Courage

That one word evokes some strong feelings. It makes us think about things. While most people don’t consider it a judgment, they use the word to judge others. Questions like “Exactly how is that courageous?” have people second guessing themselves.

I think about the people in my life. Courage is parents sitting beside their daughter who was in a head on collision with a semi-truck, not knowing what each day will bring. Courage can be found amongst my friends living with rare, disabling diseases including gastroparesis and Ehler-Danlos Syndrome. Courage is walking out of a doctor’s office and facing the world even though you’ve been dealt another blow.

Courage is with those taking one minute of life at a time as the learn to live with mental illness. For too long, society has hidden how much courage it takes to keep moving forward when every fiber of your being is screaming “enough!” Courage is talking about your own mental illness so you can help others. Courage is standing with those who are living with mental illness and supporting their journey. https://hpwritesblogs.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/www-thesemicolonproject-com/

Courage is being there for the youth in your life. It is 3AM wake up calls because a diabetic monitor went off. It is taking in a  youth who needs guidance, yet is unable to turn anywhere but to you. Courage is raising a child to see that they are priceless, even when others have written them off. Courage is accepting that different is not less. Courage is biting back the tears as your child is bullied yet again. Courage is building a helping village, brick by brick, knowing that not everyone will understand.

Courage is picking yourself up after being knocked over. It is seeing your own value and not allowing others to take that from you. Courage is continuing to improve yourself, even when you feel like you are as good as you can possibly get. Courage is recognizing that change is part of growth, no matter how painful.

Courage is helping your fellow humans reach their potential. It is being sensitive to the fact that different is not less. It is understanding that words hurt and should be used with care. Courage is being willing to help instead of shying away. Courage is compassion.

Let courage take root in your life. See the possibilities of being courageous. Consider all that you personally are living with and recognize that others have things going on in their lives to. Reach out. Be courageous and step out of your comfort zone. I think you will be amazed at what you discover.

Aloof

I few days ago, someone told me I was disconnected from a certain situation. I’ve spent some time (as usual) pondering this and why it was said. And I’ve contemplated the past few months and a few other situations where my reaction was apparently not what was expected. Guess what? You could call me aloof.

That doesn’t mean I don’t care. It doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings. It doesn’t mean I’m unaware of a situation.

It does mean that I express my feelings differently than others. It means what you see may not be what I feel. Think about the saying of still waters run deep.

And please, stop trying to fit me into your perspective. It’s yours and you are welcome to it. My perspective is just as valid and just as meaningful. We just see things differently.

Aloof is a nifty word. Cool, casual, unruffled. Just don’t mistake it for disconnected.

Semantics

There’s a discussion going on about how a person should be addressed in this age of fluid labeling. Gone are the labels of Ms. Mrs. and Mr. How old-fashioned!

Now I have to make sure that I’m not offending someone by referring to “that girl” or “this boy.” I though I could go with “child” but apparently some people prefer “offspring” and thus, I am offending that group.

Heaven forbid I use clothing as a way to describe a person. The “girl” with the pink shirt might prefer to be called “individual.” The “boy” in the pink shirt might not be happy with “boy” as a descriptor either. He seems to prefer “man.”

In the Autism (there I go again!) community, people are both claiming and denying the labels. Personally, I go by Autistic. One of my children prefers Aspie. The other prefers no one knows. Then there are the “people with Autism” who are all in with the person first language. Me, well, I’ve been a person longer than I have identified with Autism.  The order of your speech doesn’t affect my life.

But your attitude does. How you treat me does. How you speak with me does. Your words tell me how you feel/believe. Be kind.

Ask me if you don’t know and are worried about offending me. I’ll tell you. Not everyone is as open about their lives, so some may consider your question intrusive. I think the majority will be grateful you asked.

Privacy

I’ve seen many posts on social media where a teacher or parent posts a picture asking you to share so people can see how far an image travels. It’s easy to forget that what we post on the Internet becomes public as soon as we hit “enter.”  There is no taking it back like in a conversation. Our words take on a life of their own.

Someone asked me why I don’t call my children by their given names when I post. Easy…they have an expectation of privacy. This little blog occasionally draws an audience and while I write mostly about myself, sometimes I do write about my kids.

I do think about what I write here. I read it several times before I hit “post.” I think through who I might offend. Whether  those offenses are worth speaking my mind. Nine times out of ten, I hit “post” because I’m writing what I feel at that moment. The tenth time, well, sometimes it is better to just let things go and hit “delete” instead.

Today, a social media friend posted about sex. I refrained from commenting, mainly because I feel the individual can post whatever they want on their page. As I read the comments, I was thinking about those pictures I mentioned above. Did this person really think through what that post meant?

It’s a public-setting post. Anyone who wants to see this person’s proclivities is welcome too. The person invited others into their living room and, um, their bedroom. One person commented about how some things should remain private. That person was quickly attacked by people who accused the commenter of “judging” and telling the page owner to shut up.

