Panicked Pleas

When a parent gets a panicked call from an adult child begging for help you have a choice.

Some people don’t  believe they have any choice, but do whatever is necessary to provide aid and relief to their child.  It doesn’t matter if the child is four or forty, some parents will swoop in to save the day.

I don’t know what your experience is, but in mine, there are adult children who will use their parents as a loophole for accepting the consequences of their actions.  It doesn’t matter how often a parent bails their child out (and you can read that both literally and figuratively), there will come a time that the parent will be helpless to correct the situation.

For example, times:

  • when your child gets into a financial situation that you can’t possibly cover,
  • when an unexpected pregnancy occurs,
  • when they break their relationship,
  • when their relationship breaks because it was a bad choice to begin with,
  • when they lose their job because the car you were against from the beginning breaks down, resulting in another day of no pay,
  • drug or alcohol dependency
  • when all of these things happen at the same time.

Unfortunately,  I can’t give you any insight into the handling of these pleas for help.  I’m struggling to find a solution to this problem myself.  Each parent must come to a decision about what they are comfortable living with.

Some parents go the tough love route; the “you made your bed, now lie in it” approach.  Other parents devote not only their money, but their lives to taking care of the lives of their children, and by extension their grandchildren.

The majority of parents are struggling to find a happy medium,  that place of providing assistance where it is most needed, without taking over the responsibility for our child’s life.  That spot that protects our own emotional and financial wellbeing, while maintaining the true responsibility, and any lessons to be learned, strictly with the responsible person (your child).

It is difficult providing advice and emotional support to a child without rushing in to save them.  But hopefully, experience will teach our children those things we couldn’t teach.  Hopefully, our children will figure it out and become truly adult, because we will not be here to help forever, no matter how much we might want to be.

 

So Dramatic

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In Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio

An ambulance with lights flashing drives up to the emergency room door, where doctors and nurses are waiting to receive the patient.  No!  Not one ambulance, but two, and we learn a building collapse, or traffic accident or shooting, has taken place. Injuries are grave, and everyone gets to work, knowing life and death hang in the balance.   Families in panic beg for information, doctors skirt personal issues, ordering tests, stopping bleeding, and fighting death.  Then the drama is ratcheted up with an overflow of patients and no other hospital to send patients to, every doctor and nurse is treating multiple critical patients at deaths door.

Dramatic ?  Yes!  This is one of my favorite shows, “Code Black.”  Medical shows make good television because of the potential for drama.  Other good choices are police shows and who done its, legal dramas, and soap operas.  Just sit back and ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen?  What is the worst choice this person could make?  These bad events and bad choices add to the drama, but if the show is coming to an end, watch for the lucky break for a satisfying conclusion.

These dramatic shows manipulate our emotions to keep us watching, and keep us coming back for more. Our favorite books do the same thing, and I would wager our favorite blogs do a little of this also.

Real life drama is just as riveting.  I have been on the edge of my seat watching the parties elect their candidates, and watch how the candidates try to position themselves to look good (before flags, before military boats) while making the other candidate look bad by repeating every bad thing that may have ever been thought about the competition.  We watch reports of war, and rumors or war.  We watch as gunshots fly and bodies mount up.

Some people will argue that trouble in the world is aggravated by the fictional and real representations of violence.  I would argue that fiction and news can show us not only the worst, but the best of what we can be in a crisis.  We can see the way people band together to help each other in crisis.  We can see many reach out to give comfort in times of suffering.  We can see that there are those who reach out in times of suffering due to injustice.

Real life is not a dramatic show for our entertainment.  Real life has complicated issues that we cannot solve in an hour.  Our entertainment may show a reflection of real life and a hint of the complexity of the issues of life, but it can’t provide solutions.                                                                                                                     #

Jason Morgan to Return

At long last Jason Morgan will return to Port Charles and the love of his life Sam Morgan to hold and raise the son he didn’t even know was his. 

Jason will be awaking with a new face as General Hospital welcomes Billy Miller, a three time daytime Emmy Award winner who appeared as Billy Abbot on the Young and the Restless and as Richie Novak on All MY Children. 

Unless Jason dreamt what has been happening in Port Charles for the last two years while he was in cryogenic sleep, his face will not be the only change he awakes to.  Thanks to the impressive medical treatment of his doctor Robin Scorpio(Kimberly McCullough), Jason may well find his wife, Sam Morgan (Kelly Monaco), in love to Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson).  Patrick’s wife Robin paved the way for this possibility when she refused to come home multiple times, lied repeatedly, and told Patrick that she could not save Jason who was now dead. True, Patrick has been keeping the secret for months that Jason was alive, and might be able to be revived, so this could prove to be a problem for any future Patrick and Sam romance, but don’t we really want Sam and Jason back together anyway?

Jason will get to confront his new and improved brother Franco (Roger Howarth), no longer a deranged psychopath now that he has had his tumor removed. Not only is Jason’s former arch enemy no longer a bad guy, but he is living with Jason’s best friend Carly Jacks (Laura Wright).   

