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A Friend Said…

Have you ever had a friend say something to you that always comes to mind in certain situations?

My best friend once told me that you never know where life will take you. Well for them it just meant that they were not ready to commit to whatever was in front of them at the time.

We never know where life will take us, but we do have a hand in it. There are things that we can control the narrative of and things that we can't. We all make decisions constantly, though we don't think about it. Turn left, turn right, go straight, eat this, eat that. Most decisions don't require a lot of thought, but there are some that we really should put thought into.

How many times have we said something or done something that we immediately wish that we hadn't? I find that when we are speaking with others, we really should slow down and really know and understand what we are saying. I'm learning that in my later years I need to not be so immediately reactive. I tend to say what is immediately my reaction to a thing. Whether it was something that was said or done.

I used to laugh at my great grandmother (who was 102 when she died) because she said whatever she wanted to say whenever she wanted to. It didn't matter who she was talking to or what the subject was. I find myself at that stage of my life where I'm doing that, even though I have a long way to go to catch up with her.

With that said, I have to constantly remind myself, because I am a feeler, that I can't do that because nine times out of ten what I said will bother me because I said it more than it will bother the person that it was said to.

So, let me tell you, as a friend, be aware of what you say and how you say it. It can literally make or break someone's spirit. We are in a time where if we don't monitor what we say and how we say it, can really be a matter of life or death.

Now, when you think of my words, you can say, "A friend said...".

Take care of yourself and be safe.

Yanna

The State of the Mind

With all that is going on around us today, it is no wonder that so many things are spiraling out of control.

As we attempt to deal with the changes that we have been forced to implement into our daily lives, it can become a bit overwhelming. Some of us are faced with the whole back-to-school issue. Do we or don't we? For each family, this crisis can and does have a different answer. It can be argued in a lot of different ways.

What we do know is that the number of cases and deaths attributed to COVID-19 changes from one week to another. At one point, the numbers are going down. At another point, the numbers are going up. Another thing that we know for sure is that we have got to come up with an equation that gets us control of and elimination of this virus.

During this time, as many of us are spending way more time together as a family and trying to cope with the daily decision making of safety, please remember that we need to take time away from everything and everyone in order to keep ourselves together mentally and spiritually. This time does not have to be lengthy, but enough to remove ourselves away from the noise in order to settle our minds.

We must remember that in what used to be normal times, we were away from our families for 8-10 hours a day. During that time, we had conversations with other adults about any number of topics. Now, for some of us, we don't have that luxury.

Please, let's individually take care of our minds so that we can collectively take care of each other.

Yanna

Our Voices

As we near the country's election day, let us look back over the past 4 years and contemplate the things that we have witnessed and suffered through.

We have seen some fundamental things that have caused us to question our democracy. Our constitution has been debated on topics that have not been debated in the country's modern history, and in some cases have never been debated. As we have in years past debated our civil liberties, we have come to debate the issue again.

We seem to be in a cycle of human unrest that countless citizens are protesting. There is a tremendous divide in the nation regarding the constitutional right of all citizens to be treated equally under the law.

I'm not sure where we go from here. I guess for me, I have a hard time understanding why any one person or group of people's lives can be considered more important than another's. This is evident in countless scenarios that can be seen on any given media outlet. Whereas we have to be vigilant in our discernment of what is real and what is not, we must pay attention.

My hope for this election cycle is that we have registered to vote and that we exercise our right to vote. Also, that we have been in tune with things that are transpiring around us to be able to make an informed assessment of changes that need to be made. We can make a difference in our society if we use our voices when we vote. Let's not stand on the sidelines and allow things to happen around us when we can make a difference.

Vote. Vote. Vote. November 3, 2020.

Yanna

COVID-19

I know.  I know.  Another posting on this ongoing pandemic.

I just want to admonish everyone to be vigilant with your safety and that of others.  Please consider that wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing is not only for someone else's safety but also for your own.

I'm sure that most of us are feeling inhibited and isolated from our daily routines and our social events.  Tempers are flaring and running hot.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and beliefs.  If we would only consider that others' opinions and beliefs may not be ours.  Just because we don't feel the same way about something doesn't make the other person wrong.

With the daily increase of cases, we must consider the fact that this pandemic is not going to go away or even get better if we don't considerably slow down the number of people contracting the virus.

We have to do everything we can to ride this out until a vaccine or cure is found.

We must wear masks when in public and maintain social distancing.  We may not like it, we may even rebel against it.  But remember that this is not going away without all of us taking responsibility to do what we can (masks and distancing) for as long as it takes for the country to recover.

Be safe and STOP THE HATE!  Everyone wants and deserves to live.  We are all human beings.

