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Ok, so a friend contacted me and asked if I would proofread a book they were working on…part of a series of publications.  This is not exactly Earth shattering since I had proofread all of the previous entries—somewhat proficiently if I do say so myself.  So, this was just another chapter, so to speak, in the series.

To be perfectly honest, the series was an enjoyable one.  It wasn’t one of those boring topics that made proofreading difficult.  In fact, I so approved of the content that I wished I had written it myself.  So, proofreading it was right up my alley.

Yet, when I received this latest entry, something strange happened.  I read part of it, got a headache, went to lie down and then completely forgot about it.  And I don’t mean I forgot about it for a few minutes.  Not for a day or two or even three. I didn’t/couldn’t resume proofreading the book until almost a month later!

In fact, I not only forgot that I was working on this particular proofreading assignment but, I totally forgot about/lost interest in almost everything else I was doing around that same time regardless of the topic!

Unbelievable!  I mean, who does that?

Not me!

But apparently me?

I thought I had gone totally insane until I spoke with my doctor and discovered that, not only was I not insane, but that that response was typical, especially during times of high stress, during moments where we over-extend ourselves, when we’re eating on the fly and/or when we’re eating poorly!

And, boy oh boy, was I high stressed.  In fact, I was four for four on that list!  My doctor explained that I had had so much going on that I simply shut down.  My body and brain just shut down like your computer does sometimes.  And just like with your computer, it can happen right in the middle of whatever it is you’re working on…regardless of whether you’ve saved your work or not.

Were there warning signs, you might ask?

Yes, there were signs.

To be perfectly honest, there were many signs that I, in hindsight, totally ignored.

Not only was I overwhelmed, but I was tired—often very exhausted during the day. If that wasn’t bad enough, I was eating whatever I got my hands on and I couldn’t even remember when I had last had a good night’s sleep.

Truth be told, I was totally neglecting myself without even knowing it.  So, my memory, among other things, was suffering.  As a result, my brain protected itself by shutting down.

Isn’t that something?

For me, it felt both good and bad.  On the one hand, it was good to know that I had a backup system already in place to keep me from total destruction. At the same time, however, it felt bad to know that it could kick in without permission.  Although I suppose that’s the beauty of it…not letting me destroy myself by forcing one more task.

Mentally refreshed but a little freaked out, I made a vow to myself.  Next time, I would pay attention to the signs before the crash.  I mean, I would certainly not want to be driving or operating machinery when my brain computer just shut down due to overload.  Changes had to be made.

With that, I promised to take better care of myself. I started doing light exercises and stretches, making better food choices and getting proper rest and relaxation.

And what a difference it has made.

I’ve lost a few pounds, I sleep better and I feel better than I have in a very long time.

Thus my “brain collapse” turned out to be a win-win for me and perhaps for those who commissioned my proofreading services.

Oh, by the way, you’ll be happy to know that I did finally complete that job and other backlogged assignments without further ado.  I was lucky that the author was gracious enough to extend time for me to recover.

My advice: Don’t wait until you fall down to take care of yourself.  It’s unfair to you, to your family, to your friends and really to everyone.

I know it sounds cliché but, before making a vow to be there for others, make a vow to yourself and keep it. I think we can all agree that everything works out better when you’re your best self.

Can anybody hear me?

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In January, I had my yearly mammogram.  Although it was only a routine test, this year I opted to have it done at a new facility—one with state of the art equipment and the promise of less discomfort.  In preparation, I secured my old records from the previous facility and brought them with me.

What can I say about it?

New equipment.  Still uncomfortable.  Whatever.  Done.

A month later, I received a letter from the new facility stating that they were “evaluating my case” and that they would contact me at a later date once completed.

Wait a second!

“My case?” I thought to myself.  What case?  I had a routine test, not a case.  Nevertheless, I managed to shrug it off after opening my electric bill, cable bill, etc.

Admittedly, it’s wasn’t the letter I had been hoping to receive, but I reasoned that it was taking a little longer due to the new facility needing to incorporate old film from an older, more outdated system.  No problem, right?

