Last week I wrote about how the elderly are kept on the fringes of society through their poverty.  Today I want to expand on that theme by invoking the book Nomadland by Jessica Bruder.  I don’t know if you’ve heard of this book, but it’s been made into a movie recently and you can watch it on Hulu.  Bruder, a reporter, spent years following and living with people – mostly the elderly who live in vans, cars and trucks while traversing the country in search of short-term jobs to supplement their tiny social security checks.  These are people who have either lost full-time jobs due to age, economic down-turns, their jobs being made redundant, or perhaps ill health, along with losing their retirement pensions, health care, homes, etc.

Should you suggest that they just didn’t take care of their finances, understand the fact that wages have not kept up with the actual cost of living, and most jobs no longer provide for retirement savings.  This van living is also related to some younger people choosing to buy and reside in tiny houses since they are unable to afford the price of apartments and/or renting a room in someone’s house.

My thought is that we have to rethink the way that we treat people in the U.S.  So many people are underpaid, and considered not worthy of a living wage that it astounds me.  When I worked after I graduated from college with both a B.S. and a B.A., I never made more than $17,000.00 per year.  I couldn’t move out of my parents’ home as I was unable to have a car loan, pay car insurance and pay to share an apartment with a roommate.  As a matter of fact, in order to have more money I cleaned houses on my day off.  It was insane, and matters have only gotten worse in this country.

There is no such thing as un-skilled labor.  The people-skills that are required to work in the fast-food industry are incredible.  Not only that, but you also need to be able to handle extreme abuse from customers without reacting in a negative way.  I wonder how well the rich would be able to cope with that.  Cleaning houses, offices, or schools also all require skills.  Skills are needed for every aspect of any job.  I also worked as a cocktail waitress in an upscale bar/restaurant, and believe me when I say that I acquired many different skills in response to customer “handiness” and abusive behaviors.  Walking a tight-rope between receiving a decent tip, and keeping abuse in check was quite a skill.

In America, we seem to only respect the rich, and supposedly everyone else is not due any respect at all.  The sad thing is, is that the poor seem to disrespect themselves, also.  I know that I blamed myself for my lack of reimbursement – and to tell the truth, still do.  Why could other people get rich, and I couldn’t (can’t)?  This is ridiculous, since most people who “get” rich began life being rich, or upper middle-class.  Yet so many of us have done all the right things – went to college, got married, bought a house, had children and still have little to show as far as money is concerned.  When I look around at the houses in my state, I can see that even though we may have a house, we can only afford to pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance on it.  There are few homes that have been able to keep up with the upkeep. 

People need to earn more.  How do we do that?  Maybe changing the “business model” that puts money into the pockets of business owners, stock holders and the rich.  For an example, Jeff Bezos did not earn his 189.8 billion dollars himself.  He does not work in one of his humongous Fulfillment Centers, nor does he walk at least eighteen miles a day there like his employees do.  For that back-breaking work they make between $12 and $19 dollars an hour, while Bezos makes $149,353.00 per minute.  The people who do the actual work need to earn a living wage.  If minimum wages had kept up with inflation, it would be $24.00 an hour now.  But federal minimum wage is still $7.25 an hour and has been since 2009. 

So, while the rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer and the middle class has fallen into the lower middle class, and the lower-middle class has become poor, wages have not changed for twelve years.  Twelve years!  Everything else has gone up, but not wages.  Most of us are barely holding on, and what happens when another Pandemic hits, or Wall Street collapses as it tends to do every so often?  We need change, and we need it now.  


How Does This Make Sense?

Here in the U.S., we don’t like to talk about poverty, much less do something about it.  Our social programs help only a small minority of the poor, and they often are accompanied by insults and mistreat.  Does anyone remember Reagan’s “welfare queens”? 

Another problem is that the “help” that’s given isn’t enough.  Most of my elderly clients were receiving social security, but it was too little, so they also got food stamps and help for electricity.  The problem with both these things was that one person would receive $75.00 per month for food – not much help at all since grocery prices in my part of the state are really high.

