One of the analogies I give when talking about distractions is the kid running down the soccer field towards the goal and he sees a butterfly and stops to chase after it, losing interest for that moment, in the game.
I have not written in this space since 2018.
I believe the reason is twofold. One, is that I can’t dish about my political opinions as freely due to my position within the League of Women Voters, and two, I have too many things in my head. There is so much to talk about and weigh in on. Things in my life have changed over the past few years and I go between being chill to being frustrated as hell.
Part of it is that I don’t understand why things have to be so political all the time. For example, there is a demonstrated drop in corona virus cases when we all wear masks and social distance, but it has become a statement over freedoms. I can tell you that this act should fall in line with things like seatbelts, drinking laws, and speed limits. These are all designed to protect not only the individual, but others as well.
How can you follow the command to love your neighbor and yet want to hurt them? Whether it is the lack of respect by not wearing a mask, or resenting or hating someone for the color of their skin or the way they choose to believe in God, none of that represents love.
I wonder what would happen if we all started to care a little more. To care less about making a political statement and more about how others feel. To understand that people of different races and religions do not need to be persecuted. They need to be heard and loved and respected. If we are all God’s children, why is it so hard?
July 30th is the last day to identify with a party to be able to vote in the primaries in Florida. When I left the party I had been part of for most of my life, I decided to just declare for the other party for that reason. These days, I am not in agreement with the politics of either party, but to me having a voice is more important.
I remember going to the voting booth with my mom as a child and watching her pull the levers. As a naturalized citizen, she took this right very seriously. I do too. My family passionately talks about politics. We don’t always agree, but we vote.
Politics has been so polarized and divisive since the 2016 election. Some people have just tuned out while others have become more engaged.
If you want a say in policies and laws that affect you, vote.
If you want to defend or stand up for what you believe in, vote.
If you want to complain about the status quo, vote.
Apathy changes nothing. Don’t stand on the sidelines. Become engaged. Voting is a right. Take advantage of it.
We were always told not to talk about religion and politics because they are such heated topics. Some of us are very passionate about our beliefs and others think being neutral is the safe bet.
More and more, we are so divided and distrustful when it comes to these topics. We assume that others in our circle think like us because believing otherwise is just too hard. For people like me, we strive to understand what is happening and how we got here. My logical brain doesn’t get it.
Social media gives us a platform to say things we wouldn’t say to others in public. Yesterday, I called something out that was photoshopped and was asked to “prove it” which is what I promptly did, but several people after me chimed in with hateful comments about a picture that was fake. Anger over something that was created just for that purpose.
What I don’t understand is why people feel the need to defend, deflect, and share things that make them appear to be racist, intolerant, and sometimes hateful. And then I wonder, do I appear that way to them?
I have purposely not created a bubble. I listen to both sides, I strive to understand. I crave productive debate and rational discussion. Yet, I feel like that is not enough?
Some days I wonder why trying to do the right thing is hard. Why have we become so divided, so critical, and so unwilling to compromise?
After having a discussion with my boss yesterday about a possible grant that led to a conversation on social justice, he gave me feedback that logic doesn’t solve some of the tough problems we face in society. Being that logic is my default go to, that is hard to hear, but in this case true.
Our biases and fears are not based on logic, they are based on emotion and experience. The way we are raised, the people we associate with, and our lived experiences play just as much into the equation as logic.
My version of what is right may not be the same as yours. Coming to an understanding may be harder than it feels like it should.
Am I just so naive that my thinking that we should start with what we have in common and come to understanding on what we don’t won’t work?
Is compromise dead?
Is understanding each other just not worth the effort?
I for one choose to stay optimistic. I realize that in many cases I have chosen to fight battles with my form of logic and it has backfired, but I will continue to seek to understand and try to build bridges instead of walls.
Sometimes my approach is wrong.
Sometimes I might offend even when I don’t mean to.
I want to be better. I want to believe we can overcome bias and fear to understand each other and respect each other.
I choose to stay naive and believe in what is possible.
Last week my oldest daughter turned 25. Today my son is 20. A quarter of a century old and no longer a teenager. Wow. Time flies when you are having fun.
My heart swells when I think of the amazing adults they have become. Eddie and I were purposeful in our parenting and while we set boundaries, we never held back on loving these kids unconditionally and believing in them.
Family has always been important to me. My parents and my grandparents before them placed family as a high priority. Because of their example, it is easy for me to love others. My sister is one of my best friends in the world and I feel so blessed to be able to have her and her family close.
Yesterday was 2 years since Eddie ended chemo. I am so thankful to have him as my partner in life. We have lived through every marriage vow in our 28 years of marriage, but every second has been worth it.
It is funny to me that people try to hide their age. For me, every day is a gift. Every birthday is a milestone.
“Live life fully, love unconditionally, no spiritual regrets.”
One year ago today we moved this beauty to Seattle. The second one of our children to graduate from college and move away from home. We were excited for her to take on a new adventure, but sad that we would not see her nearly as much.
Being empty nesters is our new normal. With 2 kids having careers and one in college, our house is quiet except for the meows of a needy cat or two.
As I looked through my time hop this morning, it made me a little emotional to re-live our journey of this time last year.
I am a proud and happy mom, but I do miss the noise and chaos. I miss the extra chairs at the dinner table and the conversations. I miss the extra friends staying and keeping me up at night. I even miss some of the teenage years of drama and emotional outbursts.
So this morning I am a little emotional. I spilled my coffee all over Eddie’s shoes. I shed a tear or two, and then I reflected on how blessed I am to be part of such an amazing family. 💗
I have fond memories of driving in the car with my kids and giving them life advice. I am not sure what their feelings about this are, but they have turned out to be pretty awesome people. It was a time where they were a captive audience and we could talk about things that happened whether it was at church or school or just in life. One of my “famous” pieces of advice was to take the high road. We even had a song about taking the high road and not the low road.
I have used that life lesson with friends and coworkers over the years. It is one of my life mottos when I am surrounded by drama or negativity.
Sometimes it is really hard.
Sometimes people hurt us and they don’t even know.
Sometimes we are slighted.
Sometimes people take our ideas and don’t give us credit.
Sometimes people are mean.
Sometimes people lie.
Sometimes people put their agenda first.
Sometimes people tear you down.
It can be easy to get mad. It can be easy to stay hurt and I certainly don’t suggest keeping toxic and hurtful people in your life, but you choose how it affects you.
You can give feedback.
You can stand up to a bully.
You can fight back.
You can take the high road and forgive. Sometimes this means walking away.
I choose to fight the battles I need to fight. Pray for the people I need to pray for. Most of all, I choose the high road.