!  You just have to find the right books that you resonate with-ask different people what they are currently reading, and I bet you find something that piques your interest quickly.
  7. Reading can make you more employable.
  8. Reading helps you connect with family, especially if you turn it into a family pastime.
  9. Reading arms you with fantastic conversation starters!
  10. Reading is sexy.  
Now you have ten perfectly good reasons to go pick up a book-new and exciting adventures await you!

If you have more reasons why everyone should read, I would love to hear about them-so please leave a comment!

As always, live life fearlessly.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Double Features and Indulgence

     What do you do when you wake up late on a warm, breezy Sunday afternoon, and realize that miraculously you have no honey-do's pending, no errands to run? This is a question that ambled into my sleepy brain this morning-a question I felt deserved serious consideration.  Serious consideration that lasted for, goodness-perhaps 30 seconds-before the answer teased me to full alertness.  Cinema Sunday!!

     There is a small Mom and Pop run cinema a short jaunt down the road from me, and this morning I recalled a "Sunday Special" they ran year-round.  All movies all day long were a mere five dollars-and when you are on a very limited budget like I am, that can be a beautiful thing, indeed!  Due to extenuating circumstances, my movie viewing has sadly decreased by appalling numbers the last several months.  This was my day to take in a flick and catch up.

     Upon reaching the theater and approaching the ticket booth, some imp took control and requested a ticket for 2 separate movies, time-slots in immediate succession.  Two movies?  In one day? Did I dare?  Oh, I dared-I threw all caution to the wind and eagerly clutched my two movie tickets in hand.  Cinema Sunday was turning into Double Feature Sunday, and it was glorious!

    I decided to give in to my often sophomoric sense of humor and start my double feature with Your Highness, a movie that lived up to it's hype as being crude, self-deprecating and small budgeted; though it somehow managed to ensnare/cast Natalie Portman--someone of a higher caliber of acting prowess than the rest of the cast.  I suppose everyone likes to slum it on occasion.  Perhaps a script that called for an impressive, yet decidedly creepy, penis to be worn around the neck as a trophy was simply too good to pass up.  Makes one wonder about the "real" Ms. Portman. Hmm...

     Regardless, the movie is what I expected-corny, campy and very much an over-the-top fun filled one and a half hours...that I am grateful I paid a mere five dollars for.

     For the second feature, I decided to go for something slightly more...well...more.  Limitless is something I had wanted to see since it had been released several weeks ago, mostly because it showcases Bradley Cooper.  Anything that showcases Bradley Cooper is something to be grateful for-I find the man positively drool-worthy and will cross swords with anyone who dares say otherwise!  Or I would if I owned a sword.  At the very least I will engage said person in a most heated discussion!!

     I exited the first theater and took my place in what was now a lengthy concession stand line to refresh my beverage and indulge in a bit of popcorn.  While standing in the lobby, and waiting for my turn at the  counter, I took the time to look around and study my fellow movie goers.  Families, couples, singles, young, was somehow reassuring to see people enjoying their day with some story-telling and escapism.  While I was by myself at the theater, I really did not feel alone.  And that was nice.  After I had my refreshments, I took my seat for the next film and enjoyed both some lovely eye-candy (Thank you Mr. Cooper!), as well as an intriguing story about possibilities.  If you have not yet had the chance to see Limitless, and have the time, I recommend giving it a whirl.

     A brief stop at the local bookstore, and my day was complete.  I headed home, books in hand, and a smile upon my face after having indulged in the type of day that everyone needs, yet so few take advantage of.  I certainly hadn't taken advantage of a day like today in quite some time.  I had forgotten how rejuvenating and inspiring a day like today can be.   And I am grateful for the reminder.

As always, live life with enthusiasm.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dalai Lama Wisdom

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered "Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Message...

Occasionally I will have a dream in which I feel an important message is being given to me.  Last night was one of those dreams.  In the dream I was speaking with my deceased father.  I do not remember the exact topic we were speaking on, I only remember that it was about giving up, and losing faith.  During this time of the conversation, more and more people began to populate the area around my father and I, and the conversation-as well as the dream-shifted to include the people. 

We spoke of the importance of not giving up hope, that within hope there is always promise.  Never forget our faith, for that is what empowers us and makes us strong.  As I spoke these words to my father, I was filled with a strong sense conviction, as though I was remembering a long forgotten, ancient truth.  While I was speaking, I also became aware of two things:  an insidious presence among the people present in the dream, as well as an increasing number of people who despaired and felt like giving up.  I encouraged the people to pray-even going so far as to lead them in a repetition of Hail Mary and the Lord's Prayer.  In doing so, I realized that even I had forgotten some of the words, and I began to stumble through it.  All the while seeing smug smiles upon a face here and there in the crowd.  

This is a very important message, everyone.  As a people, we are giving up.  We lose faith in our fellow man, in our government, in the world-when it is imperative that we do not lose faith or give up living our purpose.  It is so easy to become distracted by the unimportant things in life, to become caught up in the mundane routine of things and before we know it, time has gone by.  We forget to be present, to see the gifts and messages our angels, guides and the Ascended Masters leave for us.  Every single day we are given reminders, yet we have become closed off from accepting these messages.  Remember to be open to recognizing and accepting these beautiful signs, for they are what nourishes our very essence. 

If you are unsure of what the important things are, I cannot answer that for you.  I can, however, tell you what I use as my personal guide in when to let something go or when to hold onto it and cultivate it.  I simply ask:  When it comes time for me to leave this physical plane, will this be something I can carry with me, or will it truly have made a difference in life?  If the answer to this is no, then I know that for myself, this is not that important.  

Perhaps this is resurfacing because of events in the news.  Devastation caused by earthquakes and tsunamis, war breaking out again, these are all tests to our faith and hope.  It is during these times that our faith should be at it's strongest.  It is during these times that we should all be in a place of service to our fellow man, and reach out-when instead we seem to withdraw, and pull our material goods closer in fear of losing them.  Ask yourself: Can you take your possessions with you?  Will they have made a difference?  The answer is no.  Reaching out with hand and heart to others-the rewards of that are something you can take with you.
I spoke with a dear friend about my dream, and both of us were surprised (pleasantly) by her following response:

"We are being pushed to give up.  Hope, love, our dreams, ourselves.  I've felt it too. And it's a constant battle.  When we see others who don't seem to remember or want to do good, it's easy to lose our words and our way, but that's when we need to buckle down and focus.  We can only control ourselves and our actions and choices.  One person has the power to tip the balance between good and evil. But if we focus too much on others, we'll stumble.  

Focus on the words and actions you want to express and let them inspire others ot join of their own free will.  Don't force it.  Just let yourself be a source of inspiration and guidance when people come to you."

While her message holds special meaning for me, I felt that it was a message meant for everyone.  I don't believe this to be a message of my friend, exactly-but one of a much higher source.  Whether or not you decide this is one of the many messages you can be open to today, is up to you.

Remember to always live fearlessly.  But also remember to live spiritually awake.