Technology:  A Love/Hate Relationship

Hate Technology
Hate Technology
I recently switched to using the Google Docs app for my writing, upon recommendation of a friend when my five year old laptop was showing signs of impending demise. I can hear Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott’s (Scotty) voice, “We’re givin’ er all we’ve got Captain! She can’t take much more of this, she’s gonna blow!” It randomly makes this loud whirling rocket engine sound and everything freezes forcing me to do a hard reset while muttering an invocation of cuss words. Hard reset. This is part of our vocabulary now. I love the app because it allows me to back up all my writing, and it automatically saves as you write so your work is never lost, considering I do the majority of my writing on my 5 year old IPad, it makes me feel secure in knowing that I can pick up my work from any device should this crap out too. Now, what I hate about this is that everything is online. So if we lose Internet, like as a society, everything is lost. The other thing that I grow increasingly frustrated with is because we do everything online these days with literally everything from banking, to Social Media, to your job; you have to remember passwords. So many passwords. I’m drowning in fucking passwords.

As a writer, with no publisher (in the traditional sense) like so many of us, just trying to get our work out there and reach as wide of an audience as we can, we have to share our work in as many forums as possible. When I publish a blog post, it goes to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest and then finally I post it to Reddit. That’s 7 passwords not including the one for WordPress. If you want to use an image that isn’t your own, there’s another password to Pixabay or ShutterStock or whatever site you use.

When I was employed, I worked mostly on the phones. Call Centers. Or what I refer to as, “The bowels of the job industry: Purgatory” . As phone slaves, we had to use several programs daily, each one would have a different password and expiry period. You’d be changing passwords every couple of weeks. “Don’t write these down or tell anyone” they’d stress, but I didn’t give a shit, I wrote them down. I had to. I didn’t want to spend hours on hold with tech every couple of weeks to get passwords reset. Ridiculous. Not too mention a HUGE waste of my time.

Have you ever thought about how much time we spend checking our emails, social media, waiting for pages to load and yelling at our computers, smartphones and tablets when they crash or don’t work properly.

I feel like our lives are being sucked away by these futile and inescapable chores. So not only do we have to do everything we as humans do like work, take care of the home, grocery shop, cook, clean, raise a family, pay bills, but now we have to remember 300 passwords and everything must be documented and shared and liked and backed up. Jesus H. Rodriguez! A day of leisure turns into 3 Facebook posts, an Instagram post, a couple of tweets, several texts or emails, rebooting your computer several times so you can log in to Netflix and watch a movie. Don’t forget to thumbs up everything you watch. Hey why don’t you leave a comment or a rating while you’re at it. For the love of God, the simplest of things can turn into a complicated technological nightmare. I can’t even take a nap without hearing all the different notifications going off on several devices. Sure I keep them on silent mostly, but there was this cat video I had to watch and I forgot to turn down the volume when I was done.

When I was a kid in the 80s we had none of this shit. It was a landline phone call if you had something important to say. We weren’t passive aggressively bringing flattering photos of ourselves to school and leaving them in random places to see if people liked them or not. If we weren’t home, you didn’t reach us. Period. Some people had answering machines but most didn’t and there was no voicemail. I had 2 TV channels until 1986. We got tanned from being outside whenever the sun was out. We played and had imaginations, and the only “computers” any of us had, were the Atari, Colecovision, Vic 20 or the impressive, Commodore 64. We managed. It was so much simpler and less stressful. I can’t imagine how much stress these young kids are growing up with now. Never knowing that freedom of being disconnected. Not constantly being subjected to judgement, online bullying, and the joy of using their brains for creativity rather than simply memorizing passwords and tasks.

If I knew then what I know now I would have never taken that peace of mind for granted. I may have resisted more when welcoming all these “time saving” and “convenient” technological advancements into my life. Once you start, it’s hard to just back off because it has become necessary for everyday life now. Look at the people you might know personally for instance. We all know someone who “Isn’t on Facebook” or “Doesn’t text” and we’re all thinking, “What does that person have to hide?” It’s never, “Oh they just want a drama-free stress-free life”, it’s always “they must be a pedo” or “They must be cheating on their spouse.” It’s become sinister somehow. So technology has made us more suspicious of our friends and neighbors in addition to enraging us and invading us.

