Hyprocrisy at its finest

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hy·poc·ri·sy
hiˈpäkrisē/
noun
noun: hypocrisy; plural noun: hypocrisies
The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
What I can never understand is how people can go around acting in a certain manner but God forbid if you did the exact same thing there’s hell to pay.

I’ve seen various relationships affected by this so-called “double standard” from family, marriages, friendships and yes, even coworkers.

If said individuals cannot get a grip on themselves then it’s best to either discover the root of the problem (if possible) and if solve it.

 
HOW they can justify their behavior and yet criticize you for doing the same is beyond my mental and emotional capacity.

If said person continues to be a toxic element in your life the best (and at least for me…most L.O.G.I.C.A.L. solution is to simply get rid of them by leaving or if forced to interact (such as with a coworker) do so as sparingly as possible–if only to to simply preserve your own precarious sanity.  🙂

Lifestyle change

Sometimes it’s harder to implement than to delve up a solution.  Struggling with my weight has always been a constant factor.  Unfortunately I am not blessed with genes which enabled me (in the past and now in the present) to eat whatever I want whenever I want.

Living in a society which markets to the American consumer in such an overindulgent (and unhealthy way) can prove to be quite challenging.

I do admire my husband for his will-power and fortitude to do what’s right and maintain his health.  I, on the other hand, can sometimes talk a lot of hot air. Receiving a recent health scare has made me pause to reconsider what truly is important at this junction of my life.

Do I wish to continue this self-destructive path of glutton want or do I wish to live a healthier and more fruitful life?

It’s quite easy to give in to your desires.  Stress can make you reach for the most unhealthy choices. Every day life happenstance gives us all that comfortable excuse to indulge just a little bit more, that it won’t hurt…for now.

The problem why most diets fail is that again, our American need to “have it right now” fails us.  We expect miraculous results the instant we start changing.

But our bodies, and life…really do not run like that.

We have to be patient, kind with ourselves.  Learn to pace, to give up the sinfully good snacking, incorporate some form of exercise.

But……..WHY does living a healthier lifestyle mean bland choices?????

Also, it’s far cheaper to grab that burger when organics always come with a steep price. Who hasn’t visited a wholefood’s store and seen those jaw-dropping prices?

If I could grow my own produce I would. But since I can’t I have to really work harder to ensure I don’t end up like my parents with their milieu of health problems.

And overcome any mental obstacles along the way.

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Are we witnessing an historic moment?

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Race relations in my country have always been a maelstrom.  Not just because of Blacks being brought here by Whites as slaves but also due to the volatile nature of our socioeconomic condition.  Ferguson, MO used to be an all White community until the “great white flight” of the 1960’s when inner-city Blacks moved into the neighborhoods. In order to understand what is going on in this local suburb read up on its past.

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Good or bad (trust me everyone has an opinion), the past events have culminated into the currently volatile situation we now have almost at my front door. I am by far no expert on race relations.  I only know what I’ve seen and heard with my own eyes and ears. I grew up with racism, was the subject of such prejudice and chose to overcome it.

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I have seen racists slurs directed by both Blacks and Whites against each other. No one is innocent here.  It takes a conscientious effort on all of us to remember that despite our skin color underneath we are the same.  And because of this, we should treat one another with respect and dignity.

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I know it’s easier said than done, but frankly I am sick and tired of the violence and abuse. Overseas we have Civil War, genocide, starvation, pollution, etc and here at home we have our own economic struggles, our poverty…the list goes on and on.

I grew up within a community that is still for the most part 99.9% Caucasian.  I received real-time, real life diversity training at school from my peers, who didn’t know how to handle a bi-racial kid, all the way down to the Caribbean where cousins firmly told me I was not Puerto Rican enough, that I was a “Gringa.” So, here was this Midwestern Irish/Puerto Rican gal who lived in perpetual limbo. I was quickly educated on where “my place” was.

But I did not stay there.

