Don't Judge, Fear, Fort Scott, Kansas, Friday the 13th, Ghosts, Halloween, Hotel del Coronado, Just Breathe, October, Pensacola Lighthouse Museum, Spirits, Spooky Places, Supernatural, The French Quarter, The Unexpected, travel, Travel Channel, Travel Woes, Uncategorized, Whaley House

Friday, the 13th……

I am taking a much needed day off work today.  After another trip to the doctor earlier this week, 3 more needles, a change of meds, and orders to rest, I decided to obey doctor’s orders (finally), after pushing myself at work to get things finished for the end of the first 9 weeks of school.  With all of the medical tests, I’ve sort of been feeling like a science experiment lately, and a bit like the Bride of Frankenstein……not that Al is Frankenstein!  I just feel like the female version of the experimental monster. With this being October, and today happens to be Friday the 13th, I wondered about the timing of all of these health struggles!  I also started thinking about all of the spooky, supernatural things that are so prevalent this time of year.

Some people choose not to celebrate Halloween, and that’s okay.  This is America, after all.  We are free to do what we want, right?  I happen to enjoy Halloween.  As a child, I never considered it to be demonic, or filled with anything satanic.  My family celebrated it as a time for children to use their imaginations in pretending, playing dress up, and getting candy!  I did the same thing for my own children.  There have always been the scary movies, which have become more terrifying in recent years, and I haven’t really enjoyed those.  I prefer the suspense of Hitchcock over the slasher or demonic movies. But there are also stories of supernatural, which are year round, but more front and center this time of year.

Do you believe in spirits, hauntings, or souls that might be caught in limbo?  Some people don’t….a lot of times that is because of religious reasons, but these same people believe in angels, which non-religious people don’t believe in.  Others do believe in this type of activity.  I believe that sometimes a spirit may linger, especially if there was something unpleasant about their lives or deaths, such as violence or murder. I also believe a loved one may be able to make themselves known to his or her family, in a way to comfort them.  If I hadn’t had my own personal experiences with this, I probably wouldn’t believe it either.  I have a memory of my grandfather talking to me when I was about 3 years old.  For years, I thought it was a memory from when he was alive. After discussing it with my mother, I realized the time line didn’t work out, and it would have had to be after he died, because he died when I was 2 years old……on Friday, October 13th……..fifty years ago today.  I wasn’t afraid at all, and I think he was probably just checking on his family, since my mother, aunt, and grandmother were all in the room at the same time of this occurrence, and weren’t acknowledging him in any way.  I know I didn’t understand why they weren’t talking to him!

Over the years, I’ve had uncomfortable feelings in places, where I feel like I’m being watched, or that maybe something really bad had happened there.  One of these places was at the old fort in the small town where I grew up in Kansas.  I had strange feelings there on two separate occasions.  One of those times was with my youngest daughter, Grace.  She was about 10 at the time.  We used to love going to the fort and touring the old buildings.  We were alone (so we thought) in one of the buildings, and I noticed that Grace kept looking behind her, and seemed uncomfortable and jumpy.  I also felt cold, and uncomfortable.  I thought someone was in the room with us.  I turned around to see no one, but I still felt the need to leave the building.  I asked Grace if she wanted to leave, and she responded with an enthusiastic, “YES!”  We both felt it.  We haven’t been back in that building!

I have watched the Travel Channel’s, “Most Terrifying Places in America,” many times. One of the places they have talked about is the Whaley House in San Diego.  I made a point to tour it (by myself) a few years ago.  Other than it being cold and a little creepy, I didn’t see anything, or really feel anything unusual or uncomfortable.  Maybe I would feel differently if I worked there, or spent more time there.  I also stayed at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, which is supposedly haunted by a young woman named Kate Morgan who died there in 1892.  While I didn’t get a bad feeling about her, I did feel uncomfortable one night, like someone was playing with my feet while I tried to sleep.  I asked my ex-husband, and he swore it wasn’t him.  It didn’t really scare me, but it was annoying.  For some reason, I didn’t feel like it was her though, but maybe some other type of mischievous spirit.