I think I can safely say, that I’m not alone in fantasizing about living in a simpler time. I think we all have this love/hate relationship with technology. It has helped in so many ways and enriched our lives in many regards, but I also believe it has not only made us lazier, but responsible for things like the breakdown of social etiquette and manners. People are just plain rude and ignorant to others. It can provide a safe haven for criminal activity to grow and spread, it furthers the lack of individual responsibility if we can hurt someone anonymously. It promotes and glorifies shallow lifestyles and shit that doesn’t really matter. It tells the weak minded and uninformed what to believe or be outraged at.

If I had to rate my involvement with technology I would give it only 2 stars out of 5. If I had to leave a comment it would read;

Not A Great Experience
Thanks for the instant communication. I really enjoy the wealth of information at my fingertips it makes me look like less of a tool when I interact with other humans. I really love the memes and gifs, and YouTube and Netflix are swell. The rest of it though, is absolute bullshit.

Fed Up,

UptightSparklePantsCakeLover74

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Sam

Image courtesy of
http://gamesplanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/5-Ways-To-Manage-A-Planned-Website-Outage-Without-Annoying-Your-Customers.jpg

A Letter To My 10 Year Old Self

As I was spreading a thick layer of depilatory cream on my upper lip and chin this evening, it occurred to me that no one prepared me for this. No one told me I’d have to spend extra time in the mirror looking for errant black hairs. No one prepared me for having whiskers. No one told me I’d turn into a man for fuck’s sake and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.  

Come to think of it, I feel like there have been a number of things I just wasn’t prepared for. I thought I would write a letter to my 10 year old self to warn her. 

Dear Sam,

I thought you would appreciate a head’s up from your future self. We are now 43 years old and things didn’t quite go as we thought it would, so I’m just going to lay it all out there for you in point form.  Brace yourself. 

You will get fat in your twenties, please for the love of God, stay away from those donuts, pizza and potato chips or at least pace yourself. Stay active and eat right. You may not be aware of this now but when you get older it becomes harder to poop, so eat all your fruits and vegetables.  

In the future we won’t be dating boys. You know how you like to watch Daisy Duke in her short shorts? In the future, this will become far more socially acceptable and you won’t have to hide your love of Madonna and her belly button. It will even become legal for a woman to marry another woman. They’ll throw parades for people like us and it will be fabulous. The only downside is that with gay marriage comes gay divorce and you will experience that too if you jump in too quickly and trust the wrong person. Pay close attention to the signs that your partner is cheating, you’ll be able to see that up close and in action in 2 short years when your mom and dad break up. 

You’ll become a dog person. I know that sounds impossible to you given your life long love of cats and all things kitty, but you will meet a dog one day that changes your mind about dogs and you’ll see how awesome they are.

Can you imagine a world where we can take our phones with us? Now, I know you’re thinking of one of those 15 pound phones with the giant aerial right? Looks like a shoebox? They get smaller, smaller and smaller and then a little bigger, then bigger again so we can watch TV on them! No one has house phones anymore. We all carry tiny computers around with us everywhere. Not like the Commodore 64 either. They’re lightening fast with bold bright lifelike colors and have this remarkable thing called the Internet. It’s like having a library at your fingertips with a world of information a click or tap away. The whole world is connected now and you can talk to someone on the other side of the world just like that. No one sends letters anymore and rarely do people actually TALK on the phones we all carry. We simply send each other text messages instead. In fact, we have basically developed a new language based solely on shortened words and pictures of faces we call emoticons. The whole thing is going to blow you away. You won’t need to visit libraries anymore, or bookstores for that matter, or really any stores since we have this thing called Amazon now that sells pretty much anything you will ever need. We don’t really do things in person anymore. You will hardly have to leave your house. The only problem is that we end up giving away all of our privacy and personal information in exchange for the convenience. There’s a book you should read, it’s called 1984 by George Orwell, that should explain it better for you. 

