If You Stand For Nothing…

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If you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?

Football was quite interesting today.

On Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the sport of Football reigns supreme. Whether it is college, high school, or professional, people are glued to their television screens to watch their favorite teams win whatever game they are playing. Normally, the only thing you have to worry about as a football team is whether or not they win or lose the game they are playing today, You worry for the offensive and defensive lines of your favorite teams, and that is the only thing that stresses you out on a normal Sunday afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, given a certain political figure’s social media posts, the focus and purpose of today’s athletic events changed.

Today, football got political.

In the past forty-eight hours, Donald Trump has tweeted his opinions regarding a quarterback’s refusal to stand during the United State’s National Anthem that plays prior. I won’t get into my own opinions regarding his stance on their stance during the national anthem and whether I agree with their refusal to stand during the national anthem, but I am impressed by the protest nonetheless.

The response from the football community has been overwhelming.

At the start of every single American football game across the country today, players of various race, creeds, and beliefs stood together in protest. The Pittsburgh Steelers and other teams remained in the locker room  in solidarity for the political climate of the country. Other members of various teams kneeled instead of normally standing, while others locked arms with their teammates to show support for the injustices that seem so common in this country. No angry words were spoken, and no violence was performed. People just acted in silent, peaceful protest.

It was heartwarming.

This world is an absolute mess nowadays. Everyone is angry at the angry world around us.  Today, protest against the world’s ills was made, and it was made correctly for once because no one got violent.

I get so sad with the way the world is sometimes.

The statement made by so many professional football players today gave me so much hope.

At the start of each professional NFL football game, as the national anthem of the united states played or was sung, most players either linked arms with their fellow players or took a knee.

No violence, no words.

I was moved by how impactful such a quiet act of defiance was.

It was my kind of protest.

Violent acts and hateful words, no matter what side of the argument you may find yourself on, are so easy to find these days, As an anti-political party citizen of the United States of America, I try to see both sides, and I hate how angry the world has become.

Today, the NFL gave me hope.

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Bonfires and Candles

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The world is on fire, my friends.

Each and every single day, a new celebrity is getting in trouble for new sex scandal, often involving a teenager for some reason. Sprinkled in are the deaths of all of the good, honest celebrities that were usually without any major incidents during their years on this earth. People keep arguing mindlessly back and forth on the various social media platforms. Politicians are corrupt. Rights are being taken away from the innocents and there are riots in the streets. It is becoming increasingly dark in this world that we live in right now.

Plus, I have a bad cold I just cannot seem to shake.

Okay, so that last one may not seem like much, but it is majorly affecting my own personal day to day life. I am trying to push as much water and vitamin C into my system to push the germs out of my body, but that then forces me to get up from my desk at work, walk all the way over to the kitchen to the water cooler, and then eventually I have to get up to walk all the way to the bathroom because the human bladder can only hold so much liquid at any given time. Not being able to stomach a lot of the harder cold and flu medications, even your average cough drop, I have taken to popping lollypops as an unhealthy alternative. It may seem like a lot to me, but my little common cold is a drop in the bucket of problems going on in the world right now.

My problem is a candled in comparison to the bonfires of those other problems

People always say, “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” I understand what it is supposed to mean. Do not try to make a tiny problem seem like a larger one. I get it. Do not exaggerate. However, this common phrase is problematic as it diminishes one problem in favor of the other. While this phrase is supposed to ask someone not to exaggerate, it has come to slight mean that some problems have more meaning than others.

It needs to stop.

Yes, some problems have a larger impact on the world as a whole.  Yes, there are problems that affect someone more greatly than another person. Of course, all problems are not the same because not all people are the same. I cannot begin to understand what it is like for a poor boy living in an inner city because I am a middle class suburban girl. That does not mean any of my problems do not matter if they upset me. A little boy’s pain from scraping his knee when he rides his bike matters just like the woman’s pain from losing her job. Yes, these pains are drastically different, and one of those pains may have a greater impact on the lives of the sufferer and others. However,  this does not mean that the smaller pains do not matter.

Your pain is your pain, and it matters no matter what.

