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Write Here, Write Now

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Originally posted on Twisting Suburbia:
When I started blogging, I had aspirations delusions of becoming the next Erma Bombeck. My mom and I loved Erma Bombeck, and her posts frequently caused milk (mine) or pink chablis (mom’s) to snort from…

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday

It’s Tuesday (just in case you’ve lost track) which means that if I’m going to keep my promise, I need to post something.

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image courtesy of DaFont

Promise kept. Please go about your day

 

 

To Join or Not to Join – that is the question

2015-12-20 12.42.27[1]As I said yesterday, I am trying to be a better blogger and person. The second part is proving to be more difficult than the first, because the older I get the less I like people. Yes, I am becoming the angry old man yelling at kids to get off my lawn. Which is weird, since I’m not a man, and nobody plays on my lawn (probably because the landscaping is tippy and weird). I am, however, very tempted to start beating people with my big wooden spoon (FYI spoons are deadlier than you’d think).

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But I digress (again. thanks adult onset ADHD!) – I am trying to be a better blogger. I am trying to write on a consistent/predictable basis. The plan was to post on Tuesdays and Fridays. I am well aware that today is neither. Wait. It’s not, is it? As The Doctor says, Time is a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey….stuff, and sometimes I get lost (especially now, in the 2975th day of our enforced staycation).

ANYWAY. Everything I’ve read/heard/seen says that it’s very important that writers join some sort of writing group. Weird, since writing is a solitary action, but okay. I joined a Facebook group. It was weird. No, really. I’ve been involved in blogging groups in the past, and this one is…”unique” (look! I found another word for “weird”).

There was a long list of rules at the top of the post. Normal things, like “be nice”, “no political posts”, “no spam or marketing”, “no running with scissors.” Then it got really strange (another synonym! I am on a roll*), and not just because I couldn’t figure out how they’d know if I was running with scissors. There was a long list of rules for the “share your latest post” thread, and they weren’t really clear. My understanding was that you were supposed to link directly to your post, but also how you were sharing it. You were supposed to tag the person whose post was above yours (because supposedly people were deleting their posts?). You were supposed to “like” the thread, but not until it closed, and then type “done” when you did it? Whaaaaaaat?

Weimaraner with head cocked

image courtesy of guff.com

I received a message from the admin that I needed to “complete the thread or risk being removed.” I reached out to the admin with “this is my first time and I thought I was doing this correctly” but he/she/they didn’t bother with assistance, either by responding to my post or via a DM. I  read through the list of rules for a third time, corrected my mistake and moved on.

Well, I thought I’d fixed my mistake. I was tagged again this morning. The admin who couldn’t be bothered to help me had no trouble warning me that I needed  a to “complete the thread or risk being removed, the thread is now closed.”

Not to be repetitive, but….whaaaaaat?

It wasn’t until I left the group (and finished my second cup of coffee) that I realized my mistake. The admin wasn’t wondering where I share MY post (twitter, linked in, facebook, etc) they wanted members to show support for each other by sharing every post in the thread. Granted, there were only 34 posts, but….Whaaaaaaaat?

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image courtesy of foodieish.com

I am sure the group works for some people, but not for me. I am willing to read and like and comment on posts. I will share posts when they resonate, or if I think they will be of interests to my friends and followers. I am not going to share a post on what type of fish food underwater basketweavers use, but I bet it’s Velveeta cheese.

It’s nobody’s fault but my own, of course. Maybe my pre-quarantine brain would have understood the rules. I don’t have any way of knowing. That brain ran away screaming and has been replaced by version 2.0. Like many “upgrades” it’s a cheaper product with less memory and frequent “file not found” errors.

I belonged to a group many moons ago. Their rules included things like “be nice”, “no political posts” and “no running with scissors” (how do they know?). They also required that you comment on or share (“not just like”) the three posts above you in the thread. I’m pretty sure that even Brain 2.0 could understand those rules.

I miss that group almost as much as I miss my brain.

Almost.

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So tell me. Do you belong to a blogger’s group? Can I join? Do you think they’ll like me? Can I run with scissors?

*Thanks to my ADHD “synonym” and “roll” have me craving cinnamon rolls. Yumm.

