Some Anniversaries Aren’t Worth Observing

I was told recently that an ex had written a Facebook post commemorating the 10th anniversary of our breakup. Apparently the post was quite dramatic (“Like his own personal opera playing to a packed house.”) and predictably uncomplimentary to me, quite overlooking the fact that he had let his boss, Andy Johnson, steal $3500 from me, and yet he continued to work for him. I mean, talk about not having your partner’s back.

Everyone sees their own version of history, I suppose. For me, that “fateful” anniversary came and went without me even realizing it. I don’t have it written on any calendar. It was before I was on Facebook, so I can’t even look back to see what I was posting at the time.

I’m not one to “celebrate” bad anniversaries. I don’t really get the point. “Twelve years ago today, I had my tonsils taken out with a rusty spoon!” That’s not my idea of a memory that’s worth the annual brain space. Any cake you would order for that event would have to be highly customized. And who wants to attend that pity party in the first place?

I also know someone who looks upon a certain date each year with dread because bad things always happen to him on that day. Um, can you say “self-fulfilling prophecy”? He gives the calendar, a purely human construct, entirely too much power over his life. And, dare I say it, he seems to think his life is a lot more significant than any of our lives are, from the perspective of the universe at large. If there really is some sort of fickle finger of fate, I suspect it has bigger fish to fry than keeping track of a bad luck anniversary for any particular individual.

You can’t happily move forward in your life if you’re constantly looking backward. If you’re focused on dredging up the past, you clearly aren’t happy with your present. Either way, it makes me sad for my ex. I hope someday he can move on. I hate the thought that he’s trapped back there in 2010, even though I have to admit that 2020 isn’t the best time to be living in for any of us.

If we were still talking, I’d urge him to set himself free of me. It’s clearly bogging him down, and I hate that for him. I mean, there were some happy memories there. If he can’t let go entirely, he’d be better off focusing on those things instead of the bad bits.

But really, he shouldn’t waste his time on me. I genuinely hope he has better things to do. Focus on goals, not on perceived failures. My advice would be to concentrate on the present, and the happy memories he can create with the loved ones he has in his life right now. Because it’s all so precious and fleeting. Life is a fragile as a soap bubble.

I’m grateful for all the past experiences that have shaped me, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I try not to dwell on them. That’s one of the few good things about my brain getting foggier with age. If you have to write a memory down to remember it, maybe you should only write down the good stuff. Give yourself a sort of get out of jail free card. Don’t actively force unhappy memories upon yourself.

There’s too much going on in the here and now, and too many plans to make for the future, to waste time on the past. With each passing year, I become increasingly aware of how little time I have left. I want to savor the moment I’m in. I want to celebrate the triumphs, not the tragedies.

Yeah, I’m not perfect at taking this advice. I have good days and bad days. There’s bitter along with sweet. But I think I’m much better at it now than I was in times when I was surrounded by negativity.

Life is so amazingly good right now, pandemic notwithstanding. I think I’ll keep it.

happy earth spill

An attitude of gratitude is what you need to get along. Read my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

A Few Thoughts on International Women’s Day

First of all, happy International Women’s Day! It’s nice to be recognized and celebrated. I’m glad that organizations throughout the world will be using this as an opportunity to speak out about equal rights. I’m thrilled that this will open up dialogues that many people wouldn’t otherwise have thought to have.

But at the same time, it frustrates me that we still need a day like this. Aren’t we women every day of the year? Don’t we deserve basic human rights all year round?

Recently I was sitting at a table with 15 other women, so I took an informal survey.