The world is a pretty crazy place right now, the Americans elected Donald Trump as their President. I know. Our Prime Minister is actually Pierre Trudeau’s son and he got elected with a promise of legal pot for everyone. You know that stuff from the Cheech and Chong movies your parents watch? Well in the future, a lot of people use it for medication, even you.

You will end up with crippling pain in your body from something called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or Fibromyalgia as they generalize it. You also end up with pretty severe Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Degenerative Disc Disease and Endometriosis. You will have pain all the time and it will get worse as you age, so enjoy your life now. Enjoy being able to freely move and run, even with your bum ankles. Climb as many trees as you can find, sink as many basketballs as possible and ride your bike with total abandon because you will really miss that when you get older and your mobility decreases with illness.

You won’t ever be a Mom. I know you wanted to but that disease I told you about, Endometriosis, is going to cause cysts to grow all over your insides and destroy your uterus and you’ll only have one ovary. It’s okay though because in the future, less and less women are able to have babies, so you won’t be the only one. You can still have pets and enjoy your friends’ kids and honestly, you’ll be so tired and ill so frequently that you probably wouldn’t be the best mom anyway.  

A lot of famous people will die. People that you love. One of them, is Michael Jackson. Michael will leave quite the legacy. Some stuff will happen with him that you won’t know if you should believe. Just remember the good stuff about Michael. Robin Williams, Prince, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, George Michael and many others die unexpectedly. The one that will hurt the most is Leonard Nimmoy. I know how much you love Spock. On a side note, Star Trek is still going! They’re still making new movies and there will be several spin off series for you to look forward to.

Work hard in school. Work so hard that you earn scholarships. Education will become really expensive and very necessary to gain steady employment. Without it, you will have to work in retail or in call Centers answering questions and taking complaints from assholes. You’ll do it so long that when your phone does ring, it will make you sweat and shudder and throw up in your mouth a little bit. You will grow to loath a ringing telephone. 

Continue writing. Maybe work harder with that. In the future people can self publish, you won’t even need a publisher at first, you can write your book and put it right on Amazon. Keep reading, books never go out of style. Keep learning. Your love of learning will stay with you throughout your life.

One last thing I need to talk to you about it the reason you are sad. You have something called clinical depression and you already have a pretty remarkable case of something else called anxiety disorder. That’s the thing that makes you cry before you go to school, it’s what causes that pain you get in your stomach all the time. You will have this for the rest of your life. You will try many treatments, medications and lifestyle changes but it will always be there. Try not to let it get the best of you, learn to soothe yourself because your parents won’t. They will never understand it. Learn to be strong, secure and resilient. Learn to love yourself. You’re not alone and you will meet some pretty great friends that will become your chosen family.  

Your life will be hard but remember, God never gives us more than we can handle. You can apply that reasoning when you find out you can’t have babies. Also apply that logic when you don’t move past a B cup in bras.  

Stay strong little warrior. 

PS. You are lactose intolerant, please stop drinking milk and lay off the cheese slices.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

Weird Things From My Childhood That Made Me the Weirdo I am

So this is a little more personal, I often try to write with humor, but some things just aren’t that funny and that makes it difficult to put a humorous twist on it. Like many of us, I had an unconventional childhood. My parents had a rocky marriage, we didn’t have much money, I spent my early childhood living in a trailer. My father drank a lot, my mother cried a lot. My parents fought a lot. I hid in my closet a lot. I was an only child with no freedom who was afraid of everything and overly anxious. I grew up to be an overly sensitive, massively anxious adult.

My parents split up at age 12 so I had a lot of firsts at that age you’ll notice. I’m not going to get into every little detail but rather I will just highlight a few things that made me the neurotic mess I am.  

