I have been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ over the last few months. It has taken a lot of time because the ‘Eat’ portion was slow. It didn’t quite keep me reading. Not that it wasn’t well-written, it was, but it didn’t speak to me.
I got sucked ‘The Help’ and then ‘Starting From Scratch’ and then ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’. All of which I really should write reviews on because they are amazing.
Now I am in a lull, still discussing Hunger Games’ and starting to read Water For Elephants. I devoured the entire HG series last year and have been chomping at the bit for the movie.
Anyway, I am sick and in pain, so today I begin to read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ again. I have ventured into the ‘Pray’ section and I have to say it has been very enthralling.
Gilbert’s candid prose about her experience has me stunned. Everything she says has touched something deep inside me. The passage that struck me was:
“Devotion is diligence without assurance. Faith is a way of saying, “Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding.”"
What a way to say something that affects any person who has any type of religion?
I”m not sure about the Love section yet, I am going to start that tomorrow. The Pray was a bit much for me, her struggles and experiences are overwhelming.
I would say even if you don’t think this book is something you would read, pick it up and read the Pray section, you won’t regret it.
I find that promoting my businesses and my blog become overwhelming. That’s one of the many reasons my blog has suffered.
One of the top recommendations by the business experts is ‘to be authentic’.
Being authentic takes a lot of work. Responding to people so they know I care even when they don’t spend a dime at my businesses is frustrating.
That is time I could be spending with my kids. Who are the reason I stay home. The reason I so desperately try to run home-based web businesses and freelance.
Also, the examples given of being authentic are usually a crock of crap. I can tell the person is working at being authentic. That’s not authentic.
What’s authentic is I am a busy mom trying to help support my family. I want you to buy my products and use my services because it helps me provide for my children. I DO care about people and my customers.
However, spending 15 hours a day promoting my business and engaging with possible customers doesn’t seem to be authentically getting me towards that goal of being with my kids.
So other bloggers in the blogosphere, I need advice, what do you do that get you readers and real blogger relationships?
A lot of sick, tired and stress has sapped my blogging and writing mojo in general.
I have made a commitment to go back to school to better learn to market myself and have that degree behind me.
The rejection of the job market and the constant stress of making ends meet has sucked the life right out of me.
A friend of mine linked to a FB site that has lit a fire inside me and hopefully will renew my optimism: The Face of the 99%
I am hoping that knowing so many people are in similar positions to myself and my family will help me.
We are only holding on because we have so many good people in our lives that help out. Our family members that help don’t even know the amount of rejection and hardship we have faced. My husband and I put on a happy face and make it seem like things are ok.
We try everyday. We hear ‘no’ everyday. We fear losing more everyday. A bit of us dies everyday.
Here is my contribution to The Face of the 99%:
I am a wife.
I am a mother.
I am a student.
I am a volunteer.
I am a hard worker.
I am a good friend.
I am unemployed.
I have worked since the day I could legally work. I have paid many years of taxes and social security. I have paid my bills and helped others pay theirs. I made a choice two years ago to quit my job for my newborn son’s welfare. Paying for his daycare would be too expensive since he was premature. With two other kids, it just seemed to be a better decision to cut our spending so I could stay at home with the kids.
A year later my husband lost his job. He did not qualify for unemployment. He put in hundreds of applications and sent out his resume but he could not find anything. We took a chance on a lifetime dream of his and took out our retirement to have as savings. As the economy got worse and the government came out with new laws on that industry, our savings melted away and we were left with nothing.
After over a year of barely paying bills, almost losing our house and constantly looking for work we finally broke down and applied for Medicaid and food stamps. It was not an easy decision but we needed help and after a combined 35 years of paying into the system, I think we have paid for the assistance we get now.
I have put in over 65 applications in the past six months at places that tell me I am over-qualified because of my experience, sent out my resume to 40 different companies for jobs similar to the one I held before. I have not received one offer.
My husband has sent out almost 250 resumes in two years for jobs like the one he had, even ones with an hour or two commute, along with over 50 applications in the past six months to places he is apparently over-qualified to work. He has had one job offer. For a position with an 80 mile roundtrip commute, at minimum wage for 4 hours, 5 days a week. Unfortunately, we crunched the numbers and the paycheck would barely pay for gas to get there and back.
I am not a freeloader.
I am not uneducated.
I am no longer going to keep quiet.
I AM the 99% and my voice counts!
This happened a few weeks back but with all the sickness and my never ending bronchitis, I have not gotten around to blogging much. Sleeping and holding my babies has been on the top of my list.
