My book for my birthday. Time to “Get er dun”

The time is very near. Follow my journey into the self doubting, self abusive, mentally tiring thing we call writing.

31July2016 at midnight starts my 31 day marathon writing month. I’ll still pop in from time to time to update how I’m doing, and to take a mental break (some of my stories are super heavy), but this is my birthday present to myself.

I’m not buying myself anything “normal.” I’m paying for editors and artwork. (Unlike some people think, books don’t create themselves for free).

I’m not going out this month. I’ll be writing. The only reason I might go out is to hunt Pokemon, but only to write about them and to take those highly needed mental breaks I mentioned above.

I’m sure there will be lots of coffee, Monster drinks, and sandwiches eaten this month. When I’m done, I will celebrate with the drink of writers. I plan to purchase the best bottle of Scotch a novice writer can afford (does good Scotch come in Airplane sized bottles?) and take photos with it.

I’ve been writing and experimenting with Photography since before I can remember, so it’s time to put these passions to work.

If my phone goes to voice mail (which I don’t have set up), there are about 5 different ways people can contact me (Facebook, Twitter, text, email, blog, carrier pigeon, and my goodness, even regular mail stills delivers to my house).

I promise that I will call and email everyone back, at least every other day, twice on Sunday if I’m lucky. 🙂

For the real fans!

My first book is pretty tame compared to what I normally write about. This book is going to be about the animals in my life. It is not a children’s book at all, but real life, heart wrenching stories of love and loss, and how animals go on this journey with us. There are stories of happiness, joy, sadness, and of course, as with all animals in our lives, there are stories of tragic death. There are even a few scary stories, which include spiders and snakes.

If anyone would like to follow my writing journey and be some of the first fans know when my book will be published, feel free to join my blog and provide an email for First Look updates.

Here is the first update on my journey.

 

https://gritshugsandsweettea.com/2016/07/23/time-to-finish-my-first-book/

 

*** Seriously, you can provide a “spam” email, that’s okay with me. 🙂 I know I do when I join stuff. But I promise not to over load your email with constant updates. That’s what Facebook is for! 🙂

The reason for the email is, when my book is eventually published, the people registered for email will receive first look, discounts, and there are plans for signed postcards of animal photos I haven’t published yet, and other goodies I haven’t come up with yet.

Also, don’t fret too much. I know my grammar and spelling is sometimes horrifying, but that’s what great editors are for. They make writers, like me, look good. 🙂

Wish me luck.

 

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.

Meme Monday: A couple of cats and some words of wisdom (Hey! I see you. Stop laughing).

I’m spending a lot of time in the garden, playing with chickens, working on my VA packet (oh fun!), and an entire laundry list of things which all have to be completed right now, or the whole world will collapse! There’s nothing wrong with a little fun hyperbole, right?

One of the many things I’m working on this summer is this great place where readers tolerate my ramblings and venting; my blog.

When I first started it, I ran with it. I didn’t care. I had words to say and come heaven or high water, I needed to get them out. Bad grammar, misspellings, and all, I didn’t care. I was going to put my words on paper (or screen) and be damned the grammar police. Now I’m a little more realistic on how much the public will put up with and I do believe I’ve reached that boundary a few times. Now has come the time when I need to go back and correct some mistakes.

I’ve figured out that readers will either put up with venting, sarcastic jokes, and cussing, or they will tolerate bad writing, but they will not tolerate both. Continue reading

An Interview With Future Book founder Sam Missingham — Catch The Moon, Mary

Sharing this interview of the wonderful Sam  Missingham….

Originally posted on Words Are My Craft: Anyone who knows anything about the publishing world know that an interview with Sam Missingham is a Big Deal. Having worked for publishing giants such as the Bookseller, FutureBook and HarperCollins, she has forged an immensely successful and influential career in publishing and marketing within the books industry.…

via An interview with FutureBook founder Sam Missingham — Catch The Moon, Mary

Time to finish my first book

August is the month. The month when I will do what other writers and creative people have done for centuries. I’m going to lock myself away and not come out until I’ve accomplished my goal of finishing my first piece of serous work. Now, don’t get me wrong, “locking myself away” isn’t going to be the same as The Man in the Iron Mask. I’m thinking I’ll be more like Benjamin Franklin during the June 1787 conventions. I’ll still be sociable with people, but I’ve got to get my work done too. Plus, I’m 99% certain no one will have to come get me from a bar in the early morning hours (I leave that 1% open so I don’t make a liar out of myself and let you all down).

