Boy + Girl + Army + e-Harmony = Captain and Mrs. Butters! This is what we're up to. Observations, opinions, events, images, and more.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Election Season Rant

Let me preface this by admitting that it is a complete and total rant. But that’s what personal blogs are for, right? Also, I know that to some extent this post is the pot calling the kettle black, as not every word that comes from my mouth is dripping with perfume and honey. (Far from it.) That said…

One particular aspect of election season disgusts me. Why do we have to validate ourselves by demonizing others? Why do we have to define our own positions by telling others how and why they’re wrong? And why—instead of trying to work together and find common ground—do so many people spew hate and contempt?

I’ve removed several people from my Facebook newfeed because of obnoxious (and frankly offensive) political postings. So many things being shared are hateful, hurtful, bigoted, and devaluing. I don’t care what “side” you’re on (for the record, my personal beliefs don’t align perfectly with either of the major parties), but for heaven’s sake, don’t insult, demean, or belittle those who disagree with you. (Oh—and it might be helpful to fact-check before posting something inflammatory.)

There are multiple solutions to most problems. And if someone sees an issue differently than you do, that doesn’t automatically make them an idiot, stupid, or a sheep. They are not any less worthy as a human being or as an intellectual thinker because they have come to a different conclusion. Honestly, what do you hope to accomplish by throwing those types of accusations around?

Nothing constructive, productive, or helpful can come from this type of hate-filled, narrow-minded speech. All you are doing is making yourself look small-minded and prejudiced. You are attracting others who share your self-righteous worldview while repelling anyone who disagrees. You are making the divide worse and squandering an opportunity for mutually beneficial, constructive dialogue. And at the end of the day, is your quality of life any better after spreading opinions that only serve to tear others down?

…rant finished.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lately I've been feeling tired. Tired of going through the motions of living a "normal" life when the truth is, life is pretty darn far from normal. There are a lot of "big" changes I could get used to--moving to a new place, starting a new job, etc.--but having my husband in a war zone is not one of them. I was warned that I would hit my first major wall around the three-month mark; I guess this is it. I think that three months is daunting because it feels like Spike has been gone for ages. I've had time to develop new routines, take up a new hobby, and resurrect an old one (more on that later), but we're not even close to being done. The majority of the deployment still stretches before us, and we're not even within hailing distance of the halfway point.

Besides the obvious worries that I refuse to dwell on or even type out, I think my biggest fear is what "the new normal" will turn out to be once this period in our lives is over. I can feel myself evolving and changing in ways that Spike isn't a part of. Even though we're very fortunate in that we are able to communicate regularly, Spike isn't participating in the changes I am--he's just hearing about them. I know the same thing is happening with him. It's true what they say: in many ways, we really will be two new people saying "hello" at homecoming, rather than the same two people picking up where they left off.

What I need to remind myself of is that the BIG things are remaining the same. My values, defining personality traits, character, and commitment aren't undergoing any big shifts. It's just that the trimmings are going to look a little different when Spike re-enters daily life in the flesh. I know that the same is true for him. And since those big things are what attracted us to each other in the first place, I know we'll be okay.

So, change of gear: since I put my original deployment project--writing a historical romance novel--aside due to the fact that I write more than enough at work these days, I am pursuing another goal that I've had for years: learning to play the violin. So far I've had three lessons and can produce a few recognizable, if not perfect, songs. Eventually, I want to focus in on bluegrass and Celtic fiddle tunes. Loving it so far! Practicing gives me something to look forward to every evening.

From my first lesson--hadn't yet begun to learn left hand fingerings at that point!

 I have also returned to doing art on a more regular basis. In June I created a pencil portrait of a friend's in-laws for her father-in-law's birthday.

Hadn't quite finished it in this shot, obviously, but it's almost there. 
Now I'm working on a painting of a good friend and her new husband as a wedding gift. I'll try to post a picture of it when I'm done, since it's in a completely different style.

So, I'm keeping busy and endeavoring to have productive things to show for my time.Onward and Upward.