One of my favorite blogs, Interpret As You May, made a really awesome post this past week entitled “What Changed You?” I immediately wanted to write down and take her challenge of answering “So. Do you have any moments that changed you? Please share! I’d love to know ♥” but instead thought I’d let it stew and make it my Five on Friday this week. So. Here goes a lot…
1. The day my brother got married. I debated this day or the day my brother left for technical school in Houston, but ultimately his getting married made a bigger impact. Because even when he was in school, he came home every weekend. Getting married meant no more coming home on the weekend. No more being awakened by his jumping on my bed (or lord knows what other creative way he would come up with to get me up.) No more taking his CDs without asking. No more… lots of little bitty things that you don’t realize you rely on until they’re no longer happening. I admit it. I cried when they drove away in his pick-up after the wedding. My friends told me I was being silly. But for me, it was a new chapter starting in his life, as one was closing in mine. Oh trust me, the tears didn’t last forever, and we all found a new rhythm and navigated through life’s changes just fine… but it was definitely a turning point for me.
2. Going to college. It was huge reality check for me that I didn’t know it all. And there was a whole lot of things I still had to figure out. I seriously wish that everyone in this world could at least spend one year in college. For me, I learned more about life and the world through every-day things during college than I did in any book in the classroom. Graduating was an accomplishment that I look back on almost every day when I hit a moment of, “I just can’t do this…” I look up at the diploma on the wall above my computer screen and suddenly all this resolve comes back to me. I can do anything, dammit. And nothing is going to stop me.
3. The day my heart got broken. What many people don’t know is that my husband is the only guy I ever dated. But it doesn’t mean I didn’t have my heart broken. The day he broke up with me is one we don’t talk about much. Its a pretty moot point now that we’re happily married (almost seven years!). However, looking back, I think it was a positive thing to have happened. Why? Because it gave me confidence within our relationship I didn’t realize had been lacking prior to it. It put me back in my place as an independent woman. As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… and I was definitely a stronger woman after that happened. We stayed friends after we split up, and I told him he was “going to have to work for it” if we were ever to get back together. Clearly he did, and we did, and here we are today. But looking back, as crazy as it sounds, I couldn’t be more thankful for those months we split up, because in the end it made me and US so much stronger.
4. Getting married & moving to Nashville. This one is a no-brainer. Not only was I moving 800+ miles away from everyone and everything I knew and had known my whole life… but I was moving to be with a man who wasn’t even going to be home half the time! Talk about having to grow your wings really fast! I had to learn how to make friends. I had to learn how to have a fall-back plan for just about everything, because there was no longer a safety net right THERE. Through the people I’ve met, through the jobs I’ve done, and through the organizations I’ve become a part of… I’m far more extroverted, open, confident (and perhaps cynical – lol) than I ever would have been had I not moved two states east.
5. Filing bankruptcy. This day was the ultimate day of both admitting my mistakes, but also taking back control of a part of my life I’d lost all control over. The day you go in and face a judge and accept your mistakes financially is a humbling day. But its also an empowering day. I walked out of that office lighter and freer than I had felt in years. Talk about a hard lesson learned… but also, talk about embracing the fact you’re an adult!
So… your turn. What moments have changed YOU?
I don’t talk politics much. It’s a deeply personal subject for most people, but within that very few are fully versed on political topics. I’ll readily admit, I don’t know all the details of every political move made. I only know three things for sure:
1 – I don’t consider myself Republican nor Democrat. I vote based on the individual and their stance, not based on their political party.
2 – I consider myself a conservative. But I’m probably one of the most liberal conservatives you’ll find in that I acknowledge others have different beliefs/wants/needs than I do, and I respect that. I only ask others respect my feelings in return.
3 – I think a multiparty system is crucial. You may be staunchly one party or the other, but you gotta admit you need a check-and-balance brought from the other side.
All that being said, I’ve always felt very thankful to live in a democratic country. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” (Abraham Lincoln) However, as the American public has asked for more laws on one topic or another be made, I’ve slowly felt like our democratic society has started to fade a little. And that fact has scared me.
And I sit here today a solid mix of scared and angry, as our lawmakers refuse to find a compromise on budgets, health care, and who knows what all else (because lets face it, every law passed these days has half a dozen non-associated things attached), leaving our country at a standstill in so many ways. I’m scared of the repercussions of this — things we may not find out about for days, months or even years down the road. I am angry that the country has become so divided. I sometimes wonder if this is how people felt in the time of the civil war, as friends and family sit on opposite sides of the issues. One person is screaming the Republicans are evil. The next screaming the President has become a dictator. And while we bicker amongst each other over what “they” are doing, those in office are treating this whole shutdown like its some sort of game to win. Treating one another like parents with a child throwing a tantrum.
