Chair Life

I live in my Thinking Chair.

I don’t mean, obviously, that I am confined to or spend all my time in said chair. 

So, I just gooogled “live” in preparation for my next sentence after the crossed out one above. Funny how concentrating on semantics will lead you to a really neat insight. This. This is why I love to write.

Live

I remain alive in my Thinking Chair.

Nearly my whole life I have desired a space, a corner, a chair. It would be only mine and it would be a safe haven for those things that restored my heart. It would be uniquely me with purpose and obvious function and feeling. It would remind me of those great movie scenes where the self assured, self confident, successful woman wore her too large, off the shoulder knit sweater that still made her look amazing and not frumpy, with her piping hot coffee sending steam in front of a beautiful non makeuped face and impossibly put together bed head, as she settled in to her well deserved Sunday morning in her space. I don’t even know if that’s a real movie or one I created. I’ve played it so often in my head it’s hard to tell at this point.

In this, the last year of my 30’s, I got my space. I got my Thinking Chair.

The search for the chair started out as a hunt for a reading chair. I wanted something that would fit nicely in the empty bedroom corner and was designed for long periods of comfortable book snuggles. I had a decent budget. So I started sitting in chairs. My older children joined in the hunt. The giggles at mom as she sat, lounged, floundered, threw legs over chair arms in the middle of furniture stores were plenty.

“Mom, seriously?”
“She has to make sure it’s comfortable!”

I indeed did.

Let me tell you there are some beautiful reading chairs out there. Round ones that swivel. Super soft ones that recline. Convertible ones that turn into a bed. And I loved many of them.

But I couldn’t pick one. While they were all within the budget, they were the whole budget. And while they were all beautiful, they all felt manufactured. It’s weird trying to describe this inanimate object as lacking because I felt it had no heart, but that’s exactly what was going on. I couldn’t find a chair with personality. I have a hard time spending time with people without personality. I guess that spills over into my chair preference as well.

Declaring the search over for the day, we stopped by the mall on the way home so the girls could get some craft stuff. I rarely find myself at the mall, so I had no idea that a large, second hand shop had opened up there.

And there it was. My chair.

I sat, laid, lounged, curled. I asked the associate if it was new as it looked like it had never been touched. She said technically no as it had come from an estate sale. However, I pulled cushions and unzipped covers; the thing looked brand new.

“Momma! It’s the Thinking Chair!”

The Thinking Chair

Madison was absolutely right although I had not noticed originally. But her childhood nostalgia registered the similarity to the famous Blue’s Clues staple immediately.

And now, the Thinking Chair helps me put my clues together.

In this space I have my space. Just sitting in it suggests that I have made time for my soul and that is good. Being here gives encourages freedom from responsibility, permission to let my mind wander, safety to let my thoughts roam, comfort for the exercise of The Many.

I remain alive in my Thinking Chair.

Effective Goal Setting for The Many

Alrighty Rockstars. We are talking about goal setting. Why? Because it’s what’s on deck in the book. Will the writing always be led by the book? Well, let’s see if that’s one of the goals! (Hint: If you know me at all, you probably already know the answer to this one)

The Writers Daily Companion W1D2

Every single leadership, professional development, personal life management, everything ever since everything has emphasized goal setting.  Evidently, my new little book is no different. So, I consider this sage art. Again. With good intentions. Again.

Amy says decide what you want and then write them down. In fact, most every version of effective goal setting I have ever seen begins with some version of determine and scrawl.

And that’s where my train jumps the fucking tracks. Before I even get out of the crazy train station,

If we are friends in real life, on Facebook, or have had even a cursory encounter with me, you are probably aware of “The Many.” If you are not familiar, here’s a great recap.

The Many

 

Now often I have wished for a clone – more hours in the day, more hands, help with all the various things I am responsible for…The Many is not that. The Many are a bat shit crazy cornicopia of chicks living in my headspace. I have never been on a subway but I have been backstage at a strip club, lived in military quarters, and spend a good deal of time in beauty salons. I imagine if these locations mated together and had a baby, that’s what The Many would look like.

So take the folks from the subway, strip club, Navy, and the beauty salon into a confined space. Pass around the refreshments and encourage them to make a cohesive set of goals. Go ahead and do it. I’ll wait.

See my dilemma?

