Posts from the ‘Real Life’ Category

Step Away From the Alarm Clock and No One Gets Hurt

 

Morning People

You know who you are.  You’re the ones that in a scant few hours will be bounding happily from bed, a smile on your collective delusional faces, ready to face the new day with unbridled enthusiasm. You actually look forward to what the morning hours will bring.  You delight in the dawning of a new day and in watching the sun rise..of hearing the birds begin to chirp as they herald in the new morn.  You greet everyone you meet, without any regard for some of our suffering, with a cheery hello and say things like “Isn’t it a beautiful morning?”  or “Did you SEE that sunrise this morning?”. NO, we didn’t see it, we were too busy trying to pry our eyelids open so we could go out and play in traffic while still trying to wake up.

You people are the scourge of my existence.

I’m a night owl living in a morning person‘s world.  Trust me, even with the rising popularity of all things vampire themed, it’s still not easy to function in a society that is still selfishly geared to people who spring out of bed, eager to greet the day each new morning.  We all know the ones.  They actually smile when their feet hit the floor.  They grab a cup of coffee and appreciate the sunrise with enthusiasm as they ready themselves to effortlessly slide into the ebb and flow of another day. They even look FORWARD to it!  I have it on good authority, that some of them actually hum their way through the dawn hours and greet a new day with a spring in their step. It’s HORRIFYING!!! I didn’t believe it for years either, but trust me..these people are everywhere!

Then there’s me and my kind.

While the above mentioned anomalies emerge eagerly from their warm beds, I’m still blindly swatting toward the offensively obnoxious sound squawking at me from the direction of my alarm clock, in a desperate effort to hit the snooze alarm button for the first time.  Somewhere in my sleep fogged brain, I delude myself into believing that if I can just go back to dreamland for another 9 minutes, I’ll be more ready to face the coming dawn.  Alas, therein lies the problem.  Whether I’ve had 2 hours of sleep or 10, I am never a happy camper when forced to wake up in the morning.

Try as it might, my brain just refuses to function at full capacity when a new day is dawning.  It’s as if a switch has been thrown and the mind that was so active and productive from midnight to 3 am is now a totally different creature.  To say I drag myself out of bed is probably being generous. It’s not pretty.  I do a slow slide out of bed (or off the couch where I fell asleep around 3am) and then stumble toward the bathroom, usually stepping on a bone my dog has so thoughtfully left for me to find.  As I start to hop on one foot and utter things that would make my Mama wash my mouth out with soap, I manage to stub the toe on my other foot against the door frame.  Now that I’m limping, whimpering, and still bleary eyed, I somehow manage to navigate my way toward yet another morning in paradise to begin my day.

In an ever-increasing politically correct world where it’s considered rude to say or do anything that might offend anyone, I want to know where is the concern and compassion for those of us that hate mornings.  Where is the justice and equality??  Where is the outrage for a good half of the population that is suffering?? Why are we, ones that thrive when the sun goes down, being discriminated against in such a cruel, cruel manner?  I think I have an excellent case if I wanted to make the argument for discrimination against night owls.

Trust me, I know.  All you chipper morning people are shaking your heads and thinking..”Why don’t all the non-morning people just get jobs that require working at night?”  Problem solved! Right??  Wrong!  Since the entire world basically functions on the insane scheduling of daytime hours, that just wouldn’t work.  When we’re up and ready to go, you’re asleep and visa versa.  Chaos would ensue, hell would surely freeze over if all the people who prefer the night and do their best work then tried to adjust their working hours around the time when they are most productive.

I’ve done a lot of thinking when I’m up and lucid in the middle of the night.  I could be persuaded not to raise a ruckus and keep things civil if we all had a little more equity. So, I have a proposal to make.

Let’s split the difference.

