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Archive for January, 2012

So I read this article on the Huffington Post with this as its title: “Teens Having Sex At Home: should Parents Allow It or Forbid It?”

I had to read the title a few times until I really understood that this was a serious article.  I thought it was a joke, but it was a serious article with arguments for both sides of the issue.  Yes, the issue of teens having sex at home…

So, let’s be clear – I have no children so I really don’t have the knowledge of knowing how it feels to have teenagers – however, I can tell you that it was not something my mother would have ever considered!

Are things really any different from what they were when I was a teenager some 40 odd years ago?  Are teenagers in 2012 any more ready for sex than they were in the 1960’s?

My God – I don’t believe we’re ready to drive when we’re 15 or 16, let alone ready for the responsibility of sex, and it is most certainly a responsibility.

There are so many questions.  If you allow your children to have sex at home are you in some way telling them it’s okay to be promiscuous? Or do you only allow them to have sex at home if they are in a loving relationship? And really – at 13 do we even know what a loving relationship is? At 30 – do we know what a loving relationship is?

And if you don’t allow them to have sex at home – are you pushing them out the door and into the back seat of a car or onto a blanket at the beach?  I mean if you forbid it aren’t you just making it more enticing for them?

And what of children who live with their parents when they are in their 20’s and 30’s? Do they have sex at home?  And if a child is over 21, working, going to school and being responsible, and living at home – can a parent really control what happens in their bedroom? And should they have that sort of control?  I know of a man in his 30’s living at home – he brings his girl home all the time.

From what I hear when I listen to the kids who visit my local Starbucks when I’m there – it’s all about tapping this girl and blowing this guy and how they love doing the x when they’re having sex, and “omg – do you swallow – I never swallow!”  And they couldn’t have been a day over 15, dressed in shorts that left absolutely nothing to the imagination and tops that invited this sort of exchange!

I had to get online and find an urban dictionary to bring myself up to date with the whole tapping thing.  Tapping has replaced the f ___ word!  You know – “Man – I’d like to tap that” – sort of thing…  and x is ecstasy – the illegal drug of choice for young people these days for enhancing any number of thing!

Personally – I’ve always held to the belief that sex changes everything. You can say it won’t – you can say it doesn’t – but… it does – it changes everything.

And if it doesn’t – well – I believe that it should.

Sex shouldn’t just be about tapping or blowing whoever. I think we’ve made sex out to be this casual thing when the truth is – it’s the most personal thing you can ever do with someone. Shouldn’t it be more than a tap and a blow?  And shouldn’t this be what parents are talking to their kids about?

I understand the where you have sex talk, but shouldn’t there also be the why you have sex talk? and the how you have sex talk?  and the whole respect the person sex talk?

The only talk I’m hearing is the tappin’ and the blowin’ and the: ” Dude – I need to find me some x.”

Oh yeah – they’re ready for sex – At home or away from home!

 

 

 

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I’m working daily on letting things go – but…  there are some things and some people who just make forgive, forget and ignore an impossibility – at least for me, it’s seems to be a losing battle.

See – I want to see some real redemption on their part. I want to know they regret their actions or at least feel bad about it. I want to know that on some level they are suffering for what they’ve done. I want to see some sort of justice – some retribution, if you will.

Yes, I know this is childish, yes, I know this is not healthy, and yes, I know this isn’t part of the – move on with my life plan.

Still – it’s the people who do whatever they please – say whatever they please – act however they please – these self-serving folks who go through their lives with no one, myself included,  having the nerve to look at them and say “Shut up” that make me crazy.  There are no consequences because no one will address the issues, and this person knows full well that no one will address the issues – so the self-serving, condescending cycle goes on and on and on.

Don’t tell me you don’t understand what I’m talking about – You know exactly what I’m talking about, and you probably are thinking of a few people in your life right now that you can pin this self-serving label on.

It’s okay – be honest and just admit it.  You want to see some retribution also. If it can’t come at your hands – you just want to be around to see it happen. You know you do!

I don’t want bodily harm, I just want them to experience the pain that comes when someone condescends to you, or treats you like you don’t exist, or walks all over you and your feelings with no second thoughts whatsoever.

Now, I don’t think this is too much to ask – however – the Universe seems to have another plan which I most certainly do not understand.

Perhaps the lesson is for me – perhaps I am to learn patience and I am to learn that the Universe will answer these questions when the time is right, and all people everywhere will answer for their actions, that retribution will come in the hereafter.

Perhaps – but I’d feel better if I could maybe just get a glimpse of the retribution in the here and now – Just sayin…

 

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I was looking over my bookshelf this afternoon and I stumbled upon this book called: “Ten Eternal Questions.”  I found myself sitting on the floor of my den reading this little book I forgot I had purchased.

