SoCS: wrapping up the week in a few seconds

I am taking a second while it is still Saturday to slip in an under-the-wire SoCS post before I go to bed.

I hope everyone has had a good week. It has been a strange week here in the US with the Republican convention, but I want to assure readers in other countries that the US is not the dangerous place that the speakers at the convention make it out to be. Crime is actually down.

I think we need less fear and suspicion and more love and empathy.

That goes for all nations.

Good night. Wishing you all peace.
JC
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “second.”  Come join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2016/07/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-2316/

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One-Liner Wednesday: peace

“Grandiose people cannot create peace.”
~~~ Richard Rohr

Join us for Linda’s One-Liner Wednesdays! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2016/07/20/one-liner-wednesday-true-story/
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Sanders’ support

I have posted several times about what I, as a supporter of Bernie Sanders, wanted as the formal nomination of Hillary Clinton approached.

Of course, there was a lot of public commentary/handwringing on what it would take for Sanders to put his support behind Clinton.

The Democratic party platform talks unfolded with Sanders’ supporters making the case for a more progressive approach on several major issues.

Amazingly, they prevailed in a number of areas and, last Tuesday, Senator Sanders appeared at a rally with Clinton and  gave his support for her to win the presidency and for the implementation of this more progressive agenda.

Importantly, the Democratic platform addresses many of the problems of lower and middle class folks, while the Republican platform still relies on “trickle-down” policies.

As the Clinton campaign slogan states, we really are “stronger together.”

That togetherness is not meant to be about Democrats, but about those of all political affiliations and those who aren’t voters. It’s meant for all races and all spiritual beliefs. It’s meant for all genders, all ages, all areas of the country.

We need togetherness now more than ever.

living in Zootopia?

Given that the movie Zootopia came out in the spring when we were busy dealing with Grandma’s death, I saw it for the first time recently in our local late-run movie theater.  I found a number of uncomfortable parallels about racism, sexism, prejudice, jumping to often unwarranted conclusions, and fear and fear-mongering.

I feel like I am living in the midst of those things.

After the shootings in Baton Rouge yesterday, the public officials in Louisiana tried to quell rumors and pleaded for calm. President Obama then reiterated his calls for civility and for toning down divisive rhetoric, especially important as we enter two weeks of political conventions.

We need to pull together as community, as a nation, and as citizens of the world.

I am adding my voice to this effort, as I tried to do in this recent post.

I admit to being disheartened by those who are publicly blaming President Obama for the deaths of the police officers, following years of hateful rhetoric that has so many not only questioning our civic institutions’ legitimacy but also falling into violent extremism, hate speech, fear, mistrust, and/or hyper-individualism.

We are better than this.

We have brains that can gather facts and reach reasonable conclusions from them.

We have hearts to love others and to move us to care for them.

We have bodies that enable us to interact with our loved ones and for the common good.

We must not allow ourselves to be bullied, misled, or blinded by hatred or fear.

We need each other.

We are connected to each other.

We must respect each other’s human dignity.

Never forget.

SoCS: If x, then y

If x, then y.

I’ve been telling myself some version of that for years. It usually involves getting through some major project/issue/development – the “if” – so that “then” things will calm down and be organized and predictable and under control.

It almost never works out that way.

I am finally wising up and getting to the point where I don’t promise anyone, even myself, some future goal.

Too much can happen that was unforeseen or that results in a totally different chain of events than anticipated.

The only constant is change and all that…

A lot of things that I might have seen as if/then are morphing into hopes, rather than promises or commitments.

It’s a way to retain some level of sanity/calm/integrity.

People who read my blog know that the past few months have been difficult for me, beginning with the unexpected death of my mother-in-law in March. I had to pull back from a lot of my usual activities, including blogging practice, and I thought I had an idea of when and how I would work my way back to what I had been used to.

Then, a string of other things unfolded and I have had to acknowledge that I really don’t have a clue when I will resume or even if it is possible.

I will just do the best that I can.

