I watched some of the 2014 Academy Award, but admit I skipped a good portion of it. I like to catch the biggies, like best picture, actor, etc. I wondered if Gravity might capture the coveted Best Picture title, but in the end 12 Years a Slave won the most coveted Oscar.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but plan to. However, I have read the book and I highly recommend it. It offers the real words and thoughts of Solomon Northrup, a black man born free in the North. He marries, has a family, but is torn from that life when he is kidnapped by slave traders, beaten severely for claiming to be free and transported against his will to the South where he is forced to work on a number of plantations plantations.
For the 12 years he’s enslaved, his only bedding is one horse blanket. He’s not allowed to read or write. His memoir was a bestseller during his time in the mid-1800s, but across the years it fell out of the public eye. Now the movie has resurrected the story, and the film has won several awards in the UK as well as the Oscar for best film.
This story is a jewel preserved from the past and now I’ve also found a second titled “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” written by Linda Brent. It was published back in 1861. In this case, it is a story of a girl born and reared in slavery. It was the only life she knew until she was 27.
She wrote the book to help people of the Free States to understand the reality of slavery. It is another eye-opener.
These books offer history in the form of personal voices with stories and insights that won’t make it to the pages of academic books and may not even make into a movie based on the story. The accounts shared cannot leave a person unchanged. Take time to read them.
Photo credits: Wolf Gang
My husband is my best friend. On many days he is the only adult that I get actual face time with. The great thing about marriage and a solid relationship with your partner is being able to talk about just about everything with your husband or wife.
But there are boundaries, things we all know that we shouldn’t say because sometimes things are said in anger, haste or frustration that are not helpful and mostly just hurtful, and as you know, you can’t unsay something. You should always think before speaking, especially in anger.
You may say something that needs to be said but in a different way. I always try to talk about the important issues that need to be discussed when I am not frustrated about it because I know that I have a tendency to go for the verbal jugular.
If I am hurt, I tend to lash out and say things that come out sounding cruel instead of constructive, and this can be damaging to your marriage. Luckily, I have learned to try and think before I speak.
There are a few things that should just never be said, and here are a few.
“Leave me alone. I’m not in the mood!” We’ve all thought it but don’t say it. Think of it this way, how would you feel if he said it to you. You’re allowed to feel that way, and you’re allowed to say no, but why not first give him a kiss or a cuddle then tell him that you just need to decompress so that you can be fully engaged when you are with him. Then when you get your head into it, let him know. He can’t always be the one who initiates.
“Your mom’s a b*tch!” There is usually some sort of tension between mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws but don’t put your husband in the middle. He knows his mom gets on your nerves but what do you expect him to do? Hate his own mother?
If it were your son, would you want him to agree with his wife that he hates you just to satisfy her? NO. Your hatred for his mother is your thing. He knows it. He tries to survive in the in-between. As long as he is not constantly siding with her over you, don’t expect him to throw his momma under the bus.
My husband has learned that his mom gave him life but I gave him children, and on most topics he sides with me if she is making me feel bad in any way. I also try not to put him in that position as often as I did when we were first married.
“Forget it. I’ll do it myself!” I am guilty of this one. I am a control freak and when I want/need something done, I need it done now not whenever you get around to it. So, if he doesn’t get up to do it immediately, I tell him to forget it that I will do it myself.
I know it is ridiculous because it’s irrational, hurtful to him because he feels like I don’t trust him to accomplish things, and demeaning because I am treating him like a child. I am working on it. I’ve learned to praise the things he does well and applaud him for his efforts at trying others. I am learning to appreciate that we are different and one way is not better than the other, just different.
“Please watch the kids.” Okay, firstly, a man is not an imbecile. He understands that children need to be taken care of. I know it’s hard to trust anyone with your baby, but if you can trust anyone, it’s the person who provided the other half of the DNA.
If you are hypercritical of how he does it, he may stop trying and then you will be resentful that he’s not helping. If you want a hands-on-dad, you need to trust him to his own abilities. I promise he will surprise you. If you don’t, you will make him lose his confidence in his ability to care for his own child.
“Is that all you did?” I learned this lesson from having children. Never be condescending when someone is helping you do anything. Be appreciative that they are helping at all. Maybe it’s not perfect, but at least he’s trying and that’s more than most. Maybe you can gently demonstrate how to do it correctly by example rather than chastising his efforts.
Honestly, if you want to be happy for the rest of your life, open and honest communication with your spouse is the only way to go. Passive aggressive hints are for suckers who are headed for divorce. Speak your mind but do it with thought and care.
Photo Source: Samantha Lauren Photographie
I spend a lot more time on social media than I really want to. It’s part of being a writer and blogger, sort of like actresses getting out there and signing autographs except not as cool. Social media allows readers to get to know authors in a more personal way.
So, I set aside time in the early mornings, in the afternoon, and in the evening for socializing. I have over 4,000 “followers” altogether and I find that number unbelievable for two reasons. One – I have driven through towns in Arkansas that are smaller than that and, two – I am not that interesting or cool.
I complain a lot, I post pictures of my shoes and my kids, and I sometimes get pulled in to political or other controversial discussions. I try to stay out of those because I have a temper that doesn’t explode often but when it does, the results are messy.
