anonymous letters

If then statements

Caution: irrational rant ahead.

People make me wonder sometimes.

Actually people make me wonder a lot of the time. Lately, I’ve noticed my mental script is doing more and more of these: a question version of the if / then statements I had to write for proofs in college logic class.

If you cannot pay your rent, then why are you eating out all the time?

If you cannot pay your medical bills, then how do you buy a car (and, with gas prices as they are, drive it anywhere?)

If you cannot afford to pay for your basic memberships, then why do you have a nicer camera than me? Better shoes? The latest fashion?

If you cannot make it to class, then why were you out partying last night (according to your instagram posts)?

I know, I know. Maybe the camera and shoes were gifts. Maybe they’ve made arrangements. Maybe they are down on their luck. Maybe I don’t know the whole story.

Well, surely I don’t know the whole story. I make judgments. Assumptions. Plenty of which are incomplete or even wrong.

Still, it’s frustrating when I see case after case of people falling short in their basic commitments but seeming to spend money on things that, in my world, are “extras.” Is it fun to pay the water bill? The mortgage? Health insurance? Dues payments for commitments I have voluntarily made? No! Is it fun to have to get up and go to class or work the day after a party, a holiday, a late night big game? No! Of course I’d rather sleep in, ignore my bills, take the day off, go on vacation, not spend hours meal prepping on the weekend and just go out to eat instead. Who wouldn’t?

It’s hard to quiet those murmuring voices in my head. It’s hard to keep my mouth shut when I know too much. It’s hard to be sympathetic when I feel like I am being mostly responsible with my time, my resources, my finances. I try to make sure the “have tos” are covered before the “want tos” make it in the mix. I feel like more and more people have those things reversed. They feel they deserve some “want tos” when the “have tos” haven’t even been dealt with. What makes some people feel that is ok while others buckle down and make sure things are taken care of? And in my world, that leads to the shit spewing that I mentioned in recent posts….

I know it’s more complicated than all that but still, it’s frustrating. Maybe one of our readers can share their wisdom.

Until then, just another rant from my side of the keyboard.

awareness, mental health, perspective

Paths, Loss, and Lessons

How do people lose sight of what they have right in front of them? People, possessions, relationships, amongst others.

Life is full of choices and paths. Sometime we take the right path while other times we don’t. Some paths are smooth while others are bumpy. No two paths are ever the same.

Bumpy roads lead to some of the best life lessons. The important part of life lessons is when one actually learns from said lesson. Unfortunately, many miss the bigger message when it’s right in front of them.

I am at a loss sometimes when people can’t see what’s right in front of them. They don’t see the indirect messages or clues. They don’t hear the direct communication. They just see themselves.

Then I hit pause. Is it that they don’t hear or they choose not to listen? Is there a difference? Why yes there is a difference and it is a choice.

Listening is a form of art. Listening means sharing in the pain or glory of others. Listening means giving of yourself. If somebody close to you isn’t listening to you, they are making a choice. They are choosing themselves over you.

To me they chose the wrong path. The path that ends in loss. The loss could be big or it could be small. No matter the size it’s loss. For those who suffer a loss or get lost in themselves and forget about what’s in front of you, I hope you realize the lesson that you should learn.

Never take life or people for granted. They may be here today and gone tomorrow. Don’t miss your opportunity.

This post was written in honor of Suicide Prevention Month (September 2021).

author moments

The Doorstep

My doorstep has been an interesting place lately. More traffic than I want. More unique visitors than I ever anticipated. Unexpected. Unwanted. Unsolicited. Just some of the u words that come to mind. Some visitors had two legs while others had four. Oh how life throws you curve balls just to see how you react. 

Below I will give you a sampling of the randomness. Think about how you would react. These scenarios are not in any particular order.

  • The Uber delivery. Yes Uber dropped people at my doorstep. Directly from the airport. Dressed in their cultural attire. Did I mention I am at least 50 minutes from the airport? Limited English spoken. It’s a hot summer day. Sun is beating down. They are so hot. I’m offered water but they nodded no. They may want to rethink my kind gesture but I’m sure they are so nervous. Unknown place. Unknown person. So many stressors.
  • Nobody could pick them up for what seemed like an eternity but it was just an hour. I offered water again. Finally they took it out of desperation. I texted their family members from their phone even though I could not read the language in the text. Arabic maybe or something similar with symbols vs letters. I felt responsible for the cargo left on my doorstep. Complete strangers but dumped at no fault of their own. What would you have done?  Would they know how to tell their family where they were if I didn’t help? What would you do if Uber dropped you in the wrong place. So much to think about. They were understandably nervous. 

Nobody was harmed in the taking of the photo and faces were covered to not embarrass anyone. How many might think this situation could have played out so differently in today’s world? I had to document this bizarre event.

