Friday, February 22, 2019

A Man With A Mission

Today is Steve Irwin's birthday. 

I just have to say, I loved this guy. I loved his passion, his goofiness, his smile and even his trademark haircut. I know loads of people thought he was over the top but he did a ton of good educating children and adults about wildlife, all while burning an incredible energy that never seemed to end. I am sorry that he left his family, his small children but I am sorry for the world too. He was one of a kind.

Enjoy this sweet little video

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Never Again?


By learning to accept and even embrace
the inevitable sorrows of life,
we can experience a more enduring
sense of happiness.

I know this is not referring to it specifically, but I am always surprised by people who lose a pet and decide they will never get another because it hurts too much. Pets enrich life so much, that to shutter the idea of ever getting another because of the pain of grief is so foreign to me. Living means grieving, it is inevitable. There are many studies the show that people who are accepting of all their feelings, whether society deems them good or bad, fare better, both emotionally and psychologically, than those who attempt to repress or avoid.

I do, however, understand the idea of the last dog. My sweet auntie and her husband have had dogs for the last 60 years. They had boxers and retrievers over and over and I can remember being particular friends with 2 of the many. Their last one, Gidget, passed and they decided she was their "last dog". It broke our hearts. My sisters and I told them that any of us would care for a dog if need be but they opted out. I get it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

I Just Got A Call

The Secret Keeper, otherwise known as my ex-husband, texted to asked for some help with his retirement account last week.  I obliged because he keeps pretty good boundaries these days and it doesn’t hurt me to help once in a while.  I had emailed him the information he needed and a few days later I texted just to make sure he had gotten it. I didn’t hear back. A day or two later I texted again with a second “heads up” but nothing in return. I asked my girls if they had heard from him, just to make sure he was OK. They hadn’t heard anything either

Tonight, he called, telling me he has been sick. Thinking he had the flu, I asked a few questions. As it turns out it was not the flu. He was shaking. This has happened before in differing degrees from mild to unbelievable. He’s on a lot of meds...A LOT.  For blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, bi-polar disorder, anxiety and anything else that I am not aware. All that being administered by a mentally ill man.

I hardly recognized his voice, this man that I have known since I was 16 and was married to for 30 years. He said the right things, those things that impel me to take control and try to fix. I didn’t but I wanted to. He just wanted to explain why he had not texted back. He couldn’t, he was shaking too bad. It was on the tip of my tongue to say, “Why don’t I go to the doctor with you.” Fix, fix, fix.

We said goodbye and I  had a good cry, grieving the man he once was and the person he has become. Sadness took hold and I felt it without a fight. Allowing it to wash over and then...coming out the other side.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

God and Americans

I love me some evangelicals! At one point, that was my life, albeit with some serious doubts. Many of our friends from early in my marriage were of that ilk. Many of my current friends are too. That’s not me anymore, if it ever really was. I’ve changed a lot.

But now I have to wonder…..are these people that I love Christians first and then Americans or is it the other way around? Because I hear a lot of rhetoric that tells me, in reality, they are Americans first. It seems they’re able to set aside the core Christian values when it bumps up against our border.

What has happened to:

Love your neighbor as yourself.
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Let others see your good deeds so that your actions glorify God.
Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.

Even the Old Testament speaks of giving aid to the exiled and the persecuted refugee. Nowhere does it say, “Except when brown.”  Do they even remember that he was brown in his human form? A person doesn’t leave everything they know, most of their families, and walk hundreds of miles to get a free meal. They do it because their lives are untenable. Our system isn’t working perfectly but to take the resources, 8 or so billion dollars, for a wall, instead of building bridges to a better way of life, leaves me with a despair of how we treat HUMAN BEINGS created by the God they claim to love so much. I know it is not ALL evangelicals but it is the ones making themselves heard right now. Hopefully, the "other" evangelicals will start making some noise. In my view, beside being hateful, it's a lazy, stupid answer. With intelligence and empathy 8 billion dollars has the potential to do something amazing. 

