So, I was going to write a sappy post about love today, but then I thought about it and you know what?
Love is ordering one of the last available copies of the 8-Bit Freddy Kruger figure for your horror-obsessed hubby because you know he desperately wants it for his collection.
Love is when that hubby makes you your favorite meal even though it’s a bit of a pain in the ass and requires dragging yourself out of bed early in the morning.
Love is going to opening night of Deadpool together and laughing like absolute lunatics.
Love is helping your daughter write Valentines for her classmates and baking silly heart-shaped cookies together.
Love is using toys to act out that My Little Pony episode for the three-millionth time even though you kinda want to bury anything with a “cutie mark” in the deepest, darkest woods you can find..
And love is a hug and a kiss from the two most important people in the world before heading out for another shift out West, knowing that you’ll get those hugs and kisses back a hundred-fold when you walk back in the door two weeks from now.
A while back I made a post on my Facebook account that got a lot of “Likes” and comments, and one friend in particular told me that I should share the story in question on my blog as well. I thought that today would be an excellent day to go ahead and share that story, given that we are only one day away from Christmas and my household is all a titter with childish excitement.
So here’s what happened…
Several weeks ago, during one of my shifts out West, it just so happened to be the Indian holiday called “Diwali”. One of my coworkers – who is a Canadian citizen, born in India – took the opportunity to bring in a traditional Indian sweet to our team’s morning meeting, and then he handed them out with a cheerful “Happy Diwali! to each of us.
In the morning meeting that day there was a wide variety of people. There were mostly Caucasians, but also a few people from areas in and around India, not to mention one of our leads who is from Australia, and one of our DCS techs who is from the Philippines. The ages in that room ranged from 27 to approximately 60 years old. There were two Atheists, two non-practicing Catholics, a practicing Christian, two Muslims, and several people who don’t make a point of talking about their faith. There were men and women from different parts of the country, different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different belief systems, and different viewpoints on life.
And do you know how we reacted to the offering of a sweet and a “Happy Diwali”? We took the treats happily, enjoyed them, thanked our coworker, and then happily listened to him explain just what Diwali is all about. When our morning meeting was over we went about our day as coworkers and friends who now had a little bit more knowledge about someone else’s background.
It’s really as simple as that. No one screamed about the “War on Christmas”. No one shouted about how he was trying to convert us, or yelled at him to go back to his own country. No one rolled their eyes or said anything rude or called him names for pushing a holiday that we don’t celebrate on us. We acted like human beings, grateful for a treat and a request to have an excellent day.
The tradespeople have it, ladies and gentlemen, that’s what I think. Say what you will about us, but we’re decent human beings who accept one another and treat each other with respect.
So let me ask you this: can we not all adopt this mentality? Can we all not just turn off that hair-trigger-switch that wants us to get offended about anything and everything and just enjoy the fact that many wonderful holidays are being celebrated at this particular time of year? There is really no need – no need at all – to lose ours minds when someone wishes us the “wrong” happy holiday, or says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, or when a coffee shop changes their “holiday”cups (*cough cough*). A good wish is a good wish, no matter the exact word, no matter the exact denomination, and any decent person would never reply to “Have a great day!” with anything other than “Thanks, you too!”
So if someone wishes you a happy ANYTHING, maybe try smiling, shaking their hand, and sending the good wish right back at them, because there are a lot of things in this world worth getting upset over, but being wished a good day is definitely not one of them.
I came across this prompt the other day and thought, gee, what a perfect prompt to end of this week, what with tomorrow being the international day of love, Valentine’s Day. I can’t be with my loved ones for Valentine’s Day this year since I’m on shift out West, but at least I can take this time to say a few things about love.
So how do I feel about love these days? Well, a lot differently than I felt about it ten or fifteen years ago, that’s for sure. When I was in my teens and early twenties love was all about romance. One a day like Valentine’s Day it was important to have flowers and chocolates and little teddy bears holding stuffed hearts. It was a big deal to go out on a special date, to stroll along a beach, and to be wooed. Romance was everything, because without it there could be no claim of love. That was then, but these days I feel very different. Make no mistake: romance is an important part of a loving relationship. But LOVE is a hell of a lot more.
