My Soapbox on Shaming

I am just so excited for certain things in this world that don't directly have an effect on me.

source: irish times

First, as you may have heard, Ireland had a vote on the 22nd of May that proposed to add this brilliant amendment to their constitution:

"Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex."

Guys. That's big. It means a lot of fabulous things (pun not originally intended but I'll leave it in there).

The second is something that honestly means very little to me but I know that it means the world to so many people afraid to speak up, and that is Bruce/Caitlin Jenner's transformation. Honestly, I was worried after the original Diane Sawyer interview that it seemed very out of the blue and, due to her association with the Kardashian family, it seemed almost like a publicity stunt. Then I started reading statements from ex-wives saying that it was always something they knew about but just kept quiet, so I accepted that maybe the timing was more coincidence than anything.

Now that the Vanity Fair cover has been revealed, completely overshadowing Kim's baby announcement (is it bad that I feel a bit of social justice just happened?)--- and she's fabulous. It's real, and it's awesome.

All that being said, there's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. R and I have had multiple conversations about it, and while we don't agree on everything here there's a general thought that's the same.

62.7%. That's great. However, it means that 37.3% voted no. Honestly, had it not been for Dublin the vote would have been much more 50/50. I'm not saying this to imply that the Irish are still about half stuck in the stone age, instead the complete opposite.

The people behind the "no" campaign were very vocal about some very incorrect misconceptions on the effects of the referendum. However, not everyone who voted "no" has those specific reasons in mind. Some voted no because they didn't feel Ireland was quite ready for a constitutional amendment and some voted that way because they were afraid of the implications it could have in the future for their religious sanctions among a myriad of other reasons. Just because someone voted no doesn't mean they hate progress and it certainly doesn't mean they're homophobic.

Most of all, it doesn't mean they should be shamed for feeling the way that they feel, no matter where it comes from. 

Why am I seeing so many people condemning those who think differently than they do in the name of equality and understanding? Assumptions are being made, insults are being thrown, and all to say, "I believe that everyone has the right to believe their beliefs, but because yours aren't the same as mine yours don't count."

I saw it after the results were in, when it was announced that a pretty rural area, Roscommon/South Leitrim, were the only ones to vote "No" and only by about 51%. Immediately the message went from "yay equality" to bashing of the area as a whole. Seriously? I completely expected a "well, hey, it's incredibly impressive that we got 49% in such a conservative area... well done!" but witnessed the complete opposite.

Ironically, the news about Caitlin Jenner came the same way. The only negativity I've seen is those criticising people for using the wrong gender pronoun, when even those in the know are struggling to keep up with what she prefers. For the record, while it was Bruce she preferred "he" but now that she's made the physical transition she prefers "she" but that was just announced in Vanity Fair. Why are we attacking the people who just haven't caught up yet?

The effort now should be put into showing the love and understanding that we preach. It should be put into educating others on the distinctions between actual and perceived implications of change, and most importantly promoting acceptance and patience with those who can't quite grasp the difference.

Change is hard, even when it's positive, and we should all be in this together.

An apology (of sorts)

I said it's too late to aplogiseeeeee. tooo latttteeeeee.
First up: I'm sorry.

I'm sorry to my incredibly few but very patient and loyal readers. To those who said "uh, Sara. Did you forget you had a blog?"

The short answer is "no." But the real answer is "sort of." You see, I let procrastination and slight self pity lead me down a road where the one thing I looked forward to and made me feel marginally productive (sharing my thoughts and hearing from others on this blog) became a mental chore.

Not all types of procrastination are bad.

Procrastination in most people is fine. It's in moderation. It's their brain's way of saying "hold on, I need a break to catch up." 

Procrastination is my brain's way of saying "I'm bored. Let me make everything as hard as possible for you. I know how much you like a challenge."

I'm one of those people who is a freaking powerhouse when I'm already busy. I love challenging deadlines. Give me a 9-5 with overtime and I'll add on regular gym classes, teach myself to cook, participate in an active social life, and take on more at work to boot. 

