Some people’s children

As I try to make my way through each day of my existence, I am reminded, almost daily, at the gall of some people.  I’m sure you’ve seen it.  Grown adults behaving badly.  Committing acts they would put their own children in timeout for, but somehow, they’ve justified in their own minds that their bad behavior is ok, using their own excuses and wrong logic to proclaim their bad behavior as ok.  These are also the same people who, when witnessing other people complete the exact same acts, will immediately cry foul, asking for blood, regardless of that person’s reasoning.

It’s funny how reasoning and excuses are ok when they come from one side of this person’s mouth, but they are offended by the same display when the coin flips.

Sometimes the acts are minor.

How dare that person cut me off in traffic, but when, “I’m late for work, it’s ok.  I mean, really.  No one got hurt, so whats the harm.”

Two Black Friday shoppers going for the same item.  One grabs it out of the other’s hands.  The winner is justified, “They should have fought harder, been quicker.”  The loser is offended, “What terrible manners.  How rude.”

The place where it’s most saddening to me is with words.  Deep, cutting, hurtful words flung from one mouth into the life of another, sometimes with the only purpose of cutting down the receiver.  At first, one would witness a lot of these verbal assaults anonymously, online, where one can cowardly hide, hurt, and not have to face their attackee.

Then it moved to opening assaulting others, sometimes ones that they claim to be hold as friends or loved ones.  Mean posts online, rude comments or tweets.  The really sick ones are held under the guise of TBH.  What a horrible thing our young people have created with this trend.  Opening inviting comments from people only to be the receiver of mean, hurtful, ‘honest’ attacks.  We’ve taught a generation to think it’s ok to be cruel and spiteful, as long as you can justify it with ‘just being honest.’

Now the meanness seems to have infected our culture to the core, so much that people will openly abuse others, face-to-face, justifying and excusing themselves with every breath along the way.  Things being said directly to people you claim to love or care for, that you wouldn’t dare utter to others, but you believe you have the right to say because you are so in the right.  Just because you’re related or have known them forever, makes some people believe they can spew vile comments without ramifications.  “What?  They needed to hear that.”  “I’m just saying.”  “It’s not my problem if they can’t handle the truth.”

I’m just so sick of these self-justified bullies spraying all those in their paths.  What gives you the power to believe that your so-called ‘truth’ is 1) wanted or 2) anywhere close to the truth in someone’s life.  If I’ve learned anything in my years on this planet, it’s that there are at least two sides to every story and sometimes can be as many as four or five.  Plus, your unasked for and unnecessary additive is not only unjustified, but mean and hurtful and damaging.

So damaging.

Isn’t it enough?  Aren’t we all hurt and struggling enough?  Don’t we all say enough damaging things inside our own heads that we don’t need others to pile on the fight?

Can the tearing down of those around us please stop?  Can we all agree to that this wasted energy and, instead, put this energy back on ourselves, fixing our own houses or, better yet, using to benefit society as a whole?

I’m just saying….

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A different kind of bucket list

As I muddle through this, my 39th year of existence, I feel the pressure of the world around me to follow the latest trend from fellow Gen Xers…the ‘I’m turning 40 Bucket List.’  The only thing more popular are those ridiculous month stickers people slap on their screaming babies to memorialize Junior being 9 months and crabby or Sally being 15 months and sassy.  Since I was born with attitude and raised in sarcasm, I posted this a few months ago.

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Isn’t he adorable.

But I’m just not feeling the whole mid-life crisis bucket list thing.  Mostly, because I refuse to accept this is mid-life.  I still feel 25 inside of my head, so why would I want to make a list of things to do before I die.  Bucket lists used to be for people with terminal conditions or the plots of Jack Nicholson movies. Now they seem to be a prerequisite for your Intramural Co-ed Softball registration and the last grasp at coolness before you say fuck-it and buy a Lazy-E-Boy and elastic waistband pants.

So in honor of my 39th year, I give you my Non Bucket-Bucket List.

1.  I would like to get 8 hours of sleep a night.  I dream of what that would feel like, no really, I do.  I imagine it would be similar to what heaven feels like.

