Smart Media We Watch: Cartoons that Begin with S

When I started this post, I intended to just cover a few shows we watch together and talk about what makes them smart. I ended with the three choices you see below and they all happen to be cartoons that start with an S. Enjoy…

Not everything my kids are tuning into is educational, or even meaningful. I’m ok with that as long as the media they consume is, by and large, a healthy media diet.

With that said, I do like to know what their favorites are and why and I do like to try to influence their tastes. I know that sounds manipulative as fuck but don’t worry, my kids are way smarter than me with complete and total minds of their own.

Sometimes they agree when I say something is or is not trash and sometimes they don’t.

Fortunately, my kids have great taste and that’s what I want to share with you all today. Some of the smart media my kids are watching on television.

Steven Universe

A young boy takes his mother’s place in a group of gemstone-based beings, and must learn to control his powers.

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The show follows four main characters – three crystal gems: Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and a crystal gem/boy hybrid: Steven – as they defend earth from being colonized by the crystal gem home world.

Why my kids watch: I think at the heart of the program is Steven, a relatable and likeable character you want to see win. His bond with the three gems (his other worldly guardians) is endearing and their confusion over earth make for endless fodder)

Pros: There is a lot of creative license in these characters as they experience worldly and other worldly experiences. To that end, the show has brought me and the kids to a lot of discussions revolving around some pretty heavy themes like, gender nonconformity, same gender love, racism, and personal accountability. There is also plenty of characters of color to be found, all with exciting stories of their own.

Cons: Because the gems are not human but they are coded with some human characteristics that might be stereotypical. For example both Amethyst and Garnett read as black women characters and the writers tend to fall back on the ‘strong and sassy black woman’ trope.

Why I watch: At the end of the day it’s a really a great show with great characters and intriguing writing. It has also opened us up to discussions I mentioned above and then some.

Star Vs. The Forces of Evil

Star, 14, is a fun-loving optimist who never wants to have a dull day. She’s fascinated by the world around her and wants to explore as much of it as possible. On Mewni, Star’s parents put pressure on her to be the perfect princess, but on Earth she has freedom to live by her own rules

Star

A Disney Princess in almost every sense of the word, she is a slender, blond, blue-eyed, girl with an adventurous spirit. Usually I wouldn’t be attracted to such a character but Star has a compelling story. Born into a magical legacy, Star is being groomed to follow the traditions and trappings of royal life. To meet these obligations she must endure training. Her parents send her to the relative safety of earth and her guardian Marco.

Why my kids watch: The adventure and the magic. With a book and a wand Star is able to create cute yet deadly magic to protect herself, her friends, earth, and Mewnie from the forces of evil. Whether conjuring stampeding narwhals or a spider with a top hat, her hits are always fun and fatal!

Pros: She is a bad ass character. Fearless, fun, loyal, trustworthy, and flawed in some very typical ways. She does not want to be a princess and she rebels against this in as many different ways as possible. This is so common of every kid who combatting the will of their parents. She is funky and atypical and no matter how hard she tries to forego her responsibilities, in the end, she always does the “right” thing her own way.

Cons: Not a lot of diversity here, although her guardian, 14-year-old Marco, is of LatinX decent, there are really no other characters of color to speak of. The one character that codes as ethnic, (Star’s best friend Ponyhead) is played to some stereotypes.

Why I watch: I like magic and I like strong female characters and I love adventure and this happens to have all of that plus some great writing and plot work. The story is interesting and I am a true fan. Hoping to see them expand to more diverse characters moving forward

Spongebob Square Pants

Whoooooooooo lives in a pineapple under the sea – SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!

Absorbent and yellow and porous is he….

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I personally hate this show and I know there are many parents out there who agree but Spongebob aint for me! It’s for the kiddies. By now we all know this sponge who, as the song would suggest, lives in a pineapple under the sea. He has many cohorts including a starfish and a squirrel and none of it makes sense but it’s decades long run proves, I don’t know shit about the popularity of sea sponges.

Why my kids watch: The show has been on for decades. My 16 year-olds still watch and really love this show. I think it’s the nautical nonsense. There is so much tom foolery and malarkey it is literally laughable. Silly songs, silly plots, and ridiculous characters make this cartoon a timeless and enduring classic.