As far as the electric help, they had to pay $75.00 per month for electricity and if they didn’t, they wouldn’t receive relief – the trick to that was that their bill usually averaged only $50.00 a month.  The electric company would collect the state’s money plus my client’s $75.00, thus making a tidy profit every month for every elderly person on this program.  I saw bills that had an overpayment in excess of $3,000.00 on them (some of my clients were in their 90’s and had been on this program for decades).  Needless to say, the electric company was obviously keeping the extra money and making interest off it.  Why?  I have no idea.  The state was actually giving free money to the electric company.  I don’t know if anyone in the government understood that.  I did try to find out, but didn’t get a response.

So, did any of this actually help?  Not really.  Their rental was also on a sliding scale determined by what the state decided they could afford.  Between food, rental and electric, they had absolutely no money left-over by the end of the month.  One of my clients would sell a piece of jewelry every few months in order to afford car insurance.  She hung onto her car because her family refused to take her anywhere.

Now, I ask you, is it necessary to keep people in extreme poverty?  Would you be able to only spend $75.00 per month on food?  Yes, you may say that they could get meals from Meals on Wheels, and many people did.  However, these meals do not follow any dietary specifications due to medical conditions, therefore, they were unable to eat many of them.

Using this one example, you can see the poverty that these elderly people were kept in.  Now, think about all the individuals who are making minimum wages (sometimes less if working in the restaurant industry) and how some view them.  Have you frowned at or even disparaged people who have used food stamps?  How about those who live-in low-income housing?  Have you noticed what the outside of low-income housing looks like?  Have you ever wondered why?  These buildings are usually owned by slum-lords, if something is broken, it doesn’t get fixed.  See piles of garbage around the already full dumpster?  That means that the landlord hasn’t paid to get it emptied.  Do the individuals living there have any control over these situations?  Of course not.  They are not the landlord.

So, millions of people, including children are being raised in poverty.  Over the last 40 years, millions of people have been raised in poverty, still live in poverty and are raising their children in poverty.  Look at the social issues we have as a country.  Does poverty have anything to do with that?  Of course.  Now, imagine if we actually paid people a living wage.  What do you think that would do to the social landscape of the U.S.?  And, by the way, if minimum wages go up, the rest of the wages would also go up.  This would mean less people in poverty.  And, lest you think that the country-oh, sorry, corporations- would suffer – more wages, more spending.  Yes, it does work that way.  Something else to think about.  If people were paid living wages, we would need fewer social programs. That money could be put toward education and the all-important – health care.  Have you yourself not gone to the doctor when you needed to because of the high deductible that you have to fulfill before your insurance pays anything?  Just think about how it would be if you didn’t have any insurance.  And, don’t tell me how great the ACA is, they wanted my husband and myself to pay half of our monthly income for insurance, with a $5,000.00 deductible.  Fantastic plan, right?

So, tell me, does the way we force millions of people to live in poverty make sense to you? 

Life Update

About 1/4 left to do!!!

I haven’t been talking about what I’ve been up to lately, so I thought I should do that.  We’ve been splitting wood and stacking it for our winter heat.  It’s been fun (sure!), but thankfully we’re just about done.  I love it when we manage to finish before the heat and humidity set in.

I’ve also been trying to Spring Clean, but since I’m doing this by myself, and it’s not my favorite thing to do, I’ve been moving so slowly that so far, I’ve only gotten one room done.  While I know that’s better than nothing, I’m not too happy with myself, especially since I never Fall Cleaned last fall, either.  So, we’ve got dust elephants instead of dust bunnies.  Also, my house is full of crap that I’d like to get rid of, but we still can’t drop things in drop boxes yet.  I do throw away the things that can’t be passed on, but a lot of my stuff is still useful.  I’m just trying to get rid of the over-abundance of things that I no longer use or need. 

So, I’ve got a question for you, do you also hang onto things that were once useful but no longer are?  Sometimes it’s due to sentimental reasons, but mostly I find I’m just apathetic about the entire thing – except, of course when I’m desperately rummaging around in a drawer looking for what I really do use and need but can’t find because of all the things I keep but no longer use.  Please tell me I’m the only one who does this nonsensical “thing” that drives me out of my mind. 

Percy is about four months old here

Because we rescued a puppy (yes, I am insane), I’ve also got some puppy things that I really need to clean up and give away to a rescue.  Since he’s a Boxer/Hound mix the bed, fencing, etc. that I bought when he was smaller don’t work anymore, but they were so lightly used (he grew quite fast), I’m sure that a rescue would be happy to use them, however due to Covid 19 no one will take these things yet.  Hopefully that will change and I’ll be able to move them out of my computer room (where they are cluttering up the place)!

