Three Things Thursday: New Year’s Edition

I rarely stay up for the midnight calendar flip. The last time I did was the change from 2011 to 2012. I didn’t want to be awake then either. I was searching for my bag after landing at Bagram Air Field and heard some people counting down to midnight. I guess I’m a bit of a New Year’s Scrooge.

If your self-improvement plan is focused solely on feeling good about yourself, is it really self-improvement? Shouldn’t self-improvement make you feel good about yourself because you’re making positive changes to the person you are?

Goals for the new year and beyond:

  • Read more
  • Write more
  • Boost more signal
  • Speak more truth
  • Hear more feedback
  • Get better and better

 

“May she be a damn sight better than the old one…”

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I Don’t Like Tuesdays

Content Warning: Suicide

When I decided to go public with this blog, I chose the launch date for my mother’s birthday, November 24, a Tuesday this year. I obsessively posted something every Tuesday until last week when I forced myself to take a break. My Tuesday compulsion wasn’t driven solely by my mom’s birthday, though. A lot of it had to do with my long hate affair with Tuesday.

It doesn’t get the attention that Monday does. Being the beginning of the traditional work week, pop culture is full of references to Monday hatred. Even in my far-too-many years working in retail, Monday was noticeable for its return to the weekday doldrums after the rush of the weekend.

When I worked as a janitor, I always hated Tuesday. We were always prepared for people calling in sick with their Monday hangovers. Tuesdays always hit us much harder with people still hung over and thinking it would be less noticeable to call in sick. Those Tuesdays were always the worst and built me quite a hatred for the day. This is not, however, my real reason for wanting to make something positive out of my Tuesdays. Continue reading

The Greatest Christmas Gift I Ever Received

The greatest gift I ever received came to me by giving away something precious.

Recently a woman in a Facebook group asked for reading recommendations. I jumped right in with a book that seemed like just what she was looking for. One person offered to send her a free e-book, but she had no device that would work for that. I had an extra paper copy of the book I recommended and offered to send it to her. I figured we’d use a proxy mailer since I am a total stranger. She immediately sent me a friend request and gave me her address. I was shocked but deeply touched by the trust she showed in me.

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A simple second-generation Kindle loaded with excellent reads.

I had a problem, though. I forgot that I found a taker for that extra copy a couple days before. I felt guilty and scrambled to find another copy. Then I remembered my old e-reader collecting dust in the corner. It had access to the book I offered and several others that had been recommended to her. I sent it to my new friend the next day, which in a happy coincidence was her birthday.

If it was collecting dust in a corner, though, what made it so precious? Continue reading

Three Things Thursday: The Joke Awakens

I’ve spent much too long working in a book store that sits on the site of an old movie theater. In that theater I saw “Return of the Jedi” with my childhood best friend. Tonight I’m going to see “The Force Awakens” with him. Some things never change. They just grow old and moldy. We sure have.

Ladies, please do not keep your tampons where I can see them. It hurts me to think about your cramps and bleeding. I’m not period-shaming. I just don’t want to acknowledge it or know anything about it or think about it. Thank you for protecting me from your pain. #notallmen #sarcasm

Most of my posts are published with no prior feedback. I can and will screw up and say stupid stupid things, especially stupid white man things. Please tell me about them. Part of the idea is to help the straight white man learn. Please teach me.

Uncomfortable Conversations

Content Warning: Blood, Death, Disordered Eating

We need to have an uncomfortable conversation about uncomfortable conversations.

Every once in a while someone asks about the bracelet I wear on my left FullSizeRender (7)wrist. I tell them that it bears the name of a fallen comrade. He was someone I knew, and I was there when he died. This tends to end the conversation because now it’s uncomfortable. Pardon me for making you uncomfortable. I too would prefer not to think about him bleeding to death, saluting him on his way home, and hugging his widow. I would love to sleep without nightmares and live without PTSD. Unfortunately, I don’t enjoy such a privilege. Continue reading

Three Things Thursday: It Begins With Fear

I’m way late in the day for posting, but I want to start a new feature on my blog: Three Things Thursday. So here come three things that are on my mind:

I think if I had nine women accuse me of rape, I’d have to take a hard look at myself and accept that maybe I’ve done some bad things. I definitely have done some bad things in my life. It sucks to accept, but I don’t want to keep doing bad things.

Speaking of doing bad things, some friends have done and said things recently that really hurt me. I want to talk to them about it, but I’m afraid they’ll get defensive. I try really hard to be open to feedback. I sometimes beg for it. I posted about that earlier this week. I don’t know how to give it because I’m so afraid it won’t be heard. This sucks.

I’m scared in general because we all seem so enamored of our own Kool-Aid. I’m open to differing viewpoints. I don’t feel a lot of that around me. It makes me feel scared and alone. This is not so good for the crazy old war veteran.