Regular Old Quotes

CS LEWISI see a lot of inspiring quotes in my social media news feed. Quotes from famous people who have gone on to do amazing things. I am motivated to do more, try harder, forgive faster, love stronger.

But some of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard have come from normal, regular people that do extraordinary things every day by just being.

Famous people are inspiring. They represent the real possibility that dreams do come true. But the real people in my life are the real deal. They are juggling children and careers, living through heartache and disappointment, battling isolation and reaching out for the warmth of friendship.

I find everyone inspiring. People I’ve known forever, people I’ve just meet. Almost everyone has something to say at some point during a deep conversation that is worthy of a meme, t-shirt, or coffee mug.

What’s the one thing you would tell the world? I’d really like to know.

Because the world I interact with is far more inspiring than the words of a great person far removed.

Send me your own words of wisdom – there’s a good chance I’ll want to share it.

Not Everyone Lies On Facebook

Sigh. Where to begin?

I’ve been reading MANY posts lately about the lies people tell on social media, how we scrub our lives and portray only our most beautiful moments. It’s a social media backlash that I honestly take a little personally.Lies Kids

I post pictures of my kids doing adorable things. I only post pictures of myself when they look good. I share anecdotes of my small children saying amazing, profound things. And I am not ashamed of my life shared on social media.

Here’s how you can interpret my social media activity:

  • I post cute kid stuff maybe 3-5 times a week. Other than those moments you can assume they have been in timeout for knocking each other around like barbarians.
  • You will find pictures of me, usually with my husband, about once a month because doing my hair and makeup for anything other than work (and usually not even on those days) only happens that often.
  • I share articles and stories that inspire, inform, or make me laugh so hard I snort coffee. Since this is most of my posting, you can infer that I read a lot and care about politics, world events, the great irony of reaching middle age, and art. To name just a few.
  • I “Like” a lot of my friends’ posts because I like my friends and their kids – both human and animal. I genuinely like seeing their fondest memories, reading lists, and musings about life.

You see, I don’t lie on Facebook. In fact, it’s a pretty accurate highlight reel of what my life is like. Would it make my friends happy to see 4 pictures a day of my children crying, whining, or giving me the evil eye? Would they rather see pictures of me the moment I wake up with puffy eyes, standing over a toaster making waffles willing the coffeemaker to brew faster?

Life will always be a series of highs and lows. I have faith in my social media friends that they can read between the lines of my “perfectly Instagrammed” life and know that I am well-rounded, equally disturbed, and a majority of the time completely unraveled. I know that I believe the same about them.

If you love social media and want to continue the fun, please feel free to share this rant. Who knows, maybe it will start a counter-revolution.

At The End Of the Day…

End of the Day Blurb

Life imitating art… if NPR is considered art (which I think it is)

I came across an interesting piece today. Actually, it was completely uninteresting to me since it is merely a reflection of my daily life.

 

Apparently NPR has apologized to this 4-yr-old little girl for covering the presidential election so much that it made her cry. Sweet. It was nice of them to make nice with a viral video sensation. But honestly, 4-yr-old’s cry about E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

They are the mini embodiment’s of Goldilocks. Everything is too hot, too cold. Too loud, too soft. Too much attention, not enough attention.  If I apologized every time my 4-yr-old was unhappy with the world around her, the only words I would ever get a chance to say would be “I’m sorry.”

So I read the apology that NPR issues. It’s basically an apology for being who they are.

On behalf of NPR and all other news outlets, we apologize to Abigael and all the many others who probably feel like her. We must confess, the campaign’s gone on long enough for us, too. Let’s just keep telling ourselves: “Only a few more days, only a few more days, only a few more days.”

Really, NPR? Doesn’t anyone in your office have a 4-yr-old?

I look at NPR as the parent of the reporting world, offering content that is thought provoking, and at times moving, with a dose of kind admonishment of our sometimes misguided ways. All things considered, your apology was not only unnecessary, but a little annoying to this mom of a 4-yr-old. The presidential election is the talk of the nation, and I want to hear your reporting on it.  In fact, I want you to tell me more. In fact, I find your programming a breath of fresh air from the constant complaining in my car otherwise.

Kindergartners would save the world, if we let them.

English: Beef

English: Beef (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are thousands of books on parenting and discipline, with techniques and tricks that range from time-outs to logical conversation. The ultimate goal remains the same. To teach our toddling dictators that the world is not theirs to plummet, toys are not rights but privileges, and we don’t bite our friends.  We spend a lot of time training toddlers that by the time they reach kindergarten they have the social and emotional skills required to function in school society.

I’m not sure what happens in the next 18 or so years, but apparently it isn’t good.

I listened to a report on NPR today that reported the solution to global warming is as simple as eating less meat. Apparently Americans consume an average of 200lbs of meat every year and that every aspect of meat production is an environmental disaster.  It made me wonder what it would take to get people to eat less meat. I quickly came to realization that there is not much we can do.  I picture a big man at a grill decrying the plea to eat less meat because, well, he likes it and he’s going to eat it. A lot of it.

