There is Hope in the Flame of Notre Dame

Is history really that important?

In answering this query for an online assignment back in college, I decided to play Devil’s Advocate. The teacher clearly wanted everyone to affirm that history was vital; it was a history course, after all. And, like little ducks in a line, all the students did.

If there is one thing I cannot consistently stand, it is following after all the little ducks.

No, I argued, history is not important. We don’t actually need it.

  1. No one learns from the past. The proof is in the repeated mistakes.
  2. Conditioned to luxury and entitlement, we behave as Huxley predicted and always seek for what is new.
  3. History is written by the victors or their fans, and is redacted and altered by current social climates. 1984 (George Orwell) proves that.

Though I did not make the following points, I could reasonably add two more for our modern times:

  1. We have a glut of information and lack time for the general public to ingest it. So, instead, most people only follow useless, instantaneous fluff.
  2. Technology has the capacity to 3-D print what we need, thus eliminating paltry ideas like stonemason or architect skills.

The online repartée with my professor ended unfavorably, by the way. He acknowledged all comments in a general, summarizing paragraph at the end of the week. He specifically mentioned “one student” who had argued this and that against his statement, said I’d referenced 1984 erroneously because it undermined my main point (it didn’t), and suggested I ought not to argue too far out lest I “find the branch cut off behind (me).”

I’m still sore that I had no way to post a counterargument.

That aside, I do not believe that history is not important nor that we ought not to learn it. Instead, I lament that most people do not respect history. Most do not seem to know its significance or beauty or work …until it is removed. Stolen. Ripped away. Burned.

This morning I had intended to write a different post. I thought to list my hectic schedule, thereby garnering a few commiserating comments and explaining my abysmal online presence. Instead, in catching up (somewhat) on blogs I follow, I read a very-well written piece about the recent Notre Dame catastrophe. The Feathered Rose, in “To human ingenuity,” described “both the stillness and the motion in (her) thinking” as she contemplated her feelings about history.

A friend of hers suggested that Our Lady will be rebuilt and will continue on as she has. Other buildings of historical significance have undergone changes and rebuilds, right?

“My friend, speaking through the words of Douglas Adams, is correct that, once rebuilt, the Cathedral will continue to serve its purpose. Architects, historians, engineers, builders – these people will no doubt admirably restore the ideaintentiondesign, and essence of the building. Tourists will continue to flock there. The faithful will continue to pray…”

So, really, what’s the big deal? Why was the horror of destruction not sated by the consolation of repair? Fortunately, she finds and gives us an answer:

“Human ingenuity isn’t only about intangible progress. It’s also about the evidence of our past.”

That is one sentence stolen -ripped, burned- from paragraphs she wrote of beautiful reminisces of history. Reminders of what the past means and why we need it. Pasting any more of her post would require at least half a page, but I highly encourage everyone to read it.

I love the voice she gave to my own unrest. I love the poetry of her memories.

If given a chance to state my enduring and authentic hope for history today, I would counter-argue my previously-stated points:

  1. We all learn from the past, though we may take a few revisits to retain what it taught.
  2. The flashy and new appeal to the young and inexperienced. Once they run out of money or solid chairs to sit upon, they will change to old and reliable.
  3. History may be written less-accurately, but all information must be taken with a pinch of salt. Assume bias, watch for author’s flavor and preference, and remember your own colored glasses.
  4. The general population will always grab at fluff; the important and durable information will endure.
  5. A handmade work is impressive and appreciated, and even a computer needs to be ‘taught’ the skills.

Why do we walk the halls of the past? Sometimes it is merely to feel the echoing footsteps of the people who came before. Wouldn’t you wish for the same, of those who will come after?

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How has the destruction of Notre Dame touched you? Is the past important enough to retain what we may for the future?

—————-

Here is what I wrote last week. I intend to take the remainder of the week in stride, as I really am quite busy:
Wednesday, April 10: Spent a happy reminiscence discussing children’s picture books with “Picture Books Are Always in Season.

Thursday, April 11: “The Cure for Depression: Get Some Sleep!,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, April 12: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Everyone who entered!

Saturday, April 13: Announced the 22nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is an acrostic of the person you detest. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, April 14: “In The Beginning, There Was Distraction,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Slipped in a tongue-in-cheek poem titled, “(Real) Life Advice.