Many people participate in National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. This event, which takes place in November of every year, started in 1999 to encourage writers to build a habit of writing everyday. The only issue is, I love working outside in November, so I never participate. I’m not going to give my writing month any special name. I’m just going to write and write, until I can’t write anymore.

There are some wonderful tools and information on the NaNoWriMo website, so I would be remiss if I did not include it here:

National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo

Another reason why I’m not going to wait until November to finish my novel is I already have the novel written (mostly). It may read like a second grade report on the migration of ducks, but dang it, it’s written. I have written over 80,000 words and many of them actually form enjoyable sentences.

I’ll  be giving this first draft some serious TLC and personal editing. My time to do my personal editing and re-writing starts at midnight of July 31st and ends midnight August 31st. I may not finish during this time period, but I’m really going to try.

The reason why I’ve decided to give myself this deadline is the same reason many artist have a hard time letting certain paintings leave their studios; it’s not perfect enough for me.

Quotes from Amanda -2.jpg

I’ve been messing around with this manuscript for almost a year now and it’s time to either finish it and send to my editor or scrap the whole thing and start over.

Since I know I will not be scraping the whole thing, it’s time to finish it.

The problem I’m facing is my own doubt. I keep coming back to previous written chapters and re-writing them so much they no longer look like the original work. The original work I wrote with passion and love, not with a critical eye of someone who’s trying to impress others. So, it’s got to get out of here before I ruin it.

I also need to finish it now so, if for no other reason, I can start a new one. I have so many ideas for future stories, if I don’t get this one done, I’ll never get the other ones started. Even if it’s not perfect (no work of art ever is) I’ve decided I’m going to make this one as great as I can in August and hope for the best.

I’ll keep everyone updated on the progress… Maybe, I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress… Hopefully, I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress. Okay, I can’t promise this at all.

There will be so many hairs I’ll pull out and tears I’ll shed, I might take the time to load a photo of what I look like while deep down in crazyville of re-writes. I think there may be Scotch involved. Yes, Scotch. I can’t write a proper novel without the drink of authors.

During August, please expect many updates which only include photos of cats, photos of coffee cups, and photos of Scotch. Those updates may be the only thing left of me when I’m finished.

So, that’s it. Simple as can be.

No more doubts, fears, or worry. I’m going to write it and send it out on the wind to see where it grows.

(Also, I really hope all of you read it. I’m sure the Pokemon Go gods will reward you for your purchase.)

 

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.

 

 

One Year Ago, Honoring Chattanooga’s Fallen Five – Original from Tony Burgess

Terrorism is closer than you think. This attack happened to our own people, only 1 year ago today.

It happened in the same area as many of my Veteran friends live and work and where many servicemen and women are currently serving. This is the area very close to my old unit. It is only 3 hours from my home. I drive through this area, as do my family and friends, anytime we want to head south. This could have been any town in America and any military recruiting center.

Continue reading

Pokemon Go! A video game is the answer to 21st century problems.

At what point is everyone going to realize Pokemon Go is the answer to many problems of the 21st century?

Kids are begging to stay outside longer and requesting to go places they would have never gone without Pokemon Go.

You read that right. Kids want to stay out as late as possible and are begging their parents to take them to the park and to important venues, such as museums, outdoor art displays, and many other places we try to drag our kids to give them a little culture. Kids are asking to go on shopping trips, and parents are letting them purchase gold by doing chores around the house.

It’s not the 1950’s dream everyone has been wishing for. No. It’s better! This is much better.

People are smiling. They are laughing. They are having fun. All people.

In a nation where low Vitamin D counts, high obesity, high levels of depression, and a lack of exercise is the norm, it seems Pokemon Go has, for a short term at least, has given the nation an answer to some of these issues.

  1. Family time – check
  2. People are exercising more than ever – check
  3. Thousands of people were in the local parks this week – check
  4. Kids want to go outside more (hello Vitamin D) – check
  5. Everyone wants to run errands – check
  6. Car pooling has become a team effort – check
  7. People are visiting small businesses, which depend on foot traffic and word of mouth for sales – check
  8. Very low learning curve. Anyone can play, including kids, adults, and even the disabled can play from home. — check
  9. A player only needs a short amount of time during the day to play. No sitting for hours to earn points – check.
  10. Photography and creating fun scenes is part of the fun – check

And the number one best part about this game, everyone, of all races, sexes, and religions are coming together in parks, on sidewalks, and on buses sharing game strategy and hints with each other. No mention of hate for each other, just fun conversation about capturing little creatures.

