Tag Archives: thoughts

Free Speech?

It is already January 12th and this is my first post of the year.  I had hoped to be writing much more than this by now!  Of course, I did not expect to get that nasty, nasty flu that hit mightily this year. Knocked me down for a solid two weeks.  The good news is that I am regaining strength and on the road to recovery and her we go into the New Year, albeit a bit later than planned!

Suffice it to say I have watched A LOT of TV while I was ill.  And I am a news junkie.  And there have been a few tragedies.  Another plane with 162 people crashed into the ocean; at least they will find this one.  Little comfort to the families, but they will be able to bury their loved ones.

And then the terrorist attacks in Paris.  Attacks against cartoonists drawing pictures.  Attacks against free speech. ATTACKS AGAINST WHAT EACH OF US DO HERE EVERYDAY.

I personally don’t agree with poking fun at someone’s religion, someone’s skin color, someone’s ethnicity, someone’s sexual orientation, but I do agree that we all have the right to do it.

There really hasn’t been any kind of free speech in the United States for a very long time.  Anyone who makes a comment about that is racist or bigoted is immediately chastised, and if a public figure, may not be for long.  While, again, I do not like racist or bigoted statements either, does “free speech” mean that there is a right to say whatever, without any ramifications?  Or does it mean that you can say whatever you want, but be prepared to deal with the consequences of your words?

What is free speech really?

 

Class Reunion–35 years and counting

So I broke down and went to my first class reunion last weekend…okay it was my third-fifth class reunion, just the first one I’ve ever really attended. I went to the fifth, but stayed twenty minutes and left. It felt like high school and I didn’t need that again.  It is so interesting to see that little microcosm of society! For the most part, everyone has stopped worrying about “who is better than” and “who has more,” yet there were those “select” few.  You know, the “ones” who still talk to the only the other “ones.”  And they look around the room making eye contact with rest of us lowly minions, thinking that we are pining for their attention.  I noticed them about a half an hour before I left…and I was there five hours.  Someone I was talking to pointed it out to me, so I paid attention.  I realized that there was this “group of four,” not including their very uncomfortable spouses, who were having a very difficult time getting the rest of the mingling crowd to pay attention to them.  They tried a lot of things: they laughed very loudly, then looked around to see who noticed; they all walked to the bar together giggling at whatever, pretending not to look around; and they did the same on their social visit to the restroom.  Their extreme disappointment when no one cared what they did was evident…everyone else had moved on…had grown up…had seemingly left them behind.

It really was good to see people again.  I wish that  more people attended, but who am I to talk, it took thirty-five years for me to attend!  I realized when I got there that I miss the friends I made in high school.  I haven’t seen most of them for thirty-five years.  It isn’t anyone’s fault, life just happens.  I never felt like I fit in then; after this weekend, I know it doesn’t matter anymore.  That is a refreshing feeling.  It is sad that it took thirty-five years for me to feel that way, yet it is great that it happened at all!  I also realized how truly blessed I am to have reconnected with the friends I have since moving back to my hometown.  They have made this transition so much better.  I would be lost without them.  It is good to have this time in my life to reflect on what is important and what is valuable; what is lasting and what is true; what is golden and what is treasured.

 

 

Travels…in my mind

I would love to say I’ve been traveled and that is why my last blog post has been so long ago. Ok, so I’ll say I’ve been traveling.  I often do, only it is never a physical trip; I never leave my house!  I go to all sorts of places, however lately I have spent a lot of time with family in California.  I think it is because I had planned a trip there over two years ago now and had to cancel because of a sick fur-kid.  Of course, in hindsight, I did not have to cancel and should not have canceled, but only hindsight can show me that.  Somehow, I don’t think my recent “trips” to the sunny state of California measure up to what it would be like to actually go there!

