Simple things I am grateful for today.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some days are great and some days can feel as though everything in the world is falling into place. Then there are days, oh there are days, where I struggle to stay afloat. These are the days that I try to think of the things I am, and should be, thankful for. Some days it boosts my mood, other days it doesn’t. But every day it reminds me that I still have good things in my life, even when every fiber of my being is trying to tell me otherwise.

  1. I’m alive. It’s hard to be thankful for this when you’re in such a negative headspace all of the time, but truth be told, it’s a real blessing. I’m here, I’m breathing and I’m lucky for that.
  2. I have access to the internet. I use the internet for a lot. Looking for jobs. Pouring my heart out to this blog. Running social media accounts for Knight. Doing some consulting work. Watching copious amounts of Youtube videos and falling down various subject matter rabbit holes (the most recent of which being Mr. Atheist)
  3. The small pleasures in life. The sun, even if it is only up for a few hours each day. The smell of fresh brewed coffee. Hearing my niece and nephew laugh.
  4. The Tesla #CyberTruck is so badass. I want one. I want one sooooo bad. I’m going to get it one day. It will be mine. You just wait and see.
  5. The Cure – Pictures of You. This has been a favourite of mine for years and it’s a song that I go back to whether my mood good or bad. In my opinion, The Cure is music that will transcend generations and could quite possibly still be relevant 100 years from now.
  6. My foam roller. This rickety old body needs all the help it can get. And honestly, owning a foam roller is LIFE CHANGING for your muscles and joints.
  7. That I have a somewhat not-stupid head on my shoulders that keeps me on track. Staying the path of determination and stubbornness isn’t always a lucrative adventure monetarily, but I will get there. Rest assured, I will get there eventually.
  8. For these few minutes of peace I am getting tonight. Everyone’s gone out. I’m not sure if it’ll be 10 minutes, a half hour, an hour or even two. But I’m going to take advantage of this quiet while I’ve got it.
  9. Something Knight said to me on the phone two nights ago. I didn’t really say anything about it when he said it. And I haven’t mentioned it since. But I’ll probably remember it forever.

Sometimes, reminding yourself to be grateful is one of the most positive, and hardest steps you can take to make sure you get on with your day.

What are you grateful for today?

How to not be an asshole.

A list and reminder of how to be a decent human being.

  1. Understand that you can disagree with someone and still respect them.
  2. Understand that everyone on this earth is entitled to their own opinion.
  3. If you feel like insulting someone, don’t.
  4. If you want to talk down to someone, remember that you, too, live in a glass house.
  5. If you dont like someone, for whatever reason, you don’t have to he friends with them. Go be friends with someone else.
  6. Remember that just because “they” say it doesn’t mean that it’s true.
  7. If you consistently get the urge to punch someone, take up kickboxing or karate or some sort of physical activity to help get out your aggression in a positive way.
  8. Try to not judge, wherever possible.
  9. If you disagree with someone’s parenting, unless the child is in danger of severe harm/abuse, butt out(this is a very clear distinction). It’s not your child. Whether the parent has rules about screen time or junk food or lacks curfews or anything of the sort, it’s not your child.
  10. If you do not agree with the choices someone is making keep it to yourself.
  11. If you feel the urge to yell, try waiting until you’ve calmed down to have a conversation like a mature human being.
  12. If you dont like the way someone is leading their life, remind yourself that it’s their life, not yours.
  13. If you find yourself bullying someone and you realize you’re doing it, stop. You can make the choice to change.
  14. Operate based on facts, not personal opinions.
  15. If you dont have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
  16. Road rage is not productive. There are bad drivers all over the world. If you feel like swearing or screaming or gesturing, remember they likely won’t hear you or see you. And if you get the urge to do something more drastic, pyerhaps you should worry more about your anger issues rather than their lack of driving skills.
  17. Don’t drive with your high-beams on in traffic at night. Also, don’t tailgate people on the highway.
  18. Do not push your religious beliefs on anyone.
  19. Apologize. Always apologize.

No one in this world can make you feel as bad as you can.

That’s right. I said it.

We’re our own worst critics.

We’re our own worst enemy. Every downfall, every insecurity, every sadness, every frustration, every hardship, we know everything. And we use it against ourselves at the moments in time when we’re most vulnerable.