I joined the Army

I went to College

I became a Mother

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Maybe it’s easier said than done for some…I don’t know. Life is absolutely relative…but….if you desire to better yourself down to your community—–it starts with y.o.u. YOU need to pick yourself up and make YOUR community a better place and pay it forward.

Time for me to get off my soapbox.

I will leave you with this:

If we don’t start at home, where everything begins….nothing will change, and the ugly head of racism, self-entitlement, and violence will continue it’s cyclical course.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

 

All eyes on St. Louis

I come from a cop family. My sweet husband is a retired detective, my paternal grandfather was Chief of Police back in my home state of Indiana and a maternal uncle was Chief of Police in Puerto Rico. Eventually one of his sons became a cop. His other son was shot in the chest and killed in PR years ago by a cop because he was dealing drugs. My cousin was unarmed. He left behind a wife and daughter. He was only in his early 20’s. I thought about becoming a police officer, was even a police officer intern in college but my mom was dead set against the career so I had to switch to something else. Not all cops are bad just like not all Blacks or Hispanics are bad. Unfortunately we are portrayed badly in the media and Hollywood. What needs to happen is that our community leaders need to come together, the law enforcement agencies come together and have a peaceful town hall type of meeting. something to encourage better community relations. I really do feel for the mother of Michael. She even stated she didn’t want any more violence. This violence does nothing but disrespect her son, her grieving process and I as a mother completely understand. The black community and the white community need to come together and resolve these issues. There is so much sadness in the world. Too much in fact. We all need to make this a better place somehow. The whole world knows what’s going on here. We have the mike. Let’s make what we have to say worth saying and yes, find resolutions.

Who are you?

Have you ever felt like your life has been one huge counterproductive mistake? That the decisions which you thought were the right ones turned out to be completely the opposite?

Why is it our younger selves (who think we’re so invincible) try to tackle head on issues which we know nothing about? Our parents, elders, and “more experienced” individuals tend to evoke a rebellious attitude?
I saw this in myself, and I currently see it in today’s generation.
Doesn’t matter if it’s your son or daughter straining against your loving parental advice or the kid next door rolling their eyes at your well meaning good intentions.  Today’s youth (no matter the generation) seems to always be in the wrong. 

Could it be as parents we coddled our children far longer than what’s deemed socially acceptable? Has the technological boom generated an entire generation of socially awkward and selfish little bastards? Could it be the growing number of single-parent households (either due to divorce or out of wedlock marriages?
I am considered part of Generation X and even during the tender years of my youth I was lucky enough to experience life as it’s meant to be instead of it all being crammed into social media or gaming.
I think spending too much time behind the computer screen and create socially stunted adults.  Kids become lazy or complacent in their anonymity and choose the “easier way out.”
Far more American children are becoming obese.  According to the website Teenhelp, over 12% of our children are overweight.
As parents it is our responsibility to encourage our children to delve out of their comfortable couch comfort zone and mingle with the “real” world.  I think we parents too become lazy ourselves, caught up in our own adult problems, leaving our kids behind to fend for themselves.  My generation was that of the latch key kid. I was lucky in that I had my mom to come home to every day while dad worked. Not all kids are so fortunate.
Just remember, these kids of today will be the ones changing our socioeconomic world….and that in and of itself should be food for thought.

The bigger picture

“If we are not allowed to deal with small problems, we will be destroyed by slightly larger ones. When we come to understand this, we live our lives not avoiding problems, but welcoming them them as challenges that will strengthen us so that we can be victorious in the future.”
Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Gift

I think a lot of marital difficulties comes from immaturity and a lack of self-confidence–also a big part of our relationship issues is not being able to see the picture.

 

As Americans, most of us want everything N.O.W.  If we have to wait even 5 minutes for something it’s a chore. (No one can tell me different.)

Can you just imagine how this relates to relationships?

When things are difficult, or are heading that way, whether it be your finances, employment status, or even waiting for personal issues to resolve themselves….negativity sets in.  We become overwhelmed and fail to see the journey in it’s entirety and instead focus only on the problems (and not in a good way).

