Anonymity Part II

I decided not to link my Facebook account to my blog just yet. The reason I write this blog is so I can write freely, without fear of being judged for all the sentences that begin with “I,” the clichés, the dangling prepositions (wait, is that a thing?), the overuse of “to be” verbs, the lack of emotion-evoking action verbs, etc. So I’m going to keep it that way. This is my online journal. It’s for therapy, catharsis, just to get something out there, and I don’t spend time editing and revising it. Maybe one day, when I feel more comfortable with the blog, I’ll put my name on it and link it to my Facebook account. Or maybe I’ll create a different blog, something that’s grammatically correct, more poetic, more literary and publishable, that I’ll put my name on. Something more… perfect. Haha! As if. The idea that I’ll do something when it becomes closer to perfect almost guarantees that it will never happen.

Part of this decision came from jealousy over a former classmate’s blog. I would link to it, but don’t want her to find this, because I’m ashamed of my jealousy. I want to be happy for her, and not to compare myself. Her posts are similar to mine, but written in a way that’s more articulate, more poetic. Her life also seems more interesting than mine. She’s in her 60’s, lives in an RV camper, has been published in literary journals, and she’s experienced more life, more pain, more loss, than I have. Not that I want to experience more pain or loss (though it will be inevitable the longer I live), it’s just that she has more life experience and writes about it in a more literary way. Other than the pain and loss, she lives a life that I would be living right now if I could figure out how. I forget that those are all just things. Mainly I want to live in my own space with no roommates, and I want to become a better writer… and those things can happen. Just because someone else is a good writer doesn’t mean I’m not or can’t be; there’s plenty of room in the world for more good writers.

There’s something about living in an RV that’s so romantic. It declares that I’m happy with my life and don’t care what anyone else thinks. It announces that this is my space, my little corner of the world, this is me. Before I moved into the house where I currently live with about a hundred other people (just kidding, five), I researched buying a tiny house, which I didn’t know financing was available for at the time. So I looked into buying a mobile home. My hourly wage wasn’t high enough to approve me for a loan, so the lender said to me, “Is it really that bad where you’re living? Can you stick it out for a little longer?” I can stick it out, and I can be happy in this space. And I am happy in this space, most days.

On the other hand, sometimes it can be hard living with five people who pretend like my mom didn’t just die all of a sudden. Maybe it’s for the best, because I don’t feel like talking to anyone anyway. I forget that my life events don’t happen to the rest of the world, and that their pains and losses aren’t any less for them just because mine left a hole in my heart. It’s a blessing that they don’t talk much to me, because I want to be alone. Furthermore, one of my friends came into the store where I work the other night, just to ask me how I was doing, and she told me that people won’t talk about it unless I do; it’s up to me to talk about it. This particular woman, I’ll call her Ginger, is about my mom’s age, of similar build and height, with short red hair, and wears stylish clothes. She’s a lot like my mom. She has been kind to me ever since I met her, and revealed that she sometimes gets signs from loved ones who’ve passed. Her own mother died of a stroke when Ginger was 30. It meant a lot to me that she stopped by to see how I was doing.

Every now and then memory bubbles float to the surface, including the should-haves. I should have visited Mom more often this past year. I should have taken her to see Cirque du Soleil. I should have called her more this past year. I should have opened up more to her. I should have sent her more cards with more heartfelt messages. I should have had more heartfelt conversations with her. I should have gone to Seattle to visit my sister and see the orca whales when Mom went, because that was one of her favorite moments.

The should-haves are futile, leave no room for gentleness, yet shoving those feelings away are no good either. I try to focus instead on the love I have for her, and in knowing that she knew and knows how much I love her. I remember that I took her to see “The Nutcracker” at the Kennedy Center, and I think we’d been to see it at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta when I lived there. We’d seen it in Macon when I was in high school. I remember I called her when I thought Steven was going to leave me, and how I’d cried and how she’d reassured me that he just needed more time.

