Socialization is key

In this age of Corona, being around others is something more rare than it is plentiful.

For some, who work in jobs that still exist, they ARE still around others, socializing a ton, like those in food service, delivery, healthcare and ride sharing.

And then there are those you are around because you’ve been around them since day one of the Pandemic and what they have, you have.

And some who don’t give a shit and socialize like it was 1999.

Regardless of what group you fall into (and there are a lot more,) what I don’t see is an end in sight. Even with a vaccine, no one can be forced to take it. And even if it was tried to be implemented by force, a civil war would likely happen and then the virus would dominate.

I’m thinking we have to figure out how to just deal with this new reality before our economy tanks even further.

And while, I’m a believer things will change after the election (like kids back in school, flight routes reopening and the like,) it’s not going to happen overnight.

And I fear for the ones lonely in this process.

I fear for the kids who no longer know where their friends are. Or if they even still have any.

I fear for the communities that need others, like AA, churches and the like.

But what I fear most is that we are becoming a society who fails to understand socialization is part of what makes us human.

After having lunch with a couple girlfriends today, whom I haven’t seen since this whole thing began, I was left thinking 1) how much I need to socialize with others and 2) how humanity is cherry-picking what is okay and what is not.

What say you?

This is Friendship

I’ve had many jobs over the years and have made friendships along the way. Very fortunate to have come across some amazing people in my time and with social media, we all have a place to keep in touch and keep each other posted on what’s going on…

While no two friendships are alike… some will fall naturally into the “see each other when you see each other” and it’s lovely. Then some, you genuinely make an effort toward seeing and then there are those who become family.

One such friend, who falls into the last group, recently lost a family member. She lives a couple hours from me so our visits have become yearly and sometimes, even less. We try to catch up on the phone a few times a year but life happens and sometimes we go longer than we should.

Well, randomly, last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about this friend of mine, who again, I haven’t seen or spoken to in many months. I even thought I saw her. So I texted her a simple “Hey, I miss you.” Lo and behold, she texted me back expressing the pain she was in from the death of a loved one, that just happened.

I said, I’m coming to you. Give me a day and time.

And though we hadn’t seen each other in two years or even chatted in almost a year, we fell immediately into sync and didn’t stop talking for four hours.

Our faces have aged a bit and gone is the 20-year-old invincible attitude, but in their place, is understanding, history and love.

Many years ago, this friend could have walked away from me. I would have if I were in her shoes, considering the selfish way in which I’d conducted myself at the time…

But instead, she loved me more.

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”

-Henry David Thoreau

 

 

This is Marriage 3

My husband and I went on a little road trip to Joshua Tree the past couple days. It was lovely, getting out of dodge, and being out with nature. Yes, it was over 100* so I had to mostly be indoors with AC or outside in a pool, but still, it was most relaxing.

On the way up (about a two hour drive from where we live,) I saw my husband was in a bit of pain with some foot trouble and also, in a bit of an agitated mood because of work stuff and a limited food diet.

The old Christina would have not liked it. She would have drawn attention to the mood and asked why the hell he was starting off our mini-vacay with the attitude…. full disclosure.

But now, nearly five years into marriage, I know myself better and I also know us better. I know that I have the power to take him out of this mood because I know what makes him tick and I’m learning what he needs.

The last thing he needed was for me to come at him. Even if I had a point, it would be far from helpful.

No, I knew he needed to have his cup of coffee and he needed me to just listen. I also knew a healthy lunch spot would put a smile on his face so I let him choose and I also knew he responded to touch so I made sure to hold his hand, give him hugs and just let him know I was right beside him.

And it worked!

Well, if that’s not growth, I don’t know what is.

 

A Beginning

I know I’ve been writing a lot about children lately… Perhaps it’s because they’re the only ones leaving a good impression on me in recent times…

The world has been shook, that’s for sure. And how the pieces fall in that wake will leave many consequences to come.

