Wednesday, January 29, 2020
There have been arguments over the direction the country should take since the founding of the republic. One of the bitterest political rivalries involved John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Although they disagreed vociferously politically and were estranged for years, they resumed their friendship and correspondence eventually and died on the same day - coincidentally - Independence Day. (As did James Monroe).
There have been several presidents loathed by the opposition. However, until the current presidential administration, the differences have, for the most part, been resolved through subsequent elections. Whether one hates, tolerates, disdains or loves Donald J. Trump, he was a duly elected president of the USA according to the law of the land and the Constitution. He has not destroyed the country. There are too many checks and balances for any executive to do so.
Consider that Mr. Dershowitz, who admittedly voted for Hillary Clinton and argued that Bill Clinton should not have been impeached for perjury, also represents Donald Trump in this impeachment trial before the Senate and argues that he has not committed am impeachable offense. Mr. Dershowitz in a constitutional scholar with which I have not always agreed. But he is not partisan in this matter. He is consistent.
The American electorate has reached a partisan divide in which those on opposite sides of the political spectrum will not listen to any alternative views. The partisans have become entrenched in a position, will not consider any other perspective, refuse to listen to alternative views, ridicule the opposition, and argue that Donald Trump is Satan personified. I am dumbfounded by the energy that people invest in the vitriol. The republic survived James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter (when I lived in Europe during the Carter administration I let people think I was Canadian). The republic will survive Donald Trump. We do not need our presidents to be good people. We need them to be effective leaders. John F. Kennedy is often looked upon as an effective president, yet he was a terribly unfaithful husband, violated his own sanctions against Cuba, and engaged in foreign policy decisions that were clearly ill-advised. Not only that, he accelerated our involvement in Vietnam.
I am neither a Democrat or a Republican, although I am conservative fiscally and on Constitutional issues such as the 2nd Amendment. I lean toward Libertarian, which believes in a small government that keeps its paws out of my pocket, off my land, out of my house, without any input in decisions between me and my physician, who I can marry, what I can cultivate and how I defend myself. I believe that one can love, live, conduct business with and worship as one feels is appropriate without government oversight. Just fix my roads, bridges, air traffic control, monetary policy, interstate infrastructure, waterways, borders, print money, maintain federal land, maintain our military to protect and defend the USA, ensure the Native Americans and veterans are treated fairly, and sustain compliance with the Constitution. Stay out of healthcare, insurance, education, personal life decisions, etc.
Just let go of the angst, the divisiveness, and vitriol. Embrace your fellow citizen and agree that it is okay to disagree without judgment.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Todd and I rarely go to a cinema to see a film. It has been years since we felt compelled to pay full price for an evening viewing....I think the last time was Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ because Todd worked on the movie for the art department. We’ve gone to a few matinees to see James Bond, The Hunger Games, the documentary We Shall Not Grow Old, and a few others. But all in all....not worth the time, energy or money. Instead, we choose to binge watch premium TV...generally the imported variety. We watch The Handmaid’s Tale, Succession, Outlander, Victoria...shows with grit and actors that look like real people. American movies and television essentially sucks. (We did love Deadwood, The Sopranos, Fargo & Justified)
No doubt that is one of the reasons the ratings for self congratulatory shows like the Holden Globes, Oscars, etc have started to tank. For me, the only reason to watch the first hour involves making fun of the awful fashions that the mainstream media lauds...such as the laughable frock worn by Ms. Paltrow at the Golden Globes. That made Bjorn look tasteful.
I must admit my rant was triggered by the backlash to the extremely amusing monologue by Ricky Gervais. It was darn funny. It harkened back to the days when comedians were allowed to be funny without fear of being blacklisted. It felt refreshing. And, it was the only part of the show we watched..online...after it was broadcast.
People in the entertainment industry forget that they are, essentially, irrelevant to most folks unless they are...entertaining. We don’t care what they think about politics, climate, war, wearing fur or the homeless...These are people that like to ‘interpret’ history so they look fetching instead of appropriate.
