Monday, January 15, 2018

Hello 50



So I had a birthday last week.

A big one.



I joined a club with some other cool people I know.  Yeah, yeah I turned 50.

When I was a kid, 50 was OLD.  Ancient!  When I was a kid, a 50 year old walked with the dinosaurs.  As a recently minted 50 year old, the only dinosaurs I have walked with are animatronic.

Let me tell the kids of the world, 50 years goes by in the blink of an eye.

In 50 years I have...

moved more than 6 times
learned French
fallen in love more than once
fallen out of love  more than once
fallen on ice more than once
played on monkey bars
yep, I have fallen off of monkey bars too!
worked in a bakery
eaten a raw oyster (ick)
shoveled snow
driven in snow
cursed at the snow
traveled to 33 states
driven a hot rod
bowled over 200
traveled to Europe
traveled to Mexico
traveled to the Caribbean
laughed and cried...sometimes at the same time
walked on beaches, been to the mountains
been terrified to fly and have done it anyway
been on a plane that executed a successful emergency landing (see above)
managed people
managed expectations
managed my expectations of certain people
sang in the shower
sang in the rain
sang out of tune
sang in front of a crowd
bought a car
bought a house
bought lots of shoes
broken a finger
broken a heart...maybe more than one
paid a toll for the driver behind me
smiled at a stranger
volunteered at a soup kitchen
dyed my hair
lost my hair
learned to type
learned to use a PC, brick phone, Blackberry, smart phone, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and am still fairly technologically illiterate
gotten married...twice.  Sometimes you have to foul one off to get it right.
witnessed local sports teams win 2 World Series, 3 Stanley Cups, 6 NBA titles and 1 Super Bowl
been to a few NASCAR races
been sunburned
learned to drive
learned to parallel park
won a fantasy football league
watched people blast off into space and cried when not all of them returned
been to concerts too numerous to chat about here
lost a few loved ones
found many many friends
had cancer
kicked cancer's ass and have the scars to prove it
been grateful
been angry
been lonely but never alone
never given up


So I have been busy it seems.  It's interesting looking back at 50 trips around the sun.  People are saying these days that 50 is the new 40.  Whatever.

50 is 50.  Some days I feel old.  Most days I don't.  I have some gray hair...only my hairdresser knows how much.  I think I am wiser than years ago.  Although, I still occasionally do stupid stuff.

A few years ago, turning 50 wasn't a given so let's just say, I am damn glad to be here.

 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Believe

Do you believe in Santa?



Do your kids?  If the answer is no, when did they stop believing?

I remember as a kid, when we moved into our house starting to get skeptical about Santa coming down the chimney because we didn't have a fireplace and our chimney ended inside an ENORMOUS furnace.  The logical part of me knew Santa didn't emerge from the door on the side of said furnace.

Eventually I understood how Santa worked.  I am not putting spoilers here.  Who knows how many children may read this blog.  LOL

As I moved into my teens, you often heard, "If you don't believe, you don't receive."  Hmmm, OK.

As an adult, I consider myself one of Santa's helpers...I'll leave it at that.

Driving to work recently, struggling to get into the Christmas spirit, inspiration for this post came to me.

Christmas is next week.  Maybe Santa comes to your house.  Maybe not, maybe you don't have a house for Santa to come to.  Whatever the case, Christmas is a magical season, whether you believe a child was born in a manger over 2000 years ago or not.  Whether you believe in the guy in the red suit with the sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer or not.  There is magic in the air, in the music, in the greetings from friends in family, in your heart.

Maybe you are joyous today, maybe you're just trying to get through the day.  Either way is OK.

The world has been a crazy place for a while now.  It's hard to see the good in the world sometimes.  Sometimes I find myself losing hope.  Sometimes my hope lives in a glass half empty.  Thankfully it has never gone completely away.

I believe in Santa, in the magic of Christmas, that a child was born in a manger, that there is good in the world, in hope.

Do you?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

5 Years Ago




5 years ago in a school in Connecticut, a madman with a gun killed 20 children and 6 adults; including the nephew of a friend.

