I know in these trying political times, it can be difficult to parse out all the hashtags out there. Are you puzzled over what you should get your knickers in a knot over? Do you look over your shoulder to see if people are making fun of YOU? You’ve wondered aloud “Am I a MAGAt?” I am here to help. Because I am a giver.
If you are wondering if you might be a MAGAt, take this short quiz.
Do you refuse to wear a mask because no one can tell you what to do! Because FREEDOM! ‘MURCA! though you honor policies that dictate “No shirt, no shoes, no service” and generally keep your pants on in public?
Do you believe that bakers should be able to refuse to make wedding cakes for gay couples but that Amazon, Google, and Apple are fascists happily stomping on free speech?
Have you had one or more accounts deleted by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LiveJournal, WattPad, or MySpace?
Do you have 10 digits following your Twitter handle because all your other accounts got removed?
Do you believe with all your heart that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen, despite complete and utter lack of evidence, despite courts from SCOTUS down to Sbarro at the mall throwing out suits due to lack of evidence just because Spanky the White House Clown said so?
Did you put the erection in “insurrection?”
Are you currently angrily typing “There IS no ‘erection’ in the word ‘insurrection, stupid!”
Is Fox News too leftist for you?
Is your heart full of hate?
Do you have a “Fu#$ Your Feelings” shirt but are crying because someone called you a MAGAt?
Have you used the word “cuck” in casual conversation?
Do you wish harm on politicians who voice disagreement with your leader?
Have the only parts of the Constitution you have actually read been the First and Second Amendments?
Is the racism of your leader not a deal-breaker for you?
Do you cheer when the current administration rolls back protections for marginalized people and the environment?
Do you believe the phrase “Black Lives Matter” means that no other lives in the rest of the world amount to a hill of beans?
Do you think kids belong in cages because their parents committed a misdemeanor?
Are you genuinely afraid of the Biden Administration because you are certain paybacks are hell?
Do you laugh when followers of the opposing leader cry?
Do you genuinely believe that the administration has done a great job?
Do you admire Spanky the White House Clown because he says all the things you wish you could say?
Are you upset or angry that you can’t leave a comment on this blog and didn’t realize that just by visiting, you move the blog up in SEO ranking?
Friend, if you answered any of the above questions in the affirmative, there is a good chance that you are a MAGAt. The only treatment for this condition is to push the button behind your left ear to re-engage your brain and head to a surgeon to see if they can reboot your empathy.
Please don’t ask me why I have put off this post for so long. I simply do not know. It’s not that I am a whiny ingrate. I have been practicing gratitude daily for a while now because it really works. But I’m tired. Somehow, the act of creating a post, and finding the right pictures, and editing, and feeling a little exposed has felt like more than I could do. I have been ill for a while, and illness has taken its toll. I’ve been doling out my energy by the tablespoonful just to keep functioning, and the hoops have felt too tiny to jump through. But I promised my sweet friend, Dawn. Gratitude is worth giving some energy to, even if I don’t count my blessings all the way up to fifty. I am not on the verge of death here, I promise. Even though this first paragraph is kinda heavy. I’m just tired, ya’ll. Physically spent. There are worse things.
So here I am. And what am I grateful for? Lots. So much. I have good things, and more good things on the horizon. Some of them are more obvious than others.
I am so thankful for Marie Kondo. Let me just tell you, the Netflix series really was life-changing for me. If you’re not familiar, Marie wrote a book called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Now she has a TV series. If you know me in real life, you know that I am a borderline hoarder. I have sentimental attachments to every, little thing. And I lack a linear thought process, so my house is perpetually a mess. I can appreciate a tidy space, but my brain doesn’t always know how to get there. But I watched the entire season in a couple of days, and now I get it. She doesn’t tell anyone to throw anything away, ever. Ever. She gets a bad rap on the internet because the internet is for people who like to complain about things. She says that if an item “sparks joy”, (or if you NEED it, like pots and pans) keep it. There is a way to store it. In the last three weeks, I have donated about 15 trash bags full of things that I was ready to let go of. It is an incredible feeling. For the first time ever, I feel like my living space is getting tidy. And I traded books to our used bookstore and got $90 in credit. Which I am saving for something cool.
This is before I did my straightening. Yes, I am telling on myself. I keep a lot of stuff. Too much. If this is bad, imagine what the inside of my head looks like.
