14 December 2011

Happiness

If you are looking for happiness,
Look to your faith and yourself.
You can't find happiness in a spouse,
A friend,
Money,
Career,
A car or other possessions.
When you turn to someone/thing
And expect them/it to fulfill you with happiness,
You are looking in the wrong place.

07 November 2011

Marian

Marian
"of Mary," 1701, referring to the Virgin; also (1608) in ref. to the reign of Mary Queen of England (1553-8); and (1902) to Mary Queen of Scots (1542-87).

Marian is a name I adore. It's a name of wonderful memories. It belonged to my beloved maternal grandmother. It also belonged to a sweet friend of my mom's, who recently passed.

Grandma Marian was a Godly woman. Very much of her life was devoted to Christ and her church, where she sang in choir, played the piano (and violin in her youth), had lots of friends, and was regularly volunteering with the church to help others in need in her community. She lived up to her name, Marian.

And then there is Marian Lane, my mom's friend. My Mom met Marian through church choir and they became fast friends, or "sisters" as referenced by my Mom. Mom told me that Marian was the "kindest person" she'd ever known. "She would never have a mean thought or thing to say about anyone." By her character and kind heart, Marian Lane lived up to her name.

I always loved the beauty of that name. It's classic; timeless. Not trendy. I had convinced my husband that if we ever did have a daughter, I wanted "Marian" to be part of her name. Our imaginary daughter has gone through several first names (all overused names today). Yet Marian remains in our "baby name short list", if that daughter was blessed to us.

My Grandma: 1997 Age 79 Marian Sylvia Agnes Trana Chasteen



L to R: Marian Lane and my mom. Church choir.

30 June 2011

Julember

If you had gone back in time and came back to my house on July 1, 2011, you may think you had arrived in 1955, the coldest July 1 recorded in written history (45F).

Or, you may have thought you returned in a different month, say October or April, when the green leaves are intact on the trees, and it rains almost as many days as there are cloudy ones.

Nope.  Today is July 1 and the temperature hit 58F.  It was also dumping rain, which is nice for the garden I suppose.  Unfortunately that doesn't feed us humans the Vitamin D we need.

'Global warming' what?
I am perplexed at the hysteria that Al Gore trumpeted back in 2006 with his global warming crisis.  My husband and I, two conservatives, actually got dressed up, drove to a movie theater, and paid full price tickets to see his documentary, An Inconveinant Truth.  We went with an open mind.  We learned fast we were the ONLY conservatives in the entire movie house.  I digressed.

Let me stop myself right here....

This post is not meant to be political, but rather a rant on this awful, disappointing last three years of weather we have had in the great Pacific NW (albeit green).  So before you take this as being right sided politics, it's not.  I am speaking simply from my observation and what the weather experts and space scientists are reporting.

I also want to point out, where I am speaking from is ONLY based on a limited area: Western Washington, dominantly the King and Snohomish counties (the biggest populations of this entire state).  Because that is all that matters.

Like women, the weather and sun have their cycles
The weather has cycles.  Obviously the ones we see every year, the four seasons:  Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn.  There are also cycles that occur over a period of years.  You may have heard of El Nino and La Nina.  Right now, I really HATE La Nina. I think she's a bitch and needs to be put in her place.

El Nino (the golden boy or "unusual weather conditions") brings our area a warmer and drier year (California ends up getting all of our wet weather with the tropical jet stream moving south. I feel for them. Really, I do).  My friends that live in Eastern WA tend to have a really bad drought, which means empty wells and harsh wild fires.

I really like when El Nino appears, because it makes running outside during October through April all so much more enjoyable.  And come late Spring and Summer, I have a nice tan and can wear my summer clothes!  Last time he came out to play was Autumn 2009 into early Spring 2010.  Of course this was the time I didn't get to run outside because I was in rehab for a pelvis stress fracture.

Editor's Note: I remember this time so clear because there were weekends in January and February that were in the 60s and 70s.  Dudes out running shirtless! 

