Whew. I’m Irrational.

I’m really having a harder than usual time listening to people lumping me in with some group of tantrum-prone babies because I have differing opinions from them. I’m not using my best words, either, which doesn’t help. I can work on me, though, after listening to my friends’ criticisms of me.

I am not Supergirl. I’m fallible human woman.

It is so hard to not stereotype groups of people when people say stuff like this to and about me:

Attack when the opinion differs. Humiliate when you don’t get your own way. Scream in people’s faces like a spoiled child when you can’t make someone succumb to your way of thinking. They are a bunch of spoiled brats who don’t know how to communicate, they never had to. They were led to believe no one loses, that someone calling you a name will destroy who you are instead of defending yourself, they were taught any college degree is worth an above average wage, even though it might have been in fashion, or liberal arts! We used to sit, have discussions, not arguments. We never disowned our friends and families because we disagreed with their policies. We never had to convince our friends, we only gave our viewpoints and that was ok. This new political party is a rude, childish, a true embarrassment to us all.

a guy on Facebook who I don’t know

Wow, I’d said that some people find it really important to own objects designed for killing, while other people want to have more peaceful, secure lives. I do realize that when people expect a certain type of words to come out of people they don’t like as a group, they will interpret the words in the worst way possible. And I am NOT at my word-smithing best today. I am sorry for that, honest!

Summary

Anyway, gun-loving friends, I do not think you all want to kill people. Pacifist friends, I am against killing people, so would use the shotgun I own only to scare away animals. That’s just me. You feel how you want to feel.

I really DO want to sit and have discussion. And folks, name-calling may well make you feel better, but I don’t like it. Why? Not because it hurts my feelings. No, because it stops any rational dialog in its tracks and just leads to escalating labeling and ranting, not listening. Or, as in my case, I just leave the “conversation” and concentrate on places where I actually can engage in dialogue and learn from others.

When you feel attacked, you defend, even if you don’t want to. So, this is my public apology to anyone I’ve been unfair to on social media. Now you know why I’be been trying to keep quiet. I will work on figuring out a way to share my thoughts without inadvertently making others feel attacked.

I admit that studying this got me more upset yesterday. And it’s made me vow to not be part of the problem.

My next post will be about tea, or ants, or something neutral. Please encourage me to keep growing and making myself less easily provoked.

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Thrifting for Dollars: My Why

It’s really been a hard time in the country where I live, and it seems like we are heading more and more to divisiveness and violence. My goal is to do what I can to encourage us all to remember that we are also capable of love and caring, even for people different from ourselves. Let’s spread that, please? Okay, so how am I doing that?

Just a few of the people I enjoy volunteering with and who teach me a lot as I get to really know them.

Raising Funds at a Thrift Shop

Yep, that’s what I did yesterday and what I plan to do every first Saturday of the month for the foreseeable future. The Amazing Grace Thrift Shop in Buckholts has allowed our Milam Touch of Love animal support group to sell items in the front of the shop (they are offering this to other groups, too).

It was fun selling this stuff. And if the peace sign is still unsold, I’m getting it next time!

The kind people behind this really nice store (not kidding, it’s so clean and pretty and the staff is so respectful to all who shop there) are also animal lovers and very supportive of MTOL. And they not only donate the space to us, but have become donors. This is such a wonderful example of putting their Christian beliefs into action.

I love that our volunteer put animal stickers on the baked goods!

Our volunteers brought baked goods and some items to sell, but the shop also let us sell some jewelry and keep the funds. This made our fundraising team very happy! We ended up with well over $400 for the day, from combined sales, donations, and memberships. Plus, we got to talk to a lot of people about the organization, which you just can’t put a price tag on.

Why Do I Do This?

Here’s the thing. I also believe in putting my beliefs into practice. I want to do what I can to do good in the world, encourage peace, and share my convictions that everyone has something to teach me, if I take the time to listen.

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Confessions of a Reluctant Unpacker

I’ve shared some of my “issues” before, but here’s the one I feel worst about. I truly hate unpacking. From trips to big moves, I hate it all. The reasons are not clear to me. But I have only a certain amount of unpacking energy that has to be used quickly before it goes away for months or years.

Yay! More Mom embroidery! We know where it will go.

