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The Fallacy Of Pulling Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps

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I confess I used to be on a BB in which a majority of the people were conservative Christians. I left the group because many people on this BB have made repeated attacks on those who are down in their luck,those who are poor, and those who are anything but white, etc. They constantly espouse the belief that Obama wants to take care of all these “losers” at the expense of all these good God fearing tax payers. Of course the word, Socialism has recently been introduced to instill more fear and justify their irrational hatred of Obama. In fact one person went so far as to write:

“The poor keep getting poorer because they keep doing whatever it was that made them poor in the first place. Ditto for the rich. There is nothing at all unexpected or unforseen about the behavior that’s responsible for most of the poverty in this country. If you ignore your education, fail to develop a work ethic, do drugs, get pregnant before you’re out of high school or before you can afford to raise a child, become a petty criminal, join a gang, hang with what you obviously know to be the wrong crowd, become a drinker, or generally comport yourself like a self-loathing slob, guess what? You’re probably not going to make a lot of money!” 

The tragedy of it all…their children are ethnic minorities in this country and many insist that their white male children have it so much harder than their non-caucasian kids. WHATTTTTTT!!!!??????

So let’s take a minute and examine the above statement and those types of thoughts that go with it. Let’s examine those persons in the military/captains of business and industry who have used their parents positions/connections and money to circumvent the system to get opportunities that others deserved. They use the political and economic systems for personal gain not based on merit but on these types of connections. And they use them in order to increase their wealth and to grab power or prestige . Even worse is their sense of entitlement to those positions. It is truly mind boggling. We don’t have to look very far to find examples of these types of people. Do the names Bush  and Trump ring a bell? Frankly, these are the people that are far more dangerous to me than any two-bit hooker. Plenty of rich people hang with the wrong crowd, become drinkers, fail to develop a work ethic, etc. Yet, they have the luxury of money, connections and family to sustain them and even promote them to places they do not deserve to be. A lot of people with higher grades/SATS etc do not get into Ivy League schools where these connections are further developed and strengthened because someone’s Daddy knows someone, they have donated to the school, or their parents have attended.It’s a system that serves to preserve itself at the expense of the less fortunate.

When I think about these issues I am reminded of that fact that during the Vietnam war many kids were able to avoid serving or served in positions that kept them in the states due to the positions/connections their parents held. People can become officers in the military because they can get into the academy that “normal” people cannot or someone who is truly deserving to be there is denied due to those connections. So to try to make the case that the poor stay poor because of their “laziness” while the rich get richer due to their “implied” hard work is not often true.

But even more troubling to me is this. So many of these conservative Christians tout the “Pick Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps” mentality. And finally we have a president who stands before them having done just that. And instead of giving him the kudos for doing what they insist all people should do and using his achievements as an inspiration for others; they turn around and renounce him. So what exactly is it that a black man is suppose to do? Stay at the bottom rung of society where you are chastised and beaten down? Or rise to the top and then you are labeled an elitist and a terrorist to boot. And if the truth be told many of these people don’t want people of color to succeed because it goes against their idea of ‘what things SHOULD look like if all is right with their world.

So the next time you hear the spiel about bootstraps and Obama acknowledge it for what it really is…racism cloaked in “proper talk ” attempting to hide the fact it is just plain hate mongering. And please, stand up and correct the intentional distortion of facts that are presented as “Truth” on Fox News to the perpetrators of your conversation. For the only way that all of mankind will be free is when hate is no longer  tolerated.

Christmas Past

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This year as we celebrated Christmas I couldn’t help but be thankful for how technology has enabled me to celebrate the day in such a profound and meaningful way.

Years ago, being away from your loved ones meant trying to make a phone call to them. And when I say TRYING; I exaggerate not. You would pick up the phone and dial only to hear DAH-DAH-DAH, “I’m sorry all circuits are busy…please try back later,” pre-recorded by a cheerfully chirping white woman who sounded like your Aunt Betty. This telephone fiasco would last all day and well into the night until your knew the telephone company’s “Aunt Betty” intimately.imgres

Finally, around 9 p.m. Pacific standard time your call would go through and you would feel like you had won the lottery! Of course, by the time you actually did reach your party on the East Coast, they would already be in bed, half-asleep, and pissed that you had woken them up. “Why didn’t you call earlier?” would be their endearing response. Three weeks later you would receive your telephone bill and and have to mortgage your house to pay for the  exorbitant bootlegger fees you incurred for the privilege of talking to your pissed off relatives. Ahhh, yes, those were the days!