I remember feeling the awful gut wrenching feeling as if it had been my own nephew, but I will never truly understand what the families of the victims go through daily as a result of this tragedy.

I remember praying; stopping what I was doing in my office at work and praying for the radio reports to be mistaken, for the first responders, for the news about my friend's nephew to not be true, for understanding, for peace, for SO MANY THINGS.

How could something like that happen?

Here we are 5 years later and I am older, wiser, and much more cynical.  My sister summed it up well...we crossed a line that day as a nation that allows this to happen.  Sadly, it now happens with more frequency and each tragedy seems to have more victims.

I am not going to debate gun control today.  I am not going to rail against those that think we should walk down Main St. with weapons drawn.  I am not going to pontificate on mental healthcare and how it fails people daily.

I am going to be kinder than normal.  I am going to smile more.  I am going to say a few prayers.  I am going to enjoy the little things today.  I am going to reach out to someone in need.  I am going to honor the victims of Sandy Hook and those who went before them and since; all victims of gun violence. 

What I do isn't going to solve the world's problems, our nation's problems or even the problems of the neighbors on my block; I am only one person.

But I can make a difference in the world and so can you.




Thursday, November 30, 2017

How Did We Get Here? Vol. 2

How many times in the last year or so have you awakened and thought to yourself the that world has lost its damn mind?

Someone tweets
Someone claps back
Social media feuds
He's following her, she's following him; ooops wait, now they're unfollowing each other.
A couple of years ago, unfollowing wasn't even a word.  I am not sure it's one now...spell check keeps nudging me.

Apparently, you can be a sexual predator and be elected president

More than once in the last couple of weeks while reading various news reports about various topics I have seen comments like "day of reckoning" or "at a crossroads".  I was astonished at how many #metoo stories came to light recently.  I could have added my own but that's not the point of this post.

How Did I Get Here?  It's the tagline on my blog.  It was a phrase I said to myself for days in January of 2015 as I grappled with a cancer diagnosis.

How Did WE Get HERE?  It was a title of a blog post last year in the midst of the most bizarre campaign and election season that I have seen in my lifetime and it probably wouldn't be inaccurate to say EVER.

I can say it again.

How Did We Get Here?

We live in a world where if you have 19 children, you get a TV show, if you have sextuplets or quintuplets you get a TV show, if you're willing to have the early stages of your relationship funded by a TV network and  videotaped for the world...you're on a TV show,  if you're a hoarder, you're on a TV show.

We live in a world where pretty much everything in a person's life is fodder for FB or Instagram or Snapchat.  Why do I care?  Why do you care?

Life is chronicled in Pinterest moments and god forbid it doesn't turn out the way it is in the photo on your computer.

We live in a world where norms and behaviors that were accepted (or ignored) 50, 40, 30 years ago are no longer accepted or ignored.

Am I the only person who had parents constantly telling me to keep my hands to myself as I was growing up???  Am I the only person who gets the concept of right vs. wrong?  I am not saying I am perfect by a long shot but I am truly ASTOUNDED  by the seemingly constant flow of sexual misconduct claims being levied against powerful people.  Do you have any idea how many times I have wanted to walk up to these people that I don't know and ask "WTF is wrong with you?" On what planet is forcibly kissing (or assaulting) someone OK?  No, not Earth.

Once caught these scumbags apologize.  Well great, maybe you ruined someone’s life but hey I’m sorry.  Or the one that makes me want to scream...I am sorry if I offended anyone.  Either be sorry or don’t be sorry.  OWN IT.

You will garner respect and forgiveness if you own your words and actions every day.  Think about what you do and say...and type.

If you’re a public figure, you should be held to a higher standard...you’re setting an example.  Maybe those of us who aren’t public figures should double down on teaching right from wrong.

We should demand more of our leaders; our president, our members of Congress, our state and county level leaders, our sports heroes, our favorite celebrities.  We should demand more from ourselves.  We’re better than this, better than reality TV, better than brain vomit, better than pointing fingers, better than average.