 

Mind Vs. Body

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The mental and the physical are at war within me, my friends.

Recently, I got a lovely seasonal cold. Normally, my illnesses do not last terribly long, and they are not terribly severe. I can usually make it through my day without any real interruption, and I have every intention of getting through my day as normally as possible as I typically refuse to admit defeat when it comes to an illness. However, every so often, the germs hit me harder than normal, and I am knocked off of my butt. Harder still, I still try to employ as much of my ambition as possible to keep things normal.

How does that saying go again? The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Mondays at work are just generally rough for me to get through. Transitioning from weekend to work is never the easiest thing to do. My mind is still relaxing on a Sunday, but my body was physically sitting at my desk. I still get my work done, but I move at a slower pace as I know my focus is not at its absolute strongest.  It is even worse when my body is not at its strongest. Half asleep and slightly feverish but refusing to use the multiple sick days I have earned during my time at the company, I slowly tried to get my work done and regretted not taking at least half of a sick day to give my body some rest.  However, as bad as the morning was with a cold, it was not the worst part of my day.

Last night was rough.

Once I finally decide to admit that I am under the weather, I get super aggressive with fighting the bug that is attacking my body. All of the vitamins that are known for fighting colds get pumped into my system as I also chug as much water as my body will allow to pump all of the germs out. One part of my healing regime is to take the preventive supplements that advertise that they reduce the severity of the cold. Normally, they work fine as long as I follow the instructions to take one every four hours or so.

Apparently, my body did not take kindly to them this time around.

The onset of a cold is the roughest part for me, but I started to notice I was feeling a lot worse than usual around midnight. I had dinner, went to the gym, finished a blog post, showered, and began straightening my hair so I did not have to do it in the morning. Hair half straight and half wavy, my stomach began to ache. Feeling the chills of a fever, I decided to finish my hair in the morning and crawl into bed. Almost as soon as my feverish head hit the pillow, a wave of nausea overcame me. I barely grabbed the waste basket in time before the contents of my stomach became the contents of my trash. The rest of the night was spent tossing and turning.

Hopefully, I’ll feel better tomorrow.

Admitting Humanity.

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Well, it finally happened.

As much as I try to believe it will never come, this thing happens about once a year for me.

For other people, it can happen multiple times throughout the year at various seasons. They are constantly affected by this particular event. For me, it can happen maybe one or twice a year at most. I pride myself on being the one person who manages to avoid having this event occur often. Unfortunately, I am unable to avoid this hated human event and must accept defeat.

I somehow got sick.

Okay, so I know I am human, and humans always get sick every now and again, so I should not expect to be completely untouchable. A virus or a germ of some kind manages to get spread around a particular area to a group of people who then proceed to react and infect those around them. Sure, modern science and medicine have developed a lot of antidotes and preventive vaccines that wonderfully combat these diseases and illness, but then more pop up to infect other people. People will always find a way to get sick.

Normally, I am different.

As a young child, I got sick as much as the next kid. That is probably because kids share everything and are incredibly germy. I caught the virus known as Strep Throat multiple times during my youth and was put on the antibiotics numerous times as a result. That tongue test they perform to check for the illness still gives me nightmares. Anyway, I was like a normal germ filled kid, and I got sick just like everyone else.

Everything seemed to change when I hit puberty.

Once I reached my teen years, my immune system began stepping up to the plate like a champion. I would sit perfectly healthy at my desk while around me were coughing kids and empty desks from the kids who just did not have the strength to make it in. When I did get sick with something as simple as the common cold, I would bitch and moan like I was dying because it was such an odd feeling for me. It was normally never a bad enough illness to keep me from my job or schooling, but I still complained as I normally never find myself in this position.

However, I am still an imperfect human, so I still fall to illness from time to time.

This is probably one of the first times I have gotten sick that I am completely willing to admit it one-hundred percent. It is a slight fever and a cough, and for once in my life, I am just going to accept it. I pop a pill or two for the cough and fever, down a vitamin or two, drink some water, and just try to wait it out. Normally, I try to keep my cold treatments as med free as possible as I hate the med hangovers.