Yesterday, I skyped with our grown son and daughter. I saw the babies playing with their presents and the happiness in Nicole’s eyes as she spent her first Christmas in her own home. I saw the seven-month-old crawling for the first time, heard the dog barking, and listened to the two-year-old sing me her rendition of Silent Night. And during this time of immense family pleasure and connectedness I kept thinking that this is what new technology is suppose to be all about. Not about killing, not about using it for countries to spy on their citizens, and it certainly should not be used for torture. Technology is meant to be used for good…saving lives in hospital operating rooms, warning us of weather emergencies and brewing that first perfect cup of steaming coffee on an equally foggy day.

And so, on this day after Christmas, may you use your new technology to skype, ipad, and keyboard to bring happiness, joy, peace and love to people near and far. May your smile brighten someone’s day, may your words inspire a friend to reach farther than they have ever dared, and may your mere presence on that computer screen bring comfort to a loved one in need. And most of all use your technology to do good in a world that thirsts to see the kindness and love that is innate in all of us.

 

If I Die- My Advice To My Boys

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For about the past ten years whenever I travel I tend to freak out before I go. While I never used to be… I am now scared of flying. My family expects this of my now and laugh at my trepidation. I originally told B I was not going to China with him because I had an overwhelming feeling of dread. So now, as I contemplate this trip I have decided I need to leave my sons my thoughts on what I think contributes to living a good life just in case I trip on a yak and fall to my death on Everest. I thought of all of these things off of the top of my head instead of consulting the internet so that is probably why the list is what it is.