When I sit down to do any type of goal planning it always ends up the same…

I want all the things. All. Of. Them.

Even the things I don’t want, I want. I do not want to skydive. That shit totally freaks me out. But, I want to WANT to skydive. It’s fucking insanity.

I want:

  • attention while being a person who doesn’t want attention
  • to be a person who works 80 hours a week while having all the time in the world to do 100 other things
  • to party like a rockstar until 0400 and be up for the 0600 workout looking like Paige Hathaway
  • to push publish on every single thing I write and not be completely freaked the fuck out about how much you know about me
  • to eat donuts, pad thai, BBQ, pasta, and all the cheeses, while drinking copious amounts of not light beer while maintaining 14% body fat and “I hate her” abs
  • a closet full of clothes that make me feel awesome without ever having to shop again
  • to attend 0800 Mass on Sunday while lounging around on lazy Sundays until noon
  • to speak my mind with confidence
  • to run the Keys 100
  • to be the Mother of Dragons
  • put together a novel plot line that doesn’t make me feel like I’m a complete poser
  • to live life on a regular basis not feeling like a poser
  • to win the lotto without ever spending money on the lotto

At this point the whiteboard in the room is currently being wielded by one of The Many in a wide, erratic circle daring a bitch to come at her. Tables have been flipped, flasks have been pulled, and some are hiding in the broom closet waiting for the dust to settle. Which it won’t.

Coach that, badass.

Because Fear

I once heard Oprah say that she believed there were only two base emotions – fear and love. All other emotions, in her estimation, grow out of those root two.

While I didn’t know it at the time, that statement fundamentally changed the way I viewed damn near everything. I considered for a long time the validity of the statement. That it resonated deep within me was true. But if that resonation warranted root or to be dismissed as a superficial feel good was something I had to ponder. It wasn’t until years later, after countless episodes of employing this “love/fear” filter, that I realized understanding this concept made me a better person. It fostered growth as a better listener, friend, thought sharer, problem solver, empathy giver, and communicator.

It also allows, when I can stomach it, a deeper ability for self discovery. To understand better, I am a person who really, really, REALLY loves self discovery – in theory. In practice, it routinely makes me want to vomit. A lot. The work creates the best/worst versions of nearly every aspect of my character (and there are a lot of them). Whether I come out on the other side a rising sun of badass warriorness or reduced to a quivering paralytic ball is really 50/50.

I used to take that chance, in small doses. However, this toe dipping rarely allowed for any real discovery and still had the same 50/50 outcome. The bang for the buck sucked. So, I hit the pause button and called that “being comfortable where I am” or “settled in my own skin.” Which is all total bullshit. I am built for journey and growth. I am built for movement and dynamic shuffling of all my voices. Stunting that, interestingly enough, creates the exact same 50/50.

So I don’t write, I don’t interact well with others, I don’t grow professionally, my energy lags, my health suffers, my brain tangles up, my heart hurts, my family misses out, my surrounding reflect the mess that is my spirit. I don’t write.

Because fear.

When this gets completely oppressive, I have a few band-aids to get me through. One of my favorite is the bookstore. I have found that I get nearly the same brain yum when I walk into the bookstore as when I am in the presence of big water; my brain calms down, my soul gets big, and my heart opens up. Incidentally, I have a lot of books. This is my newest one, The Writer’s Daily Companion by Amy Peters.

The Writers Daily Companion

The Writers Daily Companion

I love writing prompts. I love books on sale. This was both. But I have thrown enough money at useless drivel to know that not all prompt providers are the same. So I put down my 10,000 calorie, $155 Starbucks latte to investigate it a little further.

Writers Daily Companion Day 1

Writers Daily Companion Day 1

I didn’t really look any further in the book. It was going home with me and we both knew it.

Flannery O’Connor once said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Writers do write for those who don’t have words of their own. Sometimes, that includes the writer herself.

Because fear.

The book sat next to the Thinking Chair for weeks. I realize I have neglected this journal for sometime and have not properly introduced you to the Thinking Chair. I apologize. I will. So it sat among the stacks of Thinking Chair hopefuls. Picking it up meant writing. Writing could mean anything. I am not always ready for anything.

As fate would have it, two girlfriends (both exceptional writers themselves – coincidence?) posted this Tennessee Williams quote. (Full disclosure I spent about two minutes vetting the source of the quote and could not find anything concrete, so I went with Mr. Williams)

Tennessee Williams Quote

Tennessee Williams Quote

And I cried.