I have also made return trips to Hawaii, to bask in the sunshine and feel the warm ocean water again!  It is so beautiful with the tropical flowers and the bright colors.  And the Rocky Mountains, in contrast, with their strength and majesty.  The mountain streams cascade with a clear purpose and direction.  And there are so many other places that I visit over again, just to experience their beauty and the peace, the joy and the excitement I felt being there.

In reality, I have just been very stressed and exhausted lately.  I really don’t think the exhaustion has anything to do with my travels, either!  I’ve been having “issues” around the house and I guess I’m just not as good at dealing with them as I used to be.  It just wears me out.  It has set off the RA and the PsA, which as resulted in swollen and painful joints, especially in my hands.  This angers me, as I feel if I dealt with the stress better, I would not have the physical reaction.  And, we all know what this does…yep, makes the physical reaction worse!  Ain’t that productive!

Today, I am going to try to break the pattern and get back to what I want to be doing.  This is my start to that.  So I will try to be more “responsible” in my posting.  I am hoping that the problems  around the house are just about over…although owning a house usually means there is always something that needs tending to.  (I really like having little “projects” to do; I just like being able to DO them, I don’t like things going wrong that I can’t fix.)  Also, it is autumn, my favorite time of year…the colors and the smells are superb!  It will be awesome to be able to once again experience Mother Nature’s bounty! I am so grateful for all that She gives to us.

I won’t stop traveling though, I’ve found it to be a rather enjoyable pursuit.

 

Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster

Once again, it has been it has been far too long.  I can honestly report that it is not because I’ve had nothing to say, just no time/energy to say it!  Just to catch every one up: Rudy, my Super Dooper Trooper is doing Wonderfully! He gave me another scare, and only one week ago I thought I was going to lose him.  Then, on Wednesday, 9/10, he had a “perfect” glucose level of 133! The vet and I agreed that we are going to wait one month before testing him again.  He’s been through enough tests and it’s time to just let him be for now.  Additionally, I have fallen twice in the past  two weeks, which has taken a toll on my body.  This may be the stress of everything causing a lack of coordination or just too much going on.  Either way it is taking a toll on my body!

Needless to say, dealing with this emotional roller coaster has left me fairly exhausted all the time.  I am still keeping up with the things I normally do, I am just not doing them at the same level.  I do think in the past day or two, I am starting to return to “normal,” whatever that is!  At least, I am feeling like I want to do something again!  I have begun to “study” writing, as I believe that to do something well, one must keep up on the skills of doing it.  In my case that means learning AND doing!  I have done that with just about everything I have ever done in my life and it has worked out well for me.  I just have to watch out for the tendency to get caught up in the learning and never get to the doing part!  Especially now that the doing is writing, which is very scary for me.  As I write those words, it seems very ironic that writing would be scarier than therapy! After all, therapy is, if done incorrectly, a far more dangerous enterprise. I mean, if I suck at writing, it is not detrimental to anyone’s life. (Except maybe my ego, but not my life.) Yet if I sucked at therapy, I could really screw someone’s life up. And I was not scared to walk into my office every day and see folks for therapy, in fact I enjoyed it.  So when I think of it that way, writing should be easy, right?  I think I will continue learning…

On that note, I just started reading a new book, entitled “Trying Not To Try” by Edward Slingerland.  It is based on the Chinese Philosophy of wu-wei, which is described as “an effortless way to go through life with spontaneity.”  It allegedly disputes all the thoughts about planning, reasoning and effort being needed for a happy life.  I am interested to find out more about the philosophy, especially since it fits into my theme of this year: “Just Be.”  Also, maybe it will help me be able to put words on paper; just write and stop trying so hard to make it perfect and planned out.  Which, of course, will probably go against everything I am learning about outlines, research and index cards!  That is what makes learning so much fun though…reading about all the different ways of doing things and putting them together to make the way that works for me!

After all, once I figure it out, I could write a book about it!

A Three Year Journey, Never Intended

Three years I began a New Life.  Or should I say I began a New Journey in my Life.  A New Journey sounds so much better and more intriguing, wouldn’t you agree?  I would assume it depends on whether it is a Journey one intended to take.

