Encore, Encore!

Let’s talk about something non-work related …

I bought a new car! It’s a 2017 Buick Encore in a pretty blue color.

me-car2

I never pictured myself with a blue car but when I saw this one, it just spoke to me.

Side note: Who thinks this looks like a skate? Or a blue potato on wheels?

Yes. We traded my Pontiac Vibe in. We really had no intention of going that route. This happens to us every time we start talking about making any sorts of big changes … it just sort of happens and when it happens, it happens QUICKLY.

My Vibe was 10 years old with only 68,000 miles on it. I’ll let that sink in a moment. That’s only about 7,000 miles per year! That’s what happens when you live 2 miles from work. And I work so much, I never go anywhere BUT work so … yeah, it was CLEAN.

My Vibe was not acting up or giving us any problems. It’s been a very good car. It’s just been ten years and we thought we should probably trade it in before it lost any more in value. Though honestly, I would have been fine driving it another five/ten years – it was a good car!!

So. We started looking. I always tell Kevin, let’s not look unless we’re serious because then we get excited and before you know it, we have a new car.

Kevin found the Hybrid CMAX. We had been talking about buying a Hybrid but the last time I drove a Hybrid was ten years ago when we were looking for a car. And back then, they were just WEIRD. I test drove a Hybrid Ford Escape and I could never tell if the thing was still running or not; it freaked me out. So we scratched that idea then ran across the Vibe. I knew, immediately, I loved the Vibe. It just felt right. And then good old Uncle Sam had to stick his big nose into things and Pontiac went out of business.

I was truly sad. I loved Pontiac cars and I would have totally bought a new Vibe, if they were available.

But since that wasn’t an option, we thought the CMAX looked nice. We went to Ford and test drove it. It’s a super nice car. And the Hybrid feature has improved so I didn’t feel quite as freaked out by the lack of motor noise/feel. The dashboard was HUGE. I guess that’s where they had to make room for the battery. It’s very high tech. The CMAX we drove already had 25,000 highway miles on it and it was a 2016. But considering I really don’t drive that much, the 25,000 miles didn’t really bother us that much. But we wanted to keep looking so we continued looking online. We came across the Encore and made an appointment to test drive it.

I loved the Encore right off the bat. It has a fancy-smancy touch screen that syncs to your phone and it comes with Sirius XM radio and Onstar / WiFi hotspot options.

It’s so cool, because if someone texts me while I’m driving, then that person gets an auto reply along the lines of, “I’m sorry, but I’m driving right now, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.” In fact, my doctor text me the other morning and got that auto reply. I told him when I saw him at work, “I see my car has been talking to you.” HA!

However, it’s also distracting and you have to train yourself not to stare at the screen whilst your driving. However, if someone calls me, then I can just press a button with my thumb on the steering wheel and answer the phone without taking my eyes off the road. Which is pretty cool!

So. We both love the car and go into the dealership to talk numbers. Since we saw the car online, they had a $5,000 off the sales price promotion. So now we needed to find out what they would give us for our car. We actually happened to buy my Vibe from this same dealership so we were hoping for a good deal. They came back with a dollar amount. I wasn’t surprised but Kevin pushed a little more and they gave us a little more. Looking back, we should have just kept the car and sold it, we would have gotten more money for it, but ultimately, neither one of us wanted to mess with putting in an ad, having people look at it, securing payment, etc., so we agreed. With the $5,000 off and our trade-in, we ended up paying a lot less for the Encore than we did for the Vibe ten years ago so we were happy with the price.

They had us approved and out the door before we even knew what was happening. It was easy, WAY TOO EASY. In fact, they sold us the car and took possession of my Vibe all without the title. Kevin went to the safe deposit box the next day and got the title. I thought that was awful trusting of them to do the transaction without the title in hand, but I guess since we were repeat customers they felt like they could trust us. That and our credit score was crazy good. 🙂

I’m loving this car so far. It has a few things that I’m not crazy about, it sort of hesitates whenever I take my foot off the brake and before I accelerate. The brakes are also super sensitive. And it’s not as big as the Vibe was as far as the storage compartment. Oh, and it doesn’t get as good of gas mileage as my Vibe did, but overall, I’m happy with it. Kevin and I are talking about driving down to Padre Island sometime in September for our vacation this year. We’ll see. We are foregoing the cruise this year – we are saving our frequent flyer miles to cash in next year for our two week Mediterranean cruise.