2.  I would like one week where I get to watch Jeopardy uninterrupted.  It that too much to ask?  I don’t think so and, apparently, neither does Jeopardy.

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I don’t mean to brag or anything, but JEOPARDY retweeted me.  I now think I’m kind of a big deal.  The rest of my family does not agree.

3.  I would like to actually make something from one of these recipes I tear out of the cooking magazines I buy.  Sometimes I make is as far as buying a few of the ingredients, but, without fail, I forget a necessary item end up making one of my three, standard, boring meals, or buying take-out Chinese because I’m just too exhausted to try or care.

4.  I would like all my pants to fit me comfortably each time I wear them and for them to all to feel like elastic waistband pants.  I mean really.  Why do pants need buttons and belts…too confining.  I am approaching middle age.  I want to feel comfortable.  I want to ignore that my metabolism is changing.  I don’t want to have to lie to myself that my dryer is shrinking my pants.

5.  I would like to have a week, hell I’ll even settle for a day at this point, in which I do not have to play crazy taxi driver, racing around the city.  With two kids, at two different schools, in six different activities, I honestly don’t know whether I’m coming or going.  I’d kill to be kicked back in a Lazy-E-Boy in my unbuckled pants asking questions to Alex Trebek.  By the way, I’m #teammustache if you were curious.

Soooooo……

Basically, I want to be a grumpy old man now and do things in reverse.  I don’t want to walk the Great Wall of China or Sky Dive over the Grand Cannon before I turn 40.  Sure, I want to take a picture in front of every welcome sign for all 50 states, who doesn’t.  But not right now.  I’ll save all that for when I’m 80.  Right now I want to sleep, eat, sit, and comfortably watch TV uninterrupted.

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Yes, that’s me.  I plan on rockin’ old age like nobody’s business.

 

 

 

 

Think before you Pink

It’s October, so you know what that means.  Everywhere you go, you will be faced with the opportunity to buy something pink.

Pink T-Shirts, Pink Shoelaces, Pink Hats…

Pink Coffee Mugs, Pink Ribbons, Pink Feather Boas…

Pink Medicine Bottle Caps, Pink Bagels, Pink NFL Players…

And it is because of all the success of this pink marketing, that I want to remind everyone to please think before they pink.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  As a woman who has breasts and a family history of cancer, I am all for the increased awareness of everyone in society to the realities of cancer.  I’m glad it’s finally a subject that is in the forefront of the minds of all people, no longer the word that is whispered at the dinner table.  Cancer fighters and survivors don’t have to hide in the back ground or be afraid to talk about their battles, their struggles, their downfalls, and their triumphs.

And, full disclosure, I’ve bought and still do buy pink items.  I’ve signed up for and completed Susan G. Komen races.

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I’ve been known to rock my killer pink Packers sweatshirt on game days.  Plus, those damn pink ribbon bagels are freakin’ delicious.  Can someone please tell me why Panera does not sell those year round?

What I’m talking about here are all those not so honest and reputable companies that pop up this time of year, slap pink on their products, and then use people’s emotions and sense of charity to line their own pockets.

Case in point.

I’m a Big Brother watcher.  I know, I know.  It’s a terrible show.  I’m aware many of the people who go on this show not only have a lot of attention-seeking, ‘I want to be famous’ issues, but also do so for self promotion.  But being a social worker, I enjoy that whole social experiment aspect of this train wreck.

The current season just ended and the “contestants” from this season have recently been released back into society.  Intent to suck as much from their 15 minutes of fame as possible, a number of them are charging full steam ahead to grab as many green backs as they can before the clock hits zero.  Some are selling T-Shirts, others getting paid to make ‘celebrity’ appearances, but this one just turns my stomach.

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Using a deadly and debilitating disease like breast cancer for your own personal financial benefit is disgusting.  Before you get all in an uproar with me about how he is doing something good, let’s run the numbers.  This person has 394,000 followers.  If every one of these followers buys a bracelet, that means he brings in $1,970,000.  Look back at the post.  He specifically mentions proceeds, which I read as, he will subtract any costs from the gross intake.  Let’s assume he could make these 394,000 bracelets for $50,000.  After he subtracts that from the gross intake, that leaves $1,920,000.  Twenty percent of this is $384,000.  That means after expenses and ‘donating’ to charity, this person takes home $1,536,000.  Makes you wonder who the purchasers are really donating to.

