Tag Archives: Humor

I Challenge You to be Respectful in the Face of Conflict


Did you know that it’s possible to be friends and/or maintain positive connections with someone even when you fundamentally disagree with each other about how to do life? If you’re friends or colleagues who keep in touch outside of the work place/space, then there must be something you like or admire about each other. Perhaps you like their ability to tell a story if they’re an author or perhaps you like their sense of humor or you admire their experiences or their ability to see the good in everything.

These are all reasons why I have rarely ever unfriended or unfollowed anyone on social media, and why I’m careful about who I do friend or follow. About half of my social media contacts are colleagues in the literary and/or academic fields, and in the ideals most important to me – Faith, lifestyle, fundamental freedoms, and yes, even politics – we rarely see eye-to-eye.

But that isn’t reason enough to turn my back on them. I love the diversity – intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional – of my friends, family and colleagues. I don’t seek to agree on every topic with all of my connections. That would be disastrous to my growth as a person of intelligence and reason. People who seek to befriend and network only with those who agree with them are severely shortsighted and, dare I say, foolish. I’ve been persecuted and denied for my beliefs and opinions, and refuse to do that to others, as long as we’re able to preserve a mutually respectful connection. I maintain constant vigil on my conversations to ensure that I remain respectful, even in the face of disagreement.

I did recently unfriend someone on Facebook and unfollow another person on Twitter. The former Facebook friend is someone I know in real life, someone who’s company and conversation I’ve enjoyed on multiple occasions. What I couldn’t stomach and refused to make excuses for any longer was their constant disrespect and vitriol (talk about hate speech) toward my conservative friends. All of whom I’ve known longer than this individual. It got to the point that some people were questioning whether they should unfriend ME because of this person. Which quickly raised my anxiety level. I made the decision to unfriend this person for my sanity and to save my other connections; one person wasn’t worth further endangering my established network.

I don’t have a problem with debate and disagreement, especially when I’ve posted something encouraging it on my page, but I DO have a problem when you can’t keep a civil tongue in your head, and post a hateful, mean-spirited word vomit on my page. Especially when said words are uttered (or written) by someone who is supposed to be mature. An adult. At least according to their chronological age. If nothing else, dealing with people should teach you that you draw more bees with honey (respect will get you further than truculence).

To me, descent into name calling and hurling insults is something that we learn to rein in somewhere about the time we graduate from high school and realize that the rest of the world doesn’t operate that way. Or it shouldn’t, anyway…as our minds and bodies mature, so should our conversation and ability to disagree or debate with courtesy and civility.

The person I unfollowed on Twitter is an author I’ve followed for years. Someone who’s books I’ve read for years. I will probably continue to read their books. But their constant foul-mouthed and hateful comments against the current presidential administration – and that’s ALL they have been tweeting about lately – were triggering. This person has the absolute right to think, feel and say whatever they want, just as I have the absolute right to unfollow them so their vitriol won’t continue to blow up my Twitter feed and make the blood vessels in my eyes burst.

Here’s what I believe – what I’ve always believed (well, at least since I hit mid-twenties and actually began to THINK and not just ACT or REACT) – and have found to be true in 8 out of 10 cases (because there are always those who cannot sustain a relationship when they disagree on fundamentals). Treat others the way you want to be treated. AKA: The Golden Rule. And it IS golden. That’s it. Well, with a healthy dose of humor thrown in for good measure. That’s the secret to gaining and maintaining friendships and connections across dissenting views on lifestyle, religion and politics.

No matter how my connections respond – whether they love me or hate me, or something in between – I have to stay sane, be true to myself, be able to look at my reflection in the mirror every morning and every night. I have to be able to sleep at night and wake in the morning. I have to be able to meet my Maker with a clear conscience. Treating others the way I wish to be treated, with a side of humor, even – maybe especially – when we disagree, ensures that I can do all of those things.

Everyone has something to give. Everyone is unique. Everyone has something about them that makes them special. Everyone has a story to tell. I encourage you – I CHALLENGE YOU – to focus on those things, the qualities you first admired most about them, and let the rest go.

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Filed under Anxiety, Friendship, How To, Humor, Life, Mental Health, Musings, Real Life, Relationships, Stuff, writer

Guest Post: From Size 0 to Size Mom. And Proud of it. By C. Streetlights


I won’t ever be size 0 again, and that’s probably okay. Maybe.

