Friday, June 17, 2016

Too Much Noise

In my youth, one of my favorite pastimes was riding my bike. I would put on my Walkman, pop in my cassette tape of the Chipmunks singing "What's New Pussycat?", "Downtown", and several other songs that were even then, "oldies but goodies." Then, I rode in circles around my driveway for hours, usually with a Cabbage Patch kid in the "baby" seat attached to the rear of my bike and unabashedly irritating my older brother who was trying to shoot hoops in that same driveway. 
When I read this week's Finish the Sentence Friday prompt, "When it comes to more youthful days . . . . ", that's the scene that topped into my mind. A picture of simpler times when life was uncomplicated. That kid-version of me on the bike had few worries in the world and all she needed was a bike, some music, and a little sunshine to bring her joy. The memory transported me to a place that, for just a moment, felt so much lighter and more carefree than my adult reality.

After I thought about that scene for a minute, I continued to scroll through my Facebook feed (where I saw the prompt to begin with) and that carefree feeling quickly disappeared. 


"Mass Shooting" wasn't even in the vocabulary of 8 year old me, but, now, I know exactly what it means. I know that tragedy like that brings out the best in some people and the worst in others. It becomes a platform for more arguing and extreme points of view - more gun control or not; gay rights vs.homophobia- which all eventually turns into Trump is awful and Hilary is terrible.  


Then there are the other headlines. Teenagers dying. Children, literally, swallowed by alligators. People debating which life is more precious - a human child or an endangered animal. Celebrities chastised for being too fat or too old or too not-good-enough-in-some-other-way. 


So much sadness. So much arguing. So much judgement. 

I scan the headlines and think to my 39 year old self, "When did this become our world??"


The truth is that there have always been bad things happening, but there was no Facebook, Twitter, or internet to give us all the gory details instantaneously and give us all a platform for "public" arguing, boisterously imposing our own opinions on others, and levying harsh judgement on anyone who takes a different stance. 


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It's no secret that I've struggled with my writing/blogging over the past several months and, when I started this post, I had no idea where I was going with it. I just read a prompt, saw an image in my mind, and tried to let the writing lead me for a change.

As I typed the words, I heard some other words playing in the background.

"We didn't turn it on but we can't turn it off, off, off.
Sometimes, I wonder how did we get here.
Seems like all we ever hear is 
NOISE . . . 
24 hour television, gets so loud that no one listens
Sex and money and politicians talk, talk, talk
But there really ain't no conversation
Ain't nothing left to the imagination
Trapped in our phones and we can't make it stop, stop this noise"

It's a song by Kenny Chesney and was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. 


Sometimes, I get so tired of all the "noise" that it makes my head spin and my heart hurt just thinking about the world my daughters will inherit. All of these opinions and judgments; all of this ignorance and hate; all of this "NOISE" about who is right and who is wrong; tragedy and sadness; judgment and hate. 
Like anyone else, I certainly have my own thoughts and viewpoints. Mine are, typically, more on the conservative side than what I hear from most people around me. Most of the time, I choose to keep them to myself - not because I'm afraid of backlash or criticism; not because I doubt myself or fear I will offend others. I keep them to myself because there is already too much "noise" and I don't want to add to the pollution.

At the end of the day, we are all just human and none of us are perfect - far, far from it. We all have crosses to bear, ideas to share, and feelings to feel.

I wish there was just more respect and understanding and a whole lot less sadness and  noise. 

If only I could go back to the days of my youth when I was naive and the world seemed simple. I'd hop on my bike, slap on that Walkman, and just drown out all the other noise. 

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Finish The Sentence Friday is hosted by Kristi of Finding Ninee. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Top 10 Things That Give Me Headaches

It starts as a dull, insignificant ache behind my eye or in my temple. I ignore it and go on doing whatever I'm doing.  

Slowly, surely the pain gets worse and, eventually, it can no longer be ignored. My whole head throbs. Light and sound feel more intense than they should. It's miserable. 

Headaches. 

Did you know that June 5-11 is National Headache Awareness Week? Me neither until I started doing some research for this month's Tuesday Ten. 