When I sat down and looked at the questions I thought I should have been reading this book and not have put it on the shelf. It’s not a book of answers – it’s a book of questions, a book of wisdom, a book of things for you to think over, and maybe learn something about yourself.

There are no right or wrong answers – they are just for you to ponder.

The Questions are as follows:

  1. What is your concept of God?
  2. Do you think this life is all there is, or do you believe in an afterlife?
  3. Do you accept the concept of karma, in the sense of cause and effect?
  4. What is your moral code, in relation to right and wrong?
  5. Do you believe you have a destiny, and do you see yourself as here to fulfill it?
  6. What has life taught you so far?
  7. What advice or words of wisdom would you like to pass on to those close to you?
  8. Do you believe our survival on planet Earth is being threatened?
  9. Who do you most admire in this world, historical or living?
  10. How do you find peace within yourself?

Take some time – write down your answers – share with you family and friends – find out what you have in common and what may divide you.  Remember – there are no wrong answers.

We all come at the world with our own experiences our own sets of baggage filled  with our own “stuff.” It’s just interesting to look at your answers and then compare them with friends…

Enjoy…

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My father used to always tell me that it wasn’t what I knew, but who I knew that mattered.  He knew someone everywhere he went. We could be in Washington DC at the Washington Cathedral and someone would walk up to him and say: “Dick Hamp – how are you?”  Dad loved that – he needed that acclamation in his life, that recognition.

I’m not so sure I agree with Dad, although it doesn’t hurt to know people in certain places, like restaurants, theatres, and those sorts of places. What I’m beginning to understand that it is what I know that’s helping me more and more in my life.

I finally get that letting go of anger and resentment is the key to inner peace.  I’m not saying this is easy and I do it all the time – I’m just saying I get that it’s the key!

I’ve also discovered that the more I let go of all these inner demons, the more animated I become in my own life.  My hands seem to have a life of their own now when relating events that have taken place in my day to Susan.  She likes to tell me if she tied my hands together behind my back, I wouldn’t be able to tell her a single story!  I never thought of it, but since she’s pointed it out to me I watch my hands just take off in numerous directions when I’m speaking.  I do a great impression of a snake…

With all that’s happening with my mother, I’ve come to understand that life doesn’t stop for any of us.  Many people are facing what I’m facing and in that – we are all joined together.  I’ve heard from people I’ve never met thanking me for writing what they were feeling and couldn’t find the words to express it, and from people simply telling me to be strong and know I’ve done the right things for her.  People from all over the world have written me – people I will never meet.  It makes me understand how small the world really is and how we really are all united in our feelings and our passions. We all have the same pain and sadness when our parents become elderly and cannot take care of themselves. It’s a universal pain and suffering. It unites us as a people.   Well – it should unite us as a people.

As much as we’d like the world to stop sometimes – it just keeps turning.  It was turning long before we got here and will continue to turn long after we are gone.  Perhaps the answers are simply these:  to just enjoy the turning of the world and learn what we can – help who we can – love as many people as we can – be kind – do good works expecting nothing in return.  Be present for our friends in time of need and in times of joy – let go of anger and resentment and simply move on with your life, and learn to be present in your own life.

If you do nothing – you can expect nothing in return.

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I’m always amazed when I realize even at age 59 I’ve learned a life lesson.  I know I shouldn’t be amazed, for life in itself  is the greatest teacher we will ever have, but still – it’s always a surprise to me when something really resonates with me.

I have people coming back into my life I had written off – gone – done – over – don’t want to ever deal with again… and yet – here they are. We’re communicating, we’re kind to one another, and in some cosmic way – it’s reassuring to have them back in my life.

Oh, don’t get me wrong – we won’t be sitting around a table together sharing and laughing at old memories any time soon – still – it’s nice to see their name in my email inbox and not think: “Oh Lord, now what?”

When I finally decided I was tired of being angry and I let all that anger and hate and negative “stuff” go, strange things started to happen.  I felt lighter, I felt happier, I felt my spirit was renewing itself. I wasn’t tied to the outcome of any situation and I just let things be what they are in my life. I wasn’t pushing anything or hoping for anything or begging someone to feel a certain way, life is just what it is. Nothing more – nothing less.  It’s that  like attracts like,  anger brings anger – neglect beings neglect – that whole “birds of a feather” thing.

It was only when I released the anger that the goodness started to come to me.  I suppose when you’re filled with anger there is no room for goodness – I thought I could just be my snarky self on occasion and still receive some good.  It really doesn’t work that way.

I had to decide to just let go and understand that people are simply who they are.  I’ve written of this before, but it’s so important to learn. I know I expect too much of people on occasion. I want them to act a certain way, feel a certain way, and when they don’t live up to that, I’m hurt and disappointed and angry at them.  In all actuality the person I should be hurt, disappointed and angry with is me. People can’t be more than what they are – it’s just the way it is.  I expected too much, I got hurt, and I shut  people out of my life.

