Getting set for all the not so good that comes.

Breathe in.  Focus. Hold, Think About What Matters. Breathe out.
 Smile and say “Ahhhhh” or Thank you.

TOPIC  37  READY   The Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ready as “prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action or prepared  for immediate use or  willingly disposed : inclined.

I also liked this one by System Agiltiy:  a set of agreements that lets everyone know when something is ready to begin.

ABOUT MY READY PICTURE  I offer it in the spirit of and in homage to MIA’s finger play at the Super Bowl and no, I did not witness it.  I wanted to give the half-time performance the finger but instead turned it off.  Why? Cranky with all the money spent on entertainment and mostly in all the wrong places.  I tried to comfort myself with the idea that lots of little people were making money with the glitz and hype, but that didn’t work.  My Cranky heart knew their pay was  peanuts compared to what the stars and big businesses were raking in.

Ironic that Madonna started off with gladiators marching with her. Homage to violence and the Roman Empire.  Made Cranky Old Lady think of “Circus and Games.”  Don’t get what I mean? History lesson.  The Roman Empire kept the mass of  people happy with their gladiator games while spreading violence.  Also think of Nero fiddling away while Rome burned. Not that the Roman power structure was worth saving.

So Madonna’s performance pulled me down.  Made me crankier because it made me think how bad things are in the world for so many and how the Nero’s of the world are closing in on democracy.  And yes, Cranky does try to stay un-political, but feels entitled every once in a while to let it out.  This is one.

Wishing, but not with a lot of hope, that her finger was meant to taunt us about our conspicuous consumption. A Forbe’s article suggests  it was wise marketing.  Waiting to hear what MIA says.

I was required to read Thorsten Veblin in college.  If you didn’t go to the link above, or don’t otherwise know, he coined the conspicuous consumption phrase.   That was the beginning of my consciousness raising about how people spend money.  Being among the poorer middle class growing up was helpful, but Veblin put it into words that resonated with me way back then.  The whole Super bowl experience reawakened those thoughts.

Anyway, my first Ready Themed Post starts with the picture of my youngest grandson expressing his readiness to face the world.   By the way, just for the record, I love Eli Manning, I loved that the Giant’s won.  After all, I am a former Big Apple babe.  Also for the record, I am not ready to praise our world,  and  I am ready for the world to change.  Not just ready, but hoping and praying that by the time my grands are grown, the world will have found a better balance.

A Crank about how my politics are viewed.  It amuses me that I viewed by many of my liberal friends as, if not quite a Tea Party girl, definitely a hard-core conservative, while my conservative readers and friends think of me as a bleeding heart, liberal, commie-leaning social worker.  Lets get a few things straight–Today’s communism is the cover-up for dictating and money grabbing on the part of the powerful.  I am not a socialist or communist or even a conservative.  I do want certain basic needs met for all people.

One of those needs is the belief you are contributing and have value.  That comes for many with jobs, even jobs that you hate.  A thought–garbage men keep us healthier than doctors.  While unionized for the most part and well paid, these earn far less than doctors, and get no respect.  When it the last time you thanked your garbage men or even said hello or thought that might be a good career for your child or grandchild or yourself?

Cranky Lady thinks that we face two problems in our part of the world.  Perhaps the most damaging is that some jobs are held in outrageous esteem–I wonder how much Madonna got paid versus MIA let alone the dancers or the camera men or others even lower down the employment track.

Cranky Old Lady says work and jobs are like food.  When you eat, sometimes you are lucky enough to pick and choose; sometimes you have to eat what you don’t like; and sometimes you will eat grass if nothing else is available. Same with work.

Second problem: some jobs are going the way the horse went when cars came into being.  Out to pasture. I remember telephone operators, gas station attendants, and the man who swept the street in front of our house.  I liked chatting with him.   Doctors need to be aware for technology is changing their jobs and taking over much of what used to be their work.

Many of the jobs that haven’t bowed to technological advance have been out-sourced.  I didn’t have enough money to own a horse, but when I was a ten I started mucking out stables.  That earned me free rides and in time I was promoted to exercise girl and could ride all I wanted.  I still would muck out a stall or two and always had to tend the horse I rode.

I suspect there are still places horse crazies without money can work their way onto a horse, but also suspect there are still some, but far fewer than when I grew up.  A polo pony jumped on my foot once and my parents never thought the owner of the horse should pay for the cost of setting it.  Today, he might be sued, which is why such opportunities  have dried up.

Both my sons hire people for jobs with no prestige and that need a strong body.   One hires snow shovelers;  the other hires  car-runners,  What are car-runners?   This son owns a parking valet business.  A car-runner is the person who drives a  car to the far end of a parking lot and then runs back to where more cars needing parking wait.  The process reverses  in time.

This son worked as a runner during his high school years and that was what lead him to owning the business.   Both sons also shoveled snow to earn money.  Both have also worked in fast food restaurants and stood with other laborers seeking jobs.  (Didn’t know I was instilling my work ethic, and also think it was part of the reality of being on the lower end of the payment scale in a rich town.  Necessity at work, not so much good parenting.) For many years, according to my sons, no middle class high schooler has wanted to shovel snow or be a car-runner.  Sons report that is changing a bit, but not much.

Fact, most of the jobs touted in recovery are lower level service jobs and many in the food service industry.  The recent college graduates all too often won’t take such jobs and to Cranky Old Lady, the fact that they don’t have to puts them in the 1% class.  You all know one of my cranks is those claiming to be 1% in America aren’t.

I want a world,  not where some get welfare and don’t work, but  where all work.  That probably means  the government would be the employer of last resorts.  One small step in that direction would be to fully recognize parenting as a job and provide supports for all parents.

Silly Cranky Old Lady wants any parent opting to stay home for a child under three,  to be paid a minimum wage and benefits.  Also think that needs to be  based on other income.  Same for social security.  I resent that my few very wealthy friends collect Social Security and yes I know it is an insurance program, but that is one of the problems in our society.  So in my pay parents scheme of things. someone in the family earning enough to clothe, feed, house, and provide medical care means  the stay at home parent doesn’t get paid by the government.   And to counter the idea that the poor have more and more children just to get more welfare, same pay for one, five, or ten children.

I dream, but I do see some agreeing with these thoughts so maybe sanity will eventually prevail.  I am Cranky and there are times Cranky Old Man claims I am crazy, but I know I don’t qualify for commitment.  Not yet at least.

Staying Strong Tip:  Keep your expectations realistic.  A job is called a job because we have to be paid to do it.  Nice if its fun, but like food; fun is not its main purpose.

Work politically, to give all in the world jobs and reasonable pay and benefits. When that happens, Cranky Old Lady will not care how much someone else earns or how many circuses and games are out there.

Be aware of those who work at the jobs not held in favor and be respectful and thankful to those who do the work too many think beneath them.

FUEL MY HOPES:  Be kind to  me,  get kindness badges for you, and help others get and stay strong.  Kindness is an Emotional Fitness Exercise.  Click here for all 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.

IMAGE BY: Auntie Elizabeth



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