New Normal Nonsense

Over the past few years I have heard a phrase used often that, when deconstructed, makes no sense at all. The phrase is, “the new normal.” How can something “new” be normal? It isn’t remotely normal, and although, over time, it might become part of your lifestyle, it isn’t normal when it first begins.

The situation might be considered a new beginning, a new type, a new way of doing something, a new event, a new expectancy, a new thought, a new passion, and new meaning, but it isn’t anything near normal when it is NEW.

Normal. What does that mean? Normal to whom or what? My normal isn’t your normal, and we don’t really have a normal. We have a routine, a way of managing our day and life. Not one day is exactly the same as another, so how can you judge something to be normal? Lets say we have an hour long commute every single day, going to the same part of town, to the same building or workplace, the same position or office, five days a week. Most of us, will not have the same exact experience on any of those five days. The only normal part of that commute is the direction and destination in which we are going. Something different will happen, a random event, an accident, a slow down, something weird in the car next to you or on the train near to you will happen. You might miss your train, the exit, or someone may cut you off causing an accident. Maybe you will have a flat or your car won’t start. On the train or bus, a conversation might start up that you join, or most likely, you over hear and that will set your thoughts off in an original direction. Sure we get to work, but it wasn’t a standard, exactly the same, normal every day thing. It was a day. different, strange, boring, amazing, but it was A DAY,

No job is ever normal either. So you stand in the same spot, doing the same job, but the assembly line fails, someone doesn’t turn up, or is late. Gossip goes up and down the grapevine, someone is having a bad day and takes it out on someone else, everything goes to hell in a manner of seconds when someone throws a spanner in the works. It is a day, but it isn’t exactly the same ever single work day. It isn’t the Old Normal, therefore, how can there be a new normal?

What you have is a change in your life. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. You learn to adapt to or overcome that change in your life. Because if life was always normal, it would be static. A static life is a stagnant life, and that is not normal, in fact, it is harmful, debilitating, depressing, and demoralizing. Human beings are meant to change, sometimes on a daily basis. Those that can’t get left behind as everyone around them moves forward with their lives. The only people who can’t or don’t naturally change daily are those with disabilities, and they do change only more slowly. It isn’t in us to always remain the same. If it was, we would always be children, never maturing beyond being totally dependent on parents and caregivers. It is within our DNA to try to grow up and away from our parents into adults who can take care of ourselves. That growth, while in one way is normal, it is also individual and therefore there is no correct or normal way to reach maturity. It is simply an individual effort that changes daily.

Stop already with the New Normal nonsense. No one is normal, we are all unique with unique moments and events in our lives. Our singular way of coping with those events makes us different from one another, and it also makes us interesting to others around us. There is no Old Normal, there is no New Normal, there is only change and how we cope with those changes in our lives.


A Short Holiday

We went on a brief holiday over the past four days. The more I am around people, the less I like them. Maybe it is because I am old, and I was raised with manners, expectations of certain social behaviors when in public, and on threat of perpetual grounding, expected the same from my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Things I witnessed this past week makes me wonder about the safety, sanity, and abilities of future generations.

Story One:

We were in the resort restaurant for the dinner buffet. The place was packed, as they usually are. After getting our Addie settled with her meal, I wandered off to check out the grown up menu. A woman pushed past me, and as she did I noticed she was wearing a bikini top and a pair of pajama bottoms with a pair of mukluk boots. Now, granted, we were at a place where the main attractions were the pools and slides, but at first glance she looked like she had jumped out of bed in her bra and pajamas to grab a meal. First of all, she was everything I hate in people. Loud, pushy, obnoxious, and demanding. Secondly, she was downright tacky. It is one thing to grab a snack in your swimsuit at the snack bar, but it is far different to turn up to dinner dressed like that. And don’t get me started on just how tacky it is for a grown woman to be running around in public in pajamas. How hard is it to throw on a pair of trousers or jeans, descent shoes and a top? I don’t even care if you need a bra and don’t wear one, but really, put some damned clothes on.

Story Two:

Same restaurant second day there. We were at the Breakfast buffet. (It’s cheaper and there are more choices.) I get in line behind a family of a mom with her two boys of about seven and nine. She is on her phone. The older boy grabs a plate and starts filling it with eggs. Four large serving spoons of scrambled eggs. Mom says nothing. He hits the bacon next. He scooped up no less than twelve pieces of bacon. Mom says, “Honey let me have some of that bacon.” She takes one piece off his plate. He dives back in and puts four or five more pieces on his plate and heads for the hash browns. By now the first plate is full. He gets a second plate, mind you he can come back for more. He fills the second plate with hash brown potatoes and covers them with gravy. Then hands the plates to his Mom, who takes them, and he heads to the cereal dispenser. He fills a bowl with Fruit Loops and milk and heads back to the table, where the server is setting down his hot chocolate and orange juice. Their table is right across from ours. Because I had never seen a skinny kid that age eat so much, I wanted to see what he would do. His mom nibbled her bacon and sipped on her coffee while she stayed on the phone. The boy ate a few bites of cereal, had a few sips of hot chocolate, and didn’t touch anything else. His mother never noticed. They got up and left and she was still on the phone. Someone needs a lesson on wasting food and greed. Oh, and on parenting.

