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Destroy the Statues

Y’all know which statues I’m talking about, right? The ones of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and any other Confederate soldiers.

Yes, I’m saying we should not only take them down, but actually destroy them as well.

  1. The monuments aren’t history. History is what happened. It’s not monuments that were erected 50+ years after the Civil War ended. Confederates/white supremacists/Klansmen erected this statues to establish the lasting virtue of their ideals. They put them in places (like in front of courthouses) that would continue to intimidate black citizens, as if life wasn’t already hard enough for them. We have textbooks for what happened. We have photos. We have documents. We don’t need the statues. Also, history books. There are so many of those.
  2. Most people would never have seen a statue of Robert E. Lee. Most people wouldn’t see a statue of any of the traitors anyway (and yes, they were ALL traitors to the United States), probably unless they were in a historical museum that would make them seem important. So great, now we’re highlighting shitty ideals that have no place in the country, mores than we already do.
  3. White people made the mess, they need to fix it. The reality is that white people created this mess. They need to rein their people back in and find a way to get them to understand that white supremacy is bad. Really, I doubt a statue is going to do that anyway. Understanding why white supremacy is bad should be a thing that people just know. If they don’t, it’s going to take a lot of in-depth conversations and probably meeting real live black people. Not looking at a monument that was created as a memorial for racist ideals.
  4. Can we stop torturing black people? Look, by now everyone should have figured out that life for black people in the United States is pretty shitty as it is. Black people get shot, can’t get jobs because of their names, pay more for their mortgages, get terrible deals on cars – and the list goes on. Is this not enough? Why must we take down monuments of hate only to re-erect them somewhere else? Class trip to the Civil Rights Museum and the little black kids come face-to-face with a giant statue of the man who thought they were only 3/5 of a person, that they could be owned? How is that fair because white people haven’t figured out any other way to convince each other that was fucked up.
  5. We aren’t over racism enough. There are still people who don’t get that systemic/institutionalized racism is real. There are still people who say that the US isn’t racist anymore. NeoNazis and Klansman are marching in the streets, faces unobscured, and people are okay with it because “well, that’s their right.” At some point, we have to make a distinction between free speech and hate speech. Were they to try to act on the things they’re saying, they could be sued and would lose, because those ideas VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION. Under the Constitution, all men are equal and have the same rights. The ideas of the KKK and Nazis are in direct opposition to that. But the point is, we’re still racist AF. If we think this is okay, then obviously the statues are fine.
  6. Saving them gives racists a place to celebrate. If we keep the statues, we’re giving white supremacists exactly what they want – a place for them to revere their heroes. IS that really what we want? Do we really want asshole white supremacist parents taking their kids to the museums and saying, “This was a great man. His ideals are our ideals.”  Putting the statues in places where they are on display, almost in a way of honor, continues the perception that those ideas have value.
  7. We shouldn’t celebrate the false equivalence. Racist/white supremacist/white nationalist ideals do NOT have the same values as those of tolerance and acceptance. Keeping memorials to those ideals suggests otherwise. They give the impression that those ideas were valuable, but that some people disagreed. Just because a lot of people held those values dearly enough to go to war against their own brothers does NOT mean they have VALUE. People have gone on about how those ideas were part of our history so we can’t ignore them. That’s true. Those who don’t know history ARE doomed to repeat it. However, the very fact that there are museums dedicated to the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement necessarily means that there was a fight against something. Otherwise, why would there have been a movement? We don’t need to put the horrible and despicable on a pedestal.
  8. The artists don’t deserve recognition. For people to have spent what had to be hours upon hours to create these monuments, they had to believe in the ideals espoused by the subject. Why should we celebrate them for that? Why do they deserve any kind of recognition for being vile? We don’t celebrate the doctors who helped create the solution for the gas used in the gas chambers at the concentration camps. This is basically like celebrating an artist whose art killed people. Because really, that’s what it did. These went up at times in history that were particularly awful for black people. They emboldened the KKK to act. Why should we do anything other than destroy the monuments?

But hey, if you’re cool with keeping the statues, this is really just more of the same for minorities. White people again making decisions without taking into account how they might affect black people, or again being more concerned with their fellow white folks than anyone else.

I think that if we want to memorialize the statues we should take video of them being torn down and put THOSE in the museums. You can talk about what they represented and why they had to be taken down. That would accomplish the goal if history, but also what’s right.

 

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Goodbye to a friend

My last year of law school I took a class on politics. Thoroughly bored with the law, I wanted to spend time in a class where I would enjoy the material. An adjunct professor, Peter Schalestock, taught the course since he had extensive experience in politics.

