Hi. Welcome. It’s dinner time. I’m having a little salad. Want some?
Today’s writing prompt is interesting. I wonder if my answers will be based on my mood. And I don’t know if there is anything that you “darn well better know” about me. But, let’s see what I can come up with.
1. Being generous is something I am and something I am always amazed that others’ are not. Doing things for other people makes me happy. Sometimes I think I do too much. But then I look around at people in my life and see them being and doing just for their own benefit. I am, at once, baffled and disgusted. I don’t how they go through life like that. It’s not how I want to live. I like my way better.
2. Based on #1, I tend to get my feelings hurt easily. If the people in my life don’t, I guess, live up to my expectations, my feelings get hurt because I think they are somehow letting me down. Rather than accepting them as they are, I expect more of them and then my feelings get hurt.
3. I am quick to love and slow to forgive. I guess there is a theme to this. I believe the best in others, mostly, so once they are in my life they stay there. Unless I feel betrayed in some way. Then, no. I don’t forget easily either.
4. I am a master of wasting time. Not something to necessarily be proud of, but that wasn’t a requirement.
5. My music choices fall all over the spectrum. I prefer foreign films to mainstream releases. Books are one of my passions. And I like jigsaw puzzles.
Bonus: I love to laugh. It’s one of my favorite things.
There you have it.
What do I need to know about you? Share if you’d like.
UPDATED: Since I posted this, I have been thinking more about #2. Yes, it is true that my feelings get hurt easily. But I think I get disappointed in people. I don’t understand how people can live their lives selfishly.
And then I get to a point where I think “just once, I would like someone to be generous to me. To do something for me. To make an outing all about me. Without being asked.” I spend so much time not being selfish that it rears its ugly head at unexpected times.
There. That feels better. #2 needed something more.
Happy weekend. I hope your day is going well. I am just putting some burgers on the grill. How would you like yours cooked?
Another writing prompt:
Write about a time somebody silenced you.
I remember very clearly when someone silenced me.
Growing up as the youngest of 3 kids, there was a good amount of hand-me-downs, and “XX did that, so you need to”. If my sister competed in swimming, I needed to. If my brother ran track, I was encouraged to do so. I took the same classes they did. I was always known as XX’s little sister.
Then came college. The older 2 both went into the same field. At the same school. When the time came for me to go to school, I ended up at the same college too. I was asked “Are you going to be an ABC, too?” Um, no.
Anyhoo. I went my own way with my college major. After my sister graduated, she decided to get her MBA. That was a big deal back then. Her concentration for her MBA was to be the field of study I was pursuing. I? Was pissed. Why was I pissed? I should be thrilled that she was pursuing post-graduate work, right?
But the way I saw it? I saw it as this field of study was mine. MINE. It was the first time in my life that I was pursuing something *I* wanted, not something I was being told I *should* do. Childish? Yes. Petty? Yes.
But I didn’t see it that way at the time.
I talked to someone about it, explaining why I was angry. The response? “That’s just stupid.”
And with that one phrase, I was silenced.
That was the first time I can remember that my thoughts and my feelings were completely discounted. (It probably had happened before, but this is one time I can look back on clearly.) I was summarily dismissed and what I heard was that my feelings were not important. I was devastated.
The person that said that to me probably would have no recollection of the comment or the conversation. If I could replay the scene, the comment was very likely just tossed off without malice or a second thought.
But for me? It began a lifetime of censoring my own thoughts and words. For years, I stopped myself from expressing that which was important to me at the time. It became a habit. It became a way of being.
The impact? The impact is that I have been living a life that other people want and expect of me. I have not been living an authentic life for as long as I can remember. The fear of being judged or criticized was too much.
It’s only been recently that the silence, the sound of silence, has become too much for me. Granted, people who know me would say that I am anything but reticent to speak my mind. But, I think that if they stopped and considered exactly *what* I say when I speak up, they too would realize that I speak my mind when I know it is safe. I am fine being the center of attention if I put myself in that situation. However, if someone else makes me the center of attention, I completely shut down. It all goes back to fear.
The sound of silence for me is stifling. I now know better. If someone today made the same comment to me, I would either defend my position or brush off their obvious insensitivity as a character flaw on their part. I know now that my feelings have merit. My thoughts are worthy of expression. My personality deserves to shine in the sun. And if the people in my life don’t agree with me? That’s fine. We are all entitled to have our opinions. However, if they openly disregard my feelings and thoughts, or go out of their way to belittle me, then they no longer deserve to be in my life.