While in New Orleans, I got a few funny feelings at places in the French Quarter. Nothing terrifying…….but uncomfortable, and like maybe I wasn’t alone.  The Lighthouse Museum in Pensacola really gave me the creeps.  Sometimes I can’t really put my finger on it, but it’s just a weird feeling.  I’ve had odd feelings in a lot of places….even in one particular building in Stockholm last summer.

I think some people are more in tune to some of these things, whether they want to be or not.  Sometimes you hear of people who don’t believe in the supernatural, but yet, they may encounter someone who isn’t really there, and are then confused by the encounter. I do think some people see what they want to see, and get a little carried away with the whole phenomenon, either for attention, or for monetary gain.

One thing is for sure…..there are a LOT of stories out there of similar experiences in places all over the world.  I don’t believe that millions of people just have over active imaginations.  Not everyone has to believe, but sometimes there just aren’t logical, scientific explanations for everything.  So, on this Friday the 13th, during this spooky/fun month of October, watch out for the ghosts and goblins!

 

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Be Happy, Don't Judge, Happiness, Passion for Living, Respect, Self respect, Uncategorized

Be Yourself!

Yesterday I was putting on my earrings to go on a lunch date with my husband, and decided on some larger silver hoops.  It reminded me of an article I had read recently about what women over 40 should or shouldn’t wear…..as dictated by women in their 20’s and 30’s.  The article was written by a woman who was frustrated by this direction, and I completely agreed! I have read the articles…..”What Women Over 40 Should Never Wear…..” No large hoop earrings, no tattoos, no skirts over the knee, no sleeveless tops, no blue eye shadow, no leggings, etc. etc. etc. I admit, I used to be guilty of these unfair statements too, but thankfully, I have grown, and realized that maybe I wasn’t comfortable with myself then.  I am definitely getting more and more comfortable now, and this has made me less judgmental of others.

My mother’s sister, my Aunt Joy, was a wonderful woman, who marched to the beat of her own drummer.  She was highly intelligent (an English teacher), loved to read, tell stories, and spend time with her family.  She wore clothes that made her feel comfortable……I’m picturing tie-dyed mumus……she drove a moped around Wichita when she was in her 50’s, and at times, her hair may be blue or purple (before it was trendy to do this).  She was always a lot of fun to be around.  I miss her a lot.  One of the reasons I loved and respected her so much was because she did what made her feel good, without hurting anyone else.  Why should anyone else care?

I had a friend who used to be very annoyed and critical of any woman 30 or over who referred to a man as a “boyfriend.”  Why was that her business?  Why should it bother her?  If a woman in her 80’s wants to have a boyfriend, why is it offensive to anyone else?  If a couple feels young and in love, and wants to use the term “boyfriend” or “girlfriend,” that’s their choice, no matter how old they are.

It is no one else’s decision (or business) how we dress, or what we call our significant other.  When a woman in her 20’s or 30’s tells me I can’t wear hoop earrings because I’m over 40, it makes me want to wear bigger hoops.  It makes me want to dye my hair blue, wear mumus, and drive a moped.  If a woman is 80 years old and wants to wear a mini-skirt and go-go boots because it makes her feel good, then that is her choice, and I will applaud her for not being afraid to be herself.  It may look crazy.  It may even look a bit inappropriate.  It may not feel comfortable to everyone, but if it is comfortable to that woman, then why should it matter to anyone else?

Be yourself.  Do what makes you comfortable.  As long as you aren’t hurting someone, then it’s okay to be you.  Do you.  So, damnit, wear those hoop earrings!

Attitude Adjustments, Bad Attitudes, Be Happy, Be Kind, Being Strong, Don't Judge, Happiness, Kindness, Manners, Negativity, Uncategorized

Stop Being Negative!

