Posted in Friday Finds

Sign and Spread the Word — The Rabbit Rabble

If you’ve never had a rabbit roommate, you may be surprised to find out they have very distinct personalities. My daughter’s rabbit put her ball in her empty salad bowl every day when she was done eating breakfast. She was a delight . . . and a responsibility.

The newly released film Peter Rabbit is raising controversy over a food allergy scene in which rabbits force blackberries on a human who’s allergic to them. Whether or not this debate raises ire in you, rabbit enthusiasts are concerned the film will spark interest in pet Easter bunnies this spring. The world’s platform for change, Change.org, writes,

“Sadly, Rabbit Rescues are over run with discarded impulse acquisitions of a living fragile beings, they are dumped at kill shelters and in the wild where they cannot survive.  Rabbits are a 10 year commitment and are not cute toys for children, they are prey animals that need a special diet and care.  Rabbits frighten easily, have fragile bones and when dropped, result in severe injuries and broken backs. Rabbits are sentient living beings and deserve respect.”

and this:

“We are thankful and understand the “Peter Rabbit Movie supports responsible pet adoption and rescue” and is working with a CA Rabbit Rescue during the movie premiere. Thank you for this commitment!”

Please check out my favorite bunny blog, The Rabbit Rabble, by clicking on the link below. I love the way Diana Kroneberg’s deep passion and expertise for these funny, furry, long-eared friends comes through in her words and photos.

This petition is circling around my rabbit rescue friends due to the new Peter Rabbit movie. Please take the time to sign, and inform anyone you can, not to buy rabbits for children at Easter. They’re a 10 year commitment, not a toy. The bunnies will thank you!

via Sign and Spread the Word — The Rabbit Rabble

Posted in Family

Proven Guilty

Sometimes I get frustrated with a piece of me, either physical, emotional, or intellectual, and I wonder, “Where did that come from?”  I’ve long known that I have a tendency toward guilt.  Had I been raised Catholic, I might have blamed my religion.  I get asked all the time, “What are you, Catholic?”  Personally, I think the Catholics have been over-blamed for this, but maybe they’re just an easy target, what with all they probably should feel guilty about.

This morning, after Bubba’s nap, we watched an episode of Vikings — the drama one, not the History Channel one.  Afterward, he popped up off the couch declaring he had things to do.

Me:  What?  What do you need to do?
Bubba:  Stuff!  I have things to do!
Me:  Are you going to clean?
Bubba:  Well, for starters, I have to do some laundry.
Me:  So nothing I have to feel guilty about not helping with.
Bubba:  No.  You sit here on the couch a little longer

We do our own laundry.  I hate that he eyeball-measures the soap, and uses way to much bleach.  I wash my clothes in cold water and sometimes wash cleaning rags in with my towels.  That freaks my bubble-boy out.  So we avoid an argument and each do our own.

But what is my problem with the guilt?  As I sat pondering this, I had a flashback.

I’m playing with my Barbies, making furniture out of towels and empty boxes, because kids back then actually had to use their imagination.  My mom pops up off her chair where she’s been reading the newspaper all morning.  I hear shuffling and banging and running water.  After about (what I can only estimate after all these years) has been about 15 minutes, I go off in search of her.

Me:  Mom?  Do you want me to do anything?
Mom:  No . . . no . . .


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After another bit of time, I follow the huffing, puffing, and sighing until I find my mom again.

Me:  Are we having company?
Mom:  No.  Uh-uh.
Me:  Why are you cleaning?
Mom:  Because it needs to get done.
Me:  Do you want help?
Mom:  Do you see anything that needs to be clean?
Me:  No.
Mom:  Well, then, I guess not.

No longer feeling comfortable playing with my toys, I begin to pick them up.  When I get everything put away, I go back and tell my mom I cleaned up my toys and ask if there is anything else she wants done.

Mom:  Well, you sure know when to ask.  I’m all done now.

This is a story we would laugh about in later years, but the residue may not have worn away even yet.  I know she was teaching me how to take initiative, and it probably worked for the most part.  But to this day I am a person who needs structure and straightforwardness.  I’m not sure if the chicken or egg came first there, but for the most part I’d say children need structure.

As a teen, I asked to apply for work, but was not allowed to do so.  Their reasoning was that I had everything I needed.  I should leave the jobs for kids who actually had to pay for their own clothes, cars, or school lunch.  I had a wonderful childhood, and indeed had everything a kid could dream of.  This is the space where most people insert the label “spoiled.”

I’ve gone out of my way in my writings not to speak ill of those I love.  And I don’t mean to do so here.  However, I will say that the single best thing they could have done for me is to let me get a job when I asked about it.  I think it might have changed the course of my life.  But then I feel guilty about wishing things might have turned out differently.  Of course I do.