I got a good burst shortly after we moved into the Bobcat Lair, and it was really draining. I had to give myself rewards to keep going. Having to fold every single box into a flat shape and smooth out all the paper so it could be recycled was the worst. We made so many trips to Goodwill and recycling, ugh.

I’ve had this pig my whole life. It has eyebrows. I love it’s face.

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You’re TOO Sensitive

My gosh, have I heard that little put-down way too many times in my life. It mostly came from my father. Sometimes it came from my mother or my brother or my sister, or especially my grandmother. Whoever said it got me even more huffy. Soon I’d cry and ALSO be a crybaby.

Baby Suna? (My scary mask)

Being sensitive was a part of my nature. I couldn’t exactly become someone else just so they could insult me with great impunity and not feel bad about it.

I’m bringing that up now, because I’ve finally developed the skill of not taking other people’s insults, snipes, and passive aggressive digs to heart. So that’s good. Yep.

I guess lightning this red candle will help?

But. I’m still sensitive. This linguist can handle words better, but I’m annoyingly sensitive to the moods, affect, and unspoken signals of others. Sometimes it’s general malaise, like after an election. Other times someone in my close circle sends out signals of distress or negativity and it gets me.

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Ghosts from the Past (good ones)

I’m not sure why this is the case, but when I was younger, I never looked back. When I left a place or an institution, I was really bad at maintaining ties. For example, I didn’t remain in touch with any friends from high school (other than my boyfriend, since he was with me in college and most of grad school) until the last few years. Facebook helped with that. And while I do have a couple of grad school friends, such as my favorite fellow student (that’s Steve H) and favorite professor (that’s Georgia M), I’ve lost touch with most people other than a random hello.

I lived here for four years, Murphree Hall. The room with the balcony was really cool. The Rathskeller was right across the road. Handy.

What about my four years of growth and learning at the University of Florida (where I never managed to see any of my high school friends who were there at the same time)? I have one, count ’em one, friend from my undergrad years. That’s Liz from Japanese class. Someone has to share those Swann-sensei memories with me.

That was true until this week, when I finally got back in touch with the only undergrad teacher I’d considered a friend. I’d thought about him often, through the years, and always had held him up as an example of how you really get educated in important things like social skills and political dialogue (that was drinking extremely cheap beer at the Rathskeller every week for three or four years). But, I hadn’t been in touch with him for a very long time, though I’d looked off and on.

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Hate. What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing.

Hate seems to be cropping up all over the place. It’s not just “those other people I don’t like” that seem to be full of hate, but people close to me. I’ve been paying more attention lately to how people use the word “hate” in conversation, and I’ve also been thinking hard about my own relationship to the concept of hating.

When people I know use the word “hate,” it’s rarely in reference to a specific person or other entity. It’s always a group. A friend’s son declared, “I hate snakes! All of them!” A close friend asserted, “I hate cops!” I’ve heard, “I hate Trumpers” and “I hate libtards” (actually BOTH in the same day).

Don’t hate me just because weenie dogs like to jump up and poke you in the eyes (a thing Sue Ann once believed).

Does that make people feel better? Does hate help them feel superior to a group? Or does it help vent feelings of being wronged in the past?

Upon closer examination, I would bet both these people don’t hate every individual snake, police officer, Trump fan, or me. It’s just that nebulous category that gets their emotional reaction. It’s hard to hate things or people you know as individuals. So I say.

Continue reading “Hate. What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing.”

Life Is Complicated: Fiber Arts Department

I can see why so many people I know are staying away from online communities, even though they provide such great ways to stay in touch, make new friends, and feel less isolated. It just seems IMPOSSIBLE to create a community where people treat each other with respect and dignity. Name calling and blaming seem to be the rule rather than the exception in today’s society in this country.

Case in point

I’m a member of a fiber arts community called Ravelry, which was founded in 2007. Back when I spent much of my time knitting, teaching knitting, and designing patterns, this was like a second home to me. I’m sure many of you readers feel the same, since I have so many knitting friends (before Ravelry we had some wonderful email lists, and some grumpy ones).

That’s right, I showed up early.

I’ve been very proud of the founders and their team, who have truly created a wonderful resource for fiber artists, and have continued to add features and branch out. It’s like Facebook, but with a focus…and generally with more kindness.

Continue reading “Life Is Complicated: Fiber Arts Department”