“It was never a dress”

Why does the women’s bathroom sign have to have the woman wearing a dress? Why is there not another way to show the difference between a man and a woman? Which is why I love this campaign: “It was never a dress.” The campaign has been making its way around Facebook, but I had to see it show up a few times before anyone gave actual credit to the website and the company behind the campaign. Axosoft, a software company launched the site — this is an excerpt from the About page on their website:

“It Was Never a Dress is an invitation to shift perceptions and assumptions about women and the audacious, sensitive, and powerful gestures they make every single day. In science, technology, arts, mathematics, politics, houses of worship, on the streets, and in our homes, insightful women are often uninvited, overlooked, or just plain dismissed. Through storytelling, community building, innovation and creative disruptions, It Was Never a Dress will foster necessary conversations, vital voices, and images from around the world that honor ALL women. When we see women differently… we see the world differently!”

This campaign is about seeing different ideas about women in new ways. How simple and yet impactful an image could be to turn a dress into a cape. For someone who grew up loving her Wonder Woman Underoos, I am just the kind of girl who sees the cape and not the dress. Of course, I am a summer dress wearing fiend. I will try to suck every possible moment of warmth out of the summer to wear a dress and sandals, or flip flops, but I am a cape flying girl first and foremost. With so few superheros for girls growing up, you latch on to one quickly, and mine had a cape!

Take a moment to explore the website. Click on the page for “Disruptions” and create your own version of “It was Never A Dress.” And, if you are feeling inspired share your story. They even have stickers and t-shirts and the proceeds go to “STEAM fields” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). Please share “It Was Never A Dress” with others.

A desire to connect?

As a blogger, there are a few blogs that I frequent either daily, weekly, or whenever a post is published. I find inspiration in the ideas shared, the writing style, and sometimes just like reading a memoir might jog your memory to a special moment in your past so do posts from fellow bloggers. I found Shauna Niequist’s blog last year after reading her book: “Bread & Wine.”

I then wrote a blog post sharing the Blueberry Crisp recipe from her book. I cannot count how many times we have indulged in that fine dish. I need to make sure I have more blueberries in the fridge as it is the perfect fall treat, and it has been a little while since we had it for Sunday dinner just as Niequist does.

Niequist’s post on October 13 titled: “Using Technology to Connect” hit home for me. Specifically this line:

“Because scrolling isn’t the same as connecting. And connection is what we’re longing for.”

Oh how often I feel that when late at night I peruse Facebook or Instagram and scroll, sometimes in a mind numbing and voyeuristic way. What if instead of scrolling and scrolling, I chose to contact that individual and tell them I was thinking about them? Earlier in her blog post she says:

“When I feel the impulse to scroll through images and updates about other people’s lives, what I’m finding is under that impulse to scroll is a desire to connect.”

I have to agree. Why do we get so addicted to social media? Is it to see and be seen? Is it to connect? What aspect of our lives have we lost because our first means to communicate is sometimes the most disconnected from human interaction. It is the sterile, lifeless, cold version. If we want to bring life back to our worlds and share warmth and support in a time of need then stop scrolling, pick up the phone, go next door or down the hall, and connect.

Be sure to go back and read Niequist’s post. It might just change the way you think today.

Have you Spritzed yet?

Have you heard of Spritz? A new app and technology that allows you to speed read. Spritz, the company that invented “Spritzing” defines it as: “…reading text with Spritz Inc.’s patent-pending technology. When you’re spritzing, you’re reading text one word at a time in our “redicle,” a special visual frame we designed for reading.”

I have tried the examples and am interested, although I have to say it does make my head spin a bit. Your eyes do not have to move back and forth across the page, rather your eyes stay in the exact same place and the words move fast right in front of you. Allowing you to focus on the words and thus read faster. Elite Daily explains it well:

“The “Optimal Recognition Point” (ORP) is slightly left of the center of each word, and is the precise point at which our brain deciphers each jumble of letters. The unique aspect of Spritz is that it identifies the ORP of each word, makes that letter red and presents all of the ORPs at the same space on the screen. In this way, our eyes don’t move at all as we see the words, and we can therefore process information instantaneously rather than spend time decoding each word.”

You can try it for yourself on the Spritz website – just “click to Spritz” on the top right part of the page. Here is more Q + A on Spritzing. Currently this technology is only available on the Gear2 and S5 Samsung phones. I have to say it does sort of remind me of Chuck. Did you ever watch that TV show? He would put on these glasses to review intel that would go into his brain very, very fast, and sometimes it effected him for the worse. Are we to the place where we have to absorb words so fast we no longer “read?” Is curling up with a good book a thing of the past? 

What do you think about Spritz?

Suck the life out of your day

It is a good thing. Yes, when you can crawl into bed at the end of your day, and know that you have truly sucked every moment out of your day. You have been present.

I like to think of it as absorbing every molecule of life. The good, the beautiful, the ugly, the stinky. Absorb. What an interesting word. It makes me think of a sponge and how when it attracts water to it, it expands and becomes absorbent. When it does not have liquid, it contracts and dries up. A sponge is such a great analogy to sucking the life out of your day. If you do not fill your day with items of interest and engagement you start to wither and dry up.

Think about all the things in your day that you are passionate about, the things that inspire and give you energy. Did you come up with what that is for you? Is it helping people, pushing them to see life differently? Or is it designing the best new innovative product? What energizes you? Whatever it is, when you feel that passion and energy, that means your sponge is filled. It has absorbed the energy, and there is an urgency within you.

Urgency. Now that is another topic of interest. When you feel passion for what you are doing, when you are engaged, you feel a sense of urgency. You want to make things happen. You want to move people to look at their life differently. You want to launch that new technology that will change lives. You absorb and suck the life out of your day. You live and breathe all that you stand for, and you make things happen.

Suck the life out of your day.

Does the Internet mean we have more time to bake bread?

We can complain about the Internet and how little privacy we have, and how much it sucks our time each day, but over the weekend I had another view. As I was preparing mentally for the half marathon I ran on Sunday, I did some online searching about what to eat the morning of the race, what to wear, what to expect afterwards, etc.

The thought crossed my mind about how easy it was for me to find information that I needed in a fairly quick timeframe. Now, I do not know how accurate the information is, but I had plenty of it to sift through. What would I have done 15 years ago?

  1. Called many friends or acquaintances and asked about their experience (takes much more time than the Internet)
  2. Gone to the library and taken out a few books or encyclopedia on the subject (even more time)
  3. Consulted a running store, or found a local expert (time depends on how knowledgeable and accessible each are to me)

While we complain about how we spend too much time online, I wonder if we are actually smarter and if there are times when we save time. We do not have to wait long for answers to our questions or leave our homes. We can attain specific information without much effort, allowing us to spend more time making bread or whatever we deem important in life.

What do you think?