Silence is appropriate in many situations. But silence when you are trying to express your truth is NOT acceptable. The world needs you to be you. It wouldn’t be right without you.
Have you been silenced?
Hi! Come on in. It’s hot so I’m offering iced tea and shortbread cookies. Enjoy!
I mentioned before that I was doing a writing class this summer. Sadly for me, I’ve not had the energy to do a whole lot with it. I would say not enough time, but that’s not a true statement, right?
So, one of the writing prompts:
“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” ~André Berthiaume
I wear a mask. Every day. I’ve worn it for years. I would like to think that I only wear one, but if I’m honest, I think I have many. I have one with my family – it hides the parts of my personality that I don’t think they will understand. I have one at work, although I know it slips frequently. And I have the main one that I show the world.
This is the mask that I have been creating for years. It is the mask that I created to protect myself from hurt. I didn’t realize I was doing it for the longest time. After high school, I gained the “freshman 15” (plus a little more). After college, and after I had been hurt a number of times, I kept gaining.
Now, here I am. I don’t have any excuses or anyone to blame but myself.
But now? I *really* want to shed this mask, but finding the motivation and keeping it is *really* hard. I want to shed this mask.
So what is stopping me?
The second part of the quote – that I cannot remove it without removing some of my own skin – hits home. I know that by shedding this mask, I will be opening myself up for potential hurt. I will be exposing myself, metaphorically, to people who may judge me. Am I strong enough to stand up to the Judgies of the world? Can I shed that skin and leave myself open like that?
I’m not in my twenties anymore. No one has the ability to change me or impact my life or to make me feel lesser other than me. I am the only one who can do these things.
And since I have, in essence, been living only half a life for so many years, I think it may be time to remove that layer of skin and let ME shine through.
Yes, currently, I *am* overweight. But that doesn’t mean that I am not good enough. Not good enough for a promotion. Not good enough for success. Not good enough for love.
I am good enough for ALL of those things. And wearing this mask? Hasn’t worked for me so far. What I thought was “protection” has turned out to be the equivalent of wrapping myself in bubble wrap. It’s hot (and not in the sexy way), and no one ever gets to know *me* – the real me. They get to know the surface that I allow them to see, which, while great, is not the fabulous me that hovers underneath.
Taking this mask off will be hard. It will be scary and I will falter and will become vulnerable and it’s time. I need to do this. I don’t want to live half a life anymore. I want to live a full and exciting life.
That decided it. Let the transformation begin.
How would you comment on that quote?
In no particular order:
1. Smiling is more fun than frowning.
2. Having a good loud laugh usually makes other people smile too.
3. Only say about others that which you would say to their face.
4. Own your mistakes.
5. Don’t try to hide your mistakes; they will ALWAYS be found and you will look 100% worse for not taking responsibility.
6. Life is too short to read bad books.
7. Treat yourself to some good wine (if you partake). It will make things so much more lovely.
8. Use your good china/cutlery/glasses, etc. What are you waiting for?
9. If you don’t LOVE it, get it out of your house.
10. If you haven’t used/worn/looked at it in 6 months, get rid of it. (12 if you live in seasonal climates and swap things out).
11. Wear your good jewelry.
12. Who cares about the number on the size tag. Wear what is comfortable.
13. Dress for your age.
14. Cats are fantastic companions.
15. Don’t dwell on *how* you ended up where you are. Focus on the you, you want to become.*
16. Don’t berate yourself for not being great at something. You are great at something else.
17. Dogs? Also fantastic companions.
18. Friends *can* be made through social media.
20. Popcorn for supper is acceptable.
21. Eat more green things.
22. Brussels Sprouts are not green balls of hell. They are quite delicious.
23. Chia seeds *can* be eaten.
24. Ask for help.
25. Approach stressful situations from a position of love. It will change your outlook completely.
26. Approach ALL situations from a position of love. See above.
27. Sports are better when seen live.
28. 9 pounds of cat can feel like 90, when you have to pee.
