Wanted: Common Decency

The holidays are hard on many different people for many different reasons. It’s not mine to judge, nor is it yours. I want one thing this year from folks, it costs nothing, it’s easy to come by and you don’t end up hurting someone else or in the long run, yourself.

I want common decency.

In a year that has seen the politicians and religious folks reign down all kinds of BS on us, to a year that has seen more hate, more derision, more discourse. A year that has folks alienating those dearest for desperately held opinions. A year that has honestly brought the absolute worst out in many of those I know and have held in high regard. I no longer think of many in the same positive light that I used to. This hurts me to my core.

I want common decency.

In a year that has seen the #metoo movement go from something protective and supportive of those hurt in unimaginable ways, to something that is incendiary and damaging without fairness. Not that anything about it has ever been fair for the person that has had their life destroyed, but it has certainly turned into something obscene and unjust. There’s no justice for someone who is telling the truth and there is no justice for someone accused of actions that may not have happened. We’ve become people who believe the worst thing said, without stepping back and giving people a chance. As a survivor, it hurts to see how people have taken this movement, this platform from survivors to use it for their own agendas.

I want common decency.

There are no winners in this day…we hurt each other, without thought to consequences. Without warning, without provocation, folks will hurl accusations at one another. Over BBQ’s, over swimming pools, over parking spots, all of it…nonsense.

We have taken the worst of humanity and elected it into powerful positions, we have legitimized the hate and the hurt. We have applauded bad manners, uneducated information and power hungry people who honestly don’t care about you or me. Or our needs.

When I say “we,” I mean ALL OF US. To some degree, we all are responsible for where we are. None of us are innocent in perpetuating the ill feelings, the hurt, the anger. We scream to rise up and resist, we scream things are great, we scream that it’s God’s law, martial law, anarchy, etc…

No one gets it.

Yes, resist what is unjust, resist what is hateful. Remember that as you resist, as you speak against it, you need to do so with love. Without love, your speech is no better than the person you are fighting against, because you are both fighting from hate.

Find passion in your beliefs, stand tall for your beliefs, but do it from a place of decency and love. Show folks that you are better than the hate, that you are better than the pettiness and the finger pointing. Just be better.

I want common decency.

Treat everyone like you wish to be treated, speak with respect and speak honesty. Don’t buy into the negativity, shower folks with smiles, with positivity. You want to win, prove you aren’t like every other screaming jerk with an agenda. Be the example. LEAD by example.

In the end, light always beats out the dark. Every time.

*steps off soapbox*

Basically, stop being an asshole.

There.

Just in time for the holidays.

So, it’s been a minute, hasn’t it? After allowing anything and everyone dictate my life for the last few, I’ve decided to knock the dust off this ol’ bloggy thing and emote.

Aren’t you the luckiest?

Let’s see…

Still gay.
Still a democrat.
Still a control freak, barely hanging on.
Still working at self care and love.
Still crazy, probably crazier.

However,

Stronger than I’ve ever been.
No longer dependent on anyone.
Smaller tribe, more quality.
Learned hard lessons. About me, about others.
Allowing myself to feel all the feels.
Peaceful, righteous, angry, sad.

Yep. I love writing, the creative stuff that goes on in my head. The joy I get from sharing my thoughts, my adventures. THE RULES. All of it. Not for any reason other than this saves me tons on therapy that I, probably, definitely, need.

I used to dream of writing a book, to see something bound and on a shelf. I got really close to it, to getting it all in one cohesive place. Then my life took a deep dive and I pushed it so far into the back of my mind, I can’t access it right now, so this will have to do. Maybe someday, somehow, I’ll get inspired, but now, I just opened this back up. Baby steps.

It’s coming up to the holidays. These days are alternately lovely and heartbreaking. I love the holidays, the joy I see, the energy in the air. The lights, the music, the goodwill we all seem to find. I miss my loved ones and drown myself in my memories. They make me smile, they make me cry. I’m going to be okay.

I’m in charge of me. Just me. We are all adults here. No one gets out of this experience alive and it’s up to each of us to live our best lives. If folks don’t want to share that with you, then you pray they live their best lives and experience love and joy each and every day.