Fortunately, I don't get severe headaches or migraines, but it's not uncommon for me to get a "good" one a couple times a week. It's nothing a couple ibuprofen can't cure, but what would be even better wold be not getting the headaches in the first place. So, what is it that causes my headaches? Well, I made a list! 
  1. My Kids - Of course my kids top the list! I love them dearly, but they are so loud! They talk incessantly, bicker over ridiculous stuff, and ask me 50 million questions a day. 
  2. Social Media - As much as I love it, I also despise it. People squabbling over petty things; judging everyone else for everything they do; and blowing frivolous news stories into epic drama.
  3. Food- Y'all, I am so tired of thinking about food. Packing lunches; what's for dinner; grocery lists; counting calories - it all make say head spin (and hurt!).
  4. My kids' homework -  Thanks goodness school is almost out! If I had to make it through one more meltdown, my head might actually explode! 
  5. Blogging - Lately - well, for the last six months - blogging has been giving me plenty of frustration. Before typing this post, I sat and looked at a blank screen for an hour. I'm still not sure if I want to keep coming back or not, so for now I just keep plugging along despite my current struggles with writing. 
  6. Politics - I love history, but I cannot stand politics. It doesn't matter which side you take on an issue, there will inevitably be someone diametrically opposed to you. It just instigates a lot of arguing and, in the end, nobody ends up completely happy!
  7. Calendars and schedules - With three kids, a traveling husband, my part-time job, and just life - our calendars are full and our schedules are nuts! Some weeks aren't only slightly crazy and other weeks juggling it all is like a very carefully planned balancing act. 
  8. Allergies - I live in one of the worst areas of the country for seasonal allergies, but mine are not only seasonal. Sometimes, mine are totally random. I can be fine all day and, then, at 7:00 at night while I'm at home, my allergies ignite. Sneezing, itchy eyes - its miserable. Since mine can be unpredictable, they can give me literal headaches and they are just so annoying! 
  9. Work - Now, don't get me wrong here. I really love my job and, since I had done it as an interim for two years before it became permanent, I knew exactly what I was singing up for. That being said, though, no job is perfect. There are occasional conflicts to resolve, always events to plan, a variety of people to work with, and, of course, lots more to add to the schedule that is already jam-packed. 
  10. Traffic - We live "out in the boonies" on one side of the county. My kids go to two different school on the opposite side of the county. Combined with work, errands, and after school activities, I spend hours in my minivan each day. It seems like I'm always trying to get somewhere else pronto! Therefore, traffic can be a huge headache. Slow or erratic drivers. Construction. Rain. It's maddening! 
Well, obviously, I can't really eliminate any of these headache sources from my life, so I guess I'll just stock up on ibuprofen! 
What gives you headaches??

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This post is part of the monthly Tuesday Ten Linkup! 
Want to participate? Link up your own post and join our Facebook group.

Your Tuesday Ten hostesses are:

TheLiebers


The Teacher Wife
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The Golden Spoons


Monday, May 23, 2016

The Beach, The Mountains, Paris, and My Bed

"When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things, 
and then I don't feel so bad."

A familiar verse that Julie Andrews (as Maria) sang in the "Sound of Music."

Sometimes, the things that make me feel better, though, are not things at all. They are places - some of my favorite places. Whether I can go there in person or just by closing my eyes and letting my mind wander, they are places that bring me comfort and peace.

The Beach
The sound of the waves, the breeze blowing, and the sand between my toes. I find the beach to be supremely peaceful and relaxing. All my worries and stress just melt away as I close my eyes and listen to the waves.

The Mountains
I grew up near the mountains of North Carolina, so now, going to the mountains feels like going home. It IS going home and home is comfort. It's family, unconditional love, a slower pace, and my mom's cooking. 

Paris
Maybe it's because it was my first time outside the US. Maybe it's because it was a trip my husband and I took without the kids. Maybe it's because it was near Christmas. Maybe it's just because it's PARIS! I loved going there and would go back in a heartbeat. While there, I was overwhelmed and enamored by it's history. It was all-consuming in a wonderful way.

My Bed
Yes, I'm totally stealing this one from Dana, but it's true. Like most moms, I'm usually the first one up in the morning and the last one to go to bed at night. And, let's be honest - the days are long, parenting is hard, and, by 9:00pm, I'm exhausted. Nothings feels as good and putting on comfy pajamas, snuggling under the covers, finally relaxing a little with TV or a book, and falling asleep with hopes that I'll dream of Paris, the beach, or the mountains while I slumber. 

Another reason I like my bed? I always try to remember that, no matter how wonderful or horrible the day may have been, if all go to bed knowing that we are safe and loved, then, it's been a good day. My bed is where every day begins anew and ends victorious. 

What are your favorite places?

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This post was written s part of the "Who Am I" Project hosted by Dana of Kiss My List and Bev of Linkouture. This month's prompt was Favorite Places.

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