Pokemon Go – Bringing the world together with one app – CHECK!

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.

 

(and Go…. get out there and catch the Pokemon! The world needs you!)

 

#Pokémon ‪#‎pokemongo

How to keep kids safe while playing Pokemon-Go – The Ten Commandments of Pokemon Go

The Ten Commandments of Pokemon Go 

  1. You shall only play one app game at a time. Playing different apps at the same time can be dangerous. If you are playing Pokemon Go, do not stretch your attention by playing another game at the same time.
  2. Do not bow your head over your phone while walking across the roads or in traffic areas. Pay attention to your surroundings. The drivers of vehicles are jealous drivers and they want your full attention when you are crossing their paths. Remember, roads and cars are real. You are real. Pokeman are not. You can really die, Pokemon cannot.
  3. If you don’t play, do not talk badly against those who play. If you do play, don’t talk badly about your fellow players. Everyone likes different games. That’s just not nice. Don’t ruin the fun for others. Show kindness and respect so we can all continue to have fun. Also, if you find someone who doesn’t have a phone to play with, don’t speak unkindly about them, invite them to join your social group, and let them come along for the adventure.
  4. Remember you do have other things to do in real life, so take time away from playing your games, and get your real work done. Do not ignore real friendships, chores, or real life work to chase Pokemon. Have fun, but take a break when needed to tend to real life activities.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long. Do not, under any circumstance, leave your home, go Pokemon hunting, or go into a dangerous area without telling your parents. This goes for the adults too. Do not go out hunting in the dark or in dangerous areas without telling someone where you are. Do not drop a lure if you are alone or in a strange place. Instead of hunting alone or at night, play at home and use incense to bring the Pokemon to you.
  6. You shall not hurt or kill other players or go to places which may get you killed. Your family wants you home safe, so never go anywhere alone or dangerous. Always keep an eye on your surroundings and use common sense when hunting Pokemon.
  7. You shall not cheat on your teammates or your group. If your team or group has decided when and where to play and how to divide up the Pokemon which are found, be sure to follow the rules of the group. There will be no cheating on your team or group’s rules. Cheating on your teammates is just bad sportsmanship. Don’t do it.
  8. Do not steal Legendary Pokemon from other players (or anything else for that matter). If you see someone already playing in their yard or other areas and they were there first, do not steal their chance at fun. Plus, when people are playing in the park, they tend to leave their personal items around. Do not steal these items. If it isn’t yours, don’t touch it.
  9. Do not lie on your teammates or other players. Play nice and everyone will have fun.
  10. Do not trespass on your neighbor or covet their Pokemon. If you see a Pokemon in someone’s yard or closed off business, do not covet that Pokemon. That Pokemon belongs to that person and if you wish to capture it, you should use your incense to lure it to you, but to not trespass onto someone’s land.

The final commandment of playing Pokemon Go is always play nice.

“Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.”

(Yes, that is directly from the Bible, but it’s a good rule to live by in any instance, even when playing Pokemon Go.)

Now, go forth and multiply… your combat power and candy of course!

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.

PS: Remember adults, these rules apply to you too.

 

Time to send a huge thank you to those who read my words and support me

I like to take the time to let folks know how much I appreciate them and today is one of those days. My journey has not been easy, but it becomes much easier when I know I have friends all over the world who cheer me on and support me as I am.

Thank you for reading -- 12July2016

As many people know, from previous entries, when I first started this blog, it was my way to stay connected to the world, voice my opinions (without alienating all my friends and family on Facebook), and it provided me with the mental support I needed so badly.

I was an empty shell of myself and I didn’t know how to find my way back. Sure I put on the face and the mask we all wear. I smiled when needed and held polite conversation with the best of them, but life had finally taken it’s toll on my spirit. I was broken; completely and utterly broken. So much had happened in my life and I had put up with so much crap, I thought eventually my life would even out, and maybe, just maybe, I could have some time to myself where I wasn’t feeling tortured by fate. Just as I thought that time had come for me, fate brought me to my knees once again with pain and an uncertain future.

Just as I was “making it” in life, my body turned on me and my future plans came to a screeching halt. I was diagnosed with some pretty serious stuff.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, many other medical conditions, and so many painful injuries, I could be the walking final exam for a ICD 10 coder.

