The America We Live In: Explaining Hate to My Eight Year Old

It took a really long time for me to decide whether or not I wanted to discuss Charlottesville, VA in regards to racism, fascism, and Nazism to my eight year old. Until he got up this morning and I was about to read Percy Jackson as I usually do, ( I eat much earlier and he out eats me by about four times the amount so we get a lot of reading done at breakfast), and instead I started talking about racism and the Alt-Right/KKK gathering in Charlottesville, VA that ended in the death of one woman and the wounding of some nineteen others  due to a car plowing into a peaceful protest, on top of the two policemen killed.

This is not okay. It is not okay to come to a college campus and march with torches and promote hate, the same type of hatred many of our grandfathers or great grandfathers fought against in WWII. And they chose to begin this march on a college campus because the educated youth is who they need to target, or to get on their side. This hate is here in our America, being denounced nationwide by Democrats and Republicans alike. However, I felt it impossible not to speak to my child because the one person immediately not denouncing it was the President of the United States. Immediately, I felt his remarks lacked any real remorse or committed stance that this was racism at is core, terrorism perpetrated by the same people who are raving about our President. Violence on all sides? What the fuck? David Duke even specifically said he was happy about the President’s statements and how they did NOT call the Alt-Right out for being terrifying and malicious in their intent. In fact, it took two days for Trump to say anything remotely calling the rally what it was; which he almost immediately countered with a statement about the Alt-Left and their violence.

Wait a minute…The Alt-Left? Does he mean the peaceful protesters who were there protesting the KKK rally-I mean Alt-Right rally? Perhaps he means the protesters who engaged back in the violence the rally brought? However few who did engage, ultimately, what the groups stand for at their core are what’s making this such a high stakes discussion. There was a group Unite the Right, protesting the removal of General Robert E. Lee statue from a park open carrying guns and torches, and an even larger group protesting this group, protesting what was essentially a whole lot of members supporting white supremacy.

There was so much information, so much darkness, that I didn’t even begin to know how to talk to my kid in a coherent and eight year old meaningful way. When I started explaining, however, he knew more than I gave him credit for, such as Nazis are bad. He already knew, just from picking up conversation elsewhere, (not sure where because for a long time I kept politics out of the home–until the debates) that Trump was a bully. He knew about the Civil War and who freed the slaves, (albeit for maybe not the most altruistic reasons), and knew that there are people who discriminate based on how you look, who you love, and what your sex is (whether it be physical or otherwise). I don’t shy away from conversation with my son about “controversial” topics. So we discussed the America we live in, and the America we stand for, and what we can do as humans to promote the message of acceptance. It’s really more of an understanding, not just an acceptance, and certainly not tolerance, of how difference in ethnicity, religion, gender, sex, relationships, family makeups…how all this difference makes us human and amazing. I mean, ultimately, most of us want the same basic things: love, understanding, friendship, and meaning within our lives.

I did tell my child what went on and why and how it was handled by different people. He watched Seth Meyers reaction, which was maybe my favorite of the nighttime hosts. And he took it in and asked a couple of questions. And then he was hungry. He wanted me to read Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian, a story where it seems like the bad might prevail, but the hero always wins in the end.

We can’t bury the bad in the world, nice it over for our kids. This is the world they will inherit, and I would like my child to learn from the mistakes of the past. Ultimately, as Americans, I feel that we will be learning a lot about the formation of protest groups and the rally cry of the usurping of our rights. I have never in my life seen this amount people out to protest such things as healthcare as I have in the past few months and it is both sad that it needs to be done, yet hopeful that people are standing up and demanding to be treated better. I am hopeful that more people will educate their kids on what it means to be an American versus the innate hatred that comes with white supremacy, or any hate group for that matter.

Trump has emboldened hate groups. After the announcement that he was, to the chagrin of many, going to become the 45th President of the United States, I wrote this: Trump Gave Hate A Platform . I feel that it is still relevant, if not more so in the wake of the white supremacist march. Speak out. Educate. Explain. I am a single working mother; I won’t be at the marches or the protests, but I won’t be silent.