A month after that, I got another letter.  But it wasn’t the same.  It was one of the letters that no woman ever wants to receive from her mammographer.  It read: “abnormal mammogram/right breast’.

Instead of the “happy letter” that usually comes every year (shortly after the test), this one stated that I needed to come back for “additional tests/surgical biopsy.”  To say I was devastated is an understatement.

Why?

Just two years earlier, I had received a similar letter regarding my left breast.  As it turned out, I had calcification in my milk ducts that required surgical removal.  It was a painful procedure, make no mistake, but I was ever so grateful it had not been cancer, as suspected.

Now, this new letter was discussing possible complications with my right breast.  Would I be lucky enough to get away with evading cancer again?

Already eating away at me was the fact that my maternal Grandma died with breast cancer at 34 years old, when my mother was just a child.  This made it difficult for me to have to tell my mom that my mammogram had come back “bad” again.  I didn’t want to worry her or other family members who had assisted me through the previous ordeal.  So, I kept it to myself.  I figured I would casually bring it up a day or so before the retest.

As fate would have it, the weather refused to cooperate.  Snow fell and, long story short, I missed my retest appointment.  I had to wait another two weeks before retesting.  Right then, I was glad that I had kept the incident to myself.  No one was the wiser…and no one could pull their hair out in the interim.  But, with that, I had nothing but time to pray that Yah would move in my favor.  I ended up telling my family two days before the actual exam.

I finally arrived at the facility to be retested.  I noted quite a few other women there for the same thing.  They too had received the unwanted letter.  Apparently, that was retake day.  One by one, each of us took the retest.  After a battery of tests, additional mammograms/sonograms/xrays, some were cleared while others needed additional testing, biopsies, etc.

In my specific case, it was ruled that the abnormality had been a false alarm.  Nothing showed up on the screens, test, after tests, after test.  Nothing was there.  Nothing!  I was cleared without further ado.  See you next year!  Yah had indeed ruled in my favor.

But, although I was excited, I was muted.  I felt badly for the women who had not been cleared and whose lives would never be the same as a result.  They were in for a journey that I had had a front row seat for with many of my own family members and friends.

For me, it was over.  Instead of going for a surgical biopsy, I could go home.  I could go home.  And, l did just that, rejoicing all the way!  But what about everybody else?  And what about the support they need to get through what’s coming?  What about that?

Can anybody hear me?

I’m not going to mince words.  I don’t like Christmas!  In fact, my family doesn’t even celebrate it!   Why, you might ask?  Why would anyone hate a day when you get presents from friends and family members without having to earn them?  Honestly, there are a number of reasons.

When I was a kid, I found myself fooled when people tried to put in my head that you could get anything from your loved ones without doing anything to earn it.  I was further bamboozled by the notion that you could somehow give back to those who give to you.  Hello, newsflash!  That’s not how life works.  You don’t just get anything in life, you have to earn it.  But more than that, just because you’re doing good doesn’t mean that someone is going to notice or reward you for that, nor should that be your main motivation.  Some people need to grow up and realize that.  Don’t get it twisted, I’m not trying to be mean.  Nevertheless, sooner or later, when your kids grow up, so will their minds.  And they will understand a lot more about gifts, behavior, pride and flat out good and bad than you ever expected.

But, I guess my biggest problem with Christmas is the duality in reasons most people give for observing/celebrating Christmas in the first place.  Often, that dissociation ties right into the overall confusion that is Christmas.

What do I mean?

On the one hand, people claim to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. Just think of how many songs and bumper stickers proclaim that “Jesus is the reason…for the season.”  People cite gifts from three wise men (although there is no biblical basis for people assuming there were just three of them) as their reason for exchanging gifts. The day is supposedly sacred unto God.

On the other hand, people seem more interested in Santa Claus, reindeer, gaudily decorated trees and gifts than on any particular religious observance.  They attribute the exchange of gifts as the result of good or bad behavior as judged by Santa himself and make quite the fuss over what they give as a gift vs. what they receive in return.  Now, we can debate religions or beliefs or faith but, NEWS FLASH: Santa doesn’t exist!  And no intelligent person on earth believes that he does.  What kind of parent teaches their children about Santa giving nice people gifts and naughty people coal in their stockings?  How is that helpful to them?  How can you rationalize anything like that?