 

 

 

 

Cheese And Whine (aka I don’t wanna)

cry-baby-whiny-short-sleeve-baby-bodysuit[1]It’s been another rollercoaster week. Spouse got a job (yay!) but he’s only working as a “floater” until a position opens up (boo). Daughter found a low mileage reasonably priced “new to her” car (yay!) the day after we towed our car to the shop (boo!). I usually love rollercoasters, but this rollercoaster known as Life is definitely a four letter word.

I’m well aware that my “problems” are relative, and I’m thankful that my relatives aren’t problems  – everyone is healthy, everyone is safe (knock wood). It’s just…ugh. I’m pissy and hormonal and tired of working from home and tired of being stuck in a smallish house with two other adults and tired of this stupid pandemic and tired of hatred and racism and sexism and all the other isms and I’m just TIRED. I’m tired an whiny and the last thing I want to do is sit at my computer and write, but here I am because it’s been a week and if I don’t write today than I don’t know when I will and I can’t let stress and depression build a block and the brain weasels are racing and the EIC is laughing at me and…..

And yeah. I need some cheese to go with my whine.

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image courtesy of canstarblue

I have been using Suzie Speak’s July gratitude challenge as a writing prompt. Today should have been Day 5: Who are you most grateful for? But I’m pissy and hormonal and tired of working from home and…well, you know the rest. I’m in the middle of a pity party and can’t think of anyone or anything I’m grateful for.

But I still wanted to write something. No, I needed to write something. But the need to create doesn’t change the fact that I really don’t feel like writing a blog post.

And in another one of those “there are no such things as coincidences” moments, Christian Mihai’s post dropped into my WordPress Reader. I’m pretty sure he was talking directly to me when he asked “Don’t Fell Like Writing a Blog Post? Me Neither.”

He lists a dozen things he does when he doesn’t feel like writing. They include changing where he writes and reading a bunch of blog posts. One of my favorites is #9. I (Try to) Take a Nap because “whenever I place my head on my pillow, ideas start to pop up out of nowhere. It just happens.” It’s so true – I come up with the most amazing stories I the middle of the night when I’m halfway between dreaming and waking – but do I write them down? Nooooo. I’m always certain that I’ll remember them in the morning – and I never do.

I also like #7. I use Anger to My Advantage. Christian says “When in doubt, I write about the things that anger me…I write about the frustration, the pain, the failures” and says that “Strong emotions will make the process of writing a blog post effortless.”

I’m pretty sure that being whiny is not the same as being angry (although I have to admit that whiny people make me angry) but it did stimulate a post.

And whining venting has helped put my week into perspective. We’re all tired. Tired of the pandemic. Tired of the hate. We’re all dealing with the ups and downs, twists and turns of rollercoaster lives. We’re all struggling to make some sense out of the insanity of the past six months. I think I figured it out. Well I didn’t, but someone did.

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image courtesy of shutupandtakemymoney.com

Please. Please stop playing.

So tell me, what’s your favorite whine wine?

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Moments and Memories

12.we-remember-the-moments-memories-picture-quote[1]So – It’s July 7th and I should be on Day 7 of Suzie Speaks’ Daily Gratitude Challenge – but I’m behind. I could say that I’ve been busy (in the midst of a quarantine? What could I possibly be busy doing – building a blanket fort?). I could say that I’ve been suffering from writer’s block (I have, for the past 4 months, but that’s not important). I could say that I’ve been cleaning and reorganizing my house, and although my kitchen is clean and my backyard no longer looks like Okie flats, it would be a lie (FYI. I lie and swear a lot). I could say that I’ve let stress, sleep deprivation and my rollercoaster life keep me from leaving my blanket fort…but really, it’s doesn’t matter why. They are just excuses, and excuse is a four letter word. Well, not literally, I may be bad at math, but I CAN count (FYI I lied, again. I excelled at math in school, but I’m not in school any more). ANYWAY I’m on Day 3 on the 7th of July, but you know what they say – better late than never (even more importantly, better late than pregnant).

So, for those of you who haven’t been waiting with baited breath for me to post again (why haven’t you been?), Suzie of Suzie Speaks started July’s Daily Gratitude Challenge “in an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world.” If you’re interested (and even if you’re not), you can find the calendar of daily topics here.

