Sunday, July 24, 2016

Happy Sunday Random Roundup Friends!

I don't know about where you live but it's HOT here in Kentuckiana.  We've had days upon days of 90's and humidity with no end in sight.  For the most part- I just love it.  The only disadvantages are that my extremities swell and my hair just doesn't behave due to the humidity.  On the other hand, the heat is marvelous for my joints.  I don't know for sure if it's the Actmra or the heat but my stiffness in the morning is down to about an hour before I am "normal".  In winter it can be up to 3 hours.

 Outside does make a difference, even though we keep it at a steady 72 inside year round.  When it's hot out I love to spend time out in the sun.  If you are my age, I am sure you remember spending time in the summer, laying out on a towel in the yard with baby oil slathered all over you and Sun-In in your hair.  We all wanted our hair light and our skin dark.  It makes me smile just to think about it.  Now I get as much sun as I can in May, June, July and August.  September I start letting the tan fade in preparation for haunt season.  After all- the darker I am, the more makeup I need to look "dead".

Speaking of haunt season, I am ready early this year.  My costumes have been cleaned, my basket full of makeup and accessories has been restocked and packed and I am already working on my intro for the season.  I have also been working with some of the other actors on things that worked and didn't from last season that we can share with new cast members this coming season.  Last season was drama-free for the most part and we had really good kids.  I hope beyond all hope that this season will be the same or better.  One weight is off my shoulders.  There was a review group that has come through every season and many of us actors were really concerned with how we would rank.  Well, over the off-season their "head guys" showed their colors after the Orlando tragedy by posting some horribly homophobic statements and then getting really nasty when called on it.  I don't tolerate that in my life and I don't respect anyone who can't respect others so, though I doubt they will be allowed in ANY of the haunts in our area this season, if they do make it in I really don't care what they think of our haunt or my performance.

On a happier note, we went out running yesterday and saw a puppy that was just adorable.  She's a boxer/bulldog mix. We have been thinking long and hard of getting Auggie a companion.  His personality has become very toned down since we lost Harley last November and it's been long enough that I am ready to bring another dog into our world.  Jim was all for it immediately but I needed time to mourn that sweet little girl first.  Of course I have my fears.  Can we really get lucky enough to get another dog as sweet as those two?  What happens if my health goes downhill?  Fortunately we have a decent sized yard for them to run in and Jim swears he can handle two of them so there's that.  OTOH- Mom and Dad don't think we need another dog.  I get it because Auggie travels with us and they have already made his reservation (just his, not any of the other Grand-dogs) for our next family reunion but we know that if we do get another dog we will either have to board both or hire someone to stay at the house with them because, like with Harley and Auggie, we wouldn't split them up.  And NEED is a strong word.  But I fully believe in rescuing dogs.  Given the time, ability and unlimited funds I would rescue as many as possible. I can see myself as the "Crazy Dog Lady" in another life.  Given my physical limitations *When* we win the lottery we will donate to as many rescues as we can.  The mission is so important.   Dogs really are better than people.  They love unconditionally and if you treat them well they are loyal to the end of the earth.  Their hearts are pure.  I truly believe that there are very few bad dogs- but many more bad owners.  I have to commend people who can foster- I couldn't because I would want to keep them all.  I know my limitations and letting them go, even to a great home, is one of mine.  It would break my heart and I just couldn't do it.

Now to bring things down a bit.  I am SO over all of the political posts and divisive social commentary on social media.  I will say over and over until I die that I don't care WHO you vote for as long as you get out there and vote.  That said,  these elections have become so contentious that it's making me physically ill.  If I could get a message to everyone who comments on every thread or news article or meme or posts on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, it would be this:  if  you cannot get your message across without calling names, you message is not that important.  As soon as I see rudeness or name calling, I shut down.  I don't care if you are talking to one another or talking about the candidate or about the parties or about ideologies, if you can't be respectful, if you can't make your point without being hateful, your point is moot.  I don't even discuss who I am voting for.  It's between me and the polls.  That said, I look at every issue.  I also look at how the campaign is run, who they surround themselves with and where they stand on healthcare, government oversight, military matters, and jobs leaving the country.  I worry about racial tension, I worry about the separation of church and state, and I worry about foreign relations.  The great thing about being a registered Independent is that there is no "straight party" voting and that I can choose who I think will be best for our country, our state, our city without feeling I need to stay within party lines.  I hope, hope, hope that when you look at the candidates, you can feel free to make your decision with as much openness in your heart and mind as well.  Additionally I have watched the different "Lives Matter" (Black, Blue, All) movements with a heavy heart.  I truly believe that they are doing nothing to advance their causes but just causing further divide.  I understand the concept and why people feel their need.  What I don't understand is why, in 2016, ANYONE is still looking at people as a skin color, a religion, a job, a sexual orientation or a gender identity.  We are more than each of those things.  We are people.  We have hearts and souls.