Pros: Spongbob is really altruistic and a loyal friend to the end. As far as fictional characters go, he is gold. He teaches lessons about being oneself and accepting other’s for themselves. Squidward is the absolute worst and yet he still loves him dearly. I think that’s some role model worthy stuff.

Cons: This show is obnoxious and ridiculous and totally just for the kids. My dog barks at the tv constantly whenever it’s on. It’s that annoying to her too.

Why I watch: I really don’t but sometimes the kids leave it on the TV when they go out and I find myself cracking the fuck up at the shenanigans and asking myself, “Why?”


What are your kids watching and loving and learning from?

Can we keep the BLACK in Black History Month?

During black history month we recognize the accomplishments, contributions, and indelible mark black Americans had in our lives. It’s important that we don’t try to erase or change that narrative.

There are plenty of space to celebrate the contributions white Americans have made to the civil rights in America but to the point of this original post, February is not the time and Black History Month is NOT the place!

I saw the image below making its rounds on Facebook. It has the following caption:
“Why is this white man relevant to Black history? He was one of the Freedom Riders. In 1960, he was on a bus full of Freedom Riders who arrived in Montgomery Alabama where an angry white mob was waiting for them. He volunteered to get off the bus first and take the brunt of the mob’s violence, which left him beaten and bloody. His name was James Zwerg.”

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Do we need to know or remember James’s name?

I argue that the answer is no.

I argue that circulating an image of him during Black History Month covered in blood as a martyr for the Civil Rights Movement is centering whiteness and his “allyship”.

Its great, if this story is true, that he stepped off the bus first and put his body on the line. But…

View original post 277 more words

The Truth About Breastfeeding*

Breastfeeding seems to be a polarizing and controversial subject for some reason. It’s weird that people care so much about how I feed my kid. Hypocrisy abounds around the politics of the breast. I’m not really wanting to open that can of worms but I just feel it needs to be acknowledged. I especially want to acknowledge Westernized conceptions around breastfeeding and how it erases women of color especially but that’s for another day and another post.

*Ok, second of all… every woman has their own unique experiences around breastfeeding and there is literally no wrong path through it. This is about the truth of breastfeeding for me. This is for my daughters and maybe other women just beginning their journey. To have another side. As with everything else on these pages, it centers my own perspective.

I have six kids, three of them came out of my body, I breastfed all three to varying degrees of success and failures but the journey I’m here to talk about is with my youngest, she’ll be 1 tomorrow and what a year it’s been!

I want to say that I encourage breastfeeding, it’s an inexpensive way to keep your baby healthy and well fed. I will provide plenty of resources at the end of this for your reference and review.  I think every woman should try to if they are able but, if you don’t or can’t, that’s cool too. I’m not here to be sanctimonious.

G took to nursing from day one. Her latch, though shallow, was solid and she produced plenty of wet diapers to show for her efforts. I felt really grateful for this because I know, from my own experiences, this is a struggle sometimes.

I took a baby led approach to nursing, she let me know when she was ready and my body adjusted. That is how it has gone all these months. We fell into a pretty solid routine naturally and unless she is sick or something else is off, we stick to it regularly. She nurses a couple of times morning, afternoon, and night.

At 6 months we introduced solid foods, which she also took to enthusiastically.

I began to take a baby led approach to weaning. She tells me when she is ready.

I never expected, her being my last child, I’d want to stop before she did.

A year later, juggling 5 other children and a husband with a chronic, at times debilitating condition, has complicated this journey. I’m tired and there are times, I just don’t want to relinquish control of my body to a part-time nipple terrorist, who is entering mischievous toddlerhood and inclined to give me a good bite!

Sometimes she fights sleep and thrashes in my arms, with breast in her mouth, I’ve received several fat lips from head butting while breastfeeding. I’m tired y’all. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been ready to be done with a feeding and she’s like, “nah, I’m gonna hang here with your titty for a quite a bit longer, you may want to cancel the rest of your day.”

*sigh*

The guilt just reading that back to myself, for saying it out loud, it eats at me. She’s my last child, I will never have this experience again. Shouldn’t every moment be magical?

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That’s not how this works, that’s not how anything in life works, at least not for me. It’s bittersweet. For the most part I am prepared to sit and nurse, happily cuddling my baby while she nestles down to nurse. Often, I move in to kiss her forehead and silently thank the universe for the moment.

