Tag Archive | judgement

Admit It

Ok I admit it. I have a bit of writer block.Those are two ugly words. especially for a writer. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about really, it’s that I kind of get the feeling that I have written about it all before. What do I have to say that is new? fresh? Inspiring? Hmmmm.

I could write about painting my nails tonight and how great it is to be a girl. How we get to have all the fun. Maybe I could write about buying a new car, and how it is easier than I thought it would be. I really did think I was going to have to go through a Spanish style inquisition requiring detailed explanations about  my credit, income, tax returns, my pets names, blood type, shoe size, the secret recipe that makes my meatloaf to die for good (I will never tell!). Or how I have become one of those people who obsesses about their car, washes it all the time and parks in the furthest parking spot. (I have not resorted to taking up two spaces…but it’s not Christmas at the mall yet either).

Maybe I could write about what it is like to be a writer and search for corporate contracts. How to deal with contracting agencies, how to be a contractor, how to send out a ridiculous amount of resumes and such per day. How to stay focused and not get discouraged or terrified when thinking about bills (alcohol helps. So does yoga. Oh wait, I don’t do yoga…)

Or maybe a nice piece on housecleaning – how I am scared to look under my bed and the fact that the dust bunnies are at war with the hair balls from the cats. Or how about the fact that I am fostering cats for a wonderful animal rescue? Maybe the fact that I am swimmingly happy and enjoying the wonderfulness of a romance that makes my knees weak?

There is always writing about what to do in the rain, how to build an arc, the importance of taking swimming lessons (along with explaining why it is perfectly normal for a woman to have 10 pairs of black pumps – because we NEED them). I recently organized my shoes. That was a huge undertaking. I could always write about living with my sister…and the many laughs we have (who would have thought we could get along for this long and not kill each other??).

And then there’s politics! Nothing gets people talking more than voicing your political opinion. Gun control, Bengazi, the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal, Fast and the Furious scandal, the $100 million vacation scandal, healthcare, {fill in the name of the latest scandal here}.

Yes, I suppose those, and many more things, could be topics of writing.

And yet, nothing seems to strike my fancy. No wise words to impart.

But sometimes that is what happens when we go and go and go in life. At some point, we must rest and refill. We must take pause and take a moment before we have anything to give to the world. Sometimes we must hide away. Call it writers block, or taking a break, or being an introvert, or…whatever you like. But sometimes it is necessary to just breathe…in…and….out. To relax. To have nothing to do. But live life.

And so tonight I sit, at the computer typing. But ony after I have enjoyed my favorite TV show, some coffee, watching lighting dance across the sky. Only after spending time with my family and pets, and catching up with friends. And only after living and breathing. Yes, life is refilling me, nurturing my soul and gently rocking to sleep, dreaming of that which I can write. Later.

The Fuzzy Life

So I have a big “S” on my forehead. Especially when it comes to anything cute and furry. One of my best friends has run and animal rescue group for almost 2 years. And for the first year I was really good – I helped out with money donations, would always be available to promote special needs animals and provided a safe place for her to vent when things got overwhelming for her. I never once took in an animal.

And then…I agreed to foster two feral cats. Well, they were kind of feral as in they didn’t hate humans and might be friendly at some point, but who didn’t trust humans enough to actually be friendly. What does it take to tame a cat? A lot of time, patience and yummy food treats.

Then my friend showed me the two “bottle babies.” Bottle babies are baby cats that have lost their mother but are not old enough to be weaned, so you have to feed them from the a bottle. She mentioned that she had no place for them to go and was not sure what she was going to do with them. Oh yes, my friend is a master.

And I am a sucker for anything cute and fuzzy. And these fuzzy babies are adorable wrapped up in an extra layer of cute. I mean you just want to eat them with a spoon they are so cute!  One look at them and that was it…I heard it. You know, that sound when you get completely sucked into something? Yep.