If I tell a kindergartner that the meat in his lunch box is hurting the plants and the trees, he’ll most likely put it down.  If I tell him that meat is killing our world, he will probably cry and never eat meat again. He has been taught not to hurt his friends and, in his beautiful mind, the plants and trees are friends.  He has learned his lessons well and most assuredly ready to graduate to first grade.  Sadly, this young boy will probably grow up to be a grilling man, just like his dad. And eat meat. Lots of it.

What will it take to get people to eat less meat? A government nanny?

Maybe just a kindergartner in office.

Because we are all just children.

via German Federal Archive

In grade school, I had a teacher that would start to whisper if the class got too loud. A simple, yet effective tactic, since we all quieted down to figure out what the crazy lady was saying. And she was a little crazy, she was a nun.

I was reminded of this experience while checking Facebook and saw another impassioned, yet reckless, post about a polarizing political issue, demanding allegiance or face a de-friending.  Whether or not I agreed is beside the point, it hit me like a battle cry. Take up arms with me, or be my enemy!

When did we all get so worked up about everything, particularly political agendas? We have become a world of squeaky wheels, to the point that all we can hear is the roar of opinion. This land needs some oil – STAT.

I’m fine if you have an opinion that differs from mine. I will feel superior to you, but you feel the same about me, so it’s a wash. But what I am not going to do is run around screaming at the top of my lungs, “You are either WITH me or AGAINST me! Your choice!” Really, is that a choice? I DISAGREE with you, but I am not going to shoot you.

Stop taking aim people, it’s counterproductive. Quiet down for a minute, use your inside voice, and just tell me what you want and why. If you whine and scream at me, I’m just going to put you in time-out until you can calm yourself. Or hide you on my news stream on Facebook. If you want to talk about it, I will listen, but I will make up my own mind at the end of the day.

I’m switching to my whisper voice now.

Please stop acting like little children, and let’s have an adult conversation.

Thanks.

 

Time to burn the house down

I spent the morning watching my new little buddy wander aimlessly across my ceiling, circling and stopping at what I can only assume is a spidey stop sign.  Apparently he had a busy Monday morning, lots to get done.

He wasn’t my last visitor today, because when I stumbled groggily into my kitchen to open the blind, alas, another one of the eight-legged brotherhood had set up camp in the folds.  The window is going to stay closed for a bit.

You see, I don’t kill spiders, and apparently the word is out.  They are everywhere, my constant companions.  I leave them be, and in return they avoid me.  The only exception to this policy was the black widow that dropped off the ceiling directly into my wash machine full of clothes.  I considered that an act of war, so she was immediately heavy washed in hot water with an extra rinse cycle.  She forgot rule #1: Leave me alone.  She paid the ultimate price.

I don’t spare spiders out of any karmic duty or Buddhist belief.  Actually, the Buddhist belief that all life is sacred is pretty appealing to me, except for one small exception.  I get a twisted satisfaction watching ants feast on Terro, like a little flock of Kool-Aid drinkers and I am Jim Jones reincarnate. Creeps me out how much I hate the little guys, but again, they declared war first. At this point you may feel compelled to remind me that we encroach on animals natural habitats, then blame them for trouble. Don’t. Save that argument for more worthy animals, like ANY other animal besides ants.

I read somewhere once, that spiders were good for the environment, and that has stuck with me.  I think they eat other pest insects, which I find  appealing since I grew up where mosquitoes are the size of condors.  I also like spiders because no one else does. I am a sucker for the underdog, the down-and-out, the lepers of the world.

Until today, I have been OK with my decision to not kill spiders, but things are starting to get a little out of control at my house. It’s like projectX was posted on BugBook and my life is never going to be the same.  Spiders, ants, mice, you name it, they got the event invitation. You can read about my mouse party here

I think it’s time to burn the house down.

It just so happens that I am still here.

I wake up every morning and plan my day. My day, however, often has other plans.

My absence from BME is pretty representative of the way life is today.  How many of us have stopped watching the news, or more importantly the stock markets?  Sometimes it’s OK to just check out, pretend that the real world is far, far away.  In fact, I recommend it.

All good things must come to an end, and better things await us when we are ready to jump back into reality – ready to work, ready to remedy the past that ails us.  Running indefinitely away takes us only farther away from what we need to be doing, and it makes us really, really tired.  Taking a jog, on the other hand, is good for your heart, health, and mind.

We live in a chronic state of fatigue, with seemingly no end in sight. Checking out may seem like a luxury, but only if you are reading “sleep all day” in that directive.  I still have to work to pay my bills, my kids still need to have their meals made, laundry done. My bills demand attention, along with the dogs.  I needed to check out, so I did. I stopped reading the news, perusing blogs, and writing my own blog.  I can’t afford to run away, but I can stop doing the things that eat away my time to relax, despite being things that I enjoy.  Even if I enjoy something, it doesn’t mean it is relaxing.

