A Quandary Regarding Mental Health + Tattoos + Modern Etiquette

“NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We are the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.”

Thanks to the efforts of NAMI it’s Mental Illness Awareness Week here in the USA. This year’s theme is #CureStigma. 

In light of this theme here’s something I’ve been thinking about. I’m unclear about what I should do when I’m in situations like the following one.

I was at a doctor’s office, in the examining room, with a medical assistant who was settling me onto the examining table, getting things ready for the doc.

When she reached across me to grab the blood pressure cuff I noticed that she had a tattoo on her inside left wrist.  What caught my eye was that the tattoo was of a semicolon.

As you probably know, that is the tat one gets when you have, or someone you love has, engaged in self-harming behaviors;  OR when you or a loved one have attempted to commit, or possibly in the case of a loved one succeeded in committing, suicide.

[More on the semicolon tattoo meaning here and here.]

In general I’ve found that people with visible tattoos seem pleased when you notice the tattoo.  They often have a story to tell about their tattoos and I’m willing to listen.

However, in this particular case I was reluctant to say anything, so I said nothing and just smiled like I didn’t know what I was seeing.

So my questions are:

  • Would you consider a visible semicolon tattoo to be an invitation for conversation about what it means to the person with this tattoo?
  • Or would you not say a word about it unless the person with the tattoo brings up the topic?

Anyone got any experience with or advice about how to handle this type of situation? I feel like there might be some kind of modern etiquette involved here, but I don’t know what it is.

Regarding Goats: Some People Wouldn’t, But I Did

This is a Goat Chow Dispenser, obviously.

ANTICIPATING LOUSY TRAFFIC THAT I didn’t encounter, I was early for an appointment on the other side of nowhere.

I remembered a fancy garden nursery in the area, so instead of sitting in my car staring at my phone for half an hour I went to the garden nursery to walk around.

To look at the pretty flowers.

COME TO FIND OUT, far back on the property past the perennials on the way to the trees there was a shed and enclosure with miniature goats in it.

Friendly goats. With a propensity to make their will known to any hapless person who wandered upon their enclosure.

Yes, once they saw me they were more than happy to show me the way to the goat chow dispenser– wherein a person can snag a handful of free goat chow, then allow them eat it off the palm of your hand.

With their little nibble-y goat lips❣

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Question of the Day
Would you feed the goats a handful of Goat Chow from your hand? would you put it on the ground in front of them?
OR would you walk by and not feed them at all?

Be The Light: Of Serious Fun & Sensible Fools

INTRODUCTION

As you probably remember I’ve joined a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  Today’s post will be my twelfth and last contribution to this event.

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This almost being the last Friday of March [a month when the last Friday is a Christian holiday] and with the “please post when you can” blessing of the WATWBPTB, I have a short news story to share with you, my gentle readers.

THE NEWS STORY  

Last year Dnald (Don) Levy decided that what New Orleans needed was another parade, one specifically dedicated to April 1st.

Following his muse he named this parade Krewe du Fool April Fool’s Day parade, and along with 25 other people he made the parade happen on April Fool’s Day.

This year the Krewe du Fool April Fool’s Day parade will be on this coming Sunday which also happens to be Easter Sunday.  The theme of the parade will be “Fool’s Gold” and the marchers will distribute golden eggs.

Follow the link above should you like to join in the parade or cheer them on from the curb.

MY COMMENTARY

What’s not to love here? 

New Orleans is known for its parades, so another one, dedicated specifically to a silly holiday, fits right into the vibe of the city.

And then to think that one man, for the heck of it, made this parade happen, tickles me to no end.

We’re living in serious times when seemingly insurmountable problems dominate the world news, so from my point of view anyone, or anything, that can add a bit of harmless joy to our lives is the epitome of positive.

And kids, we need more positive.

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Be The Light: Four Fun Stories About Air Travel

INTRODUCTION

As you probably remember I’ve joined a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of January, I have a story, or four, to share with you, my gentle readers and fellow #WATWB participants.

THE NEWS STORIES  

 A lucky woman gets to fly on a commercial airline flight as the only passenger. If only.

 A piece of luggage that keeps track of you. Cool.

An impatient baby arrives mid-flight attended by not one, but two, doctors. Cuteness.

• A free drink in the main cabin on a shuttle flight makes flying fun again. Huzzah!