I attempted challenge 1 and 2, but managed to veer off topic (I could blame my caffeine fueled adult onset of ADHD, but really, you should know that I babble by now). I am going to make every effort to complete Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 3: Moments and Memories the way it was intended – as a list of moments and memories. It’s not just because I’m a perfectionist – I really need to put a pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) before they fall out of the holes in my head.

I have a horrible memory. I used to think that everyone’s brain worked like mine – that everyone had a hard time remembering names and places, that as we aged it was normal to forget childhood memories. I’ve always believed that a brain was like a computer’s hard drive and that once it was full, things had to be deleted so that new memories could form. Then I met my husband. His brain is full of useless trivia, and he still manages to hold on to memories from before he could speak. Seriously, there’s a reason we call him Rainman.

Surprise surprise surprise (Side note – why is it I can’t remember my 6th grade teacher’s name, but I can remember Jim Naybors as Gomer Pyle?)

Turns out my inability to remember faces is a “cognitive disorder of face perception” known as prosopagnosia or face blindness. Those of you how know me best might have noticed that I call everyone “honey” or that I don’t always introduced you to each other. Now you know why. I would ask you to keep it a secret, but it’s on the internet, so now everybody knows.  Feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves.

AGGGGHHHH. I’m doing it again. Getting off topic. Let me get this train back on track.

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image courtesy of quotesgram

Being a woman “of a certain age” means that I have more moments than I can list here without you nodding off or screaming and running away. But for those of you who have made it this far (thank you) here are a few:

Moments and Memories I am Grateful For:

Seeing my parents come through the door with my baby brother. I was completely ticked off, because I’d asked for a sister, but it was still amazing. There are 8 years between us, and we haven’t always been close, but I’m happy to report that he’s not just my brother – he’s one of my best friends.

The day I was invited to “work the bales” at Drench a Wench/Soak a Bloke. Yes, I worked at a kissing booth at the Original Renaissance Faire. I might have missed out on being crowned mistress of revels, but I met my family of heart.

The night I met my knight in shining armor. My roommate and I were hanging out at “our” pub. She was playing darts with a friend, and I was flirting for free beer (don’t judge me – I was 21 and broke). I flirted with the wrong guy, and stalkerboy couldn’t catch a hint, even after I turned down a free beer. I leaned up into our big, burly friend, batted my eyes and told him to kiss me – and my heart stopped beating (not literally. That would be a fun twist though, wouldn’t it?). That “bolt of electricity” that every bodice ripper hinges on? Yeah, that.

The day my husband proposed. My mother had a doctor’s appointment that day, and he was so agitated and nervous at dinner I was positive he was going to tell me that something was wrong. Instead, everything was perfect.

The day my reserved husband told my soft-hearted mother “I love you” without her saying it first. The smile on her face lit up the room. Three days later she was gone. Who knew that hearing him say that was the one thing she was waiting for?

My doctor’s ski trip.  My obstetrician wanted to deliver our daughter before he left – as it turns out, the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. Without the warning from the heart monitor, we never would have known.

The smile on our daughter’s face when we surprised her with tickets to Wicked…and Rent…and Into the Woods at the Hollywood Bowl..and Avenue Q (yeah, she’s a theater dork too).

So what’s your favorite memory? Anyone else have the soundtrack from Cats running through their head now? Just the theater dork then.

P. S. I was looking for a featured image for today’s post and came across a Reba McIntyre album. My mom was a huge Reba fan, and my least favorite memory is the look on her face when I told her that my friends and I were headed to the Universal Amphitheatre to see Reba and Brooks & Dunne. I would give anything to be able to go back in time to surprise her with a ticket – because the smile on her face would have lit up the world.

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I Am Special

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image couresty of englishworks.com

Well, it’s July 6th, but I’ve been busy busy busy and so I am only on Day 2 of Suzie Speaks’ Daily Gratitude Challenge. Please don’t ask me what I’ve been busy doing, because I haven’t actually been busy. Yes, I lied. I lie and swear. A lot. Which is ironic, because just the other day I asked my daughter why she lied. Must be an apple – tree thing. I didn’t think you were supposed to become your mother until after you became a dult.

Although Suzie said that “you don’t have to participate every day,” I am using her challenge as a way to spark my creativity. I have also decided to take on the Write Without The Fight’s 5-Day Challenge. I’m hoping that something works since the stress of the past few months have melted my brain and killed my creativity. I should be used to stress by now – the past few years have been a wild rollercoaster of ups and downs. It’s a good thing I like rollercoasters.

