RBG

On Monday night I watched the CNN airing of RBG. And since then, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it or her. Without knowing much about her, I already had massive respect for Justice Ginsburg. Now, having a little background on her life, I’m just blown away by the determination, strength, convictions, and steady persistence of one petite, intelligent, and shy woman. Simply blown away.

I want to note that I have plenty to learn on the matter. There are books about RBG that I’d like to read, information and dissents from cases that she’s argued and presided over, backgrounds on the men and woman that she’s served along side with on the highest court in the land… but for right now, I have immediate takeaways from the film.

I urge you to watch it, even if you disagree with Ruth’s political position.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I come from an environment that does not share some (most) of my beliefs. I rarely engage in political conversation anymore because I’m always outnumbered. We don’t vote for the same people and we don’t see social, economical, or judicial issues in the same light. Β I have learned to just walk away, though I’m still often outraged and upset. (K and I see eye to eye on 80% of things; I’m not talking about him.)

“You can disagree without being disagreeable.” -RBG

I have been explosive on issues that I’m especially passionate about. My natural response and tone is snarky. Snark doesn’t make you any friends, nor does it break down walls, catch flies, or welcome people to your table.

While there IS a time and place to be disagreeable (like when staring down the KKK or Neo-nazis or separating infants from their parents), it’s not at the dinner table surrounding by people who love you. So I’m trying to adjust my ways of arguing.

“Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.” -RBG

Additionally, I am quick to write others off when they seem totally against my views. Granted, I can’t control others or how they speak to me and argue their point. That’s a variable that will play a role in how I react- but that variable isn’t on me and isn’t a reflection of me.

“Fight for things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” -RBG

(I’ve found that I benefit greatly from Justice Ginsburg’s advice.)

It takes time to unravel the biases we’ve developed. While I know some people really do have hate in their hearts, I know most people do not. The idea of privilege or inequality or discrimination in any sense of the words seem preposterous to some people- and it takes a minute to convince them to remove those rose colored glasses. We have to trade in our pride for compassion.

“I think daughters can change the perception of their fathers.” -RBG

I do, too.

*I hadn’t planned to rant at the end, but I read some opinion pieces about this film/RBG, written by right-leaning journalists. Some attacked her physical appearance. Some go after her for her quiet nature. I even saw some that criticize her for her “traditional” decisions of marrying a man, following him for his job at one point, and raising children- not much of a progressive with those kinds of behaviors, they said. (They fail to mention that she raised those kids, took care of her sick husband, AND attended law school surrounded by men and sexist professors.) Under the articles were the same type of people commenting & bitching about women being justices in the first place- our gender not being suited for such professions. Having been reminded that these backward, outdated, unintelligent opinions exist in 2018, I’m even more astonished by RBG’s drive and perseverance and success. If you don’t believe that men and women are equal then it’s time to stop reading this blog.

I turned off comments because I’d rather you spend that time watching the movie πŸ™‚

Playing Catch Up Over Coffee

Hello. I promise I’m alive and well. No one has fallen ill and I’m not pregnant. (I feel like 90% of the time when a blogger just disappears one of those two things has happened…) I didn’t mean to take a break last week or on Tuesday. I actually had posts planned but they needed one or two more things added to them and I just didn’t get the time (or motivation) to do it…

Today I’m linking up with Kristen and taking a quick coffee break.

I have to take half a step back from my blog. I love this blog and the relationships that I’ve cultivated here. I feel like things in my personal life are n.u.t.s. right now, though. Every time I go to write I’m distracted or thinking about all the stuff I need to do… And sometimes I just bitch about all that on here and I think that’s overwhelming and repetitive for y’all.

I will keep up with Alexandra‘s and my RSFG Blog Collab. and I will definitely show up here (and on your blogs!) for SUYB with Steph & Jana. Other than those two monthly staples, I can’t guarantee my consistency. I plan to keep reading and commenting on your blogs, too. The frequency will probably decrease, though…

I’m sad to step back. I’m scared to leave this community of friends. I’m not actually leaving- just going part time. It’s been a part of my daily life since 2014. That’s crazy. But like I said, this is temporary and necessary. I’ll still be around. And I’ll still see you guys on IG.

