If the smell of sunscreen is making you nauseous and your flip-flops have blown out beyond repair, don’t worry. You are not alone. I don’t know about you, but once August rolls around, I feel all summer sizzled out. In fact, I am probably a poster child for the Summer Fizzled Out Federation(Not sure that’s a thing, but it should be). It’s been weeks since I’ve posted. Proof positive that my summer craziness has led to a depletion in my ability to put thoughts into words and words into posts. (I just took me 7 tries to type that sentence.)
After three months of working cattle, baling hay, raising fair hogs, coaching baseball, squeezing in doctor appointments, making Bar-b-ques, planning playdates, watering plants, and applying sunscreen, I’m feeling about as withered as the last of my tomato plants. When I talk to other people about how their summer is going, they all seem to voice the same end-of-summer exhaustion.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say they are ready for their kids to go back to school. Those dollars would add up to enough money for an end-of-summer vacation for my family. If I had a dollar for every time one of my kids said they don’t want to go back to school, I would have money for a vacation to Europe and a new car.
Why is it that once we’ve successfully navigated swimming lessons, baseball bleacher-butt, sun burns, mosquito bite madness, garden vegetables coming out of our ears, and lawn mowing lunacy that we have the desire to move away from summer and all its Go-Go-Go glory?
It’s because the fizzle of summer’s sizzle has begun, and that’s okay.
On a recent visit, my three-year-old nephew Henry asked, “What’s there on your face?”
It took me a minute, but I realized he was asking about the worry-lines between my eyebrows (wrinkles). I smiled and said, “Those are just my wrinkles. Look I have more when I smile” and pointed at the crow’s feet formed on the side of my eyes.
The next day Henry asked why I had those spots on my face and arms. I told him they were my freckles… spots where the sun kissed my skin. He looked innocently at his arms and said, “My freckles are still sleeping.”
While his noticing my wrinkles made me a little sad, his discovery of my freckles and statement about his sleeping spots was super sweet and made me think about the freckles, wrinkles, and other characteristics that appear with time.
I know we can all relate to our adolescent desires to be taller, fuller, thinner, or whatever-er, but once we are doing the adulthood thing, how often do we give ourselves credit for the features that are no longer “sleeping”? Or how do we celebrate the differences between people? Do we point out the idiosyncrasies of other’s appearance in positive or appreciative ways?
Burning rituals have been a part of society since civilizations first took shape. It seems that the act of allowing flames to consume things has healing properties. While the ceremonies of burning rituals do not all contain the same supply list or formal procedures, they all do have two things in common: fire and something to burn.
On a recent getaway with some of my gal pals, we lamented emotions and worries that were weighing heavily on us. As we sought respite in food, drinks, and re-runs of Friends, we were inspired (in part by Phoebe’s idea in “The One with the Candy Hearts”) to have our own burning ritual.
We would each write down the things that were weighing on us and then toss them in the fire. (Our rental cabin had the MOST amazing fireplace.) It took no time at all for each of us to jot down the issues we would like to see go up in flames. Before we decided to just willy-nilly toss our troubles into the fire, we thought it would be best to research burning rituals to see if there was anything that would increase the effectiveness of our sacrifice.
Every hour on the hour. Breaking, late-breaking, exclusive. National Broadcast Anxiety is produced at the speed of sound and sight. Our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts cannot escape. Tonight’s segment on how to handle media-based stress made it that much worse.
We can’t trust the “honesty” of journalism because they feed on National Broadcast Anxiety. Coming at you from every angle, but the only angle they want you believe is theirs. Loving our nation for what is it can’t be allowed. Only one side or the other can be accepted. They refuse to compromise…
The only ideals that do not deserve to be compromised Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are excluded by National Broadcast Anxiety. Apparently, if their side is not happy then no one can be happy. The only pursuit is to divide. Liberty loses life when the desires of a radical few strip the American dream from those who are willing to work for it. Working for it isn’t enough. Speaking up is not accepted. Suffer in silence because standing up for yourself is considered prejudice. Be careful! You’ll end up on the NEWS.
N.E.W.S. – Directions that fail to lead anywhere but National Broadcast Anxiety. It’s time to change more than the channel. “Journalists,” listen. You are not speaking for America. You are speaking for ratings. State facts. Take out the loaded adjectives and labels. Tell the stories of what’s working. Use your avenues for advancement beyond that of overpaid officials and their tantrums. Share the problem-solvers. Mute the warmongers. Produce something positive. We don’t need any more seasons of National Broadcast Anxiety.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. If we are ever going to find peace amongst ourselves, we must change the channels of journalism today.
For three years, I have said I was going to create a Vision Board in the new year. I vowed to decorate a board with my brightest wishes and most lustrous resolutions.
The first two years I failed to make my Vision Board.
2021 is the third year, and the year my Vision Board WILL BE made!