Now I will give his credit for putting the numbers out there for those of us who want to do the math to figure it out for ourselves, but the problem is, people are not crunching numbers this time of year, they are just buying based on emotions.

And that is what many ill-intentioned people are counting on.  When most of us see something pink, we assume that, by purchasing that item, we are going to be funding breast cancer research and fighting the good fight.  And, although legally these companies and individuals are not doing anything wrong, they are donating to cancer, I feel many are being morally evil, knowing many of us will blindly buy their pink products, sending less than we know to actual research and more than we wanted to their personal bank accounts.

And here’s where I will dedicate this post to my friend Carrie and her incredible family who have been fighting Cancer and winning for decades now.  She opened my eyes to this topic years ago and has had me reading the fine print ever since.

I’m not saying don’t make a purchase.

Buy the pink if you want to.

Sign up for that race.

Get that mammogram.

Make that donation.

Just think and research before you spend that money.

Make sure your pink purchase truly matters.

It’s a wonder my hair isn’t gray

As I typed that title, I realized that I probably just jinxed myself.  I better not have.  I have been able to go all my 39 years without having to break out the dye on this do…and I don’t want to have to start just yet.

Yes, you read correctly, I typed 39 years.  In my long (too long for me) absence from my blog, I have managed to get a year older and have hit that magically year when I realize that I actually am going to hit that yet-to-be-unmentioned decade soon and had better get my backside into gear if there is anything I want to do before I turn the big 4-0.

I don’t have a particular problem with turning 40, (Of course, I say this having only been 39 for 8 days…) but I’m realizing that putting things off until later is a less and less desirable idea.  That I’m getting closer to the backside of this ride and I can’t keep saying, “I’ll do that someday.”  I’ve also started to realize that I’m getting pretty tired of doing things for other people, things I don’t really want to do, things I have not desire to do.  I’m beginning to understand why people always say, “Don’t mind Grandma.  She has no filter!”  She has no filter because she’s sick and tired of your crap, she doesn’t care less what you think of her anymore, and she’s not going to waste on of the few 1,000 minutes she has left caring what you think.  She doesn’t have to.  Plus, she’s probably a lot happier now than she ever was before.

Which brings me to where I’ve been.  I’ve been here, in my home, doing my kid and mom thing.  I’ve thought about writing, but then I’ve always either lost my motivation or I’ve over thought what I wanted to write about and eventually talked myself out of writing all together.

And that’s where I’ve failed.

I started this blog as a way to just be creative and expressive.  I’ve never had a particular focus on purpose.  I wanted to freedom to write about whatever tripped my fancy, whenever I felt the mood hit me.  And I need to get back to that.

Not writing becomes it’s own worst enemy because you over think, over analyze, worry and stress.  Then days turn to weeks and nothing seems important enough to blog about OR if I told you what I really wanted to tell you about issues, I might offend people, so I said nothing.

Enter Grandma.

I’ve decided to channel her.  I’m going to write what I want, when I want, and screw it if it makes people uncomfortable at Thanksgiving dinner.

In order to kick off this new beginning, I toyed with the idea of deleting this whole blog and starting a new one.  But then I remembered, when you get that ill-conceived tattoo at an early age, you can un-tattoo it.  It still exists.  What you can do is take the ink, add to it, and create the new future for yourself going forward.  Plus, I still like a lot of my old stuff.

So I’m keeping it all as is.

Same blog.  Same title.

I’m still Kerry.

I’m still overly organized.

My life is still chaos at times.

I’m just hitting a reboot.  I hope you’ll stick around with me to see what my 39th year brings.

 

Curve balls

As it has with anyone, life has thrown me some curse balls along the way.  What I’ve learned about myself and others and the curve balls themselves has been really interesting.