Back to the anonymity issue, I will link to my private Instagram page (which is private so I don’t know if anyone can even see it) where I have two friends, and on this blog I have about two or three readers any given day, so it’s not like my Facebook page where I’d be exposing myself to hundreds of people, most of whom don’t even know me that well.

Finding happiness won’t come from living in an RV or in any declaration of happiness to the world, but in finding peace within myself. Right now that’s just not happening. There’s nowhere I can go to make it better. I think, I’ll go for a hike and then I’ll feel better. Nope. I think, I’ll meditate, and that will make it better. Nuh-uh. I think, I’ll sit outside and watch birds and then I’ll be happy. Maybe for a few minutes, but nothing makes the grief disappear. Nothing brings my mom back. You just walk through it. As my mentor says, there’s no way around it; you just have to go through it.

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Alley Cats: My Obsession With a Song

This is a gorgeous song that I listen to on repeat, mostly because the song is about grief. I’ve loved it since I first heard it a few years ago, but it has taken on a new meaning for me since Mom passed. And although I’ve alluded to this song before, I want to dissect it here, just for fun.

Alley Cats by Hot Chip (Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard)*

Two people are alley cats
We have an unhappy cat
He is restless, needs attention, loses patience, seeks affection
Monkey grooms, blossom blooms
Do you dig germs, The Germs?
Well we wear each other’s heads like hats
Speak in tongues like alley cats
Cradle them in both our laps
When we lie alone
Wear each other’s heads like hats
Speak in tongues like alley cats
Cradle them in both our laps
And we die alone
Well we sleep inside a blanket-y bed
Planted like the crocuses
In the song my mother said
She wanted us to sing
We sleep inside a blanket-y bed
Planted like the crocuses
And I wish my mother could
See the ring I got
Oh oh there is no pain I know
Oh oh there is no pain I know
Oh oh there is no pain I know
The other night you said you might try to kill that thing I love
It is too strong for you, it is encased in glass and stone
The other night you said you might try to kill that thing I love
It is invincible, it is encased in glass and stone
You painted a song, you painted a song
It started when I was young and now it is in my lung
You painted a song, you painted a song
It started when I was young and now it is in my lung
Two people are alley cats
I get to thinking about our cat
He is restless, needs attention, loses patience, seeks affection
Monkey grooms, blossom blooms
‘Do You Dig Worms?’ The Worms?

Here are the lyrics again, but with my interpretation included:

Two people are alley cats

Two people, presumably in a relationship. Each person is a fighter, survivor, loner, orphan, homeless.

We have an unhappy cat
He is restless, needs attention, loses patience, seeks affection

“We” refers to a couple who has this thing between them that they love, this pet, this love, which isn’t doing well right now.

Monkey grooms, blossom blooms
Do you dig germs, The Germs?

Sounds like a nursery rhyme, with germs being a reference to childhood. The monkey represents an animal who’s like a human being (and vice versa) and who lives on instinct and nurtures himself, while the blossom blooms refers to the flowers (crocuses) his mother sang about (in future lyrics).

Well we wear each other’s heads like hats

Their heads represent the other’s thoughts? That they use for the other’s protection? Not sure I get this but it sounds like they try to manipulate each other to get what they want. Perhaps they project their fears onto each other, but I’m not sure how that is a source of protection. Maybe a defense mechanism.

Speak in tongues like alley cats

They speak to each other in a language only God can understand… I’m not sure if they can understand it themselves, if they have self-knowledge or can effectively communicate with each other, but God understands.

Cradle them in both our laps
When we lie alone

They nurture these thoughts and feelings together when they make love or cuddle together, implying that they do understand each other on some level.

Wear each other’s heads like hats
Speak in tongues like alley cats
Cradle them in both our laps
And we die alone

The last phrase is how it was written on songmeanings.net, but I think it’s wrong. I believe it’s a repeat of “When we lie alone,” as he sang in the previous verse. I don’t’ think it’s “we die alone,” because that changes the meaning in a way that I don’t think was intended by the writers. But who knows?