Monday, April 15: A book quote from Something Wicked This Way Comes. I am slowly, very slowly getting through this one.

Tuesday, April 16: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety.”

Also, posted, “Mental Illness Really Sucks” over at JES’ site.

Wednesday, April 17: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Religion in the Home” and a fantastic poem titled, “A House(work) at War.”

I’ve a part-time job writing stuff for Kids Are the Worst‘s blog now; and publish scintillating works like “10 Actually Easy Easter Crafts for Kids.” I intend to keep things real and funny over there.
Speaking of writing jobs, I see that one of my vacuum reviews is online and it’s not even the re-write DumbFace demanded. Funny world.

 

Photo Credit:
Maxime Naillon

Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety

At first quite nervous, Wil found a surprising level of obscurity behind the words of her story. Her audience helped as well; gasping at Carl’s stupidity, glaring at the incompetent office secretary, leaning forward when she told of reading the internet story, then bursting out in laughter at poor Carl’s panic and intentional pants-dropping.

Even Hope giggled, a sweet chirping noise that Wil suspected Hope rarely voiced.

Not everyone laughed; to her side, Stephen appeared shocked. He almost looked as though he had been the one who spilled chemicals on half his group and then exposed himself in mistake.

Reagan noticed his discomfort. “Relax, Stevie,” she drawled. She wiped at her eyes.

“Stephen,” Stephen mumbled in correction as he glanced down at his chocolate cupcake wrapper.

She laughed a snort. “No shit, Sherlock.”

“Reagan,” Hope said.

The outspoken girl turned to the much smaller, meeker one. Their eyes met before Reagan lowered hers. “Sorry, Stephen.”

Wil nearly choked. Again.

“Thanks, Reagan,” Derek said. “Hope.” He smiled. Wil realized Derek automatically smiled to help others calm down and wished it had that effect on her.

“So…” Art began. Most shifted to face his direction. “Why’re we meeting today?”

All eyes flitted to Derek. “Welll,” their leader answered, “Stephen and I have been talking more about our group-‘

And the name, I hope,” Reagan interjected.

“Sure,” Derek acknowledged, blinking. His confusion cleared, and he continued, “Um, so we’ve talked about why we got together as a group anyway….” His voice cracked a bit and he swallowed. His gaze shifted around the group. Reagan made a rude gesture, which startled him into a shocked expression, then a genuine smile. “Ha! Thanks, Reagan. Thing is, I think we ought to actually do something with this group.”

Stephen nodded but the others’ expressions ranged from wary to (in Wil’s case) blank.

“You mean….” his main heckler said, “…like the Girl Scouts?”

This time, even Stephen laughed.

“Actually, Reagan,” Derek said, “That’s not so far off…”

 

Continued from Eighty-Nine.

 

Want to start at the very beginning? It’s a very good place to start.

In The Beginning, There Was Distraction

Phan clutched her halo, rubbing already-tarnished finish. And sighed. If only she hadn’t been so diverted this morning, with the clouds. Then there’d been flowers. Then path swirls -which led right to the end of the lengthy queue…

“Next!” the angel matriarch called.

Phan floated forward. At a scowl, she hastily replaced her halo and hoped it aligned itself. It didn’t.

“Late again, Phanuelle.”

*Gulp*

“There’s only one assignment left; a newer one.”

Phan peered beyond the matriarch at the mostly harmless-looking blue and green sphere to which she must go. Oh, well. Perhaps it would have flowers, too.

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Created for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt.

April 11, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers.” You can play with the words, alter them or interpret them without using the phrase. Give it any slant you want — show what it means or add to its  meaning. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 16, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Photo Credit:
Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

WELCOME to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, Week 22.

Please remove all dignified, appropriate rules about poetry and drop them behind a dumpster somewhere, read how to terribly poem, and look at the specifics below:

  1. This week, we are going to make an acrostic poem. The Topic of said poem is a person you detest.
    If his name were Bob, your poem might read:
    lessed waste of
    O rgans is
    ob
  2. For Length, your masterpiece must be no longer than the person’s name.
    Also, keep the number of people you hate and therefore wish to honor with a poetic address to three.
  3. Rhyme if you wish; don’t if you’d rather not.
  4. As always, make it terrible. The person you hate must sense, by aura of recitation alone, your loathing and aversion. He (or she) must follow the scent of vitriol to your computer and vow revenge upon your children’s children.
  5. Keep things PG-13 or nicer, if you please.