Philosophically speaking, we must ask ourselves “What world are we leaving future generations? And more specifically, speaking of where I live, what is the America to come?”

Pandemics disrupt. It’s what they do. But rather than bring people together, it has created an even greater chasm between those of differing opinions and since everyone thinks they are right, how will any meaningful change occur that isn’t politicized to death?

So, I want to pose a BIG beginning solution…

What if, instead of caring about what side of the political team you’re on, consider being on team humanity? And from that premise, perhaps then, we can begin to discuss how to deal with this pandemic and move forward toward individual prosperity rather than our standard of government/big business crony capitalism political BS.

With movements such as #blacklivesmatter and #metoo, people who have been disenfranchised are finding their voice and starting to be heard. There is tremendous power in understanding each other… and that’s where I think we need to begin because differences will always exist, and that’s a fact.

And children. Oh, let us learn from them!

The other day, I was hanging with my 8 & 10 year old nephews. We decided to do movie day but both of them wanted to watch something differently. As Aunt, I said, okay, I’ll write the name of both movies on slips of paper and we’ll randomly select. Knowing I was playing with fire since one of them would not get the movie they wanted, I hoped they would see that both options could work but a decision had to be made fairly.

Well, I was in for a surprise.

The 8 year old won. His choice was “Godzilla” while his brother wanted to watch “StarDog & TurboCat.” I watched the “one who got his choice” eye his older sibling, noticing the disappointment in his brother’s face. A moment later, the 8 year old  suddenly said, “No, it’s okay, Aunt Tina. Let’s watch StarDog.”

Both myself and the 10 year old snapped our heads toward him and said, “Really?” “Are you serious?” To which this beautiful child said, “Yeah, it’s okay. It will be a fun movie too.”

Moral of the story… Even if you get your way, it’s not always the best choice to make.

 

 

 

 

We, Adults, Have A Lot To Learn

Anyone else about to deactivate all their social media platforms because of the amount of vitriol, ignorance, sanctimonious crap that people keep projecting?

I am 42 and I have never seen America more divisive and nasty.

Here’s the thing, we can research and make informed opinions, but unless you’re an expert in the field you are discussing, should you really be speaking from a place of 100% knowledge? And then, to build on that, why pick on those who disagree with you? Do you really think THAT is the way to bring change?

I think what’s happening here, if I may, is there is an abundance of misdirected anger, wrath, unhappiness within oneself, and it has found its outlet.

THE CORONAVIRUS.

Yes, this virus is very real. But why is the pandemic bringing us apart rather than bringing us together?

If I may pose a theory,  expanding on what I wrote above, is that people are unhappy but rather than seek comfort in humanity, they shun it. They pick the worst and highlight that. They seek the ones who disagree to pick fights, so they can feel “better”, and rather than learn and grow, regression is at an all time high.

It’s not cause I’m saying so… just look around you.

Clearly, it’s much more difficult to understand people who are different than us than it is to seek comfort in those who agree with you, so the latter is the favorite. But no population will ever think the same and while that is a great thing, it also causes chaos.

Welcome to humanity.

Look, I don’t have the answer to give to end this all, but I will offer this true story as a beginning to finding the answer:

I was reading a book at a hotel pool. There were two children playing in the water – maybe ages 10 (girl) and 7 (boy) – along with their grandmother. When a family entered the pool area, the girl saw there were two boys coming in – one in their age group, one a bit younger. And so, she turned to her brother and said, “Look, we can make friends!”

 

Thankful

With the craziness of a pandemic and justice for #georgefloyd protests, life has been turned in all directions. And with good reason. Police are being called out for the horribleness that their force has become, and slowly we are seeing a desire for true serving and protecting citizens (despite the color of one’s skin) in a way that has never happened before.

For that, I am grateful.

Those in the police force are being held accountable for their actions. And no, you are not God, despite what you think.

For that, I am grateful.