Other times (most especially at 2AM), I grit my teeth through the experience, bone weary from a long day, from a year without a full night’s sleep. I grit my teeth and want her to be done….in those times her suckling grates on me. Making me, all of a sudden, possessive of my body, my breast, my nipple.

When she is fighting sleep, whining in my arms, irritated but unwilling to self-soothe, demanding I be at her beck and call. When her belly is full and she doesn’t need to nurse for hunger, rather for comfort, so she keeps popping on and off the breast like it’s a pacifier.

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It’s hard to admit this. I don’t want to discourage women from this path. I just need to be honest, this path isn’t always easy. It demands things of not just my physical self but psychologically too. I’m not necessarily, the most naturally, selfless person. I have to work at that. Even as a mother, a role that requires tons of sacrifice. I resent that sacrifice sometimes. That’s real talk. breastfeeding isn’t divorced from that.

It’s not always rainbows and butterflies and while, I’m not pushing her off the breast, I am trying to figure out how I can gain more control of my own body. I have a tremendous support system in my husband and my children and my village is amazing. That helps. When embarking on this journey, it is so important to build a support system. It helps get you over the bumps in the road. There will be some.

 

As promised here are some great breastfeeding resources to help you along your journey!

Kellymom

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Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

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World Health Organization – Breastfeeding

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The Leaky Boob

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Medela

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Black Women Do Breastfeed

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Lactation Matters

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Over all this has been a rewarding experience, I have been allowed to bond with my girl in deeply meaningful ways. I’m proud of my working breasts!

Maya Angelou — Black History Month

Developing a love of truth, standing for civil rights, enjoying life itself and recording the experience, our matriarch became an inspiration. Maya Angelou’s words, spoken, on the printed page or r…

Source: Maya Angelou — Black History Month

Tune in and Listen

There is too much happening on a daily basis and I can hardly keep up. This administration is purposefully overwhelming us in order to obfuscate. Everyday is an entirely new issue to absorb, unpack, and challenge. This makes it difficult to be organized. It makes it very easy to spread yourself thin trying to keep up with it.

For me personally, this shock and awe tactic isn’t super effective because nothing these deplorables do shock me anymore. I’ve seen the most heinous things both in history and in current events. White supremacy is a helluva drug. It’s got us believing en mass that the threat to America is Muslims and not white cis-hetero males.

I’m no longer in shock, I haven’t been for a while. I expected him to win and I expected the minions (who are sure to benefit from the chaos) to fall in line, I expected these cash grabs and power plays.

You know why, this party has shown its hand time and again. Their president did every single thing he could to prove his unworthiness, to prove how dangerous he is going to be and y’all still put him in the top spot, as I predicted you would white America. You never cease to disappoint with the depths you’ll go to protect your white Christianity.

Anyway, I digress. Today I want to talk about how I am tuning all that fuck shit out and focusing on trustworthy voices of reason and facts throughout these trying times. Media outlets are finally figuring out how precious Freedom of the Press really is. There are reliable publications and people out there doing their best to report. Here’s who and what I’m tuning into at the moment.


Dan Rather – News and Guts

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Photo Credit: News and Guts

Just when I was starting to lose all hope that journalistic integrity had died and gone to hell, in comes Rather, taking a hot, steaming, pile of honesty all over the Orange Menace and his “team” of siths. Coming out of semi-retirement to remind everyone what the press is actually for, he quickly became my #mediabae and I have been following ever since. THEN he puts down the remote and picks up his laptop to create News and Guts…a Facebook “channel” dedicated to reporting reliable news during these unreliable times! If you don’t know, now you know! Go find and follow!

ProPublica

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Photo Credit: ProPublica

I watch Last Week Tonight with John Oliver…he’s kind of the shit. He did several segments on toupee fiasco and reliable reporting. ProPublica happened to be #1 on the list and I tuned in right away. As their tagline proudly exclaims, “We’re not shutting up.” So should we follow suit. They are non-profit so if you have the funds, throw some their way!

PBS Newshour

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Photo Credit: PBS NewsHour

For traditionalists who like staying power, PBS Newshour is for you. A staple of PBS for over 40 years, Newshour doesn’t sensationalize. Instead, they rely on factual reporting of current events to provide real non-biased news. Or as close to non-bias as American can possibly be. They provide current, thorough, and reliable information for the masses.

