“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”- Hans Hofmann (20th century painter)

Elimination-The process of getting rid of or removing something (Google search). Wow, I don’t know about you, but that can certainly apply to a LOT of things in my life. In fact, I have been on a demolition of sorts trying to get rid of clutter. It seems like it procreates as I sleep. All of the “stuff” seems to weigh me down in one way or another. If I don’t control it, it will control me in the form of moving it around, cleaning/maintaining it, or just “stuffing the stuff!” Out of sight, out of mind. It’s one thing to eliminate tangible items, but it is truly another to remove toxic attitudes & those associated with them when one’s character is attacked.

Disclaimer: I am NOT talking about opinion. Opinion (noun) 1. A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. 2. An estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something. Synonyms: belief, judgment, viewpoint, outlook, stance, position, perspective, persuasion, standpoint. EVERYONE has an opinion on EVERYTHING. We could debate this to infinity and beyond, but this is not a debate. Lest I get off on a rabbit trail, this does not cover obvious black & white things like an orange is orange or day versus night. If someone looked at one of my dogs and said it was a cat, then they are obviously crazy or blind! One’s perspective becomes their reality which eventually forms their opinion.

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We live in a constantly changing world system. Some things have changed for the better, others not so much. It has been my observation that in some instances, with some people, that the mindset of “women should be seen and not heard” still exists, especially when it comes to sports. Now before you start forming an opinion & think I am an uber feminist (shitty label), stick with me for just a few, um, er, paragraphs.

I do not understand the mindset that ANYONE has to like, favor, adore, the sports teams of their locale. This is America after all. I have pretty much lived in the Midwest all of my life with a few excursions to the East & West coasts. I like, favor, adore the Kansas City Royals because they were a significant part of my childhood & baseball is just a fun, family type of sport (my opinion). I really did not pay too much attention to football until adulthood and most recently over the past several years. I am not a Kansas City Chiefs fan and much to my dismay, shock, chagrin, I have been ostracized for it to a degree.

I shall explain: I started watching football a few years back when my youngest son for whatever reason became a Denver Broncos fan. The boy was all in and has never waivered. We associate and form bonds with those things that are great memories and make us feel all “warm and fuzzy.” Hence, my love for the KC Royals. His room was decked out in everything Broncos. I even made him a Broncos chair ’cause I’m crafty like that, lol. Whether they knew it or not, my kids opened up worlds to me that I would never have dreamed of before. Such was also the case with the Lord of the Rings and Narnia movies. So when people chastise me for something that holds deep meaning for me, it tends to start to get under my skin.

Enter social media: I have stated previously that social media can be a great tool or a weapon for “keyboard warriors” who would not dream of saying to someone’s face what they blab in cyber space. When Denver defeated Seattle securing their spot in the Super Bowl, I posted a lovely portrait of Peyton Manning. Some found it necessary to jump on MY timeline with rude statements. Then the hcg allegations came out and butt hurt fans of other teams felt it necessary to try to destroy a good man’s character. I don’t know any more than anyone else about the validity of all of that. When the accuser came out and said he made all of it up, I posted a pic of Peyton’s stats with the statement, “go ahead and hate all of you haters, win or lose, he is the man the legend.” (a statement of opinion, not bait).

Now some of my testosterone driven, butt hurt male classmates took it as an invitation to try to start an argument. I never once said anything demeaning about their team. In fact, I praised the contributions of Tom Brady. But, I guess they thought they needed to “shut the little woman up.” Enter this messenger notice at 0342 on January 26, 2016. Never mind that it woke me up as I leave my phone on due to an elderly mother!

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I woke up, briefly read it, texted, “thanks dad” and went back to sleep. When I awoke the next morning, I was able to see how contemptuous and oozing with testosterone and misogyny  it was. Would he dare say this to one of his male friends? And to get this straight, he was a classmate in high school who was at best, an acquaintance. We didn’t hang out, we didn’t date. We were in maybe one theatrical performance together & we all reconnected at the last class reunion. I value very few peoples’ OPINIONS and his is definitely not one of them! You’re dying to know my reply aren’t you? Well, okay…12717196_10208674073595383_7635110789316678936_n

Not really, but it is several paragraphs long. You’ll have to wait for another blog for the response. My point is this: In my OPINION, respect is so lacking in our society that it is sickening. We talk so much about tolerance that maybe team preference tolerance should be addressed.

Closing thoughts: I am not a “sheeple” I can think for myself. When you set boundaries, people don’t like it because they can’t control you anymore. I was once a shy, demure person who would never take up for myself. I am proud of my assertiveness. When you eliminate clutter, toxic material, and toxic people from your life, your perception changes & your mind clears. I have a lot of thinking time out on my long runs with just me and nature and my mind is becoming increasingly clear.

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“Time makes you bolder, children get older, I’m getting older too…” (Landslide-Stevie Nicks)

Until We Meet Again,

Stephanie

2 thoughts on “The Unfettered Life

  1. Oh man do I love your post!!! You are so real and so true on everything you say. The person who posted that to you is obviously an ass. I question whether he would say that to another man also. People need to realize this is not the old days, woman can have an opinion on sports or anything in that matter.

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