Nothing in this life is easy. Falling in love, having children, maintaining your health and family/friend relationships to taking care of your spousal needs….there will always be issues along the way.

When we fail to see the bigger picture, such as spending your life with someone you love, becoming a parent, having a great quality of life….we become lost in the details instead of realizing the blessings which will come our way.

I am at fault for not realizing the positive outcomes which come about from such things.

I also realize life isn’t easy and it certainly hasn’t been for me. But I do have one thing on my side and that is I am tenacious. I will not give up. I will fight tooth and nail for what I believe in. And, yes of course, common sense will undoubtedly kick in…and if something isn’t meant to be I let go.

“When things get too complicated, it sometimes makes sense to stop and wonder: Have I asked the right question?”
Enrico Bombieri

For someone like myself, I always try to give 110%.

Yes, there are times I want to give up. I think, why do I fight this hard for something so difficult?

Then I come to the realization: despite all the hardships…..in the end it’s all worth it.

I for one don’t wish to journey through life alone. Having a partner to ease some of the troubles that will inevitably come our way, is a great motivator. One, that I am willing to fight for, work hard for, and to make him and everyone else realize that I am a woman of means, of intellect and strength who is able to carry her own weight, who is able to see the bigger picture and push forward through hardships and crisis. Love isn’t easy. It’s trial by error and it’s accepting the fact that yes, sometimes we can’t fix things. As long as I believe in myself, in my marriage ultimately knowing I can conquer anything that comes my way.

American Marriages

http-www.dandelionandgreyblog.com201106beautiful-black-whites-from-ashleyhtmlThe notion of the “romantic” marriage is really a novel American concept. According to Stephanie Koontz, Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage. in our not so distant past, we Americans  primarily married out of convenience, seeking positive traits in a partner such as fairness, kindliness, and good temper.

Of course today individuals come together out of love and not so much for romantic coupling and the divorce rate is still at around 50%. Why is that? Is it because we place far too many expectations on our partner? Sometimes unrealistic? Then there is the changing gender rolls. The economic downturn of our economy has seen more men unemployed as compared to women. Women are fast becoming the primary bread winner.  According to the NY Times, this trend is bound to continue:

Four in 10 American households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census and polling data released Wednesday. This share, the highest on record, has quadrupled since 1960.

The shift reflects evolving family dynamics.

For one, it has become more acceptable and expected for married women to join the work force. It is also more common for single women to raise children on their own. Most of the mothers who are chief breadwinners for their families — nearly two-thirds — are single parents.

The recession may have played a role in pushing women into primary earning roles, as men are disproportionately employed in industries like construction and manufacturing that bore the brunt of the layoffs during the downturn. Women, though, have benefited from a smaller share of the job gains during the recovery; the public sector, which employs a large number of women, is still laying off workers.

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Today’s couples are also faced with not just gender changing roles and financial hardships, but are also dealing with technological advances which have played havoc on some marriages. It’s that much easier to slip into an anonymous role behind a computer screen and become a voyeur exploring “uncharted seas.” Partners are reconnecting with old flames (i.e. via Facebook) or delving into the seedy side of porn and unwanted personal ads.

Making a “got at it” in today’s world means working that much harder to stay together.  The key is remembering that we are part of a team.  Keep the lines of communication open and respect your spouse’s feelings. Never go to bed angry. That doesn’t solve anything.

NEVER!

 

To learn more about building a happy marriage please click here

When your spouse is your best friend

Out of billions of people in this world we choose one person in legal matrimony or civil union to enter our family fold.  They are the first-line witnesses to your good days and bad..riding along beside you on the roller coaster of life.
Shouldn’t it stand to reason that they too are also your best friend.  I mean separate from say your girlfriend or a husband’s best buddy….partners shouldn’t simply have a contractual union but a deep personal one as well.

The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make – not just on your wedding day, but over and over again – and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.