This is my after. And 3 weeks later, it still looks like this, with the intentional addition of Dean Winchester and a coaster.
FROGS – It has been a good frog-year for me at work. I got my first eggs from my Bumblebee Dart Frogs, which are easy to breed but had eluded me. I got 2 clutches, and I have four froglets. They are tiny enough to sit on my pinkie nail. I have learned from my mistakes as I went, and they have not suffered for it. I am pretty stoked.
See that little tadpole? It’s not so little anymore!
Time to transfer to the new enclosure. For reference, the froglet is sitting in a 1/4tsp scoop.
The next day, front legs are out!
And now, ready to go hide in the moss and eat springtails!
Little nubs of front legs
The froglet has shed, and now it is absorbing its tail, which will nourish it for the next week or so.
Big Al. Because always Big Al. He has so much personality, and he gives me hugs when I need them. Al, for the record, I always need them.
Big Al is pressing his face into my shoulder. It’s how he gives hugs. I love him.
I got to take a trip to San Diego this summer. For free. Getting there was a nightmare, but I learned that I do like to travel. And I can pack light. I can go cross-country for four days with only a backpack. As long as my e-reader is in it, I’m good.
This is my favorite picture of all.
My e-reader. I love my Kobo. Don’t @ me. I get a little tired of the “I don’t like e-readers because I like REAL books” crowd. I love physical books, too, but I am running out of room. Literal floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in our family room are filled to overflowing. I do buy some nice print editions – most books related to my job are either not available in e-format, or they are so beautiful that I buy physical copies. I get all the illustrated Harry Potters, too. But my e-reader can hold 10,000 books without gaining a single gram. And I can fit it in my pocket to take it anywhere. And it is backlit, so if I can’t sleep, I can read without disturbing my husband. And when my hands start cramping, I can prop it up on my lap and turn a page with a single tap. I don’t have to fight to hold open a huge volume.
My Tweeps. I love Twitter. I have found a band of fairly like-minded people there, and they are often my soft place to fall. I have also found some people that I don’t necessarily agree with on all things, but that educate me on the other side of lots of issues. Twitter has been a good learning place for me.
Books. I have read so many great books recently! I have been on a roll. Not one stinker, DNF in the entire bunch!
My tortoises groups are laying eggs in record numbers, and some of them are developing. I got six shoe boxes of eggs this year, which is impressive because they only lay one egg at a time, and I don’t start the incubation process for an individual box until there are at least 9 eggs in it. Not all of them will hatch. Most of them will not. But I am collecting some really valuable data, and I am trying some new things to see if I can hit the sweet spot and increase the hatch rate.
Common Spider Tortoise is awake and ready to hatch.
Power tools. I was able to build a new series of outdoor enclosures for the Northern Spider Tortoise adults, and as a result, they got to spend their summer outdoors. The natural sunlight does WONDERS. UV produces vitamin D, which in turn helps the females shell their eggs properly and utilize the calcium in their food, it gives them signals that can’t really be replicated indoors. Sometimes it takes a year to reap benefits, so it might be this upcoming breeding season before I see results, but I am hopeful. And proud. I did a thing with very little help, and I did it with power tools and an 8lb sledge-hammer.
Home Improvement Stores
My plants. Sorry, husband. They spark joy, so they stay…
My cell phone (it’s so much more fun and useful than I ever thought that it would be!)
The Padawan got his first job.
Family meals when Girl-Child tells stories from her days at private school
I’m getting better. One day at a time, one step at a time, if not feeling better, I am functioning better. I can at least make dinner some nights before getting into bed.
Little surprises. This banana plant was, to the casual observer, dead. Look what popped up yesterday while I was off!
My bed. My comfy, cozy, welcoming resting spot, covered in cats who want to be near me.
Alright. I have completed my post. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write your own post. Visit Dawn to get complete rules and link up, and make sure you check out some of the other folks in the link-up. Come on in. The water’s fine!
I was so depressed this morning that I could barely get out of bed. This administration becomes more monstrous by the day; there is so much evil in the world, and I can’t take it anymore. There aren’t enough anti-depressants in the world to make me feel better. Like, I asked the world to quit turning because I wanted to get off. What can I do? I called my senators (both Republicans, both speaking out against the abuses at the border), I called the Department of Justice (1-202-514-2000), but I didn’t feel better. Not at all. Again, what can I do? I am one person. And I figured it out. My most important job right now is to make my own tiny corner of the world the very best that it can possibly be. And so I did.