Medical Conditions memeI could teach new nurses on how to start IVs, give shots, and how to take blood pressure in the lower leg or lower arm (Yes. These are appropriate ways to take blood pressure and it hurts less than upper arm.) I know more about my conditions than many medical professionals do. Sometimes that sucks, but sometimes it works to my favor.

I was so healthy for the majority of my life, that this was a huge shock to my mental well-being. It’s like fate decided, “Oh shit. We forgot about her. Let’s catch up for lost time.” Within just a few short years, I went from being perfectly healthy at 39 (I have the full physical to prove it) to disabled at 45. I went from working two very important jobs for the government, to barely being able to tie my shoes. It was hard getting used to this new life, but what choice did I have? I could either crawl in a corner and give up, or keep fighting. Let’s just say the corner looked pretty good for a little while. In fact, escaping to a blanket fort is not outside the realm of possibilities on any given day.

I’ve been dealing with these medical issues for a few years now and I’m almost to a point where my “old life” has finally transitioned to my “new normal.” It’s been interesting to say the least. I’ve learned a lot about myself, others, and how the world really works when you need people the most.

Because I was always active and high spirited, it was hard to accept a life of constant pain, medications, doctor appointments, dealing with insurances, evil people, and a life being controlled by a disease I could not cure. You learn so much when you have to depend on others for help, but mostly learn how weak you can be, and how strong you are also. There are no third options when dealing with disabilities, you either fall and never get back up, or you get up, time and time again, to fight another day. I have fought through some serious stuff in my life, but this last 5 years have been the test of who I really am. I have fought harder than I ever thought I could, with less backing than I’ve ever had. There were many days when I honestly didn’t think my body was going to let me keep going. There were days when it took all I had just to stand up straight and walk 5 more steps. Hell, I still fight everyday to keep going and I worry everyday I won’t be strong enough to face what comes next, but I do face it, and just like I have always fought bad thing in life, I continue fighting this.

When I first received my diagnosis, I already knew something was wrong, but I wasn’t sure what it was. I felt as though my life force was draining out of me and pretty soon I would disappear in an explosion of pain, but my mind was still strong and I was going to fight whatever had come my way. Or so I thought.

I faced the diagnosis with the same gusto as I do any problem in life. The very first thing I did was read as much as I could about my diseases and injuries, then I wrote down everything I could find and made a plan. My plan was foolproof. Diet, exercise, vitamins, medications, and so much more. My entire life had always been one long “to do list” and I knew I could tackle this  too! Boy, was I wrong.

There are many aspects of my physical well being I can control, but there are many I can’t control too. For instance, I never knew medications would have such a huge impact on my life. Medication memeI get about 2 hours of “normal me” per day. That is in an entire 24 hour period. I’m either sick, tired, hungry, not hungry, wide awake, shaky, I have a rebound headache, I’m dehydrated, I’m sweating, I feel ill, I’m too hot or too cold, or I have a combination of all of them.

These are all due to combinations of necessary medications.

I’ve had people ask me, “If the medications make you feel so bad, why take them?” I guess I don’t have to take them. I could suffer in bed all the time and die a very early agonizing death. Instead I’ve chosen to live longer, but experience only half the life I did before. Honestly, I think that’s a pretty good trade off. There are people who are way sicker than I am and who have suffered longer, yet they’re still kicking ass in the world, so I guess I can too. No need to give up now. Not when life is getting so high tech and so much fun (Pokemon Go anyone?).

Another way my life has changed is mostly due to fatigue. I’m not talked about being tired after work and sleeping until you feel better. I’m talking about dragging your body from one place to another like dead weight. I’m talking about feeling like you have the flu, every single day of your life.

FatigueI’m talking about taking a shower and needing a nap. I’m talking about going hungry or thirsty because the distance from the living room to the kitchen is just too far away for the energy you have left for the day. I’m talking about sleeping for 10 hours and your battery only filling up a quarter of what normal would be. That is fatigue and I have it in spades. Of the many issues we have, many autoimmune patients complain of fatigue (mental and physical) as being the number one reason for not enjoying life. Consider this, when severe pain is as high as we experience, but fatigue is one of the main reasons for complaints, then you must understand the level of exhaustion patients are experiencing. This is why many patients really enjoy floating in water. Just taking the weight off of their body and not having to carry around their bodies, even for a short time feels so good.