My if/thens will be confined to simple straightforward statements, such as “If I schedule this post now, then it will appear on Saturday.”
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is if/then. Come join the fun! Find out how here:   https://lindaghill.com/2016/07/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1616/ 

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Revenge of the Fitbit – part two

Recently, I wrote about having to stop wearing my Fitbit because I broke out in a rash from the band.

I have been wearing my new (hot pink) stretchy wristband for a few days now and just discovered that I can still feel the Fitbit vibrate when I meet my step goal.

…which also means that this is the first time I have met my step goal this week.

So, yay, me! Making progress!

My arm is still healing from the rash. I am such a delicate flower!

SoCS: lack of concentration

Since my mother-in-law died unexpectedly this spring, I have been having a real problem with lack of concentration.

I’m sure it hasn’t been helped by a string of other events that have been demanding time and attention…

I find myself starting something, having something else pop into my head that I need to attend to, hopping over to that – and maybe something else – or two somethings else – before getting back to what I was doing in the first place.

I’m sure it isn’t very efficient…

I realize part of it is the result of my seeming inability to sleep consistently. And the fact that there is just a lot to do on a lot of different fronts.

I think part of it, though, is that it is genuinely harder to concentrate for extended periods of time.

My brain gets tired.

I find myself playing mindless games on the computer while the television is on in the evening. Often, the television isn’t demanding too much concentration in and of itself. I used to use part of evening TV time to visit and comment on other blogs, but I can’t seem to do it anymore.

It takes too much concentration.

Have I mentioned that I’m having a problem with concentration lately?
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “concentration.” Please join us!  Find out how here: https://lindaghill.com/2016/07/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-916/

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waking up to more violence

The level of violence in the United States and in the world was already much too high.

And then, there was this week.

It’s too much to bear.

Yet, we must go on.

But not with violence.

Not with vengeance.

We need to stop to reflect, to examine our problems as a society, to consider how to act with greater justice, mercy, peace, and love, to put the best solutions into practice, to uphold the dignity of each person and protect their safety.

We are all wounded, which makes us vulnerable.

Many want to repay violence with violence, but that is what has gotten us into our current untenable position.

The way of non-violence is not easy, but what has the way of violence gotten us?

I wish there was a way to magically draw us into harmonious communities, but there isn’t.

All I can do is look to my own thoughts and heart and keep them focused on positive change, not violence and vengeance.

And I can beg you to do the same.

a note of thanks

I am somewhat shocked to discover that I have reached 750 followers, including just over 600 from WordPress alone.

I am immensely grateful to all followers, readers, and commenters who are visiting Top of JC’s Mind these days as I continue my less-than-ideal blogging practice.

When Grandma died unexpectedly in March, I knew there would be some disruption in my usual routine of posting and visiting/commenting on other blogs, but I couldn’t know at the time how draining the aftermath of that loss would be or how many other losses, changes, and complications would ensue.

The current state of affairs in the world hasn’t helped.

I have struggled to get back to posting on a somewhat regular basis. I am doing almost no reading and commenting still, which feels odd. It isn’t that I can’t come up with the time; it’s more that I can’t muster the brainpower and concentration.

I thank you for your patience and understanding. I have given up projecting when I may be back to visiting you all and re-engaging.

Some of you have assured me that it is okay to take my time, to do what I need to do, that everything will work out eventually.

Please continue to save a little room for me in a corner of WordPress.

Someday, I’ll be dropping back in.

 

Revenge of the Fitbit

For months, I have been wearing a Fitbit Flex fitness tracker.

I am not obsessed with it.

I do keep track of my step goal, which is modest so as not to be too daunting.

It does point out that my sleep really is a pathetic as it seems.

A few days ago, though, I had to take a break from wearing it. My wrist broke out in a rash from the band and I needed to let it heal.

Fortunately, I was able to find a stretchy cloth bracelet to put my tracker in, which is much more comfortable to wear.

Unfortunately, it is hot pink, which is not a favorite color of mine.

At least, people will be able to see me coming…

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