The Edge


In my experience as a blogger I have been upset and bothered enough to stop only twice. Today was one of those days. Today I felt like I had a Facebook experience honestly, not my usual warm and friendly ‘community’ feeling of the blogging community.

I made the mistake of commenting on a blog recently and was rewarded with a barrage of answers from the blogger, and someone related to her, that was…well, more than I bargained for shall we say. It left me stunned. The thing I commented on actually, if found anywhere else, most likely could have been considered edging very close to a hate statement (in my opinion anyway)–and that is why I commented on it. I said something far more tame than I could have in fact.

In most instances what I saw on the blog, and might have been seen elsewhere, might have been taken down on other sites as offensive. It certainly was to me. But WordPress seems pretty lax about things. They don’t monitor much. And, worse than that, they don’t allow us the ability to block harassing people. So we must endure their comments, no matter how mean they get–self-righteous as these people think they are.

WordPress feels this is an open forum so buck up. Take it. And if you can’t, get out of the game. Make your site private (which can be very tricky).

Well, I guess I understand. But I don’t have to play.

I’ve been thinking for some time about a break anyway. The ideas have been coming hard. One of my favorite bloggers told me maybe to stop writing every day. This seems like a good idea. I just had my five-year anniversary on the site. Five years seems like a good time to try something different. So I may just write when the mood strikes me instead of forcing it all the time, every day.

Sometimes the Universe directs you a certain way. That blogger that won’t go away has directed me. If she won’t go away, then I will–at least now and again. So I say to her: thank you for helping to push me towards this decision that has been hard to make. You tipped me right over the edge…

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Blinders Off


So many things can skew the way a particular incident is relayed or interpreted. Perspective or jealousy may be different sets of blinders that will cast a shadow over the eyes of the orator. These are only two.

It’s so hard anyway to remember minute details from the past. Our memories are clouded by so many things. The human brain can be such a poor machine at times, only as good as its guiding tool, the heart. So it may remember something based on what it wants to recall rather than what actually happened

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The snap shots that our eyes see and that the brain processes are really pretty feeble. This has been proven time and time again when ‘eye witness’ accounts are disproven in court. We all know that if you ask 12 different people an account of an incident, they will come up with 12 different scenarios, each with their own bit of flair based on their personal perspectives.

In leaving my job recently, when the people who liked me asked someone who was my friend what happened and where I was, the reply was that I had a family emergency and had to leave suddenly. The answer was accepted and understood wholeheartedly and well wishes were sent.  On the other hand, when someone who did not care for me got their information from one of my ‘enemies’ shall we say: then the answer was–oh she left on bad terms. This, instead, makes me sound like a bad guy. Information then gets passed on to others and the gossip line continues….

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People are all so fascinating . The paths they choose to walk and what they want to hold on to. And we all see things from our own perspective. Trying to see things from someone else’s is a challenge, one that you must work at, but is greatly worth doing. When we put ourselves in another’s place, new worlds open up. A path into theirs…

Sometimes the worlds we see may be hard, sometimes beautiful. But they are not our own. And this is when we learn true empathy. It’s very easy to be insulated within our own bubbles, especially around those that lose perspective and hurt us. But keeping  open to their troubles that makes them hurtful, gives us understanding and keeps us humble to our own issues.

None of have been perfect and we have all done things wrong to others. Goodness knows I have hurt people along the way. We are  lucky if we’ve been forgiven. To be forgiven, we must learn to forgive. Keeping anger out of our souls can be tough, but it is a real path to enlightenment.

This is what I am learning. And I keep hoping that I can continue with the blinders off and a heart without anger.

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Everybody Hurts


Everybody hurts. Bullies are often bullies because they are hurting. I found that out at work today.

A young gal is out for some time at work. She always struck me as rather dark…and I heard rumors. I never pushed because it’s none of my business. But my assessment skills are pretty strong from years in the emergency business, so I guessed she had a difficult personal life.

When she didn’t show up for work two days in a row, then 3 months of her shifts got posted…I guess I knew there definitely was a lot going on. But no-one is really talking. That’s not exactly true: as some of the rougher crowd surely complained about her just cutting out of work like that…I mean how could she!? Doesn’t she have any compassion for her co-workers? How bad could it really be after all???