I will be turning 40 at the end of this year and I am slowly accepting the changes in my body that age does to a woman. It’s the age when our bodies turn against us and we come a sort of featured special on the Nature Channel entitled: “When Host Systems Attack.”

I was once one of the girls who other girls longed to be – the type who could eat an entire order of chili cheese fries from Volcano Burger and still want a chocolate shake, not even caring because she knew it would all burn off by dinner time. The horrible trade-off (in my teen-aged mind) was that I was all angles and knees with no boobs. Well, no boobs compared to some others. At that age, or even younger, it was the tale of what we didn’t have compared to what someone else did.

I took my weight for granted during those years. For that matter, I took the entire concept of a healthy lifestyle for granted. Exercise? Hell no; that means sweating. And effort. And probably planning. Eating healthily? Why would I eat fruit and vegetables when God created cheese and the burgers to put it on?

Once I was married, though, my body gave me hints of what was to come. It was like The Christmas Carol but completely different because I’m not Scrooge and this isn’t England. I never gained “The Freshman 15” in college but I definitely gained it as a newlywed thanks to cheap, starchy eating based on our budget and a little special something called the birth control pill. In my young 20-something mind, I thought this was close to the end of the world, bringing my weight from 100 pounds to 115. (I know, I know, don’t yell at me.) But while I was still weighing in at a healthy and normal weight, it still meant no longer fitting in my clothes and that always screws with your head.

exercise-machinesSeveral life events struck me all at once which only added more weight on my body: a busy teaching schedule, a full-time master’s degree, a new baby, and most importantly, my laziness. Sure, I could’ve done something about my weight during any one of these life events, but honestly I just wanted to drink my Dr. Peppers and eat chocolate cream pie. Who wouldn’t? It was bad enough that I had to walk all the way up and down a hill to my car just to get to and from my apartment; why add exercise to that mix? It was a small hill, but still.

However, deep down I knew it was time to drop the weight. My baby entered kindergarten so I couldn’t genuinely call it baby weight anymore. We bought a treadmill with the new house so I mostly enjoyed that. Soon I was running and when I didn’t have to get off of it in order to use the bathroom (all mothers understand this), I could run at pretty good clip.

I can’t run outside. I have sensitive ears. Long story.

When I met my goal weight, the only people excited for me were my family and doctor because the reality is everyone else is a member of a club called the We Hate Success Club. You discover who holds a membership card pretty quickly once you succeed in something you’ve worked hard at and these other people are dicks about it. Soon after, the club president cornered me in her office and accused me of going through a midlife crisis. Because you know, a woman in her early-30s who loses weight is obviously going through some sort of transcendental crisis. The vice president just plainly accused me of having an eating disorder while in the faculty room. Because you know, this is always The Best Tactic to use when exhibiting concern for someone who has an eating disorder.

Actually, it isn’t. Don’t do that. Ever.

In truth, I learned pretty quickly that when it comes to weight your goat is roasted if you gain weight and your goat is roasted if you lose it. No matter what, nobody will be happy with how you look so you might as well be happy for yourself. Overall health should always be the key factor, not the hope that others will be super thrilled for you. Because the dicks from The We Hate Success Club will be at your door, and they won’t bring you a plate of cookies. They only bring sour grapes.

Now that I’ve had my second child – almost 5 years ago – you can bet that I am back at the starting line again. Except this time, I’ve got my age and a bad hip against me. Again, my clothes don’t fit and I face the timeless battle women everywhere face in dressing rooms all over the world: Do I suck it up and go up a size, or do I just go get a Cinnabun and call it a day?

The one activity I did enjoy – running – is no longer an option to me and so now I have no choice but to just sit on my ass all day writing blogs like these and eat the chocolate chips I have hidden in my bedside table. Right? Right.

I won’t ever be a Size 0 anymore. I’m mostly okay with that because for hell’s sake, why are we even producing clothes at that size anyway? But I’m also mostly okay that at my age it just takes more work to get this body to look how I want it to look. I have to fight for every damn pound I lose and be more creative in how I fool myself into exercise. But that’s all okay too because while I won’t ever be a Size 0 anymore, I will always be a Size Mom and my kids need me to be healthy for them.