Alternative Reality

Science is just
A word
And words
Have been made by man
Have been manipulated
Mangled and mutilated
Fit to the purpose
Fit from the speaker
Fit to sequester the audience

And language is arbitrary
To follow
Reality a construct
And it has never been
More real
With all this
Surrealism surrounding us
As a new reality
Is being constructed

Language makes meaning
Spreads ideas
Ideals and affections
And disease
Disaffection and disdain for difference

There is dissent
The divide
A crater in the center of
This reality
And reading this:
1984 has become a bestseller
In the year 2017
The terrifying nature
of an Orwellian society

This is a society
Where facts are becoming
A choice of belief
Reality being purported
As a construct of
Alternative facts
Also known as
Opinions
And when science becomes opinion
truth become obsolete

Take away the shared reality
Allow the ‘new words’
Remake history
Dare we utter the idea
Of dissent
The idea
of silence
As a form of dictating

And the reality of
The question
The reality of
The outcome
This has become the new reality

Trump Gave Hate A Platform

Yesterday, it was so difficult to focus on anything important. I spent the day outside blasting Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, Cobra Skulls and a whole bunch of other angry political punk rock while raking my yard to within an inch of it’s green life. Today, it’s a little easier. I watched a few of the comedic late night news shows, read, wrote and responded to my friends on social media, reached out to friends in an effort to feel less alone, and had an amazing conversation with on of my closest friends. The night was capped off with the most amazing, informative speaker at my son’s school, giving an informative presentation on ADHD. Tomorrow, life will still go on.

However, that doesn’t make everything okay.

Trump won. I truly hope he doesn’t fuck everything up beyond repair. I hope he’s not the worst thing that’s ever happened to this country. I hope. It’s become almost a mantra to repeat this country has made it through worse, we can make it again. So the question for me really becomes: Why am I still so very unsettled and sad? Well, look at the cause and effect.

Trump’s campaign did what it was intended to do: It gave him the spotlight and attention he wanted. And he reveled in it, used it to his advantage. Every time we complained or tried to speak reason, we gave him more power. Trump put American dissent in a catch-22. Speak up, give him power, don’t speak up, feel even worse because how can one not speak out against the hateful campaign? And in doing so, it he opened the fucking gates of hell: American racists, misogynists, bigots and xenophobes were put into the spotlight, and he paved the way for their voices to be heard, for their hatred to be spread. Not only did he pave the way with his campaign, America put him the most powerful position. Whether intentional or not, we said his behavior is okay. It doesn’t matter what he does while in office regarding this matter; the gates of hatred have been opened, and, as a society, we now have to come together and clean up the mess.

I am not the most vocal about making my opinion heard unless directly confronted. Being a more reserved, shy person in my older age, I’ve turned to writing to get my thoughts and feelings out into the world. Some of us lead, other’s quietly back up those we believe in in a myriad of ways. Facebook is rife with dissent, heartbreaking with emerging stories of racism. The only thing we can really take from Trump’s hateful campaign is that there is a great number of people living in this society that are scary, and we need to come together to protect and build. The question becomes: How do we combat the ramifications of what we’ve done? How do we repair the societal split Trump caused and a great amount of people vindicated by voting for him, whether intentional or unintentional?

Trump in office will end. It might be okay, or it might takes years to repair the damage he does to the economy, foreign policy, human rights, and education. The road he paved to open hatred is what terrifies me. I am a straight, single white female, and though I may be heartbroken after Hillary Clinton’s concession speech and the ending moment during Michelle Wolf’s commentary on The Daily Show, my life will go on as always. However, so many people now have to worry about whether their present lives will change, and how they will face the newly VERY open road of hostility to those who are different.

What do we do? How do we get involved and change society and the preconceived notions that different is bad? How do we affect this change on a national level? I mean, in my home, I teach my child that though we are different we aren’t different in any way that matters. Skin color, disabilities, economic class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, lifestyle, gender identity, religion– these shouldn’t be by any means, EVER, what a person’s worth is judged on or what their worth is within society.Each person is complex and deserving of respect. WE ARE ALL HUMAN!! It’s so hard not swear right now, because I want to yell and swear and scream about the huge ramifications of such a hateful campaign!

How do we undo what Trump has given a spotlight to and as a country, we have, whether by popular vote or not, said is okay? I only have ideas, but I am sure there are active communities out there getting involved and vocalizing and trying their damnedest to affect a positive change.

