This blog is now inactive and has been for nearly 4 years. Catch me over at OverdramaticallyStated.com where I talk about love, faith, hope, and kindness–and my anxious, sweaty badass self. I think you’ll find my views have evolved. Thank God.
Greetings readers (however few of you there are)!
I know I promised to write more frequently, and I think I have, actually. Just not as frequently as I would like. Life has been busy in our little home. Between Aaron’s work and class, Weston’s busy-business, and my seminary classes and related activities (not to mention the fact that I’m growing a whole other person), we are full up!
The impetus for this particular blog is to announce that we’ve found out we’re having another boy! The ultrasound tech told us that there is absolutely NO doubt about it. Yes, double trouble is headed our way (or triple, if you count the husband… to return any sense of balance, we’ve got to get female pets, y’know, whenever we do get them).
I want to express my excitement at this turn of events. The ideal family is, in many minds, mother, father, son, and daughter–“one of each,” as they say. Aaron and I long ago determined that we probably “only” wanted two children (both of us were of the mind that, once they begin outnumbering you, you’re just begging for chaos). So we’re not going to have that “ideal” family in the sense of having both a son and a daughter. Funny thing is, I kept telling myself, I think we’re having a girl! Mostly because I thought I wanted a little girl. Sure, I liked the idea of having a “mini-me” and carrying on that strong female Cherokee heritage I’m so proud of. True, Aaron doesn’t get his “daddy’s girl.” And maybe my boys won’t be into watching the Disney films I’m most fond of (Hello, Sleeping Beauty).
I thought all of those things. And yet, immediately upon hearing, “That’s definitely a boy,” I felt a sense of relief. Yes, relief. Lifted is my annoyance with the idea of doing someone’s hair other than my own, gone are some of the teenaged-year concerns most associated with having daughters, and vanished is my trepidation at having to explain that unfortunate female “curse” to a severely bummed out daughter. While true that the trade-off is an insanely busy set of toddler years (boys are busy bees!) and a heightened sense of worry over their seeming lack of anything resembling sense or the slightest hint of fear when performing “death”-defying stunts, I have to be honest in saying that I am much more comfortable with the boy thing.
sI know what to do with boys. I was a tomboy growing up (I have since embraced both sides of my personality, however). The thought that I never have to have pink in my house is much more than just the slightest bit comforting (seriously, I need to blog about my hatred of the color pink, with the sole exceptions of the accents on my wedding dress and my WWBD t-shirt from a friend). No dresses, tutus, or complicated outfits. Boys wear pants, people, PANTS. They don’t care about their hair and they LOVE their mamas. I’m going to go ahead and call this a win for us.
Plus, I get to refer to my little family as “my boys” forever, which is something I am supremely excited about. Now, if my little brother could just have at least one daughter, that would be excellent. I’m going to have to do some praying about this because I NEED a niece. Then I can spoil the heck out of her, she’ll never get mad at me (because, let’s face it, I’m so clearly going to be the beloved “cool aunt”, like my Aunt Jen is to me), and I don’t have to deal daily with teenage girl hormones. Win-win 🙂
I have many friends with little girls and they’re super cute and I know their families love them to pieces. Kudos to those of you who have beautiful little ladies, raise them well 🙂 I have nothing against girls. But two boys for us? It is the right course for this mommy. When my family says they’ve always seen me with boys, I can understand that. I think I’ve always seen myself with sons as well. It just makes a perfect kind of sense.
So please pray for a continued healthy pregnancy and that little Isaac is as healthy as his big brother, Weston. So far, so good.
From the way that the media reports on Karl Rove, you’d think he was the equivalent of Joseph Goebbels, a propagandizing monster, whispering insidious deeds into President Bush’s ear and spinning his web left and right. I’m a Rove fan from the Bush years. I never bought the hype about him being some sort of evil, devious character. If you know me, you know I’m not one to follow the sway of public opinion. Were that true, my time in liberal academia would have long ago turned me into a left-winger. If I like something, I like it completely independent of what others say (though sometimes I am introduced to something new by others). Same goes for NOT liking something or someone. I’ve watched Mr. Rove in interviews and always respected his views (as a fellow conservative), loyalty to our 43rd president, and strength of character as he faced off with some of the worst offenders in the liberal media. He *seemed* like a nice guy, but one never knows until one comes face-to-face with someone.