It doesn’t have a key. It’s just a push button ignition. At first, this bothered me but I’m quickly getting used to it. I don’t have to dig my keys out of my purse whenever I approach the vehicle. As long as the key fob is a certain distance from the car, all you have to do is grab the door handle, push this button and it automatically unlocks. When you start it, you just put your foot on the brake and push the button. You push it again to turn it off.

I hope this car is just as good as the Vibe was because I’ll be driving it for at least ten years. Who knows what cars will be like then!

Gone at Last

Where to start …

Work has consumed me. There have been so many changes this past year – it has at once flown by and yet it feels like time has stood still. And by that I mean, it’s the same day-in-and-day-out. The type of work I do is very repetitive, rooming patients, taking blood pressures, interviewing patients, scheduling appointments … but the patients and their individual problems, needs and personalities, mix everything up so I’m NEVER bored.

I now consider working my hobby. Does that sound weird? Nearly every waking moment I’m either thinking about work or preparing for work. Not the work itself, really, but I feel like I’ve spent so much time physically and mentally preparing for every work day that I’m determined to make it pay off. In fact, I put so much time and energy into my work day, giving 150% of ME into my job that I’m entirely knackered by the weekend and all I want to do is mindlessly watch YouTube videos or play Sims 4 – anything that doesn’t require any mental energy.

I’m not sure it’s entirely healthy to be that invested in my job, but I feel like it keeps me young, it also helps that I work with 20-somethings, as well. I’m always on my feet running around and really don’t sit that often and it certainly taxes my pea brain. Our brains are muscles and need to be stimulated – I feel like this job will keep me on my toes enough that hopefully I never have to worry about Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Yes. I think about those things. Getting older REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bothers me. I think my biggest fear, and I hesitate to even write it because if I write it then will it come true? Is becoming old. Like so old I can’t control my body or my mind. So old that I become a burden on our sons. Or so old that I’m no longer able to live on my own without assistance.

I’m very determined to not allow that to happen.

My dad’s dad passed away a few months ago. He lived on his own until about two-ish years ago when he was finally unable to get around without assistance and he went into a nursing home for veterans. I never visited him at his home. In fact, I hadn’t seen my grandpa in many (decade?) years. I have no excuses – I simply didn’t take the time out of my day to see him. I’m very selfish with my time. This is not a good thing and I feel like a bad person for admitting it but it’s true. I have many, many regrets when it comes to my family and to this day, I can’t really explain why I’ve been the way I’ve been – a recluse. Which is puzzling to me because I’m a realist and brutally honest with my feelings and openly recognize my flaws. Though I suspect the reason is there, bubbling under the surface, I’m just refusing to acknowledge it, either here or to anyone, really.

I admired my grandpa. He was a very stubborn man. He hobbled around on a bad hip for a number of years, by himself, with very little complaint. He fought living on his own and continued onward after my grandma passed away. And I know her passing was a terrible hardship on him – he worshiped her. I like to think I have my grandpa’s stubborn streak. I REFUSE to allow my aging to get in the way I live my life or how my family lives their lives.

I hadn’t really planned on talking about the aging process in this post but I’m allowing my thoughts and feelings to dictate this post so here goes: getting older absolutely terrifies me. I already feel like my body is not really my own anymore. I used to be able to control it and of course, I continue to control it today, but there has been a noticeable shift. Ever since I went through “the change” my body has been thrown off kilter. I’ve noticed more aches and pains since menopause. I tire so much more easily and I’ve been playing around with supplements because I know my body is not producing the nutrients I need anymore. I’ve seen, firsthand, what osteoporosis does to bones and what terrible things it can do to people – it can back people into an impossible corner – bones so brittle they literally crack and are so thin that surgery is not an option because it’s counterproductive to put any sort of hardware in bones that won’t sustain it. So I’ve been taking calcium and Vitamin D religiously.

I’ve been taking Flaxseed daily because I read somewhere that it mimics estrogen and it’s good for your heart and I honestly feel better when I take it – I can definitely tell when I forget to take it for a few days. I’m not anemic anymore since I no longer bleed every month but there are days I can’t even lift my arms I’m so fatigued, so I know it’s time to take some iron and I feel better. My nerve endings are so sensitive sometimes that I know it’s time to take Vitamin B, which calms them down. Your body talks to you, you just have to take the time to listen to it.

