Crime Against a Creative Spirit

Legislating away my right to create is criminal. Sometimes its the weather or circumstances that commit the crime which freezes imagination. Might as well hit it with liquid nitrogen.
Creativity holds an artist hostage. It plagues the mind at inopportune moments (like when I should be sleeping). The very element of creating can wind up like a fast-pitched softball and, if released too early, peter out short of the plate (our expectations).


Lately, I’ve been keeping up with one of my betterment goals designed for No Fear this Year. It involves reading an inspirational book before bed at least four nights per week.
The current read looks to link creativity and spirituality. It’s an interesting connection, but I’ve yet to sell myself on its reality.

The Difference between Soul and Spirit

Even though my title mentions the creative spirit, I believe creativity emerges from my soul.
The soul is the part inside me that makes me have the character, personality and world views that distinguish me as an individual. While I strive to grow my character to look like Jesus Christ’s, I’m certain my personality is not a thing like his. Because I’m a woman living in the 21st Century, my world view looks completely different, too.
On the other hand, the spirit in me is what makes me alive. It’s the breath of life that God gave Adam on the day of his formation. It’s the thing that keeps my heart beating and lungs working without any conscious thought on my part. And if the spirit of life leaves, then those automatic functions stop, too.
Therefore, I believe the soul is the source of my creativity and the spirit the source of my existence.
Can creativity be linked to spirituality then?

The Difference between Heart and Mind

There’s another level of personality that I see as diverse. Decisions I make might originate in the heart but are carried out by the mind.
The heart is the seat of my emotions. This is where I feel the death of the hunting dog in Where the Red Fern Grows. It’s where disgust over political lies or ire about injustice kindle and ignite.

Is this linked with creativity? Is creativity all about emotion?

My mind is where reason holds court. It listens to the exclamations and rhetoric of the heart’s reactions, and it weighs that in my soul’s world view balance. If it deems there is sufficient reason to act, the mind wills my mouth or body to do so.
I hope my mind is engaged when I’m creating. It should be running the show when I’m worshiping, too.
In this case, I believe both the mind and the heart are involved in pursuits of creativity and spirituality. Things that are emotion-driven might seem to come from the heart, but the heart is only a messenger. It can’t act apart from the mind. (Although there are times when I let my heart lead and wished I’d thought things through a little better.)

Creativity or Spirituality?

This brings me back to my original inquiry. Is there a link between my creative self and my spiritual self?
Unless I’m two people, there’s a link. It’s me. My individuality that shines forth through my lifestyle.
Can the spirit operate on it’s own? Or is spirituality tied to every facet of life because it is the seed of life?
If only I had the answer. Perhaps when I finish the book, I’ll know for certain if these two aspects of my being are related. At times, I’ve felt deeply spiritual while being wildly creative. However, there are plenty of instances when I was quite spiritual without a creative thought, and creating like mad without being spiritual.
I believe that means they aren’t mutually exclusive. Perhaps I would be more creative if I focused wholly on strengthening my spiritual side. But am I less spiritual when I set my imagination free?
The truest crime against my creative spirit is giving it a question like this that has no definitive answer.

Do you think creativity and spirituality are linked? What drives your creative spirit into hibernation?

Once Upon a Stage

Once upon a time, I picked up an easy two-hour subbing assignment (for which I would be paid as if I worked four hours). Enter stage left.

Drama as a class in high school is something I have plenty of experience with.

Drama as most high school students want to play it is something I’d rather avoid.

What’s a Mime?

During the last class of the day, a sub expects robust energy. Yes, while the teacher’s mind is fading, blinking out to the large drink and crispy apple waiting at home, the students are revving up to do whatever it is they’re going to do once the final bell rings.

A mime is a silent actor.

The TA did her best to introduce the giddy dramatists to turn off their voices and exaggerate the movements she directed.

I applaud this girl. She had stage presence and enough projection to silence any craziness. In fact, she was able to keep a higher percentage of the class on task than I did in my last middle school final-class-of-the-day.

One girl had silent music she jitterbugged to the entire time. A skinny boy wearing a plaid shirt mimed his force pulls and throws pretty impressively.