Love is cooking a beautiful meal for your family. It’s putting up with all the little things that kinda drive you nuts. It’s giving up the TV upon request, and giving up the last delicious treat without request.
Love is providing for your family, in whichever way is necessary. It’s spontaneous hugs and sweet kisses, and knowing that you’re part of a team.
Love is a bedtime story surrounded by stuffed animals and warm snuggles under a fuzzy blanket. It’s little tokens of affection and taking time out to play.
Love is doing something a little special every now and then…but not expecting special things. It’s being appreciative, but not seeking out appreciation.
Love is being supportive even if you don’t “get” it. It’s understanding that you’re not always going to agree about everything, but that you can agree to disagree and still love each other in the morning.
Love is being able to just be together, even if you’re just relaxing in the same room.
Love is knowing that, no matter what, at the end of the day you’ll always cherish each other.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burning Down the House.” Today the prompters over at The Daily Post challenge us to choose our most precious possessions. They tell us that our house is on fire; assuming that all people and pets are already safe, what five items would you grab to save if you […]
Here’s a confession: I love presents. That may sound a little selfish, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. I love getting presents, yes, but I love giving presents just as much. Since I was first old enough to go out to the store with my own money and buy my parents little tokens of my affection, I’ve loved the feeling of seeing someone open a gift that I picked out for them. It’s half of the reason that I love Christmas so much, and to me it’s just as fun as opening my own presents.
But not all presents are the kind that you wrap up in pretty paper and stick a bow to. Four years ago today my husband and I received a very special early Christmas present, which, incidentally, was also kind of a present from us to our families. My little princess has grown a lot since that day, but she’s still the best present in the world to me, and she’s made Christmas an infinitely more wonderful holiday in our household.
Happy Birthday, baby girl! And thanks for being my Christmas present again this year! ❤
A while back my cousin-in-law shared a nice article on Facebook. In it a mother listed 100 things that she wants to teach her daughter as she grows. I thought it was really cute and it got me thinking about things that I want to teach my own daughter. So I thought about it for a while and came up with these 100 lessons, tips, and ideals that I hope to impart.
As a child, try to be patient with other children who are mean and annoying. Some parents don’t discipline properly and some kids are just brats, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
As you grow older, don’t put up with bullies. Stand up for yourself.
No, seriously, stand up for yourself. Use your words first, but if it comes down to physical action being the only way to stop someone from harassing you, mommy will totally back you up.
Don’t spend all your time glued to technology.
Ride a bike.
It’s okay to like “boy” stuff like superheroes and sports.
It’s just as okay to like “girl” stuff like princesses and makeup.
Don’t like people tell you what to like, and if people make assumptions about you based on what you like, that’s their issue, not yours.
Be patient, even when other people are making you so angry that you could scream. Flipping out rarely makes any situation better.
Learn to recognize the situations where flipping out actually will make things better.
Establish your own faith system – even if it differs from mommy and daddy’s – and don’t put up with people telling you that your beliefs are wrong. Your religious faith – or lack thereof – is no one’s business but your own.
Avoid pop. At all costs. It’s worthless to your body and once you start drinking it it’s very hard to stop.
Respect your teachers, but don’t automatically take everything they say as gospel.
Everyone makes mistakes.
EVERYONE makes mistakes, even the people who you might believe know everything.
Think critically, and if something doesn’t feel right, do your own research.
Find someone who makes you laugh, even when you’re sad.
Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty.
Don’t let other people define you.
Understand that even grown adults can act like childish brats.
Take care of your body. It’s much easier to maintain good health than to try and get it back once it’s gone.
Try to understand both men and women – their thought processes and idiosyncrasies – and take neither too seriously.
