Time goes by a lot quicker than one would like to believe. One minute you’re sitting there planning your summer vacations, the next minute it’s the middle of winter and you’re following the progress of a blizzard on TV and wondering where the year went.
January is almost over (even though it feels like only yesterday that we were ushering in the New Year) and with it ends the Resolution Revolution Blog Series. It’s been an interesting month dear readers with amazing guest posts from all over the blogosphere! However, as they say, all good things must come to an end.
So thank you and a big virtual hug to all our guest bloggers!
Aviets from Mom Goes On
Toddler Mama from Hold Me, Don’t Hold Me
Elena from Home That We Built
Jessie from Behind the Willows
Hayley Margaret from A Stitch To Scratch
Life Breath Present from Life Breath Present
We should definitely do this more often.
The Pressure of Division
The pressure of division – moms at home, moms that work, whole food eaters, fast food eaters, natural birth, hospital birth, vaccination, non-vaccination, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and political differences.
There’s so much pressure to be in one camp or another. I know it’s easier to classify others, but the mere classification of others is inherently decisive. There are some that fit neatly into others’ classifications and some that don’t. There are those who resist all classifications because it’s more painful to be divided among others than not. There are still others who thrive on being classified. None of this is fair to another though. Not when we classify others for our own benefit.
Each person or family has a right to live as they please, so long as they’re not harming another. I may not like or personally approve of something another person or family is doing, but that personal dislike or personal disapproval doesn’t give me the right to infringe on their choices.
Just because I prefer to eat whole foods doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t ever eat processed foods. It also doesn’t mean I think those who eat only processed foods are bad people. If I believe in homeschooling, it doesn’t mean that we can’t discuss the public school system. After all, my homeschooled child(ren) will interact with your publicly schooled child. They will all be in charge of the world. It also doesn’t mean that because I don’t vaccinate my child, I think I have a right to tell you what to do with your child. Nor do any of our differences mean that there isn’t something we fully agree on, there isn’t some way we can even be friends or help one another out.
Let’s face it, if we stopped spending so much time and energy worrying about or attempting to control others, our lives would be so much less stressful. Our lives would be, shall I say, easier. Besides, at the end of the day, one person cannot control another person and you definitely can’t do it purely for your own selfish comfort. It sometimes could be as simple as saying, “no”. Yes, easier said than done, but not if you don’t practice saying “no” to others. And, just to clarify, saying “no” to others for your comfort or benefit is not the same as saying “no you can’t do x” and therefore attempting to control them. Setting boundaries and understanding what your role is in your life and the lives of others.
All in all, I don’t believe in breeding hate and mistrust. But classifying others does just that. It creates situations like these:
Trayvon Martin (Wikipedia link for simplicity’s sake)
And so many more…..Couldn’t these situations have been handled differently or maybe even just left alone?
So, isn’t it time we stop worrying about others? Isn’t it time we stop looking for ways to be divided against one another? Isn’t it time we all just worry about ourselves, yet be open enough to help someone else or at least listen to their ideas?
What do you think? What would you change about the world around you?
Litter: It Bugs Me
Imagine for second, lovely readers, that you are taking a peaceful stroll in the park. There’s a light frost on the ground and the sky is bright and cold and blue. Then you step in a box of leftover fried chicken and get somebodies half-eaten drunken food binge all up on your new Christmas boots.
Now imagine you’ve moved out of home into your first flat with a partner and your living-room windows are underground, protected by a grate. You love your new flat. You love it until some idiot throws their still-smoking cigarette down your window grate and your entire apartment smells like smoke for the rest of the day. You love it until you look out of the window and come eye-level with the evidence of the world’s slovenly, disgusting bad habit. (For real, this is my life.)
Littering. My contribution to the Resolution Revolution is: could everyone please stop bloody littering!
I hate it. It makes me want to have one of those immature tantrums where foot-stomping is involved. Stop it. Littering is lazy and inconsiderate. It makes places – and often the places that you live, these places that you’re supposed to be proud of – look grimy and uncared for and all-out disgusting. It’s so selfish and yet we all suffer for it. Our environments, not to mention being gross, are crumpling under the lava flow of litter. Usually, bad habits (I’m looking at you, nose-pickers and yawners-without-hands) are kept for your own personal, private space. So why are we all openly subjected to this one?
It’s not that hard, people. There are bins everywhere. Save your coke bottle/crisp packet/chewing gum another five measly minutes until you happen upon one. Don’t dump it outside someone’s house, in a public area, or where children play or throw it out of your car window you moron.
Okay, rant over. Carry on everyone!
Just Repeat After Me…
Are you still in need of a New Year’s resolution? Well, just repeat after me…
I am not a member of my favorite football team and will no longer live my life as though I am.
This means, that because I am not a part of the team, the game will go on if I am not in “attendance” and in spite of any item that I may or may not be wearing. Therefore my weekends will no longer be subject to the whims of the league officials and network directors. My time will be my own.
I further resolve to spend at least some of my newly acquired free time with people who can hear and respond to my shouts of encouragement. But, I will also remember that the real people I am engaged with can hear all of the things I holler at them and so I will endeavor not to yell things that will earn me a black eye.
When I do take time to casually watch a game I will remember that, despite my ever-present use of the royal “we” to refer to my favorite team, I am in fact not on the roster. And so, most importantly, because I am not a member of my favorite football* team and will no longer live my life as though I am, I will refuse to let the outcome of a game or any related incident affect my normally cheerful demeanor.
*Please feel free to substitute “football” with any other sport necessary to make this resolution work for you.