Story Three:

We decided to take a drive up into the mountains to see the National Park. We went to a very cool place that has a drive through living history thing. That takes everyone to see the old settlement in the valley. It is about eleven miles round trip and there are loads of places to stop and take photos and go into the old buildings. We ended up behind a car with a family of five. Two parents, three kids. Like everyone, they had their windows down. Two of the kids, one on each side, were sitting on the window sill of the doors, hanging outside the car, leaning back as far as they could go. Granted, the speed limit was about ten miles an hour, but there were a lot of sudden stops as people would decide to leave the road and park to take photos etc. We followed them for about two miles, and ever single minute, I expected one or both of those kids to fall out of the car. I kept falling back as far as I could, terrified I would run one of them over after they hit the ground. Finally, they stopped and we got past them. About half a hour later they turned up at the ranger station. Someone called out to the woman in the car and asked her why she was allowing her kids to do something so dangerous. Her response had a lot of F words in it, and basically said it was no one’s business what she let her kids do. The first woman said it would be everyone’s business if one of those kids got hurt. More than a few folks agreed. The woman was on her phone and smoking her cigarette, the kids were running wild, trying to climb on everything they weren’t supposed to climb on, and she basically told everyone to go do something anatomically impossible. The dad never got out of the car or engaged with anyone. The rangers made the kids leave the exhibit after the two girls started fighting over stuff. Unbelievable.

Story Three:

Back at the restaurant the next day at lunch. Vastly busy. We were seated next to a table full of pre-teen boys between ten and twelve. There wasn’t a single parent near them. The tables were next to windows that looked out over the wave pool and water slides. Two of the boys turned around and were kneeling in their chairs backward. Then they started rocking them back on the legs and banging the backs of the chairs on the windows. I asked the wait staff if that was a good idea, the guy shrugged and said, “The windows are supposed to be break proof.” At my surprised look he said, “They’re being kids.” Then walked off. I called him back and asked to see a manager. I explained that all glass has a breaking point, all it takes is for the right amount of pressure to be applied at the right point. Even if it is shatter proof, it will crack, and sometimes it will fall from its frame causing the window to come crashing down and the kids could fall out of the window. She said she understood, but that they were not allowed to correct other people’s kids. So my husband got up and went over to the boys and said, “You know, banging into the windows might not be a good idea. If they break and you fall two stories to the walkway below, you could hurt yourselves. That would make the rest of your vacation suck.” They stopped, turned around and finished their meal and left. How hard was that? If you don’t say anything, kids will just keep on doing what they do until someone gets hurt. Especially boys that age who still haven’t learned to fear getting hurt.

Story Four:

Parents and phones. If you are going to spend upwards of three hundred dollars a day for a family to go on a holiday, why are you on your phone? It is supposed to be a FAMILY adventure. We saw kids from the age of three up doing their best to get their parents attention. The parents never put their damned phones down for a second. Two little girls about Addie’s age, somewhere between four and six were playing in the water right in front of their mommy. They were thrilled to get up the courage to go into the water up to their knees. They were having a great time, squealing and jumping around. “Mommy look! Mommy watch me! Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!!!” She had a phone in her hand, face buried in it. Not once did she look up, take a photo, or interact with them. It was no wonder that in minutes they were whining and crying. All they wanted was five seconds of Mommy’s time. That enraged me. Those poor kids. And it was like that everywhere we went at the resort. Parents on their phones, at the pool bar, ignoring their kids. Why the hell bother to take them anywhere if you aren’t going to enjoy time with them? I never took my phone out of the room while we were there. Neither did my husband. And Addie got every bit of attention she deserved.