I went home for lunch on a Thursday afternoon, it was August 5, 2011.  I’d been having “episodes” of unknown origin, but they were mimicking TIA’s or mini-strokes.  I had been to the hospital ER many, many times; had more CT scans of my head than I probably should have in my lifetime; and, had freaked out my friends, my co-workers and myself more than once.  On this day, instead of going to the ER, I called my doctor.  I thought that was a wise move, since I was tired of wasting everyone’s time and resources to be told that they didn’t know what was wrong.  The doctor told me I had to see a neurologist and until I did, no more work.  Little did I know that it would take a year, and my insistence at seeing a third neurologist to get a diagnosis and a solution.  Of course, by this time, I had no job, which meant I had to move because I could no longer afford where I was living.  Of course this provoked just a little (sarcasm here) stress in my life, which caused the RA to go out of control.   Additionally, I lost two of my main supports, which were my old neighbors.  I had not planned on that.  I’ve never returned to work and my health is such now, that it seems unlikely I ever will.  Although, I would like nothing better.

There are many details, twists and turns that life has taken throughout these past three years, far too many to mention here.  The life lessons are always the most important; the demons we struggle with and overcome; the challenges we face and win; and the realization of who and what really matters.  I know that these will continue throughout my life, I hope to get better at dealing with them and at letting go of the little things and the things I cannot change.  I am finding that, unfortunately, that also means letting go of people.  There are people in my life who let me down to the point that I can never trust them again; who have shown me their true character and, not that I am perfect, it is cruel; and, there are those who have, at least in their own honesty, walked away from me.  This has been the hardest part of my journey during the past three years.  Or maybe it has been the hurt I have caused others, for I know I have.  I have let people down in ways for which I have many regrets.  I have tried to make amends where possible and apologies when I can.  And tried to do it better the next time.  I guess that is all to do.

It has been an interesting journey.  I have learned a lot about myself, my world and the people in my world.  I have been to the depths of depression and have had wonderful friends to pull me back up.  I have had major health crises that without my friends I would literally not have survived.  And I have had triumphs that my friends were with me to celebrate and share.  What have I learned? That I have the BEST FRIENDS, that I am BLESSED they are in my life; that no matter how dark or lonely some days may get, they will ALWAYS be there, just one phone call away.  I have also learned that I can handle much more than I thought I could, and I really thought I was pretty strong before.  I’ve learned to be more independent and to ask for help only when it is truly needed.  I’ve learned to let the little things go and not stress about them as much.  I’ve learned to be GRATEFUL for all that I have, for it is so much!  I’m learning to ENJOY EACH MOMENT because it is all I really have and to stop expecting things to be a certain way.  It appears that when I can release my expectations, I am pleasantly surprised by something new!  The biggest thing I’ve learned about myself is that I have a lot to learn!  This is good, for life will continue with its twists and turns and how boring it would be without them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israelis, Palestinians and HAMAS, The Current War, 2014

I have been a news junkie for a long time and I don’t know that it is good for me anymore.  The world, or should I say the news, is depressing.  And the 24-hour news stations are worse.  The repeat the same things over and over and over, usually not even bothering to change the words or the videos.  I have decided this means that I watch it way too much.  I don’t even watch the same station, but go back and forth.  It still doesn’t change.  This post is not really about the media, however, nor is it about my watching too much news.  Nor is it about how in addition to this; I read not one, but two political printed materials.  This is about all the comments I am reading about the current war between Israel and Hamas.

The conservatives are mostly on the Israeli side, while the liberals are mostly on the Palestinian side.  No one is on the Hamas side.  At least no one that I have heard about in the media, and as I have established I pay attention.