I hope when the dust settles, there will be clear guidelines in certain industries.  I don’t know about you but I have had enough sexual harassment training in the giftware industry to be certified to teach a class.  I have a few suggestions for industries that could benefit from some intensive education. I guess I don’t understand how so many “respected” people are so void of anything worth respecting.

I guess the phrase “If you see something, say something”, applies here too.  We’re better than this.

I am hopeful that on a day in the not so distant future, I will wake up to a world that has come to its senses.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Perception is Everything




"The world is full of oversensitive people."

"People today take offense at every little thing."

I waffle when thinking about both of these statements.

Yes, maybe I am offended by a "dirty" joke; maybe I am not.

Maybe someone isn't normally offended by a "dirty" joke until something in the joke triggers something in their mind.

People should grow a thicker skin...maybe.

Maybe things should be more black and white.

Maybe people should smile more and talk less.

Maybe people should be more cognizant of how their actions and words affect others; and care that they do.

There are people in Alabama defending Roy Moore against corroborated child molestation accusations using the example of Joseph and the Virgin Mary being parents to Jesus.

WHAT THE EFF!?!?!?!

The world has lost its collective damn mind.

The world has spent years figuring out excuses for behavior that is WRONG.

The United States elected someone who admits to sexually assaulting women president.

I'll say it again, the world has lost its collective damn mind.

The fact of the matter is, there is behavior that is acceptable and there is behavior that isn't.  It is as simple and as black and white as print on paper.  The problem is when we get into interpretations.

It's "locker room" talk.
It's "boys being boys" or "girls being girls" or "kids being kids".
It's the fact that NO ONE takes responsibility for their actions anymore but they are lightning fast to point fingers.

There is behavior that is acceptable and there is behavior that isn't.

We live in a world where a teenage actress posts photos of herself scantily clad.  If you react with distaste, you are body shaming, if you react with unbridled enthusiasm, you are objectifying women (or a young girl). I am the parent of a teenage girl.  Scantily clad photos of her or any other teenage girl are unacceptable PERIOD.  Not because I want to body shame anyone.  Everyone should be proud of who they are; however, I am not sure you are showing that pride by posting a scantily clad photo of yourself.  Perception is everything and in this era of social media, the perception of what one posts is more prominent than the intention of the one posting.  I am not sure there is a way to change that.

There is an overly exposed reality star; I don't need to mention her name but her first initial and mine are the same.  When I see photos of her, I feel sorry for her children.  I have seen more of her boobs than anyone not in a relationship with her should as has her 100 gazillion social media followers.  She is a beautiful woman, no doubt.  The perception given from the photos constantly in the media is that she doesn't care about her privacy and yet she guards it fiercely.  What is the story you are telling...and millions of people are eating up??

I think in this era of FB and Insta and Snapchat, Blogger, Twitter etc, people hide behind a keyboard, claiming to be REAL, DIRECT and RIGHTEOUS.  Does anyone say out loud what they furiously type into their device?  What would you do if someone said what you are typing to YOU or your CHILD??

I remember being threatened by someone I had never met (nor do I care to meet) for "threatening" a family member of theirs in a heated debate about gun control.  I've been clear about where I stand on gun control and that is not the topic of this post.  I had simply asked this person what they would do if a loved one of theirs was a victim in the next mass shooting.  But hey, if it makes you feel better to threaten my life...by all means.  It wasn't my intention to threaten someone with my post but it was another person's perception that I had.  So that person threatened me.  It's my perception that the person that threatened me is batshit crazy...but I digress. 

There is behavior that is acceptable and there is behavior that isn't.  Maybe we should teach that to our children.  Maybe there should be consequences if behavior that isn't acceptable is displayed.  One person's perception of another's behavior may be different than yours; and that is OK.

Three teenagers robbed and beat two people in Chicago the other night, it was captured on security cameras.  Security cameras also captured witnesses continuing about their business.  Seriously what is wrong with people.  Of course the teenagers robbing people are displaying unacceptable behavior but so are the people walking idly by LETTING IT HAPPEN.

Step up people; sitting idly by is what made that overly exposed reality star the mogul she is, it's what allowed thousands of men and women in the TV and film industry to be sexually exploited and abused over many many years, it's what allowed our laughingstock of a president to be elected, it's what allows the hypocrisy that happens daily to exist.