How is being told that a jolly, fat ass man, dressed in a full-body outfit with a long white beard rides across the entire planet in one evening, on a sleigh driven by flying reindeer, with elves assisting him in dropping gifts down chimneys helpful to anyone in life?

And what do people say when you ask that?

It’s for the children.  It’s just fun for the children.

I’m confused.

Christmas is supposedly about Christ (despite the fact that it is unlikely if not impossible that the person often referred to as Jesus was born at that time), right?  We don’t go to Mass for the children.  We don’t say Grace for the children.  We don’t baptize for the children?  But this one is somehow different.

Look, I don’t have a particular problem with exchanging gifts by individuals on either sides of the Christmas story.  What bothers me are those individuals who blur the lines and find ways to incorporate both schools of thought simultaneously.  It blows my mind to witness people not taking the time to research who Jesus Christ really is or isn’t.  Why are people so nonchalant that they won’t take the time to discover the true origins of Christmas and see how the myths regarding Santa Claus came about in the first place?

How?  How can Christmas be about the birth of Jesus as well as Santa Claus?  How can we obsess about gift giving/receiving and Christmas trees, etc. while simultaneously celebrating the birth of someone who would selflessly surrender his life and comfort without the expectation of receiving anything in return?  More importantly, how can people justify the vast difference in meaning that celebrating Christmas as the birth of Jesus vs. celebrating Santa creates?

I’m curious…what does Christmas have to do with the birth of Christ?

And how can it teach people, especially kids, about the spirit of giving?

In my opinion, nothing and it can’t!

More distressingly, who even came up with ridiculous indoctrinations, such as the thought of waking up to presents on Christmas morning, making milk and cookies for Santa and hanging up their stockings?  What good does that do for anybody?  Why people would even conjure up such a theory I’ll never know as long as I live.

Granted, as mentioned earlier, there is no proof of Christmas Day being the birthday of Jesus any more than there is any proof of Santa Claus.  However, merging the two with equal importance just seems wrong on so many levels.

Make up your mind.  Make a decision.  Pick one reason or the other for observing the Day, but don’t be greedy and pick both reasons.  Heck, that directly goes against God’s command to either be hot or cold.  In other words, don’t pick the birth of Jesus as your reason for celebrating the Day and then decorate with Christmas Trees, mistletoe, etc. That’s just plain FOOLISHNESS!

Why bother with the mixing and excuses?

You’re just trying to justify something that doesn’t require justification.  You wanna do it, do it! Don’t make more of it than is necessary.  At the same time, what harm would it do to give something just out of the goodness of your heart? You can give gifts to your loved ones anytime!  And I’m not just talking about material items.  That’s my two cents.

Can anybody hear me?

I don’t know about you but, I do the same thing at the end of every year!  Unfortunately, this includes waxing a little sad.  You see, it’s that time again.  It’s time for me to review the outgoing year, with as much honesty as I can muster!!  From the negative to the positive, I try to take an objective look in my mirror and assess what I have accomplished, who I have hurt, what I could have done better, etc!!

Yes, I said “try” because all you can do is try.  Mind you, I don’t beat up on myself or anything like that.  But, if I am minimally honest, I normally need to issue at least two to three apologies!

With any luck, the recipients will be unreachable!  LOL!

In the event that they are reachable, I contact them and just get it over with as quickly as possible.

Admittedly, apologies don’t come easy for me.  I guess if we are even remotely honest, not many people like to apologize.  We’d rather be the recipient of an apology.  However, I have found out it can be very medicinal, humbling and cleansing to your soul.

I try to tread lightly since I never know how the recipient of my apology is going to respond. Sometimes, the recipient didn’t even anticipate an apology from me at all.  Sometimes, I have to remind the individual of what happened and why I am apologizing—which somewhat diminishes either my remaining guilt or the impact of the groveling.  Other times, they are extremely grateful because I took the lead.  Occasionally, my apology is not accepted.

