Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

“Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy”

Last week I was very ill (and before you speculate, it was not H1N1).  So I was very ill. In fact, I thought at one point that I was going to end up in hospital. I didn’t but what I did end up with was five days confined to my bed. During this time I slept, a lot. Occasionally I watched TV but was tired of hearing everyone complain about the H1N1 situation. So I turned to youtube to watch some of my favorite, upbeat comedians; Louis CK being the top of my list (given his recent guest role on Parks and Recreation). I watched him on Conan O’Brien doing a bit titled, “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy”. If you haven’t seen it, you can do so here.  I think we all need to think this way a little more.

So there I was lying in bed feeling like death. And I won’t lie, complaining about it, if only to myself. Then I watched this video again and realized…I’m lying in a fleecy, pillow-laden, king-sized bed. I have access to all the clean, hot bathes I want. I have a flushable toilet to barf in. There’s a TV not 10 feet from me. I have all the tasty, nutritious Gatorade I could desire. And a medicine cabinet filled with a different pill to attack every symptom I was, just moments ago, complaining about. Let’s run through that again. Bed. Bath. Toilet. Entertainment. Nutrition. And medicine. Huh. What the hell was I complaining about?

Nowadays people just need to complain about something. Nothing is ever good enough.  As a majority, we are a spoiled, over-entitled culture who, as I said in my last post, does little to no thinking for ourselves. If the news is upset about something, we’re twice as upset. Why would we need to bother doing our own research; the news said it was true, right? We are a society who likes to be worked-up about something at all times. Frankly, I’m sick of it. We have a large majority of people who contribute very little to society and do nothing to understand today’s issues but are the first to lead the way down to parliament with petition sign in hand. Most of the time I don’t think these people understand a quarter of what they should before announcing so loudly their stance. Uneducated protesters do nothing to support their cause and only fuel the flame of ignorance.

Am I worked up about this? Sure I am. I believe in many causes, all of which I’ve taken the time to read about and understand through my own eyes; not what someone else has told me. There are a number of other issues that still confuse me and I don’t know what to believe. So I keep my mouth shut about those so as not to look the fool. I wish others would follow suit.

So yeah, last week I felt like crap. But the odds are that at some point this flu season, we’re all going to fall ill. And if you do, I hope you remember just how lucky you are. Let’s learn to appreciate more and complain less.

I am thankful for the opportunity to stay home to recuperate.  I am thankful that I was able to get the rest and medication I needed to feel better. And most importantly, I am thankful for the many friends and family who sent me daily emails of encouragement and love.

Blog Action Day 2009 – Climate Change

Get Blogging

Get Blogging

With such a broad topic, it’s hard to know where to begin. So, I’m just going to wing this. I was told about Blog Action Day (BAD) about a week ago and asked if I would write something about Climate Change. As those around me know, I don’t ever have to be asked to talk about this subject. I bring it up, without question, more often than others may prefer.  It’s a subject that makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable. And I can understand.

We hear so much about the so-called “climate controversy”. It’s in the morning paper and on the nightly news. We are led to believe that science “can’t be sure” if human activity is to blame for the rapidly changing temperature over the past few decades. And even those sources that will admit that we are the problem then suggest that it is either too late or too expensive to fix. We don’t know what to believe.  We’re afraid of taking a stand for or against something that might, potentially make us look stupid. And I can understand that too.

I can understand all these feelings because I’ve experienced them all.  And some days I still do. Over the past few years I’ve experienced a roller coaster of environmental emotions.  My Dad has always worked in the Oil and Gas sector. We would fight about these things but, as a teenager, it was more about being rebellious and argumentative with him. Years later, we still don’t see eye to eye but my vision on our different sides is clearer.  I know where I stand and how I feel about changing my behavior.  He is complacent.  In response to me suggesting that if we didn’t change, we wouldn’t have anywhere to live he said, “well, we had a good run”. I know he jokes. I understand. And I don’t expect to ever change his mind.  What has changed is that he no longer actively argues with me. He supports me in my decisions and never has that been more evident as with my new career path and volunteer opportunities.

I have become a hardcore documentary watcher.  And I think it’s important to recognize how these images make us feel. Having a soft spot for animals, I used to start crying every time we drove by roadkill on the way to the farm.  I manage to contain myself a little better now but to see an animal hurt affects me deeply. For many years I avoided watching any nature show in fear of seeing a lion catch a gazelle for dinner. I can now accept that this is a part of the cycle of life and I (usually) manage to not tear up. Shows like Whale Wars or movies such as The Cove are a different story entirely though. These acts are not part of the cycle of life and I typically enter the ‘snot-running-down-my-nose-blubbering-fool’ phase. I can’t help it. If it embarrasses you, don’t go to the movies with me.

What I’ve been finding lately though is that I am able to watch more and more shows that, albeit upsetting, are important to our survival. And in all honesty, I come out of that movie feeling overwhelmed; the problems seem too big, the solutions too momentous. I have these moments all the time. But then I shake them off and get back to life; recycling what I can, riding the bus, conserving water and energy and…much to their chagrin…telling everyone I can about what I’ve seen and how we can all make a difference.

I hope you will do the same.

Iao Valley, Maui HI

Iao Valley, Maui HI

It’s been a long time, Old Friend

The Way I See It #26

The Way I See It #26

I’m sure not many people can claim that a Starbucks cup changed their life; I can.

About a year ago I started getting my daily Americano (with two pumps of white chocolate mocha please) in the cup with this quote on. Every time. Not just often; every time. For a long time I ignored it. Then it started to get creepy. Surly Starbucks must make more than one cup design. So I started looking at the cups my friends were getting; they were different.

Huh.

I started to really read what was on this cup. Eventually, I cut it out and posted it on my cubicle wall. The cubicle wall that I saw every day when I went to my job. A job that payed me incredibly well, at which I was fairly successful, and where I frequently heard the expression, “what would we do without you, Jess?” I think you can see where I’m going with this. If you can’t, reread the photo above.

Yep, success is dangerous. Before I knew what happened, I was celebrating five years doing a job that made me sad. I had known for years that I needed to do something else; but what? And even if I did figure out what, where would I find the balls to take that leap?

Four months ago, some how, some way, I jumped. At 32, I’m once again a full-time student. Third times’ a charm, right?  I no longer get a pay cheque. The magic cleaning fairies who used to clean my toilet while I was at work no longer come around. I have to pay for things like my own prescriptions and chiropractic appointments (gasp). I haven’t heard that familiar expression, “what would we do without you, Jess?” once since June. And the worst part is that in two months when I graduate, I have no idea what I’m going to do.

Suddenly the PRAISE and MONEY and OPPORTUNITY have vanished.

And I couldn’t be happier.