Did You Hear? Love is Love!

The Supreme Court ruled for equality!  I was so happy to hear it.  We’ve had such terrible news lately, South Carolina, churches being burned down.  I was beginning to despair.  But finally, something to celebrate!

I have never understood why so many people seem to have a problem with what other people do in their bedroom.  Not your business, I say.  I love equality.  After all, as a woman I’m a minority, too.  We need to see each other for what we are – more alike than different.  All needing love, respect and acceptance.

So, Yes!!  Love has won the day!

Motivations for the Week

I decided that I really need to make sure I accomplish the goals I’ve set for this week. The girls that I babysit for are going to basketball camp so I won’t be taking care of them.  That means I’ve got the whole week to work on my goals. So, I thought that I’d share some of the motivational quotes I plan on using to help me continue to fulfill my many goals.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some people in my life who relish telling me that I will never be able to accomplish some of my goals.  This has basically happened my entire life, and I’ve listened to them for far too long.  Recently I’ve decided to ignore them, and don’t let them in on any of my goals.  I’m keeping my mouth shut (and I’ve locked and thrown away the key).  I’m just going to continue with my steps until my goals are finished.  It’s going to be a long process, but I am just too tired of being told that I’ll never accomplish anything.

So, I just thought that I’d start out the week with these quotes, and keep on going!

Clutter and Tidiness

 I recently read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. While Marie Kondo usually works with people de-cluttering their homes in Japan, this created a little bit of a cultural difference with the book. However, I thought that a lot of her ideas had quite a bit of merit.

I live in a house, that, while I don’t have a lot of space for clothes (mainly because my husband is a clothes-horse), I do have a lot space in which to store extra food. My kitchen is small with limited cupboards, but I have two large cabinets in my basement that I fill with extra food. This is great, since I can buy a lot of one thing while it’s on sale, and then can use it up without having to pay full price. However, I can also end up with a ton of something that I don’t use all that often. For example, I recently went to the store, was convinced that I needed another bottle of maple syrup and when I got home realized that I already had two other bottles. If I had an organized cabinet, and had actually looked to see if I needed syrup, I never would have spent the money on it; thus, proving the point that I need to get a little more organized.

 

Marie Kondo repeatedly makes the point that you should only keep something if you love it. If you don’t, get rid of it. That statement really gives me a lot to think about. I don’t know about you, but my house if filled with things that I really don’t even like. I keep some things for sentimental reasons, other things simply because I’ve always had them. This just adds to the clutter in my house. I’m not even sure how exactly my house got to be so filled with the stuff it’s filled with. We’ve been living here for 23 years, so it only stands to reason that we’d have things that we really should get rid of.

 

Often our stuff becomes too important in our lives, and our life becomes secondary. I seriously wonder if we do that to ourselves on purpose. Do we acquire things so we can distract ourselves from ourselves? Hmm a good question. I’ll have to think about that.

The point of this is that we seem to need stuff, and then that stuff can become our worst nightmare. Clutter can confuse, frustrate and make you crazy. I hate the way my house always seems to be full of clutter. I’ll go through a period of throwing some things away, but then it suddenly becomes cluttered again. I’m going to start going through my stuff and start getting rid of it. All this is in an effort to find peace of mind. Clutter seems to destroy the ability for me to have peace of mind. Maybe this will help. Who’s with me?

Be the Change

There are many many things that I would like to change about the world, my country, my state and my town. However, most of what I’d like to change is completely out of my hands. (I also don’t have the many millions of dollars that it would take to implement any of the changes that I’d like to see, either.) So, I’m stuck with how can I go about making any kind of difference.

After much thought, sadness and despair, I realized that I can’t make a huge difference in the world by myself. That was a terrible realization, and I’ve had to deal with the depression that brought on. However, I also realized that I can change myself, my corner of the world, and maybe bring some sunshine to others by bringing kindness to my part of the world.

So, what am I doing? I’m trying to be kind. If a clerk is rude, I try to respond by being nice; when I say “Have a good day.” I mean it. I want the best for other people. I compliment others on something that I find pleasing about them. Do they have nice hair? Is their shirt a pretty color? The other day I told a man in the parking lot that he looked fabulous. He did. He was wearing a beautiful pink oxford shirt with a nice blue tie; black pants and fancy shoes. By the surprised smile I got in return, I think I really added to the pleasure of his day. It didn’t cost me anything, and I felt good, too.  Did this make a huge difference in the world? Probably not, but it made a difference in his day; and mine, come to think of it. This is what the whole “pay it forward” thing is without the money.