That’s when I spoke personally to one of the folks I consider a bit of a bully. She told me she just can’t really understand people with issues ‘like that’…considering herself a ‘very happy person’. Ha, I thought! A happy person? Someone who goes around making fun of everyone in the joint, talking behind people’s back at every opportunity, being unfriendly to many and nice to others, pretending to be nice after saying mean things…??? No, that’s definitely not a happy person in my book. She just can’t admit it.


But as she spoke to me, she told me that her mother was just like that young girl out of work. The mother checked out on her children (namely this happy person) when she was young and she always hated it. Determined not to be like her mother, she appears to be a wonderful mom, talking about her kids all the time and is very devoted to them.

Yet in her heart, the hurt and anger still lurk deep within.That’s obvious. These things, when they fester, always leak out. So instead of dealing with them head on, they become like stones in one’s soul making it hard to empathize or show compassion to others. Anyone who may remind her the pain her mother caused her, or who may put her in a situation where she is comprised, she then lashes out. And to keep ahead of the pain, she stays a step before it by making fun of others to build herself up.

It’s a fairly typical scenario. I just saw the root of it today, so now she’s easier to understand. Sad really. She sees herself as nice and friendly because I believe that’s how she wants to be. But like anyone she was caught in the web of circumstance. It’s blurry embrace gripped her and made her be something of which she is unaware.

So then, it is my job to be kinder and more aware of the situation. To try not to engage and get frustrated and angry back. It’s not easy when a bully is on the prowl. Maybe now that I know what she needs is maternal love and attention, I can somehow discreetly send those vibes her way.

Maybe this then will help to fill the gap and help her toward some true happiness instead.

Resignation


Well, today was the last straw at work. Someone that I thought was a nice person and sort of a friend (I don’t know anyone really well enough to call them a true friend), did something pretty yucky to me today. So now, after being pushed and soul searching, I’ve decided to resign tomorrow. And what better day than April Fool’s day.

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I’m no fool!

After hearing about those two sad young men yesterday and their tragic stories, and listening to myself complain for three months, I decided enough is enough. Life really is just too short. While there are some very nice people there, the bulk of the energy is negative. I’ve learned (and accepted) enough about myself, that I am really an emotional sponge. One can’t simply say to me: Oh don’t let it bother you. No, it’s not possible. I take in all that is around me: the yelling, the gossiping, the mean talk, the shaming, the crabbiness, the rudeness and the direct negativity pointed at me.

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I went into this job with high hopes and a good attitude and now I can’t sleep, have anxiety chest pain and feel exhausted every night when I go home. It’s simply time to walk away. This is a hard decision because I feel very guilty about leaving after only 3 months and letting the nice people down, not fulfilling obligations etc., but it’s not worth it in the end.

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On to greener pastures…..

I’m toying with the idea of becoming a home health aide. Yes…yet a new career and more training at almost 60! But I love senior citizens, it’s a short class and there is a huge call for it down here. The pay is low, but I think the rewards might be great. I’d be back to actually helping people and maybe not being treated like a second class citizen. For me it’s about giving back. Feel free to put your two cents in….??

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I seriously think you are doing the right thing Mommy!

On a good note: I got this wonderful ‘post card’ from one of my best blogging buddies today. He sent it like four weeks ago from England…he’s originally from there, but lives in NZ now. He’s on a 5 week trip all over the place. It took forever to get to me, but it couldn’t have come at a better time. I needed it today. It’s called a ‘Timbergram’ and is made out of wood! I’ve never seen anything like it. 🙂 Thanks…(you know who you are!!)

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Seeing Red


Today was a day of ‘seeing red’ as they say…

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It started when two nurses at work today were the subjects of two surgeons unpleasant and mean behaviors today. The Doctor’s fire hot tempers flared, which is not unusual in an operating room, and they took it out on these two very nice nurses. The cone of energy built, their stress and bam–they blasted whoever was near!

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The red eyes I saw after this uncalled for behavior made my heart hurt. It was a very sad thing as these two people have been very helpful and nice to me. I’m not sure why this is tolerated. One doctor did end up apologizing eventually–a big step for him. He’s blown up at me numerous times, but I’m way too below him to ever get an apology.

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And then my manager found me helping these two very same nurses and felt that I wasn’t doing it the right way. Instead of politely explaining to me to do it her way, she did it in such a way, that I was flushed with the red heat of humiliation. It is never what we say, but how we say it after all…. There was no chance for me to even begin to explain my part. Put in my place like a child.