  • Contact community volunteer organizations-get involved in the community to spread the message that hate and intolerance won’t be accepted. Volunteer at a battered women’s shelter, get involved with a community political group and peacefully, albeit loudly, voice your opinion.
  • Join larger groups, such ACLU
  • There are always petitions to sign, books to read, and messages of tolerance to spread. Call out the hateful speech around you and volunteer information on why it’s hateful or insulting, and don’t get hateful back. Don’t perpetuate intolerance or vindicate a person’s hateful speech by being insulting back. It’s just more fodder to the fire.
  • Stay informed, get educated, talk to people, organize, network

These are just some ideas that I’ve tossed around. I would love some concrete ideas, organizations (I’ve searched my own area, but I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for as far as community involvement). There are always politically active and outspoken people to get involved with, but for some of us, it is more difficult. However, I feel it time to try and push past the shyness and anxiety, so, as a nation, we can change the idea that hatred is acceptable, tolerable, or something we can simply ignore.  In the next four years, we need to come together and vote a capable, experienced, open minded, intelligent human being into office; not someone who was elected on a campaign playing to our fears and our defeats, exploiting our human weaknesses, and giving hate a platform on which to stand.

Today I Will Mourn, Tomorrow I Will Fight

“Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true.” -Homer Simpson

Well, Homer Simpson, it seems you were right.

Sleep last night sleep was impossible, and as the map of the United States became filled with red, my heart sped up and the anxiety and nausea set in. What was I to tell my child? What was I to do? How did America overwhelmingly vote such a vulgar, racist, misogynistic man into the most powerful, influential job in the country? And so many have done so happily and with a sense of overwhelming well being, completely disregarding his lack of knowledge, his dishonest claims, and his hate speech. Some did so because they wanted change, some did so because they liked Clinton less. The outcome is the same; Love did not win, not last night.

I’ve been thinking about what to write and how to make sense of my feelings. I’m not socially outspoken these days, and my anxiety has worsened. Most days I don’t leave my house. However, I know that there are so many people out there who spread the message of love and acceptance. It is time that I stop letting my own insecurities get in the way and get more involved. I’m not sure how, but I will be doing some research.

I am saddened. Was I naive to believe that there was no question more people would vote against such a hateful, fear mongering campaign? Was it naive of me to believe that republicans and democrats alike would vote against someone with absolutely no political or military experience? Someone propagating hateful, non inclusive rhetoric? Are there so many people who look past all of the hate speech just because Hillary Clinton was not who they wanted?

Like many, I am saddened and depressed, but soon that will pass. We will move on, life will take over, problems will arise, and the day to day will begin again. But for today, I will mourn this loss of my faith in love and togetherness. Tomorrow will be the day I fight to regain my faith in humanity. Tomorrow I will remember that there is so much love, so much kindness, and so many people willing to work together to make sure we are safe and accepted despite our differences; parents and sons and daughters and grandparents who are teaching their kids and friends and family about love and acceptance. Tomorrow, and four years from now, I will not be passive, I will not be scared. There are others voicing these opinions as well. We are not alone. Maybe this election will be the stepping stone to actually affect change, because we have essentially paved the way for intolerance and bigotry to spread and infect the populace. Honestly, with the media in question, I am reminded of Harry Potter and Voldemort. And maybe, it is a long shot, but maybe the next four years won’t be the biggest debacle in American politics. However, that still does not speak of the hateful rhetoric and the spread of fear, the discrediting of journalistic media, and all the of the other things this campaign set aside to win. Like truth and ethics and morals.

It is so hard for me to make sense of this. I suppose, in all fairness, Hillary Clinton is actually winning the popular vote, as did Al Gore back in 2000, but due to the electoral college, that is not enough. Perhaps it will be enough this election cycle to affect change. It has certainly effected me; back in 2000 I didn’t have a child to worry about and my future was as uncertain as how many beers I was going to consume at the bar. I am a mother now, with a responsibility to stand up for what I believe and to show my child how to do the same. I have hope we can come together as nation and figure out acceptance and love. I have to believe this, otherwise, what is the point?

 

 

And…We’re Almost Finished!

It’s almost over! In just a matter hours, the President of the United States of America will be announced. It will be the end of terrible political commercials gracing our TV’s, the end of social media feeds with friends and family waging an all out word war, and the end of the debates. This election season has utterly astounded me. The blatant racism, sexism, name calling, and social media sensationalism that has plagued this election is mind blowing. Maybe I’m an optimist, (and no one calls me an optimist), but I didn’t realize how many people there are in our country that are so terrified of politics as is that they’re willing to put Trump in office. And I am more than a little terrified for the outcome. I mean, I get it. The people want something different. ME TOO! However, I refuse to sacrifice my beliefs and my humanity and my humility to get it. And I don’t believe I’m sacrificing everything with a vote for Hillary. I know that many Trump supporters are either ignorant of his flagrant racism, sexism, and narcissism, or in denial due to their need for change, but I honestly don’t see how his ideals can be overlooked.

