How Do We Bridge The Divide?

How do we reach out to someone who has embraced conspiracy theories and lies. Someone willing to follow one man instead of ideals and who has lost their moral and ethical compass? I hear from Republican lawmakers how the Democrats must reach across the isle and compromise. For the past four years the Republican party has done everything but compromise. They followed a bully and authoritarian. They continue to follow him even though he is disgraced and the majority of Americans feel he should have been convicted for causing an insurrection. However, Donald Trump has many enablers both in government and media. That leads me back to my question. How do I communicate with someone I care about when they have fallen for the ‘Big Lie’ and continue to support a known corrupt person and will not accept our democracy and current president as legitimate.

I struggle with this theory that I must find common ground. How do I get past seeing them in a different light? How did I not see the bigotry and feelings of fear before? Right now I am hunkered in my home until I can receive the COVID vaccine, but when I can resume getting together with friends again I don’t know how I will be able to just make general conversation with the undercurrent I am feeling. I would love to hear from anyone either feeling the same or being successful in bridging the divide. I hope a year from now we may see a more united states.

Linda

Trump Was the Symptom, Not the Cause!

I took a deep breath on Inauguration Day.  I regained hope regarding the survival of our democracy.  However, the fight is far from over.  As much as I loath what Donald Trump stands, am baffled by how 74 million people could vote for him and like the values he represents.  I am reading a book by John Dean, Authoritarianism, Trump and Trump followers and I am seeing more clearly why people continue to follow him.

In my mind, a democracy is where the majority rules and our society work toward equality and inclusion.  However, for a good many Americans inclusion and equality is not what they seek.  They want only Christian values and white values to lead and others who appear different need to remain separate and in the back of the line.  Although our country has evolved over the years by the multiple demographics of people who reside in America, the puritanical views are alive and well.  There is an overwhelming view of ‘I have mine and I don’t care that you don’t have yours.’  This is never clearer in our tax laws and making sure we are not charged an equitable about so everyone in our country could have access to healthcare and good schools as well as college educations. 

Donald Trump spoke to this attitude and deep down we are still a very divided and prejudiced country.  I don’t know how we change attitudes by allowing others to share in opportunity we are not taking away from the ‘white race.’  The extremism and white supremacy growth we are seeing is because the attitudes and feelings were always there, but Donald Trump gave them a voice and validation.  Add to his voice the media outlets, congressmen and women that push the false narratives of fear and conspiracy and you have the perfect storm as evidenced on January 6, 2021 at the Capital Building.

For those of us that feel our democracy and rights of all seeking freedom and equity in this country we must not give up the fight and keep speaking out and voting leaders in to be our voice and seek the vision of opportunity for ALL people, not just the loud few.

In closing, if we do not hold Donald Trump and his family accountable for the crimes they have committed and bring them into the light for all to see, we cannot heal and unify as a country.  I know this posting is more political than positive, but I needed to speak my truth as I watch what is going on around me.

Try and stay positive and hopeful as we more forward as a nation.

Linda

Last Day of 2020 – The Year We Should Never Forget!

December 31, 2020 is finally here!  I have looked forward to this day all year and I look forward to what 2021 holds for me.  Even though most of us would like to forget 2020, I think it is better we remember for a lot of reasons.

If you have been following my blog all year you know how I feel about how our leader, Donald Trump has failed us.  But, more importantly the people who have enabled him and the news networks which gave his misinformation a megaphone.  This we should never forget.  We should expect far more in the way of ethics, character and truth from our leaders.  I will not settle for these past 4 years and especially this last year as our new normal.  There was nothing normal, ethical or moral about his ,or his sycophants, behavior.  We should and must hold our leaders to higher standards.

Time and goals!  We should not forget how precious our time is and to rethink what our goals should be moving forward.  Most of my goals went out the window once March 2020 rolled around.  My new goal just became to stay safe and be positive.  What I discovered my goal should only be to stay present.  Seeing the death toll rise daily from COVID 19 and hearing stories of how people’s lives have been changed forever by long term health issues from this virus, I realize being present is truly the only goal to have because none of us is promised tomorrow.  I have a board on the wall in my craft room and each year I decorate it and list my new goals for the year.  This year there will only be one goal, Be Present!

Finally, we must remind ourselves to be the kindness and caring we want to see in the world.  This sounds easy, but I have not found it to be so easy with the divisiveness we are experiencing in our country.  I find it difficult to look at people I know who support such an amoral leader. Then I remind myself we are Americans and what makes our country great is the ability to have different opinions.  I remind myself I am not perfect, and my opinions are not the no all and end all.  I want to leave my mark on the world in spreading joy and kindness to those around me.  Some days I feel I have hit the mark and others I feel I need to work to do better. To be better.  

I look forward to improved government leadership, a vaccine to arrive at herd immunity and being able to hug friends and extended family again.  Most of all I want to remember this year, so I never forget to just be present.