For P, A and R… Love CLHD 12/20/15

  1. While most business transactions are no longer done with a handshake honoring your word is still the most important thing you can do.
  2. Look at the important people in your life. What do you admire about them? Why do you like to be around them? Take those qualities and make them your own.
  3. Saying, “Yes, sir” to your date’s father is a good way to begin.
  4. When you know in your heart that what you are doing is wrong have the courage to walk away even if it means leaving your friends behind.
  5. Whether you like it or not there will be a lot of people depending on you when you reach adulthood. Do those things that will earn their respect, love and trust.
  6. Don’t be afraid to take a chance. If it works out it builds character. It it doesn’t work out it builds character and you learn something valuable about the situation and/or yourself.
  7. Mama’s boys are a good thing as long as Mama is in the spot she belongs…behind your wife.
  8. Sharing feelings is often difficult for men. Do it anyway. Better for someone to know what you are thinking than having to spend all their time guessing incorrectly.
  9. Say “I love you” when you walk out the door. You never know if you will walk back in again.
  10. Never put “it” in a person you don’t want to wake up to everyday for the next 20 years.
  11. Having five children with five different women is cruel, stupid and condemns you child to less than a life he/she deserves. Be responsible. Don’t do it.
  12. Honesty truly is the best policy.
  13. Help others out when you can. It’s good for you and its good for the world.
  14. Be A Boy Scout. Be trustworthy, brave, helpful,clean and friendly. Doing these things never hurt anyone.
  15. Chivalry is not dead. Open doors for your girlfriend, wife and older women just because it is a nice thing to do.
  16. Be the kind of boyfriend/husband that every woman wishes her husband was.
  17. Sex is sex and love is love. Don’t confuse the two.
  18. Women are not a prize you discard after you obtain them.
  19. Too many notches in your belt only weakens the structure until it can no longer do the job of holding up your pants.
  20. Remember how you would sit for hours making legos. Find something that you love that much and spend time doing it.
  21. The way you act influences others. Act in the way you want to be remembered if you were to die tomorrow.
  22. Friends are important. Nurture those relationships and don’t abandon them for a girl.
  23. Have enough character to return the guys underpants that were run up the flagpole.
  24. Save for a rainy day. Cardboard boxes fall apart in the rain.
  25. It’s difficult when society says tough guy=real man. Be a tough guy only when you want to be and don’t be stupid about it.
  26. Bar fights are nothing to brag about.
  27. If you are drinking more than two beers a day you are taking away time from things that are really important.
  28. Two of you are a minority in this country. Expect to be stopped by the police for no real reason at all. Talk nicely, be cooperative, and make no sudden moves.
  29. Pick a woman who loves you boldly and completely. Make sure she is your best friend and has your back at all times.
  30. You will have many disappointments in life. Don’t wallow in them.
  31. You are responsible for your own happiness. Don’t put that on anyone else.
  32. Don’t follow orders blindly.
  33. Make a bucket list when you are young and work to finish the list before you die.
  34. You don’t have to change the world but changing your own neighborhood is something to shoot for.
  35. Lead by example.
  36. Don’t wear your pants down to your knees. It isn’t a cultural thing, it isn’t a societal thing…it’s a disregarding yourself thing which makes you look like something you are not.
  37. For goodness sake. No tats on the face. You’ll just look like a thug and most people won’t give you a job.
  38. You don’t have to accept a dare.
  39. It is easy to love in an emergency. It is harder to love in plain day to day living. Love like its always an emergency.
  40. When you are fearful keep going forward and face your fears head on.
  41. Drag racing can kill and often has unintended consequences. Don’t do it.
  42. Decide early on what is acceptable and what is not. Make a list of those things and stick to it. Then update that list every once-in-awhile on a quiet day when you have plenty of time to contemplate.
  43. Things will change with time. Try to go with the flow.
  44. Don’t make a promise unless you intend to keep it
  45. Your EVERYTHING MUST BE FAIR IN LIFE Certificate was lost at birth. You cannot order another one.
  46. Be sure to tell you wife two things you appreciate about her each day and compliment her three times a day.
  47. If you want a happy marriage YOU must be happy.
  48. There is no shame in apologizing. Don’t let your pride in the the way of being the first to do so.
  49. “Boys will be boys” is not an excuse for anything.
  50. There are girls that will love you, there are girls who will use you, and there are girls who only want you to be their baby daddy. Abstain until you know which is which and if you can’t do that ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use a condom or two.
  51. Telling your mother when you are 18 that you are going to be a daddy will make her CRAZY…don’t chance it.
  52. Volunteer your time and resources when you are young. You are often more useful, you will meet some great people and someone is always needed to move the boxes.
  53. Don’t be a bully with your fists or your words. There is someone who will always be bigger and badder than you and karma will ensure you will meet them.
  54. Don’t be afraid to try. EVER…unless it is something stupid.
  55. There are people in life that want to bring you down. Don’t let them succeed.
  56. Canoeing is a good way to forget life’s troubles.
  57. Success doesn’t happen through magical thinking. It takes hard work, dedication and the willingness to be flexible. Do all three.
  58. Teach what you know. Learn what you want to teach.
  59. If you want to learn be willing to listen.
  60. If there is something you are good at work harder to become great at it. Anyone can paint but it takes dedication and lots of practice to be asked to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
  61. Enjoying life means you cannot be a couch potato or a video game player. In order to get something out of it you have to put something into it.
  62. Save a life at least once during yours. Throw that starfish back into the water.
  63. You will probably change careers several times during your life. Do what makes you happy but make sure it pays the bills.
  64. Start investing in a job that has a 401 K and max it out every year. There is nothing more terrifying than coming to the end of your working years realizing the money you have saved can fit into something the size of a shoe box.
  65. Gardening is a good way to teach your children responsibility.
  66. Everything in moderation is still a good adage.
  67. If your first priority is to make your wife happy in bed you will reap untold rewards.
  68. Use deodorant everyday. If you don’t you won’t get the girl, you won’t get the job and you will have to shout at the people standing five feet away from you.
  69. Own at least one tie and one good pair of dress shoes.
  70. Believe in yourself and surround yourself with others who believe in you too. You deserve nothing less.
  71. Everyone has numerous strengths to draw upon. Find yours and improve upon them so that you know they are fully developed when you need them
  72. Read something everyday.
  73. Giving up and giving in too soon rarely accomplishes anything of value.
  74. Spend one day each week refusing to talk or act out of negativity.
  75. Be friends with those who are different races, ethnicities and religions than you. The blessings you reap will be a 1000 times greater than those first few minutes of being uncomfortable and unsure.
  76. The person who acts like they know everything knows nothing of true value.
  77. Real men ask for help (and directions)
  78. Vacations are important.
  79. Mid-life crisis’ are real. Don’t be a jackass during yours.
  80. Don’t confuse status with truth. A luxury car only means big payments and nothing about who is driving it.
  81. Your Dad was a great man. Take the parts you admire and incorporate them into your life.
  82. Make sure that the person you give your heart to really appreciates its worth.
  83. Having common interests is very helpful to sustaining a marriage.
  84. It’s just fine to cry. What you will learn from doing so will enrich your soul more than the tears ever will.
  85. There are times that your life will be beyond hard. Know that I am there in some form holding you tight.
  86. Keep your imagination open and running like when you were a kid.
  87. Never forget to put down the briefcase and play a game of hopscotch
  88. “If you can’t beat them join them” is no excuse for anything that happens afterwards.
  89. Fulfill your dreams before having children so you don’t resent them.
  90. Not everyone will like you. Deal with it.
  91. Be respectful to your elders.