I filled Al’s mud hole. It isn’t necessary because he has a pond, but it makes him happy.
So happy! 2 minutes after filling the thing for him, he was in it!
I filled a wallow for the juvenile girls, too
I added some extra mushrooms to the Ploughshare tray
And who got a watermelon?
I did anything I could think of.
I picked up trash
I checked a reservoir before the end of the day so my co-worker didn’t have to fill it
I paid for the groceries of a little elderly lady whose check kept getting rejected at the check out
I let a birthday boy help feed Al his watermelon
I let cars into traffic, and I didn’t honk when someone cut me off
I talked to lots of zoo guests who had questions and tried to make their day a little better
I let son choose what we watched while we worked
I made falafel for husband and son
I didn’t expect son to eat the tabouli
I let smallest pick his own dinner – ramen noodles – and didn’t bark about nutrition (there’s always tomorrow!)
I fed my silver Arowana a little extra goodness. Roaches. Her favorite
I gave the dogs extra biscuits
I am making plans to take my husband to see the Mr. Rogers documentary – something that we BOTH need!
I wrote the report for today so my co-worker didn’t have to
I gave my intern some fun jobs to do – like feed Al. It was good for both of them
Am I cured? Not by a long shot. My heart still hurts, and I am struggling to breathe sometimes. But tomorrow is another day, and I will do it again. As much as I can for as long as I can. You do it, too. Do what you can to make your world better than it was without you. You do it, I’ll do it, and before you know it, we will have our world back. We can do it. Together. Be the light.
I don’t want to write this. I am tired. I’m worn out from daily gun violence across the country. I’m exhausted from fighting to make my voice heard in this whole debate about gun reform. And I am SICK and tired of the rabid folks who want to spin school shootings as just one of those things when literally no other nation with our kind of wealth and power has thousands of people die each year from gun-related violence. And that want to reframe all attempts at reform as “Them libs wanna take all your guns.” Because that’s garbage.
If you can’t log in to social media without seeing reports of gun violence, you have a gun problem.
If it is more difficult to purchase an R-rated movie than a long gun, you have a gun problem.
If your child has ever lain on the floor of their classroom during an active shooter emergency, wondering if the footsteps in the hallway are those of a gunman coming to kill them, you have a gun problem.
If your third-grader has ever come home distressed because their assigned spot in an active-shooter drill seems way too obvious, and they speak matter-of-factly that when a shooter comes (not *if*, but when), they will be shot first, you have a gun problem. Third graders in our country have to think about where they are going to hide when a shooter comes to their school. America, friends.
I’m going to suggest that, perhaps, these cold-blooded murders are not simply the cost of doing business in a free country. We have to do something differently if we want a different result.
To those screaming “2nd AMENDMENT!” I call BS. In 1934, the National Firearms Act created a list of firearms that are illegal to possess. Machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, explosives, silencers. So there is a precedent for restricting certain times of firearms. So now is the time to make some additions to the list.
Do I want ALL THE GUNS? Um, no. I take no issue with hunting, or with people having hand guns as personal protection (though I will not send my kid to a school where teachers are carrying handguns on premises). I do want:
military and police-grade weapons and certain long guns (AR-15, I’m looking at you) banned, along with large amounts of ammunition.
gun owners to carry liability insurance for each firearm they own.
more extensive background checks.
loopholes for gun transfers and gun shows closed.
concealed carry permits granted only to military and police.
people found guilty of domestic violence lose ability to own firearms
Is this a liberal agenda? I’d like to think it’s more one of common sense. I consider myself more middle-of-the road when it comes to politics, but if being sick of seeing children die of preventable violence at school, well then, call me a liberal.
Here’s an incredible video my son shared with me about common-sense gun reform. And it uses cats as a fabulous example.
To the folks talking to the streets in protest tomorrow, I am so proud of you! And I am with you in spirit.
If you dislike politics, Friday’s posts are where they happen. I try to have a specific day because not everyone likes to talk politics or agrees with mine, and that’s cool. There’s more to me than that. So if you’re here for the turtles and zoo stuff, feel free to skip Fridays. I’m just glad you’re here.