I think this is one of the things that makes mental illness so debilitating. On a good day, someone not suffering from mental illness can utterly destroy their self-worth with a few thoughts. Imagine that feeling multiplied by 1000 in someone suffering from mental illness.

This was not meant to be a comparison about who feels worse, though. The point I’m trying to make is the importance of being kind – to yourself, to everyone. Be kind. Much like they don’t know your struggles, you don’t know theirs.

Be kind to yourself. Talk yourself up. Make yourself feel better even when you’re not in a bad mood. And, don’t ever miss the opportunity to do this for someone else as well.

Perhaps if we all made more of an effort to force the positives on ourselves, those negative thoughts wouldn’t hold so much power over us when they rear their ugly heads.

On ‘being a good person’.

Of all the things he hasn’t accomplished in his presidency, Donald Trump has most definitely been successful in emboldening hatred, bigotry and misogyny around the world. In my mind, he is the prime and shining example of school-yard bullying at the highest powers of society and the fact that he’s so well known has, in some way, given a voice hatred spewers world-wide.

If you like Donald Trump and you think he’s a good president, that’s your opinion and you’re allowed to believe that. I don’t like him. I don’t like what he stands for. I don’t like what he represents, and most of all, I really don’t like that he’s made it acceptable in 2019 to be a horrible person and have it be socially acceptable.

I don’t want to go backwards. I don’t.

The world that my mom and dad grew up in, the world that my grandparents grew up in, it had a lot of problems. There were a lot of things going on that I thought we’d already passed and left behind us. I’m not saying we don’t have our own problems now, I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be revisiting the past.

Hate is not okay. Bullying is not okay. Bigotry is not okay. Misogyny is not okay. Sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, all not okay.

I know that it was naive of me to assume to, but I liked to think that all children in this world are raised with manners, and taught tolerance, acceptance and respect. Sadly, 2019 has been teaching me that that is really not the case.

The thing is, no one is born evil. No one is born to hate. That’s why I think it’s so important to teach people when they’re children. Trying to teach adults is a whole different ball game. That being said, it saddens me that so many people in this world are raised being taught to hate and bully.

I consider myself to be a good person. Or at least I try to be. I’m nice to everyone I meet, I use my manners – hold open doors, etc… I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, whether their opinions agree with mine or not. I just wish that everyone would try to do the same, to be the same.

What do you get out of bullying someone? Honestly. What do you get out of treating someone as though they’re less than you? Does it make one happy? I can’t imagine that it makes someone fulfilled. Donald Trump (sorry to use him as an example again, but really) doesn’t seem all that happy, or fulfilled. And, considering I question whether or not he actually has any money, he doesn’t seem like he has much of anything beyond a lot of hatred.

I just want to encourage everyone to be nice. Just be nice. Treat your friends well, treat strangers with kindness. Have hope for the people you don’t know and have understanding for the people you do know. Try to understand the human condition and that we all have good and we all suffer from time to time – some a lot worse than others. Just because we don’t know what someone is going through doesn’t mean that we cannot help.

Kindness is so important. Manners cost nothing. Be a good person. Please.

Of all the legacies you can leave in this world, please try to be a good person. That might be the most important of all.

Pet Peeve: “Don’t be such a girl” and so on and so forth.

It makes me angry when I hear people say things like “don’t be such a girl” or “you fight like a girl” or “you throw like a girl”. As a female it gets thrown your direction so dang much that eventually you just start to believe that being female is a bad thing. You just accept it. You know what it means and you don’t argue with it because arguing would take far too much time and effort on someone who doesn’t want to understand.

I am a girl. I have a short stature, and long hair, curvy hips and small hands. I’m proud to be a girl. I do fight like a girl – because I am a girl. Fighting like a girl doesn’t mean that I’m a bad fighter, or that I’m weak, or that I’m incompetent. I’m extremely competent and if it came down to a physical fight I could hold my own with many men. 

I do throw like a girl. It might not be as far as my male counterparts, but that doesn’t stop me from sinking baskets, or clinching that out at home plate. It doesn’t stop me from hitting the waste basket EVERY…SINGLE…TIME.

