Rabbit Ears and D.J.s

“Maybe this is why I feel like I’m masturbating all the time …”

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As I sit in my kitchen listening to the endless Florida rain, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the feeling of seperateness – how modern society provides a million different ways for humans to connect via the internet and yet we seem to be more disconnected than ever before.  I miss local radio stations with old-fashioned disc jockeys and not knowing what tune was going to play next.  I miss television with rabbit ears and waiting all week to watch Saturday morning cartoons.

We live in the pre-planned, pick-your-own, have-it-your-way-all-the-time era.  Netflix is cued to play only the shows we want to watch at the time most convenient for us, and music is selected for us based on our predictable pattern of past choices.  Maybe this is why I feel like I’m masturbating all the time – there is no sense of spontaneity in anything we do anymore because everything is available all the time with no waiting and no anticipatory excitement – just dull, flat, lukewarm enjoyment.  

I know it’s trite and has been discussed ad nauseum, and perhaps saying these things defines me as ancient, old, uncool, and not part of the current lifestyle – but what I see in this age of extreme convenience is profound unhappiness, impatience, and less tolerance for others. Everyone expects everything to take 7 seconds or less and frankly, I find I’m overwhelmed and bored at the same time.  I want to suffer through that song I “can’t stand” on the radio that the D.J. plays every hour – you know, the one we hear twenty years later that we know all the words to because it was played so frequently on the hit radio station when we were young.  I want to stand around the water cooler with my co-workers discussing if Carrie will finally admit that she loves Mr. Big in next week’s episode.  And when that Musak version of “Purple Rain” pops on in the elevator, and we all start quielty humming to it, I want us to remember that no matter how different we may seem to one another that we are connected by our humanity.  Put down your smartphones and smile at someone today. Ask them about a show they watched or a song they heard recently that reminds them of their childhood. Slow down and take time to connect in person with your friends, your neighbors, your community.  

A Birthday Wish

“…I needed some nature therapy to lift my spirits and remind me that there is still beauty in this world…”

After the horrific news yesterday, I needed some nature therapy to lift my spirits and remind me that there is still beauty in this world so I spent some time in my garden, picked grapefruit from our tree, and went on a nature walk. Today is also my birthday and I will be spending it celebrating with friends and family with a heavy heart, as my thoughts are  with the victims in Orlando and their loved ones. My birthday wish is that we finally learn to listen to one another with love and treat each other with compassion, instead of hurting each other. Hug your loved ones and smile at a stranger today. Life is fleeting and we need all the love and joy we can create together.

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Natural Healing: Rediscovering My Inner-hippie

(DISCLOSURE: This site does incorporate paid advertising and affiliate links. MamaMadHatter is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)

Being a stay-at-home mom of a homeschooled teenage daughter and a three year old girl can be overwhelming and physically exhausting at times, but since I began taking better care of myself six months ago (click here to read my article on how I lost 35 pounds), I am rarely ill anymore. However, during the past two weeks, the spring pollen caught up with me and I found myself suffering from an upper respiratory infection that I just couldn’t seem to shake.  The first week I took all of the typical over-the-counter (OTC) medications: Tylenol, Motrin, Theraflu, Claritin-D12, Benadryl (not at the same time, of course),  saline nasal spray  and menthol cough drops.  I drank a ton of water and mixed in my favorite go-to: Emergen-C powder powder. Nothing was working.  In fact, I seemed to be getting worse.  On the eighth day I was desperate for relief from the fatigue, the hacking cough, sore throat and stuffy nose.  That’s when  I remembered that I used to be a “hippie.” Continue reading “Natural Healing: Rediscovering My Inner-hippie”

Cats & Dogs: A Commentary on Marriage

GoodLuck
Illustration credit: Trinity Moss

I must admit, it’s been a rough weekend.  Albeit the Facebook album of our kids, standing on the sidewalk smiling and cheering at a parade in the sunshine of a beautiful spring morning, may portray a different image.  Trust me on this though – it was two days filled with constant irritation, frustration, nasty looks, and sarcastic comments between my hubby and me.  As he put it (during one of the many arguments we had in 48 hours), “We are like two gears that should be rotating together to help each other, but instead we are grinding against one another.”  Going to the grocery store, attending the parade, what to feed the children, how to manage the behavior of our firecracker preschooler we call “the baby,” – we just couldn’t agree on anything, no matter how small.  Continue reading “Cats & Dogs: A Commentary on Marriage”

Exercise & Bone Health

Keeping our bodies healthy is an ongoing challenge and every minute it seems that new research reveals another approach to maintaining and improving our health.  A few basic facts have managed to stand the test of time, however, and one of these is the impact of exercise on maintaining our bone health.