Every six months, just like daylight savings time (and we know how well THAT works out), society switches schedules.  Instead of everyone working 9-5, for half the year, everyone will work 9 PM until 5 AM.  It’s only fair.  Actually it’s more than fair.  Think about it.  Not only would the people who thrive at night be able to make up for their lack of sweetness and light when forced to get up early with enhanced productivity, but the morning people would STILL get to see their sunrise, it would just be at the END of the workday rather than at the beginning!! 

I know, I know..I’m brilliant! You’re asking yourself why I didn’t come with this idea sooner. 

We’ll blame it on the mornings.  Just imagine what I could up with when I’m actually awake!!

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To Resolve NOT To Resolve, It’s Not a Question At All

The dawning of a new year and this year, a new decade, is once again upon us. I could swear it was just yesterday we were all anxiously anticipating with trepidation the arrival of the dreaded Y2K virus that would accompany the new millennium. A new century full of potential and pitfalls at our doorsteps was a daunting, yet exciting, prospect. Now here we are knocking on the door of the next decade with the first 10 years already written. Those years have been ones of immense change that no one could have predicted with a crystal ball, not even the famed Ms. Cleo.

No matter how long the previous year seems as we navigate our way through it, looking back, it seems to have passed by in the blink of an eye, good times and challenging ones alike. Perhaps that perception is accelerated when viewed through the prism of age. I can’t swear by this theory, although in my case, it seems to be true. Time does indeed seem to fly when looking back on it.

I don’t usually tend to wax nostalgic, but the past year has been one of immense change, both for myself personally and for the world at large. Change, while sometimes welcome, is not always something that I embrace willingly. I’ve found though, that it comes along whether we are ready for it or not and you better be willing and able to hold on and roll with all that comes with it. The phrase coined by Thomas Paine “Lead, follow or get out of the way”, springs to mind when dealing with life’s twists and turns. Life marches on and you can either find a way to cope and enjoy it, or you’ll be left behind. It’s a powerful force that will not be stopped in favor our of inability to keep up.

In my life, I have the opportunity to interact with a broad spectrum of people. From the very young to those that have weathered many decades, one thing is clear. The world is definitely a very different place with very different mindsets from the one I grew up in. I know that this revelation isn’t something that is new amongst the generations that have come before mine. One thing that has changed drastically however, is the way the world views the future and the potential contained in it. Our willingness and eagerness to succeed and the coping skills that used to be fostered into our childhood lessons aren’t there anymore. I see faces with eyes that seem angry or worried or resigned to life rather than excited by it. The eyes are sometimes in the faces of those that are too young to have so much worry or no hope and drive for the future. So many divert those weary eyes and don’t know how to interact with everyone around them anymore. More and more people don’t look others in the eye anymore for fear of what they might see or give away in themselves.

I don’t mean to sound full of gloom and doom. Like it or not, and I don’t at times, I have never been able to fully extinguish that light at the end of the tunnel belief in my thoughts or in my own life. I’ve always known that every day is different and full of new possibilities. Some of those days will be worse than the one that came before it, and some will be so much better, you feel as if you are floating on air. That is the wonder of living itself. I will confess to wishing at times that life was not quite so colorful or full of the all the things that make me grow, while at the same time making me squirm from the lessons they try to teach me along the way.

The past year and particularly the last 5 months, have seen great changes in my life, some positive and some things that I would not have picked if given the choice. I lost a parent, moved to a new home from one that had been a refuge for the past 21 years and have faced a betrayal that I didn’t see until it rose up out of the blue. The past year has also seen the deepening of friendships that I didn’t know I needed, the memories made with children that are no longer small and constantly surprise and make me proud as they continue to grow into adults and precious times spent with my Dad that are priceless. I’ve learned to bend, learned to adapt. I had no choice and in doing so, have as always, learned about myself, my inner strengths and my resolve. Some things I handled well, others I’d probably do over and in a better manner, but that just isn’t something that we are afforded in life. You live and learn if you’re smart and use those lessons for the rest of your days.