Writers especially have to be careful of their social media accounts because clients and companies considering advertising with their blog usually will take a look at what their social media history says about them. That can be bad if you are very outspoken.
It would be nice if everyone was hired on merit and not on whether or not they agree with the current president. Sometimes I think it would be good to have a small Facebook account, available to just people who are reasonably like minded, and where I could say whatever I wanted to without worrying about clients.
I’d just keep the public account centered around cute kitties, laughing babies, and links to my awesome work.
It’s actually important for everyone to consider what social media says about them as well as keeping track of what is showing up on Google.
Many businesses in many different categories take a look at what the Internet divulges about you. Spend an hour going over you social media and Google just to make sure that there isn’t anything up there that might hold you back later on — and consider having a separate, hidden account just for your closest friends. Social media mistakes can cost you a great opportunity.
Are you careful about what you say on Facebook?
Today’s link round-up has ab exercises, a St. Patrick’s Day activity, and delicious recipes.
Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for a single serving cinnamon roll.
Blogilates showed us her five best ab moves.
Pint Sized Baker gave us a recipe for Mardi Gras push-pops.
A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make wooden block mosaic wall art.
Cupcakes and Kale Chips shared a recipe for quick and easy chipotle turkey chili.
Organized Island taught us a gratitude activity that revolves around St. Patrick’s Day.
Bex Life gave us some pointers on shopping for organic food on a budget.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess
Did you ever meet another woman that you just automatically disliked and felt competitive with, even though you’d never seen her before? Did you think you were losing your mind?
Actually, you haven’t lost anything. Apparently women give off a scent when they are close to ovulation that stimulates testosterone levels in other women. Testosterone is a hormone that is linked with competition and aggression. So, while nature meant the unnoticeable scent to target and get the testosterone in a man’s engines revving, it also causes other women to become aggressive.
The study is published in Evolution and Human Behavior. Co-authors Jon Maner and James McNulty measured the testosterone levels of women, had them smell tee shirts that had been worn by other women, ages 18-21, that were ovulating. They also were given shirts worn by the same women when they were not fertile.
The women who wore the shirts didn’t have sex while the study was being conducted. They were given unscented soaps and shampoo, did not use deodorant, perfume, or do anything else that might cause an odor that was not natural to them. They weren’t even allowed to eat garlic!
The women who were smelling the shirts were told that the study concerned how much a human can tell about another human without meeting them. They did not know anything else about the study. Women who smelled the shirts worn on high fertility days had higher levels than when the shirts had been worn on low fertility days.
If you’ve ever been in a house with several other women for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced how everyone’s cycles sync up. This seems to be very similar. It may also explain that aggressive behavior your teenage daughter has toward you on occasion.
The next time you meet someone to whom you take an instant dislike, give her a couple weeks and approach her again. See if you like her better!
source: News Discovery
According to Forbes, Generation Y women are inclined to defer the financial decisions to their mate. What was surprising was that they are more likely to let their husband have the reins than Baby Boomers or Gen X ladies.
The numbers are significant. Twenty-five percent of the Baby Boomers (women) say that they are the primary decision makers but only 12 percent of the Generation Y women do. Those numbers extend to retirement planning as well.
The concern is that these women will not have the financial confidence to handle their money if they suddenly find themselves to be single.
That wouldn’t be my only concern. There are some men that just aren’t great with money and I have known more than one woman that had no clue about what the household income was, myself included. At least, myself included the last time I was married. The ex handled the finances completely.
Although I was raised to be financially aware and responsible, I abdicated that little throne because of teaching that I was given at a church that we were involved with. Somehow I was convinced that God did not want me to make decisions about financial things and that my husband, who was not as financially savvy a I was, was the chosen one — the golden boy.
Decades later I learned just how stupid that was.
Now I keep track of what I make. I am married to a man that I trust implicitly but I still like to know what’s going on with our finances and be part of the choices we make. Because of my last marriage, it is very difficult for me to consider the income “ours” rather than “mine” and “yours”.
Do you feel like you are at least an equal part of the financial decisions at your house?
Women have suspected it for a long time — many men are intimidated when women surpass them in their careers and income. In fact, an August study showed that, whether they admit it or not, many men would rather see their ladies fail than succeed. Kate Ratliff, PhD of the University of Florida says:
But this research found evidence that men automatically interpret a partner’s success as their own failure, even when they’re not in direct competition.
It didn’t even have to be a competitive thing. Ratliff says that in a study of 896 people over five experiments, the men interpreted their partner’s success as their own failure even when they were involved in something completely unrelated. Men subconsciously felt worse about themselves when they thought about a time that their wife or girlfriend had thrived in a situation that they failed.
When the men were told that their partners scored in the top or bottom 12 percent of test that did not involve them they did not say that they felt intimidated. However when these men were given tests to measure their unconscious self esteem, the ones that were told their partners scored high had significantly lower esteems. Women, in contrast, felt better about themselves when told their partner did well.