Well we sleep inside a blanket-y bed
Planted like the crocuses
In the song my mother said
She wanted us to sing

They rest in a nurturing environment of love together that’s built on a foundation he got from his mother, who sang a song about this flower from the iris family, a “showy and solitary” flower (that’s the description I found) that blooms in late autumn, early winter, so it represents something beautiful that blossoms during cold or difficult times, how growth comes from pain. Saffron is harvested from the crocus, which comes from the female reproductive parts of the flower. His mother wanted them to sing this song because she loves her son and wants him to experience love.

We sleep inside a blanket-y bed
Planted like the crocuses
And I wish my mother could
See the ring I got

He wishes his mother could see the token of commitment he got for his lover.

Ooh oh there is no pain I know
Ooh oh there is no pain I know
There’s no pain I know
There’s no pain I know

Being a recovering alcoholic, my first interpretation of this verse was that the speaker is a drug addict, and he escapes pain through drugs. With this interpretation, his addiction created a barrier between him and his lover. Then, upon closer listening to the rest of the lyrics, I determined that this part is about the love he feels for his lover, and how there’s no pain in this blissful feeling of love he has for her. But now, after the death of my own mother, I hear it as the voice of his mother’s soul. She’s saying her soul is at rest now, she’s at peace, she knows no pain.

The other night you said you might try to kill that thing I love
It is too strong for you, it is encased in glass and stone
The other night you said you might try to kill that thing I love
It is invincible, it is encased in glass and stone

His lover wants to get rid of this old wound of his, his grief, but it’s too strong for her because it’s buried deep inside him, behind something he protects with hardness. The stone also represents his mother’s burial… I’m not sure about the glass in a literal sense, but it could represent the wall he’s built around this old wound of his. He loves his sadness, but his lover wants to get rid of it, because it comes between the two of them, keeps them from getting closer. She’s (his lover, who I’m assuming is a woman, but could be a man–I don’t know anything about Joe Goddard’s personal life) battling a ghost.

You painted a song, you painted a song
It started when I was young and now it is in my lung
You painted a song, you painted a song
It started when I was young and now it is in my lung

“You” represents his mother, who sang him lullabies, wrote or told stories, created a reality for him that he learned from birth and which he now sings, or creates, and lives in today. It’s inside him, he breathes and lives it. This is the reality he now lives in with his lover. This is the most gorgeous part of the song, I think. It’s so raw and so deep, and expresses so beautifully how his mother nurtured the artist in him that grew up to create soulful, inspiring music.

Two people are alley cats
I get to thinking about our cat
He is restless, needs attention, loses patience, seeks affection
Monkey grooms, blossom blooms
‘Do You Dig Worms?’ The Worms?

Another reference to the difficulty between him and his lover, and the love they need and want to nurture. And another reference to the nursery rhyme, or lullaby, that his mother sang, but instead of “germs” from childhood, he makes a reference to death and decay, which is the death of his mother. Worms may represent this thing that eats away at the two of them in their relationship, but worms also improve the soil for better growth, so the worms could also represent this difficulty that they endure (like the alley cats, or survivors that they are) which allows them to grow stronger.

*There are other members of the band, but according to songmeanings.net, these are the two who wrote this song. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

I’d read that Joe Goddard wrote this song was about the death of his mother, and that Alexis Taylor co-wrote it, but that his parts were really just about the cat he shared with his wife. While I don’t think he wouldn’t write a nonsensical song–since they write plenty of fun, whimsical songs–I think he was being facetious. This song is clearly about so much more. Other interpretations could be debated, and I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it at that and just appreciate it for what it is:  a song I find tremendous comfort in during my time of grief.

Here’s the album/recorded version of the song, followed by a live version:

My Father

The topic at church today was about loving people no matter what, even those who have different political or religious beliefs. We were invited to consider someone in our lives who we struggle to feel kindness for, and to think kindly of them. One of the ways I was taught to feel compassion was to imagine the person as a child. It’s easier when you can imagine the person as a child who’s been abused, which is often the case with people who are mean-spirited.

The only person I could think of besides Donald Trump was my father.