Give me free time with some small daily productive tasks (you know, like shower, clean up, and apply for a couple jobs. Maybe get into shape if I feel like it)? Well, I'll spend the whole day on Pinterest planning these things without ever actually doing them. I'll stay into my PJs until late afternoon (never all day though, I like showers). I may actually attempt some new hairstyles or do some laundry but as the days turn to weeks [turn to months] the less and less I'll do with the more time I've had to do it in. 

Self motivation is something I struggle with, always have and always will. I always assumed it was something that would get better with age, but now that I'm back in a familiar situation I find it has actually become worse. One thing I can say about it is that there is a silver lining. I do know the things that help, and what to avoid. Unfortunately I've chosen to ignore them a bit the past few months. I am just incredibly lucky that I've surrounded myself with people both strong enough and crazy enough to support me and let me find my own way both into and hopefully now out of this funk. 

I know this was a lot of rambling, and I'm sorry about that. I simply felt that I needed to explain the current state of my brain as explanation instead of an excuse. I procrastinated enough that I lost motivation, and I accept full responsibility.

So what's the current state of Give Me Cake (or give me death), you may ask?

Well, in lieu of a regular posting schedule (which I originally promised but never delivered) I think I'll do a couple different things. The first is to write enough posts that I can have an arsenal of back-ups to eventually re-launch GMC in the full glory it deserves. I am not a writer by trade, and inspiration is one of the few things I have that only comes when it's not forced. 

The only problem with this as a cure-all solution is sometimes I have thoughts and ideas that are more of a time-sensitive matter. For example: R and I are currently trying to get fit. We're eating healthier, and starting to do more active things together. Our deadline to meet goals is mid July, when we go for a friend's wedding in Croatia. My goal is to look better in a swimsuit and be able to walk/run/bike for even short distances without feeling like my chest will explode but honestly? I'd be happier with the former result than the latter in the short term. The current epidemic of body shaming that's going on is certainly not ok, but I'm having mixed feelings about the response it's getting. I couldn't pin down the uneasiness I felt until I read this post by September Farm. She hit the nail on the head. It was making me feel bad about my own goals. I want to look damn good in a swimsuit, and when I catch myself slouched over and resting my laptop on my poked out stomach I straight up don't feel good. I understand the intention of "all women are glorious" is pure, but at the same time I don't want to feel worse than I already do. But most of all? I need this creative outlet to talk about it. I want to know how my friends, family, and the blogosphere view body image and confidence and I want to know it now.

All of that to say that while I am not permanently back, I will be posting from time to time about things I think about and would love it if you all checked back occasionally or at least kept me in your Bloglovin/Feedly feeds for the time being. 

Anywho, onto the last bit. I'd apologise here for length, but if you're reading this I think you all have come to terms with my tendency for word-vomit and lengthy posts warranted or not. 

I'd like to know how you all handle self motivation, specifically if you have tips in the following categories: fitness, job applications (and rejections), and general bad-assery. Help me, and in turn I will find an awesome way to help you. That I can promise.

H54F {edition 6}

In the same vein as some of my favourite bloggers, I'm going to stick with 5 things that have made me happy this week.

1. Sunshine. Seriously, this will never be off the list as long as it exists. Ireland has a distinct lack of Vitamin D throughout the too-long winter, so every time we have a nice day even if it's cold, there is reason to celebrate!

2. Hooray for a good night's sleep! We're getting a new bed frame and a sound machine! Let me just say thank goodness for Wayfair and their free shipping. With the arrival of Spring the bird have chosen the tree right outside our window for their 5:30am gossip session. As the days get longer (and once Daylight Savings hits this weekend) it will only get earlier. I'm a light sleeper, but it even wakes R up which is saying something!

So we're storing the creaky bed base furnished by our landlord that wakes me up every time even I turn over, and replacing it  with this budget friendly beauty from Wayfair UK, and I splurged and bought my favourite white noise machine. In the US you can get them for slightly cheaper (around $50) but it is totally worth it to have a UK plug, as my last one met it's untimely death at the hands of an adapter/converter that wasn't doing its job properly.