Love out loud. Forgive daily. Yourself and others. As my father taught me, have no regrets, just lessons learned. And to love unconditionally.

That’s good emoting, right?

Go out, create joy, love and laughter. I wish this for each of you.

These Dreams. 

I don’t know how to interpret dreams, I suppose it’s for the best most times…then there are these…
We are moving my sister (again. lol), I don’t know where from or where to…I just know she’s moving.   Kris and I decide while we wait for my ever-late sister, we are going to go get donuts. 

On the way back, baby sister calls and says she’s on her way.  We get back to wherever we are supppsed to be and see my sister carrying the front end of a dresser. Kris pulls forward to park and as I glance out the window I see…him.

My dad.  Carrying the other end of the dresser.

My.dad.

“Kris! Kris!!!! Stop, stop!!!”

I get out of our vehicle after fighting with my seatbelt, I run to him. My dad.  

My.dad.

I grab him around the neck, I’m hugging, I’m crying.  I’m never wanting to let go.  

“Dad! I’m sorry, it’s been so long!  I miss you, I love you!”

He hugs back, I can smell his cologne.  I can feel his big warm hug.

“Hello baby, it’s okay.  I love you.  I miss you.  It’s gonna be okay, it’s gonna be okay.  I love you.”

And just like that, I wake up. 

I alternately love and hate my dreams. 

Birthday Wish

It’s my birthday.  47. When I was a child, this age was ancient.  I mean cryptkeeper old.  

Now, I’m the best me I’ve ever been.   

I have had some of the worst experiences of my life in 2017 to be tempered by some of the best.  I have been in the darkest place of my life and am slowly, SLOWLY coming out of it.  It’s been months of soul searching and hard truths.  It’s been months of realizing I’m not all the horrible things I have been told that I am and realizing that my life has value.  That through the tears and anger, I also have laughter and love.  Lots of love.  

Yes, I’m 47.  I am an adult child of a mother that doesn’t give up.  She has taught me we all make mistakes and we have to stand against the roar of negativity and find joy. 

Yes, I’m 47.  I am the adult big sister to a baby sister that has fallen down more than most and has shown me that she will persevere, she will get up, be humble and learn the lesson in her own time.  

Yes, I’m 47. I am the mother to two adult children.  Two children that I love with every fiber of my being.  Two people that I grew, delivered, nursed and nurtured.  I taught them to read, their phone number and how to tie their shoes. (The most painful lesson ever!). They look like me, have my stubborn streak and sharp tongue and wit.  I hope, with my last breath, they remember I taught them unconditional love and forgiveness.  

Yes, I’m 47.  I am the wife of the most incredible woman to walk this rock.   She has taken care of me and my family without a second thought and very few thank yous.  This woman, makes my days better and makes me safer than I can put into words.  To say it is an honor to be loved by her is an understatement.  To share my life, my days and nights with her is a gift. She will be next to me when I take my last breath and that gives me comfort. 

In forty six years, I have loved and lost.  I have made mistakes and reached for the stars.  I have laughed and I have cried.  I have sinned and I have been forgiven.  

I have lost amazing people that I carry in my heart everyday.  That have given me a taste of morality.  I have to embrace every day.  To honor them.  To honor me.  

I have reconnected with people I thought were lost to me.  And that is a gift greater than words express.  

I have embraced people in my world that have become part of my chosen family and they are irreplaceable in my heart and part of my soul. 

Yes, I’m 47.  My birthday wish to love, to laugh, to remember my history, to honor myself and to live everyday to the best that I can.  

I’m going to spend my days and years, finding a blessing in each day.  

My birthday wish…to find joy.  

Somebody Else.

There are days when I don’t think I can bear any more hurt in the world, any more pain in my heart…then I remember…
Someone else is thinking the same thing, only theirs is worse than anything I am feeling right now.
Someone else is figuring out how to get through one more moment, take one more step, one more breath.

Someone else is battling. And someone else is winning, while another is losing.  Yet they are doing so, with all the grace they can muster.

Someone else pulled themselves out of darkness, into the light.

