Penciling In Love

Just call me the Grinch. This is my theory on why we love the holiday season.

Why do we love the holidays?

No, Santa isn’t real. No, Jesus wasn’t born December 25th.

In fact, 20 percent of the population makes no claim to any religion at all, but 77 percent of the United States identify as Christian believers.

So, what do we do? We declare and observe a national holiday and dress it up with Santa Claus for those who don’t believe.

Then, on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, we’ll honor those who fought and died so that we could have religious freedom.

Valentine’s Day: Raise your hand if you know why we celebrate Valentines Day. Now, raise your hand if you know who Saint Valentine is or why he’s important enough to have a day named after him.

He was a Christian martyr who performed weddings for soldiers, which was against the law.

On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love, not him. Meanwhile, our national divorce rate thrives. For my state, it’s 13.6 percent. What about your state?

We don’t care.

A dozen red roses to the love of our life!

Thanksgiving & the 4th of July: Do you know how America really became a free country? Do you know how we achieved the American dream?

Kill the Indian. Save the man.

We imprisoned, even killed, children after taking them from their families and forced them to work for and be like us. Then, we took the fruit of their mother and father’s harvest and we sold it, offering them a fraction of the profit for their own hard work and we still do the same thing.

What are the holidays for us?

Holidays are when we give to others so that we feel good. They are when we remember the less fortunate, but we don’t have the time to give real love or concern. So, we open our pocketbooks as long as it doesn’t impact our own budget. After all, it’s tax season and charity can be written-off, right?

Holidays are when we remember to say “I love you” to our spouses and children, family and friends; a quick letter in the mail should do just fine. We’re too busy for phone calls. We have lights to hang, gifts to wrap, and flowers to order! On second thought, we’ll just send an email or text.

Holidays are when we remember to go to church and we get extra days off of work. After all, we need to dress up for pictures anyway; two birds, one stone!

We deserve a break and God is good!

Holidays are when we return to our ex husband or wife and “mend” our broken families because we’d rather be content and complacent than alone for the holiday season. First big move of the new year? Divorce! But at least we weren’t alone.

We did it for the children!

Right?

Why do we celebrate?

Because, all around us, the music is playing, the lights are twinkling, the carolers are singing, the markets are buzzing and that’s just our way of life.

This is the way that it should be. It’s tradition and traditions are important to us. We’re Christian. This is our faith. We’re Americans!

We’re dreamers and liars hidden by hype.

We’re lost on social networks, flooded in busy-work and engulfed with pride. We’re greedy, indulgent, selfish and lazy.

We bite on the apple of temptation every time we pass by. We’re adulterers, squanderers, sinners and daydreamers posing as saints. We’re busy, petty, judgemental and biased.

We’re optimists blinded by rose-colored glasses. We drink from a poisonous cup.

We’re human.

This is our culture, penciling in when to give and to love.


Feel like giving a little love away this year? Visit The Wounded Warrior Project, No Kid HungryJust Give, UNICEF or St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Pencil more love into the New Year! Little is much.

How to Be a Parent: Taking A Breather

I’m an amateur blogger, professional rambler, full-time college student, part-time daydreamer, wanna-be poet lost in thought . . . and a new parent.

I’m a single mom.

My daughter is one and I’m raising her alone. Needless to say, I take a lot of breathers!

I’m also a fan of Aristotle and Mary Poppins. So when I ran across this blog, it immediately caught my attention. At the end, we’re reminded that our children should be the center of our parenting and our desire to be the best parent that we can be. I couldn’t agree more.

Our children should be the center of our life and our parenting every single day. 

I hope my daughter continues to be my reminder to breathe, relax and slow down. I hope she always demands my attention. I hope she interrupts me ten more times before I finish this post. I hope she colors on the wall at some point, needs me in the middle of the night, stays up until dawn, and stays the primary reason that Excedrin stays close by at all times.

I’ll take it.

Because if those human, messy mommy moments were to ever go missing from my life…

The silence would kill me.

My Daughter, Lanna Mae

She’s my heart.

There’s not enough time.

Many parents today make it okay to be “too busy.” We justify it with: “There’s work to be done and bills to be paid.” “Dinner isn’t going to fix itself.” “I’m almost done with this call. Hold on! Sit still. Be quiet!”

As parents, we never have enough hours in the day. We wake up and we rush through it; same hustle and flow until sundown. And then we have the time and our children become our center.

But, for me, I demand more of myself for my daughter. I quickly learned to say, “It can wait.” It’s not always easy. Sometimes, school and life obligations are just as demanding of my attention. But…

“Mom” means that we should make it a point—not an option.