Teen Vogue

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Photo Credit: Teen Vogue

In one million years I would have never bet Teen Vogue would be on my list of smart media but look at that cover photo up there! Ever since Elaine Welteroth took the reigns we have been seeing the kind of hard-hitting truthful reporting not seen in Mainstream Media since Nixon. Even my #mediabae Dan Rather had to give them props! I see them too and I am ever hopeful for the next generation, that is, if they are reading Teen Vogue!

Remezcla

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Photo Credit: Remezcla

Remezcla is a Spanish word for remix and that’s a great analogy for what this publication is doing. Remixing the ways Latinx people are being represented in the media. While this isn’t necessarily a news outlet, they certainly report reliably on issues specific to LatinX people.

Women of Color

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Photo: Angela Peoples – Women’s March

Listen, 94% of black women and 68% of Latina women (most probably non-white) voted against the Menace. We knew what the deal was gonna be, remember when I said I was not surprised by this election? I meant that shit. Women of color, especially black women, knew and tried to warn everyone. That means, those are the only voices I’m really shutting up and listening to. There are so many smart, savvy, daring, and courageous women with whom you should tune in and follow. My condensed list includes:

Franchesca Chescaleigh Ramsey, Elaine Welteroth, Linda Sarsour, Leslie Mac and Marissa Janae, Feminista Jones, Jessica Williams, Rosa Clemente, Angela Peoples.

Marginalized Voices

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Photo Credit: Highersights

There are so many ways in which marginalization intersects. Fortunately for us there are also many women who are working to represent these voices in appropriate ways. I am no expert on LGBTQIA+++ nor can I relate to living with a disability. These voices help me put things into perspective and remain, always inclusive.

Maysoon ZayidJudy Heumann, Angelica Ross, Trans Women of Color Collective, Disability Visability Project

Obviously this list is so very limited and I am sure I will spin the last two “voices” into thier own posts here but I really needed to get all this down and out to you guys.

I know there are more voices, more publications, and more people speaking facts out there and I know my Smarties are tuned in! Please share your favorites. Also, if my content was helpful and/or resonated with you in any way, please consider a contribution to help me keep it going!

Donate now! Click the pic below! Thank you!

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Why Are You So Angry?

In my previous life I was a nice person. I was full of “all lives matter,” rhetoric and respectability politics. I was helpful to white folks and kept my ratchet to a minimum, especially in professional settings. I lived my life through a distinctly white gaze.

While I have plenty of my own set of privileges, ethnic ambiguity can only take one so far and the way my pride and self-love is set, I could never really denounce my culture.

Yo soy Boricua, siempre.

I was just young and careless with my self and my ancestors. Eventually, I began to recognize how the world centers whiteness and in return, whiteness, somehow validated the world. If you can “pass” among them, the temptation to revel in the privilege is deep. Especially in those who internalize the supremacy and patriarchy.

Fast forward to present day. I am a woman much more centered in my identity.I am blessed and proud to be raising 6 of the most beautiful children in the entire world. I am standing with a partner who would lay down and die for us all. My village is strong and our bonds unbreakable. Happiness is knowing who you are and living your truth.

So, Why am I so angry?

Well, to be very honest, the state of our society, in general, is really making it hard for me to pull myself, my disabled husband (a veteran), and our 6 children (including a baby) up by our boot straps and get our shit together.

My life as a writer, believe it or not, is not very glamorous. Self-employment turns to unemployment really quickly when you can’t write because you are literally stressed about healthcare, light bills, rent, and fucking food!

Then comes the Orange Menace and his selfish supporters, more privileged than I, insisting if we just trust them, all of this will be juuuuuuuuust fiiiiiiiiiine. Then a bunch of grown ass men, met, like thieves in the middle of the night to rob 30 million people, children included, of their health care.

Recently I took to Facebook to vent my frustrations with the state of things. It’s fucking personal and I’m taking very personal. I am having a hard time engaging in civil discourse with those who put this into action. Their political leanings – greedy, self-serving, bigoted, xenophobic, homophobic – threatens the fabric of my life and the lives of those more vulnerable than us.

“Why are you so angry?” acquaintances slip into my DMs to ask me all the time.

“Why are you so angry?” opponents on the other side of the aisle ask me.

“Why are you so angry?” the “sensible” supporters of this Presidency ask.

“Why are you so angry?” white liberals ask in dismay at my divisive tone.

WHY THE FUCK AREN’T YOU ANGRY?

FUCK OFF!