Wednesday afternoon, I took a spin up to Babies R Us to add one more item to my registry (yes, in case you’ve been under a rock for the past few months, Aaron and I are expecting). After a quick jaunt through that busy store with oh-so-tempting goodies for me to buy for our little son, I decided to go get a drink at Borders Books next door. I had just been up to Barnes and Noble the day before to purchase Chelsea Handler’s new book with my 40% off coupon, and debated on whether to grab a copy of Karl Rove’s Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. I decided that maybe one book this week was enough and that perhaps I ought to wait till his book had a bigger discount. My trip to Borders on Wednesday, however, seems to have been somewhat serendipitous. Immediately upon walking in, there was a huge Karl Rove book display (40% off, no less) with a sign saying there would be a book signing on Saturday. I was intrigued. I picked up the book, still debating on buying it, and read the first few pages. Needless to say, I was riveted.
I grabbed a copy and went up to the register. I was asked if I planned on attending the book signing, and said I wasn’t sure. 5 1/2 months pregnant with lupus is no time to be standing in some long line even if it is to meet someone I admire. The woman assured me that a purple wristband would get me into the first group of people to get my book signed, so I agreed, took the band, and started racking my brain for people to take with me. I thought of my dad, but knew he was a busy guy. Weekends, especially. He and my mom spend those days running errands and having fabulous lunches together. So, I called my friend, Christine, with whom I had gone to the McCain/Palin ’08 campaign rally. It wasn’t to be: Christine had yoga that day.
When I arrived home, I told my mom about it. She was excited for me (and I think she wanted to go, too), but she had plans with some of my baby shower planners to do invites that day. She thought I should take my dad, mentioning that it would be a great 50th b-day gift. OF COURSE! I hadn’t known WHAT to get my dad for this auspicious occasion, but what could be more perfect than a book by a conservative we both like AND a trip to meet him and have the book SIGNED? I quickly went to find Dad and asked him of his plans for Saturday. LONG story short (and I apologize for the length), I ended up driving back up to Borders that afternoon to grab a second copy. Conveniently, I also got another purple wristband for Dad’s 50th b-day.
After much anticipation, Saturday finally arrived. It was a dreary day, windy, rainy–just all around gross outside. Not the type of weather you want to go out in. Dad and I got up to Borders around 11:10; the signing was at noon. We browsed the store (like my father, I can spend long periods of time perusing the shelves and discovering new and exciting books that I just HAVE to read) and awaited the announcement for everyone to start lining up for the signing. The store wasn’t too crazy when we arrived, but it quickly filled up. At around 11:45, they manager asked everyone with purple bands to meet at the front of the store and then herded us through a winding maze of shelves back toward the podium from which Mr. Rove would be signing our books.
As we waited in line, surrounded by somewhat like-minded conservatives, Dad in his Harley jacket and I in my newsboy cap and vest, we were approached by a smallish older woman wearing glasses and a rain jacket. She was accompanied by her young assistant. She turned out to be Jo-Ann Greene from the Sunday News. With a wry smile she asked politely if she could ask us a few questions. We said that would be fine. I was thinking, “This should be interesting.”
With pen and steno pad in hand, she asked us why we had come out to the signing. “Why Karl Rove?,” essentially. As I spoke, she furiously scribbled down my words, or so I tought. I responded, “I think it’s interesting to get an inside perspective on the Bush Administration.” She smiled, hearing what she wanted to hear, and pressed for more. I followed with, “It seems Karl Rove would be the right person for that.” She asked for my name and then turned to my dad to find out why he was there. He smiled and said, “Basically the same.” She asked for his name. “Dan,” he replied. She asked, “Townsley?” Dad: “No, Coon, this is my daughter.” Then I piped up and said, “I bought him the book for his 50th birthday gift.” She jotted that down, thanked us for our time, and walked away. As soon as I heard that she was a reporter, I had a feeling I would be misquoted. I barely said anything as she hardly asked us anything. I, however, instinctively knew what she was looking for and I didn’t think my words fit her template.