Ok… let’s move on to other news.

Last week I rode in the backseat of a pick-up truck for 35 hours. We drove down to Texas and back- in five days. (Two driving down, one day of work, two driving home.) Our coffee today is simply a step in my recovery program.

We’re on the road again next week for another business trip. I thank Jesus every single day for our house/dog sitter. She keeps our babes loved while we’re gone.

On Sunday I played my last softball game for the summer. (I wrote a sarcastic post about my experience here, lol.) I hate exercise but I enjoy being active. I’m trying to find new ways to keep my body moving right now. The dogs and I have a new walk route and I feel like that’s a good start.

Our trip to Texas was H.O.T. & miserable but it made me appreciate the lower 80 degree temps in Ohio. Our weather has been beautiful and I’m not going to complain about it for once πŸ˜‰

Sigh… I don’t have much else to say as we drain our mugs and start digging our keys out of our purses. I’ve been reading a lot, cooking a bit, and trying to keep my house in some semblance of order.

I promise that I’m trying to catch up on your posts from the last week or so… I also promise to show up here occasionally, even if it’s not regularly πŸ™‚

Hopefully this weekend is semi-quiet and relaxing. I’m dying my grey away on Saturday and planning a manicure sometime next week before our next trip! Self-care, friends πŸ˜‰ See you on Tuesday!

Currently…

For Kristen‘s link-up I’m reverting back to a good ol’ fashioned “currently” post.

Reading… all the books for Erin’s 9.0 Book Challenge! I’m currently working on The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

Listening to… You Must Remember This podcast. I know I’ve mentioned it once this week already, but Lindsay got me hooked! I’ve listened to all the Charles Manson’s Hollywood episodes as well as the ones about Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. I’ve also been listening to the new albums from Dave Matthews and Ben Rector!

Watching… The Bachelorette. My friends and I text-party watch and I look forward to it every week. We’re usually snarky about the guys and supportive of Becca so I don’t feel the least bit bad about my not-so-guilty pleasure. Anyone else watching this season? Let’s discuss πŸ™‚

Pouting about… Lebron James heading west. Sigh. I’m not mad at him and I still hate basketball, but it’s a bummer he’s not ours anymore.

Celebrating… this week’s intermission. America has her faults (many of which are occurring right now) but yesterday was her birthday and everyone almost everyone deserves a celebration. I’m grateful for the day off and I’m grateful to live in a country where we have the freedom to do the right thing, help others, and vote in people who will actually put the needs of humans first.

Eating… lots of grilled stuff and summer foods. Watermelon, corn, steak, hotdogs and burgers, ice cream.

Drinking… wine. My in-laws have been working on opening a wine company for the last year and a half, and they’re finally up and running! Our house may or may not be stocked with the best wine around right now… πŸ˜‰

Working on… getting all the left over garage sale stuff packed up and shipped off to charities. We had a pretty successful sale but dang it was hot outside all weekend!

Playing… softball! I joined a co-ed team that plays every Sunday afternoon. I played for eight years nearly 15 years ago, so this is slightly out of my comfort zone. I really like it, though!

Planning… a fall vacation. I’m not sure what or where yet, but I presented a 2 week out west trip to K and he shot me down. (I knew he would.) Now that I’ve softened the travel-blow with an extravagant idea, it’ll be much easier to talk him into a 5-7 day stretch of relaxation. πŸ˜‰

Praying for… so many. Families who have been separated, the safe journey of refugees escaping violence and persecution, my sweet friend Rebecca Jo and her family, the health and well-being of family members and pets, neglected dogs who suffer when the heat index bursts.
**Definitely doing something additional about these things, too.

Recovering from… pleurisy. Two weeks ago I went to the ER with some chest pain, thinking it was just a stubborn gas bubble in my abdomen. Turns out it was/is pleurisy left over from untreated bronchitis. I’m much better now but the pain and immobility was a nuisance.

