Anything & Everything

February 3, 2017

10 Things We Have In Common

Filed under: Daily Life,Thoughts,Writing — Susan Morgan @ 10:43 am

These days, you can’t help but be bombarded with how different we are from each other. My last blog post was a perfect example. Different views. Different sexes, Different realities. While I acknowledge that all that is true and relevant, I’m also starting to think that we (all of us) are missing the big picture. There are divisions certainly; but there are things we share – as human beings who are living in this time, in this space, on this planet.

ice-breaker-activities-10-thingsOnce I started to think along these lines I was able to come up with ten (I’m sure there are more, add yours in the comments if you like) things that all human beings share.

They are…

  • We are alive, with consciousness, emotions and awareness
  • We have the capacity to love, whether it’s our children, our career, our pets, our friends and family, our nation
  • We want to be loved by others
  • We are afraid of the unexpected or unknown
  • We get anxious when our views or life circumstances are challenged or threatened in some way
  • We know we can die and that Death has its own time and place beyond our control
  • We grieve a loss
  • We desire the respect of others and freedom to express ourselves
  • We need sustanence, shelter, medicine and companship to survive
  • We are products of our environment, good or bad, and are influenced by this throughout our lives

Just a start I know, but it has me thinking that maybe the time has come for us (all of us) not to be so charged up about of differences and focus more on what we have in common. All mothers ache for poor children. A man who is working two or more jobs and still can’t make it is just as worried about his family as the man who is working one job but is aware it can disappear at any time.

Commonalities unite us. Differences divide.


January 28, 2017

You Did NOT Represent Me Women’s Marchers

Filed under: Writing — Susan Morgan @ 6:35 am

Those women marching last week did not represent me – or any woman I know – though I applaud their enthusiasm and do support their right to express themselves. My objections are around the lack of one cohesive message, the pink hats, Madonna (a woman who made acareer out of using her sexuality) and the fact that the march did nothing more than make the news for a day. Everyone went home feeling “empowered” but I don’t see why – you accomplished nothing.

Let’s start with the most obvious symbol of the Women’s March – hot pink beanies. I realize it was supposed to be a mockery of President Trump’s comments about a woman – recorded without his knowledge in a locker room (we might not like it girls, but reality is that’s how men talk in those all-male spaces). If you are against the objectifying of women WHY would you use a hat in that shape as a symbol??? Wear pink, carry signs, but don’t sabotage your message by wearing (on your head no less) a symbol of just what you don’t like. I tell you girls, men everywhere are laughing at you and not taking you seriously. You looked like a bunch of over emotional, reactionary women – fulfilling the EXACT stereotype you are fighting to remove.
You took all women all back a step.


October 17, 2016

What’s In A Name? A Lot More Than You Think

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life,Musings — Susan Morgan @ 12:56 pm

Time to share a personal pet peeve. If I’m repeating myself, please be patient.

impaired-symbols-6311909I HATE the word disabled. It implies deficiency and helplessness. It promotes a mindset of need. I contend that those we label as “disabled” are neither without defenses or in need of much assistance to manage daily life. I wonder how people with disabling issues feel – do they chafe, as I do, at being being categorized? Or do they simply accept and go about their lives?

Yes I do have an impairment —in my case it’s visual, for others it may be any number of things — normal intelligence, physical problems, or psychological issues. I understand there are serious, life altering disabilities out there that people have to cope with on a daily basis. Like others, I’ve lived (and fought against) this all my life.

Still I do not consider myself disabled. I’m able, just fighting a different challenge.

One that’s more obvious at times than I would like. Recently I faced a situation where I felt singled out in an online social work class I’m taking. The instructor spent class time talking about the Office of Disability Services, and referenced a legally blind student, saying “she” could get all kinds of help there.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was out of class that day, an excused absence to attend a funeral for a childhood friend’s 27-year-old niece who had died unexpectedly. When I watched the recorded class I was mortified — the comments brought to he surface all the things I have fought so hard to overcome.

Being labelled. Being exposed as deficient in some way (as if other students can’t tell my glasses are a mile thick and I have to lean close to the screen sometimes). Being forced to think about an issue I thought long gone.

It’s this experience that has made me think about the language we use to describe people — to put them in piles with a neat label. I for one resent it. I admit (reluctantly) that I have a visual impairment, but I refuse to call myself disabled.

Food for thought or aimless rant?

October 1, 2016

When Reality Bites

Filed under: Children,General Stuff,Life — Susan Morgan @ 9:29 am

There is a point in every life when childhood ends, where you are considered mature enough to handle things for yourself. That’s good and bad of course. The good is you run your own show, without answering to a soul. The bad is that you run your own show, so everything is your responsibility or your fault for forgetting.

graduationIt’s a hard lesson. A daunting idea.

I recall being a senior in college and being terrified at the prospect of graduation. I felt unprepared and had (too late) realized how good I had it as a college student. That time of your life, for those lucky enough to get it, is priceless. You spread your wings. Open your mind. Become something different from when you started. I would not trade those four years for anything, and have worked hard to be sure my children get that same experience.