You probably know by now that I’m a plan making and a list creating fool.  Sometimes I make lists for my plans and vis versa.  It’s a sickness really.  What I also know is the best way to make God laugh is to make a plan.  God is a master curve ball pitcher.  Plan to do X and he throws a perfect curve right into your strike zone.  Are you going to stand there and go down looking?  Or are you going to swing a way, take control of the curve, and make it your own?

I gave up a long time ago being mad about God’s curve balls.  I know there is something bigger than me in this universe and I believe I my purpose in life is to figure out, well, what that purpose is.  I don’t know everything.  I don’t have all the answers, but each day I set out on my mission to learn and grown and be a positive force in this world.  Set aside money for one thing, then another thing breaks that takes the funds. Plan an outing for the day and the car won’t start when it’s time to leave.  If I was thrown this type of curve ball, God was just letting me know that my plan wasn’t really his plan and I need to change my line up.  I can deal.

Sometimes I’ve, knowingly or unknowingly, thrown myself my own curve balls.  I forgot to have all my cylinders turned on.  I didn’t pay attention to details.  I knew something was wrong, but I did it anyway, ignoring my gut feelings and morals, forging ahead, believing I knew better.  I swung at a pitch above my head.  I put myself behind in the pitch count.  The only way out is hunker down and protect the plate.  I have to acknowledge my mistakes, accept that I was wrong, eat my crow, then apologize, ask for forgiveness, fix my mistakes and move forward.  Personally challenging at bats build character and humility.

It’s the last type of curve balls that I’m struggling with the most.  Those are the ones that others throw at you.  You have a course of action all in place and someone comes in and makes meaningless changes just to show they have some power or control.  Someone spouts off rude, mean, hurtful comments about another individual, then when caught makes up more lies to cover their tracks or tells you, you should turn the other cheek and let it go.  (Sorry I just made you sing that song.)  How come those who frequently stomp all over the morals and values of humanity, self-centeredly focused on getting their way, are the first ones to throw scripture at others about being loving, kind, and forgiving, but never once consider being remorseful, apologetic, or even owning up to their actions?  Yes, yes, I know. This curve ball is just another one like the others, and I have to flow with it just the same.  But this one’s a stinger.  This one’s a dead ball to the backside.  It stings.  The memory of it is vivid.  It leaves a nasty mark.

It changes you.  It changes your outlook.  It changes your feelings.  It changes your future decisions.

But afterwards, you get up, take your base and play ball.

What they don’t tell you

As I walked around the corner into the kitchen this morning, my eyes were assaulted by the sight of IP sipping his coffee while picking lint out of his belly button.  

(I apologize for the lack of picture, but I assumed NO ONE else wanted to see that.  You’re welcome.)

Me – “Oh the joys of marriage.  Why wasn’t this discussed in anywhere in the marriage manual?”

IP – “Hey Babe.  Just think how lucky you are to have all of this.  There’s a line of women out there dying to have all this that you get to enjoy everyday.”

Me – “Lucky me…..”

 

 

 

Brusha, brusha, brusha

An occupational hazard of being a video guy is that IP is occasionally hired to produce productions outside the boundaries of our hometown.  As I type, he is stuck in sunny Florida, while I’m single parenting it for the week.  Not only am I the only taxi on duty, but we are adjusting to being back in school and work, plus we are in the final stages of some bedroom remodeling.  (Because why wouldn’t one start bedroom remodeling in August, when we are preparing to go back to school.  Sure, I’ve got tons of sanity to spare.)

IP and I dropped the mini-mes off at school on Wednesday and he jetted out-of-town.

I woke up on Thursday morning and was barreling through the morning routine solo when I was stopped dead in my tracks….. my toothbrush was MIA.  Now, I a firm believer in the whole ‘Toy Story‘ phenomenon.  I know that when I leave a room, my kid’s toys get up and boogie on down.  But I don’t believe those characteristics apply to my hygiene products.  At least I hope they don’t….

A quick scan of the counter and I realize not only is my toothbrush missing, but IP’s is still very present.

Great, he took my toothbrush to the beach and left me at home.

So I handled the situation the best way I knew how.

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Not liking being the fodder for my jokes, IP fought fire with fire.

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Damn, I think he wins!