Being a girl is not a bad thing. It pisses me off when people throw it around as though it’s an insult. Just because I was born female does not mean that I am slower, dumber, weaker and not as good as a man. I make my own money, I pay my own bills, I work, I work out, I fix broken pipes, change flat tires, lift heavy boxes, and can turn around and put on a dress and heels after it’s all done.

I am not weak. And being who I am is not less than anyone else in this world. 

Being female is not a bad thing. It’s not a weak thing. It’s not something that we should be ashamed of, sad about, or made to feel as though we’re not good enough when a man wants to put down another man. And women do it to, don’t get me wrong. I would say that infuriates me even more – when women say it to one another. I just want to hold a playback button to their ears and ask ‘do you her yourself right now?’

As a gender, we should not be treated as though we’re lesser than because we don’t grow up to play in the NBA. ‘You throw like a girl’ is not an insult and should not be used as such. ‘Don’t be such a pussy’ should never be used as a means to make someone look weak.

Firstly, do you really need to insult this person? Could your efforts be put forth to something more positive? Secondly, if your insulting someone is coming at the cost of degrading or demeaning an entire gender then you need to work on your insults. Tearing other people down is not a way to get your point across.

You know what, save the insults all together. When your girlfriend beats you in an arm wrestle, I hope you’re proud of her. When you’re daughter hits a home-run at bat, I hope you’re extremely proud of her. If you really, genuinely, must make reference to someone you know as being weak, just use the term weak. That’s it. Nothing more. Leave women and girls out of it.

Let us throw how we want to throw and live how we want to live. The world is a much nicer place when we’re not verbally or physically beating up on one another for the gender which we’re born into.

Honestly, remember:

Even the prettiest people feel ugly at times, the happiest people feel the need to cry themselves to sleep at night and the most independent people feel alone… whether they admit it or not.

As much as we all might lead different lives, we all deal with the same demons. The best thing you can do for yourself, and for everyone else for that matter, is to remember that we’re all dealing with the same demons. Compassion and people skills go a long way in this crazy crazy world.

Late night thoughts: My mind won’t shut off.

It’s easier to do math with a calculator than it is to try and do it in your head. It’s easier to listen to audiobooks on your electronic device than it is to actually sit and read a book. It’s easier to drive to the store than it is to walk. It’s easier to assume the worst than to put your trust in someone, even if that someone is someone that you love. It’s easier to judge someone for who they ‘appear’ to be rather than who they actually are. It’s easier to go along with everything then it is to stand up for something you believe, even if it isn’t something most people do. 

Society chooses to do a lot of things the easier way. Why? Laziness? Or convenience, I guess. It’s convenient to bust out the calculator rather than trying to multiple 70×70 for most people on their own. So, if you don’t have to then why would you?

I’ll tell you what though, this restless mind of mine cant ever accept anything as is. I can’t help but believe there’s a time when convenience crosses into an inability to do anything for ourselves. Sure, technology is great. GPS relieves a lot of headaches. But there are people in this world who are driving that still can’t read road signs. Calculators are great; they’ve given us the assistance to solve many of the universe’s greatest questions, but the amount of people in this world who can’t do simple math in their head is alarming. Just about a week ago now I had a cashier whose register was broken and she needed to pull out a calculator to do $3.00 – .32 cents. 68 cents lady. It’s $2.68.

There’s a lot of talk. Everybody’s got words. But the lack of actions, that’s something that bothers me. So many are so quick to judge the homeless man as a ‘dirty rotten scoundrel’ who is clearly unintelligent and brought his situation on himself. Because believing that what is expected, what is believed of him to be, that is far easier than actually getting to know that he’s a war veteran with a masters degree who, thanks to situations beyond his control, lost a whole lot more than his belief that people will see the better in him. Believing the dirty rotten scoundrel of it all is so much easier than actually having to care… to take notice, and to be forced to think about what actually happens in this world.

All I’m saying is that sometimes a little math is good for the mind, and, a little truth is good for the soul. Reading books is not for punishment, but rather for expanding your horizons of what you ever believed possible. Questioning is never a negative, and getting to know someone is always a positive. Even if it’s just to learn who you don’t want as a part of your life, everyone’s got a story to tell. Convenience is great but sometimes it’s nice to take the road less traveled. 

You don’t always have to take the easy way out.