My father’s idea of playing with me was throwing plastic spiders at me, knowing I was terrified of spiders. He thought making me scream was funny. You know when your parents used to say “if you don’t eat your food, I’ll dump it on your head.” He actually did that. When I wouldn’t eat my dinner, he’d dump it on my head and laugh hysterically. Somewhere there is a photo of me crying with clam chowder running down my face. Hilarious. 

I wasn’t allowed to stay overnight anywhere until my parents separated. I stayed overnight once or twice at my cousins’ house, but they lived next door and it took a lot of begging. At my cousins’ house we could stay up late watching TV and eating treats. At my house, I had to be in bed while it was still light out and no treats unless it was a Friday.

I wasn’t allowed treats. Not to say I never had any, but it was limited. Sugar was limited. As a child I was underweight but my mother was overweight so I think she was trying to prevent me from being overweight in some weird way. At Halloween she’d ration the treats much like the Third Reich rationed butter during the war. I’d still have candy left come April. Same thing happened at Easter and at Christmas. I think this made me indulge too much as an adult. I only tried McDonald’s for the first time at 12 when my friend’s Dad took us and I thought it was amazing! In my twenties I had ballooned up to 260 pounds. I have since lost that weight but it made me obsessed with food for years. 

My family aren’t the hugging ‘I love you’ type. The way we showed affection was to make fun of each other until someone ended up with a crippling case of self consciousness. I got made fun of for my choice in music, clothes, make up, friends, grades, you name it. Doing that resulted in a lack of confidence. I was also being bullied at school, I wished for love and reassurance from my family, but it has always remained just a wish.

I never had a shower until I was 12. We had a dug well so my father’s logic was that it would run dry. It never ran dry that I can remember but my father insisted that we take baths. So first my Mom would take hers, then I would take mine, then Dad would have his- all in the same tub of water. At the time, I figured that everyone did this, but then I heard they didn’t. It was just us. The first time I had a shower was at my stepmother’s house and I had to ask how to use it. She couldn’t believe I had never showered before. I flooded the bathroom not realizing to put the shower curtain inside the tub. Now I bathe several times a day. I am obsessed with hygiene and I’m a compulsive hand washer. 

I wasn’t allowed to have friends over, I had to spend my summers babysitting my younger step brother with not even an allowance. I wasn’t allowed to join extra curricular activities; the list goes on and on. My aunts and uncles labelled me “the little prisoner” as a child for a good reason. I felt like a chained up back yard dog that you only occasionally pay attention to. I think this is where my love of animals stem from. My pets would become my best friends. 

There are so many other things that come to mind, some of which are hard to talk about. As an adult I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with things, I have PTSD and have been clinically depressed since I was a teenager. Writing about it helps. It can be therapeutic. Seeing it in print and learning about other people’s experiences seems to make it a little easier to deal with.  

I don’t have a relationship with my parents. It’s been almost 2 years since I spoke to my father and 5 since I talked with my mother. I miss them but it’s more like I miss the idea of them rather than the actual people. It feels weird to say that, but it’s true. I don’t feel connected to my family, I never really have. I’ve just always felt like an outsider, like I didn’t belong simply because I’m not like them. I am more compassionate and sensitive, I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings and I care about others. Some of these characteristics I attribute to the fact that I had a less than caring family and in many ways I’m glad that I am who I am.  

Just know that actions you take with your children can last a lifetime. It can hurt and even damage them. Show your kids what unconditional love is, be patient, listen to them. 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

Image courtesy of tuelekza at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Appointments.  Are There Anything Worse?

I am sitting here dumping a Lukewarm cup of tea down my neck hole fussing about my appointments today in my head.
I’m guessing normal people don’t do this. They probably just get up feeling rested in the mornings, go to their jobs and appointments and then home to their pet unicorns and eat mana as it rains down from the Heavens.. 

Stress. Why do I stress about everything? My anxiety levels rise, my heart beats a little faster, I start walking into door frames and bumping into things as I am otherwise distracted by my worries, then I start chewing on my fingers and cuticles as scenarios play out in my mind.