It’s not so much that I struggle to feel compassion or kindness for my dad, because he’s my dad and of course I love him. And he’s not a mean-spirited person, thank God. But it’s just that disappointment and resentment bubble to the surface whenever I explore my feelings about him. His lack of communication, the criticisms, and the way in which the value he places on me is completely based on my boyfriend—and not even my boyfriend so much as his job. Over the past several years I’ve made a lot of effort in calling him every week, asking him to visit (which he did, so I give him credit for that), responding to his emails with praise and appreciation for who he is or things he does, and if I didn’t agree with his beliefs, for example, about climate change not being anthropomorphic, I didn’t blast him for it, but took a polite agree-to-disagree stance. And what did all of that matter? There’s not a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, nor is there a rainbow. There’s no phone call with an “I’m so sorry for your loss, maybe we can have meaningful conversations now.” A person incapable of showing emotion doesn’t suddenly stop being autistic or alcoholic or whatever he is just because someone important died.

As I’m writing this now, I feel no emotion, and I don’t know if that’s progress or a step back. I just feel apathetic. He’s sent a couple of emails to my sisters and me, and I haven’t responded to either. Before Mom died, I’d have responded, even if just to thank him for the email. Now I feel like it doesn’t matter. Nothing I say or do will change him or our relationship, and I don’t know how to change myself in this. It’s up to me to find peace in the way things are, and talking to him—at least not in the way we communicate–doesn’t bring that about. A psychologist might surmise that I’m angry with him for not dying instead of Mom. I don’t wish anyone dead—though wishing someone dead is like wishing them peace, and I do wish everyone peace—but yes, of course I’m angry that my mom died. I’d assumed my dad would die first, that I’d have some feelings about it that would require therapy, and that Mom would help me get through that. I guess she still will, just from the other side.

It’s with hesitation that I post this blog because I hate to think of the possibility of my father ever reading this, though I don’t know how he would find it because he would never search for it, nor would I tell him about it. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, assuming his feelings would be hurt. Once in high school I wrote a poem about him that my best friend’s mom thought was sweet, so she showed it to him, and he never mentioned the poem to me, but later warned me of the risks of becoming a published writer, how public it all is, that you can never take it back. To him, and probably to most men of his generation (the baby boomers), emotions aren’t something you expose. To talk about your relationship would be to leave yourself vulnerable. Better to pretend everything’s okay, not to explore your feelings on a deeper level.

If our family members are really part of our soul family, as James Van Praagh believes, and their purpose is to resolve some karmic debt with each other, or to learn a lesson together, I’m not sure what the lesson is with my father. Maybe for me to express my emotions and explore my feelings regardless. I can’t think of what else. I suppose I could try talking to him, but I believe that would result in a huge disappointment that would confirm what I already know. What I know is this:  he’s not interested in who I am as a person, he doesn’t understand me, he thinks I am not that smart, he doesn’t think I put much thought into anything I do, and possibly he thinks I should try to understand his interests and acquire them for myself because he’s a fascinating person who I should revere. He likes football, Civil War history, coin collecting, and astronomy. He likes trees and growing tomatoes. The last three things I’m interested in but still don’t know how to talk to him about these things so that it opens into a more meaningful, deeper-level conversation. Once several years ago I called him to ask about growing tomatoes and he did nothing but berate me for buying a tomato plant in August from Whole Foods for four dollars when I was supposed to have gotten the plants for pennies from a nursery in spring. I felt ashamed and stupid, and hung up the phone quickly so I could cry, which I did for a very long time that day.

In my freshman year of college I asked him about his belief (or lack of) in God for a research paper, and he quoted Karl Marx, dismissing religion as the “opiate of the masses,” yet said that going to church was okay because it offered comfort to people. Neither of us at the time could articulate the difference between religion and spirituality. Spirituality is about having a relationship with God, and trying to live a more purposeful life of love and compassion. Religion can become dogma, a way of enforcing rules to keep people in line. I don’t know if he confuses the two, or what he thinks about it now, and I suppose I could ask him, but I’m not interested in doing that today. Every phone conversation we’ve had has consisted of me asking him how he’s doing, how his wife is doing, how Grandma is doing, how’s his coin collection and selling going, how’s the weather. His answers:  good, good, good, and good-bye. He might ask if I still have my job, if I still have my car, if I still have my boyfriend. He might suggest that I try watching football. Other than that, nothing.