I’ll probably be better in a day or two.

Hands to Yourself

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Another day, another famous person getting in trouble with a sexual misconduct scandal.

Stop me if you have heard this one.

A famous figure, typically a male figure in politics or the entertainment industry though it can run the gamut in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or social status, is accused by at least one or two people of some sort of inappropriate sexual misconduct with someone. Past years have had seemingly conservative politicians cheating on their spouses with random individuals.  While that seems bad enough, at least the people that were the other man or woman were usually willing participating. Nowadays, there seems to famous people who are getting into trouble for having sexual relations with people who did not consent to being touched in any way. Literally, a new story has popped up every day with a new person getting into trouble for this.

I just do not understand how this is becoming a daily news story.

My phone lights up in my purse while I am at work. Thinking it was a text message about plans I made for the evening, I quickly check my phone to read what I thought was a text message. Instead to additional evening plan information, it was a news alert from CNN. A quarterback from a professional football team was accused of groping an Uber driver.  Today, Ryan Secrest was apparently accused of misconduct with a few various individuals. I can almost guarantee that there will be another issue that occurs tomorrow. Everyday there is a new person who is accused, and multiple people step forward to add to this accusation.

How does this keep happening?

This is so frustrating. One day, it is a republican senator from Alabama or another southern state inappropriately touching a teenager. The next day, it is an actor living their life in Hollywood. After that, it’s a conservative business owner. Then, it’s a movie producer. It just keeps happening.  Do not get me wrong. Though I am not a survivor of any sort of sexual, I am proud to see people stepping forward and reclaiming power from their attackers.

I am more confused on how the sexual misconduct keeps happening.

Maybe it is just me, but I think it is pretty simple. I thought this was something we all learned in grade school. Keep your hands to yourself, and no means no. If they are under eighteen and you are over thirty, that is illegal whether they say no or yes. It is as simple as that. If he or she says no or cannot say yes, do not try to do anything with them. It is that simple.

Hands to yourself.

Putting On Layers

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Friends who live in the Northern parts of the world, it is that time of year. The time where people rush out to various stores to acquire items and gifts for feasts and festivities. It is a time where all of the leaves are turning colors and gently falling from the trees, floating gently in the sky, and landing onto the grass below. However, with all of the beauty and fun that this season typically has for everyone, there is one aspect of the season that I think we all can agree is not a pleasant one to deal with.

It is getting bitterly cold outside.

Winter has yet to officially arrive, but it seems to love giving everyone a not so sneak preview with icy winds, frosted car windows, and even a snow shower or two when the temperature hits the right way. It is the autumn season, but depending on where you may live in the world, this may actually be the shortest season as winter takes over by the time you hit November.  November has not even reached the end of its temporal reign, and we have already had a snowfall occur in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Do not get me wrong; I love snow. It makes me extremely happy and fills me with festive joy. When it is snowy outside, the shivers and chills that the winter season cause do not bother me one bit. I am like Elsa from the movie Frozen. The cold does not bother me when snow covers the ground.

Nowadays, the ground is not covered with the white frosty snow that I love to see from the season.

Without snow, all the colder seasons bring with them are the chills and shivers. The cold air hits the back of my neck as I walk the fairly short journey from my parking garage to my office building. I try everything to combat the cold by wearing hats, gloves, and scares to bundle up, but nothing ever seems to work all that well. The wind practically cuts the skin on my face as I always end up walking into it. I love the winter season, but I cannot stand existing in it when I have to venture outside of my own home.

Then, there is the wardrobe to figure out.

I naturally run hot. I am the exact opposite of that friend of yours that is always cold. Overheating and dehydrating have always been risk factors for me ever since I was little. Warm is my natural state. However, I am also on the thin side physically, so my body also catches a chill pretty quickly. During the summer, I can usually dress fairly light and not have to worry at all about what I am supposed to wear. The season is warm. I’m always warm. It was simple. Winter complicates things. I will catch a chill in the air, freeze up, put a sweater on, and then overheat thanks to the layers.

I have a love/hate relationship with this season.

Socially Sliding Forward

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I have social anxiety.