Thomas Paine also said, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” I believe he was right in this assertion. We all have within us the ability to make the best of whatever crosses our particular life path. We can make a difference in the lives of those around us if we put the effort into it, but at the same time, the sooner we realize that there are some things that are simply out of our control, the happier we will be. It’s a hard lesson to learn, particularly for me. I’m a nurturer by nature and at times a controller. It’s hard to let go and realize that you can only control your own path and hope that by example and deeds, your life will positively affect those whose paths you cross. I tend to want the best for those around me and to lessen the unnecessary pain of lessons that test the resolve of those I care for when it’s possible or when they will let me.

There’s that word again, resolve.

To me, it’s not something that can be done on the first day of a brand new year. It’s not something to pledge to blindly and stubbornly adhere to when you have no idea what the future may hold. Resolve, to me, is the backbone and strength to weather whatever storms and rainbows that appear along our journey on the road less traveled when they occur. In order to do that, you can’t lock yourself into a particular path or behavior in anticipation of things and events unknown.

This new year of 2011, as usual, instead of making resolutions, I intend to be resolute. To not just proclaim loudly or even privately to myself on a day that is meant to be full of hope and promise and without the constraints of a year yet lived, things that in a few weeks will be left by the wayside. Instead, I want to be resolute in the decisions I make throughout the year and see them through. To be firm and unwavering, yet not inflexible, and to make things happen that will benefit my life and the lives I touch daily. To do and follow through on the things I can actually accomplish right along with the occasional reaching for the stars and to not spin my wheels endlessly on lost causes. I’m resolute in my determination to screw up as little as humanly possible (screw-ups will occur) and to instead progress in positive ways, great and small.

So, once again, on the eve of the brand new year and brand new decade facing us, I resolve not to resolve anything. I’ll take things as they come and adapt, learn and hopefully grow from them as I enjoy all the nuances of life, both the good and the challenging.

To paraphrase the faux-wisdom that I not only have to say on airplanes, but also from a famous movie..fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night, ride and year. They all are, that is the only guarantee in life that we receive. Such is life, it is here to be lived and not observed.

The alternative is simply unacceptable.

Happy New Year!

Predict This!

I don’t mind getting wrinkles. The way I see it, wrinkles are just a natural part of going through life. I’ve earned the smile lines on my face from seeing the world through a slightly sarcastic wit and with humor. I’ve even earned a worry line or two as I’ve raised my children or navigated my way through any pitfalls and challenges I’ve encountered. I wear my wrinkles with pride.

I don’t even mind too much the fact that on some days my “get up and go” seems to have done “gone up and went” and left in its wake a sore muscle or two where previously I would have been none the worse for wear. I’ve found ways to work around sore backs or the occasional lack of energy when I’ve been overly ambitious and forgotten the day before that even though my mind still THINKS like a 20-year-old, my body works like a 40 something and will loudly let me know when I’ve done more than I should. I just plan for recovery time and keep the Tylenol handy as needed.

For the most part, I enjoy this stage of life very much.

What DOES bug the holy heck out of me, is not being able to SEE anymore!

I’ve never had great eyesight. I’ve been very nearsighted since 5th grade, a legacy from my Mom. I started wearing contacts in 6th grade and have never looked back (so to speak). The fact that I don’t have and will never have 20/20 vision has always just been a constant in my life and not such a big deal. I have slowly come to the growing realization over the past few years however, that I can no longer see anything right in front of my nose without wearing my Dollar Tree readers. I am officially now blind as a bat, without the benefit of sonar. It turns out that aging is not indeed for wimps.

Plainly put, if I manage to somehow wander out into the world without one of my several dozen pair of reading glasses close at hand, I’m a menace to society. At the very least, I’m prone to severe fubars when it comes to deciphering details on packages or when reading menus in restaurants. My grown children have many stories of horror where they have had to read menu selections to Mom in full view of the public.

Now, finally to my problem de jour. Texting.

