Lately I’ve been reading a lot about gender bias and the treatment of women in general. Maybe it’s because the influencers I follow have been bringing this issue to the forefront or maybe my college minor of Women’s Studies is rearing its head after years of lying dormant. Whatever the reason, it’s an interesting, relevant, shocking and downright disturbing topic that needs attention and change.
Yesterday, I watched John Oliver (who I think I love) highlight a very serious issue – Internet Misogyny- in a way that not only got the point across loud and clear, but entertained as well.
How scary is it that there are very few laws to protect against online harassment and revenge porn? And even scarier to realize that those hired to protect us are not prepared when it comes to what happens on the Internet.
Let’s Talk About Women Gamers
During the video, Oliver briefly mentions the harassment female gamers are subjected to on an ongoing basis. According to Emily Matthew over on the Pricecharting blog, 63% of women polled in 2012 report being harassed while gaming online. I’m sure that number has only increased…
There has been some heated discussions about the lack of ethics in video game journalism, and the role and treatment of women in the male dominated video game industry. Can you imagine being in so much fear that you actually have to leave your home because some anonymous gamer threatens you with bodily harm and death and also publishes your home address for all to see?
Throughout most of the discussions, the focus is on the victim and ‘blaming’ her for just being and living her life. Why should the victim be criticized and pressured to change? Where is the outrage at the behavior of these men? Men who have mothers, sisters, wives, daughters. Yes, of course women need to take basic precautions as a fact of life – we all do. But – being an awful human being is never OK. Lacking integrity and respect for fellow people (male or female) is never OK. Let’s figure out how to address the overall treatment of women as a whole and teach men to stand up for their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters.
We can be the change the in the world –and it starts at home.
Every day I check out Humans of New York and meet the people they are highlighting. Depending on the snapshot and the story they tell, I have felt sad, angry, or mushy inside – sometimes just from a few sentences. On a good day, I’ve feel all three. I think what draws me to HONY regularly is I love “meeting” so many interesting people and learning about all the things that bind us together. Everyone has a story to tell…
There is one that stands out and it was shared again recently because it’s that good…
Here are a couple gems of wisdom from the author Regina Brett:
- “Ask yourself, in five years, will it matter?”
- “Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.”
How many of us wait to use something for a special occasion or delay what we want because we want to make it really special? What I am finding out as I gain more experience and get older, every day is special. We are special and deserve to be around people who love us, make us feel happy and deserve to do things that make our heart sing, or feel fancy and pretty. Why are we taught we must wait?
A writer and friend Lisbeth shared a writing of hers: Don’t Save It for Later that speaks to this idea of not saving things for a special occasion. It reminded me of an Oprah episode years ago with Luther Vandross. Luther was an amazing, talented, flamboyant, bigger than life singer who died way too young. During the show, Oprah was walking through his house and remarked about how all of his every day dishes were very fancy and his regular drinking glasses were crystal. I’m not sure of his exact response, but the gist of it was that every day is special so why not enjoy the nice and pretty things all the time. It’s strange that I still remember that part but none of the rest, but he’s right. None of us is promised tomorrow or a ‘later’, so why are you saving or storing things that bring you happiness and joy?
It’s also food for thought around your career or personal life. Why are you putting up with things or sticking around those that suck the happiness out of you? We all deserve happiness and love. If there are people in your life that are sucking your joy or if your job makes you miserable – it’s time to start the process of change. Many times it’s not easy and the journey may be long and hard, but in the end you can choose to struggle and be unhappy or struggle to reach your happy place. Which one would you choose?
“We read to know we’re not alone.” ― William Nicholson, Shadowlands
This quote, by William Nicholson, in the movie Shadowlands, is one of my all time favorites and I turn to it for perspective often. Shadowlands, a 1993 movie based on the life and love of C.S. Lewis’s life, is a film I have watched dozens of times throughout the years and each time, it hits me deep. When the young man in the film tells CS Lewis why he reads so much –we read to know we’re not alone, it said volumes.
It’s a simple but true thought for just about everyone. The need to know we aren’t alone. There is no discounting the importance and power in knowing that there is someone else out there, in this vast world, who thinks, feels, or has experienced what we are going through. It has the power to offer comfort, give us strength, calm our anxiety, and motivate and inspire us to change. Sometimes, it’s the one thing that pulls us through a rough time.
Sharing our mistakes, flaws, wounds is hard no matter who you are. The bravery required to open up, be honest, and show your vulnerabilities is one of the hardest things for any of us to. Imagine then putting pen to paper and sharing these experiences beyond your closest trusted circle. It’s not a small thing…
The ability to let down our defenses and share what really happens behind the social media filters is important. No one lives a trouble free life. We all have hardships and successes. We all have flaws and things we love about ourselves. Life is about learning to live your best life in the peaks AND in the valleys and inviting people who make you smile, lift you up, and push you to be better along for the ride.