So we’re, like, three or four weeks into the new year, and already I’m exhausted by the mess we continue to make. Awesome. Last week was horrible, really. I’ve been through government shut downs before. My mom worked for the government her entire working life, and we’ve been there. We experienced the three weeks of furlough and wondering how the bills were going to get paid. I survived it. Shut downs don’t scare me anymore. They infuriate me, like during the Obama administration when we were going from one 3-month appropriations bill to another. Come on, Congress. Get thumb out of ear and get budget passed.
So last week I was more angry than scared. I was proud of Democrats for standing strong and supremely irritated when Schumer caved. And I was OUTRAGED at Mitchy-witch choosing to reject funding to pay the military during the shut down. I know it was a pressure tactic, but it was cruel. Did you miss it? I’ve got you covered!
Here’s what Miss Heather wants.
I want a clean DACA bill passed. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is the right thing to do. These folks were KIDS when they were brought into the country illegally. And now they’re college students, employees, tax-payers, and the GOP wants to yank them up and send them back to a country they may not even remember. Thanks for remembering Deuteronomy 10:19. Imagine being a toddler in the backseat of your mom’s car when she committed a bank robbery. Then when you’re 20, someone picks you up and puts you in jail for your mom’s crime. That she committed. Without your involvement or consent. Deportation of Dreamers amounts to the same thing. Why does that make sense to anyone at all?
The second thing I want is funding for CHIP. Children’s Health Insurance Program is not the same thing as Medicaid. Whole different ballgame, folks. CHIP works with WORKING parents who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy health insurance. The program was a bipartisan effort to keep our kids healthy. Kids. Why is that wrong?
The third thing that I want is for Congress to forget about the ridiculous wall. We don’t need a wall. The worst mass-shootings in our country’s history were committed by white people. We need that money for other things.
What have I done this week to achieve these goals?
I’ve called my senators on the regular. I speak with earnest civility to Bob Corker because sometimes he does the right thing. I rant at Lamar Alexander because he has swallowed the Republican bait hook, line, and sinker, and he only votes along party lines.
I have educated myself about the issues at hand. Education is key. So many people don’t understand what they’re voting FOR. It’s sad.
I have shared what I have learned online, and I have encouraged myself to keep fighting the good fight. It’s nowhere close to over.
I have begun discussing and researching candidates for the midterm elections. Even though 2018 has felt like a millennium at this point, November will come. And we can flip some states blue.
DCCC – find out how to volunteer for the Democratic party
GOP – find out how to volunteer – I don’t expect that everyone holds my ideals. You do you. If we each work toward our important goals, we can shape this country the way it should be, with something for everyone.
What have you done this week to help move the country in the direction YOU believe that it should go?
So back at the beginning of the year (is 2018 over yet, because it feels like it has hung around long enough!), I shared some of my goals. One of them was the most ambitious thing I have ever tried. Inspired by the book Possum Living (cool video here), I plan to go all of 2018 without buying anything I don’t NEED. Sometimes there is a giant grey area between needs and wants. Take books, for example. I need books like I need air. But do I NEED to BUY them? Unless it is a text for my job, probably not. This outline is rather fluid, and time may force some changes, but I will share any changes as a means of holding myself accountable.
Clothing (but NO T-SHIRTS)
Utilities and mortgage
Cellphone – I have a Tracfone, so I have to get service cards periodically. Texts are $5 for 1000, and it’s the primary way we communicate at work
Booksspecifically relevant to work – must be read within a month of purchase
Car (I signed my car’s death warrant when I put my favorite sticker on it)
Potting soil and bare bones supplies for growing plants to sell at Farmer’s Market
Photo books – I do these twice a year as a gift for my mom, but I also get one for me. My photos are essential. But no superfluous photo gifts. I use Snapfish, and they usually provide me with good coupons.
Books (Goodbye, BookBub! Until next year?) – Not even the illustrated Goblet of Fire due out in October
Harry Potter memorabilia (this kills me!)
Music (unless I already have gift card credit on the music site)
Toys for the pets. It’s too bad, really, because Lumen is quite destructive, but she LOVES HER TOYS SO MUCH! I stocked up on the one toy she hasn’t managed to completely murder and dismantle, so she won’t have nothing. Don’t look at me like that!
