Anything & Everything

January 10, 2020

Let Me Be Really Honest With You…

Filed under: Writing — Susan Morgan @ 6:18 pm

I don’t know about you, but when I hear these words, warning bells go off in my head. Bonus points for just how earnestly they are said. I sense a lie coming, a patronizing rewording of something painfully obvious. The next words are a version of the truth that would hardly fool a five year old, let alone a fifth grader.

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Experience — hard teacher that she is — has taught me not to trust anyone who earnestly and regularly says, “Let me be really honest with you,” – especially while interviewing for the job of President of the United States.

A seed of truth but not the whole story.

Far from it.

As we enter the heat of the 2020 NH Presidential Primary, we’re hearing the simple, earnestly spoken “honest” truth from some well funded candidates. Versions of the truth but not the whole story. Told by people who want my trust/vote; but don’t think enough of me to be honest. Really honest.

Heath care is a mess, as is social security. Both can be fixed but the people who are charged with doing so aren’t part of either system — honestly this is not in their personal interest.

Racism and sexism rage on and everyone pretends outrage but does nothing. Lack of resources, unequal pay, access to health care, the very quality of life is left as its always been. American’s think we’ve come so far — when the truth is we should be embarrassed at how little we’ve done to change things.

Immigration divides, in a post 9/11 world frightens us, but we need honesty here more than anywhere else. We can still be a “melting pot” — as we’ve always been — but close the gaps and stick to a path to citizenship that includes a job, contributions to social security and learning the language – as in the past.

Businesses make billions in profits, sell unsafe products and face token punishments. Capitalism is alive, well and running amok. Tax fairness, product safety and limiting the influence of all that money in politics is the need, but let’s be honest, that’s a tall order.

Climate change — a cycle of Nature or man made — is happening before our very eyes. We need to be less wasteful, polluting and thoughtless, more environmentally aware for the sake of the generations that follow. The truth is,  corporate greed and political expediency are going to fight this every step of the way.

As an honest person I tend to expect the truth from people, perhaps not always possible or reasonable I realize. Certainly challenging for politicians, medical professionals, lawyers  all who’ve boldly lied to my face and expected trust. Who got trust until it was too late.

I’d rather get the truth — good or bad — than a prettily packaged hope. The truth is hard, ugly, taboo – difficult to deliver. But worse is when the lie is at last exposed — as they always are. Truth is that much harder, uglier necause of a terrible sense of betrayal that comes along with the knowledge. Infuriating, intense and all-consuming.

You feel like a fool. You know the speaker saw you as gullible, someone to be placated but not respected. And the thing you swear to yourself then and there is that you won’t be fooled again.

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump got elected, and may well again in 2020, because of his plain speaking, his desire to put America first and be blaitantly unapologetic about it. He’s not a politician, but he is driven to succeed. He has a healthy disdain for the “free” press and is more than willing to shock our “politically” over-corrected world. He isn’t trying to be anything other than what he is.

At least I know what I’m getting. Warts, twitter feed and all.

After a lifetime of being lied to, placated, disrespected by people whose salary and benefits I pay for — that’s so very refreshing if not always “Presidential”.

January 9, 2020

Listen, I’m going to be really honest with you…

Filed under: Writing — Susan Morgan @ 1:13 pm

I don’t know about you, but when I hear these words, warning bells go off in my head. Bonus points for just how earnestly they are said. I sense a lie coming, a patronizing rewording of something painfully obvious. The sentiment that follows is a version of the truth that wouldn’t fool a five year old, let alone a fifth grader.

Experience – hard teacher that she is – has shown me not to trust anyone who earnestly and regularly says, “Let me be really honest with you,” – especially while interviewing for the job of President of the United States.

A seed of truth but not the whole story.

Far from it.

As we enter the heat of the 2020 NH Presidential Primary, we’re hearing the simple, earnestly spoken “honest” truth from every candidate. Versions of the truth but not the whole story. Told by people who want my trust/vote but don’t think enough of me to be honest. Really honest.

Heath care is a mess, as is social security. Both can be fixed but the the people who are charged with doing so aren’t part of either system – honestly this is not in their personal interest.

Racism rages and everyone pretends outrage but does nothing. Lack of resources, access to health care, the very quality of life is left as its always been. We think we’ve come so far, but we’ve taken baby steps at best.

Immigration divides, in a post 9/11 world frightens us, but we need honesty here more than anywhere else. We can still be a “melting pot” – as we’ve always been – but close the gaps and stick to a path to citizenship that includes a job, contributions to social security and learning the language – as in the past.

Businesses make billions in profits, sell unsafe products and face token punishments. Capitalism is fine, but has run amok. Tax fairness, product safety and limiting the influence of all that money in politics is the need, but let’s be honest, that’s a tall order.

Climate change – a cycle of Nature or man made – is happening before our very eyes. The truth is, there’s a middle ground here, but corporate greed and political will stand in the way.

As an honest person I tend to expect the truth from people, perhaps not always possible or reasonable I realize. Certainly challenging for politicians, medical professionals, lawyers who’ve boldly lied to my face and expected trust in their word even so.

