Bra Revolution

As the Houdini of bra extraction, I would no doubt win the bra Olympics for the fastest removal of the bra without the mere hint of removal or of my shirt. Even before the door slams behind me after a long day at the office, that despised contraption is flung like a rubber band lost until laundry day.

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Bra Beginnings

Of course, it was some girlie-girl, Caresse Crosby, who patented the first modern bra in the U.S. in 1914. So, for over 100 years, women have been wrapped, wired, and have perked up their ‘girls’ with these contraptions. Although the beginning of bras dates back to ancient Greece when women would wrap their breasts with bands of wool or linen and tying or pinning these bands to their back, I believe it’s time for a Braveheart-style bra revolution.

The Training Bra

Young girls are given “training bras” by their mothers when they start developing breasts. For the life of me, I don’t know why these small triangular pieces of the cotton held up by tiny straps and one hook in the back were named training bras.

How are these tiny pieces of cotton training breasts?

What are they training the breasts to do?

Why do little budding breasts need to be trained?

The bra conspiracy to confine women since their teens has spiraled into over a billion-dollar industry today with over 95% of women in the western countries wearing bras. That’s a lot of dollars and tits to confine!

Bridled Breasts

I get it.  I do.

Irrespective of breast size or augmentation if “the girls” are left unbridled stampedes may break out. Let’s face it, there is something erotic about breasts and no job or project would ever get done in or around the office or the house if breasts weren’t contained. Small or bountiful, I don’t know a man that can’t at least keep his eyes off of them.

Bras: Sexy or Functional?

Well, I guess bras are sexy if you’re a Victoria Secret model. But for us old owls who breast-fed their babies long ago and are…. Well, just plain tired and droopy…. And are not interested in augmentation to perk them up to faux smiling twins… are exasperated at the fit and the cost of these woeful wired and padded trappings.

If there is such a thing, my favorite bra is nursing bra I bought for $4.96 by mistake (I didn’t know it was a nursing bra until after I brought it home and began wearing it. This bra was purchased many years after breastfeeding had ended.) Yet, I wore it anyway. It was comfortable (as if any bra could be comfortable).  There was also an inherent sexiness about unbuckling the front to let the girls roam free even without taking the dang thing off.

Bras: The expense!

I can spend $5 at Walmart and let everyone know in the room that I am either excited or cold, or I can spend over $60 for a wired push-up bra that confirms to everyone that “Yes! I breastfed babies years ago!” as my girls jiggle like Jello® in their padded plush cups.

Women are hit with not only the ridiculous financial investment of bras but the emotional and physical expense of wearing a bra. These are expenses men have no comparison unless the man is a baseball catcher wearing an over-sized, metal codpiece over his junk.

Bra Revolution

I’m not into breast augmentation for myself, but on the other hand, I don’t begrudge a woman who wants to have a bigger, smaller, or a perkier bosom. If women want to spend their money on fancy, expensive bras or surgery to help them feel better about themselves, I say, “go for it.”

While I may never feel totally comfortable going bra-less outside the owl’s nest or beyond the backyard, but for women who have had enough of the bra, I say, “go for it.” It’s time for a new invention, a bra revolution, to keep the girls healthy and happy.

 

America’s Public Embarrassment

Over my 30 plus year career in the financial services industry, I have hired many people. Unfortunately, I have had to dismiss employees for several reasons particularly for their poor job performance. Irrespective of the reason for their dismissal, I brought them into my office, eye to eye to professionally discuss their job performance and the reasons for their dismissal. In addition, I would discuss with them the positive side of their nature, skills, and sometimes offer a perspective on a different career path they may be more suited.

Either I gave these soon to be ex-employees the motivation to find their true calling, or the motivation to do better in their current position albeit at a different company.

Sometimes these individuals confessed they understood and gracefully departed the company even thanking me for the discussion. Others, not so much. But what was important to me as a manager was these people were given the opportunity to tell me why should stay and at least leave with their dignity intact. After all, none of us are immune to losing our jobs even if we are the president.

A public firing

Can you imagine what it must feel like to be in the public eye because of your job title and not be the first one outside the human resources department to learn you have been fired from your job?

While I do not have an opinion whether James Comey should have been fired from his position as FBI Director, I do believe he deserved to hear of his dismissal first and foremost in the president’s office by President Trump, and not on national television. President Trump should have known and probably did know of Director Comey’s whereabouts, and in my opinion as a manager and as an American citizen, President Trump took the coward’s way out by dashing off poorly written “Your Fired!” letter to Mr. Comey.

A public embarrassment

I don’t know what Mr. Comey felt when he realized his firing wasn’t a prank or how he is feeling now about his dismissal as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but he’s not who should be embarrassed. President Trump continues to be an embarrassment to the United States. President Trump has demonstrated not only throughout his campaign for office, but since his inauguration that is he a man without compassion, character, and is wholly un-presidential. Irrespective of his executive orders and policies, his behavior is unacceptable in both the corporate and public service environment.

A public outcry

It has been the nation’s desire to “drain the swamp” in Washington D.C. But it is up to the American people to trade our contempt for compassion not for those who have taken our electoral votes and twisted them into something altogether different, but for each other to stand indivisible for liberty and justice for all. Otherwise, it will not be the draining of corrupt and unscrupulous politicians in Washington D.C. but the draining of the United State’s dignity.

Behavior Modification: Self-Induced

Soon after the presidential inauguration, I banned myself from social media primarily Facebook. I was becoming one of “them.”

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“Them”

I was addicted to Facebook. Checking, scrolling, posting, rebutting, prowling…. Wasting precious time actually doing something constructive, productive, healthy….

