Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's my blog and I'll rant if I want to . . . . .

Here's the thing.

I love to rant. And that's exactly what this started out as.

But, I also try very, very hard to balance it by off-setting something I really dislike with something I like lots.

So, here's the rant I started with, but now infused with some good stuff, and a request at the end for you to play too.

I’m an imp. I’ve recently accused a friend of mine of being an imp (and she IS!), but I guess in all fairness, I should toss my hat into the circle of impdom also. But, you know – there are things loads worse than being an imp.

For instance.

There are those people who thrive on negativity. Ugh. Do they even KNOW they’re being negative? Do they have any idea how they suck the life out of everything around them? Or – very scary thought – is that their intent? Ugh. We all know some people like that, right? And sometimes we have to put up with them, but boy howdy – I’m getting pretty good about keeping them at a distance. And you know what – some of them don’t even realize they’re being kept at a distance! Pfft! That ought to show me how important I am, huh?!

Then there are the Drama Experts. God save me from these people who honestly believe their every ache, pain, illness or whatever is THE most extreme and THE worst ever. You have a headache?? Well, pafooey – the Drama Experts’ headache makes yours look like a weeny ache. And please. Do not even bother trying to discuss your broken arm/leg/finger/toe/back or skull with this person – it’s not broken in 46 beezillion places is it?! Well heavens, what’s to discuss?!

Then there are those people who possess not one iota of generosity. Share some good news with them and they “might” grudgingly say “Oh, I’m so proud of you!” in a tone that totally gives them away as being less than completely honest. Or, they manage to totally ignore the subject at all costs. And here’s where being an imp is the most fun ever. Knowing they want to pretend it doesn’t exist, put it right back on the table whenever and as often as possible. (hear the imp go Tee Hee).

The lack of generosity amongst friends is one I don’t get. Some of you may have heard this old saying – “She’d rather her drawers fall down around her ankles than say something nice about somebody.” Lordy – please don’t ever let me be that person. for real.

I’ve asked a lot of people about this recently, just 'cause its been on my mind, and learned that the phenomenon of friends not being able to share in friends' joy is a bit more widespread than we'd like to think. And I find it to be a sad thing.

One theory that some Facebook friends share is that they think those people must see the world as a "zero-sum game," meaning that someone else's success takes away from their potential to succeed. One of these friends says she prefers to think that success and happiness are as limitless as the universe, and that the more we celebrate, the more we have to celebrate. I agree and prefer to think that also – the other is too convoluted for my tired ol' brain to understand.

My friend Vickie has this quote at her Facebook page - "Whether you look for the positive in anything or look for the negative in anything, you will find it..."

I’m happy to say Vickie is one of those special people who most of the time manages to focus on the positive, and that is a lovely thing, indeed.

Another friend I've talked with about this managed to come up with a few quotes (I love quotes) that kinda hits this nail right on the head . . .

"Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success."--Oscar Wilde

"Friendship is not possible between two women, one of whom is very well dressed."--Laurie Colwin

" A woman, if she is really your friend, . . . always desires to be proud of you." --- Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton

and my very favorite of all . . .

"Do not save your loving speeches
For your friends until they are
Do not write them on their
Speak them rather now instead."
--Anna Cummins

But, you know what.

I don't want to talk about the things I don't like.

I want to talk about some things I like lots. And it just so happens that a couple of the people included in the "Things I Like Lots List" do, in fact, talk about this very thing. This thing I just purely hate. Negativity. And they do it brilliantly! I like it!

I've mentioned here before that there are some blogs out there that I try to read every day. I usually don't get to do that, but I do read them often enough that I'm able to discover true gems pretty often.

I'm going to try to start pulling out one or two every so often to share, and for today's sharing I've chosen two blogs that have been around for a long time.

One is Murderati, and one is The Lipstick Chronicles. It's no surprise that these two have stuck around for such a good while. They're what drew many of us to blogs in the first place. They're elegantly written by astute, bright people who don't mind putting their opinions, along with their feelings, out there for others to embrace. Or reject.

One of the Murderati regulars is Toni McGee Causey. This woman writes what I want to say. Over and over again, this woman writes what I feel. She writes like I would give my left foot to be able to write. She's just dazzling. And her Murderati piece of October 4th - "Positive and Negative Spaces" says worlds. Read it, please. You'll thank me. Betcha.

