Memorial Day, and my Unpopular Feelings

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Sticking with Erika Napoletano’s belief of The Power of Unpopular, I’m going to go with my gut and say a few things that will probably tick a few people off. I’m okay with that – it happens when you say stuff that’s unpopular.

Memorial Day falls under the category of ‘holidays that piss me off’. Originally, Memorial Day (which was known by several other names, and held on several different dates in different parts of the country/world) was created in order to remember fallen soldiers. The original Memorial Day in America was mostly a Northern ‘holiday’, and was specific to soldiers of the Civil War until after World War I. Back then, people took the time to decorate cemeteries (not just Arlington) and sold red poppies to benefit the orphans and widows of fallen soldiers. It was a day of remembrance, and dedication, right up until 1971 when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act went into effect here in the states. This act specifically moved certain holidays to a Monday for one purpose: to ensure a certain number of three-day-weekends for federal employees.

So now, we have a day of remembrance turned into a time for vacations and parties.

And, that’s exactly what it’s become. 

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I was in JROTC at two different high schools and nearly all of my close male friends shipped off to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of those young men came home. Some of those young men didn’t. Those who didn’t come home, often came home as fragments of who they were when we left.

So today, you won’t find me at a parade. Those have stopped around here, for some reason. You won’t find me at a party, as there’s nothing to celebrate. You won’t find me on the lake or at a BBQ, throwing back a beer in front of men – our soldiers – who watched their friends die and try not to remember it every day…much less be forced to think about it for three days of ‘federal holiday’ time.

 I once read, while researching for school, that nearly every man who goes to war dies. Some men die and come home to be buried. Some men die and come home as someone else, often as mere shadows of who they used to be. Today, I’ll likely take a trip to a cemetery to kiss a face I dearly miss. I’ll spend some time remembering those I’ve lost to war, as I do so often. I’ll take some time to remember who my loved ones were before war stole their spirit and sent them back.

Veteran’s Day is a day to thank Veterans for the service they provided to ensure our freedoms. Memorial Day, though…for me, Memorial Day is reserved to remember and honor all the broken pieces that never made it home. 

Little Letters #2….4?

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This little cutie is gracing my blog for no other reason that the fact that 1) He’s adorable and 2) I took that picture. That’s right - I took that picture. For those who have been with me since The Studio started…see what practice can get you?! I’m now doing photography on a donation-only basis to help pay for my flight to Peace Leadership Training this summer. Emphasis on donation only because, as much as I love photography, I already wear too many hats!

Alrighty – you know the drill. These are my Little Letters, and you should link up your Little Letters over on The Freckled Fox!

Dear Wild Sisterhood, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I could not be a part of a more inspiring, amazing group of women. Seriously. Best small investment I’ve made in a year.

Dear Summer, I’m so glad you’re finally approaching! I will no longer have to force an unwilling toddler out of bed at 6:45 to get Big Sister to the bus, and I will no longer have to fight with the snooze button – I can just go climb in bed with ArtistChild and snuggle the mornings away. >manythanks<

Dear Dreams, Oh, you are so knocking on my door and coming true, one day at a time. Exciting, isn’t it?

Dear Yellow Fabric Bouquet Bride, You started off as ‘the-bride-with-the-crazy-order’ and have, in a very short period of time, turned into a friend. Funny how that works, sometimes, isn’t it? Things happened for a reason, and I’m glad we found each other.

Dear TopSecretHopefulEvents, I really, really hope you come to fruitation. I am sending all the good vibes I have, and have asked all my friends to do the same. >crossingfingers!<

Dear Vagabonders, Thank you for voting me the number 5 Eco-Friendly Mom Blog of 2013 via Circle of Moms! You have no idea how much it means to me. I love knowing that, not only have my original readers stuck around, but I’ve gained so many new Vagabonders over the last year and some-odd months.

You’re Not Wrong – Just Different.

