Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Getting Stuff Off My Chest

I’ve let a lot of stuff go by the wayside for the last few weeks.  Some I let go because I had enough on my plate to deal with and some I let go because I’m honestly working on myself and trying to let things go that don’t deserve my time or attention.  What falls into that second category, overwhelmingly, are circumstances and people that cause me to want to go off.  I’ve had moments, but I’m definitely more aware and controlling my responses much better.  As a result of all this though I have let a lot of stuff go.  I’ve ignored a lot of stuff too.  There have been a couple uplifting events that made me smile, both personally and in the world view.
I began training for a 5K three weeks ago.  I’ve never been an exercise person, ever.  I haven’t been this active in so long I can’t remember the last time.  However, I’ve yet to miss a day of training and while I haven’t seen any results by way of my clothes or the scale, I feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally and I’ve set my sights to actually run a 5K in June.  That’s huge for me.  Even when I started the training (one of those from the couch to a 5K apps) I had no intention of actually running a 5K in real life.  Now, that is my goal.  Big smile.
A world event that made me nod and smile was the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA.  All I can say about that is, ‘Well, duh….and about damn time.’
However, there have been other things in my life and in the world news that saddened me or pissed me off and I’ve been silent because I didn’t feel up to dealing with it or because I didn’t want to go off in a manner that made my ranting appear insane.  LOL  However, my gauge as hit the ‘full’ mark and I’ve got to get these things off my chest in order to make room for more positive things to come in.
I’m from Central Florida.  I grew up a stone’s throw from Sanford, Fl.  I was stunned at the George Zimmerman verdict.  While legally I never thought they would be able to prove Murder 2 I thought for sure he would be convicted of manslaughter.  Why?  As a jurist just learning that he ignored the instructions of the police dispatcher to remain in his vehicle meant he was looking to involve himself in something that had the potential to go wrong, the potential for someone to get hurt – including himself.  That says something to me – he either wanted to play hero or he wanted a fight.  Either way, he is responsible for his actions and since the young man is dead, part of the blame lays at Zimmerman’s feet.  I knew the black community would reel from the not guilty verdict. 
I know there is racism in America today.  In some ways it’s worse than prior to the Civil Rights movement.  Why?  People hide their racism.  Society accepts that racism is wrong, was always wrong, and that is should not be.  That’s on the surface.  Some folks have merely been trained to hide their racism, they haven’t stopped being racists.  I have no idea what is like to walk these streets as a person of color and I have no idea what it is like to be a man of color dealing with the deep-seated fear that communities have toward them.  I do know that mandatory sentencing is heavily slanted against people of color, they are in fact down right racist.  I do know that our prisons are full of more men than women and more of them are people of color than not.  All that points to a system that is racist.  Despite all this though I find myself wondering why the African American community, and all communities of various races, creeds, and color aren’t up in arms everyday over the crimes that are committed against our youth.  Black on black, white on black, black on white – it happens every day, everywhere.  But one young black man being shot by an adult (who was not black) is cause for the President to proclaim it a national tragedy?  It’s the fire lite under the NAACP’s political influence?  The list of young children who died from that day until the verdict was read is so long and so awful that I can’t even list them all.  Children, killed by other children or adults of the same race or difference race, just as dead as Trayvon Martin.  But it’s the crimes of white’s killing blacks that gets the media and the government’s attention?  What about the white man in North Georgia who was beaten to death by four black youths for no reason as he and his girlfriend were at a gas station?
There are enough tragic examples all over the internet.  My point?  It’s time to figure out why we are becoming a more violent society, at younger and younger ages, rather than constantly focusing on what color a person is that committed a crime or was a victim of one.  The pain a mother feels when burying her child is not dependent on the color of her skin.

Next thing I need to get off my chest – and this is a semi-repeat – I’m wondering if I will forever live in a country where, as a person who does not share a belief in the Christian religious doctrines, I will always hear how something I say offends one of them?   I’m not talking about me saying something about how ridiculous I think their beliefs are or other such insults, I’m talking about how I can’t even voice my opinion on why I believe what I do without it being an insult.  Yet, these folks either pick and choose what they do believe from their bible or they profess to believe it all and yet lead lives that are utterly out of step with their purported beliefs.  Why can’t I be offended by that?  You know, because of the hypocrisy of it all.  Sigh. 
Anyway, the world would have been a much better place if the last line of the Gospels had said, ‘Go forth and live your life as a shining example of brotherly love.  That is all that is required.’

Because that is all that is needed.  One does not require religion to be moral, one requires empathy.

Ok, I feel a little better now.  Thanks for tuning in.  Next blog post will be about homeschooling….I promise!

Mari B.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

To Be or Not To Be....

It’s been a while, a long while, since I blogged…over three months.  There was no one reason why, but many.  First was the funk I was in from my husband leaving for a year remote assignment.  Next was a public smack down I received via the internet from someone I thought was a friend.  Then there was the usual end of school year business and Punky’s performance schedule for ‘The Music Man’, then acting camp and then another show ‘Honk, the Musical’ as well as her tap dance recital. 

In the midst of all that my sister in-law passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  We were simply stunned.  Hubby was sent home by the Red Cross for two weeks and that consumed us.  The day he left to return our 2 year old niece drowned in the family swimming pool.  We buried the oldest child and youngest grandchild in a two week period.  I’ll just sum it all up by saying it was an emotionally rough month.

Now, I’m back…..because I’m doing better.  Not great, yet, but better.  I worry that I’ve changed somehow, intrinsically, that I no longer have what I did that made me funny or inappropriate.  My friends have noticed the difference.  I’m hoping that I get back to being ‘me’, the ‘me’ that I recognize but I think I have changed in a significant way.  I don’t feel myself and I’m trying to find my footing.  The immersion of who I was with how I’ve changed is a difficult process, I find.  I’ll admit it, there are days, more than I’d like to admit to, where I don’t deal with it all I just hide.  I hide inside my house, staying off the internet a lot, and I immerse myself in distracting activities like reading and getting caught up on my Netflix watching as well as spending time with Punky.

I know that I can’t do that forever, and I am getting back into the game…..however slowly.  Two weeks ago I started a 5K training program.  For me, this is huge.  I haven’t purposely participated in a physical exercise routine in 15 or more years.  It’s going well and I do believe it’s helping on several levels.  I’m putting together 6th grade for Punky, who flat out told me, after more than 3 months of unschooling, she doesn’t like unschooling.  She wants to have lessons and assignments.  I’m working on finding a balance between unstructured free time integrated with lessons and assignments.  It’s coming along and I’ll blog about that soon.

Until then, for those that stuck with me, while I was away, thank you.  Thank you for your comments of support on the IH page.  Thanks to the newbies for dropping in to my blog and reading past posts.  I hope that the strange twists and turns I’m navigating won’t bore you too much.  But for me, putting it into written words finally became necessary so that I could have written evidence of this new evolution of my being.

Until next time…..

Mari B.