Finally, Karl Rove arrived. The press got first crack at him. They all stood up there smiling and laughing with Karl as the rest of us stood in line, anxiously awaiting our turn to talk to “The Architect.” He was running slightly behind, though not terribly so, and we all really wanted to get up there to meet him. I grasped my book standing on my tip-toes believing I’d only have five seconds to see him as he signed my book. I wanted to see all I could before the moment was gone.
Sometime during the time we waited, Mom arrived at the store to meet us, and came to grab my coat from me. After carrying that through the store for over an hour, my pregnant, lupus-filled body was tired and I needed to unload the only thing I was carrying besides my book.
Then, slowly, the line began to move forward. “We’re moving now!” someone excitedly said behind us. We were only the 10th and 11th people in line, but it still felt like we’d been waiting a long time (especially stuck waiting in the Sci-fi book section–boring!). What initially struck me about Karl was that he actually came over to meet everyone. He wasn’t sitting at a table waiting for people to come to him. Instead, he stood at a podium and walked the 5 feet over to meet each and every one of us. When it was my turn, he came over with a warm smile and stuck his hand out to me. I shook his hand and spoke first, “Hi Karl.” Perhaps it was bold of me, but I didn’t want him to have to introduce himself yet again. He said, “Hello, what’s your name?” I said, “Jessica Townsley.” To which he replied, “Jessica, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” and he took my book and guided me over to the podium. Before he turned his attention from me to the book, I said (pointing to my baby bump), “I’m carrying a little conservative baby in here.” He smiled the biggest smile and said, “Oh, wonderful! When are you due?” Me: “July 23rd.” Karl (with a warm smile): “Congratulations, Jessica. And remember, all the cliches are true!” I was so taken aback by his genuine kindness that I nearly walked away before I heard him say, “Here, why don’t we get a picture?” And yes, the photographer took a picture of me–5 1/2 months pregnant with my son–smiling happily and proudly, next to Karl Rove.
Dad was next in line and nearly didn’t get his picture taken. They called him back to make sure he got one after waiting in line like that. As I said, these people–all of those involved from Karl and his staff, to the store manager and employees–were so kind. Once the event photography website posts pics, I will be certain to share them. Below are some shots from the event that I nabbed with my little camera phone. Also a picture of my signed book 🙂
UPDATE: Yes, Dad and I were mentioned in the short story in the Sunday News paper. And, as expected, I was misquoted. I actually think this makes for a better story. I feel as though I am an official “conservative in the fight” now. It’s a badge of honor. A right of passage. If you’ll recall, I said, “It’s interesting to get an inside perspective…” I was quoted as looking for “insider knowledge.” Perhaps this is a minor quibble. However, if you’ll think for a moment, you’ll begin to understand the difference between the definitions of the word perspective versus the word knowledge. I was and am looking for perspective. But the reporter heard the somewhat more insidious sounding “insider knowledge.” As though I take anyone’s perspective as FACT.
It’s interesting that a reporter would confuse a word meaning “point of view” with a word meaning “facts or information.” But, as we know, “journalists” often confuse the two, intermingling their own point of view with the actual facts. At least they got the “50th birthday gift” part correct. You can read the “riveting” (and I use sarcastic quote marks) piece from Jo-Ann Greene here: Right-Hand Man Meets Left, Right (That link has since “expired”, here’s a new one as of 11-24-10). In the print edition, there’s a huge picture of the massive crowd of six protesters who stood in the rain with their hateful signage. That picture is the biggest one The Sunday News posted from the event, and it’s at the top of the page. Typical. But, hey, I say God bless them! The First Amendment is a beautiful thing. Let freedom ring!
And as always, ASAP, my friends!
