Take Care of Yourself

family, love, musings

This season is hard on a lot of people. Not only does it bring on financial pressure to travel, to buy food and gifts, but also an expectation of leaves many anxious around their finances. Myself included.

Add on any family conflict. Myself included.

A dash of missing loved ones that died this time of year, or that had birthdays this time of year, or anyone you spent the day with this time of year. It becomes really stressful and lonely. Myself included.

The problem I am having is being stuck in my head too much, and stuck at home too much. I work remotely about 50% of the time, so this isn’t surprising. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel isolated or even trapped. Mostly, because I’m not practicing the things I know that are important for a healthy state of being. For myself or anyone else.

So I remind you all to take time to reconnect to what your heart loves and craves. If it’s music, find a concert- even a free one at a church or school. If it’s a social gathering, find a book group with the library or local book store. Maybe try a coffee shop and use meet-up  to connect.

Perhaps you just really want to play with dogs all day? Try signing up as a doggy daycare provider with dogvacay or volunteer with a local shelter.

It’s not easy to know what to do, but there are options. I am currently finding odd jobs t pay bills and connect me with new ideas and people. I am also making an effort to see friends and get back into craft projects that keep me happy.

I leave you with an idea discussed last night, as dinner, with ones I love, BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BE. Be your own advocate, be a voice of reason, be someone that picks themselves up and dust themselves off and carries on. Be loving, and BE. IF you have a dream, see what it would take to get there, and take a step to be there. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid of learning. Research. Imagine.

And finally, if you are feeling sad and vulnerable and scared, then acknowledge those feelings in a friendly way. As you would to another friend. Hug yourself, drink tea, watch a favorite movie, breathe, and eat well. Hug yourself, cuddle a pet and just do anything to make you feel better.

Sometimes it’s not even making anything better, at times you can’t, but just getting through the day, the week, the month, the year, and working on something better.

Love,

Rebecca Lee Robinson

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If You’re Mourning Carrie Fisher- Laugh

geek, love, musings, United Kingdom

Carrie Fisher the very big Star Wars actor that we knew and loved. The Princess that didn’t needed saving, and that could fire a gun and actually hit her enemies….. well she passed away this week.

Huge Star Wars fan, or not, many of us have taken time to reflect on her contribution to film and women in film. She was also the daughter of another iconic performer, Debbie Reynolds, who they say died of a broken heart the day after her daughter died. Reynolds contributed a hell of a lot in her life too, and the loss of both this week is a blow to film nerds around the world.

Yet, while I am saddened by these losses, I know there is something really cool we can all do right now. It not only honors the memory of these performers, but it also cheers the soul. I did this when Bowie and Rickman died in January, I took to their art and I devoured it. I watched movies and listened to music and loved their art. I’m doing this right now with Fisher.

I just read her book Wishful Drinking over the last 48 hours and I laughed my ass off. It’s a hilarious book, full of comical  (intentional) stories and moments from both Fisher and Reynold’s life. I plan on reading more of Fisher’s work and just enjoying her contribution to the world. Ya know what, she would have wanted it that way.

Weirdly Wishful Drinking is almost prophetic of her own death and passing, but in a loveable way. In a “it’s gonna happen” way. Because, that’s the end for all of us.

Because that’s this planet, this universe, and not so far far away or long long ago. We’re all mortal, and we’re all trapped in that truth.

So, wipe the tears (don’t deny them) and enjoy what artists made when they pass. That was the whole point, a lasting contribution on a world that’s ever changing and temporary. Laugh at their jokes and their writings, and love that we get to live NOW and enjoy these pieces of humor and life. Also cry if you must, that’s okay too. We’re laying to rest and saying goodbye to some friends from our own journey.

From Wishful Drinking:

George comes up to me the first day of filming and he takes one look at the dress and says, “You can’t wear a bra under that dress.”

So, I say, “Okay, I’ll bite. Why?”

And he says, “Because. . . there’s no underwear in space.”

What happens is you go to space and you become weightless. So far so good, right? But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn’t—so you get strangled by your own bra.

Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.

Why We Mourn Celebrity Deaths

geek, love, musings, Uncategorized

Bulletin: Debbie Reynolds has also passed away, a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away. Debbie was 84, Fisher was only 60. It’s just two more names to a very long year and roster of celebrity deaths.

For most of us, we’ve never met these people. We’ve never shaken their hand or even had a glance from them. We haven’t had meals and we haven’t had coffee or any type of human relationship. Yet we mourn them when they die. We cry and we hold onto relics and we tweet and share and mourn. All around. It’s not the same is it would be for a grandma or a friend, but we care and our hearts ache.

It’s odd. In all reality that we care so much about people we know only from movies or books or television. People that are almost god-like that dance and sing for us. It’s not a normal intimacy, yet it breaks us when they’re gone.