Consider kindness in your day. How often are you kind? What can you do to lift others up? We can’t change the whole world, but maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference to the people we meet.

Hate

I’ve been wanting to say something about the shooting in South Carolina ever since it happened, however I was stuck on how I wanted to express myself.  My initial reaction was not rational, just a complete unmitigated ranting that my family had to deal with.  I didn’t want to do that here, as that’s not a helpful way of communication.  So, I’ll let others speak for me.

Human Family

Poem by Dr. Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land.
I’ve seen the wonders of the world,
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

There are 19 hate groups just in the state of South Carolina.  Is this really necessary?

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
rest, we will resemble you in that.” – Shakespeare – The Merchant of Venice

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/06/18/south-carolina-is-home-to-ku-klux-klan-and-18-other-known-hate-g/21198040/

http://www.ibtimes.com/charleston-shooting-south-carolina-has-19-active-hate-groups-including-kkk-chapters-1972964

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/charleston-church-shooting/kkk-white-supremacists-among-19-south-carolina-hate-groups-splc-n377516

Moral Dilemmas and Life

I had a hard time deciding if I would even write this post. Of course, like most people I prefer to live in my nice little world where everything is happiness and sunshine. But, I can’t always do that, and I felt that I really had to say something regarding this. I have found this to be a moral dilemma for me, since I really haven’t used this space to rant about the way in which society treats its fellow animals.

I follow some people on Instagram, and some other bloggers who write about how animals are “farmed”, abused and exploited all over the world. For some reason, and probably just due to the shear amount of animals that will be tortured and killed at once, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival has gotten a lot of press. I’ve signed countless petitions against this barbaric “festival” over the years, after all it’s not like this is the only year it’s happened. But, for some reason, this year it’s the “thing” for normal, meat-eating people to get upset about.

While I’m really glad that there is a lot of press about it, and hopefully this will get people to put tons of pressure on China to stop it, (not just say they will) I find it fairly disingenuous of meat-eaters to protest. After all, with all the videos and pictures that abound regarding the torture of cows, pigs and chickens in this country, I don’t know how people can continue eating meat. However, I don’t intend to rant and if you want to do something against this please go to the following links and sign every petition that you can find. The animals thank you.

https://action.hsi.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=104&ea.campaign.id=38221 http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/ricky-gervais-leads-campaign-china-dog-meat-festival-article-1.2259866 http://animalpetitions.org/3749/stop-cruel-dog-meat-festival/ http://forcechange.com/67344/stop-dog-meat-festival/

Dancing and Your Brain

I have a secret, well, it’s not really a secret, but it’s something I do when there is no one else at home. This behavior began when I was a kid, and watched Soul Train on Saturdays every time the rest of the family left to go somewhere. How I get to dance now usually goes like this: the car will pull out of the driveway, I look to make sure it continues down the street; and then I run around the house like a mad woman, trying to decide what I’ll dance to. What mood am I in? Is it a Billy Idol day or a John Lee Hooker kind of day? Or, how about something else; I’ve been known to dance madly to Rob Zombie’s American Witch, or AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. But there is one thing that absolutely has to happen. I need to have the house to myself. Only then can I be the dancing maniac that I really am.

I don’t think that I’m alone in my dancing madness. I absolutely love to dance, and find that if I can do it on a regular basis I’m a lot happier. The surprising thing that I’ve found is that it can make you smarter, too. A study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine
http://examinedexistence.com/dancing-helps-the-brain-function-better/
shows that dancing helps to make new neural paths. These paths are necessary for improving brain function and learning. Researchers have also found that dancing reduces stress; improves bone health, and helps in lessening depression. Dancing is also being used as therapy for people with illnesses such as Parkinson Disease.

http://www.brainfacts.org/sensing-thinking-behaving/movement/articles/2009/dancing-and-the-brain/

So, have I been improving my brain function from dancing like a nut every chance I get, for years? Yes! I knew I was a making myself both smarter and giving myself a workout. Now, when did you people say you were leaving the house?