I have poster board, adhesive, decorations, and lists of ideas for my goals and what I want to see happen in the next year. So as to keep myself dedicated to the cause, I’ve enlisted my friends Andrea, Erin, and Jody to police my attempt. They, too, will be making their own 2021 Vision Boards. (Nothing like peer pressure to keep a project on track.)
Being a Pinterest fan, I shared a number of idea pins with my gal pals organizing Vision Boards, but it was my friend Erin who came up with the coolest idea. She suggested that we add a vision or positive idea to each other’s boards for 2021. Wow! Nothing says, “May you shine!” like putting a positive prediction on display in support of another person.
2020 has been a rough year on most of us. A lot of people want to forget the year ever happened, so I thought I’d give the December 2020 Positivity Challenge a crazy spin. Instead of thinking about a New Year’s resolution for January 2021, I challenge you to make an Old Year’s Resolution.
That’s right, an Old Year’s Resolution! I challenge you to set a goal or envision yourself taking on a new skill, talent, or outlook for 2020. For the rest of December work harder on helping the year end on a positive note than you normally do on the usual weight loss or decluttering resolutions of new years past.
Take this Old Year’s Resolution seriously!
Think of what you pictured 2020 looking like. Remember the resolutions or goals you set for yourself and grab onto one of those dreams, goals, or ambitions. Work your darndest to make that objective a reality as you wrap up this craziest of years.
Here are some examples:
For the next 24 days, cut out the sugars and carbs you have always said you should.
For the next 24 days, send a Thank You text or card to someone for whom you are grateful.
For the next 24 days, work out for 25 minutes while you watch your favorite tv show.
There are two scenarios for this holiday season that come to mind when I think of what’s worthy of effort.
Scenario 1: Putting up Christmas decorations, particularly outdoor lights, is a tough job. It requires precarious positioning of one’s self while attempting to securely attach, mount, or hang the lights in a way that is both esthetically pleasing and able to withstand potential blizzards. Once the lights are in place and any necessary medical attention has been sought, the display of glowing Christmas spirit can warm even the coldest of Grinch hearts. Was it easy to get those eight pre-lit reindeer with Santa’s sleigh AND the inflatable Snoopy snow globe on the roof? No. Could you ever imagine the amount of time it would take to assemble your Made-in-China nativity using words that baby Jesus should never have heard? No. But you do it anyway, and it’s worth every watt of energy and effort because you are letting ALL your Christmas lights shine.
Scenario 2: The second scenario of the season is a bit tougher. As our world continues to battle the COVID crisis, I encourage you to envision a holiday where you loosen your hold on what tradition says we MUST do to make Christmas happen.
“Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.”
Holding in the things that bother us and keeping big problems to ourselves can be detrimental to our health and relationships. A constant spewing of our issues can also cause others to be desensitized to our downfalls. On the other hand, shedding light on what makes us shine brightens the world around us. Tooting our own horns is a healthy way to say “Woohoo!” when we do something great, but can make us come across as cocky. We have to find a balance between what makes us rant and what makes us rave.
As we enter a holiday season unlike any we’ve experienced, let’s take stock of all that is good and worthy of appreciation. Celebrate the talents and skills that make us successful and unique. Set our weaknesses and shortcomings aside. (You are probably the only one who notices these anyway.) Quit throwing pity parties and start throwing “I’m a Bad Ass”bashes.
Discipline – the classic struggle between what we want right now and what we want most.
Abraham Lincoln was an expert on making tough choices based on what he wanted most. He built a career and defined a nation by working for what he knew was necessary to unite our peoples and continue to establish America as a world power. After all how could a nation divided be the most powerful country in the world?
Discipline is something that many feel is a violation of their rights. They believe that if they want to do something, go somewhere, buy something, or say anything, it’s not “fair” to have to work for it or take into consideration the impacts their impulses will have on the big picture for their lives and what they want beyond that moment in time. The demand for instant gratification and knee-jerk reactions to the work and words of others has cast an ugly shadow over what we really need and want as a society.
Tonight, before going to bed, millions of Americans will turn their clocks back one hour to fall back from Daylight Saving Time (DST) to Standard Time.
Until recently, I believed Daylight Saving Time was created to benefit farmers. I also believed that DST began in October. I was wrong. It turns out I am not alone in my misconceptions.
I attempted an informal survey of local farmers and friends via text, Facebook, and Twitter. The survey included one question: “Yes or No – Do you believe daylight savings time is beneficial to farmers?”
In place of simple “Yes” or “No,” I received a myriad of responses about the value of farmers and the long hours they put in, commentary on challenges of farming while also working other jobs, and personal stories about impacts the time change made on farming experiences. (I was so very grateful for everyone’s responses but felt like I lit a fire in folks. That was not my intent. I just wanted to know how many believed the same thing I did.)
Most believe that Daylight Saving Time is intended to help farmers because they are the ones up before the sun and often working long into the night baling hay, caring for animals, and harvesting crops. My entire life I believed that I did not like Daylight Saving Time. The truth is that I do not like Standard Time and the practice of changing time.
The results of my informal (and completely non-political) survey reflected that most believed and felt the same.