I had the privilege of viewing so many great films this year and that made narrowing down a top 10 list nearly impossible and quite honestly… a bit painful. Many of the ones I viewed I’m not likely to watch again because there’s only so much time in the day. As this is the case, fantastic films like Invictus, Taken, The Brothers, and Public Enemies—while all superior films in one facet or another—have been left off my list. This does not speak to their quality, but rather more to my ability to rewatch them. My idea this year was to keep this list to the “best” films, my favorite films, that I WILL watch again. That said, here’s the list:
Favorite Movies of 2009
10. New Moon: Some will say this is a film for 13-year old girls. Well, I coach 13 year olds, but that’s not what got me hooked on this series of movies and books. Sure, they’re not Oscar winners, but not all of my favorite films are. I felt that New Moon was a step above Twilight (no offense to that brilliant C. Hardwick) both in acting and writing. I enjoyed this film and it’s likely that, with the exception of my top 2, this is the 2009 film I will rewatch the most. Why is it only number 10? It’s here simply because, in the realm of excellent films from my list, this one is the lowest caliber.
9. Whip It: Oh, how I do love a good Ellen Page movie. The girl is a delight on screen and shows herself to be less Juno-y in this wonderful comedy/drama from first time director Drew Barrymore. Throw in Juliette Lewis and you’ve got one of the most enjoyable few hours I spent at the theater last year!
8. Zombieland: What can I say? Woody Harrelson had a fantastic year. This horror/comedy is chock full of moments of pure hilarity. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to see. I don’t know about you, but after watching, I know I feel a bit more prepared for how to survive a Zombie world take over!
7. The Time Traveler’s Wife: First, let me say, I read this book and LOVED it. Absolutely loved it. I hoped the film wouldn’t disappoint. It didn’t—though in some ways, it was lacking if only because the book takes place in the heads of the two characters, movies, though, are very much visual and it’s very difficult to capture those thoughts on screen (which, I believe, is also the problem with why the Twilight films don’t translate as well to the screen). Back to this film, though, I felt the performances were spot on and the writing good enough that I didn’t mind the few missing parts from the book.
6. The Blind Side: This was the surprise of my movie going experience this year. By far, Sandra Bullock’s best performance to date, this touching (if slightly Hollywoodized) true story of Michael Oher kept me glued to my seat and delighted to see another great story of overcoming adversity.
5. The Hangover: Oh Bradley Cooper, the world just discovered you this year, while all along, we Alias fans have known of your adorableness and great acting chops for a LONG while now. And Zach G., I still miss Tru Calling, but seeing your silliness grace the silver screen in several instances this year made it a fantastic year for comedy!
4. Inglourious Basterds: Pitt and Tarantino. Need I say more?
3. Up in the Air: Ok, gorgeous George Clooney is always good. Always. But he’s outdone himself in this terrific film. As good as he was, however, our little Anna Kendrick COMPLETELY stole the show. At times funny, sad, and always brilliant, Jason Reitman’s (Juno) latest offering had both the hubby and myself impressed. I’m excited to see what else he brings us in the years to come.
2. (500) Days of Summer: Zooey Deschanel, you always—ALWAYS—make movies better (and TV shows for that matter). This whimsical rom-com in reverse had be laughing, crying, and all mixed-up over and over.
1. Away We Go: Was there ever any doubt? This film (which happened to make at least one critic’s “worst of ‘09” list) tops mine for all of the reasons I’ve mentioned in previous blogs. Even upon rewatch, it remains as smart, funny and insightful as any film this year. Love it!
Honorable Mentions: Adventureland, The Proposal, Julie and Julia: Adventureland may have missed the mark in some respects, but I thoroughly enjoyed it both because of Ms. Stewart and Mr. Eisenberg (who are in two of the other films mentioned above). I was heartbroken when this little indie gem only appeared in theaters around here for ONE week. Thankfully, I got to see it later via Netflix. And I’d be a fool to leave off Sandra Bullock’s second top grossing film of her career (behind The Blind Side). This was Sandy’s year and she totally rocked in The Proposal. Performance wise, she’s always a charmer, but she hit new highs this year. And, of course, Ryan Reynolds’ appearance didn’t hurt, either. Finally, leaving off Meryl’s crowning achievement in Julie and Julia this year would be an utter mistake. Who will ever forget how she captured Julia Child so perfectly? Why isn’t this on the list? One word: Julie Powell. As much as I love Amy Adams and thought she totally nailed the part, that’s also part of the problem. If you read the book, you’ll likely feel like I did: Julie Powell is not a sympathetic or likeable character. Amy did her best with the material, and she really nailed it. But I find myself wanting to skip through her scenes and hear straight for Julia.