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Finally, my own flush of frustration and the warm umber of perpetual misunderstanding speaking with Verizon service representative. Why must they just repeat the rote script and not really listen to what you say to them? They talk in circles…Gads I wanted to scream after the woman said the same thing about 10 times! Lady, I’m not stupid here…I heard you the first time. Are you hearing me? Red, red, red….

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Red was the color yesterday…it was the symbol of Valentine’s day. Funny, but I didn’t celebrate that at all. Sadly I missed that red. Red is such a powerful color. Never given to anything lightly: love or well….the opposite. Red.

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Someone once said to me: you can never be unhappy if you’re wearing red shoes. And seeing the world in rose-colored glasses, well is that good or bad?

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Today I saw red a lot, but it wasn’t really good red. It was angry red, sad red, humiliation red, frustration red…

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Maybe tomorrow it will be love red?

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Wise Words


“Language informs behavior.”

This was a quote I heard recently on a local public radio station as stated by Dottie Morris, the Chief Officer of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs At KSC.  This was in reference to two local ‘officials’ (one a police chief and one a politician) making racial remarks in public. One was overheard in a private conversation in a public place, which sparked much public debate about his first amendment right to freedom of speech.

Living in a small New England state that prides itself in freedom of all sorts it didn’t surprise me that, while people might not like what this man said, they felt he had the right to say it. So they called in to this local talk show and said so. Emphatically.

But when Ms. Morris said these three simple words: language informs behavior, I stood dead still in my kitchen. There were no more words needed to say, although the show had about 45 minutes still to air. I didn’t have to listen to much else after those words because she was so right.

Someone who says degrading, derogatory and prejudicial remarks would not ever be someone whose behavior you would expect to be anything but superior, mean and discriminatory. Certainly no-one should act these ways, but to have our public figures represented by these attributes is disgraceful!

She went on to explain that these behaviors will lead them to create or vote for certain legislation or profile people and even treat their constituents/community members differently. And this is unacceptable. We don’t even need to discuss the police issue as its rampant in the news. Sadly, an incident like this only supports the public’s outcry.

So there is no excuse. If words are coming out of someone’s mouth, in a public place or private, and they are clearly negative towards another race, sex, orientation or whatever, then obviously that person’s heart and soul feel a certain way. There is no convincing me otherwise! Oh ‘it’s just a joke’ is bologna!

Remember the wise words…when it comes to anything really: LANGUAGE INFORMS BEHAVIOR

And watch (and think) about what you say.

Best Buds


There are days where my daughter teases me that I will turn out to be one of those old women who has bunches of cats and maybe dogs living in my house. Today is one of those days I think maybe she is right.

When I was a docent in a zoo many years ago,  I learned that some people prefer animals to humans. The zoo-keepers, the men and women that personally tended some of the animals at this particular zoo, were often very quiet and introverted humans. They took their jobs very seriously and the animals in their care were fed, medicated, groomed, bathed and loved by these people in a way that was quite simply amazing.

It was a relationship that I am now beginning to understand more fully as I grow older. As I have more and more relationships with humans, and am let down by them, I am coming to appreciate why these zoo-keepers would find more dependability in the interactions with their wards.

I’ve been sort of like a zoo-keeper in that I tend to take care of people. I like to give and help. But I find as the years pass that most aren’t really grateful or responsive the way an animal would be. They at least expect you to show up the same time every day and wag a tail or purr in expectant hunger. People, on the other hand, seem to think they are simply entitled to what you may give them. Often without a thank you. It’s odd.

And animals are usually very predictable, while we all know humans are usually not. Even people we think we know often surprise us with mean or dismissive words. Our domesticated pets are always happy to greet us, even if we are angry with them. Even the most beaten down dogs can be rehabilitated with love. And most pets prefer routine — things to be the same.  Wild animals are like this too following patterns.

It sadly becomes harder to trust people it seems because of their changing natures. Never reliably acting the same way. While animals have so few characteristics that we don’t have to wonder what they are thinking all the time. It makes loving them much easier.

While I don’t want to end up living alone in a house with nothing but furry creatures, on particular days I certainly can understand why people prefer animals to humans. My frustrations trying to understand people grows all the time. Constantly trying to change myself is exhausting, but expecting others to change seems futile.

So I will keep my best buds around. They don’t talk back, they love me unconditionally, they are completely trustworthy and they are pretty easy to figure out. That’s more than I can say for most humans I know.