New Year

Usually the approaching new year would hold hope for better times. Maybe some self improvement or an adventure to plan.  Now?  Well now I am afraid.  Afraid that humankind will self-destruct.  Afraid that the future holds hard times and that no heroes are coming to rescue us.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Well I am trying but it seems cruelty is more contagious than kindness and power more enticing even than lust.

We are our own worst enemy in so many ways.  To begin with there are too many of us. The earth’s resources are finite, yet we breed like rabbits and crowd ever more of us into tiny spaces and lament the lack of basic needs.  Of course we continue to thin the herd in atrocious manners.  War.  War takes lives everyday and with so many people murdering each other you would think that these lost lives would leave more resources for the survivors.  It doesn’t work.  Famine and disease do their part as does natural disaster.  Then there are those deaths from violence on our streets, in our schools and churches by deranged individuals trying to eliminate “the others”.  But the earth remains over populated and is becoming so polluted that it cannot sustain its occupants.

It seems to me that the world is a very dangerous place and some time only a few, if any, humans will be left after we have destroyed each other fighting for who gets the water and who gets the food.  With ever more lethal weapons with which to wage war it will become, has become, possible to eradicate whole nations of people, to make cities into flat deserts, to poison rivers and change forests into blackened stumps.

A few people subscribe to the survival of the fittest theory.  That the strong and resilient will remain to inhabit the earth.  Maybe.  But these may not be the best of us.  The poets, the dreamers, the kind and loving souls are not suited to bloody conflict.  I fear a new world of victorious warriors.  Triumphant men for whom the end always justifies the means and for whom the preservation of self is everything.

This new world, if it comes, will not be new at all.  It will be akin to the dark ages, except with better technology.  Who ever has achieved a position of power will allow no ideas to flourish except to advance their own agenda.  Personal freedom will not exist and should there be any hint of rebellion those who dare will be summarily vanquished. There will be no recorded history available to inspire change.  Education will be limited to only that which is needed to maintain the rulers in their position. It will be a dark and hopeless place.  I won’t see this new world, if it comes, but I fear for those who will.

With these dark and desperate thoughts on my mind I find that the daily mundane end-of-year assessments and new year plans take too much energy.  Like everyone else that I know I do each day what the day requires.  I put my positive attitude on with my mascara in the morning and tend to my various obligations. I will shop and make dinner, clean house and walk the dog, laugh with my husband, counsel the grandchildren, check on the mother-in-law, visit the neighbors and maybe write about it on here.  I will live.  What else, really, can one do?

Actually, I will also continue to complain to all my elected representatives and to attend protests and confront bullies and make my opinions available. We must do what we can where we are and hope for better days.

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New Year

Dance like no one is watching

I like this statement and the philosophy behind it.  I often dance as if no one is watching.  Sometimes no one is and sometimes there is a crowd.  I have danced like no one is watching at parties.  I was having a great time moving with the music, maybe with a partner or maybe just me.  People watching either thought, “How cool; wish I had the nerve to do that” or  “That bitch is crazy”.  Whatever.  When I do a happy dance it’s for me. The opinion of others is for them.

Today I was out shopping which involved driving to the mall where I had to sit at a stop light or two.  The radio was playing and I was bobbing my head and tapping the steering wheel as I waited.  I glanced over to the car beside me and saw boy tapping the back of the seat in front of him in time to whatever he was listening too.  Maybe he had figured out at an early age that the opinions of people in other cars that one is likely never to see again are just not important.  Or, maybe he was just bored.

That’s the thing isn’t it.  How much or how little to care about how we are perceived by others.  Almost all of us want to be liked, to connect with others, to be cared for.  We are after all social creatures.  How much do we adjust our behavior to gain or hold the regard of others?  Not much for me as I grow older, but I have often kept quiet to avoid offense or just to keep the peace.  What I have learned is that those people I care most about who return that care are not offended when we disagree.  Real friends respectfully disagree.  Acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers and crazy uncles not so much. Some people only want to interact with others who agree with them or are just like them.  A conversation with these people requires that you suppress any thoughts you have that may cause an argument because they assume that everyone has to agree about everything if they are to spend time together.

I actually enjoy a discussion with others whose views are not the same as mine.  There is much to be learned and sometimes I see things differently after considering other ideas. I am not particularly enamored with guns.  They make me nervous.  But I know someone whose favorite thing is target practice.  She goes hunting.  She has a collection of guns in her home.  She assures me that she poses no more danger to anyone than if she did not have them and I believe her.  I  had rather go dancing than shooting, but I still like her.

