Friday, May 12, 2017

Turn on your Gaslight...

I am going to tell a story that I am not proud of but I want to illustrate a point.
Back when I was married to my ex husband, we shared an email address.  Looking back it was another way he used to manipulate our relationship.  Keep in mind, I had my own personal email that I used regularly that I am guessing he never knew about but that is not the point of my story.
My ex decided that he needed to date someone/anyone other than his wife so he joined a dating site and he used our joint email as the contact point.  He posted a photo taken in our home office.
Imagine my surprise when I received an email on our joint account from someone wanting to date him!!  Surprise on many levels...1. that someone would want to date him and 2. that he would be stupid enough to use our joint email address!
Ah but my ex was stupid like a fox.
When confronted, he told me that it wasn't him in the photo (the one taken in our home office) and that I was imagining the email from the young woman who thought he was good relationship material.  For a split second I tried to reconcile what he was telling me to what I knew to be reality.  Then my rational brain kicked in and I immediately started the process of ending my marriage. 


gas·light
ˈɡaslīt/
verb
gerund or present participle: gaslighting 
1. manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. 
"in the first episode, Karen Valentine is being gaslighted by her husband

This is happening daily in and around Washington and what is scarier is that there are millions of people that are BELIEVING the ridiculousness they are being fed.

Now a skeptic or two would tell me that all politicians lie and I won't dispute that fact but 45 campaigned on a platform of NOT being a politician, of being different.  I didn't know at the time that different actually meant WORSE.

C'mon people, wake up!! What needs to happen before 45 supporters start asking questions?  Millions of people in this country are currently being played for fools and the stakes are higher than the end of a marriage.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

217

217 members of the House of Representatives voted for the AHCA otherwise known as Trumpdoesn'tcare today.  Then 45 held a victory rally at the White House and a bunch of smug, mostly white men gleefully celebrated their victory.  Assholes one and all.

For 7 years Republicans have bitched about Obamacare.  Every bad thing that has happened over that time has been blamed on Obamacare.  Hell,Republicans blamed Obamacare for the stunning defeat a few weeks ago when they didn't even bring their first draft for a vote.

For 7 years, it was easier to bitch about Obamacare that actually try and create a better program for the people Congress is sworn to serve.  Social Security was an imperfect program when it was created; changes have been made over the years.  Changes could have (and should have) been made to Obamacare.  But you have members of Congress who are much too into serving themselves and the rich folks that help get them elected and they do not remember that there are millions of people in the US that are NOT wealthy white men

So to the 217 members of the House of Representatives...

I hope you never get Non Hodgkins Lymphoma as a 47th birthday present.
I hope you, or your wife, or your sister doesn't get metastatic breast cancer in your 30s and have to worry about not seeing your/their children grow up.
I hope you never have a child born with a heart defect.
I hope you never have a child born prematurely
I hope you never get a chronic disease
I hope you never suffer a stroke and survive
I hope you never suffer a traumatic brain injury
I hope you, or your wife never has to have a C-section
I hope you never get diabetes.
I hope your daughter is never a victim of rape or domestic violence.
I hope you never get colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, brain cancer, bone cancer, throat cancer...
I hope you or your wife/duaghter/sister never gets post partum depression
I hope you never have PTSD
I hope you never never need an organ transplant
I hope you never get older


I hope you're proud of how smug and self serving you looked at the victory party at the White House today.
I hope one day you wake up and see how morally bankrupt you are
I hope you're thinking about what to say about the portion of the 24 million people you're going to dump from health insurance coverage
I hope you're not too comfortable in your seat in the House

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Choices

A few weeks ago, 2 young people were killed in a horrific automobile accident a few blocks from my home.  It was car vs. tree and most of the time the car and its occupants suffer far more than the tree. 

I pass this tree daily on my way home from work...on a residential street where the speed limit is 20mph.  Police say the driver of the car in the accident was doing over 100mph on a residential street, at night, in the rain.  I am sure the driver and passenger didn't think that rainy night would be their last on Earth, but it was...because of choices that were made.  We're never going to know all of the choices that were made leading up to the accident because there is no one that survived the accident.