As I said, there are a TON of great movies this year—many more that I have yet to see and suspect would have made making this list even more difficult (so thank goodness I didn’t see them all!). In the end, I had to make my decision based on criteria I’ve not used in the past (necessarily): what did I love so much that I’ll watch it again? Ultimately, those on the top ten (AND my favorites on the honorable mention list) are likely to be re-watched. That’s not to take anything away from the others that I loved, but just to say that, perhaps, some of the subject matter doesn’t lend itself to repeat viewings. I shouldn’t complain about having a tough time with this list because, after all, it really points to the fantastic fun I had at the movies this year. Here’s to a delightful 2010! Let’s hope I have just as much trouble with my list next year!
I watch a lot of TV. When you can’t physically do a lot of other things and need an escape from your school work, it’s inevitable. So yeah, I’ll admit it: I like TV. Most importantly, I love good TV. Television, when it’s good, is like a great movie that lasts a long time. I’m a sucker for character studies in film, and I think that’s why I love TV so much: it allows time for character study.
Last year was a terrific one for TV–network and cable. I watch more than what’s listed here, but these are the highlights. Here is my list of my favorite top 15ish (why “-ish”?… you’ll see):
Jessica’s Favorite TV Shows of 2009
15. Medium/ Ghost Whisperer: These two air back to back on Friday nights making it uber difficult, sometimes, to separate. GW had taken a turn for the worst with the first few episodes, but thankfully, they’ve picked up the pace and gotten back on track. It’s not going to win any awards, but I love JLH. I just do. Ever since Party of Five, she’s been one of my favorite actresses to watch because she’s just so sweet. Happy. Someone you WANT to see on screen. Medium is steady, reliable, and each episode is compelling. I find myself never tiring of the DuBois clan. Their move to CBS hasn’t had any effects that have harshed my feelings toward this wonderful show.
14. ‘V’: With only four episodes aired this season, I nearly forgot to list this one. Not all that much of the story has been revealed, but what we’ve seen has been compelling.
13. Bones: What can be said? The end of last season was somewhat lackluster, but given that the Bones/Boothe ship seems to be hitting a whole new level (of awesome!), I’ve been drawn back in with a vengeance. I can’t wait to see if/how those two crazy kids finally make things work!
12. Weeds/ Californication: These two shows keep me coming back to Showtime and trusting that great writing still exists and there are still many compelling stories to tell. And oh, HANK, buddy, you really need to GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, MAN!
11. Big Love: Amanda Seyfried stole the show last season with her moving portrayal of the eldest Henrickson daughter. Throw in a dash of complications within the family and the inevitable drama from evil Roman and crew and you’ve got a recipe for a great season. New season begins Sunday and I can hardly wait!
10. The Tudors: I cried when Queen Jane died. I knew it was coming (this is historical fiction, after all) and yet, I bawled my eyes out. Seeing Henry’s pain was unbearable (despite all the evil deeds he’s committed, felt horribly for him). So conflicted was he at having finally produced a male heir on the same day his beloved wife dies. Jonathan Rhys Meyers was in top form for season 3. The final season is coming in the spring and, though I know, ultimately, how it ends, I’m still compelled to tune in and be amazed by the performances.
9. Lost: I go back and forth on this one. In fact, I considered leaving it off the list completely. Lost is a great show, please don’t misunderstand. The problem is that I don’t THINK about Lost when it’s not on. It doesn’t consume any measure of my thoughts (like so many other shows) until I’m actually sitting down to watch it. This season was, however, one of the most interesting and maybe my favorite so far. I just wish it were higher on my priority list. The fact that it’s not, however, gives me pause about its inclusion. Still, I can’t deny that I’m excited about seeing how things unravel this final season. Should be fascinating.