But I digress. Today is all about Day 2: What about you makes you special? Hmmmm….that’s a tough one. The only thing that comes to mind is my brother teasing me that I was “special in a short bus sort of way.” My family’s sense of humor is quick and kind of mean. Life in my house was like swimming with sharks – you had to be fast, or you’d be dead meat.

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image courtesy of  justgiving

TBH, not everyone in our house was mean. My dad, my brother and I would snip at and pick on each other mercilessly, but my mom was always there when a comment hit too close to home. She was there to dry my tears and remind me that “they were only teasing.” (IMO “teasing” is just a way to say something really hurtful without getting into trouble for it).

My mother was my hero. I wish I’d had a chance to tell her how special she was. Of course, I didn’t always think she was a hero. As a teenager I thought she talked too much and laughed too loudly. I was embarrassed by the fact that she volunteered for EVERYTHING and talked to strangers. She drank too much and cried when her friends were struggling. “Why are YOU crying, it’s HER dog that died.” (Yeah. teenagers are assholes). It’s only since I became an accidental mother that I can appreciate how amazing she was.

She kept a spotless house. Yes, she was a “stay-at-home mother”, but she volunteered for everything and was rarely at home, and she lived with three people who treated her like the maid. The fact that I would take 5 outfits into the bathroom, pick one out and throw the others in the laundry hamper meant that the washing machine was always going. Shoes and books and backpacks were tossed on the counter. Toys were left all over the house and we were always stomping through the house after playing in mud puddles. I’ve learned that it’s hard to keep a house clean when you’re cleaning up after yourself, and 2-3 other people.

She was an amazing cook. She didn’t cook gourmet meals – she cooked comfort foods. Pot pies and chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and fried green tomatoes (yes she was a southern girl, why do you ask?) and everything finished cooking at exactly the same time and came to the table hot and delicious. And, oh yeah, she didn’t need a recipe. I have her “recipe cards.” She would write down a list of ingredients, without measurements and (occasionally) and oven temperature without cooking time. Her “recipe cards” are basically shopping lists.

Her door was always open. Literally. Granted, it was a long time ago/things were different back then, but the front door was open and the screen door unlocked. Our refrigerator was stocked with snacks and beverages for our friends (Well, maybe not beverages. We drank from the hose when we got thirsty). She hosted dozens of holiday dinners for friends whose families lived across the country.

At her memorial service, I spoke about the fact that my mother struggled with self confidence – that she thought that she was “nothing special/just a housewife.” She was wrong. She was special because she was kind when others were not. She was loving when others turned their backs (she “adopted” my best friend when Kathy’s parents threw her out for marrying an African-American man). She was strong when others were weakened by illness or grief.  She taught me important life lessons:

  • to be kind to everyone you meet.
  •  that there is no such thing as a stranger, just “friends you haven’t yet met.”
  •  the importance of family (both of blood and of heart”
  •  the value of shared grief (grief shared is grief halved)
  •  and the value of shared joy (joy shared is joy doubled)
  •  the importance of keeping a secret
  •  and the destructive power of gossip
  •  when to speak up
  •  and when to keep quiet
  •  to respect others – that I didn’t have to agree with them, but that everyone is entitled to their own opinion

But wait, I hear you say* “Day 2’s challenge is what makes you special.”  I know that. What makes me special? I am becoming my mother, despite my best intentions. It used to irritate me, but I am beginning to recognize it as a blessing. My mother was more special than she knew. As I said before, she was a superhero – the only thing that was missing was her cape. I am my mother and my daughter’s becoming me, and that’s something to be grateful for.

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*I CAN hear you, you know – I’m psychic. Or psychotic. I can never remember which.

I was looking for an image for my Featured Image, and came across a whole slew of “I am special” songs for kids on YouTube. This is my favorite by far

 

 

 

Today is a Good Day

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Yippee kai-yay MF-ers

The Pandemic has made me crazy. Wait. That’s not true. Those closest to me (and some casual acquaintances) will tell you that I have always been crazy – but the months of working from home and being quarantined with two other adults in a smallish house have morphed all my “amusing quirks” into full out madness.

