Frankly, it doesn’t matter who got elected Tuesday, this country is a mess and the fix comes from the bottom up. Yes, the bottom. The People. We can now sit around and whine and cry about how unfair everything is, or we can pull ourselves up off our apathy and do something about it.
The first thing we can do is accept that life is not fair. Go on, pull out your birth certificate and look for the fine print where it says “life is going to be fair”. I’ll wait. *hold music plays* See? NOT there. It never has been fair and it never will be. Sure some folks are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and more power to them. It isn’t their fault that someone a generation or 3 ahead of them in their family managed to make a ton of money. Or maybe they themselves busted their tail and made it. It’s THEIR money, get over it they do not owe you a damn thing. Make your own money! And it isn’t my fault that I was born into an average family with a cop for a dad and a stay at home mom. Yep, we weren’t rich. 4 kids on a cops salary and guess what, we didn’t have it all. The thing is, we didn’t KNOW that. We had 2 parents that loved us, fed us, made sure we had a roof over our heads and that we got an education. Some of it in private schools, some in public schools. My dad worked a lot of details and over time shifts to ensure his kids could go to a Catholic school. Want more for your kids? WORK for it. We didn’t have medical insurance that paid for most of our doctor visits or prescriptions. We had the major medical insurance, the one that pays for most of your hospital and surgery when something bad happened, but when one of us got sick, it was paid for by my parents. That meant we didn’t go to the doctor for every hang nail or splinter. And we all survived just fine. We saw the doctor when we were really sick, not just because our nose was running. Suck it up, so junior has a cold. Believe it or not, unless there are extenuating circumstances, he is going to be fine. Rub some Vick’s on his chest, put him to bed and lots of fluids. Take a few pages from the way our grandparents and great grandparents treated illnesses, it worked. We wouldn’t be here if it didn’t.
Learn to tell your kids NO. NO, you cannot have a cell phone, iPad, Xbox, whatever. We did just fine without them and guess what, so will they. When more parents start deciding that there isn’t a NEED for that stuff, less kids will have them. When I was growing up, I didn’t play video games, I had a skate board, roller skates and a bicycle. We had FRIENDS, outside not online, and we got dirty. The more dirt on you the better the day from what I remember. Chalk on the sidewalk, crayons and coloring books, and I read, a lot of books. Sorry but Hollywood cannot do what your child’s imagination can do when he or she READS Harry Potter, skip the movie read the books with them! We went to the library as kids about once a week, and we WALKED because we had ONE car in our family. Mom walked with us because she set the example and read, a lot. We didn’t have cable and guess what, we didn’t care. Heck we grew up without central air conditioning and as this blog is my witness, we lived! I know, miracle of miracles. There was one window unit for my parent’s room because dad was on third shift back then and slept during the day. It was more about noise to drown out 4 kids and neighborhood dogs than it was cooling the room. You know what else? We didn’t get sick like kids today, and adults. Maybe because our bodies adapted to the changes of seasons better because we didn’t have A/C to go in and out of, we also played outside in the dirt, probably did our immune systems a world of good, cast iron immunity. 3D??? I’ll tell you the absolute coolest 3D thing I ever saw as a kid. Remember the 1974 tornado outbreak? Well the one that took out parts of Sayler Park and areas on the far west side of Cincinnati, we watched it form! My dad took pictures hanging out of the 2nd floor windows while teaching us what was going on as we watched. Let me tell you what, you cannot duplicate that on the big screen. Yes, I love the movie The Polar Express, in 3D, but let me tell you what, that $12.50 I paid to watch it, doesn’t compare to being outside on a very quiet night and HEARING snow falling. In case you don’t know it, you can hear it coming down, it is amazing. And the smell of it is equally awesome. Nothing compares to being there in the middle of nickle sized snow flakes falling around you, a chilly breeze and experiencing the snow fall.
We played with Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs and electric football games on the table in the dinning room. We made our Halloween costumes (okay dad did cause he was the artistic genius in the family) we didn’t buy them at the party store. Mom made our birthday cakes and a good portion of our clothing. Yep, she sewed, on a machine! We wore designer attire, designed and hand made by mom. It beat what we buy in the store not only because it was made with love, but it stayed together and was better made! OH and we got to pick the fabrics and patterns. REAL designer, one of a kind clothes!
We said ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ and other polite responses. And heaven help us if we got in trouble in school. Nothing Sister Rose Looks-Like-The-Walking-Dead could dish out was going to compare with what happened when we got home. Parents didn’t sue the school, they disciplined their kids! I got a swat at school once, and let me repeat that, ONCE. Because I sure as heck didn’t want that to happen again. A little humiliation on the walk of shame back to the class room with my butt stinging was good for me. I never punched anyone in the face again! My folks weren’t afraid to discipline us either. Mouth off to mom you better duck and run. Guess what, we were swatted when bad, had our mouth washed out when it needed it, and none of us went to jail. And it wasn’t child abuse it was training for the real world where there are consequences for your actions. I’m pretty sure none of us even has a speeding ticket on our records. And we aren’t in therapy with our mom being blamed for all of our ‘syndromes’.
