Tag: Life

The Frontline

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There’s a new phrase in town. Well… new in context, anyway…

“The Frontlines”

I’m seeing posts all over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & the news about workers, “On the frontline’s” in this COVID-19 pandemic, and something about it is bothering me.

Context

How you use a word makes a huge difference in its meaning, and how people take it. The word, “frontline’s” has always been a word reserved for reference to wars and battles being fought.

Bullets flying, bombs exploding, swords forcibly rammed into abdominal cavities so hard they come out the victims back, severing the spinal cord, flesh being torn from bone by the force of blazing hot metal ripping through it, soldiers being doused in Napalm, (a highly flammable sticky jelly used in incendiary bombs and flamethrowers, consisting of gasoline thickened with special soaps) thereby dying a horribly agonizing death, or worse , surviving a Napalm attack only to live the rest of their lives horribly disfigured and in constant pain… you catch my meaning.

So when I see grocery store clerks and other essential workers describing or being described as, “being on the frontline” of the pandemic—which is essentially a bad cold/flu—my brain has a hard time reckoning it.

Here’s the thing—literally EVERYONE in my immediate family is considered an “essential worker” because of what they do and who they do it for. Even I—as a care provider—am considered an “essential worker” during the pandemic. I have several friends who work in grocery stores. One of my sons is a Meat Cutter, aka Butcher, for Safeway. Yet no one—in my family at least—has yet referred to themselves as being, “on the frontline.”

I absolutely DO, consider police, doctors, and nurses as being on the frontline’s, because of how absolutely intense that situation is in this situation. However, (and yes, I’ve seen the news and been in the stores) I would not consider working in any kind of store or other business that I can think of at the moment, being “on the frontline’s” though I definitely DO acknowledge how absolutely intense and difficult it has been for those workers, God bless their souls for putting up with all the B.S. every day that they show up for work! Nothing but love here, people… nothing but love!

But let’s regroup for a minute and consider what’s been going on. There’s a virus, yes. It has killed more people than anyone hoped it would, (if they even had any hopes where that was concerned in the first place) and yes, essential workers are absolutely putting their health and their family’s health in jeopardy every time they go to work, but… the phrase “frontline’s” — I dunno… I don’t think I’d go that far.

There are no bullets. Well… no more than usual, anyway…

There are no bombs.

There are no swords.

There is no Napalm.

Something else has been bothering me. I’ve seen people in this country—some, I know personally, go from trashing the president for shutting down the country, to not shutting it down fast enough, to not opening it soon enough, to opening it too soon, all in a span of about 60 days. Really?? Have we all become bi-polar, or have we just been watching the news too much and believing EVERYTHING we’re being force-fed in order to keep us in control by living in a state of constant fear?

We need to be stronger than this, people.

Be safe. Wash your hands. Wear your mask—by the way, it should be covering BOTH your nose AND your mouth, not one or the other as I’ve seen quite a lot of. I mean honestly, what’s the point in wearing the damn thing if you’re going to wear it wrong? It’s definitely not protecting you or the people you come in contact with if either your nose or your mouth are not covered, and if you’re going to wear it that way, don’t complain about the risk factor of your job on the frontline’s, because that just makes no sense. They’re uncomfortable. They’re hot. It’s hard to breathe in them. Wearing one ALL DAY fricking SUCKS! But it’s supposed to be working for your protection and the protection of others, and if you’re not wearing it correctly then you are part of the problem and should stay home.

I’m sorry if any of this upsets or offends anyone, but truth is like this, and if you have a problem with any of it, your problem isn’t with me, it’s with hearing the truth and having to acknowledge it. Many of you will blow it off and tell me how wrong I am. Okay, but that doesn’t change the truth of it. If I lose any friends over this then I want to say that I sincerely hope you stay safe and stay well, and THANK YOU for all your hard work and personal sacrifice! I do greatly appreciate it so much more than you might think I do, I just seriously think people need to reconsider some things.

Have a blessed day.

Crystal

How Do You Feel?

2881E7B6-04D2-452F-B53F-A48FBD2B60B8This morning, a Facebook writing group moderator posted the question, “How do you feel?” With a picture of Spock in front of the computer. The computer was asking the question of Spock and, being half Vulcan, he didn’t understand the question. His mother explained that the computer knows he’s half human, and is simply asking him how he feels in that context. Spock, in true Vulcan form, replies, “The question is irrelevant.” But is it? Even Spock has feelings, whether he chooses to acknowledge them or not.

As I sat there for a few minutes, pondering the question, I was slightly overwhelmed by what I really was feeling. Here’s what I came up with.

Depressed because I used to see my oldest four sons at least once a week, and I miss their big bear hugs, and refrigerator raids with, “What’s good to eat?” queries. I haven’t see them in person in two months.