So every 3-4 hours my family and I (because yes, everyone is involved in it at this point) feed them. And any friends who come in the house are expected to help feed and cuddle them too. They meow and play, then eat and play, then rest and play, then play and play. They are learning how to run, well, actually waddle at fast speeds, tumble, wrestle with each other, jump and scoot around backwards.  They have big round full bellies, the cutest little noses and eyes that close in happiness when they eat. They have learned to purr, and do so frequently when snuggling after eating.

They love to nuzzle around in long hair. They love to run under the coffee table where we cannot get them. They love to sniff my other cats, who are not quite sure what to make of these mini-cats. They are a joy to watch and they do not have to do anything but exist to be adored. You  cannot hold one of them without falling in love with them. And one day soon, they will make wonderful pets.

And so right now, my life is completely full of family and cats. My sister and nephew living with me, my two furry babies that I own, the two no-longer0feral cats, and the two bottle babies. And while I do enjoy having the extra furry love, I am looking forward to when they are all adopted out and we get back to a two cat home!

If you want to save a life, adopt a rescue pet, or agree to foster! It’s worth the time and effort.

Thine Actions and Words to be True

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

This famous quote when Polonius speaks to his son Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is one of my all time favorites.  I have long grown up with the belief that actions speak louder than words. That a man is only as good as his word, so if his word is no good, than by default, neither is he. But this quote takes it many steps further and to me at least, is one of my personal creeds by which to live.

Some people think this quote means to be selfish and do as you wish as long as you get yours. I see it very differently. To first glean the true meaning of the phrase, you must first look at it’s origin. Hamlet’s Polonius also gave us the famous quote about “Never a borrower or lender be” and that indeed was part of the original meaning of being true to yourself as well. Polonius is instructing his son to take care of himself by being careful with his actions and words. To be an honest man true to his word but also be aware of what actions are in his best interest. Do not engage in activities which are disadvantageous or disingenuous.

This quote seems to mean that you must look after and take care of yourself if you want to be able to take care of anyone else.

Yes, Shakespeare was quite wise when picking out themes, as taking care of ones self and being honest are still two very relevant topics in this day and age.

When you are honest with yourself and follow what you know to be right, then you will lead an honest and authentic life. People who lie and cheat to get what they want from others are a dime a dozen. There is nothing special about them at all. But someone who follows a sense of integrity, even when it’s not popular? Even when it’s hard? That is someone special, that is someone who you want to have in your life.

Those people who lie and cheat, they know what they do is wrong. Why do they do it? Because they are not strong enough to do the right thing, to be true to themselves, and thus be not be false to others. Because if they haven’t the strength to look themselves in the mirror and be honest, how could they be honest with anyone else? They say charity begins at home, well so does honesty. And trust me, if they can’t even be true to themselves, you don’t want them. Run, run like the wind.

I am no saint. Let’s face it, we had to be judged by what we did in our 20’s, most of us wouldn’t leave the house. We have all done stupid things, made errors in judgment. I have done things for which I am ashamed. But in everything I have done, both good and bad, I have always been honest with myself. And I have never done anything just to be malicious. I have always been able to my head high, even when it was not easy, even when others were hurt and angry.

But if you live your life authentically, if you are true to yourself, then you will always be able to hold your head high. And you will always have respect. If you are selfish and you lie and hurt people? You will lose respect because word will get around. Just ask my last ex boyfriend, who, after he lied and cheated on this girl, found out just how much respect he would loose when his friends and family found out what he had done.

Take care with your actions and your words. Live a life of which you can be proud. And to thine own self be true. And besides, you never know just who might be driving the Karma bus…

What Real Means

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?””Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.”Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”  “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” – The Velveteen Rabbit

“What is real?” asked the Rabbit.  One of my favorite questions of one of my favorite stories.  And a very good question.  In this day and age of bigger is better, plastic rules and superficial is best…does Real exist?  Yes, At least I think so. To me to be real means our experiences have made us deep enough people to understand what is truly important in life.