We have a great country, albeit, not perfect. It was founded on blood and has perpetuated an inherently flawed democracy throughout it’s existence. (I’m not completely against democracy, and I’m not completely convinced socialism is the answer, but our system IS broken). However, I have the freedom to wear what I want. I have the freedom to work or not work. I have the freedom to marry whomever I choose, or not. I can take my son for a walk down the street and we don’t worry about a bomb decimating our existence. We don’t need to make America Great Again. What does that even mean? Make it great when the wife’s job was to be a stay at home mom and our culture was a proprietor of segregation? Should we go back to white men ruling? What DOES Trump mean? Obama inherited the economy after eight years of George W. Bush; he has built it back up. He has opened ties with Cuba. He tried, albeit only partially successfully, to implement universal healthcare. We cannot afford to go backwards!

So, it’s almost coming to end. Once again, I’m going to proudly say I’m With Her. And I know many of my friends, family, and acquaintances don’t agree with me, but that’s okay. We have our freedom of choice, and today, I exercised mine. I hope everyone else did the same. I may not understand the reasons behind why many support Trump, or I may just be keeping myself ignorant because I’m cynical enough, but soon the election will be behind us.

I’ll close with a political punk play list I made this afternoon, because why not? I’m sure I’ve missed a million political punk songs that should have made  it on, so if you’re into punk and you feel like it, let me know what songs!

  • NOFX – Franco Un-American
  • Cobra Skulls – There’s A Skeleton In My Military Closet
  • Cobra Skulls – Rebel Fate
  • Cobra Skulls – Cobracoustic
  • Rancid – Dead Bodies
  • Op Ivy – Unity
  • Leftover Crack – System Fucked
  • Against All Authority – War Machine Breakdown
  • Anti-Flag – Die For The Government
  • Anti-Flag – Free Nation?
  • Bad Religion – Recipe For Hate
  • Bad Religion –  Progress
  • Bad Religion –  You Are (The Government)
  • Propagandhi – Bullshit Politicians
  • Black Flag – Rise Above
  • Dead Kennedys – Kill The Poor
  • Adolescents – Democracy
  • Street Dogs – Rebel Song

It’s More Than Just a Debate

It was on purpose that I had no alcohol in the house tonight. Why is that a big deal? Well, because it was the second presidential debate, of course. To get it out there in the open: I am a liberal/left leaning female who would have voted Bernie, but do not feel defeated in voting for Hillary. I can honestly say, after scrolling through my Facebook news feed, I saw about fifty or sixty different memes or rhetoric posts from the Trump supporters that were just vile images or complete rhetoric purported as fact. And I know these people; in my experience they’re pretty awesome people, but I just don’t understand how they can explain away speaking about women the way he does. How they can explain away his blatant xenophobia. How they can explain away his tax logic and the fact his business practices have not helped the average American. I don’t understand the support, and I think it’s interesting to examine the reasons people DO support him.

People in the US are sick of politicians. I get that. However, this is the face of the United States of America. This a job that takes people skills, patience, intelligence, and preparation. I mean, who goes to a restaurant instead of a hospital hoping the head chef will treat a broken bone? Trump doesn’t have the knowledge, the experience or the demeanor to be our commander in chief. Anyone who speaks so flippantly about nuclear weapons is NOT OKAY to be anywhere near nuclear weapons.

People like the fact that Trump says whatever he wants. Yeah, that’s great. I really want a president who talks about grabbing a woman’s pussy and then writes it off as just words, just locker room banter. So it’s okay to view women as objects? It’s okay to speak this way? Oh, wait, I don’t particularly want anyone who talks about violence in that way. Period. Perpetuating a culture of objectification of women is NOT OKAY. Saying whatever you want sounds like something a spoiled brat does to get attention. And honestly, I think that Trump knows his overt awfulness will get him attention and endear him to those people I don’t want to let near my drinks at bar. Not to say all Trump supporters are going to be the type of person to roofie a drink, but he must appeal to this group. This is the type of language that makes it seem like women are there for the taking. It makes me feel dirty.