My children have Spring Break next week, which means I do not. Therefore, the deadline for this ‘weekly’ contest will be in two weeks. You have till 8:00 a.m. MST Friday (April 26) to submit a poem.

If you are shy, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, just to be certain. I will be able to tell you whether I received it.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

 

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Photo credit:
Pixabay

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The winner is everyone who entered.

You are all the most terrible poets of the week!

I am amazed, impressed a thousandfold, and speechless. I tried to think of a winner, I truly did. I tried narrowing by rules, by terribleness, by rhyming or not or rhyming not -to no avail.

I think I was simply laughing too hard.

To pick just one among such talent would be to insult the rest. I kid thee not; see for yourself:

Coffee For (In the Style of John Masefield’s “Sea Fever“)

by John S.

I must go down the street again, to the coffeehouse near the Y,
And what I need is a yogurt scone and a grande latte chai;
With a mule’s kick and a banshee song and the white milk that’s shaking,
There’s a grim look on the barista’s face, and the coffee press is breaking.
I must go down the street again, for a caffé mocha, iced.
It’s 2 pm on a Wednesday, this cannot be denied;
And here it is a promotions day with the caramel clouds flying,
And soccer moms with their matcha green, and the frappuccinos vying.
I must go down the street again, this vagrant caffeine strife,
For the blended way and the fruit juice way where the drink is a whetted knife;
And all I ask is an espresso shot that keeps me stone cold sober,
And doubly-steeped herbal mango tea or a smoothie I could go for.

—–

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

by Bruce Goodman

Whose woods these are I have no clue.
And if truth be known, nor do you.
It’s sheltered enough for me to hop off my gig
And stretch the legs for a minute or two.

My little horse must think I’m queer
To stop with no pub in sight and no beer
With snow all over the place
In the middle of nowhere.

The woods are lovely, so to speak,
And you might think I’m some sort of creep,
But there’s miles to go before I‘ll get another chance to stop for a leak,
But there’s miles to go before I‘ll get another chance to stop for a leak.

—–

Zodiac Killer (from Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales“)

by H.R.R. Gorman

1 One derke and tempestuous Aprill night,
2 The shirreve clutched his herte in awful fright.
3 The licour of woman’s veynes bathed walls,
4 And with blodde the Ram of spring marked the halles.
5 The shirreve sees drawen to memorie
6 Another mordre with sign of Pisces,
7 Capricornne brot a deth most treasonous,
8 And dede man drowned, sign of Aquarius.
9 He seche and he trowe evidence,
10 But the Zodiac killer’s japed him since.
11 The shirreeve made many pilgrimages
12 To question witnesses in low corages
13 And find preve of the killer’s vileynye
14 To bring him to justise thurgh agonie.
15 Nonne can descrive circumstances of deth,
16 And all cry out hevynesse through bated breeth.
17 Upon giving up and laying to snoose,
18 He at last trowed the killer was Ted Cruz.

—–

The Agent (Based on Edgar Alan Poe, “The Raven“)

by Trent P. McDonald

Once upon a midday dreary, while I pondered how to write my query
To sell my quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
While I edited typos and participles hanging, suddenly there came a clanging
As of some one harshly banging, banging at my apartment door
“’Tis the landlord,” I sputtered, “clanking at my apartment door –
I better hide since my cash is no more.”

Ah, I wish I could remember, was it May or December?
And each separate rejected note lied crumpled on the floor
How I dreaded the marrow: – I’d have to pay back the cash I did borrow
And not selling my book caused me sorry – sorrow for “The Art of the Bore”-
For that bit of putrid fiction had that name “The Art of the Bore”-
A stupid name evermore

-a bunch of skipped verses…-

“Please don’t’ let that word be our parting, my pretend friend,” I shrieked, embarrassingly
“Please read my manuscript, it’s not a Plutonium store!
See what my black plume has transcribed, as my soul has spoken!
Don’t leave me lonely and broken – take it with you out my door!
Take this bleak writing of my heart, take the my book, no matter how poor!
Quoth the Agent “Nevermore”

