I’m sure you would agree, real life is nothing like what you see on reality TV. But we Americans? Many of us are obsessed with this form of the boob tube. This week, I had a conversation with someone who told me about something that happened on a reality show that she watched. So, she went on to say, that’s how it is and she should get what she wanted based on this fact. We’re ruined, I thought to myself. To fill our minds constantly with this non-reality, it is messing us up. Then I worry about the most fragile among us. What do they think when they watch this stuff? Do they see the world through this prism of editing, and “nudging” of the truth, and think they can be famous even with the worst of deeds? I don’t know, but it gives me pause for thought.
Americans spend 1/3 of their free time watching television and of that 67% are reality shows
Then there is the newly popular phrase “Fake News“. Do you believe what you see on the news? Granted, most news agencies will give the facts about the serious stories. But, it makes my blood boil when I see these professional journalists getting emotional, and giving their obvious opinions and leanings (whatever that leaning is) on their shows. I’m quick to change the channel, I simply don’t need them telling me what I should think, I can make up my own mind (and that is where those facts come in handy). Even further assaults are made on our reality by friends, though well meaning, spreading un-truths as facts through social media. I recently experienced someone being in an absolute panic because she believed we would have 15 days of darkness next month based on something she saw on social media. A little digging on my part (something I wish she would have done before she posted this) and I found this was a known false story.
Snopes.com is an excellent fact checking site.
So, the real world is real. It’s not scripted for television, edited to give the best impact, or to fit into an hour show. Sometimes it isn’t pretty. At other times, we see the best come out in others and in ourselves. But, it is filled with living, breathing humans. I worry we are losing site of that. When our days are filled with our smartphone, our television shows, and our social media accounts, do we really see each other? No, I’m afraid not, and I’m just as guilty as anyone in this regard. But, I’m working on changing that in myself. I never, ever want to be so detached from the real world that I loose site of caring about my fellow humans and what they are going through. I know you all feel the same.
Part of my journey to a more positive self is my book project. The first in the series of Tom Carroll Mysteries is Hawaii On Fire. I am finally set on this being a cozy mystery series of books. And I’m finally confident that this is a good start to the book. Here is the new first chapter:
Hawaii On Fire – Chapter 1
“Joseph Lee, you are the Governor of the state of Hawaii. You can’t just ditch your security and go out on some perceived mission to right a wrong. Please, what you are thinking of doing is unsafe. At the least let me help you. What is going on?”
“Please lower your voice Lana. Good grief, I shouldn’t have told you about any of this, and I won’t tell you anything else. This is something I have to look into. You have to trust me on this Detective.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you, I’m concerned for your safety. Besides, we’ve been friends since we were kids. I’m worried my best friend is putting his life in jeopardy. There is a reason that you have a security detail. This is a really bad idea,” Lana said as she nervously twirled a strand of her long, black hair.
“Okay. I’m a man of my word, I can’t tell you I won’t go. But, I will think about it. Deal?”
“Alright, deal. Think about your safety. The people of Hawaii need you around my friend. Look, I need to go. Dad’s flight from Kauai lands in a few minutes, I want to spend a little time with him before his flight over to the mainland to see his sister.”
“Tell Pops I said Hi. And Lana, thanks for caring.”
“Always my dear friend, always.”
I’ve wasted far too much time in my life trying to be perfect. Desperately never wanting to disappoint anyone. Trying to please everyone. In a nutshell, attempting to live the impossible. The result? Stress and anxiety at every turn. I’ve had enough. I recently had a turning point in this process. That, moment of, okay that’s it, I’m done. Here’s what happened. Happily, I posted several entries on my Facebook page of a recent trip to Paris. This is a place I’ve wanted to visit all my life. I was so excited to share it with my friends and family. Imagine my hurt when one of my family members posted a passive aggressive post to her page making fun of people who post their vacation pictures! Needless to say, she was quickly unfriended. This mean spiritedness. This critical nature. I’m over it. So, this is my journey to positivity, and surrounding myself with positive people.
This is me trying to be the best me I can, yet not overly worrying things. I hope you’ll peek in from time-to-time to see what is going on with this woman on a mission to the positive. I hope my blog can brighten the day, and give hope to those that maybe going through the same thing.
Finally! The world has decided it is okay to be an introvert. So, no longer will I have to feel like a square peg desperately trying to fit into the round hole of the extroverts, and their mysterious world of easy small talk, and social revelry. No, it simply is not me, and that is okay. It has been discovered that we introverts have something to offer, in our own quiet way. We’re good listeners. We have huge hearts. We care about others. We just need our alone time to recharge our mental batteries.