29. Candles make things lovely.
30. Foreign films tend to have better plots.
31. A movie made from a book will more than likely disappoint.
32. Some things should just not get remade.
33. It seems that there are few truly NEW ideas.
34. Celebrities are really not that interesting.
35. Taking the time to learn about a foreign co-worker’s country of origin benefits the relationship immensely.
36. There IS life after cable TV.
37. Kindness really *does* go a long way.
38. So does patience.
39. You are so much more than the work you do.
40. Wait at least an hour before responding to an infuriating email/phone call, etc. Longer than that, if you can.
41. Taking care of YOU is a gift, not a sin.
42. Fewer people than you imagine are paying attention to you right now.
43. A song – a single song – can change your mood completely.
44. One really can have too many wallets.
45. I’m pretty great.
*Someone recently said this to me. The more time I spend thinking about it, the more sense it makes.
“What other people think of you is none of your business.”*
“Do you really care what other people think?” *
“I can’t wear this; people will make fun of me!”*
We have all heard/used/said these statements at some point. Do you believe it to be true?
I do. I did before, but I really do now.
This past weekend, I got my hair cut. For the first time in more than 2 years. For me, this was a big deal.
About 3 months ago, I thought “UGH! My hair is getting too long.” So I pulled it back with a barette (down low) and cut 3″ off myself. (I don’t recommend it.)
Then, on Friday, I was combing my hair out, and I thought, “UGH! I can’t take this anymore. I’m too old to have hair this long.” (I’m not one of those who believes that once you turn 40, you need to cut your hair. It just seemed right for me.)
My friend recommended her salon, I called, and told them I had a hair-emergency. They fit me in on Saturday. Cut, color, highlights, the works.
I won’t bore you with the ridiculous amount of inane conversation I endured. I could feel my brain melting. It was scary, really.
Now, my hair is dark (dark chocolate-ish) and short. I estimate that she cut off about 8″. It is a big change. And I LOVE it!! It’s probably a shade or 2 darker than I’m happy with, but that’s okay. I will get used to that. But I love that it’s short, and light-feeling, and curly.
Of all the people I have seen today at work, and there are probably 600 people in this building, 3 have commented. 3.
And one of those knew I was getting it done.
Wear what you want. Do what you want. As long as you are not harming others, NO ONE CARES. No one. They are just as wrapped up in themselves as you are in yourself. Think about all the time you spend thinking about yourself.
Scary right? There’s no time to think of anyone else. So no one else has time to think about you either.
So get over it. If I can change my hair by 8″ and go from red-ish to dark chocolate-brown, and have NO ONE notice? No one cares.
Be you and be happy.
*I know these quotes are not mine, but I can’t find a good reference as to who actual is credited with them. My apologies to you if they are yours. Let me know and I will give you credit.
Oh hello! Come in. I have new tea – white tea with peach and raspberry. It’s quite lovely.
Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something
I think the first thing that comes to mind was Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. From Amazon.com:
In Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer tells the story of the killers and their crime but also explores the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism from which the two emerged. The Mormon Church was founded, in part, on the idea that true believers could speak directly with God. But while the mainstream church attempted to be more palatable to the general public by rejecting the controversial tenet of polygamy, fundamentalist splinter groups saw this as apostasy and took to the hills to live what they believed to be a righteous life. When their beliefs are challenged or their patriarchal, cult-like order defied, these still-active groups, according to Krakauer, are capable of fighting back with tremendous violence. While Krakauer’s research into the history of the church is admirably extensive, the real power of the book comes from present-day information, notably jailhouse interviews with Dan Lafferty.
Now, I understand that this is a fundamentalist group and that all Mormons are not represented by the group portrayed in this book. And for the most part, my philosophy about what other people/groups/religions do is, whatever. If it isn’t hurting anyone else, let them do it.
My views were changed on polygamy because I think 13 or 14 year olds, and sometimes younger, should not be considered appropriate as wives for anyone. You know what? Marry whomever you want, as long as they are 18. Younger than that is too young.
This is my opinion. It may not agree with yours, but isn’t that wonderful? How boring life would be if we always agree.
So, yeah. This book changed my views on polygamy. My mind may not have slammed completely closed, but I think I may be less cavalier about it when hearing stories in the future.
Tomorrow: Your views on gay marriage.
Oh, hello! Come in. Have a big salad. It’s like a regular salad. But it’s in a big bowl. With a lot of stuff on it.
Today: Someone or something you definitely could live without
I could live without:
- the constant barrage of celebrity “news”
- the constant barrage of negativity from, about, and surrounding politicians
- wet cake
- fruit flavored beer
- obsession about weight and physical appearance
Tomorrow: a book you’ve read that changed your views on something