Welcome to me. Not sure where the road will take me, but feel free to take the trip with me.

I'm working on a new me. Ok, so maybe not a new me but a better me. Would love to meet new friends, re-connect with old and have fun along the way.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Vow

Pin It
Vow- A solemn promise, pledge or personal commitment.

Wow. A solemn promise, pledge or personal commitment.

Sounds pretty serious huh? Not like a New Year's resolution that most of have forgotten about or given up on half way into the month. A solemn promise. A pledge. A personal commitment.

There's a movie coming out next week just in time for Valentine's Day. It just happens to be called "The Vow". It's inspired by true events, or so it says. It's about a beautiful, happy, young, married, couple (I highly doubt the whole based on true events there, but I'm jaded) who are involved in a tragic accident where the wife loses her memory. She totally forgets her husband. Everything about him. During the process of trying to re-win the love he once had he has to fend off an old suitor who lost out to him, as well as win back the love of his life. But he made "The Vow" to love her. I haven't seen the movie yet, so I don't know if they had special vows or not, but I'm sure this pretty much qualifies for the "In Sickness and Health" portion of most of the vows.

Needless to say, I will be in the theaters, paying an outrageous amount of money even for a matinee showing, bawling my eyes out and cheering for them to get back together.

My vow doesn't have to do with marriage. No. Like I said, I'm jaded. I don't really believe in marriage. I think it's an archaic tradition that people still do because they feel it's what's expected of them by societal norms. I've been there and done that, twice. I can assure you that other than getting me military benefits and a really nice divorce settlement it benefited me not at all. That piece of paper will not make a man any more faithful to his wife or a wife any more faithful to her husband than they would be without it. All it does is offer legitimacy for children and a way to ensure support for them. It simply makes it harder to leave when things have ended and makes Divorce Lawyers richer.

My vow is more personal.

I recently had a health scare and it brought home to me just how precious life is. It's funny actually, considering I nearly needed a heart transplant 20 years ago after the birth of my daughter. I guess I just didn't have the time to really think about it too much, the last few years.

You forget though, how fleeting life is, and how quickly life can be, if not taken from you entirely, changed completely.

I made the vow then, that solemn promise, personal pledge, to make sure that those few really special people in my life that I love, know how much I love and care on a constant ongoing basis. That I make the time each week to let them know I am thinking about them. It doesn't have to be much, a quick call, an e-mail, something. This is a big change for me so I'm not going to get it perfect every week, but I'm going to try.

Life is so short and so precious. What if, God forbid, something happened to me and they ever had a doubt as to how much they were appreciated or how much I loved or cared about them?

That's my Vow. What's yours?
Pin It

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stranger Danger or Vetting Your Dates and Staying Alive

Pin It
Stranger Danger- 2 words that evoke thoughts of people who prey on our children. Years ago the "Stranger Danger" campaign was started as a way to protect our children against those who might prey on their innocence and cause them harm or worse death. We know now that the "Stranger Danger" campaign doesn't work for children. The more likely threat is actually from people they know. Nice try but Epic Fail nonetheless.

We then moved to "Stranger Danger" for the "Tween and Teen set" with regards to the internet. With all the online predators stalking our children there. But, of course what do we know as adults and parents? Even Chris Hanson and Dateline can't seem to convince our children to be careful of those they don't know. They too are as likely to be injured or hurt by a boyfriend or someone they know as by a real stranger.

Even adults are susceptible to "Stranger Danger" especially with the advent of online Dating sites and sites like Craig's List. So what do we do in an attempt to be safe? Meet friends/co-workers of friends you might say. Well, I too thought that might be a safer alternative but, sadly no.

I say Vet your dates.
No, that doesn't mean date a Vet, or date at the the Vets, it means do your own research first. Even with the best intentions and the best recommendations from friends or co-workers you still need to do some research and protect yourself.

"Shannon, What on earth could make you so jaded? Don't you trust anyone?" you might ask. It's sad but true that I would have to respond with a resounding "NO!".