So give me a nice BBC production on Masterpiece or a premium network with actors who look like real people wearing hair styles and clothing that is appropriate for the time, place and genre. Or Netflix & Hulu.
Hollywood.....YAWN. Have I mentioned how distracted I was by the awful hairstyles & costumes in Little Women? That’s $7 and 2 1/2 hours I’ll never get back.
Monday, January 6, 2020
I am a compulsive shopper. This has been a personal challenge for decades. I love clothes, shoes, belts, scarves, hats, jewelry and housewares. I currently have 20 Third Love bras. I can’t resist a great online sale. I telecommute. I travel an average of monthly for work. And yet... a new offering by MM LaFleur reels me in.
After reading an article in The Guardian yesterday by a fashion editor that decided to avoid purchasing fast fashion for a year, I’ve decided to give my adapted version a go for 2020. This is not a New Years Resolution. I don’t subscribe to resolutions that are likely to be broken in 72 hours. Instead, this is an aspiration for which there is no penalty, guilt or failure if there are purchases. What I hope to achieve is some semblance of common sense that balances need vs want, thoughtfulness vs impulse, mindfulness vs shopping as an alternative for some more fulfilling activity.
No doubt psychologists could diagnose some ‘disorder’ for my propensity to purchase things on a whim. Whatever! It is just part of my psyche. At this point in my life, however, I have goals beyond immediate satisfaction. Achieving those goals will require a modicum of self restraint.
Does anybody else have a similar goal? What tools do you use to keep yourself in check? Please share. Shall we support one another to achieve some level of success?
Tonight I deleted all of my favorite shopping sites from my iPad. ( with the exception of Sephora, Nordstrom & Amazon[seriously, we can’t delete makeup, cat food & books]) I am giving myself a pass for accessories, books & makeup. But otherwise, I will try to refrain from sweaters, jeans, coats, dresses, skirts, workout outfits, tops, casual pants, pajamas, jackets, professional clothes and swimwear. This will be a one day at a time effort. I may need to unplug. Temptation is everywhere. 😎
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” –Marcus Aurelius
There is too much anger in the world. Maintaining that anger takes a lot of energy, adversely affects one's immune system, and inhibits one's ability to feel joy. Letting go of anger, resentments and negativity is self-healing. From my own journey, I've learned that practicing an attitude of gratitude can be life changing. Learning to focus on positivity and gratitude helped me reboot my hard drive to enable me to live a life that is mostly filled with contentment and serenity. The process took years of introspection, fellowship in Al Anon, listening to my angels, putting positive energy into the Universe, setting boundaries, avoiding negative people, accepting that I have no control over other people, places and things, actively forgiving myself and all others for real or imagined resentments, and mindfully expressing gratitude for my blessings.
Think of the beauty in our world~ Todd and I have not been able to tame the barren, rocky wilderness upon which we live. But we've been able to find beauty in the trees that surround us, the stars in the night sky, the sunrise in the east, the brilliant colors in the sun setting over the western ridge, the chirping of cicadas, the variety of birds that dine at our feeders, our collection of abandoned cats that rush up to greet us when we ascend th driveway.
Focus on gratitude when thinking about the wonders of the USA, a grand experiment in democracy that affords its citizens the ability to select our leaders. Instead of focusing on what is wrong with our nation, focus on what is right. Celebrate with gratitude the fact that Americans have the freedom to criticize our leaders without fear of imprisonment or execution. Express gratitude for the ingenuity of individuals that created great books, cures for diseases, drugs that prolong life, social media, mobile phones, movies that entertain the world, airplanes, personal computers, libraries in most towns, insecticides that allow crops to thrive, the electric light, railroads, the steel industry, the sewing machine, Heinz Ketchup, Hershey's chocolate, IBM, and rockets that sent humankind to the moon.
I am today grateful for my family, fulfilling employment, excellent health, wine, books, cashmere, a home with indoor plumbing/heating/AC/electricity, treasures from my travels, beautiful memories, garlic, clear vision, the ability to hear beautiful music, the aroma of cookies baking, mobility, and the ability to disagree with friends and still be friends. 😍