Yes, I do that. More often than I care for anyone to know for reasons I am not always proud of.

Now what Mr. Williams said, while beautiful and currently being committed to my memory, is not actually what I heard. What I heard was…

Fear is everywhere and will eat you dead. Love is the only liberator. You are compelled to live your love. Write or the body burns down.

It took me another 12 hours to touch the keys. Another hour of fucking around before I made the first word.

Because fear.

Maybe I’ll work it out. Maybe it’ll be another 18 months before I come here again. Who knows. I do know this is the point in my posts where I typically wrap it up real cute like and put a little bow on the idea. I don’t have a bow. I have a burning house.

 

 

Worry is a Lack of Confidence (AND an Energy Killer)

Corrie Ten Boom Worry Strength

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
~ Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)

I am often described as outgoing, boisterous, happy, and, yes, a bit obnoxiously perky (especially for those not as excited about the earlier hours). And those things (even the tendency towards the obnoxious) are true.

However, those who know me well will also tell you I also have a tendency to be anxious. My anxiety is sometimes warranted by actual causes for concern. More often, unfortunately, it is just a malfunction in the way I am wired; a reminder that I am, in fact, human and should remain gracious to all because we all have our challenges.

Having dealt with this for a really long time, I have gotten really good at talking myself down. I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of mindfulness based cognitive behavioral strategies or how diet and exercise really do matter. I will tell you that while it all works and I am very thankful for it, it is exhausting.

This is primarily the reason I am also know as an optimist. You will here me repeatedly say things like, “don’t borrow trouble,” “make one decision at a time,” “will will cross that bridge when we get there,” or, my favorite, “let’s step back and make sure we are looking at this right.”

Too often we create more worry by entertaining exaggerated worry over situations that actually require little if no worry at all. At which point we then proceed to escalate the situation. The situation needs attention. We worry. Worry makes us distracted, less focused, hesitant, and less capable to employ our abilities. This makes any situation worse. By the time we have worried all over it, we have created something to worry about!

Today I want to encourage you to focus on confidence. The number one reason for worry, insofar as I can tell, is lack of confidence in ones ability to handle whatever happens next. The future is the largest producer of anxiety. This is so unfortunate because the future holds so much hope and promise! The present is where our potential works and the future is the enjoyment of that success! To sabotage that and to steal that from ourselves is all we achieve when we worry. Our strength lives in certainty, assurance, and joy. That’s a much better basket of tricks than worry.

Eaten up from Nose to Tail

RikkiTikkiNagaina

It is the hardest thing in the world to frighten a mongoose, because he is eaten up from nose to tail with curiosity.
~Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

Fear sucks. I have experienced my fair share of it and, quite frankly, I can do without it. I understand that it can be a positive motivator for some folks. I get that the rush it induces in some is a welcomed side effect. I am not one of those people.

Therefore, I spend a pretty good bit of time trying to train myself to not be afraid. Sometimes it works. Too often it doesn’t. I can’t function like that.

Just trying to decide whether or not reviving TAT after all the time away was scary.

Then I recalled today’s quote and it seemed to relate.

I am curious about what I would say if I started again. I was curious if others would be interested. I was curious if even I myself would be interested. I was ate up with curiosity about what it would look like if I harnessed the energy it took to put the nouns and the verbs together in this way again.

That’s when the fuller truth in regards to the relationship between fear and curiosity made sense to me. Fear is, for the most part, just not knowing. What if? Who knows? Is it possible? What is it? How can that be? All those questions can be very, very scary (at least they are for me).

Today I am encouraged to fight fear with curiosity. If I have to experience an emotion towards the unknown, I will attempt to do that with the wonder so often displayed by children versus the paralyzation that accompanies adult sized fears. What was the last thing that sparked your curiosity? In our busy lives I have noticed it is sometimes the curious nature that takes the backseat to the tried and true. There is time to wonder and explore. And for me, knowing is a lot less scary.

 

*TAT 1/27/15

A Letter to My Senior

This was not my idea.