Someone else feels like the darkness will consume them.

Someone else fell in love, while another had their heart broken.

Someone else said “hello,” while another said goodbye.

At the end of my day, as I head into my 46th year,  I will remember a tiny voice, in the dusty corners of my mind, whispering…

“you can always be somebody else…”

Lessons learned.

Good God, this year can’t end fast enough.  I am completely over it.  It’s been a year of extreme highs and painful lows.  I have found myself questioning things I shouldn’t and ignoring warning signs.  Like I have, all my life.

I am the kind of person that will drag something or someone well beyond the expiration date.  I will see the better in people long after they have shown me their true colors.  I will not see the better in myself despite people telling me otherwise.  I refuse to see what is apparently right in front of me most of the time.  But I learn lessons.  I learn them the HARDEST way possible…but hey, I learn.

Lesson – Sometimes you have to give up.
This was a hard one to learn.  I had to give up on a friendship that I never thought I would lose.  It was heart breaking and caused me more pain and stress than I can express.  I learned that loving someone isn’t always the “fix-it” and that no matter how much support I throw at a person, it’s not enough.  In the end, when someone tells you they are suicidal, they have written THE note and to be peaceful…you don’t take chances.  You call the cops.  And then you deal with the fact that they no longer want to be your friend because they have issues, not me.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  They did.  They screwed up and in the aftermath, I have lost friends based on what the other persons “truth” is.  I have to be okay knowing that they are alive, hating me and staying surrounded by people who tell them what they want to hear.  Not the truth.  That for the last several years of this friendship, it was amazingly one-sided.  That I will feel used and thrown out for years.  I have to be okay with the fact that they know and I know what REALLY happened, that I have the text messages and there’s more than me that know what really happened.  But somehow I’m the one out in the cold, not the people who led them to that place.  Fuck it. I’m better off…for reals.

Lesson – Sometimes people love you, even though you think they don’t.
In the aftermath of this former friendship, I got to know some people that I knew loved me.  But I didn’t think I was important TO them.  In the months that have followed, I realized, I just didn’t make room for anyone else.  That in the past year, this “friend” had sucked up all of my life…there wasn’t room for anyone else, so they adjusted and made a life for themselves.  Then when I came back around, I was upset they weren’t waiting for me.  THANKFULLY, I spoke my truth, my embarrassment and my hurt…and they loved me through it.  In fact, I have a small group that have nursed me through this brutal fall.  And made sense and logic and made me feel not wrong.  I love my tribe of people.

Lesson – They are crazy, but they are mine.
I lament in here a LOT about my family.  How we tear at each other, how we say horrible things to each other, how we stay away from each other.  I also write about how we love each other, how we protect each other.  That no matter what we say to each other or about each other, we are all we have.  With the realization that my family name will end once my sister and I are gone, had made me sad…and appreciate my family in a way that I can’t describe.  Knowing you are the last of a family crest is a bit breathtaking, but making sure your family name goes out with honor and dignity, is an impactful in ways I can’t describe.

Lesson – You can’t hurt my feelings.  I have that power, not you.
I have spent a lifetime feeling slighted by the most innocent comment or non-comment.  I can get my feelings hurt by a comment left on social media, I freely admit it.  I can get my feelings hurt by your reaction to a gift, or if you don’t call me.  I am currently navigating the fact that when my children leave home, they don’t call me everyday…whether it’s the daughter that hasn’t lived at home in years or the boy who goes and spends the night with his sister and doesn’t call me.  I know, I KNOW, it’s crazy, but I’m that mommy.  dontjudgeme.

Lesson – You may not need me, because I did my job.
Hand in hand with the lesson above, I am the type of person that needs to be useful, to feel needed.  I am learning that if I have done my job correctly, my children will be self sufficient.  That if I have done my job correctly, my staff can work even if I take a week off.  That when I am no longer here, folks will be able to go on, to survive.  If I have done my job correctly.  And it’s okay to not be needed.  Wanted is much better.