Now for the bitch:  La Nina. Readers, if you live in Western WA, you can empathize.  Perhaps a light bulb will go off for you.  She is the opposite of golden boy.  She brings colder than normal and wetter months in the year.  Following El Nino is usually La Nina.  So where Nino left off, last summer/fall, Nina picked right up and has left us with the most miserable last 9 months!

Now to understand their cycles!  An El Nino and/or La Nina cycle lasts from mid year and stretches into the first quarter of the following year (9 months, give or take).  They normally only come around once every 3 to 7 years

But La Nina is just 9 months. Why have average temperatures been dropping for the last 3 years?
A recent report from our solar scientists said the sun is going into a "dormant phase". You read that right.  D O R M A N T.

What does this mean?! It could mean the end of the world, but I am going to take the high road (Al Gore) and not scare you before bedtime. After all, I am not the expert. Just a regular, curious Jane reading the reports and trying to make some sense out of them.

The last time the sun went dormant, was during the "mini ice age", called the 'Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715'.

The Frozen Thymes (1677; artist unknown)
Here is an easy translation to sun dormancy: Very little to zero sun spots. In the last three years to current, there have been very little sunspots. Scientists are predicting this phase could last into 2013 or for the next couple decades.

So invest in some good layers folks and visit a tanning bed every once in a while.

When the mini ice age occurred in western Europe, there were 50 sunspots recorded in 1645 to 1715, versus the normal 40,000-50,000 sunspots.

Experience is credible too
Before things started to get chilly the last 3 years, our Spring and Summers were normal. Sunny days, rainy days. Not too depressing. And warm summers in the 70s and 80s.

1) The summers between 2003 and 2007 were nice and even on the hotter-than-normal side (frequent 90s). This was about the time that the global warming debate really picked up. Think about it.... (yeah yeah yeah.. I know the global warming debate has more to do with the greenhouse effect than temps... but seriously, there are weather cycles and it just seems convenient to drum up the global warming debate during those 4 warmer-than-normal years and make a little money.. a-hem... Mr. Gore? Where has your voice been the last 3 years?)

I also remember these years clearly - '03-'07 - because we had just moved in to a home with an air conditioner unit. Aaaahhhhhh.... These were also the years dominated by my physical rehabilitation from a bad auto accident, which kept me from running outside.

2) Then we moved to new, bigger house. Still in the same area. I had rehabed and got clearance from my doctors that I could start running again. This was 2008. I began running outside in my neighborhood. It seemed like a chillier than normal winter, spring, and summer. Lots of overhead clouds and cold wind.

3) Then comes El Nino, who was a warm welcome during the winter of 2009-2010 and spring 2010. But once summer arrived, we were way below average temps.

For the summers of '08, 09. and '10, we were on average in the 60s and this Nordic chic kept adding cardigans to her already super large cardi collection. And all three of those years, I was running the Ragnar NW Passage endurance relay, which takes place the last weekend of July. I would get excited thinking of nice, sunny, and warm weather. But it mostly was cloudy, windy and cold.

And now Ragnar Ultra is approaching fast. I am planning on packing lots of arm sleeves for running and hoodies and sweats for the downtime in the van.

My question to you: Are these colder than normal years from La Nina or the beginning of a dormant sun?

13 June 2011

Celebration and Death

It has been a long time
Since my heart has ached like this.
I may recall
When my beloved Grandma
Left us June 1, 2000.

And now it is June.
Eleven years later.
Just days before celebrating
Our ten year marriage anniversary.

Yet all I want to do is cry.

A death has taken place.
They aren't in Heaven
Or buried in the ground.
They are broken. A family of four.

A friend I feel betrayed
Made a terrible mistake
Leaving everyone around
Swept up in a tornado.
Hurt.

I am confused for
The actions I don't condone
And for being blindsided.
I have experienced this firsthand
A daughter of broken marriage.

This is suppose to be
A celebration week
Yet it feels like a funeral.
It feels like a death.