 What has made me truly sad is that I have found out a lot that is not pretty about people that I thought I knew.  I am thankful that, there's an UNFOLLOW button on Faceobook, but I am sad that I need to use it.  I have unfollowed a lot of people because though I care about them, I just don't want the ugliness cluttering my news feed.  I won't cut them out of my life because they do mean something to me and I believe that deep inside there is more to them than that, but I don't want to see that part of them.   Please know, if you are posting hateful or rude thing, you are still there, I just don't see you on my regular news feed any longer.

Part of trying to live from a place of gratitude is to cut the negativity out of your life.  For me, that means losing the toxicity of this political season.  It means ignoring the rhetoric of the movements and accepting people for their merits.  I have gotten very far off track in my search for gratitude and I think it's because the negativity from many directions is all consuming.   I think it's time for a self-imposed social media and news drought in my life.  It's time to take a break for the good of my own soul.  I will keep my messenger up to keep up with my family and I can be reached there or here but I need a break from the rest for a while.  I hope you have a beautiful Sunday, free of strife and negativity.  I am thankful that you are reading my musings and for all of your support.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I Am NOT My Illnesses

There's an ad out right now, I think for a Psoriasis drug, that says "See ME".  I see many people who allow themselves to be defined by one aspect of their lives be it illness or one thing (marriage, parenthood, work?) that they don't see beyond.  I cannot, WILL not, allow that to happen to me.

I am a wife.
I am a mother.
I am a daughter.
I am a sister.
I am a friend.
I am a writer.
I am an employer.
I am an employee.
I am right-handed.
I am brown-eyed.
I am of undefined hair color.
I am a tom-boy.
I am a diva.
I am an actress.
I am a reader.
I am Spiritual.
I am loyal.
I am hardworking.
I am dependable.
I am adventurous.
I am open minded.
I am complicated.
I am an observer.
I am easily irritated by bad grammar, bad spelling, bad driving.
I am a political Independent.
I am a Moderate.
I am quick-tempered about the little things but get over it equally quickly.
I am slow to really hurt/anger but when you push me too far, you are out of my life forever.
I am a geek.
I am a Pop-Culture addict.
I am not happy with my weight.
I am happy with who I am.

I believe that people are who they show you they are rather than who they say they are.
I believe that animals are better "people" than people at times.
I believe that common sense and common decency have become not-so-common.
I believe that being respectful does not hurt.
I believe that being kind also does not hurt.
I believe that not my job to "convert" you, nor your job to "convert" me.
I believe that getting to know one another as people is the way to finding peace.
I believe that hate is an all-consuming a waste of energy.

I believe that the words "Politically Correct" should be stricken from the lexicon.  Respect for our differences is not a bad thing.

I believe that people say things behind a keyboard that they wouldn't dare say face-to-face, and that often shows true colors.

I believe that if you are living your life your way and not hurting anyone, you should just live your life without repercussions.  Best put:  "Do what you will, so long as you harm none."

I believe that if it's not yours, don't take it; if you didn't earn it, don't take it; if it doesn't belong to you, don't break it.  If you do, you are a criminal and should be punished.

I believe that guns are for hunting for food, not people.  If you kill it, you eat it.  If you hunt for sport or if you kill another person, you have earned swift punishment.

I believe that personal responsibility and accountability are of the utmost importance for ALL.

I believe that our country has, in my lifetime, lost its way and I fear that, in my lifetime, it won't find it again.

I believe that we citizens at heart are the way to heal, we just have to take action to make it happen.

I don't see skin color.
I don't see religion.
I don't see sexuality.
I don't see gender identity.
I don't see disabilities.

I do see how you treat people.
I do see how you speak to people.
I do see how you conduct yourself when you think no one is looking.

This is a lot about me- but did you notice that none of it is even remotely about the illnesses I live with?  I am NOT Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I am NOT Fibromyalgia, I am NOT DDD, I am not RLD.  They may shape what I can do from day to day but they are not my life.  There's so much more to me that has nothing to do with any of those illnesses.  Pain, exhaustion and the associated symptoms may slow me down but they are not who I am.  It's my hope that you too make a list and see yourself, warts and all, beyond what plagues you.