Acceptance and Rejection

When you are a writer you usually write because you harbor a love for writing.  I love pulling out a pen and paper and listening to the scratch as the words tumble from my mind through my hand and appear onto paper.  The clicking of the keyboard is also gently relaxing as I watch the words in my head magically appear onto the screen in front of me.

It would be a dream to get paid to write in a way I could make a living, but since I cannot currently commit to this dream full time (as alas bills still have to get paid) I write when I can as much as time allows as a hobby.  Despite what a lot of people may think although I try to write as much fresh content as possible for this blog, as of yet it does not actually earn me any money.  So I submit my writing to other places here and there.  This past week I earned a slot of acceptance from one of my submittals, which brought me great joy.  This was almost immediately followed up with yet another “Thanks for your submissions and interest in our site! Great posts, but not a great fit for us right now. Sorry about that!” Rejection.  It stings a little, not as much as the first ever, but I don’t allow it to stop me.

I will keep writing and I will find the right fit, eventually.

Perseverance is a must.  When you do something you love you somehow become whole again, and I like being whole. . .so the words will continue to tumble until I find them a permanent home.

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A Challenge from a Friend

A friend of mine recently challenged me to watch a documentary.  Our conversation went something like this:

Him: “You should check out the documentary called “Cowspiracy”

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Me: “I probably wouldn’t make it through.  I can’t watch the animal documentaries.  I don’t eat much meat as it is, but after watching a documentary on chickens I couldn’t eat chicken anything for years.  Now it’s only organic free range expensive chickens.”

Him: “There’s nothing like that in it.  You owe it to your son to watch”

I took a little pause after I saw that.  I kind of didn’t like someone telling me I owe it to my son to do something, but another part of me felt a twinge, that maybe I should watch it.  This friend wouldn’t tell me I need to watch something unless he knows it would really mean something to me.

Me: Is it on Netflix?

Him: Yes ma’am!

Me: Ok.  You know I don’t eat cow very often and we drink a lot of almond milk because we already think cow’s milk is a conspiracy?

Him: I know.  This is probably the most important topic we face as a human race.

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Wow, I thought.  What the heck is this documentary about?  I headed over to Netflix to check it out and was glad that I did.  If you haven’t watched Cowspiracy I am passing along the challenge to you to not only watch it, but to watch it and think hard about it and then challenge your friends to watch it.

There are so many things that we face as the human race and one thing we don’t talk about often enough is our food.  Where does our food come from?  What happens when we, as humans consume animals and plants, what does that do to our environment?  How have humans changed the environment by our food habits? Can our planet continue to sustain the ever growing population of humans if we continue on the same path we are currently on?  The answer to that last question is NO, WE CAN’T.  We humans need to make a change.  We need to make changes quickly and en masse if we want to continue to survive on this planet.  But first we need to educate ourselves and some of the problems that no one wants to talk about, so head over to Netflix and watch Cowspiracy.  Or head over to their website if you don’t have Netflix Then let me know what you think!

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Cowspiracy
Filmmakers: Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn
Executive Producer: Leonardo DiCaprio
http://www.cowspiracy.com/

Rememberance

Do you remember what you were doing on 9-11-2001?  I will never forget. . .

I will also never forget the way the country banded together.  It was incredible the way people helped one another out.  Everyone was so much nicer to everyone else for a time, and then after a bit of time passed, people went back to the way things were.

I have a question. . . Why does it take a tragedy for out county to pull together? Why can’t we always band together? Why can’t we, as a society, stop putting “me” first and start thinking about the bigger picture?  Why can’t we get along and work together? Think about this today as you remember and send out love to the families who lost loved ones during this tragedy.

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Life

Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.  You get caught up in things like work, family, responsibilities, friends, causes, research and occasionally your body gives you a big “eff you.”  I’ve had a sinus headache off and on for almost a week and have been having a little bit of difficulty clearly expressing my thoughts.  Hopefully this crazy Texas weather will stabilize, and whatever lovely green plant-life (that I secretly hate) will stop pollinating and my sinuses will stop trying to hammer a hole through my temple so I can get back to my normally scheduled programming. Until then. do something nice for someone today.