It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who’s emotionally closed, who doesn’t get into the deeper conversations about life. Small talk has always been excruciatingly dull to me, to the point that I’d rather not talk at all. The times that I’ve tried to talk to my dad about his interests he doesn’t ask me questions about myself, nor does he allow me to speak at all, but instead he turns it into a long monologue about himself, and inserts some criticisms about others, including me, while he’s at it. The lesson there for me is not to do the same to other people. People want to be listened to. I suppose I could use the same guideline for listening to him, which I do and have been doing for years. Just let him talk about himself, and nevermind what I want, think, need, feel, etc. This is where the St. Francis prayer comes in handy. I can’t remember the entire prayer by heart, but I remember this phrase:  “Grant that I may seek to understand than to be understood, to comfort than to be comforted, to love than to be loved. It is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.”

For now I won’t be calling my dad every week anymore, nor will I go out of my way to respond to his emails. The last email he sent was to my sister in response to her question about his Facebook posts in support of wildlife conservation. He didn’t realize that when he signs a petition on change.org, it automatically posts on Facebook, a platform he despises, but added that he wanted my sisters and me to know that he supports Wildlife Conservation. While I’m glad that he supports a good cause, I’m not interested in responding today. I’ll probably change my mind later, but my feeling now is this:  If you have something you want to tell me, call me and tell me.

Until then, I’ll continue saying the St. Francis prayer and I’ll continue praying for my dad. I pray that he finds peace. I’ll also pray for the willingness to find peace in my relationship with him. I’ll end with a song my dad used to play a lot when I was little, a beautiful song by Simon and Garfunkel:

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Rambling

Some things are not important to me anymore, mostly in the personal hygiene category:  frequent showers, pedicures, un-dyed-roots-showing hair, shaven legs. Other fashion faux pas also contain less importance:  whether my shoes match my outfit, whether my purse matches my shoes, jewelry (how much, does it match, etc.), make-up (wrinkle cream, undereye cover, eye shadow… does anyone really need all that?). All this extra stuff takes too much effort. Who cares? I wear the scar on my chin from my bike wreck like a medal of honor.

The real reason isn’t so much that I don’t care, though I don’t really, but the extra effort required sucks time away from my favorite activities:  doing nothing, writing, reading, meditating, or sitting outside in nature. Other sources of frustration include:  cooking, working, and getting ready for anything—especially bed. Why does a person have to get ready for sleep? Why not just fall asleep? Teeth must be brushed (and preferably flossed) and the face must be washed, at a minimum.

When I say these things aren’t as important to me anymore, it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing them. I just mean that I skip a shower here and there, and I no longer freak out after eating a Fresh Market wrap in spite of the fact that it contains a bunch of unpronounceable ingredients. It just means I feel irritable when I think of the work I have to do in order to eat a meal. Even a trip to the deli to buy a ready-made meal (I mean, how easy can you get?) feels unbearable. Not because driving to the grocery store is such hard work, but because everything feels like a lot of work. I don’t remember feeling like this before Mom died, so I’m sure it’s just because I’m grieving her loss.

What is the point of this blog post? I guess what I’m trying to say is that you do the things that are necessary. Showering can be helpful. Going to work allows me to pay the bills. But the world won’t end if I don’t wear make-up today.