And I wonder how often we’re going through the motions of life. Listening to some offstage voice calling out moves.

Isn’t there more to life than this? Shouldn’t I be going somewhere?

But watching the ladder-climbing or stair-climbing mimes distracts from any deep reflection.
Like so many unnamed distractions from those things that would add meaning to our lives.

And I’m back in the auditorium supervising a group of students. The class period is winding down. I can tell by the deconstruction of the actors’ concentration on the invisible treasure chest.

Sounds like this once upon a stage ends in a happily ever after. Exit stage right.

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.
Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.
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What Being Anesthetized Showed Me about Life

I recently endured my first experience “under anesthesia.” The experience opened my eyes to a few things: namely how many people walk through life in this state.

Sure, all of us need a local anesthetic from time to time. Who wants the dentist drilling without a little Novacane? And isn’t that what a slice of pie is for after a hard day being misunderstood?

This post isn’t about those temporary moments of escapism from the ugliness of life. I spent an entire year escaping into books one time…because those fantasy worlds knew nothing of divorce and abandonment.

Adulthood means you have to face these disappointments, but nothing says you can’t take a break here and there with your local anesthetic of choice.

Living under the influence of the Big Bopper of general anesthesia? That’s what put our world in the ugly bind we’re facing.

Anesthetize: to render physically insensible, as by a substance that produces a general loss of the senses of feeling (pain, heat, cold, touch)

What it Means

anesthetize_defin

There’s the dictionary definition of the word (thank to dictionary.com).

Feeling nothing because a foreign substance has blocked the receptors in your brain.

That was great in the operating room. Scalpels cut into my abdomen. Scopes and tubes moved around in there to locate and remove the offending organs.

I didn’t want to feel any of that. And the doctors wouldn’t have been to concentrate if I had been feeling the pain.

That doesn’t mean my body wasn’t affected. Nope. That’s why I spent a few days with my feet up and holding my side whenever I engaged my abdominal muscles.

Without the anesthetic, my brain registered every dislocated cell.

If we put this on the societal scale, it means we’re allowing something to deaden our sensibilities.

Mental Anesthesia

I’m one of the first people who turns off the news and tunes out the media. They are the biggest perpetrators of spreading a foreign substance.

Most of the time it incites fury or riots. It encourages people to bicker and complain, call for the revocation of second amendment rights.

But it’s still a mental anesthesia.

Why? Because it dulls independent thought.

Rather than disseminating facts and allowing people to draw conclusions, the media anesthetizes us. They decide which bits of information they will share and how to twist it so hearers respond with emotion.

Anesthetize the higher thinking centers of the brain and stimulate the amygdala, where intense feelings come from.

No need for me to dredge up examples of news articles or videos that were constructed in this way. Just mentioning it has reminded everyone reading this of such a story.

Time to Recover

After my surgery, I woke up in the recovery room. It was here that I blinked sleepily and wondered where I was. The last thing I knew, I’d climbed onto the cold operating table.

And now my mouth was the Kalahari Desert and my eyelids refused to remain open.

What would the recovery room look like for your mind? Maybe you get news from independent sources that report facts. You double-check their sources.

Instead of getting emotional, try engaging your mind.

It took several hours before I was alert enough to walk out of the hospital. The rest of the day was mostly a haze of “what’s going on?” but after a good night’s sleep, my brain could function again.

Are we living under mental anesthesia?

If so, how can we sleep off the foreign substance that’s lulled us into such a state?

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.

Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.

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What Makes a Woman Old?

I had a landmark birthday recently. And I totally expected to feel old. Which made me start to wonder: what does that even mean?

Old is a state of mind they say.

You’re only as old as you feel.

Don’t think of age as a number.

You’ve heard all the platitudes and sayings. But they are only words.

Wrong Thinking

I like Mark Twain. He had killer wit.

mindoverage-marktrwain

And in this case, I totally agree with him. Age, like enduring the pain in boot camp, is all about mind over matter.

As my birthday neared, I kept dreading the big five-zero.

But why?

Would I really be decrepit on my birthday when I was totally able-bodied the day before it?