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CeeStreelightsAfter writing and illustrating her first bestseller in second grade, “The Lovely Unicorn”, C. Streetlights took twenty years to decide if she wanted to continue writing. In the time known as growing up she became a teacher, a wife, and mother. Retired from teaching, C. Streetlights now lives with her family in the mountains along with their dog that eats Kleenex. Her new memoir, Tea and Madness is now available.

You can follow C. Streetlights on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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Filed under Anxiety, Family, Guest Post, Life, Mental Health, Motherhood, Sarcasm, Writing

If I Ever Decide to Run for President…


Photo Source: Unsplash.com/Anthony Delanois

Photo Source: Unsplash.com/Anthony Delanois

They (and no, I don’t have any idea who “they” are) say that if you think you can do a job better, apply for it… so maybe someday I’ll have enough chutzpah to run for president. And if, by some miracle I won – because, let’s face it, it would take the biggest miracle God ever pulled off – here are some of my policies (see, I’m warning you now so you can give me some feedback).

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Congress would get a 35 percent pay cut. And just like in college, there would be an attendance policy. Miss too many sessions and votes, you’re off the island. Plenty of other people want their turn to get paid to sleep during long meetings and craft 100-page-long bills that no one takes the time to read all the way through anyway.

If we suffered a repeat of the Twin Towers, there would be no dickering around, trying to figure out whose jurisdiction it is or which federal branch will be in charge. The military would take over and we would strike hard and fast. Hash out jurisdiction when the crisis is over and the dust clears.

Prostitution would be legalized. Prostitutes would be licensed (so maybe we could call them Licensed Companions) and required to have yearly exams and health certificates. Let’s face it, if prostitution wasn’t illegal, nobody would really care if the Secret Service solicited on their days off work. Why do we care anyway? It really is a victimless “crime.” I get that some women (and men; let’s not be sexist) might have issues with their spouses paying someone else for sex, but that’s not society’s problem. It’s a domestic (as in, between spouses) issue.

Military, teachers and civil service personnel would receive 15 percent pay increase across the board. The funds would come out of the federal government’s coffers. Remember, Congress just took a 35 percent pay cut. We can afford the raises.

We’d offer Mid-East oil barons $35 a barrel for oil. Take it or leave it. We have oil in the U.S. Massive amounts. We’ll drill and refine our own – safely so as to not kill or injure fish, fowl, man or beast. Cheaper gas for all and more jobs for the unemployed skilled laborers. The caribou and other animals in the Alaskan wilderness can warm themselves and make their homes near the oil pipes.

No socialized healthcare. Receiving the same compensation from insurance/federal government no matter how good or bad your services, takes away the motivation for health providers to “one-up” their competitors. The stigma surrounding Mental Health would be brought front and center. Mental Health education and support would be paramount. I know a lot of great people who live with and work to eradicate Mental Health stigma. I would ask for their assistance.

I’m not a fan of same sex relationships, but it’s not illegal, I’m not the morality police, and the USA isn’t governed by religious rulers (and that’s probably a good thing – look at the Islamic nations, for instance). I don’t think it should even BE a government issue. Why does the government get to dictate who can marry and who can’t, as long as both parties are consenting adults?

Photo Source: Unsplash.com/Glen Noble

Photo Source: Unsplash.com/Glen Noble

We’d have twice yearly, week-long writing retreats and various seminars at The White House! And author events in the library!

There would be a complete overhaul of the Department of Education. It would get a lot more funding. And every public school gets new, state-of-the-art computers and as many ESE specialists as are needed for students (and staff) who live with Mental Health issues.

Apartments in The White House would be auctioned off for mini-vacations to raise money for various charities and non-profits.

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Even though I think these are some great policies, I don’t think my chances of getting elected are very high. I’d likely be tarred and feathered for some of these almost as soon as I announced I was running. And then there’s my finances. I’m probably one of the brokest (if that’s not a word, it is now) lower middle-class single mothers in America, and I’m not enough of a “wheeler dealer” to be able to negotiate that kind of support. I’d need a wily financial guru. I have an uncle who’s pretty good at that. And maybe I could start a “Wendy for US President” gofundme.com account. With a 10-year project goal attached.

So what do you think? Should I go for it, or just scribble that line off my bucket list?

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Filed under books, Bucketlist, Fantasy, Humor, Life, Musings, Politics, Random, Sarcasm