If I Die Soon…Advice To My Daughters

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For about the past  ten years whenever I travel I tend to freak out before I go. While I never used to be afraid; I am now scared of flying. My family expects this of me now and they laugh at my trepidation.  “That’s just crazy mom,” they say with a smile.

I originally told B I was not going to China with him because I had an overwhelming feeling of dread. So now, as I contemplate this trip I have decided I need to leave my daughters some thoughts that I think contribute to living a good life just in case I trip on a yak and fall to my death on Everest. I thought of all of these things off of the top of my head instead of consulting the internet so that is probably why the list is what it is.

For N and G… Love CLHD 12/18/15

Here goes:

  1. Wear a bikini every chance you get when you are young and take a zillion pictures. You will never look this good again so you might as well document the heck out of it.
  2. Any person who tells you that you can’t do something doesn’t know you immense capabilities. Don’t listen to the naysayers.
  3. You never NEED a man. EVER. It’s okay to enjoy one though and be with one because he makes you happy and looks after your interests on the same level as his own.
  4. Report serious wrongdoing or abuse of power.
  5. You are a woman in a sea full of them. Stand out while supporting one another and for goodness sake don’t go poaching someone else’s man. You deserve more than sloppy seconds.
  6. Don’t worry about what others think and do what is unexpected. Your life will be so much more fulfilling if you do.
  7. Fulfill your dreams before having kids so you don’t resent them.
  8. Backpack…somewhere…anywhere…at least once in your life.
  9. Don’t be in a hurry. Get your degree then travel for awhile before doing your life’s work.
  10. Listen to your intuition. Really listen and follow it. It will rarely let you down.
  11. If some nut job forces his way into the car, steer into a building, another car, a light pole…anything. A car is replaceable but you are not.
  12. The first time a man hits you leave and never look back. Oh and be sure to say F*** You on the way out.
  13. You have an obligation to participate in the political system. Do so wisely and anyone who is a hater- work to defeat them.
  14. Don’t shave your legs for a month.
  15. Always walk to your car with your keys in your hands and your thumb over the alarm button. Look before you get in. If ANYONE makes you nervous go back to the store. NEVER be afraid to yell HELP or create a scene.
  16. Do what makes you feel good at least once a day.
  17. Chances are if you are a hater someday you will be the hated. Don’t hate.
  18. Not everyone is going to like you. Deal with it.
  19. There are times in your life where nothing will go as planned. It’s okay…you will come out the other side perhaps a little scathed but destined for something that is meant just for you.
  20. Those things you think are really important are usually not as important as you think. Let them go.
  21. Enjoy sex and have a lot of it. Enough said.
  22. The only thing worrying creates is more worry.
  23. Love is the greatest thing in the world and love is the worst thing in the world but do your best to love like its the only thing in the world.
  24. Age 20…one piece of candy = more. Age 50…one piece of candy = 5 pounds, three new zippers and having to have your wedding ring re-sized.
  25. You can love whomever you want as long as they aren’t already taken.
  26. Always ask if you need help. There is no shame in it.
  27. Corners are for mice.
  28. Make a bucket list when you are young and then work to hard to cross everything off of it before you die.
  29. You can revise your bucket list at any time.
  30. Test drive the stick shift before you marry it. There is nothing worse than being married to a manual when you like to shift from high to low gear when you are going for a joy ride.
  31. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t be a snob.Have compassion.
  32. Offer a hand up whenever you can
  33. Carry a McDonalds gift card in the glove compartment of your car to hand to a homeless person who is down and out…you may be there too someday. One never knows.
  34. Give 100% to what you are doing and then when you are done… rest.
  35. You are many things and many people rolled into one. Don’t just be the one that is the easiest. Be the one that makes your life feel complete.
  36. Be respectful to the elderly.
  37. Everyone has a story. Listen.
  38. Don’t drink and drive.
  39. Don’t make a promise unless you intend to keep it.
  40. Plan for the future but don’t live in it. This also means you should have a small water and food supply readily accessible in order to survive something unexpected.
  41. Remember your kids might see what you wrote on Facebook someday. Be nice.