And that is another thing. Stop labeling all this bad behavior and treating it with drugs. I am sure ADD is real, most of the women in this family would be diagnosed with it, adult and teens. It is why we drink so darn much coffee, as ADD drugs are stimulants and work the opposite in an ADD person (in the simplest terms). We had kids in school that probably had ADD, but more often than not, they just needed a good swat on the butt from the principal and they could suddenly sit still and stop acting out in class. Wonder of wonders. Of course, we played outside at home, and on the playground and ran off a lot of energy too. We didn’t get to eat fast-food meals except as a rare treat and candy and soda pop was also a treat. Gee, anyone else wonder if there is a connection? OMG mom MADE us eat our fruits and veggies. I’m here to tell you, I lived. I even like them now. Desserts were Jell-o pudding, or fruit. Wow, and we played outside all day. There weren’t many over weight kids when I was growing up.
We didn’t go on fancy vacations to exotic places. My folks bought a pop up camper and we camped all over this great country. Sure, eventually they saved up and took us to Disney World, but that doesn’t begin to compare to sitting on the sand looking out at the vastness of the ocean, the waves tickling our toes, seeing Mt. Rushmore, or the Smokey Mountains, or the Badlands of South Dakota. Walk through the cemetery holding row upon row of white markers for those that died fighting right here in our own country if you want to really FEEL something. I’m told you can hear a pin drop at the USS Arizona Memorial. If you don’t know what that is, shame on you, time to get out some history and study up. There are so many amazing, historical and educational, places to see that cost a lot less than an over priced theme park.
Okay yes it matters who is running the country, but are we even paying attention? Did everyone that didn’t vote for this candidate (and don’t even get me started on those that didn’t vote! 52% of registered voters in my county bothered to get off their butts on Tuesday grrrrrrr…..) go back to their regularly scheduled lives yesterday after moaning about it? WHY???? DO something! Start getting informed, 2 sources for your news, not just FOX News or CNN, watch or read both! Take time to READ, get informed about our country, our government, our HISTORY and start doing something about it besides bitching about what is wrong. FIX IT!
Your budget tighter? GOOD learn to get by with less! This holiday season folks aren’t getting a lot from me, but it will all be done or made with a lot more love than it takes to buy someone an iPad. Every morning I pull out one of 2 cups for my coffee (because being OCD it has to be in one of those cups). These cups were purchased as Christmas gifts from my niece, one each of 2 years, on her college budget of next to nothing. And you know what? They mean the world to me! I think of Sarah every time I pull out one of those cups! Simple, $1 store coffee cups but they were chosen specifically for me with thoughts of things important to me and I love them! One year my mom got an idea for our extended family Christmas Eve gift exchange. Instead of buying someone candles or socks, buy them something YOU like. Or a few small things, and include a note about why those things are favorites or important to you. It was the best gift exchange ever! I learned an uncle of mine has a thing for jazz music, and I have a CD of one of his favorite artists. Oh and he loves Zero candy bars! Who knew! Another year I received a hand made scarf from an aunt. She buys them from a lady who designed the pattern with the help of her son, as he laid in his hospital bed dying. She makes them in his memory and donates the money to whatever disease claimed his life. These things mean a heck of a lot more to the people receiving them than any gift purchased at Macy’s ever will.
If you are someone who believes in God, get to church. I know, church is full of hypocrites, go look in the mirror you are one of them too! We all are! Church is for the sinners not the perfect folks and there isn’t a single one of us walking around that couldn’t benefit from some solid teaching. If you don’t believe in God, great, then read the writings of Gandhi or Budda. Whatever, get some positive moral influence in your life. Turn off the crap on TV start reading more. Start with some basic government learning, then some history. You’d be amazed what you will learn.
Tighten the budget, get involved in the world around you, volunteer some time, shut off the TV and talk to your family (the best times in this house are spent on the deck in the evenings when the weather is nicer), read to your kids, have the kids read to you, see this country (look around, lots of history happened any where you live), bake cookies for a shut in, etc etc etc. And again, get involved. Bitching and whining doesn’t make a change. But right there where you are and I am, we can change our corner of the world, and just maybe if enough of us stop allowing all the distractions of things that do not matter into our lives and start interacting with each other and being a part of the world around us, it will change!
Life isn’t fair, but it can be what you chose to make it. And if we all start getting more involved and cutting back, it won’t fix everything but it will be a good start!
Okay off my soap box.