However, it’s nothing new either, when rulers died and today when they die thousands cry and attend candlelight vigils and show up for funeral processions. This has happened for as long as there has been written records and it has happened all over the world. When someone we recognize as a person we “know of” or celebrate, then we care just that bit more.

queen-victorias-funeral

Funeral procession for Queen Victoria in 1901

We celebrate our close relationships and we celebrate those that are disconnected. Think of celebrity weddings and engagements. We celebrate because they give us a feeling of connection or inspiration or drama, maybe theatrics, maybe laughter.

For Fisher, it was Star Wars, she was Leia and the things that character did were loveable and fun and millions looked to that character,  year after year and generation after generation.

Reynolds was a dancing queen and someone that touched generations with her movies, comedies, and poise.

We love a feeling that is attached to celebrities and their artistic contributions. We have emotions around people that play a part  because that’s the whole point of art.

Leia was a “Princess” that fought the bad guys, was beautiful, and had time for romance in her own terms. She broke down stereotypes and led underdogs to success. The feelings surrounding first time viewers are seen in my 9 y/o step-daughter just now becoming a Star Wars fan. We all had those moments too. Those moments of awe and inspiration, carried forward by a performer that we loves and adored.

Debbie Reynolds was not only Debbie, but she was Kathy in my grandma’s favorite movie, Singin’ in the Rain, which we watched hundreds of times in my house growing up. The movie is amazing, and the dancing spectacular, but the emotions of my grandma and of loving dance and of music and comedy are all there on the couch with me.

The story goes on, but with each death we recognize we have something attached there. Even with artists that I didn’t know  well, such as Prince, there is an important acknowledgement to his musical contributions. His music shaped people and genres and the loss of someone so young and talented is very sad.

We attach our loves, hopes and dreams to characters and performers and artists, that when they die we see our own immortality. Our own failure to fight death and disease and sad accidents. And we mourn because they were friends, they journeyed with us for a time in our lives and made us feel something. They were a part of our own life and our own path and maybe changed how we felt about the world.

It’s not a silly thing to care that they have passed on and no longer can share their talents, because they’re real emotions and ideas. And as we send on those celebrities and maybe family members that also passed, let’s just imagine them all getting to have a final picnic, having a dance, maybe a cocktail, and going onto whatever is next. I like to imagine my grandma and Reynolds are having a good laugh right now.

 

Hamilton and History

Uncategorized

Acta Historia- The Global Journal

The musical Hamilton has brought in a new wave of love and interest in the founding fathers. It has done so with hip-hop, jazz, pop and broadway as its home, yet is it an accurate portrayal of history?

Most historians are suspicious of many mainstream accounts of history. Many ask, what will be left out? What will be mis-said? And what will perpetuate legend and myth without bringing something new to the table?

hamiltonmusical

Yet Hamilton is something new in this telling of the founding fathers. Unlike mid-century musicals and movies that held the founding fathers in a shining god-like light, Hamilton makes the viewer confront historical myths and human mistake.

What helps Hamilton is its base on Ron Chernow‘s massive book on the life and times of Alexander Hamilton and the struggle around the revolution. Chernow’s book resonated with Lin-Manuel Miranda, and when Lin-Manuel sat down to write Hamilton…

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If Journalism Isn’t Thorough- We All Fail

musings

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The election of Donald Trump surprised everyone, probably even Donald Trump, if his behavior the last month has been any indication.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you probably have been in the hole of what I am talking about. When journalism isn’t thorough we all fail.

We all fail because we don’t get complex coverage that explains what is happening through background information and references. That means that people hear that something bad is happening but they don’t understand why. They think terrorist attacks are only because of “hatred”, while partially true, the more complicated story is that terrorists are often people with a lack of education and have been targeted by people recruting for some extreme cause or another. Hate groups, the world over act this way, the only way to combat it: financial resources and education for everyone. This is as true for the KKK in poverty stricken Alabama as it is for poor mountanous villages in Afghanistan.

Yet our news rarely talks about this deeply complex connection. Or rather that every event and news story is connected to many other things in the world. We can kill ourselves trying to untangle the web, but we also must find a balance in providing enough context for everyone to understand.

This morning I read an article on the fall then rise then fall then rise of Twinkie,  those sugary creamy addicting snack cakes that is made by Hostess. Not only was the article an angering read on how investors move money from one system to another to make big bucks while leaving employees out in the cold, but it had one line that explains so much of what has happened in this nation as of recent. It explains why people, usually Democrats, were so put off by everything that they voted for Trump, in a final gamble to try and get their lives back:

‘“People understand jobs going to China,” said Michael Hillard, an economics professor at the University of Southern Maine. “But no one has ever heard of these private equity firms that come in and do all this financial engineering. It is much more complicated and less visible.”’