I’ve been under so much stress at work – I’ve never been under this much stress in my life. It sucks the very life out of me at times – and yet, I THRIVE on it. I can’t imagine being a doctor, or even a nurse, to be honest – I just don’t think I could handle the stress though now I fully appreciate why doctors are fanatics when it comes to exercising – because it helps counteract the amount of stress their bodies sustain.

Sidenote: I’m back to using my treadmill – even walking 30 to 45 minutes several times a week HELPS SOOOOO MUCH.

I’m a Medical Assistant. And the job itself is not really all that stressful, but, when you work with someone who doesn’t do her job, it becomes extremely stressful. Because I’m a perfectionist, you see. I am not wired to do a half-ass job. I want people to rely on me and know that if I’m doing a job, you can bet I’m doing it to the best of my ability. I want people to know they can count on me – that I’m loyal, dependable, helpful, fun, and good at my job. The doctor and PA I work for are amazing. They are truly amazing people and they inspire me daily. Our team, as a whole, is organized, efficient and patients seem to like us, at least, according to the scores we get. (Yes. The government scores doctors and their pay is directly proportional to how good their scores are – Medicare/Medicaid patients that is. On the surface, that sounds great. But when the government starts telling the doctors how they can/can not practice, then it’s not that great anymore and ultimately, the very patients they are trying to protect suffer. But that sums up government, doesn’t it. ). But when you work with someone who is clearly lacking work ethic, the whole team becomes stressed and strained.

So, I’ve been doing two jobs, off and on, (mostly on), for two years. TWO. YEARS. Working late became routine for me. It was unusual for me to arrive home before 7:00 PM most nights. I had a new normal, unfortunately. No. I didn’t HAVE to work that late most nights but if I didn’t, then I would begin the next day even further behind because then I would have to finish up the previous day’s work before starting the current day’s work. And because I was fighting an uphill battle, our phone calls were out-of-control. We were getting, AVERAGE, 30 to 40 calls PER DAY. And that stressed me out even more.

Yes. I complained. Yes. We had numerous “team” meetings, though the team meetings basically consisted of one person being told she needed to do better. And it would get better, for a time, before this person slipped back into her lackluster work ethic and ended up spending more time eating and shopping than she did actually working. I tried to be understanding and helpful at first. And I kept my thoughts mostly to myself. But after a while, it became clear that I was being taken advantage of and I ended up in the ER, twice, due to chest pains. (And after a stress test and a wearing a holster monitor for three days it was determined it was likely a panic attack).

And then I became angry. I can’t believe I allowed an annoying, less-than-intelligent female to cause me so much grief. The stubborn streak I inherited from my grandpa kicked in. In my mind, allowing one person to affect me so much was allowing this person to have some power over me and I simply will not allow that to happen. EVER. So, I was on a mission to make some changes. I was no longer going to cover for this person. Every mistake she made, every time she procrastinated on something, I went to management about it. I took screen shots, I kept running tallies of things she put off for days, and shouldn’t have. Times were ugly because this person would get called into offices and lectured and still, STILL, she continued to laugh it off and/or have a ready-made excuse as to why things weren’t being done and/or why she was rude to patients.

There were areas I kept my hands completely out of in order to give herself more rope with which to hang herself. I was done stepping in and saving the day. And yes, it bothered me GREATLY and it was really hard not to take control and make things better and yes, it truly bothered me that patients had to suffer as a consequence, but if I wanted things to change, I had to allow these things to happen. I was confident that her piss-poor work habits would eventually catch up to her, and they did. Unfortunately, I can’t go into details as to what exactly happened, but suffice it to say, it was very bad and potentially dangerous. She finally got written up. But again, things did not improve. I think this girl had been so used to being compared to an “I Love Lucy” character and laughing her mistakes/antics off, that she truly thought it would save her – that people would just shrug and say, “Well, that’s _______ for you.”

No. Just no. That is not acceptable, especially when we have patients who are counting on us and trusting us to take care of them.

Finally. Finally. The doctor had had enough. He was having to step in and smooth the waters one too many times. He spoke to management. And the next thing I knew, she was being told she wasn’t a good fit and to find a new position elsewhere.

I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was relieved. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. On the other hand, I had such guilt. For though I wasn’t the one who was making the mistakes and had a piss-poor attitude, I felt responsible because I went out of my way to make sure the proper people knew about her screw ups.

