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What Is Loyalty

So I sat down today determined to write about something, but I really wasn’t sure what it was that I wanted to address. There’s a number of things that have been running through my mind, some I would like to share, more still that I wouldn’t for various reasons.
I’ve been thinking a lot about loyalty lately. There are those who love me and a couple of these people are fiercely loyal, but most of them not so much. To some extent this has been bothering me, but I finally came to the realization that it’s not a matter of the depth of feeling, it’s more a matter of strength. My babygirl loves me to the moon and I believe that if I were to tell her that someone was bothering me, she would happily walk over to them and rip off their face! (Not literally of course, but the feeling would be there… 😏) Now she’s a strong minded woman with a very big heart and there’s no doubt that she loves her mama! <3 I myself am very strong, (not sure where that comes from, inherited genes and being extremely stubborn probably contributes) and I’ll fight for the ones I love, especially if I think they’re not in a position to fight for themselves, (which says a lot because I hate confrontation and drama). So anyway, I’ve been turning this over in my mind and I figured out that it’s a matter of strength. Not physical strength, not even mental strength, it’s an inner strength that can’t be faked, can’t be forced, maybe can’t even be learned, it’s just a part of who you are. I’ve always believed in taking the high road rather than taking the easy route and it bothers me to no end for anyone to be able to hold anything over my head, which is why I believe in paying my own way and not owing anything to anyone. (Do I trust you enough to give you that power?) Now this brings me to my epiphany, not everyone has that personal steeliness. I love you, but do me wrong and I can walk away without looking back and continue on with my life, this goes for anybody, family or friend, but I’m learning that there are people that love differently. They apparently don’t want to upset the applecart in any way these people. Why can’t we all just be friends? Live and let live? Grin and bear it? Sing kumbaya? I’m all for that, don’t get me wrong, don’t bother me and I certainly won’t bother you, but what if someone does bother me? I believe I have the right to stand up for myself and nobody should think that they have the authority to take that away from me. Are you standing up for me? No, then sit your butt down and I’ll stand up for myself (which is necessary to me because I’m nobody’s doormat). I think it’s a definition difference. Loyalty to me is always standing by someone I love, even when they’re wrong, (but I’ll definitely tell them why they’re wrong in private), taking up for them when someone has something to say behind their back that I don’t agree with (and I probably won’t even tell them what I did because what purpose would it serve other than to upset them) and not going along with the crowd when I know those actions will be hurtful, (being accepted by everybody isn’t important to me). Loyalty doesn’t mean that you have to choose to love one and not another, it doesn’t mean that you should beat up everybody that looks at your loved one sideways and it definitely doesn’t mean butting into your loved one’s problems uninvited. That’s not loyalty, that’s just being silly. Stand up to the injustice done to someone you love, it’s as simple as that.
Now for an example, there have been upsets within my own family and in some instances when it involved me, I’ve actually made it clear that I didn’t want sides to be taken. After one particular altercation, my babygirl, she never turned her back on them, but she did still tell them that they were wrong, she stood up for me! Now that’s my idea of loyalty. Maybe I’m wrong, my thinking may be skewed, but I believe that you should never give anyone the power to dictate your actions, whether they’re using love, guilt, money or whatever leverage they think that they have to hold over your head. You love who you choose with an honest heart and clear head and in so doing, you’re free to speak your mind and do the right thing.