  42. Clarity bring rewards. Think before acting.
  43. A good bra makes all the difference in the world but there are times to burn it too.
  44. Anytime someone says they know you better than you know yourself…don’t believe them.
  45. Be kind just because it is the right thing to do, just don’t be stupid about it.
  46. Read
  47. Say NO freely and with force when needed.
  48. Save money for a rainy day. Cardboard boxes fall apart when wet.
  49. Learning that you can’t always get what you want is helpful to figure out early on.
  50. If you have to get high more than once a month you aren’t being your own best friend.
  51. Never go to bed mad.
  52. Tell your spouse everyday three things you appreciate about them and be sincere.
  53. No eye rolling unless you are trying to get a part in a play.
  54. Never let yourself get more than 10 pounds overweight without losing it because somehow it rapidly grows to twenty.
  55. Forgive yourself. Often.
  56. Only give a loan if you can be pleasantly surprised if you ever get the money back.
  57. You should never have more “best friends” than the number of phone numbers you can remember in your head.
  58. Make mistakes just don’t be a jackass about it and keep making the same stupid ones…especially as it concerns men.
  59. Life is fluid. Try not to live in rigidity.
  60. I used to believe you could never love a child too much and then I met some adults who had.
  61. Don’t chew gum. It is totally non-biodegradable and will be around longer than we will.
  62. There is a reason why they say patience is a virtue. Unfortunately, I never had enough. I hope you do.
  63. Every time you have sex with a different man you give a little piece of your self away. Make sure you have enough of the good pieces left for yourself.
  64. Orange juice is good. Vodka is better.OR-G is superb. Together they are amazing. Reminder see #38.
  65. Love yourself first in a healthy non-narcissistic way…the rest will follow.
  66. Winnie the Pooh and Piglet had a great relationship. Aim for that.
  67. Your EVERYTHING MUST BE FAIR IN LIFE certificate was lost at birth. There is no way to order another one.
  68. Ugly women wear layers while beautiful women wear smiles.
  69. Compliment, compliment, compliment when you truly mean it.
  70. Exercise your body and your mind.
  71. It’s good to be smart so don’t let anyone make you feel bad for being so.
  72. Don’t act dumb in front of boys.
  73. Don’t have too much pride or stubbornness to apologize first.
  74. Learn to just sit comfortably with yourself as a way towards self-discovery.
  75. There is a difference between loving and spoiling.
  76. Go to the doctor once a year and get your yearly GYN exam. Please.
  77. Loyalty is rarely overrated.
  78. Your children are not really YOURS…you just borrow them for awhile.
  79. When you have no words just hold hands.
  80. Perfection doesn’t exist. Stop searching for it.
  81. I have spent too much of my life being negative. It doesn’t do anyone any good. Please don’t do that to yourself and others.
  82. Laugh hard and loud. A good snort in public is good for the soul.
  83. Your husband will make mistakes. You will make mistakes. It isn’t necessarily the end of your marriage even though it feels that way.
  84. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I already did that for you and your allotment is all used up.
  85. Sometimes you just have to work harder whether you want to or not.
  86. You are beautiful just the way you are. Believe it.
  87. If you hate your body in some way you just end up hating yourself. Stop it.
  88. Acceptance is a wonderful thing in most aspects of life. Try to partake of it often.
  89. If you see that your love for someone is like constantly riding a rollercoaster it is time to apply the emergency brake and get off the ride.
  90. Drama is for the stage only. Don’t create it and don’t accept it into your life.
  91. Never give up unless you are doing something stupid.
  92. Most things (except becoming pregnant) will not matter six months from now.
  93. Know I loved you.Deeply. Happily and sometimes in a flawed way.As you know I was far from perfect. I made lots of mistakes. Sometimes I did things out of fear rather than love. Don’t do that.Take the good of me with you, discard the bad and don’t take too much of me with you on your own journey. You are who you are and are under no obligation to be anything like me. Find your own path…mine was just for you to walk alongside me for a while but your own path awaits. Make your steps count but skip along that path too. Skipping clears the head and makes you feel alive again. You have but one life on this earth. Make it amazing for you, your family and for humankind. That’s all you can do. I love you…always have…always will.
  94. And please remember everything on this blog is copyrighted 2015.