The woold is pulled over eyes to divert what is actually happening. It’s easy to blame government initiatives that allow for global trade, and feel that it’s ruining someone’s life, it’s another to understand that many of these problems come from financial manipulation by bosses and big financial players. People like Donald Trump.

And here is where journalism has failed. We weren’t thorough enough about what is happening with jobs and politics and government so that everyone can understand what is happening to their jobs and automation. The easy story is showing what Trump said about China, and giving a spokesman- now head of the country- free publicity to spout a false-reality.

Of course, it’s not all on the hands of the journalist. Journalists who can’t make a living at their work anymore, and who are constantly under pressure to make click-bait and increase ad views. They’re encouraged to do so much and such a variety to get more hits, than they are driven by thorough story-telling and accuracy. Television news is the same- how can we get people to watch?

Consumers are to blame for a constant need of easy to digest fluffy news, that goes down like marshmallow but slowly rots the teeth and gives the consumer  diabetes. I’m to blame as someone that is in media, I want cat videos and simple narratives, it’s not always comfortable to face long stories with complex informaiton.

Yet we have to.

We really have to. Because without thorough information we are in a whole lot of trouble when it comes to keeping all forces, not just Donald Trump, accountable for their actions and work. It’s not click-bait to make sure that human rights are preserved and people have a chance to live a decent life, but it’s really important.

I Had a Dream

musings, Uncategorized

I had a weird dream last night.

It was part magical/happy and part Dali-esque trippy.

The magical happy: the Cheeto had not been elected president. Which yay! But somehow I was in power….which…woah, I don’t think so. Because I’m not sure that’s where I want to be AT ALL.

Regardless, there was a certain current president there. And he touched me on the shoulder and he told me to stay strong and keep fighting.

I was standing in this white room surrounded by people and a podium and cameras and journalists. Yet I was the one on the podium, in front of the people and the president was telling me to keep fighting. To resist. To move forward.

I’ve never been one to hold politicians up on pedestals, but I do care for Mr. Barack Obama, I quite like his wife, and his family. As far as presidents go, he has been a really good one.

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Obama at CSU in 2012, shot by Rebecca Lee Robinson- I waited for 9 hours to get to see him and to get this shot.

I don’t agree with all the actions or inaction Obama has taken as a president, and I wish he could have done more than he did during his two terms. I understand though, with a congress that blocked most changes, and the checks and balances we have as a nation, that progress is slow.

However, progress has been made. It has also been because of his strong leadership and ability to connect with people that this has happened.

On a personal note, Obamacare has made my life manageable by having care and aid during tough times and medical issues. Having changes made to student loans, at least government, mean I can manage until I establish my career and finances. There are actual jobs for people and most are paying better than before.

Environmental initiatives have been taken to limit the damage humans have done. It’s probably too little too late, but it’s an effort to not totally eradicate life on this planet.

These are all important things. Not to mention national debt reduction and more people in jobs. It’s not perfect, but he’s picking up the pieces of a system that failed a lot of people.

Which is why so many of us supported Bernie, and then Hillary when she adopted much of the same rallying cry.

But… the electoral college, a system that isn’t really working so hot, has lead us to Trump. It’s also the fact Hillary wasn’t super likable, or that many people felt rejected by liberal elitism. Add in some racism and nationalism and people with a lack of true information and news and you have what we have. A narcissist that really wanted power for his own interests and ego, and that would and did say anything to win it.

THIS is what has depressed me and worried me to my core since Trump first announced he was running, it burned more after the primaries, and I felt like I had been thrown in a fire pit when he was elected.

It’s been almost a month, and I’m still feeling depressed and scared. As a history nerd, and with a BA, the parallels to the rise of Naziism and other eccentric fascist regimes terrifies me. The fact many white-supremacists support him, terrifies me.

The fact we also have a right-wing controlled house, congress and presidency is concerning. We also have Trump that will place someone in the supreme court, which will shape laws and movements in this country for decades.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a hard time. I’ve been feeling hopeless and frustrated and trapped. I have been cut off, and reserved and just feeling shitty. At times I don’t have a lot of hope for what the next four years will bring. At times, I’m so scared I can’t leave my bed. I know I’m not alone.

This dream I had, this novel idea of the President, someone I admire, telling me to move forward, is pretty intense. I think it has more psychology than symbolism behind it. I know that it is really my own voice telling me “get it together” “move” “resist” “protest” “fight”. This little voice, speaking above my anger and hatred to the Cheeto, telling me “I must go on and I can’t stop now”.

The battle hasn’t fully begun, we wait in the trenches for first gun-fire, but I know I can’t stay behind and die before I even leave the trench. I know I must clean off my shoes and tie my hair back and put on my Nasty Woman shirt and fight for another day, a future, a better situation.

I encourage you to do the same.

Take a dream, foster it, don’t let it die