She continued to work for our clinic for four weeks after she was told to find something else. Since she wasn’t technically “fired” and didn’t have any vacation time she could cash in and use, she stuck around for four weeks while she interviewed for a new position. She was present when we started interviewing a replacement nurse. She was present when our entire team went into another room to discuss the applicants’ pros and cons. She was present when these applicants were shown around our clinic, given the “tour”, if you will. To say this was an awkward four weeks would be putting it mildly. And since I was the one who had to see her every day and continue to work with her, it was hardest on me.

Which stressed me out even further.

I started having chest pains again though I told no one. I didn’t go to the ER because I knew what was happening – I was having panic attacks. I finally bit the bullet and looked up my chart and read the holster monitor report back when I wore it when I went to the ER two years ago. (I don’t have a PCP so the ER doctor didn’t have anyone to forward the results to so I never got the results). I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t damaging an already weakened heart by NOT seeing a doctor. Everything was normal. Yes. My heart pauses at times, (skips a beat), and paused a total of 34 times in one hour at one point but apparently, it was still within the normal range so there was no cause for alarm. (Which seems weird that your heart pausing 34 times in one hour is still considered “normal??”) But the doctor recommended either magnesium and/or beta blockers for my chest pain so I thought I would throw in my magnesium with my other supplements and see how that worked. It worked, for the record. I haven’t had chest pain since starting magnesium.

This all happened in January of this year.

I was never so glad to see a month end in all my life.

This nurse and I are not friends – all ties have been severed which doesn’t bother me in the least. Not even a little. Yes. I’m a cold-hearted bitch. Tell me something I don’t know.

Look. Whenever a company is lucky enough to have me as an employee (*snicker*), I will give my employer 150%. The company is investing time and money in me, I’m going to deliver. I’m not working to become BFF’s or talk, endlessly, about my personal life with someone. Sure. If we get our work done and we have some laughs along the way, then BONUS. But to show up to work and expect to do little to nothing and be handed a paycheck? No. That’s not the way it works, or should work. As long as you do your job, then I don’t have a problem with you. It’s when you don’t do your job, that’s when the gloves come off and I get aggressive.

Our new nurse didn’t start until the beginning of March, this month. I can’t even begin to describe the night and day difference between these two women. This new nurse is enthusiastic and eager to do a good job. She cares about people and wants to help them. She’s happy to be a nurse and there is genuine joy in her. It’s such a breath of fresh air. We had a heart-to-heart the other day when our doctor/PA left for the day. She asked what she was getting into the middle of, that she had heard some things. I was completely honest with her. I told her what I just told you – do your job and we won’t have a problem. She said her interview was all about me, about how much they expected her to help me and to keep on top of my duties, to call patients back in a timely manner and to be proactive and keep on top of surgical requirements. I felt embarrassed when she told me that, I also felt honored and humbled. It’s nice to know the doctor/PA recognized the hell I’ve been living for the past two years and were trying to do everything they could to make my life easier. After it was announced the other nurse would be expected to find another position, my doctor and I had a sit down chat. He made me feel good in that he had no intentions of losing me. It made me feel appreciated.

I’ve been off the past few days, it will be interesting to see how she has done without me. Which is not to say she can’t do her job without me – any MA would be able to easily step in and do my job, but I got the feeling I was her anchor since she hasn’t really had a chance to hang out with the other nurses yet and learn the ropes. I feel sort of protective of her. She’s young though has been a nurse for a while and I guess it’s the mothering instinct in me to want to see her do well and be happy in her new job. I’m not completely heartless, you see.

My doctor is on vacation this week – he’s spending time with his kiddos for spring break, hence the reason I took a few “mental health” days off, but I’m looking forward to going back to work tomorrow and working with her. I have a lot of prep work ahead of me – getting ready for next week’s clinics and there’s a schedule I need to work on as my doctor has text me to say he will need to leave early next Wednesday so I can adjust his clinic schedule, but I’m approaching this change with fresh eyes and an open heart. I feel like Satan has really tested me these past few years and for the first time in months, I feel like I can breathe and genuinely smile again.

Christians Rejoice, There is a Life-Size Noah’s Ark

Have you guys heard about the life-size Noah’s Ark??

If not, watch this:

ark-beyond-lake

I LOVE that there is potential for more Christian-based structures/museums/educational opportunities in their future.  I just pray it happens.