Know that a career is not a life sentence. If you stop enjoying what you do it’s okay to make the move to change.
Know that as much as you may think otherwise, most teenagers have no idea what they want to do with their lives, and don’t take that personally; neither do most grown adults.
If you truly, truly want something, be willing to fight for it.
Understand that heartbreak feels like the end of the world, but it will always pass eventually.
Always try to stay positive and keep smiling.
But know that it’s okay to be sad sometimes.
And if you feel REALLY sad, tell someone. Please.
It doesn’t matter who they are or what their story is; if someone doesn’t respect you, they don’t deserve your respect.
Never let a man try to control you just because you’re a woman.
Never try to control a man just because he’s a man.
Don’t deny yourself little treats. Little treats can make a big difference sometimes.
To hell with fashion. Dress the way that makes you happy and comfortable.
Not everyone you meet will like you; don’t worry about it.
You won’t like everyone you meet, and that’s okay too.
Love who you want, and love with all your heart.
Be passionate about something, even if it’s just a hobby.
Know that there is not one set formula for how to live your life.
Family are the people who love you and take care of you, not necessarily the people you share blood with.
Remember that family (of the kind described above) are very important, and you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
But know that just because someone is related to you doesn’t mean that you have to keep them in your life; ditch people who are abusive to you, no matter who they are.
Read. Even if it’s just the news or magazines.
Learn to spell. Please. PLEASE.
Don’t put too much time and effort into being “unique”. Everyone is unique, so just be you and be happy with that.
Have an open-mind.
Have a curious mind.
Always find time to do the things you love.
Always find time to be with the people you love.
Feel free to enjoy the entertainment of the day, but give the entertainment of the past a fair trial too.
Don’t put up with anyone patronizing you just because you’re a woman.
Don’t patronize a guy just because he’s a man.
Learn to swim.
Learn to throw a punch.
Try to never use your knowledge of how to throw a punch.
Learn to love the parts of your body that you can’t change.
Be willing to work hard to change the parts of your body that you can change (if you truly want to change them).
Never change who you are to make someone love you.
Seriously, if they don’t love you for who you are, they don’t deserve you.
Learn how to fix things for yourself. It’ll save you a lot of money in the long run.
Allow time for day-dreaming.
Grow older and learn responsibility, but always stay young at heart.
Don’t feel like you have to make life decisions in the order society tells you to.
Do things that scare the hell out of you.
Do things that relax you.
Never settle for a job that makes you totally miserable.
Learn time management skills.
Understand that sometimes friends grow apart. It’s sad, but it’s not a reflection on you as a person.
If it would embarrass you if mommy and daddy saw it, don’t post it on the Internet.
I’m dead serious. No matter what anyone tells you, nothing on the Internet is 100% private.
Don’t feel like you have to go to college. Lots of excellent careers don’t require college.
Keep watching cartoons for as long as they continue to make you smile.
Own at least one outfit that is so comfy you could wear it for the rest of your life.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
If something doesn’t feel right, go see a doctor.
If the doctor’s diagnosis doesn’t feel right, go see another doctor.
Learn how to cook.
Like, with real ingredients, not frozen stuff.
First lesson of finances: don’t spend more than you earn.
Learn the difference between “wants” and “needs”.
Bake from scratch.
Share what you bake.
Try to be nice to everyone, even if you don’t particularly like them.
Understand that not everyone who acts nice to your face is your friend.
Learn an instrument, even if you never play for anyone but yourself.
Acting like you’re the grand authority on a subject will almost always end in making yourself look like a fool.
NEVER stop learning.
Watch movies that are so good they give you chills and goosebumps.
Watch movies that are so bad they make you cry with laughter.
Don’t watch life through a camera lens; most things are better experienced fully rather than looked back at afterwards.
Be strong, even when you feel like you’re weak.
Try to remember that the only people whose opinions of you matter are the people whose opinions matter to you.