Additional pets – (no more snakes? WHAT? But… but…)
He wants a friend…
Additional pet housing, beyond basic supplies (food, UVB bulbs, etc
Toys in general
Impulse buys for the kids
Clearance holiday stuff *whimper* unless it’s for prizes for my students
Coffee or meals out – unless I am traveling or it is pre-arranged date-night
Postage for packages to friends
Gifts – beyond family birthdays and gift-giving holidays
An addendum to the above rule: no creating gift-giving holidays. In our house, Valentine’s Day is a children’s holiday. I cannot turn it into a “Hey, gimme this Funko Pop! figure” holiday.
So you’re here to hold me accountable. Almost As much fun as a host of fleas nesting in your armpits.
I make a lot of impulse purchases when I’m feeling sad, lonely, depressed, excited, anxious. I admit that I shop (and eat) to deal with feelings and to fill a void. So what am I going to do when that shopper vibe starts bouncing in my brain? I’m going to be creative. Literally. Like, I’m going to create something. Here are some ways to channel my energy
Write – I’ve been successful with this one. I have been writing a LOT. I have written so many blog posts this year already, and that’s not even the tip of my brain’s iceberg. I think I could spend the next few weeks and write out blog posts for each day for the rest of the year. Don’t worry. I won’t. But I could. And I wrote a short story and entered a writing competition. So yay.
Take Lumen for a walk or a run- I ran with her a few days ago, and I totally freaked her out. “If Mommy’s running, someone must be chasing! LET’S MAKE TRACKS!”
Who’s the happiest dog-parking dog in the world? And maybe the most exhausted. Little Pittie mixes are fast and intense, old girl!
Read – I am on NetGalley, and I’m working on reading a book I’m super-excited about. And when I read the book, I can REVIEW it, so that brings me back to WRITING!
Knit – I have the basics down. Yay, me. But I suck at it. Practice makes perfect, so I shall practice.
Give stuff away – Stuff begets more stuff. If I clear out some of the clutter, I am less inclined to buy matching clutter. Also, moving stuff out helps me to realize how much I already HAVE.
Make little turtles out of Sculpey – I’m good at this, and I owe some people some critters. I gotta get on this as soon as my right arm begins functioning again.
Play Neko Atsume -What better way to practice becoming a crazy cat lady than to learn to attract stray cats?
My yarn balls bring ALL the kitties to the yard. And I can’t get rid of them. Help!
How do YOU deal with anxiety or depression? What’s the most effective thing for you? Tell me in the comments.
Well, folks. Here we are. The first Friday of the New Year. I can’t promise that I am going to post on activism on a weekly basis. I get overwhelmed by the state of things sometimes, and I have to take a break. I am only one person. It doesn’t mean that I don’t matter, but it means I can give myself permission not to try to carry the weight of the world by myself. I might even be open to a guest post, if anyone is interested.
So I need to stay politically active. I have voted at every opportunity, and I have informed myself before hitting the polls so I’m not just voting blind (someone I know once had a moment where they thought they had accidentally voted for Stacey Campfield. The stuff of nightmares!)
Maybe the stupidest human being on the planet? And he got re-elected in our district because people didn’t realize who they were voting for. “Stacey? That’s some girl, right? Wimmen’s Lib!” This is why I will not cast a vote without knowing one candidate from another!
It was disheartening to learn that out of my city of 186,000 people, 11,000 voted in the November election, and it was the highest turn-out ever for an election that didn’t have anything state or federal on the ballot. But I was encouraged because several of the seats were taken by first-timers, one whose fundraising was a strictly grassroots effort. And I taught my kids that city elections are maybe even more important than national because it affects us right here at home. So that’s good. Now what?
I can help people get connected to health insurance. Enrollment for health insurance is still open for 7 states, almost a quarter of the US population! Looking for health insurance? Maybe your state is one of them. Check here. Congress got rid of the individual mandate, which destabilizes a market that was beginning to shore itself up, but young and healthy people can still stick it to the man by getting insurance even though the government says you don’t have to.
I can learn about running for office. There’s an amazing website I found (maybe more than one) that gives the basics. This year, I am going to take the free class in how to run. If you go to that website and put in your address, it will tell you what elected offices are available and when the next election is.
I can call my representatives. I have one number for each on my speed dial, but I am going to add numbers for their other offices, too. I called so often this Fall that the intern answering the phone was tired of hearing from me. Want to find yours? Go here.
I will probably find my way to a protest or two. Them things is galvanizing.
And of course, I will share what I have done here. It’s my way of holding myself accountable. If I inspire someone else to action along the way, so much the better.
So that’s my list. What will you be doing in the coming year? And how can I help?
