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Can O' Worms: Take II

(image shamelessly "borrowed" from my beautiful friend Kara)

SO much spinning around in my brain....My head is swimming with all sorts of negative self-talk. I'm trying to sort. Parse. And think well before I blurt. Being real can be painful. Sharing real feelings is tough business. Digging around in your own garbage is a for real Dirty Job. I'm trying hard to stay brave. 

The intent of my previous post was to document learning; to trot out some of those things that make me twitch (and baby, the gaming makes me twitchy) and make me who I am. My sole intent was to express my own thoughts and  my own opinions. My writing was not done to cause pain or start a fight. I think I was unable to convey that message clearly. If I said something that stung you a bit or otherwise made you uncomfortable I would challenge you to do as I did-open up that can o'worms to see what's inside. Dig around and see what's behind those feelings. And if you don't give a hoot about any of this...just stop reading now.

I was frankly amazed at the different things people took away from my post. Most notably was my husband's reaction. He said, " I can't believe you know that in those games you have to defeat your allies! That's so cool that you know that!"  I was worried he might be upset as the gaming issue is a hot one at our house. He totally digs it and I totally hate it; this is why I wanted dig deeper. I think the major heart issue for me is this: I had/have this idea of what "should" be happening within my household and beyond as well. I mean seriously, can't we all just get up off our backsides and DO something? Interact with people, go somewhere-see something new, explore, check something off that never ending to-do list. ...

Let me say, I love-love-love my gaming/techy people. On very rare occasion I have enjoyed watching others get totally carried away gaming or geeking out on something techy. It does my heart good to see a nearly blind friend fly jets-something he is very passionate about-something that will never happen in real life. It's quite entertaining watching my youngest get totally into being a Guitar Hero. He really ROCKS. (I would be over the moon with joy if he learned to play guitar for real.) I once enjoyed rocking out on Band Hero myself, when everyone present was included. I am uncomfortable when left out-it's not fun to sit on the sidelines while everyone else is having fun. I think this is why I hate watching others play video games (and watching sports for that matter). I like/want/need to participate in life with others.  I know there are some people who can't physically do this but there's a difference between those that can't and those who choose not to.

I truly understand the need to "check out" from life now and again. With Fibro, I am at times, crippled by pain; "checking out" is therapy for me. However, I do not believe it is a healthy practice to spend entire days with your face glued to a screen (and yes, I've done this). I think balance is key. I believe that gaming/technology (in all fairness,this argument can be made using most modes of "checking out"; books, food, Sudoku...whatever) of itself is truly not the problem; people are the problem. I believe it's a persons lack of self control, motivation, poor choices-and in some cases what they have been taught-that make gaming/technology etc. a bad thing. What I see as problematic (in my own life as well as those around me) is that humans fall so easily into habitual behaviour and what starts as a simple "check out" quickly becomes disengagement from real life and all too often, addiction. Escape is comfortable, reality is hard. Technology is a seductive beast and we, easy prey. It feels good to check out, so you reward yourself. Before you can say boo, the devise rules you; technology (fill in the blank) becomes your friend, your people...You can't leave the devise at home; you feel lost without it... You load up TF2 as soon as you walk through the door... You have to check Facebook in the middle of dinner... You have to add just one more word to your super triple word score thing-a-ma-who-ha...You have to pin just. one. more. Pin... You take the devise to bed with you at night...you are consumed by habitually checking out. Before you know it polite rules of decorum fall away and you are gaming/checking/texting wherever you go; at work/school, in the grocery store, in the bathroom, heck-everywhere because technology-your new BFF- is so conveniently portable.

I think that for some folks, making connections with people is becoming too hard. Whether because of money, separation or a lack of willingness, it becomes too difficult and at times impossible to reach out. Technology makes it easy to be lazy. It's so easy to shoot off a text or email/Facebook message. (Case in point: Text language=pure laziness.) But technology also makes possible, connections that would otherwise never have happened. Technology is not all bad, all the time. It is my reaction to technology that is.

I feel rejected and unloved and really, aren't I more important than updates on Downton Abbey Season 4? I mean aren't we "hanging out" together? There must be something wrong with me because you don't want to spend time with me: a real live person... then I think you should be ashamed of  your behavior but now I feel guilty about that .....and badness ensues. I suffer anger when I need help from someone and they can't be bothered because they are busy taking over the world/killing something/gaining a level and...they didn't hear me ask for help in the first place. I get indignant because, did you seriously just take that phone call whilst on the toilet? And can't' we please hush the Spotify playlist for just. one. minute?

Again, IF something I have said here has pricked your heart or caused your blood to boil please, take a look at the heart issue; what has made you feel/respond this way. If you find yourself justifying your behavior, ask yourself  "Why"? Be brave. Let your conscience guide you; take a hard look at the WHY behind those feelings. You might end up learning something about yourself.

