My Thoughts and Beliefs Alphabetically

 My son is taking a digital photography class.  One of his assignments, which I found fascinating, was to take a photo of every letter in the alphabet from things around him in the house (or I guess outside).  He was a little freaked out doing it in a 50 minute time period (turns out it wasn't due at the end of the period, but...) so I got involved trying to help him find letters around the house.  I believe this is part of a larger assignment and I got me thinking...(dangerous territory I know)

A couple of days ago , in under a hour, I too photographed the alphabet using items around the house.  My "project" is to present each photo, in alphabetical order, coming up with a word (or words) for each letter and tying such to a thought or belief that I have.  This may be serious; this may be silly.  I'm not sure how this will turn out, but here we go:

 America:  It's not my country; it's not your country.  It's ours.  Please don't tell  me if I don't love it to leave it.  I do love it.  However, there are some things going on right now that I'm not too keen on.  (Yes, that's putting it mildly.)  I feel that it's my right and indeed my duty to question and push back on things that I feel are "wrong" or injust.  It doesn't mean I don't love my country; it means I want it make it a better place to be.

Bfth:  It's my self given nickname coming from a time when I was making a beaded name bracelet and there were no "E"s to be found.  So I used an "F" instead.  I kind of liked it.  Hence the title of this blog.  I think it's kind of quirky, like me.  Although my given name is Elizabeth, I go by Beth and if you call me Liz or Elizabeth or any other variation, you're telling me that you don't care enough about me to address me by the name I have chosen to use.  That says a lot about you to me.

Communication and Compassion:  Two things that I think are lacking in this world.  The failure to communicate is something that I believe causes problems on so many levels.  On a personal level, I'm trying to work on this with my teen.  (It's hard.)  I'm learning.  (I hope.)  Compassion is something else I am working on.  I'd like to believe I'm a compassionate woman, but...we all need to take a breath and show some to our fellow man.  After all we all share the same planet and we all are made from the same basic building blocks of life.

Disney:  Because I miss Disney.  Because it's been over four years since we went to Disney.  Because I want to go to Disney.  It's  not an option right now.  Personally, I think Disney World is pretty safe right now.  And I'd probably like the lack of crowds (which I know is a bad thing for the company).  However, going to Florida is not an option now.  For me, traveling is not an option right now.  Someday I'll be back in a Doombuggy.

Education and Employment:  They sure look different now than they did at the beginning of this year.  Since mid-March both my son and I have been "working" from home.  The plan to return to physical school (hybrid model) is ever evolving and I have no idea how long I'll be working from home.  However, I have to say that I am so grateful that he can "go to school" and I can "go to work" as I know too many people can not access on line learning and/or have lost their employment.

Flu Shot:  Get one.  Even if you've never gotten one before; get one.  I'll admit that I am reluctant to get one.  That's because of my egg allergy (flu shots are often cultured in egg).  I had a bad experience once when I was given the wrong shot and was on steriods for a week.  However, this year I made sure that my doctor's office had egg free/preservative free available and I got my flu shot.  I didn't even have to get out of my car.  Just drove up wearing a mask, had my temperature checked, double checked that I was getting the right thing, had the car door opened and got my shot.  If I can do it, so can you.

Groceries:  Who ever thought the highlight of my week would be grocery shopping?  Well for a while it was.  As time as gone on, my husband has started to come with me and help out again.  We go as early as possible (leaving before 6 which is when our local Shoprite opens) and work together as a team to get what we need as well as items for friends, neighbors and our local food pantry.  Grocery workers have long been underrated and I know I have taken time out to thank as many of them as I can.  I have my favorite cashiers who know that I bag for several people and will help me  (and my husband) separate items out so that each "delivery" gets bagged individually

Halloween:  I love the holiday.  Heck, I love most holidays, but this year they are looking mighty different.  We've decorated as we usually do and I'm noticing around town that more people are doing so.  Maybe it's because we all need the outlet.  (What is Christmas going to look like?)  I have no idea what the actual trick or treating thing is going to look like.  (And I'm happy that my son has aged out of it.)  We do have candy and some non-perishable treats but I'm not sure how we're going to give them out.  We'll figure it out...and I'm looking forward to seeing whatever trick or treaters come by my door.

Instructions:  We often ignore them.  Now is NOT the time to do so.  If we are given instruction/direction to wear a mask in order to enter an place of business, we should do so.  If we are taking medication, we should follow the instructions that are provided in order to take it properly.  Instructions have a purpose; we should follow them.  Now more than ever!

Justice:  Something we need to work towards.  For too long in too many instances, justice has not been served.  When we see injustice, it is our responsibility to call it out; to protest.  The Pledge of Allegiance concludes with "liberty and justice for ALL." If you say them, you should believe them and make them true...for ALL.

Kindness:  It costs nothing, but can do much.   Words of kindness can change a person's day or even their life.  Why wouldn't you be kind?  These past months have been incredibly difficult for everyone in one way or another.  Be kind.  And if you have the time, check out the Kindness Rock Project.  It's totally cool and completely kind.  Be kind.  Be Kind.  Be KIND.