I’m hip..I really REALLY am. (quit laughing) I was geeky when geeky wasn’t cool and have maintained my stellar dork status throughout my life by staying current with new technology. I twitter. I blog. I instant message with a favorite Yankee frequently. I get it. While I still enjoy reading an actual book over owning a Kindle or iPad, and on occasion still would rather compose an old-fashioned snail-mail letter or send a handwritten card vs. an e-card, I for the most part, love the convenience of all things electronic. I will admit that I do have my own way of doing things and might put my own twist on how I use all these “timesavers”. Nonetheless, I stay well versed in most of the newest and at times silliest trends and innovations that come down the proverbial pike.

Texting, however, has become quite a challenge at times. I sit and watch my kids as they text. The blur of their fingers as they massacre the English language in 160 characters or less, yet can still manage to broker world peace, carry on a verbal conversation AND order pizza at the same time, astounds me. Without a single thought or even a glance most of the time, they can fly on tiny keyboards of varying designs and most of the time, I can even make out the real meaning of what they meant to convey as pertinent information in their texts to me.

Here’s where my individuality (you do remember that dying trait, don’t you?) comes in. My phone has dual keyboards. I love the versatility and many possibilities of it. Not only do I have an actual numerical keyboard to make calls with, I also have a full QWERTY keyboard at the ready for texting or composing my version of War and Peace should I so choose to do so on the flea sized keys. Instead of using the itty bitty “full” size keyboard though, I prefer to use the wonders of “predictive text” instead when I send my pearls of wisdom, edicts from Mom, sarcastic thoughts or purely flagrant flirting out to the world.

This is where the problem begins.

It turns out to my absolute amazement, that predictive text, ISN’T really all that predictive when it comes to putting together words that actually make sense when composing a text message. Who knew?? Apparently everyone but me.

Obviously whomever predicted how most people speak was from Mars (or a man). They also were obviously in severe need of a Magic 8 ball if this is their version of prediction.

Call me crazy, but when I want the word “it” in a sentence, for some reason, I find no rhyme or reason as to why, my phone insists on putting “ht” in as what it THINKS I mean to say. HT isn’t a word in any language I’ve ever encountered, yet my SMARTphone, insists on putting it into everything I write. My shortcoming in not always having reading glasses around when I might need them (insert, all the time) means that anyone receiving my texts has to learn to decipher what I meant to say rather than the cryptic mess of characters they might actually receive. I choose to think of it as creating my own language. Heck, that’s what the kids do with LOL and LMAO and TTFN, so why can’t I invent “senior moment texting”?

Other common words that are likely to be inserted by mistake include, but are not limited to…”nope” for “more”, “of” rather than “me”, “tie” instead of “the” and the ever popular “duck” rather than, well you get the idea. Suffice it to say that I’ve discovered the HARD way that predictive text was not really designed with sexting in mind either.

Most of the time, the people I’m texting are either related to me or are as “mature” in years as I am and have known me a long time, so they are used to whatever might cross their screens and knows what I meant to say and interpret it pretty well. They already know that I use correct grammar and spelling in my texts because the teacher in me will not allow me to use “text-speak” with a clear conscious. Well, I TRY to use correct spelling and punctuation, when I can see what I’m doing and the crack predictive text will let me. On top of it all I think I must type with a Southern accent, so that might lead to a tad more confusion at times when colorful, apparently obscure (for Yankees anyway) phrases emerge from my brain.

Anyway, life goes on and I’m adapting in my own special way. I just simply pretend I MEANT to send whatever gibberish I convey and keep texting. After all, if I can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, I’ll just baffle them with BS instead, as the saying goes.

One of these days they’ll invent a keyboard that isn’t meant for fingers the size of gnats and a TV sized screen for we baby boomers that might be becoming a bit challenged with our eyesight. That way we can see what we’re doing and keep up with each other and all these young whippersnappers that are coming along behind us.

To paraphrase a movie quote from Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes, “I’m older and I spend more money”!! I may also be a tad meaner, but that’s an issue for another day. There HAS to be a growing market for those of us that are slightly sight challenged by our years of experience. (we’ll go with that. See, I CAN be politically correct at times!)