Be Real: Openin a can o' worms

While looking at the feeds on my Facebook page this AM I couldn't help but roll my eyes and huff time and again over updates containing gaming schtuff. A dear friend posted a picture of his MineCraft something or other with a bunch of jargon that I didn't understand. I groaned. Some one else won a super fabulous level on Candy Crush. Whoopeee. I groaned again. Something else about Pirates and Jewels and Majhong...and ...and...and.

I have a serious aversion (read: passionate hatred) for computer games, video games, hand held games etc. I have been trying for some time to pinpoint the reason for such a passionate feeling, to no avail. It just makes me boil. I think gaming is retarded and stupid and a serious waste of precious time and life for that matter. Gaming makes me want to squirt fire out of my nostrils, shoot green slime out my eye sockets and throw things. I am especially averse to what I call "over the shoulder togetherness" or the- We're totally hanging out together because you are watching me play video games-trick. Like, totally. gag-me-with-a-spoon.

My girlfriends are now running for their cell phones. "Katie don't do it!" they screech "Don't go there!"You see, my dear-dear friends are Gamers, my kids are Gamers and yes, my husband loves him some video games. Yes, I am totally opening this can of worms girls. I have gone completely and totally mad. And it's Monday. Which has nothing to do with anything.

Anywhat. I was raging....

When it comes to gaming I loose all grace and mercy for other human beings. Things get ugly up in here... I become like the Titans in Age of Mythology. And not unlike this blasted game-I end up defeating my allies.

Lately I've been reading a lot of books. Books that fall squarely into that dreaded "Self Help" category. Yes, I am that girl, I enjoy reading boring "Self Help" books and I read them in the real paper form of, ya know-real books. No Kindle, Nook or devisey type thing for this girl. (I'm old fashioned like that.) I am trying to see into the things that make me, well... me. I want to know the real messed up me and why I react to things the way I do. I call this my Craptastic Attitude check.

So... I am learning things about myself:

Face time is hugely important to me. Real people are important to me. Don't waste my time with your fake land of Whatever Ya Call It and your Online Profile of Fake Wonderment or blather on at me about how you conquered the World of Oz (that you built yourself), I don't care about that fake load of bologna-I care about you-you in real life.

Life is too short for fake. Life is too short, period! I want to be real with those I love; I don't want to stare at a screen with you. I want to see your eyes and participate in real life with real people, not the Goddess of Pet Rescue. I believe that screen games are nothing more than pure, selfish disengagement; disengagement from real life, real people and the real you. I feel this disengagement is seriously affecting the perceptions of reality in kids today -along with pornography, media, Facebook and the interwebs in general.... but I'll attack that another day.

Time is a very precious gift. I am an ugly jealous beast when it comes to time. Time is fleeting. Don't waste this gift, as you will never get it back. Gaming is a waste of time-time you don't have to waste- in my book. Period. End of story.

Here's where things get nice and  messy. And REAL. A little 'Pot callin' the Kettle' bit....

I am a hypocritical ass. Yes. I am. I may not play games but I do all the things that I hate most about gaming/gamers. You see, all those shooting fire, stuff throwing feelings I have toward gaming are all tied to feelings I have about my. own. self. I conveniently forgot about the statement that says- those things you hate most about others are really things you hate about your own dumb self. Like, duh.

I may be slow but I'm getting it.

I am fake. I fear the real me being seen. I am ashamed of the real me so I hide behind a fake personage. (The real me is weak and full of painful stories that no one wants to hear.)
I participate in disengagement on a regular basis. (Hello!!Facebook, Pinterest, Blogs, Magazines and as much as it pains me to say this...my garden)
I choose to waste precious time. Everyday. (Re: I am a horrifically unorganized mess and I choose not to keep a schedule.)

Yep.

In searching for those things about gaming that made me fret, I was looking in the wrong places. I wasn't looking at my own heart. I was trying to place blame. I was shaming others ("You're a looser for wasting your life on video games") out of my own shame. That's a big part of the "shame game". We all do it; it's not about me and my brokenness- it has to be you: Nothing to see here folks-I am fine; I have built a perfect world wherein I am a perfect grounds keeper. All is fine.

And.... it's all a big-fat-stanky-dirty- LIE!

In real life, I am a very imperfect old fashioned girl with some very old fashioned ideas about things. I wish for simpler times and less technology.( If we could all go back to the days before technology stole away a piece of us, I would be the happiest girl in the world.) I struggle every.single.day. to keep my head above murky dark waters. I am messy and broken. I have waay bad grammar. I blather on about video gaming and other dumb stuff that no one gives roaring toot about. Most everyday I wish for a perfect score in My Game of Life: Perfect adorably cute outfit; perfect children; perfect house, garden , car, dinner;  perfect husband; perfectly organized; perfect friend.... Let's be real here, THERE'S NO SUCH THING. Re: big-fat-stanky-dirty- LIE.
We are so much more than the sum of all our conquered-fake-worlds and  perfect-fake-personage. 