When dealing with more fervently held beliefs tolerance of one another becomes more difficult.  I believe that abortion is a personal and private thing to be handled only by the woman.  One of my friends believes any abortion is murder and wants there to be laws to protect the unborn.  We will never agree and we will never change each other’s minds, so this topic is off limits.  I am not religious.  Not at all.  Since I live in the bible belt that makes some people uncomfortable and others angry or incredulous.  I handle this two ways.  When someone says they are praying for me I appreciate the thought and if pressed to make a reply I just say I appreciate the concern.  I really do.  When someone preaches at me or insists on offering what they see as proof of their faith I am more inclined to stand my ground. It seems to me that faith by definition cannot be proved, but I digress.  I would never attempt to convince someone that there is no god or try to keep them away from their church.  Therefore, I also will never be convinced to follow a  religion.

Whatever.  I am going out on my lawn to dance in the rain.  Think I’ll take the dog with me and when the rain stops maybe there will be a rainbow.  Those happen when the scientific factors are just right.

Dance like no one is watching

Just Another Day

About a third of the way through my to do list for the day I realized that there is no way I will get it done in a day.  Now, I like for my plans to pan out.  I put a lot of effort into reaching my goals and when I set unlikely, probably impossible, goals for myself I am on the road to disappointment.  Nobody to blame but me, but that is not how I handle it.  When reality sets in I blame everybody and everything else and, low and behold, frustration sets in and I become bitchy.

So it is almost time for lunch and I am still dealing with the breakfast dishes and the dryer just stopped, so I have to fold some clothes and the dog is sitting by the door with his “I have to pee” face on.  Okay.  Toss the clothes on top of the dryer, grab the leash and my coat, open the door and the phone rings.  Down the drive I go with the dog pulling on the leash in one hand and the cell phone in the other, my coat blowing open in the breeze.  I tell the caller I have no money for political campaigns, stuff the phone in my pocket and button up my coat.  Talking to myself I say I need to just calm down.  The walk is good for me and the dog can’t help it that he has to go.  I can speed up when we get back.  Instead of the labor intensive salad and soup I had in mind for lunch we will just have a quick grilled cheese then I will fold the clothes and leave the other load until tomorrow. I should be done with the bills in plenty of time to watch the game and bake the cookies my husband asked for after that.  Got it!

I am close to home with the dog when I notice a car in my drive.  It’s a friend delivering make up I ordered and we begin to chat.  We get into the conversation, sit down and before I know it half an hour is gone.  It is time for the game, so I fold the laundry, decide to pay the bills tomorrow.  I open a bag of chips and get out some cold drinks.  We can just have grilled cheese at dinner time.  My husband reminds me that I promised cookies and my grandson wants to know if I have seen some paperwork he needs.

Another adjustment to make.  I leave my boys (husband, grandson and friend, the dog) watching the game and go upstairs to locate the missing paperwork.  I rummage through the freezer until I find a box of girl scout cookies then I return downstairs where I hand the grandson his papers and give my husband the cookies.  Half time.  So I go turn off the computer and empty the dishwasher.  We finished off the chips and the cookies are still frozen so I fix a plate of cheese and crackers and go back to watch the rest of the game.  My team lost.

It seems this day is a bust, so I give up.  Everything else I was going to do can wait.  I decide to give myself a break and I stretch out in my recliner with a book, hoping to relax an hour or so. A couple of paragraphs later my husband wants to know can I help him move a table.  Sure I can.  Then I notice that I tracked mud in when I brought my friend in the house so I sweep that up and go ahead and tidy up the mess from our game snacks. Then a phone call from my daughter and my grandson needs to know which shirt looks best and the sun is going down which means the dog will want food and his last walk of the day and my husband asks what I plan for dinner and I AM GOING TO SCREAM!

It’s really all about attitude, isn’t it.  All of the things I have done today for all the people I did them for give me such pleasure.  When I put them on a to do list I make chores out of joys.  My family is my world. I couldn’t love them more than I do and taking care of them is what I enjoy most in life.  What a shame that I took the joy of the day away from myself and grumbled and gripped that they were stealing it from me when they did no such thing.  Chances are I will do the same thing again, but I hope not soon.  I like me better when I am happily bustling about my home and just hanging out with the family.  So for now my to do list is very short.  Be happy.

Just Another Day

Introduction

Hello and welcome to the thoughts inside the head of a happy heathen.  Happy because of being a heathen, or non-believer if you will, and heathen because I refuse to practice or accept personally religious dogma.

What I do not believe is that there is a superior, all powerful, all knowing being in charge of all things.  Neither can I accept that there is a master plan, or really a plan at all.  To over simplify, stuff just happens.

What I do believe is that humans are our own worst enemy; that science is real and superstition glorifies that which is not real. I believe in being kind and honest.

There’s more, much more inside my old (almost 70 years) head and I will share that with you as time goes by. I hope to post about my neighborhood, the country, politics, history, the weird ideas that just show up in my mind and maybe something interesting that I see.

I never actually tried this blog thing before, but I hope it will be fun.

Introduction