659: Ideas About Living

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All of us are tasked with the process of living this life we have. We manage this with varying degrees of success (however you measure success, which is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish I am not touching).

Some of us (too many of us, in my opinion) are ended before we really have a chance to begin. Others have their brand new lives ended by a physical problem, an accident, or an illness in infancy – again, before they really  have a chance to live much of a life. Some, sadly, suffer the malice of another and are snuffed out of existence while still a baby, and others make it into childhood and get to experience some of the joy and anguish of living a life before one of those killers takes them out.

This is the luck of the draw – or part of the cosmic plan, given your philosophical leanings on the matter of our purpose in being alive. Some don’t get to grow up, and others choose not to grow up who do get to live long enough to make progress in that direction. We all can admit that getting older and bigger has absolutely nothing to do with “growing up,” or becoming a mature human being, right?

For those of us blessed enough (or lucky enough – or unlucky enough) to make it to the age of adulthood (maturity level notwithstanding), there is the question of how to live this life we have, and what shape and color our life is going to be, given our uniquely personal set of choices and experiences. Some of it we decide, and some of it is decided for us, and some of it just comes thundering out of nowhere and we deal with it the best we can. This happens for everyone. It’s different for everyone, which makes us all unique in our life path.

The nice part about this life living thing is that there is plenty of room in this world for all sorts of people, all living all sorts of lives. When the life you have chosen to live does not harm others, I have no issues with you and your choices. I may disapprove of the choices you make, but ultimately, those choices are yours to make. You won’t answer to me. Whether you will answer to someone or something other than me is a question of faith (and debate).

Where I have issues is with those who are earnestly convinced that they have the right of this living thing, and that their view of the right way should apply to all other persons, regardless of their beliefs of their experiences – and regardless of that other person’s ability, desire, or right to choose for themselves. I also have issues with those who sponge off of the effort of others, like parasites, in order to make their personal choices. Those choices DO negatively impact others who do not get the rewards for the work that they do.

What I can do about this is live my own life as ethically as I can, as much as I am able to control myself, growing and maturing into the best person I can be. And I can also live my life standing up to those who choose not to do the same.

 

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656: Dreaming

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I am continually amazed at the “stuff” that comes up in my nightly forays into the land of slumber. Do your dreams consist of the strangest things, or is that just my demented brain?

Many people attach great significance to the things that they dream: the people, the objects, the settings and situations, the issues that crop up – even whether you dream in black and white or in color is supposed to have some sort of significance – or so I  am told. Dreams are portents of things to come, or the subconscious processing of things that have passed. I hope not.

Jeepers, creepers, I hope not. My dreams are nothing I want to see happen in my future, and many of them are nothing that has every happened in my past, and some of them are just surreal short stories or novel-length aberrations of a twisted reality I’d much prefer, like, and hope to think had nothing whatsoever to do with awake me.

Maybe that’s why I am up so late at night: I am just avoiding joining in the madness that awaits on the other side of waking.

637: Benefits

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There are advantages to living in a small town. Wonderful, affirming advantages.

There are also issues. One of those is the stranglehold a large employer has on the people who make up their current employees and their potential workforce.

See, in a larger metropolis, employees who are treated unfairly or just don’t feel appreciated for whatever reason, those employees can vote with their feet and take a different job with another company, generally without a huge amount of disruption to their lives. Many don’t even have to move their households to change jobs. As a result, some employers understand about treating their employees fairly, since they know the people have choices. At the same time, there is a correspondingly larger pool of employee candidates in a larger town, too, so maybe that advantage actually is a wash when all is said and done.

However, in a smaller town, a large employer is much more impervious to treating employees fairly because they know they are one of the few places anywhere around that has the pay and benefits people need to survive in this modern age. If an employee isn’t happy, they often are forced to suck it up, knowing that they will have to move their families and sell their homes to be able to relocate somewhere that has equivalent pay and benefits compared to the job they now hold with the abusive employer. This prospect is fairly risky, and many play it safe (throwing no rocks, here – I totally understand) and put up with being abused on the job, because it can be expensive to relocate – and it is certainly stressful to most people. I understand about needing a job, but at what cost?

Management has to get pretty obviously lousy to even casual observers before enough employees begin to lose their fear of the costs of calling it quits, and stand up for their rights, or just pack it in and say to hell with it, and get the heck out of Dodge.

I have been blessed in this employment department on several counts. First, I am a preacher’s daughter and for my dad, that was akin to being a military brat – we moved every year or so. I learned not to get attached to a house, or a geographic location, for that matter. It does not freak me out to move. I know I can land on my feet and be pretty content nearly anywhere.