Story Five:

I was waiting for the elevator to go to our room. Waiting with me was a mother and three teenage girls. The girls were surly and snarly. All of them complaining of different things. One in particular that I pegged around the age of fourteen was really snarky. The elevator comes and the doors open. Instead of allow the people on it to get off first, the mother and all three girls shoved their way on. The other family with four little children almost ended up with one child left behind. I got on just as the doors closed. The hateful girl sighed and rolled her eyes at me. When I asked if she could press the floor button for me since she was standing in front of the controls, she moved and snarled, “What am I, your slave?” I looked at her mother, she had her face buried in her phone. I pushed the button for my floor, then the brat stood back in front of the control panel and pushed down on her floor button. Her sister asked what she was doing and she said, “I don’t want to have to wait for anyone else to get on. Its and old fireman trick.” I said, “I don’t think that works on these new elevators, most of them require a key to make them stop working.” At that time we stopped. The people waiting were going down so didn’t get on. I didn’t say anything. We got to my floor. The girls piled off, I waited for the mother. She was still on her phone so I got off. I heard her say something, but didn’t understand her. I asked her what she said. She told me I was rude for not letting her get off with her daughters. I pointed out that the doors were getting ready to close so I kept them open so I could get off. She gave me a nasty look. So I said, “While your learning some manners of your own, why not teach some to your daughters as well. You aren’t the only people who are paying to stay here and we have just as much of a right to use the elevators as you and your daughters. If you don’t like people sharing the elevator, take the stairs.” I got the expected F word response. It wasn’t worth my time to deal with her idiocy. I figured she would get her karma response in dealing with those hateful girls of hers.

Story Six:

We had a great time. Addie loved everything from the swimming and wave pools and slides, to painting ceramics with me, and doing sand art with her Papa. She loved the ranger station where they helped her learn the life cycle of moths and butterflies, and she got a Junior Ranger Award for answering all the questions correctly afterwards. She got to have Old Time photographs with fancy costumes along with her Papa, and she ate at a real diner for the first time. We all stayed up too late, ate too much, and wore ourselves to a frazzle. It was too bad so many other kids weren’t having fun with their parents or grandparents, and so many parents were acting annoyed to be there. Addie was in her element as the center of our attention, and the one melt down she had was quickly under control because a time out sitting in the middle of Nana’s bed with nothing to do is no fun. Next holiday, I think we need to go somewhere that has a lot fewer people and a lot more nature.

Family Reunion

Last weekend, I took my mother to a family reunion down in Texas. I hadn’t been to an event like that as an adult. I knew three people in the entire room, one was my mother. I felt odd, awkward, out of place, and strange. As a mature female of over 60, it was like being back in junior high where everyone else had gone to school together forever and I was the new kid. Awkward.

So, I sucked up my shyness and talked about genealogy, family history, and said hello a lot. I also smiled a lot and I ate far too much good food. It is no wonder all of my family tends toward the round shape, the good cooking gene runs in the family line.

As a child, I grew up away from my parent’s home town. We lived all over the place with the military, and as an adult my husband and I both wanted to be on the move. So I don’t really understand knowing all about one’s cousins, aunts, uncles, and extended family. I know my dead relatives better than the living because I am a family history addict. I am a bit like the odd duck in the family.

They grew up together, or at least with knowledge of one another. And that was a great thing to see. My memories of my grandparents are strong, and real, but these cousins are from different places than my branch of the tree. Still, you could see the solidarity, love, and strength in knowing their family was there in any time of need.

My mother loved every minute, she had looked forward to the event for months and could hardly wait to get there and meet everyone. She kept telling me that she couldn’t belove we were blood relatives to so many people. Of all of her generation, in her family line, she is the only one left. Her parents had two daughters, and my aunt passed away long ago.

Another interesting thing was how the faces looked like faces I knew as a child. The same nose, eyes, mouth, laugh, hairline, walk, and even the way they stood reminded me of other long gone family. Funny how DNA directs how one looks and moves. Strong blood lines tend to breed true. This one certainly does.

I am thankful I went. It was good to see my cousins, two of the few, from my youth that I actually remember. I am thankful that family is so important to our extended family of cousins that they have this reunion every year. I am thankful that I was able to visit the graves of my great great grandfather and grandmother who started our family lines in Texas and Oklahoma.

Maybe next time, I won’t feel so disconnected and awkward. And, perhaps, I will know more than three people in the room.

It Was A Nice Visit

I went to visit my son in Oklahoma last week. It was his birthday. I was glad to have a bit of time alone with him, and had a nice chat catching him up on everything going on with his family, his daughter and granddaughter, and us. I shared a few photos, and gossiped a bit about things, and of course, complained about the politics of the country and the craziness that the left is doing its best to force on the rest of us hard working folks.

It was a nice visit, sitting in the warm sun as the Oklahoma breeze fluttered by. The grasses in the fields nearby danced along to the song of the birds and bugs flying about. I spent a few minutes arranging the flowers I brought in lieu of a gift as I chatted on about how nice the area was looking, and that the quiet was so peaceful around him. Everyone seemed to be keeping their places nice with flowers and trees.

I reminded him to say hello to everyone as I packed up my things to go. Told him I love him too. It’s a nice place at White Dove Cemetery, up on the hill. I’m glad to know he is there and that he would like that particular place to spend his rest.

It was as good as it can be when a mother visits the grave of her son. Yeah, it was good, for what it can be.