I have to question why you are so calm while this administration feed us the bullshit that things like healthcare and education are privileges. I have to question why you are trying to convince me that everything is just status quo and this is nothing more than civil, political discourse.

Here’s a few of the most recent headlines from this fuckshit group y’all are calling a political party.

According to PBS Newshour, “President Trump has taken 10 executive actions since entering office.”

President Trump has ordered that federal dollars cannot go to organizations that provide abortion services.

The president has told agencies they cannot fill any vacant positions nor open new ones, with two exceptions: military personnel and critical public safety positions.

President Trump ordered that permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline be approved in an expedited manner

 

 

Those are the highlights. This administration will see many marginalized groups suffer.

Not convinced? Take a look at this rundown of the past few days. The highlights here include:

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ

On January 20th, 2017 roughly 230 protesters were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics

On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources

credit for compilation: Karen Cornett-Dwyer

He has removed civil and LGBTQIA rights pages from and added a page about protecting law enforcement to the .gov website even though there is no evidence law enforcement need protecting.

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US officers killed as the result of crime, 1970-2015

All this among other immediate, and telling, changes.

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photo courtesy Leslie Mac – co-founder Safety Pin Box

I am angry as fuck. As angry as any adult who is actually paying attention should be and I refused to be gaslit. I refuse to allow any type of normalization of an administration, fully endorsed by the KKK and sponsored by corporate villains.

I am looking at you sideways if you can’t comprehend the threat we are facing as American citizens. I think it’s time to stop being polite and start getting real.

Check your privileges, thoroughly and extensively before you fix yourself to ask me to keep calm, be united, give this thing a chance, or any of tone deaf rhetoric. I AM NOT HERE FOR THE BULLSHIT.

Now isn’t the time to discuss the threat calmly over tea and crumpets. The time for civil discourse, in my heart at least, has passed. I no longer care to sit at the table with any of you supporting the Orange Menace. Your vote has shown me your care for me and mine.

Thank you, now kindly go fuck yourself or if you happen to be poor, wait for your president to do it. You will NOT be waiting very long.

xoxoxox

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My Household Command Center

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

I am so glad you are here with me and I hope 2017 is prosperous for us all.

As many of you long time smarties know, the ship I’m steering has a crew of 8 and keeping us all on track is a herculean effort. As the head of this rag-tag crew, my partner and I have always taken a, “divide and conquer,” approach to keeping our family afloat.

This has served our family well, his strengths are my weaknesses and vice-versa. A few years ago when he began working in a another state, I began writing from home and running the house. It was a big change but, he did come home at the end of the day to tag me out.

However, a recent diagnosis of Stiff Person Syndrome, which has been debilitating for him, has now forced us to think differently about how we are steering this ship. Our focus as a family is different now and it is all hands on deck.

The command center has been a fixture in my home for years. It started with just a white board calendar and a “to-do” list. command_center_beforeIt has since grown with our needs and while it is quite useful it really isn’t meeting its full potential.

In the New Year and with the new demands on my family, it’s time for an upgrade. I want us to be in better communication, keeping better track of how we are spending our time both separate and as a family.

Everyone has their own “peek at the week “cards. peek_oldWe use them to track school activities, extra curriculars, special events, and appointments. In this way everyone can see what everyone else is doing and we can plan accordingly. It started out really well but has since fallen to the wayside. The old card was nondescript and difficult to read. As you can see it looks more like a form for the DMV.

With the new cards, the focus is on function. It is meant to give a quick snap shot into what is coming up in the week ahead. This time around I kept it very simple. I think it is much more inviting and easier to use.

 

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Next I set my sights on the shopping list. I am tired of keeping our lists on scraps of paper. Not only is it a waste of paper, I have lost the list a time or two in the dark recesses of my diaper bag/purse. I wanted to make my dry-erase shopping list, small enough to take with me to the market and while I was at it, I may as well organize the list into categories.

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I still have a white board for us to jot things down as supplies run out but now I can transfer it to a neat little reusable list.

Additionally, I wanted an actual meal planner card that I could reuse and take with me to the market as well. I followed the same format as the peek at the week cards!

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At this point it was time to print, laminate, and reorganize the space. This is how I am using these tools for my family, laminating these tools means I can reuse them like dry-erase boards but it really isn’t necessary. You could easily print and add these cards to a day planner or bullet journal.