Work will always be there. The bills, dust and laundry, will always be there, too. Tomorrow you’re not promised your child’s hand to hold, the sun to come up or even your life.

Love them today.

Her smile let’s me know I’m doing something right. That’s a start. And she makes the exhaustion, stained carpet, overflowing laundry baskets, dirty dishes and dirty diapers, worth every minute.


If you enjoyed this post, please hit “like” and share it. Thanks for reading! ♥

I Attempted Suicide & I’m Not Sure It Was Wrong

It was just after Thanksgiving. My head was pounding, and I was freezing as my feet hit the pavement running.

My parents had gone to my grandma’s house for leftover turkey and dressing. I stayed home, eager for the time to myself.

While they were enjoying their family dinner, I took a bottle of Tylenol: 350 capsules. It didn’t help matters much that I had taken a muscle relaxant from my mother’s collection.

I wasn’t suicidal.

I had a migraine from running.

At least, that is the story I told.

By the time my boyfriend found me, my body temperature had dropped, my lips were blue and I was freezing.

I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

When I was 15, medical professionals tried to tell me that it was “depressive disorder.” Even then, I knew better.

While on Facebook, some days, just viewing my profile can cost me an entire day or a few hours. It’s one day one minute, and the next minute, it’s Tuesday.

The days just disappear and so do the hours. Facebook regularly prompts me to update my profile and poses this question:

What are some of your favorite memories?

I should mention . . .

I also have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

As an adult, I have learned that extensive physical and emotional trauma have conditioned my brain to a specific, organized, way of thinking.

Some days, it feels like it did the same to my emotions.

I couldn’t tell you exactly what at the time, but something changed just before I started seventh grade. I stopped going by my first name. I adamantly went by my middle name and became verbally aggressive if challenged otherwise.

Please, call me, ‘Grace.’

I also took a creative writing class that year. When we returned from Spring break, we were assigned a writing project prompted with this question:

What was the favorite part of your Spring break with your family?

In tears and confused, I approached the teacher’s desk and quietly whispered that I had nothing special to tell about my Spring break.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

I can’t remember what happened that year. There were many hard years. My counselor tells me,

We have a way of blocking the hard parts out.

I’d like to know what she considers as hard. 

The teacher told me to write about any happy memory with my family instead. On that day, I realized I didn’t have any happy memories—not one.

Not that I never had any happy moments, that is just how my mind works.

Ethics

As a teenager, if had succeeded in taking my own life, would the decision have been ethical? Would it have been right or wrong? After all, I was the victim of an abusive culture and upbringing, innocent in my youth and my thinking.

I was a child.

If mental health did not play a role, but rather a pure response to real trauma, would you tell a child he/she is selfish for escaping abuse the only way the child knew how or does the abuse give a logical and acceptable justification to suicide?

Physician-assisted Suicide is legal in the Netherlands, currently being determined in Canada, and moderately approved (with restrictions) across the United States. According to the American Medical Association:

Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient’s death by providing the necessary means and/or information to enable the patient to perform the life-ending act (eg, the physician provides sleeping pills and information about the lethal dose, while aware that the patient may commit suicide.)

If the physical need for an escape from pain or the fear of the pain that is coming is an ethical justification for suicide, then, wouldn’t the same be valid in the case of a teenager escaping physical abuse or other trauma?

If suicide is justifiable for any reason, what gives anyone the authority to govern who and who does not deserve to choose if they live or die?

If an adult, undergoing extensive medical treatment for a terminal condition, can choose to end his/her own life at will, why would an adult undergoing daily pain and torment not also deserve that same right?

Wouldn’t it be “ethical” to determine that is for the greater good of all who are hurting to cease suffering, if possible?

The problem is human nature. It makes the majority believe that the method by which death is achieved is not moral. 

I would by lying to say that I am not torn on the topic. Losing a loved one to suicide feels like a shock to the heart. It feels like an injustice, like a life was stolen.

A close friend who lived in my neighborhood was shot in the head during the summer of 1996. His name was Michael Lime. At first, they tried to claim it was suicide. Then, there was rumor and speculation of murder. In the end, it was chalked off to boys playing with guns.

But nobody really knows because we don’t talk about it.

Why do we fight against the justification, ethical theory and legality, of suicide being socially acceptable?

Morals.

If we determine and declare that suicide is an acceptable way of dying, what message do we send our children, friends and family, when they reach out during that moment when life feels like too much?

In those moments, we want to send one message:

Choose life!

So, we declare it unethical, immoral, sinful, selfish and crazy. But is it?

To want to escape something unreal, unimaginable and unbearably painful, is that unethical? Is that wrong?

I’m not sure, but I choose life and every good or bad day it may bring.

I choose life.


Suicide Prevention

Image Credit