Anything & Everything

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.

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?

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 8, 2016

When It’s Your Turn

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

February 17, 2016

Understanding The Difference Between Expectations And Reality

Filed under: Blogging,Daily Life,Musings — Susan Morgan @ 9:29 am

stop-expecting-300x300I expect a lot, I readily admit this, though I find the term, “high maintenance” supremely insulting. A way to put down a woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to tell you. Luckily the man I share my life with understands my expectations (for myself as much as anyone), appreciates it (can you believe that?) and admits to benefiting from it.

Having high expectations can ruin you, if you let it. The ability to distinguish between reality and your expectation is key to keeping yourself from being disappointed. Be realistic in what you expect… perfection is great in your dreams but pretty hard to achieve in real life. Get as close as you can. Understand that things can, and do, go wrong sometimes and that’s okay. Greatness can still be possible too, just not the greatness you expected.


February 13, 2016

Got The Gossip Urge? Bite Your Tongue… Hard.

Filed under: Daily Life,General Stuff,Musings — Susan Morgan @ 11:30 am

Admit to it or not, we all do it. Gossip that is.

gossipMaybe it’s to distract ourselves from our own troubles. Maybe it’s to remind ourselves that we are not alone in facing the travails of life. Maybe the fact that gossip is frowned upon makes it that much more alluring — who doesn’t like to be privy to special knowledge about other people?

Just think about how Hollywood thrives on gossip. Science, as you might expect, is studying gossip — using it as a way to understand what’s normal for a particular culture, to encourage cooperation and build bonds (unless you’re the subject of the gossip, of course). They suggest gossip as a way of learning — which comes into play when you’re new on the job and need to learn the lay of the land. Fast.


February 3, 2016

What To Know About The Quiet Ones

Filed under: Daily Life,Musings,Writing — Susan Morgan @ 7:05 am

I’ve written before about how  I truly think the meek deserve to inherit the Earth, as they put up with all the self centered foolishness of the rest of us. Quietly, without complaInt. Today I’m focusing on the quiet souls of this Earth who go about their business without a sound.

Quiet-people-have-the-loudest-minds.I am one of these quiet souls, have been my whole life. As a chold my mother (bold and brash and beautiful) chided me for being so shy, having nothing to say. I never could make the change she wanted, I was not wired that way. It’s not that I don’t have opinions, or that I think they are not valid — it’s just I have no urge to blure them out.

Ask and I’ll glady share, don’t and you’ll never know.


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