The problem, I think, is that by the time we are real, we have lived, been loved, unloved, hurt and roughed up to the point where we are a bit shabby.  We’re not new and shiny any more.  Sometimes we feel that we have lost our worth – after all, how could anyone love a worn out little rabbit? And someone may have to look past all the roughness to see what Real really means.

I think it means that you have a real heart, you have been through enough to know, through experience, what is right, wrong and in between.  Living through those experiences teaches us compassion, empathy, how to love and so much more.  It makes us a better, deeper person.

What about the shabby parts?  Well, I guess that depends on your definition of shabby.  To me it’s nothing on the outside.  It’s a heart that is so closed it can no longer let love and light in.  Maybe we all get a little shabby…but just like the Skin Horse said, you can only be ugly to those who do not understand.

So, the key is to find someone who can see through our shabbyness, our weary-ness to see the beauty of our Realness.  Someone that can loves us anyway.  But being shabby and a little worn is ok. I have often said that it is our scars and flaws that make us our most human, most beautiful…and most Real.

How to Learn to Let your Light Shine

“Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.” — Alain D. Button

 Swiss-born/British writer, philosopher, television presenter and entrepreneur, Alain D. Button was truly onto something we he said the above quote. If we are constantly developing and learning as human beings, when we look back at all we did not know in the past year, we will be struck by how ignorant we were. Conversely we should be proud of all we have learned in the past year, how we have developed and grown. As long are we are learning, we are growing. When we stop learning, or being open to learning new things about ourselves, others, the world world around us, then we become stagnant.

One of the thing I am most embarrassed about , is that I dimmed my light to encourage another to shine. This has taught me a valuable lesson.

As a human, I want to encourage others. I want to help others see their potential, raise self esteem and help build them up. And it’s not completely altruistic either, it makes me feel good as well. But what I started doing with my last ex boyfriend, was to dim my own light so that he felt better about himself.  This, in retrospect did not help either one of us.

For example, we went hiking at a local spot called Amicolola Falls and had a bet – whoever could hike the longest would win. He was 51, 12 years younger than I. We hiked up and down the stairs 3 times, and while both of us were tired, I knew I could go several more times. I was a healthy 39 year-old and a runner, so I was good. But his ego was very fragile, he had a big ego and I thought he might have trouble dealing with a girl who could beat him so badly. He was a very sore loser.

So when he suggested we race downhill, and the first one to the finish line would win I agreed. He was 5’11”, had long longs and a long stride that I knew would better handle the very steep down hill slope while running, than my short 5’2″ frame. He started off fill speed, while I lightly jogged down, letting him win. I knew it was important to him, so I pretended to be slower.

The result was pretty disastrous. It was not a great evening that I had after loosing the bet, and he was not kind. The whole time bragging how he beat me. He needed a weaker woman in order to feel more like a man. I never told him I let him win, and I should have. actually, I should not have let him win in the first place.

He was a math major in school, and prided himself on his mathematical prowess. I do math in my head, very quickly. But I found myself pretending not to know the answers in order to let him feel like he was superior to me. I pretended to be a lot dumber than I actually was, so as not too offend him. When I did correct him, he would get offended. I should never have dumbed myself down.

Why? Because what I have learned since is that if you have to pretend to be weaker, or not as smart, or less that you are for someone to like you, you should not be around them. Regardless if you are a man or a woman, regardless if the other party is a man of a woman, the people who care about you should celebrate your strengths, not be threatened by them.

It is not my ex’s fault, it is mine in that instance. I should never have pretended to be less than I was to boost his self esteem. While I do believe it is our responsibility to be kind. compassionate and build each other up, you should not do so at your own expense. Shine as bright as you can. Those who love you, will be proud of you, they will love you even more for how smart and capable you are. Don’t worry about those who don’t.

What happened to the ex? One of the many reasons he is an ex is because he could not handle a strong woman. He needed someone he could dominate, and indeed there are plenty of women out there who want or need to be dominated. I, however am not one of them. So he went off to find a more suitable partner, as did I.

