Don’t Think of a White Elephant

drugstor-inc-when
Image: Generic logo for an unnamed drug store. Text reads: “Drug Store, Inc.: when you care enough to send the very least.” Meme created at https://makeameme.org/.

George Lakoff talks about how the moment you mention something – especially if you immediately tell the person not to think about it – all they can do is think about it. So, if I tell you “don’t think of an elephant,” all you’ll be able to think about is the elephant in the room.

Now, I don’t know if he specifically chose the elephant example as evidence that all the metaphorical elephants in the room we aren’t talking about can’t be ignored, but even if he didn’t, there’s a lesson in there about why telling someone to “just not think about” their depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. will always be doomed to fail. He also used the elephant example as an overt lesson for Progressives that they don’t seem to have taken enough to mind for the 2018 midterms. Progressives, Lakoff argues, need to use their own talking points to their own cognitive advantage. They need to spend less time refuting Republicans and more time standing up for something better. It isn’t enough to just state over and over that they oppose Trump’s inhumane and cruel plans. Because, when they only talk about his position, people don’t really remember theirs – all they remember is the position Democrats told them to forget about! As George Lakoff reminds liberals: if they only oppose their opposition they instead give Republicans twice their voters’ cognitive airtime. Progressives should stick to their own ideas, talking points, and actionable platforms. They shouldn’t mention what they don’t want their voters to even cognitively flirt with from the other side.

Because you really can’t “not think of an elephant.”

Unless, of course, you happen to have ADHD and your office holds a generic winter-holiday white elephant gift exchange.

Continue reading “Don’t Think of a White Elephant”

Advertisements

Messages in a Bottle #3: Stoppin’ in a Winter Wonderland

This post was originally dated 12/28/17. It chronicles a stretch of the 54 and the 55 –  unpaved but “real” roads reasonably far off of Iceland’s Ring Road – as well as part of the Ring Road once we finally found our way back onto it heading North from Snæfellsnes to Hvammstangi. It was written from our little cabin at about midnight after we’d gotten in about an hour earlier. For those at home who are keeping score, the sun sets in Iceland in winter at about 4pm. So, we had been driving one-lane dirt roads along a fjord well after dark. The road conditions were “icy” with “blowing snow.” But, they weren’t yet a blizzard. That would happen later in our trip! Thank heavens our little cabin had a self check-in, as checking in with limited check-in hours might have been interesting. If you read my last Iceland post, you learned that the west of Iceland completely shuts down over Christmas and Boxing Day. It does open back up afterward, but there aren’t many restroom break opportunities along even the Ring Road, and many of the N1 stations that claim to be open those days are in towns off the Ring Road – or they close down about 2pm. This makes pit stops complicated. I have no photos of the moonlit fjord or the crazy drive because I’m a chicken, but I include some photos from the next two days at the end.

——

Continue reading “Messages in a Bottle #3: Stoppin’ in a Winter Wonderland”

Messages in a Bottle #2: No-Boxed-Lunch Day

I feel like I should offer some post hoc commentary on this blog post, but maybe next time. I think I’ve mentioned before that one of the most frustrating aspects of any form of chronic illness seems to be that we also become extra vulnerable to any acute illnesses that are going around. The two do not not play nice together, and there are currently a lot of acute illnesses “going around.” In the week and a half since I’ve been back to work, I’ve gotten sick with two separate strains of crumminess that are going around the office and have dealt with a “flare” (or whatever you call an uptick in symptoms of dysautonomia) in tandem with both. This three-day weekend is being spent in bed.

This post was written on 12/27/17 in Northern Iceland, after grocery stores had re-opened, we’d had a full meal cooked in our little cabin and we had seen the Northern Lights for what would end up being the only time the entire trip, because we later ran into a blizzard!

So, most places I have visited over Christmas are either “multicultural” (read: opportunistically capitalist) enough, don’t celebrate Christmas/Boxing Day as national holidays or are otherwise open for tourists on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  Iceland isn’t.