In fact, since I was 23 and got my first gray hair (I thank my firstborn for this), I’ve had an interesting idea about age and getting old.

wisdom_highlights

Speaking of Which

While we’re on the subject of my firstborn, today is his birthday.

That’s right. Twenty-six years ago a cute little boy interrupted all the plans that went before him.

Because having kids does more than reshape your figure. And your finances. And your sleep schedule.

Suddenly the young couple becomes a young family. And family trumps all other things.

It’s hard to claim the age of 39 (which I found to be a perfect point in my life) when you’re standing beside a tall, handsome nearly-30-year-old to whom you gave birth.

Uh, yeah. I was still in middle school when I had him.

Not. (And even the thought of that is more terrifying than watching a scary movie marathon.)

My Body Has Other Ideas

The problem with this mind over matter thinking? Sometimes a body refuses to cooperate.

I’m not talking about those phantom aches and pains.

Imagine: You sit on the examining table and glance over at the ultrasound screen. Your name and date of birth are in bright characters at the top.

A neon sign blares “AGE: 50”

This test is in preparation for your first ever surgery the next week.

“Wow. You made it fifty years without ever needing anesthesia.” I didn’t imagine the hint of awe in the admission nurse’s voice.

Could someone stop reminding me of my age?

And my body—which refuses to act like the 30-year-old vessel I imagine– should be the engine of that train.

Let me say that when you’re recovering from a “minor procedure” you feel every second of your actual age. No matter what you claim, the 50-year-old cells don’t repair things at the rapid rate of 30-year-old ones.

Now back to the question posed in the title of this post. A woman is as old as the calendar says minus a decade or two if she’s taken care of her body.

Most people don’t look closely at the crow’s feet around my eyes or the brown spots on my jaw. They see the wide, white smile and twinkling eyes.

Those are the characteristics of someone whose age isn’t on her mind. She’s too busy living life to worry about some arbitrary number.

Ladies, the only thing that can make a woman old is her declaration that she is old.

What do you think makes a woman (or a man) old?

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.

Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.

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My Appointment with Dr. Doom

This week hasn’t gone according to plan. And that really shouldn’t surprise any of us. But when someone suggests I need an appointment with Dr. Doom?

Blog posts are born.

If you’re at all interested in the Marvel Comic Universe (and you probably realize I follow it through the films), what comes to your mind when you hear the name Dr. Doom?

Victor Von Doom the supervillain who is the archnemesis of the Fantastic Four.

If you’re not a fan of those comics, maybe you have a totally different thought.

Here are a few of mine:

Just No

There are some names that doctors should not have.

When I was in high school I dated a college guy who wanted to be a doctor.

His last name was Gouge.

As in Doctor-Gouge-out-your-eyes

Just…no.

And a gynecologist named Doom? I’m pretty sure that’s not any better.

I’m in the delivery room, getting ready to push a baby into the world. My doctor isn’t there yet, so the hospital sends out a page.

Over the intercom everyone hears: “Dr. Doom to delivery room four. Dr. Doom your patient is ready to deliver.”

My child is going to be guided into the world by Dr. Doom?

Uh…no.

Rules for Doctor Names

In this world where the government seems to have a say about everything else, I figure we may as well install some rules about names doctors can have.

After all, doctors are healers. They are supposed to inspire a sense of confidence in their patients.

When they step in to the exam room, hold out a hand and say, “I’m Dr. Doom. It’s nice to meet you” that doesn’t exactly happen.

After you banish pictures of Juilan McMahon from your mind (who this woman in front of you obviously is NOT),

your brain starts the chant.

Doom. Doom. Doom.

It’s the drumbeat telling you to escape while you still can.

Tell me, would you want to be treated by Dr. Payne? Dr. Hurt? Dr. Dent? Dr. Fang? Dr. Rash?

Maybe a surgeon named Dr. Skinner would send you screaming from the room. Or Dr. Lynch? Dr. Slaughter? Dr. Kilgore? Dr. Blood?

Some names would make you scratch your head, wondering if it was a sign or portent of things to come. Names like Dr. Kwak, Dr. Stasik, Dr. Gutman or Dr. Lecher.