These and many other issues were greater than I could ever comprehend. It took me a very long time to mentally accept I could not control everything about my body and I would have to accept the bad days along with the few good days. I would have to adjust my life to my body, not my body to my life.

It wasn’t easy. Trust me, there were tears, cries to every god who would listen, and there were time of solitude, when I just wanted to shut the world out and allow myself to feel this pain alone. I needed time to stop fighting the pain and accept it as part of myself.

I felt as if an alien had taken over my body and I was being forced to share my body and my brain with the new entity. Once joined, there was no way to separate the two, without killing me, the host.

(There are some Stargate similarities in here, but I don’t want to bore those who are not familiar with the show.)

I think the hardest part of all was seeing the face of Doctors and other medical personnel when treating me for my conditions. To them, they see me as another patient, and having this alien thing in my body, using my body as it’s host, was nothing new to them. I had become only one of a few million who carried this disease or one of many more millions who suffered from one of all the autoimmune diseases. To them I was just another patient, but to me, I was shocked no one was more surprised I was invaded by a disease I did not want and did not ask for. Once it’s part of you, that’s it. Your body and brain are split between the real you and this entity which is trying to control all aspects of who you are. This new “thing” demands to be heard and demands attention. There is no ignoring the demands on my mind and my body. It’s a war that cannot be won. The host will eventually lose. The only thing a patient can do is slow the progression  of the hostile takeover by staying engaged in life and fighting to find a new normal. It’s hard, but it can be done.

I wanted to find my new normal, but I had no idea where to look. I spent my entire life as my children’s mom, a Soldier, and a government employee. I had owned businesses before, but I was always very healthy during those times, and I could work 50 -60 hours a week to make sure our lives stayed on track. This time it was different. I was divorced, my children were grown, and now my career was gone. I was lost and I had to find my way back.

I truly believe every human has the responsibility to give something back to this world (to the best of their abilities) and I knew I wasn’t doing that just sitting around feeling sorry for myself. At the time of my diagnosis, I felt like I had lost everything I knew about myself. I lost my career, the energy for life, many of my old friends, and all the plans I had for my future were now gone. I basically had to start from scratch, learning who I was, and planning for this new future, in this broken body. I didn’t like feeling like a problem. Even if it was in some small way, I wanted to help and become part of the solution.

I needed to do something to give me hope  so I wasn’t always focused on my medical problems. I had gotten this far and handled the maze of medical care, maybe others needed to know how too.

I wanted to share my own struggles and maybe give a little hope to others. I wanted to stay engaged in life, keep my spirits up, and stay involved in politics and activism (especially medical activism for Veterans). By voicing my concerns, and allowing others to do the same, I felt like I could do something for the world, but I didn’t know how.

With everything going on in my life and dealing with my healthy, the only way I could be heard was to start my own blog. So, that’s exactly what I did.

Writing about human equality and giving a place for others to voice their concerns was the only thing I could think of at the time to continue giving back to the world (I’ve also picked up painting and my life passion of photography again) and I’m so glad I did. I’ve met some really wonderful people along the way and this has given me a place to get all the insane conversations I have in my head down on paper.

If you haven’t noticed, I also love memes. I collect as many as I can. Memes are just the awesome little pick-me-ups I need during the day. If you have any you wish to share, feel free to put them in the comments. I will gladly save them in my meme folder and use them in future updates. I particularly like sarcastic, funny, and positive memes. If all three of those criteria are in one meme, that is meme gold!

I love that I have people in this world who spread love and compassion to everyone around them.

When the world news is so sad and so soul crushing, that you can’t even breath, there are many people out in this world with smiles on their face, kindness in their soul, and compassion in their heart. These are the people who make life worth living. These are the people who remind me everything will be okay.

Through this blog and my social media accounts, I’ve met some of the nicest people you could ever imagine. There are so many great people in this world and they are doing some wonderful things to make the world a better place to live.

Thank you

With all of this said, I want to send my deepest appreciation to everyone who reads my blog, shares my blog, sends me positive comments, shares their blog with me, and a huge thank you to the people who so graciously allow me to interview them and highlight their hard work on my blog. I know my blog is in the very early stages of growth, but it means the world to me that so many people have joined me and supported me so far.

You make my life so full of light and happiness. I can’t wait to see what we all accomplish in another year. I think it’s going to be pretty amazing!