Barbara de Angelis
The catch-22 is not allowing your “friendship” to take over the life you had before getting married. It’s healthy to always have outside interests and friends.  For some of us developing long-lasting and meaningful friendships is difficult.  When you constantly move, like I have via the military and then college, you make strong connections only to lose them because of a geographical divide.
My husband and I are so different in so many ways that it’s incredible we even married. However, those same differences attracted me to him and add spice to our relationship. One thing I have tried not to do, (because this is an easy trap married couples can fall into), is to change my husband. I knew exactly what I was getting into when we married. The only thing I have ever asked is we adhere to having mutual respect for one another and keep an open line of communication. Marriage is hard work. Every day we have to consciously realize this person has made a commitment to us that isn’t through blood.  They chose us for a reason.
With that being said, there are things about my life that are better shared with very few close girlfriends I have known for many years.  They are able to give me the “woman’s perspective” on certain issues.  Women are great communicators and sometimes you simply need that “girl-time.”
Life is about balance.  Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Let your spouse have their hobbies and sometimes it’s good to actually participate in something that he or she may like.

Below are 25 ways you and your spouse can create a long-lasting loving relationship with friendship as a base:

25 Ways to be a Best Friend to Your Spouse

Loving your spouse for who they are

1. Enjoy your spouse for who they are.

2. Discover and foster mutual interests. Best friends find things they both like to do and continue to develop those mutual interests.

3. Prioritize your spouse.

4. Spend quality time with your spouse.

5. Remind your spouse of their best qualities, especially when they feel vulnerable.

6. Criticize (without being critical). Best friends challenge you to be the best person you can be.

7. Listen, don’t judge. Our friends want to know first and foremost that we understand them.

8. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.

9.  Let it go a bit when your spouse is grumpy. We all have bad days and want our friends to give us wiggle room when we have them.

10. Take notice of your spouse’s favorites. If something is important to your spouse, recognize it, even if it is not important to you.

11. Don’t take advantage of your spouse’s weaknesses. Recognize that your spouse trusts you.

12. Only speak good things about your spouse, every time and to everyone.

13. Defend your spouse in front of others. If someone talks negatively of your spouse, defend them. That is what friends do.

Find activities you can enjoy together

14. Do things for your spouse. You do not need a reason and you should no expect anything in return.

15. Tell your spouse the truth. Sometimes you need to level with your friends in a kind, respectful way.

16. Discuss your hurt or anger with your spouse during disagreements without belittling them.

17. Share in your spouses happiness. It is always more fun to be happy together!

18. Celebrate in your spouses success. If your spouse has accomplished something (even a small something) congratulate and cheer.

19. Share your interests, your thoughts and opinions. It is important to show your spouse you are willing to trust him or her with your thoughts and opinions as well.

20. Communicate clearly. You should not expect your spouse to read your mind. Be clear when expressing your thoughts.

20. Keep your spouses secrets. Your spouse needs to trust that emotions and thoughts shared with you are for your ears only.

21. Accept your spouse’s silence. Respect that sometimes your spouse is not yet ready to talk about something and be patient.

22. Laugh with your spouse.

23. Treat your spouse as your equal. Friendships are a give and take that balances out over your friendship.

24. Support your spouse’s decisions. You may sometimes disagree but in the end do your best to support your spouse in their decision.

25. Be reliable for your spouse. Sometimes we may bail on our spouse because “they will understand”. You should also make every effort to come through with what you said you would do.

(SOURCE)

Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.

Zig Ziglar

The fire within…

Had a recent discussion with my husband the other day about the “Lost Generation.” Who exactly are they? I belong to Generation X and my husband was one of the last to be born in the Baby Boomers generation.

I’ve noticed, especially in the military, that this “Lost Generation” certainly seems to be at a lost especially when it comes to respect and military bearing. Not once in my career during what I would term the “old school” Army did I witness such blatant disrespect towards or officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs).