Today’s appointment is with Mental Health. I have been dealing with clinical depression for my entire adult life. I’ve been on medication since I was 18 years old. I have severe anxiety as well as PTSD. I moved to Saint John, New Brunswick with my partner two years ago and it has been DIFFICULT to find doctors here. It turns out I moved to the sickest province in Canada; meaning there are more chronically ill people here than anywhere else in Canada. That means doctors have limits on how many patients they can see, it means limited access to specialists, long wait times and full emergency rooms at the hospitals. I also don’t have a vehicle so that makes transportation difficult. I have to do quite a bit of walking to get around, and on days like today (rainy, damp and cold) I am going to need an appointment with a long hot bath and my heating pad when I get home. So this appointment with Mental Health; I don’t know what to expect really, but these are the possible outcomes:

“Ugh you people with your “chronic illness” and your “chronic pain” don’t you know how much of a drag you people are? You people are just whiny little pissers who just can’t toughen up and deal.” I picture a nasally lady with glasses much too large for her face with one of those long gold chains that attaches to your glasses so you don’t lose them. She has a knitted sweater around her shoulders  probably knitted by her friend Myrtle last Christmas, poor Myrtle has the rheumatoid arthritis so she can’t knit like she used to so Sheila (that’s what I named the Mental Health lady) wears it often because it reminds her of the everyday struggles and that people can overcome anything. Sheila is also slapping a nightstick in her palm. Not sure where she got that but, I feel scared.

“Wow. You are literally THE craziest broad I have ever met. You need some serious help. How do you get through life at all even? I’m not sure I can continue this session today.” The uptight tight faced lady then places a call and requests Igor and Hugo immediately. At that point I am carted away by 2 beasts of men in a straight jacket against my will. 

“Yeah you have some legitimate issues for sure, unfortunately so does everyone else so you will need to go on a waiting list for a year or so. It could be less if suicide rates continue to rise.” This time it’s a man who looks like kind of like David Suzuki only less Asian. He’s wearing brown pants with brown loafers and grey socks to match his grey shirt. I find him oddly comforting so I agree to go on his list.

“What problems? You’re completely and utterly lying. Pain? You are not in a wheelchair nor do you have cancer, why are you wasting my time today?” This guy kind of looks like Sigmund Freud only he speaks with a British accent and wears his shirt collar buttoned up with a bow tie. Normally I think, ‘Bowties are cool’ but not in this particular case. It just comes across as simply pompous. 

I don’t make it to my appointment at all, instead I just collapse from exhaustion and pain in the street while the rain beats on my face. The camera pans out from above and I am all alone drowning in rain, tears and failures while people hurriedly walk past and over me.

Wow, that’s a little dramatic Sam, and yes I am aware of that but this is how my brain works. Mostly I’m simply afraid of opening up to yet another doctor/medical professional with little to no help as an end result.  

After this appointment, I have yet another with a social worker from Community Living here in the city. They assist people with disabilities attain help from different resources. I don’t have some of the documents they want though and need more time so again I stress.

What would a life without anxiety feel like? Would it be as liberating as I assume it would or would you even notice how lucky you are?

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Sam

Photo credit http://www.demotivation.us/worrying-works-1281560.html

Mastering Myself in My 40s

cropped-ferry-n-chucks.jpgLet me begin by saying you will never master life.  You may master cooking the perfect pot roast, the art of knitting perfect stitches or baking the perfect cake, but never life.  You can improve your life through self examination, by releasing your intentions out into the universe, a healthier diet or yoga certainly, but I’m not sure any of us will ever master it.