He is ten months and around 70 pounds! Maybe more!?

One of the most important things that I’ve been doing is reading the Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia.  I’ve been finding it interesting and full of facts that I didn’t know.  There are also useful tools in there to help you live with a chronic disease.  Hopefully I’ll be able to put a lot of this information to good use.  It’s pretty much a how to guide to living the best life you can.  If you’ve got a medical condition, I recommend that you see if the Mayo Clinic has a guide for you.

I’ve also started working out for real again.  For real means that I’m doing it every morning, except for the days that I’m splitting and stacking wood – a body can only take so much, you know.  However, since I didn’t do anything for quite a while, I’ve had to change what I do somewhat.  Due to my foot issue, I’ve taken walking off my morning routine and just been walking with the dog – that gives me around 15 miles a week, so not bad.  Then, I decided to up my weights by a whole 2 pounds!  Whee!  But, most importantly, I’ve been stretching daily, plus doing some yoga.  I am so incredibly stiff that I have to modify a few things, but hey, at least I’m trying!

So, anyway, that’s me.  Some positives and some negatives.  How about you?  Are you trying new things or getting rid of old things?  Let me know.  Maybe you’ve got good ideas that will help the rest of us, share in the comments below.


It takes an inordinate amount of courage to change.  It’s easy to keep doing what you are doing, to continue on the same path; to keep dealing with the same problems, responsibilities and perhaps even keep taking the same abuse that you have been for years.  Sure, you may question whether or not you can keep accepting the same unacceptable things day after day for the rest of your life; but the reality is that you understand this life, you can usually cope, and it’s comfortable, even though at the same time it’s soul crushing.

That’s the thing with changing – there is nothing comfortable about it.  In fact, it’s scary, slow and hard.  As human’s we do tend to cling to things that we know and are familiar with, instead of changing.  And, once you begin to make some small changes, the people around you may not appreciate them.  They may try to stop you, make fun of you, or insist that by making these changes you are offending them.  This throws up another barrier between you, and the life you want to lead.  Not everyone has your back, and some people may actually put barriers in your way when you begin to change what you’ve been normally doing. 

The best way to prepare for changing is to really think about how you want your life to be.  Not just the fuzzy, soft-light version of your daydreams, but the actual life you want.  This is the hard part and it’s easy to get stuck in your warm fuzzy daydream.  As an example, if you want to up your fitness level, research how to do that.  Then make plans and goals to put what you’ve learned into practice.  Not everyone can afford a gym membership, so look into weights and free routines from YouTube.  I loved Denise Austin’s Yoga Essentials VHS from 1994 and used it until the tape broke.  Now I use YouTube for the workout – yes, it’s old, but it does the trick.

With forethought, planning and some research you can be ready for the wrenches that will come your way.  Because there are always wrenches.  Don’t let other people block your progress.  Set goals and if you run into trouble, look at what could be the problem.  When my husbands’ snoring got so loud that I couldn’t sleep in the same bed as him, I first tried the couch in the basement – when that didn’t work, I used an air mattress, but that just kept losing air.  So, as a last resort I tried the couch in the living room.  With a little tweaking (adding a couch support system) it’s much better.  Would I like a real bed?  H*ll yeah!  But that won’t happen until my grown son and his girl-friend move out.  I’m not holding my breath, so I make do.

The hardest part about implementing any changes that I’ve found are other people.  Negative comments can be the worst.  While it can be difficult, focus on why you made your goals and keep that utmost in your mind.  Also, don’t make plans that are inflexible.  I recently bought myself my first smart phone and I had the volume on the alarm set too low so I wasn’t waking up at the right time I had planned to work-out.  Since I work from home, I really wasn’t forced to only work-out at a certain time.  So, I just worked-out when I woke up.  It wasn’t what I had planned on, but keeping things flexible is an important aspect of change.

The most important part of this post is the fact that in order to change, you must stop just the daydream and create a plan.  Good luck, and share how you’re doing that.  We are all in it together. 