The results are below.

I reduced the clutter and focused on the most important information. We use the calendar the most and our old one was small and squished. This white board is a dedicated calendar now, with room to grow. Our notes & reminders and to-do list now has its own white board and the cards are big, bold, front and center.

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It isn’t a whole new transformation, just an upgrade. The space feels cleaner. I feel more prepared for 2017! Sharing is caring because I want  you to be prepared too, my cards and lists are available for download below.

Before you do please consider a contribution!

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Five Things I’m Leaving in 2016

I don’t do New Year resolutions for a bunch of reasons. My life is in constant flux and change doesn’t wait until the new year, it just happens.

Still, I like neat endings with all my loose ends tied and every to-do list checked off and completed in full! HA! I’m just kidding, that’s not how anything in my life works.

I want to be more organized. I even tried to start, keep, and maintain a bullet journal but kept forgetting to take time to actually update it. My bedroom looks like a closet exploded over everything.

I still have boxes in the garage I’ve yet to unpack since we moved in….6 years ago.

I’m not a type A. I’m more like a type Z. If I’m being perfectly honest with myself…I probably have adult ADD. I only complete projects I’m absolutely passionate about and even then…it’s a push.

That is neither here nor there however…all this is to say, the end of the year compels me to assess. I’m thinking about what I’ve done, where I’ve been, and naturally where I would like to go.

I am of course limited by economic hardships and lack of resources but, personal growth isn’t so much about having and more about being. I can’t really say what I might want in the year to come. Who the hell knows what is waiting down the road. I do, however, know exactly what I don’t want/need in the year to come.

Here’s my list of shit to leave behind in 2016….

Picking the wrong battles.

In a world lit up with all kinds of distractions, I’ve had a hard time staying focused. For someone who claims to want no drama, I find myself embroiled in it quite a bit. I could say, “I don’t look for drama, it just finds me,” and while that is technically true, when it comes I’m choosing to engage. This isn’t to say I should stop fighting. Hell no! Rather, I am choosing to be more selective about where and when and to what end I engage. I don’t need all of that stress.

My energy is more powerful when I focus it, instead of spreading myself so very thin.

Working for free

When I first began my writing career, I was eager to get my name out there. I had no issue writing for exposure or writing just for the byline. While, I still want to get my name and work out there, I am no longer inclined to do it for free. I deserve to be paid and I deserve it to be a livable wage. I deserve to make an income off of my intellectual property. Chasing money doesn’t make me greedy, it makes me smart. Demanding I be valued doesn’t make me selfish, it makes me savvy and if I were a man everyone would be much more willing to agree.

Well, I have come to realize my value and I wont be short-changing myself anymore.

Apologizing for my boundaries

Over the past year I made strong efforts to communicate my limits and set appropriate boundaries. Even with my children. It wasn’t easy. Some literally cussed and villainized me for standing my ground. This was upsetting but, it was important for me to end unhealthy patterns of behavior in certain relationships. I found myself apologizing often for this, “No, I’m sorry, I just can’t allow/handle/manage that.” followed by lengthy explanations about why this is. Having 6 kids, a disabled husband, no money etc.

“No.” really is a complete sentence and if you know me and love me, you don’t need an explanation or an apology.

Denying or delaying my own feelings 

Beyond mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, writer, I am a whole entire person with an identity completely separate from the roles I take on in my life. The way my life is set up, exploring who I am as an entire person, sometimes, feels impossible. There are needs that must be met before mine. I am ok with that, I love my children, I love my responsibilities and the love that oozes from my life is real and wonderful.

However, taking care of 7 people is exhausting. Sometimes I can even resent it and when I do I know it is because I am not being honest about my own needs. While it may feel impossible to take the time I need to connect with my own feelings, it isn’t actually impossible.

Impostor Syndrome

I have a voice. I have influence. I am a great writer and I plan on doing so much more in the years to come. In the past I would have laughed after each of those sentences in more than just self-deprecating humor. I would have mocked myself bitterly, regretful that I didn’t know this before deciding not to go to college. Really though, the only regret I have is treating myself and my talents so poorly.

I may not be everyone’s cup of tea and I may have come into my own by unconventional methods but, I belong.

Letting go of the things that no longer serve me is good. Letting go of things that hurt me is even better. I am committed to doing both, owning my greatness, and leaving the bullshit behind! Happy New Year!