High school Senior Parent Letter Assignment

Dear Bear,

You are such a beautiful soul that I am always cautious when I impart advice to you. But, I am your Giver of Life. As such, I invoke the right that all Givers of Life have to dispense advice whether needed or not, requested or not, right or not, wanted or not. (In this particular instance, I also note that YOU required it of me at the bequest of your teacher; this is not to be used against me in any later therapy that you may or may not need.)

Trust yourself. You are wondrously made. If all people had the heart you possess, the world would be a better place. There will be many times you feel unsure, doubtful, fearful. That’s okay. We all feel that way. Know that you are more right than you are wrong most of time. Yes, this is true regardless of what other people may want you to believe.

Consume at least 64 ounces of water a day. (Water in your Starbucks lattes only count on Sunday.)

You will get it wrong. We all do. When it happens – and trust me sweet girl, it will happen – own it, fix what you can, leave what you can’t, and suck every piece of education you can from it. Failure is not something you are, it is something you do. It does not define you. It does not define them. Grace is a gift I hope you freely give to yourself and others. This is not a trait of the lax or the pushover. It takes strength and courage. Do not believe those that tell you otherwise.

Banana splits are occasionally acceptable for dinner.

Sometimes you just have to say “F(edited out of courtesy to your English teacher)k it” and move forward. Not all choices feel good and safe. Not all choices are fun and desirable. Some things just have to get done, left behind, cleaned up, walked over, turned out, wrapped up, thrown away. This is where life just is what it is. These things, being left to their own devices, only get worse. I promise you, what smells bad today only reeks worse tomorrow. Just bulldog it and move on.

Drink with people who love you. Be the designated driver for those who don’t.

Be real careful what “they” you listen to. There is a whole world filled with the ominous “they.” We aren’t really sure who they are, what type of training they have, what their agenda is, but we are pretty sure they live in their parents’ basement nomming on cheesy poofs playing Dungeon and Dragons. “They” have big mouths and are currently trying to figure out how to make a living trolling the internet. They do not have girlfriends. Easy filter – if “they” insists that everything sucks and nothing you do is right and the entire existence of the world is a big conspiracy meant to create entire subcultures of GMO tolerant, gluten adverse, non vaccinated, obese fast food consumers, breastfed gym rats that poo granola Oreos, you are probably dealing with a “they.” Abraham Lincoln said it best – “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.”

Semicolons are sexy. Learn how to use them.

There are assholes everywhere; that doesn’t define the “everywhere.” (Sorry, the edit just didn’t do the thought justice. Besides, you’re a senior, you can handle it.) Every sect of society – professions, neighborhoods, races, religions, clubs, cults, PTOs, opinion groups – are just a microcosm of society. A bad cop, teacher, solider, sailor, politician, mommy, doctor, teenager, old person does not provide reason to assume that all folks in that particular demographic are idiots. Quite frankly, it doesn’t necessarily mean the offender is an idiot. We all have bad days. And we all have folks in our groups that we would rather we didn’t. Boxes are for shoes, not people. Everyone is created as an individual and deserves the consideration of an individual. Of course, if they prove themselves individually to be the designated asshole, take them at their word that’s who they are and move on.

Don’t be afraid of profanity. It is not a sign of weak vocabulary any more than a love of chocolate is a sign of a weak diet. Sometimes, they both just taste good.

Different is not wrong – it’s just different. Your daddy likes to cut up his steak as he eats it. I like to cut up mine all at one time. You like to have your daddy cut up yours. None of those things are wrong – they are just different. Be wary of people who try to make “different” = “wrong” as they are usually covering up for some feeling of personal inadequacies that I can bet money you don’t want any part of.

Be a rebel. End sentences with prepositions. Unless you are speaking Latin. Or honoring Yoda.

If you realize one day that all your friends are alike, get new friends. I’m not saying cut the old ones loose. I’m just saying you need to grow your circle. There is no better way to become an asshole than to surround yourself with people who always think like you, agree with you, and are a whole lot like you. Nature shows us this. If we plant the same crop over and over in the same field, eventually the ground dries up and produces trash. Diversity in relationship is the single best thing you can do to ensure you do not become stale as a person. It also makes coffee shop conversation much more interesting.

Disregard that thing I said about profanity around your great grandmother. Thanks.

Don’t ever make one decision out of fear. It is my belief that there are only two true emotions in life – love and fear. I don’t have to tell you that one is exponentially more productive than the other. There are times you will find yourself afraid or feeling one of its offspring emotions – hate, anger, depression, spite, resentment. Don’t beat yourself up about that as it is natural and human. It is in those human places that we are able to work through and find those ways to be more human. That is where we find grace, compassion, courage. Make decisions in that space. It is worth the work.

