The tortoise and the hare. 

So this story has always sorta bothered me. 

Not so much as a story, but for the lesson I’m supposed to learn from it. 

As a person who’d usually most identify as the turtle in this story, I know I am supposed to take away the idea that hard work, perserverence, and a methodical approach can win the day against speed and flash. Slow and steady wins the race. 

The problem, as I see it, is that a rabbit will always beat a turtle in a foot race. Unless, as the story illustrates, the rabbit is a complete fuckoff and is off napping while the turtle maintains his grueling pace and determined focus all the while. 

The problem is that there are a lot of focused and determined rabbits out there.  And those are hard to beat. 

So maybe the lesson isn’t so much about whether or not you can beat the rabbit at his event. Maybe the lesson should be to decide if that’s even the race you want to run. And if it is, maybe the rabbit isn’t the yardstick you use to measure yourself against in the first heat. 

Maybe you need to pace yourself against an armadillo first.  Or train with the rabbit so you both get better and maybe you can develop more rabbit like tendencies in your racing.  

I don’t know all the answers. I do know that you can totally beat that guy as long he doesn’t stay on the path or takes a nap or stops to eat or just generally does something that takes him out of the race so you can toil on into infinity and glory is not the lesson I want my kid to learn. 

The real challenge for me is that I identify with both the turtle and the rabbit. Which is to say that I feel slow and steady but I also have a tendency to meander and wander off to take a peak at things and smell the flowers and use run on sentences. 

And I’m okay with that. It does mean that I might not be the first in line to win in the rabbit race.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t win. Because…

this may come as a surprise,

but…

THAT IS NOT THE ONLY RACE!!

It really isn’t. (But it sure seems like it sometimes, doesn’t it?)

#EmpathyMatters

I am not a particularly brave person. I have trouble asserting myself and I avoid confrontation whenever possible.  Most of the time this is not a big deal. But occasionally I need to voice a (potentially) controversial opinion and I find it very hard not to censor myself in order to not draw negative attention to me. 

I have opinions. Very strong ones. But usually I don’t share them because I don’t trust most folks to be civilized in their discourse about it. I am ill prepared to deal with poor reactions and behaviors. 

But things are bigger than me. 

My heart feels so bruised and battered from the nearly constant blows from the death and despair and casual hate that is becoming so commonplace. 

The sad thing is that I am fairly well privileged and so I am not subjected to much in the way of discrimination in my daily dealings. I can, if I choose, not watch the news or read it on the internet and it goes away. I can, because of an accident of my birth affecting the tone of my skin, get upset about the violence present in the world and and shut it out and continue about my life. 

I have this ability. This is a privilege that many don’t have because they cannot just put away the color of their skin or change the gender of the persons that they love and are attracted to. (Of course, sexuality is more private than skin color and can be denied or hidden.)

The thing about change is that it can’t only come from the bottom up. It has to also come from the middle outward and the top down. So those of us who have privilege need to be able to see around our blinders and listen to people who have a different perspective than us. 

Don’t discount their experience just because it doesn’t or hasn’t happened to you. 

Don’t discount the label of privilege because your life has also had struggles. Privilege doesn’t mean you don’t struggle. It just means that you don’t have certain automatic struggles to overcome. 

We can all do better. We must do better. Look toward each other with empathy, respect, and heart. 

#bluelivesmatter
#blackandbluelivesmatter

#EmpathyMatters 

#whatthefuckisthematter?

#hateisthematter

#heartsmatter

Oh, The Horror! O.O

I used to read horror stories. I went through a Stephen King phase. My favorite book of his was actually one of his less horrorble: The Eye of the Dragon. But I didn’t read a ton of his. 

I also, at around that same time, was reading Koontz. Man, that dude can write some creepy stuff. Dean Koontz is very good at getting inside your head and giving you the heebie jeebies. I still sometimes think about his book Whispers and it’s been 20 years or so since I read it. I only read a few of his books as well. 

The reason is that while I was reading these types of books I could feel the sad and the bad seeping out into my day to day life. I was less happy and more gloomy. 

So I quit. 

And that was a good call. 

Now, every once in a while I’ll nudge up against the darker stories. Heather Graham does some that are labeled as romance, but are a bit darker and usually have a creepy scary plot. Not alway horror or gruesome, but sometimes. 

Another author who writes darker stories (still with my romance requirement) that I like is Sharon Sala. 

But I can only do a little of those before I have to scamper back to my more sunny place. 

I do the same thing with info on the Internet. I know that bad things happen in the world. I don’t hide my head in the sand. But I cannot stand to be fully informed of the details of many of the terrible things that go down out there. 

There are things, like abuse, that collectively we need to know about and bring out into the light of day. But once the light has been brought, then the specifics of a trial and divorce are private to the parties involved and are not my business. Reading about the evidence and everyone’s opinion about who did what and the haranguing and caterwauling about a situation that is already bad enough is more than my little heart can take. 

If I thought that it was important or useful for me to have that information, I would do so. But these are not things that happen near me, to people I know (except as famous folk), and nothing I do in any way can effect the outcome. So I feel that my absorbing this darkness does no one any good and, in fact, does me harm. 

I have seen abuse and violence in real life. It’s part of why I am so sensitive to it. So I shield myself from as much of it as I am able to.

