For any of you that are on Facebook you will know that your feed this past week has been filled with friends and family who are raising awareness for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The focus: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It is a great way to use social media for a good cause. However (yes there is a but), my hope is that all the individuals that are doing the ice bucket challenge actually donate money. The awareness campaign is that by having ice + cold water poured over you that you are outing yourself from paying $100. Individuals that get nominated have 24 hours to do the challenge or donate $100.
Awareness is great, supporting ALS financially takes it to an entirely different level. What if we took the time to raise awareness, and put our money and/or our support next?
I love the fun and humor of making a video and putting oneself out there online, I only hope it does good. Think of all the other initiatives and programs that could benefit from such challenges. Of course we’d all be broke, and it would get old, right? How do we keep the freshness on continuing the momentum via social media where we have access to so many people, yet do it in a way that promotes true awareness? For example, the ALS website has been shared in most of the videos that I have seen, and there has been a plethora of high-profile athletes, CEOs, and past presidents that have joined into the mix, but have we really learned more about ALS? Do you know what it stands for? Do you know how your money can help?
Be careful, I might go Laura Bush on you and decide that I do not want to mess up my hair and just donate the $100. However, it is hot here in Oregon, and a little cold does the body good.
I am not a follower. I was not always that way. As a kid I was a follower. Quiet, introverted, and not as bold about who I was or who I wanted to be in the world. Over time that changed. It was never about trying to be someone else, but more about being present for who I am, using my voice, and being direct about what I wanted. It did not come easily to me. Our world does not always reward someone for standing out, often we are rewarded for following the lead, marching in a single file, and following the rules.
That does not mean that I do not follow principle or what is right. I still find it important for following certain paths. Take driving for example. If I decide that I get to obey my own laws, then others could be hurt, killed, or I could be hurt or killed. There are many, many things in life that following the rules make our life work together cohesively. Yet, there are many things in our world that following others mean that we are not thinking for ourselves, we are just following the leader.
“The man who follows the crowd, will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before…You have two choices in life: you can dissolve into the mainstream, or you can be distinct. To be distinct you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be.” page 197
How often do you just go with the status quo, and how often do you make choices that mean you step out of your normal day-to-day and think differently? The harder road is to veer off course, to the bumpy road, the road less traveled, and find your niche. You can pave your own way to be bold, beautiful, and of course if I were involved a little bit sassy. I mean why not?
I will tell you now. I have a horrible time asking for help. Chris can back me up on this – I rarely ask for help. Part of it has to do with how I grew up, where I had to balance life, school, homework, being an awkward teen, taking care of my mom and all the household items that connected to that (paying the bills, groceries, cleaning, etc.). Due to all of those crazy tasks added to my plate from the age of twelve, I am used to juggling many balls, sometimes balls of fire. I am used to it, and it means that even to this day I have a hard time saying: “Can you help me?”
I recently found this article called: “Why Are We So Afraid of Asking for Help?” on the Daily Worth website. The funny part is that the article talks about not asking for help in the context of being a woman. Sure, that does not help my strange childhood upbringing. Yes, I am also a hardcore woman, and I want to be able to do anything. You know the line from: Annie Get Your Gun: “Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you.” That was always the mantra in my life. As the youngest of three, I wanted to make sure I could keep up, so if my sister and brother could play a board game, I would try to figure out how to play it so I can be included, and then I would concentrate, watch, and figure out how to beat everyone. To my disadvantage, eventually they did not want to play with me because I would kick their butt.
In any case, needing help. I never really learned how to ask for help. Generally, as a kid when I would ask for help, it would not come through, so I would just figure it out on my own and not expect anything from anyone. Sad, but true. I still have a hard time. The thought: ‘you could ask for help to do this’ rarely crosses my mind. Except for with Chris. Somehow he has me whooped, and I usually have no problem asking him for help. Maybe he wishes I was not so addicted to his help, but I think he should feel enamored. I have wholeheartedly given him my heart, and my ability to ask for help.
I am learning to ask for help, but the road is slow. Be patient with me.
I am a lover of words. I never was able to take Latin in high school or college, but somehow throughout the years I became addicted to words and their meaning. I always remember the saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” It is not true. Words hurt. They infiltrate our minds sometimes, and never leave us. We go over and over them in our thoughts when they hurt. We never forget the first time someone tells us they love us, or the last time.
I love the word. Somehow a word rolls off your tongue, or makes you think what does that word mean? eunoia is Greek, and is the shortest English word that contains all vowels. I think of all the people in my life that inspire me with their eunoia. Maybe it is a bit harder to put into a sentence, nevertheless, I like the word. Who in your life has eunoia?
Ah words. Somehow on most days, I make up my own words. I cannot tell you how often I have woken up in the middle of the night and not so gracefully and illegibly written down my own words. When I wake up in the morning, I would try to make out the newest word that oozed out of my half coherent brain. When I am not sleeping, and my mind is going a mile a minute I still make up my own words. They always make sense to me. Somehow over the years, they now mostly make sense to Chris. When I asked him for an example, he said: “That is so hard, because you do it all the time. It is hard to remember them all. I mean, you say it and I repeat the word to you, and you say, ‘Go !&@%&!$’.” Usually he is laughing so hard he does not hear me.
Ah, maybe I do not alway have eunoia. I can dream.
No, this isn’t about a wardrobe malfunction. For those of you that know me, I am a fiend about how I am treated as a customer. I care about principles.
So let me tell you what happened. I ordered a bra online from the online website: Bare Necessities. When I received the bra on Wednesday, they sent me a size larger. I emailed them because their website states that they are available 24/7/365 via phone, and yet all their communication tells you that they close at 6 pm EST. For me that is 3 pm, so my availability to discuss my order is limited. I asked them to resend the correct size, and once I received it I would send back the incorrect size with the return shipping paid by them. I received an email response Thursday morning.
“I am sorry to hear of the trouble with your order. We can reship the U.K xxx which is a U.S xxx-cup, please ensure this is the size you need as Fantasie is a U.K sized bra and may show the conversion size on the tag as well. Our reship process entails a new charge since we will be shipping product out, if this is okay I can have the package delivered tomorrow.”
Here is the thing. I ordered the correct size, they decided to send me a different size. I know my size. I wear this brand, and do not need them to try to translate and send me a different size. Frustrated, I called them Thursday morning at the beginning of my work day. The woman who answered the phone? The same woman who responded to my email. A coincidence or a VERY small company. You decide. Right away she was snippy with me, cut me off, and told me that Fantasie had changed their sizing and that they were doing the right thing. Um, no. See my dad taught me something early on. “The customer is always right.” In this situation, an apology would have gone a long way. She could have said we are sorry for the confusion and mix up, and we will send you the size you ordered. Instead she continued to aggressively fight me that they were right and I had the right bra. She continued to tell me that there was nothing she could do for me, that they could not send me new product without charging me again. Why should I have to be charged for another bra, mail it back and then wait forever for it to be refunded?
When I asked to speak to her supervisor, she said: “I am the manager.” When I said “oh, you own the company?” She said: “I can you put you into my manager’s voicemail.” My response: “Why, so I can have her leave me a message, and not be able to talk to her because you close at 3 pm my time?” No thank you. I promptly told her that I would be returning the bra, no longer making any purchases from them, and would tell everyone I know not to waste their time or money on their website.