Let’s face it – when it sucks, it sucks

Since losing my job, I’ve spoken with a lot of people.  Friends checking up on me.  Family members making sure I’m okay.  Former co-workers keeping me in the loop with the latest gossip.

A few times, when they’ve been complaining, somewhere during the conversation they’ll say, “Wait… I shouldn’t be complaining.  I mean, look at what you’re going through.”  And then today, I saw a post on Facebook with someone well-meaning lampooning fellow Facebook connections for complaining too much, and not being grateful, enough.  “You just wasted a breath with a complaint while someone else took their last one.”

…..please.  Really?  THAT is the new standard for our lives?  Be happy and grateful 100% of the time because someone else has it worse?  By the same token, should we refrain from celebrating because someone else has it better?

That is possibly the dumbest possible way to set yourself up for failure I’ve ever heard.  Because here’s the thing, folks – we *need* time to process our feelings.  We need to experience them.  All of them.  We need to experience disappointment and anger and happiness and frustration and sadness and excitement and boredom.  We have been given the ability of cognitive thought.  And with that comes a range of emotion.  That emotion allows us to tie feelings to experiences, and thus, enlightenment.

Think about it: You spend a whole week at work putting off an important project.  On Friday, the project is due, and you don’t have it completed.  Your boss expresses his frustration, a little less than politely.  You go into the weekend feeling angry with yourself for not getting it done.  You feel embarrassed because your boss called you out.  And you’re sad because, instead of socializing with friends, you’ll be doing the project you should have done during business hours.

Without the emotional ties, we would struggle to learn from our experiences.

When my friends shame themselves for complaining, simply because I’m unemployed, I graciously respond, “Don’t do that to yourself.  Don’t feel like you can’t complain about a situation because of what I’m going through.  I’d rather you express your feelings to me because we’re friends, rather than censor them because I’m in a rough patch.”

Without emotion, nothing happens.  As I’m sitting here, I realize that my coffee cup is sitting precariously close to the edge of the table.  That makes me anxious; I don’t want my coffee to spill.  So I move it.  Conversely, I notice that my running shoes aren’t put away.  But right now, I’m not worried about it, so nothing will happen.

You feel how you need to feel.  From processing emotion comes insight.  From insight comes enlightenment.  From enlightenment comes next action steps.  From next action steps comes success or failure.  And the process begins again.  Getting stuck in any one part of that process is problematic.  But going through them?  Perfectly healthy.

So here’s my public service announcement for the day: Feel how you need to.  Bitch about life when it has you down.  Celebrate when something good happens.  Someone always has it worse.  And someone always has it better.  And don’t worry about me.  I can’t stop myself from expressing myself.  So I’ll be just fine.

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From the mind of The Flame

BFF #1 and I are generally connected every day on Facebook Messenger. Every day. All day. Lunch breaks and meetings aside, we chat.  Sometimes it’s random.  Sometimes it’s not.  But it’s nice to know that, no matter the distance, I get to work with my best friend every day.

Everyone should be this lucky.

My first message to her, today, went like this:

ME: I kept seeing something out of the corner of my nose.  Then I was like, “Oh…. It’s my nose.” 
ME: Fail.  The corner of my *eye*!  My nose can’t see out of anywhere.

After this one-way exchange, I began to think of all the random things we talk about all day.  For your reading pleasure, I have included it here.  Hope it makes you smile the way it makes me smile.

ME: BFF #3 just posted on FB today, “Does anyone else clean when they are stressed?”
I was like, “I clean when I’m angry. I got that from BFF #1.”  Then it occurs to me that I didn’t get angry-cleaning from you. I got “redirecting” from you.
Her: I’m not angry as much as everything there was so clean (and it was so refreshing).
ME: Lol. Exactly why I didn’t get angry-cleaning from you.  You’re a cleaner. I’m a go-to-sleeper.

Her: What time?
Candle time
ME: What time?  Ice Cream Shake time.  (#thingsfatgirlssay)
Her: Actually the first one was totally separate. What time did dude come in? (Pause) It is an hour necessary for a candle to be burning, for relaxation time.

ME: Grammatically speaking, which is correct:
“Are you *a* Jehovah’s Witness?”
or
“Are you Jehovah’s Witness?”
Her: Yes on the first, the second would apply as a “we are Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
ME: Ahhhh… okay. I’m on board. Not that it matters, in any capacity with regard to anything. It’s just something that crossed my mind.
The world can resume its revolution around the sun, now.
Her: That’s funny. I’m like, weird question.  “Those Jehovahs” is my favorite.
ME: “Those Jehovahs” might actually sound like a racial slur. Like, “those people”. “Those N-words” (I am being kind to your gentle mind by not using the *actual* n-word.)

Her: Go home.
ME: Almost. Just finishing one thing.  HEY! You go home, too.
Her: In the car already.
ME: Bragger.