Note to Self: Stay Positive Today

lion-quoteI don’t know what I want to write about today, just that I want to write, and be alone. Although my job is low-stress, and most customers are pleasant, it’s hard to go there, especially after vacation. Yesterday was my first day back, and as much as I tried to breathe deeply and think positively, I allowed the negativity to get to me. A major part of the problem is that I allow my co-worker’s energy to suck every bit of positivity I may have had were she not present. I’ll call her Barbara. Barbara is a kind woman, but unhappy with her life. She’s about my mom’s age, and lives with her 30-year-old daughter, the daughter’s 4-year-old autistic son, who is the light of Barbara’s life, and with the daughter’s no-good boyfriend, a 20-year-old boy who Barbara doesn’t like. Back in June the daughter and her boyfriend went to Bonnaroo, leaving Barbara to stay home with her grandson, and I couldn’t help but judge the daughter and boyfriend, assuming they were consuming all kinds of drugs (mainly because that’s what I did when I went to Bonnaroo 10 years ago). The same daughter, or perhaps a different daughter (she has two), hit Barbara in the face this summer, hard enough to shove her glasses into her eye socket, leaving a bruise. I remember her telling me about it just before Mom died, and feeling angry with her daughter.

Barbara gets really stressed out by work. It reminds me of my mom when she used to work in retail, before she retired. Barbara worries that she’ll get fired, because companies often want to replace older employees with younger workers who’ll be happy to work harder and longer for less pay, and are unlikely to require retirement, since no one really stays at any one company for longer than a few years anymore. Barbara forgets a lot, and fears that she’s losing her mind (she has lost relatives to Alzheimer’s). She takes the job very seriously, and while I feel that she needs to lighten up, I get the same way. The customers can be so demanding, expecting me to know answers to medical questions they should be asking a practitioner, or researching themselves. Sometimes I want to yell at them to use Google, which is what I do (use Google, not yell at them), and not the most reliable way to get your medical advice, but better than asking someone who makes $13 an hour and has very little education in the medical field. The training I have in alternative health and supplements is limited, and I simply cannot remember a lot. A lot of information is conflicting, and new research comes out all the time. No one has all the answers. You just do the best you know how to do at the time. But some customers don’t like that. They want definite answers. They want a guarantee that a particular supplement will help them sleep, lower their blood pressure, slow down the aging process, help them lose weight, or do whatever it’s designed to do.

Barbara’s a folk singer and guitarist, and in her younger days she had wanted to become a musician. She often wishes she could retire, but she can’t afford it. Her grandson is the highlight of her life, which is good for her, but something I won’t have, ever. When I write it like this, it looks like I’m disappointed in my life, which I am not. I’m happy about my life today, except the fact that Mom’s no longer alive. Before she died I looked forward to going to work, and now I no longer do. What I was learning was related to what I’d be doing for a career, but now I don’t want to pursue that career. I want to be happy where I am, but where I am is temporary. I want my own space. But I forget that everything is temporary.

A new attitude is what’s needed. If I can practice patience, kindness, and gratitude, it’s easier. Doing that is easier when I’m not working with Barbara. She wants to complain about what’s not working, and I want to be patient and understanding with her. At the same time I want to tell her to get over it, to stop taking it all so seriously. But really she’s my teacher. Each of us has our own path, and will learn at our own pace. When I feel irritated with her, it’s because I’m irritated with myself, and this irritation can serve as a reminder to ask how I can practice patience, and to ask what lessons can be learned from this experience.

One major issue is that I haven’t had much time alone in over a week. When I don’t have time alone, I feel frustrated and irritable. And I need hours, maybe days alone. Yosemite Bear keeps popping into my head. He seems to live a life of leisure in which he meditates all day in the woods. Somehow he has a house in this beautiful space and doesn’t have to work for it. This is what I want for myself. That’s all. Hahaha!

Gratitude is the key, and I forget that I have a nice space in the backyard to look at sweet little birds:  house finches, wrens, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, and when I’m lucky, a downy woodpecker. Maybe I will suggest to Barbara that she play her guitar again, which she hasn’t done in years. Wouldn’t her grandson love to hear her play? Writing this blog brings me peace and joy, so why not do that? Looking at pictures of sweet animals brings me joy. And sitting outdoors to watch birds makes me happy, so I’m going to do that now, before I have to go to work.