I do believe that every country has a right to defend itself.  I mean could you imagine if a country was digging tunnels into the US?  Oh yeah, they are.  And the US went to war with a country who really didn’t do anything to us, no one got upset about that for a long time.  And when we did go to war with the country that MAY have been responsible for attacking us, we haven’t done such a great job.  I don’t have totals, however, I wonder just how many civilians have been killed in these wars. Of course they were, doesn’t anyone remember “Shock and Awe?”

The thing that is causing my anger to rise is that no one is talking about HAMAS, which “everyone” agrees is a terrorist organization that wants to destroy Israel.  People in the US are protesting the death of civilian Palestinians being killed by Israel; and , I agree, I do not like the death toll either.  And it infuriates me that these people cannot get out of this piece of land.  How can this be?  There should always be a way to flee the country.  Not just in times of war, but also for natural disaster or spread of disease.  After all, the supposed “decision makers” of Hamas are not even in Gaza, they are safely in Qatar; again according to the media.  So who is getting killed, the poor Palestinians who are trapped in a no win situation.  And they are trapped with tunnels and bombs that are part of their homes, schools, hospitals and places of worship.  Even if they are not complicit with this, they still may not have a choice with it.  I am not there, I am not Israeli nor Palestinian, however if I was a Palestinian living in Gaza I would have done everything I could to leave there after the first, second, third one of these wars.  If I could have; I have no idea if it is possible.

I am all about homeland and sentimental belonging, however, I am also about life and preserving a “way of life” and not a “place of life.”  That has been a lesson hard learned for me in the past three years.  I am also all about free speech and believe strongly that everyone has the right to say whatever they want, hence this post.  I also think that with free speech comes responsibility for one’s words.  And that one’s words does not give someone the freedom to do things that are irresponsible.  Inflaming situations without giving thought to the ramifications of the escalation, is not helping to raise awareness or even to get out one’s point of view.  It is simply to sensationalize so that they can get their fifteen minutes of fame.  Protesting is wonderful, it has accomplished a lot in this country and in others; violence is not.  It is sometimes difficult to see this however, when countries frequently use violence to settle their disputes and call it war to make it ok.

Is there an answer to all of this?  I don’t have one.  I am not there.  I live on the other side of the world.  And I don’t believe it is the United States fight.  Does the US have a stake in the outcome? Doesn’t every country.  I hear in the media that, “The US has to get involved because it is the only country to have major influence any more.”  So what, just because the US has major influence, does it have to use it?  It seems so, it seems that the US has to use it everywhere, which is why so many countries are “unhappy” with the US.  I understand that everything is global now, there is no way that any country can operate without being engaged with other countries.  I just do not know if that includes telling them how to live.

Now, there is the issue of Russia and Putin, but not today.  I do feel horrible for the 298 people who perished and all the people who love them.   No, not a topic for today; after all, I am missing the Sunday morning news shows…

How Humbling -100 Bloggers Following Me!

When I started this blog, I thought 100 people, whom I did not know, reading my blog would be quite amazing! And now that I have reached 100 followers, I have found that I am in awe that there are 100 people, whom I know only through this medium, that have read my words and feel that they are worth reading again, and again.  That truly amazes me and astounds me.

I would assume that each and every blogger wishes that they had thousands of other bloggers reading their words every time they hit the publish button, and in a sense I would be no different.  I would, however, rather have the people who do read my blog really enjoy it and have it mean something to them.

I have been thinking I need to publish more frequently and bring my “numbers” up.  Yet, while many bloggers whom I have great respect for, can do this very well, I do not feel that I would be able to blog everyday and have something that I really wanted to say.  So I blog much less frequently.  Not that there aren’t thoughts flying around in my head all the time, that is a given!  And, I am fairly opinionated, even though I have learned to keep a lot of them to myself as I have gotten older.  Or, maybe I am getting better at seeing both sides of a situation, or more, and less able to find “the right” one.  In any case, I am not sure I could be an everyday blogger.

I am sure that I have reached a milestone today! One hundred followers whom I did not know prior to starting this blog, have found my words worth reading.  How humbling and inspiring!  Thank you to each and every one of you!