Information Overload

breatheYesterday morning I woke up agitated, stressed and riddled with anxiety. I had just opened my eyes and hadn’t thrown back the covers yet, but I felt the anxiety overtaking my body.

My mind raced with thoughts of the election and the hateful things that were being spewed, the list of online things I had to do to promote my books, the emails I had to answer, the blog posts that needed to be written, a two-page to-do list and the thoughts of my grandson’s anxiety because of the hoopla of the clowns in the news recently. I realized I didn’t want to get out of bed and face my day.

Why was my mind playing all these things out before I even got out of bed? I was tired. I just wanted to cover my head and sleep and not talk to anyone.

The day before I had two friends tell me they were afraid to put a sign for their choice of Hilary for President in their yard because of repercussions from the opposite party, and they were worried about violence being directed at them. I can’t say I blame them. But it shouldn’t be that way. Those thoughts added to my anxiety. My stomach was churning and so I did what I felt I needed to do to recover—I pulled the blankets over my head and stayed in bed.

I could not face my social media. I could not peek at it. I could not deal with what was happening in the world. After a couple of hours of settling under the covers and snoozing in and out, I picked up a book and spent my day reading. I didn’t even answer my phone. Finally around 4:00 pm I knew I couldn’t ignore the world any longer because I had a book club I needed to attend. But I felt better.  I felt I could once again face the world.

I love Social Media but I don’t love what has been happening on my social media and I too have gotten pulled into the debate over the election. It is hard for one that writes for a living to keep her mouth shut and not voice her opinion, but I knew I didn’t want to be in this circus anymore.

I put too much time into debating the pros and cons of who should be President. It made me come away feeling vilified. I have spent too much time reading about the violence taking place in our society, especially the clown scare. The reason that concerns me is that my young grandson is scared. He is now scared of clowns and I and his parents spent the weekend reassuring him. I used to have a clown collection and I loved clowns and now that too has been spoiled for our children. My grandson will never think of clowns as funny creatures anymore. He didn’t hear this from his parents or the news but on the back of the school bus from 5th and 6th graders who heard it on the news.  He doesn’t feel safe anymore.

After my anxiety calmed I wondered what had caused my first thought of the day to be of the vile things that are happening today.  I came to the conclusion that I had been filling my life with treacherous news and it needed to stop. I can’t control the elections or what people believe no more than they can control how I feel. Our experiences are what makes us who we are and what we believe.

I can control what I put out into the world. I don’t need to debate nastiness but I can send out positive vibes. I can fill my life with positive things so I can handle the negative sources and challenges. I can only change what I do. I think that is all each of us can do. We are the only ones that can control what we contribute to others. So I want to fill the lives of my grandchildren and my friends with positive stories and positive vibes. I want to wake up with joy in my heart and not anxiety over the world.

I am going to try and do better. I am the only one that can choose that for me. Mohatma Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

What will you choose?

The Changeover Begins

sprinkle-life1Good Morning,

As I stated earlier there are some changes with this blog. It is going to be about pieces of my mind and musings when I can find the pieces. If you are looking for book things that I blog, you will want to visit my website Recently I published a couple of interviews with some very interesting authors, Jessie Chandler, Linda Crowder and J. B. Hawker. Here is the link for you to catch up on their new books. J. B. Hawker and more.  Enjoy and I will be back later with some of my own musings. While you are the blog make sure you sign up for newsletters and also to get an email when something new is published.

Have a beautiful day.

Perception or Reality?

perceptionMy latest column from the Albert Lea Tribune on October 3, 2016

I found my summer clothes. The problem with finding my summer clothes is that I was looking for my winter clothes. Do I have you confused yet?

At some point in the last year I organized my closet and my clothes, and instead of leaving summer and winter clothes together in my drawers and my closet, I decided to change them out so I would have more room. I function very well when I am not organized. I forget where I put things when I organize. Remember the place for everything and everything in its place? When things are in place I forget where that place is.

This summer I was sure I had more summer clothes the year before. But, I did remember I gave some of my summer clothes away. Last fall I weeded out those clothes that did not fit and got rid of those I wasn’t in love with. When spring and summer came this year I had four pairs of jeans, a couple dresses, seven summer shirts and a pair of shorts and capris. I washed more than usual. And I must say I got along with those few pieces of clothing choices. I berated myself for giving away some of my favorite items of clothing. I didn’t think I would have done that, but, I could not find them.

Cool weather is settling in. The other day I had to dress up a bit and I shoved and pushed my meager assortment of clothes in my closet to find my fall and winter dress pants. I knew I had some because I just bought them last year. Again, I seem to remember in the spring I decided to organize. But I can’t remember where I put my winter clothes. And, that is how I found my summer clothes. Actually it was Natasha, my beautiful, furry kitty, that helped me find my clothes. She hid under the bed, and as I tried to get her out, low and behold there was a flat storage container slid far enough under the bed to the middle that you couldn’t see it. Maybe I should dust under the bed once in a while.

Excitement filled my veins when I saw the container. I knew I must have put my winter clothes in it. I am not an under-the-bed storage person but I think I recall listening to an organizer guru that said it was the perfect place for clothes. I pulled off the lid and there they were — my summer clothes. My feelings held a mixture of excitement that I found my favorite summer blouse, and a mixture of disappointment because I couldn’t wear my dress pants to church.

Though we welcome the change of seasons in nature, it is perhaps harder to welcome the change of seasons in our lives as we age. One of the things that happens with age besides our bodies changing, is the fact we have history to fall back on. With that history comes knowledge. It is that knowledge of what we have lived through that shapes the choices we make today and the viewpoints we have that affect what we do going forward into the future.

There is a quote about reality by Robert Bolono that states: “People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth.” Watching the presidential debate and seeing the comments afterward, I think that statement rings true. Each and every one of us has something we wish to happen for the future, and we back the candidate that we feel matches what we need, no matter what is proved to be false or wrong. We believe unscrupulous websites because they are telling us what we want to hear. And there is something in us at each season in our lives that tells us we can’t be wrong. We don’t want to admit our views could be skewed because what does that say about us?

After the debate there was one statement that people asked of their friends time and time again and that is, “Did we watch the same debate?”

Everyone has a different stake in this election. The younger generation is afraid for their future and the future of their children. They are worried about crime and terrorism and the economy. They want their children to be able to afford college and health care and to own their own home. This is their future. It is the season of their life where they want to grow and flourish.

As a senior citizen, we want to ensure our retirement and our health care. We want to ensure we will be able to afford to live, and one of the differences of us being in the autumn and winter of our lives, is the fact we remember what was, and we are having a hard time reconciling it with what is.

As I hunt for the past season’s change of clothes I hunt for the past seasons of my life and remember the race riots in the ’60s and ’70s. I remember my parents talking about Hitler and the war. I remember waiting for someone I love to come home from Vietnam. I remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. But I also remember neighbors helping neighbors and people standing up against hate. I remember the kindness of strangers and the wisdom of many leaders from both parties. I remember the good and the bad.

It is no different today. We believe what we perceive to be our reality. It is neither right nor wrong because we live the seasons of our lives. Our perception will influence our votes and therein lies what kind of truth we see.

My truth: I am better in creative chaos in my house than organized neatness. That is my perception of my reality.