 

Why I Struggled to Write This Piece

 

My friend approached over a month ago to submit a piece to her website dedicated to women Mastering Their 40s.  Eager to please and flattered she asked I embarked on something more than I expected.  I was stumped.  Me?  I haven’t mastered anything.  I have been disabled for a few years now and unable to work.  I struggle every day to get out of bed as I never feel rested from constant pain and restless sleep frequently filled with PTSD nightmares.  I am 43 but have the body (inside, biologically) of a 65-70 year old woman.  I have been plagued with illness my entire life and now I am constantly exhausted, it creates what they call “brain fog” so different days I am cognitively impaired, stiff and very sore.  It makes me miserable.  Illness, pain and depression stole and is slowly consuming my life.  I can’t do what others expect of me which frustrates me as well as them and leaves me burdened with a tremendous amount of guilt and self deprecation.  I thought to myself, “Who am I to give advice?” and, “I’m not that interesting or fabulous”

 

I Am Neurotic.  I Apologize

 

I’m not one of these broads that have it all together.  I don’t have a husband; I’m a gay woman, I have no children; I have a dog.  I will never own a home and I don’t have a vehicle.  I am poor.  Not, I can’t afford a cruise poor, but sometimes I can’t afford tampons poor.  I still drink sometimes, I smoke marijuana, and I curse a lot.  My idea of a fancy meal is delivery from Boston Pizza on pasta Tuesday with maybe a $15 dollar wine if it’s a special night.  I am more apt to drop my food on my shirt than to drop cash on something I don’t really need.  I have to be extremely frugal.  I am more apt to have a peanut butter and jam sandwich for dinner than orchestrate a full meal.  I am more likely to exchange delicious and inventive curse words with someone who cut me off in the crosswalk than to exchange delicious and inventive recipes with a friend.  Martha Stewart I am not.  I worry.  That’s what I do.  I worry about everything.  I stress about everything.  I get nervous about everything.  I fart when I’m nervous.   I am … a neurotic mess.  

    

So instead of writing advice or listing things that has helped me I’ve put together a few things that illustrate where I am as a woman in her forties.


Finding My Niche


Once I hit my forties, I threw out my thong underwear.  All of them.  Not because I was planning on giving up intimacy, not because I wasn’t concerned about VPL (visible panty line) but because I wanted to be comfortable.  My comfort comes before you seeing my panty creases in my pants.  For the first time I started to become more comfortable in my own skin.  I don’t have the body of a 25 year old; I never will, I am 43.  I have flabby arms, a big round bum and less than perky breasts.  So what?  So does every other 43 year old woman unless you’ve had surgery or live in Hollywood.  Now leave me alone with my bacon cheeseburger.  I also enjoy my food a lot more than I used to.  I take the time to taste each bite and savour flavours without worrying how long I need to spend on the stair climber to burn it off.

 

I also learned that working a 9-5 office job wasn’t for me.  I had to accept that and learn to be okay with that.  I needed to find ways to earn money from home and focus on writing more instead.  Writing has always been a passion of mine since I was a child and I take a lot of pleasure in completing and publishing a piece.


Taking Time to See the Beauty

We spend so much of our youth speeding to hit adulthood that we find ourselves in our forties thinking, “I missed so much.”  Then we spend our midlife and beyond trying to recapture our youth.  Enough of that.  Now I just try to savour moments like I savour food.  Take mental pictures of things that make you smile.  Remember details of the things you enjoy so you can revisit those moments on your bad days or store them in your brain locker for when you’re in your old age.  Whenever I encounter beauty, I breath it in, I fully immerse myself in that moment and remember every detail.  A breathtaking view overlooking the serenely sapphire Atlantic ocean on a sunny day when it seems the sun is dancing amongst the waves, the only sounds are the waves hitting the rocks and racing to the shoreline.   A peaceful swim on a quiet lake at midnight, the only light is that of the moonlight that reflects upon the still lake, the only sound being that of your own heartbeat as you float on your back, effortlessly breathing in the brilliant moon.  That delicious meal you’ve been waiting for and it’s finally arrived; the aromas, the colors, the textures, that perfect sear on a meaty juicy buttery steak; that first bite as it pleasures your palette with delicacy and satisfaction.

 

People can be so removed from the moment, thinking of something else, worrying, stressing.  These actions do not serve us at all.  All they do is distract us from things we should be enjoying.  When you’re with your family or close friends- BE with them.  Put your phones down, talk and really listen to one another.  