The very last class of the semester I had a presentation to give so I didn’t read the assigned material figuring I wouldn’t get called on. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. Instead of looking away while Peter was searching for someone to discuss the material, I looked directly at him. And then he called on me.

Rather than try to bullshit my way through an answer, I said, “I’m not going to lie, I didn’t read for class.”

He responded, “But you looked like you had something to say.”

“Oh, I always have something to say. It’s just not always relevant.” The entire class laughed, including Peter.

After the class was over, he and I got to talking. For an hour in the entrance to the law school. Six months later, he was at the campus bookstore while I was working in the office next door. I ran out to say hi. At the end of the conversation, he handed me his business card and said, “Now you can prove to your friends that you know a Republican.” I got a good laugh at that.

Eventually I did email him and we started hanging out. He was swamped that election season. He was an election law expert and there were tough contests across the country. Surprisingly he spent a good deal of time in Montana. I asked him why that was, since there were probably more moose than people there. That became a running joke for us and that year for Christmas we exchanged moose gifts. He got a stuffed moose from me and I got a moose shot glass from him that I still have.

Not long after he moved to the East Coast for work, but we stayed in touch. I got a RUDY card from him for my law school graduation (he worked on the campaign until it imploded). When he visited Seattle we got together.

I was sort of floundering my last year of law school. I knew the law wasn’t really for me, but worried about that since I’d spent three years getting the degree. He assured me that there were other things I could do with myself and that it was okay, even normal, for me not to want the lifestyle of a lawyer.

We stayed in touch through Facebook over the years, exchanging messages here and there.

I found out today that he passed away yesterday. He’d had a long battle with his heart, and it seems that it finally gave out.

The world lost a great man with his passing. He was genuinely kind-hearted, brilliant, and funny. I will miss him greatly. In honor of our friendship, I bought myself a new necklace. When I wear it, it will hang close to my heart.

 

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Freedom of Speech and Freedom from Consequences Aren’t the Same Thing

What happened in Charlottesville this past weekend is disgusting. However, people are fighting back. One man’s father told him he’s no longer welcome at family events. Someone else has been fired from their job. As more and more men are identified through the photos that were taken I am sure more will be fired.

These men ran around screaming about their First Amendment rights, like that makes it okay. What they fail to understand is that the First Amendment does not protect them from consequences in the private sector. The First Amendment only applies to protect people from government action taken against them.

It seems hilarious to me that these tiki torch carrying, khaki clad men would think that they would be immune from consequences for their action. 1. They have to realize that they are the minority. Not only do non-whites not support them, neither do most whites. 2. Most states are at-will employment states and you can be fired for just about anything. It should be obvious to them that most companies don’t want their customers to know that they employ NeoNazis. 3. They’ve railed and screamed at people on the other side for their beliefs (like when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem)  – did they really thing it wouldn’t happen the other way around.

Additionally, speech that incites violence is NOT protected by the First Amendment either. When their stated purpose is to start violence, it’s not going to be protected. Perhaps they should have paid more attention in the government classes or actually read the Constitution they think they’re being patriots for.

Just because someone has the right to say whatever they want doesn’t mean anyone has to like it or support it. It doesn’t mean that they can skate by without anyone responding to their hate-filled rantings.

If you’re going to stand up and denounce every race but your own, you’re bound to run up against some opposition.

But, since it doesn’t seem like they can step outside of themselves for even a few minutes, I don’t think this realization will ever hit them.

In the meantime, we can all sit back and watch as consequences rain down on them.

Image Credit

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A Food Challenge

Mr. Lyndsy left yesterday. After 40 fun days in the US he’s back in the sandbox. And I’m here. Without him.

However, he made our separation interesting. He told me that while we’re apart, I should work on eating better. I’ve got the working out thing down, but the next part is to change my food habits. This means eating fresher foods, avoiding processed foods, things high in sugar, and not too many carbs (especially the simple ones).

I know he’s right about this. That doesn’t mean I want to do it. Because you know, M&Ms, cupcakes, soda.

However, to not focus on us being apart and how much I absolutely LOATHE it, I decided it would be fun to see his reaction after I’d been at the gym for a month without him seeing me every day. It’s hard to see changes when you’re around someone every day, but a month? That can be quite a long time when you’re putting in the work like every day.

Eating better just ups the chances that the changes will be that much more dramatic. Which makes it exciting. Of course, I am NOT a patient person so when I hop on the scale tomorrow I’m going to pissed that I haven’t lost 10 pounds after just one day of healthy eating.

Yes, I know that’s irrational. But you should know that about me. I still believe unicorns.

Anyway, here’s to healthy eating for like 32 days. I’m looking at it sort of one day at a time. Because right now I’m hungry and all I can think about is candy.