MY COMMENTARY

I had no difficulty finding positive news stories about airlines this month. As a traveler who is often disgruntled with the airlines and known to express said disgruntlement to the powers that be, I was surprised.

I don’t tend to think of air travel in a favorable light.

But the above links suggest that maybe, just maybe, there’s hope for an industry that is known more for annoying passengers than pleasing them.

At least that’s the idea I’m going to dwell on here in this particular post.

And on the note, with a hat tip to Schubert Piano Sonata in A major D. 959, I’ll leave you with the theme from Wings, one of my favorite 1990s TV shows.  Sandpiper Air made flying look like so much fun.

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Be The Light: Of Books & Buses

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of June, I have a positive story to share with you, my gentle readers. 

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THE NEWS STORY:  

In Albuquerque, N.M., a city program called Discover a Book stocks public buses with children’s books so that young riders, and anyone else, can have something to read as they ride the bus.  This project has been around since 2006.

The books, which come from the city’s Read To Me book donation program, are available on the bus in specially made cubbies on the back of each bus seat.  These cubbies allow the program to distribute about 8,000 books a year– and the program encourages families to take a book home with them if they want to.

As one community volunteer, Kathy Chilton, said of the Discover a Book program: “There is much to be done in New Mexico to improve families’ possibilities of success.  Discover a Book is a simple, inexpensive, and significant step toward that goal.”

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MY COMMENTARY:

I love this idea.  LOVE IT!

Books that are easily accessible are books that are read. That holds true for all of us.

I can think of no better way to casually, consistently introduce children of all ages to the idea that reading is fun and good than to have books right there in front of them when they’re bored.

And I can think of no better way to demonstrate to children and adults that there are people in your community who care about you.  People who want the best for all the kids who live there– and put their principles into practical actions.

I mean, FREE BOOKS.  And the time to read them?

This has win-win written all over it.  😉

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Get wild about reading!

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Be The Light: Five Links That Sparked My Interest

INTRODUCTION

As you may remember I’ve joined a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of May, I have a story, or five, to share with you, my gentle readers.

THE NEWS STORIES  

 A lonely snail almost gets the girlfriend of his dreams. If only.

 Newly discovered shade of blue is getting a name. Cool.

Saving 7th century architectural history in a 20th century modern way. Smart.

A baby otter has a lucky rescue. Cuteness.

• Mom gets honorary MBA doing what Mom’s do best. Huzzah!

MY COMMENTARY

I had a difficult time this month finding one positive news story, with a bit of depth, that fits the criteria set out for this event. With The Donald hogging the news cycle 24/7, non-political + inspirational stories disappeared.

Did you notice that, too?

Re-thinking how I could keep true to the spirit of We Are The World Blogfest, I decided to bend the rules and share the foregoing list of some fun news stories that are positive– in their own small ways.

Because, I believe, every little bit of light helps.

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{ If you’re on Facebook, there’s a Blogfest Community – We Are The World page there with connections to other people who are writing posts for this event.  I don’t do FB, but thought you, my gentle readers who like FB, and enjoy positivity, might be interested in knowing this. }

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Be The Light: Of Ladybugs, Love & A Clever Little Girl

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of April, I have a story to share with you, my gentle readers. 

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THE NEWS STORY:  

Did you know that in the Jewish religion when visiting a loved one’s grave it’s customary to leave a stone on the grave?  These stones are called visitation stones.

I wasn’t aware of this tradition until I read about a girl who took it upon herself, in response to cemetery vandalism, to create some pretty hand-painted lady bug and heart visitation stones.

The complete story [found here with video] tells of 6-year-old Ayel’s response upon learning that vandals had damaged her great-great-great-grandmother’s tombstone in a St. Louis cemetery.  Ayel decided to paint some stones for herself, and for all the other families who had experienced this vandalism, as a way of showing kindness to the living– and respect to the deceased.

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MY COMMENTARY:

If you took the time to watch the video, then you’ve already realized that Ayel is cuter than the bee’s knees.  I mean, how could you not love her?

That smile!

But beyond that fact I like this kid’s spirit.  She understands what happened in the cemetery and that it was a lousy thing for anyone to do.  However, instead of ignoring what happened or giving in to helplessness, she’s opted for kindness.

Ayel intuitively gets what many adults have forgotten.  She understands that creating something healing and meaningful doesn’t have to be complicated.  It just has to come from the heart.

Which, as anyone with even just an ounce of kindness in their soul knows, is a great place to start.

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