I feel like I have boiled down everyone I know down to a one-word description. I am tired, and things are grating on me right now, so I do not want to be wordy. Example – I had some foster kittens recently, and one of them was adorable, but out of control, I just call her Extra. I have a manager that reports to me, she is inclined to take the opposite viewpoint of anything anyone says so, she is now just Contrary. I have a friend who is always thinking of others, she is Helper (as in Mr.Rogers look for the helpers), so you see it is not all bad. But one more, someone else I work with always seems to be one step behind, he is now Obtuse. I am done, it is late, and sometimes people suck. But not you all that is why I am sharing this here.
1. Today my 28-year-old daughter had to verbally take down two men on Facebook that were making harsh comments about sexual assault victims. One of the men was 65 years old.
2. Today I called my 30-year-old daughter because she was going to a concert alone tonight and I had to ask her how she was getting there and how she was getting home. Because women cannot plan an outing alone without worrying what will happen to them. I was relieved that her husband is dropping her off and picking her up and is understanding enough to know that having this experience alone was important to her.
This is what is wrong, this is beyond a mom having to worry about a child’s safety. This is about worrying about a woman you know and love being victimized.
On Twitter the other day Danielle Muscato posed a simple question –
“What would you do if all men had a 9pm curfew?”
The answers were honest and straightforward, the most frequent response and the saddest was – “I would take a walk by myself.” You see, women cannot take a walk by themselves in the evening and be completely relaxed.
Other women said, “I would walk to my car with my keys in my purse and look for them when I got to the car, instead of having them clutched between my fingers as weapons.”
On particularly poignant answer was “I would go to a club and not worry about someone slipping something in my drink when I went to the bathroom.”
All of this right here is why we believe the victims. We know, we know what it is like to worry about your safety every time you are alone, every time you have an opinion, every time you want to live freely.
I am in my fifties. I have been out of high school for a long time, but I remember my history lessons. In high school, college, in books, we learn about the lives of humans and how they lived in the past; the good and the bad.
The awful lessons of history always seem so long ago. We often tell ourselves never again. We often ask ourselves, “How could this happen?”. The atrocities of the past were committed by horrible people, and we could not possibly be so unenlightened that it would happen again.
I will add to this by saying that we know that awful things happen today. We have instantaneous news. However, those dreadful things seem to happen far away. Oppression, extremism, slavery, none of those exist in our clean and whitewashed world. Right?
In a free and civilized world, slavery will never happen again. The Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, Witches being burned, the Crusades, and the list goes on for as long as man has walked the earth. We are far too evolved for this. Right?
I never thought I would see it or say it, but it is happening, and it is happening where I live. Liberals often say that Conservatives do not care unless it happens to them, I would say that could be said of just about every human. You could argue with me, and probably come up with many examples, but I could probably counter with twice as many for my point. I am just saying that I am watching something I never thought I would live to see; the dismantling of my country.
We are quickly rolling downhill and picking up hate and extremism, and distrust, and government oppression as we go. All of those things from my history lessons, everything from far across the world, all of those horrors are now here.
I said to a very liberal friend the other day that idealism is a loser. I do not want it to be, but it is. It causes division and inaction. If you do not believe and support everything that I do, then I do not want you to win. If the real enemy wins, too bad, we deserve it because you did not think of everything for everyone. It is paralyzing. Our country is being lost to the opposite of idealism; it is being lost to extremists. Extremists are people who will band together under one banner of hate and certainty that they are right.
I do not have the answer for the way out of this, but I believe that many more people will start to react and stand to oppose the extremism consuming our country. Many of you will finally respond when it happens on your street, to someone who looks like you or worships like you. Then, maybe then we will all pour into the streets. But then, it will be too late. There will be millions who have already been fighting with hate, and lies, and oppression. Millions more that already won.
Back at the fitness and weight loss thing again. I have put on weight that I lost a few years ago. This irritates me, but of course, I have no one to blame but myself.
I am finding it is not enough to know how to lose weight; you have to want to make the commitment. Then, once you make it, you have to want to stick to it. I shared the other day that I am now thinking about weight loss as I thought about giving up smoking. I have to want to do, for the right reasons.