  • Raise your hand if you’ve ever been touched inappropriately without your permission.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve ever been cat called.
  • Raise your hand if anyone has ever discussed your breasts, behind, or legs without your initiating that conversation.
  • Raise your hand if your opinion has been dismissed as trivial.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve heard a man singing the words “bitch” “slut” or “ho” along with the radio.
  • Raise your hand if you yourself have been called a bitch, slut, or ho.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve seen nude women calendars in public places.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been interrupted by a man who insists on explaining something to you that you already know.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been treated like an idiot by a mechanic.
  • Raise your hand if men have assumed that you’re not intelligent.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been rejected based on your weight, age, or shape.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized because of something you were wearing.
  • Raise your hand if people have assumed you need to ask a man’s permission to do something or go somewhere.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been accused of not being feminine enough.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been accused of being too girly.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been told you do something good, “for a girl.”
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized for not having children.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized for having children.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized for working.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized for not working.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to drive behind a truck with naked women mud flaps.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been paid less than a male counterpart.
  • Raise your hand if men that you’ve trained have been promoted above you.
  • Raise your hand if a man assumed you needed his protection when you didn’t.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been told something was women’s work.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been accused of being emotional or hysterical.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused.

Try giving this survey the next time you’re with female friends. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone reading this that in the vast majority of cases, every woman at the table raised her hand. And that’s probably the most outrageous part of all – that it comes as no surprise.

The only reason that this happens is that we are not in the exclusive group of humans who sports a penis. That simple fact makes “us” not “them”. As far as I can tell, that appendage does not endow people with superior abilities of any kind. It just means we get to be easily identified as being on the other team. And society has arbitrarily decided that our team gets to be the losing team. It’s not rational. It’s not just. And it’s not acceptable.

I for one am sick and tired of being treated to micro-aggressions every single day. Case in point, I looked at my supply of Graphicstock pictures to see which one to use for this blog entry. This, below, is their idea of a good image for Women’s Day. Because we all should be depicted as naked, sexy, thin, with long flowing hair and luscious lips, arching our backs while floating with our heads in a flowery cloud.

Happy Women’s Day, indeed.

happy-womens-day-greeting-card_m1nzs5do_l

Check this out, y’all. I wrote a book! Not bad, for a girl! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

Anniversaries

It was my boyfriend’s 61st birthday this past week. Or it would have been, if he had lived to see it. Needless to say, this caused me to think about him quite a bit. I wonder what my life would be like now if he were still in it. Without a doubt it would have been quite different. But I have no idea whether it would have been better or worse.

Chuck was the most amazing person I ever met in my life. And when he was at his best, I’d be speechless with admiration for him. I loved his generosity, his humor, his integrity, his determination, and the quirky way he looked at the world. But no doubt we’d have fought over this recent election, and his extreme health issues took a lot out of both of us. Would I have made it to Seattle? This climate would have been awful for his asthma.

Would we even still be together? Our relationship was a passionate one, which was great in many ways, and not so great in others. We tended to wash over each other like waves on a beach, unstoppable, and yet advancing and receding with the phases of the moon.

Why even speculate? Why do I mark my calendar with the date of his birth, the date of our first kiss, the date he moved in with me, the date of his death? Am I simply torturing myself? Maybe I should stop keeping track of these things. Maybe I should only remember them if I don’t have to be reminded.

But I’m not ready for that. Not yet. I have not yet reached that level of letting go.

My friend Carole recently told me, “Sweet memories are hugs we give ourselves when we are alone.”

I like that.

questions

Don’t take anyone for granted. My book makes a great gift for the one you’re most grateful for. Check it out. http://amzn.to/2cCHgUu

Happy Leap Day!

This is my very first leap day blog entry, and therefore I view it as an auspicious occasion indeed. And yet, what to say? It’s not like there’s a solid leap year tradition of any type in my family.

After doing a little lazy internet research on the subject, it apparently is a day when women can propose marriage to men. That kind of gets my feminist back up. If I feel like proposing, I shall bloody well do so any day of the year. But then, I can’t imagine feeling that urge, really, so only having to pass up the “opportunity” one day out of every four years suits me just fine.

I’ve also discovered that in the Chinese calendar, they get an entire leap month every three years, and it varies as to when it happens each time. That must get confusing.

When I was young, I used to feel sorry for people who had birthdays on a leap day. As someone whose birthday is close to Christmas, I know what it’s like to have your natal day overlooked or viewed as a massive inconvenience. But on the other hand, it makes for a great topic of conversation. You can’t have too many of those.