My Sad Story

I didn’t actually get to meet Dr. Doom. The emergency room physician referred me to her, but she was booked for this week.

I had to see her associate, Dr. Rangle. And no, she didn’t have to wrangle me into the stirrups or hog tie me. Regardless of what her name implies.

Have you ever met a doctor whose name instilled something other than confidence? Share your stories below.

I’m off to Hawaii in the morning, but my blogs will still appear while I’m gone. I promise to fill you in if anything noteworthy happens while I’m basking under the Waikiki sunshine.

But I’m really hoping for an uneventful trip. Wouldn’t want to have to see Dr. Doom when I get back.

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.
Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.
Already read one of more? Please leave an honest review on your favorite site. That’s like the author discovering a gold nugget in the bottom of her washing machine.

		

Do you have to be Sarah Connor to be a Tough Woman?

Sarah Connor faced down The Terminator. And went to the loony bin where she worked out a plan of escape.

If you’ve watched any of the Terminator movies, you know the story. Sarah’s son John Connor is the one who unites humanity in the future war against machines. Machines that somehow achieved sentience and began destroying their human creators.

How’s that for gratitude?

Sarah Connor is one tough mama. In the original movie, she’s on the run like crazy from the Terminator. This is the only movie wherein her son sent a human back in time to preserve the time line make sure he would even be born. Yeah, I like the twist of that first movie the best.

In Judgment Day, we see an older and much more buff version of the scared blonde from the first movie. This is the Sarah Connor everyone identifies as someone too tough to be messed with.

I mean, check out those arms?

sarah-connor

How many pushups and pullups does a girl have to do while locked in a room at the funny farm to get those guns?

And Sarah is good with all kinds of guns.

But that’s not what makes a woman tough.

My Tough Gal Checklist

Let’s face it, if we met Sarah Connor on the street, toting her assault rifle, we wouldn’t be in awe. We’d be terrified.

So how can we be tough without being scary? (Unless scary is what you’re going for)

Here’s what it takes to be a tough woman:

  • Stand for what you believe in
  • Don’t back down from protecting others
  • Avoid confrontation if there’s a better way to solve the problem
  • Solve problems rather than complaining about them
  • Put your family’s safety first
  • Speak the truth with a loving tone (and never with the intent to wound)
  • Push back without pushing buttons
  • Work hard for what you want
  • Take care of your responsibilities
  • Ask for help when you need it (hey, tough women know they can’t do it all on their own)

What things would you add to this list?

How Average is Amazing

Too many times, women blow up their ideal role model into something larger than life. And then feel like total failures when she doesn’t measure up.

Sarah Connor is a fictional character.

You are a real person.

I’d rather be around the real you. Average is nothing to scoff at.

In fact, most of the time the average mother is nothing short of amazing. The average homemaker is a wizard of accomplishment. The average teacher is underpaid but doesn’t give her students any less because of if.

Average can be amazing when we decide to keep moving forward.

How many things on the checklist above describe you? If even five of them do, I’d say you’re pretty amazing.

Let’s face it, none of us want to have to protect our family from a machine-gun toting robot that can’t be destroyed. The models that can reshape themselves into any form and mimic voices? We wouldn’t even know if we met up with those terminators.

What do you think makes someone tough? What do you admire most about Sarah Connor?

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.

Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.

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Video Training: Does it train you?

Every year the school district sends a link to some video courses. It wasn’t one of the things I missed when I became a full-time writer. Now that I’m a substitute teacher, guess what?

I get a link to a bunch of video training classes and associate quizzes.

This year their were nine different classes. At least two of them were completely new. At least four of them I had taken at least ten times already.

But a refresher course is good, right?

As I clicked through the slides, scanning the classes I’d already taken, I wondered how much training I was really receiving.

Would I need to dispose of something blood-soaked while I was at the school? Did my knowledge of the homeless statistics and federal programs enable me to assist students?

In short—do these video training courses really train you?

The Process

So many statutes govern public education. And I don’t remember what year the privacy act went into effect. Or when concessions were made advocating special services for homeless students.

