fear

Post Positive Images- Baltimore Protests

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We all are aware that the media has taken all the good of the Baltimore protests and turn it into the destruction of the Baltimore riots!  I ask everyone to counter this misrepresentation by posting of peaceful photos of demands for justice.  Do it anywhere and everywhere you can. Thank you and spread the word!

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042815-national-baltimore-protest-2Freddie Gray Protest in Baltimore

Protests in Baltimore After Funeral Held For Baltimore Man Who Died While In Police Custody

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Speak up, even if your voice shakes.

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ericG“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ~ Elie Wiesel

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Day 3

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mist-woods
“I want to live in the woods”

Well, I am trying to get through this stuff  and it seems quite easy.  But is it helping?  I am not sure.

Forty days, it says, in forty days a new perspective.

The concept is to follow this book, “May Cause Miracles” one day at a time and do the daily exercise.  So far it isn’t very time consuming and that is certainly a huge relief.  Maybe I will stick with it.  I know any lasting change will take time, consistency and effort.   Actually, I see this is a life-style change, so I know I will have to work at it every day of my life.  In time that commitment should become a blessing.  

At least that is how I see it.

Right now I am on day 3.  Yes, day three.  Today’s affirmation is “Love did not cause this.”  Of course it didn’t.  Love is pure.  Fear can not exist where love exists.

I really can’t let myself down.

Note: These posts will be rambling with no purpose.  I want to write how I feel through the course of this book so I can reflect on it later. So please don’t expect anything more than that, or you will be disappointed.  Cheers friends!

?Question? box your stuff.

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Once a pack-rat always a pack-rat?  Could this be my fate? I am disgusted with all the crap in my new fixer-upper.

Even after all this time of moaning and reasoning, learning, and purging, there is still too much crap!  I give advice like it’s nobody’s business, yet here I am facing a mess.  And when I see it I feel like, “Damn what happened?”

What’s my excuse?  Tell me because I would  like to know.

My guess is that I am fearful.  All the self help books out there claim fear is the strongest of emotions that guide our decisions….so I must be afraid.

Afraid of what?

I am afraid of being without, even though being without is my goal.  So I have a major problem here.

madonna-material-girl-video-cap-0056

I was raised in the material world, with the material girl.  I used to claim to my step sons that Madonna was my sister….they were kids (little kids), they didn’t now any better.  I also told them I was from outer-space  and that was even way cooler than being anyone’s sister.  Point being materialism runs deep in my veins.  I am ashamed to say, one of my nick names was “Shoppin’-Shirley.”

I held no limits and knew few worries.  Whatever, whenever as long as it was fun, and even better if I could buy something. My life was spinning without direction or boundaries.  Anything was possible.  Everything was an adventure.  Things were fun.  Buying was fun.  For me the late 80’s and all of the 90’s were out of control.  And I liked it!

Sorry if I am repeating myself

So fast forward to reality, ugh, do we have to?  Yes we do.  Now I am still on this quest. I call it my “journey to living better with less” but I am in a funk.  I have not reached my goals.  I am slowly pulling myself out of this funk, but that doesn’t make the extra stuff magically disappear.

Now for the: What am I going to do about it question?

I am going to start over.  I am going to the Start Here section of my blog and follow my own advice.  I may skip around the numbers some, depending what I feel like doing.  I am adding a new twist, I am going to hold myself accountable.  Astonishing right?  Accountability. Wow.

I have been lax in taking photos.  So regarding photos, I am going to try something new. I am going to take Reward photos, pictures of stuff packed-up and ready to go.  No matter where it is going.  The rule is there are only four places anything can go:

1. Donation

2. Sale

3.Trash/Recycling

4. ?Question? box. 

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The ?Question? box is new to me.  It’s my last thin thread of my holding-on tendencies   Items placed in the ?Question? pile can live there a week, and only a week.  Seven days.  After that week is up their fate is sealed.

This is my plan. If you are in the same boat maybe you too can kick-start your journey to living better with less. Wish me luck.  Cheers.

Helpful link: The January Cure.  This is a day by day plan for improvement in one month. Plus Apartment Therapy is an awesome site.

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Tip: The more you put in the ?Question? box the better.

Inspiration: “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby

One-day one-thing: Make a ?Question box? or area.

I bought plastic

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I bought a plastic cup.  This goes against everything I believe, but I have become super tired of spilling everything in my car.  I  need to drink more water, we all do, but I was spilling more than drinking.  So I broke and  bought a cup with it’s own cover and straw.  Wow, huge purchase!!!

I am trying to get rid of things and not add to the clutter…….but…..this purchase was meant to be.

Take a look at what I saw in my water cup next to my bed this morning, one day after I switch to my sippy cup.

It’s quite possible that I could have taken a swig out of this cup last night in the dark if not for my new sippy cup.

So there you have it.  Beware of the creatures in the night.

Help them now.

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A person can only be pushed so far.

I really do not know how people do it.  How do people continue on peacefully when the world around them is crumbling?