Weiner Weiner Weiner! Shall he go or shall he stay?

The reason talk and reality TV thrives is simple: drama.  It is a known public peep hole into others' lives; their miseries, failures, and rock-bottoms.  We can't put the remote control down.

Obama: "I can tell you that if it was me, I'd resign."

When I say "we", I mean ME.  I love my Bravo reality shows. Notably The Real Housewives franchise, and I love my political happy hours with O'Reilly and Hannity.  When a superstar celebrity goes off-the-rocker crazy (e.g. Britney Spears, Charlie Sheen) or top dog politicians act like high school boys with their pants down, I get sucked into the media frenzy.  I help generate lots of money for cable TV.  I won't lie. (Some of you will say you don't care, shameful to admit you partake in the sensationalism called "media".)

Until Weinergate happened.  As someone who is mesmerized by politics and moderately involved (registered voter, party committee volunteer, party club member), I honestly had never heard of Anthony Weiner.  I only had slight interest because the first Weiner story involved a teenage girl in Seattle... My city.

Also, my happy hour involves Fox News.  I had no choice but to listen to the top story, Weinergate, or change the channel.  I was changing the channel. 

From what I could tell, he was a real dick head to his pregnant newlywed wife; a proven liar to his constituents; and aggressive and condescending to reporters asking the tough questions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ3wN_TNg2U

I knew immediately he was lying.  Why?  It's psychology 101: defensive, aggressive, and squirming a way around answering a yes or no question.  What more do we need to know?  Who cares other than his wife, unborn child, and his employers, the constituents of New York's 9th congressional district?

Should he stay or should he go?

That was the question my loving husband asked me early in the morning late last week, knowing I had only gotten 5 hours of sleep. 

"He should resign", I said decisively.

My answer was a matter of opinion, which I have many.  When my answer didn't measure up to my husband's opinion, that is when the debate began.  (I will save you from reading paragraphs upon paragraphs of our discussion and debate to this....)

The bottom line is this:  He has to answer to his constituents, his wife, and God.  Who cares about what I think.  I don't live in the 9th congressional district of NY.  He doesn't represent me or my state.  If his constituents ask him to resign, he should do so with grace.

And that my friends, was my winning answer in our debate.  The end.

24 April 2011

Chocolate Bunny

The Easter Basket
When I was a little girl, I always got the most beautiful, boutique-like Easter basket filled with jelly beans, Peeps, art material, albums, girlie stuff like hair bows, and the expected chocolate bunny. My mom, being the glorious and talented decorator that she is, paid attention to the all the details from the basket to the bows.

I was a very easy daughter to please and very appreciative of the goodies in the Easter basket. I was most excited for the chocolate bunny. Timeless. Nostalgic. Delicious, even more so when it was the chocolate hallow bunny. I couldn't wait to open it up and enjoy noshing on it's ears (always my favorite part!).


Easter Horror 
And then it happened. The first year I can recall, I was 8 years old; third grade. After Easter service and brunch, I would take off my frilly Easter dress and white gloves, in preparation for chocolate-gluttony!

Before the jelly beans, chocolate eggs, and Peeps, I would go straight for the chocolate bunny. Wrapped in shiny, gold tin foil, it spoke "Heaven on earth". I would be salivating before I even started opening the box it sat in.

I was shocked. Mouth ajar, chin to ground, eyes popping. "Mom! Dad! Someone ate the Easter bunny's ears in the factory and put it in the box!" That was my conclusion. I thought, "It couldn't have been my thoughtful and generous parents, who paid for this chocolate bunny. Why would it be them, if they could just buy one for themselves?!"

"HAHAHHAHAHA!!!!" was my mom laughing so hard, her face red, tears coming from her eyes. My own mom. My own mom!! It made sense. She liked pranks. She liked humour. She was a comic herself based on her countless shocking and hilarious Halloween costumes (pregnant clown anyone?) and all the times she went out of her way to embarrass me in front of my friends and peers.

