Archives for posts with tag: words words words

Yesterday, I had yet another opportunity to patiently explain to someone that they do not get to tell me what I think, why I think it, or how I came to the conclusion I did. It seems obvious, really; my opinion is mine to decide, and to decide even whether to share it. Attempting to force assumptions about my opinion, or my thoughts, or my feelings, upon me is… fucking dumb. A.) That isn’t how opinions or thinking work. B.) No one likes that shit or needs that from anyone else. Lastly, C.) Fucking hell, people, how hard is it, really, to ask a question and listen to the fucking answer?

It’s an extra special nightmare frustration when that person is a man and his tone is condescending and patronizing. I’m not a child or a little girl, and frankly, on its own maleness does nothing whatever to make any stated opinion or observed fact somehow more relevant, worthwhile, or legitimate, at all. I’m just… yeah. So done with that bullshit. lol I managed to walk on from that interaction without resorting to insults or name-calling, which turns out not to require any sort of heroic effort of any sort, I just reminded myself silently that I had things to do, and that arguing with an ass clown was not on my list today. lol

On and on. Trump didn’t change it – maybe didn’t even “make it worse” – but his presidency pushed it into the forefront (again)(I mean, really, we’ve fought this fight before, and had made a lot of apparent headway, but… no… here we are). Kavanaugh isn’t “new” or novel, or frankly even fucking interesting. Been. Here. Before. Been here all along. Maybe we can all work on this? We can do better. I mean, seriously America? Fucking Nazis? Are you kidding me?

Words matter. Choose them with care. Really listen to people. Really share your authentic actual thoughts with them (versus just quoting some regurgitated sound bite you lifted from a talking head on cable news). Connect for real. Ask the deep questions that matter most. Listen – really listen – to the answers. Put content over bullshit. Show your fellow citizens some “common decency”, consideration, empathy, and respect. Maybe even let “I disagree with that position” be the actual end of a conversation or disagreeable moment, and walk on. You don’t have to persuade or convince everyone that your position is right. Maybe it isn’t. Share it if you care to, then let that shit go, too. Quality of life is not about being right. Great relationships are not built on being right. Contentment and happiness are not made up of moments of being right. Fucking just listen once in a while, and even, now and then, accept that you do not know all of everything… or… just maybe.. in some particular instance… insisting on being right, regardless of perceived factual correctness, maybe be quite the wrong thing to do.

…Then… also… respect both your own expertise, and the expertise of your associates. Ask more questions than you answer. Listen to what you’re hearing, and really be present for that. Learn stuff. Grow. Assume positive intent. Have positive intentions yourself! Be authentically who you are – rightness and wrongness and error, flaws, mistakes, and character failures, and all; we don’t become who we most want to be if we can’t start from who we are right now and move on from there.

What I’m saying is, arguing is dumb. It wastes time, and people who are arguing are not listening to each other. Arguments are made up of people throwing their words at other people who are, at best, throwing words back – without listening at all. It’s ridiculous and gets no further toward truths than standing still quite silently would do, and quite possibly, standing still silently would be more effective. (It probably is, actually…)

Don’t argue.

Don’t yell. (Not really relevant, it’s just super unpleasant, and effective only for escalation the emotionality of the interaction in an unpleasant way; if you’re yelling to make your point, you already lost the argument. Just stop.)

Talk to each other. Really listen. Grow because you are hearing new information – or because you have the wisdom to refuse to incorporate ad copy, memes, or straight up misinformation, in your thinking, in spite of hearing it, again. Ask clarifying questions; there’s always more to know. Get context, and check your assumptions; you’re wrong more often than you realize (I promise you this is true).

People can be really fucking repetitive with shit they pick up along the way that they did not really think through themselves, or apply any critical thinking to, when they adopted it as their own. They cling to that shit. It’s tedious. Don’t follow the crowd. It makes for dull conversation, filled with half-baked bullshit, and actual lies.

Do better. Think your own thoughts. Use critical thinking skills to examine what thoughts you think you have. Check your assumptions for accuracy. Check your expectations to ensure they are shared, and realistic, and not left moldering in a corner all implicit and unverified and shit. Easy stuff. Slow the fuck down and ask yourself some questions about the thoughts you tell yourself are your own. Are they really? Fact-checked, lately, Bruh? Did you make any effort at all to determine whether the words you are about to say reflect who you truly are, consistent with the values you claim you have?

My coffee is tasty this morning. I’m mostly ignoring it. My nightmares were a tad too much “Handmaid’s Tale” for my emotional comfort, and I woke feeling confused, angry, resentful, irritated, puzzled, frightened, restless, and yearning for freedom. The conversation, yesterday, in which some rando man-human specifically told me I don’t think what I do, and can’t because I’m wrong about thinking it, was still grating on my nerves. lol At 55, I fucking well know what my political leanings are, what my philosophy of life is, and where I think my ideas potentially take me in life. I’m pretty over men thinking they have something to say to me about what I think. (Wow. I’m obviously still fucking angry about it, too… and only on this whole meta level as an archetypal conversation repeated over time, not the specific moment and individual. Wild. Why are we still here, at all?)