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image courtesy of DeviantArt

I’ve spent the past few weeks months struggling to write, to get dressed, to not eat everything in the refrigerator. Today I’m happy to say that I’m up, I’m dressed (sweatpants are pants, it says so right in the name) and I’m back on the “eating healthy and exercising” track (but only because I ate all the ice cream yesterday).

Yesterday the little voice in my head reminded me that we cannot change our circumstances, but we can change our perspective – and I realized that I needed a brighter outlook. I needed to focus on the positive, to stop playing in the pit and start dancing in the rain.

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(what I really need to do is stop speaking in trite/clichéd phrases, but that’s a lesson for another day).

In a “There’s no such thing as a coincidence” moment Suzie Speaks’ July Daily Gratitude Challenge dropped into my newsfeed yesterday (daily challenges at end of post). She introduced her challenge by saying:

“We all have those days when things seemingly go from bad to worse, but when reflecting we all have things to be grateful for every day, however small they may be. In an effort to inject a little positivity, I decided to set myself a Daily Gratitude Challenge for the entire month of July, and I am inviting everyone else to join in. I try to be as mindful as possible by taking the time to be grateful for the people around me, the lifestyle that I lead and the positive things that have happened in my day when filling out a Daily Gratitude Journal in my Bullet Journal. I find this enormously helpful when it feels like the world is imploding.”

Full disclosure. I tried keeping a gratitude journal way back in the old days when Oprah first spoke on the importance of gratitude. It lasted a day. I got bored. I got busy. I thought it was silly/stupid/a waste of time. As the mother of a tweenager, I didn’t have much free time (and what I did have was spent sleeping).

But I am willing to try again. What is it they say? Insanity is doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different outcome (which reminds me – who are they and why do they keep saying things?). In an attempt to move into the light, I am willing to try something new (or, in this case, revisit something old).

I’m a day behind, but Suzie told us that “The challenge is open to anyone to join in at any point” and that “You don’t have to participate on the actual day itself to write about a topic in the list.” So I am going to ignore the little voice that’s telling me that I’m too late to join the party and tackle Day 1: What small things have made the day a good one?

At 20 years old and 5’9″, she’s not so small, but my daughter always makes things better. My husband and I are amazed by her big heart and sweet soul, and in awe of the person she’s becoming. I will always be grateful that I became an accidental mother. We are definitely #blessed to have her in our lives.

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So what are you grateful for?

For those of you who are interested, here are the daily challenges:

Day 1: What small things have made the day a good one?
Day 2: What about you makes you special?
Day 3: What moments and memories are you grateful for?
Day 4: What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Day 5: Who are you most grateful for?
Day 6: What challenge are you most grateful for overcoming?
Day 7: What travel experiences have had an impact on your life?
Day 8: What books are you most grateful to have read?
Day 9: What are you looking forward to?
Day 10: What traditions and events are you grateful for?
Day 11: What are you grateful for at this moment?
Day 12: What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
Day 13: What is a luxury you’re grateful for?
Day 14: What songs or pieces of music are you grateful for?
Day 15: What elements of your job are you most grateful for?
Day 16: What hobbies and interests are you grateful for?
Day 17: What are things that make you smile?Day 18: What food brings you joy?
Day 19: What make your home… home?
Day 20: What risks are you grateful for taking?
Day 21: What are your favourite affirmations?
Day 22: What lessons learned are you most grateful for?
Day 23: What makes you feel safe?
Day 24: What random acts of kindness are you grateful for?
Day 25: How do you show your gratitude to help others?
Day 26: What movie are you most grateful for?
Day 27: What place make you happiest?
Day 28: What is something in your life that you didn’t have last year?
Day 29: What aspirations and goals do you have?
Day 30: What are you most grateful for this month?
Day 31: What are you most grateful for this year?

 

 

 

How to Survive a Pandemic, With or Without Your Sanity Intact

sanity_is_subjective_funny_but_true_quote_print-r2611292e75334dfea01b71979d667a7b_wvu_8byvr_512[1]Last week I blogged about  attempted to blog about surviving the pandemic with your sanity intact. Today I’m here to tell you that sanity is highly overrated (or is it “normal” that is overrated?), but the answer is wine. Wine is always the answer.