A member of The Lipstick Chronicles who seems to share some of my pet peeves (and temperament) is Kathy Sweeney. This is a woman I someday hope to meet. Another woman who writes what I want to say. When I read her piece of September 25th - "Time to Weed the Garden (or how to rid yourself of Toxic People)" I just squealed out loud. I wanted to find Kathy Sweeney and give her a hug. So here's another piece I'd like you all to read, please. Again - you'll thank me!

You know - this talking about things you like is fun! So here's another.

Books. Most of you are here because you love books. And you're creative. A lot of you are writers, but a lot of you are creative in totally different areas. What we do know is that creativity spawns creativity. Creativity recognizes creativity. It speaks loudly.

JT Ellison writes about this beautifully at Murderati, and here's another piece, In the Presence of Genius, I recommend. (yep - you'll thank me).

O.K. - so I meandered off my trail of thought there.

Back to what I wanted to share with you before the always brilliant JT Ellison popped into my mind . . .

Books. Don't most of us love being surrounded by books? We do.

There are never enough bookshelves in our homes, right?

Well, here's that love of books reflected in another way, and I just love it.

This is what I'll leave you with.

An image by a painter by the name of Victoria Reichelt who paints bookshelf portraits.

Tolstoi, oil on canvas, 2006, 50 x 50c

How very cool and lovely is that?


It's your turn.

Tell me what you love.


if you're in the mood to rant - tell me what you hate. But. Then you have to off-set it with something you love.



Patty said...

Kaye, I think you covered the things I hate fairly well, so I'll go with things I love. I believe right now that you are close to the top of that list! You are open and honest, blunt and kind all at once. I also love the fact that I can "talk" to people I admire, most of them on FB but even in things like email. Before the Internet I had met exactly zero authors, now I have met hundreds, and even a couple in person. I love to read (being a librarian is usually a dead give-away on that one), I love dogs (we have four right now but have been as high as nine), and I love this part of the country (western South Dakota). And, today of all days, I love living in a country where ordinary people do extraordinary duty in serving this great country.

Patty said...

I forgot, can we try and get rid of the whiners? That's the only "hate" group that I think you missed.

Viccy said...

I purly love this rant! As Patty points out, you are close to the top of things I appreciate. Today I also appreciate all veterans. I love to read. I love the painting you shared with us.

Jen Forbus said...

Oh my love list is so long these days, and how lucky am I for that? I love turning on my computer in the morning to find an email from a friend. I love making new friends. I love LAUGHING! I love friends who make me laugh. :)

Of course I love animals and good books and hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts.

I love when people say, "thanks for recommending that book; I really liked it."

I love hugs!

I love warm weather and sunshine and the smell of magnolia bushes in bloom.

And of course, Kaye, I love you! :)

caryn said...

Okay, add to the drama queens and naysayers and whiners the total lack of common curtesy that seems to have fled this country. I guess to make it a group of people I'd call them, well, rude people. Those are the folks who turn a blind eye to the mom struggling with a door, a toddler or two plus a stroller and butt in front of them to get in the door or line or whatever 15 seconds faster.
Yoy know the ones. The people who have forgotten all of life's little lessons they learned in kindergarten. They've forgotten please and thank you, holding doors, giving up seats, or letting someone else go first. Why? Because for some reason they feel entitled. Yes, that's right, for whatever reason they have decided that they are special and deserve to buy their groceries before the woman with a walker or to sit down on the bus instead of the pregnant woman or don't need ot say please before taking something or thank you afterwards.
What do I love?
Blogs where I can vent every so often.
Thanks Kaye, I'm feeling much better now!

JT Ellison said...

Whoa, that's a painting? What an incredible piece! Thanks for turning me on to her.

And thank you, so much, for kindly mentioning me in this lovely rant. I couldn't agree more - there's a lot of drama out there, and the happy people are the ones who avoid it. Showing your friends some love, and meaning it, is vital in this day and age.

So here's some love for a lovely rant : )

Well said, Kaye.


Toni McGee Causey said...

Kaye, what an amazing post. Thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words. It is an honor to be included!

And I heartily agree with your rant. Life is too short to endure negative people. Or worse, the drama queens.

Shirley Wetzel said...

Dearest Kaye, I love your rants as much as your non-rants. Deliver me from negative people, I have been gently (or sometimes abruptly) pushing them out of my life. I much prefer hanging around, even if only virtually, with people like you. You have brightened my day so many times I can't count them.

Today my mind is on veterans and those who didn't survive to be veterans and the men and women who are serving our country now. I created an album on FaceBook to honor them.

BTW, Kaye, did I tell you how much my bunion is paining me today? And I've got the misery in my left knee, and ... :-)

Vicki Lane said...