Happy New Year

Linda

2020 – What I Learned About Myself

This year started like so many before with ringing in the new year and hope for the future.  As usual I set goals to spend more time visiting friends, exercising at the gym more and generally taking better care of myself.  Little did I know what the year had planned.

In February my daughter surprised me with a Celine Dion concert. March 11th  George and I left on our 17 day vacation to California/Hawaii with friends.  Although, our government knew more than they were telling us the Coronavirus was already here and spreading.  We had to end our vacation 5 days early to make sure we could get home safely.  When we arrived at Philadelphia International Airport it looked like a ghost town.  I had never seen anything like it.  If you live in the United States you know how badly we handled this pandemic and there is still great pain and death to come. 

George and I followed the science and listened to what experts like Dr. Fauci had to say.  We took the matter seriously.  We do not live in fear, but rather caution.  We took long drives in the countryside.  We ordered takeout to help local businesses.  We donated regularly to food banks to help those less fortunate.  Each day we have been thankful for all we have and each other.

What I have learned about myself is my ability to pivot and change course.  I had to do this when my husband died and I continue to do it today.  One thing we can count on is change.  Being willing to pivot and change course helped me to maintain a positive attitude and continue to have hope for my future.  I was not able to visit with friends in person, but did reach out via social media and phone calls.  I did not get to spend holidays in person with family but with Zoom we made it work.  Our holidays were not the same, but they were special none the less.  I crafted more and sent cards to seniors and friends alike to brighten their days.  I posted pictures of what I called Covid 19 meals.  This seemed to spark some excitement in people to create more meals for their families and to set a nice table.  I have learned to just live in the day and not continue to plan.  I do look forward to getting my vaccine and going on vacation late next summer.  But, I am not ready to plan it just yet.  Instead I will await the possible pivot and work from there.  

I continue to focus on what I can do and the blessings I have and not what I lost this year.  We tend to have preconceived notions of what our life is supposed to be instead of realizing our life turns out exactly as it should. 

I look forward to 2021, but this time I make no predictions or take stock in what I think will happen but rather just take each day as it comes and always be ready to pivot.

Linda

Thanksgiving 2020 – What I am Thankful For

Our year started as any other year with bringing in the new year 2020.  We celebrated with good food, friends and watching the ball drop at midnight.  Little did we know it would be a year like no other.  Already a virus was invading our land.  Our President knew of the virus and the seriousness but downplayed it and seriously delayed any reaction to control its effects.  We are now 10 months into this virus, and it is running out of control in our nation.  Watching the extensive travelling over the summer and the presidential rallies claiming the media was making too big a deal of the situation and we were rounding the corner was infuriating.  Now our hospitals and healthcare workers are overwhelmed with the holiday season in full swing.  Still I am hopeful and grateful during this dark time in our nation.

We heeded the warnings of the CDC and had a gathering at home with just 4 of us.  When my stepson came home from college last week, we wore masks around each other and socially distanced until we knew being around each other was safe.  We only have one other older friend in our home, who lives alone and does not get out except to come to our home.  Now that COVID is out of control all over the country we are back to only takeout dining and drives in the country.  This will be our life until Spring when a vaccine is on the horizon. 

This Thanksgiving I am more thankful than ever for my health, safety and love of my family.  I have a comfortable home, easy for socially distancing.  I have more than enough food and financially I have no worries.  Unfortunately, so many Americans this year cannot say the same.  There is an increase of food insecurity, evictions will be coming after December 26th when the government moratorium runs out and there is widespread unemployment.  We have been giving more to food charities and will continue this giving into 2021 as the need will be around for quite some time.  The election is over and with the hope of a new, more empathic and experienced administration I am hopeful in 2 to 3 years this will be only a dark memory.

I would ask you to look inward and look around you this holiday season for the blessings around you.  Even in bad times there is always something to be grateful for.  If you are blessed with more than most, please look inward on what you can do to help others as this is truly the only way to get beyond this by helping others.

I wish everyone reading this blog to stay safe and have as happy a holiday season you can have.  My prayers and blessings are will all of you.

Linda

Seasons In Life

We are born in the Spring of our life.  We start with parent(s) and family.  These people are put in place to teach us what we need to know and protect us from the world until we obtain the ability to protect ourselves.  As we blossom through Spring, we acquire some friends to sprinkle into our lives for growth.  Some will continue with us through the subsequent seasons, but most will move into their own directions as we do as well.  

If we are lucky all family and some friends will accompany us into Summer (early adulthood).  However, as we become more of who we are meant to be we discover some people, including family, are not healthy for us to continue our journey of life.  This does not mean we did not or do not care for them.  It just means we are different people and need to move into a different direction.  This was true for me regarding my mother and a close childhood friend.  As a felt more comfortable in my own skin I discovered these people were y toxic to me.  Through a process of self-growth, I decided to disassociate myself from these two individuals as well as other family members.  Through the years the same is true to others distancing themselves from me.  The Summer is the time you experience adult growing pains.  It is a time to start truly exploring who you are and what your interests are.  It is also a time to solidity your belief system.  This may coincide with your core family and friends or take you in a totally different direction.