It was when I expected nothing of these people – they’ve decided to come back into my life.  Go figure.

It wasn’t them – it was me.  I’ve changed, I’ve grown, I’ve freed myself of that negative demon. Life isn’t about what someone else can do for you or how another person can make you feel.  It all starts with you.   And the thing is – these people who are back in my life – I don’t really expect anything from them this time around.  My life isn’t wrapped up in what they say or their approval of me.   If they stay – well that would be wonderful – but if they go again – it won’t be because of me this time, and I’m okay with that.

I believe my dear, sweet friend Cheryl said it best when she told me:  “It’s a crazy, damned world, Barbie Sue.”

 

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I just gave the okay this week to have my mother moved into what is called a higher functioning dementia unit. I understand in my head that this is absolutely the best thing I can do for her; but in my heart… Well, that’s a whole different set of emotions.

My mother was always the strong one. The one who rarely showed emotion, the one who insisted I know my American History – the one who tried her best to make me a “lady.”

My mother had a memory for the smallest of details. She loved history; especially the American Civil War. She knew names and places and little tidbits about almost every battle. She read and collected books and studied everything she could.  She wanted to know why certain things happened the way they did. It was important for her to understand.

She signed my father up for a reenactment unit in the 1960’s and we traveled from Antietam to Bull Run to Gettysburg.  We camped on the battlefields, we walked on ground where thousands of men fought and died, and it was my mother who made her 11-year-old daughter understand that this was something I needed to know. We walked battlefields and she would suddenly stop walking and tell me to just be still and listen.  “Listen” she would say; “can you hear the cannons? “Do you hear the men yelling?”  “And can you hear the horses?” “Close your eyes; can you smell the smoke?”    The thing is – I really could see and hear and smell it all.  She was amazing in her powers of persuasion. To this day when I visit a battlefield or a place where history has taken place – I will be still and listen.  You can hear and see and smell – it’s all still there…

My mother loved to play Trivial Pursuit – and to say that she hated to lose would be an understatement! She rarely lost because she remembered everything about everything.  She read all the time and she would store all this knowledge and bring it out when you would least expect it.

This is no longer my mother.  This dreadful disease is taking her away bit by bit.  My heart breaks for her and selfishly for myself.  It’s hard to watch and harder yet to try to explain to her when she no longer understands. She’s scared and confused and yes, a tad bit pissed – and can you blame her?

She has wonderful care and is blessed to be where she is so well taken care of. For this I am more grateful than one could ever imagine.  Still – she has no way of knowing what is happening to her – she only knows she’s not where she wants to be and certainly not doing what she wants to be doing.  My heart breaks for her…

I am blessed to have a partner who is so supportive and so loving and patient, understanding and ever so willing to just hold me and let me cry. Without her – well I’m not really sure where I would be right now.

I have the most wonderful, loving, supportive friends who are simply there – no matter what. When I ask for prayer and support – it’s there – instantly. Say what you will about Facebook – my friends – those I have met and those I haven’t – have been a great source of strength for me. For this I am most grateful and most surely blessed.

And so we face whatever happens next on this road. Mother will adjust – as she always does – and will not remember that there was even a problem. She will fall into her routine and she will do what she needs to do to survive in her scary unknown world. We all do what we must to survive.

Still… I miss my mother…

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“Your opinion is nothing but your point of view. It is no necessarily true. Your opinion comes from your own beliefs, your own ego, and your own dreams.”  – don Miguel Ruiz

Susan and I talk about this all the time.  We are forever saying to each other: “Just because you feel that way doesn’t make it right.”  We’d like to believe that our point of view is the only right answer; however, it most surely is not.

The problems arise when people really believe they hold the only opinion that matters, and the only way is the way they say.

Some believe they have the correct answer because they believe the answers come from God, however this again is just their belief. The opinion of a few should not be the law for millions.

Then again – what exactly are moral issues and where do you fit in with the “norm” of society? And if you’re a Christian, are your morals defined by your Biblical principles and not societies? And how do we know who is right and who is wrong?

If we gathered a group of 20 people from all different walks of life and asked them to give us their response to ten moral issues what do you believe the answers would be.  Think about the 10 moral issues listed below and imagine sitting with your friends and family.  Lord help me – if I sat with my family and friends and discussed these things… There would be no agreement on any of them.

  1. Adultery
  2. Abortion
  3. Homosexuality
  4. Fighting in a war
  5. Murder
  6. Pornography
  7. Gambling
  8. Cheating
  9. Illegal drug use
  10. Tattoos

We can’t all be right – and we can’t all be wrong.  What we must do is respect one another and respect other’s opinions, even though they go against what you believe in with every fiber of your being.  We all come at decisions with different life lessons, with different life experiences. Every life matters – every opinion matters. Doesn’t mean it’s right – it just means it matters.

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