Exercising Gratitude

This was a big thing for me to do.  Struggling with illness and depression for so many years and not having the support I truly needed left me with the sour taste of bitterness throughout my thirties.  Sure I sometimes took time out to express gratitude to God, but I felt pretty jaded and cheated.  It wasn’t until my latter thirties early forties I really tried to take time out daily to think about what I was grateful for in my life and to come to terms with my sexuality despite my faith and beliefs.  Through prayer I determined that God knew what was best, that I should live my life genuinely and honestly.  I spend a few moments each night reflecting on that day and I thank God for putting certain people in my life, providing food and clothing and shelter in addition to His love and forgiveness.  


I Couldn’t Care Less About Gossip

There’s an old adage that says,
  

 “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

I have tried to move away from paying attention to things like gossip for example which seems to not only require a lot of time and energy that in the end benefits no one.  So why waste the energy?  Let’s talk instead about I don’t know… Changes in our society and how to adapt, because I don’t know about you but, doesn’t it seem there are far more important things to talk about right now?   There’s that impending war, or the changes in our laws that affect everyone or how our food has become practically toxic to most people?  Hey, those bees are still dying.  There’s an increasing rise of violence and crime?  The fact that respect and courtesy are dying attributes in our society?  I don’t know about you but I am ready to pop those snotty kids at the drive thru windows these days… But hey, I digress.

    

Writing Notes For Myself

I have several notebooks that I have stored all over my apartment, my purse, my nightstand and by my couch.  Each notebook serves a purpose.  I have one for short stories, one for poetry, one for writing ideas, one for organization- listing things I need to do or take care of, one for hopes and one for prayers.  Writing is a great tool for self discovery.  It allows you the freedom of emptying your heart without judgement.  It’s therapeutic to put into writing how you feel, how you’ve grown and the things you’ve learned about yourself, the world and others.  It allows you to be present in that moment and experience those feelings.  I find even spending just a few minutes a day with just myself and my words leaves me with a small sense of peace and accomplishment.  

Self Care

This is still fairly a new concept to me but I am taking it in stride.  As we get older and get bogged down by every day life: Work, children, spouses, finances, illness, it becomes crucial that we take moments out for ourselves.  Even if it’s a long hot bath or a solo shopping trip.  Taking care of ourselves and our health allows us to put our best selves forward.  If we are healthy, happy and strong we can be better spouses, parents, employees and friends.  We can be more supportive of others and lead by example.

Meaning What You Say/Saying What You Mean

I spent a lot of my thirties searching for inner peace, immersing myself in my faith, reading a lot of self help books and I even went back to school for Nutrition and Wellness, Personal Training and Fitness Instruction.  I guess I spent a lot of my thirties trying to become a better version of myself.  Along this journey I stumbled across a little book called The Four Agreements you may have heard about it through a friend or through the original lady’s guru Oprah.  Admit it, you watched it, we all did.  One of the agreements is to Say What You Mean and Mean what you say.  That resonated with me simply because as a Customer Service/Sales person for years, I had heard  A LOT and what always frustrated me was people who beat around the bush.  Just say what you mean but only say it if you really mean it.  Words can easily be thrown around like monkey feces at a zoo and sometimes words can hurt people.  So think about what you’re going to say before you say it.  I have a checklist:

  1. Is it important?  
  2. Will it make an impact?
  3. Is what I am going to say going to possibly hurt someone’s feelings?
  4. Is it really necessary?

If it’s not necessary and if it’s just a matter of pride to speak up and voice your opinion, like just to prove you’re right for example then I say nothing.  Whatever little quip or sarcastic remark I may be thinking, I refrain from saying it out loud.  It takes a lot of practice and I have the bite marks on my tongue to prove it, but think of how much nicer the world would be if people considered these things before speaking?

 

I don’t know, I’m no expert in anything as I previously stated.  I’m just a broad with a potty mouth who is trying desperately to just be a good person.  

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

Burger Lovin