Religion – which is a choice, despite those who believe their way is the only way – is slowly being understood as a personal choice rather than a forced way of living.

For that, I am grateful.

It is no small measure to have mass amounts of people supporting black individuals for justice. It is long overdue. And we are changing for the better.

For that, I am grateful.

A revolution has been brewing and is coming to change the destructive ways the US has grown. Lobbyists be gone. Wall Street preference be gone. It’s starting… (sadly, I think the FED is delaying consequences as long as possible.)

But… for the former, I am grateful.

Differences between gender, race, sexual preference – that is the beauty of life – and should be celebrated, not admonished. And finally, we are figuring that out.

For that, I am grateful.

#blacklivesmatter #metoo #schittscreek

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” – Buddha

 

 

Music as Memory

Sunday funday… wait, what day is it? Oh yeah, it’s Sunday… phew

Here in Los Angeles, we’re on this permanent lockdown of sorts, so pardon me…

But yes, let’s return to Sunday Funday even though days of the week don’t matter that much to me right now…

Anywho, my husband and I are preparing to BBQ so randomly, I decided to listen to some music I used to listen to ALL THE TIME, and when I say all the time, I mean it. My iPod was permanently attached to my ears from ages 25-28, which would explain my hearing loss but I digress.

Music was everything to me then. I was single, living alone and working my ass off in post production and filmmaking. I had little time for anything else but music was my constant. And listening now to some of those songs that comforted me then, ones I listened to on repeat like Death Cab For Cutie’s “Transatlanticism” or “Fool on the Hill” by the Beatles or “Goodbye to Romance” by Ozzy or any LCD Soundsystem album, is like a blast to the past.

Music is a time capsule unlike any other.

I flashed to the walks I would take to the bank and having an answering/fax machine or printing directions when I was going far… it all came crashing back and it was a wave of love… love of another time, another way of living, a younger me who I think would be proud of the 42 year-old-me, though if I told her about this pandemic and Donald Trump was president, she would have laughed like I was crazy…

And speaking of crazy, music is a God send, no? Pardon me as I go listen to Flaming Lips “Do you realize??” and remember Silver Lake days of indie rock music, Barefoot wine and MNRC – Monday Night Record Club.

 

Saying Goodbye When It’s Time

I said goodbye to a friend this week. And no, before you think the worst, no one died. Only the realization that two people should not put each other through trouble anymore. When expectations of what being a friend means differs tremendously between two people, it’s time to end the pain.

And that’s okay.

Full disclosure, a regular question to me over years would go like this –  “She’s doesn’t seem that happy with you. Why are you friends exactly?”

While differences can be part of the fun, if those differences cause someone pain, well, time to cut the cord, no? It’s okay not to be friends with everyone.

I mean, come on… different strokes for different folks.

It’s quality. Not quantity.

Friends compliment life. And when necessary, they challenge you. But if they try to make you something you are not, to fulfill their needs, then… is that friendship? What’s worse is if they try to make you feel bad, over and over again, for being yourself, then it’s clear they’re not happy with you as a friend and again, why are we friends exactly?

Not easy, though. Especially when dealing with human emotions.

But I’ve learned over the years that friendship is whatever a pair defines it to be. I have been blessed with dear friends I’ve retained since my teens. And while we may go a year without talking, we know we care about each other as life moves swiftly and we go in different directions.

Friendship is what you make of it. If both people really want to be in it.

“Real friends were the kind where you pick up where you’d left off, whether it be a week since you’d seen each other or two years.”

 Jojo Moyes, One Plus One: A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

The Good Part #coronavirus

Damn. These days, going on social media, reading the news, checking reddit… it’s easy to see the world is on fire right on and I don’t just mean from the Covid spread. I mean the amount of information being disseminated in favor of one’s POV and agenda and the vitriol that comes along with it.

