Dear New Year’s

Dear New Year’s,

Hello there soon-to-be-New Year’s Eve!  I adore your representation as a cute little cherub, with so much to look forward to – so much potential.

Here’s the problem, though: So many people see that incredible opportunity to become and experience whatever the new year brings as a chance to berate themselves.  It’s seen as a time to look back at all we’ve done wrong in the last twelve months, all the ways we haven’t been enough, all the times we dropped the ball or didn’t follow our own advice.  And there might be something to evaluating one’s stock and wanting to create more room for growth in the future, but so many people get stuck in the mud and never turn toward the sunshine and never water their dreams and goals and end up never seeing that growth.

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Innocent Until Proven Guilty

When someone is accused of a crime, they are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, right?  I don’t know that this is actually the way things play out, though.  Especially with social media being what it is, everyone has an opinion about who’s guilty.  And, that’s not fair to those who deserve a day in court to defend themselves against allegations of wrong-doing.

More importantly, perhaps, are the assumptions made about those that make the allegations.

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Would It Be So Bad?

I’ve seen the frustrated comments about having women sign contracts to hold hands.  I’ve seen the attempts at jokes about cartoon characters sexually assaulting each other.  I’m heard the remarks from women of faith stating that it’s our role to be there for our husbands whenever they desire.  And I’d just like to stand up and say…would it be so bad if we respected each other enough to check in and be sure the person we want to have sex with also wants to have sex with us?

Would it really be so freaking hard?

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Bullying – A Story and a Plea

I remember when I was younger and got teased.  I remember it happening often in elementary school, especially on the bus.  A few kids would call me names, pull my hair, kick the back of my seat.  When I complained to my mom and didn’t want to ride the bus, she told me to tell them to stop.  I did, they didn’t.  She sighed and said they probably just liked me.  Apparently, sometimes people pick on someone they like.  I told the kids that and they stopped.  I get an awkward giggle about that now.

There were some more significant situations, but it could all be filed under teasing and picking.  As we got older kids passed notes and put nasty comments in writing.  In middle and high school, sometimes vandalism was employed.  I remember two girls that were spatting over something and one stuck unused menstrual pads to the outside of the other’s locker.  I remember because I saw it happen and was called in to the Principal’s office to give the name of who did it.  I was also talked to about the importance of speaking up for others and not being an accomplice to bad behavior.

That same Principal made sure my rapist was never in any of my classes, even though no official proceedings ever took place.  He was proactive, kind, and made an impact in my life.  Nip things in the bud before teasing and picking became the kind of bullying that creates ripples of doubt and pain.  That’s what things were like back in my day.  Now-a-days things are a little different.

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What Is Self Care?

Yeah, what is it? It’s one of those phrases that gets tossed around from time to time, but what does it really mean? You know the answer won’t be simple – nothing ever is, right?

Self care refers to anything you do to take care of yourself – your mental, physical and emotional health.  That encompasses a lot.  It’s pretty much everything.  And you should do it.

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Shameless Plug

This month  I may be a bit quiet on here…but only because I’m using my voice somewhere else.  I’ve been thinking about writing a book for a while and have tossed around several concepts.  One that I keep coming back to is helping sexual assault survivors.  I don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself how I can best do that.

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The Bus

Today a story came out in a local paper in a place we’ve called home more than once.  The short of it is that, “For the third time in about three years, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is investigating allegations of sexual assault on a North Kitsap School District bus.”  That first line of the article brought tears to my eyes.  And then the tears fell, and steadily kept coming down while I read not only the story but the comments too.

I don’t usually read comments.  Thankfully these weren’t nasty and awful.  Most were sad, confused, and frustrated.  One theme that I noticed, though, was the whole, “kids these days” idea.

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