Now, we knew this. We knew that we should either book a reservation at a high-end restaurant (the only ones likely to be open) before the trip – before the restaurant sold out – or plan to hit the local grocery store (our more affordable option) before about noon on Christmas Eve to stock up. We planned to stock up on Christmas Eve and drive to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on Christmas Day, check-in to our hotel with its electronic self-check code, and use its kitchenette to make ourselves food while we explored the area on our own. We planned to avoid the lack of options by simply cooking like we always do. You know what they say about the best-laid plans…

Continue reading “Messages in a Bottle #2: No-Boxed-Lunch Day”

Where’s Whoopsie #7: Merry Christmas to All and May You All Be Alright!

Twas the Night Before Christmas and in her flat on tenth floor,

Lav claimed indifference to doing her chores.

Compression stockings were hung in the bathroom with care .

Oh, who are we kidding? They showed wear and tear!

The kitty was nestled in laundry unfolded,

Knowing her owner hadn’t the heart to scold her.

And Lav with her blood pressure cuff and glass bottle

Gave up and to the sink for a refill did tottle.

When out in the hallway there arose such alarm

Her partner put hands to front door in case it felt warm!

Then to the peep hole Lavender…well, not quite “dashed.”

Wondering which of her neighbors were being so brash.

Fluorescent lights left the hallway aglow

Making it seem migraine aura explained sights below.

When what to her dazzled eyes should should say “Ho!”

But a hefty old dude and some hooved creatures, yo!

With red ruddy eyes and a belly so puffed

Lavender checked him for stroke and offered her cuff!

More rapid than drums Lav’s heart beat in her chest

But old Nick was quite healthy. He’d pass the tilt test.

Now, DASHER!, now, DANCER! now PRANCER and VIXEN!

On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!

Out the floor! Out the hall!

Now, dash away! dash away! dash away all!

As dry heaves we’re hurled – and the dizziness came nigh –

Lav begged a ride. Nick feared she’d faint and fall from the sky!

Now up to the flat top the coursers they flew,

With Lav’s salty snacks – no cookies –  so had to make do!

Her partner checked her over and urged she keep drinking.

He smiled at her “proof,” but thought she was overthinking.

Yet as he tucked her in bed – and begged she settle down –

Back through the window came St. Nick with a bound!

No dirt on him – not wrinkles nor speck of chimney dust.

Modern Santa used dry clean and made no more muss.

He was hip to the WiFi, and he used Google maps.

But losing GPS signal was a load of ho ho…crap!

Could he borrow her WiFi (and maybe more snacks)?

Update Google maps and get back out and on track?

Lav’s partner just nodded, now made a believer.

He slipped back to the bedroom to wake and retrieve her.

Though a hazard to navigate laundry and clutter,

Lav’s reindeer-speed downloads set Nick’s heart a flutter!

And as he heard that telltale package go crinkle…

His eyes lit on Glutinos and sparkled and twinkled!

His droll little mouth curled up in a huge smile.

Now here was some sustenance that was more worth his while!

The three shared some tea and some gluten-free pastries

Kitty kibble it seemed, was to reindeer quite tasty!

Though Lav and her partner offered St. Nick more respite,

The night was still young. Nick had steps left on his Fitbit!

He filled up their stockings with Squishies and fidgets

With such deft sleight of hand none saw his quick digits!

And giving a whistle, he hopped back out the window.

Tucking and rolling, landing in his sleigh with some show!

And they heard his goodbye in a jolly old croon:

“Happy Christmas to all and to all a few spoons!”

 

Blogmas 2017 Christmas Tag

poinsettia

Happy Holidays!

This is not a blog award post, per se, but the tag is the closest I can currently conceive to categorize it among similar get-to-know-you type posts. A Christmas tag is naturally limited in time to reply, so I will apologize in advance to one of the bloggers I tagged in this post for prioritizing it over a prior post of theirs. I will get to yours, too! I love get-to-know-you posts. I just want to beat the clock on the Christmas post first!

Before me, Crafts, Chronic Illness and Adulting was “it,” and, before that, Chronically Hopeful. Before that…I’ve lost track. I don’t think the post originated within the chronic illness/mental health blogging communities, specifically, but I’m keeping that recent trend alive with my tags. All nominees interested in participating are encouraged to use the hashtag #ChristmasCheer to keep related posts searchable together. Please don’t feel obligated to take part. This post is just for some festive fun, and I’ll be the first to understand if holiday posts aren’t always “festive” or “fun.” A clean copy of the questions for those who are interested is available at the end of the post.

Continue reading “Blogmas 2017 Christmas Tag”