Upon Completion of This Latest Journey

love ceases to be a demonI think deep down, bloggers tend to be complainers. Just a little. Nothing over the top. And I am no exception. Somehow, it comforts me to write a post about how much life is sucking at the moment so other people can agree with me and/or encourage me enough, I can rise above my latest funk.

That being said, this is not one of those posts. This post is about how much my life has changed for the better lately. Monday, the temp job I’ve funny-card-quote-pictures-god-is-fairbeen working turned permanent, and with it, I was given an almost embarrassingly large raise. I’ve been eeking out an existence for years on lower than median wages for the kinds of jobs I was doing. To be where I belong financially… well, there simply are no words. I had orientation yesterday, and the list of benefits alone rendered me speechless. When I found out I was actually given more than I was initially led to believe I would receive, my head almost exploded with joy.

cd3bb0e3a01ffbca491766285cba5142I’ve been walking around on air for a whole 24 hours now. I like what I do, who I do it for, and who I do it with. The fact that I can now easily afford to live my life on what I’m paid to do it just makes me so grateful.

In August 2012, I walked away from an exceptionally excellent provider in my husband, and embarked on a troubling, hunger-laden, thrift store shopping,  journey to become independent. Yesterday, that particular journey concluded.

I’m not naive, and I know the Lord sharpens me with crises, but He loves 1609758_10152930015436742_2399831189682297383_nme too, and I feel like He is letting me rest for a little while. There are other storms that will gather on the horizon of my life, but for now, I’m going to take a minute and just be happy about how my life feels right this minute.

I see a steak in my near future.

LaVoz_steak

 

~ Bird

 

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How To Get People To Hear What You Are Saying

blogI really miss having the internet at home. I always think of a million things I want to write about in the middle of the night, and by morning, they seem to just evaporate — just gone forever. Darn it.

Last night, I went speed dating again. That is a post for another day. What I want to write about is what happened after I got home.

Late in the evening, when I finally got home,  I checked my phone, and my law-enforcement FB friend had been going nuts about my opinions on Facebook. I didn’t answer any of his rather offensive outbursts last night, but decided to just calm down a little before addressing his foray over the line. I’m glad I did. Today, it doesn’t make me angry. Instead, it is a perfect example of the importance of presentation when you offering up your opinions about sensitive subjects.

I believe wholeheartedly, we all are entitled to our opinions. Some of my 28-pedicel_flowers-030very favorite humans on this planet disagree with me in very fundamental ways. My views are very easily understood because I write about them on a public blog. In the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve collected a very eclectic and diverse set of friends including no few atheists, some self-identified witches, gays, mistresses, and a ton of other people with lifestyle choices I probably would never have chosen for myself. That being said, why aren’t they offended by my very literal adherence to the bible? Why do they care enough to tell me they are sad for me when I cry, or happy for me when I laugh? Why am I not their enemy?

The answer is, because I don’t treat people who think differently from me with disrespect. They aren’t my enemies! I am not arrogant enough to believe that I have all the right answers and if someone comes up Gun-Control-Debatewith a different one, I don’t decide they are immediately and instantly wrong and stupid. My opinions are not easily threatened by differing ones, and I find no reason not to listen to the logic and reasoning someone else has used to come up with a different answer.

I know why I believe what I do, so my opinions are not threatened easily by someone else knowing why they believe differently and being able to present their reasons to me. Some of my very fundamental beliefs have actually grown and changed because someone was able to show me with their logic and presentation skills, why I might be wrong, or short-sighted, or just not thinking big enough. I hope I’ve done the same for others. We should always be learning from one another.

imagesI don’t mind that my FB friend believes differently than I do. What bothers me is the approach. Why bother to post your opinions about politics, religion, or anything else if you do it in such a manner, no one hears anything you are trying to say? I don’t understand what the point of that is. Any skirting with words that imply you attacking on a personal level will immediately cause all the words that you write afterwards to go unconsidered. If your tone is patronizing, argumentative, or arrogant, you send a different message no matter what truth may lie in the words you are writing. People will get defensive, walls go up, and you stop being considered anything other than an enemy.

Before you can communicate, there is a certain level of trust that has to be assumed, even in writing.

I would encourage anyone with strong opinions that cause polarizing to opposite sides of an issue to ask themselves, what is my motive for Quote-about-Passion-and-Common-Sensesharing my opinions? If it is because you like a healthy debate, good for you. A lot of us do. But bow out when it starts to degenerate to name-calling or arrogant tones. The minute you give in to snarkiness, you’ve lost the exchange. If you just like to upset people, then I’m sure you can find others who are looking for the same thing.

But if you really care about the world you live in, and genuinely are looking for the right solutions to some of the problems we’re dealing with today, remember how you say something is just as important as what you say. Be wise enough to know that we need each other’s ideas in order to create for ourselves a more realistic view of the world we are trying to mend, and treat everyone with the amount of respect you would hope they would treat you with. In other words, follow the golden rule, even when you’re posting things on Facebook.

short-quotes-personal2‘Cause, dude, if you don’t start addressing your tone, you’re outta here. 🙂

~ Bird