Thankful for FaceTime so we can at least have cyber visits.

Annoyed because I used to enjoy going shopping and wandering aimlessly through malls, and visiting Barnes & Nobel, but now the options are extremely limited, and B&N is out of the question.

I miss going to the library only one block from my house, and where some of my friends work.

I miss meeting up to go out to eat every Thursday morning, when my husband is coming off night shift, and my youngest son and I are just getting our day started.

I miss seeing people’s faces, knowing they’re smiling without having to look for the eye crinkles behind the mask, and chatting with total strangers about random commonalities while out running errands.

I miss turning on the TV and radio without having to hear the latest death toll, and what to do to stay safe and healthy.

I miss not ever having heard the phrases, “Social Distancing” & “Shelter In Place.”

I miss opening Facebook and NOT seeing the term COVID-19 every other post.

I feel disappointed by all the people who have shown their true colors by hoarding food and toilet paper, behaving atrociously in public places, stealing their neighbors deliveries, and harassing their fellow humans.

I miss writing without the influence of being under lockdown and the depression it causes.

I feel sad for the high school students who will miss out on the prom, and both high school & college students who will not be walking in a hard-earned graduation ceremony this year.

I feel horrible for all the younger generation for having their own version of The Plague during what should be a time of discovery, growth, and celebration of life before having to settle into a life of adult responsibilities.

I feel afraid of what could be yet to come, but hopeful that things will get better.

I have faith in God, and pray for humanity every day, but still go over all the other things in my mind almost constantly.

Mostly, I feel tired.

So no, Mr. Spock, I don’t agree that the question is irrelevant, but I do know that even you eventually discovered that, and in the end, you sent a message to your mother. A message I hope we will all echo soon.

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Wait!!

9B5E527D-5FFA-47D3-8DA3-9BCC16D3AD9B“Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.” That’s an old saying my grandparent’s generation used when we needed to focus on the here and now and stop trying to see what’s in the future, because we can’t actually see the future. We can’t know everything, and we cannot control everything, only God can.

That can be hard on some of us humans. We can see what we want, but not how to get it. We can see what we need, but not always what needs to be done to achieve it. That’s where faith comes in. God always knows what’s in store for us, and what needs to happen to get to where we need to be. All we need to do is trust in Him.

I have all these dreams and goals in mind, and I know I want to do things in my lifetime that will last well after I leave this earth. I have five sons who are my legacy, and I am proud of them, and want the best for them. However, there are other things I would like to do, be, and achieve. When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher and an author. As an adult, I worked in the public school system for twelve years—first as a program coordinator, then as a behavior specialist. I loved working with kids, and I was good at it, but my career ended abruptly when I was injured and forced to walk with a cane for about three years.

Fun Fact: Public schools—at least in Northern California—will not allow adults who must use a cane to be employed with them because they consider it a liability, yet they do cater to disabled students. I have worked with many disabled students and they are some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my life. I just don’t think it’s the nicest thing that school districts discriminate against disabled adults.

Let’s talk about my dream of being an author for a moment… I love to write. I wrote a book, (I write hard-boiled detective/crime fiction) and published it on January 22, 2020. I want to be a successful author. I would love to see my books sell in the millions and be able to reach readers the world over. I want to buy a house. For the first time in my life, I would love to own a home. I’d like to leave it to my kids and leave them an inheritance that will sustain them for years to come.

I would like to help people in need. I’ve always been one of those people who give the few dollars I have left in my wallet, to someone on a street corner. Or donate to a good cause for a sick pet, friend, or family member. I’ve given away several of my typewriters to those who express an interest in writing, or have some terrible, difficult story they want to tell even if only to themselves. My heart goes out to people who are in bad situations. If I have something to give of myself, I do it. I enjoy it.

The problem is—I can’t always see the future. I don’t always know what will happen next, or when it will happen, and that makes me very impatient sometimes. I try not to be. I try to remember to be faithful, and put my trust in The Lord, but sometimes I do have a hard time with that. What do I do in those times? I pray. I just have a simple conversation with God and ask Him what he needs from me. I ask Him to show me what He wants me to do and then I try my best to listen.

It’s funny, but when I sat down to write this post, I was feeling a little down because I had just looked at my book sales for this week and was disappointed with the fact that only four copies sold all week. I was frustrated and wanted to think about anything but that, so I sat down with the intention of working on the second book in the series in order to focus my frustrations in a productive direction.