And so the Easter horror cycle began.

02 March 2011

To Struggle

Struggle... such an odd looking and sounding word. But a word that can cause anxiety and fear.

During lunch, Rob & I were discussing what it means "to struggle". Besides the dictionary's definition, to struggle can have varying meaning depending on the person's environment, experiences, and the bubble they have grown up in called America.

To me, struggling isn't getting through college (though that is an accomplishment) or working a job that may not be respected or pays well (be grateful). Struggling is learning how to survive after losing a job and then a house because you have no money; or finding a safe place to sleep or eat to stay alive; or being a single parent, working and raising children w/o them feeling the struggle.

What does struggling mean to you?

10 February 2011

Aging

"You wouldn't be so old if you hadn't lived so long." 

Aging is like Quasimodo. Many fear it. Many find ways to hide it. And in the end, it is the one thing that will bring you comfort after turning your back on it for so long.

I am bringing up this topic today because in just 4 short days, I will have surpassed 35. Something about crossing the mid-decade into the end decade, that makes it feel final. This happened to me in my 20s.

I know. Ridiculous. Which is why I wanted to talk about this topic and ask you to share with me your thoughts on aging.

The irony here is that with aging comes wisdom. You have to get old to get wise. It's a necessary evil.

Is it Just Me?
I remember the first time I felt "old". I had turned 28. That was it, I thought in my ignorant youth. I was in my upper 20s and 30 was looking me head-on. Life is over as I know it. I will get gnarly wrinkles and sagging skin.

I look back at such a trite thought and laugh. The funny thing is I don't really want to go back to that age. As much as I loved how hot I looked (just a tad conceded), I like the wisdom garnered in my 30s... so far. At 31, I probably would have taken 28 over 31. But at 31, who has really experienced what it means to live in your 30s?! No one unless you are Benjamin Button.

Now that I will crossing into the upper decade of 30s, I don't have those horrific things I thought back in my dumb 20s:  

Sagging skin... I don't have it (yet). In fact I am still pretty high and tight as my teens and 20s. This probably has more to do with 1) not have a child, 2) weight/strength training that keeps my bosoms and rear in check, and 3) Diet. 

Fine lines on the face... Sure, around my eyes.  The lines between my brows have deepened (the only shallow thing that bothers me), as have my laugh lines (sue me! I am a happy person. Smiling & laughing is what I DO!), but when my husband says "You are hotter now than when we first met [12 years ago]", from a man who doesn't lie, it tells me I have aged well... or love is blind. *laughing out loud*



Let's Not be Shallow
Aside from all the shallowness, be it a weakness for acceptance or a hurt ego, aging has a lot of depth and good.

For one, I would rather age than be dead.

Two, I get to do more things. Who doesn't want that? Visit the countries I haven't been. Collect more finisher medals and a couple division winnings (running in case you were wondering). Add a tick mark for another marriage anniversary shared with my sweetheart. Add more photos and cards to our growing shoe boxes, and get more albums to add to the iPod library and Wall-o-CDs.

Who cares about the wrinkles (well, I sort of do...yeah, I am a little shallow like yourself). There are solutions to this. Face cream (medicine cabinet full), good lighting, and medical advances like a face lift (too extreme) and Botox (right up my alley!).

And sagging skin... Listen, this is one of the pros of being childless. My natural boobs hang like a new pair. And being a fanatical runner and cross-training freak, I have naturally kept bingo arms and an ass-knee at bay. Drink 2-3 liters of water day, and your skin will be baby soft and smooth. Party hard, and you will wake up with skin flakes all over your sheets.

What Do You Think?
So really... What do you think about aging?

Wisdom over wrinkles?

Accomplished goals, successes (and some failures to learn from), experiences, and memories over sagging skin?


23 January 2011

Zina

We all have a Zina in our life. She is the friend that tells you compassionately what you need to hear, even if you don't want to hear it. She is the maternal friend, whose words are like a warm, motherly hug. She is the friend that can make a profound statement, saying the exact thing you needed to hear at that precise moment. She is also this popular phrase: "People come into your life for a reason." As cliche as it is, it is true.