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image courtesy of threadart.com

 FYI my brain is still missing. I’m thinking of offering a reward.

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Looks Like We Made It

th[10]If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’ve ridden the turtle around the sun again, and that’s something to celebrate. Hopefully you’ve managed to make it through the minefield of the holidays with body parts and relationships intact.  Most importantly (again, hopefully), you’ve made it to the end of 2019 with sanity mostly intact. If you haven’t, that’s okay too – sanity is highly overrated.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the past year has been…challenging. Hell, let’s call it like it was – a fucktastic nightmare of a year with far too many losses and way too much bad and sad for any human to manage on their own – which is why I’m incredibly grateful for my friends and family.

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The good news is that the year is over, and 2020 brings in one of 3 things:

  1.  The start of a new decade (if you count your decades 0-9)
  2.  The end of a decade (if you don’t)
  3.  The return of the roaring 20’s

Any way you look at it, it’s time for a fresh start – a time to look back on your year, see what worked, what didn’t, and make some changes if indicated. That’s right, it’s the scariest time of year – time for <shudder> New Year’s Resolutions.

A quick Google search of  “New Year’s resolutions” comes back with 45 MILLION results, including resolutions for students, for financial success, for health/weight loss, for parents, for single people and for your dog. Good Housekeeping has a list of FORTY New Year’s resolutions. I have enough trouble trying to keep ONE.

I came across a couple of links with helpful advice on how to keep your new year’s resolution this time, but I really liked the post from Uncluttered Simplicity’s Cheryl Lemily:

Did you know that on average, only 8% of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions? Each and every January we make pie-in-the-sky goals for the new year ahead. Only to give up come February. This is why the best month to join a gym is February… when it’s empty. Why then, do we continue to ride the crazy merry-go-round of pointless New Year’s resolutions? Is it possible to break free of this all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to our goals for the New Year? I think so. Here are some thoughtful New Year’s resolution ideas for 2020 that you can actually keep.

She had several great ideas, but the two that I found most helpful were

  1. Identify clear action steps. You can’t lose weight or get out of debt without action steps that will help you get there. Create a plan that includes objectives. Commit to taking action that will help you get closer to your goal (Note – don’t forget to set multiple small, easily obtainable goals as part of your plan. Take small bites of the elephant).
  2.  Start when you’re ready. There’s no need to launch your resolutions on January 1st…Whether that means you start on January 3rd or you wait until mid-Spring, don’t create a resolution just because you feel pressured to do so in January

I also enjoyed a 2018 post from Sara Saddington in which she courages us to “Ditch the negative Resolutions: You’re Already Great.”

When we say “I am going to be better” we are inherently telling ourselves, “I’m not good enough to begin with.” But if we flip the script to say, “I’m great, and I’m going to share that with others,” we might just have a happier, healthier, and more productive year ahead.

Most of the articles had reminders that we can “start fresh any day” (or any moment),  and that we shouldn’t let missteps or mistakes stop us from trying to be our best self.

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As for me? I’m taking a page from the people of New York by shredding the things I want to eliminate from my life #goodriddance2019.

I wasn’t going to make any new year’s resolutions this year – but I think I’ve finally found one that will stick. I resolve to be as kind to myself as I am to others. After all, as Christine Arylo reminded us several years ago, It’s hard to be happy when someone’s mean to you all the time.

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Too Pooped to Pop

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image courtesy of http://www.lovethispic.com

Warning – Rant ahead.

I have a confession. Yes, another one. At this rate, I really should convert, but I’d be a bad Catholic. Which wouldn’t be much different than being a bad Jew, really. Same guilt, different food.

ANYWAY. I’ve used the phrase “Too pooped to pop” for years, but it wasn’t until recently (aka “today”) that I learned that the phrase comes from a song. Two songs, actually.  Cliffie Stone released one in 1955 – it’s a cute song about a tired popcorn kernel, roasting at the bottom of the pan. Chuck Berry’s song was released in 1960, and it resonates with me.

Casey is an old man who wants to be a teen
He goes to all the dances and they call him cha-cha King
He cha-cha’s when the band is playin’ rock and roll
He tries to keep in time but the beat leaves him cold
Because he’s too pooped to pop, too old a soul
Hips gettin’ weaker when he tries to do this stroll
And every time his feet get to go in one way
Here comes a new dance and it’s goin’ to stray

Not that I’m an old man, and I don’t really want to be a teen (SO MUCH DRAMA) – but I’m definitely too pooped to pop. I’m tired from the top of my head to the tops of my toenails.