Before I work on my books, I always do little finger exercises and just type random thoughts as they come to me in order to loosen up my fingers and get the blood flowing through my brain. That way, the words can flow easier. Then this happened. What began as a simple writing exercise born of frustration, ended up being a way for The Lord to remind me to be patient and let Him work. Sometimes the reason we can’t see the forest for the trees, is because the path hasn’t yet been cleared, and we need to wait. Just wait. It’ll happen. Have faith.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” —Proverbs 3:5–6

 

By the way—Just in case you’d like to read my book, the links to all the sources can be found Here    🙂

Fun With Menopause

I wrote this several months ago and wanted to share with the women of the world, what my experience has been like. You are not alone! To the men of the world… I apologize if this scares the daylights out of you, but I honestly hope you get a good laugh from it. Quietly… away from your wives… like… in a closet somewhere safe… with the door locked and the lights off… 

We’ve all heard of the “Big M” but what is it really like? Let’s take a journey, shall we?

https://hubpages.com/health/Fun-With-Menopause

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The Monster We Feed

This is a Narrative Poem I wrote yesterday and posted to my HubPages blog. Click on the pic to hop on over and give it a read. Comment to let me know what you think or how you feel. Most of all… be safe, Happy New Year, and God bless!monster

Personal Space

*Not my actual house*C. A. Bennett

Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017
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Being part of a family or other group can have its difficulties, especially when the quarters are cramped. We live in a tiny house that is seven-hundred square feet of living area. We shift, turn, and shuffle our way around each other in such a way that would nearly be worthy of a finely choreographed dance on Broadway, except now and again, we trip, stumble and collide with Keystone Cop-like coordination. Sometimes it’s comical, sometimes it isn’t. Always, it’s annoying.

What happens when something in the normal routine changes? It can be as simple as a teenager who used to spend most of his time in his bedroom, but has decided to come out and join the family in the living room. Nothing wrong with that, and in fact it’s a really good thing! I’ve been trying to get him out of there for years. It does have it’s effects though.

Since the space is small and cramped already, it can seem even more so with the addition of one more body on a more regular basis. Especially when that body is six-foot-five and all skinny legs and arms. Come to think of it, that’s how he got the nickname, “Daddy Long-Legs”. It can make a parent who loves his child a bit edgy to have most of the living room floor taken up by sprawled out legs and size 14 shoes, even if the kid is quiet by nature. It’s not noise… it’s space.

So how does the dad-in-question handle it? By going to bed at 8:20 PM, which completely disrupts my routine. My response was something along the line of, “WHAT?! Wait!” because I was in the bedroom working on a paper, and making every attempt to concentrate while working in solitude. “What do you mean, you’re going to bed NOW?? UGH! Fine.” So I relocated to a different room to work uncomfortably. Solitude. Personal Space. And it’s all because of one little change. One person made one small decision about where he wanted to spend his time, and the rest of the people in the house lost their minds.

See, here’s the thing, and I want to be clear on this; We are a typical family. We interact regularly, usually eat dinner together and talk, yadda, yadda… we are always doing something together. The thing is… in this particular case, the timing is what really changed, and that’s what actually threw everything out of the delicate balance it was for years. Dad’s TV time was disrupted, and that caused a minor cascade of events.

Adaptation takes time. Becoming reacquainted with an area once something has changed is a process just like any other. For my husband, the shift of our son spending more time in the living room was the equivalent of having someone move in, because it was an extra body that wasn’t usually present at that tone of the day.

The boy had always had a habit of staying in a certian area of the house, and no amount of cajoling from his mother had ever chanced that. Autistic people are creatures of habit, and up till recently, getting the boy to spend time with family was more like pulling teeth than actual socializing. It was out of his comfort zone, and sometimes you have to let a person have their comfort.

Here’s the thing… my son is high-function, and isn’t anti-social. On the contrary, he interacts with people on a regular basis, and does very well. He has a lot of friends, and has held a job without problems typical to autistic people. He’s socially okay for the most part, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy his solitude, and his room was his preferred place for that.

So what changed? Hard to say, really. One day, he just decided to bring his computer to the living room, set up shop. It’s now become his preferred area to do whatever computer-related things he does. Why? We don’t know. My curiosity got the best of me, because I am an observer by nature, so he and I had a conversation about it. The boy was unsure as to why he suddenly liked the living room better, but says it has more space. Interesting that it took him four years to come to this decision, but personally, I’m happy about the change. I like that he’s spending more time with dear old mom & dad. I’m happy to see him out of his room and interacting more when his brothers and their girlfriends come for a visit. It’s a good thing.

The (former) Behavior Specialist in me is jumping for joy at yet another social victory in the life of her autistic son. The mom in me is just happy the boy isn’t cooped up in his room constantly. As for dad? He’ll adjust eventually… most people tend to adapt to changes pretty well in the long run, it just may take a little longer for some than other. At this rate, he will be well-rested at the very least.

One thing I think we will all agree with, is the need for a bigger house. Let’s face it… Tiny House living is tough at best, but when the dynamics suddenly change, it’s rough. Seven-hundred square feet of living space isn’t much for three adults and a dog, but we’ll manage. We always do.

Many Blessings,

Crystal