Last year, I decided to not necessarily "jump" back into the dating pool, but simply stick my foot in and gauge the temperature. My last relationship had ended about 3 years before, and as we know "Life Happens" and it happened with me. I was too busy with my teenage daughter and her high school years. As a single parent I wanted to devote all the time she wanted to making the rest of her childhood all she could want. Between work, volunteering for our local Fire Dept and devoting all additional time to her there simply was no time for me. Not placing blame, just saying I made the decision to make her life the priority. So, for three years, no dates, no booty calls ( it would have been unseemly for me to invite someone over to our house with her there, or go out late at night to their house) no "Shan time" at all.
So, my good friend Brenda sets me up with a co-worker. Major in the Army, Security clearance, respectful to her. Why wouldn't he be safe?
Well for those of you that don't know, I work for a major Law Enforcement Agency, teach/train with the Law Enforcements Agency's Academy, was married to a cop (that I put through the academy and did all his training with, and had a significant other for 7 years that was a State Trooper. I'm just a little savvy to danger and self preservation/protection. (Trust me when I say, this is why I am in full possession of all my bones and they are not currently making music as wind chimes). I now believe that while recommendations are good, vetting is not only better but necessary!
Because I'm a fairly street-smart woman, I refused to let him pick me up and instead met him at a crowded local restaurant. (Definitely a factor in me keeping my bones intact and under my skin) This man within 2 hours was in my personal bubble, telling me how he had not abused his wife, (that would be a strike with a closed hand, a slap with an open hand was simply spousal discipline) which he then laughed off, how he was a widower ( I was afraid to ask what happened to his wife and where she was buried) and looking for a mother to his children and someone to get up and make his breakfast (Never mind that I had already told him I wasn't interested in marriage or more children, and I didn't make breakfast for my own teen, why would I get up and make it for him?). When I told him I couldn't see him the next day he called multiple times anyway, wanted me to come see him and his RV in the parking lot of a local restaurant so he could show me how "comfortable" it was (like I'm gonna do that with someone in a parking lot on the second date after only dinner. Seriously?!?) The next day as he and his children are leaving to go out of town he calls me before 9 on a Sunday morning, which I let go to voice-mail. Hell, I don't get up for GOD on Sunday mornings (love me some Saturday evening masses), why would I get up for him? His voicemail said he wanted his children to meet me since he had told them all about "their New Momma". Are you hearing the creepy Psycho movie music yet? I definitely was. I ignored his calls for the duration of his vacation, (why ruin it by devastating him), to get crazy voice mail after crazy voicemail, culminating in the "Are we breaking up? Cuz that would seriously devastate my kids. They're so excited about a new mom. Now, I have no doubt they would have been devastated, that meant they were still stuck with him and no additional safety net. It was only after I threatened him with a call to his Commander and the MP Commander to file for a restraining order, with the knowledge that I had saved all his Crazy voicemails, that he finally left me alone. After talking with Brenda and filling her in, she did a little asking around the office, and found out this was his M.O.
This is why a simple recommendation is not enough. We all have to protect ourselves and Be Smart! Imagine if I had given this person my address and he knew where I lived? Do you hear it? That's the sound of chimes in the wind? Now guys, don't think "I'm a guy, this couldn't happen to me." I would suggest you re-see "Fatal Attraction". There are some "Crazy Bitches" out there.

This is why I say Stranger Danger means Vet your Dates. Don't just get one reference, find out all you can about the person. Google them, know what they do for employment and verify it. NEVER have them pick you up at your home. Always meet them somewhere with crowds. First date, go with a group, have a safe word with your friends and never leave alone with the date. I also recommend for subsequent dates that friends know who you are with and where you are planning to go and you check in with them. Trust me when I say, your friends would rather hear that you are having a good time on your date than to have to join a search party looking for you later. I'm not even opposed to a printed Criminal Background Check, on their dime, presented along with their updated lab results showing they are clean. Does no good to check one danger and overlook and equally dangerous one. If they aren't willing to produce said documents you don't need to go out with them anyway. What are they trying to hide. Now by the same token, you should be willing to show your documents. Fair is Fair after all.

Over Kill? Maybe, but better safe then swinging in the wind making music.
Pin It

Monday, July 12, 2010

Speak Loudly and Clearly in Voice and Print so ALL may hear and know

Pin It
I used to love reading the Comics on Sunday mornings, you know back when comics were comics. The good old days of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Blondie and Beetle Bailey. I know I might be dating myself but it's relevant.
So I think it was Snoopy that said "Speak softly and carry a BIG stick!"( OK so Teddy Roosevelt said it first but Snoopy def. looked cuter and got the message out). I used to like that one. I think it's because I liked the thought of the surprise. However as I get older I realize that speaking softly often means no-one hears you over the noise of everything and everyone else and carrying a big stick is considered threatening to many people (wusses!).