Meanwhile its the American public — the ones who put our politicians into place and who are the ones that our politicians are supposed to be working FOR — that suffers. Families are left wondering how they are going to put food on the table, as government employees are put on furlough. (Meanwhile, Congress still gets paid.) Others who have saved and dreamed of a vacation to a national park or monument find those dreams and that money go to waste as they are told, “No.” by federal security people. (Except for those who give a proverbial middle finger to barricades. These guys are my heros.) Even worse, those kicked out of their homes because they sit on federal land. Still others, who are in clinical trials are left without medicine. Don’t even get me started on our military not getting to celebrate mass nor having death benefits during the shut down.
The only “positive” spin I could possibly put on this is that at least now we realize how much we rely on our government. And that realization is more than a little bit scary. But perhaps its time we rely on our government less and more on each other. The Bloggess wrote an amazing blog on this point last week. Perhaps we’ve come to expect too much of “those guys & gals in office” who often seem to be more worried about how they look to fellow politicians and less about how they look to “the people.” They forget its “the people” who gave them their jobs. It’s “the people” being used as a pawn in this game. It’s “the people” who are suffering.
I wish this could be like in the movies, and some one up in office would sit down and read the news and then the constitution and suddenly be inspired to swoop in and fix everything. But this isn’t Hollywood. I’m not Sandra Bullock and you’re not George Clooney. (Unless you really are, and if you are — hey thanks for reading!) This is America, and there are no special effects nor a script to read.
So what do we do? We help each other. And we think long and hard about who we put in office next. We pray for this shutdown to end soon.
I’ve read more news articles and editorials for and against both sides than I can fully digest. At the end of them all, I can only surmise what I already felt: they’re all wrong. (And I don’t want to hear either side defended in comments, because dammit in the end they are supposed to be leaders… and leaders bring people together not rip them apart.)
I don’t want to hear neither President Obama nor House Speaker John Boehner point fingers any more. I’m tired of hearing, “I’ll negotiate, but only if…” from both sides. I want to scream/cry/beg them all to grow up and work together. Stop being like a bunch of eight-year-olds bickering over who gets the ball first in a big game of HORSE. Because that ball is the lives of Americans, and we’re all getting scared and angry as a whole.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Photo Share is my personal replacement for Weekly Winners, since that link exchange is no longer happening. It’s just my own challenge to take great photos through the
week month, as it gives me a venue to share some of them on this blog. Consider it my own little P.S. on the week month before.
A little over a month ago, I received a comment to this blog asking me as a bartender and a blogger that if I was sent a custom bottle opener would I review it. I gave a resounding yes before I even looked at the company’s website that I’d be working with on this.
Through emails and browsing their site, I got to know CustomOnIt as a great company to use for customized products. You name the product and they can probably put your own personal logo or message on it. Koozies, bottle openers, bracelets, mugs, mouse pads, glasses, clipboards, lanyards, bags, etc. The list goes on and on and on!
Now, if you’re like me, you see a broad range of products and you think, “How can they be any good with this many products to work with at a time? Sure they are spread too thin and something will suffer…” But what I found working with CustomOnIt is that it’s just the opposite. These guys know their stuff and they produce great products.
When the offer came I had no idea what I wanted to have on my new bottle opener. After a little brainstorming the answer became clear… my blog name! DUH! I emailed back and forth with my contact, Paul, until we nailed down the perfect design. They were patient with me and easy to work with as I made changes until I got just what I wanted.
The bottle opener arrived quickly, well packed in a padded envelope to protect it. Once I got my hands on it, I was very impressed.
The logo is on both sides of the opener. The bottle opener I’ve used exclusively for two years only has a logo on one side… In fact all the openers at the bar are one-sided. I know that’s not a big deal in general, but at the same time… it impressed me and it was something I had to make sure and mention. No matter which side you may lay the bottle opener down on, the logo is showing.
The only thing that concerned me was that this bottle opener isn’t “padded.” I’ve found a thick, soft plastic coating to be essential when bartending all night. If you’re just popping a few tops with friends, its not an issue, but after you’ve opened 100 beer bottles, an opener without padding can cut your hand and leave it raw.
But guess what. It is NOT an issue. The edges are rounded smooth, and the powder coating on the entire bottle opener softens it just enough that you don’t need that extra plastic bulk to protect your hands. It’s made to where that plastic cover unnecessary, and I LOVE that fact. It’s thinner, lighter and sleeker than any other bottle opener I own. (Sidebar: those plastic covers are important to protect your hand, but over time they split and fall off… and you’re still left with a sharp-edged opener that you end up duck taping to keep using.)