As for the attempts at marketing a phone meant for MY parents, the Jitterbug is a dance, not a phone. Please don’t insult our intelligence, however fleeting it may be. I refuse to be uncool, even it if means I keep sending my own unique brand of communications via text. Perhaps my new way of text-speak will become an overnight sensation.

Anyway BOT, IDK much but I’ll BBL and TTYL. CYA!!!

Sweeping Out the Proverbial Cobwebs


I don’t know what happened.

My entire life, I’ve been known as someone who, while at times shy or reticent, has also been very wordy.

I talk a lot.

I have a lot of opinions on a myriad of subjects. I’m never without some abstract or even ironically stupid thoughts popping into my head as I travel through life. I’ve always put my thoughts, strange and not so strange, down into the written form. I enjoy turning words into pictures in someone else’s head. I love debate. I love the clever turn of a phrase in order to get a point or humor across. I’ve always held the strong opinion that the written word is quickly becoming a lost art.

In short, I love to play with my words.

Then, a year or so ago, I just stopped. No, I didn’t stop thinking or having opinions, but the desire or fire to put it all down for posterity’s sake (read: for my own sake) came to a screeching halt. I’d think of something that would spark my imagination and even compose an opening paragraph that would make Shakespeare proud in my head, then would never get around to composing even a single sentence in written form.

Instead, I’ve been wadding my ideas, opinions, hopes and dreams into a virtual paper ball and throwing them in the figurative trash can of my mind.

I let the weight of the world and chaos of day-to-day life intrude on the creative side of my personality. Nothing earth shattering really happened, although if you heard my hissy fits at times, you might assume differently. I AM a Southern female and a perhaps a tad feisty at times. After all, we can be prone to a having a canniption or two along the way as part of the Southern belle persona. With the changes in the world the past two years, the uncertainty we’ve all been touched by, it’s no wonder that we all have felt some sort of pressure or lack of inspiration. Some days are dominated merely by the oppressive feel of the atmosphere and other attitudes that surround us as we travel through our life.

I’ve come to realize that just when I start to think I’m finally reaching a point in my life where I’m more settled in my own skin, that’s when life throws us another curve as if to say, “oh no, don’t you get too comfortable..you’re not even close to what you’re going to end up as”. When life decided to throw me back into humility, did I decide to take full advantage of the extra, rich opportunities for fresh inspiration being tossed my way? Of course not. I simply stopped and spun my wheels in neutral as far as my writing went. I let my outlet for expressing myself in an unfettered way come to a halt.

I’m under no illusion that anything I put into words is likely to change the world. I write for myself, then if anything I manage to put in coherent form makes someone else stop and think, all the better. One thing I’ve realized is, as life’s journey continues, it’s essential to continue to move forward, adapt and keep your options open.

So, I’m dipping my toe back into the proverbial water…slowly. For me.

Heaven help us all!

America Rising – An Open Letter To Democrats

When this video first surfaced a few weeks ago, I thought it was well done and prophetic of things to come. Given the events of the past week, even more so now.

I didn’t vote for what is happening to our country. While I didn’t like the choices for President in 2008, I voted for John McCain. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a conservative that has occasional libertarian leanings on some issues. I have never in my life been remotely considered to be a liberal. I fear the moves being made in our Nation’s capital that continue to erode our country in ways that a few years ago would have been unimaginable. MY hope and change is that people are finally paying attention and opening their eyes…that they are no longer silent.

That said, I applaude this video put together by those that are now seeing the damage being done to our country and that are having “buyers remorse”. While I wish as citizens we weren’t being subjected to some of the unnecessary hardships being amplified by bad government, it’s better late than never to realize one’s mistakes and move to correct them.

For all our sakes, I almost wish the Democrats continue to pay no attention to the will of those that elected them to SERVE, not dictate, with their unpopular, ill-advised and un-wanted legislation that is killing our way of life and that of our future generations.