My Fellow Moms, YOU Are my Hero’s.     

I don’t think I would have survived this journey of motherhood without all of the support showered upon me by you.  I thought I understood even before my the bundle of joy even arrived that having a child would change my life, but until I was thick in the middle of the experience I don’t think I fully grasped  how my life would change.

This motherhood stuff is hard.

It’s physically hard. There is the challenge of forcing your body to function with little to no sleep for months at a time.  There is the awkwardness of sharing your body with a little person for food and for comfort.  The act of giving birth itself wreaks havoc on your body and the changes your body goes through while amazing, can produce fear and discomfort while you learn to adjust.

Motherhood is mentally grueling.  It’s laborious to learn how to balance all the different hats you must wear as a women (mother, wife, friend, employee) while learning how to care for this new life and still  find time to take care of yourself in the process.  I struggled with this.  I cannot express in words how monumental this struggle was for me and still is for me.

I want to take this moment to thank you.  It is because of you, my fellow moms, that I have survived this journey.  It is because of you that I learn to flourish.  It is because of you that I continue to grow into the Mother I want to be.  You are the ones that walk with me on this journey.  You are the ones that whisper encouragement.  You are some badass moms.

Thank you stay at home mother of 5 who was always around to answer my first time mommy questions, even in the middle of the night because who else do you ask these questions to but someone who has done it 5 times.  If she didn’t have an answer she would help me find an answer.

Thank you, therapist-working mom friend who let me know that fighting with my husband after the babe was born was normal.  NORMAL!  I cannot tell you what a mountain of relief that one little word was to me.  It set me back on track and helped me breathe again.

Thank you breast feeding, working mom friends who encouraged me to keep breastfeeding and pumping.  Who showed me that it could be done for an extended period of time even working full time and traveling.  While I didn’t have to travel, seeing the sacrifices you made to offer this wonderful thing to your children while working full-time was a huge encouragement for me and helped me make it past the one year mark for breastfeeding my own child.

And a huge thank you to the diverse group of mom’s in my online mommy’s group.  You ladies always shout encouragement at one another.  You never balk when the same question is asked over and over when a new mom enters the group.  You help teach each other about not only taking care of these wonderful children in the best ways we can, but you also share how we need to also take care of ourselves.

All you ladies are BADASSMOMS.

Summer Storms

I live in Texas and summers can be brutal.  August is particularly horrid.  While most people are enjoying their last bit of summer, those of us who live in Texas are wishing we could find a fast forward button so we can skip the miserable heat and get on with the rest of the year.

I usually enjoy being outside, but when you start sweating inside the house just thinking about opening the door, the prospect of going outside becomes a daunting task.  Anything that needs to be done is scheduled in the early morning with all tasks completed before noon or saved for evening after 7 pm when it’s somewhat bearable to venture out the door.  Anything from noon to 7pm will be done in doors, in an air conditioned environment (unless it involves a pool, river or lake).

Yesterday on my return from work when I ventured into my car the thermometer inside read 109°.  My car was literally an oven.  Rolling down the windows does little to disperse the heat at these temperatures, the only savior is to roll all the windows down and step of the gas and hope the movement of the air is enough to keep you from passing out before the air conditioner kicks in enough to make you stop cursing under your breath.

At about the halfway mark on my ride home everything started to change.  The air ahead looked cloudy.  It took me a moment to realize it was dust blowing widly through the air from a nearby construction site.  Further down the road grey clouds blanketed the sky.  I glanced at the thermometer on my dash which was still above 100 ° and watched it started to drop.  The closer I got to the grey skies the more the tempature fell.

I drove on into the storm.  The rain started out lightly, a heaven sent gift.  The thermometer dipped into the 80°’s.  I continued on and the light rain turned violent with winds whipping around me in my little car.  Traffic slowed considerably as we battled to see a few hundred feet ahead and I braced myself as the vehment winds blew pinecones off trees and pelted my car and those around me.  A wild summer storm had developed out of no where and was now raveging my area.