Now, now I see it everywhere and unfortunately witnessed such an incident this past drill weekend within my own unit. This private took it upon himself to sound off against our 1st Sergeant and, of course, this was taken care of.

 

Time to get off my soapbox but sometimes I have to speak out.

Generational ideology has always fascinated me and I was able to pick out a website which contains a great breakdown of each segment:

 

 

Generational Breakdown

In America, there are six living generations, which are six fairly distinct groups of people. As a generalization each generation has different likes, dislikes, and attributes. They have had collective experiences as they aged and therefore have similar ideals. A person’s birth date may not always be indicative of their generational characteristics, but as a common group they have similarities.

(My grandparents)

  • Strong sense of personal civic duty, which means they vote.
  • Marriage is for life, divorce and having children out of wedlock were not accepted.
  • Strong loyalty to jobs, groups, schools, etc.
  • There was no “retirement” you worked until your died or couldn’t work anymore.
  • The labor-union-spawning generation.
  • “Use it up, fix it up, make it do, or do without.”
  • Avoid debt…save and buy with cash.
  • Age of radio and air flight; they were the generation that remembers life without airplanes, radio, and TV.
  • Most of them grew up without modern conveniences like refrigerators, electricity and air conditioning.
  • Sometimes called The Greatest Generation.

Mature / Silents

Mature/Silents (My parents)

  • Born 1927- 1945.
  • Went through their formative years during an era of suffocating conformity, but also during the postwar happiness: Peace! Jobs! Suburbs! Television! Rock ‘n Roll! Cars! Playboy Magazine!
  • Korean and Vietnam War generation.
  • The First Hopeful Drumbeats of Civil Rights!
  • Pre-feminism women; women stayed home generally to raise children, if they worked it was only certain jobs like teacher, nurse or secretary.
  • Men pledged loyalty to the corporation, once you got a job, you generally kept it for life.
  • The richest, most free-spending retirees in history.
  • Marriage is for life, divorce and having children out of wedlock were not accepted.
  • In grade school, the gravest teacher complaints were about passing notes and chewing gum in class.
  • They are avid readers, especially newspapers.
  • “Retirement” means to sit in a rocking chair and live your final days in peace.
  • The Big-Band/Swing music generation.
  • Strong sense of trans-generational common values and near-absolute truths.
  • Disciplined, self-sacrificing, & cautious.

Baby Boomer

Baby Boomers (My Husband)

  • Born between 1946 and 1964. Two sub-sets:
  • 1. the save-the-world revolutionaries of the ’60s and ’70s;
  • and 2. the party-hardy career climbers (Yuppies) of the ’70s/’80s.
  • The “me” generation.
  • “Rock and roll” music generation.
  • Ushered in the free love and societal “non-violent” protests which triggered violence.
  • Self righteous & self-centered.
  • Buy it now and use credit.
  • Too busy for much neighborly involvement yet strong desires to reset or change the common values for the good of all.
  • Even though their mothers were generally housewives, responsible for all child rearing, women of this generation began working outside the home in record numbers, thereby changing the entire nation as this was the first generation to have their own children raised in a two-income household where mom was not omnipresent.
  • The first TV generation.
  • The first divorce generation, where divorce was beginning to be accepted as a tolerable reality.
  • Began accepting homosexuals.
  • Optimistic, driven, team-oriented.
  • Envision technology and innovation as requiring a learning process.
  • Tend to be more positive about authority, hierarchal structure and tradition.
  • One of the largest generations in history with 77 million people.
  • Their aging will change America almost incomprehensibly; they are the first generation to use the word “retirement” to mean being able to enjoy life after the children have left home. Instead of sitting in a rocking chair, they go skydiving, exercise and take up hobbies, which increases their longevity.
  • The American Youth Culture that began with them is now ending with them and their activism is beginning to re-emerge.