—–

If” (Or When The Truth Finally Dawns)

by Geoff

If you can fly a drone yet not drone on about that skill
And capture some celebs’ nips, for your Insta feed to fill;

If you can face the surgeon’s knife and also find the wedge
To have your gender altered, adding meat and two root veg;

If you can make an online bet, and keep on loss on loss
And find some time for other games and still not give a toss;

If you can change allegiance from Arsenal to Spurs
And face the chants of ‘traitor’ and some witch’s paid-for curse;

If you can hold the notion, that your MPs moral compass
Is still intact when it’s bloody plain he’s just a cheating short-arse;

If you can read the dailies and absorb a constant diet
Of fake news and propaganda, yet still you want to buy it;

If you can be a vegan yet not let veganing be your master
Adopt a healthy lifestyle, yet let blue pills make you harder;

If you control the TV remote to the manor born
And pass your nights with sport and paid-for Scandi-porn;

If passing days in a sweaty haze of gyms and protein shakes
Let’s you think that guns and tucked in tums are all it really takes;

If you can drink your weight in beer, and finish with a curry
Wake up drunk, go to work and still not think to worry;

If you can take on a lifetime’s debt, for a poxy little degree
And never think that you’ve been had then I’m sure you will agree,

That you’ve won life’s lottery and you’ve proved that you’re a man
And really don’t you think, you dick, that it’s time that you began

To realise that the world is sick and everything that’s in it
Should now be run by women, so that maybe they can fix it.

—–

Cousin MacDuncan

by Doug

The Witches:
All hail, Duncan, Bane of Craw
Whence camest thou, worthy Prince?

From the castle I sayeth.
Pray tell, I am needeth
the spell of Puxogt, my birthright:
stir the pot to bestow the incantations
that you’d wilt the will of nature
doth have me know the words
though be it darkest magic I demand.
Giveth I say the boil, the power
as foretold in the prophesy.

Witches:
Beware the idles of auto-carraiges.
Though many knights save their seats
against rebellion and lavish treachery
speak quickly in tragedy before the second stab.

But I had not known the puzzle of the boils.
And thus in folly, all was thought well
though the traitors lurked in hatred of the Priestess.

I was to escort Her Sacredness to her doom the raff assumed
’twas twisted chicanery looming as explosive as the petard.

We’d gone in a convoy, but with a bomb
the doors of Her car were blown off

An evil twenty swarmed out
from fields of Sunflowers tall
knives redoubtable

They tied Her Sacredness to a fence
gagged her that She’d not reproach them:
their scabbards empty of their treachery

Such evil drawn out
upon the dastardly ceremony
that hides a scoundrel from a conscience

“Kill her,” I heard the tall one bade.
“Righteous tyranny of the Gods
“can NOT be malice when obeyed

“Let the least of us wound,
“the greatest stab Her in the heart,
“the fearful give the coup de grâce.”

Villains, villains, I shouted.

Halt at once this vileness,
these sneezed speeches
a phlegm of your diseased souls

A frenzied one spoke:
Her Sacredness
would fawn to the Council
and not to the Gods

She would banish our Sister
who champions the Gods

This impostor usurper
who takes the crown
would deny our true Priestess
her enfranchisement with the Gods

Let the Gods rightly
paint our true Priestess in
the light of Their Love, and
make her star brighter than
the day of this puny planet’s sun.

Hasten us all
lest we’d be interfered with
in our noble cause to
stab out the usurper

Draw now the blood of Her Falseness,
each of you in turn do act:
stab out this blotch

Sazrgk, begin!

But I crawled closer,
picked up rocks to throw

Thus I:
Sazrgk no! You of the least
do not now promote yourself to fiend

Let them have their honors.
Sazrgk, if you’d save your soul
take your mercy and go

But Sazrgk stabbed her in the shoulder.
’tis true: of weakness cold-hearted, he
did indeed plunge his dagger.

I screamed the ancient kinesis:
“T’ukmpuxogt!”

I became splattered in red screams
drowning in oceans of slaughter that
pulled me out of my mind with
a fury that engulfed the sun, and
made it set in vomit

By T’ukmpuxogt bold
the sunflowers were decapitated
in exploding shards of skull, and
headless bodies were
strewn across the road.

Thus I protect my Love
the only true Priestess.