Trump says it like it is. Does he, or does he just shout his feelings and anger and Tweet bullshit at three in the morning? Speaking confidently and brashly don’t make you more honest or a better person or more knowledgeable. Grandly stating you are the only person who can fix a problem, and declaring that you would start proceedings to imprison your opponent, these are characteristics of dictators, not proponents of democracy.

It’s difficult to remember any other reason’s people like Trump, so I’ll move on to why he’s unfit to be anywhere near the office. Firstly, his thinly veiled racism is unacceptable. As a nation, we need to have these hard as fuck discussions about why, as human beings, we are still seeing our differences as opposed to our similarities, and how we can work to bring communities and the nation together. We need to discuss why stop and frisk will NOT work; how it will cause so many people to feel singled out. It’s also important to look at his xenophobia; he was asked a straightforward question by a Muslim American woman during this debate about how he would make her and others feel safe during these times, and HE DID NOT ANSWER. Instead, he launched into a xenophobic rant about Muslims and Syrians.

Another very important topic was brought up during the debate: bullying. Clinton mentioned it briefly, how Donald Trump is a bully, and the implication is that this election is very public, very all over. My son came home from school and was super upset that Trump wanted to build a wall. Now, I had not talked politics with my child, but he heard about it anyway. And it made him cry. He’s since been privy to other terrible slights by Trump, and we talk about why they’re not okay. However, I can’t even imagine trying to explain Trump’s view of women to my seven year old. To take a Millennial phrase: I just can’t even.

Trump is not presidential material. Hillary Clinton has experience, she has a plan to create jobs, fix the skewered tax system, fix Obama care, and still supports marriage equality and women’s rights. She is not perfect. She has made mistakes, and I’m sure she will make more, because she’s human and flawed. But she is strong, and she doesn’t terrify me the way Trump does. And I can honestly say that I will be proud come election day to vote for the first woman on the presidential ballot.

A Summation of Last Week

Well, it’s official: I am the proud mother of a seven year old second grader. His report card was amazing, (with the exception of needs in improvement on getting his work done in a timely manner, but that’s a blog post for another time), his birthday was the most fun, and I’m ridiculously proud of the progress both school related and growing up related that he’s made this year. This is the end of what was a vast week; I thought I’d sum up this week with a list. So, without further ado, my summation of last week.