Spring Goals

It’s been a while since I’ve made actual goals which is the reason that I haven’t been very productive so far this year.  However, now that it’s spring, I felt that it’s time to set some goals.  Spring cleaning is not my forte.  I’m sure that some people relish cleaning out the dust of Winter, but dust, unfortunately, has never bothered me – except for the fact that I’m allergic to it. 

So, this year my spring goals are going to be pretty simple.  I plan on cleaning as much of my house as I can.  I’ve already spring cleaned the downstairs bathroom.  This, of course is the smallest room in my house, so I thought that I’d start with something that had a guaranteed positive outcome.  It’s good to start with a job well-done. I’ll probably work on the living room next since there is the least amount of furniture in there, and the only spot that will require the nasty business of emptying and dusting is the bookcase.  There is another reason why spring cleaning is on my “I really hate it list” and that’s because my house is made of logs – logs with the bark still on them.  So, I not only need to vacuum them, I then need to dust them with furniture polish (I use Pledge).  This is a time consuming and extremely physical activity since I need to stand on a ladder to get all the way to the top of the walls.  The ceilings also have the same kind of logs and wood, so I need to work with a dust-mop over my head – what an arm workout!

I’ll be doing the downstairs first in case I never manage to get to the upstairs.  Of course, I only need to clean the bathroom, my husband’s bedroom (he snores so loudly that I sleep on the couch), and the hallway.  But, again, lots of work.  And, I’ll be doing this by myself since everyone else is off working outside the house.  My plan is to do what I can without needlessly injuring myself – because – because I will be splitting and stacking wood soon.  Yep, it’s that time of year.  Doesn’t everything happen all at the same time? 

Have you been setting goals this year?  If so, good for you!  If not, remember that you can start anywhere and anytime.  Let me know what you’ve been accomplishing and remember, watching shows/movies, reading books and taking care of yourself is also an accomplishment!

“Anglo-Saxon” Traditions

I’m sure that you’ve heard of the “America First Caucus” that Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar have said they are creating.  This “caucus” is supposedly going to focus on keeping “Anglo-Saxon” first in public discourse, and of course law.  Now note that they have claimed, after much backlash, that they will not do this, don’t be fooled.  These are actually ideas that they and other Republicans have been pushing for years.  These ideas will not go away. 

So, this begs the question – what the f*ck are “Anglo Saxon” traditions?  First of all, a discussion of who exactly these Anglo Saxons are is in order.  The Angles, Saxons and Jutes were Germanic tribes that invaded what is now known as England after the Romans left in approximately the 5th century.  When they arrived, they were not Christian, instead they were pagan, and it wasn’t until later that they became Christian.  Of course, as we all know, the rule of the Anglo Saxon’s ended in 1066 with the Battle of Hastings during the invasion by the Normans.  So much for them.

So, if you want to read all about the America First Caucus Platform you can access it here

In a nutshell (case of nuts?) they intend to follow what Trump started – reel in immigration, keep “American principles” (as a nation of immigrants – most of whom are not Anglo Saxon, that seems rather far-fetched).  Also, there are the repeated claims of election fraud (you would have thought that all the numerous court rulings would have put the kibosh on that idea, but…). Along with these ideas is the one of eliminating Federal rule in order to put State rule in a superior position.  Just wondering, but does this mean that the states that put in the most taxes toward the federal government don’t have too anymore?  I’m sure that California (fifth largest economy in the world) would be more than happy to keep their money in the state.  Other ideas include forcing “big tech” to publish lies and slander with no consequences to those who lie and slander.

Again, immigration must be stopped – as long as all those who come from Anglo-Saxon areas are still allowed in.  And, once again we hear about Anglo-Saxon traditions (which other then paganism, I was unable to find on any historical website – well, they also had the tradition of pillaging each other, so there’s that).  They also include an odd fascination with Anglo-Saxon “architecture”, which was made of wood with wattle and daub walls – so, no not for me.  They seem to be under the mistaken idea that Roman works of infrastructure are Anglo-Saxon and not Roman.  Again, perhaps an education would have helped those who wrote this “platform”.

They also want to do away with sending any form of aid to foreign countries.  Keep money within the country and disentangle from any countries who are in need.  However, they also want to have a very close relationship with both Russia and North Korea – I suppose because dictators and fanatics should stick together.

