Wednesday, March 8, 2017

An Almost Not Good, But Turned Out To Be Very Good Day

Today was a good day. One of those days that you have to hold on and be grateful for when they come around.

It had potential though to NOT be a good day.

We were supposed to leave early tomorrow morning on a road-trip adventure to Minneapolis. Kid 3, myself and Kid 5 had been planning this for weeks. We would see Kid 3's girlfriend, meet her family and visit the Mall of America.

But then about 1:30 this afternoon I got the phone call.

Kid 3's car needed about $700 worth of repair work. And the repairs were serious safety issues so they couldn't be put off until later.

We would be driving my car the 12 1/2 hours to Minneapolis, so transportation wasn't an issue. The $700 was the issue.

Kid 3 had enough to pay for the road trip, or enough to pay for the car. One of those crappy adult responsibility decisions that suck whether you are 18 or 48.

I am proud to say with very little hesitation he realized the road trip was off and he needed to pay for the car repairs.

That could have ruined the day. In the past I think it would have.

But not today.

This evening I had to go back to work to personal train just one client. Kids 3 and 5 came with me and got in a good workout themselves. When we got home, the rest of the kids joined us and we went to our favorite local burger and wings restaurant.

We didn't know the restaurant had started a new weekly trivia night every Wednesday. We had so much fun playing along as a family. It's even more fun playing now that the kids are teenagers and young adults and realizing how smart and well read they have become.

Between trivia rounds and burger bites, we got caught up on each others busy lives, laughed and genuinely enjoyed each others company.

Those rare moments of living life with ease are very special indeed.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Writing Recycling

March 1 question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Yes! Who hasn't? Or why wouldn't you?

Most of the writers in the Insecure Writer's Support Group are fiction writers so I'm sure this question is really meant for those old half written stories that never got finished. But, as a nonfiction writer, I have often pulled out old blog posts, old ideas jotted down or even an already published piece to rework it and republish it.

As a freelance writer you have to find a way to get the most from your writing. Usually it's rewriting a piece with a different angle for a different publication. Or expanding on a shorter post to make it more in-depth.

I'm still in my writing funk and not doing much, if any, writing. Let alone any rewriting. I'm still not sure what that is about.

Maybe I'll go through some of my old stuff and see if there is anything to refresh and renew my writing spark.

This post is a part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly meeting of writers who over think, under write and just want people to like them.

Friday, February 17, 2017

There But For The Grace of God...

It's the beginning of the year and so the fitness center I work at has been extra busy with new members lately. Which is great. New members mean new people committing to their health, and it means more available paid hours for me.

I've been a personal trainer for I guess about seven or so years now. I always tell people if you want to train for a marathon I am not your girl. But if you have a bad knee, steel rods in your spine, rehabbing an injury or a chronic condition like MS, than I am the one that can help you.

I am the trainer that takes, and really enjoys working with, clients that other trainers aren't comfortable with. My background in working with seniors and yoga therapy make me very well suited to the "special cases."

But this year, I've had a line of new members trying to recover from having a stroke.

Strokes scare the hell out of me.

Not working with stroke patients. But the fear of having a stroke one day myself.

I worked with a woman today who is 45 years old. So she is younger than me. She had a stroke four years ago and can barely get around with a walker now. Her speech is still very impaired and she has no feeling in her thighs.

I asked what kind of rehab she had, four years ago after her stroke, and she said none. She didn't have insurance four years ago so she wasn't offered any sort of rehab because she obviously couldn't afford it.

Now this just pisses me off.

(Warning... political rant ahead)

Sure Republicans, let's repeal the Affordable Care Act. A law that certainly isn't perfect, but a law that offers health care to people that otherwise couldn't afford it. A law that without people have suffered. A law that without people have died.

My new client (whom I am working with pro bono in case you are wondering how she can afford a personal trainer - she can't) did not have health insurance and therefore she was not offered quality care. Forget quality care, she wasn't even offered half ass rehab to try and keep her a functioning independent member of society.

Oh she has health care coverage now. Because she can not care for herself independently and she now has more medical problems and medical bills from her stroke. And even more health issues because she was never given the opportunity to recover after her stroke. Her health insurance is at the expense of those tax payers who want to repeal the ACA. But from what I've read it seems there is a push to also do away with or severely cut back Medicare and Medicaid.