Drive fast or slow
Reckless or not
Be mindful of conditions or not

Or the conspiracy theory---the driver hit the tree purposefully.  I don't know.

I do know that a dozen or more things had to fall into place in order for the accident to occur.

Go out or not
Stay home or not
Argue or not

Everything we do every day involves choice...I CHOSE to write this.  It's been rattling around in my brain for a few weeks.  I had to get over the shock and the anger and the sadness.  Can you imagine being family and friends of a 26 year old woman and a 25 year old man that are killed in the blink of an eye...because of choices they made??

I am not trying to Monday morning quarterback this situation but I have thought about it a lot over the last few weeks.

I have made some poor choices in my life; my first marriage comes to mind immediately.  There are few things in our lives that do not involve choices; most choices we make without a ton of thought.

I chose to go to work today...yes, I could have called in but, most days I like my job, there's is plenty of work to do, I like getting paid, etc.

I chose the car I drive based on facts from Consumer Reports Magazine, and word of mouth from family and friends who own similar vehicles.

I choose to be kind (most of the time); working on making that all of the time.😁

I didn't choose to get cancer and to this day that bugs me.  Now I realize NO ONE is going to CHOOSE to get cancer.  It still bugs me.  I still get angry about it sometimes.  I choose to not stay angry about it.

I did choose to battle it with everything I had, I chose my army (or they chose me), I chose to be positive, present, victorious.  I choose the path I follow every day.

Am I never again going to make a poor choice??  Probably not.  I will probably make a poor choice or two before this day is over.  But I live my life with intention and know that the choices are mine and I own them; learn from some of the poor ones. 

Revel in the EXCELLENT ones.

Red or blue
3 or 4
Dunkin' or Starbucks

happiness or anxiety
love or hate
acceptance or blame

The choice is mine/yours. XOXO


Thursday, March 30, 2017

2 years

2 years, 24 months, 104 weeks, 730 days, 17520 hours, 1051200 minutes, 63072000 seconds

730 sunrises and sunsets; even if they are obscured by clouds

24 full moons; even if the world is crazy pretty much every day

72 NASCAR races, 324 baseball games, 164+ hockey games, 32 football games; no I haven't seen them all

A handful of blood tests, a PET scan or two...lots of CT scans-- more bottles of contrast liquid 😬 than I want to talk about

A dozen or so haircuts...yes, haircuts!

A couple of vacations

An order management system project at work that started more than two years ago and will continue into my future

A few births, a few deaths

A new car

2 Relays

2 scars

3 bracelets


Plenty of joy, not too much sadness

Time marches on.

Cancer free is one of the best phrases in the English language...probably any language.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

One Foot in Front of the Other

How many readers remember the song from Santa Claus is Coming to Town?  How many remember Santa Claus is coming to Town?  I am dating myself now I am sure.  Please enjoy the earworm below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OORsz2d1H7s

This is something I have done in hard times.

27 years ago my Dad passed away suddenly at the age of 45 when I was a senior in college in the middle of midterms.  To this day, I cannot tell you how I drove to the hospital, following the ambulance and then drove home again after the doctors had told us they did everything they could.  I remember praying in a waiting room with my Mom, sister, aunt and uncle.  I remember other random things from that morning...trying to dial a rotary phone in the trauma room, friends arriving at home, etc. but I have NO recollection of the drive back and forth to the hospital.  No residents of Elmwood Park and Melrose Park were harmed by my distracted driving to my knowledge.

I also don't know how I got through the days and weeks after.  It was the dead of winter, there was a blizzard the week after.  School needed attention, work needed attention.  What is the line in Apollo 13??  Failure was not an option.

I went back to work, I learned how to drive in the snow, I went back to school, made up a missed midterm and graduated 4 months later.  I got a job, bought a car and life went on...one foot in front of the other.