Feminist or Victimist?

Back in the dark ages of the 1970’s women declared themselves to be feminists by burning their bras, and protesting Viet Nam. They cried, “I am WOMAN, hear me ROAR” while prancing around bare breasted to declare their freedom from oppressive males. Yee Haw, no longer ladies but WOMEN! And a lot of the regular women went along with the hard core man haters as they were bullied and shamed into standing “with the sisterhood.” Personally, I thought the whole thing was silly and embarrassing.

I didn’t need a bunch of females telling me how to be a woman, nor did I need to join a group of man haters and burn my bras to feel free. I didn’t need to have sex with everyone to feel empowered, and I sure as hell was not going to let anyone bully me into being a pathetic follower. I was, and always have been, always will be, a strong, independent minded, fully functional, intelligent, lady. Meaning, I have manners, morals, and a mental altitude geared toward compassion, motherhood, and being a wife and partner to my husband.

However, the hater feminists screamed louder, and the younger set fell for their lies and consummate bullying tactics, and we are now in our third generation of feminist females. I don’t have a clue what women find attractive about that title. More than a few have followed the Gloria group, declaring they deserved to have it all. A partner, kids, and a career that made them feel powerful. That the glass ceiling had to fall, and they would be the generation of women to do it. Yawn… whatever.

What happened is there are generations of kids who were raised in day care instead of their mothers. The women spent their lives torn between career and kids. And if there was time, a moment or two a week with their partner, who still had to work to fulfill the American dream of a home, a car, and two vacations a year. One with and one without the kids. Many longed to stay home, but were pressured by the mantra of the haters to do all and be all – and to be treated just like a man in all ways. Except in a special way. – Politically correct, you know, like they were delicate flowers deep inside.

So, look what we have forty years later. Feminism has turned into Victimism. Women no longer ROAR, they whimper. They no longer burn bras, they think they need to either prance about in a vagina costume, or cover up to support Sharia law. The haters are angry because their plan didn’t work, so they hate men even more, although it is more likely they drove more women away every generation with their vitriol spewing violence. They demand equality, and once they got it, they hated it. Because they weren’t special any longer, but just another cog in the wheel of the working wonks of the world, and that isn’t faaaair…. Be careful what you ask for, it just might bite your right on your ego.

Now, victimism has managed to emasculate every traditional male role, and it has made something as normal as appreciating the beauty of a female body illegal. Feminist flaunted their bodies and told women that it was something they should take pride in showing off. So, women dressed like they were walking sex on display, and now they are whimpering victimists because some guy, or another female, looked at them. Just looked. Well, if you look like a street walker, expect people to see a street walker.

Once, women were treated with respect by benefit of being a female. No longer. We are no longer valued by men as a loving companion, mother, or lover. We are treated just like any other guy, and with less respect than ever. Feminist saw the light in the 1990’s, and decided the way to force their issues was to become victims of Every. Single. Thing. Victimism is the new feminism of the twenty first century. They want fair, but not equal. Fair is not an option in most real life situations. Equal makes them feel demeaned – go figure – and that makes them victimized via being a feminist. Yes, I know, vastly vexing and illogical.

The roaring women of the 1970’s have fallen on hard times. There is no pride in sisterhood, it is every woman out for herself, and the wimpy males that hover in the background are the whipping boys of the future generation of women. Every feminist screamed defiance. Every victimist screams they are demeaned. Listen carefully the next time the likes of Ashley Judd gets in front of a bunch of other females. Hatred, anti male, anti family, anti women who disagree with the agenda, angry, bitter, vitriol spewing victimism all over those who just want to be normal, every day, honest to heaven, women, moms, wives, partners, and most of all happy.

I am not a victim, and I am sure as hell not a feminist. I am a woman, I don’t need to roar, a smile and a chat works wonders to solve issues. Oh, and I quite like men as friends, much more than shrewish victimist females.

Morning Awakes

Yesterday, before turning on my computer, I made a cup of apple spice tea and stepped out on the front porch to watch the sun come over the trees.
The robins are back.  Bird song and a slight breeze through the tree – along with that rooster up the road – were the only sounds. The ground as covered with frost, and it was cold enough to watch the steam rise from my tea mug.
As I stood there, the dogs came one by one and stretched, had a good, all over shake, and padded over for a morning pat. The cats wandered out of the garage and purred around my feet, looking for a handout.

One moment it was the purple and orange streaked sky of near dawn, and the second, the warm buttery yellow of the   sun popped up over the trees, making every drop of frost into a golden shimmering jewel.  That moment, was sublime.
The world was gilded in gold, and the world stood still for a millisecond, and let me have that wonder and joy.
With a deep sigh, a feeling of peace descended and I turned to enter the real world again.