I guess I’m old. I agree that some things do not need to be publicized. This is very different from “stifling” people’s rights. If you want to put it out there, that’s your choice. But you also have to accept the consequences. That includes people stating they don’t agree with you. You gave up the right to clam indignation. You also expose yourself to countless ramifications, including future opportunities that could evaporate because people don’t agree with your posts.

So, your choice to post about anything you want. My choice to press that “unfriend” button when I no longer tolerate your posts. I’m allowed to make that choice. It’s not a judgment. It’s a choice the same as the one you made to post about your sex life. Don’t get yourself all up in arms. Accept that posting has consequences. Accept that when you post about adult topics, you open yourself to adult criticism.

And keep those pictures in mind before you hit “enter.” Your words will travel around the world several times before you blink. They may go places you never imagined. You are opening a window, or a door, into your life with each word you post. If you want privacy, don’t post unless that’s your plan. Then don’t complain when people make comments about your choices.

 

Chemistry

It’s been awhile. Crazy thing called life. Three graduations and a birthday later, I now find time to write again. And today’s topic….precipitate.

You see, some blockhead on a social media site is spouting that very tired line of if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  It’s neat, tidy sayings like this that made Zig Zigler a billionaire. But, in everyday life, they are cop outs. Sound bites designed to make you feel good about buying into someone else’s philosophies. Literally, paying to let someone think for you.

People like that make me very happy to have a different perspective on life. I know I’m changing the things I can, usually for the better. I don’t need someone else to hand me my words or even justify my actions. Honestly, you should feel good about your decisions. I’m not talking about second guessing yourself, because, well, that’s what we all do. I’m talking about using your own words to express your own thoughts.

But wait, each statement is (in American English) is just a different combination of 26 letters. Therefore, it is not unique. Ohhhhh…another sound bite!

The blockhead continued to use sound bites to “argue” something. The part that um, upset me, is the assumption of stupidity on my behalf. Oh, and all the clichés. The prattling on about how someone who has experience with disabilities would know better. The assumption that all disabilities are equal. And, the coup d’état, that their voice speaks for all people with disabilities. Can you say “drink the Kool Aid?”

There are all these nifty sound bites out there that make people feel like they sound intelligent. There’s also a whole vocabulary that is politically correct, even if those being described don’t agree with the terminology. And the people who think they are being helpful for “supporting the agenda” when in fact, they only make things worse. Sometimes, no support is better than “holier than thou” support.

There you have it. I guess I’m a precipitate because I didn’t buy into the sound bites. If you have any doubt about my involvement in speaking up and out, feel free to read further into the blog. I’ve been writing for almost 2 years now. I believe you’ll find that while I’ve softened some of my stances, I’m still talking about the things that matter to me. I don’t need a sound bite to validate me.

Here’s your sound bite….if you’re not part of the solution, you are the precipitate..

 

 

 

Graduation #3

Like the fool I am and I’ll always be
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
They can change their minds but they can’t change me
I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
Well, I know I can share it if you want me to
If you’re going my way, I’ll go with you~ Jim Croce I Got a Name

Youngest graduates today. My dreamer. My traveling buddy. My old soul.

She’s grown so much. It’s hard to think of her as a young woman. I still remember tutus and beads. Mismatched clothes as a fashion statement. Standing up for other kids when she was in Kindergarten. The bumpy years of middle school where she learned that being true to yourself isn’t always easy.

Then high school. Trying different activities until you found your own rhythm. Discovering that what others wanted wasn’t what you needed. Speaking up and out about things that mattered to you. Growing and stretching at every opportunity until you passed your peers on so many levels.

Yes, my dreamer. Don’t ever stop dreaming. You are beautiful. You are kind. You are fierce. And love you.

Me and My Shadows

Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow~ Cat Stevens

By now, you may have figured out I have young adults under my roof. They’re in transition, not children but not quite adults. Trying to do adult things in a world that still sees them as children. It’s kind of funny because when I think back to when I was about their age, 18 really meant you were an adult.

Now, they are not. Our society still views them as children who need to be cared for. They must have co-signers on leases, credit cards and other financial documents, even though they have jobs that make them “not” dependents per the IRS. Laws have been put in place that prevent them from working in their chosen fields because they are too “young.” Two have college degrees. Both graduated with honors. All three would love to have a shot at jobs they are finding on the web sites. Alas, it is not to be right now because they are too young.

All three are old enough to fight for their country. So, they are old enough to put their lives in the line for the greater good, but not old enough to work at the local supermarket. Just ponder that for a few minutes. Now ask yourself why.

I’m not going to go into a litany of why our society is on this path. Everyone has ideas about that and I’m not up for politics today. I just find it very odd that we expect our children to do great things, yet as adults we have placed barriers in their path. I hear people complaining about how our youth have an entitlement problem. Yet, they have no other way to feel because we aren’t allowing them to find their own successes.

So, my shadows. I guess we have a few more years together.