Tag: Work

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

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    🙂

Pre-writing Exercise

P.S. Please forgive the unstructured error-prone nature of this, as structure and accuracy are not the point. The idea is to allow the brain and fingers to get reacquainted with one another before the work day begins. It’s like caffeine for the creative process, and what I write during these exercises is different every day. As it should be 😊

What Is a Writer?

Someone recently joked with me about my writer status. I don’t recall the exact wording, but the conversation was something like,

Him: “You say you’re a writer, but what have you published?”

Me: “A few newspaper articles, and I have a regular blog, plus I’ll be submitting my manuscript after I do the rewrite, then most likely work on finishing the other three manuscripts I have  in progress. How about you?”  (as politely as possible)

Him: “Well nothing, but…”

I didn’t take it personally, but it made me think about the definition of what a writer really is. I think most people think of a writer as someone who has published at least a few books and probably made a decent living doing it. However, that may not always be the case.

Merriam Webster defines a Writer as follows;

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When I think of a writer, I think of a person who writes something… anything…. because he or she loves to write, and is passionate about their chosen topics, genres, or styles – Period. Whether or not that person is a published author, is something different, and not necessarily the goal for everyone who writes. A writer may or may not ever want the world to see his or her work, and that’s okay. It doesn’t make them less of a writer.

What does bother me, is that there are people out there who believe if another person doesn’t fit their idea of what something is, then there’s no way they could possibly ever be that. They’re wrong. A person is who or what they believe they are and feel passionate about, regardless of what another person tries to validate them as.

I have one son, who is a gifted artist. The man has a great deal of natural talent in drawing, and really should do what he can to pursue a career in the art field. He also happens to be a meat cutter for a major grocery chain. That doesn’t make him not an artist.

Yet another two of my sons are quite the talented guitarists and singers. They also happen to work for an influential men’s clothier, and wear custom made suits to work each day. That doesn’t mean they aren’t singers and guitarists.

I could go on, but for now, I’ll let it rest there.

So what’s the point?

What you do for your employment, doesn’t define you. Your natural, God-given talents are a real and viable part of who you are as a person. Your job, is just what you’ve been trained to do for money, so you can sustain your lifestyle and survive.

King David started out as the youngest son of a farmer a sheep breeder. No one would have believed the son of a sheep breeder would ever be the King of Israel and direct ancestor of Jesus of Nazareth, who was a carpenter, and became the Messiah. But they were and they did.

Got that? Your job is what you do. Not who you are.

So who are you? What do you want to be? What can you do to make that happen? Do you want to do it professionally, or is it just for fun? There is no right or wrong answer. Only you, (and God) should be allowed to define who and what you are, and never take someone else’s word or opinion for it, because they aren’t you.

So who are you?

Blessings,

C.A. Bennett – Writer