3. Internet Switch to clear the mind. I've been pretty annoyed at Bloglovin for quite a while now. I understand it's a free service for me to use and beggars can't be choosers but in reality, we can. Inspired by Stephanie's switch to Feedly;and the comments from other's on her post, I decided to do the same. I'm also simultaneously switching from Safari to Chrome as my main browser. I know it's silly, but something about the layout of the two and the process of weeding out blogs I've been chronically "marking as read" (whether bloglovin has chosen to recognise it or not) has really helped to clear my head. I read so many currently that when I'm done I'm just blogged-out (does that exist? let's make it exist) and feel like writing up a post, even if I have inspiration, is more of a chore. I'm hoping this change sparks some creative juices too and lends itself to more blog posts in the future. I understand this whole 'once a week' thing has got to stop.

4. My Ikea Saga. When we moved into our new apartment, among the minimal furnishings came two Billy bookshelves. The only problem was that with the exception of the permanent middle shelves and the top shelf on one of the bookcases, all shelving had been removed and stacked in the hallway and the fittings were nowhere to be found. Whether this was the work of the painter or previous tenants, we had no idea, but having to bookshelves that were essentially useless was a pain in the butt. So I took to the internet, using IKEA's handy missing parts form (found through the FAQs section) and ordered 28 new fittings.

When they got here, I realised that our model is actually older, and while the parts looked similar the new version didn't fit at all. So I emailed customer service, explaining the situation along with photos of what was sent to me and what we needed instead. The got back to me immediately telling me they understood, to keep the previous order and they would send the correct parts. About two weeks passed until I got the new order, to find out they sent me the exact same thing. So now I had 56 pieces of the wrong fitting and nowhere to store my books. I gave up.

Fast forward to our St. Paddy's Day trip to Dublin, where I realised that their IKEA was actually somewhat on our way home. I made poor, hungover R drive me there so I could look in the extra parts section myself. He searched through bins with me finding approximated 6 or so of the part we needed until an employee came over and told us we were actually not allowed in this section any more (I thought the fake trees somewhat blocking it were more for decoration. whatever.). So I took a number, and explained my situation to a sweet girl who oddly had no clue you could order extra parts online in the first place. She took me back over to the forbidden area and searched with me, and eventually came up empty handed. However, she did find some parts for another bookshelf that were similar in size and gave me a large handful hoping they worked. We got home an hour and half later than we should have and hallelujah, although they weren't perfect fits, they held the shelves up fine and I did a big happy dance while very much regretting I didn't get the girl's name so I could write IKEA about how great she was.

So then the next day I'm rearranging and cleaning under the kitchen sink because thats what temporary house-girlfriends do, and in the back corner I see a little bank change bag. Thinking I've stumbled onto a fortune, I pull it out to reveal not a forgotten bag of euros, but all the missing fittings I'd been searching for since December.

To sum up how I felt, here's a link to one of my favorite comics from The Oatmeal.

It may have been frustrating at the time, but I have actually laughed out loud at how much of my time and thoughts have been consumed by something so trivial to have them right under my nose (albeit in a very odd place) the whole time.

5. I'm now booked to take a very last minute trip home to Florida over Easter. I am beyond excited. The change of scenery is, I think, exactly what I need to get my butt back in gear after a couple months of monotony. I've been finding it hard to be productive lately as my days have consisted of nothing but job applications and binge watching various shows through Netflix, with a couple social events thrown in here and there.

Here's a list of the top 10 things I'm looking forward to (in no particular order)

+ // Seeing family and friends
+ // Getting a tan
+ // Going to Target
+ // $0.25 oyster Tuesdays
+ // Buying all the shirts from Old Navy and Ross
+ // Playing golf with my Mom
+ // Driving, although like last time I'm still nervous about switching my side of the road mentally
+ // Pedicures on the cheap
+ // Wearing my new swimsuit at the pool where no one can judge me because I'll be eating ALL the...
+ // EASTER CANDY. Peeps and Reeses Eggs for the win. That being said, there better be either a  Cadbury or Dairy Milk Chocolate Egg waiting on me when I get back.

What has made you happy this week?

Linking up this week with: Oh, Hey Friday!High Five for Friday!, and 5 On Friday