I became an organ donor a few weeks after my 18th birthday when I went to the DMV and got my first date ID. Even before that at around the age of 12 I informed my parents that if I were to die unexpectedly while still a minor I wanted them to donate my organs so that some other child might get the chance to live longer even as my life was cut short. I believe that things like organ donation and giving blood are important. There are 6 billion people on the planet give or take and I believe we have a responsibility to each other because no matter our social and cultural differences we all have one thing in common: we are all human. In my childhood and adolescence I spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals for surgeries and other medical procedures. I have looked my own mortality in the face several times in the course of my life and is an awesome and terrifying experience. I have been on the receiving end of transfusions and watched people die from leukemia. I didn’t understand that bone marrow transplants reduced used to treat leukemia at the time my friend had it. If I had I would have gladly been tested to see if a graft from me might have helped him. In this modern world fear is ever the enemy. Fear of sickness, fear of pain, fear of dying. There should not keep us from being the best versions of ourselves that we can be. I have a challenge for anybody here thinks that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than an over commercialized paltry excuse for a holiday. This Valentine’s Day get directions to your local branch of the Red Cross, give blood. It can and does save lives I am proof of that. Go to the DMV, check the organ donor box I guarantee you the fact that you exist now won’t matter to someone. (It is worth noting that you can list organs that you don’t want used if you know that some are damaged.) Giving of oneself is a kind of love and it is a love that you do not need a significant other to experience.
I used to think that my life, my presence in this universe was pretty pointless. The day I gave blood even though I threw up all over one of the nurses in the process, I felt like a superhero. As I left the DMV with my newly laminated ID with a little check mark on the back I felt heroic. Just your average, ordinary, everyday superhero and I bet if you look hard enough you’ll find you have one too.
It is February again and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. While I am not single anymore that has not always been the case and I admit to feeling exceptionally awkward about my single state the closer it got to the holiday. I do not believe that Valentine’s Day is a holiday simply made up by the greeting card and candy companies in order to sell more product but I do blame the current commercialism surrounding Valentine’s Day for a large part of my feelings of inadequacy during the month of February. Valentine’s Day is a day which celebrates romantic attachments. That’s great. The problem I have with the way a lot of people are encouraged to view the holiday is that it seems to paint being single in a negative light, as though not having a significant other makes a single person somehow less than or inferior to people involved in romantic relationships.
Some single people can ignore society’s pressure better than others, my sister has always been better at it then me. For several years she stayed single of her own volition. When Valentine’s Day came around and I would get blue she was the one who most often reminded me that being single was not necessarily a bad thing and that it did not make me any less of a person. She even brought me chocolates a few times. In today’s world there is a lot of fear, fear of threats both real and imagined. I believe the only way to effectively fight fear is with love. Not necessarily romantic love but the laws that resides in compassion and empathy. No matter where we originally come from we are all human we all bleed the same color. I believe we all would be better off if Valentine’s Day became a day to celebrate not just romantic love, but also love of self and community. I believe that if we teach the next generation that they will be well served. It has been said that before you can love someone else you must love yourself first. I also believe that person gives of themselves freely to others is more likely to attract romantic interest based on the principle of “what goes around comes around.” This Valentine’s Day why not try doing some random acts of kindness? I guarantee you will feel good about yourself and who knows what might happen?
Well you know what they say about good intentions. They also say better late than never so I’m going to go with that one. In my defense, if I only need one, we have been preparing to drive Little Man in the local Christmas parade. The idea is more than a little intimidating because I’ve never done it before but it should be fun. We plan on taking pictures which I will of course post here in case anybody wants to see them. Just for clarifications sake Little Man is a horse and if you look at my “Important Things” page there is a picture.
Well I meant to post this on the first of the month but apparently my internal editor had other ideas. It is very rare when I can write anything that doesn’t go through at least two minor edits even blog posts.
It’s February. I have had a love/hate relationship with this month in the past, and not just because I still have to use spell check to make sure I spell it correctly. I am not one of those people who is ever completely comfortable being single,I applaud people who are but that isn’t me. I tend to approach most relationships I get into as though it might be the last one…the one that sees me buried six feet under or scattered to the four corners or however I decide to eventually leave this earth. Call me a hopeless romantic if you want, I don’t really care. Some people believe Valentine’s Day was created as a purely commercial idea, I disagree.
When I was little my dad used to buy a single rose for my mom, my sister, and I on or close to Valentine’s Day. The roses were two dollars a piece and came from the local convenience store but the cost wasn’t the important part.
The important part to us girls at the time was that they were real, they made our room smell pretty for almost two weeks, and that pair of roses made us feel like the princesses daddy told us we were.
As I got older something else about our roses became important. For me Valentine’s Day was more of a family holiday. Yes, if there was money mom and dad went out on their own but we never felt left out. I think that if more people viewed the holiday as a day to show all the people closest to them how important they are, there just might be a few less single people with chips on their shoulders.
Rose colored glasses or not I think we would all be better off if more people used the day to validate each other regardless of relationship status.
Anybody who knows me very well will probably tell you that Criminal Minds is one of my favorite television shows. The more I think about it I realized that it could very easily be obvious to strangers considering that I named my golden retriever after one of the main characters. I’m currently engaging in a game of catch-up to the current season and the above quote was used as the closing line in an episode. We are all faced with personal monsters and ghosts every single day. The skeletons in our closets which we try valiantly to bury in the darkest recesses of our brains jump out with macabre parodies of happiness when we least expect them. Perhaps this is the real reason so many people celebrate versions of Halloween. If we can make fun of something then perhaps it is not as bad as we originally thought. Perhaps if we laugh and smile at those things which we are afraid of maybe we can make ourselves believe that the abyss into which we find ourselves staring won’t link back, that may be the greatest fairy tale of them all.
So it’s Christmas or at least it will be soon. I’ve been more than a little blue about the prospect I’ll admit. Then I had an epiphany. Many of the Christmas traditions that we are familiar with have roots in the pagan celebration of Midwinter Solstice. The burning of a Yule log is a good example of a “borrowed” tradition. In British/ Celtic pagan tradition Midwinter involved a large bonfire being lit, among other things. December 25th is largely considered the longest night of the year although the longest night this year is the 21st. Anyway, that bonfire I mentioned was meant to remind people that even at the darkest, coldest times of year Spring was still coming. All the days after that get progressively longer and brighter. So if like me you have been ambivalent about the upcoming holiday because the less than stellar economy has taken a large toll on your ability to feel festive, chin up, it will get better soon. That’s what the New Year is for, a fresh start. So I suggest putting on a warm coat and getting a cup of your favorite hot drink and brainstorming ideas about how to make the next year awesome. I bet you can lay some of the groundwork for your project now. If you can it will make you feel even better and help chase away the feeling that you’re doing nothing except a lot of waiting.
In case anybody wonders the post title came from track 105 on my Project Playlist account,the Glee cast version of Bust A Move.