And honestly, fellow Christians out there, we need to pray for this to not only happen, but to stay open. Because if you take the time to read some of the Facebook comments, or watch videos about this project either for/against it, they will make you both sad and alarm you.

The sheer hatred for this project is astounding, though not surprising, I suppose. Would the backlash be as severe if this was a Muslim-type structure? Why is Christianity such a BAD thing to so many people?

Because the Bible said this was going to happen. Are you really surprised? Christians and Christianity will only continue to grow more and more unpopular – this is exactly what happened in Noah’s day and age. And this is exactly WHY God flooded the Earth – to get rid of the evil and start over again. Only, we won’t start over with a flood, it will be Jesus Christ coming back to save us from ourselves.

In the meantime, there will be hatred. There will be insanely opinionated people who will try their best to make you feel stupid for believing in God, who will attempt to spout all sorts of nonsense about alternative beliefs and how they are so much smarter and believable than Christianity.

To which I say? YOU’RE WASTING YOUR BREATH. Go spew your ugly, hate-filled vile words to someone who cares what you think, because I don’t. You don’t like this Ark Encounter project? DON’T GO. You want to build a monument, or some historical project museum to your spaghetti monster or god(s), be my guest. It’s still a free country (somewhat). Will I like it? No. Will I care? No. You want to bow down to false idols and kiss Satan’s ass, I guess that’s your prerogative.

And how SAD would your life be if you DIDN’T believe in a higher power or have some hope to look forward to? I can’t even imagine how lost some people feel without Jesus Christ in their hearts.

But personally, I’m REJOICING in the fact that fellow Christians had the guts to build something like this and you bet your sweet tea we will go at some point. I’m tempted to wait until they build the Temple of Babylon and the other structures mentioned in the above video, but then again, I’m afraid that if I wait too long, something will fall through and they will be forced to close Noah’s Ark. I think it would be a fun road trip though – it’s eight hours East of where we live – doable but it will definitely take some planning.

Here are some interesting facts about the structure and hypotheses on how it might have logistically worked out.

I also found it highly interesting that the creator of the Ark Encounter, Ken Ham, invited Bill Nye “the Science Guy” in for a tour and together, with their own film crews, toured the Ark and had “lively” discussions/debates with lots of “regular” folks along for the ride. I bet that was interesting as all get out. Because if you’re truly looking for the truth, then you NEED to hear all sides of an issue before coming to a foregone/logical conclusion. And maybe Mr. Ham didn’t do a good enough job of convincing some folks there about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or then again, maybe he was able to save some lost souls, who knows, but I love the fact that two sides of an issue came together, spoke their piece and there was no violence, just mutual respect for the other person’s beliefs.

I wish that would happen more often in our country, but it’s all about shutting each other up – it’s all about “free speech” and “free thinking” even though if you don’t believe the same as the people who spout this nonsense then they work very hard to belittle you and sometimes, use physical violence to bully you and silence you and your beliefs.

Yeah. That’s what “free speech” and “free thinking” is all about. It’s free as long as you think like they do, otherwise, SHUT UP, PEASANT. *snort*

There’s also a Creation Museum about 45 minutes from the Ark Encounter. If/when we go, I would like to visit that museum, too.

I LOVE that this type of stuff exists in our country, especially nowadays when Christianity has been whipped so many times in the past decade. It gives me hope that maybe it’s not as bad as the lop-sided media portrays it and that there are still believers out there not afraid to stand up and be Soldiers for Christ.

May God bless everyone, both believers and non-believers, and if you’re not a Christian, I challenge you to visit these places, find out what Christianity is about then make up your own mind – don’t listen to the naysayers and the lop-sided media, God created your mind and granted you the gift of free will, exercise those gifts and decide for yourself.

The Heart is An Idol Factory

Idols – what do you think of when you read that word? Gold Academy Award statues? Stone structures that people bow down to and worship? Someone famous? Someone you look up to?

I mean sure, it’s all those things, but idols can mean anything that takes your focus, your energy away from God. I like when he talks about people’s reactions when they take something away that means something to them – I’ve seen what happens to people when you try and take something they highly value away from them – I’ve also experienced an unrealistic reaction in myself whenever we lose Internet, or something I’ve worked on doesn’t turn out the way I think it should.