Sometimes, the individual I contact owes me an apology too.  Sometimes—if I’m very lucky—they reciprocate.  Sometimes—more often than not—they don’t.   Sometimes a friendship is saved.  Sometimes, a relationship is lost.  Whatever the outcome, I try to remember that I am only responsible for my half of any relationship.

So, I do it.  I apologize.  I do this not because I am a martyr, but because I just gotta be happy with myself.  I guess my reasons for apologizing are somewhat selfish.  You see, I gotta be able to respect who I am.  I gotta be able to close out yet another year without dragging the old year into the new one.  I gotta be able to close out the year without further ado and without regrets.

At the end of the day, I wanna be able to look in that mirror—gotta be able to look into that mirror—so, at the very least, I can review the coming year with less and less to apologize for.  Maybe next year, I’ll be calling just to say Hello!

Can anybody hear me?

There are literally dozens of websites dedicated to finding one’s ancestors.  In fact, new sites are popping up every day.

This, of course, works out well for anyone wanting to find out about their lineage.  People can easily see if they really are the descendants of royalty and well-known explorers.

As an added bonus, long lost living relatives/friends can be located as well.

Here’s my problem:  It’s wonderful to see those people on TV who have tearful reunions with their loved ones, but what about the long lost relatives/friends who want to remain just that, long lost?  What about individuals in witness protection programs, or rape victims, etc., who purposely don’t want to be found?

What recourse do they have?

Now, I know what some of you are thinking.  You can certainly understand why SOME people may not want to be located.  However, there is probably a lot less understanding for individuals who never endured a particularly traumatic situation but still do not want to be located by family members/friends in search of them.

I am a firm believer that most people are in contact with the family members/friends that they actually want to be in contact with.  The ones that have dropped off are, most often, intentionally cast aside.  For example, we may have stopped answering their calls until they stopped calling, changed our phone numbers, moved without a forwarding address, or simply stopped opening the door.  It seems pretty obvious that the honeymoon is officially over.

Okay, okay…every now and then there is that someone who fell through the cracks.  Somehow, you lost contact with them and, consequently, you don’t mind being located/reunited with/by them.

But, for the most part, we all have relatives we deliberately avoid, like Uncle Bill and Aunt Sue.  Their publicly unhappy marriage being on display at every family function you can remember was only part of the impetus.  Their rowdy offspring, tendency to pilfer things out of your home when you aren’t looking, inability to repay loans and startling lack of accountability were also factors.

Ironically, or maybe just annoyingly, these are the family members that don’t allow you to get away.  They show up at every family reunion, so you end up not attending just so you can avoid them.  Unfortunately, some innocents get caught in the cross-hairs.  The alternative is that everyone goes from quiet avoidance to pistols at dawn.

So, for the sake of peace—your peace—it is what it is.

Can anybody hear me?

Political Correctness…

What does it mean?

According to Wikipedia, political correctness in modern usage is terminology that is used to describe language, policies, or measures which are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society.

This sounds innocent enough but, what does it really do?

For me, political correctness is a destructive, unnecessary muzzle on the mouth of truth.  It inhibits anyone from speaking the truth to anyone else (regardless of substance) for fear of repercussion/ostracism.  Furthermore, it actually leads to the sort of resentment and disgust that mark the language it’s trying to curtail.

Think about it for a moment.

Does it promote education to be more tolerant of others?  No.  Does it teach the history behind the abuse or mistreatment of certain groups and explain WHY the statements are wrong?  No.  So what does it do?

It forces us to pretend and, if that isn’t enough, to provide fake comments/responses in all areas of our lives under the guise of not being offensive to others.  However, in the process, we offend ourselves and our beliefs.

Now, I’m not advocating that we have a free for all.  I’m not suggesting that we impose our personal truths, beliefs and choices upon everyone under the guise of freedom of speech.  To be clear:  Everyone has the right to govern their own personal truths, beliefs and choices.

Nevertheless, when these personal truths, beliefs and choices become the norm or mainstream, we have a problem.  And what’s worse is that if you don’t get on board with this madness, you become the problem.  YOU become the anti-social malady that needs to be removed.

