Thursday, April 25, 2013

5 things I'm having trouble putting into words

1. I really thought I would be able to more expressive with the right tools. But you still have to have the thoughts in your head, I suppose! I'm not Seth Godin, darn it. I don't feel like all my thoughts are simplistic, and yet, I can't seem to go on and on and on and maintain even my own attention. Are we losing the ability to read anything longer than 5 points? Or is it just that I can't think of anything more layered than 5?

2. Empathy exercises, right here. Seriously, I love this idea. Can I offer free memberships at the Empathy Gym?

3. Workouts. The plan is dancing 3 times a week, some push ups sometimes, lots of walks and short runs. Only fun stuff. I hope to bring a similar approach to eating, because it's been my experience that forcing things and struggle only make things worse.

4. The Community. My fantastic group of ladies was discussing the concept of the Community. (Well, it might have started with gossip, but it ended up with goodness.) We have responsibilities to ourselves to help when we see a member of the Community in trouble. I'm not really sure what all the guidelines are yet, but that's the kind of place I want to live.

5. In the spirit of taking it easy and avoiding struggle, I am DONE with the Real Housewives. You probably didn't know I was into it, and I was in denial that I was paying that attention to it. I thought I was just mindlessly killing some time. But even televised, staged drama is too much for me these days. Less mindless, less killing time. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Be kind, everyone.

The Boston Marathon bombs have only made it more clear to me - empathy is the most human  impulse. I had a entire screed written about the Real Housewives, but it seems petty now.

It's not that I want to feel empathy for the bomber, whoever that turns out to be. I'm more startled by the reactions of people I see every day. I walked away from a co-worker discussion about the torture methods they would like to use on the suspect. Sadly, they were discussing a certain rumored suspect that has not been charged.

It's not that I'm Pollyanna (well, except that sometimes I am) but I just don't see the point in fantasizing about torture. Of anyone. That's also why I don't get capital punishment, or "closure".

I can't speak with any authority that the good ones outnumber the bad ones, or helpers, or anything reassuring. I can only resolve to see another point of view and listen. I hope that we'll remember to be gentle with each other, and remember that we are all one. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Real cancer

See, it is a real cancer. Roger Ebert's illness began with the thyroid, spread to the salivary glands, jaw reconstruction, the loss of his voice, etc.

Just this week, I had a follow up appointment with my endocrinologist, which felt kind of anticlimactic because there was no need to drive to Grand Rapids for some neck palpitation and bloodwork, and yet that's what they scheduled for me. I still bought my annual Anthropologie treat, a red/blue micro striped jacket with a pleated peplum and awesome yellow seam tape on the inside.

I love what Ebert said about technology. That just 20 years earlier, cancer would have really silenced him, but now there are technologies that can allow communication and expression to continue. And that's so amazing and encouraging.

So that's what we'll keep doing. All of us. I am also encouraged by the concept of having a point of view and supporting its even when "everyone" disagrees. Someone posted a clip of his review of Blue Velvet. If you're "cool", you're supposed to love this movie. Honestly, I haven't seen that movie since I was maybe 20 years old, so I can't really say if the current me would love it or not. But Roger gave it a thumbs down because it humiliated Isabella Rossellini for comic effect. Although that is obviously arguable, I LOVE that. (I vaguely remember agreeing with Gene Siskel more frequently, which is kind of interesting in retrospect also.)

But, it's Saturday. I am not yet dressed. No one will be bringing home groceries for me. I won't lean back in a precarious office chair, watching a tiny television with my dad in a filthy "den", noting the movies I will never see because they won't play in a smallish college town like this. Everything is different and the same.

The technology means I am typing with my finger on a tiny screen. I still won't see any movies on a big screen in this town, only if I remember to watch them on some other device. Some sort of opinion collation website will inform "everyone" as to what movie to consider "good". My chairs are more comfortable these days, and I clean more frequently. And it goes on. As it must.