Everybody makes resolutions. Some people are even all clever and make resolutions NOT to make resolutions, thus proving we can’t get away from this tradition/trend. I’m no exception. This year, I’m going in big. Go big or go home, right? Actually, it’s cold outside. Going home sounds not-so-bad at the moment… Just kidding.
2016 was a dumpster fire. I said there was no possible way that 2017 could be worse than that, which 2017 took as a personal challenge. It was not a good year overall. But you know what? That’s partly my fault. I am not going to spend this brand, spanky new year sitting passively in the passenger’s seat. 2018 is my year of being brave.
This year, 2018, I am going to:
Learn to knit. I don’t know a whole lot of people in person who knit, so I am REALLY going to have to go to the interwebs for this one. I have never learned anything from Youtube before, except to pee BEFORE watching an episode of Bad Lip Reading, so this will be an adventure. And for some reason, it makes me a little nervous. But if I practice knitting for a year, I’ll get decent, right?
Breed my dart frogs. I have a bunch of them at work. Three different species. And none of them have bred. I have done everything recommended, and I have gotten to the point of getting them in condition and getting them to call, but so far, no luck. If you have bred them before, hit me up. I gotta know what I need to do differently.
Why you little dudes take a vow of chastity?
I am going to put my interest in plants to use. I am going to grow some things to sell at the local Farmer’s Market this summer. I can’t stop myself from growing plants. It brings me joy and energy. If I am stressed, I can soothe my spirit by checking up on a cinnamon tree or a root peeking out of a fig cutting. And since I have no self-control where it comes to growing stuff, I can maybe share my joy with others. And make a little cash. To buy more plants…
I am going to learn how to make saagwala at home. I love Indian food. I have attempted curry, and I’m good at the recipes I have. Now it’s time to learn saag.
I am going to vote in any election that pops up. It’s my civic responsibility, and I’m going to take it seriously.
Call my representatives when there are issues I am concerned about. Which is, like always.
Add ALL my reps’ numbers to speed dial so I can leave them messages in all of their offices. I currently only have one number each in my phone.
Produce 2 pieces, either short story or essay, to submit somewhere for publication. This means re-learning how to write a short story. Eek! But it’s time to start building my wall of rejections. Or acceptance, but it’s the rejections that make us stronger, right? I am gonna be STRONG!
Actually submit these pieces. This is me closing some loopholes.
And here’s the big one. The one that is the biggest change in my life. Are you ready? Am I ready?
I am going to go the entire year without buying anything I don’t need. I read a book by Dolly Freed called “Possum Living.” It’s a non-fiction book by an 18-year-old. She and her dad spent 3 years living like possums (not eating them!). They ate what was around them – raised chickens in the cellar for meat, raised gardens, saved money however they could. They spent about $1500 a year. Even in 1978, that was chump change. And her motto when it came to buying things was “Not now, maybe later.” That’s my mantra for 2018. I’ll unpack this whole goal in a separate blog post, and I’ll keep you posted on my progress throughout the year. A surprising amount of planning goes into inaction, really. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this. It’s just a few minutes long and worth a watch!
How do you plan to make 2018 your lap dog? Inspire me!
Your comprehensive guide to issuing an apology when you have upset someone online, be it Facebook, Twitter, or an email to dear Aunt Sally. Study it. Memorize it. There will be a test later.
Apologize? Me? Heh.
Make a mistake. This is not difficult. If you have covered #1, you are guaranteed to say something stupid/misinformed/offensive.
Become aware of your mistake. This one isn’t all that hard, either. If a dozen experts (or even ONE) on a subject presents a counter-argument, there’s a chance you are wrong. Maybe do research at this point.
Grow a pair. Pair could refer to whatever thing you associate with courage. Could be kittens for all I care. Just get you some courage.
Say these words: “You were right.” or “I was wrong.” Use these phrases together for additional sincerity.
Also say these words: : “I am sorry.” Another variation could be “I apologize.” Yes. This step is necessary. I know. You already said #5. I know. Just say you’re sorry.
Demonstrate that you are, in fact, sorry. Do accomplish this task, you should say, well, nothing. Don’t say anything at all.
Continue to say nothing. I know. You just wanted to explain tha-
Just stop it. Seriously. Stop talking. Stop trying to make everyone understand how wonderful you are and how you are being misunderstood. Just stop talking.