 

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.

The truth behind Pokemon GO: You have permission to be silly and creative

I get it. I really do. You’re contemplating using your $500 smart phone to play a child’s game and you’re not sure how to feel about this.

You want to look down your nose at all the groups running around having fun, but secretly you’re kind of jealous you’re not with them. You want to scream at people who are throwing caution to the wind, but you realize, while sitting at the red light, after 12 hours at the office and another two hours in traffic, you can’t remember the last time you went outside for anything other than picking up dog poo, and let’s face it, that isn’t the fun part of owning a dog.

Your skin is pasty, your vitamin D is low, you’re cranky, and you haven’t tried anything new since the twins were born. This is your life and it’s a good one. You are the perfect mother. You get up, get the kids ready, kiss your spouse, drop the kids off, drive to work, earn tons of money, and at the end of the day, you get to kick back in the very nice home you have worked so hard for. But you realize something is missing. You no longer have the spark you once had. You are no longer creative. Your life is on auto-pilot and for awhileDead inside meme that was just fine with you, but now, you feel dull and listless.

What is missing from your life is creativity, family time, and adventure. All the things you see others enjoying and you want that too. You see everyone talking about chasing fictional characters and at first you thought it was incredibly stupid, but 3 days into this craze, and you’re thinking there might be something to this mess.

You thought you could only get those things from a vacation, a trip to a museum, or an expensive hobby teaching you to meditate or paint pretty pictures while drinking wine. While all of those things are very nice, you know your whole family can’t do all those things together and many of those hobbies are inside, which is the exact opposite of what you’re looking for in a family adventure.

So, while you watch, with aggravation, those teens dangerously crossing the road or a group of adults running down the sidewalk, you reach over, touch your phone, and wonder if you can put aside you pride and join the outrageous fun too? Yes. Yes, you can.

You can be a professional adult and enjoy a child’s game. We humans are flexible like that.

How did you get here? Don’t worry. All of America, Australia, and the other early entry countries are wondering the same thing.

You probably ended up here just like the rest of us. You were curious, all your friends are doing it, and it’s free. It’s okay. We were all where you were too. We were also worried about safety and wasting time on another game app, which will probably lose popularity very soon.

>>> Break for a PSA <<<

Pokemon Memes

** Hint: As adults, there are very important safety measures to take while playing the game and I will cover these in an upcoming post, but, until then, just remember, all internet rules apply. Don’t tell strangers where you are and don’t send out beacons to your location. If you follow normal internet safety rules, the game is fun and educational. **

>>>> Back to regular programming <<<

You thought you were immune to fads such as this. You thought you were above childish games. You thought you were a mature, accomplished, professional adult, secure in your dislike for silly smart phone apps. Oregon Trail was the last video game you played and even then you only played it because it was educational.

Now, you’re bombarded with this Pokemon craze and you wonder is this is a good thing or a bad thing? But you have no clue how to find out without looking dumb.

There you are. You’re at work, minding your own business, and all of a sudden someone is standing over your shoulder. Jim, from sales, runs over to your cubicle, gleefully pointing his phone directly at your desk, pushing buttons on his screen, and having a complete conversation with an entity you can’t see. His smiles and says, “Gotcha!” He smiles at you, turns around, and goes about his day like nothing happened. You’re completely shocked. You look at your desk, you look to where he stood, you look back at your desk, and you shake your head in disbelief. You go back to typing that boring sales report wondering what in the hell just happened.

You stop and stare at your computer and think about this a moment.

One thing you noticed is Jim’s smile. Jim hasn’t smiled since the Bush administration, and after all this time, you’re not sure which Bush made him smile, but you’re pretty sure Jim Grumpy old man memeonly smiles when he hears the name Bush or Reagan, and only in the context of politics, never concerning the movies President Reagan was in, which Jim denies ever happened.
You know Jim never leaves his own area to visit other co-workers, even when Sally went into labor at her desk, or when Jack jumped on a table and proposed to Diane, Jim kept to himself, like a hamster on a wheel, continuing to stare at his work with all the joy and happiness of Eeyore. You know you’ve never seen him move very fast. He never moves faster than his chair can roll him from his desk to his filing cabinet. He is still famous for rolling his chair all the way to the break room, on the second floor, just so he didn’t have to break in a new pair of shoes. Seeing him up and moving, and of all things, smiling, baffles and almost scares you.