Zina is that friend.

Zina - The Back Story
I met Zina in 2001, my second year working at Telecom Corporation. I instantly liked her.

Zina is special. She is the only person I know who has a sharp tongue and isn't offensive. When she speaks to you, you feel like the most important person in the room. She smiles with her eyes. Her heart is larger than life. She is elegant. Kind. Assertive. Humorous. She has morals. Faith. She has all the best qualities. I admire her.

For several years, Zina and I were co-workers. And then I was her lead, or "coach" as she lovingly called me. We worked closely every week day for a couple of years. She became a friend. A good friend. I wanted to protect her. And then I moved on. I was still in the same department, but on a different floor. I didn't see Zina as often as I would have liked. When I was down on her floor, I made an effort to check in with her. How was her life. How was her heart.

Heartache....
Skip ahead to the year 2010. Zina and I are now working on the same floor. I see her more than once a day, as I pass her desk on the way to the ladies room, lunch room, elevator/stairs, conference rooms.

I told her for my first big race post-pelvis stress fracture, I was doing a charity run for the American Cancer Society (June 2010 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle). I asked her if it was okay that I run in her daughter's memory (Zina's only child had passed from a rare stomach cancer). This brings joy to her heart and she makes a considerable donation to the ACS.

Then in late July, Telecom Corporation tells me my position is being dissolved. They are giving me 30 days to locate another open position within the company or take the severance package. I am speechless and feel a death, after 11 years with the company. A place that was my second home. A place where I had my second family.

Getting the news of an employer severing a contract, losing a friendship without explanation, your parents divorcing, or the sudden death of a family member.... is mournful. These things happen out of our control. We can't stop them from happening. We can only accept the terms, go through the grieving process, and then move on.

I was hopeful I would locate another position within Telecom Corporation. My credentials were stellar, I had high reviews throughout my 11 years and I had references from former managers and directors I worked under, trusted, and respected.

Because of this hope, I was very selective with whom I told this sad news. Besides my husband and my parents, I told 3 very good work friends: Chrissy, Tara, and Zina. I trusted in them that they would keep my news private and that anyone else who had heard, was due to the untrustworthy management's need to gossip.

...Brings Purpose
Alas, the doors and windows to Telecom Corporation were shut tight and locked. The 6 positions I had applied and was fully qualified all seemed to have mysteriously been "filled prior to my application" said Human Resources.

It was an a-ha moment. I had expired. After speaking with several friends and neighbors who had experienced similar, the magic number was 10 years. At 10 years you are making top dollar and getting maximum benefits. When companies have to downsize, it is a smart decision to rid of the most expensive employees in areas of redundancy. 

Another a-ha moment: I got it. It wasn't personal, even though it affected me, my husband, and my very close work friends, personally.

And then Zina's words. Said at the right time. Her words stuck with me. She was my guardian angel.

[in thick, darling Russian accent]
"Larissa darling, you should not be hidden. Uh uh. You should not be put behind some desk, hidden in some office. You need to be out there! People need to see your face! Your smile! Yes!"
Really, I responded.
"Oh yes! You need to be shown. You are beautiful and smart. Very smart. Not just your face beautiful. Your heart too."
[Like I said, this is a wonderful person. She loves with her heart, her smile, and her words.]

I confided to Zina that I really didn't want to do corporate again.
"I want to do something in the line of my passions."
(I must give credit to my former employer for giving me the opportunities and tools to be a writer professionally and paid for continuing education.)
"I want to work for a place I am passionate about."
She suggests being a representative. Maybe for pharmaceuticals. I do have a closest full of suits and heels.

Lasting Impression
Because of Zina's words: "don't be hidden" and "show your face", it solidified my resolve to make a career change. I really felt like she could read my heart and the next steps in my life, and she was there to nudge me.