Love:  Is there anything else that L could stand for?  Harkening back to another century, I am reminded that "All You Need Is Love."  Realistically maybe I need more than that, but that's where it all starts.  It all starts with Love.  I need to remember that.  YOU need to remember that.  We all need to remember that.  We need to open ourselves to love; to share our love and accept love.  

Mask:  Wear one.  Period.  End of sentence...well, maybe not.  Wear one and make sure your cover your NOSE and your MOUTH.  Because covering one without the other is like diapering a baby, but letting the butt hang out.  If you don't want to be covered in shit (yes, I said it) you need to cover EVERYTHING.  Wear a Mask.  WEAR A MASK!

No:  I don't like negativity, but sometimes you need to say no.  It's not always easy; as a matter of fact it's often pretty hard to say this one syllable, two letter word.  No can be in your best interest.  When you need to say no, say no.

Outdoors:  Get outside whenever you can.  Not outside in a crowd, but open your door and stand on your stoop.  Get in your car and drive to a spot where there are trees and grass or sand and surf or whatever makes you happy.  Get out there.  We've been trapped inside for too long.  While you can (before the weather turns cold and miserable and you know it will), get outside.  If you are going to be around people, see my "thought" on the letter M.

Pumpkin Spice:  Because I LOVE it.  I LOVE pumpkin spice.  I love pumpkin spice coffee.  I love pumpkin spice lattes.  I love pumpkin liquor. I love baking with "pumpkin spice" (and I know pumpkin has nothing to do with it.)  I'm not a fan of the color orange, but there's nothing I love more than seeing a big, round orange pumpkin on a front stoop.  (Now I bet you thought I would say pandemic here and I thought about it, but that's all I HAVE been thinking about recently so I needed a little pumpkin to pull me away from the negative and into the positive).

Question:  Ask them.  Ask lots of them.  Never be afraid to question.  My biggest regret is that I haven't questioned enough; that I've been afraid that I might look "stupid" for asking a question.  I am working to overcome that fear because there is so much I don't know.  (I'd argue we don't know.)  Question authority.  Question sources.  Question what is presented as fact when it seems like facility.  Ask questions.  If you are not satisfied with the response, ask some more.  Be fearless:  ask questions.

Read and Rights:  Reading is my favorite pastime. If you are of a certain age (sigh) you'll remember that reading is fundamental.  (But I learned that from tv, which is kind of strange.) I read for enjoyment.  I read to learn.  I encourage you to do so too. As for the other "r," during this time of unrest and crisis, I encourage you to know and exercise your rights.  Know your rights; act on your rights.  Read and learn; know your rights.

Self Care: We all need to take care of ourselves.  For some of us, it's a hard thing to do.  Those of us who are natural nurturers (try saying that five times fast) often forget about self.  But we can't take care of others if we don't take care of ourselves.  We are of no help if we have allowed ourselves to get run down, or even worse sick.  Take care of yourself; and then take care of others.

Truth:  Be truthful.  We all know when someone is lying.  It is a fool who thinks their lie is truth.  It is the bigger fool who follows knows an untruth, but ignores it.  Advocate for truth.  Live your truth.  Fight for truth.  As they say, the truth may hurt for a while, but a lie hurts FOREVER.  

Unique:  We all are.  We each have our own special something.  No one else is exactly like us.  Nowhere in this universe is there anyone exactly like you.  We are not all equal (though I hope some day we will be.  We are not better than one another.  (We may be better at certain things, but we are NOT better as human beings.)  We are unique.  

Vote:  It's one of the most important things you can do.   I know this year looks different.  This year voting looks different.  It's not even November and thousands of people have already voted in the Presidential election (myself included:  But it's not just about the President; it's about who will represent you.  Let your voice be heard.  MAKE your voice heard.  Vote!

Walking:  I've been a serious walker for at least 8 years.  I find that I get my best ideas when I'm walking.  (Although by the time I get home to put them on paper they have often faded away!  The perils of age).  Usually in October, I participate in a walk for suicide prevention.  That's not going to happen this year, due to the pandemic, but if you're interested click here  for more information.  Should you chose to make a donation, Thank you!

Xenophobia:  It's a big word.  One of the few words I can think of that start with the letter X.  It's not a good thing.  If you didn't know, xenophobia (not zenophobia) is:  the fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners.  Don't be xenophobic; instead remember the words of William Butler Yeats who said:  "There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met."

You:  You matter.  No matter who you are; no matter where you are.  You matter.  Your life is precious.  YOU are precious. Don't forget this.  Don't let anyone drag you down for being you.  You are unique.  You are the only you there is.  Be yourself and the best you that you can be.

Zoom:  Who knew what this was BEFORE the pandemic?  Who used it before?  I guess I am showing my age because when I hear the word Zoom, I still think of the PBS television show.  ("Come on and Zoom, come on and Zoom Zoom.")  Now everyone's using it.  For everything.  Did anyone imagine this?  


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