FEED ME THE CANDIES.

I mean, I’m thinking about pineapple. Yeah, pineapple.

*I picked this picture because it made no sense. A pineapple just sunbathing on someone’s lawn??*

 

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It’s not really now or never

I feel a lot like it’s NOW or NEVER. Having read a bunch about ADHD in the past few days, this seems like it could be related to that. According to the books, people with ADHD have issues with time – basically only living in the present, with trouble making future plans.

I feel like a failure or like I’ve messed up my life so often because things aren’t happening for me RIGHT NOW. The reality is that I’m only 35 (soon to be 36), and that I still have plenty of time. There are people who didn’t start their amazing careers until 50 or later (I think Morgan Freeman didn’t get his first big movie role until then).

If I were to sit down, come up with some goals, and make a plan to achieve them, listing short-term goals out over a period of months up to a year, I might actually be able to accomplish something. The catch for me here is that I’ve always believed that if you can’t just DO something, without having to plot it out, you weren’t meant to do it.

In the real world that makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. I can’t think of any greats who didn’t have to WORK at it. PRACTICE it. EDIT it.

I need to work on retraining my brain with these thoughts. Starting to study and understand ADHD is a path to that. I’ve been researching ADHD hacks too to make my life easier. Between understanding it and implementing the coping skills I am really hoping to start do amazing things with my life. I feel that the potential’s in there. It’s a question of how to get it out in a way that I’ll actually stay with it and finish it (or keep it going forever, if that’s the thing).

Now at least I feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I just need to continually remind myself that great things take time.

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Layer by Layer

I’ve been working really hard this summer to try to learn as much as I can about my chronic health issues. As I’ve peeled back different things, I’ve learned more. One thing I believe I’ve learned is that I have ADHD.

Yes, I know, I can’t diagnose myself. No, I haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor yet. No, I wasn’t diagnosed as a kid.

It started with a Facebook post.

What struck me was “I literally cannot recall the words that just came out of my mouth.” That happens to me with alarming frequency. It also applies to text messages and instant messages on FB/Google. I’ll type things and have no idea immediately after that I wrote them.

However, it had never occurred to me that this was something that happened to other people. I always thought it was weird, but that was it. So I posted it and asked if it was really an ADHD thing. I was told it is.

Which led me to do some research on ADHD. It was then that I learned that I have a LOT of the traits: Inability to finish projects I start; delayed start on any project that involves a lot of thinking; impulsivity (mine is spending and eating); finishing people’s sentences when I can’t wait for them to do it. There were others, but these were the highlights.

I thought back to when I was a kid as well. I was never diagnosed, perhaps because I was always a good student. I LOVED school (until I hit high school). But, I was always a chatterbox. If a teacher didn’t re-direct my behavior I talked to other kids who were still working. In high school a Spanish teacher offered to just give me a B if I didn’t talk to anyone else in class. When something didn’t interest me, I didn’t deal with it. I stopped being a great student in high school because I was bored with school. High school was also when I developed a dislike for authority figures and was defiant.

I’m tired of being the person who doesn’t finish projects. I’m tired of being the person who can’t compete in direct sales because of my inability to make plans long-term for myself or follow through on them. I hate that I’m not controlling my spending and how it affects things I want to do.

I am REALLY tired of being distracted all the time. Of forgetting what I set out to do when I stand up. Of getting up to get water, and finding 30 things to do on the way. I want to be able to focus on things. I want to remember important things I need to do.

I won’t see my shrink again until September, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work on things in the meantime. I’ve borrowed books from the library on ADHD that include coping behaviors so that I can start NOW to do what I can to make things better for me. I have a planner that’s broken down into hourly segments so I can put myself on a schedule so I get things done. I’m using an app called Habitica to track my To-Do list so things don’t get forgotten (like paying bar dues). I’m going to start posting my goals where I can see them so I remember to do them. I’m very “out of sight, out of mind” and that’s a detriment.

I want better for my life. It’s going to take a lot of work on my end to come up with workarounds. But I’m tired of feeling like a failure, so whatever work it takes is worth it. I’d appreciate any positive thoughts you can spare and wishes of good luck!

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I guess I have to keep working out

I work out 6 days a week. Sunday is my rest day (right now anyway, that will probably change when I’m back in the sandbox).

What I have discovered the past 3 Sundays is that I sleep a lot on rest days. Like, not up and moving until after 1pm. When we were driving back on our road trip, I slept while Mr. Lyndsy drove.

Mr. Lyndsy doesn’t see anything wrong with this. It is, after all, the rest day. He believes I should take it to rest. I don’t like that I’m doing it. I feel unproductive and tired. He said, “Join the club.” I guess he’s exhausted on his rest days too. The problem is that it’s not like I have much to do. He goes to work and his job is both physically and mentally engaging. I don’t have that.