I grin when I think about the end of that conversation (for me). “I disagree with your position. We have nothing further to discuss.”

Sometimes, I gotta just walk on, and begin again. 🙂

Hey, don’t forget to upgrade your software. You know we become what we practice, sure, but don’t forget we can upgrade our own software anytime – through the magic of reading! It’s true. It’s even a wonderful time for it; it’s Banned Books Week!

If you’ve been following along, you’ve already watched this video, and maybe you’re also experiencing some difficulty getting into a book (and maybe you remember when it was much much easier to do)… It’s not too late to take back your attention span. It’s going to take practice, and it’s going to take a very specific new beginning. Are you ready for it? Here’s how it works:

  1. Turn off your device, or at least silence your notifications.
  2. Pick up a book.
  3. Begin reading.
  4. Keep reading.
  5. Go back to reading.
  6. Seriously, are you not reading?
  7. READ!

Yep. It’s that easy. 😉

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of lists you can start with… here. Here. Here. Over here, too. One thing there is no shortage of? Books. Read some!

The ease and convenience of the Internet is no substitution for learning a subject with depth, or enjoying a long involved tale, or riding the emotional roller-coaster of poetry. Kind of a similar magnitude of difference as between “small talk” and deeply intimate conversations, actually. No need to coast through your existence being unimaginably facile, though; books exist (and so do deeply intimate conversations between very authentic people).

I’ve got a stack of books that I’ve not yet read.

Books, rather pleasantly, also give one time to soak things in, and give full consideration to new learning – no rushing necessary. I often set one aside and come back to it with greater appreciation or understanding, or having taken time to cross-reference a point that needed some clarification (or just to look up a word I didn’t understand in that context). Books don’t “turn it into an argument” if I disagree, either, they just wait for me to turn the page and learn more, which may broaden my perspective.

…You may be getting the impression I’m a huge fan of reading. 🙂 I am. It’s true. It’s a thing. I love to read.

I don’t read as much as I once did. Internet. I can clearly correlate the decline in my reading to the increase in my time online. Huh. I bet my software is way out of date as a result. It’s time to upgrade!

It’s time to begin again.

What are you reading?

Well, the drive down was coffee all the way, and started in the wee hours before dawn. Easy drive. Fun. Effortless. After-the-fact it seems featureless and unremarkable, such that I don’t specifically remember any specific detail besides stopping for coffee. lol I left “on time” and arrived safely. I was greeted warmly with love, and friendship.

The drive back, this morning, definitely coffee-themed. I pro-actively picked up a can of cold brew so I’d have that effortless coffee moment first thing, and waited until I was in the car to pop the top on it, to avoid waking my Traveling Partner. I stopped twice for more coffee, and to stand in the dawn of a new day, feeling the chill breeze that hinted at autumn.

I got on the road this morning with a heart filled to overflowing with pure love and delight, feeling wrapped in My partner’s high regard, and nurtured by his enduring affection. He’s a good partner; loving, kind, considerate, helpful, experienced, competent, forward-thinking, and exciting to be with. I chose well… this time. lol This is my only actually good long-term relationship, honestly (although, to be fair, I only have 4, maybe 5, to reflect on). I don’t kick myself about it; choosing partners, lovers, and friends is a complicated matter, and most of us don’t develop real skills in that area until later in life. If we’re fortunate, we nonetheless happen upon friends, lovers, and partners in the context of our circumstances, and things work out. We are social creatures. I’m sure we could do better, and I wonder why we don’t teach emotional intimacy, relationship-building, and healthy communication practices, in elementary school, as I sip my coffee.

I know some things that don’t work. One of those is money. It just doesn’t work to attempt to buy someone’s affection, even if they accept payment. 🙂 That’s not how love works. It’s not how loyalty works. It’s not how any sort of affection or friendship works. I don’t actually understand how anyone might think it would. I’ve seen it attempted any number of times by people with more money than qualities on which to build love or friendship. Painful. Awkward. Unsatisfying. I can’t help wonder why it doesn’t seem, just on a practical basis, more cost-effective to be a better human being… you know… just likable, considerate, kind, funny, nurturing… some assortment of the sorts of things that draw people in, right? lol It’s not effortless, does take work and practice… and so many of us seem utterly disposed to avoiding any sort of self-work whatsoever. Yeah… there are verbs involved. Results will vary. It’s necessary to practice, to fail, to reflect on our missteps, to begin again… oh… ever so many times. Some people make other choices, and experience other outcomes. It is what it is.

My affection is not for sale. Neither is my respect. My consideration and basic kindness is free, and generously given – as much as I can spread it around, I try to, and there is no minimum qualification for it. The world needs more basic kindness, and a lot more consideration, and no amount of money eases the lack of it.