I really wanted to break into the running industry, something I am passionate about. And I really want to do freelance journalism, as writing is a HUGE passion of mine too. I knew I wanted these things and just wasn't sure how or when I would make the change.

I kept checking in with local area athletic/running companies, but no opportunities were open.

Everything Happens for a Reason

And then it happened. Through a series of events, an opportunity to represent a running gear company landed in my lap. It is a brand and line I am passionate about (a former die-hard customer). And it was in the running industry.

Just like the series of events that landed me the opportunity to meet my husband. The events that paved the way were painful and had heartache. But in the end, I got the prince and the "happily ever after".

If it wasn't for the end of an era with Telecom Corporation, Zina's inspiring words of wisdom, and winning a Running Skirts photo contest (which led to a phone chat with one of the owners), my career change may not have happened.

Once again, I got the "happily ever after".  

10 January 2011

Michael Vick Wants a Dog

"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." ~ Oscar Wilde

Like I occasionally do, I was flipping through a silly magazine when a headline grabbed my attention. Like I rarely do, I read that article under that headline in that silly magazine:

Should Michael Vick be allowed to own a dog again?

Vick stated he would like to own a dog. Someday. If the court allowed him after serving probation.

When I read the short article, this news bothered me immediately, because I am a dog lover. The acts Vick allowed on those dogs - dog fighting - was vile. I remember how mad I was when I first heard the news. The anger I had and sadness I felt made me physically ill.

At the end of the article, a question was posed:

"Even if he's a changed man, should [Vick] be granted the privilege of pet ownership?'

 And it made me think: Should Vick get that opportunity? Doesn't everyone want a second chance? Should we give others a second chance, especially if they have been through rehabilitation, if they have served time for their crime, and if they are seriously remorseful?

There are only two choices, in my opinion: Yes or No.

Time Served
Since Vick was released from prison over 19 months ago (after serving 23 months in prison), he has been on probation (3 years, slated to expire Nov. 2012), agreed to federal authorities' request to provide $1 million for the care of the confiscated dogs, and as part of probation, volunteering for the Humane Society.

Remarkably, he has become a spokesperson for the Humane Society against the atrocities of dog fighting; an anti-violence advocate.

Courtesy of The Humane Society


Redemption
The American dream can mean many different things. Usually what comes to mind, for example, is the boy who grew up in the projects only to become one of the best National Football League players. Such as Michael Vick.

The American Dream can also mean redemption. Getting a second chance after falling.  Falling hard.

We see it often in Hollywood. Such as the drunk actor who makes antisemitic remarks only to come back with an award winning movie. Or the songstress who goes off the deep end only to come back with one of the best selling (and listening!) albums of her entire career.

We see it in ourselves. I look back on my erroneous ways and I can't even count on both hands how many second chances I have had in my own life. I see in myself the imperfections. And when I have fallen, all I want is a kind guide to lead me out; to learn from the mistake; to be forgiven, and to be granted a second chance to prove myself. I think now, where would I be if it wasn't for my parents, my friends, my employers, my husband, if they hadn't given me a second chance; if I hadn't forgiven myself; if I hadn't taken to their help to guide me to safety? Who knows! But I probably wouldn't be in the safe haven I am in now. I don't take my mistakes for granted. I am grateful for my falls, grateful for getting up, and grateful to learn and move on.

So there are two key ingredients, I believe, that give my "Yes"  if Vick wants a companion dog:
  1. Vick has to learn from his horrific mistake (& that will only be between him, God, and the Federal Judge) and doesn't do it again.
  2. Like you, you, me, and all of us, Vick deserves a second chance
Because who are we to make that judgment call? Who are we - all sinners, all fallers, all receivers of second chances - to judge Vick, who in the present, is making a dutiful effort to redeem himself, make good of what he made so bad, and move on for himself, the dogs, his family? 

We are not worthy to judge him.

And just like we have come back from the bottom and done good for others, I hope that truly happens for Vick and that he sees the real beauty between man and dog.