Professionally Jason’s replacement, Shawn Butler (Sean Blakemore), could object to moving aside.  Then again, their boss Sonny Corinthos (Maurince Benard) is in enough trouble that I’m not sure all the kings horses and all the kings men can put things together again. 

As much as I like the strong silent, stone cold killer that Steve Burton played as Jason Morgan, I hope Jason’s rise from stasis brings with it a rise in passions that removal of the brain tumor didn’t do for him.  Not a return to the nice young man of the days of young Jason Quartermaine, but a passionate, powerful, intelligent Jason who can take charge

 

Why We Watch

Yesterday was filled with living, and no television.

We were out early to hunt through stores for necessities. Next was a family picnic which included a trip to a park with a fountain you could walk in. The fountain was an equal delight on a hot spring day for children and adults. The weather was perfect for a motorcycle ride, but we should have used a little more sunscreen. After getting home in the evening, I found my brand new plants dry and dying from the day’s heat so potted them. We finished our day watching the bats swoop through the yard and listening to the frogs and crickets.

There are many days more filled with television. If I am sick, I set up with everything needed within arms reach and plant myself before the television with the remote in hand. I already know I am not going to do anything else. If I fall asleep, that is fine.
In fact many people fall asleep to the television. We called it “nuking” the kids when my sister turned on the snow to help her babies fall asleep. Many televisions have a feature that you can set for the television to turn itself off anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes.

I, like many people, have the television on most of the day when home alone. Television keeps us company. Not all shows demand our full attention, as much as they strive to keep it. We may putter around the house; even flip through a magazine or book, with the company of the television. I often like to have needlework in my hands. The needlework is repetitious and doesn’t take a lot of thought, but I can just hold it if I become engrossed in the program. The needlework provides another function; it keeps my hands out of the snack bag. In addition the feeling that television is keeping you from accomplishment is removed because you are “working” on something you like to do. Men have also found things to do with their hands while watching television: basketry, carving, sketching, math problems, number puzzles, drawing plans for future projects, and yes, men like needlework too.

Sporting events on television have become a focus of family togetherness and social gatherings. Even if you don’t follow sports, a sports themed party is fun for all. The serious fans gather around the biggest TV in the house, and other TVs are on for those who just want to keep track of the score, and the replays of important plays causing all the shouting in the other room. Programmers are well aware of the popularity of theme parties and will devote time to party planning, menu items, constructing invitations, and decorating.

No sporting event? You can have a party to watch an award show, or movies on the TV. Programmers create party themes to keep people coming back, and we do because we love to socialize.

We watch TV while we exercise to distract our minds from the boredom of pedaling a stationary bike, walking a treadmill, or other torturous device. The programming distracts our minds from the stress we are inflicting upon our bodies, and allows us to put in a little more time.

We watch TV to alleviate stress. The stress of work, paying bills, dealing with people, the stress of family life, and simple boredom are all alleviated with the programming on television. Just this morning, hearing about people living in war in the Middle East and people struggling to keep their family farm we talked about how much better things are for us with our comparatively minor problems. Television programming does distract us from life’s problems, big and little. TV is like a little vacation.

Studies have shown that our brainwaves actually change with preparations for watching a program. From the moment we pick up the remote control our brainwaves attain a calmer pattern. We select our programming, and happily watch, while our brainwaves remain calm. When our program ends, and we turn off the TV, our brainwaves return to their former state. This is why we say we are addicted to TV. There are other ways to deal with stress: breathing deeply, mediation, journaling, yoga, walking, and other exercise. Our TV is there, easy, a sure thing.

We watch different amounts of television based upon what is going on in our lives. If the weather is bad, we will watch more, If we are confined to the house, we will watch more. If we are infirmed, we will watch more. Television helps us pass the time and entertains us.

Of course too much of a good thing can be a problem. If you are watching TV instead of spending time with your family, stress will increase in your home life until the issue is resolved. If TV watching keeps you from taking care of your home or yard, your comfort and happiness will decrease. If TV watching keeps you from exercising and taking care of yourself, your health will suffer.

As in all things, balance is the key. I’ve never read an obituary that says, “He died in his sleep, leaving a TV behind.” Don’t be the first to have the remote pried from your cold, dead hand.

Learning in the media

Something was on the dog’s ear. Something we hadn’t noticed before.

The thing looked like a kernel of corn, but we haven’t had corn in days so that didn’t make any sense. It hadn’t been there the day before. I guessed it was a big, fat, fully engorged tick. Grabbing the body and pulling can leave the head behind to cause trouble, but I have heard of several ways to remove a tick.

I didn’t think Brutus would sit still while we encouraged the tick to back out by placing the hot end of a match (you are supposed to blowout the flame first) near the tick’s head. I could have rubbed something on the tick, if only I remembered what, which of course was no help at all. Luckily, I had watched Dr OZ the other day, and the doctor said to take a tweezers, grab the head of the tick, and just lift it off. Success!! I disposed of the tick. Brutus was a happy dog. A happy ending thanks to one of the best attributes of the medium of television. The ability to teach.

I’ve learned about the rise and fall of western civilizations, space travel, geology and evolution. Television has shown me the beauty of and customs of places in the world where I will never visit. I’ve learned how to build a house, pour a driveway, landscape the yard and decorate my home, with furnishings I can build and create. (I don’t really do any of these things, but that is not the point. I know how it is done, and I feel smart.)