Tending the flowers in the garden of my heart.

I sip my coffee, and think about love. Being loved feels amazing! Being able to love well feels pretty fantastic, too. These things literally can not be purchased. If you know for certain that these are things you want to feel, and you also know that it will require a lot of work and self-awareness, self-reflection, and willingness to grow, change, and do some verbs – put in the work – would you do it? 

Are you ready to begin?

…What could possibly matter more than love and loving? 🙂

Is it becoming more common to be less specific? I understand the general concept of “vague-booking”; we post a generalization of our experience in order to share an emotional experience without creating drama for ourselves or some specific other individual. I mean, I think generally our intention there is good, but… the meta message we end up communicating is incredibly easy to agree with… even if we are, in fact, entirely in the wrong in the context of our circumstances and decision-making. More than once, I have found, after-the-fact, that I’ve appeared to “agree with” something fairly terrible, when actually, I had no idea what had actually gone on… I only read the vague post about it, which, lacking context, seemed easy to agree with. Awkward.

…On the other hand, I also dislike drama, and tend to do some vague-booking chasing down the meta-learning available to me in every day experiences. 🙂 There’s a balance that I look for, and I hope (and attempt) not to be “agreed with” in error by people I know would object, if only they knew what was “really going on”. See, there’s the thing, right? If I’ve been so vague that it is not possible at all to ascertain what is “really going on”, then my vague-booking could actually be misleading to the point of deception, and that’s not at all what I’m about as a human being. So. There’s that.

This is where my morning begins. Thoughts about vague-booking over coffee. 🙂

The semantic and logical distance one must cover to get from “vague-booking” to this blog isn’t really very far. I use my real actual life to “sort myself out”, finding meta messages and simple learning in even some fairly complex nuanced circumstances. Sometimes that requires a bit of over-simplification. Sometimes, kind of a lot actually, I have to “sanitize” the details to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, or undermining their individual privacy (or mine) – vague happens. Vague is a craft. The point is not to mislead, but to craft a sharable narrative that illustrates a point, supports a useful practice, offers perspective or reassurance, or even merely entertains; the mundane details would often get in the way of one or more of those goals, and may even be irrelevant.

Being skillfully vague sometimes allows me to understand circumstances more easily without feeling as hurt by them. That’s also a thing. 🙂

I’m admittedly uncomfortable when I see vague-booking used to amass allies to a cause or to seek agreement with an opinion or “side” of things, though, because the lack of specificity in that instance can create false alliances so easily, or result in a feeling of betrayal once people understand more about what they’ve agreed to, or with. It’s an emotional dirty trick to use vague-booking specifically to “sound like the good guy”, in the face of strong evidence that indeed you may be the bad guy. Just saying. Approval-seeking behavior from super-villains isn’t something to encourage. It’s pretty easy, though, to get our friends – particularly far away friends – to agree we’ve been treated terribly, if they never actually know the context, the origin, the circumstances, or the participants, and only ever read how hurt we are, separated from our own actions, and the details of the experience.

Words over coffee… I’m not sure I’ve gotten anywhere with this, this morning… not really. Like the topic, itself, the outcome is vague.

I guess I’ll begin again. 😉

 

Yep, this is not the greatest post in the world, this is just a tribute. lol It’s true.

Last night, just as I drifted off to sleep, I composed, in my head, an awesome blog post. I’m giggling over my coffee this morning, because I now only remember how satisfied I was with the topic, the themes, the use of language, the word play – I even felt it was wholly relevant, and also had some great ideas for images from my photos that really seemed to highlight the point I was making. Blam! Perfect writing! Or… something. No idea now; there is no opportunity to review it, to edit it, to publish it; it was only a dream. lol

Today is a new day. Tributes aside, there is more life to live, more experiences ahead to have, further to go on this path. The weekend was satisfying and delightful. I have one lone insect bite of some kind, on my wrist. It’s strange placement considering what I was wearing, and where I was staying, so I am thinking more likely a spider bite than any other. It itches – and reminds me of the weekend each time I notice it. I just end up smiling. Strangest damned insect bite. 🙂

The air quality is poor (still? again? both, sadly) and it is affecting my breathing, which sucks. It’s worse for other more vulnerable people. I make room for perspective. I use it as a springboard to be kind to people who are suffering in the heat and shitty air quality. (What else is it for?) The work week begins anew.

It’s a good day to take a moment for perspective and for kindness. It’s a good day to take the energy of the weekend and roll into the weekend refreshed and ready to go, ready to organize what needs to be done and get on it. There’s always more to do. What can I add to the things I am doing that has a chance to benefit the world beyond my own doorway? What can I do right here at home to improve my quality of life, and the quality of life my family enjoys, generally? How I can best be the human being I most want to be? What steps can I take to recognize my privilege and see past my own biases? (There will be verbs involved, for sure.)

I’m ready to begin again. 🙂