Do not make a habit of eating food that comes out of a window.

Make the commitment to love forever. There are so many obstacles and story spinners out there trying to convince you that love is not the answer. They need your love most of all. Love animals, love people, love babies, love criminals, love saints, love the broken, love the healed, love yourself…always love yourself. This is not always easy and sometimes it can only be done in a detached, acknowledged only in a broad sense type of way. There are atrocities in this world that will bend your heart to the point you think it will break. People will be careless with your emotions and you will hurt. You will look at yourself in the mirror and find an imaginary million and one ways in which you don’t measure up. Don’t be surprised when it happens and don’t let it define who you are. Your heart is the most beautiful thing ever created. Share it, be prepared to nurse it, do not hold fear in it.

My baby girl, there are so many more things I want to tell you…

  • Never go on a second date with someone who is mean to the wait staff
  • Live your passion
  • Never leave home without your sketchbook
  • Sometimes going to the store in pajama pants is necessary
  • Exercise
  • Volunteer
  • Always have a book to read
  • Compliment others
  • You can always come home
  • I am never further than a phone call
  • Diet soda is for crazy people – just drink the regular stuff

But most of all I want you to know that when you feel like it doesn’t matter, you don’t make a difference, you aren’t capable of being in this adult world – you are wrong. You have been changing lives since the day you were born. Who I am now is so much because of you. It scares me to think who I would have become without you. Thank you for growing up with me. I am so glad you are my kid.

Love,

Momma

 

The Tale of the Sometimes Always Writer

Flannery O'ConnorI am a writer. I have always been a writer. Okay, so maybe when I was first born and not yet able to hold a pencil and all that literal shit, I was NOT a writer. But in my body, in my spirit, I have always been a writer.

Notice I didn’t say brain. Writing isn’t in the brain. Grammar, spelling, punctuation – that’s in the brain. Writing is somewhere else. It is ethereal.

When I was on deployment I always kept the pictures of my family put away. Tucked into my Bible is where they stayed. I didn’t pin them up, tape them to my bunk or inside my locker. I hid them. In order to remain sane so far away from them, I couldn’t look at those pictures unprepared. I had to be ready for it. Otherwise, it would throw me into a spiral of whatever that ache is that you get when you can’t put your hands on your children or kiss the forehead of your beloved. A person can’t live like that.

Such is the danger of a writer. You can’t always go there. Well, put a better way – I haven’t always been able to go there.
Private Thoughts

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say ~ Flannery O’Connor

And I am not always prepared to know what I think. There are some moments, days, periods of life that are just not appropriate for in-depth contemplation. Sometimes after the spouse is adored, kids are nurtured, career is clocked, food is served, teeth are brushed, I am grateful to maybe have enough energy to fold the laundry, and, if it is a particularly great day, have enough left in the tank to carry on an adult conversation with a girlfriend who has been seriously neglected. To add an in-depth conversation with myself? Yeah, no.

I am not afraid of my truthSo, no writing.

As a point of explanation, that entire “not prepared to know what I think” paragraph had to be paused, rewritten, edited for content as there is too much left to say and analyze between the spaces and commas. I don’t have time for that.

In addition to not having time, I don’t have the inclination. I have a hard time with private writing. I heard somewhere that George Washington said, “Never write down anything you don’t want the whole world to read.” I don’t care enough to google the authenticity of that citation. The point is I believe the sentiment.

Therefore, I rarely write what I can’t publish. I don’t trust it. That being true, there is a ton of stuff in my brain that will never find the page. While necessary, the downside of that is periods of time where I just will not write. It is just too much to figure out the best way to balance authenticity with tact, honesty with privacy, truth with rant.

I am a universe of secretsIt’s a conundrum really. Which I suppose is only fitting. When I described myself as a conundrum in my skin to my husband, he reflected for the briefest of moments and agreed with a huge smile.

His response was enlighting for me. One, it affirmed what I thought and verified that I was not over thinking myself and on the track to being more comfortable. Two, most importantly, the smile gave me courage to embrace that odd cattywampus juxtaposition of self that so often feels…well…unknowable.