Now that I am in the Fall season of my life I can look back and see how and why some people are still with me, some have left, and some have entered into this portion of my life.  I believe we attract the people we need to help us grow.  Not all people who enter will have a positive influence, nor should they.  I believe these are the people who truly teach us the most if we allow it.

I am grateful for all the people who have entered and left my life as I continue my journey.  I hope you are too. Linda

COVID and Family

George and I have been keeping abreast of information regarding virus cases, deaths and medical information to help keep us and others safe.  We discussed the upcoming holiday season and decided we would have small groups of 5 or less and require masks and social distancing during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

My daughter is a general manager of a restaurant and therefore involved with the public daily. She is has been travelling for showers and weddings as well.  I informed her of our decision regarding the holiday and she has opted not to come.  We also discussed this matter with George’s sister and she too has opted to go to their brother’s house has these guidelines will not be followed.  We discussed a Zoom Christmas Eve with my brother and sister-in-law and they thought that would be a very good idea to spend time together at a distance.  These are the choices we are forced to make to keep ourselves and those we love safe from this virus.

Our leaders have made this virus political and therefore we must suffer longer than should be necessary.  If we were all on the same page we would be able to see and enjoy family and friends while maintaining good public health practices until a vaccine can be developed.  It saddens me how some see the mask as an infringement on their rights to be free and do what they want instead of a way to keep all safe during this time.  Parts of our family have chosen freedom over protection. 

The over 9 million infected and 230,000 deaths is not just a number.  These are lives and loved ones.  Our country is on fire and our people are suffering, yet 50% of our citizens see this as an overblown story and they do not want to be inconvenienced.  The scary thing is none of us truly knows how our bodies will deal with this virus.  Some of our family members believe they are safe and if they do get it, it will be minor and they will get better and move on.  However, they do not know that for sure and they could be infecting someone who is not so lucky.

I am hopeful that our country’s democracy and health will once again be strong and I look forward to better days ahead.  I do not see the mask as political oppression, but merely has a tool to keep my fellow Americans and myself safe during this crisis.

Choose Hope Over Hopelessness!

Every day I am amazed over the utter chaos and divide in our country right now. I called my stepson to touch base on his college experience as well as to see how he is doing since he does battle with anxiety. He indicated how he feels a sense of hopelessness regarding the upcoming election and if we will make any progress on climate change. He feels his future is bleak. Sad commentary coming from someone who is only 18 years old.

I shared with him how recently I have had some of the same feelings and even spent an afternoon in my craft room crying for this country and all that are suffering due to climate changes, lack of leadership with the virus and death and illness of loved ones because of this virus. Then I shared with him how I engage my thoughts instead my heart in feelings of despair and make an active decision to choose hope over hopelessness. When we choose hope there is room for action and possible change. When we choose hopelessness, we have already chosen to do nothing and opt out to be part of any solution. I further explained that he may be that one person to be the catalyst for true change. He could be that person to move our world forward. He certainly has the intelligence, but more important he possesses a great moral compass and an excellent sense of empathy. If anyone can facility change it is him.

So if you are reading this and feel hopeless and defeated, you are not alone. But, choose hope and be part of positive moving forward. No one knows what will happen today or tomorrow, all we can do is get up, breathe in and out and live our day to the best of our ability. Join me in Hope!

Linda

Americans

Republicans and Democrats (Us and Them)

Liberals and Conservatives (Us and Them)

Conservative Media and Mainstream Media (Us and Them)

Black Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans,

White Americans (Us and Them)

Catholics, Evangelicals, Muslims, Jews, Atheists (Us and Them)

Red States, Blue States, Purple States (Us and Them)

How did we get here?

We need leaders to bring us back together.  We need a mindset

To bring us back together.  At the end of each day we want the

same things.  We want a clean, safe environment.  We want

Good schools for our children. We want to be able to support our families.

 We want to know when we get sick we can get good healthcare.

 We want a better life for our children then we have had.  We want to receive

compassion and love.  We as Americans want these things

regardless of where we live.  Know that Russia is loving the divide and internal

civil war being played out in America. 

Truth is we are Americans.  Not red states, not blue states, not us and them.

 Just Americans!  

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

This week a 70’s icon, Helen Reddy, died at age 78.  Her song, I Am Woman, was truly an anthem for the time and could not be more fitting today.  With the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Helen Ready I cannot help but feel we are being sent signals from beyond as women to unite and take back our power.

I played this song over and over again and sang the lyrics at the top of my lungs. Here are some of her lyrics:

And I know too much to go back to pretend.

I am Woman hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore

Floor, no one’s ever going to keep me down again.

And I’ve heard it all before and I’ve been down there on the

Oh yes I am wise, but it wisdom born of pain.  Yes I’ve

Paid the price and I would do it all again.

Women unite and send our message loud and clear on November 3, 2020!  Do it for Ruth and Helen and all the women who came before you.

Linda