Airport Bathrooms

Why am I posting a picture of a tile mural from the entrance to a women’s bathroom in the MSP airport?  Because it’s become symbolic to me. I blame my awesome boss for that, by the way, he pointed out how nice the bathrooms are there in a meeting and now I can’t help but notice, appreciate, and compare all other airport bathrooms to them. I get that they’re just a bathroom in an airport but think about it. You’re traveling, which can be stressful. Plane bathrooms are tiny and gross. These are large and clean, bright and well designed. There are hooks and shelves, well lit mirrors, an area to tuck a stroller in… plus those murals. The whole airport is nice actually. Wide seats, free charging stations everywhere, a good variety of stores and food and it all makes traveling easier and more enjoyable. My hometown airport has set the standard by which I judge all other airports. It helps me appreciate coming home. It reminds me that my motto “do better always” needs to apply to everything, not just the big things. It needs to apply to the small, usually overlooked, things too…like bathrooms. Because those small things are often the unifying factors of humanity. When you do that people notice and they appreciate it and hopefully it inspires them and they can go off and inspire others.

Throwback Thursday (Manifesto of Sanity)

In a society that is increasingly parting ways with integrity, honor, ethics, standards and logic, the opportunity arises for chaos which will tear apart the fabric holding our population together. As a member of this global society you should view it as your duty to help ensure the continuation of the freedoms so many others have fought and died to provide you. Turning a blind eye only gives consent for the behavior that is destroying our collective intelligence and engaging in the destructive behavior should never even be considered an acceptable option. Although the majority of the masses may already have fallen prey to this addiction to drama, the rest of us must stand strong and ever fight to restore the values that are necessary to survive in a world where you do not have to be afraid that every other person around you will either frustrate the hell out of you or screw you over for their own selfish purposes. We must help the contaminated population remember the benefits of living in a world where you could count on your neighbors to have your back, where you actually wanted to spend time with your family, when you were proud of your friends, your house and your job. We need to take back the times where a person’s word meant something and you could trust strangers. A world that is tolerant of other people’s creativity, sexual orientation and religious/political views does not have to be a world that also allows pandering to the lowest common denominator, a denominator that continues to plummet each day to new and more disturbing lows. Regardless of your personal preferences, laziness and wickedness are not justified by any logical argument. Each person is responsible for being responsible for themselves, if you are an able bodied person of reasonable age you should contribute in a positive manner to the society in which you reside. Be kind to others, offer assistance to those who are no longer able bodied, uphold standards, develop a work ethic and a desire to continue growing intellectually. Take pride in your actions and honor your commitments. Accept any limitations you may have and instead of denying or crying in indignation, work to overcome them. Think about the long term effects of your decisions before you act on them, choose healthy options and encourage the same of those around you. Lead by example and always strive to live a life that inspires others. If we make the effort to hold on to honor, integrity, ethics, standards and logic we can have the best this world has to offer. We will have the freedom to go out and enjoy ourselves with the added benefit of knowing we can safely walk down the street. We can go to work and know our tax dollars will be going to maintain the infrastructure of our country and not to corruption. The entertainment industry will once again provide actual story lines in movies and television and not just slap some reality star up there to act like an asshole over and over again. Technology will advance at an increasingly rapid rate because large corporations will no longer supress new inventions just because they may take away from their finite and outdated goods and services. Right now we are circling the drain and if we continue to allow this crazy chaos to thrive our society will crumble past the point of repair. Do not take the quickly declining population of responsible people for granted, if they are not replenished and maintaned then we are doomed. Help restore sanity to the mass actions of this world, believe that you can make a difference and never stop fighting for a planet worth living on.

Lies Are Easy, Truth Is Hard

As I drove home listening to the news I heard about snapchat being valued at 25 billion. Why, I wondered, would it be worth that much? Granted I haven’t used it in years but a friend told me about the new features and how people liked to subscribe to celebrities because presumably they can feel like they know famous people better. It got me thinking again.

Why do many people spend more time cultivating relationships with people over social media or the Internet and less time investing in real life interactions and relationships? Why limit yourself to acquaintance networks that never really scratch the surface of the people in them? Sure social media and acquaintance networks are easy because they require minimal effort to establish and maintain,  but they also offer little back in return and are the equivalent of fast food friendships. Where’s the substance? They aren’t built on a strong foundation and can fall apart much easier because there is such a paltry investment required of them. In relation to the people who follow or subscribe to celebrities,  the entire concept that you have any connection with them at all is basically an illusion. Of course fiction is much easier to create and maintain than real life.