  • The landscape supplies is the next unexpected doorstep instruction. Home Depot was oh so gracious to deliver me a truck load of landscape supplies to my driveway and a few heavy boxes of additional yard items to my doorstep. Everything from heavy landscaping pavers to pesticides to fly catchers. According to the receipt it was worth thousands of dollars. They left a packing slip. I actually inventoried it because I’m that anal retentive. What would you have done if this happened at your place?
  • While verifying the order, I saw the recipient’s phone number and called it. This made for an interesting call. Stranger on other end of phone was wondering why I am calling and why I have his goods and his private information. That’s understandable I suppose. All I wanted was for him to get his stuff off my property so I could leave my driveway. Big sigh. 
  • He drove past my house many times. How could he miss it with me standing outside? I had to stay on the phone to make sure he stopped. He was old. He couldn’t lift the pavers or the heavy boxes. I was already the receiving department. Now I was the shipping department. Off I went to load his car. What would you have done? On a funny note, the delivery ticket clearly stated do not leave without a signature. Guess what? The driver just left it all without a signature. I guess that is contactless deliveries for you.
  • My four-legged friends. One night it was a family of deer passing by and lingering for a bit with their bold eyes. Last night it was two black stray dogs. They started out back then moved to the front. I’m sure they smelled my dogs but geez do I have a sign that says everyone is welcome that translates in multiple languages and across animal sound waves? I shake my head but the more I think about my odd visits, I let out a deep sigh as it’s hard to believe. Of course I can’t make this stuff up. It’s as real as it gets. I’m sure I know plenty of neighbors that wouldn’t be as gracious as me in these scenarios. Some may opt for shoot first ask questions second, unfortunately.
  • I can’t forget the past residents of the home who send a child translator with the mom to pick up her mail repeatedly. This blows my mind when the postal service offers a change of address service. Even the furniture company got it wrong. Their driver delivered a new homeowner’s enormous floor rugs to my doorstep. Those I just left as a large item and said someone can figure out where they got delivered and come get them. They were big enough to see from the road and they lacked packing slip information for me to identify the correct owner.
  • A day later the doorbell rang. The man said I know this sounds strange but I think that’s my set of large floor rugs. Nope, not strange at all.  It’s yours because it’s definitely not mine and they are too heavy to move so I figured somebody would claim them soon enough. 

Most days seem a bit crazy in my world but these weird visits in mass quantities have me thinking I’m good for the rest of the year or maybe two years.

No more random doorstep deliveries for this girl. I guess I need to get a large address sign for the lawn to make it ever so obvious what address one is stopping at. If you have any better ideas drop me a note.

And then…the extra Amazon deliveries. A new trend. Somebody must have moved into a newly build home with the same street number as mine yet the street itself is wrong. Another delivery gone bad and I’m left to do the right thing over and over again.

author moments

Maybe Swearing Will Help?

When life throws you lemons people say make lemonade. When somebody throws horse shit your way, what should you say? I say swearing may help.

Actually I flipped my comical calendar today and the saying said maybe swearing will help. I thought about and said why yes it does.

When going down a hill fast on a roller coaster, oh shit! comes to mind.

When you cut your finger with a knife unexpectedly you might hear a quick fuck word.

When your boss hands you a deadline that wipes out your weekend plans you might say asshole.

When you procrastinate and it’s now month end and you are behind you might hear damn it.

Swearing helps in my books. Maybe not daily swearing but to offset the ugly parts of life whether self-inflicted or not.

I am curious about the swearing concept. If I asked ten people if they swear daily what would the stats be?

Are there people who just don’t swear, ever?

Are there people who only swear in their mind vs. outward where people can hear it?

I think I’m going to count my swear words on the weekend, on a workday, during a tennis match and a few other scenarios to see my high and lows. I know I swear. Now it’s time to see how much I swear and if I can trim down my swear words.

One can hope for a positive outcome but then again swearing may be therapeutic.

awareness

The Chance Encounter

I met a girl.

Her name was Val for short.

Life had her down on her luck.

Valentine was sad. Mascara running down her face from her bloodshot eyes. Disheveled attire. Jittery all around. I could see her emotional pain from head to toe.

She spilled some of her story. Sad to hear. She was ready for a fresh start. Fate brought us together. A chance interaction.

I listened. I didn’t pass judgment. I passed a smile or two. I thought about my recent journal entry I wrote challenging myself to meet new people this summer. I did just that. A chance encounter. As random as it gets. I made conversation. I listened. I learned.

Today I thought about my chance encounter when I sweated a heart at the gym. Made me reflect on Valentine. Hoping her days ahead were going to be on the upswing. May sound corny but I took the sweaty heart as a sign that our paths were meant to cross on a chance encounter. As random as the heart on my shirt made from sweat.

Before the final proof read on this post, I had another chance encounter. I was making a purchase off an online marketplace. I met a cool dude. His name was Eric. He had a husband. He collected interesting items. One of which I wanted!  An old timey outhouse. I’ve been fascinated with having an outhouse for yard art. I’ve been waiting for the best looking yet vintage one I could find.

Can’t wait to put it to use. To think my chance encounter led me straight to the crapper. What are the odds?

I love meeting new people. Hearing their stories. Living my best life includes chance encounters. Loving my day today and the randomness it involved.