formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Saturday, March 12, 2016

So Many Words, But Mostly Two

When Donald Trump, the man who wants to "lead" this country, stood in front of the world and implied that his penis is of better-than-adequate size, I cringed. I thought maybe, just maybe, we'd hit the bottom of the barrel. I thought that surely his vulgarity, his juvenile, narcissistic, pre-teen behavior, his foul language, and his extremely undignified and ignorant ways would finally do him in. I thought maybe his supporters would finally say, "Dude. Enough." 

I thought wrong. 

They laughed. They cheered him on. He speaks to them on a third grade level (the lowest of all the candidates), because he knows who the majority of his supporters are, and they ate it up, just like third graders hearing a dirty joke on the playground. 

I was ashamed. Embarrassed.


But today? Well, today I crossed over into another plane of negative feelings.

I just watched clip after clip after clip of Donald Trump speaking at his rallies - clips in which he called for violence from his supporters, swearing to pay their legal fees if they injured protesters, clips in which he wished aloud that he could hurt protesters himself, and clips in which he spoke in other vile ways. They were not "liberal media" (HA!) spins. They were his words, coming from his mouth, at his rallies, to his supporters. They were and are words he is PROUD of. 

He is not even attempting to speak words that will bring us together as a nation or even to unite a party that's crumbling in on itself; he is doing his best to separate us, to segregate us; he is doing his best to open old wounds and create new ones.

And he is basking in the hatred the way the rest of us bask in sunshine.

I am sitting here shaking with shame and embarrassment, as well as disgust and anger. I am appalled. I am, like so many, utterly incredulous. 

I read a PBS poll yesterday which asked the question, "How has your view of America changed during this election?" There were nearly 600 replies. I read about 100 of them before moving on. The two most used words in the responses I saw? 

Ashamed and Embarrassed

Me, too.

I know many people who identify as Republican who also find Trump's rise shameful and embarrassing, as well as appalling, disconcerting, and surprising. They thought he was a joke. I believed he was a joke for a long time, too. I simply did not want to believe the Republican party could sink to this level - and that's saying something, given their utterly appalling behavior over the last several years; given how they've accomplished little of significance during their time in power, except finding every way imaginable to disrespect the man in the White House, except actively and knowingly widening the divide in the country, except fully admitted obstructionism (to the detriment of the entire country, their own constituents included). They have behaved like small children. Actually, no, they haven't. That's an insult to small children who can't always control their behavior. They have behaved like a group of petty, entitled, spoiled, disagreeable middle-schoolers, who, unlike real middle-schoolers, will never grow up.

The fact is, the Republican party created this whole Trump situation; they paved the way for this vile attitude spreading across America; they are 100% responsible for this shame - shame that more than half the country is reeling with today and that the rest of the world is simply shaking its head at in complete disbelief. I'm getting tired of my friends and family around the globe asking me, "Diane. What in the fresh hell is going on over there? Is this serious?" I hate that my teenager is ashamed to be American right now. I have no answers.

What I do know is that this is not what America should be. This is not what will make America great.

This is foul, disgusting, shameful, and embarrassing. It is wrong.

I'm sure I know a few people who support him - some wholeheartedly from Day One and some who will because they believe he will be the "lesser of two evils" (and frighteningly, when it comes to the battle between Trump and Cruz, I actually do believe Trump is the better of two, as I see real evil in Cruz, but when it comes to a battle between Trump and either of the Democratic candidates, I simply cannot see how he is better than either of them in any respect [and I will not vote for either of them without significant reservations]). I hope Trump's supporters really pay attention to the way he talks both to and about the people who disagree with him. 

I also hope they realize that if he ever makes it to office, there will be people who will disagree with him every single day and those third-grade-level supporters cheering at his bravado and schoolyard bully tactics right now will not mean a single thing then. Like it or not, we live in a global society and peace and prosperity for us has a whole lot to do with how we relate to others. And that requires maturity, diplomacy, and dignity, not childish name-calling and threats.

And if those supporters do pay attention, and the violent, vulgar rhetoric he spews is acceptable to them on any level, if this is the sort of speak they want coming from the White House, to their fellow countrymen and to the rest of the world, then the shame so many of us feel about Trump is duly and rightfully extended to them. 

Shame and embarrassment...

...two unpleasant words and feelings which will, hopefully, spur us on as a nation to become and behave better than we are right now. Because if we don't make things better, our shame and embarrassment are going to get so much bigger. 

And shame and embarrassment will be the least of our worries.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Here Comes The Sun

In the words of the Beatles, 

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say, it's all right

Little darling
It's been a long, cold, lonely winter
Little darling
It seems like years since it's been here

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say, it's all right

That what they say. What do I say? 

I say, it's about damned time!