What Grinds My Gears
Argue if you will, but the source of all human evil is laziness. Speaking in most general terms, laziness breeds stupidity as “lazy to study well at school” or “researching your facts” leads to the lack of common knowledge about the world hence intolerance to other cultures. I’m sure there’s no need to remind you all of all the appalling, terrifying, and disgraceful “occurrences” of intolerance around the globe, covered by ideology, faith, political and racial reasons.
Laziness is the major cause of mind atrophy in humans, taking away the “sapiens” from the “homo”. It pre-determines ignorance, as in blindly agreeing to the media-promoted point of view on any given issue, without attempting to analyze the case from a personal perspective. If any, that is.
On a social level, laziness reveals a lack of common manners, including respect for others as in listening and attempting to understand the opinions of others, not even mentioning simple rules of courtesy, such as “Hello”, “Excuse me”, wearing one’s pants o-v-e-r one’s butt, not under it, and driving so as not to endanger the lives of others.
On a personal level, laziness almost always equals worse life/health conditions compared to un-lazy which due to an inexplicable cause-and-effect relationship, almost inevitably, ends up being a problem to/of the mentioned un-lazy.
Therefore, considering the above and other numerous complaints on the subject, I am announcing 2015 as the Anti-Laziness Year! However, being a Master Procrastinator – which, as you all well realize is absolutely different from and has nothing to do with laziness – I already have my doubts concerning the effectiveness of the fight against the L-enemy. Or is it just an excuse to indulge in the all-time favorite: doing-nothing?
Let’s Get Touchy Feely: The Importance of Empathy
In my previous life, before I was a baby wranglin’, plan cancelin’, crusher of dreams (I SAID GET OFF THE TV STAND!), I used to work with animals. More specifically, I was a vet tech, working at a handful of small animal hospitals across the nation. It was fun, fast-paced work, in an environment where you could learn new things every day. During the 10 years, I was a tech, I learned there is no safe end for a cat, birds are indeed as scary as Alfred Hitchcock portrayed, and maybe most importantly, a little empathy goes a long way.
From the fearful dog cowering in the corner, to the outspoken and upset owner huffing and puffing about the long wait, there was no lack of opportunity to witness the value and power of empathy, when used to diffuse conflict. Empathy, it seemed, was able to cross the border between species, genders, economic classes, age gaps, and races. It provided a bridge where communication could more easily flow, and where mutual understanding was given the footing to take root.
Yet, for some reason, empathy seems to take a backseat to many other human emotions when dealing with any kind of interaction these days. We are so quick to judge, and our judgments are then often publicly and proudly displayed as truths. From your breastfeeding coworker who takes a break every 3 hours to pump, to the protesters at the Ferguson and NYC protests, and just about everything in between, our lack of empathy towards others is preventing us from being able to reach an understanding. And it’s through this understanding that true change can start to happen.
For my reverse New Year’s resolution, I would have people put down the kettlebells and start flexing their empathy muscles instead. In this selfie-obsessed society, it’s high time we turn the focus back around, and start really absorbing what is going on around us.
My Gift to You
In the spirit of generosity embodied by the Christmas season, I’d like to offer a gift to one and all. I hereby relieve you all of the burden of the New Year’s Resolution. No decisions to make, no lists to write, no painful follow-up, no guilt. I’ll make it SO easy for you that I’m sure you’ll be begging me to help you out again next year.
I have one simple resolution for the entire world. Ready? Here goes:
Stop pissing me off.
By “me,” I mean me, the giver of this amazing resolution. Not you, the resolution-keeper. Because obviously, in this resolution scenario, I am the most important figure.
Perhaps you need a little explanation. I’ll help you out there, too. Never let it be said that I would drop a New Year’s Resolution on the world without providing adequate background and training.
My suggestion is that with every waking moment, you consider how your actions might affect me. For example, when you’re running late and dropping your child off in the circle drive and feel that YOU getting to work on time is more important than ME getting to work on time and you cut to the front of the line, blocking the left lane of the drive and endangering everyone else who’s waiting patiently and safely, remember your resolution. Stop pissing me off.
Here’s another example. When you’re tempted to push your cart into me at the checkout in the grocery store so that you can unload all your Cheetos and Mountain Dew onto the belt about five seconds sooner, making it impossible for me to even reach the card swiper, and you start peering over my shoulder to watch me sign the tiny little screen, remember your resolution and for Pete’s sake give me some personal space. Stop pissing me off.
Not clear yet how this resolution works? Envision yourself in this scenario so you’ll be able to honor that resolution. When you’ve just read the most amazing safety tip ever about how entering your PIN into an ATM backward will send out an emergency beacon to the local police if ever a robber forces you to withdraw money from your account, and your mouse is hovering over “share now” in order to save all your friends from this horrific but exponentially unlikely fate, just don’t do it. If you do share this crap you will piss me off with your ignorance, and remember that resolution: Stop pissing me off.
Okay, one final example just so we’re all on the same page. When you make the decision that a) cleaning a litter box is too much trouble and b) your precious kitty cat needs the freedom to roam the neighborhood at will in order to fulfill its predator fantasies, keep in mind that very special resolution I’ve given you for next year. Because guess what? I never wanted a cat, and I sure as $!#& never wanted your cat pooping in my flower beds so that my family can enjoy the aroma of litter box wafting in through our open windows. In other words (say it with me – you need the practice): Stop pissing me off.
One short sentence, four simple words. I am certain this easy-to-remember resolution will go a long way toward bringing peace and harmony to our world. Or at least to my world. And that’s what really matters, now, isn’t it?