Post Election: Finding the Truth

We are now one week out of the dramatic election which was 2016. Turmoil, fear, anger have ensued and people are looking for answers.

As an avid Facebook fan and regular internet user I know where I see blame.

My biggest complaint throughout this whole election season has been the actions of friends and family whom I had admired and respected. There wasn’t a day that went by in which purported “news” stories were being passed around social media like wildfire with outlandish headlines describing atrocities of both sides and opinions stated as facts.

Whether the person reposting these “stories” ever read the ensuing article or not I do not know, which further ads to my frustration. As an adult and as someone who values the written word I believe it is our duty to seek out truth and knowledge yet here are educated people falling for fake news.

If you asked most of your friends if they believe gossip is a good thing, their answer would most likely be, “absolutely not.” Yet here they are day in and day out spreading gossip.

If someone actually takes the time to read beyond the headline, they would see that most often these are nothing more than opinions crafted to steer your opinions to a bias view. There are rarely any facts to support the stories and no credible sources.

Discussing politics has always been challenging. We each bring our own views and experiences to the conversation. But now we have an added element of false information being taken as fact. Pew Research has shown that 4 in 10 Americans get their news online. Where once there was trust in the spoken word of Walter Cronkite, yes I am dating myself here; we now have anyone with an internet connection telling us the “news.”

As Americans we can all be disgusted at the protestors, the Trump supporters, the Muslims, the Blacks, Hispanics…the list goes on. But as Americans we owe it to ourselves and this country to become more educated. Look beyond the headlines, read past the opinions. Look for facts from all sides and make up your own mind.  Demand truth!

We owe it to ourselves, our neighbors, and our future generations.  

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I Voted Because of Her

100 years ago, Susan B. Anthony died, more than a decade before she could legally have voted. But legalities did not stop this courageous woman from casting her first vote for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential elections. She was soon arrested. Fourteen years later, in 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified granting women the right to vote.

In 2008 many believed, including myself, that there would never be a more monumental election than that of Barack Obama. Yet here we are just eight years later and once again we find ourselves on the edge of history.

“There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.”                                                                                               ― Susan B. Anthony

Now here we are in 2016 and another presidential election is upon us. As women we often take for granted what Susan B. Anthony and all the brave suffragettes fought so hard to achieve and here we are with a woman candidate who may very well be our next President of the United States.  

Our past is an honorable one of hard work, dedication, perseverance and belief in a better tomorrow. As we cast our votes today and every election in the future let us not forget what it means to our ancestors legacy and future generations of Susan B. Anthony’s and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s, who will continue breaking through that glass ceiling.

 

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Weddings

In just a few days my oldest daughter is marrying her best friend. As with all weddings, there are lots of last minute details, and the expected big hiccup. In this case, the DJ cancelled a week before the wedding. Nerves, anxieties all  piled on with little sleep. 

Yet remarkably I am relatively calm, tired yes, but calm. Sure, I know there is no possible way I am going to get every crease and wrinkle out of 250 chair covers and bows, and not all the centerpieces are exactly alike. Flower girls may run up the aisle or in one wedding I was at, refuse to put on shoes and go barefoot up the aisle! 

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In 1947, 69 years ago today, my mother married my father on a beautiful, unseasonable warm November day. Since it was shortly after WWII wedding dresses were not easily available and my mom wore a suit with a gardenia corsage. The wedding was a small affair, a brunch for close family and friends at the country club in town. Surprisingly, we have a video of the wedding party arriving at the club. I am not sure who to give credit to for that wonderful piece of memorabilia but it gives life to an event held long ago. 

They were married just 25 years when my father passed away but to my mom, it was a lifetime. She was just 47 years old and although she dated some, she never remarried. She always said, “Once you have the best, no one compares.” As a young girl growing up during this difficult time in my mother’s life I often romanticized their relationship. I am sure they had their difficulties, just as every couple does. But they made it work and had 5 children together. 

As my daughter and her fiance are getting ready for their big day, I can only wish one thing: To always remember love is a choice and a commitment meant to last a lifetime. Your wedding will be celebrated by friends and family, there will be music and dancing, children running around having fun, there will be laughter and tears but in the end…

      the wedding is mere wrapping on a present. The marriage is the true gift.

 

The wandering mind…

The wandering mind of a middle aged woman can be a very scary place. Believe me, I should know. I live in there every single moment of every single day. After fifty years you would think I would have mastered it by now, bent it to my will and molded it to perfection. But inside, the fifty year old brain is still in infancy. Battered by emotions, fueled by undisciplined passion, and lacking in the knowledge one would come to expect by this age.

But how did I get to this age? Wasn’t it just yesterday I was riding my bike with my friends in front of my family’s bungalow? Where did the time go? And why do I feel less qualified to be an adult now than when I turned eighteen?

They say wisdom comes with age but I have discovered that more often than not, the more I know the less I really know. Take for instance technology and science. I can run a computer or research things on my phone but I still have no idea why the light bulb comes on when I flip a switch.

So what have I really learned in all these years? That is a very difficult question to answer. So many thoughts race to my brain but as I ponder and really look at them I realize I only know the surface of so many things but yet a few certain truths stand out.

First and foremost, gravity and greasy foods are vile, evil culprits which should be eradicated from this earth before all hope is lost. They plague the body in a myriad of ways causing once lean, toned bodies to become lumpy, thick mounds of rebellious flesh. This does not even begin to mention what happens to our inner workings through years of silent onslaught.

Secondly, the reality of the world’s view of us is quickly realized with the selfie leaving us to ponder who the person looking back at us is, and why do they have so much grey hair and lines around their faces? The image locked in our mind carries us back in time to a fairy tale land where complexions are smooth and glowing, hair is flowing about us in waves of beauty and our eyes and smiles radiate like sparklers on a dark summer night. Now our image stares back at us in an instant and I see the truth.

When I was young I thought by age fifty I would have conquered the world. I would have an exciting job with many career accomplishments, planning retirement, living in a beautiful spacious home, kids off to college,  traveling…enjoying the good life. Well things didn’t quite go as planned. I am fifty years old. I have a daughter getting married in two months and another one in college along with myself, but as for the rest of it, the reality is quite different from the dream. Life at fifty means divorce, starting my career over after raising kids, home is modest but nice. I went to a weekend getaway last year to Michigan. Does that count as traveling?  And retirement…what is that?

When we are young life seems to stretch out as far as the eye can see on a highway across the open plains. We believe life is a great adventure just beyond the horizon. But all too quickly we realize a lot of the adventure is behind us.

Did we enjoy it?

Did we make it all it could be?  

Is it too late?