So, what is this Pokémon Go stuff? Why are grown, normally professional, adults, running around parks, stores, and even bathrooms, capturing invisible creatures which went out of style years ago?

You can’t escape the information. It’s on social media, it’s in the news, and everyone at work is discussing their levels, gyms, and fun family outings they have planned. Between the wars, deaths, and horrors of the world, there are these stories of people getting out of their homes for the first time, families walking together, and groups forming for friendship and collecting creatures.

How can you ignore all this wonderful fun? You realize you can’t.

You look around, grab your purse, sneak to the bathroom, check each stall, and secure the lock in the stall farthest from the door. You reach in your purse, slowly retrieve your phone, and with shaky hands, you log into your app account. You almost change your mind. Your finger is right above the install button and you are more than ready to forget this whole mess and go back to work (this is your lunch hour… Yes, of course it is).

You look at your phone and remember the smile on Jim’s face. You want that feeling. You want what he has. Life has been so burdensome lately and business reports sure aren’t making you feel silly or inspired anymore. What could it hurt just to try it this once?

You wrestle with the decision. You think, “How will it look for a professional woman driving all over town playing a silly child’s game? Would you still be respected if you asked your kids to catch Pokemon while you drive?” When could you play the game and not look silly? No one will have to know. You can play it a few minutes during lunch or on your walk after work. If this isn’t for you, you could always quit. You can always delete the app from your phone and there will be no trace you ever played. No one would be the wiser.

We’ve been right where you are.

If it makes you feel any better, there are reports of this game helping with depression, bringing people together, getting people out of the house, and yes, you did read the news correctly, someone did find a dead body while out hunting Pokeman. But think about this, had the woman not been hunting Pokeman, it may have been months or years before the man was found. At least now his family has closure. This game brought a family closure so they can move on with grieving. That is a wonderful outcome.

Being the person you are I’m sure you know people live longer and much happier and healthier lives when they have social groups to spend time with and get at least 15 minutes of sun a day. Well this game takes care of those issues all in one app.

You can set up times when you and your family go walking, and the kids will certainly want to go with you. Being the professional that you are, you could even set up a reward system for your kids on how far they walk and how many times they walk with friends and family.

You can set up competitions in your household and with other neighbors. You can plan backyard parties where others can come to your home and capture the Pokemon which live in your bushes and your pool. Maybe your neighborhood could plan progressive dinners, and each group captures Pokemon at each location. Make the games about growing and sharing. Your children and neighbors will see you as creative and fun.

Make plans to take the family to a bigger city and see all the wonderful sites around town. Make it a point to stop by each major site featured on the game and take the time to go in and shop, or if it’s museum, go see something new.

While having fun, don’t forget the wonderful photography function of the game. It’s really my favorite part of the whole game. Catch Pokemon doing all kinds of crazy stuff and add
your children and pets to the fun set up. Challenge your children, friends, and neighbors to wacky photo competitions.

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See more of my own examples here:

https://gritshugsandsweettea.com/2016/07/11/pokemon-go-the-game-thats-fun-for-everyone-as-long-as-you-look-where-youre-going/

Life is hard enough as it is. Plus, there is always so much sadness in the news, give yourself permission to be fun, silly, and childlike, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. It’s good for your health, and happiness, and the happiness of your family too.

As you stand there, wondering if you are ready to jump on the bandwagon of a silly game, turn around, check your hip. See that small rose tattoo right at the edge of your smart $200 dress pants? Remember the fun of being young, carefree, and creative? You can have that again. It’s time to bring back a little silliness in your life. Plus, an app isn’t a forever reminder of your college trip to Vegas.

Now, go ahead, push install, and then go steal all Jim’s Pokemon! Who knows? He might smile knowing someone has come to visit him for a change.

 

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.

 

Pokemon Go! The game that’s fun for everyone (as long as you look where you’re going)

Pokémon Go! The game that’s fun for everyone (as long as you look where you’re going)

I’m going to write more about this later today, but for now, I want to say how much fun Pokémon GO is. Even with all its glitches, there are many ways to enjoy the game, including using your camera and taking funny photos.

My cat got in on the fun! He may not have known why I was laughing, but he sure was enjoying himself in the fresh cut grass with a Pokémon riding on his head.

Here it is. This is my all-time favorite Pokémon Go photo so far.

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While I’m preparing to write more concerning this app, don’t get discouraged; here are a few photos for your enjoyment. Continue reading