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Me with my first child, the second on the way.

I grew up in a home that spoke of business around the kitchen table.  It was well-known that my parents valued honest hard work.  Their identities were very wrapped up in their business and the reward it gave them.  Yet, they were blind to the fact that they were denying me the same reward.    It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I felt truly needed.  It’s no wonder I went on to have three more after the first.  I thrived on the responsibility.  I became very involved in my children’s school, and in Scouting.  In effect, they were the job I never had.  I’m not sure if they would say that was a good thing or a bad thing.  Most likely some of both.

By the time I was old enough to get a job — and by that I mean my kids were becoming more independent — I sampled several different environments.  I was a cashier, a teacher’s assistant, and a server for a caterer.  I quickly learned what I had missed.  With the support of my family, I started a full-time career, and learned I am every bit the workaholic that my dad was.  I get my identity from good honest work.  I value people with a good work ethic.  I am passionate about service to others.

So maybe I learned guilt at my mother’s knee.  Maybe I’m naturally a person who feels guilty sitting while others are actively employed.  Or perhaps I should just repent and join the Catholics.  Maybe what makes us US is something we will never truly figure out.

As I keep telling my kids, you can’t blame everything on your parents.

Peace . . .

Posted in Lore

It Is What It is . . . Unless . . .

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Wikipedia explains,

 

It Is What It Is’ is an idiomatic phrase, indicating the immutable nature of an object or circumstance.

 

 

Urban Dictionary is more explicit.

 

Used often in the business world, this incredibly versatile phrase can be literally translated as “fuck it.”
‘The client changed the deadline to today? Well, it is what it is.’

 

Kacey Musgraves sings,

 

Maybe I love you,
Maybe I’m just kind of bored,
It is what it is
Till it ain’t,
Anymore”

 

I’d like to live just one day without hearing this hopeless statement.  The expression is for those who give up; for those who don’t care.  I hate it when this one creeps into my language.  Upon hearing the words leave my lips, I flinch — a mechanical reaction to a thoughtless expression spoken in defeat.

 

Have we become so ineffective at engaging change in our lives or the lives of those around us that we throw up our hands at the first sign of adversity?  Perhaps we have forgotten that mistakes are forgiven.  How much easier it is to say that fate has intervened again.  We accept no responsibility.  We are not accountable.  No fault, no foul.  It is what it is.

 

Instead, ask yourself, “Is it really?”

 

  • “The bill came to $275.  It is what it is.”  Maybe you were mis-charged.  Maybe you can get it cheaper elsewhere.  Maybe you can barter, or work out a payment plan.  Maybe everything just costs a lot of money and you don’t have any, but be accountable.  Saying ‘it is what it is’ releases you from any blame or action plan.
  • “My boss chewed my ass.  It is what it is.”  Maybe you deserved it.  Maybe you deserve a different boss, or job, or work environment.  Maybe you don’t get paid enough to deal with that kind of stress.  Maybe you just aren’t capable of the job you’re in.  Keep your resume fresh.  Keep networking.  Keep your reputation clean.  Talk to your boss and work it out, or get yourself out of there.
  • “The customer wants what?  It is what it is.”  Maybe the customer’s expectations are unreasonable.  Maybe this is the last straw for him.  Maybe the customer just doesn’t understand the limitations of his request.  One thing is for sure.  What the customer doesn’t need to hear is that “it is what it is.”
  • “It’s raining on my parade.  It is what it is.”  Maybe the weather is going to change for the better.  Maybe the rain will keep the crowds down, and you will enjoy the parade even more.  Maybe it isn’t even all about you.  Maybe the farmers could use the rain.  But if the sun decides to come out, you are going to look awfully silly sitting there with that big ol’ pout on your mug.
  • “My husband made me feel like crap.  It is what it is.”  Maybe your spouse had no intention of making you feel bad.  Maybe he would be appalled to find out he hurt you.  Maybe he even meant that remark as an insult, but are you really going to let it ferment inside you like that?  Grow up and talk it over like a big girl.  You may find your relationship is better than it ever has been.  Honesty has a way of doing that.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t embrace a good old-fashioned depression now and then.  The last thing I want when I’m feeling down is for someone to make me feel guilty about being sad.  Get out a full box of Keelnex® and have at it!  Then put on your big person pants and go back to what you do best.

 

Plan your escape.  Win over the customer.  Kiss your boss’s backside.  Love your spouse.  Fix the problem.  Prevent it from happening again.  Say you’re sorry.  Do something that keeps you true to YOU.  Make yourself proud.

 

“It is what it is” never did anything but keep things stagnant.

 

Peace . . .

 

 

 

 

 

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