Relaxing… with my new video game! I found Mario Kart onΒ https://wikibuy.com/ for a great price and finally pulled the trigger. It’s the only video game K will play and I’m really proud that I held off on getting it until I could find it for a low price!

Wishing for… colder weather (sue me), a long vacation, peace on Earth, and a pina colada.

Thanks for hosting What’s New With You?, Kristen!

*Thank you so much, Wikibuy, for reaching out!

Coffee? Coffee.

I spent a few minutes trying to come up with a clever title for this post, but all I can imagine is me pulling myself out of bed, twisting my hair into a messy bun, and asking you if you’re up for coffee. You nod, just as tired and drained as me, and we confirm our date for coffee.

(We’re also going to meet Kristen at the coffee shop for What’s New With You?, though…)

If we were having coffee I’d probably have something iced or frozen because I straight up hate this heat. Damn, guys. I’m over it. I’d open the conversation by telling you that I dream almost daily of a backyard pool oasis or shaded pontoon boat on the lake. I have access to neither and it makes summer quite torturous.

If we were having coffee you’d have to excuse my nose-blowing and throat-clearing. I am fighting some weird sinus/allergy/summer cold bullshirt. This is my third time being sick THIS YEAR and I am so over it. I don’t think I’m contagious, though. No fever and so far K and my close-quarters coworker haven’t gotten it.

If we were having coffee I’d ask about your long weekend (last week). Two of my best friends came back to our hometown (where I still live) and brought their significant others with them. The girls had fun winery/brewery hopping and then we met the guys for dinner and margs. The plan was to have a fire at my house afterward, but it rained so we sat in the living room and played What Do You Meme and watch the Rocket vs. Warriors game. I love having my friends home to hangout and relax with me πŸ™‚ It doesn’t happen very often- usually I jet off to see them.

(And yes, I’m v pissed that the stupid Warriors are in the finals again. UGH.)

If we were having coffee I’d confess that there’s a deeper psychological reason for my summertime hatred. In the winter it is 100% ok to go home every night, snuggle under a blanket, and hibernate with a book and tea. In the summer there’s this grand expectation to do things. Whether it’s vacation or exercise or swimming or gardening or going to the beach or camping or whatever… it’s there. People discuss their weekends at the lake or on the road and then look at you expectantly. I feel like it’s a lot of pressure to be active and have fun. I don’t have a boat or a pool or a real garden or any athletic skill. Most of my friends live far-ish away (& I’m an introvert). I am SWAMPED with work in the summer. Honestly? My summer weekends look a lot like my winter weekends. It just feels kind of daunting, you know?

But if we were having coffee I’d genuinely want to know about your summer plans! Tell me the vacations you have planned and the weekend activities you’re looking forward to! Maybe it’ll give me some ideas to get out and about.

If we were having coffee, before we stood up and said our goodbyes, I’d ask if you read/heard any of the commencement speeches from this year’s graduation season. Steph shared Abby Wambach’s speech from Barnard College. I love it and I’d definitely share it with you.

And then I’d check the time and realize I’m late for work (because vacation days aren’t an option for me in the summer) and we’d hug and make plans to meet again soon. And I’d probably order another drink for the road.

IMUO vol. 2

Waaay back in September 2016 I wrote a post about my unpopular opinions. I stand by everything I wrote except I now occasionally use “live your best life” jokingly and I watch basketball (the Cavs) with my husband. Anyway, I’m back again with more.

I don’t like The Avengers.
It’s not that I don’t like them as much as I just don’t have time to watch it all. I love Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men, but I’ve only seen Iron Man and Captain America as far as “avengers” go. After this last movie am I going to be totally lost when the next X-Men or GotG movie comes out?! Why do we have to combine them all?? It just seems like a lot to keep on top of…

I hate the term “Girl Boss.”
I’m totally ok with making things more feminine if that’s your style (pink jerseys, lace on tool belts, etc.). It’s not my style, but all kinds of kinds, right? However, if you’re a female in a management role or a female business owner then you’re just a BOSS. It’s not a man’s phrase because it’s not a man’s world. It’s your world and you’re running it. Be a BOSS.
(Turns out Nadine mentioned hating this phrase in the comments of my last IMUO post!)