When a country such as the United States purports that it is built on Christian principles and provides the Bible as the foundation on which it stands only to modify the teachings thereof to suit personal truths, beliefs and choices, this is not a sign of progress.  This is a mistake and “not” correct politically or otherwise.

Either the Bible is the Book that governs the lives of Christians or it isn’t.  You cannot have it both ways.  You cannot rewrite it for your convenience or to suit your lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong.  Other religions and religious beliefs have a right to be.  The individuals who profess these other religions are tasked to adhere to the rules thereof just as individuals professing Christianity are tasked to adhere to the rules of Christianity.

Love them or hate them but, The Ten Commandments, from the Bible on which this country claims it stands, are clearly stated regardless of race, creed or color.  If you state that you are a Christian, you are tasked to abide by the rules.  Period.

Now, I’m not discussing things like smoking or drinking even though the drinking of strong drink/alcohol consumption is addressed therein.  Let your conscience be your guide.

I’m not even going to discuss racism and the vestiges thereof.  I am not going to bring up the murder of African-American citizens in the streets of the United States at the hands of law enforcement and any other citizens who deem them inferior to themselves. I’m not even going to discuss sexism at all.

That’s because there are other behaviors mentioned in the Bible that are clearly condemned and deemed an abomination.  One such behavior is homosexuality.

Oddly enough, no matter what these religions agree or disagree on, they all seem solidified on that subject.  To me, that implies something.  The idea that religions that are, in many cases, literally at war with one another can agree on this and other things speaks volumes.

Can anybody hear me?

Ever hear somebody telling a really long story? You know, the kind that drags on and on for several minutes longer than the actual content would suggest is possible. Have you ever noticed that, right as they are finally getting to the end, they add: “And another thing,” before spewing more nonsense? I mean, you are already almost hating the sound of their voice as well as their deviated septum when, just like that, “and another thing” puts an end to any hope you had of getting away.

Somehow “and another thing” leads to another couple of minutes, which then leads to hours of more talking and often a word for word re-telling of the entire story in every painful detail!

For the sake of politeness you, once again, try feigning interest while your mind is wandering here and there. After all, you were raised to be polite, right?

Anyway, a couple of well placed, “Aha’s”, “Oh’s” and “You’re kidding’s,” really come in handy and make it seem as if you are somehow remotely interested in what this person wants to—not “has to”—say!

Oftentimes, the storyteller is so wrapped up in their own story (and relatively minor glory) that they don’t seem to notice the glazed over look that you know has to be in your eyes.

Do you ever wonder if these individuals—you know, the ones you run from when you see their profiles on the horizon—even know how annoying they truly are? You have to wonder, are they having fun at your expense? Can they not see the emotions you are trying to suppress? Are they ignoring your obvious discomfort or do they not care? Or, worse still, are they really THAT oblivious?

We may never know.

What I do know is there are more than a few of them walking around in my general circle (i.e. place of employment, at the family reunion, etc.). Somehow, they seem to make a bee-line to me.

Who am I kidding?

I’m a freaking magnet for all things crazy, annoying, stinking and needy. People see me and immediately decide that I am the one to bother, sit next to on the train, question about the intricacies of life or solicit monies from, as if there is a tattoo or neon sign on my forehead inviting all matter of nonsense to come my way.

With the invention of answering services, caller ID, etc., I have been able to control the flow of foolishness that comes from many of my annoying family members and former friends. However, handling the annoying public is another animal altogether. Nowadays, you must navigate this hazardous land carefully to keep from being shot, stabbed or worse, talked to death!

Can anybody hear me?

Time

Time is truly slipping away. I know, I know, it sounds very cliché, but time really is moving quickly . . . far too quickly.

I don’t know about you but, I cannot seem to catch up on anything! No matter how big or small the project, I find myself falling further and further behind and constantly treading water.

I’ll give you an example: it seems like only yesterday I moved all my furniture to the center of each room before painting every room in my house. Now, as I survey my home, I can see that it is in dire need of painting AGAIN. “Wait. Didn’t I do this just a couple years ago? Oh wait, never mind. It was more like eight years ago!”   Where did all that time go?