8. Battlestar Galactica: Some were disappointed by the finale, but I found myself riveted. I’m so thankful that we’ve been left with a sense of closure and yet still have questions. I will re-watch this entire series again and again, I’m certain of it.
7. The Big Bang Theory/ The Office/ Modern Family: Please don’t make me choose! These three fantastic comedies keep me entertained all year ‘round. The Office just makes me happy (Jim and Pam could not BE any cuter… not posssible). BBT gives me the LOLz every week. The newest addition, Modern Family, is quickly moving up the ranks of my favorites list. I love the quirky comedy and a little drama mixed in with the sweet family moments that don’t at all feel contrived or hokey. ABC’s got a winner here.
6. Chuck: Only a recent convert to the Chuck universe, I was delightfully surprised with just how great a show the writers and cast have put together here. Zach Levi is adorable and I can’t tell you HOW much I want he and Sarah to get together. Add to that the brilliant performance of one of my favorite Whedonites, Adam Baldwin, and this whole show is made of win!
5. Dexter: Few words are necessary for this season. Brilliant. Dexter’s BACK. I don’t want to give anything away, but WHAT. AN. ENDING. I can’t wait for next season!
4. Nurse Jackie/ Party Down: The cable networks have really outdone themselves this year. The creation of each of these shows, on Showtime and Starz, respectively, have shown that cable has some of the most intriguing, funny, and creative ideas for where television is going. I’ve never seen anything like Edie Falco’s Jackie or the hilarious catering crew at Party Down and I’m sure to tune in for season two of each of these shows!
3. The Good Wife: What can I say about Julianna Margulies? She’s embodied the character of Alicia Florrick so completely that I’ve found myself unable to miss even a minute of this show. It has to be one of the most well written, compelling hours of television out there. Tune in, folks, you will not be disappointed.
2. Mad Men: Weiner, Hamm, and co. just get better and better. My only quibble with this season was the lack of Joan Holloway’s presence on the screen (as one of my favorite characters, she adds a touch of humor, complexity, and distinctive moral ambiguity that I missed this season), but the finale promised much more Joan—and a whole new playing field–for next season. Color me excited!
1. Dollhouse: If you’ve read my blogs/spoken to me AT ALL this year, this should come as no surprise. What started off shakily last February, has rapidly become my favorite show this year. I was bound to love it (hello, it’s JOSS!), and though I enjoyed the first 5 episodes, it didn’t prove groundbreaking until the game-changing episode “Man on the Street.” Since then, Joss, Eliza and crew have had me hooked on this fantastic show taking place in a world that doesn’t yet exist, but making me wonder about the possibilities for our future given human curiosity and need for technological advancement and control. How far will we go in our quest to understand the human mind? My favorite moments in this series revolved about the all important question, “Can you wipe away a soul?” And, of course, my love and infatuation with Enver Gjokaj began with Dollhouse and I hope that its cancellation doesn’t mean less Enver. Surely someone else has seen the light and will hire this tremendously talented (and easy on the eyes) young actor!
Honorable Mentions: Parks and Recreation—And then there’s Amy Phoeler in Parks and Recreation. This should be on the list—but it isn’t. Why? Because I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out WHERE to put it. Probably should be right there at number 8 with the rest of the network comedies. But I don’t feel QUITE the urgency to watch it as I do those three. So it gets an honorable mention.
Some will ask, “Where’s Glee?” Well, Glee has proven itself unreliable, at best. There are moments of sheer hilarity and true visionary work–but it’s so mixed with contrived silliness that I can’t actually include it.
I’m just taking a brief moment to wish everyone a happy Christmas (yes, I’m borrowing from my slight British ancestry for this post) and safe travels for those headed to see family and friends this Christmas season.
I’m planning to post a few “Jessica’s best of 2009” lists out of obligation to a friend who’s been bugging me about it for some time. 😛 Most likely I will limit this to films and television shows of ’09 and keep it at that. My musical tastes are so varied and I’m not sure I’ve purchased 10 albums from this year to rate this year. I also don’t listen to the radio, so “singles of ’09” would be wasted here at the blog.