__________________________________________________________________

Have an opinion on this matter? Share with me what you think

If Michael Vick is a changed man, should he be granted the privilege to own a dog/pet?


09 January 2011

AQUARIUS -- Wednesday, 22nd September 2010

Before I got my own blog page(s), I was doing a lot of my "blogging" as facebook notes and DailyMile race reports (check out my running blog: There Goes Nordic Moxie !).

After visiting my FB notes and seeing which ones I wanted to add to PURPOSE, I came across this note, an astrology reading for the Aquarius, 22 September 2010:

"This page is actually blank. No words appear on it. You are imagining all you see. If you don't believe me, ask someone else to take a look. Get them to read it out to you. If they seem to say the same words that you think you have just read, it proves you are hearing things as well as seeing things!
Well of course, really, it doesn't! But it does help me make an important point:
You need to stop doubting yourself. There's one thing you don't know... and it's fine that you don't know it yet. But you can still trust what you do know. Now is the right time for you to take an in-depth, up close and personal look at your life."

Even today, it's reading is a great daily reminder to believe in oneself and constantly look inside to allow ourselves to grow.

I am not an astrology fan, but I do believe some characteristics show up in each sign. I don't believe astrology can guide you; but I do believe somehow it is in tune with the characteristics of that person. And for whatever reason, a person will check out their sign's daily reading - for fun - and it is just what they needed to hear.

Have I Reached "Middle Age"?

And there it was...

A single, white hair.

The only reason it stuck out amongst my baby fine, light blonde hair, was that is was three times thicker and wiry.

Is this really happening? Did I really just find a white hair? How? When? Why?

I thought I was genetically blessed like my maternal tree, where my gorgeous grandmother didn't get grays until her late 60s. My mom started getting the grays in her 50s, but I felt her premature graying was due to her lifestyle (aka lack of relaxing and sleep).

35 is NOT middle age. I don't act it, I don't live it, and to me, I don't think I look it. But maybe I am used to the face I see in the mirror every day. My body certainly is not that of a middle age woman. Sagging hasn't taken place in the areas I have been told "will happen". Perhaps that is genetic blessing or the lack of carrying a baby and the stresses of family life.

My life is hardly stressful, worrisome, or occupied by hectic family schedule. I get the opportunities to take care of myself: adequate sleep, rest, relaxation, workouts

So how did this happen, this thick white hair, now gone down the toilet into the abyss under the streets?

Maybe this was a one time deal for a long time to come. And maybe this is a moment to realize that as we age, we are one day closer to death than the day we were born.

Life is interesting.

Aging is even more entertaining.

08 January 2011

Human Tragedy. Not Politics.

Political terrorist, he is not.

Political gain this is not.




Gabby Giffords & Husband (A/P)
The Victims
  • 19 total shot
  • 6 pronounced dead to date, including a 9 year old girl and a Federal Judge, Justice John Roll
Federal Judge, John Roll (A/P)
  • 11 were reported in critical condition today, including Arizona's 8th congressional district representative, Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords








The Suspect
Jared Lee Loughner's YouTube Channel

Facts we know today on the suspect, Jared Loughner:
  • 22 year old, white male, resident of Tucson
  • Enlisted with the Army but was rejected [reasons why unknown, but a red flag, no?]
  • Suspended from college last September [another red flag?]
  • Enjoys reading books, Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf to name a few
  • Rejects the American Constitution and The Bible
  • Favorited a YouTube video showing  the burning of the American flag
  • Upset by what he claims is an illiteracy problem in his district, and the US currency 
  • His YouTube videos ramblings wing demonstrate a man who appears mentally ill
Jared Lee Loughner













Tragedy
When Rep. Giffords, her staff, and citizens of Arizona showed up at the Safeway in Tucson, they were there to practice one of their First Amendment rights: Freedom to Assemble.

The rest is history.