Write Away

So, if we stick to the recent theme of how I wish to write, aka: how I wish you wouldn’t. (Not that I wish you wouldn’t write, but the ways that persons sometimes write that annoy me.) Since I am not yet in charge of the universe and am also pretty sure that I don’t want to be in charge of any more than I already am (this is why we don’t have any pets right now, for the most part) I have resigned myself to the slog through some books that aren’t written all that well (according to ME) in among the ones that are or at least aren’t so obvious about the things that annoy me.  

For today I will mainly dwell on things that I’ve noticed that I like. I tend to read romance novels right now and that genre has a long history of dippy people running around saying and doing dippy things. I love books with smart characters who have snappy dialogue. ESPECIALLY WOMEN. I really hate it when female characters in books turn stupid with love. That’s not to say that we can’t all behave stupidly at some point, but can we pass the jar of stupid around to some other folks so they have a turn? 

So a couple of authors that I really like for interesting stories with smartypants characters with sarcastic things to say are Jennifer Crusie and Elliot James. 

I like Crusie because her stories are kinda snappy and fast. I don’t feel all that comfortable synopsizing an author to a few inadequate sentences. So I guess I’m not going to. My favorite book of hers so far is Bet Me. 

Elliot James actually is less of a romance (though a romance does figure prominantly) and more of a fantasy writer. I like books that don’t take themselves too seriously.  His books are filled with humor and sarcasm. I read the book Charmed and was surprised by how much I liked it in spite of the less romance factor. (I’m a little addicted to that right now. I think it’s something of a widowhood coping mechanism.) I went ahead and requested the other two books after it that my library system had and I wasn’t disappointed at all. 

Maintain an human err. 

I saw a meme on Facebook today. It said, “it is not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them, that matters.”

Which got me to thinking about correction and such. 

I am thinking that there is something to be said for owning a typewriter. I remember using my grandmothers when I was a kid. The old way would have been to either re type the entire page or to just strike out the error. But grandma had these newfangled correction cards. You’d go back to where the word was, insert the card between the paper and the mechanism, and re type the word causing white-out to cover over the error. Then you could correct it. 

Computers have rendered much of the work of correcting an error obsolete, or at least, simple and nearly thoughtless. 

Perhaps it shouldn’t be so. 

Certainly not when it pertains to other humans. 

Every Day is Mother’s Day. Unless it isn’t. 

I struggle with Mother’s Day. Mostly because it’s always been my moms more than mine because her birthday is may 13. So sometimes they even fall on the same day. When we didn’t live near each other it was okay because I got it done (whatever “it” was) in time to mail it to her. When she lived near me it just, felt like it wasn’t very much my day. And then she died. So it’s just pretty much hers now. And since my husband died there isn’t really anyone to sneak off with the kid to do anything. It’s okay mostly and we are in a transition period, so things will be able to be different in the future should we want them to be. 
What’s actually bothering me this year is people keep sharing these post about how you have to “love your mother, you’ll never have another” or whatever about how you have to love your mom. I shared one and said that this all well and good if you have a good mom. I did. Whatever struggling we did, my mom was one of the good ones. But some people have moms that suck. And posting that you have to love your mom no matter what is bull. Unless you have a mom that loves you AND SHOWS IT THROUGH HER LOVING ACTIONS, you don’t have to love her just because she birthed you. The tricky thing, of course, is that you probably do love her just because she birthed you and so it’s super difficult to break away. I think sometimes with a parent, we love the idea of the mom they should have been. So if you can, go love her quietly and from afar.

Here is a link to a great post about taking back Mother’s Day if you hate it. Whatever the reason. 

http://theunrulywoman.com/pages/blog.php?p=4084 

Learning to Talk

I’ve been reading this book. Actually I keep reading it. I have a few that I do that with sometimes. They are often about regular people overcoming hardship and finding a way to carve out a nice life with a person you love. Not usually as much with the chronic bad communication that I think romance novels love to exploit. 

This particular book is rampant with miscommunication. But not so much because of failure to talk when they should or overhearing the wrong thing as is common. In this book, the main characters base their interactions on their own histories and on some superficial assumptions of what they think they know about each other. 

Because of that, they think they are talking to each other but in truth they might as well not even speak the same language. 

Most of the book is them figuring out how to hear each other without the filter of what they expect to hear. 

I think that’s huge. 

Getting out of your own way so you can actively participate with another person seems like a great way to show you care.  Not just about them, but about yourself, too. 

For me, this is a much better way to use the famous miscommunication tool in your storyline.  Allowing them to feel their way and muddle through trying to learn what the other is saying. Or, perhaps more importantly, how they are hearing what you say. For instance, a person who has self esteem issues will hear a typical witty comment completely differently than someone who has no issues with confidence. 

Normally, that might not be such a big deal (although being more kind in general is a good thing) to you, but if you want to have a chance at a close relationship with them, then it behooves you to try to understand where they’re coming from. 

And, of course, that is hard stuff. I think a lot of people don’t want to have to try so hard at it. Maybe that’s why we look for people who have things in common with. At least that way we know a little bit about where they are coming from. 

But maybe the hard stuff is where we get to draw out the best flavors. 

At least that’s how it works in romance novels, right?

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