Why do I need to recall the year?

But that’s one of the quiz questions. Every. Time.

The district sends a link. An employee or substitute clicks through and verifies their personal information.

The next step is to open up the list of courses you’re required to watch and pass a quiz over. Because we all know, people would just run the videos and walk away from their computer if their wasn’t a quiz at the end.

Once the course has finished running, there is a link to the quiz. Quizzes are between 8 and 20 questions, with most of them being 10 questions.

The Shortcuts

Of course there are ways to shorten the time it takes to go through the courses.

I don’t listen to the narration. Even though I generally am an auditory learner, I’ve taken these courses often enough that just reviewing the information visually will help me pass the quizzes.

After all, do I really need to listen to someone reading the screens to me.

Failed Power Point presentation=when the presenter says exactly what’s on the screen.

You can take the quiz without watching any of the video. I did this with the blood-born pathogen class. After taking the same thing ten times, I think I know the answers. It was also only an 8-question test.

According to the time ratings on my courses, it should have taken me 210 minutes to complete all the videos. Using my shortcuts, I finished in around 100 minutes.

Still a colossal waste of time in my opinion.

Putting it in Practice

To answer the question, I think that video training courses benefit regular employees more than they do a substitute. (No, I’m not just saying this because I don’t want to take the classes.)

Daily interaction with homeless students and educational records make an employee aware that their are rules in place. They might even use some of the best practices if they have affected students in their classroom.

The truth is, if I witness bullying, I will step in and stop it. And I will report it. Because that’s who I am, not because I read a bunch of Power Point slides on the subject.

And, yes, I passed all the quizzes. I have to in order to substitute in the school district.

But I don’t think these videos make me more prepared. I still need to adopt a mindset of caring toward the students. This will involve daily choices when I’m on a job.

What do you think? Have you completed video training? Is it effective? How is it better/worse than in-person training sessions?

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Get anything you want – in the mail

Thanks to Amazon and other online vendors, a person never needs to leave their house to be supplied with anything they want. Everything they want—as long as they have a credit card limit high enough—will come to them in the mail.

Or be delivered by another parcel service.

The other day, the UPS man rang the bell at my door. I can see the porch from my office, and I noticed he wasn’t ringing and running like he usually does. Interesting.

When I opened the door, he held out the little electronic keypad thing-a-ma-jig they use these days.

“I need your signature today,” he says.

“I don’t even know what’s in the package.” I said this before I saw it was addressed to my husband. I hadn’t ordered anything I needed to sign for.

“It contains alcohol,” he informs me. Alcohol? We don’t even drink alcohol?

Or is there something my husband isn’t telling me???

“Signature required by law.”

Well who I am to break the law?

by_law

After he verified my name (since no one can sign those digital do-dads with any legibility), he handed me the package.

After checking that the box was from Alex in Laguna, California. And it was indeed addressed to my husband, I sent a text to The Man at work.

He didn’t know what it was either. Even after I sent him a picture of the label.

Things I Get all the Time

I get packages on a pretty regular basis. Mostly because it’s so easy to order anything I want and have it delivered.

Why leave the sanctuary of my home to purchase items if they will come to me? For just a few dollars more.

Amazon supplies me with:amazon-package

  • Books
  • Home decor
  • Gifts
  • Furniture
  • Shoes
  • And pretty much anything I can imagine.

But I also have become adept at clothes shopping. Who wants to go to the mall by themselves? Not me.

Why try on clothes in a cramped changing room when you can do it in the comfort of your own bedroom?

Right. Return fees.

It’s pretty amazing how many companies run specials that include free returns.

Of course, when I’m ordering my bras from Victoria’s Secret, I know the style and size I like. There’s not much risk of having to return them. Unless they are damaged.

It’s not that I don’t like shopping. I on’t want to go by myself. And why fight the crowds on the weekend when all my friends are finally off work and available to hit the stores with me?

Services I’m Trying Out

Recently, I’ve become part of the crowd that uses repeat delivery services.