The thing is, you just have to do what you love to do, no matter what.cow-and-cat

Writing and Anonymity

I finally started using Instagram for all the photos I’ve been taking, most of them taken after Mom passed. I am thinking maybe I will link to this blog there, and maybe even post a link to this blog on my Facebook and Pinterest accounts. It will be a big step, because it means exposing myself, and I’ll begin looking at my posts in a different light, a censored light, inhibited, which is not what I want my writing to be. Worrying about what others think is one of my sensitive points; image-consciousness is a hindrance that no longer serves me (or anyone), if it ever did. We all need to dance like no one’s watching, as someone once said. Truth, beauty, and soulfulness can’t be complete when driven by that egoic, fearful approach. True freedom is when I can stand up and say, loud and clear, this is who I am, without apology.

When I worked at my previous jobs I worried that I could never put my name on a blog because my writing was too personal for that line of work, and it seemed out of sync with the work I did (marketing). That feeling of not being true to myself was a major reason why I despised doing it. My writing is basically an online journal. I wish I had a passion for writing about world affairs concerning, let’s say, war in Syria, or the hurricane damage in Haiti, or the divisive political nature of America, but that wouldn’t be me. Writing is therapy for me, and I guess one could look at it like this:  I write about my everyday life, which is something everyone can relate to, I hope.

But in writing an online journal that will be visible for the world to read, where does the writer draw the line? For me I’d say my sex life for example is an obvious, easy no-no. That’s no one’s business. Someone once said to me, “If you’re doing something you wouldn’t want your mom to know about, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.” I don’t like the use of the word “should” or “shouldn’t,” but it seems like a good guideline. And if I’m not doing it, then there’s no chance of writing about it.  But what about conflicts with your loved ones? Being in any kind of relationship with someone will have some conflict; it’s just a part of life. The problem is that the other person doesn’t get a chance to have their say.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’ve got to get ready for my flight so I’ll leave it at that for now. In the meantime, here’s Lily. She’s a sweet girl. 

My One Political Post… Vote!

I just posted my first political post on Facebook. It was a big step for me, being someone who makes every effort to be diplomatic with my words, and not to be controversial or offend anyone on social media. My goal is to promote peace. But after spending a few days with my friend and her family, all who were previously in the “I don’t like Trump, but Clinton is just as bad” camp, until after watching Trump in a rally in Panama City yesterday (on TV, just to see what he had to say), when they realized that no way could they allow a fear-mongering, hate-spreading, ego-driven person to become President. As someone who rarely watches the news or follows politics (but getting better!), but as the daughter of someone who did, I felt it was my duty to become more informed and spread the word. I doubt it changes the minds of Trump supporters, but undecided voters can see for themselves what kind of person Trump is by searching YouTube for his speeches (as well as his comments about women or anyone else). Compare that with someone who has experience in the White House, who has spent her life dedicated to public service. She may not be as good of a speaker as Obama, nor as inspirational or moral, but she has a brain in her head. She has been through a lot in her life, and was put through the wringer publicly after Bill’s escapades, yet she doesn’t get credit for that. It takes a special kind of person to be able to deal with that. Plus, her mother died only five years ago, which is not that long ago, if time matters.

My post was a link to this article. It won’t change the minds of Trump supporters, and I don’t know that anything would, especially after the multiple times he’s offended or insulted someone yet still received support. On the other hand, condemning someone for their offensive behavior isn’t in line with what Wayne Dyer suggests in his book Your Sacred Self about loving people no matter what, ie, what Jesus Christ said about loving your neighbor. That being said, I don’t have to vote for them for President. Trump’s actions and words lead me to believe he must be a deeply sad, angry person. I can relate to that, having spent many years the same way.

piglet-lamb

I won’t go on and on about it, and my political posts will be rare, but I wanted to share that because these issues were close to my mother’s heart. She was a big believer in justice and peace, and her actions showed it.

With that, I’ll leave you with this. It occurred to me yesterday that when I’m feeling down, I can find joy by looking at pictures of animals. Baby animals are especially adorable, but any animal will do. Look into the eyes of any dog, cat, goat, etc. and you’ll see nothing but pure, unconditional love there.