Irony, Musing

Work it out

exercise female fitness foot

My exercise of choice is walking.  I can walk 50 miles just don’t ask me to run one mile. And, don’t ask me to go over a 15 minute mile unless wild animals are after me.  When I walk I usually listen to a podcast or an audiobook but occasionally it’s just me and a playlist. I honestly don’t know why I bother with a playlist. My mind always wanders to the most random and absurd things and I end up not listening to my playlist, only my inner voice.  I do all my deep, philosophical thinking whilst walking, showering or driving long distances.  Today, as I enjoyed the lovely, warm spring day I was reminded of a scene in Back to the Future 3.  See what I mean about random and absurd?

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  It’s highly unlikely that Back to the Future 3 would feature anything relevant but stick with me while I set it up.  If you don’t remember or never saw the movie, Back to the Future 3 takes place during the old west.  The scene I’m talking about features several people sitting around in a saloon and someone says something about running and how one day people will run for fun. Everyone laughs at the idea and proceeds to ask why anyone would want to run for fun – like this is the most absurd thing in the universe. And quite frankly for the time, it is the most absurd thing in the universe.  Day to day life was exercise. From hauling water to chopping wood to wrangling animals, every facet of daily life involved physical labor. No one exercised for health. They exercised because they had to do it to get the job done.

So, as I speed walked down the tree lined trails in my town, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the absurdity of it all.  Here I was wearing clothing and shoes especially purchased for exercising, listening to a tiny box which doubles as a phone walking down a paved path almost big enough for a car all in the name of health.  I was struck by how much life has changed in a mere 100 years.  I’m always astounded how technology, better health care, and basic personal rights have completely changed our lives.  It always leads me to wonder what’s next.  I can’t even fathom what our future holds.  Truth be told, as a child, I totally believed we’d be using flying cars by now.  Boy, do I feel cheated.  Actually, with the way most people drive, I’m glad we aren’t using flying cars.  But seriously, I can’t even begin to imagine what’s next. The only thing that even remotely comes to mind is VR and 3-D printing but those are already in use. I wonder how these technologies will affect us in 20 years?  Dear reader, do you have any ideas? Thrill me with your creativity.

P.S. If we don’t have Jetson’s flying cars or Rosie robots by the time I’m 80 I’m going to riot.

P.P.S. This is a free, stock photo, not me. My thighs have never been that skinny.

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Holidays, Musing, Rants

Feel The Love

three red heart balloons

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about love. When I was a small child, no older than four or five, I have a clear and vivid memory of standing in line at the pharmacy counter of our local drug store.  I looked to my right expecting to find candy bars and gum but instead, I found small boxes that had silhouetted couples walking hand in hand bearing the slogan “for feeling the love.”  Being the precocious and curious child I was, I asked my mother if we needed those little boxes to feel love. This was one of those rare and wondrous occasions when my smart-mouthed mother had very little response.  As fate would have it, right after I asked my question it was our turn at the cash register.  We moved past the strange love boxes and I was enchanted by other things.  But, I distinctly heard my mother tell the pharmacist, “You really need to put those things behind the counter and away from kids.”

As an adult, the thing that stands out most to me about that memory was not my very valid childlike question or my mother’s dumbfounded response but why we would need anything tangible to feel love.  I think that’s what I was really asking but I had no way to articulate that at the tender age of four or five.  I don’t think I could really wrap my brain around the idea that to feel love I needed to buy something from a store. I mean, didn’t I feel love for my mother and other family members without having to buy anything? Wasn’t it a feeling deep down and not a tangible thing?  As an adult that is easy to answer but as a little kid not so much.

I think that’s one of the reasons why I don’t like or really celebrate Valentine’s Day.  I think it’s silly to say one day out of the year we are going to profess our love.  If you think about it that way it’s a pretty shitty holiday. I mean who only wants to hear I love you or You’re appreciated only once a year?  I sure don’t and a damn $10 box of chocolates once a year is not going to make me like that idea.  A lot of people I know think I’m pretty curmudgeonly for this opinion.  That’s okay.  They are entitled to their opinions.  Personally, I’d much rather have flowers picked from the yard on a random day than a dozen roses delivered to my door on a prescribed day.  I would much rather have a fancy meal or fancy chocolate for no apparent reason than some set aside made-up holiday where everyone is getting something very similar to what I just received.  It doesn’t feel special on Valentines Day. It feels rehearsed and expected. I’d rather have unrehearsed and thoughtful.

This year on Valentines Day I will be carting kids to extracurriculars and eating leftovers. I know I am loved. I don’t need a card or a box with silhouetted couples walking hand and hand to feel that love.

Photo Credit: Free photo lifted off the internet but don’t you like how it’s a picture of balloons and my story was all about condoms?  Sometimes the Universe really smiles on us. 