In short, if you are so inclined to hear about what my preferences in TV and film have been the past year… tune in soon. I’ll be posting early next week… probably.
Happy Christmas to one and all!
It’s the season of thanks giving and I would like us all to remember how important it is to give thanks. Whether you’re terribly bothered by the slaughter of the indigenous people in this our magical land or not, that’s not ultimately what this season is about. All of the political correctness flopping about in schools these days has contributed to the ongoing rash of selfishness that plagues this world. No longer are you allowed to wish someone a happy Christmas or freely celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving because it *may* offend someone who is not you. What must it be like to perpetually walk around looking for things to get upset about? How miserable a life must these people live when they cannot rise above the petty grievances of history to live in the here and now?
Oh, but I digress…
The true reason for today’s blog is that I am baffled, friends–truly befuddled. Absolutely and totally. The more time I spend trying to figure things out, the more confounded I become. For instance, FACT: People complain. This is nothing new, I know. People think of some problem, instance or situation of which they have absolutely no control or vested interest and then complain about it ad nauseam. Why? Well, I suppose, to some extent, we all need moments when we can vent our frustrations. This is understandable and I wholeheartedly support venting from time to time.
Here’s the thing: At some point, complaining serves no further purpose. Eventually, complaining is just complaining. When this happens, hang it up. Dial it back. Take it down a notch or ten. No, seriously, I’m telling you, it’s not doing you or anyone else any good. At that moment, it’s time to pack it in. Get it out of yourself. Write it down. Have a chat with God. Whatever you have to do, but get it out of you and move on.
Constant complaining and the persistent need to explain yourself or someone/thing else; these are the things that poison our otherwise whole, peaceful, and good souls. Sometimes there is not explanation. History is past and we can learn from it or dwell–our choice. This endless cycle of complaining and explaining will eat away at you until there’s nothing left but a shell. You will have spent so much time worrying about things that don’t matter that nothing will matter. You won’t even see the good where there is good.
And that’s my point here, people. Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays–whatever you celebrate–are meant to be celebrated for the best possible reasons. Today people get together for good reasons regardless of what happened back in history. Are you slaughtering the Indigenous people? No. Okay then.
This Thursday, you can choose to sulk about the fate of those native to our land (of which I am a descendant) or you can get together with whomever you are sharing the day with and just. be. thankful. Ultimately, that’s your choice. You can whine and complain about the commercial aspects of Christmas or the stressful moments with your family–OR–You can be thankful that you have family.
You can worry over the winter solstice, quibble over the actual date of Jesus’s birth (or that you don’t believe in Jesus, and are, for some reason offended that others do–“It’s not fair”–boohoo), fight with people who wish you a Merry Christmas, or go about saying “Bah humbug.” You can do whatever you choose. But I think you might be happier if you can suck it up, get over yourself for five seconds, and try to think about the existing spirit of the season. Merry Christmas does not translate into: “If you don’t believe in Christ, YOU are a bad person” or “You HAVE to believe what I believe” any more than Happy Thanksgiving means “I’m happy that the Europeans came here and slaughtered the Indians.” I mean, honestly, people. “Land of the free” means that we are all free to celebrate however we see fit within the bounds of the law. If you don’t want to celebrate–well, that’s your loss. If you want to sit at home and pout or roll your eyes and bad mouth all the “stupid, ignorant Americans” who are celebrating, go right ahead. But don’t bug me about it. Stop complaining about it.
Your pervasive attitude is YOUR business and wholly under your control. In the same way that “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” (wasn’t that Eleanor Roosevelt?) so too, no one can make you feel depressed or angry without it either. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own feelings and actions.
So today, I suppose, my point is that once you get that negativity out of you (whether it’s about the holidays or some other issue) and turn it over to your diary, best friend, or God–once you’ve done that, it would be wise to do as Kate Hepburn once advised:
Never complain, never explain.
That’s all for now. ASAP