Wow. That certainly puts a lot of things about my past relationship in perspective. I discussed my own tendency to play dumb a few weeks ago, finally coming out and being honest about it after close to four decades of dumbing myself down for my man, now my ex. Interestingly enough, the problems started after I published my first book.
What do you think about this study?
I always sit down in front of this blank page (which won’t be blank when you are reading it, of course), knowing that most of you are much younger than me, and wondering what I can say that is somehow meaningful to you, right now, right where you are.
Sometimes I hope to impart some knowledge that will help you avoid the mistakes I have made, sometimes I hope to make you mile, and always I hope to encourage you to think in a new way about something. There’s always the worry that I will someone run out of things to say and one day I will not be able to write here at all.
I tend to think we have all had the same basic experiences until I watch a movie like The Anchorman. I watched it last night for the first time. I haven’t been interested in seeing it but my husband was working late and I was editing images so I figured I would give it a try. I watched it all the way through and didn’t crack one smile. Not one.
So I posted on Facebook that I had watched it and did not find it funny. Two of my sons and my son-in-law all were amazed that I did not see the humor in it. That bothered me a little because I am a pretty cool mom and I enjoy good humor. In fact, sometimes I enjoy not-so-good humor. I kept picking at it in my brain until I had an answer.
I worked with those guys.
I began working in 1974, the summer I was 14 and I lied about my age to get a job. I went to several interviews and got a quick education in dirty old men. I was leered at, I received inappropriate comments, and one middle aged gentleman even pushed a pen off his desk and ask that I pick it up for him.
By the time I was 16, I had worked a couple of years and had a better job with a bigger company. The manager looked quite a lot like Will Ferrell.
As the office manager, I had to go into his small office to discuss things with him. I didn’t need aerobics or yoga because all of the moves I had to make to avoid being prodded, poked, and squeezed were quite a workout. Sitting somewhere to drink a coke for lunch (remember, in Texas every kind of soft drink is coke) usually meant several stupid pick-up lines delivered with the same lack of panache as the characters in the movie. Pants party?
Yeah it really was a line that a lot of us heard, more than once.
Maybe that’s why I get confused when a woman says she felt discriminated against because she couldn’t get into a men’s club, or feels that she was sexually harassed because some guy told her that she had great legs.
There are laws against sexual harassment now. Granted, they don’t always work and sometimes situations fall through the cracks but for the most part, at least from what I have seen, men are pretty careful about what they do.
That’s a great thing.
Is there still improvement to be made? Certainly. My point is that sometimes we forget to look how far we have come rather than how far we have yet to go. Films like The Anchorman are only funny if you haven’t felt like you had to decide between your job and your modesty.
Leisure suits still make me cringe.
Do you agree?
When you are a writer, you spend a lot of time on social media, or at least I do. Social media allows me to interact personally with my readers, promote my work, and it’s a great place to procrastinate when I have a backlog of articles to write and I feel like a fourth grader at 2:47 in the afternoon on the last day of school.
I’ve met a lot of really great people on social media. Some of them have changed my life, some of them have become close “cyber-friends”, and I have gotten to meet a few of them in person. According to Facebook and Twitter I have at least 3,500 friends. Not too shabby for an introvert, right?
Sometimes I wonder if social media sharing hasn’t brought us too close together. Obviously among those 3, 500 bffs on my social media pages, there are a lot of differing opinions, numerous personalities, and divergent lifestyles. Sometimes it gets to be too much.
You see, in real life we tend to hang out with people very much like ourselves. Church people hang out with other people from their church, conservatives hang out together at the gun range, liberals hangout together at the local indy sushi bar, and suburban neighborhoods usually contain people that are very much alike.
It’s a bit different in the city. Still, in real life you really don’t have that much going on that will rock your boat.
When you get on social media that totally changes. Post a political comment that would be considered quite insightful among your real life community and you will find that the same idea is quite incite-ful on your Facebook wall. It is truly amazing, but you can get over 100 comments in a very short period of time for one tiny political comment or joke. Go ahead, ask me how I know.
To an extent, all of this social media sharing is a good thing. It has made the world a smaller place and helped us interact with other cultures and ideas. When that is balanced, it tends to help use develop empathy and understanding.
I am not sure that the same thing is true when we are talking about interacting with 3,500 different people on a daily basis. There are times when I want to discuss my political views with friends without having other opinions added to the mix. After all, at 53 my opinions and ideology is pretty much cemented in to who I am. Arguing with me about why I believe what I do is pointless.
And that’s the other part of it. In real life, people are more likely to be kind, gentle, and less likely to criticize the things you say. For some reason, maybe it’s the perceived anonymity, people can get pretty nasty on Facebook if they don’t agree with you in some way.
I was catching up on Facebook this morning and it only took about ten minutes for my stress level to skyrocket. People, who would never consider jumping in to my conversation in a coffee shop, have no problem telling me what an idiot, racist, feminist, chauvinist, rebel, bigot, narrow-minded bitch, liberal, etc. that I am when they read my wall.
The smart thing to do would be to blow it off, stay off of Facebook, or unfriend the person, right?
But we don’t.
Rats in crowded places become vicious. Sometimes I wonder if social media hasn’t made our personal lives a little too crowded. Do you agree?