Between housework, grocery shopping and cutting the grass, there doesn’t seem to be much time left for anything. There is certainly no time for “me days” involving beauty parlors, nail shops or spa trips. And don’t even think about buying a gym membership!!

I cannot tell you how many times I have signed up for a gym membership only to attend the first meeting and then quit. The same holds true for Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and a slew of other places. Only after paying the fees and buying the first week of this or that did I find that, not only don’t I have the time, I don’t even have the energy! No matter what time I go to bed, I wake up tired and disorientated.

I guess my sleep schedule’s a separate blog though.

Anyway, I’m starting to feel more than a little bit defeated. In the era of the Superwoman (i.e. the one that can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan), I’m just not coping very well. In fact, it’s fair to say, I’m really not feeling any of it.

All I wanna do when I’m at work is go to sleep. All I want to do when I’m at home is eat first and then go to sleep. Instead of going out and doing fun things, I’m stuck in recovery mode.

With the work days moving so swiftly and the weekends moving even faster, the only thing I have on my mind is to get to the end of the day. So, on weekends, I find myself planning sleep time instead of happy time. I hurry to and fro all over town, running all my errands at breakneck speed so I can get back to my warm, comforting, nurturing, heavenly bed and sleep.

But, once there, I find myself watching the clock, always aware of the ever moving time. Before I can even begin to drift off, I am struck by the bitter and depressing realization that, while I’m lying there, there is something else I need to be accomplishing.

Or, perhaps, it’s the other way around. Perhaps, it is the clock that is watching me! Maybe it’s just waiting for me to close my eyes so that the alarm can blare in my ear. We all know that clocks move faster when you’re at home then when you’re at work. Maybe there’s real malice involved. Maybe the clock really is speaking to us — mocking us by saying “Rest easy, Van Winkle. I’m sure you won’t miss TOO much.”

Can anybody hear me?

Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of celebrity men taking custody of their minor children from their very alive and very capable mothers? From Usher to Master P, the new trend seems to be that fathers are taking more of a role in the raising of their children. At least, it APPEARS that way. But looking deeper, something much darker seems to be at play. More and more, men are describing their ex-wives as psychotic or crazy and labeling them unfit mothers. To prove this, they drag the mother and their children before the cameras at every opportunity, hoping to prove their case in the court of public opinion. Because of this, children are finding themselves in the midst of these battles like never before.

Look, we all know that kids have been in the center of divorces since the beginning of time. Most often, women received full custody of the children (unless they were proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be lacking) and men were relegated to paying child support. From there, additional court actions ensued in order for these women to receive court-appointed support. Granted, it wasn’t a perfect system (as many unfit mothers were allowed to slip through the cracks themselves) but it was one that at least gave the illusion of civility. As with any conflict, things sometimes got very ugly, but at no time was the public treated to such sideshows as they are now. So, why is this happening more and more often now especially amongst celebrities? Why do modern day marital conflicts end with someone’s reputation being destroyed and relationships being ruined forever?

In my opinion, most of these men, especially those married to less-prominent women, are only now figuring out that you cannot pre-nup a child. Even with tough pre-nuptials agreements in place, having a child changes the situation entirely. So, in order to get out of paying child support for some 18 to 25 years, they have opted to take custody of the minor children and leave the wife as she was. And the courts are in full support of this rising trend.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I feel that men cannot parent their children. I have always known that they could. Nor do I mean to suggest that actually taking custody of the children is somehow a “better deal” financially than paying support. Anyone with children knows that to be false. My problem is the motive behind the taking of the children, as well as the fact that these minors are then being turned against their mothers by their more wealthy fathers. Though my interactions with millionaires are, admittedly, rather limited, I have the many ways that men, of ALL social rungs, have attempted to hurt their ex-wives. Even those paying a pittance for support want an itemized list of everything the mother intends to do with the “vast wealth” that they are sending. Should the mother buy a pair of shoes for herself, even if she uses her own money, the fathers cry out that they are misusing funds meant for the child. Wealthy men seem to be no different.