Lacey ☮

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Break The Cycle

So I’m trolling on Facebook, something I do about 30 minutes of every day and I follow a few different animal sites, so I get more than my fair share of furbaby pics. Well there’s this video of “Hero dog won’t leave his friend” and it REALLY ticks me off. This poor dog has been hit by a train and is laying helpless on the tracks while another dog stands over him, now that is beautiful, animals showing pure love, BUT who is this *sshat filming it and why hasn’t he done something to help? Especially when yet ANOTHER train comes and the dog is cowering on the tracks and his friend is forced to stand to the side until the train passes. I saw pure red, I was so mad… So I leave the following comment,
“This is disgusting!!! Help the freaking dog, don’t stand there filming it!!! NOBODY SHARE THIS CRAP!!! Take away their 15 minutes of fame!!!”
Of course I didn’t really expect to make a difference, but at least I put in my two cents worth. There! Take that! Feel the heat of my wrath in words because I’m not actually there to smack the crap out of you! Well well, somebody left me a comment, big surprise there, another chest thumping dumb*ss. She said “read my post”, so I did and this is what she said verbatim,
“He did explain the male dog was protecting the female dog so made rescuing difficult, it was only after a few days that he allowed the rescue home to help. The guy filming was actually filming just before the rescue.”
Well I’ll be! That just changes EVERYTHING! I’m so sorry! NOT!!! You sh*t for brains! (And never mind the “home for help” part. Huh?) So I replied,
“I read your post, I stand by what I said. It doesn’t take days to effect a rescue, ask any vet that has used a tranquilizer.”
I was polite and concise although I still seethed inside. I have this reaction to a lot of the senseless posts that I sometimes see and I’ve run the risk of upsetting some friends when they happen to be the unfortunate ones to share said posts. Like one I saw a couple of months ago, shared by someone actually pretty dear to me, it was a poor dog that had duct taped mouth and feet. The caption was “Scroll by if you’re heartless, share if you would help me.” I know she meant well, she’s an animal lover that goes out of her way to help homeless animals, but she wasn’t seeing the big picture which is, “Why the h*ll are you taking pictures instead of doing something? Are you the monster that did this just so you could take a freaking picture? So I blasted the post, not her specifically, but the stupid picture, she didn’t hold it against me. Whew… There’s a lot of this going on, cruelty to animals just so somebody can get their “15 minutes of fame”. Don’t perpetuate the cycle, if you don’t share it, it will die a quiet death and eventually people will stop doing this kind of stuff because they’re not getting the desired attention. Also perhaps it may help me to not be in a jail cell one day because if I ever see something and I actually have the opportunity to land my right hook instead of just my words, somebody’s going down!

Lacey ☮

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Pet Me…

Our 8 year old puppy hasn’t been feeling well and my honey was laying down next to him on the floor, stroking him, petting him, talking to him soothingly and I thought “You know, that’s really sweet, I never get petted like that when I don’t feel so good, I’d like to be babied like that.” and I remembered back to the various aches and pains and cruds that I’ve been through that I’ve pretty much suffered with alone, but right on the heels of that thought was an epiphany, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. When our furbaby doesn’t feel well, it’s so obvious and of course all you want to do is love him up and make him feel better. I on the other hand have a tendency to not so much hide it as to ignore it, push through it, keep going in spite of it. No weakness here! Oh no, nothing’s gonna keep me down, I’m Superwoman! Right? No, not as right as I’d like it to be. I am the way I am because I don’t know how to be any other way. “You’re so strong!” I often hear, but I don’t always feel strong or in control, I just don’t know how not to keep treading water because I’m afraid that I’ll drown. So I keep swimming, keep pushing, keep fighting through, no whimpering, just focusing on the next step that I need to make. I never ask for help, that one is definitely on me. If I can do it myself, or feel reasonably (or even unreasonably) sure that I can figure it out, I’m on it. If something horrible happens and someone is trying to show me sympathy or compassion, I have to walk away from them, it’s the only way I can maintain the tight control that I have over my emotions, I refuse to cry. It’s usually the same when I’m angry, I walk away until I can once again regain the composure that I normally possess. Don’t help me! Don’t touch me! Keep your distance! Doesn’t sound like someone that wants to be petted does it? Growls can be deceiving, especially when your hackles are raised, but isn’t that just a defense? What animal doesn’t respond to kindness once they learn it’s not a ruse? So maybe I should try to be a little softer, more accessible, just let down my guard a little and allow that soft underbelly to be exposed and touched, just maybe. Pet me and give me a treat, we’ll see…