After a full night of use, the bottle opener held up its end of the job with ease. I chipped the powder coat right on the lip where the opener does its job, but I fully expected that to happen. It’s got a job to do, and for me if I see a bottle opener a bit chipped, it means the person using it likes it and it does a good job. It gives it a charm that only something you’ve used to do your job can have. And trust me, I’m going to be using this opener a lot in the years to come!
Now, pricing, I find the company to be very reasonable. For example, a bottle opener like the one I got, I’d fully expect to pay retail cost of $15 – $25 each. (I paid at least that for my other bottle opener.) But, as you’d expect, the company sells in bulk. Even if you only order 50 of these, they come out to $4.38 each. That’s it! Seriously a good deal. I wish I’d know about these guys when I got married, I’d have made these my guest’s gifts to take home after the reception!
Trust me, I will be using CustomOnIt in the future, and I will be recommending them to all my friends who might need a personalized item. Great people to work with, and their product is tip notch. Let’s drink to that…
Disclaimer: I received one bottle opener for review from CustomOnIt. I was not paid to give a positive review.
When you are on social media as much as I am, you quickly start finding things that just get on your last nerve. Here are my top five pet peeves. Warning… this post is heavily filled with sarcasm and snark. Have a nice weekend! :)
1. I read posts that use what I call “internet shorthand” like I’m reading a Wheel of Fortune puzzle. “If u want 2 c me 2day, come 2 the bar n by me a drink.” Uhm. Why? I know Twitter only allows 140 characters so you have to get creative sometimes. But other times you’re just being an annoying little twit(terer) that is not worth my time. For what its worth, this applies to text messages as well. I’ve been known to flat out ignore texts written like this and not respond at all. If I am going to type out full words (I mean, “to” is just a pain to type out) then I feel you can do the same with me. Leave the shorthand for the tweens. As a bonus to this annoyance, I now totally relate to my editing professor from college these days. Dr. Starr? I get it now.
2. Pay attention to location. I hate, hate, hate getting flooded with event invitation to things out of the state. I have a lot of friends who have either moved to out of state or they simply travel a lot. I get at least once a week an invite to an event in a state I’ve never even visited… and I am not going to go now, much less to attend your grandma’s 80th birthday at the Shady Tree Retirement Center and Spa. Never mind I don’t know your grandma on top of that. Please, please, please do not send out invites to your entire friends list with complete abandon. Have the courtesy to think about who you are inviting. You might be thinking, “Oh its one event invitation, they won’t mind.” Yeah, but 10 other people had that same thought and now I sit here long ago ceasing to be amused and I’ve landed smack dab in Annoyedville. (*Note that the ONLY exception to this rule is my friends and family in Texas. I am down there enough that its worth throwing me invites, because I just might be there to be able to go.)
3. Don’t send me a friend invitation if you can’t have the courtesy of having your real name on your profile page. If there is one thing I lament Facebook changing, its their old strict real-name-only policy. I get friend invitations from people using blatantly fake names, without a photo, and without ANYTHING publicly visible in their About me page. I end up in an internal debate of wanting to just click ignore, but instead occasionally I end up accepting the friend request just so MAYBE I can access more information as to who the person is… only to (most of the time) end up deleting them because I have no clue who they are. (*An exception: I have plenty of people friended that I don’t actually know in person, but we have so many people in common we are bound to cross paths eventually. I might as well go ahead and figure out who they are before then.) An extension of this, I will never understand why some people can’t have at least ONE photo of themselves on their profile pages. Just one! I don’t care if you think you look like the love child of Quasimodo and the Wicked Witch of the West (which… you totally don’t look like that) I want to see YOU!
4. Like or share. Favorite or retweet. Oh stop it. I really don’t want to play these games. I expect it from teens and tweens and am totally okay with it there. But you’re 35 freakin’ years old. Stop needing that kind of validation and child’s play. Okay? Just. Stop. That includes you SportsCenter. “Like if team A will win, retweet if team B will win.” Just stop it. It’s right up there with the kid having a meltdown in the cereal aisle because Mom bought Shredded Wheat instead of Coco Puffs. No one REALLY cares.
5. I am a Christian, and I love God. I believe everyone with any sort of illness or disease or whatever should be respected and loved and prayed for. I think our military rocks, and I am thankful for them. I have an amazing Mom, Dad, brother, in-laws, niece, nephew, aunts, uncles, etc. I do not need to post this picture in my profile for one hour to make those facts true. Please stop trying to guilt me into it because, “I know who will do it and who won’t and if you don’t you’re a jerk face meanie.”