So maybe I will just have to write about it…

Stay Outta My Shit, White Woman

My fitness pals will tell you there is something about spandex shorts, sports bras, and competition bikinis that have a tendency to send the female brain – and mouth – straight back to middle school. But I am here to tell you, nothing seems to turn some women into high nose mean girls like politics.

19th-amendmentI am beyond over it.

Evidently, according to Andrea Grimes and Jenny Kutner (whom I do not know so I can only presume they don’t know me. As an aside, no one I have talked to knows them either so I am assuming they don’t know them either. Therefore, I can only imagine that out of the roughly 160 million women living in the US, combined, they don’t know most of them either) because their choice in politician didn’t get elected, I am, once again, a failure as a woman. Not just a woman, but a white woman. Are you serious right now?

Thanks ladies. Like I needed. One. More. Damn. Thing.

Look, I am not going to pretend I fully understand the the issues in Texas – I live in Georgia. But, if I may paint with a broad brush for just a moment; Ms. (I hope that is not offensive being it isn’t gender neutral and shit. But what the hell, I’m already an asshole to her so maybe I’ll take to calling her “honey” because hey, I’m hick from the sticks) Grimes asserts that a vote for her candidate meant

a vote for strong public school funding, for Texas Medicaid expansion, for affordable family planning care, for environmental reforms, for access to a full spectrum of reproductive health-care options

while

a vote for Greg Abbott meant a vote for the status quo, for empowering big industry and big political donors, for cutting public school funds and dismantling the Affordable Care Act, for overturning Roe v. Wade

Let me clue you in on something. Based on what I see here, I would have voted for Greg Abbott too.

Here are some things that I know

  1. Politics has become little more than marketing and public relations
  2. If a person has a dog in the hunt, you can usually take the good they say about their side and the bad they say about the other side and cut both levels in half and you are probably now closer to the truth

Taking that into consideration I am going to bet Greg Abbott doesn’t sit in a secret lair throwing little children into a cauldron laughing at sucky schools passing out cigars to his high dollar friends. Maybe he does the latter. I dunno. Know what else, I don’t have a problem with the latter.

If you tell me no other information other than a candidate is pro capitalism, Affordable Care Act opposed, and abortion opposed, I will deduce that their general philosophy on most things are inline with mine. Am I always right? Obviously not. But let me clue these ladies in on something

It is my vote and you do not get to determine whether or not I  fucked it up.

RallyJust because we share common anatomical traits does not mean, nor has ever meant, that we hold the same set of ideas or priorities. When people use terms like “the women vote” and “women issues” my face turns redder than Texas. I mean seriously, what the hell? My vagina makes me compelled to function like a Toy Story LGM? And the most interesting thing about this concept is those women most compelling it forward are the SAME women who will claim they are empowering women.

No ladies, you are not attempting to empower women – you are attempting to empower Women. Like. You.

I’d like to direct your attention to The Constitution. I am beginning to realize how neglected it is. So let’s take a little look see at it – in particular the 19th Amendment which says

 The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

RaidBecause I can’t help myself, I’m going to also add that the vote for this gem in the Senate back in 1919 had been a long fought battle for the Republicans in a Democratic controlled House…right up until the moment President Wilson took us into World War I, a break of a big campaign promise, and the  Democrats took a whalloping in the 1918 midterm.

Now, with Republican control, the 19th Amendment finally made it through the House,  304 to 89.

Don’t worry ladies. The GOP isn’t looking for a thank you card. You’re welcome anyway.

In the Senate the vote was 56 to 25 broken down as

Yay – 36 (R) 20(D)
Nay – 8 (R) 17 (D)

This little piece of work granted each woman her OWN vote. Not the vote of her husband, not the vote of her boss, the vote of her children, her parents, her girlfriends – a vote of her very own. You’ll be interested to know that the 15th Amendment, also a piece of Republican legislation, was ratified earlier in 1870 and protected the right to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Which means that even as a white woman, my vote is still mine.

Which is awesome, because I can guarantee you don’t want me voting in your place any more than I want you voting in mine.

 

An Open Letter to the Recently Elected

Dear recently elected,

I feel the need to be clear. I did not vote for you because I thought you were the most qualified person for the job – I voted for you because you were the most qualified of those who could be elected for the job in that little booth.