ME: Memes are my hobby.
Her: We should get you a non-digital hobby. It’s better for your soul.

ME: I’m so mentally frazzled that I’m using periods unnecessarily on bullet points. *face palm*

Her: Payroll is due by 10. I sent a note that said I’m leaving town please do payroll at 8. Here it is 3 fricken 24 and there is one person not done. I’m about to curse.
ME: I like your emphasis on three fricken 24.

ME: I like the word burgled.

Her: I’m looking at weeds I put round up on last night. They are green as ever and smiling at me.  ….Jackasses.
Me: Yell at them and express your disappointment. Then threaten to drown them in bleach or fire.
“YOU DISAPPOINT ME WEEDS!!”

Her: I’m eating spoonfuls of peanut butter.
And celery…
ME: I’m chewing gum.

 

So that’s basically it.  Between these random musings is the very best friendship I could ever hope to have.  She’s my rubberband, and keeps me together when I’m falling apart.  And when there isn’t drama, she allows me to be who I am.  And she loves me anyway.  I love her.

My cup runneth over.

Real mature, America

**Let me disclaim that the following rant has nothing to do with *all* Republicans or *all* Democrats.  Just because people voted one way or another makes no matter to me.  My concerns are the ignorant among us who spread falsities without taking a moment to question what they hear.  I am proud to be an American, whose voice is one in the midst of millions.  The collective becomes the Mastermind, if you will, guiding our country to the future, whatever that may be.  So if you voted for Romney, this isn’t directed toward you, in particular.  But if you find yourself bristling with irritation…maybe it’s a shoe that fits too well.  Time to look at your soles… if you get my drift.

I’ve decided that Americans have the collective maturity level of an 8th grader.  We, as a society, haven’t figured out that life isn’t fair, that things don’t always go our way, and that disappointment is to be expected.  That’s the way it works.  We don’t all think the same, and that’s why there are different religions, different political parties – hell that’s why there are different restaurants.  We’re raising a generation of children who think they should get a participation ribbon for just showing up…. when as it turns out, we, as adults, really want to have our cake and eat it, too.

So what’s got me all fired up?  The election, of course.  But not just the election – the aftermath.  It’s bad enough that I had to tolerate propaganda on Facebook for weeks before the election, not only did I have to listen to whining from the same arrogant assholes when Romney didn’t win, but now I see these same douche nozzles signing petitions to secede from the Union. 30 states are signing petitions.  30!

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me?

Here’s the thing – I don’t have any issue with people voicing their opinions.  I don’t even care that they voted for Romney.  This is a democratic process and the only way it works is if people take action and don’t slip into apathy.  This, however, is one step too far.  From what I can tell, this is tens of thousands of people who are signing their name to what amounts to a cyber-temper-tantrum saying “This isn’t fair!”  Guess what, folks?  This is the epitome of fair.  If it got any more fair, it would redefine what the word actually means.  Obama won, like it or not.  He won the electoral vote and (and most importantly in my opinion) he won the popular vote by a pretty close margin (but certainly not the closest margin in the history of elections).  And so what?  Now you don’t want to play with America because you didn’t get your way?  Too damn bad!  This is a country, not youth soccer!  You don’t get an award for showing up.  There are winners and there are losers.  Guess what?  Not everyone and everything I voted for went my way.  I’m not writing or signing a petition to become a citizen of a different state!  I’m gonna suck it up and figure out where I can focus my efforts to support the cause I believe in.

But you know what?  Let’s follow this silly little plan to the end.  Texas secede and then what?  The Mexican cartel rolls in, obliterating all in their path and now has a vein right up the middle of the country to feed their lawless agenda into.  Why not just put a giant target on your flag that flips the bird and says, “please attack us”, because that’s what you’re doing.

Romney lost.  For better or for worse, it is what it is.  When G. W. Bush won 12 years ago (and again 8 years ago), I didn’t pitch a fit and claim the process to be un-American.  I refocused my efforts on ways I could influence closer to home.  I didn’t waste energy ranting about the uncertain future we face.  Here it is, a week later, and I *still* hear and see people bitching about it.  It’s over, folks!  Move along!

There are real tragedies that need to be handled: poverty, recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy, drug use, unemployment, or how about the fact that less than half of eligible voters actually voted in the last election?

It’s silly.  It’s so silly that I realize that I should just dismiss it, but I’m so tired of seeing it all and having to ignore it.  I firmly believe that we all have a right to say what we want.  It’s one of the rights that make this country great!  But I am disgusted with the select few citizens of this country having a tantrum because they didn’t get their way.  Move on, people!  Guess what?  There is no chance in the great scheme of hell that you will actually form your own country (I’m looking at *you* Texas).  You’ll whine.  You’ll bitch.  And next week, next month, next year, next election, you will still be an American.  So focus on making a difference instead of protesting the past.

*sigh*  That’s my soapbox people.  Carry on.