Growing up as a child in the 80’s, “Got milk?” was the running dairy ad on television and everyone from my generation remembers the poster of a celebrity with a milk mustache holding a large glass of white cow milk.   Click here to read the Huffington Post’s article, “The 31 Best ‘Got Milk’ ads, Definitively Ranked.”  We were taught year after year in grade school, via the U.S. FDA food pyramid, about the importance of eating dairy products because they held calcium that was good for our bones and were served a carton of milk with every school lunch. At home, my mom warned me of the consequences (I would stay short forever!) of not getting enough calcium, and encouraged me to consume at least a gallon per week with meals.

got-milk-superman

When I was twelve years old, I noticed at a family reunion that my grandmother looked a lot shorter than I remembered her being a few years earlier.  Her shoulders had begun to round forward and she appeared to hunch over as she walked.  My mom explained to me that grandma had osteoporosis and that she didn’t get enough calcium growing up.  As a body conscious pre-teen, this scared the dickens out of me and I drank my milk daily like it was going out of style! Continue reading “Exercise & Bone Health”

Fountain of Freedom

 Wildly flying down the street, wind in hair, wheels on fire, 
I knew then that life wouldn’t be easy
with you.
 
Screeching to a sudden stop, tires smoking, mid- construction zone, doors flung wide open,
we laughed as we struggled to shove the heavy, awkward, orange rubber cones
into the white two-door three-cylinder compact car we’d dubbed “the snail.”
 
Water rushing over the bras we left dangling on the fountain statue in the park
declaring our mark of freedom and feminism to the world, 
Jumping the fence to skinny dip under the full moonlight,
holding our breath underwater,
until we felt our lungs would burst,
we waited for the security guard to pass by on his nightly check.

You were the epitome of coolness,
all that I wanted to emulate –
the girl who lived free,
like life wasn’t full of unexpected surprises and bad news waiting around every bend. 

And then you became a statistic.
Teen pregnancy consumed you, swallowed you whole and spit you back out. 
Suddenly you were unrecognizable to me.
Once brazen, emboldened by life
now you seemed humble, meek,
an evening shadow of the girl you used to be.
 
We parted ways, 
you to follow your soul towards the mountains
while I drifted into a community of cult misfits
that would forever change my universe.
 
Much older now, two decades gone by,
I have daughters of my own 
and when I pass by that fountain we adorned with our fiery, unbridled youth, 
I smile and am thankful for those wild days….

Home Phone Etiquette

Everybody is accessible ALL the time now.  Most of the time, this is a wonderful thing.  My car breaks down? No problem! I just call for a tow truck on my cell.  Late for my dinner engagement?  No worries; I’ll just shoot them a text message.  However, there are those moments (and I know you know what I’m talking about here) when I really wish I was unreachable without having to explain why to the world.  I was reminded of this today while huffing and puffing during my workout, sweat pouring down my back,  as I received a non-emergent text message.   When I didn’t respond to the text within a minute,  I received three more calls in 90 seconds from the same individual.  Of course now I am concerned that this may be urgent, so I  rush to stop the rowing machine and clumsily grab the phone, still wearing my weightlifting gloves.  After the call (which was not an emergency after all), I found myself thinking: “Can we just go back to home phone etiquette, please?!?”

Let’s step back in time to the days when we only had two choices if calling someone: landline phones at our homes or businesses and payphones.  Back then, if someone called you three to four times in a row within a two minute timespan, the caller may have been labeled as overzealous, irritating, clingy, rude, and most definitely uncool.  Calling someone took forethought, consideration, and purposeful action.

For instance, take the time I planned a trip to Atlanta to see the first Lollapalooza when my parents thought I was going to the beach with my friend and her family.  The beach was only two hours away from my hometown, while Atlanta was a five hour drive.  It took a lot of plotting and planning for my teenage brain to remember to stop our car full of highschool rebels half-way through our travels to Hot’Lanta, locate a payphone, and have the necessary change to call home, all while smoothly selling my parents the lie that I was safely enjoying the Gulf with responsible adults.

{Sidebar: Listen to Jane’s Addiction’s “Whores” circs 1991 Lollapalooza}

Now let’s think about that scenario in today’s 24/7 age of constant communication – oh wait – my parents would bust me with the GPS tracking app “Find my iphone” as soon as our car merged onto the I-10 ramp headed north – nevermind.

By this example alone, one could argue that landlines encouraged creativity, organization, and independence in teens in ways that smart phones never will, but I digress…

All I’m asking for is a little consideration from the callers of the world.  Think about what the person may doing when placing your call, accept the silence if the party does not respond right away, leave a message, and give them ample time to contact you in return.   I think Lady Gaga says it best in her song:  “Telephone.”

If all else fails, pretend you are on this payphone:

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and you just used your last quarter.

*This post also appears on the Mom Bloggers Club.