Last week a young mother was shot dead in the middle of the afternoon.  From what I understand there was a fight going on between two groups of girls.  Someone pulled out a gun, shots were fired, and people ran away.  This young mother was running away, to save her life.  It didn’t work.

This was in a neighborhood of housing.  People live there, sleep there, laugh there, feed their children and sing lullabies.  Yet outside at any given moment someone can be shot dead in the middle of the afternoon.

I am so touched by this story, and so entirely confused as to why this violence  is allowed to continue.  Is it because these people are poor? Is it our cities failing to make security and safety a priority?  Is it the crumbling school system, or the rarely existence family support? Is it caused by the onset of  the gun culture?  Or is it really because the rest of the city and surrounding suburbs just don’t give a sh*t?

We need to take a moment and wake the f*ck up.

_____

Since writing this many months ago, a terrible shooting happened in a small quaint town of about 5000 named Chardon, not too far from Cleveland.  One morning before classes started, three students were shot dead.  A 4th student  is recovering in the hospital and the fifth shooting victim is recovering at home.  Three young people shot dead in cold blood by a 17 year old student.

I have pondered the effects of the school shooting and nothing I come up with makes any sense except that we the people have to start caring about each other.  We need to teach kindness, and tolerance.  We need to teach the basics of  right from wrong in our homes.  We need to be reminded that people can be cruel and bitter, but usually because they are in a painful place, and they need help. We need to do all we can to build bridges in stead of walls.

We need schools that are safe.  And if that means we need police there, then put police there.  If it means we need metal detectors then place the detectors are the door ways.  We need to take bullying seriously, and we need to listen to our children, especially if they are saying something that sounds off-base or unusual.

We need to wake up to the fact that there are drugs in every school.  It’s a fact kids drink and drive, and they have parties and drink their parents booze.  Students cheat on test and make trades for homework, and just like always they have unprotected sex.

Parents need to get their heads out of the sand.  School administrators need to be fair and consistent when enforcing the school codes.  No more hiding the dirty little secrets.

We need to recognize that all students are not the same, some are gay and some students are homophobic.  Students are every race and racism is alive and well in America.  These are issues that continuously harm our society as a whole.  And if we want it to change, each one of us has to personally stand up and say enough is enough.

Regardless of differences each child deserves an education in an environment that is safe physically and emotionally no matter what it takes.  And they are not going to get it unless we demand it.  They need us now, not later.

Start a conversation, let your voices be heard.

“Do you feel lucky?”

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It hasn’t been much more than a week and already I am breaking retracting the contract on our new house.  I was ready for the experience to live in the city with everyone and anyone.  We haggled a bit and signed an agreement last Wednesday.  Over the weekend we checked out the yard because we needed to determine where the fence should be installed for our dogs.

Two days ago, I was at the property with my fence contractor.  He had to measure the entire perimeter, and as we spoke he began to discuss the area behind the garage.  We walked over and to my surprise I found this:

He said, “This is fresh, someone is sending a message.”  It could have been wet for all I know, I was too stunned to touch it.   The graffiti wasn’t there when we made our offer, it wasn’t there Saturday as we walked the yard.  No other nearby garage got tagged, just ours.

This little white girl raised in suburbia, isn’t fit for this.  I started thinking I would actually have to shoot someone.  Then my mind raced on, and I thought if they come in my house, I’d have to shoot them inside and all their guts would be everywhere.  My dogs would probably eat nasty thug guts.  Gross.  At that point, I decided its better to shoot when they are on the porch or when they step onto the property. Less mess.

Oh my God.  Am I going to live like this? I have never even held a gun in my hand, but you know what?  I am going to learn. And when I get good, I am getting the biggest caliber I can handle.  Peace,  love,  don’t f*ck with me.

I called the police, they told me to send the images to the detective unit that handles gangs.  I did that.  I will never hear back, because I am not buying that house. Ever. This is not going to be my problem.

I was only joking previously when I compared this house to the one in Gran Torino .  (awesome movie) Little did I know just how close I was to the truth about lucky house number #7.

However, I do still see the luck in this.  I was lucky to find the graffiti  before we closed and transferred the title.  We literally dodge a bullet or maybe two.  Call me crazy, but so many things lined up, it makes me feel like someone was watching over us.  ( I like to believe that is true, because it warms my heart)

I just sent off the mutual release form and hopefully that will be signed tomorrow by the sellers.  Back to square one, just a bit wiser and a little stronger.

Stay Tuned.  Cheers.

Update 2/24/2012: Seller says they will NOT sign the release.  However, we never signed or initialed the seller’s counter offer so there is no contract in place.  Hopefully now they will sign the mutual release.

Tip: Trust yourself.  I have said this before but it bares repeating, trust your instincts they will never let you down.

Inspiration: ” We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.” – Louisa May Alcott

One-day one-thing: Be grateful when something works out.

Personalized A.D.D.

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Nothing accomplished.  December has become another month to just make it through.  To handle all the crises that came our way and try to do it without total self destruction.  Look at me, it’s only the 2oth and I am already writing the month off.