It has most certainly been a long, cold, lonely winter and I am more ready for spring than I think I have ever been. I took my fuzzy boy to the park this afternoon and we had a lie-down in the grass, just soaking up the sun. I'm reasonably certain I'm very, very low on Vitamin D. 

Although I'm always ready for winter to be over, spring feels even more important to me this year than it has in the past. I'm ready to feel better, physically as well as in my head and heart. I didn't expect to feel unwell this winter, especially after such a difficult summer, but Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you. I got hit with one, square in the face. 

But I'm back up, on wobbly legs, ready to move forward. 

And I say, it's all right. 

And it's gonna be all right. 

It is. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Goal Digger - Follow-up to February

I've been kind of dreading this post. February has been a hard month, yo. It was dark and cold, I haven't been feeling well at all, and I sank into a little bit of a depression. I debated on just skipping my goals update altogether but then I decided it was important to do it. I'm famous for walking away... for abandoning goals and plans when I perceive (or admit) failure.

Not this time.

This time I'm going to simply face the music. I met some goals. I didn't meet others.

And that's OK. 

Today starts another month. I can regroup. Adjust. Start over.

And that's OK. 

So, last month, I planned to do quite a bit:

1. Journal daily - I managed for about 10 days. Then I turned inward and didn't want to pour my heart out. 
2. Complete a new Vision Board - Nope. Still haven't done it.
3. Go on two Artist's Dates - Yes. Went on three!
4. Perform two Mindful Acts of Kindness/Connection/Giving - Yes. Did four!
5. Write three blog posts per week - Except for one week when I was feeling really low.
6. Read two of the books on my nightstand - Yes. Read three.
7. Re-start Whole 30 - Nope. Not yet. But I feel really rotten right now and I know it'll make me feel better, so March has to be it.
8. Work out four times per week - Yeah. No. 
9. Continue Declutter 365 - Yes. This is going very well. Now I need to take the stuff I've put aside to donate to the charity shop.
10. Start new savings plan (and try not to dip into it!) - Yes. I've actually done pretty well with this. I haven't saved as much as I would have liked, but I had a big car repair come up, which sucked some of it.
11. Complete resume writing video scripts (work) - No. Not finished yet. But I will be this week.
12. Reach $1000 of my Arctic Dip fundraising goal (work) - Yes. I raised over $1300, which was more than any other individual or group (and I earned a certificate for a 70 minute massage. Squee!).
13. Get half-way through a new writing project (average 1000 words per day) - No. I did great for about 10 days and that's when I hit the low point. 
 14. Purchase a new fitness tracker and begin working toward 10,000 steps per day - Nope. Just not in the budget at the moment.  
15. Complete all the Special Olympics paperwork and organizational tasks necessary to start practice on February 29 - Yes. And we had our first practice last night! It was fantastic and I'm looking forward to a great season!

I also planned our summer camping vacation (to Canada); the campsite is reserved and paid for. That was a big thing I hadn't listed, so I'm happy about it.

So, I successfully completed about half of my goals. Given how I was feeling for most of the month, I'm going to count February as a success overall.

It's my party and I'll be successful if I want to. 

Shut up.

I've been thinking about March and what I want to accomplish. I think I'm setting too many goals - specifically, too many things I need to do daily. So this month I'm going to concentrate on a just a few daily things and a bunch of one-offs. Because I've felt so lousy, I think my focus needs to be on just feeling better physically. The weather seems to be turning (though I've heard there's snow in the forecast for Friday) and I think that will help. I just need to focus. There are a couple of things I will continue (like the declutter project, the artist dates, and my savings plan), but I'm not including them in the list. If I get to the end of the month and find that I've let them slide altogether, I'll add them back. There are also a few things I'm dropping for now, like the daily journaling and the writing project. Though journaling should ideally help me to feel better, it's not doing that right now; it feels more like pressure and I don't want or need that. As for the writing project, it feels like a chore and I'm really struggling with a foggy brain and some memory issues, so I'm putting it on hold for now. I'm not abandoning it. 

So. Goals. OK, here goes... 

March Goals

1. Start Whole30 (seriously). 
2. Work out three times a week (even if it's just a walk in the park in the evening).
3. Write in my gratitude journal daily (these are relatively short lists, easier than full journal entries).
4. Read at least two books.
5. Perform two Mindful Acts of Kindness/Connection/Giving (I'm loving this one but it's not habit yet).
6. Complete the Vision Board (again, seriously).
7. Do three blog posts per week (this goal is forcing me to write here, which has been good for me).
8. Revise and send out the Junior Coach application for summer league.
9. Do passport renewals for Ryan and myself.
10. Submit my case study for my WISA certification (work). 
11. Clean the back porch.
12. Make a big charity shop run.

That should do it for now. I think I'm going to do short Sunday updates, too. That might help to keep me more accountable for the daily/weekly goals.

And onward to April 1!