I have therefore changed my way of thinking to Speak Loudly and Clearly in Voice and Print so ALL may hear and know. Few key words there... Speak, Loudly, Clearly, Voice and Print.
No one has ever accused me of being quiet. In fact in elementary school the librarian kept trying to tell me Silence was Golden but that's not the kind of Gold I liked even back then.
Speak- Loudly so you might be heard over the constant din that is life.
Speak- Clearly so you might be understood once people can hear you. It does you no good to be heard if no-one can understand what you are saying.
Voice- Please use the language those around you will understand. If you don't speak the language it doesn't matter how loud or clear your voice is, it will simply be more noise for someone else to have to overcome. If needed, Find a translator.
Print- Ahhh Print. I also remember the day when you either had to take out an add showing your displeasure or you had to send a letter to the editor and hope yours got picked out of all the others. But, I digress. Now the world wide web is here and we can have our voice heard by everyone for free. With the advent of Blogs, and sites like FB and Twitter we can let hundreds even thousands hear us, in the time it takes us to whip out are phones or get to a keyboard.
"Shan", you might say, "What has caused sweet, quiet, demure you to become so upset?"
Ok- so if you knew me you would know I'm not sweet, I already said I wasn't quiet and I'm sure as hell not demure. "So what then", you say to the Goddess Bitch I can be. Thanks for asking!
When I got home to my HOA complex that is clearly marked at all entrances "NO posting of flyers, handbills. No Solicitation" What do I find but a man and two young ~ 12-13 y/o boys walking around the neighborhood sticking papers in doors. Now first off it made me angry enough that boy #1 wasn't smart enough to see that the door he was trying to stick a flyer in already had multiples in varying states of decomposition due to the fact that no-one lives there. Secondly, the man was trying to shove one in my door. When I asked what it was he said "We're having Bible School." Now I'm all for freedom of religion but not when it means you break the rules and leave trash for me and others to have to pick-up. So I told him "Don't leave that and by the way, this neighborhood is posted No flyers and No solicitation. SO as he comes down my steps he tries to show me his flyer and says "We're allowed to be here." I'm sorry but the last time I drove into my complex it didn't say "No" to everyone but Central Baptist Church of Woodbridge, Va. Y'all come right on in and litter up our neighborhood and harrass our citizens. I then proceeded to ask him "What kind of lesson does that teach your children? It's ok to break the rules because we're special." Sorry, but I didn't learn that one in Baptist Sunday School, Non-denominational Charismatic Church or in the Catholic Church. I'm pretty sure even Buddah would not say it's ok to teach your children to break the rules. Well guess what? He had no answer to that one. In the words of Gomer Pyle "Surprise, Surprise, Surpise!"

So thank you Central Baptist Church of Woodbridge Va., for allowing me to get my message across to far more people than your littering of my neighborhood did! Also please expect more to come via Twitter and FB. Maybe Snoopy had it wrong. I like to think he had it right for that time and now he would be speaking loudly and carrying a Big Pen or at the very least a smartphone or Netbook.
Pin It

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain

Pin It
The wording for this bit of wisdom came to me in a tweet. The knowledge however has been mine for some time. I liked it so much I have since put it on all of my outgoing work e-mails and have recieved quite a bit of positive feedback.
Here are 3 things to remember about Dancing in the Rain.
1- Expect to have a BAD-HAIR DAY! Either embrace it or get the Keratin treatment so it's straight and you don't have to worry about it. Whatever you do though, don't embrace the rain and BITCH about the hair! That's just BAD FORM!
2- In the words of Vivian from Pretty Woman- "I'm a safety girl" (Maybe it's the mom in me, maybe it's the nurse). Please make sure you wear rubber sole shoes while dancing in the rain. In my first year of nursing ( A thousand years ago), I took care of a little boy about 5, who had played in the rain, splashing in puddles and having a great time as little boys are want to do in the rain. I'm sure niether he nor his parents ever expected him to be eletrocuted when lightning hit the ground water. Luckily, a night in the hospital with an Angel for a nurse (that would be me), was all he needed to get back to the bus iness of being a kid. I do wonder though from time to time if he sits out storms or does he dance.
3- Hurricanes are NOT danceable storms and should not be treated as such! While that may seem like overly simple advice, I am from the South, where Hurricane parties are Famous and well attended although usually by the hugely inebriated.
Pin It

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Here we go....Take Care

Pin It
So...Why Take Care?
My good friend Adrienne sends everyone off, rather it's by phone or in person, with "Take Care". After hearing her say this to her husband at the end of a phone call, I asked her why she always said that instead of something like "I love you" or Talk to you later". Her answer made so much sense I don't know why we don't all say it.
She told me "You might not always feel like like telling someone "I love you", but you want them to be safe and to take care. This way you pass that along without saying something you may not be really feeling at the moment."
Holy Cow! How on is that? I highly recommend starting this or some such derivative with all new relationships. How many times have we not felt like saying "I love you" only to have that person say "What, no I love you?" Then you are forced to say something you may not feel like saying.
I personally like Be Safe, and end most of my e-mails to my agents that way, however it sounds much less personal than Take Care.
So to everyone who might read this...Take Care/Be Safe! 0;-)
Pin It