Witnesses say the suspect, Loughner, approach individuals indiscriminately and shot them "point blank in the head". Witnesses claim they did not see an accomplice. Loughner told authorities earlier today, upon custody, that he was acting alone. Of course an investigation is occurring, not only involving local authorities, but the FBI and ICE too.

At the time of the Safeway massascre, it was reported that Gabby Giffords was dead. Later, the hospital spokesperson said she was and they had revived her. She immediately had a brain operation and the last news was she was responding positively to the doctors commands.

With a tragedy that killed 6, it is a glorious miracle to hear at least one life was saved. I pray for the souls of the victims lost, for the surviving victims, may they recover quickly, and for the victims families and friends. It wasn't just the 19 that were affected by today's tragedy. It was a nation.

Politics
I had just gotten back from a nice 6 mile run and was checking my messages on my smartphone while stretching. A breaking news story had come in from the Washington Post saying 15 had been shot, and two were federal employees. Then another breaking news memo, this one stating a congresswoman was dead (as reported above, she is alive to date).

Immediately, I felt sickened, shocked, and surprised that something this tragic happened. My thoughts were on the victims and the families of the victims. I was concerned and angry. Why do these things still happen?

Yet biased media were quick to theorize he was a right-wing symphethizer. Public figures on Huffington Post using this tragedy for political gain? It seemed that way. Because what was being stated in such articles and blogs were theories. Not even facts (other than the said victims being mentioned and the time line).

Anyone associated with the right, be it a Republican, conservate, or Tea Party member, is not a fan of Marxist readings nor Mein Kampf. They don't reject the American flag; they proudly display it, even waving it when practicing Freedom to Assemble. They don't reject the Constitution, as their fundemental values are to protect, practice, and keep the Rights in tact. And anyone who considers themselves on the right who has friends, wouldn't be quoted as saying to the press that [Loughner] is "left-wing, quite liberal."

Reflect
Today's tragedy will garner new lessons to learn from. It is a time to reflect. It is a time to come together, citizens, and support one another. Not make a mockery out of this, while so many are suffering and in pain.

07 January 2011

We Change.

About 5 years ago, I had set up a blog account via Blogger. I got as far as a blog name and profile picture.

Stop.

I didn't get much further than that. Either blogger.com wasn't intuitive enough for me to figure out, I didn't have time, or it felt too self-absorbing. I believe it was the latter.

If we think about it, blogging - if used as a personal outlet - is minor narcissism.  Talking about ourselves. Our thoughts. Our opinions. Assuming others care.
(In my case, I don't know who would really care about what I think, other than those who really love and know me.)

Or... an outlet to document one's life.

We change.

This is the conclusion I have came to after all these years. A blog is a place to memoralize personal experiences, memories, thoughts. A place viewed like a yearbook: looking back at how we have changed; or not changed.

In the aspect of to blog or not to blog, I have changed. My opinion of the matter has changed. I am open to it (obviously). And I also want to have an outlet to practice my writings. I am rusty.

After 11 years in corporate at a single company, I got burned. Energy zapped. Inspiration lacking. Thoughts felt dead. Filtered to death by the political-correct organization. Years of fitting into a mold that came with choosing PC words, and sentences that wouldn't offend anyone. This, unfortunately, drifted into my own personal life. I allowed it.
(Does walking around on egg shells 24/7 sound fun to you?)

During those 11 years, my writings became less about me and more about work. My work was writing. Writing for the industry. Technical writing. Training writing. Communication writing. I didn't have energy to write a poem, a love letter to my sweetheart, or practice article writing outside of the industry I worked for.

We change.

In the last 4+ months, I went from corporate to unemployed-lady-of-leisure to self employed. In less than those 4 months, I got back the joy of writing. My energy bank is now FULL. I see inspiration constantly. I have changed.

I now see the PURPOSE in blogging. I have since forgiven myself for being so judgmental about the act of blogging. I now look forward to sharing my purpose, my thoughts, my opinions, my writings, if for anyone, for myself.

Because we can change.