But when I think back to that relationship, I am embarrassed about how dumb and weak I was willing to pretend to be. No wonder we did not work – I was not honest with him about who I was, and that wasted time for both of us. I was so busy trying to be his “ideal partner” that I forgot part of who I was – a smart capable strong women. And when I could not fit that mold any more, the real me came out, the relationship came to an abrupt halt, because he did not know who he was in the relationship with. He had the impression that I was a person he could walk all over.

So moving forward, I know that I am a very strong woman, and I need a very strong and secure man who can deal with me.

Lean from my mistakes, and never dim your light so another can outshine you. The result is neither one of you truly shine to your potential.

How to Respect Yourself in a Relationship

Madonna sang about it and made it famous. Respect Yourself. Go for what you want and need in a relationship and don’t settle. Pop songs can rarely be applied to real life, but maybe the singer was onto something. When you are in a relationship, how do you respect yourself enough to not loose yourself? How do you know where that line is that should not be crossed?

Aside from the obvious – no physical abuse, no criminal activity – sometimes defining just how to do this can be a bit tricky, even for a feisty red-head like me. And when you really care about someone, it can be easier said than done. But basically it comes down to this: Respect yourself.

If you don;t respect yourself, then why would anyone else. No one will respect you any more than you respect yourself. Have standards. Love should not hurt and someone who loves you will not do anything to hurt you intentionally. Have pride in yourself and walk away from anyone who tears you down, makes you feel bad for wanting to be treated well, or makes you think that you do not deserve to be respected. A person who loves you will not disrespect you.

If you are in a relationship, you are going to hurt each other at some point, that is par for the course and part of the deal. Respecting yourself though is not about the occasional spat or even cross word. It is not about who left whose dirty socks on the floor or squeezed the toothpaste tube in the middle. It has to do with being treated at a certain level – as a human being. Girls, if the man you are with lies about something (like when his divorce is final), he will lie to you about other things.Respect yourself enough to not allow him to lie to you this way. Hold him accountable for not only his actions but his words, and walk.  

Forget about second and third, and 100th chances. and ut’s not your job to try to understand them or why they are mistreating you. It’s not your place to make excuses for them. You are not the jerk whisperer. Nor would you ever want to be.

If he says he loves you, then you find out that he is seeing other women, he doesn’t love you. Respect yourself enough to know that you deserve better. Don’t settle. Walk out the door and know that nice people, normal people, do not treat others in such a cruel and damaging way. If he balks at the fact that you have called him out on his bad behavior, if he doesn’t like you knocking on the door when you catch him cheating when another car is in his driveway or you find messages on his phone or such, then walk. You deserve better and there are too many wonderful, kind and amazing men out there to settle for someone who is so uncaring that he would let others suffer.

And some people think that if you care about or love someone, that that gives them the right to mistreat you. No it does not. No matter how much I love someone, I will not let them mistreat me. Period. And if they try to mistreat me, they will quickly see this little red-headed girl put down the law in a matter of seconds.

So chin up, and respect yourself to know that you deserve someone who treats you with kindness and caring, someone who means it when they say I love you, someone who doesn’t cherishes you and makes you feel like you are the only girl in the room. And know that, just like Calvin says, normal people do not destroy other human beings.

So what does Madonna have in common with Calvin and Hobbs? Now you know.

Loves Labor

Today has been on e of those days that reminds you how lucky you are to be alive and have the life you do. First of all, it was a beautifl day with beautiful weather. The windows were open, the fan on. There was laughter, TV watching, rice crispie treats and good times.

But in the back of my mind, I had to say a prayer. A man I knew 7 years ago was going to his son’t funeral today. His son committed suicide, and he and his family have to find a way to pick up the pieces.

And so as the day went on, there was nothing that could keep me from beeing thankful for the life I have. No matter what happens, no matter what issues or hick ups, I am here, I’m alive, and that in itsself is a huge gift and blessing. We are given the gift of life, no one promises that will be easy, no one promised that it would be fair.