We’ve got an national emergency alright. It’s a bad heart.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Just A Litle Bit

My youngest is still in school and working a good amount at a clothing store called The Loft. She was at work on Saturday night when she noticed a middle aged man walking around the store. He approached her and  quietly asked if he could speak to her. She said “Sure” and the gent proceeded to tell her that another woman’s clothing store there at the outlet mall had denied him the ability to try on some clothing. He informed her that he is transgender would like to try a few things on. She noticed he was nervous, his hands were shaking. She hesitated for a second, then went to check who was working the dressing room, She guided the man over and informed her coworker, “My friend here would like to try on these pieces.” She wanted to respect how he presents but was unsure of the proper pronoun. She took him to a dressing room and let him know that she and her coworkers were there to get other sizes if needed. He thanked her and then showed her a picture of himself in full make up. It was brave and, I am sure, not easy. She smiled and let him know he looked nice.

She then went to inform the manager on duty so that she was aware. One of her coworkers did not like the situation overly much and spoke loudly enough for my girl to over hear, so my girl got on her headset and stated that someone at the front desk needs to lower their voice.

When the customer made his purchases, the big mouthed girl made sure he knew about a problem they had had with a peeping Tom, as if that had any relation to him.....duh. He made a point of returning and thanking my girl for her help.

I’m super proud of her. She showed him the respect he deserved in what could have been an awkward situation. I am disappointed, however, with a national chain that has not bothered addressing this possibility and the proper way all the employees should handle it, so that nobody there makes the unfortunate mistake the other company did.

A little respect goes a long way.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Take 5

I think I mentioned that the Boy Scout and I are working hard to remain a viable and loving couple. I went to pay him a visit tonight at work and the following is a retelling of a uncomfortable evening.

I get to the restaurant while the man is on break. We sit and talk and then I go sit at the bar when his break is over. At the bar are two of my favorite peoples so we sit and chat for awhile. It was nice. Time goes by and one of them, I’ll call Keith, who I have spoken of before (See here), starts on a rant, telling me what I am doing wrong. He’s says I’m not over my childhood, and I need to fucking let it go...over and over and over. A stoning, over drinking dude is telling me I’ve got problems for not accepting stoning and drinking as ok. The f bombs are flying, as they do whenever he drinks too much, and he let’s everyone know his truth, whether or not they ask. I already have issues with drunks but drunks telling me I need to get my shit together is not overly fun. I make allowances, he is my friend. Then tears start to fall down his face and he tell me how much he cares. I know normally that would be sweet but, truthfully, my gut is telling me to run...get out of there... vamoose. It takes all my strength to not to attack, not tell him to get the hell away and remain calm. I do a good job of not panicking and staying in my space.

Ideally, he does him and I do me but he was so busy doing me that he couldn’t see the drunk him. I really hate being around drunks. I never know when they will stop, their non-existent filters, what boundary they won’t honor. It sucks. As a child I felt scared and powerless when my dad was drunk. Tonight, reminding myself that I am no longer powerless helped a lot but I don’t really want to see my friend for awhile. I need a good long break.
Next time it happens, I believe I will excuse myself at the onset. I think that’s a good option. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

What Road Will You Take

It can be difficult to be vulnerable in a room of strangers, until you realize that the bulk of them are present for the same ease the pain and find a better way to live. ACoA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) has been a godsend to me. Based on the adapted 12 steps of AA, it is designed to help individuals recover from the effects of growing up in dysfunctional households.

Dysfunction is an overused word these days but to discount it entirely is a mistake. We are all a product of imperfect people, some mildly and others horrifically. I find that many of the attendees are not children of alcoholics but children of violent, ill adaptive people that did not teach tools for living because they simply didn't have them.

ACoA's focus is to learn to love oneself and allowing that self love to help one to navigate life. We learn to make choices, not out of fear of abandonment or lack of approval, but with peace, valuing yourself and your needs and not allowing others to put you in a place that is not good for you. It is not selfish, it is wholehearted.

I'm glad I've found it. Like Frost, I took this road less traveled and it has made all the difference.