Yanna

America’s Supposed Ignorance

The country has just celebrated Juneteenth.  On June 19, 1865, (in Texas), slavery was said to have ended.  The Emancipation Proclamation was declared by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863.  https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

98 years later, I was born into a society in which I was supposedly free.  I was not.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.  And to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all"

When I was in school, from kindergarten through 12th grade, we had to place our hands over our hearts and recite those words as if they applied to us.

I can remember when I was in grade school, on the route that we took home every day, we would pass a motel that had a swimming pool outside.  Periodically, I would ask my dad (who is a 91-year-old wounded Korean War Veteran) to take me swimming there.  His reply was always the same.  "Maybe one day, baby."

It wasn't until I was much older that I learned that the reason my dad hadn't taken me swimming there was that he couldn't take me swimming there.  There were no 'Negroes' allowed.  (one nation under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all)

The history books in my day taught us that Christopher Columbus discovered America.  It wasn't until I was an adult that research showed me that the Native Americans (Indians as they were called) were already established here.

Christopher Columbus was an immigrant.  Because he was a white man and had the power to kill and uproot a lot of the Native Americans, he declared that he discovered a place that he actually stole.  Thus white supremacy.

Later, the men of the Caucasian persuasion sailed to Africa and stole Negro human beings from their native land to be slaves (free labor) to make them wealthy with no thought of compensation for their labor.

Ne·gro /ˈnēɡrō/
DATEDOFFENSIVE
noun
adjective

 

As of May 1, 2020, there were still quite a lot of Americans that chose to perceive that systemic racism and oppression do not exist.

Since George Floyd's blatant murder by police officers in Minneapolis who have taken an oath to protect and serve and who are paid by taxpayers to do so, many previously silent Americans have raised their voices in protest and are finally saying that this total lack of respect for human beings with Black and Brown skin has to change.

The thing that I have not been able to wrap my head around is the fact that this didn't start with George Floyd.  This has been happening for centuries, yet some in White America have chosen to ignore it in order to maintain their stolen status and subsequent wealth.

I don't like to think of myself as a racist.  I am a fair-minded person that accepts people for who they show themselves to be.  The late, great Maya Angelou said, "When a person tells you who they are, Believe Them."

I do, however, have a bias toward people who treat me unfairly and differently than they treat people who look like them, and people who make assumptions about me because of the color of my skin.

I thank God that my parents didn't raise me to hate [people].  I was taught that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and as human beings.

The reason for the protests that have occurred over the decades, in my opinion, is that Black Americans have been seeking in this country for hundreds of years to be treated as humans and given the opportunities that non-Black and Brown people have been afforded all of their lives. (one nation under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all)

We, Black Americans, are not here by our choosing.  We were kidnapped and forced into this country.  White America made us citizens when our ancestors were forced to have families in this country.  White supremacists will tell us to go back to where we came from.  Well, I have news for you.  We came from here because of you, you didn't come from here. You're all immigrants!

https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states#:~:text=Immigrants%20and%20their%20U.S.%2Dborn,Current%20Population%20Survey%20(CPS).

America can no longer claim ignorance in the racism and oppression of Black people in this country.  Your eyes have seen and your ears have heard.  What you do now will define you in history.  Be the human being that God created you to be.

Vote to remove those that have turned their heads to avoid addressing oppression and racism.  The Constitution was written for ALL Americans.  The last time I looked at my birth certificate, my country of birth is 'The United States of America'.

 

Yanna


Thank you to all who have taken a stand and are speaking out in protest against the injustice taking place in this country.

Leap Year 2020

Well, it’s been four years since we had babies born on February 29. I’m still not sure how they celebrate their birthdays. In any event, Happy Birthday to ALL of the ones celebrating this day around the world.

As we celebrate the new lives arriving today, I hope that you are doing, will be doing or did something that will give cause to remember this day in the future.

Reach out to an old friend. Call a relative that has been estranged. Do something to make someone else and yourself feel alive and grateful to be so.

Find peace for yourself and enjoy the life that you are meant to live. Stay positive.

Yanna

The World We Live In

Today’s world is on a fast track. A fast track to what, you might ask. Well, I’m sure that there are many opinions about that question.

The things that we used to take for granted as far as accepted practices in everyday life have changed drastically. It used to be generally accepted that people were courteous to others. It used to be generally accepted and expected that we as human beings regarded the lives of others.

We now have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to things that totally go against the expected rights of human beings.

Those of us that think and feel that things are out of control, have to be the ones to have a voice that speaks loudly in opposition to any and all things that go against humanity.

As we go along in our day to day routines, let’s be conscious of the way that we regard others. Let’s take a look at ourselves and determine whether or not we are aiding in the decline of the state of the world. Yes, we are only one, but if we start with ourselves and consistently remember that we are a part of society that is heading in the wrong direction and make a decision on a daily basis that we can make the world better, the change begins.