I’d rather get the truth – good or bad – than a prettily packaged hope. The truth is hard, ugly, taboo – difficult to deliver. But worse is when the lie is at last exposed – as they always are. Truth is that much harder, uglier necause of a terrible sense of betrayal that comes along with the knowledge. Infuriating, intense and all-consuming.

You feel like a fool. You know the speaker saw you as gullible, someone to be placated but not respected. And the thing you swear to yourself then and there is that you won’t be fooled again.

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump got elected, and may well again in 2020, because of his plain speaking, his desire to put America first and be blaitantly unapologetic about it. He’s not a politician, but he is driven to succeed.

At least I know what I’m getting. Warts, twitter feed and all.

After a lifetime of being lied to, placated, disrespected by people whose salary and benefits we pay for – that’s refreshing if not always “presidential”.

October 25, 2018

Promises Made To A New Laptop

Filed under: Writing — Susan Morgan @ 6:04 pm
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The prospect of a new laptop is in my future, its waiting in an anonmyous box somewhere, unknowing who its new owner might be. This got me thinking about all the promises I have learned to make over the years. And how intent I am on actually keeping these promises.

This time.

Here are the seven I’ve come up with so far. With these followed I’m sure me and my new laptop can work happily together for at least the warrantee period, hopefully longer.

  • I will never eat a meal over you, so there will be no crumbs falling, no sauce dripping. I will treat you, all the days you are with me, as the fragile flower you are.
  • I will never spill liquids on you, or try to clean your screen with unapproved cleaners. I see how vulnerable you are to liquids and I vow here and now to NEVER get wet.
  • I will never slam you shut at the end of a long workday, but will power you down properly. Every time.
  • I will run every update we get right away, no putting off for days… weeks. And I’ll keep your desktop clutter free, files and photos organized.
  • I will be gentle to your keys, for though I do not look at fhem as I type, they hardly deserve to be hit so hard their letters fade, or wear off.
  • I will keep you fully charged at all times, never will I let your battery drain to 0 so that you simply cannot keep going.
  • I will always use your case when travelling with you, you will not see the inside of a general use bag ever in your life.

And I really, really mean it this time. At least for the first year. 😉

October 12, 2018

When the Loss is Your Livelihood

Filed under: Grief and Mourning,Writing — Susan Morgan @ 11:28 am
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We talk about loss a lot here on this blog; but today I’m going to focus on a type of loss that is all too common in our work lives these days. Layoffs. Loss of a job, income, security, purpose. An ending as sure and final as many others.

There was a time when you could give a lifetime to a company, be respected for your loyalty and knowledge. You could retire from that place with the company recognizing your years of service and contributions. You could leave with the sense of a job well done, a working life well spent, a retirement secure.

Those days are far behind us now, stories of another generation. For working people now companies are loyal to a balance sheet, shareholders and market forces. Employees – that’s us – have been pushed down the list. Paid as little as possible, adhering to demanding schedules, offered benifits that shrink every year – we are the resource corporate America takes for granted. Considers easily replaceable.

Today layoffs are common, so much so that nearly every working person gets the joy of experiencing one. The call into an office, sober expressions and terse explaination. The shock, hurt and sudden panic of no income or medical coverage. The indignity of being watched as you pack a desk and are walked out the door like a person who can no longer be trusted.

This is a loss that hits hard. Rocks confidence. Hurts like hell. Leaves you reeling, lost, adrift. While layoffs are not a death in the sense we typically think of, I suggest that they are in that category of loss. That they are levelling events that have you taking stock of your life in a way you usually do not. They reveal true friends and put a big, bright light on relationships or circumstances that are not working. They force a change – ready or not.

A job loss, like the loss of a loved one or beloved dog or cat takes time to process. Stages of grief must be navagated, acknowledged and experienced. Healing this wound takes time – a different amount for all of us – before we can pick ourselves up and get back on that horse again.

If you, or someone you know is struggling after a layoff, hereis one of many great resources, this one from Stamford University, to help you understand what you’re feeling and how natural these emotions are. You have a right to them. Coping is addressed here as well.

February 1, 2018

Spreading The Word On An Excellent Bit Of Content

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life — Susan Morgan @ 9:47 am
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I saw a figure the other day from Pew Research that took me by surprise — 86% of adults are now using the internet. The population skews young, with some college and makes a healthy income.

The online world is massive, and it’s hard to get a handle on everything that’s going on. I thought it might help if I shared some of the tips I’ve learned to stay informed without spending hours and hours online.

It was a client who first suggested I check out NextDraft from Dave Pell, and I’m so glad I did!

A self confessed admits to being obsessed by news and visits over 50 carefully chosen sites daily to pick the most fascinating bits on tech, ideas or culture to share. I always learn something new with every read of NextDraft.

What’s more, the format’s easy to get through, the headlines are a hoot and if you’re not into giving out your email address, you can download a free app for your iPhone or iPad. Easy, peasy, right?

If you want to see what the rest of the internet is searching for, I highly recommend google hot trends, a ranking by number of google searches for the day. Really gives you a peek into what people want to know more about. There’s even a list (put out by google) of the top search terms for 2013 — mostly full of notable deaths, electronics and royal news. Still quite informative.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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