Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

There once was a song that had that line in it by C&C Music Factory. In fact, it was the name of the song if memory serves — “Things That Make You Go Hmmm.”  I just found it on You Tube to jog my memory.  It will now be stuck in my head for a while and I will be singing along.

After watching this video, I also listened to C&C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat” and “Here We Go Let’s Rock and Roll.” And “Everybody, Everybody” by Technotronic, “Strike It Up” by Black Box, Shannon’s “Let The Music Play” and Soul II Soul’s “|Back to Life.” These songs take me back to the early 1990s when I was in my 20s and loved dancing every weekend at a club.

My friend and I had so much fun and would dance for hours. There was so much great dance music back then. Each song has memories and so much fun attached.  I only wish that now I could dance for hours as I did then. Talk about great exercise!  I am working now on losing weight and getting healthy again and hope to be in dancing form again soon.

Anyway, this song came to mind over several things that have happened over the last few weeks, including this new journey of losing weight.  A lot on the national stage as well as in my own little corner of the world has made me stop and say Hmmm, or what the beep, or what in the world is going on.

Regarding my most recent change of habits of eating and exercise, I went hmmmm since after a summer vacation of great food and lots of walking, I had lost 5 pounds.  I was thrilled at that and realized that yes, I can do this.  I just have to put in the time and effort.

So, now after dropping off Ian at school in the morning, I am taking some me time and walking a few times around my neighborhood.  I am trying to work up to longer walks and more time on that and possibly some breathing exercises and core work.  It feels good since it is still cool in the morning and a nice time to also think.

My eating habits have also changed somewhat for the better I think.  I am making a point to have salad every day — usually at lunch. Also, I am eating more seafood and plenty of veggies at night. I still like my ice cream and other treats, but do try to have more balance.

So that part of life is improving and that is great.  As much as I enjoyed the PTO work that I did, I wasn’t left with much time after also doing family business work.  So, this year at least, I will help some with PTO but will balance that with other things.  And, that is what was needed since I was nearly burned out at the end of last school year.

One of the things that has burned me out is the concern with so much hate, division, and meanness in our country and especially on a national level.  Our leaders no longer want to seem to find ways to work together or make compromises.  Instead they call one another childish names, are mean and hateful to each other, and dismiss those who don’t agree with them.

As a parent of a child, that truly troubles and worries me. How can I teach our son to admire and follow the example of so many adults who don’t know how to act or treat each other?  Instead we often tell him, see that adult, that is how not to act.  Please be better than that adult and treat others with kindness, respect, and love.

Many times the way adults are acting is what you might hear on a school playground where kids goad and tease each other.  “I know you are but what am I.”  “You are a poopy head.”  “You are a butthead.”  And the list goes on.

In fact, this week one of the congressman called a man a butthead.  Never did I think I’d hear that from an elected official about another person who he clearly didn’t agree with.  He was talking about John Brennan whose security clearance was revoked by President Trump.  I think the congressman’s point could have been made differently, but that is what he said.

Brennan apparently didn’t release any classified material as you would think would have happened.  Instead, he has been very outspoken and negative about Mr. Trump.  Maybe he has gone a bit too far but he is entitled to speak his mind and what he thinks.  Perhaps there is more to the story that I am not aware of.  If so, I’d like to know what it is.

I know a lot of people probably disagree with me, but I had to say what the beep about this since it doesn’t seem like something that should have happened in a democracy with our freedom to say and believe what we want.  Do we want to live in a country where the president tells us what to think, who to listen to, what to say, and how to say it?  And to never question him and perhaps eventually her?

I don’t.  I can’t help but wonder if other people do want that. So many people seem to be going along with this or just don’t see it.  The First Amendment is as important to me as the Second Amendment is to some of my friends and family.  Let’s think about what we say, have some facts to back up our arguments and present them without slamming others.  Am I naïve to think we should be able to do that?

I went to journalism school and studied hard.  I learned the difference between fact and opinion for my articles. I worked as a reporter for several years and loved it.  I know the importance of the free press, the importance of asking the tough questions, and reporting on things that matter.  I covered the things that people need to know about — county commission meetings, the work being done by the fire department and police department, the school board meetings where decisions are made that are hard, and so much more.