I don’t understand the Cardi B craze.
This might not be unpopular. She may not be a hit with people over the age of 25. I don’t know. Either way, I can’t get into her. I’m not a big rap fan anyway so I think this is pretty normal for me. She just seems like the next big thing and I’m a little clueless and uninterested.

I love Instagram Stories.
Man… I waste SO much time with IG stories. I love seeing pictures or watching people talk about their day or an experience. I don’t mind boomerangs or food pics or videos. Two things I don’t like: videos of concerts and videos of super loud noises. Other than that, I’m entertained for hours by these clips.

I live for rainy days.
You know how some people wait and wait for the sun to come out and make comments like, “What’s that thing?” whenever it finally does? That’s how I feel about rain and overcast days. There’s just something extra cozy about a dreary day. In the same breath…

I STILL hate summer.
I know we’ve been waiting 17 years for the snow to stop and the sun to show herself, but I’m over it now. I opened my windows for a hot second and I shed my coat for a few days. I’m ready for the leaves to change & the temperature to drop. Sorry not sorry, guys. I just looove fall & winter.

I’ll relent just a bit. There are parts of warm weather that I enjoy- evening walks with the dogs, driving with the windows down, ice cream shops being open… but after about a month of all that I’m ready for fall πŸ˜‰

What are some of your unpopular opinions? I won’t judge you πŸ˜‰

Very Random Thursday Thoughts

I’ve had some thoughts lately but I don’t know that any of them are complete enough to be a post on their own…

I original wrote a sentence that said “My style has changed SO much in the last 15 years”, but then I went to find photographic proof and actually it hasn’t. Hahaha. It’s varied in degrees, but I feel like I have this borderline grunge/comfortable/country road sense of style. Audrey, what the hell does that mean? Well, that means that I wear a lot of black and dark colored neutrals. I prefer jeans, sweatshirts, and vans over anything else. I love my cowboy boots, cutoff shorts (that don’t reveal my buttcheeks), and oversized shirts. I also love being barefoot. My last job required me to dress office casual (shift/casual dresses, dress pants, nice shirt) but this job doesn’t and I am IN MY ELEMENT. Today I’m wearing cutoff army green shorts, a muscle tank, and an open black plaid flannel with lace-up Vans. Living my best life, guys.

I believe that the female world is shifting… I was perusing Met Gala pictures and I noticed all the uplifting comments on female pictures from other female celebrities. I think that’s a direct reflection of the female shift. Gone are the days of catty gossip and backstabbing frienemies. It’s cool to be kind and petty to be anything else. Don’t get me wrong, girls hating girls is still a thing. I know I have moments of jealous and cattiness despite preaching love and support. We all falter and slip. But dang, sisters! I feel like the unity and power born from the last, oh, let’s say 3 years, has really taken hold. I feel like I am constantly looking to uplifting and complimentary people to help change my heart and mind and attitude.

Also, I think a HUGE part of becoming a happy adult is surrounding yourself with amazing people. After an unpleasant or disrespectful exchange with someone I always wonder why I allow that person to continue to be a part of my life. I have a fantastic husband, incredible parents/in-laws/siblings, and doting friends. It’s ridiculous to carry around the emotional baggage of hurtful people.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here or not, but we added someone to the office staff at work. For the last +1 year it’s just been K and I in the office, but in April the guy that I was hired to replace actually came back. He’s no stranger- I’ve known him (and his girlfriend-turned-wife) for 8 years and K has known him for over 12. I was a little worried about the change since K and I are used to be alone. But guys… I love it. Ha! It’s another person to talk to and he makes coffee in the morning so it’s fresh and hot when I get in (K doesn’t drink coffee) and it’s just nice have another brain to bounce things off of. I don’t have a point to this paragraph- I’m just updating you on my work life. Lol

I love the song Good Morning by Max Frost. It’s uplifting and upbeat and even kind of spiritual. You don’t usually get all three of those in a Top 40s song!

