•Later this morning I’ll make my way to our current voting precinct in its current polling place.
It’s in an old Greek Church now. The decor in this church is gold and overstated, think My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but the church members who welcome you to their church/polling place are as sweet as can be.
They stand in sharp contrast to the election board people who, it seems, would prefer to not be doing what they’re doing, as shown by the snarls on their faces.
Same grouches, every year.
•When we first moved here over 20 years ago we voted at the VFW Hall.
Situated back a long creepy lane, to get to this polling place you followed the signs for the “Sunday Turkey Shoot” that lead to a grass parking lot. Then you stood outside in the weather until the election board people allowed 2 voters at a time inside the building.
We’d moved here to this big city suburb from an upscale small town and were shocked that the polling place, reeking of cigarette smoke, still used paper ballots– and consistently ran short on pencils.
We learned to take a Benadryl before we went to vote and to take a pencil with us.
•Our next polling place was at a fancy golf course.
It was easy to get to this place that had a real parking lot, lighted even. At first it seemed ideal, however this is the polling place where Zen-Den, Esq., got mad and made a point.
He was not pleased about how the partisan people who lurk around the outside entrance into the polling place were positioning themselves; they were too close to the building, thus breaking the law.
Inside the building he told the election board people this was wrong–and they shrugged. So Z-D called the sheriff’s office and filed a complaint. The pushy lurker people got in trouble, and the election board people have never forgotten about it.
Or Zen-Den. Or his wife. Who they consider to be has much of a troublemaker as he was.
Guilt by association, you know?
•All of which brings me to today’s foray into the American voting process.
I’ve paid no attention to any of the people who are running for office this election cycle. In what will a first for me, an Independent voter, I’ll be voting a straight Democratic ticket.
If the GOP won’t do the right thing and depose our so-called president, a sexual predator, business fraud, Russian-backed, draft-dodging old man, then I’ll start the ball rolling by getting rid of the GOP.
Are you with me here, kids? If last year’s presidential election confirmed one thing for me, it’s that you can do everything right and still fail; BUT it’s important that you do that right thing anyhow.
Once upon a time I was a super conscientious woman.
I lived and died by Checking Things Off My To Do List. My self-worth was contingent upon these checks because the results were more important to me than the process. Woe be it to anyone who got in my way: I was not always the nicest person.
Sad to say, apologizes offered.
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Then my goals and desires began to change.
That is, I got older and more self-aware. I evolved into a wiser + wearier woman who no longer felt obliged to Do A Lot Every Day Or Else. I still accomplish things, quite a few things– but at a slower pace, focusing on the process that I now allow to be organic rather than forced.
Mellowness is good for me.
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This new me is easier to be around.
Despite these unsettling difficult Trumpian times we’re living through, I’m a more relaxed version of my previous self. This iteration, Ally Bean 2.0 The Best Yet, evolved quietly during the last decade of my life when I didn’t feel well and couldn’t decide a thing without overthinking it.
However, no longer stuck am I.
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I don’t know why I’m telling you this today, my gentle readers.
All I can say is that this morning as I was planning my day I realized How Differently I Handle Any Decision Or Activity now, compared to how I used to do things when society had me convinced that my self-worth hinged on my super conscientiousness.
Once a week Cee asks the questions on her blog, and I answer them here on my blog.
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• What goal are you working on now? Your goal can be something fun or extremely serious. Have fun with this question.
When have I not been working on a goal? However, here’s the thing: I have plenty of goals, but rarely share them because I’ve found that the minute I say that I’m going to do something the Universe laughs in my face. *bwha-ha-ha* So, if it’s all the same to you, my gentle readers, I think I’ll not answer this question with specifics.
• What is one thing you’re glad you tried but would never do again?
I will never sponge paint a wall again. I tried to do it, made a complete mess of the pattern, smudged the colors together– and ended up with an ugly muddle that needed to be painted over with a proper paint roller using one sensible color. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But really, what was I thinking?
• Did you choose your profession or did it choose you?
I’ll let you know when my profession and I are formally introduced.
• Have you ever gotten lost?
Yes, I have– in just about every possible way: physical, emotional, spiritual. Often, in fact, without any idea of how to get un-lost. But I guess that I must have found my way, because here I am now writing a blog post.
• Optional Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Last week’s gratitude award goes to cold brew coffee. I finally determined the proper proportion of coffee grounds to water to brew time to filtering system so that we both like what I made. And considering how hot it’s been around here, having some coffee concentrate in the refrigerator has led to some delicious iced coffee in the afternoon.
This week’s looking forward to something goes to the upcoming four-day 4th of July weekend. Pretty 🌻, pretty 🇺🇸, pretty 🎆. My kind of holiday. Not much to do but sit back and enjoy.
1) I like my writing better now than when I startedThe Spectacled Bean. I’ve learned how to write in a smooth flowing chatty style that is genuine, not dry & academic. I express myself with more attitude, more gratitude, less awkwardness, and a propensity to use goofy big words that I love.
2) I write more in-depth now on one event or topicor person, instead of glossing over and combining many things into one post like I used to do. I’m more focused, definitely less ditzy.
3) I think of my blog as a newspaper lifestyle column now in which I share my observations, experiences + research, making sense of these things, so that I can start conversations which, I hope, add a bit of love + learning + laughter into the world. I no longer think of this blog as a diary or a variety show or a scrapbook.
4) My posts look prettier now thanks to the instant availability of font sizes, styles, and colors. Plus it’s so much easier to add images and videos now. I sometimes wonder why any of us read any blog considering how text-based and bland they all looked.
5) I find myself more engaged with my followers now than ever before. Lots of fascinating articulate people have found The Spectacled Bean, and I have found their blogs. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my posts, and thank you for making me part of your lives as well.
6) I’m much mellower now about this whole blogging thing. No more angst over what to write about, little worry about how to write it, still some concern that I’ll make a spelling or grammatical error. But overall, I’m chill– and comfortable in my role as a suburban blogger.
I’m a natural-born slacker, so maybe it’s unfair of me to choose sloth as my #1 deadly sin because it comes so easily to me, but it is the one I like the best. It’s not that I dislike all the other cardinal sins, it’s just that I have a preference.
Reading this article I come upon a link to Angela Duckworth’s Grit Scale. Following the link, I find and take a 10 question quiz. My score, baffling and disheartening as it is, you can see in the image below.
This number does not please me.
Grit suggests spunk, courage, resolve. It shows perseverance and a strength of character that a sloth-y person such as myself believes she does not have.
Then to find out that I’m grittier than 80% of American adults– well… I. am. bummed.
And it is on that point that I’m going to leave this topic today, my gentle readers. Clearly I need to re-assess all that I think I know about myself, examine in-depth my heretofore hidden strength of grittiness, and set about figuring out what is my new favorite deadly sin.