Lesson –  I don’t NEED to eat a burger.
This is the biggest lesson I have learned this year and I am the better for this.  In July, I hit my heaviest, with high blood pressure, with high cholesterol, with depression and with no energy.  I have thrown myself in to a dietary change that has improved my life in ways that I can’t describe.  It’s 30+ pounds gone.  It’s 8 1/2 inches gone.  It’s consistently lower blood sugar and blood pressure.  It’s FIVE sizes in clothing.  It’s the boost in energy, confidence and disposition.  I feel better; I am happier; I am more positive than I have been in a long, long time.  I don’t plan on giving up, I plan on losing, but never giving up.  I’ve become that person that is all about how to make differences in each day, how to count your blessings.  I want to share my joy…even if I am obnoxious.

Lesson – Not everything ends badly.
I am genetically a half-empty cup person.  I always think the worst is going to happen when the opposite usually proves me wrong.  Like…I thought we would have to move because landlord was selling our home and we ended up buying a house!  Or that the boy needed surgery and it was going to be a difficult recovery and it ended up being a minimal surgery and he’s currently recovering very well…I need to remember that there are forces at work in my life. That I put good out in the universe, I should expect the same back.  And by the same logic…karma is fair…everyone should remember that.

Lesson – don’t take anything for granted.
With all the tragedy we see these days in the media, I have to remind myself that each day is a gift, that people, in the midst of the worst times, will fall back on their faith in what they believe in and see the silver lining.  I don’t know how they do so, but with grace and faith, people in the worst of times, find love and forgiveness.  I will forever stand in awe of this power, this undeniable gratitude for life and love.  If more folks were as aware of this, instead of the blame and indignation they muster from the sidelines, the world would be a much better place.

Lesson – she loves me.  Unconditionally.
This has been a hard year for me.  But don’t let me for moment forget that as hard as it has been on me, I have children and a wife that are closely impacted by my moods, my attitude and what is happening in my world. My wife has stood by me, through thick and thin with my kids, my drama, my family.   She has held my hand as I cried, ducked as I yelled and laughed with me.  When I worried, she was there to assure me.  She had fought with my kids, for my kids, in spite of my kids.  She is the passion of my life.  I am lost without her.  So when she tells me she loves me…

Less0n – those kids…they love me too.
I never waver in the fact that they are my whole reason for being…I never waver in the fact that I love them more than I love myself.  I have never had two people that make me more insane in my life and I love every moment of it.  They are mouthy, they are opinionated, they are bold.  Their manners are for shit at home, yet somehow, they don’t act like apes in public.  I can’t get the boy to pick up his shoes, dirty clothes or food wrappers, yet he won’t leave the house without cologne or his hair perfectly in place.  The daughter was my biggest opponent to ALL THINGS during her late tenure at home…her room was a pigsty and she rebelled against every stinking rule I made…but her own home, is impeccable, she lives by her own rules (which closely resemble the ones she grew up with) and she is successfully navigating her world.  I would never take all the credit for these two amazing beings…oh hell…yes I will.  I did this.  I see me all over both of them.  Whether or not they choose to believe me, I left a mark on both of them…and I couldn’t be prouder.

Yes, it’s been a year of growth, of self-learning and loving.  This year needs to end.  I need to put the past behind me, live in the present and dream about the future.

Happy New Year folks…may your dreams become your reality, may your reality live up to your dreams…

 

 

 

Tiny reminders.

Earlier today, the wife e-mailed me and at the end of the email, there was one small word that reminded me of strength. 

Together. 

There’s strength in togetherness.  It means you belong, that you aren’t n this crazy thing called life alone. 

I find strength in my wife, my children, my family, my friends and my job.  I find there is togetherness even in the smallest moments, or the smallest words.  

Together. 

I’ve learned that two can be a together, so can three or four…as many as you need.   That when you are a together, each person supports the other, loves and shares. Together.  There is respect and joy. Honesty and integrity.  Without all of this, together doesn’t happen. 

Together. 

When you think you are all alone, when you think that no one is in your corner, reach out to someone, don’t worry about if they have time, want to be bothered, there’s too much happening, you aren’t close or you’re afraid of being mocked, judged, teased or ignored. Take a chance, lean into a friend…trust yourself, trust them. 

Then you are in it, together.