Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Say What??!

Growing old affords you a lot of things.  You gain some perspective on the importance of issues and lose respect for some other matters that seemed to be a really big deal once upon a time.

Sometimes you lose your hair, sometimes you find you have it suddenly appearing in the most unexpected places.

Often, small tasks like threading a needle, opening a jar, driving after dark or remembering where you left your glasses take on an accelerated degree of importance.

Many years ago, quite a few now that I think about it, I started losing my hearing.  Honestly, most of the time it was kind of enjoyable.  I was able to experience that "selective hearing" that men seem to think they have the market cornered on.

However, the spouse and the kids became increasingly annoyed with my inability to hear them unless they were shouting so I decided to throw them a bone and get something to help.

Hearing aids have come miles and miles since my grandpa's kind.  Now you can wear them and the world truly never knows they are there.  That is a plus.

But, every plus has a minus, or in the case of me and my little helpers, many minuses.

If you get hot and sweaty, they make my ears itch - therefore I often opt out of hearing in those conditions.  Music that is comfortable or only mildly too loud for everyone else can make me feel like I'm being tortured by sound as some form of psychological warfare.

And in a crowd....oh my goodness....if the Tower of Babel sounded anything remotely like the crowd at my recent high school reunion, I'm surprised those people didn't fling themselves from the parapets.

I can hear a little without aids...very little.  And there is no vibrance or vitality in the sound.  It is dull and flat.  My hearing aids bring vitality and color back into sound for me and in small gatherings and one on one they actually make things very enjoyable.

But in large crowds, there is an over abundance of sound.  Everyone talking and laughing all at once and I am hearing all of it.  The couple in the corner, the lady going out of the door, the man telling the funny story.....I'm hearing it.  But not really.  It becomes like wind noise in a speeding car....just sound....lots and lots of sound.

And, something I learned this time was after I leave that crowd, my brain is on sensory overload.  I start working to process what I've heard...or worse....what I might have missed.  Did someone say something to me directly that I didn't hear and now they think I ignored them? (Stuck up snob)   Did I fail to properly express concern or excitement over something I was told? (Rude and uncaring heifer)

The last evening of my reunion, I forgot(?) to wear my hearing aids.  I missed a lot of things the speakers said (I hate that) and I spent a great deal of time trying to make sure I spent a moment of true face to face time with a great many people.

So, if you observed me flitting about like a crazed bumblebee just know that I was absorbing quality sound and words from as many people as I could find that would spend a moment talking to me and making me laugh.  And, remember...that issue isn't going to get one bit better so in 2 years, for the next get together, I may be scheduling private audiences like the Pope.

Say What?????

Thursday, June 8, 2017

As I See It

Let's All Have a Little Whine With Poor James

I'm going to drop my thoughts on this subject here instead of just doing a huge Facebook rant.  This way people can be forewarned and steer away if they feel they may be offended or choose to take issue.  I am fine with disagreements regarding my opinions and I welcome you to leave your thoughts....good or bad.  But, please do it as a comment on this blog post as I have grandchildren who see my Facebook page and I would just as soon they not have to realize as such tender ages that the grandmother gets hate mail.

Today in Washington D C, the taxpayers footed the bill for a gigantic nothing burger that proved a whole lot of people right and even more people wrong.  The whole Russia - Trump - Collusion national tour suddenly got all future engagements cancelled and some people had to eat their nothing burger with a lot of egg on top with a side helping of crow.  While Mr. Comey's testimony today debunked a whole lot of the crap we have been suffering through for months on end....I found myself ridiculously disappointed in him as a human being.

The ex-director of the FBI is a physically imposing man.  He stands head and shoulders taller than almost anyone in the room.  He carries himself with an air of confidence mixed with a little swagger which is certainly understandable...for a long time, he was the baddest badass of them all.

The director of the FBI is by definition a person who can cause grown men to tremble in their shoes, women to weep and cling to their children because such a person can lay waste to your life and salt the earth effectively ruining it for as many future generations as you can hope to have.  That person is the ONE person all politicians fear....all business owners fear them as well because the power they wield is so great the potential for utter ruination of an ordinary life is huge.

This past director, at one time, in a former incarnation relentlessly pursued a "Scooter" as a means to get to a very high official in another administration.  In short, his badassery is legendary.

And yet....today this man portrayed himself as a trembling sorority girl who finds herself enduring a blind date with a newly minted frat pledge who is far less attractive than she is.  Even going so far as to write about it in her diary and send it to a "friend" back home so everyone will know how miserable and put upon she was.  When in fact....all she had to do was say no thank you and walk away.

While I don't think some people served any good purpose in trying to mitigate the circumstance by talking about the inexperience and lack of political acumen of our current President...it is somewhat a known factor.  However, Mr. Comey has risen through the political rank and file like a bullet to the top and he KNOWS.  And he knows he knows.  And the President knows the director knows as well.  As a person who works for the American people he has a moral responsibility to the person those people elected to protect not only his own integrity but that of the man who holds that high office.