I began this years ago with Gevalia coffee. Delicious stuff. In fact, I should probably look into starting that up again. I canceled it before we moved because I had a year’s worth of coffee stockpiled in my freezer.

Last year, my insurance finally came up with a mail-order prescription service that wasn’t a pain in the patooty. They ship me a 90-day supply of my daily medications automatically and charge my co-pay to my credit card.

So I get three months of meds for what I used to pay each month at the drugstore.

Save money? I’m in. Added convenience? I’m doubly pleased with myself.

auto_delivery

What other things is the delivery man setting on my porch on a regular schedule? Well:

  • Cat food (from PetCo delivered every six weeks)
  • Shakeology -my healthy breakfast-delivered every two months

And I recently signed up for Stitch Fix. This is a service that sends you five clothing items (you choose the frequency). You keep only what you want. They send you an addressed, postage-paid envelope for the returns.

Yes there’s a fee for the delivery even if you keep nothing.

But nothing is free in this world.

I’m looking forward to having my own personal stylist and seeing what sort of outfits she/he puts together for me each month. Actually, I signed up for an every two month delivery for this, too.

The end of the story

Oh, the package that started this story? You want to know what it was and who it was from?

Well no good gossip here.

It was a bottle of wine with the option of signing up for a wine-of-the-month club. (See? Here’s another thing you can get via mail.)

The sender happened to be one of the owners of a company who did work for us recently. They were thanking us for our business.

We could have used a Home Depot gift card rather than the wine. But what do you expect from a guy who lives in California?

What sort of things have you gotten in the mail (or in a package delivered to your door)?

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Epiphany on the TP Roll

It matters if the toilet paper rolls from the top of the roll or the bottom. Articles have been written on the subject. Memes have blasted around the Internet. Not long ago, I had my own epiphany thanks to a roll of toilet paper.

From the Top

I once read in a reputable magazine that more successful people make sure their toilet paper rolls from the top.

In fact, I think they made some cool-sounding quip like: over-achievers roll over the top. Get it?

I recall checking out my toilet paper the next time I was in the restroom. And switching it from its under-achieving state of being.

“My husband must have put that roll out.”

That under-achieving man! Everyone knew a Type A perfectionist like me would go far in the world.

If that meant getting my toilet paper from the top of the roll instead of the bottom? What could it possibly hurt?

From the Bottom

But you know how different experts have differing opinions about everything. This includes the issue of how toilet paper rolls.

Somewhere at some point after my roll-reversal, I read there was another reason people might let toilet paper dispense from the underside of the roll.

This genius claimed that cat owners rolled their paper that way. Apparently, it made that tempting paper more difficult for cats to unroll. Or maybe it made the paper a less-attractive target.

It’s been many years since I discovered this amazing news.

I could put my toilet paper back to under-achieving mode. And blame it on my cats. For real.

And of course I did it. Not even blinking at how this might make me look in the eyes of people who knew about the over-over quip.

I didn’t even work this new information about cats with toilet paper fetishes into the conversation. Too often.

How it Made Rejection Okay

Fast forward to a recent day in the life of an author who reached the twelve-week point of no return.

What I mean to say is, the publisher that asked for my dystopian young adult novel still had the manuscript well beyond the promised eight-to-ten week notification window.

It had been a couple weeks since the publisher’s editor said that the manuscript was at the top of the pile. It would be read next. The publisher was giving it due-diligence.

And the toilet paper rolled from the underside of the dispenser.

At that moment a light went on.

I was getting rejected because I had allowed my cats to dictate my success.

Rather than demanding that I step up and succeed, I’d compromised by flipping the toilet paper rolls.

It wasn’t my lack of writing credentials. Nothing about my story lacked.

I just needed to flip the stupid toilet paper roll over. And BAM-success would follow.

As I reached to do the deed, it occurred to me that once I flipped the toilet paper roll around and claimed my right to over-achievement, my scapegoat for failure would no longer be available.

Decisions. Decisions.

I told you this whole issue of how to roll your toilet paper was of utmost importance.

So, what do you think? Did I flip it or not?

Do Good Girls make lousy Superheroes?