—–

Dog, Be Not Proud (Parody of “Death be not proud” by John Donne)

by Peregrine Arc

Dog, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost stinky by
Die not, poor human, nor yet canst the dog’s Flatuence kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy doggy dreams be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow from thy waggily tail
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their noses, and soul’s too early delivery.
Thou’art slave to smell, poo, gas, and dead things,
And dost with poison, gas, and sulphur dwell,
And skunk ‘or carcass can make us smell as well
And better than thy fumes; why smellest thou then?
One short stink past, we breathe eternally,
And doggy gas shall be no more; doggy, thou shalt go poo.

—–

Will I Sweat a Sweet Summer’s Day? (Based on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18)

by Doug

Indeed I’d liken thee to a hot intemperate day.
Thy art work hangs on the wall by the bed:
In the heat and torrents of Summer’s bray
The painting warps ‘n tilts though glee outspreads

Though furies of heaven are too hot tempered to tame
And often the sea would rush in with scorn
A perfect day fickled with clouds that disclaim
A Nature’s bearded willow teased forlorn

But thou art hotter than the Sun
An eternal fire of thy soul consumes not;
Thy burning bush still fertile not done
Nor will death retrieve heat God wot:
One summer’s day none can tame
As there’d be forever one dame.

—–

Starlight (“Tyger” by William Blake)

by Ruth Scribbles

Starlight Starlight oh so, bright,
I wish I may, I wish I might
Actually sleep tonight?
Why the hell do you light up my room?

My wings are frail
My hands are weak
Do you dare to tweak
My heart?

You are evil, yes indeed
Your light in my eyes
Makes me need
My sunglasses at night

What are you thinking
You bright dim wit?
Shining on my terrors
So I see my errors?

The clouds the clouds
Will dim your light
And hide you and my fright
In the middle of the night

Starlight Starlight oh so, bright,
I wish I may, I wish I might
Actually sleep tonight?
Hell lights up my room?

—–

Bukowski (“Bluebird” by Charles Bukowski)

by Violet Lentz

bukowski said,,
he had a bluebird
in his heart….
he said,
he tried
to drown it
in cheap whiskey-
to smother it
in the smoke,
of a myriad
of hand rolled
cigarettes.. yet,
in the end,
he told us,
he knew,
that it was there.
and he knew-
it was a bluebird…

still i wonder,
just how deep
he had to sink
into the quagmire
of his own
scarred psyche-
how many nights
he had to lay awake
staring into
the cold, black,
eyes of self-
before he heard
that single blessed note…
before it broke thru.
before it rose above
the mire of
life’s melancholy
melody…and when it did-

when at last,
it broke thru,
his delusion distilled,
and for the first time
he held it close
late at night
in the dark
when no one else
was around-

was it then
that he realized
it was never
really a bluebird
that he was trying
to drown
in cheap whiskey
or to smother
in the fog
of yet another
hand rolled cigarette?
was it then
that he realized
it was never
really a bluebird
that he desired
to hold ever so tightly
to himself
as he drifted
off to sleep
listening to
the bittersweet song
that only he
could hear
alone, in the dark
when no one else
could see?

and if it was then,
did he weep?
i for one
believe he did….

—–

Untitled piece (also Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18″)

by Nakedinfiniverse

You’re as hot as I get when I win a race,
You’re pretty and you’re always sober.
Gales blow petals all over the place –
it’s like, as soon’s you blink summer’s over.
One minute I’m sweatin’ like a goat,
The next the weather goes all cloudy;
You always need to take a coat
‘Cos accidents and nature make stuff dowdy.
But your beauty will always and forever stay,
And they’ll never take you from the sunshine.
You won’t even die, ‘cos you will stay
Alive thanks to this pretty rhyme;
As long as there’s still people around,
My poem will hold you on the ground.

—–

Marvelous, fantastic, amazing, marginally-terrible work! Tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

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Everyone: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Cure for Depression: Get Some Sleep!

Good morning, everyone! I’ve been meaning to talk to you all about ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT topics ever besides food and sex, but I kept sitting down to do so at incriminating times -like, midnight or four a.m.ish.

Yeah, I oughta be asleep then.

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Now that I’ve pushed hypocrisy under the rug by typing at my local time of 10 a.m., let’s get into it!

Sleep is important.