Always know that you can come to mommy and daddy with your problems. Even if we don’t understand, we will try our very hardest to help because we love you more than anything and always will.
Continuing on with my series of drabbles today. A reminder that if anyone would like to use any of these drabbles as a prompt, feel free but please thank me by giving a shout-out to the blog if you post the results anywhere. To check out past drabbles click on the “Categories” drop-down on my sidebar and select “Drabbles”.
For today’s drabble I thought I’d take a break from all the creepy, scary, and just plain weird stuff that I usually go in for, and try out some good old fashioned romance.
Eric’s fingers trailed along the back of Sylvia’s hand. The light touch sent shivers down her spine.
“You’re gorgeous,” Eric said. “You know that, right?”
Sylvia began to shake her head, but the movement was cut short as Eric pulled her close and leaned down to press his lips to hers. The kiss was exactly as she’d imagined it would be. Her whole body flushed as she leaned her chest into his and wrapped her arms around his neck.
A long, wonderful moment later, they pulled apart. Sylvia looked up, a powerful burn in her stomach.
Five years ago I married the silliest, goofiest, fun-havin’est guy I’ve ever known. They say that if you can make a girl laugh, you can make her fall in love with you. Well Jason is proof of that because he makes me fall in love with him every time he forces me to laugh, even when laughing is the last thing I feel like doing.
Love you babe. Let’s keep together laughing forever. ❤
Children are funny little creatures. They’re little miniature copies of ourselves, and how we interact with them affects who they will become, how they will grow and act. And sometimes, despite the choices we make and the actions we take, they grow and learn in a way that takes us completely off guard.
My daughter is inadvertantly causing me to relive my childhood, and it genuinely cracks me up every time I think about it. It started with little things that my husband and I fostered without thinking about it. She loves books because we encourage her to explore them and we taught her the alphabet earlier than might be usual. She loves being outside because we made sure to allow her plenty of time to explore and enjoy the outdoors. She loves to talk and sing because we always made sure to speak to her in proper English and I would sing to her whenever I got the chance.
Then, as she moved on into toddlerdom, other interests began cropping up that continually amazed me because they mirror my childhood so closely, despite the fact that I have in no way attempted to push these things on her. One of the first thing that caught my eye was when I noticed how much she loves playing with the dinky cars at her playgroup. When she first took interest with these she had no toy cars of her own at home, and I never specifically attempted to get her to play with any of the toy cars at playgroup. It made me smile because I used to love playing with my cousin’s dinky cars when I was young, and it seemed funny that she would take a shine to them as well. A small thing, to be sure, but funny. Then, one day as my husband was flipping through some movies, she caught sight of the dvd cover for the original live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. “Wassat?” she asked. So my husband put the movie on for her, and lo and behold, she fell in love with it. She took to all of the movies, the original cartoon, and especially the new cartoon. These days she doesn’t go one day without watching at least one episode, and most nights she wants the show on her tv when she goes to bed. She even has the new action figures, which she recieved for Christmas, and they’re some of her favorite toys. This makes me chuckle on a regular basis because, not only is it odd that a 2-year-old girl would fall in love with a show marketed toward 10-year-old boys, but I also loved the Ninja Turtles when I was young. My cousin and I would watch it every day while we ate lunch at my grandmother’s house, and he and I would act out many a battle with his cache of action figures.
And then, before you start declaring my daughter a full-on tomboy, along came My Little Pony. I’ll confess to this one: I looked up the show myself. I loved My Little Pony when I was young and I had tons of the little toy ponies, so I was interested to see what the new show was all about (the appearance of the word “brony” all over the net may have prompted my curiosity as well). So it was that I found a few episodes of the new show and introduced it to my daughter. The discovery was not at the same level as the Turtles, but over the past few months her delight with them has become nearly as strong. She now has a small collection of miniature ponies, as well as a few of the hair-styling variety, and on a regular basis she will request ponies for her bedtime show instead of Turtles.