For example, our boys. There was a time period when they were doing poorly in school, all they wanted to do was focus on their video games. We took their video games and computers away from them with the stipulation that they could get all of those things back after they brought their grades back up to an acceptable level. It was HARD. I felt so MEAN. And the boys HATED MY GUTS for about two months. But you know what? They brought their grades back up and they never allowed themselves to fall into that trap again.

But what I found most disturbing was their utter devastation when we took their stuff away from them. I had destroyed their worlds. They walked around like zombies for DAYS after we took their stuff – they simply didn’t know what to do with themselves when their entire (virtual) world was taken from them.

We had LONG talks about becoming obsessed with things, with STUFF, and the importance of forcing yourself to step back, take a breath and a break and to rejoin the human race.

They are both still very heavy into their virtual worlds today, but they aren’t quite AS obsessed as they were when they were younger. I would like to think some of our lectures sunk in but it’s most likely they have matured and grown and realized they have to participate in real life if they want to make a living and/or possibly, maybe, hopefully, some day acquire girlfriends/wives.

I find myself at an absolute loss when the power goes out and we lose Internet connection. I’m not into games like the boys, but I am pretty obsessed with my computer. I love to watch YouTube videos and spend an unhealthy amount of time watching videos. I do it for a few reasons: I like to shut my brain off and simply EXIST for a bit without having to think, two, they are entertaining and make me laugh and three, I love to people watch and watching videos is the perfect people-watching activity without coming off as creepy. lol

I have to FORCE myself to shut off my monitor and step away from my computer so I can get my chores done, cook dinners for my family, spend time with my family.

And that bothers me – when you have to FORCE yourself to stop doing something that’s a pretty good sign that that thing has taken on far more importance in your life than it should.

I’m a person who likes to be in complete control of my life and when I realize that some new hobby, or event, or activity has control over me, the stubborn part of me jumps out and I MAKE myself either stop doing that hobby, event, or activity or at least stop participating as often. It’s just not healthy to put all of your energies into one or two things.

Especially when it takes your time and focus away from God. Nothing is more important than God and if you can sit there and honestly list things that you do that takes your attention/focus/time away from God, then it’s time to reassess your priorities.

*Update: I found out today that the boys have been without Internet for four days now. Apparently, their Internet provider got struck by lightening and they lost their server, or whatever Internet providers have/do. I was surprised the boys were without Internet for so long and not over at our house mooching off our connection. In fact, when they came over for Sunday dinner, they both seemed very calm about the whole thing – accepting, in fact. I’m weirdly proud of them because to me, this means they are growing up.

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

Thanks for watching.

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More from Write From Karen

Four Weeks of More Work and More Stress

I like to think I get along with everyone – and I guess I do, on the surface. I try to get along with everyone, but I would be lying if I said I liked everyone I work with.

I do not. In fact, there is one person at work I pretty much despise. She is everything that I can’t stand in a person.

She’s loud.
Rude
Obnoxious
Callus
Ignorant
Clueless
Self-centered
Egotistical
A little crazy
Lacks empathy
Lacks a filter
Short-attention span
Turns conversations back to her – every – single – time
Insecure

She reacts instead of interacts.

Everything about this person grates on my every last nerve. Just breathing the same air as her make me want to punch something.

But here’s the kicker, I have to work with her. And she has a sense of humor, and she makes me laugh.

And I feel a bit sorry for her – her life is not perfect. She has made bad/difficult choices in her life and she’s living with those consequences now.

I grit my teeth and get along with her. What choice do I have? I try and see the good in her, I try to be patient with her. I try and set a good example when I’m around her by being patient with people, with trying to point out that patients are not black and white, that you have to read between the lines with people and sometimes it’s more about what they DON’T say rather than what DO say.

She will sometimes speak to me like I’m an idiot. Or beneath her. And believe it or not, I’m not a confrontational person – I tend to just let it slide off my back, but this chick? Not so much. We have been called into the office numerous times to air out our differences with our manager as witness because listen here, chicka, you’re not pulling that “I’m better than you” ‘tude with me. It’s not gonna happen. Those conversations have been awkward and have made this girl cry, but BUCK UP SISTER – it’s time to grow up.

It’s not easy burying my thoughts and quelling my words. There are days I have to literally walk away and take a breath because her harsh attitude makes me crazy. Her priorities are not right because when I’m at work, that is what my sole focus is, to do my job to the best of my ability. It’s not to make friends, it’s not to crack jokes and be funny, it’s not to put stuff on the back burner and constantly say, “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” It’s not to text friends and family even though I get there is family drama to sort out.

