coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Where have all the heroes gone?

From 2016 through 2020, the U.S. was a hotbed of women warriors fighting the good fight. Caught off guard by that traumatic 2016 loss, there was an awakening of women's political consciousness. We worked hard over the next few years to ensure Trump only had one term, and to elect a new generation of progressive leaders. Florida was no exception. Women (and men, too, of course) spent heroic amounts of time involved in political actions. It was a beautiful thing. 

In 2018, it seemed we might flip Florida "blue" (i.e., Democrat). Andrew Gillum was a progressive leader. Honestly, it really seemed like we were going to win the 2018 governor election. We only lost by 1/2 of 1% of the votes cast, about 32,400 votes of the 8.1 million votes cast. 

In 2022, the Florida Democrats ran a former Republican governor, Charlie Crist, who had switched sides to run in 2014, although he lost then. For obvious reasons he seemed like a safer candidate, a moderate who might be able to win in Florida. But he didn't, he lost to Desantis by 19.4%, or 1,507,897 votes of the 7.8 million votes cast. 

Many women warriors have left Florida since 2022. Some moved their families to states where the educational system wasn't threatened. I watch them go, reading their hopeful posts on Facebook. I get it, especially for those who have school aged children, trans children, or children of color. I wish them the best.  

When I first moved here there were more registered Democrats than Republicans.  Here's how it stands now.  Keep in mind that research tells us that the NPA votes are pretty evenly split between liberal and conservative.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Reflecting on Florida and Disney World

I like my Florida retiree life, but I realize Florida is creepy. Republicans have dominated the state senate, house, and governorship for about 30 years. Wacky retro laws are being passed daily, and the educational system is headed for disaster. Hate and intolerance are the rage. Women, children, gay people, and people of color are under attack as the white GOP machine struggles to turn back the clock and put everyone back "in their place."

I also know Disney represents all that is wrong about capitalism, but holy smokes folks! They stand up to DeSatan DeSantis and the repressive Florida GOP.  Currently they are in an epic battle with Desantis because of his stupid Don't Say Gay bill. Disney is big enough, and arrogant enough to fight back on behalf of their LGBTQIA+ employees and guests. The other day at Epcot I saw an entire section of PRIDE merch in the main store. It made me smile. Our granddaughter Melanie, who died in a car accident last summer, was gay. She loved Disney. I wish she could have seen that display, it would have made her smile as well. What I wouldn't give to see her smile!

Sometimes you have to choose a side even though there are no perfect choices. It's all very confusing. When I was a New York liberal, everything seemed so simple and clear.  Down here in Florida, not so much.  Life is really much more complicated than I thought.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Ridiculous pleasures

This is how ridiculous my retirement life is in the Land of Mouse. Today I have the choice of either edging the lawn or going to Epcot with my daughter and granddaughter.  

When you're a Florida resident and buy the cheapest Disney annual pass, you can pretty much go any weekday you like, all year long. Weekends are out for us cheap pass holders, but who cares? Everyone and their brother is there on the weekend. As a retiree, I rarely leave the house on Saturday or Sunday. We only live a half hour from the parks, so it's (ridiculously) easy to go. 

My granddaughter just came home from college for the summer. The grandson is still in school, so he won't be coming this time. It will be my daughter, granddaughter, and me. My husband and son-in-law don't like theme parks and refuse to go. That's fine with me because quite frankly, they get tired and cranky and are NO fun at the parks. 

Please don't judge me!

Monday, May 8, 2023

I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way

As a child I lived in my head. I tried not to go outside and play with neighborhood children because I preferred my own company. I had an active imagination. I played with my dolls for hours. I spent a lot of time daydreaming. I drew images on the newspaper with a ballpoint pen, usually faces and hairdos. I read each of the children's encyclopedias lined up in our room, many times. When I went to the library I would load up. When I came home and piled unread books around me, they seemed like a treasure trove. 

Thankfully, neither of my two older sisters spent day time in our shared room. I did. It was my chance to be alone. No one was looking, no one was judging. I was left to my own devices. I quite liked that.

Eventually, I became a wife, mother, and wage earner. I spent the next 50+ years building an external life that was productive. I made the best of it during the hard times. I thrived during the good times. I learned things. Every task I undertook, every person I interacted with during my earning years was a lesson in something or other.  I tried to pay attention, and I learned to focus as best I could.  

Still, there were times when my computer reminded me I had a meeting to attend. I would gather my purse and be on my way. I'd exit the building and realize I had no idea where the meeting was. No problem, there were other managers leaving their buildings to walk to the exact same meeting. I would either walk with them or follow them. It always worked out just fine.