The day of reckoning is coming.  As I tell my students, there are consequences for each and every choice we make, each action we put into motion.  It’s past time the lawmakers in this country learned that they will be held accountable for each decision they make.

They work for the people, and the people can fire them.

Reflections to Start the New Year


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You Are Cordially Invited to a Tea Party

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There is an interesting phenomenon going on throughout our country today.  In ways not seen on this scale since the war protests of the 70’s, people are showing our government that they are fed up.  Americans young and old are sending the message loud and clear that we are tapped out as a nation and weary of yet more restrictions, bail-outs and tax burdens being heaped upon our shoulders and those of our future generations.

It is not a partisan effort, despite what the ultra-left wing branch of the Democratic party would lead you to believe.  There are Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike participating in this show of outrage and frustration.  We are exercising our Constitutional rights as Americans, whatever our political affiliations might be, to assembly and free speech.  We are, as a people, sending a message that while we respect the office of the President, many of us grow increasingly unhappy with the direction the country is being guided or shoved down a path we do not want.

So, today we protest our frustration and convey our disagreement with policies and new taxes and programs that it are being presented as what “we” want.  I for one, am tired of being told what is good for me and to just shut up, sit back and agree with those that do NOT represent my views, despite what they seem to believe.  I’m angry with the bail-outs that were passed “for our own good” even though the public outrage and opinion showed that Americans were soundly against their passage.

Washington and those currently in office better pay attention to what is being expressed by the people that have elected them as our representatives.  If they are smart, they will not put spin on it or tell us once again what they think we meant to say rather than listening to what we are actually SAYING to them.  This is a warning shot for those coming up for re-election that we the people, are paying attention and are discontented with their actions and disregard for what we think.

So, exercise your right to be heard.  Even if you believe no one is listening, it is a sure bet that you won’t be heard if you don’t even try.  In the past few election cycles it has vividly been shown that even a few individual votes do indeed count.  If you choose to sit on your backside, then don’t complain when you are not “bailed out” like the major corporations or fall through the cracks when you thought you’d be saved from your responsibilities and allowed a free pass.

Wake up and smell the tea brewing! 

Washington, you are not doing a good job at hearing the people you represent and that elected you.  This is not just a fluke or something that will go away if you put your fingers in your collective ears and cover your eyes.  To even give the impression, whether accurate or not, that the views of your constituents are falling on deaf ears would be a mistake if you wish to continue to serve the people that elected you.  Change is indeed brewing in this country, although I’m not sure that it’s quite the change the current administration envisioned.  I beg you, do not make the mistake of dismissing or alienating what is becoming a larger and larger section of the American people clammering to be heard..

On another little, purely personal note, I know that the original Tea Party was located in Boston in 1773.  However, we in the South know the TRUE value of tea.  Look in any refrigerator in a true Southern household, and you will find a gallon or two (or four) of the best SWEET tea that you’ll ever taste.  I know that the Yankees amongst us (hear that oh stoic one?), don’t recognize the simple indulgent pleasure in a glass of sweet tea and insist that having sugar on the table will somehow negate the fact that your restaurants don’t have it available on your menus up North.  You just don’t know what you’re missing.  Perhaps it’s why Southerners always have a smile on their face and something to say to everyone, even making actual eye contact as we do!!  We’re just infused with sweetness from birth through our tea! 😉

So, today in Atlanta, our tea party will have sweet tea flowing freely and our voices as proud Americans will be heard loud and clear.  The only question is, will those in Washington be smart enough to pay attention and react by rethinking some of their proposed actions?

Time will tell.  One thing is certain, ignoring it or making light of such a large group of Americans discontent would be foolish and ill-advised on their part.

 

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”  Thomas Jefferson

 

**The DHS bulletin released or “conveniently leaked” on April 7th is troubling in the fact that it seems to be a not so subtle hint that our freedom of speech is being threatened at least by threat of intimidation and at worst incrimination.  We all need to pay attention and be vigilant of such veiled threats against our freedoms.