“You see things. You keep quiet about them and you understand.” – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
So, this movement of acceptance, I like it! Sure, we don’t have to agree with everyone. But, can we try to find the good in others? Can we see how we can make other’s comfortable in our presence with them just being themselves and not trying to fit them into some mold of popularity? Watch a wallflower bloom right in front of you when you don’t judge. When you don’t ask, “Why are you so quiet?” (ugh, I hate that question so much)
“I think a lot, but I don’t say much.” Anne Frank
Therefore I say, “Hooray for the introverts!”
We are okay. Introversion is not a disease, I promise you won’t catch it from being in our muted presence. But, you might find something very special in our peaceful world.
“Introverts crave meaning so party chitchat feels like sandpaper to our psyche.” Diane Cameron
Having it’s beginnings as a fortress in the 12th century, the Louvre is a massive testament to the human spirit and drive. As it morphed its way through the centuries, from fortress, to palace, to finally the grandest art museum in the world, the Louvre has not lost any of its grandeur and pull to tourists and locals alike.
Me feeling small by just a corner of the Louvre
I promised myself when we returned home from Paris, I would learn more of this amazing place.
I was shocked to find out that when the Palace of Versailles was completed, the then French government turned its attention away from the Louvre, and it was practically abandoned and feel into disrepair. After more than a century, building of the Louvre picked up, and so did the use of it for artistic endeavors.
Every side of it a work of art in itself
Perhaps the Louvre’s most famous work of art, the Mona Lisa didn’t always hang in the museum. Keeping it for themselves, at times it hung in the different palaces of the royal family. Napoleon even had it hanging in his bedroom at one time! Then in 1911 (by this time it did hang in the museum) it was stolen by a bold Italian thief (claiming to want to return it to its rightful place in Italy) and was missing for two years. No wonder today, it is behind glass and roped off, with Louvre staff stationed on both sides of the painting. That explains why my below picture of it is not the greatest:
The Mona Lisa, safe behind protective glass.
While I loved seeing famous works of art, the Louvre itself was a wonder in beauty an art.
If it isn’t already there, add this incredible place to your bucket list. If you go, I promise you will not be disappointed.
My husband took the above picture on our trip last year to Miami Beach Florida, USA. Today, the same hurricane that has caused so much misery in the Caribbean is hurling towards this beautiful area with all its might! Then like a furious warrior, it is forecasted to snake up the state of Florida and impact us here in the Atlanta area, even though we are located hours away from the coast.
So,I’ve watched this all with much anxiety, and I’m embarrassed to say some tears. But then it hit me. I was crying over the potential loss of material things. Sure, the loss of a beautiful building, hits to our history here in this country (I worry for Ernest Hemingway’s historic home in the Florida Keys), it is a tough pill to swallow. Yet to worry and fret over this, that was wrong of me. People and their safety, that is vital right now. And you know what? This storm, it doesn’t care. From million dollar mansions to the smallest shack, it took them all out in the Caribbean. Therefore, on the other side of the coin, why should we let our differences as people divide us? In our care and compassion as humans, we can set all that aside and simply get each other through things like this. That is my hope.
Storms like this one coming, and the one that caused so much trouble for the state of Texas, there is only one thing we can do, survive it, then move on. So, it’s a day to think of others. Each and every day is a day to think of our fellow humans.
Much love and please stay safe if you happen to be in the path of the storm.
Lately, it feels like my life is affected by a multitude of other people’s agendas. Take for example yesterday. We went to the big book festival near where we live. You can imagine my excitement as there would be authors speaking, many books to choose from, and food, three of my favorite things on this planet. So, we get there, and haven’t set two feet inside the festival area before we are accosted and trapped by an aggressive home remodeling company sales person. Really? Seriously? I stood in angry silence as my husband kindly answered the mans questions about our house. It went on, and on, and on, until I finally had enough. With as much control as I could muster, I explained that we needed to move on, that we had come for the book festival and not for a sales pitch. I guess he could tell I meant business, he backed away and told us to enjoy the festival. We made our way to the book/author tents. It was great. I picked up some writing tips. I saw myself there (hopefully soon) promoting my own work (okay my agenda, I admit it). But, then we came around the corner to protesters! At the book festival! They toted large black placards with things such as: God knows your secret sins, repent, etc. There were maybe five of them. However, there were probably ten to fifteen police officers standing nearby to keep the peace. Seeing others getting worked up by their presence, I asked my husband if we could go ahead and leave. As we headed to the parking lot, I was sure one of them was following us, he was yelling that loudly that I thought he was following us to our car.So, I’ll have to think long and hard about going to this event next year. I may not go back until I need to, with my book. Honestly, it wasn’t the best experience.
Therefore, on this day, this Monday, this blog will not have an agenda (other than to complain about other people’s agendas). Today is about the love of the written word. About putting words together and sharing a thought with the world. No, nope, no hidden agendas here. Just wanted to say something, and share it.