Each and every one of these famous men could easily afford to give the mother of their children SOMETHING for her years of marriage and parenting. They choose not to. Not because they can’t, but because they are worried that the mother may actually be able to have a life of her own and not simply wither and die in the gutter somewhere. I mean, do we truly believe that somehow EVERY wealthy man managed to marry a psychotic, gun toting, drug addicted woman? Somehow every woman in these custody disputes is unfit both as a mother and as a human being? Seriously?

Now, I am aware that some would argue that women have turned children against their fathers after divorces too. I have to concede that some have. But let’s place some emphasis on the word “some.” Some did. But some is not the majority. And let’s face it, many of these women never had to as the non-payment of child support is a testimony in and of itself to children as to their importance in their fathers’ lives.

Nevertheless, I am questioning why this is happening all of a sudden? In my humble opinion, finances are the root cause of the almost minstrel show-esque proceedings. The children of today aren’t the same as the children of yesteryear. They are much more aware of the world around them than previous generations were. As such, they are aware of what happens to children should the non-wealthy parent win custody. Fear of being disinherited makes their loyalty for sale. Maybe this isn’t the case for all children who find themselves in this situation, but it is arguably the case in this latest fiasco between Master P and his wife.

As many of you know, Master P recorded his minor children making accusations against their mother as if to show the world that he is the better parent. However, rather than make that point, all I saw were very disloyal children who threw their mother under the bus in favor of their rich father. His adult son, Romeo, put the icing on the proverbial cake when he interjected that his mother “needed to be a better parent.” I mean, who amongst us who are parents don’t need to be better?

For me, it was what Romeo’s statement didn’t say that gave me pause. I mean, why no comment about his father’s parenting skills? Are we to assume that his father doesn’t need to be a better parent? His father is accusing his soon-to-be-ex-wife of using illegal drugs like marijuana and drinking alcohol. Are we to assume that Master P does not engage in these activities? If not, did he just learn of this? Did she just start using? Or, did he allow this so-called unfit mother to poorly mother his children for all these years without complaint until it came time to divvy up some assets?

I mean, we all know that people tend to marry within their culture. Very rarely will you see a celibate with a strumpet. Is it unreasonable to think that Master P, who is part of a drug and crime culture, would marry someone like himself? Did we really expect him to be married to someone who does not participate in these activities? So, are we really surprised at this disclosure? Did anybody think he would be married to someone like Oprah Winfrey or Gail King? Do we really think that he is a saintly man who somehow fell for a sinner? Or is it more likely that he married someone he could relate to, and now wants to use that to his advantage by making himself out to be man of the year?

Can anybody hear me?

The more control I try to gain over the things that I do, eat, say, etc., the more I binge and lose total control.  Let’s start with my diet.  For the last ten years, I have lived in a world of fantasy.  Since I never had to diet as a youngster, I continued well into my thirties and forties with the same practices of my teens and twenties.  Needless to say, this did not work out as I thought it would.  I now find myself struggling, battling, overindulging, starving and, squeezing into clothes that used to fit.  When did that happen?

Nobody told me that I would feel this lost and confused in my 50’s.  Nobody told me that weight would come out of nowhere and that losing it would be next to impossible.  Nobody told me that I would sweat profusely and not lose one pound.  Nobody told me about bone loss and hot flashes.  Nobody told me that I would have to work doubly hard in order to feel half as fresh as I used to.  But why didn’t they?

I keep hearing that “The Change” is different for everyone.  But if that’s the case, why are so many women looking and acting just like me?  They are walking around in an almost zombie-like state trying to figure out what is going on with them, their bodies, their vision, their hair, their skin and their minds.  All the while, they are pretending that all is well.  Every day they wake up in a daze, trying to smile and control the things that make them cry and argue for no reason.  Where did that iron control go?  And how do we get it back?

Drink soy milk.  Eat soy products.  Don’t eat this or that.

Whatever.

None of it works.  I’m always hot, hot, hot or bone chilling cold, cold, cold with no in between.  Everything is extreme.   And, what about the hairs on my chin, neck and nipples?  When did I start puberty as a young man?  Do I get to have my own room and use the car for dates soon?  Or are those just more things that are out of my control, seemingly until the end of time.  Can anybody hear me?