“The Real Face of Depression” to bring awareness to the world that depressed people aren’t just those in the corner crying and pulling their hair out like you see in most depictions, although sometimes we may feel that way. Depressed people are everyday people – they are your co-worker, they are your friend, your neighbor, and in my case, a fitness coach. We look happy on the outside, we have big smiles in our pictures that come up on Facebook, we are the new moms smiling and playing with precious little babies, we are top CrossFit athletes at The Games…”
“The most successful and happiest people I’ve known understand that a good life, at its core, is about being personal. It’s about being engaged. It’s about being there for a friend or a colleague when they’re injured or in an accident,” Biden told the Yale crowd, adding: “It all seems to get down to being personal. That’s the stuff that fosters relationships. It’s the only way to breed trust.”
It’s hard to come back to the ole work life after the long Memorial Day Weekend. It was such a spectacular weekend – getting time to workout, spending time with friends and being outside for much of it. It was one of those weekends that was perfect in it’s simplicity. I spent time with kind, fun people including my own family. I got to appreciate the feeling a great workout gave me, got in some napping and the weather was perfect. Kumbaya!
This summer I am going to start to tackle one of my biggest challenges – decluttering and tidying up my house. I am going to start with my own closet and clothing situation. It’s a trait I come by honestly by way of my Mom and it’s one that drives me crazy. I read this article the other day:
“It’s not just about tidying up to get rid of things,” Ramsey says. “It’s about having gratitude for the objects you choose to be in your life.” So if something (or someone) doesn’t bring you joy, don’t try to justify its place in your world. Just say thank you and move on.
One of the points made is that you should try to get it done in one project. So not by room or bit by bit. You need to sit down and go through all of your clothes at once. I am going to organize my clothes and closet by the end of the summer because it’s starting to drain me of energy. Seeing the big piles of clothes all over my bedroom isn’t healthy and I can’t find any of the pieces that bring me joy and that goes against the principle of having the clothes I do.
Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world… Helen Keller
I’ve been doing some more soul searching the past week –
The past few days have been pretty stressful. Scott’s mom is in the hospital. My dad and step mother got into a car accident this past weekend. Their car is totaled, they are banged up but going to be OK. The thing is, experiencing your parents’ getting older is tough especially when they didn’t take particularly great care of their health in general. It’s another reminder that lifestyle definitely catches up with you as you age. And when you are experiencing it from a distance – it’s hard to really see how bad a situation is. You have to rely on your parents to tell you what’s going on. Reality is different depending on the filters we put on.
In other stressful news, Scott and I are both not feeling well with different maladies. Nothing too serious but enough that we both went to the doctors last week and are on meds. And to top it all off – Scott’s car broke down on Friday evening and a bunch of money $$$ later, the car should be fixed by tomorrow.
All of this has me thinking about what I really want out of life and why am I not feeling as happy as I think I should be?
Career wise: Do I want to continue heading into an office and working for someone else? The culture and company I am looking for based on my experience with my last position is a lot more clear than it has ever been. The issue is, I’m not sure my current situation is meeting the requirements as I had hoped it would. In the past 90 days of me starting, there have been a ton of changes and restructuring. Things I didn’t know about when I accepted the position. The changes aren’t really in line with my background, interests or what I was looking for. It’s disappointing to say the least. I was hoping to be able to grow, learn, be challenged and thrive in this environment. At this point, it’s not really looking like many of those opportunities exist. Never say never, of course, but having learned my lesson at my previous job, I realize that if it doesn’t feel right, I need to explore options.
I am stressed out and feeling a bit lost. Life sure doesn’t stop for you to catch your breath…
- 7 Weird Reasons Your Back Hurts
- TED: Depression: The Secret We Share
- Are Super Athletes the Secret to Health?
- A 2-Minute Walk May Counter the Harms of Sitting
I came across 23 BRILLIANT LIFE LESSONS FROM ANTHONY BOURDAIN and thought so many of them were worthwhile. I especially liked this one…
“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.”
I think this one resonated with me because it’s the advice I would give my younger self. When I was in my twenties, I was so gripped with fear of instability that it caused me to see things in very rigid terms. The person I am today realizes clearly that that fear held me back from so many adventures and experiences. They are the things I look back at and wish I had just jumped into the opportunities that presented themselves during that time. I guess that’s the beauty of hindsight though. I know it’s never too late to jump in and go for it but there are adult life responsibilities that have to be considered that prevent me from just dropping everything and going for it now. What I can do is take chances and travel when opportunities exist and encourage my kiddos to not be controlled by fear as they grow up and taken on the world. They can learn from the lessons I experienced…
This doesn’t just apply to travel either. How many things in our lives do we avoid or quit because we are scared? Scared of what’s on the other side. Afraid of change. Afraid of the unknown. I’m not sure who wrote the following “Reality of Fear”, but it definitely gives you some points to consider as you start to confront fear holding you back…
REALITY OF FEAR:
You’re not scared of the dark;
you’re scared of what’s in it.
You’re not afraid of heights;
you’re afraid of falling.
You’re not afraid of the people around you;
you’re afraid of rejection.
You’re not afraid to love;
you’re just afraid of not being loved back.
You’re not afraid to let go;
you’re just afraid of accept the fact it’s gone.
You’re not afraid to try again;
you’re just afraid of getting hurt for the same reason.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Did you know that about 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffer from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia?