Most telling is the fact that because social distancing, mask wearing and shutting down some businesses during the worst of the Pandemic was bad for business, even though many businesses did indeed get free money from the U.S. government, we must not continue.  Schools should be open; businesses should be open and no more mask wearing nor social distancing.  Americans have rights and the right to die of a Pandemic is one such right!  Don’t tread on me!

Again, ideas for the environment, trade and energy will all be exploited from American soil, air and water for the use of Americans – no Green New Deal, no Paris Climate Accord, no clean air and water.  Lands will be opened up for hunting, fishing and oil.  Clean air and water are an impediment to business, and the ability for business to make money is paramount.  American’s health be damned!

They also believe that people – rich people – should be able to own unlimited amounts of silver, goal and bitcoin… why rich people?  They’re the only ones who can afford silver and gold.  We should also keep American money away from the global monetary stage.

The ideas for changes in education are also just as ludicrous.  Somehow there is the impression that America is an assimilated society and culture.  Just for your edification, assimilated means that we’re all alike.  Excuse me, but I thought that the U.S. was the U.S. because of our differences.  Do you know that one of the things that I like best about visiting a large city is the fact that within the space of a few blocks I can hear dozens of different languages spoken?  This does not mean that we aren’t all U.S. citizens.  It means that we’ve all got different things to offer.  To get back to education, they are against the fact that our history is taught in some states with a modicum of truth.  Yes, there have been times in the history of the U.S. that we were not on the side of human decency.  This is an imperative truth and should be taught.

So, what do you think of the America First Platform?  As you can see, this is just another way of trying to legitimize the old idea of whites first.   I am appalled by this “Platform.  Which is interesting, since one side of my family is Anglo-Saxon, but the other side of my family were from Scandinavia, so I’m also descended from the Normans.  However, like most of the European immigrants, I’m a mix of many other ethnicities.  That’s what makes us great.  What a boring country it would be if we were all the same.  Vive la différence!

Here’s the Thing

Here’s the thing – we need to take care of ourselves – this is true of all people, not just those of us who have chronic diseases.  Everyone needs to get enough sleep, eat in a healthy manner, exercise, work on mental health and just love ourselves.  Look at your lives and decide whether or not you are taking care of yourself.  If you are lacking in some way, work on making yourself a priority. 

In all truthfulness, I am terrible at this.  I’ve always put myself last.  As a child I was the sibling who did all the “heavy lifting”.  I was responsible for snow removal, leaf raking, weed pulling, etc.  I did not cook, but I baked all the cookies, brownies and the rest of the desserts.  I also moved furniture and cleaned bathrooms.  My father loved (not kidding) to clean and wax the floors, so that was not my job. 

My idea of self-love and taking care of myself begins and ends with reading a book.  I’ve only recently looked into what self-care is and realized that it’s what we all should be doing for ourselves.  Going to bed at a reasonable hour is essential to our well-being – imagine that!  Eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking eight 8 ounces glasses of water – another essential.  Getting exercise on a daily basis – another must do!

Of course, life gets in the way.  As people have gone back to in-office work, I see less walkers and hikers out and about during the day.  However, I’ve noticed that more of my neighbors are walking after work than ever before.  What a good sign!  The number of people biking has also picked up.  

With the issues of the last year, we also have to prioritize our mental health.  Depression, grief, loneliness and other conditions have been made much more prevalent.   If you are suffering from any mental illness, get help.  You can get help over the internet – I have found a therapist and meet with her a few times a month over the internet.  There are free places to go also – my state has free resources and yours probably does, too.

Give yourself the opportunity to just relax.  Watch a favorite movie, make a favorite meal.  Pamper yourself – wash your face before bed and moisturize (this is my new thing, and I love it).  Again, these are the things we should be doing, but somehow (especially when you put yourself last) they don’t get done.  Be kind to yourself. Take care of yourself.

Revisiting Fibromyalgia

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia years ago.  Being me, I’ve ignored my symptoms, haven’t gone back to the specialist who diagnosed me, and have chosen to happily live in the Land of Denial (which is my favorite place in the world).   However, my time of pretending nothing is wrong is rapidly coming to an end.  As I’ve aged, my symptoms have worsened, and I can’t keep my head stuck in the sand for much longer.  So, what to do?