“The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude-”  Unknown

Sometimes maintaining a positive attitude all of the time is difficult.  Life is difficult, and our country/world is a mess.  People aren’t nice to each other.  People are mean.  People are rude.  People don’t care about each other.  Negativity is in the air.  Bad attitudes are rampant.  I have been accused by my husband of having a Pollyanna attitude, but that hasn’t always been the case.  Depending on where I was in my personal or professional life, I have had moments of feeling negative.  Is it easier to be negative?  Is it easier to blame others for your discontent instead of doing something to change your situation? Sometimes life can wear us down, and negative feelings control us.  I get that all of that, but quite frankly, I’m tired of negative people!  I’m tired of crappy attitudes!

The latest weather patterns and disasters hitting our country have made me realize how tragedies can bring out the best and the worst in people.  I feel thankful for my home and job, my family, my health (as up and down as it is!).  I feel thankful for the friends and family who reached out to us when we were still in the path of the storm, offering shelter, food, water, gas money, prayers, etc.  Even while we were nervous and anxiously waiting to see the path of the hurricane, I was thankful that we have access to forecasts, and science to support the forecasts.  Rushing to the store, making plans to evacuate, and feeling anxious and afraid were not fun, but that’s a consequence of living in “Paradise” (the rest of the year is beautiful!).

I’ve had my share of hardships with the loss of my parents, illness, broken relationships, disappointments, loss of jobs, financial problems.  It’s hard, but I’m not the only one.  Everyone experiences these things.  I have a friend who has blogged about egos, and this is what bad attitudes and negativity make me think of.  Why do we think we are the only ones who have it hard?  Someone somewhere is struggling more than we are. A negative person’s ego feeds off of being negative, and having a crappy attitude.  Their feelings of hurt, anger, distrust, and resentment towards others fuels their negativity. They feel that their feelings and situations are more important than anyone else’s.

It’s okay to vent to our friends and family because we need to do that to maintain our sanity!  But some people are constantly unhappy, always looking for the worst possible details in any situation, or even creating the worst possible scenarios in their minds, or about other people.   These people are exhausting to be around!  They may be overall good people, with good intentions, and generous hearts, but the constant negativity isn’t healthy.  It isn’t healthy for them (especially when you want to pop them in the head), and it isn’t healthy for me because they give me headaches and make me start feeling negative!  Negativity breeds negativity, and it seems that spreading negativity is more contagious than catching something positive!

There are two ways of changing this.  For the exhausting, negative soul suckers who constantly complain, they can start by only looking for positive things, and things to be thankful for.  The longer they have been this way, the harder this will be.  It’s a habit that needs to be broken! They can write down things each day that they are thankful for, and this will help them to look for the positive in each day.  For the rest of us……we can either keep our mouths shut, smile and nod, try not to argue, and go home for a stiff drink after dealing with them, or…..we can try to insert positive vibes and statements in conversations with these people (they aren’t always receptive to this), or……we can just steer clear of them!  These are usually the same people who have conflict wherever they go, so  I’m sure they’ve had a lot of people come and go in their lives because of their bad attitudes!

So if you want to have a good day, it’s up to you.  If you have an occasional bad day, that’s okay.  You’re entitled.  But you are NOT entitled to ruin someone else’s day because you’re in a constant crappy mood, always hating on someone or something.  It’s up to you!

Be Kind, Coping, Don't Judge, Invisible Illness, Support, Uncategorized

Invisible Battles

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about….be kind!”  I’ve seen this quote many times, and can still remember the first time I saw it.  It was on another teacher’s desk.  I read it, and it stayed with me.  We all have battles that no one sees.  They may be emotional, personal, physical, or mental.

I saw a couple grumbling about a healthy looking young man parking in a handicapped parking spot, but he had the proper tag allowing him to do so.  I guess his handicap wasn’t apparent.  Maybe he was perfectly healthy, and driving his elderly grandfather’s car, but maybe he wasn’t.