  • A week ago, I got schooled at Mancala by a six year old. We were sitting at the coffee shop with our smoothies and he wanted to teach me how to play. I agreed. And as he taught me the rules, the amount of growth and knowledge that has become this boy was astounding. It is the feeling of amazement and awe everyday to be this child’s mother.
  • I work in a facility that requires comfortable shoes and clothes for the eight hours of work. Well, on Friday, I had requested a half day so I was able to pick my kiddo up for his last day of school and the day before his birthday party. I wore a dress, nothing super fancy, but one of my favorites. Black and white polka dot in a fifties style cut. As Caolan (phonetic pronunciation – Cal-lan, rhymes with Allan) and I were walking the couple of blocks home, hand in hand because we were near drives on a very busy street, some douche cat whistled. Well, I didn’t think anything of it because I am not the girl that gets yelled at, and I had a child with me. Until it happened again. So, to the piece of shit who made me feel like I should have had more clothes on in eighty degree weather: I hope someone vomits in your car and it smells like a vomit forever. You have no right to make me feel like a self conscious kid again. You have no right to make feel like a body for your viewing pleasure. I am not just a body! No one is just a body!
  • I can’t get into political discussions after this week. It’s too heated, too stressful. And what with FaceBook and work, I’ve been in or read so many. However, to the people who hate Trump, yet are now possibly going to be voting for him: This is our future. There isn’t a fucking reset button. If there is a meltdown, we are all losing. I don’t want Trump to win by default. I get it, I’m disappointed Bernie didn’t clinch the nomination. Heartbroken, really, but it’s politics. The idea that Bernie would even be able to accomplish anything in the White House is funny to me. Obama fought an uphill battle just to get universal healthcare passed, and the amount of concessions he had to allow made it less than desirable to many after all was said and done. I mean, how are people against reforming a horribly corrupt system that is getting rich off of us getting sick? That’s disgusting! Now, just knowing how Bernie inspired this country should be a wake up call, but I don’t think it will be. Perhaps I’ve become disenchanted in the wake of 2004 and 2008, but the amount of racist, misogynistic, bigoted people hiding in the woodwork of this country is mind blowing. And I honestly don’t think these people, or the bigwigs in the political machine, are going to change their tune because a huge portion of this country showed such a vast amount of support for Bernie. Okay, so Bernie didn’t get the nomination; now you want Trump? Really? These are just the opinions of a leftist leaning mother who doesn’t want her child to grow up in a nation where the general public prefers Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, who I will admit, is not my ideal candidate.
  • Speaking of politics, today my child said he wanted to ban guns. See, I allow him to play violent video games and watch violent movies, but we discuss how they are not real. Well, in the wake of yet ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING, this morning we spoke of real violence and real lives lost. His solution was simple: ban guns. Now, I’m a realist. I know that, as much as mass shootings are becoming commonplace in the US, (how terrible is that?), we are collectively never going to come to an agreement on banning guns. But can’t we at least come to an agreement on reform? On concealed weapons? On more than just background checks? On something, because I don’t want to be afraid to send my kid to someone’s house who doesn’t keep their guns locked up?
  • I’m going to end this week of happenings with the birthday playlist Caolan and I created together via Spotify:
    • Trouble on Oxford Street – Skinny Lister
    • Raise A Wreck – Skinny Lister
    • Rollin’ Over – Skinny Lister
    • John Kanaka – Skinny Lister
    • If the Gaff Don’t Let Us Down – Skinny Lister
    • Spanish Bombs – The Clash
    • Lost in the Supermarket – The Clash
    • London Calling – The Clash
    • Carry On – Common Rider
    • Lederhosenpunk – The Forum Walters
    • All For Me Grog – Joey Briggs
    • Happy Being Miserable – Joey Briggs
    • Without You – MxPx
    • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
    • Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
    • We Will Rock You – Queen
    • Thank You For Being a Friend – Suburban Legends
    • You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Suburban Legends
    • Duck Tales – Suburban Legends
    • Up All Night – Suburban Legends
    • I Love You Like An Alcoholic – The Taxpayers
    • You Alone – Street Dogs
    • Point/Counterpoint – Streetlight Manifesto
    • The Ghosts of Me and You – Less Than Jake
    • All My Best Friends Are Metalheads – Less Than Jake
    • Punkrock Pirates (feat. Joey Briggs) – The Forum Walters
    • Two-Sided Coin – The Forum Walters
    • Factory Blues – The Forum Walters
    • Wish You Were Mine – Masked Intruder
    • Clampdown – The Clash
    • Koka Kola – The Clash
    • Mad Men – The Briggs
    • Back to Higher Ground – The Briggs
  • This list was super fun to put together! Caolan and I listen to music together a ton, and, fortunately, he has not inherited my tone deafness. So, we sat on the couch the morning of his birthday party, my phone held between us, and he went through and added music with little phrases like: ‘Yeah, yeah, I like this. Mom, I need more Queen. I love Freddie Mercury. Oh, yeah, I love The Forum Walters. More Joey Briggs!!!!’

We speak of many topics that are difficult for adults to grasp, but I think it’s important to treat my child like a human, not a little kid to be protected and sheltered from life. He understands that, in life, the bad things that happen to us, they serve to make the good things even better. There is a balance, and without it, life would be mundane. However, how, as a mother to her child, does one explain a mass shooting like Sandy Hook? How does one explain war? How does one explain why you don’t help an adult stranger look for his ‘lost dog’ if you’re alone?

We’re navigating this world together, my child and I, taking the bumps and bruises with the ups and the downs, and trying to have as much fun as possible. And while we’re doing this, Trump is staring down on us all from his Tower, Hillary is making decisions that are setting her up for more public scrutiny (because the public loves to put her under the microscope), someone is amassing guns and plotting something horrific, people are living and dying, fighting wars, raping, losing children, being tortured, birthing babies, having birthdays, saying goodbye, making music, making art, loving… There is so much bad, but there is also so much good. My mom and I debate this all the time. I think she’s obsessed with the bad, she thinks I bury my head in the sand, like nothing bad ever happens or could ever happen to me or my son.

I say, we get one time to do this thing called life, and we never know when our time is going to be up; I don’t want any unfinished business, a life half lived. I want more passion and less fear. I want stories to tell, experiences, adventures.

Okay, yeah, apparently this week has made me very thoughtful. I guess it’s time to shut this laptop and get making good on this living thing today, right now!