In 2000, my Grandma passed away while I was out of town.  It was sudden.  I had a 5.5 hour ride to get home to family.  I had a husband not in tune with me or my ties to my family; reason #542864281 why he is my ex husband, more on that later.  We made it back and hard as it was...we kept going...one foot in front of the other.

September 11, 2001 dawned as a beautiful late summer day.  I am fairly certain anyone reading this who was alive then, knows how it ended.  The world changed that day.  Thousands lost loved ones.  People united, people prayed, mourned, came together and kept going...one foot in front of the other.

In 2003, my first marriage ended.  If I am being honest, it probably lasted a few years longer than it should have.  It took me a while to come to terms with what I considered to be a failure at life.  I don't take failure easy.  I picked myself up, reassembled my pride and self esteem, moved home for a bit, lost 65lbs and kept going...one foot in front of the other.



Fast forward to late 2014 and early 2015.  I have mentioned the shock of a diagnosis of stage 3 non Hodgkins Lymphoma.  It still stops me up short when I think about it.  You know the drill by now...I saw doctors, got some hardware installed, battled cancer and survived...all the while putting one foot in front of the other.

Since the election last year, I feel like this country is at a crossroads of sorts.  It's clear that there are differing opinions for sure.  It's clear that things are stressful, divisive, and contentious.

People are resilient though.  We're determined. We are strong.  Maybe we agree with what's going on.  Maybe not.  Things will change; it cannot continue at this pace, at this volume, at this magnitude indefinitely.

Right always prevails over wrong; good over evil.

Love always wins. We will keep going...






Friday, March 10, 2017

Heaven for Everyone

I am a music lover. I often have it playing in the background of whatever I am doing..working, cleaning, cooking, battling cancer,  driving, whatever.   My first car (a 1990 Sunbird) had a CD player and a cassette player.

Today the bluetooth in my car often syncs to my iTunes playlist before I get my seatbelt on!


Today, a song I never heard before played on my commute to work.  A while ago I had downloaded Queen's Greatest Hits I II and III The Platinum Collection.  My playlist is perpetually set on "shuffle" so you never know what will pop up.  This song from circa 1988 is written by Roger Taylor and sung by Freddie Mercury.


I thought it was timely with everything going on these days.  I think about life, death, and heaven more after being sick.  I think about how the world works and how it can be better.  I think about how people can be better to each other. 


This song really spoke to me today. 


"This could be heaven

This could be heaven
This could be heaven for everyone

In these days of cool reflection

You come to me and everything seems alright
In these days of cold affections
You sit by me and everything's fine"

With the way things are today...every disagreement magnified, hatred spewed across the ether.  The thought behind this song is so simple, beautiful, inclusive.


"This could be heaven for everyone

This world could be fed, this world could be fun
This could be heaven for everyone
This world could be free, this world could be one

In this world of cool deception

Just your smile can smooth my ride
These troubled days of cruel rejection, hmm
You come to me, soothe my troubled mind"

I loved Queen and Freddie Mercury; no offense to Adam Lambert but it's not the same with him.  It's good, don't get me wrong; but it's not the same.  Freddy was one of a kind...maybe born before his time.  I think Freddie was a bit of an enigma as well...
a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.


When I think of Queen's music, I think of big productions, the music is loud, strong; voices and instruments soaring.  This song is soft...a ballad; but the words are strong.


"Yeah, this could be heaven for everyone

This world could be fed, this world could be fun
This should be love for everyone, yeah
This world should be free, this world could be one
We should bring love to our daughters and sons
Love, love, love, this could be heaven for everyone"

 I wonder sometimes what is missing from people's lives...people who hate, or seek to destroy, exclude, people who take and never give, people who abuse physically, verbally...