9. Say even less than you did in #8. Remember #5? You were stupid/offensive/misinformed. You were. You. I’m looking at you. I know you said sorry. But sorry doesn’t fix stuff immediately. If I eat your pet canary, a simple apology doesn’t make Tweety any less dead. There will be some grief, some anger, perhaps a tiny little funeral to arrange, and it’s likely you don’t want to see me again for a while. Maybe not ever. Some stakes are higher than others.
10. Make your peace with the fact that not everyone is going to like you. Actually, this should be #1, but it’s the one we all tend to blow off, so I buried it here so you wouldn’t ignore it. I’m tricky like that. The hardest part about this one is understanding that in this case, people are in the not-liking phase of you because of something you did. Ouch. Reflect on it. Sit with it.
11. Read the responses. Not to your apology. I mean the responses to your original mistake. Understand not just that people ARE upset, but get to the heart of WHY. If you don’t make an effort to learn the why, you are pretty much guaranteed to repeat your error, and that’s bad. This part’s hard because the instinct is to argue more or to tuck our tails and RUN. Do not attempt to answer until you are strong enough to respond ONLY with the words “I understand,” “I am sorry,” “You are right,” or “I was wrong.” You will feel like your brain is on fire and your eyeballs are melting, but I promise you will live.
12. Come to grips with the most painful realization in the world: Not everyone cares what you think.
I dropped out of the political scene a bit ago. I went to Detroit for a week in February for Amphibian Management School. After a whole week of being off social media and news, it was way too hard to pick it back up again. I have tried. I have dipped my toe in the water once or twice. But then I became so depressed that I could barely get out of bed, and it just didn’t seem worth it. That’s the definition of White Privilege, isn’t it? Being able to turn it off for a while? But I’m back. I can’t afford not to be anymore.
To be quite frank, the Senate’s version of the healthcare reform bill is terrifying. And evil. Gutting Medicaid? 40% of kids with disabilities are on Medicaid. Essential Health Benefits removed? So prenatal care is no longer considered a basic human right. While we’re at it, why not cut more from Planned Parenthood? So more women will be getting pregnant, having to stay pregnant, but not receiving the care they need to ensure a healthy baby? This is ridiculous.
Apply head to desk. Repeat.
And then there’s me. I am a walking pre-existing condition. I have asthma, but I also have a chronic, hereditary liver condition that can (unpredictably) affect pretty much any system in my body. So I get shoved into a high-risk pool because of my genetics, even though I take good care of myself and have only been hospitalized once. I’ll pay more for insurance. Because let’s face it, no insurance company is going to provide benefits at lower costs than they have to just out of the goodness of their hearts. And if I do begin to have more issues, I could be capped a million dollars over my lifetime. Anybody know how quickly you can hit a million dollars in health costs? Imagine having an expensive disability. Once you hit the cap, it’s all out of pocket. People will have to decide whether to eat or get health care, and that’s not one tiny bit hyperbole.
What I did this week:
Signed the online petition asking Angela Merkel to lead the other 19 countries in committing to a cleaner planet at G20. I’m not a big believer in petitions here in the US because too often they aren’t designed to lead to action. But this one allows me to put some hope in someone who can DO something. It took under a minute, and it’s terribly encouraging to see the numbers of signers going up in real time.
I called my Senators. A bunch of times. I left messages because I can’t get through to real people normally, which is fine. When I’ve gotten hold of my Republican Sentators’ Republican staffers, they sound bored. But the message on the machine is upbeat. This week, my theme has been the health care bill. First, I asked that they say a big, fat NO. Then I asked that they push the vote until AFTER the recess to give more people time to read what’s IN it. Seriously. Spinning it behind closed doors like some twisted Rumpelstiltskin, holding the BIG REVEAL on Thursday, then trying to railroad it through a vote in under a week? Nuh-uh. Want to call your Senators? Find them here.
Then I called the Senate Finance Office at 202-224-4515. They are tallying calls on people asking for a PUBLIC forum on the health care bill. At least if they hold public forums and still screw us over, it will be obvious that they were planning to railroad us all along. The harder they make denial for some of our citizens, the better off we will all be. 25% of Americans have no idea what’s in the health bill currently.
What did you do this week? Shout it out in the comments, even if it was “I took care of myself and stayed away from politics.” Because we all have permission to rest and recover. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Or maybe not marathon. Cage-match, perhaps?