What dawned on me the other day though is that this is exactly what happened before we started working out after getting back to the U.S. In the sandbox I’m not up until 1pm or even later some days. I’m only up in the mornings for doctor appointments or group meetings. If I don’t have anything to do, it is almost physically impossible for me to get my body moving. Even on previous trips to the US, I wasn’t up until 11am.

Before I considered what was happening on the rest days, I was excited! I thought I’d beaten whatever was keeping me trapped in bed. To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement. I suppose I should be focusing on the fact that working out DOES get me up, but when you’ve got as many medical conditions going on as I do, it’s nice to think you’ve conquered something and can take it off the list.

I still feel fatigued during the day, every day. Some days are better than others. I still think this relates to the lack of quality sleep I have going on. I’ll investigate this when I’m back in the sandbox, but it’s something I can think about and research in the meantime. I may as well go back to my doctors armed with as much information as possible.

My shrink told me that if the meds make me tired, I should let my body rest. But we have since changed the medication and I’m on an extended release form. That should have alleviated the problem of oversleeping. Now that I suspect I’m not getting quality sleep, that changes the equation. At least in my opinion. But what do I know?

I really want to try to work out the best possible scenario for myself. I’m tired of being fatigued. I’m tired of being distracted all the time. I’m tired of not being able to focus. I like that my mind explores loads of different things and makes connections in lots of different ways, but at the same time, standing up and not remembering why is very frustrating.

At any rate, working out is now more important than ever for my health and my life. While I was committed to it before, my resolve is even stronger now. 

How to make it work

I realize that a lot of adults don’t have any idea what they want to do with their lives. We can never know when our THING is going to spring up and grab us. I shared a post on Facebook the other day that shows just how many successful people didn’t find that success until later in their lives.

While I think that’s awesome and I’m happy to know I still have time, it doesn’t alleviate the anxiety I feel about not having a THING. I want whatever I do that makes me money to be fulfilling and meaningful.

When I was a freshman or sophomore in college I considered the convent. Yes, you read that correctly, I wanted to be a nun. I’m not particularly religious (or even Christian for that matter), but the idea of living in service to other people to help make their lives better was HUGELY appealing to me.

And you know what? It still is.

All I want to do with my life is help people find their amazing.

Then reality smacks me in the face (again).

How the fuck is that a job? What does that look like in terms of making money? How do I make that a thing?

I still don’t really have any answers. I’ve considered so many different things. They include: Life coaching, personal training, direct sales of various products, ministry, and probably some other things I can’t remember right now.

But this is really what I want for my life. In many ways, my life has never been and won’t really be about me. I was meant for a life of service. I know that. I accept that. More than anything, I LOVE that.

As I’ve been writing this something did occur to me. My life has been more than a little chaotic with all my health issues. Between the physical and mental health, things have not been so great. I sincerely doubt I would have been much good to anyone during that time, since I wasn’t really any good for myself.

Perhaps this is a period for me to find my footing. A time for me to plant myself and get grounded so that I can help others do the same. Cue The Byrds

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

If you have any ideas about how I can manifest my purpose in my life, I would really love to hear them. Sometimes I get mired in my own shit and can’t see things as clearly as I would like.

As always, thanks for reading <3

A New Way of Life

I knew that I would enjoy working out to prep for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. I have always enjoyed working out since I get a sense of accomplishment pretty much every time I do it.

I had NO idea that this was going to become a THING for me. I’ve hit the point where when I’m frustrated or pissed off, I want go to the gym and hit the weights or even *gasp* run/walk. That’s completely new. Working out was a means to an end – be ready to do 13.1 miles and not get picked up by the bus of shame.

Now though it’s just part of my almost daily life. I don’t know if it’s because I’m working out 6 days/week, or if it’s because I’ve been going with Mr. Lyndsy, but it’s something that I can see continuing forever. There may be some bumps in the road depending on how things go medically in the near future, but I’ll cross that bridge should I come to it.

The catch to this is that I haven’t really been eating better. We went on a road trip and I definitely over consumed sugar and crap. I justified it as needing a boost in energy, but that doesn’t really fly. Now that we’ve landed back at the house, it’s time to get this part right too. I don’t feel like I see a tremendous difference in my body and I’m sure that’s due to the fact that I haven’t been eating well.

I’m an impatient person and I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I didn’t put the weight on overnight (though it feels like it) and I won’t lose it overnight either. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I just want it all to fall off.

It takes 21 days to form new habits (I think I read that somewhere) so I need to find a way to make eating better a habit. I’m just so lazy…