I have been convinced of the need for sunscreen and have learned other ways, in addition to removing ticks, to preserve the health of myself and my family. I have learned cooking, sewing and needlework, painting, and how to train my pets.

I have also learned about pole dancing, what to look for when casing out a property for robbery, and how to handle those pesky watch dogs, and drive off with the loot in the family car whose key is on a hook right by the back door.

Which brings me to the story in the news of a dance recital routine posted on YouTube. Dance moves were taken from a popular music video. People were shocked at young girls performing such moves on stage as well as the public arena of the internet. The critics say that certainly dance teachers and parents would know better than to allow children to perform such suggestive moves.

What is sexy is something television teaches very well, ask any three year old and they can tell you what we consider sexy. From sexy cars to sexy moves, it is paraded on television on every channel, every day, all day and night. We are sexual creatures. Sexuality is at the heart of adorning ourselves, and our lives. Sexuality is at the heart of our greatest drama and conflicts.

Much of what television teaches us about sexuality is wonderful. Television can show wholesome, loving relationships that include sex, teach the values of protected sex and sex in a loving, monogamous relationship. Television can provide such useful information as how to perform a breast self exam, when to see a doctor, and where the G-spot is.

While television can teach us much about sexuality, it should not be left to teach our children everything about the world. The good, the bad and the ugly will be included. We have to talk to our children about what they are seeing, and help them understand what can happen in real life if they choose the wrong thing. We have to make sure learning and understanding grow together.

Unfortunately, our children, just as we have ourselves, will make some wrong choices. Some of these choices will have lasting consequences. That is how life is. Do your best. Good luck.

The Power of the Remote

It was a beautiful day to visit the seven continents, mow our spring lawn, rest in the shade of the oak tree that graciously spreads its boughs shading a spot to read, ending with a fun movie.
I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for about a month. Trying to decide if I had enough to say. My limited broadcast world, free of cable, satellite, and direct TV brought me plenty of inspiration. Starting at the end, the real reason why I am writing this in the first place. Legally Blond was on the CW, I never made the commitment to Lost, so I settled in for a relaxing, fun evening of entertainment before ending my busy day. I noticed that every questionable word you might not want your child to repeat in front of your mother-in-law was scrubbed and polished to shiny acceptability. I loved the movie, but for the first time since the sacrifice, I really missed my non-broadcast options. I would have gladly replaced the commercials with anything from HGTV, DIY, Food Network, or even the Animal Channel.
The offending commercial was asking for our help to stamp out animal cruelty. To make it perfectly clear what we were fighting, graphic pictures told the story, and I went surfing. To be completely fair, I have to admit that I am very sensitive. I am prone to nightmares and obsessing over the evils in the world. I agree the medium of TV is a great tool for good if used responsibly. I just have to ask if I am the only person who finds it odd that the same network that scrubs the language of Legally Blond, considers it responsible to allow anyone with the cash to show images of maimed and abused animals along side.
I am a mature woman, who has nightmares and obsesses over the evils of the world. How much more could a sensitive teen be. A girl who would really enjoy the romance and achievement of Elle Woods breaking out of her imposed mold of a dumb blond. All the good values of the movie, making your own choices, living up to your highest potential, and using your personal power to achieve real change for good in the world, could be over-shadowed by the graphic, tragic images of maimed, starved, used up and clubbed innocent animals.
As fast as I was with the clicker, these images still haunt me. To combat these images I focus on the animals within my care (some selected from animal shelters), one recovering from surgery on a bad knee. I remember the birds and bugs flying across my yard, and singing in the trees above me as I rest in the shade, enjoying the smell of the freshly mowed spring lawn. And I think about the fascinating animals around the world. I think about the animals I saw earlier in the day, the elephant and her baby, the primates, monkeys, bears, cats big and small, the bats and snakes, including those that could be found in our own backyard.
As you may have guessed we visited the animals of the seven continents at the zoo, the Columbus Zoo. One of the most fascinating habitats to me was the Flamingo’s. These birds were so comfortable in their habitat that they were building mud nests, one of which had to be nearly three feet tall, completely ignoring the crowds of people watching.
Zoos have come a long way. They are not just cages of pacing animals lined up while people look at the strange beasts from far away. Animal behavior and habitat has been studied and the knowledge used to develop environments that are stimulating, and simulate their natural environments. The displays teach us about the tragedies of habitat destruction, over hunting, and war on wildlife without the gory images such activities can bring to mind.
The displays also show us what we can do every day to improve life for animals and all of us. We can lower our energy use, sometimes in ways that don’t alter our way of life. We can reduce, reuse and recycle. We can examine our consumption with an eye to preserving the incredible animals throughout the world. Like Elle Woods, we can use our power for good.
We should all demand better from the media we allow into our home. I agree with humane treatment of animals, but anyone using the graphic images of the worst people can do embedded within on otherwise acceptable program will not receive a dime of my money. In fact, these images may influence which programs I give my attention to. After all, I do enjoy reading a good book.

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