Beyond wanting to do something, I have to work on wanting to maintain it. I have not smoked for five years; this does not mean that I do not ever want a cigarette. I just work through the feeling when I do want to smoke, and it passes, until it comes again, then I do the same. I repeated this time and time again for the past five years. I have stayed smoke-free.
I am now in weight loss mode now. Like before, when I lost 50-pounds, I know how to lose the weight. If I eat right and exercise, the weight will come off, steadily. The problem the last time is that unlike with smoking, I did not fight through my cravings every time they happened. I slowly started giving in to them until they just became a habit again. So, here I am all of the weight gained back.
I am in my second week; I started with Weight Watchers again. The first week, I did not lose any weight, I simply started tracking and did not change anything. This week, I have done better; I walked several days this week, and I ate better. I do know that I am down at least a few pounds.
Here is the tricky part. Unlike smoking, I cannot just stop eating cold turkey; I still have to eat, I just have to eat better. There are ways to stop eating certain foods cold turkey. Some say that this is a good way to diet, detox your body and all of that. I am considering that just not there quite yet.
Let’s just say, so far, so good. But taking it in steps. Step one, lose the weight, step two keep it off by working through each desire to slide back to old habits.
Five years ago yesterday I quit smoking; this was a significant life event for me. I started smoking when I was seventeen; I was forty-eight when I quit. I had stopped a few other times in my life but always went back to smoking within a year. Hitting my five-year quit anniversary is exciting! Quitting is not easy and maintaining it is hard work; it does get easier over time but is still difficult.
Right around the time I quit smoking I also started eating better and exercising; starting this healthier lifestyle, I lost nearly 50-pounds. It is the first time in my life I lost that much weight without the assistance of weight loss medications or a frozen food plan program. I simply changed my eating habits and started to exercise. Like anyone who has been on this journey I was excited and convinced that this was it, I would never gain the weight back. Looking back on my five-year quit smoking anniversary, I realize that I was very wrong.
I did lose a lot of weight, and I did it the correct way, using food and exercise. I maintained the weight for maybe a year, and then it slowly started to creep up again. I am now at the same weight I was before my first journey. This is disheartening and hard to accept. I mean I can take it because the scale tells me that I have to accept, but it makes me sad. Today I was reflecting on being a non-smoker and how happy that makes me. That is when it clicked, weight loss, like smoking cessation may not be a one-time journey. I have to try again. I have to look back on what I did right and where I failed and begin again.
Also, I have to be ready. I was ready to quit smoking. I was not just stopping because it was expensive, or because of my health. I wanted to stop because it was annoying to me, it was getting in the way of what I wanted to do. I wanted to stop smelling; I wanted to exercise more, I wanted to feel better, I wanted to have more time in my day, and so many other things.
Now, I am ready to lose weight. Just because I failed once, it does not mean that I will fail this time. If I do fail this time, it does not mean that I will fail the next. We have to continue to try; we have to find THAT time, the time that is right for us. I believe that this time exists and that this is the time for me.
Going to school now actually is realizing a dream for me, going for something that will allow me to change careers and reach my goals.
I mentioned in my post the other day that looking for a school to attend that is 100% online is not for the faint of heart, it is a jungle out there and you need to bring some equipment on your journey. More on that in my next post, for now, I will just tell you that I have decided to seek my degree by attending Tiffin University. Tiffin University is in Ohio; they are a private school that has been around since the late 1800s. So far Tiffin has been attentive and helpful without acting like telemarketers on the last day of the month that are trying to reach their goal (no offense to folks in that line of work, I have done it).
My daughter received her graduate degree from Tiffin University, and she had a good experience and now has a degree from a reputable school. My daughter was my best reference, and not that I do not trust her, but I did do some of my own research, more on that at a later date. Like a suspense novel right?
I am seeking a degree in Healthcare Administration; this may not seem terribly exciting to some, but it is for me as it allows me to make a career change and meet my long-term goals. In about five years or so I want to move back to the east coast, near a beach. The area I am considering does not have a lot of large business, which is necessary for my current career. However, this area does have a large health care presence. With twenty years of management and my newly earned degree, I am hoping to be able to make this move and earn a good living. Bonus, I will be living near the beach and not need to move when I retire. Great plan right?