While I am only one person, I feel pretty comfortable asserting that you were not voted into office for your stance on any party platform. While the topics concerning gay marriage, weed, guns, abortion, immigration, etc. are all very, very important, I would wager that many in every sexual, religious, racial, financial, stoned demographic are just ready for government to do its damn job. If you need a point of reference for what that is, I direct you to a little thing known as The Constitution. In the name of all that is holy I pray you have heard of it. You’re welcome.

In the days to come you will be tempted to think yourself more than you ought. Don’t. The majority of the population is just waiting, dare I say expecting, for you to eff this up.

You know what pisses you off about people – dishonesty, passing the buck, blatant distraction, assbackward leadership, conniving trickery, stubbornness, weakness, bloated condescension, dishonesty (yes, I know I said it twice) – well, it pisses the rest of us off too – just in case you were wondering how that kind of stuff would go over.

However, I love this country and so I appreciate you. I think this is a new day and you, in light of your newly elected position, deserve a chance to do what you said you were going to do. I will make a choice to have faith in you (as asinine as some might believe that to be).

Congratulations. Don’t eff this up,
~ Me

Testing Assumptions

Show me someone who is humble enough to accept and take responsibility for his or her circumstances and courageous enough to take whatever initiative is necessary to creatively work his or her way through or around these challenges, and I’ll show you the supreme power of choice.
– Stephen Covey

I am currently reading (for the first time if you can believe it) Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In typical April fashion, I also bought the personal workbook.

I Mustache you a QuestionIn another, that-is-so-like-me moment, I bought a new journal to write down the workbook reflections. I hate actually writing in a workbook – what if I want to do it again?

Then I got to the first section – Testing Assumptions – and I thought, “I could just journal in my blog spot.” So that’s what I am going to do. It is perfect for a bunch of difference reasons.

  1. This post saves me from yet another oh-my-gosh-I’ve-been-gone-for-so-long-what-a-shitty-blogger-I-am post. Which would really be ridiculous as I have a confession to make – I’m not a blogger. I am a sales and account manager (transportation specialist) with an awesome company, Averitt Express. That’s what pays the bills. I just happen to have a writing addiction and a profound need to put words into the universe.
  2. I am not a very good journaler. There is something about knowing that I am putting words out into a public space that makes me question them more thoroughly. Sure, there is a bit of censorship that occurs because while I don’t mind being public, I draw the line at being a spectacle. But, what may get lost in “I’m not saying that publicly” is made up for, I think, in the intention and scrutiny that happens when I know I am gonna hit publish.

Yes, “2 reasons” = “bunch”

On to the assumptions…

Have you ever had an experience where you made an assumption too quickly? Describe the experience below.

What was the assumption you made?

Think about some other assumptions you may have made. What will you do this week to work on one of them?

I know this reflection is looking to examine an instance(s) where I projected my beliefs onto another person or situation unfairly and glean lessons from it. But, that isn’t what keeps coming to my mind.

See, I am an eternal optimist and a salesman. I do a pretty good job at following a situation to make sure I understand the particulars of a situation where others are concerned. It’s my job for one; I like finding the best in any given situation for two.

However, I am often making assumptions about myself. Damning assumptions.

  • I assume I am going to fail
  • I assume I have already failed
  • I assume I am not good enough
  • I assume that I am not worthy
  • I assume that folks routinely discuss my faults
  • I assume I give them a wealth of things to discuss
  • I assume I am disliked and judged
  • I assume it is for good reason
  • I assume it is all my fault
  • I assume I am not living up to my potential
  • I assume that I don’t really have potential
  • I assume that I am trying to hard
  • I assume I am not trying hard enough

You get the picture.

The truth is some of the assumptions are true some of the time. That is the truth simply. But the greater truth about these assumptions falls into one of two categories

  1. They are not always true – I do fail/I also succeed…I do not always fulfill my potential/sometimes I exceed it…I am sometimes disliked/I am also deeply loved by some pretty amazing people
  2. They don’t always matter – My give a shit is getting pretty broken when it comes to what small people say about me with their big mouths. Negativity, judgement, and general asshat-atry are serious energy suckers. I am working hard on getting over it.

I am really enjoying rediscovering Byron Katie and her approach to what she calls, The Work. The gist of the process revolves around taking a thought and moving it through 4 questions.

  1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
  3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

Who would I be indeed……