The news was making me panicked, the stock market was making me sea sick.  Reading blogs just nagged at me to get back to my own, despite being cleverly written gems that deserved Huffington Post publication.  This precious space, BME, seemed more deserving of quality versus content, and I just got too tired to marry the two.  So I took a break.

If you find you need to check out, take a look at your time.  Other than the bare necessities, what are the things that eat into your day? Do you really need to cook a full dinner every night or can you dial it in for a few days – or maybe a week? Even if you love cooking, sometimes you just need to sit on the couch and rest. If talking to friends and family on the phone is fun, but you end up involved in more drama, take a week off.  Maybe your social schedule has gotten a little to packed, or your golf game is so far off you are just practicing your hazard shots, whatever it is, it  maybe not giving you the pleasure you need to feel rested and happy.

Work and responsibility take a toll, don’t let your “free time” become anything other than what you need, even if it’s just sleep.

My hiatus is over, and I am ready to play again.

Using the stock market like a mood ring is dumb.

English: Phillippine stock market board

English: Phillippine stock market board (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mood rings were all the rage in the decade before I was old enough to really appreciate fads. Future generations, after much research, determined they were nothing more than body temperature indicators and novelty items.  Imagine looking at your ring, seeing red, and thinking “Wow, I must be really angry.  I don’t feel angry… but wait, now I am really MAD!!”

I think the mood ring is a good analogy for the stock markets today.  Most of us know how we feel about the economy regardless if the market number is red or green.

If I don’t have a job, haven’t found work in a long time, downsized to the point of meager existence, the markets jumping up 200 points in one day doesn’t really have a direct effect on my life. I still have to pay my bills and hit the pavement the next morning, like millions of others.

If I have a small business, I know if I have more customers this month than last.  I can look at the average amount of money customers are spending on items or jobs, and determine if I am growing, shrinking, or remaining exactly the same.  If I am in a growth cycle, I will hire. If I am shrinking, I will fire.

If I am lucky, gainfully employed, and the markets will affect my portfolio, then I will rejoice. I can provide the basics for my family, keeping food on the table, and roof over their heads.  I may not be able to retire when I want, or provide the Disney Christmas experience, but I can provide.  A market drop may be a reminder to simplify, but it won’t destroy me.  I will work hard every day at my job to make my company better and be the best asset I can.

If I lose my job, I will face the harsh reality of being unemployed. But I still need to get up every morning with the optimism that today is the day I will find new work.  I may need to look for assistance, face under-employment, or adjust my life to make my family my priority.  I won’t need the market to tell me that I have fallen on rough times, the bank will do a good enough job at that.

The only barometer I need for my life is me.  If I lose everything tomorrow, I will still have my family, true friends, and my ability to work hard to make a future life for myself.

When I see the headline, “Stocks see worst day of the year after weak jobs report”, it should only be a reflection of life as I am living it, not something to set my mood.  Journalists shock you, make you want to read more, incite feeling to elicit the “click” on their headline.  My advice, don’t freak out until your life tells you to. And if your life tells you to freak out, try to make tomorrow a better day, despite what the markets do, because at the end of the day, it’s all you can do.  That, and vote.

Hallelujah! MIT SuperMinds solve the world’s greatest problem!

I don’t know about you, but global warming, toxic chemical spills, and the nation’s processed food epidemic just doesn’t rate on my list of concerns for the future of the human race. There are just two world problems that I would like to have solved and MIT just smashed one of them.

Tonight I rejoice, and raise a bottle, to the masterminds of MIT that have spent the last two, grueling months of their incredible brain power solving the greatest problem on earth: The have discovered how to make ketchup flow out of a bottle.

Incredible, I know.

Just when I thought there was no hope for that last two tablespoons taunting my fries, the gods have answered my prayers.  Imagine all the ketchup that will be saved at diners across the country, neigh, the WORLD??  (Except in Europe, where they douse their chips in mayo and vinegar. Heathens. But even the heathens can rejoice, apparently this works on mayo too!)

I could watch this video all night long. And I probably will.

Isn’t glorious?

I’m no scientist, but I know the great minds of MIT would never produce an unsafe product, so I was relieved to hear that their secret formula remains under lock and key.

“As for what the slippery coating is made of, Smith isn’t telling, but he and his team worked only with materials that already have the FDA stamp of approval for use in food packaging, for ease of entry into the marketplace.”

via Stuck ketchup problem solved by MIT engineers – Technology & science – Science – LiveScience – msnbc.com.

Already FDA approved and it isn’t even on the market yet? Those clever gits!

Bravo, MIT, for your superior use of minds and resources. I will sleep easier tonight knowing that soon my shelf will hold a magic bottle that will release my ketchup down to the last drop without even the slightest tap.

Sweet dreams all, tomorrow will be a better day.

 

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