I think it is important to share because it just goes to show what a little bit of patience and kindness (for no reason other than I think other people deserve it) can get you.
On the way home from a Girl Scout leader meeting one night, I decided that I would just stop at Taco Bell instead of go home and cook since I was sick (this was at the beginning of this devilish cold turned everything else ucky).
I pulled into line and within 5 minutes I could tell it would be awhile. The place was packed and the drive thru line hadn’t moved at all.
I looked to the bright side, it was 8pm and I was no longer at a meeting that bored me tears. On top of that I was alone and it was blissfully quiet.
I had the realization I could turn on my radio to my favorite station, roll down the windows since the weather was good and not worry about rushing home to kids and chaos since I was trapped in a drive thru line. YAY!
The entire time the car in front of me interrupted my bliss…he honked and cussed and carried on, as if that was changing anything.
I got up to the speaker after about 20 minutes of waiting. I pleasantly ordered my food and said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Just like my Mamaw taught me. The poor guy apologized for the wait and joked about how busy they were. I chuckled and told him not to worry about it.
When the guy in front of me got to the window, he flipped the guy off and drove off cussing. He didn’t even get his food! I guess he thought he was showing them! He shorted them a whole $10 I am sure, and you know that will hurt Taco Bell’s bottom line.
Anyway, I drove up and smiled. The poor drive thru guy looked flustered and apologized profusely. I told him it wasn’t a big deal, still said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Mind you I had at this point been in line for 25 minutes, not being able to enjoy it because of the douchebag in front of me.
What’s the point of the story? The nice drive thru boy appreciated my kindness so much that he comp’d my ordered drinks and gave me to two free tacos and a free cinnamon twist. The amount of free stuff I got was worth more than I paid for my order!
I didn’t ask for it, I wasn’t angry. I received extras because I was kind during someone’s time of stress.
So, next time things aren’t going your way at drive thru, restaurant or retail store, please remember that the person you are being mean to very likely isn’t the reason for the hold up.
Smile, be kind and treat them as a person. You will get good karma, for sure, and maybe a little something extra for your kindness.
Ten Things Tuesday
1. ‘Wow, your house is a mess! So unlike you!’ – this makes me stabby, and you all know my particular brand of crazy, sooo……
2. Have you tried x-y-z to make yourself better? – I’m 30 years old, I know what does and does not work for me…so I doubt I will purchase the $13 pack of zinc lozenges that cured your cold in 72 minutes, quit hassling me about it.
3. Have you given your kids cough meds/tylenol/expectorant to make them better? – I have 3 of those little monsters, one of which I have had for eight whole years! Amazingly enough, I have given them the proper meds for their illness, they do have a cool mist humidifier in their room and I do know what I am doing. Getting stabby again already! LOL
4. Do you think you guys will be well again to go to ‘The huge spectacular event of mine’ in two days? – No, I don’t. Even if we were, I don’t feel like jumping immediately back into social obligations with still weak immune systems thanks.
5. Must be nice to work from home and be with your kids when they are sick. – No it’s not, they are mean little monsters when they are sick. And I can’t escape the germs, that is why I am so sick too!
6. Don’t you love it when they are all sweet and cuddly when they are sick? – Did I mention my kids get mean? Getting cuddled with is nice but I prefer sleepy not sick cuddles, I tend to dislike get sneezed-hacked-thrown up on. Plus I am sick myself and I am a do-not-invade-my-germ-infested-bubble sick person.
7. At least your hubby works from home and can help out. – Ha! That is all I have to say about that, he sleeps a lot when we are sick, my kids get their sick unpleasantness from me.
8. I know how you feel! (especially when you don’t have kids yourself) – You know nothing.
9. You look like crap! – Thank you for that. After an entire week of holding sick children through the night when I should be sleeping to get myself to get better does make me less than rock-star-ish, I’m glad for the reminder. Now where’s my knife so I can cut you?
10. Did you know your kid’s nose is all snotty? – Yes, yes I do…and I have given up the fight with it. After seven days of chasing a toddler around with a snotty nose and wiping every five minutes I surrender. The snot wins!
Check out next week on Ten Things Tuesday!
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So it has come to my attention that many have forgotten the rules of friendship.
The give and take, ebb and flow of a true meaningful one.
You can use this little rant to make your friendships stronger, since we all forget from time to time how to show our friends we are thankful they are…well, our friends.
Or you can use it to help you realize that you have some fake ones, selfish ones, just basically ones not worth your time.