Finally the storm lightened and I reached my homeward destination only to find the power out.  80° inside the house.  It’s been a long while since we’ve been through a power outage that lasted more than a few hours.  You forget how it feels. Luckily for us, my husband is somewhat of a genius and hooked up a battery to his industrial work fan so we could at least sleep under a breeze.  Sleep didn’t come easy with sticky air swirling around us.

About 3:30am I was awakened to a chorus of barking dogs, the usually unwelcome sound was music to my ears as I knew by the growl of our dog at the front window meant relief was on it’s way.

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Between Generations

Things have changed so dramatically in the last 25 years. . .

We used to be able to leave our elementary school aged children home by themselves for a few hours before or after school without having to worry that CPS would be called because we were “neglecting them.”

Our children used to be able to walk or ride their bikes a half a mile or mile away to the school playground and play by themselves unsupervised without us having to worry that CPS would be called because again we were “neglecting them.”

We used to be able to choose whether or not to take our child to the doctor for an illness or use what home remedies our parents used for generations without having to worry someone might call CPS because we were not “providing appropriate” medical care for our children.

We used to be able to spank our children when they did something wrong, or have them sit in the bathroom with a bar or soap in their mouths, or have them stand in the corner without having to worry about someone calling CPS because we are “abusing” our child.

Isn’t leaving children home for short periods of time, or letting them play at a nearby park unsupervised fostering independence and building character?  I have lots of fond memories of  many hours of park play unsupervised and I don’t think I am any worse for ware.  We worry about safety.  That someone might snatch our child from the park, but could me not prevent that by sending them in groups? Was it really “safer” 25 years ago? We have brilliant technology nowadays and our children have cell phones so we can find out where they are in seconds. . . we can put GPS trackers in our children’s shoes and watches and track where they are on our computers.  We have surveillance camera’s virtually everywhere.  In fact I just noticed some at a park around the corner from my parents house where I used to play as a child.  So why can’t we let our children play without us?

I rarely remember going to the doctor as a child.  When we were ill we got to be sick and miserable on the couch or in bed with Mom checking on us to make sure we weren’t too bad off, until the bug passed.  If it stuck around too long, then we made the trek to the doctor (but this was rare).  No one said this was wrong.  No one said this was neglectful.  It’s just the way it was.  Doctors can’t cure a cold, they can give you ways to treat the symptoms, but as long as you don’t have a dangerously high fever shouldn’t you  be able to just treat the symptoms at home, naturally (like people have done for thousands of years before the invention of modern medicine?) without having to worry that someone will tell you you are abusing your child and threaten to take them away?

We used to be able to discipline our children as we saw fit.  Children were smacked on the bottom and hands.  They were made to sit and stand in corners.  They were made to sit in “time-out”.  Sitting in the bathroom with a bar of soap in your mouth for cursing was not an uncommon practice.  I remember getting smacked on the butt, smacked on the hand with a wooden spoon, sitting in timeout, sitting in my room, being grounded and sitting in the bathroom with a bar of soap in my mouth.  And do you know what?  I think I turned out okay.  So why is it that if I use the same types of punishments today that my parents’ used on me as a child that there is a chance someone might report that as abuse?  (Disclaimer: There is a difference between hitting and beating.  I am not in anyway advocating hitting or beating your child.  I will tell you though if my child is about to touch a hot stove I am not above smacking their hand to stop them from burning themselves. I do not advocate repeatedly hitting your child with your hand, belt or other object to me that is beating and it means there is more wrong with you than the child, but that’s another blog post and some therapy. . .)

When did our society become so soft?  How do we keep it from becoming softer? How do we teach our children independence if we can’t let them roam?  How can we teach them right and wrong if our list of consequences for them is extremely limited. Why do we now have to take our children to the doctor for every little minor illness? When did it become okay that the government seems to want to take our rights as parents away? Because the government’s track record of raising “wholesome well-adjusted kids” they have taken from their parents is gleamingly spotless, right?  Why is it the ways of our childhood are no longer the “right” ways? How do we change and get things back to a simpler way?

What do you think?