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Societal Dysmorphia

Societal dysmorphia:
A collective abnormality wherein large groups of people deny the facts of a situation in favor of believing an idealistic illusion of that situation. Coined by me to help me describe why so many people still deny racism is an issue in the United States of America. Really it applies to many groups or factions in this country and beyond.

Where the expression “post-truth” describes an individual replacing feelings for facts, societal dysmorphia describes a collective denial of facts, going as far as enabling each other in the delusion.

I have come up with a few examples to help me elaborate my point.

The ‘manosphere’–  The men’s “movement,” began in the 1970’s in response to feminism.  Today it has morphed into the manosphere. According to the Southern Law Poverty Center, “The so-called “manosphere” is peopled with hundreds of websites, blogs and forums dedicated to savaging feminists, in particular women.”

This is a great example of societal dysmorphia. Hundreds of men, completely ignoring statistics about how unsafe it is for women, instead imagining they are the ones oppressed and in danger.

Climate Change Deniers – This is a little bit more complicated than a group of people with hurt feelings. Corporate America will be forced to make sweeping billion dollar changes in order to accommodate our planet. This is true across every industry. Big oil companies also stand to lose a considerable amount of money as we inevitably shift to clean energy. The facts are, we can’t sustain life unless we make that shift.

There are millions of dollars invested in denying climate change. Still, large groups of people readily believe the science is bogus. Despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Anti-vaxxers – The fear that vaccinations lead to autism was based on a real study. That study has since been found to be bogus and it took years to right the wrong. Autism research was set back due to the time invested in debunking or proving the fraudulent study.

However, medical professionals have since collectively agreed there is absolutely no link between vaccinations and autism. Groups of people still insist on the connection. Going as far as to claim a conspiracy on the part of the entire medical community, pharmaceuticals, and the United States government. As if our government could ever work with anyone that effectively.

Post-racist Americans – This is the example that lead me to coin this term to begin with. Dozens of, mostly white people, have accused me of “race-baiting,” and “making racism a thing when it isn’t a thing.” While I would love to think that individual person is just ignorant. I don’t believe that for one second. In this information age, ignorance is can’t be a thing anymore. There are thousands of Americans who believe this nonsense and no shortage of social and mainstream media outlets willing to validate that delusion. There is a definite refusal to accept the truth, facts, statistics, data, historical context as presented.

In all these examples, you have large communities of people standing in their collective dysmporphia, refusing to see things realistically. Instead, they are creating elaborate alter-realities, where their personal ideals are the reality and the actual reality is a conspiracy theory. In these realities conspiracy theories replace scientific data, love conquers hate, Martin Luther King passed peacefully in his sleep, and science is hogwash.

It would be laughable if it wasn’t so reckless, if it didn’t endanger vulnerable groups of people and the balance of all of creation.

Societal dysmorphia erodes and deteriorates sensibilities and replaces it with ideals and propaganda that aligns. It is definitely the reason large groups of post-truthers, clung to unfounded fears and their white supremacy. Seeing the world through their dysmorphic lens, they collectively decided a pedophile, endorsed by the KKK, with absolutely no experience was a worthy candidate for POTUS.

Despite insurmountable evidence to the contrary.

It is also 100% self induced and those who have it absolutely fucking know better. They are neither ignorant to facts or unable to process them. They just refuse to accept and live with the truth and its consequences. The cure for this “condition,” is to simply seek out the truth.

For the sake of those reading this article climate change is real and so is racism, men do not need men’s rights and vaccinations do not cause autism. Thank you for reading. I look forward to being cussed out in the comments!

 

 

Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor Met with ‘Alt-Right’ Freedom Party Leader | Teen Vogue

FYI Smarties…

It seems Teen Vogue has taken on the task of investigative journalism. With Elaine Welteroth at the helm we get to see smart media at its best…

From the article:

The “alt-right” is known for its extremist and racist views, as well as being severely anti-Semitic. It seems like the association between the Trump campaign and neo-Nazis won’t be broken any time soon, as his chosen national security advisor, General Mike Flynn, recently met with Heinz-Christian Strache — the head of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, which was established by former Nazis after World War II”

#RESIST

You can do this by

  • contacting your local representatives with your concerns
  • Joining and donating to watchdog organizations like pro publica
  • Staying informed and tuned in to smart media
  • Buy a subscription to Teen Vogue