Wednesday, September 22, 2021

I Hate People who say they Hate Musicals

 It's such a stupid thing to say. It's like saying, "I hate to be entertained." "I hate it when people try to bring joy to my life." Or really, any emotion, because I have felt them all when in the audience of a musical.

Next to Normal left me unable to walk for a few moments as I recovered from the traumas and attempts to heal. Hamilton reminds me that the only thing that has ever changed the world is a small group of people. I feel the sisterhood in Wicked, the longing to believe in The Book of Mormon, the fight for humanity in Rent, the terrifying darkness of humanity in Sweeney Todd, the magical wonder of humanity in Come From Away and the celebration of musicals in Something Rotten. What's more, it shall not be forgotten that all of life's lessons are in Into the Woods.

My daughter and I were watching the live capture of Allegiance, and I was reminded how much I miss the beauty of people standing on a stage, chests open, chins up, looking longingly at a future somewhere between the heads of audience members and the light booth above. That's all it takes: a stance (similar to a superhero stance) and a dream! Just sing your I Want song, and in less than 3 hours, you will be living the dream! 

For anyone that doesn't appreciate that EVER, we don't need to know each other. 

What's even more infuriating is that usually when someone says that, they then go on to admit to one or two (or more) musicals that they did enjoy. OH, so it's NOT the whole genre after all, IS IT? 

Superhero movies are not my thing, but I've seen Black Panther, the first Iron Man, Superman (with Christopher Reeve) and a few others. So I don't say that I HATE superhero movies. I say that they're not my thing. I'm not going to line up to be the first to see a new superhero movie. I'm not going to set up a Google alert for superhero movies. I'm not going to obsess about them. But I'm not also not going to dismiss the entire genre.

Whenever I do say I hate something in front of my father, he says "hate is such a strong word," and my response is usually, "yes, I feel strongly about this!" 

So if you feel strongly that you hate musicals, you can never visit this blog again, please and thank you. 

But if you do love musicals, I'm getting very excited about the Tonys this Sunday! And I have been loving and living for the Broadway (and off-Broadway) content appearing again!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

New Shopping Rules

 My daughter and I are just about to complete YNAB's 34 Day Reset, and I've been thinking about my shopping habits and what I want to change. 

I've written previously about my quest to buy from women-led companies, and that's still a priority, but so is supporting businesses led by people of color, and companies that are eco-conscious. 

I do have to balance this with my other priorities, like the roof over my head! So there are still Amazon purchases in my past, present and future, but doing this reset reminded me that sometimes, I hit "checkout" a little too soon. So I'm also working on putting more time between the thought and the actual purchase, and when I can afford the time and purchase price, incorporating my values, too. 

While I'm not entirely doing Project 333, the fact that I've gained weight during this pandemic (+ menopause!) means many of my clothes just don't fit anymore. I'm slowly purging the items I know will never fit me again, and boxing up clothes that I would like to wear again someday, but getting them out of my closet for now. 

I'm also thinking about the high cost of clothes. Buying cheap means they're using either slave labor or something close to it, but I don't want to pay high prices for clothes that hopefully will be too big for me if I'm able to achieve my weight loss goals. So for now, I've decided that most of my clothing will be purchased second-hand, which is also good for the environment. I found a second-hand shop that supports women's shelters and is women-owned: triple win!

I also keep a list of businesses led by women* and POC. From now on, I'm only buying new clothing from those companies. Bonus points for women/POC-led companies that are also somehow sustainable. If I'm paying an arm and a leg, I need to feel good about who profits from my purchase. 

I'm also going to start researching B-certified corporations, companies that are legally required by such formation to consider the impact on the environment, their workers, their suppliers and their community. I know that even with the rigorous requirements, that still doesn't make them perfect, but it might be a worthwhile option for other kinds of purchases besides clothes. 

Looking back at my purchases over the 34 Day Reset, there are far fewer! I might've slipped a couple of times, but even then, the drastic decrease of receipts and orders to track was startling. I've never claimed to be a minimalist, but it opened my eyes to how much of a typical American consumer I am. Or have been. It's a work in progress.

*My definition of women includes anyone that identifies themselves as such

Saturday, September 4, 2021

I Said No and I Don't Feel Guilty!

This may not seem like a big deal to some, and I hope that's the case for most, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how easily "no" came to me recently!

A former colleague and casual acquaintance reached out to let me know about her new business venture. It's not my thing, and I wished her well, but told her I was going to pass when she offered me a "friends" package. 

I realized as I was sending that "no, thank you" that there have been many times in the past where I've felt that since someone was kind enough to think of me that I had to reciprocate by participating. This time, that thought felt foreign. In a previous life, I would've fretted about the timing and place, but felt obligated to be there. I do hope she finds success and I'm glad that she's excited about this, but I can express those feelings in a simple text instead. 

I have made some stupid, awful mistakes for the sake of "being nice." Mistakes that were meant to avoid hurting others, but inevitably led to others, as well as myself, being hurt. Turns out that being dishonest is never nice, no matter one's intention. 

It's no secret that women are conditioned to sacrifice themselves for others, and it's not always wrong to do so, but I think I've now internalized that I can say no without worry of how others will view me. 

I was tempted to say that it's because I have more self-confidence, but really, I think I've realized that people are going to think what they think, and usually, they're not thinking about me as often as I used to think they were! I'm sure my friend that invited me has just moved on and is more concerned with finding people that are interested than whether or not I am. 

Certainly, there have been plenty of times when people have said no to me, and it's been for a variety of reasons. If I noticed that people never showed, I took note of that, but ultimately, I didn't let that one note define our entire relationship. I trust (now) that's how most people will weigh my own "no." 

I told my friend, no thank you and wished her well, and she responded with appreciation. Turns out, the thought really does count!