Wishing for things to change and hoping for/seeking perfection isn't the answer here- knowing and learning is. Knowing that we can be real with each other is huge. Learning that we don't have to "check-out" and hide from real life is important. Knowing that we are all a mess and that we all need grace, mercy and love is critical.

So, I'm learning that I'm a real mess. And I'm OK with that. I'm learning that it's OK for me to be real with those I love. There is no shame in being messy ole me. It's who God made me to be. I know that I am not alone in my broken messiness. I am also learning that from time to time you have to open that can o'worms just to see what's inside.

And how profound that while I was typing up this mess I was also clicking around the interwebs and found this positively providential bit:

God is jealous for us to turn away from the distractions of this world and turn toward him. He’s jealous for us to let go of the false identities we hold onto so tightly, and to align ourselves with Him. He’s jealous for us to relinquish the things we allow to define our worth, and grab tightly to our value in Him.-Jamie the Very Worst Missionary

***************

(But seriously! Don't send me any game requests on Facebook. And please, please don't ask me to watch you take over the world- my head might spin around and green slime would shoot out my eyeballs and that would just be a little too messy. )

Real Life Heath Care

I am not big on politics. I leave politics to the Mister. He has passionate views where politics are concerned. He likes to argue long over issues large and small. I prefer not to argue; this is just me. This is how it is in our house and for this reason politics aren't a hot topic at the dinner table. Quite frankly, in scope of my days, politics don't rank high on the list of things that take up precious brain space. Occasionally  however, certain topics pop up that warrant a bit of brain space.

In this house, while HeadStrong searched cookbooks for muffin recipes the "I's" echoed through our farm kitchen. This morning at Calamity Farm we listened to the voices of our countrymen echo loud through The House. Today, U.S.Senate is in session to debate a very hot topic in America. On the floor today is the matter of Defunding Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare. Senate is voting to advance a Temporary Spending Bill Defunding Heath Law. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas spoke for 21 hours straight on his view of this Act. Senator Cruz has passionate views that he's very willing to share.

 :: Currently the Senate is moving forward the Temporary Bill; 100-0
The Senate unanimously passed a cloture vote to limit the debate on the motion to proceed to debate on the Continuing Resolution. Senators now have 30 hours of debate on the measure to fund the federal government at current sequester levels of $986.3 billion through December 15 and to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Today Katie has a few things she's willing to share, albeit not for 21 straight hours.

What I wish to know is this: Why, rather than address the issue of WHY people can't afford heath care, are we making a mandatory Heath Law?  Why does it cost so much moolah to fund the government; why can't these guys make budget like normal people do? Is it really necessary to have a bill that totes a whopping 33, 000 pages of regulations alone?  And don't get me started on the fact that they had to vote to limit debate on the motion to proceed to debate...really?  Wow. I'm not super smart but the " Keep it Simple Stupid" principle has a measure of truth that perhaps our politicians might embrace.

It all makes me about sick to my stomach.

A funny aside to today's big debate on health: My oldest, the one looking for muffin recipes, overwhelmed with a wave of nausea-  threw up all. over. the. bathroom. My thoughts on health care might be a little skewed today as my mind turns over the possibility of each of the 6 members of my household vomiting and who would be cleaning up the messes. And with that comes what to feed a crowd when dinner might be making a reappearance later.

Currently, our Senators are debating on whether or not to formally begin the debate.

I think I'm gonna be sick....


Be::Yourself

Working with my word for the year (Be.) today. I thought I'd just be myself and share some quirky things about me because well....I'm quirky.



1) I am perpetually cold.
2) I like Peppermint Patties.
3) I drink coffee. A lot. It has to be HOT or COLD not in between.
3) I am grateful for my point and shoot camera but dream of a nicer, big girl camera. 
5) I hate to talk on the phone.
6) I am deathly afraid of heights.
7) I snuck out of the house once as a teenager; it was an epic adventure.
8) I have a nose ring. I love it but don't hardly ever wear it.
9) I have Fibromyalgia and my back is killing me right now.
10) My dream as a kid was to grow up to be an actress or a clog dancer.
11) I talk to my chickens, pigs, dog and kittens like they understand me...weird.
12) My favorite snack food is BBQ potato chips; Kettle Chips are the best!!
13) I cook all our meals from scratch. My friend Joy teases me mercilessly about this. She says "Heaven forbid you should make life easier for yourself." I tell her to stick it in her ear because she eats at my house all. the. time.
14) I paint with oil's, watercolors, and pastels. I am good at it but hate to admit it.
15) I have tons of cool fabric that I hope to make into quilts...someday.
16) I procrastinate. 
17) I love to vacuum tracks in the carpet. This actually makes my giddy. 
18) I am a glass half empty kind of girl.
19) I yodel. I love it. I am not ashamed to admit this.

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