Generation X

Generation X. (Me)

  • Born between 1965 and 1980*
  • The “latch-key kids” grew up street-smart but isolated, often with divorced or career-driven parents. Latch-Key came from the house key kids wore around their neck, because they would go home from school to an empty house.
  • Entrepreneurial.
  • Very individualistic.
  • Government and big business mean little to them.
  • Want to save the neighborhood, not the world
  • Feel misunderstood by other generations
  • Cynical of many major institutions, which failed their parents, or them, during their formative years and are therefore eager to make marriage work and “be there” for their children
  • Don’t “feel” like a generation, but they are
  • Raised in the transition phase of written based knowledge to digital knowledge archives; most remember being in school without computers and then after the introduction of computers in middle school or high school
  • Desire a chance to learn, explore and make a contribution
  • Tend to commit to self rather than an organization or specific career. This generation averages 7 career changes in their lifetime, it was not normal to work for a company for life, unlike previous generations.
  • Society and thus individuals are envisioned as disposable.
  • AIDS begins to spread and is first lethal infectious disease in the history of any culture on earth which was not subjected to any quarantine.
  • Beginning obsession of individual rights prevailing over the common good, especially if it is applicable to any type of minority group.
  • Raised by the career and money conscious Boomers amidst the societal disappointment over governmental authority and the Vietnam war.
  • School problems were about drugs.
  • Late to marry (after cohabitation) and quick to divorce…many single parents.
  • Into labels and brand names.
  • Want what they want and want it now but struggling to buy, and most are deeply in credit card debt.
  • It is has been researched that they may be conversationally shallow because relating consists of shared time watching video movies, instead of previous generations.
  • Short on loyalty & wary of commitment; all values are relative…must tolerate all peoples.
  • Self-absorbed and suspicious of all organization.
  • Survivors as individuals.
  • Cautious, skeptical, unimpressed with authority, self-reliant.

Generation Y

Generation Y/Millennium (My daughter)

  • Born between 1981* and 2000*.
  • Aka “The 9/11 Generation” “Echo Boomers” America’s next great generation brings a sharp departure from Generation X.
  • They are nurtured by omnipresent parents, optimistic, and focused.
  • Respect authority.
  • Falling crime rates. Falling teen pregnancy rates. But with school safety problems; they have to live with the thought that they could be shot at school, they learned early that the world is not a safe place.
  • They schedule everything.
  • They feel enormous academic pressure.
  • They feel like a generation and have great expectations for themselves.
  • Prefer digital literacy as they grew up in a digital environment. Have never known a world without computers! They get all their information and most of their socialization from the Internet.
  • Prefer to work in teams.
  • With unlimited access to information tend to be assertive with strong views.
  • Envision the world as a 24/7 place; want fast and immediate processing.
  • They have been told over and over again that they are special, and they expect the world to treat them that way.
  • They do not live to work, they prefer a more relaxed work environment with a lot of hand holding and accolades.

(source)



Irregardless of which generation we belong to, we are all Americans and need to work together towards the common good.  We all need to contribute towards the betterment of society.  When we narrow our focus to just ourselves we become selfish and short-sighted. Sadly, I feel that’s what is happening to a lot of individuals in my daughter’s generation.  It’s all about self-entitlement, not self-accountability.

In the end, all of us need to work together, find common goals, remember that we are Americans.

A lot can be said about the Greatest Generation.  We should remember the sacrifices made (i.e. D-Day) and what our grandparents (great-grandparents gave up) to ensure their descendents would have a free and meaningful life.

 

My partner in life

I’ve only been married a year and still feel like a newlywed. It took a lot of bravado on my part to walk down the aisle at 44. I honestly didn’t think marriage was in the cards for me. I’ve seen what bad marriages can do to someone, it drains couples of their identity, strength, and ultimately their spirit.

My husband indeed is my best friend. He is the one I will turn to when I have a work problem or need to bounce off ideas from. He’s more than just a companion. He filled an emptiness I didn’t even know I had.

I strive to be a loving wife…..to cherish and find joy in our relationship….to give him the best I have of myself. All these things are free but no price tag could ever be given.

 

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