"Sir, this is an inappropriate meeting that I am uncomfortable with not only for myself but for you, even though, in the past I have requested private meetings with you...this situation is different and we need to make sure we are both protected by having others in the room with us."  It might have made the President mad but at least we could have all looked at that as a righteous move on the director's part.

Throughout his testimony today, he repeatedly made statements like "it was my impression, and I could be wrong" or "I just got the feeling, and maybe I'm wrong" and worse...."I just wasn't brave enough."  At least he stopped short of declaring himself the victim of sexual assault.

Really.

This is the ex-director of the F B freaking I and he was afraid of a 70 year old man who he knows if that  man crosses him he can rain hell fire down on him and all his descendants in Biblical proportions.

I.Don't.Buy.It.

Not for one single second


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Intention



intention  - noun - in-ten-tion:  A determination to act in a certain way: resolve

I think about this word....a lot.  Oddly enough, it also means, "a process or manner of healing of incised wounds."

Hmmmmmm.....maybe wounds inflicted by careless tongues or thoughtless deeds?

Intentions...those things of which the road to hell is paved with.

Then, there are people who "intend".  They intended to call, they intended to offer help, or solace or maybe a kind word.  They intended to apologize.  The intended a lot of things, but something always kept getting in the way, something always stopped them right on the threshold of intention on the way to action.  And, suddenly.....there were no more chances to act.

I find myself, often, learning of a life shaking event and thinking "oh, I intended to tell her/him just how much I enjoy knowing them, or how much I love having them in my life!"  That lack of action of intention leads to REGRET and regret soon gives way to guilt which results in sadness. 

So, if over the course of the coming years, you find yourself on the receiving end of my action and resolve, don't be surprised.  I am resolved to live my life with intention followed up by action.  I don't make resolutions but I fully am committed to intention driven actions.  And, in the process, I'm going to like myself a little more and stop allowing others' lack of action influence my behavior.  I intend to be happy, I intend to be content, I intend to be kind, I intend to do the best thing I know how to do, and I intend to be me.  And my actions will reflect these intentions because I choose not to perish being afraid to open the door of an action driven existence any longer.





Saturday, May 6, 2017

Apology NOT Accepted

I guess I don't completely understand the whole concept of regret, acceptance, accountability, and apology.  Or....I'm just not good at the last part.

I live with tons of regret and I've come to realize that the more regret I have and the more I allow it to break my heart, there are some people who are perfectly willing to allow me to suffer that regret without any means of attempting to fix it.

I accept a lot of things about myself.  I know I am selfish, I am VERY opinionated and not afraid to let it fly (which causes me no small amount of that word REGRET.)  I am stubborn, willful, and at times down right mean spirited.  Sometimes the realization of those points occurs to me while I am spewing that thing called OPINION.  I am not always a nice person....I'd like to be....I try to be, but I fail more often than not.  On the flip side of the tarnished penny of "ME", is the fact I love too easily and expect that because I love someone - warts and all, they will return that favor.  I also come to a point of forgiveness pretty quickly and once I do I start trying to make amends.

I find it interesting that it takes more than just you to wreck a relationship, but one often finds themselves trying to "fix" what is broken all by themselves.

When you ask for forgiveness for your part in a strained relationship and you are met with a bullet list of all the things you did to cause the rift with no acceptance on the part of the other individual regarding their contributing role, what do you do?  The last thing that I want to do is get caught up in a circular argument when it is apparent that the other person sees nothing wrong in what they have said or done.  Instead, they only want to paint themselves as the victim in the situation which almost leads you to ask "what will it take for you to get over this, feel better about this or move on?"

And when that conversation just stops with no conclusion....then what?

I fully think that if someone apologizes to you....you owe them either the acceptance of that apology or you need to simply say "I don't accept your apology."  To leave someone hanging without knowing if they should continue to try to mend a fence or simply dust off their shoes and move on is pretty dehumanizing.  And....I am also finding that it is almost impossible for someone to just open up enough to "own" their part of a situation.  Is it really that painful to admit that yes, you might have played a role in the disagreement as well?

I guess I am greatly blessed and infinitely lucky that I am a firm believer in the forgiveness of God because I know he sees my heart all the way through the layers of black and grey and finds the small little red beating part and gives me the benefit of the doubt.  Over the course of the past 6 or 7 years, I have inflicted on myself much to atone for and I have genuinely tried to begin that process only to find people who will not accept it, reject it or own any degree of it.

I'm pretty sure my "Apology Tour" has come to a close.  I've owned my behavior, regretted my words and actions, acknowledged the need for healing and attempted to accomplish it.  I've put my balls into the other courts and it remains with the other players to decide if they want to play them or let them lay there.  But, I will continue to be #sorry.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I'm A'gin It!

Here is my feeling about the whole Stephan Colbert issue, not that anyone cares, but I always like to have my opinions on record.  I enjoy the private hate mail.

First of all, I have a hard time with people who think they are the be all, is all for the whole world and seem to be more impressed with themselves than they are the impact they have on others.  People who star in their own movies rarely exist in a reality I recognize.  Therefore, they simply cease to have any direct impression on me.