Well, to be a sensible adult, I decided to check out what the medical field has to say about this nasty disease.  Just as I thought, there are some new findings, but mostly the information hasn’t changed that much.  The diagnosis procedure has changed a little, and there are new medications that may be prescribed, but that’s really the only change.  Back when I was diagnosed, I was told not to exercise as it was thought to make the pain worse.  Due to my own feelings, I continued to exercise and felt better.  Now the belief is to exercise (within reason) and use flexibility exercises to keep your flexibility level high.  This also is something that I’ve found out – if I don’t exercise and remain flexible the pain actually increases, I can get depressed and nothing good comes of it. 

One of the worst problems for me is the need for sleep.  I have had long years of not sleeping more than four hours a night.  There have been various reasons for this…first it was babies and young children, then it was a stressful and frankly unsafe home life, now I sleep on the living room couch due to a husband who snores (and no, doesn’t have sleep apnea) where I feel unsafe, and others living in the house make too much noise for me to go to bed early.  However, since I’ve gotten a puppy, I’ve been trying to get myself into bed earlier, and it does work if I make the bed up earlier and jump into it once my son and his girlfriend have finished eating dinner. 

If you were diagnosed with a disease that you’ve not paid attention to lately, I suggest that you research it again.  I actually ordered the Mayo Clinics’ book on Fibromyalgia and am waiting for it to arrive.  I’m hoping that there will be some information in there regarding coping with the pain and the accompanying fatigue that I suffer from.  If you have fibro, I’ve left some links for you below.  Educate yourself it may help you to successfully cope. 



Did You Know?

I recently read an article in my Sunday newspaper about how alcohol is the third leading cause of cancer.  As a matter of fact, if you drink two alcoholic drinks per day (if you’re a man) and just one alcoholic drink per day (if you’re a woman), your risk of cancer goes up.  Since I don’t drink, I’ve not paid any attention to this research for quite a while.  However, I do know that drinking has gone up during the Pandemic.  I think that a lot of not-good-for-you behavior has gone up during this time…not just drinking, after all, drinking and eating are ways that people use to soothe themselves, and I’ve been known to eat all the “bad” stuff.  (If you think that Vegans don’t have bad eating behaviors, let me tell you that I’ve gained all the weight I lost back – and I suspect that they’ve brought a few pounds of friends, too.) 

Since I don’t drink – I finally discovered that I’m allergic to alcohol, which of course explains a lot, I wasn’t even aware that it is such a high cancer risk.  I want to put this information out there for others to know.  After all, the more knowledge you have, the smarter your actions can become.

So, to get back to alcohol, once you’ve imbibed, the alcohol can be changed into the chemical acetaldehyde, which in turn can damage the DNA inside your cells and this has been shown to cause cancer.  Of course, there isn’t “just” alcohol in your drink, there are other ingredients that can damage your liver, etc. and again lead to either cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis and/or other medical problems including cancer.  The types of cancer which alcohol can be a leading cause of include:  mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and breast.

What do I suggest?  Stop drinking alcohol.  While it can be difficult to do this socially, it can benefit you in many ways.  Yes, I’ve been at social gatherings over the years where my choice to not drink has made other people uncomfortable.  I’ve realized that was their problem and not mine.  It’s not their place to lecture me on how wonderful alcohol is, and how I’m unsocial because I’m not drinking.  Perhaps they themselves have an unresolved problem with drinking that they may need to address. 

There have been too many stresses on us over the past year, and finding ways to help ourselves has led to both wonderfully healthy behaviors, but unfortunately has also led to unhealthy behaviors.  Just in my neighborhood there are so many more walkers, hikers and bikers out and about.  Yoga, Pilates and meditation are all healthy ways of coping with the stress that we’ve all been under.  When coping, try some more healthy ways.  Keep the alcohol in the store and take a walk, a breath or a hike.  Stay healthy and hopeful.


Find the Positive

I know that life can be difficult.  It can be really hard to find any positivity on some days.  But good things are there even during the worst day ever.  It could be the fact that you’re still alive, or the sunrise/sunset is full of beauty, your dog just licked you, there is food in the refrigerator, the color of your shirt makes you happy.  Don’t let the negative ruin your life.  Think about the positive.  Focus on it.  Find joy and positivity in the little things, sometimes they are the most important.