Bitter makes me think of unsweet, unripened fruit, maybe lemons or limes, certain roasts of coffee, and people full of regret and resentment. I can sweeten the fruit and the coffee, but a bitter person is a whole other thing.
I think of my parents, especially my father. He has been a reliable father, a dog-lover, and a wonderful friend to many… just don’t ask him about my mother, don’t bring up sports he doesn’t like, or politics he doesn’t agree with. If he were a cup of coffee, he would have an aftertaste, even with a health dose of cream and coconut sugar. On the wrong day, you might switch to another coffee blend, or just drink tea.
Bitter also makes me think of bad choices, like fruit picked at the wrong time or eaten out of season. Have you ever had a good winter peach, or enjoyed a strawberry that is pale rather dark red and sweet? Not my preference, for sure.
Letting go, or taking time to chill out can keep you from becoming bitter, like candy without the sweetness. I am trying to remember this, as I slowly begin to feel overworked and exhausted. I try to seek laughter and sunshine, rather than darkness, anxiety, and the impulse to recoil. I don’t want to be bitter before my time.
I deal with people’s problems in my job everyday. I work with multiple people having personal problems currently, and then there is my life. Although Boyfriend and I get along great, each of us has our own stresses. This sometimes piles up on me, making me feel like the shaken-up soda bottle that overflows when you open it.
I have a pretty easy to get along with group of co-workers, just leave controversial issues (especially immigration and related issues) out of the conversation and there will be no problems. However, others do not get along quite the same as I do, which leads to some tense, heated moments.
This happened earlier today. I joked with one of the co-workers a little and she gave it right back, but it opened the door for other’s to make comments and be critical about her part in a group project. This put my friend in an awkward position, causing her to stand up for herself and then snap with the other two women kept pushing her. They didn’t care, but my friend, who has been managing a lot in her life, became tearful. It broke my heart. I left the office to handle business and later ironed things out, but it sadly showed who the other tow people really are. They are interested in getting their way, looking high and mighty, and enjoy putting someone else in their place, even to the point of embarrassment. After working in my job for over a year, people have started to real show themselves, though not for the better.
I am struggling with family issues, as always, and issues related to my brother’s upcoming wedding. I am happy for him and glad for his happiness, nothing changes that. People live their lives as they see fit, and I understand that. I need to let go of things over which I have no control, and not hold on to bad feelings. I just want to say that most parents do have a favorite child, whether they admit it or not. Despite all of the “I’m so proud of you’s” that I now hear or the “you’re so strong and independent” comments, I am not the favorite but I make a hell of a shoulder to cry on. As I tell my clients, “You only have control over yourself and your actions,” and I need to take my own advice.
I need to keep my friends close, and my eyes on everyone else. I need to breathe, and then let it go…. Easier said than done.
September 11, 2001 is a day I will never forget. I wrote about it last year, which you can read here, but I wanted to post something new.
I think about September 11 today as I do every year since, with sadness, but this year I thought about one of my brother’s best friends. His friend gets married in November, and his father will not be there to witness this son’s wedding. This lost has profoundly affected my brother’s friend and his family, which I know does not make him unique, but it touches me because my brother’s friend is more like the brother he never had. If his father had not died, this young man may not have attended law school and met my brother, but… I feel for this young man and the pain he feels without his father, with whom he was very close.
I am also thinking about all the controversy about protesting the American flag and the National Anthem. I am very much an advocate of the First Amendment, and I appreciate the fact that protesting is a part of this freedom. I have the right to also speak my peace, and I vehemently disagree with protesting the National Anthem and the American Flag, especially on a day like September 11th. Regardless of your thoughts about race., religion, whether the government has told us the full story of what has happened, today is a day that has greatly affect most Americans and how we live our lives. It is a day that many brave men and women stepped up to serve and protect those in need and made the ultimate sacrifice to their city and to their country. They did that without hesitation or thought, they did what they did best – spring into action to save lives. Thank you, NYPD, FDNY, and others in public service for your bravery and sacrifice that day and always.
If you want to protest, please do that on another day. Today, please just remember the men and women who died and pray for the families they left behind.
One year ago, Boyfriend and I were hanging out with my mother and my aunt. They came to visit us in Central Texas over a four-day weekend. There were a few interesting moments, but there were also great opportunities to talk with them and to share our corner of the world with them. I had not spent an extensive amount of time with my aunt in a very long time, perhaps since I spent overnights as an adolescent, and I had not seen my mother since I moved from the Chicago area two years prior.
Wow, time does go by. There were moments I could have handled differently, which I learned from, and I hope for another chance for my mom and aunt to visit. I actually hope that my father and my brother and his fiancée all visit because I not only want to show them the beautiful landscape and the places we like in Central Texas, but also because a phone call only does so much. We are all very different people with different interests, ideas, and viewpoints, and it can be hard to really relate in a meaningful way on the phone.
I feel lucky that I was able to visit my brother and his fiancée’ this past November. I got to see their new apartment and neighborhood, as well as experience a little of their daily existence in NYC. I visited my parents while I was in Chicago last summer, and I think we need a change of venue. I know that life can be busy, and travelling can be challenging… I think its time for another family visit in Texas!
There are divides everywhere, from the boundaries of your home or apartment, to the lines dividing the roads, the oceans, rivers, and streams that divide land and continents, to the languages, cultures, religions, and other ideaologies that divide people in their minds and hearts. In the U.S., many say that we are a nation divided.
Families can be divided, by divorce, opinions, age, and location. My family is divided in many ways, which is why I can relate. I am divided from my family by opinions and knowledge. They don’t agree with me at all politically or in regard to other topics, and even my parents and brother differ. As I have written, I am aware of some of the truths behind what is really going on in the world, which has changed my view on things. I like to learn and know the truth, I like to read and research and, while I once cringed and shied away from my newfound knowledge, it has become a hobby and a passion despite the difficulty that comes with it. It is hard to digest the truth behind history and current events and to realize that the powers that be don’t have our best interests at heart, and my family would rather not know, or think my ideas are crazy. My mother listens and sometimes enjoys a polite exchange of ideas, but often has trouble wrapping her mind around somethings. It sometimes feels like I am being humored. The funny thing is that my parents are very divided as well, and I have to stay out of their arguments/conversations so I don’t add to or become involved in their divide, even after over forty years of marriage.
This causes a divide because my family and I avoid certain topics, and I am reluctant to share things that I have learned that I find interesting. I also feel the divide with many people I encounter, whether at work or in casual settings, because you are on a side and they are on a side… there is no consideration for the other person making sense and providing you an opportunity to grow, even if you don’t agree with them. Boyfriend and I were pleasantly surprised recently when we were eating at one of our frequent breakfast spots and we struck up a conversation with another customer at the breakfast bar. It was wonderful to meet someone who could share his ideas and teach us something while relating to our thoughts and ideas.
There is a constant divide due to the idea that “if you’re not with us, you’re against us,” even if someone has feelings about laws that are not being enforced or they have an opinion based on a religious belief. The person who is deemed wrong is just not entitled to their opinion. Laws, local, statewide, nationally and those in the U.S. Constitution exist for a reason – to provide order to society. Every society has laws. Ultimately, though I am not in favor of overregulation, micromanaging, censorship, and constant punitive action.
I believe that freedom, acknowledgement of natural rights, and a policy of live and let live allows for less of a divide. We are members of the human race, with thoughts, feelings, needs and wants. I am a member of my family, whom I love as much as a disagree with them, and we are all members of a larger family. We need to stop being so offended and starting listening to each other.