The unease at impending reality is a feeling that’s alive and well in a few college seniors facing tradition this year. It’s a shock to realize there will be no more spring breaks and summer’s off, internships will end and things will move on. Preparation for adulthood is at an end. You will now join the working world, with all its privileges and pitfalls.


June 1, 2016

Looking Back, Moving Forward, Learning To Live

Filed under: Daily Life,Thoughts,Writing — Susan Morgan @ 9:45 am

Two years ago today my own personal nightmare began with my Mother’s dearth. A terrible, torturous end to a decades long battle with ovarian cancer. No matter how old you are, what your relationship might have been, this loss leaves you feeling like an orphan, your life turned upside down, your emotions in an uproar. All of us only have one mother, once she’s gone there’s a hole in your life that cannot be filled by any other being.

Of course I knew, on that day and all the ones to follow, the task left to me was impossible.


With his partner in life gone, I watched my strong, silent father heartily mourn the woman he’d loved for most of his lifetime — 50+ years — the bright-eyed blonde girl in the yellow dress. Holidays were now a lingering torture of memories and unwelcome changes. The house they’d loved became a lonely place, devoid of her silly songs and happy little ways. She was the woman who changed the course of his life. He was the man who made hers.


May 6, 2016

The Kindness Of Strangers

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life,Family — Susan Morgan @ 9:14 am

Even a month later I can still see their faces, still am unable to tell the story without a lump rising to choke me, and goosebumps up and down my body.

kindnessIt was an ordinary Saturday morning in late March, in a suburb like so many others in this country. It took place inside a real, old-school barbershop full of customers. and an old man using every bit of energy he had to get this one errand accomplished.


March 27, 2016

For God So Loved The World

Filed under: Writing — Susan Morgan @ 6:00 am

I was thinking this weekend about Easter and what we Catholics (even the bad CAPE kind, of which I am one) celebrate on this holiday. The event we celebrate happened thousands of years ago, and yet it remains the most important part of the Catholic calendar.

One of the few Bible verses I know is this one

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Think about that for a second. That kind of love. That level of sacrifice. Astonishing, isn’t it?


March 18, 2016

Now I Understand Why Nobody Told Me

Filed under: Children,Family,Life,Writing — Susan Morgan @ 7:30 pm

It’s true, only recently have I come to understand why no one told me things about being a mother when I first joyfully announced my pregnancy. It was common consent, decency and kindness that kept others from telling me how huge a job I was undertaking. How it would be harder than I ever imagined, would test me in ways I could not foresee, would last far longer than I’d been promised.

I’m thinking about this again today because there’s a growing crop of newborns joining our already large family this year, and the news is thrilling. There is something very satisfying about watching the next generation (ones you knew as children) pass the milestones; college, career, marriage, first child. I smile at the thought of all the wonderful moments they’ll have. It will be a joy to watch these babies grow, these young people become parents.


March 8, 2016

When It’s Your Turn

Filed under: Daily Life,Family,Health,Musings,Parenting — Susan Morgan @ 2:00 pm
Tags: ,

1464I know I’m not alone in caring for an aging parent, in my case my almost 82-year-old Dad, a former engineer who was married 54 years to my mother and only now lives on his own.

Turns out, increasing numbers of us are finding ourselves in the role of parent to our own parents. Some of use have nearly raised our own children, while others have never had them but find themselves caring for an aging parent, family member or friend. Surveys put the number at 70% of working adults who are caring for one, or more, aging family member.

Like all of them, I never in a million years thought this was how it would be. My parents were strong and capable people, vibrantly alive and engaged in adding something to this world. My whole life they have been a source of support and (at times unwanted) advice. When sickness came they were able to fight it off with gusto for years before disease got firm hold.


March 3, 2016

On The Decline Of The Soap Opera

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life — Susan Morgan @ 4:59 pm

days-of-our-livesThey used to be a staple of daytime TV, from 12:30 to 4:00 all three major networks had offerings — something for everyone. Mythical towns. Perfectly groomed people living fabulously dramatic lives. There were soap opera awards and fan magazines devoted to plot summaries and interviews. There were events with select cast members. There were even times when the wedding of a beloved couple would disrupt normal life. In those days before the internet and social media, that kind of attention was huge.

These days there are but four stubborn holdouts —General Hospital, Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful – testaments to an era that has come and gone.

What’s endearing (or annoying) is that if you watched either of the remaining holdout soaps in their heyday you’d recognize the same crop of actors, the same storylines and villains, the same impossible aging, suspension of reality and astonishing lack of productivity these shows have always had. It was what we loved (and hated) about them. It was why we watched.

964905577d63861491dde0508e7558deI must admit to being a little sad to see the soap opera fading away. I bonded with many people in bygone days about the happenings on those shows. Probably a lot like what we do today for Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. To a whole generation soap operas were pretty important, storylines could shock or offend; but that was in the days before You Tube and gazillions of cable channels, the internet and handheld phones.

Maybe we all just got too busy living life to watch it being lived. Reality television and trash talking TV shows took hold, slowly but surely, salacious step by step they made the once edgy soap seem stale and scripted. Reality it seems is still better than any TV drama to be produced.

Isn’t that what’s behind the saying, “Truth is stranger than fiction”?

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