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My poor mother swears I’ve always been a hellraiser and, while I guess I probably participated in my fair share of shenanigans as a kid, I really was never much of a rebellious type. I wanted to fit in with the cool kids, or keep to myself. I was either dressing like everyone else and trying to please the crowd, or hiding in a corner with my nose in a book (quote often, my second or third book that day).

Raising hell was not in my arsenal of weapons. 

As I found myself in my college years, a new mother and wife instead of a college student, I started rebelling against society in a number of ways I never expected. I looked around and saw things differently than anyone I knew. I saw, from being raised by a large handful of very different people, that there are very few absolute answers in this world…but lots of opinions and perspectives. I saw that compassion is a wondrous thing. I saw that combining the realization that my truth isn’t going to equal someone else’s truth with the act of compassion changes relationships for the better.

Ten years later, few things offend me. I don’t like being told I don’t have a job (I don’t have a boss – huge difference. Anyone who thinks I don’t have a job is free KMA). I don’t like being told I’m nearly thirty – not because 30 is old, but because I want to enjoy every year I have and not rush myself past two more years. But, most of all, I get a little offended (unintentionally) when people tell me I’m wrong.

Unless we’re talking about a matter of fact, like mathematics or scientifically backed data, much of life really is about perspective. Just because I disagree with my dad about the role of the military and police in the world doesn’t mean I’m wrong, or that he’s wrong, it just means we have different opinions. These opinions have different outcomes, one of which is okay with him and one of which is okay with me. All this means is that neither of us would like to live in the other’s view of how things should be. Big, big difference from either of us being outright wrong. 

If your best friend thinks Journey is the best band in the entire world (They are, by the way :P), and you think The Rollingstones are the best band in the entire world, are either of you wrong? No. You have a difference of opinion. When I went vegetarian and everyone I know suddenly attacked me for not eating meat, was I wrong? No. It was my opinion that I shouldn’t eat meat. It was their opinion that they should eat meat. Neither actually had anything to do with the other.

I’m writing this to challenge you to look at the conflict around your life – your inner hostility, worries, concerns, arguments, etc. How much of those are based around matters of opinion? 

Posts of the….Month?

Alright, alright…I’m a little behind. Finals, pneumonia, and bouquets got the best of me and I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ll have an amazing Ecocentric Mom box coming up, and a few reviews, along with some great eco-friendly tips and tutorials!  For now, here’s my gathering of some of my favorite posts over the last few weeks! Per usual, I claim no ownership of the photos or material – just click the links to get to the posts!

Finding Your Best Creative Time, via SillyGrrl

Yoga Etiquette, via Taking Notes, Coast to Coast

[Read more...]

Little Letters #23

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Welcome to this week’s Little Letters Link-Up! You can join in on the fun with The Freckled Fox at the bottom of this post – share your Little Letters, too!

Dear Nivea Cherry-Tinted Lip Balm, ‘Tinted’ my tush. You are red. You are red, and my daughter loves you.

Dear ‘Clueless’, You sporadically showed up on my television screen and introduced my daughter to the ridiculousness that was my childhood. I don’t know whether to thank you for that nostalgic bonding moment or hate you for submitting me to my daughter’s ‘what is this!?’ torture.

Dear Wedding Season, Thank you for the abundance of beautiful, amazing brides. I thoroughly enjoy making eco-friendly bouquets and wedding decor, and wedding season makes me a happy camper.

Dear Ninja, When did you start talking so much? And with such sass?!

Dear Baby Shower, Holy jeez, you’re coming along quickly! Lots of projects, so little time!

Dear Popsicle Sticks, Thank you for being so simple and yet making my children so happy.

Dear Minnesota, Thank you for joining the fight. <3 Personal beliefs aside, it’s incredibly cool to watch such a revolutionary movement take place during my lifetime. I believe that, in 50 years, this will be looked upon similarly to the rights movements in the 60′s.

Dear Summer, Thank you for finally finding me. I promise to enjoy you to the fullest.