~ Always keep your promises and commitments to your friends. Most of the time the people who care go out of their way to do things for you or to include you, backing out last minute or doing something with someone else after you committed (especially when you flaunt all your pictures on fb or twitter) is just rude.
~ Don’t expect tit for tat when helping your friends or giving them gifts. Give to people you care about because it makes them happy, help them because you care and it is the right thing to do. But don’t keep score and don’t throw your help or gifts in their faces when you need something. It’s just tacky and makes people not want to do ANYTHING for you.
~On the same note as above, when someone does go out of their way to throw you a baby shower or a birthday, at least make the time to go to something important of theirs. When someone spends hundred of dollars throwing something kick ass for you, nothing says “screw you!” like you not taking an hour to show up to their birthday party, wedding, baby shower….you get the point!
~ Remain a loyal friend through good and bad. I realize this isn’t possible for everyone most people are friends with, it takes a lot of effort when someone is going through bad times, but this is a must for your closest friends. Disappearing during the bad times and showing up when things are peachy is a sign of a fair-weather friend, not someone you may want to cut of because you like their company and all. But definitely don’t share your secrets with them.
~ You can have a best friend who has a different best friend. And not is the friend triangle jealousy type of way. All I’m saying is don’t assume that the person you consider your best friend considers you their best friend unless they say it themselves. They may be closer to someone else. It isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t a friendship-ender. It just is. I have had many people call me their BFF or bestie when they are far from mine. It doesn’t mean I don’t like them as much as they like me, I just happen to have friends I consider closer.
That is all! For now…..
1. Having to get up at 7am.
2. Having to be somewhere around 8am.
(early morning theme, you ask? Why yes mornings are awful!)
3. A teacher telling you where to go, when to go there and what you have to do while you are there.
(Okay, if my teacher looked like that guy I might not have cared as much, but they didn’t and judging from last year’s yearbook, they still don’t.)
4. Mostly icky hot lunch food. Hello green…..peas….mush…..is this someone else’s vomit? Gross.
5. No naps. When will this country embrace a siesta for all grades?
(I think I will quit this exercise and go nap right now. Why because I’m freelance and my kids are in school, so ;p)
6. (I’m bacccckkk!) Needing hall passes. That was awful.
‘Hey I hafta pee, like now!’
‘Sure wait while I fill out this three page form so you can walk next door to the bathroom without being stopped.’
7. Homework…I mean really what other establishment can take up 7 hours of your day and then elbow it’s way into play time?
Oh wait….I know! A job….stupid society grooming us for all work and no play…grumble, grumble.
8. Mean girls and cliques….they are still here in the real world but I can avoid their pompous asses more easily and without scars on my self-esteem.
9. PDA (Public Displays of Affection, not your Smartphone…you jackwad!)
Because it is so much better in your own home where you can run and get jiggy with it. No worrying about getting caught by teachers or anyone telling your mom!
(Wait, dammit, I forgot I had kids….maybe we should scratch this one….)
10. Term papers…oh the bane of my existence as a student. At least they taught me how to do what I do now and do it well.
This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop.
Link up! Find the button in the right hand column under Thursday ———>
As an adult female I have often been surprised by the dictatorship of local women’s clubs and volunteer organizations. The women leaders are often self-absorbed, snooty and bigger bullies than the ones from playgrounds past. They probably are the ones from playgrounds past honestly.
While reading ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett (I’m only about half way through so don’t worry this isn’t a review), I chuckled through some of the situations where Skeeter is made to feel like she will get ‘kicked’ out of the social circle for her opinions. It was funny because I have often felt the same way.
It is in all actuality awful that I have encountered this where I have. Very often the taglines of places that have been the worst are the ones claiming they are for the advancement of women and girls or a safe place for women to share stories and shoulders to cry on.
There are always cliques in these groups. The
mean girls, er, desperate housewives, I mean women leaders who run the show, making up rules as though go along. They change things without notice and scold you for not just having E.S.P. so you would know. They sweetly threaten kicking you out through clenched teeth and a fake smile. Most of them have been around forever and know how to manipulate those above and below them to get what they want. Everyone talks about what good people they are, helping out, volunteering and make the community a better place. More often they are controlling, rude and selfish people underneath.
I wonder if organizations and clubs realize that often these people drive away some of the better members and volunteers. Several have driven me very close to the edge of quitting, walking away, no matter how much good I did as a whole through the organization.
Why are women catty like that? Why can we not just get along? What is it about someone new to the group that shakes our security?