And, even if we don’t see the change at any particular moment, we can rest assured that we, as individuals, have made a difference.

Let’s do it!

Yanna

The End Of Summer

Well, we've reached the point of no return.

What happened to the first 8 months of the year?  Summer is over and the kids are back in school.  The diminished traffic that we enjoyed during the summer months is gone.  We're back in the rat race of 80 miles per hour on the Beltway during rush hour, or maybe 30 miles per hour when there's a car blocking the center lane.

Either way, we must be vigilant with our safety.

It's time to begin preparing yourselves for the end of the year.  Yes, that's right, Christmas is coming!!!  No more holidays before Thanksgiving and some of us can't wait to get to those so-called bargains after 6:00 pm on Thanksgiving day.

Whatever happened to Thanksgiving being a family holiday.  Retail employees cannot even enjoy the day because they have to work.  So sad!

Well, now that I've prepared you for the rest of the year, ENJOY!

Yanna

 

Secrets and Lies

The title says it all.

I don't know why part of the culture of some families is to keep secrets and tell lies from generation to generation.

There is so much about a person's family that has direct impact and implications.  A lot of people are influenced by bloodlines and heritage, yet before DNA testing you only had the stories of surviving ancestors to tell you who you were.

How accurate, or should I say, true, are those accountings of who you are?

We are told, by the author, who our parents and grandparents are.  Who our siblings and cousins are and what standing our family has in the community.

How many people in this country alone have become adults and find themselves wondering who they are and where they truly come from?

Secrets and Lies!

There are things that are inherited genetically that people never find out about until there is an unexplained medical emergency.  Oftentimes, medicine has to tell us who we are and where we came from.  Science (DNA) can definitely tell us who we are and are not related to.

I wonder how many people were told that this person was a relative to only find out when there was a medical emergency that that person, in fact, was not related to them at all?

These situations and circumstances can be the difference between life and death.

Most families who keep secrets do so from pure selfishness.  Infidelity, incest, rape, etc.  It's always determined, by the person keeping the secret, that it's best to not share the information with the person that needs it most.

Too many people are finding themselves not knowing who they truly are because someone decided that they knew better than anyone else that the information should remain secret.

Until you've been in a situation of not knowing who your real parents are, you can't know how it feels.  When you grow up thinking that this one and that one are your parents, and as an adult, find out that your mother gave you away, that can be very traumatic.

The human race can be so self-centered, that we refuse to think of how someone will be affected by the secrets and lies.

If secrets and lies that are negative or hereditary are consistent from generation to generation, it should be known by the entire family.  That is the only way the cycle can be broken and family members healed.

Stop the cycle.  Tell the truth.  Give everyone the opportunity to judge for themselves what should be done with the information that is given to them.  Stop with the secrets.  When it directly concerns a person, they deserve to know the truth.

Or suffer the consequences when the truth and the secrets are revealed.  They could be the difference between life and death.

Yanna

Overtime

A time for work and a time for play.  We all should be working if we can, to take care of ourselves and our families.  I know that times can be hard and that work may not always be available.

When we are working, we must remember that although we are trying to make as much money as we can, we must remember that we must also take time for ourselves away from work.  Most of us work hard and can sometimes forget that our physical bodies require rest and rejuvenation.

When we accumulate vacation time and sick time on our jobs, we should occasionally use that time when we need to.

Our physical bodies are only capable of sustaining itself when we provide the things that it needs.  Rest, relaxation, food, water and FUN.

If you're like me, when I was younger, you may sometimes work longer than the normal 8 hour day.  It can sometimes become a habit.  When my daughter was in the second grade, I used to drop her off at school in the mornings on my way to work.  I had a sitter that picked her up from school and stayed with her until I got home from work.  One morning I dropped her off and she said, "Bye mommy, I'll see you tomorrow".  I was about to say, "No honey, I'll see you tonight", but I couldn't get the words out because her words had hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was thrown into the realization that I had been working overtime every day for the past month or so and did not get home until she was already asleep.

I went to work, told my boss that I was not working overtime anymore except for the end of the month for financial closing.  At 5:00 that afternoon, I proceeded to turn off my computer, pick up my purse and car keys and exited the building.  The sun was still shining!  When I arrived home, my daughter was so excited to see me that I almost cried.  I had to apologize to her for not being there when she went to sleep at night.

Overtime can be good, but let us not forget that our families and our health are more important.  If we neglect our children, they suffer in the long run.  If we neglect our bodies/health, we suffer in the long run.  We can't work at all if we are sick.  Our bodies will shut down if we do not take care of them.  Be aware of the signs that your body is giving you.  Slight headaches, all day munching (no time for lunch), restlessness when you should be sleeping.  All of these can be an indication that you need to rest your mind and your body.  Take heed.

Yanna