It’s not just me. According to Prevention.com:

If you frequently wonder: “Why am I always tired?” you’re not alone. Two out of every five Americans report feeling wiped out most of the week, and research from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 1 in 3 adults fails to get enough sleep. Between work or school, family and friends, and all the other commitments you’re juggling, it’s easy to blame constant fatigue on a busy lifestyle.

Menopause can be the culprit. According to Consumer Health Digest:

Menopausal fatigue is caused by lower levels of estrogen in the body. These lower levels lead to problems like failing to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, higher stress levels and anxiety. These symptoms tend to aggravate fatigue, making it difficult for a woman to function normally.

But it’s more than just menopause. I’m tired of the headlines, I’m tired of all the hatred being spewed on social media and the “doom and gloom” headlines and stories. Mostly I’m tired of gun violence.

There was a shooting at Saugus high school in Santa Clarita this morning.

Last week was the one year anniversary of the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks (13 dead, including the gunman).

I have multiple friends who were in Las Vegas for the Route 91 festival in 2017 (58 dead).

June 12 of this year marked the 3rd anniversary of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando (49 dead).

And December 14th will mark 7 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (26 dead, including 20 between 6 and 7 years old).

So many dead, so many school children spending time practicing lockdown drills, and yet, somehow, our political leaders can’t seem to pass gun legislation, even something as simple as a universal background check

H.R. 8 was blocked by Republican Senator Cyndi Hyde-Smith of Mississippi this morning, even as teens were running for their lives.

She claimed that the bill would infringe on our second amendment rights, and that she worried about the impact on her “law-abiding constituents.” The bill didn’t aim to take guns away from “law-abiding citizens” it merely wanted to require background checks on all firearm sales in the country (currently, only licensed gun dealers must perform them). It even had exemptions like “gifts to family members and transfers for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.”

I’m tired of politicians putting their lobbyists ahead of their constituents and then claiming that they’re “fighting for your freedoms.” I’m tired of people who seem to think that waiting 10 days for a gun is too long – that their right to own a gun is more important than our childrens’ right to be free from fear. I’m tired of the NRA.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the second amendment.  I believe that people have a right to defend their homes. I don’t hunt, but I have “killed” many a target with a range of guns, including the much maligned “assault rifle.” I also believe it’s time we made some changes.

It’s time that we kick our NRA sponsored politicians to the curb. It’s time that we stand up and demand that our political leaders pass common sense legislation. It’s time that we make our children’s safety more important than the inconvenience of waiting a week or two.

And for those of you who still aren’t convinced of the NRA’s political influence? I suggest you read this article from NBC that ran just after the Pulse club massacre. They list five additional ways the NRA cheats the system to buy political clout:

1) The National Rifle Association could also give to party committees and the national party. A maxed-out donation to the national party quickly increases campaign spending to more than $100,000. Any organization – or person – can also give $33,400 to a party committee, like the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee or their Democratic counterparts. Finally, state and local parties can each receive a $10,000, quickly allowing campaign finance totals to sour to nearly half-a-million dollars.

2) While the organization has to follow campaign limits, its members can make their own political donations, also following campaign finance limits noted above. But with millions of members, political clout builds quickly.

3) The NRA has a politically active membership. With more than five million members, the NRA constantly communicates with its members about gun issues and advising them how to vote. The organization is also constantly increasing its voter rolls by registering people to vote.

4) The NRA also activates its membership when elected officials are facing gun-related legislation, resulting in phone calls and emails and letters to Congress. In addition, lawmakers’ votes are noted and advertised to their issue-oriented membership.

5) The NRA has its own super PAC and 501c4 political organization which can run its own political campaign. The two groups combined spent more than $27 million in the 2014 midterm elections on Senate and Congressional candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. A lot of that money was spent on political advertising on television, radio and digital, and on direct mail.

Join me. Write and call your representatives. Write and call and email and march. Write and call and email and march and stand up. Stand up for common sense legislation.  Stand up for your right to protect your love ones. Stand up for those who can’t.

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