So, take care of the life you have, treat the people in your life well. They say a man’s charactor can be judged by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. Yes, indeed. And you never know when those people who can do nothing for you today will be in a position to help or hinder you down the line. Karma is a bitch of a mistress, so make sure it’s pleasent visit when she comes to call.

Because the best way to show your appreciation and thankfulness for the life you have been blessed enough to have been given, is to treat those around you well.  It may be hard, but life will multiply when you do right by others. you will flurish.

And every day, I want people to see how thankful I am by seeing how I treat those around me.

To Rise or Wallow, That is the Question

Wallow or Rise

We all go through hard times in our life. All of us, as some point, will be hurt deeply, be betrayed, lied to, mislead and broken hearted. That is the risk sof being human, the risk of loving and being loved and the risk of being open to living life. All of us, during our lifetime, will have bad things happen to us that we do not deserve. We are given life, no one promised us it would always be fair or easy.

But I have a theory about those bad times. I think you have a choice – either let those times drag you down and hold you back like a ball and chain, or use those bad times as a stepping stone to rise above it all and become a better, finer, stronger, more comapssionate person.

Some people shoose to wallow in theri misery and pain. Those are the ones who lie to themsleves and others. Those are the ones who use others and hurt them as a result of the pain they are feeling inside themsaelves. It is a ref;ection of their own self loathing, and it is toxic. Have you ever been around those kinds of people? They make you feel good for a while, then, they start istreating you and blaming you for it. Get away, and run fast.

That is what happens when you choose to wallow. You become biiter, twisted. That is a terrible place to be. Going through the bad times are hard enough, who would want to stay there and add to the misery? Not me, but some people do. Don;t be that guy (or that woman).

Know that those bad times are only temporary. The pain is only temporary, even if it is so strong it’s almost blinding. It won;t be loike that in 10 years, 5 years, 1 year or even 6 months. DOn’t let the temporary bad events make a negative permanent impression. And you know what? Those people who hurt you? It drives them crazy to know that you are happy and doing well without them. Having a great life and being happy is truly bthe best revenge.

So don’t be afraid to sore, don;t be afraid to step over the hard times and rise above the pain, anger, fear and confusion. The view is much better from up here, I promise. And it’s never too late to start, so what are you waitin for?

I Believe

I believe in love (most of the time). I believe faith and hard work can overcome anything, and what they won’t overcome, love will. I believe right always wins over evil (eventually) and men should stand up for what they believe in. I believe in hope, I believe in Astrology, I believe in back rubs. I believe in copious amounts of premarital sex, and I believe you should enjoy it. I also believe you should be very picky about who you share such activities with, as what you do cannot be undone. I believe in getting drunk every now and then and that it’s good for the soul. I believe in being loyal to your friends and your enemies. I believe in long passionate kisses and conversations that last all night. I believe in passion and dignity, honor and integrity. And I believe if people who said they believed in those things practiced them a lot more the world would be a better place. I believe the Shawshank Redemption is a great movie about the human spirit, and yes, I do believe Andy was innocent. I believe in moonlight and slow dancing. And I believe in karma.

I believe in smoking every now and then, and drinking brandy often. I believe in laughing every day and singing at the top of your lungs. I believe sexy has nothing to do with your looks and more to do with what’s inside you. I believe scars make us more beautiful and flaws make us endearing. I believe in the word Capricious. I believe in following your passion, where ever takes you. I believe in baseball and the power of family. I believe it takes more than a village, but it starts with the parents. I believe a man is only as good as his word, and his handshake is his bond. I believe in cussing when you are mad and saying I love you only when you mean it.

Out With the Old! – Cleaning Up, Giving Up and Stress Relief

We all go through those times were we need to clean out – the car, the closet, the friends list, the email, the garage. We all also know people whose house, closet, desk, etc are all so cluttered that you just can’t even think. Sometimes you just want to go in with a big trash back, or industrial size vacuum cleaner that can suck up all those magazines, old shoes and pants that don’t fit, so you can see the forest without all the leaves. I am doing all of that. They say that there is a psychological benefits to cleaning  Here and here. (And you can thank me for such interesting, cool reading).

