The 15th of December!

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This is the day that I had originally planned to have all my Christmas shopping done.  I have to hang my head in shame.  It’s not completely finished yet.   However, I am close, and I’ve got what’s been bought so far wrapped.  So, it’s not a complete disaster, yet.  How are you doing with your preparation?

This time of year can be so stressful, please take some time out and just enjoy your life.  Think about what you are grateful for, and what the season is really about.  Love.  Not what you can buy for someone, just the very fact that you love them.  Let’s try to cut the materialism out, and just celebrate each other.  My gifts are not going to be expensive this year.  I’m giving what’s practical and needed instead.  My house is full of “stuff”, and we don’t need any more.

What’s your plan for the holidays?  Have you gotten most of it done yet, or are you like me, dragging your feet and feeling overwhelmed?  Let me know how you cope with the “stress of the season” in the comments below.

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Sexual Harassment

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I grew up in an environment where if a boy in fourth or fifth grade pushed, hit, or shoved a girl, that girl was told “oh, he likes you”, and he was not punished, or even reprimanded.  Of course, being me, my reaction to being pushed, hit and/or shoved was to usually do the same back.  Now, just guess as to who it was who got reprimanded.  Yes, it was me, since a girl was always expected to be nice, no matter what.  That’s what we were told, no matter what someone did to you, be nice.

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All this conditioning has a price.  That price follows us all our lives, and causes women to “put up” with verbal and sexual harassment without saying anything.  It also causes us to not speak up about other kinds of mistreatment – after all, who want to be known as a “bitch”.  Yes, this is another instance where we’ve allowed others to monitor our voices and behavior.

When I was young, it wasn’t unusual for me to be “felt up” while I was riding the bus, in an elevator, or in other situations.  Did I say anything?  Usually not, however, the spikes of my pumps got quite the workout.  I hope that I did plenty of damage to the offending man’s toes and/or insteps.  The fact of this harassing behavior, is of course, designed to make woman and girls to feel “less than”.  The list of behavior goes on and on: “ratings” based on our looks; verbal abuse telling us to “smile”, trying to force women and girls to interact with strange men – and threatening comments when these men are ignored; women and girls being reduced to just their body parts – the dehumanization of an entire gender.

The examples of rotten comments are too long to list.  However, my husband has told me in just the last few days that I chop wood “like a girl”; and I throw the Frisbee to the dog, “like a girl”.  In my head I thought – if you’re so much better at chopping wood, why the heck aren’t you doing it?

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These comments are considered “normal”, and often if a woman says anything she is considered to be a “bitch”, or a liar, or both.  When we stand up for our rights as human beings, we are told to shut up and be nice.  Being nice has gotten us things.  The biggest “thing” that being nice has gotten us is less wages than men.  Yay!  What a testament to being nice.  Look at the offensive comments that were made by men, about Hilary Clinton when she ran for president.  The sad thing is that some of those same negative comments were also said by women.

Fifty-three percent of white women voted a known sexual predator into national office.  Really?  What the heck is wrong with you?  I will never understand people who vote against themselves.  And, this political party has proved itself to be the party of sexual predators.  Get your head on straight, women.  Together we will be an unstoppable force.  Stand together as one, and see the entire world change for the better.

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The Perfect Life?

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Are you waiting for your life to be perfect?  How about those 15 or so pounds you want to lose?  Are you waiting to lose them before you do something that you really want to do?  Or maybe you’re waiting until you save up the money to “fix up your house” before you have company over?

Thinking like this will do a couple of things.  First of all, it will prevent you from enjoying yourself and trying new things.  No one else will notice those extra pounds, and besides, if someone does, you probably don’t want to have anything to do with that person anyway.  Secondly, most people won’t judge you on your house.  If you’ve ever noticed, other people are in the process of saving up for some new things, also.

