Archives for February 2013

24Feb

I Read all the Cool Magazine Stuff

Yet, I do not need to de-clutter, get organized or redo anything.  I have always been a very practical woman and in the last couple of years it has really paid off.  What I have drug around the countryside with me are my memories, Patsy’s portrait, pictures of the kids and Ella Mae’s china.  There are no piles of extra clutter to donate to a needy family.  There is just what makes my family comfortable and what feels good to look at every single day…

I am not one of those people who wasted a lot of money on the latest gimmick, or the latest fashion.  That is not to say, I have never wasted money, I am just saying, I do NOT have a lot of stuff laying around the house.  What I am realizing at this late great date, is that I am not suddenly going to become anything.  I know what I like, what is important to me and what I will treasure.

Here is the thing: I love my family.  My most important goal in life is to be with my husband and be available as a friend, mother, sister to the rest of my family.  My best celebration is a celebration where the kids show up.  My best happiness is a vacation with the man I love, my husband.  I am not going to suddenly develop into a famous author, a songwriter, a wealthy artist – or anything like all of that.  I am and will always be, a woman who wants her family to be safe and happy.

You are wondering – what started this conversation?  As is so often the case, Oprah started this conversation.  There have been so many magazines that lead with the ‘get organized’ and the ‘de-clutter’ schema.  I just wanted to say that the magazines have been saying the same thing for the last 15 years.  There is this romantic notion that something will “fix” us.  What I am saying is that I don’t need fixing.  It may be my age, but I am saying, enough already!

I am a whole and complete woman as a I am, I do not need fixing, organizing or re-arranging.  It’s okay, I’m very grateful for just living and for being with people that I love – often.  So please stop with the improvement campaign.  We are okay, we are all okay.

20Feb

Hope – Say it Twice – To be Sure

20Feb

The Bleak Fog

My husband says “please write something positive” and I want to, I truly, truly want to.  I can’t seem to shake this bleak fog that has descended upon me.  I am frustrated and it seems to be a condition.  I am a person who needs fairness, justice and equity and it seems to be in my DNA, I was born that way.  I am frustrated because I forget why I make wise decisions and I have to revisit them.  For example, 25 years ago I decide to stop watching the news.  I am too sensitive and the news is too painful to bear.  I started a new job and the tradition here is to read the daily freebie newspaper at lunch.  I tried it out, and soon I was crying my way through my leftovers and having nightmares about giant snakes – no good.  Okay, so re-decide – don’t read the news.

I am frustrated because with all of the technological advances at our disposal we cannot achieve one simple solitary example of great customer service.  I am a Verizon customer, I can get to a Verizon operator relatively painlessly if I dial *66 from my Verizon phone.  My Verizon phone is broken, I cannot dial anyone, so I go onto the website where they do NOT publish phone numbers and where they want me to talk with an Avatar who does not answer my question but references miles and miles of data in hopes that I will read for four hours and answer my own question.  This is the service I get for thousands of dollars a year and I still don’t own any stock and so will not get any benefit from my investment.

I am frustrated because I am constantly amazed by corporate America’s newest greatest way to rip off the American consumer.  I bought new flatware on the internet only to find that they have shaved an inch off of the spoon.  Really? What, hands suddenly got shorter, or stainless steel got more expensive?  I tried to get a service call from my home Wi-Fi provider only to be led through a two month long battle with workmen who do not talk with each other and a system that ‘qualifies’ you for a home visit. I ended up having to change providers, which cost another $350.00…  I work in downtown Tampa and intermittently I must make a deposit into my bank account.  The bank that I visit; has 60 foot ceilings, marble floors and at least a dozen people on full time salaries whose job it is to stand around and look official.  I can’t believe that anyone speaks of government waste when the private sector, literally burns money for entertainment. I am so disgusted with the American banking system, after actually raping American home-owners; they give themselves lavish parties at resorts close to the equator.

Contrast this with my wish for a modest vacation that lasts for 10 days.  We will save for a year, or conversely charge it and pay for a year for a 10 day visit to a resort.

Trust me; I do not need trite advice about being grateful.  I am aware that I am one of the luckiest women alive.  I totally know that.  My kids are alive and healthy; my husband is loving and caring.  I have a warm home and I can grocery shop every single week.  These are all things that I am grateful for.

Being grateful does not stop me from feeling hurt and angry that greed is creating such inequity in our world.  It doesn’t stop me from feeling personally ripped off by corporate America – that nameless, faceless place where all of our money is going.

19Feb

Your Self Perception is Erroneous

(to say the least…)

17Feb

Denial

Most people believe that denial and lying is primarily within the purview of the addict.  However, lying and denying is for everyone!  What sets the addict apart from the liars and denyers is what they believe in – not how honest they are.  They say that an active addict has two core beliefs: 1) I am not an addict and 2) I can control my use.  It is these core beliefs that make an active addict an active addict.  Really though, how different is that than someone who is sick saying “I am not really sick.” How different is this than someone who is obese saying “I can eat ice cream, it won’t hurt me.”

This self-deception is pervasive in our culture, while you may say that it is an addict who is “unwilling to see those I hurt”, I have to say it is true of everyone!  Who admits to hurting those people that they love?  No one!   Your behavior can be the nightmare of those you love.  Know it.

14Feb

On Valentine’s Day, I Hate to Notice This, but…

Hey, I don’t like this.  It is a sociological fact, at least my undergraduate sociology professor said so, that humans need to stand on top of other humans.  A man always has to put another man down.  We know this, because it is the source of bigotry and prejudice.  Geez, humans have been practicing one-up-man-ship since property ownership came into being.  The point has always been to preserve the wealth of the man on top.  All the humans underneath get into a panic and start standing on each other – so as not to be the person on the bottom.  Simple human dynamics, yeah.

When you experience it on a personal level, it’s ugly.  Yeah, yeah, bigotry and prejudice are ugly, but how do you feel when you are in a situation when folks can condescend to you?  It’s not like anyone gets away with it, it’s more like an ugly disease, when you spread some, it just keeps on going.  Condescension, one-up-man-ship, it is all stuff that thrives in America.  The reason it thrives in America is because our capitalist society idolizes wealth.  People can do the most horrific and dishonest stuff, but if they are wealthy, they will get away with it – only in America.  This is the country where wealthy banks rape the average American consumer, but cannot be punished because we think wealth is a ‘higher good’.

It is a hierarchy that requires that someone be on the bottom of the pile.  In the meantime, everyone who is in the middle must fight to survive.  The way to fight is to stay on top of those who are below.  Bigotry and prejudice are ugly, but the private and ugly truth is that the war rages on a very personal level.  It does no one good and spreads like the plague.  Condescension, petty meanness, and all other forms of standing on top of others is no way to survive or to gain riches, it is just a way of spreading the disease of hierarchy.

07Feb

If At the End of the Day…

you are exhausted and feeling beat up, more times than not, you are living your life incorrectly, wrongly,
unwittingly. Change up. Change whatever you can. Change anything.

04Feb

The Professional Balance

Responsible leaders care about their people—the one and the many. They don’t callously fire individuals, nor do they allow a single employee to disrespect, abuse, or negatively impact others.

– Ron McMillan, coauthor of Crucial Confrontations

03Feb

If someone in the present reminds you of someone in your past, you might react from the past instead of the present.

02Feb

It is Possible to be Loved

In the most amazing ways.  You have to let the love in.  You have to seek it, you have to want it and you have to receive it.