Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holidays 2012

It’s that time of the year again…thoughts on holidays and families and friends and a New Year right around the corner.

It’s the biggest New Year I’ve had in a long time (ever?) – I will start a new job! I finally left my job of just over 16 years back in September. It was beyond time. I was lucky enough that my boss offered me 16 weeks severance and has kept me on his benefits this entire time. Not something you see/hear of everyday (or ever) and I was glad to accept. He appreciated me and my time as much as I appreciated the employment and flexibility over the years. I think the severance package spoke huge volumes about both of us (maybe a little more about his kindness and fairness).

I am glad, finally, to be away from the job; in so many ways because I simply didn’t care anymore. This was a job I had had since I was 20; I received two college degrees during my time there and I was stuck doing a job that anyone with a high school diploma could figure out (although frankly not as well as someone as educated as I am could [the doctor’s didn’t “scare me” and I was confident in my knowledge and education to stand up for and/or against all things as I felt necessary]). I am glad because now I am regaining a friendly relationship with my now “old” boss – we were getting to a point where we could hardly get through a week without wanting to kill each other...and in years previous we had a great friendship and mentor-ship  I am looking forward to (at least in part) regaining that).

I will now be the Executive Director of a local non-profit (in the animal rescue-ish world) and am anxious to start! I am excited and scared and all things that go along with new employment and new possibilities.

I am taking a very big pay cut and even bigger benefit cut with this new position but it breaks me into the non-profit world (as a worker-bee and not just a volunteer) and offers me the opportunity to do something I am truly passionate about and helps me put my good, extended education to use! I have also been working with a small business that I am truly impressed with for about two months (after having volunteered with the sister organization for about a year and a half) and will be able to continue to do that, taking away some of the sting in the financial loss: who’s that lucky, right? And I’m not being facetious; I mean it. I sought out positions where I knew I’d take a financial hit. I was ready for it (not quite this much but, ready)…because I’m ready to finally make a difference in this world with my work (anyone can make doctors money, you know?).

On to Newtown, CT and the horror that community has, is and will be facing for so long: I am sorry. As a fellow citizen of this world, I am sorry. I don’t have children so I have no idea the pain you’re enduring, and no parent that hasn’t buried a child of their own truly knows what you’re going through but my heart aches for you and yours. Countless lives hit by this act of evil and meanness and whatever else it might be.
            From here, the talk to guns and gun control and healthcare and mental illness.
1)      To every extremist: stop it. There will never be a day when there are no guns in this country. Not even a ‘smidge feasible so stop your rantings about it: please. To the other side – stop it. Stop buying every freakin’ gun under the sun because you’re “worried” you won’t be able to buy them later. Stop saying the president is the one trying to take your guns away and stop acting as if that day will ever come; we all know it isn’t and it won’t.
2)      Once you all stop it – take a breath and admit that something needs to change and there’s a huge, nightmare mess of several issues that need to be addressed. If you expect something to go your way please recognize you have to let something go “the other way” too. Compromise is the only way effective conversation and change will ever happen.
3)      Mental illness is an illness people and our country too often leaves folks with mental illness out in the cold, to fend for their own. This or they leave families ill-equipped to handle these sometimes terrible situations on their own…which leads to unnecessary evils being inflicted on others. The others are sometimes family members, sometimes further away than family but so often, with proper medical care and systems in place; avoidable. This has to be a piece of the conversation. 

On to the general nature of people…I love FaceBook – I really do. It’s just about the best tool ever for getting in touch with people, staying in touch with people and sharing our lives: far and near! It also opens your eyes to the true nature of some folks.

I have never, in all of my 36+ years “known” so many unhappy people: really! I wonder how often (if ever) people look back over their posts and see how negative they are (overall). I mean people: c’mon! If you’re really that miserable, if all the little things you post/bitch about (and how the heck do some people have the time to post 4, 6, 8x/day [these same folks who then gripe about not having enough time in the day]) bother you that much then; your life must truly suck…and you should do something about it or STFU (and by “STFU” I mean “flip” – shut the flip up)! My god! Quit yer bitchin’ and do something about it. Stop using everything in your power to stop you and start mustering up the power within yourself to take care of business (and still please: stfu in the meantime btw).

Next – I wish people would stop posting/cross-posting tons of false crap on FB. It takes about one minute to figure out whether something you’re about to post is correct or false. Please do us all a favor and stop perpetuating falsities and mistruths by spending about one minute to look it up. And once someone points out that it’s wrong – frickin’ delete it. Too many people see the story and not the posts below that show it’s false and re-post the bad information (hence why these stories go around and around and around).

If (on average) no one is “liking” or commenting on your posts that’s a sign: you’re posting too much or you’re posting so much crap the majority of your “friends” have hidden you or just didn't give even a half a crap to acknowledge it…so maybe stop?

Next…be grateful. I am consistently astonished by folks who simply refuse to take an honest look at themselves and their lives and just be grateful. No one has everything they want or need (no matter what we may think…everyone has hidden insecurities and fears and misgivings and missing pieces) – but you can choose to be so grateful for what you do have: really, it is just a choice folks. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…you really can choose to be happy. In spite of it all, maybe, necessarily; because of it all: be happy.

So…there are a few reflections and a few gripes (I generally try and not complain on a regular/daily basis. I choose to save my energy for being happy and helping others and for trying to be and do good).

My hopes for you and all of yours (some might be repeats from previous years): Be happy. Do good. Acknowledge kindness. Appreciate everything! The Good, The Bad and The Ugly are all necessary: learn how to work your life appropriately. Shut up once in a while. Stop complaining so much. Sit outside, in the quiet, by yourself and breathe from time to time. Spin or cross-fit or yoga or walk or run or hop on an elliptical but do something to keep moving. Be grateful for your health but don’t take it for granted: do something to maintain it or better it…depending on your need. Thank people. Smile at strangers; say “Hi!”. Hold doors open for people. Pick things up for folks who may have dropped them. Make an effort to make your world and the world around you better; this will make you more happy and more satisfied than you might ever imagine (and it makes others all warm and fuzzy too!).

The end.
Happy New Year friends.