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Joy should be found in the experience of living life.  It doesn’t come from everything being perfect.  Some of the best meals can be served along with walls that need to be painted and floors that need refurnishing.  Those “things” don’t really matter.  How you treat others is what matters.  While I understand that what we see on social media gives most of us the impression that everyone else lives a “perfect” life, remember that most of those pictures are posed in a certain way so that we only see the “best”, and not the rest.  People accentuate the positive and hide the negative.

I’ve talked before about how I find joy in the little things.  The sunrises, sunsets, flowers, cold crisp air of fall.  Nature brings me joy nearly every day.  A positive outlook helps me find my joy.  Look for the good in life and it suddenly appears.  Even the worst day has something good in it, even if it’s a good cup of coffee.  Look for the joy, and it will be there.  I promise!

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Take a Breath

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We all know that today marks the beginning of the Christmas Season.  So, along with all the excitement there is way too much worry and stress.  The stress of whether or not people will like what you’ve bought, how the decorations will look, when will the cookies be done, etc. etc.  Not to mention how much in the hole of debt you may or may not want to go.  So, what to do?  Just take a breath.  Decide what is really important about this time of year.  Stop buying things you and others don’t need.  The whole season should be about love, and not more “stuff”.  Calm down and relax.  Try to not get caught up in things that in reality are simply not important.

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Motivation and Positivity – Because Sometimes We Just Need Quotes

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There are some days that just scream out for motivational quotes.  I don’t know about you, but usually those days land on Mondays.  So, here are some quotes for the start of the week.  Enjoy, and I hope they help!

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How the book Black Beauty made me who I am today

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When I was young, one of my favorite books was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.  It wasn’t until I got it out of the library and read it to my children, that I realized that through some kind of osmosis I had made the entire novel a part of myself.  If someone had asked me why I felt the way I did regarding animals, I could not have answered.  But after I read this book to my children, I understood.  I got all my compassion and empathy from this one book.  It’s funny how a book can mold you into who you become.  Black Beauty, and to a lesser extent, all the A.A. Milne books did that to me.  Here are some quotes for you.

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It was after I read this book to my children that I fulfilled my childhood dream and became a vegetarian.  And, after that, I fulfilled my adult dream and became a vegan.  Some books just stay with you always and forever.

I’m Tired

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I am simply tired.  In fact, I’m sick and tired.  I’m tired of signing petitions.  I sign on average, ten petitions a day, and sometimes more.  I sign petitions telling my congressmen to: protect the earth, protect the poor, protect the sick, protect minorities; protect those who have been impacted by the weather; protect workers and consumers; protect people and the animals.  The number of petitions I’ve signed just since January numbers well into the hundreds.  I’m tired of being upset, depressed and overwhelmed with bad news and bad behavior on the part of people who should know better.

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My question is, why the hell do I even have to do this?  Doesn’t it simply stand to reason that people have a right to clean water, clean air?   Don’t we have a right to healthcare?  How about a right to equality?  How about a right to not be lied to and mislead by the companies that we do business with?  How about just helping the citizens of our country when disaster strikes?  Isn’t that what their taxes have paid for?   Why do I have to keep reminding the government what their job is?  Their job is not to enrich themselves and their corporate donors.  They are supposed to be working for the good of all, not just the rich and powerful.

Of course, I’m lucky.  I’m not sick, I’m not a minority.  While I do have Fibromyalgia, I don’t take medication for it, I’m coping on my own, and doing okay.  I’m not a victim of a disaster.  Of course, that could change at any time, and many of  us are one paycheck away from financial disasters, not to mention one caused by sickness, accidents or nature.   I actually live in a state that, while we have our problems within our state; our federal representatives do vote on the behalf of the people who actually voted for them.  I feel sorry for those of you who don’t enjoy the same representation.  Of course, the “powers that be” are hoping that we will all get too sick and tired and simply stop paying attention.  Hell no, it’s not going to happen.  While I may bury my head in the sand for a day or even two, I’ll pick myself up again and make my voice heard.  For all of you out there who also are tired, take a breath, take a small break, and then continue plodding.  After all, you’ve got justice on your side.

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