The things this questionable self appointed comedian had to say recently weren't funny, weren't helpful, weren't respectful of anyone and created nothing positive at all.  And in fact, he merely served to amp up the hate and negativity a lot of us are striving to put behind us.  But there will always be those who enjoy a fire so much, they can't help but run up and throw their little cans of gasoline on the blaze to make it bigger and burn brighter and they don't care about the after party.....at.all.

I know there is a huge cry for him to be fired and while I don't disagree that there should be some accountability for his actions, I don't believe this is the best course.  I think for conservatives to resort to the tactics we observe from the radicalized left and the snowflakes in the land, is the wrong course of action.

I believe we should hold ourselves to a much higher standard that the examples being played out for us in the media every day..

What Mr. Colbert and his network deserve to have happen is for people like me to simply slip out the door and not watch another thing they put forth.  Advertisers should merely say, "we've decided not to advertise with you in the future" and offer no explanation....just leave and take your money with you.

At some point....someone will review the timeline for falling ratings and diminishing revenue and trace it back to the root of its beginning and at that point they have the opportunity to continue down the path they've set their feet upon, or embark on a new journey.

That would be an interesting thing to follow, as so far it hasn't happened with certain factions of the political arena or the news.  They just don't get it and they keep thinking they can strong arm us into not knowing or feeling what we know and feel.  It isn't going to happen.  We are smarter, better informed, better researchers and far more driven than they give us credit for but instead of listening.....they continue to grind the same grist in the mill.

I say, let Colbert hoist himself on his own petard....let him spin on his own whirlygig and eventually stew in his own juice.  I don't have time for him....he simply doesn't matter enough for me to give him fuel for his own personal little blaze which will eventually become his own roast.

And that's the way I sees it!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Oh No They Didn't



It has taken me a while to write about this.  Mainly because I wanted to make sure that the person involved had truly moved on and was no longer bothered by it.

My husband, a veteran and disabled with two knee replacements, has struggled with the fact that he feels he no longer has a purpose in life....spelled J O B.  I think a lot of us don't realize just how much self worth is attributed by being gainfully employed - particularly to men.  It is really difficult when that desire to remain productive has a qualifier of "things you really shouldn't do with two metal knees."  Few people truly understand that doesn't inhibit your interest in doing something and yet even more people will ask that person to do the very things they shouldn't.  First rule of artificial knees - don't kneel and for God's sake don't spend a lot of time ascending and descending ladders.  Now when construction was your "go to" skill when the world went crazy and you lost your "using your thinker" job, that makes for a frustrated man.

Because of my hearing trouble, I enlisted the help of the Arkansas Rehabilitation Department who were very helpful in burning the underbrush of job search and helping me find something possible.  Therefore, when Roger truly decided he wanted to a) do something other than build crap for me and b) make a little money doing it, we went to ARD again.
Recently, they hooked Roger up with an online training program that would teach you in a 3 week 8 hour a day on line class how to provide customer service.  (Think of those people you get when your garage door opener won't work - or you can't find the battery compartment in your whoozits).  Well, this seemed good....work from home, kind of technical....Yay!  Plus, they were very veteran friendly.

BUT NOT!

Based on this program, we invested in a new laptop with Windows 10 - (trust me, if you aren't familiar with this operating system, you better get on board NOW), we invested in a second monitor, a microphone headset and had already called our internet provider to have our internet speed bumped up with ethernet because we were deemed "inadequate."

Class began, and a whole lot of time was spent with the trainer not being able to access their own teaching modules, trying to figure things out, etc.  And yet....Roger persisted staying sat in a chair for hours on end, waiting for them to get their stuff back on line after crashing, etc.  Then, two and half days into training as he was trying to move into a new module, his credentials quit working.  He tried repeatedly to log in and got nowhere until he received a message telling him someone would be calling him shortly.

He waited two hours and finally they called and told him his computer skills weren't adequate for what they required.  Please know that in all the preliminary talks regarding this "job" they did not mention you had to be proficient in Windows 10 or what your internet speed needed to be.  Just internet connectivity and basic computer skills were required.

So, in essence, after spending a bunch of money and 2 1/2 days of his time he was "fired" from a training program.  That helps a person's ego now doesn't it?

Roger is one of those people who just goes silent and deep with things like this.  However, I am one of those people who goes nuclear and loud.  The first thing I did was call the ARD and tell them what happened as they provide those online training programs with a lot of their people which translates into a lot of $ for those companies.  I rattled every cage in every zoo I could find.

Now, the training program wants to have him back in the program, but we think no.  It's kind of like being newly married and coming home the day after the honeymoon, to find your spouse has run off with the mailman - the trust is broken, plus we don't think we can afford them.
I am absolutely happy with the knowledge that the ARD probably has made their ears bleed with their disapproval over how this was handled and that they are also further armed with a lot of information they did not have prior to this event.

Hopefully, there are still people out there who look at people who are "mostly retired" but still productive, honest, dependable, smart, and willing that will say to themselves "hey, I don't need a full time body....but I could use a guy like that 10 or 15 hours a week."  And hopefully, there are even more people out there willing to go to bat for those men and women who still want to say "I work to pay my bills and take care of my family" - even if that family is only a bunch of little brown dogs.