Not all conditions or illnesses are apparent.  Arthritis, lupus, cancer, diabetes, tumors, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, OCD,  hard of hearing….all of these conditions may or may not be apparent, but each one impacts the person’s life each and every day, whether we see it or not.  As someone who has had some scary health problems that haven’t always been visible, I’ve been told to “Get over it,” “You’re not sick,” or my favorite….(from one of my least favorite people)…”Liven up!”  Feeling pain from arthritis in my back, knees, hands, and now my feet has been excruciating at times, and I’ve been dealing with that for most of my life. Having social anxiety is also very difficult (I think we used to just be considered “shy”), but I just have to deal with it.

It’s not for us to decide how someone deals with these conditions.  It’s important to offer support and understanding to anyone who may be struggling.  We don’t walk in their shoes, and don’t get the right to condemn or criticize them for the way they’re coping and managing, or criticize them for where they park.  Each day is different, and there are highs and lows.  I’ve known people who seem perfectly happy and healthy reveal that they suffer from clinical depression or bi-polar.  They’re just really good at concealing it in public, or are under the care of a physician who has found the right treatment for them.

Recently, I’ve been dealing with some serious physical health issues.  A year ago, I also went through something very serious.  Ten years ago, I went through some other health issues.  None of these are/were obvious by looking at me.  I’m also very good about pretending that I’m okay, and making jokes about my conditions.  But sometimes it really is scary.  Sometimes we just need understanding and not judgement.  Sometimes we need a hug.  Sometimes I just really want my mother.  I’m fortunate that I have supportive people in my life, and not ones who judge or criticize me or how I deal with pain or illness.

So if that perfectly healthy looking young man parks in a handicapped parking space, don’t judge.  He may be epileptic, or have a bad back, or maybe had recent surgery. Remember, everyone is fighting a battle that we may not see…..be kind.

Art, Don't Judge, Respect, Tattoos, Uncategorized

Tattoo or Taboo?

Tattoos…..once reserved for military (I think of the Navy), and motorcycle gangs, have become quite the norm today.  A lot people consider them trashy or crude, or unnecessary.  It’s actually hard to find someone without a tattoo today. I’ve seen trashy and poorly thought out tattoos, but I’ve also met rude, classless people who have no tattoos.

I am not pro or anti tattoos.  If someone wants to have one, that is entirely their choice.  I wouldn’t want anyone to get one from peer pressure.  I also wouldn’t want anyone to get one just to have one, without giving much thought to what they’re putting on their body.  After all, it is permanent.  I don’t think anyone under the age of 25 should have one, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as honoring a family member, or commemorating a special date.  What we value at 18 is not necessarily what we value at 25.  Therefore, I’ve told my children that I would prefer they wait….if they still want the same thing at 25 that they did at 18, then go for it. Also, a tattoo or piercing should never keep you from having the job you desire, so location is also something to consider.

I haven’t always felt this way.  I used to think they were inappropriate, and you shouldn’t scar your body this way.  However, as I have gotten older, and have faced some personal tragedies in my life, I don’t have such strong feelings about something that shouldn’t make a difference in my life.  Someone else’s tattoo, and the way they choose to express themselves isn’t my business, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone.  I don’t take issue with someone who is practicing self expression.  If someone wants a tattoo, and wants to express themselves in an artistic way, that is their choice.  I have seen some beautiful tattoos on women who have had mastectomies.  I have seen others cover other types of scars that may be a reminder to them of a painful time.  To cover their scars with beautiful artwork is coping in a positive way, a statement of survival, and it is their choice.  To some, the choice to have a tattoo is a very personal one, and the message they choose to display may mean something very deep, or be very emotional for them.

Some tattoo art is also beautiful (and some is quite hideous!).  Artists of different styles and methods should respect another artist’s work.  I can’t imagine that it’s an easy art to master!  It would take years of practice, patience, and talent.  I would think the skin as a canvas would be much different to work on than a mural on a wall!

Self expression, creativity, and honoring what we love in a display on our bodies is not something to criticize or condemn.  Respect the message.  Respect the artist’s work.  Respect the individual with the display of self expression on their body.  Respect.