I’ve been watching Arrow for many months now. It’s the “thing” my husband and I do on Sunday evenings. We’ve finished the third season now and WOW, talk about tying things in a pretty bow. All this to say: I’ve come to the conclusion that nice girls (and guys) make lousy superheroes.

Wait! What?

Isn’t Captain America the ultimate nice guy? *nods head*

Image from Marvel-movies
Image from Marvel-movies

Hasn’t this writer said he is her favorite superhero-right on this blog? *nods again and shares link*

So am I going back on everything I’ve said before. Nope. Well, maybe. You’ll get to decide once you read my thoughts.

Vigilante or Superhero?

I talked about this issue before in a post about Captain America: Civil War. I don’t want to rehash all those details. If you want, you can read them here.

The Arrow and his alter ego Oliver Queen aren’t your run-of-the-mill nice guys. In fact, when I first met Mr. Queen I didn’t really like him.

Hero or Vigilante?
Hero or Vigilante?

But if a guy wants to go outside the law to make his hometown a better place, and uses skills attained during five years of hell, he grows on you. Or he did me. The guy has so many demons – most of which come back to haunt him on a daily basis – that it’s hard not to feel for him.

In the end of season three, the Arrow is destroyed by carefully constructed plans of the League of Assassins. Bodies pile up – most of them blamed on the Arrow, who has spent two of his three years in the green hood NOT killing anyone.

There are twists galore in every episode of this season. A few of them made me roll my eyes. Others were threaded in so seamlessly that my jaw dropped. I may even have screamed a little, scaring my cat away from his cuddling spot.

Depending on who you ask, the Arrow is a vigilante. Or a superhero. And it seems like the line between them is blurred beyond visibility.

A vigilante is NOT a nice guy. Even if he helps the good guys-namely the police-to apprehend the really bad guys. There are laws in place. He’s breaking them by shooting arrows at people and leaving them strung up for the police to book into the system.

Who Decides the Bar for “Nice”?

So, is the Arrow a vigilante or a superhero?

Once upon a time, Captain Lance was persuaded from his vigilante stance because the Arrow saved his life. And his own daughter Sara teamed up with the vigilante to clean up the streets after a huge infrastructure breakdown.

So really, Lance only accepted the Arrow because of Sara.

This is totally evident when he turns on not only the Arrow but his other daughter once he discovers that Sara’s death has been kept from him. Because that’s a totally unforgivable lie. *rolls eyes*

What would it have changed if he knew?

Apparently, his view on vigilantism.

Because even though Laurel is trying to step into the Black Canary leathers, her siding with the vigilante doesn’t carry the same weight as it did for Sara. Huh? This is one of many weak links in this reasoning on the TV series.

Does the law decide the standard for nice? If you keep the law, you’re a good person.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve met plenty of folks who keep most laws but I don’t consider them nice and wouldn’t want to be their friend.

If not the law, then does the media decide who’s good or bad? If you read this earlier post, you know my thoughts on the media. They only care about what will make the biggest story: truth is optional.

So it’s the general public who determines what makes someone nice?

D203

And let me tell you, every person’s definition and ideal is as different as a unicorn and an elephant.

Being a Good Girl who doesn’t finish Last

Good girls finish last.

Have you found this old adage to be true in your life?

For me, it depends on what/who determines the finish line.

If the finish line is wealth, I’ll gladly claim I’m too nice and that’s why I’m not rich. But if someone thinks having a comfortable lifestyle is the finish line, then I’ve suddenly become not at all a good girl.

Just like being “nice” and “good” is subjective and depends on who you ask, so is the finish line for this idiom.

Perhaps this saying means that if you’re good, you’ll finish last in EVERY race you enter in life. Your career will find you at the bottom of the pay scale. Your friends will wipe their feet on your loyalty. And your family will take advantage of your good nature at every turn.

Last place-again.

But that’s not true. Because this idiom is a generalization based on ONE set of standards. I believe the saying was created for the competitive world of business and adapted for use on the dating scene.

I can be nice and come in first. My win didn’t cost me integrity. I played fair and won the day.

Is the same true for a superhero? If a hero is always good and nice, will they be able to beat the villains?

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