People are speaking as though they are God. Individuals are battling each other over moral beliefs – where there is never a winner – and I’m reading comments like “If you like Trump, you can go drown in a sea of shark infested waters” and “If you don’t wear a mask, I hope you get the coronavirus and die a horrible death” – what the hell is happening to people???

Well, I’ve decided to focus on some good things to come from this world pandemic and I’d like to share them with you, if like myself, you’re over the moralistic agendas of ill-informed individuals trying desperately to get you to agree they are right. I’d like the facts and nothing but, thank you. So here are some facts:

In my apartment building of twelve units, a three year-old girl was celebrating her birthday without her friends and family. Her mother let us know and one by one, all us neighbors began to put cards, gifts, notes, well-wishes on her door and windows, and we came to find out the sweet child had one of her best days ever!

As I bike along the part of the road that is allowed for doing so by the Pacific Ocean (I live three blocks from it) I see signs in the windows of homes that promote positive messages to their community: “Stay Strong” “We’re In This Together” “Love” “Honk And We’ll Drink” :) One window had a teddy bear in it, near a child’s drawing of a rainbow and heart. 

John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” – did you see the cast of the Office dance?? There’s a little something for everyone here and it’s all positive.

On a walk, I see multiple sidewalk murals created from chalk, offering complimentary art to all who walk by. 

More to come…

But in the meantime, I’d love to know what positive things you’ve seen come from the strange times we now find ourselves in?

 

My Little Buddy In The Age Of The Coronavirus

Having been laid off from my job while the world pauses, I’ve found some extra time on my hands. And in an effort to help my family, I’ve begun to aid in the homeschooling of my eight-year-old nephew.

Now, my nephew and I were already close. I’ve been watching him since practically the day he was born and over the years, we’ve developed a special bond. When I enter my brother’s home, my nephew is the first to great me with a huge smile and a loud, “Hi Aunt Tina! Come play!” or “Hi Aunt Tina! Come look at this!”

And while I am 42 years old, there is a young 10-year-old girl in me who loves to play and have fun. Seriously. I’m a champ at Nerf gun battles, hide ‘n find (a take off from the original hide ‘n seek, which my nephews and I made up,) coloring, board games (especially Battleship!) and soon, if my nephews have it their way, video games.

But back to the beginning. I’ve been helping homeschool. And I must say, TEACHERS, YOU ARE GODS. Thank you soooooooooooooooo much for what you do. You help the future way more than any Congressman/woman and should be paid accordingly. And they patience you must have! I am in awe.

So, yeah. I’ve been helping with homeschool and also babysitting more than normal and because of this, an 8 year old has become my new little buddy.

When I told him he could call me whenever he wanted, I began to wake up to text and phone messages asking if I wanted to play Roblox remotely – me on my phone, him at his home while we chat over FaceTime. He made sure to install it on my phone on a visit  and then proceeded to give me a tutorial. When I struggled, he said, “Aunt Tina, do you know what patience is?” I smiled and said, “Yes, I do” to which he replied, “Well, then you just have to have it.”

Words of wisdom right there.

When we finish our school lessons, he asks how much time I can stay to hang out. We are currently watching the first season of Clone Wars, which is very well done btw, and also love to go outside and plant flowers in the backyard and fill our bird house with birdseed and more. His smile brightens my day.

And the last time I was with him, I was doing laundry and he opted to stop playing and join me, just to chat. He told me about his best friend at school and how they get in trouble and the big spider he saw the other day in the backyard, that had hair!

I will miss these days when all goes back to “normal” but I’m happy to know enough to cherish them as they are happening.

To see a big smile on an eight year old’s face is to witness real happiness.

To receive a hug from a child without asking for one is to know real affection.

To make a child happy and comfortable by embracing who they are is to teach real confidence.

To have a child call upon you because they consider you important is to understand the essential.

And to wake up to a phone message from your nephew asking where you are and if you want to come over and you alter your day to do so is to experience real love.

Thank you Fair Bear (my nickname for him,) for all you are and all you teach.