What a great post, Kaye! You've done most of my ranting for me ( Did you mention cell phone rudeness and stupidity? -- that's high on my list.)

Love -- I love people in their unique weirdnesses, animals in their innocence, Nature in its majesty and beauty, words in their power to inspire and heal and amuse . . . I could go on and on.

Thanks for such a nice post!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

thank you to all of you who mentioned our veterans. I should have done so myself and just got so wrapped up in my rant, forgot that today is Veteran's Day. They do, indeed, deserve to be remembered and honored.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

You guys!

You make it HUGE fun to rant!

and we've come up with a bunch more things to rant about in the future. Every suggestion here is one I heartily agree with.

AND you've come up with lovely things to post lovely thoughts about.

This blogging stuff is great, idn't it?!

Chester Campbell said...

Hi, Kaye, you're as nice a ranter as I've ever come across. One I would add is the intimidator, the person who tries to pressure you into doing something you don't want to do. I comment on that in my books. I love the book painting you show. It reminds me of the clutter in the somewhat quaint room I call my office.

By the way, thanks to all those who spoke lovingly of our veterans. I think most are like me and would say we only did what we thought was best for our country.

jenny milchman said...

I love my kids, I love being the mom of little ones; I love my husband, I love being a wife of fifteen years. I love stories that carry me away, writing my own and the glorious creations of others. I love blogs like Meanderings & Muses. I love that this question can be asked and no one will answer it the same way twice (although everyone seems to agree they love Kaye).

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

oh my.

When I came back and left my earlier comments, I decided I'd just do a "blanket" comment for everyone 'cause I knew if I left individual ones I would get mushy. (you know how I do that sometimes, right?). Well, mushy puts some people off, so I'm trying to show a wee bit of restraint here these days. Well. Restraint is maybe not exactly the right word to use seeing as how this piece was, after all, a rant.

But anyhooooooo -
You've managed, once again, to make me get a little teary.
I love you guys.
thank you.
Hugs all around!

Auntie Knickers said...

I love a lot of things, including those great Southern expressions (like the one about the drawers falling down...)and your rants and raves, and I love Kathy Sweeney and the other Lipstickers too, also wish I could meet her someday; I'm kind of worn out right now from a day of struggling with desktop publishing, but at least I don't have a weeny headache, 'cause I'm a girl and I don't have a weeny!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

This is such a polite rant! Well, we're Southerners. :)

I completely agree. Negativity just kills morale. I remember when I worked in an office (about 13 years ago now) that it seemed there were about 2 people who made the rest of us feel our workplace was miserable. Sigh!

But there are so many more things I love. I love the writing community, which your blog is part of! I love my family. And today...I send a shout-out to veterans. I love their service!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Patricia Stoltey said...

You're wonderful. What a great post. As I get older I find it easier and easier to walk away from toxic people (even the ones I'm related to). There are so many wonderful, kind, uplifting people out there to take their places. A few things I love: my kids, dear friends, and butterflies.

Bo Parker said...

If you are an imp, I say the world needs more Kayes.
Your comments reminded me of one a story from Cherokee lore.
The elderly chief was talking to his grandson about people and the the battle that goes on inside.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

"One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

"The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Thank you, Kaye, for being Kaye.
Bo Parker

Patty said...

Bo - that is beautiful!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Nikki! YOU'RE the one with some great old sayings! I'm still hoping you'll be able to get a lot of them compiled into one place 'cause they are classics!!

Elizabeth - you made me laugh out loud. Yep - we are indeed southern. It does show, doesn't it?!

Hi, Patricia!! I agree with you 100% about feeling easier to walk away from toxic folks as we get older. Ah, the benefits of getting older and wiser, huh?! Actually, the benefits are many. (ACK! do I feel the stirrings of another blog?!).

Bo - Patty's right. This is beautiful!! i love it. Thank you, my friend.

Msmstry said...

Love the point about the drama queens. I ran into an old lady in town one day and said, "Hi, Mrs. Johnson, how are you today."

To which she replied, "Well, my bursitis is acting up and I can't sleep, my back is giving me problems and I think I'm getting a cold—but, I don't talk about my problems. I keep 'em to myself."

No drama queens in Apex!

Jill said...

Great post Kaye! I will give you a quote from one of my friends that had a lot to be distressed about...he died from Leukemia a little over a year ago. He said to always remember the three Ls. Live hard, love hard, and laugh hard. I have heard that many other times, but coming from my friend it really meant a lot to me. I love to laugh!