I wonder if it’s this very proclivity towards illusionary,  low-effort relationships that contributed to an environment where someone like Donald Trump could become president. Sometimes I feel like we live in a world where it’s easier to believe the lies than it is to believe the truth. I’m not ok with that. I must belong to that camp of people that value quality over quantity. I value truth over lies even if the truth hurts. I want genuine relationships with the people in my life, I want to experience events for myself and make memories that mean something to me.

How did humanity get to this point? Alternative facts shouldn’t be a thing. Having to be highly skeptical of every single accusation that comes along because there were people willing to lie about events just to create more chaos in the world makes me want to cry and rage, which might have been the point. What message are we sending to the world,  to younger generations? Some things need to matter and effort must be exerted. Yes lies are easy and truth is hard but a world without substance isn’t sustainable.

 

I’m Not Going Quietly On This One

I have had several conversations with friends/family about this and no matter what analogy I try to come up with to explain why this election upset me so much when no other one did I seem to continue to fail in my ability to communicate what my actual issue is to them.  Either that or there just won’t be a way for the different sides to understand each other.  I suppose they’ve completely failed to communicate to me why they would support him.  Just keep saying they agree with what he says and when I ask for clarification (you agree with the things stated above?) they get mad and claim he didn’t mean any of that and it’s all the media twisting things.  Except he did say all those things. They can’t tell me what he said that they do agree with and I don’t know if it’s because they aren’t able to admit to me where they actually stand on these things or maybe they aren’t able to admit to themselves.  I’m done not taking a side though.  I’m not looking the other way and hoping for the best.  I’m not forgetting. Not this time.

1998 Called…

“It’s a Fine Line Between the Monkey and the Robot”

Spend a day trying to sum it up with one quotation
Spend a lifetime as a model of the phrase
Modern man automated to withhold our thoughts with hesitation
Life of redundancy with single mind and double face
And I got to wonder where such a small man got so much hate
Got our own opinions but don’t throw them on the open floor
Get lost in the repetition and don’t want to hear them anymore
Thousands of us dead today, thousands went unfed today
And all we talk about’s the fucking weather
Got your fingers in your ear because you’ve heard it all before
Roll your eyes as if there’s nothing left to say
Here it is, nothing’s changing and I think that’s something
We can not ignore
Dismiss your boredom because I won’t be what you became
Life’s so happy over there on the sidelines
Ant that’s where you’ll stay
Got our own opinions but don’t throw them on the open floor
Get lost in repetition and don’t want to hear them anymore
Thousands of us dead today, thousands went unfed today
And all we talk about’s the fucking weather
And I’ll keep singing the same songs
I’m sorry if you’re bored now
But I can’t understand spending life ignoring
The other side of the story 

Tidal Wave

I occasionally touch on the topics of depression and anxiety, they are not strangers to me (or to most people I suspect) but I tend to have a pretty good grip on my battle with them.

Except when I don’t.

After the US presidential election I tried to calm myself down and rationalize. I tried to focus on other things. I tried to remain positive and hopeful. The key word is tried. I tried and I failed harder than I ever have on the battlegrounds before.

I felt like I was in a boss fight (video game references will be used in this analogy) and I’d not only run out of teammates who could restore HP but I’d run out of potions to cure my failing health and the attacks just kept coming with no time to heal. KO, game over, cue the end music of defeat.

I’ve lost the majority of my favorite (most loved) people and all my safety nets, my house reminds me daily of my loss, changes at work were stressing me out, my immediate family is struggling, the values I hold dear are under attack and the future of the planet’s ability to sustain human life continues to grow more vulnerable. I no longer have a partner to face the world with and it’s unlikely I will ever have children. I simply couldn’t convince myself there was anything worth sticking around for. I would go to sleep and think “please don’t let me wake up” and each morning when I did wake up I just wanted to cry even more.

Logically I knew/know I have a lot of amazing things going for me. I have the best support network a person could ask for, I have a team that I love and loves me at work (the stress wasn’t related to my team), I have a house worth vastly more than the mortgage, I have an enviable skillset and generally good health. None of that mattered when I was in the harshest vice grip depression ever got on me. I gave zero fucks about any of it. I was as numb as one could get, sociopathic levels of lack of feeling.  I couldn’t get out and even the anxiety that triggered was a shadow of itself, paling in darkness of that pit.

I’m not even entirely sure how I broke free. I am still operating under extreme caution. Still mostly numb but more functional. Little snippets of feeling seeping back in, the smile doesn’t seem as forced. My resignation was not accepted, the show must go on…apparently.

I don’t know what the future holds, I do know that I am far more concerned and invested in the outcome than I had let on.

Did the election have this kind of effect on anyone else?