When you’re at work and you’re working with me, do your damn job.

Period.

End of discussion.

Can we have some laughs? Sure. That picture above is proof that I can be a nutcase with the best of them, but by the end of the day – is the job done?

But then this girl got some bad news, potentially life-changing news, and I felt like an asshole for disliking her so much. We still dislike each other, but I’m not cruel – I’ve listened as she vented and worried and I tried to offer her some solid advice.

Again, I’m not an asshole.

And I’ve prayed for her. This potentially life-changing news was borderline dangerous and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Though I intensely dislike this girl, she’s a human being with responsibilities and she doesn’t deserve potentially life-changing circumstances.

We have a grudging respect for each other, (well, I think she does for me because I’m pretty much the only person who stands up to her and her bullying personality, I still can’t stand her), but we talk. Or rather, she talks and I listen, (I rarely tell anyone I work with much about my personal life – it’s my personal life, butt out). She’s young enough to be my daughter, but only just, and I suppose her immaturity and self-centered personality is something her generation has grown up with, but I am trying to “train” her, if you will, into seeing life from other perspectives – it’s not all about her. I know that’s shocking, and I think it’s been shocking to her, but I feel like I’m making progress, I guess.

She has gone to a few appointments and thank God, her news is not as bad as it was first made out to be. It’s something that can be fixed. I’m glad for her. I’m glad that she will have her surgery and it will work out to include her vacation so she will be out of the office for four weeks to recuperate. And I hope she comes back to work with a new attitude – though I’m not holding my breath.

Again, it’s someone I work closely with so her being gone will directly affect me and normally, I would be stressed out by this news. But you know what? All I feel is relief. It will be a breath of fresh air not to have to listen to her brash voice and deal with her piss-poor people skills. It will put more pressure and work on me, but I’m ready for it. In fact, I’m embracing it.

I would rather deal with more stress and more work than deal with this individual.

How sad is that?

God Bless What’s Left of America

(This post was actually published July 4th last year, but it bears repeating).

We have our American Flag hanging outside our house and I can’t help but wonder, will someone report us? Will someone in our neighborhood be offended that we proudly display our American Flag?

To which I reply: Tough shit.

I’m so SICK of people being offended by everything nowadays.

Get over it.

People are offended because some whack-job worshiped a confederate flag and was high on anti-psychotic drugs and shot a bunch of people in a church (notice I said PEOPLE – we’re all PEOPLE, color is irrelevant), and now the confederate flag offends people so we’re going to go completely berserk and obliterate every last trace of the confederate flag from the face of the Earth.

Idiots. The confederate flag didn’t MAKE that nut-job shoot those people, it was simply a trigger for his crazy delusions. What if his trigger had been a black cat? Would we suddenly want to eradicate black cats from existence? If you need to be “offended” by someone, be “offended” by the act and the person who committed the act, not an inanimate object.

Geez louise people …

You have the right to dislike the confederate flag – I’m not crazy about that flag, either. I think it represents a sad, mixed-up time in our history. I have never understood people who buy that flag and then proudly display it. Why? Do they wish they could go back to those times? Well too bad, it’s not happening. We learned our lesson the first time. Right?

Right??

offendedBut I’m not offended if they choose to fly it. It’s their right to do so. And it does serve to remind of us of the mistakes we made during that time period. This isn’t about me and my feelings, it’s about other people’s CHOICE to make bad decisions.

People need to grow a backbone and stop being such emotional cry babies.

The only thing I think of when I see that flag is slavery. And how that’s bad. And I’m truly perplexed that we thought, at one time in our history, that having one set of human beings serve another set of human beings was somehow acceptable. And then I roll my eyes and shrug my shoulders. I wonder more about the people behind these “offenses” than about anything else. People are idiots. What are you going to do?

Anyway, back to the American flag and our country.

I can’t get into this 4th of July. What, exactly, are we celebrating? Our freedoms? Our freedom to do what, exactly? Abide by the rules? Live under a supreme dictator or a group of tenured lawyers who have been given the right to make our decisions for us?

Freedom to “ignore its own laws and tear its Constitution to pieces?”

Freedom “to dismantle the institution of marriage in favor of legitimizing sexual perversion?”

