Me Too

Another Women’s movement has been spreading across America and this one has been a long time coming.  January 21, 2017,  women, and many men who support and love them, took to the streets all across America to march in protest of the sexual predator who currently occupies the people’s house, America’s Big House. And now the “Me Too” movement was recently named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. It seems that women have finally had enough…enough of the fear each woman wears as a cloak as she traverses her life.

This is something that men just don’t get…the fear of walking to a car in a parking lot at night,  the indignity of cat calls and wolf whistles as you are trying to walk down a sidewalk in broad daylight, the innuendos, suggestive comments, unwanted touching. It isn’t their fault. They aren’t female and have no reference, no yardstick by which to judge. Women live with all of these and more on a daily basis and we are fed up and finally (better late than never) finding our voices and saying…no yelling…no screaming…enough is ENOUGH!!

I have always wondered how any male can justify tolerating or voting for anyone who not only is accused but has admitted to predatory behavior. This is a slap in the face to your daughters, your Mother, your sisters, girlfriends, your grandmothers. When you cast that vote, it is the same as saying “I not only don’t understand what you are feeling but I don’t care”. Small wonder that women across America, and the world, are up in arms.

Every woman has a story, most have more than one, about being confronted with uncomfortable situations and feeling powerless to do anything about it.  Let me be absolutely clear…women do NOT find any of these things flattering. They are offensive, demeaning and decidedly threatening.

This coming January 2018, the resistance will be walking again. Not just women, but men and children, young and old all exercising their right to protest the degradation of our norms. Marching side by side, just as humans, wanting fairness, kindness, and peace. Millions will be participating in cities across America doing what Americans do best….exercising our rights under a democratic government.

Me too!!!!

Battle Fatigue

I, like millions of Americans, am exhausted and fatigued by the constant attack on my peace of mind. The continued angst and anger created, where none need exist, simply because of incompetence, ignorance or simple greed. I am tired. I want to give up. I find myself limiting my exposure to news stories because I know the emotions these stories elicit may be raising my stress level. This morning when my phone and computer would not bring up the internet, I worried that perhaps some horrible nuclear event had happened that had taken the internet down. It made me nervous but also made me realize how much a part of my life is consumed by interactions with social media and how much it is used as a conduit for information in today’s world.

I wonder how any “Christian” could approve of taking healthcare from millions of people, depriving 9 million children of food and healthcare (CHIP), raising taxes on the poor to give the top 20% of the rich more tax breaks, or prefer an alleged pedophile as a seated Senator over a candidate whose only crime is being a Democrat. I marvel that innocent people are still being murdered with guns everyday in America yet nothing is done to “fix” the problem other than to offer up “thoughts and prayers”. I believe that our forefathers would be aghast at what we have become as a nation. And yes, I believe that we are seeing the end of democracy as we know it and America may be in the waning years of its dominance as a world power and is beginning its journey to an autocracy. And the first part of that journey has already been put into motion.

 

It begins with the disparaging comments directed at the media, planting the seeds of doubt in a gullible or apathetic population. Hitler did this in Germany calling the media the lying press or ‘Lügenpresse’. It continues with daily assaults on norms and values that shock our senses until finally we become numb to the horribleness before us. Slowly it wears us down and we seek to escape the assault  and begin to tune it all out. Friends don’t understand our emotional, visceral response and perhaps pull away from us. We have become isolated and alone with our battle against the attack on norms and if it doesn’t affect us, we might slowly accept the changes and little by little the erosion of freedoms we enjoy.

I worry that if those amongst us who have conspired with a foreign nation to steal an entire Presidential election (treason in every sense of the word) will escape punishment. We have drifted as a nation from equal justice under the law to harsher punishments for the poor and a slap on the hand for the rich. This is a downward spiral toward kleptocracy and sows the seeds of rebellion in any nation. Wikipedia defines Kleptocracy (from Greek κλέπτης kléptēs, “thief”, κλέπτω kléptō, “I steal”, and -κρατία -kratía from κράτος krátos, “power, rule”) is a government with corrupt leaders (kleptocrats) that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources of their own territory in order to extend their personal wealth and political power. Typically this system involves embezzlement of funds at the expense of the wider population.[1][2 This could be describing the Republican 2017 Tax Bill, for it clearly benefits corporations and the wealthy on the backs of hardworking middle America. This is a class war that is reigning debt on our children and grandchildren with little hope of digging out of the ever-deepening crevasse of debt. Whatever happened to “Love thy neighbor as thyself?” If Republicans are the party of conservatism and Christian values, then please let me be among those snowflakes that believe in equality for all.

It’s been a long time coming but the Nothingburger is definitely becoming a Russianburger and with four indictments and two guilty pleas, perhaps we are on our way to correcting the wrongs that are being inflicted on the American people, our World Neighbors, and Mother Nature. We can only hope.

Changes

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Fall on Lady Bird Lake

Twelve years ago I sold my home in another city, packed my belongings and moved my entire life to Austin. I was happy to put everything in my rear view mirror and begin a new adventure. Everything was different….finding new doctors, checking out grocery stores, learning a complex computer system at work, establishing relationships with co-workers, and making new friends were but a few of the “new” in my life. I wasn’t young when I made this life-changing transition so each fresh challenge was stressful. While I was undergoing all of this change, I had no way of knowing if my decision would be a good one or a bad one. Only time would tell. Hindsight is always 20/20 but after twelve years now in Austin, I can unequivocally acknowledge that I overwhelmingly made the right decision. Everything about my move here has only reaffirmed my decision. But the road to happiness and a peaceful existence wasn’t without growing pains along the way.

Recently my family was tasked with making a life changing decision for a family loved one. At 85 years young, this was a huge life-altering decision. No longer able to live independently, and acknowledging the need for him to be closer to family members who could be his health care advocates, it was mutually agreed by all that a move was necessary.

The sheer logistics of a move from one city to another can be exhausting…arranging furniture movers, stopping and starting utilities, change of address notifications complicated by disorientation made worse by short-term memory issues.

The most difficult part for me was seeing my loved one through different eyes. One time strong, vibrant, extremely intelligent and competent in all situations and now diminished by the aging process to needing assistance in all areas of ADL’s. The saddest part is that he recognizes that he has some issues and is striving with grace and dignity to accept new living arrangements and changes in everything he knows.

We traveled this Thanksgiving to San Diego to visit family and for a few short days, we tried to experience a symbolic return to earlier family gatherings…the traditional meal offerings, a little sightseeing and birding at Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma, and watching old scary movies reminiscent of our youth.

End of life decisions are so emotionally ridden and each of us will face changes as we age. Our loved one planned extremely well and is financially secure. Combined with the support of family, we are hopeful that he will be able to have the highest quality of life possible for however much time he has left in a life well-lived.

Wishing all a Happy Life!!!