I don't know her story from four years ago and why she had no health insurance. But it doesn't matter. She could not afford the health care she needed and now she is suffering.

I don't know how much I'll be able to help her. Four years is a long time. The window of opportunity after a stroke is only about one year. Our goal is to get her legs stronger and her stability more secure so she can at least walk a little more at ease on the walker.

She literally sat in my office and cried today because no one else would help her.

And all I did was say I would try.

I look at her, and the other stroke victims I have met lately, and think dear God what if that is me someday. Will I be able to get the health care I need? Will I have access to rehab to try and regain some functionality? Who will take care of me if I can't take care of myself?

Strokes scare the hell out of me.

And politicians just piss me off.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

But What Can I Do?

Everyday I look at the news and I say the same thing.

What. The Fuck.

These are definitely unprecedented political times.

I've mentioned before I am a tiny blue dot living in a very big red state. I wonder if even contacting my representatives is worth it since we are from opposing political parties and even further apart political ideologies.

But, silence isn't an option.

Today I found a neat way to keep in touch with my representatives on political topics that are important to me: breaks down the hot political debates, provides contact information for your representatives and even provides a suggested script to use when calling the Senator's office.

Today I called 2 Senators and my Congressman to urge them to investigate President Trumps ties to Russia. It was quick and easy.

More importantly, the women I spoke to on the phone told me that yes these calls do matter. She explained that they take down information on each call, tally the number of calls per topic and then relay every single call to the Senator or Congressman. 

My one lone call may not make a difference. But when we all call and make our voices heard they can't ignore us.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Writing & Reading

February 1 question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

First, before I get to this month's question, let me point out the obvious. This is not the first Wednesday of the month.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group meets the first Wednesday of every month. I've been participating for at least a year now so I know how this works. I knew what this months question was and I was ready to answer it this Wednesday.

But... this Wednesday won't be the first Wednesday of the month. How I missed last Wednesday, especially since it was February 1, I really don't know. 

Nevertheless, here we are.

I used to feel like I had to finish a book even if I didn't like it. Almost like leaving a book half read was a sin or something. I have no idea where that belief came from, but it led to forcing myself to read some very forgettable works of literature.

As I have grown in my writing, I realize if something doesn't speak to me, it is OK to put it down. Part of it is I'm older and busier and just don't have the time anymore. Part of it is I get annoyed by bad writing. Especially bad editing! If the author didn't take the time to publish her best work, why should I take the time to read it? And if it is her best work, well congratulations for having the courage to get your writing out there to the world. That's something not many other people can do. You should be proud. Unfortunately, this piece just isn't for me.

And that's OK. Because I also write books, blog posts, and magazine articles that not everybody enjoys. You have permission to read what I write. And if you don't like it, thank you for at least clicking here and I hope you will give me another chance.

This post is a part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly meeting of writers who over think, under write and just want people to like them

Monday, January 23, 2017

Thank You Angry Man. You Have Proven My Point.

Yesterday, I wrote a quick blog post about an insulting meme that is circulating after the Women's March on Washington. I also copied the post to my personal Facebook page.

I wrote:

How to silence a woman
Call her a slut.

It didn't work, they still marched.

Call her stupid/immoral.

It didn't work, they still marched.

Now they are calling her fat.

Congratulations to all the women who marched ... the trifecta of keeping a woman silenced didn't silence you.

And then this morning I woke up to this:


(The anonymous poster left his website address here which I have removed)

I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don't know how to cook or clean, don't want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

Well OK, Mr Anonymous poster, I guess that means we won't be dating anytime soon. What made you think I was even interested in dating you?

I laughed it off.

But then, I saw these that were also sent to me:


I write a blog post calling out men (and unfortunately some women as well) for trying to shut down a woman when she voices her opinion or marches for her rights.  The three tactics commonly used are to call a woman a slut, stupid/unstable and fat.

And the response I got was calling me a slut, stupid and fat.


I know not to let any of this get to me and to not take it personally. After all, Mr Anonymous doesn't even have the courage of his convictions to sign his name. I just find it mildly amusing, more than a little maddening and incredibly insane that men (and some women) think it's OK to talk to anyone this way.

This is not normal nor acceptable.

As for that last comment pictured above... I have no words. Only fear and sadness.