The second advantage I have is that my career preparation happens to be a fairly unusual one that just happens to be in high demand in my part of the world, and indeed, pretty much the entire world over. I have always known that if I got fired today, I could pretty much be working tomorrow in SEVERAL locations not too far away, or as far away as I chose to go. Not everyone else has that security. Plus, I discovered that I can make a go of it even if I decide to leave the country again, so even if I were to be blackballed (yes, that does happen), I could still quite easily be hired overseas, because I am good at what I do, and I know it. That is also pretty liberating, and also something most others are unwilling to contemplate to escape an abusive employer.

They’d rather be abused, and stay where they are. Change is scary. It is also liberating, and full of infinite possibilities for a better life. Sometimes counting the cost costs too much. Be willing to take a chance.

Consider all the things that can go RIGHT, for once.

602: Stubborn

I understand that things can get difficult. Even when they are first world problems (which means they are issues of privilege), they are still problems. True, mine are generally insignificant ones, compared to life and death problems that many people the world over are struggling with each and every day, that is quite true. But they are still problems, even if they are insignificant ones (when viewed through that realistic lens).  Let’s be real, nobody is holding a gun to my head, literally (even if I sometimes feel like that figuratively). I still have choices (even when it feels like I don’t).

Understanding that most of my problems are small ones (nothing life or death, here!) SHOULD make it somewhat easier to suck it up, buttercup – and MOVE ON. *sigh*

Time to find my inner stubborn, and kick that ass into gear.

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595: Different Views

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Lots of people like to claim fact to support their opinion, and that is generally a good thing – having factual support for the opinion that you hold. It does not, however, mean that your opinion is correct because you have a fact (or several) to cite.

Facts are data. Your opinion is your interpretation of how that fact came into being (cause), your opinion on how that fact has applied (effect) to the situation, and your opinion on how best to ameliorate that fact or situation you think it applies to (solution). Once you state your fact, everything else you spout is opinion. Understand that truth. Even if you have historical precedent that your opinion worked out one way in the past, it does not always mean that it will work out that way now, in the present.

Two people can see the same fact and interpret it widely differently based on the filters, experience, education, and logic they bring with them to interpret those facts, which they use to form their opinions.

Therein lies the rub, particularly when the issues that are being discussed are political ones, or social issues. Those are not simple issues, in part because they affect people of widely differing values, cultures, and circumstances. A solution that works for one segment of the population disenfranchises other segments – a truth that continually evades lawmakers.

I am apparently among the very small minority of people who can respect someone whose opinion differs from mine. I still do not think they are correct, but I can respect that they have some basis for their opinion in fact – exactly like I do. Even when I think they are completely wrong, and they have no basis in fact that I can determine, they are still a human being entitled to their opinion – exactly like I am. YES, it is best if opinions can be formed with factual bases, but understand even when they ARE, we can still legitimately differ in our opinions.

And *I* can respect that.

 

564:Tomorrow is another day, Miz Scarlett

Determination

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See, I understand that not every day is a winner.

Today is not my best day, but it also isn’t my worst day.

So, that means it isn’t so bad, this today.

Still, it would be fabulous to have a winning day, where things go well and no huge issues raise their ugly heads, demanding attention and energy.

Just one.

Tomorrow……..is another opportunity.

Another chance to get it right.

Tomorrow.

394: Mom-isms

I was one of those who SWORE that when I became a parent, I was NOT going to be like my mom and dad. And then, somewhere after child number one, or was it child number 2? I opened my mouth and my mom fell out of it. I have been guilty of a lot of the traditional, time-honored, respected (and disrespected) mom-isms. Reference: http://www.happyworker.com/magazine/fun/mom-wisdom#.U4yk4vldXT8[/

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EXCEPT for that one. Frankly, there are bigger issues in parenting than clean underwear – or underwear at all, for that matter. You learn as a parent to choose your battles. Once chosen, you need to win, but you need to choose which ones are worth fighting for and which ones just don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

In the difficult struggle to socialize and raise a decent human being, clothing is necessary, unfortunately. MODEST clothing is preferable. So is clean clothing – usually, but not always. I am perfectly willing to settle for clothing that does not make you look like a two-dollar hooker (or gigolo). That’s about it. As long as the essentials are decently covered, and stuff is not see-through to the point that it might as well not be there, OK.  AND, if others on the street make advances based on dress – it is obviously time to reevaluate either the dress or the person doing the come-ons. Let’s face it, even Catholic nuns are not immune to SOME people.