It’s kind of nice to be given the gift of a day. I hope you do something wonderful with it.

frog-stem-2_2794020k
For some, every day is leap day. [Image credit: telegraph.co.uk]

Hippie Peanut Butter Feeds My Soul

Behind every small-scale enterprise is someone who is so desperately in need of money that they’re willing to get creative. I can’t help but admire and, frankly, relate to that, so I try to support these enterprises whenever I can. If I have a coin, I won’t hesitate to drop it into the hat of a street performer. Shopping at Walmart sucks out a little bit of my soul with every visit, but when I buy homemade peanut butter at the farmer’s market from a hippie who has refused to join the 21st century, or really bad lemonade from a kid on a street that has no foot traffic, or hand crafted Christmas ornaments at the flea market, I feel like I’m supporting someone who is willing to do what needs to be done to survive. These people haven’t given up, and I believe it’s my duty to support that spirit, especially in times like these.

Having said that, I will admit that I’m one of these people. I’m a fractal artist, and once I discovered how popular my art is in the virtual world called Second Life, I decided to expand into the real world. So now my art can be purchased in the form of business cards, cards, mugs, ornaments, prints, puzzles, neck ties, and even a 2013 calendar of which I’m particularly proud. I have over 1300 products just waiting for you, so I please do check them out here.

Here are some examples of my fractals. I hope you like them as much as I like making them, because to be honest, I sure could use the money.

Check out Plumage Plumage

Check out Tree of Life Tree of Life

Check out Batik Butterflies Batik Butterflies

Check out Chihuly Chihuly

Check out Psychedelic Spruce Psychedelic Spruce

Check out Nautilus Nautilus

Check out Growth Growth

I’ve Got Your Number. Right Here.

Well, everyone, I’ve got sad news. Today is 12/12/12, and it’s the last day any of us will see a triple date like that in our lifetimes. How sad. I’m sure to some people it’s even very significant, perhaps life-threatening. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there is a doomsday cult out there somewhere huddled in a bunker, waiting for the rest of us to be charred to a crisp so they can take over.

Here’s the thing about dates, though: they’re created by humans. And there’s more than one calendar out there, some still in use, some not. There’s the Julian calendar, the Gregorian calendar, the Chinese calendar, the Hebrew calendar, the Hindu calendar, the Islamic calendar, the Roman calendar, several different Egyptian calendars, the Unix calendar, the Ethiopian calendar, the Thai Solar calendar, Buddhist calendar, and the Baha’i calendar, and heaven help us all, the Mayan calendar. Many cultures rely on more than one calendar at the same time.

To further complicate things, some cultures start the week with Sunday, others with Monday. And in some countries, people write their dates day/month/year, and in others it’s month/day/year. And don’t even get me started on holidays. Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. Before President Lincoln straightened us all out here in America, Thanksgiving was celebrated on any one of a variety of dates, depending upon the state in which you lived.

In most Western cultures, our year is based on the date of Jesus’ birth. The problem with that is no one knows precisely when he was born. We could very well be as much as 7 years off. And in ancient times, it was speculated that his birth month was January, March, April, May or November. We finally settled on December 25th as it coincides with the southern solstice.

The starting year in Japan is based on when the current emperor began his rule. So 2012, for them, is the 24th year of the Emperor Akihito. Although rarely used in these modern times, this year in China could be either 4649, 4709 or 4710.

And no system is perfect. We make leap year adjustments, and there’s even a leap second on the atomic clock. When we adjusted to the Gregorian Calendar in England and America in 1752, we lost 11 whole days, and there was actually rioting in the streets.

So next time someone panics like it’s Y2K, or if you’ve cancelled your manicure appointment because the Mayan calendar is coming to an end in 9 days, remember: it’s all relative. Personally, I don’t worry about it much, because I’m a Capricorn.

Incidentally, you can buy my 2013 fractal calendar here: http://www.zazzle.com/fractal_calendar_2013-158324473116307597