What, exactly, are we celebrating nowadays? Our freedoms are slowly being taken away with each passing law and government decree.

If so, what’s so great about being great? Where is the optimism in that miserable greatness? Where is the hope for the future if moral bankruptcy, selfishness, confusion, stupidity, deviancy and failure are “great”?

This is why I’m surprised liberals are still out burning American flags. What are they upset about? This country has been reshaped in their image. They won the culture, the government, academia, the media, even the churches. This is their America. They own it. Yet they aren’t satisfied because liberalism, like its father Satan, is intent only on destruction and consumption. It will never be satiated.

You might say most of the examples I provided have to do with America’s people, not America herself. But the distinction is irrelevant because a democracy is only as great as its people. Meanwhile, our government is corrupt and feckless, and our political leaders are cowardly and self-serving. Yes, the Constitution is great, but it’s still just a set of laws. If laws are ignored, they might as well not exist. The Bill of Rights can’t make us great if we don’t follow it, just like your running shoes can’t make you fit if you don’t put them on and go for a jog.

So in what way is America great at the moment? Are we a moral beacon for the world now? Where is the rest of the world supposed to locate that shining light of moral clarity? Is it somewhere buried under the dead children and the perversion and the porn and the divorce and the drugs and the disease and the dependency and the Nanny State socialism? What about leadership in government, or education, or the home? Is American culture great in these respect

No, America Is Not a Great Nation. Not anymore.

I dare you to read Matt Walsh’s entire article. Read it completely through and tell me you don’t disagree. This country is slowly being flushed down the crapper. With every flush, we compromise another belief and/or ideal. Like a stone sculptor, decency is being chipped away, slowly, oh so slowly, and then suddenly, we see the finished product and wonder, what happened? How did we get here? What happened?

Like sleep walkers, we are suddenly shaken awake.

We got here by being outraged over the confederate flag. We got here by being distracted by Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. We got here by not paying attention to what our educational system is doing to our children. We got here by being too busy playing with the newest and coolest electronic gadgets. We got here by putting all of our energies and time into being offended by the stupidest, most insignificant things.

It’s like people don’t WANT to really know what’s going on. It’s like people purposefully look the other direction in order NOT to see and/or deal with the bigger issues. Because talking about big changes is too uncomfortable, it’s too hard. And now we’ve reached a point of no return – can you IMAGINE trying to cut benefits to people who now solely rely on the nanny state to take care of them? Can you IMAGINE overhauling an education system so that we get back to teaching children and not indoctrinating children?

We’ve dug our grave, it’s time to lie in it.

Why should we celebrate the mess we created?

I think Matt summarizes this hopelessness best:

Here’s what I do know, and here’s the hopeful part: Our priority has to be our families and our souls. The fate of the country or the globe has not been put entirely, or even mostly, in our individual hands. But we have profound jurisdiction over the fate of our families, the spiritual state of our children, whether our households serve the Lord, and whether we serve the Lord. That’s our hope for the future. Right there.

We can find greatness if we strive for holiness. We have to. We are entering an age where only the great Christians will spiritually survive. It’s a scary time, but if we heed the call to holiness, we can find immense joy. That’s what I want for my children, though I fear for them quite a bit these days. I can’t imagine what this country will look like in 30 or 40 years. Maybe things will have turned around, but honestly I really doubt it. So all I can do is hold them close, try to be a better father to them and a better husband to my wife, and equip them as best I can for what comes next.

I believe strongly that real persecution awaits us down the road. I think my children will face hostility and opposition and maybe even violence on a level I haven’t yet seen. We are heading into very challenging times, but if we keep our families together and our hearts with God, we’ll be OK. No matter what happens, we’ll be OK. And, by extension, if we pour ourselves into our families and into our faith, we might be able to rescue this culture and this country from the clutches of progressive annihilation. It won’t happen quickly, and I don’t know if it will happen at all, but I know there’s a chance. America is not lost completely. Not yet.

So find strength in the Lord. Love your spouse and your children like Christ loves the Church. Be a leader in your home. Be willing to sacrifice everything for your family. Be unwilling to sacrifice your soul for anything. Confront the reality of our current state and accept that you will be asked to endure a lot of pain and persecution. Pray. Remember what America was. Remember who God is. Remember who you are and why you’re here and that you were put here in this time for a reason.

God bless what’s left of America.

And may God have mercy on your soul.

Amen.