Duh, right? Well, so is eating the right food, but I still ate a Pop Tart for my second breakfast. So is positive self-talk and such with CBT, but I forgot all that when my kids had a meltdown all weekend. So is talking to my counselor and doing what she says and -no, wait! I did go back on my medication because the kids had a meltdown all weekend.

Point is: we know sleep is important. However, if you’re like me, then a good sleep schedule is one of the first things to go right out the window as soon as you have a small sip of it.

So let’s remember why we need sleep:

  1. Better Mental Health
    Isn’t this our goal? My internet reading says that mental illness sufferers almost always do not get enough sleep. I think that’s often because our stupid problems don’t let us sleep; for me, however, I intentionally do not because I’m self-defeating that way.
    Sleep is CRUCIAL to better mental health, resetting emotions and releasing the happier hormones into our systems.
  2. Learning.
    Our brains HAVE TO hit all the key sleep stages in order to retain information. -You know, all that REM/NREM stuff where dreams can happen. There are a ton of articles out there about this, if you want to do a little side research.
  3. Physical Health.
    After a good night’s rest, our muscles are relaxed and ready for a new day. Skin looks better, especially around the eyes. Joints, ligaments, and nerves have time to repair. Without the stress of maintaining activity, the body as a whole can work on healing.
  4. Longer Life
    No joke: consistently cutting back on sleep affects DNA. This bad practice physically shortens one’s life. Don’t get paranoid; decide to get a better schedule.
  5. Creativity
    Despite your tortured artist soul’s ideas to the contrary, good sleep produces more creativity. I am a regular practice-er of late-night muse-calling; I often produce dark poetry detailing horrific, depressive mindsets.
    In terms of consistent artistry, though, I am much more productive when I’m regularly rested.
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  6. Lower Stress
    Yeah, you should know this one. Well-rested is the opposite of high-strung.
  7. Other Crap You May Not Have Known About
    Lack of sleep affects: testosterone (meaning you’re not going to feel like sex so much), weight control, disease immunity, and focus.

Like water and breathable air, humans have to have sleep. The next question, then, is how do we go about sleeping?

  1. Make a sleeping place
    Yep, like a bed. Maybe you’re literally more comfortable in a recliner, though. Wherever you do your business, make it only for sleeping and sexing. Make it comfortable, dark, and free from distractions.
  2. Make a sleeping time
    Ideally (in a fiction novel), you’d get to bed around 9 or 10 p.m. every night of your life. I find that aiming for a reasonable time gets me close to it, plus trains my body to expect that.
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  3. Have a relaxing routine
    Once your time’s set, prepare for it about an hour in advance. We’re talking: showering if you do it before bed, reading a book or your phone on the couch, reconnecting with your loved one(s), getting a drink, bathrooming, etc.
    DO NOT EAT an hour before bed. If you are positively famished, I’d recommend light foods at least two hours before for metabolism and heartburn reasons.
  4. Stay in bed, but don’t stress yourself
    Occasionally when I wake in the middle of the night, I toss about and decide I’d be more productive getting up. Then I’m a zombie all day. Instead, I’ll choose to make myself more comfortable by repeating my relaxing routine and possibly adjusting the house/bed temperature. Then, I’ll go back to bed and just rest.
  5. Sleep aids and medications
    I’m not going to pretend some people don’t need medicine to rest. The elephant’s in the room (and now, in the bed), right? If you’ve tried a bunch of stuff listed above and have serious trouble sleeping, get your doctor on board to prescribe something to help.
  6. Cut out the crappy stuff like smoking, drinking, recreational drugging and caffeinating
    Tricky, of course, but so so so so so so so helpful for your body in so so so so so so many ways -especially sleep.
    If you gotta do it, keep booze and coffee to healthy times: alcohol in small amounts after an earlier dinner and caffeine in the morning after food.

kinga-cichewicz-513031-unsplash

The other side of excellent sleep habits is your waking ones. Early to bed and early to rise isn’t just a great poem; it’s a blueprint for most people and a healthy lifestyle.

After a good night’s rest, a consistent, early waking time is equally vital.

In my crash-course study on this topic over the past few days, I learned that waking at the same time each morning trains your body. Our smart little brains start increasing key protein levels (PER) just before the anticipated wakeup. Some people don’t even need an alarm clock because their body has been set.

You, too, can be a living alarm clock.