My husband got me an Apple watch for Christmas and this past weekend we went and upgrade my iPhone (because it was looong overdue). I know this sounds incredibly materialistic, but it just feels so REFRESHING to have working technology that keeps me on time and in the know.

I don’t love the look of my blog. I just updated it a few weeks ago but I think I’m going to mess with it again.

**HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my wonderful in-laws AND my husband’s grandparents (who are celebrating 60 YEARS!)!!

Anyway… I feel like I haven’t been super open or thoughtful in this space lately so I wanted to share some of the things rolling around my brain right now. I’d love to hear some of your recent random thoughts, too!

“What Do You Do?”

I believe that we’re in control of what defines us. And while there are hundreds of things that define the person I am (dogs, coffee, books, Harry Potter…), my job is a pretty big one. I know that’s not the case for everyone. Some people work to live & some live to work & some fall in between. It takes all kinds of kinds. I feel fortunate that I love my job and I love making it a priority.

When I’m getting to know a blogger I always wonder are they married? Do they have pets? What books do they like to read? What job do they have outside of blogging? For me the answers are yes, two dogs, most books, and my official title is Director of Operations.

In 2012 my soon-to-be husband started a goods-based company out of my dad’s garage. With dedication and sacrifice he built the company into an international brand in its niche industry. As I’ve mentioned, at the start of 2017 I left my job and started with K’s company full time. Since then, the employee/friend that I was hired to replace has joined the team again, our job duties have been redistributed, and the company has grown even more.

My role, reassigned as recently as this month, requires me to wear many hats. I handle all the finances- income & expenses. I process orders, get them out to the warehouse, and track their progress from beginning to end. I schedule all the freight and packages that leave our dock and I relay their progress to our customers. I also keep track of lots of lists… I know every high school, drum corps., college, and independent drumline using our products. I believe we have product in every single state except North Dakota and Alaska. Someday… someday…

A few times throughout the year I get to travel (and do all that stuff ^ on the road- oof). We travel for two main reasons- state/regional trade shows OR music-based competitions. This past weekend we were on the road for a competition- the musical Superbowl for indoor percussion ensembles, known as WGIΒ  Percussion World Championships. We are less sales-focused on weekends like that and more relationship-driven. We check in on customers already using our gear, cheer on their performances, and congratulate the folks that fall under our professional umbrella. It’s a really enjoyable event- especially when you like the people you’re with- but it’s early mornings, extremely late nights, lots of social interaction, and a TON of walking. I walked 28 miles from Tuesday to Sunday.

On trade show weeks it’s equal sales and relationship focus. We set up our booth, stand around and talk shop for 8 to 12 hours a day for three days, go out late to wine and dine friends, customers, and colleagues, and tear it all down and move products at the end. Equally exhausting. (Pretty much everything is exhausting, lol.)

When I was in high school I went to some of these events. I was starstruck by the world class competitors and giddy with excitement over free stickers and lanyards from the company promo booths. It’s very humbling and rewarding to work on the other side and see students get excited about the things I help to facilitate. I really, really love it. I think 15 year old Audrey would be impressed.

So that’s what I do. There is my consolidated job description. The stuff we make and sell are the carts and racks that hold synthesizers, mixer boards, cymbals, and drums.

Jason Porter Media

This job forces me to have knowledge on the always-changing world of music education as well as the competitive marching industry. I love that challenge. Additionally, I’m a rare female in an extremely male dominated pond and I find that to be a motivating challenge, too. (I’m always watching for shifts in this demographic and I get excited when I see more females on both the vendor and consumer sides.)

Coming off the high of this past weekend, I was inspired to share a little about my real-life job. Don’t feel obligated to do the same, but if you want to I’d love to hear what you do during the work day! Or, if you feel kind of meh about letting a job define you, tell me about something you love to do πŸ™‚ Or ask me a question about something I do!