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Musing

Joy

person holding round smiling emoji board photoHave y’all heard of Marie Kondo or the KonMari Method of organizing?  I first heard about it a few years ago from my Mother in Law. She is without a doubt the most practical and pragmatic person I have ever known.  Armed with the knowledge that her years are fewer rather than greater, she began the task of asking people what personal effects they wanted after she died or went to a nursing home. She began labeling the back of paintings and heavy pieces of furniture. And, in an effort to pare down, she started doing this KonMari crap.  Basically, the premise of this KonMari Method is you hold the item and ask yourself, “Does this item bring me joy?”  If the answer is yes, you keep the item, use it or give it a place inside your home and go about your business. If the answer is no, you’re supposed to get rid of it, give it to someone else, donate it or trash it but whatever you do don’t keep it if it doesn’t bring you joy.

Apparently, my Mother in Law isn’t the only person doing this and the KonMari Method is a real trend.  According to a Today show segment, donations at thrift stores are on the rise.  I am not a things person.  I don’t have many do-dads or accessories in my home.  I have a Christmas ornament collection.  I pride myself in the knowledge that my level of stuff is nothing compared to some people I know.  Yet, I still have plenty of crapola laying around that I don’t need. However, when I first head about all of these overflowing thrift stores all I could think of was, ‘I bet I could find some awesome crap at Goodwill!” Then I stopped myself because really I have enough stuff.  But, this whole purge thing had me thinking about my own house. So, I just started walking room to room pondering the whole ‘does it give me joy’ thing.  And, I have to say, most of it doesn’t give me joy and if we are all being honest, does any of it give us any joy?

Think about it, walk into any room right now and look at one of your most useful and mundane objects.  I for one am staring at this computer screen.  Does this computer give me joy? Hell no, most of the time I’m cursing it but it is a necessary tool of life. Does that couch over there give me joy? Well, sort of, it’s new and pretty and my butt no longer hits the floor when I sit on it like the old one.  But, I don’t get up in the morning, sigh and think, ‘My goodness that sofa gives me joy.” When I really think about it very few things give me joy.  Certain places and my relationship with certain people give me joy. My dog gives me joy.  Seeing a beautiful sunrise gives me joy. But, there are very few actual things in my life that when I look at it or hold it makes my heart happy.  And, maybe that’s the whole idea.  If we pare down to what truly gives us joy, we won’t have much stuff. I don’t know about you but if I truly did this does it give me joy crap, I’d be living at Disney World with my own mattress, a few boxes of books and Christmas decor, my favorite coffee cups and an endless supply of River Road Coffee. I really don’t think that’s do-able. So, I’ll keep all my useless treasures and I’ll get rid of it when I am good and ready or I won’t and then my kids will have to ask themselves, “Does this give me joy?”

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Musing, Random, Rants

Up to the Challenge

IMG_2311A few years ago it was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, then Tide pods and just last week I heard about a Bird Box challenge.  Now we have the 10 year/how bad have I aged challenge. Not to steal Heather Land’s schtick, but I ain’t doing it.  No, I’m not some conspiracy theorist worried about my facial recognition data harvesting. I just don’t have the time and the wear with all to go hunt down the oldest picture I have on Facebook. Hell, I don’t even know how long I’ve been on Facebook.  I know it was around the time my kids were born.  If I’m being honest the only reason I still get on Facebook is that just about everyone I know is on there and it’s one of the best ways to keep in touch with all the friends and family we have in other places across the country.

I mean, does anyone really care how many crows feet and grey hairs we’ve accumulated? I sure as hell don’t. And, let’s face it, every single one of us has that one friend that looks better than they did 10 years ago and it makes even the least vain person jealous as hell. You start questioning everything. Did that person make a deal with the devil or do they just have fabulous genes or maybe they had a little work done by a REALLY good doctor.  Everyone bitches about how Facebook paints an overly competitive picture and pits us against one another in an effort to show our less than authentic social media selves.  Well, this stupid challenge is the height of overly competitive less than authentic selves.

I’ll be honest, I’m not one for any of these challenges.  I’ve never participated in any of them. I’m not really a joiner.  I loathe the bandwagon and I’m a later adopter to pretty much everything. I’m one of these weirdos that finds virtue in doing exactly the opposite to what everyone else is doing. So to that end, I give you the above picture. It’s WAY over 10 years old.  In fact, it’s more like 40 years ago. I’m not really sure how old I am – two, maybe three, but I am large and in charge with my sunglasses. Suck it Edna Mode. I wore it first.

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Irony, Musing

January Sucks

appointment black calendar countdownSo, this article about why next Monday, January 21st will be the worst, popped up in my news feed today.  Hand to heaven, I rolled my eyes and screamed at my screen, “I talked about this last year people!” The proof is here.  I’m over here like ‘where were you last year and why did you pay this clown to write this article when I practically said the same thing for free. You coulda paid me instead, idiots.

But seriously, isn’t January the worst? Ugh.  And, is it just me or does this whole government shut down and recent mega snowstorm that did not come near me only make it all worse? Forget free government provided birth control pills can we all just get some mood enhancement pills and maybe something that will help us shed that holiday 15?  Am I truly asking for too much?  I don’t think so. Remember back in the 80s, Equal sent those little gumballs made out of Equal to every address in America?  The feds could do the same thing. Just send a few happy pills to every address and boom maybe people wouldn’t be a bunch of miserable cows.