For me, cleaning out the clutter is extremely cathartic. it starts with the physical cleaning out…and makes it’s way to emotionally cleaning out the cobwebs, old information, ideas and such that serve no purpose.  And I am looking forward to that as much as I am actually having room in my closet.

Ther has been much mental and emotional clutter buyilt up, and it is time to clean the cobwebs out. If it does not serve me, then it is going out – shoes, pants, people and old magazines. Thats’ it. I’ve had enough and I don;t want the clutter anymore!

Why do we have clutter byuild up anyway? IT’s like a bad ring of soap scum around the bathtub of life. Gross!  Maybe it’s because we arew afraid to let go of those old memories, thoughts or things. Even if the do not fit us, or our lives anymore, we know them. we kn0w the faults they have, know where they don’t fit, and find comfort in that familiarity. Maybe others are afraid to let go fo things because that means letting go of a part of life that is jut too painful to try to part with. And again, some people can get comfortable in their pain, because they know it, and the thought of being open to a new pain is just too…terrifying.

But we will never have room for the new wonderful adventures, thoughts, ideas and people are emant to have in our lives, if we always hang on the is old and what we have outgrown. There is a reason why they call it growing pains, because change is not comfortable for most people. But nothing good ever came easy.

So don’t be afraid to clean out that garage, or desk, or friendslist. Because your life is waiting for you…and you will never know until you make room for all the wonderful things life has in store for you. Clean out, appreciate what the old brought you, taught you and made you…then gently put them in the trash and step away…right into the life that is waiting for you.

Judgement Day

There is something I have to tell my friends. Something that makes me afraid that they will either not believe me or for which I will be judged. I am terrified of that actually. But I have found that the best way to deal with your worst fears is to face them head on. Don’t hide from them at all. Ever.

I already told the worst judge. He made snarky comments and acted quite callous. But that is why I chose to practice on him. If I could tell him, then I could face any critic. The result has been a sense of relief.

Sure, we are judged every day in one way or another. People judge us on how we look, what we say, how we act, the work we do, how much money we make, the kind of car we drive. You name it, we are judged by it.

And there is a large part of me who says, fuck them. Don’t let yourself care about what anyone thinks about you, or how they might judge you. And for the most part that is the way I live my life. I am me, if you don’t like me, you can find the door. But I am human. And it is different when it is people for which you care a great deal. People who mean something to you. It is different when there is humiliation, shame and embarrassment involved.

So I will gather my friends over in the next night. And I will tell them that which I am ashamed, embarrassed and feel humiliated by. And I hope they do not judge me. My friends are my heart, and it will break my heart if they do. But that is the thing about broken hearts – you survive. You keep going. You may hurt, but life goes on,  Judgment or not.

I did a similar thing when I was 20, and I told my friends that I was not a virgin. That may sound trivial to most reading, but in the Bible Belt South, where all of my friends believed that if you had sex before marriage you were going to be sent to burn in Hell for eternity, and anyone who had sex before marriage was a whore not to be associated with, it was putting the scarlet letter on myself, inviting judgment. It was the fat kid in school volunteering to step on the scale in front of everyone to be laughed at. And it was terrifying. (Yes, I know that is not the politically correct thing to say – the fat kid – but this is my blog. If you don’t like it get your own blog and be politically correct.)

But I could not live a lie and let everyone think that I was something that I was not. Honesty, integrity and honor are very important to me. So I gathered them all up and told them anyway. Some left. And it hurt me right down to my core. But most stayed and said they loved me anyway and gave me big hugs for having the courage to stand up and tell them.

And life went on. And I have still had a wonderful and happy life. No doubt this will be the same. But it doesn’t make it any easier, it just makes me know that I will be just fine, either way.
So if you judge me, or anyone, do so lightly. Because there is a human being underneath, who may be scared, hurt and ashamed.

It reminds me of a toast my mother taught me long ago:

Here’s to you,
Here’s to me
May be never disagree
But if we do,
To Hell with you!
Here’s to me!