California Dreamer

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I am not a dreamer…at least not in the bedroom. I rarely dream during the night. My hypothesis for never reaching REM is that at my age I wake up three times a night to readjust my knee which wakes me up screaming and I get out of bed about five times a night to pee. I guess I should count my blessing that I don’t pee the bed yet but frankly at this point it just might be easier. What I do know for a fact is that all this up and down stuff adds up to a terribly disrupted sleep resulting in a state of dream denial. Until last night…

Last night I dreamt I was some sort of secret agent. A Jamie Bond type of girl if you will. I was thin (loved this dream just for that), younger (ditto), classy and looked exceedingly hot in a long dress with stilettos. There were bad guys, gorgeous girls whom I was trying to save, and then there was B. Yes, B! How he got into this dream I will never know but he did save me from the bad guy (wonder what Freud would say about that!) and then he promptly disappeared never to be seen again. (Ditto the Freud thing) It was comforting to think that he would save my life instead of taking the insurance money and skipping off with one of those other younger women with whom he would have sex three times a day…yet… where did he go?

Anyway, eventually, I found the missing “save the world” chip and slipped it under the skin in my foot, not bleeding a drop. I was amazing…and then I woke up to find I was 30 pounds overweight and wearing flannel. (No, Violet, it wasn’t flannel pajamas but a flannel I am testing for warmth on our trip to Tibet)

Now you may be wondering why I am writing an oddly disjointed post about dreams. It’s selfish really. I am wanting you to interpret my dream for me so I know what to do with the rest of my life…cause frankly I haven’t a clue. One can only hope in a moment of clarity you will find some answers for this girl who is California Dreaming.

 

 

 

The Christmas Party

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The company Christmas party was last night. I usually dread these affairs because I do not do “president’s wife” well. While most people would probably not guess, I am fairly socially inept. I spend the night trying not to put my foot in my mouth or wanting to kick someone’s ass if they get a little too drunk at the party. A fine line I walk trying to remember names, number of kids and spousal occupations; then I go home and start counting the days until the next one.

This year it was different. Many of the employees could not find babysitters for their children so B told them to bring them along. This meant I got to spend a lot of time at the table coloring with them and looking like a saint when in all actuality they were saving me from myself. Afterwards, B said that was great maybe we should have kids next year…ya think!?