P.S.  If you’re thinking ‘damn, she phoned this post in’ you aren’t wrong.  January sucks and I’m trying really hard but damn if it doesn’t still suck. This opportunity sort of presented itself and I latched on.

 

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Holidays, Musing

Holiday Traditions

IMG_2266Happy New Year!  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but I’m back.  Much like you dear reader, I have been busier than the best whore in the whore house on two for one night and twice as scattered.  But, before I take down the tree and start looking toward Mardi Gras I want to talk about traditions.  I love holiday traditions. I love hearing what friends and other cultures do to celebrate their most sacred times of the year. I love the Christmas traditions my family of four has cultivated over the years.  I love reminiscing about the traditions from my childhood.

I didn’t carry over that many traditions from my childhood. Driving around looking at lights and reading the about the first Christmas on Christmas Eve night was really the only must do’s I had growing up that I have carried over to my own family.  We didn’t make cookies for Santa; we put out whatever we happened to have. We didn’t go visit the big guy at the mall.  We didn’t go to church on Christmas Eve or Morning.  We didn’t have a special breakfast.  And, we sure as hell didn’t have some crazy elf.  (Whispers – Y’all know I hate that damn elf.)  But, I still feel like we totally seized the holiday every year.

This year was weird for our family.  We traveled about 800 miles to see family and enjoy some time in the mountains.  We left before Christmas proper so that meant fewer decorations were put up, we opened gifts early, and we generally did not know the day or date for 10 or 12 days.  This was the first year in at least 7 years that we didn’t have tamales on Christmas Eve night or Chinese on Christmas Day night.  But, we were able to see family we hadn’t seen in a couple of years.  We were able to celebrate Christmas Eve Mass at the same church where my hubs and I were married. And, we were able to show the kids a part of the country they’ve never seen.  I realized that even though we weren’t able to have our normal traditions I still felt the Christmas spirit. We still had fun and we still had each other. Who knows, maybe traveling on Christmas will be our new tradition.

So, dear reader, what are your traditions? Comment on here or if you’re reading this via the Facebook link, comment there. I love hearing what people do. I once had a sister in law who’s family was of Scandinavian descent. They had some weird fruit based cold soup on Christmas night. I wish I had gotten the recipe before she left the family. It sounded kind of gross but who knows, it could be fun to try.

P.S. – Guess what y’all?  As of the last post (Christmas Zen), I have done 100 posts! It’s like 100 Days of School only way better because you don’t have to do some stupid craft that requires 8,000 trips to Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Actually, it’s more like 100 episodes of a tv show only without a cake and a party.

P.P.S/Photo Credit – You never know what you’ll see when you are doing a road trip in the South. I took this picture myself while sitting at a stop light in B.F.E. I can’t even remember the state.

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Holidays, Musing, Uncategorized

Christmas Zen

silhouette of man at daytime

About this time every year, I totally lose track of everything – and I do mean everything.  I forget the day, the date, what I purchased for everyone, where I hid the stocking stuffers, what I’ve committed to bringing to the potluck dinner, and the list goes on and on. At this juncture, the meticulous lists I make to keep myself organized have long since been forgotten.  If I am with it and taking meds for my ADHD they too have been forgotten. Quite simply, I’m hanging on to the knot at the end of the rope with my fingernails.  The funny thing is any other time this type of chaos would usually put me into a panic attack of epic proportions but not this year.

I’d like to say the reason for this new found zen is some sort of meditation, yoga or pills but it’s not. I wouldn’t even say that my give a damn is busted. When it comes right down to it, I guess I just don’t care. Before you ask, no I am not depressed even though with each passing year I feel more and more like Charlie Brown. I think this feeling of zen is more a feeling that the stress doesn’t matter. It’s a feeling of there is nothing going on in my world that demands I worry about it that much. Life will work itself out.  It could also be that things seem to be going halfway right.  Ironically, that right there is what bothers me the most.  I know when the universe gives you the gift of zen it’s about to hit you right in the face with a big ole shit sandwich. That’s just the way life works.

Despite my zen, there is plenty of things to be annoyed about. For example, why does my youngest still want me to move that damn elf around even though I have a house of nonbelievers?  Why are so many people talking about how 30+ year old cartoons and songs are suddenly offensive yet homelessness and families without the ability to have a traditional holiday celebration are barely on those same people’s radar. And, why for the love of God aren’t people behaving themselves at school concerts.  You are not here to see Metalica.  Stop whooping and hollering like you are at a rock concert or rodeo.  No one needs to hear screams followed by, “WOOO HOOO GREAT JOB POOKIE.”  Pookie may have done a great job but all those other kids parents and family want to watch their kid in peace.  Holler at your own house, not at the school auditorium.  Damn people were you raised by wolves?

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