I’m sharing the stories in the links below because they got me thinking about how easy it is to look at someone’s life and assume everything is perfect. With social media, people’s lives look idyllic . All smiles and photo filters. If you took it all at face value, you would think that everyone has it good and living the life. But you know what? The reality is that we all have struggles and our stories. You never do know what is going on behind the filtered pictures on Instagram or the stories shared on Facebook.
Life today is busy. People are more stressed out and pushed and pulled in a bunch of different directions. Our bodies aren’t designed to handle this type of constant stress. Add in that some people have the type of personality that can’t handle things being undone. They can’t live with things being less than perfect. Many people who suffer from depression or anxiety are these type A personalities.
- Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide
Tim Ferris talks about suicide, and why I’m still on this planet.
- Penn Runner’s Depression Masked on Social Media
On Instagram, Madison Holleran’s life looked ideal: athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, bright student, beloved friend. But the photos hid the reality of someone struggling to go on:
Trust your instinct
The point of this post is to remind people out there that not everything is what it seems. No one’s life is perfect. If you feel like something is not right with a family member, friend or acquaintance – ASK. And if they say Nothing – ASK Again and again and again.
Me, a recent University of Arizona grad starting a new job – scared and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.
You, an Arizona native, who had started a few months earlier thanks to your Pops, who left an application on the shop’s chain link fence.
We had both been on our own for many years – navigating our twenties without any sort of plan or guidance.
Ryan introduced us – in the break room. I remember the warmth you gave off when you smiled. I remember feeling attraction, giddiness, and curiosity.
Our first date Feb 4, 1995– Chinese food, then dancing and drinks. We found out about each other. I can’t remember a time after that where I didn’t feel special around you.
You ‘got’ me. I ‘got’ you. Our life began to flow.
We moved to VA. Got married in Vegas. Bought the house. Adopted Scully, the dog.
Three years into our marriage, we found out we were having a baby. Neither of us had been around babies growing up. Shocked by the news, we had no idea what to expect. Our family and friends were supportive and excited for us. It was such a fun and happy time.
Hannah Bea came into this world right on her due date. Our lives would never be the same. We became parents. Two years and one month later, Nathaniel Ryan was born. A girl, a boy; our family was complete.
We became increasingly busy and had more demands put on us. Family, work, and life responsibilities constantly colliding – we began to lose track of time and failed to appreciate how preciously short life can be.
We got a big wake-up call, didn’t we? Cancer reared its ugly head. We quickly shifted the gears of life and put all of our power and energy into getting you well. As with most challenges you have faced, you stepped up with determination, humor and quiet strength. It wasn’t easy, but you did it. Cancer Free.
Our life began to flow again. A bit different than before the big ‘C’, of course, but strong and steady all the same. We moved forward with the gift of perspective.
Today, far from perfect, we are happy. We have a sincere affection for each other, rooted in love, laughter and security. There is no one else in this world I trust more or who makes me feel more at home than you.
Twenty years ago today, a wonderful adventure began…
Today marks my third week at my new gig and although I am still very green with knowledge, I’m feeling at home. There is a ton of work to be done and I have the opportunity to make a real difference to the company. I was thinking this weekend, that I feel better. I’m starting to re-engage with some things that were losing my interest which to me is a sign of things getting set straight in my life.
Now for the brutal honesty – my focus on eating has gone way off the deep end. I can’t really even say I am following paleo at this point. I’m kinda all over the place. I know what I need to do but finding the drive to do it has been tough the past few months. I’m not going to lie either – it has affected my waist line too. I will need to really stop and listen to figure out what’s really going on with me. Why am I ignoring what I know I need to do? It’s not that the food is so delicious that I can’t control myself –it’s not about the food.
- Saturday: CrossFIt
- Sunday: Boxing
One more thought to share from the Golden Globes – Maggie Gyllenhaal talked about complicated women and how we are all complicated when it comes down to it. I love that way of putting it – complicated does not have to be negative. I am proud to be complicated – to me it means being interesting, smart, engaging, emotional, passionate, funny, compassionate, and strong. And I would rather be that any day of the week than easy. And Hats off to men who love complicated women!
“When I look around the room at the women who are in here and I think about the performances that I’ve watched this year, what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not,” she said in her acceptance speech. “Sometimes sexy, sometimes not. Sometimes honorable, sometimes not. And what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film.”
Today was my last day at XO. While my stay there was short, six months, I learned a lot and met some smart, sharp people. With that said -the role I had wasn’t a good fit for me. It was fine — but not challenging or engaging for me and I just don’t want to accept mediocre anymore. It’s time for me to jump into something new, challenging and fun. I have a few days off before I start on Monday. Here’s to new adventures – fear ain’t got nothing on me.
My sisters shared with me that each year they decide upon a mantra to carry them throughout the year. To motivate, guide and inspire them. A mantra differs from a resolution in that it’s word or short phrase that is repeated mentally, often used to aid in meditation. It can help set your intentions and re-focus so that you develop the habits and become the You you envision. Maybe you want to uncuff yourself from fear or be kinder. Whatever it is – choose it and refer to it often to help reset your thoughts.