This probably will not be the first thing you think of when you first meet me. I always try to be as pleasant and enjoyable as I can be when I meet other humans for the first time, but sometimes I end of acting super quiet, awkward, and skittish. Eventually, I either become someone who always socialize with on a regular basis or that weird girl who never seems to open her mouth. A lot of people who see me on a regular basis, like coworkers and family members, take my demeanor to be a shy one, but I am not really all that shy. Because I can be a little quiet or awkward when I interact with people, shy is the first label that gets erroneously attached to me. I am not shy.

I am socially anxious. There is a difference.

The thing about dealing with social anxiety is that it is not just getting a little nervous while in the company of other human beings. Everyone, even the most social of creatures, can experience a few moments of shyness every now and again. Social anxiety is a lot different. People and the very thought of interacting with someone other than the face that you see in the mirror push your mind into overdrive. Every inch of every conversation you have had or could potentially have is scrutinized down to every last syllable. How did this person think I looked and acted in this moment? Did I look awkward? I was awkward, wasn’t I? They all saw, and they were taking notes. That’s why they aren’t saying a single word to me. I’m just too awkward for them to deal with. Whether I was awkward or not, I felt like they saw that and reacted by acting as awkward as I thought they thought I was. It’s a horrible thought process.

Occasionally, it can get in the way of a lot.

Social anxiety, for me at least, began to really affect my life when I was in my senior year in college. Living in a dorm room by myself, I no longer had a roommate to practice my socialization skills with. My school activity of marching band had ended, so I was not nearly as active as I would have normally been and didn’t interact with as many people as I once had. There were days when it got so bad that I would lay in my dorm room bed on the first floor as still as a board as people walked by, and I prayed no one could see me. Going home, it got a little better as I went back to working a retail job where I interacted with people on a regular basis.

It still will affect me from time to time in my day to day life.

How do I deal with it?

The funny thing about dealing with and/or overcoming social anxiety is that your anxiety trigger is all around you every day so long as you step outside your front door. You overcome by interacting. You face your fear for the cure.

I’m kind of excited to say I’m getting a little better.

Weekend on a Wednesday

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It is Wednesday.

The middle of the week has arrived. In two more days, it will finally be the weekend. It is a weekend to get prepared for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday by rushing out to each and every food related item you can think of for your Thursday meal next week as well as much booze as you can legally buy from liquor and grocery stores to deal with the stress and strain of family and cooking. It is the last normal weekend before the hustle and bustle of the winter holiday before the new year. Whatever this week is to everyone else, I am left with just one simple question I would love some sort of answer for.

Why does it feel like a Thursday?

Sometimes, weeks can just fly by. One minute it is Monday morning, and you are in the office at work. The next minute, you are sitting at home on a Friday night, lounging on the couch with a half-drunk beer in your hand. Those weeks typically occur when you need to have all the time in the world to complete whatever task you need to finish. You run out of time it seems like when weeks go like that.

Not this week, unfortunately. This is most definitely not one of those weeks.

Stop me if you have never experienced a week like this. You wake up on a Monday, and you think or feel like it is Tuesday. You go through the day thinking it is the next day and find yourself feeling incredibly disappointed to find out that you are much farther away than you had originally anticipated. Every second feels like an hour, and every day can feel like a month. Take this week. I kept thinking it was Thursday and one day from the weekend, and it was only Wednesday.  By Thursday, my body and mind start to shift into weekend mode. By Thursday, my focus begins to slip as Friday approaches. Try making it through the week when your body and mind think it is close to Friday, but you still have to somehow find enough focus and energy to push through two more full work days until it is finally time for the weekend.

It has been one of those weeks.

I do not really have advice for anyone who experiences these types of weeks where it seems like your body is ready to shift into some sort of weekend more, but time seems to want to drag on as slowly as possible. I can never predict when or why these types of weeks occur. Maybe it is because I do not have any sort of major event or project that I need to undertake and am actually looking forward to the weekend before Thanksgiving. Maybe it is because I just need a good and long break.

I was it was Friday, but sadly it is only Wednesday and I can do nothing about that right now.

This stinks.