Lacey ☮

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FOTBabies

Friends of Tennessee’s Babies with Special Needs… I recently had the opportunity to speak with one of the “Volunteers of the Year” at fotbabies.org and he was so passionate while speaking about the work that he’s been doing for this organization that I felt compelled to go and check it out. Of course he literally had no idea who I was, you know, fundraising telemarketer by day, blog writing introverted hippie by night! 😏 It’s a relatively simple little website, not secure and slow loading, but if you’re a little patient, it comes around and I’m definitely glad that I waited for it. Their vision statement is “Connecting families with fellowship, resources and support- Because Babies Can’t Wait”, this touched my heart. They have a resource library that covers a variety of topics and family issues ranging from guides to helping families with hearing impaired or blind children to meditation for moms and devotional readings. You can watch welcome videos of events and testimonials and see how these people really care about kids come shining through. They offer programs and services which include respite care, loaner hearing aids, emergency and bereavement support. They have something they call “Hospital Collaboration”, it’s care Packages to families who have premature babies in the NICU at Children’s Hospital, also quarterly baby showers at Children’s Hospital and UT Medical Center for families who have babies in the NICU. Now I don’t live in Tennessee, but if I did and had small children, I’d be feeling grateful to know that these guys were there if I were to run into trouble. fotbabies.org is entirely nonprofit and operates solely on grants and donations. They have a PayPal set up that is secure if anyone cares to donate and they have a mailing address as well
Friends of Tennessee’s Babies With Special Needs
P.O. Box 544
Alcoa, TN 37701-0544

So go right ahead and check it out and if you happen to have a spare dollar or two, I’m sure that it would be appreciated!  👩‍👧‍👦

Lacey ☮

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Labels

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Labels, I hate labels, why does most everyone feel the need to slap a label on everything and more importantly, everyone? I have problems, some bad wiring in the melon, but don’t label me. I have depression, OCD and ADD, but that’s not WHO I am, they’re only glitches in my genetic makeup (part of my charm and sassy wit)! That doesn’t mean you need to take away my shoestrings so that I don’t fashion some kind of makeshift garrote for myself. By the same token, this applies to others as well. I’ve been thinking about this recently because of someone very near and dear to my heart who has a few “glitches” as well, someone beautiful both inside and out, but isn’t necessarily classified as “normal”. This young man is off the charts intelligent, but just a little different from the average guy. He never spoke a word until he was 2 years old and then had to go through years of speech therapy. So depression, anxiety and ADHD only scrape the surface. I learned from a very wise lady doctor about labels years ago when my son was asthmatic and she said to me, “We’re going to try a different approach to his treatment because you don’t want him to be labeled as having asthma, it will affect the quality of his life because he’ll be limited as to what he’ll be allowed to participate in.” Meaning, when you’re labeled, you become pigeonholed and truer words have never been spoken. So he wasn’t “labeled” as having asthma and he subsequently actually outgrew it and went on to be on the high-school wrestling team. So now back to the other thing, this young man has all the indications of having high functioning autism, but I’ve refused to acknowledge it and have discouraged him from wandering too far down the path to have it legitimized because I DO NOT want that label placed on him. He’s smart and funny and lovable, and he has a tremendous future ahead of him, but the path is just going to be a little more crooked to get there and with a lot of love and support, he will get there! Already, being labeled as having ADHD (this was out of my hands) has affected him, he wanted to join the Marines at one time and they wouldn’t take him because of it, they said he had to be off of his meds for at least a year. Can you imagine the ramifications if he were Autistic? I don’t treat him any different, I expect great things of him and I’m quite confident that he’ll come through. I refuse to let him use his problems as any kind of an excuse not to try, or for anyone else to use it as an excuse to hold him back. Labels suck! The bottom line is that nobody’s perfect, even the ones that like to believe that they are. You! Yes you, guy with all the diplomas on the wall, with your twitchy eye and wrinkled suit, you’re not perfect either!

Lacey ☮