I am in New York, and last night  hearing my son tell me he is never ever moving back to Ohio makes me wonder than why the heck am I staying here?  My daughter would like us to move some where near the east coast, so she could visit more easily when she wanted.   My youngest son just wants to have his own room again.  Heavy sigh. (he just informed me, So Cal.)

I don’t know how to handle a situation I can not control.  We are not in a position to move anywhere, except maybe locally.  Do you know how scarey it is to have to sell your house, and it doesn’t sell?  Fourteen months on the market, not one offer.  I never want to be there again.  I also am not hip on getting a house that requires a bunch of repairs, but we are limited by our budget.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t  know how other people do it.  How do they just start over? That’s one of our issues, we can’t start completely over, because we have commitments and constraints. We hold certain cards, and without picking up a pair of aces I think we are working with a measurable handicap.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t change, it’s just means we have to plan around everything.

For about a week, for maybe 5 days, we thought we had an answer. We believed we made a choice.  But now, I am no longer interested in that. Too far and too close at the same time…why bother?

Just got our yearly Christmas news letter from some relatives.  I mean seriously, I had to read it twice  to make sure my sour mood wasn’t clouding my judgement.  Nope, it wasn’t, still as pretentious as ever.  Most years I don’t even read it.

Why did I choose to read it today?  Because I am an idiot, who feels bad, and wanted to feel worse?  No.  I think I was honestly hoping for a twinkle light of inspiration. Not to be.

Have I mentioned how stressful the holidays are for me?  I swear, the biggest luxury for me would be to avoid the entire Thanksgiving to New Years Day season.

I want to move beyond my dissatisfaction,  but it’s inside me tightly holding hands with my lack of clarity.

I can’t tell myself what to do anymore.  I can read my own advice and that helps in certain areas, but not this “where to live topic, how to get there, is it the right choice” dilemma.  So so complicated.

I am flailing.  Holding myself together, with avoidance, denial, and distractions.  My own personal brand of ADD.   A mental cocktail of sorts.  I highly recommended it for anyone, in a messed up situation.

About to go out to dinner…..it’ will be great, I will  be in full ADD mode.   Cheers!

Huge Motivator, It’s Really Small

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I can’t believe I have done it once again.  I am setting myself up for one more let down only this time it’s going to be the U.S. court system that delivers the blow.

This poor guy, I imagine he is poor now.  According to court records his 17 parcels are all on the chopping block.  Well I decided to try to take one off his hands.  This new possible house, I’ll call it No.3, is small.   Not unlike the house in my original plan, the small house in my journey to living better with less.

Here’s the kicker; all offers must be approved by the court.  So we put our offer in and wait.  Thus giving me enough time to question myself, and ponder the pros and cons of this “maybe ” purchase.

Love this, maybe someday

No.3 is  a small brick house with a pointy peak over the front door.  Nothing I currently own will fit in this house, therefore I am going to literally have to get rid of nearly everything.  Just like I said I was going to do before, but I still held on with a storage unit.  I told myself it was  because I didn’t know exactly where I would be living next.  (still true, but I think I was holding one to our past life)

Until we hear back, I’ll spend my time on Apartment Therapy looking at ways to make small look wonderful.   I’ll learn how to make form and function work with simple design and create spaces that fit our lives.  This will be fun.

All this time, what I am really learning through this process is even if most things don’t work out  eventually “some” thing will work out .

Then in creeps FUD; fear, uncertainty and doubt.

This house could be a bad decision, but then again, it could be a great decision.  As we get older we can clearly see the trail we have left behind.  Hindsight, that 20/20 bullsh*t that relentlessly gnaws at our psyche.  For some reason seeing that old trail we’ve left behind leads us to believe we have the super-power see our path into the future.  This is not good.

Thinking we know anything for certain about the future is ridiculous.  These thoughts beliefs can hold us back from looking things objectively, making changes, and it holds us back from taking risks.  We are conditioned by events throughout our entire lives, and somehow we decide that however we saw things,  that vision or” fact” should be set in stone.  Oh yeah, that’s what happens when you do” this” or ” that.”

Twenty years ago, I would buy this house and never look back.  It would be what it would be.   And no matter what happened after the purchase I would never look back and say, ” I suspected, I imagined,  I knew that would happen.”  No, I would just accept it, whatever happened, and I would move-on to whatever happened to be next.

How limited is our exposure?  Can you really say you’ve seen it all?  Have I witnessed everything you have witnessed.  Not a chance.

My point here is: forget about it.  Our minds are powerful, take the expiration off your brain and live again.

There’s an entire world of possibilities out there, just waiting.

Cheers!

Tip: Follow your instinct even if everyone disagrees. Repeat as necessary.

Inspiration:“People are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them.”~Epictetus

One-day one-thing: Correct negative thoughts in your brain when they happen, don’t dwell in fear.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

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Student protesting peacefully on their campus assaulted by police.

“Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political freedom and a civil liberty.”

I don’t care what side of the political landscape anyone is on, this is wrong and can not be tolerated.

Don’t be afraid to support our human rights, our political freedoms, or our civil liberties.

More coverage.

Silent protest video and article a must see.