Resolve today to make sleep a higher priority. Make your bedroom cozy, cut out stimulants of all varieties in the evening, wake early, be consistent, but -most of all- RELAX!

Sleep feels great; get some and you’ll see.

Thank you for joining me on Consider not Depressing. Tune in next time, when I discuss the next item that cures depression.

 

Maeghan Smulders
rawpixel
Kristina Flour
Kinga Cichewicz

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

Picture Books Are Always in Season

“So …have you read King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub?”

“No.”

“Hmm. What about The Stinky Cheese Man?”

A sound of polite, incredulous aversion comes from the backseat. “No….”

I’m driving my male horde home from elementary school, plus the three children of a family friend. Their children and mine share a few interests, the main one being a love of reading.

The older girl pipes up, “We don’t read picture books.”

Her sister: “Yeah; I’m reading chapter books now.”

Which is fine, of course, seeing as how she is in second grade. She is the baby of their four children and they are all precocious. The only boy has already moved up a grade and is 2-3 grades ahead in mathematics.

Still….

Our Books

“I love picture books,” I say. “There are a lot of really good ones out there, so I like to go back and read them again.”

“Yes, that’s true,” the older girl acquiesces. I often feel I’m sitting at a British tea party with her, although she’s midway through fourth grade.

My boys, meanwhile, are each immersed in reading something educational like Captain Underpants or Magic Pickle. I’m not a fan of the graphic novels, but am fine with their perusal if mixed with a range of literature. That, and graphic novels include everything from less-than-desirable illustrations and potty humor to really well-done works like The Cardboard Kingdom.

I drop the friends off. Their mother comes out for a quick chat. “Your girls say you don’t have any picture books around anymore,” I say, in a friendly way.

“Oh. Yeah.” She laughs. She’s extremely intelligent, an excellent quilter, and one who does not seem to mind being a stay-at-home mother. I’m always in awe of her. “I unintentionally donated ours to the classroom and haven’t replaced them.” She sighs a bit, which is usually her way of segue. “They don’t really seem interested, so I probably won’t.”

To each her own, of course, but a little bit of me cries inside to hear it. Like my music preferences, my reading tastes cover many genres. -Except romance. Ugh.

Besides that, my collection of books is …sizeable. When I read Fahrenheit 451 in school, I wanted to be the old lady with the enormous library. I would feel torn between saving myself or my books. I …have a bit of a problem with control whenever I shop the book department in thrift stores.

D.I. Books

After a recent thrift store trip.

Which leads me back to picture books. I love picture books. I cannot imagine not having any in my house. I read to my children from them, and then from novels as they age (time permitting).

I also enjoy reading to other children. Last year I offered to read to my son’s fourth grade class once a week, to give the teacher a few minutes of preparation time at the end of the day. What did I read? The Jolly PostmanThe Sweetest FigBark, George; and Oh, Were They Ever Happy!

I remember visiting with the teacher once after we finished up. “Thank you for coming in every week,” she said. “It gives me time to get ready and I really appreciate it.”

I smiled. “Oh, you’re welcome.” Then, I hesitated, knowing most of these kids were beyond the target age for the books I shared. “Are you okay with me reading picture books? I know they might be a little young for them.”

“Of course!” she said. “They love them! I don’t think they’re too young for them at all.”

Our Picture Books

Most of our picture book library.

You may think I will ask whether you agree or disagree, but I know you are all smarter than that. Instead, what are a few of your favorite children’s stories? They can be picture books, graphic novels, beginning chapter books, or Harry Potter-sized novels. Which do you love, and why?

—————-

After fondly reminiscing, read what I posted this past week:
Wednesday, April 3: Encouraged cathartic ranting over bad bosses in “Just Another Perk of Working.

Thursday, April 4: “The Cure for Depression: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, April 5: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Molly Stevens!

Saturday, April 6: Announced the 21st Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is parodies of famous poems. PLEASE ENTER!

And, answered Peregrine Arc’s writing prompt with “Smells Like Reanimated Spirits.

Sunday, April 7: “Olympic Achievement,” a poem response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, April 8: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Nine.”

Tuesday, April 9:  An inspirational quote by Jodi Foster.

Wednesday, April 10: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. Highlights were “Just Don’t Buy It?,” “Moderate Momming,” and “Bedtime, a poem.”

 

Photo Credit:
Me