"You know that

This could be heaven for everyone
This could be heaven for everyone

Listen - what people do to other souls

They take their lives - destroy their goals
Their basic pride and dignity
Is stripped and torn and shown no pity
When this should be heaven for everyone"

I think there's not enough love in the world.  There's too much judgement, too many opinions, too much bullshit.  Everyone should just concentrate on themselves.  What's the phrase??? "You do you" and the implied, "I'll do me".  Sure, you can have an opinion about me but I have to be honest...I don't really care what you think.  You see, I have fought a battle and won. I learned through my illness and healing that even though I sometimes try and fail, I am a good person.  I might not be thin or wealthy but I am grateful and healthy.


The world has taken a scary turn for many in the last couple of months.  Some days anxiety is high.  Much energy is spent sifting truth from the lies.  Music is an amazing escape from the madness.


Below is the link to the video for Heaven for Everyone...Enjoy!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI8lrvKLzg0


 

Friday, March 3, 2017

On Hypocrisy and Witches

So I posted this on FB today from dictionary.com .

Hypocrite- noun. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

Then this:

  2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

Then this:

 from Urban dictionary: (1) A person who engages in the same behaviors he condemns others for.

(2) A person who professes certain ideals, but fails to live up to them.


(3) A person who holds other people to higher standards than he holds himself.
The only reliable product of an organized religion is a flock of hypocrites who feel that only *their* hypocrisy is divinely sanctioned.


I am not going to lie.  I posted it in response to the fact that Mike Pence used a private email server and account while he was governor of Indiana.  

Where is the self righteous indignation from the right?  Where are the chants of "Lock him up"?  Now don't get me wrong, I don't think Pence should be locked up for doing something stupid.  If we locked up every person that has done something stupid in their lives, everyone would be in jail. 

But let's be honest whether you're the governor of Indiana or the Secretary of State, or POTUS you shouldn't be using a private server, email account or cell phone because there is someone at a computer in their mother's basement in smalltown USA or Russia that spends all of their waking hours trying to hack into high value targets.  There are bad hombres or comrades who would pay top dollar/ruble for the info garnered in a hack.

I probably wouldn't give a fig about this if email security hadn't been a huge cornerstone in Mr. Pence's boss' campaign.  OMG the emails.  We wasted time and energy and MONEY on Hillary's emails and what did we get...nothing to prosecute.  When the investigation was reopened days before the election, here is Mr. Pence's reaction from Twitter
 

"@realDonaldTrump and I commend the FBI for reopening an investigation into Clinton's personal email server because no one is above the law."

Neither are you Mr. Pence, neither are you.  An honest man might have had an "oh shit" moment and thought, "Hey, I am doing almost the same thing.  I should probably change things so when the time comes I can come clean and say honestly that I made a mistake and fixed it."  Own this Mr. Pence; you have an opportunity to appeal to your detractors.  Don't lie and deflect.  People are on to you and the number of those people grows daily.

The hypocrisy displayed by both parties is both mortifying and laughable.  I loved watching Mitch McConnell accuse Dems of stalling Senate cabinet confirmations.  Does he not remember Merrick Garland?  When stuff like this happens, I seriously want to scream at the TV.   There isn't a separate set of rules for different parties or races or religions.

This is simply a matter of right and wrong.

I spent some time reading about how 45 thinks the investigation of ties to Russia is a witch hunt.  Maybe it is. 

Here's some advice for 45.  If it truly is a witch hunt and you have NOTHING to hide, keep quiet, let the investigation finish and find nothing but witches.  Then, I don't care if you spend a weekend at Mar-a-Lago tweeting, "I told you so!"

See, I think you have a lot to hide because you are protesting more than an actress in Hamlet.  I think you have enough financial dealings with Russia to show up on a tax return which is why they haven't been released.  I think you are beholden to the president of Russia which I am guessing is terrifying if you aren't president of the free world.

I think we're going to learn a lot in the coming months.  I hope I am wrong about what we're going to find out.  I hope the glimmer of presidential-ness you showed the other night grows like a wildfire and that the positive things you've promised move towards fruition and I hope someone who has an open mind and moderate beliefs steers you straighter on some of your more ridiculous promises.  You are a smart man 45...billions of dollars are needed for far more important things than a wall on our Southern border.