There is behavior that is acceptable and there is behavior that isn't.

Perception is everything.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Be Angry





I shared this statement with a group of friends on FB tonight.


Eventually, my anger about this topic will kill me.  I will either have a heart attack or throw a blood clot.  All because I believe that people should be able to go to church, school, a concert, the movies, the store, for coffee, or to a mall without having to worry about getting blown away by a nutcase with a gun.

What is it going to take to change things?

If you’re in Congress and in bed with the NRA, you are just as guilty as the fool in Texas today.

No, you’re worse because you are too cowardly to stand up to the NRA.

Pray for Columbine

For VA Tech

For NIU

For Waco, TX

For Las Vegas

For San Bernardino, CA

For Charleston, SC

For Newtown, CT

For Chattanooga, TN

For Orlando, FL

For Fort Hood


I could go on and on and I worry I am forgetting too many instances and I don’t want anyone offended by an unintended slight.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/mass-shootings-in-america/

Read the article in the link above.  Then do something besides praying.  Write your congressional leaders...call them, tweet them.  Be loud, be angry, be heard.  If they don’t listen, vote for someone else.  THEY WORK FOR YOU!  Make them earn that seat.

Fight the gun lobby and fight for better mental healthcare.

The future is too important.  We are too important.


Friday, November 3, 2017

There, I Said it...Vol. 3




I have seen A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving a gazillion times...the scene where Snoopy's ear ends up in the toaster makes me laugh EVERY time.

I care more about my right to live than your right to bear arms.

I care more about my ability to breathe freely than anyone's desire to smoke.

Why is it, regardless of the direction of the wind, the doorway of any business is ALWAYS downwind of the designated smoking area?

I wish I had worn more sunscreen in my youth.

Follow more dog/cat sites on FB, than political sites, it's better for your blood pressure.

Laugh at yourself.

If you have one, open your sunroof on a sunny winter day.

If your teenagers are mad at you regularly, you're doing that parenting thing right.

I hate my cuticles.

I sometimes wish the characters of Designated Survivor roamed the White House in real life...Kal Penn would be infinitely more entertaining (and believable) than Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Take responsibility for your actions, you will earn far more respect that admitting an error than pushing the blame onto someone else.

I think it's time for a whole new set of political leaders at every level of government.

For the millionth time, tone does not translate in written word so say what you mean.

Since when did it become more important to "clap back" than to say anything worthwhile?

Workout leggings are never acceptable work attire, unless you work in a gym.

I wish you could tell a pear was woody from the outside.

I would pay money for a vaccination for sinus infections.

I suck at being a patient patient.  When I am unwell, I want to be well 15 minutes ago.

Some millennials are soft; others not so much.

Never forget where you came from.

I never liked Seinfeld; the characters are not likable.

I have never seen a complete episode of the Simpsons.

At any given time, if you have cable, you can find an episode of Law and Order on.

Have you noticed that "smart" phones don't make their owners smarter?  In fact, it's quite the opposite.

I will never understand why it is so hard for some people to be kind.

I eat soup year round.

The phrase "no offense, but..." is most likely going to be followed by something offensive.

Don't think for a second that someone's life is as fabulous as what they are bragging about on social media.  It may, however, be as bad as their vent indicates.

I fear that face to face conversations are becoming a thing of the past; and that's not a good thing.

I don't think there is a need for Thursday Night Football.

I think cranberries are underrated.

I am not sure men should wear skinny jeans.

While I love the song, I have never once dreamed of a white Christmas...it's easier to travel and transport without snow.

I believe in the magic of Christmas.

Did anyone besides me rejoice when a certain Twitter handle disappeared for 11 minutes yesterday?

Avocados should come with stickers that say how many days until they are perfect.

Americans need to take more vacation time and there should be more work holidays.

Why are GIFs a thing?

I have no idea how or why people opt for so much plastic surgery...it's painful and expensive and painful!!!

Your scars don't define you but they are part of your story.

When I grow up, I want to storm chase for a few months.

On the other hand, maybe I am not going to grow up!