In addition, I was becoming angrier, anxious, intolerant, haughty, and just not a very nice person internally, mentally, and spiritually.

I had become one of “them.”

While I rarely commented on someone’s wall about their political, social, or religious posts. I did debate and rebut on comments made on my similar posts. The badgering and what I thought at times, outright idiocy of some of my friends or family’s posts was causing me to be someone I did not like.

My Facebook philosophy has always been that a person can post whatever they want on their wall. I can choose to acknowledge it or just keep scrolling. I would never berate someone for their opinion or what they would share irrespective of my opinion. I had one family member continuously post on my feed or telephone me to tell me I should delete a comment I posted although it had nothing to do with her. I have had other friends badger me relentlessly on political posts and scream “fake news!”

So, I stopped. I barred myself from Facebook.

Facebook Sabbatical

It was difficult for the first few weeks not to continuously look at my iPhone or iPad to see what was happening on Facebook and the news feeds. But eventually, I weaned myself off almost completely. I say, almost, because I would sometimes peek at Facebook. There were even a few times I wanted to share a news topic, but in the end, I would cancel posting it.

Even though I had over the course of the last several months change my Facebook notifications to not see certain family and friend’s annoying posts, I took a step further an unfriended a few them.

“Unfriending” was a difficult decision.

Why was I unfriending them?

I wanted to be sure of my motive for unfriending. Had I become intolerant of opposing points of view? I hoped not. It is those types of opposing view discussions that can lead to understanding whether in the end, we agree to disagree, we can somehow imagine ourselves wearing another’s shoes for the benefit of trying to see their view.

I determined the reason for the unfriending was the style of the discussion. The constant badgering of my opinion, substantiated or not. Sometimes opinions are based upon gut feelings, spiritual leanings, and simply this is how I choose to live my life. Not out of ignorance, but a compilation of education, life experience, and goals. I’m sorry. I don’t always have a well-substantiated, corroborating article to support my opinion. Because that is what it is – an opinion. But I can discuss it reasonably if given the opportunity. Unfortunately, the constant badgering and sometimes name-calling, are not conducive to a productive discussion. It’s okay to agree to disagree – at least in my shoes.

So, I unfriended those that didn’t seem to grasp the ability to have discussions without badgering me on my posts. I did not unfriend them from life just on Facebook. There is a difference. A difference I came to accept. Others were unfriended only because we never communicated with each other at all but simply wanted to connect. I’m into relationships, not connections. Connections are for LinkedIn not my personal life.

To those of whom have unfriended me, I say, “Thank you.”

Off the Grid

Regaining time, sanity, and productivity

Since I wasn’t spending all my time looking, posting, and debating on Facebook, I began to feel less angry and anxious. I looked forward to my new found free time to getting back to doing things I kept telling myself, “I wish I had time to….”

I began writing every morning outside of my normal journal writing. Immediately, I felt my creative-self begin to inhabit my mind, body, and spirit once again.

In addition, I began re-reading classics and reading contemporary works, such as:

The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton

The Greatest Miracle in the World, Og Mandino

The Complete Short Stories by Ernest Hemingway, and Ernest Hemingway on Writing

Emily Dickenson’s Poems as She Preserved Them (LOVED IT!)

Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mother of Sorrows, by Richard McCann (Exquisite prose. Highly recommend this book!)

Currently reading:

The Rose Field Guide to Prose Poetry, Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice

The Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly

The Life We Bury, by Allen Eskens

Social Media Behavior Modification

I am easing my way back into social media, particularly, Facebook. But I am reminded of keeping in control of what it is I can control – my behavior. I highly recommend the self-induced behavior modification for anything that keeps you leading a contented day-to-day existence.

Political and Activist Posts

The presidential election, which is a 4-year, not a 2-year process, was the worst in this 56 year-old’s memory. It really brought out the worst in people (and in me), and continues to do so. I am a conservative independent voter. I vote on who I believe is the most qualified and credible candidates irrespective of elective office. I belong to no political or activist parties.

I voted Libertarian in the last presidential election. Some Facebook friends admonished me for putting my head in the sand, or worse, handing the election over to Trump because I live in Michigan. After much investigation into all the party candidates, I couldn’t vote for either the Republican or Democratic nominee. I admit I wasn’t totally committed to the Libertarian candidate and didn’t think he had a prayer to win the election, however, I am committed to seeing a meaningful third party enter into future elections.

I can control only what is in my control. I can’t commit that I won’t in the future post something political on my Facebook wall, but I will be more mindful of what it is I do post. I will delete comments that are harassing, demeaning, or badgering. Posters can think what they want to think of my tolerance. So be it.

Although some may think I am keeping my head in the sand with regard to the country and world events, far from it. I have been directing my thoughts to those who represent me on the local, state, and federal levels. Just as in business, go to the decision maker because no one else has the power to make a change – certainly not my Facebook friends and family. Be assured, I have been emailing, posting, and tweeting on the appropriate feeds to let my elected officials know exactly my opinion and how my vote may sway in the next election cycle.

Keeping it Real

I am a mom of two college students. Granted, this proud mom will share mom boast posts from time to time for family near and far. Of course, I will continue to post the antics of my two fur-kids, Barkley and Penny because they seem to get the most “likes” on my Facebook wall. I also can’t leave out the woes and wonders of being an empty-nester with my beloved, Vinny Sal.

My personal Facebook page is a pathway to maintain relationships with my friends and family. Period. Going forward I will not be the person who camps out on the social media sofa for the night and ends up over-staying my welcome for weeks at a time.

My self-induced social media, behavior modification sabbatical helped me to realize that I do have time to read, write, and more importantly, live a sane life living off the electronic grid.