I will work to defend it.  I just hope I am not alone in that defense.  Along with this, the notion that the media are enemies of the people just makes me so mad and sad since it is not true. Journalists by and large work their jobs and report things for the general public to know about. They also ask tough questions that many subjects don’t like to answer.

This week, approximately 350 newspapers across the country spoke out against that notion of being enemies of the people. They instead are standing up for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. My hometown newspaper was a part of this and I was so happy to hear that.

On a completely different topic, another thing that made me go hmmm this week was our son’s request to start calling me Mum.  He has called me Mommy, Mom, and now after reading the Harry Potter books decided he likes Mum.  “That is fine with me,” I told him.  “Just please don’t call me Mother.  I don’t like that” and he said okay.

What things make you go hmmm?  I have many more and will address them in other blogs.  This is it for now.  Back to the music that always seems to help.  How about a few by Janet Jackson from the 1980s/1990s — “Rhythm Nation,” “Control,” “When I Think of You,” and “Escapade.”

It’s a flashback weekend for me with all of this great music.  With all of the crazy things in the world, it is nice to hear some music that I grew up with.  Blessings to you and yours on the rest of your weekend! (clip art is from PowerPoint.)

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Prayers For Our Country

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday.  I don’t know about you but I was bit stunned with the results of Super Tuesday.  A person who has been acting like a bully keeps winning.  And he keeps developing a larger and larger following.  His competition has now sunk to his level and that to me is also stunning.  I just don’t like what I am seeing.

Why are we a nation that seems to like insults and waits for more?  Why is it okay to ridicule those who are different from ourselves?  Why do we seem to be meaner and meaner to one another?  Why do we listen to words from those who want to lead us that we wouldn’t let our kids say? When did nastiness and hate take over? And why can’t these people discuss actual issues and stop insulting each other?

This election year is like nothing I have ever seen.  My grandfather who passed away in 1996 loved his Republican Party. He really liked President Reagan.  I think this year he would be shocked at the candidates who call themselves Republicans.  I have wondered who he would choose to vote for and I am truly at a loss.

During Reagan’s presidency he worked with Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill on programs that would benefit our country.  One was a Republican and one a Democrat.  Not perfect but they managed to work together and to compromise.  With President Obama, the Congress has been blocking everything he tries to do.  From day one, a few of them have purposely set out to have him fail.

I ask you, what good has that done for our country?  Why do we keep blaming Obama when Congress, in my opinion, is as much to blame since they aren’t doing the jobs they were elected to do?  Why can’t we realize that both sides are to blame?  Then we can start making real improvements and figure out a way to have both sides benefit.

Why can’t these officials who we elect have healthy debates and compromise?  When did those words become bad words and something we won’t tolerate?  When did it become wrong and awful to be friends with those who have different points of view than we do?  When did we stop being willing to listen to another side of the argument?  When did we decide that disrespecting others was okay?  I just don’t understand and it worries and saddens me.

I want to see leaders who my son can admire and respect.  I don’t want to have to keep telling him that he cannot act as these adults act.  I don’t want to have him and his generation grow up with believing that hate, intolerance, bullying, and put downs are okay.  Here is something that the elected officials or those running could and should take to heart.  It is something that Ian’s entire school says together each morning, right after the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We are here to learn with our school family.  There is a respect here that you can clearly see.  We are truthful, trustworthy, and listen actively.  Giving no put downs, I promise to do my personal best as I work and learn today and every day.”  These students are learning respect, responsibility, patriotism, teamwork, trust, and being kind to each other.  Isn’t that great?  I only hope and pray that we as adults can learn the same.

My hope and prayer for us as a nation is:

  • May we find a way to be kind again.
  • May we give no put downs and respect others.
  • May we listen to others and have healthy debates.
  • May we realize that compromise is a good thing.
  • May we all do our personal best and not work to sabotage others.
  • May we learn each day.
  • May we do no harm.
  • May we not bully, but instead be loving.
  • May we defend what we believe without tearing others down.
  • May we be examples for our children and not warnings of how not to act.
  • May we love others, even those we disagree with.
  • May we remember the golden rule.
  • And may we remember that we are all in this together.