Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Throwing Shade at the Queen B

I have a confession to make.  It is one I do not let many people know.  It is not one that I am necessarily proud to admit.

The only way to get through something this difficult is to just blurt it out.  So here goes. . .

I am not a fan of Beyonce.  In fact, I think she is overrated.

I have tried to like her music.  And I have to admit that "Single Ladies" is a pretty catchy song.  But is it enough of a reason for me to bow down before her like the rest of the world?  Frankly, no.

She has an okay voice.  She is a good dancer.  She is a beautiful woman.  But there are thousands of other women who are equally good in all of these categories, and many are better.

I realize that being a non-Beyonce fan is an anomaly.  Saturday Night Live even devoted a skit to this very topic.  It's like non-Beyonce fans are some kind of social outcasts or deviants.

Al Roker recently mispronounced the name of her collective fans, the "Beyhive," on the Today Show. He referred to them as the"bay-hive" rather than the correct pronunciation, which is "bee-hive." He received hundreds of angry tweets and emails, including one from his own daughter. He probably does not receive anywhere near that reaction when he incorrectly predicts the weather or makes a slightly off-color comment. But God forbid he insults the Queen B.

So go ahead and hurl your insults and degrade me on social media. I am standing my ground.

Just don't sick the Beyhive on me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Healing Power of Water

I walk my dog, Chloe, almost every morning.  The morning air is a wonderful way to clear your head and sharpen your senses early in the day.

One of our favorite routes takes us past the Shiawasee River.  Not only is it enjoyable to watch the seasons change along the riverbank and look for the neighborhood geese that call it home, but there is something restorative about the sound of water.

Nearly every morning, we stop for at least a few moments and enjoy the seasons along the river banks.  We listen to the sound of the water rushing under the bridge, or marvel at how beautiful the trees look covered in fresh snow. We anticipate the buds on the trees and the sprouting plants in the spring, or watch as the colors emerge in the cool fall weather. We breathe in the air and take a moment just to be. Rather, I breathe in the air.  Chloe munches on the grass.

If you allow it, the sound of the water flowing by can take your worries and cares with it, even if it is just for a moment.  No matter how busy the day ahead, I always allow a few moment for the water to wash all the stress from my life before heading back home to face the day.

At home I have two ornamental ponds, one in the front and one in the back of my house, that I try to spend a few moments enjoying every day during warm weather.  I have two small tabletop fountains inside my house that run every day.  Obviously I have a lot of stress in my life.

There is a reason that, throughout history, settlements have always sprung up around water.  It is essential for life, but also restorative for the soul.

So the next time you find yourself overwhelmed with work deadlines, family obligations and the day to day annoyances of life, seek out the sound of running water.  You will be surprised at what it can wash away.