These things, along with several others, have made me seriously wonder about the idea of genetic memory. It just baffles me to no end that, with very little proding from my husband or I, my daughter has somehow come to fall in love with so many of the things that I loved as a child. She loves sitting and playing with the loose strings on her pillow (I did the same thing with a particular towel), she has a strange love for robots (I loved Transformers), and (perhaps as a result of watching Ninja Turtles) her favorite food is pizza (I ate so many mini pizzas as a child that my parents should have purchased stock in McCain). I’m sure I could come up with at least a dozen more similarities that seem to have sprung up from nowhere as well. It makes me wonder what other striking similarities may pop up in the future. Will she enjoy writing? Drawing? Will her favorite subject in school be math? Will she prefer RPG-style video games? Nothing is certain except for this: despite any similarities or dissimilarties her childhood may have to mine, at two years old I already think she’s the coolest little kid in the world, and I know that she’s only going to become more and more amazing in my eyes. Whatever interests you adopt as you grow up, baby girl, mama thinks you’re just the awesomest kid ever.
When I was in the third grade, we were assigned a writing project. I can’t recall exactly what the project was, but it involved writing a short story and binding it into a little book using construction paper and string. I wrote a story called “The Mystery of the Emerald-Eyed Cat” and while I can’t recall precisely what the plot of the story was, I remember that I bound it in green construction paper and that I drew mean-looking cat eyes on the cover. I also remember that I signed my name on the front with an extra middle name that doesn’t actually exist, but hey…kids are weird.
Anyway, I remember my teacher at the time, Mr Power, telling me how good the story was and that I should write more. Looking back, he was obviously just being a sweet, encouraging teacher, but at the time I took him at his word it was pretty much then and there that I decided I wanted to be a writer.
My writing continued on throughout grade school with my best friend and I writing what we called “The Game Masters”. They were two separate series’ with the same basic plot, one written by each of us. They had the same characters, but in my series I was the main character, and in hers she was the main character. We would write our stories in those thin, crappy scribblers that little kids get for school, and whenever we each had a full chapter or so we would exchange and read each others’. It was great fun, and though I’d probably cringe terribly to read those stories now, they seemed pretty damn awesome at the time.
From there on my writing has waxed and waned due to any number of reasons, but I’ve always returned to it. I wrote nonsensical mini-stories in junior high school, fanfiction in high school, slash fanfiction in college, and eventually returned back to original fiction over the past 10 years or so. In the past couple of years I finished my first original piece, start to finish (minus the editing part), and I am currently in sight of the finish line for my second original piece.
So you see, writing has been a part of my life for a long time. As to how it has changed my life?
On the negative side, writing has definitely made my life more stressful over the past few years. It’s difficult to work a writing schedule around a full-time job and a husband and child, and even thinking about doing so makes writing feel more and more like work, which I hate. Writing is something I love to do, so I have to struggle hard not to let it become one of those things that I have to do and dread to do. I would love to be able to write for a living, but I never want writing to become a job, and sometimes when I’m trying to force myself to write a few paragraphs in camp after I’ve worked a 12-hour shift, that’s exactly what it feels like.
But on the positive side of things, writing has kept me sane all these years. No matter what else was going on in my life, I could always write. When I had a fight with a friend as a child, when I was a ridiculously awkward teenager, when I experienced heartbreak, when I had doubts about my future…whenever something frustrating was happening in my life, I still had writing. Some people escape into books written by others, but I’ve always been able to escape into stories written by myself. I can pour my feelings out into my characters when I don’t know what to do in real life. I can torture my characters to make myself feel better, or give my characters the world for the same reason. I can twist reality exactly as I see fit, which is even more satisfying than you might imagine. Writing, for me, has always been one of the most cathartic things I can do. It keeps me from punching holes in the wall and screaming until my voice gives out. It is my Valium.
So I guess, what you could say, is that writing has changed my life by helping to prevent me from becoming a violent lunatic, because I can just write violent lunacy instead! That sounds sane, right? Right?