One of the things I love about B’s office is it represents a side of the USA that I love…diversity. There are professionals from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America all working for this fairly small company. It is a true melting pot of people, ideas, and understandings. And that is the thing I do love about the party…hearing about their cultures, their families, and the way they celebrate their particular and unique holidays. Talk of grilling a goat at a company function, going on Safari and having family arriving for extended stays were just a few of the tidbits I enjoyed hearing about. I just reinforces to me how similar people are, and while they may go about things differently, they all want to be heard/seen for their  unique perspective on things that matter to them and their adopted country.

And so this morning I bask in the glow of a beautiful evening as I begin the countdown until next year…only 364 days to go!

 

Our Bodies Ourselves

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As women it seems like we have spent a lifetime trying to keep men away from our bodies uninvited. From the little girl who subconsciously realizes that having a man’s hands down her pants is somehow wrong, to teens who fight the pressure to go to “second base”  if you “really love me;” females are always having to fight men who are constantly deciding what “is right for them.”

Many years ago when I was in grad school I interviewed and surveyed over 100 teenage girls in regards to how they viewed feminism. Many didn’t know what feminism was. Even more commented that it was not relevant to them and that there was no need for feminist thinking in this day and age. I was shocked and dismayed.

As a child who grew up in the last 60’s and 70’s, I remember the feminist revolution very well. I remember Phyllis Schaffly condemning women who wanted something more for themselves than a frying pan in their hand. I remember women working hard to try to achieve equal work for equal pay. I remember women waking up to their own sexuality and unique health care/reproductive needs, and realizing that they could and should take those matters into their own hands especially when “those matters” concerned their own bodies.

Lately, the political right wing is getting louder in their demands to further control women’s bodies. In this day and age where access to abortion is harder to obtain than purchasing an assault weapon, and Planned Parenthood, where so many millions of poor women receive their gynecologic health care, is under attack and  being defunded; it amazes me how few women are doing anything about it. Once again men have their hands “all over our bodies” and once again women’s needs and wants are subjugated to men in power-conservative men in power who really want to put women “back in their place” where “they belong.” Yet, what I find really disturbing is that if God did indeed give us each free will that conservatives fail to honor this principle of self governance given by God when it comes to women’s minds and bodies.

When, I wonder, will women finally realize it is ALWAYS in their best interest to control their own reproductive health, their bodies and their souls? And when will these ideas that others should control a woman’s  body for their own political and religious gain ever stop? It’s time we end these outdated practices and let women live in peace without having men’s unwanted hands all over us.

Is It Proper To Have Sex In A Monastery…and other unanswered questions

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Let’s start out with a full disclosure…this is crass post and I wonder if I should be asking about this at all but… I yam what I yam.

Since we are traveling sans children to Tibet I have been wondering…is it kosher to have sex in a guest house monastery? There appear to be no written rules of etiquette written about this. In my own experience I have discovered the following:

Secluded beach…okay

Movie Theater…not okay

On a horribly long airplane flight…how often do they clean the blankets?

10th Floor of the Hilton in the elevator…okay if you don’t get caught

In front of the police station in your car…definatly not okay

In your parents house when you are unmarried…oh gross

In your parents house when you are married…oh gross

At the Boy Scout Camp at 3 am in the shower? Probably not but it is a little titillating.

On the roof top of a certain hotel in Vegas…oh yes…please!

But a monastery? Even one with a guest house? I just don’t know. It almost seems sacrilegious like “doing it” on the alter or worse… with the alter boy.

In researching the issue it appears that for a person who is seeking to live a monastic life the answer is a definite NO. According to the teachings of various Buddhist monks, that by ridding ourselves of lust and greed we liberate ourselves from unnecessary suffering. And if the intention is to rid ourselves of suffering we must also rid ourselves of those things that cause suffering and sex would obviously be high on that list. BUT…

I am not seeking to live a monastic life, I will be in a guest house and the most important thing…I will be without children. How does this change the dynamics? I do not know. But one thing I do know is I am not going all the way to Tibet to only use my pilate muscles for trekking up a mountain. I only hope we will be smart enough not to get our body parts frozen to things not easily removed.

Oh and FYI whatever you do NEVER google… sex in a monastery…just sayin’…gross!

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