Monday for Clutch Magazine Online, I wrote about the desire to be free from the burden of making sure you don't starve to death in a world where retirement seems more myth than reality. Here's a snippet: "Thanks to today’s 'new' economy where we’ve all be turned into contractors and freelancers without benefits, job security is a dream and retirement quickly becoming something no one can afford, being 'done' seems more elusive than ever. My father, thanks to more than thirty stable, profitable years with the same aerospace company and a pension, was able to retire at 57. The world I live in is full of 30-somethings who’ve already cashed in their meager 401k’s in order to survive being unemployed thanks to the 'Great Recession.' Savings? What savings? Retirement? Ha. All we see is work and more work and work and then a hope that Social Security isn’t completely dead before we are."
Entries in danielle belton (49)
On reality TV the ladies have gone from calling each other "crazy" to saying "bipolar" and ... um ... so not cool. I write about this Thursday for Clutch Magazine Online. Here's a snippet: "The extreme behaviors of reality show participants (and the personality types these show attract) often have little to do with mental illness, yet cast members are quick to turn into amateur psychiatrists and diagnose their 'out-of-control' peers, often ignoring the fact that the very nature of a reality show is to push people into emotionally intense situations to get the most extreme responses possible out of them."
It probably hit me yesterday when I was watching President Obama address reporters after the bill for strengthening background checks and closing loopholes failed in the Senate. All the sad, familiar faces behind him -- either victims of gun violence or had lost a loved one to it, coupled with the round-the-clock, often incorrect reporting coming out of the Boston Marathon bombing.
It hit me how even after I turned the TV off and went to do something, anything else, the feeling still lingered. It was there when I went to the gym to work out. When I ate my oatmeal in the morning. When I combed my hair. Even when I spent time with others I should have been enjoying.
I was depressed. And I didn't know why. After all, I was doing all the right things.
Yours truly is returning to Michel Martin's Tell Me More on NPR today to talk America's changing demographics. Check your local listings to find out when Michel's show is playing in your area.
I'm home at the Parents' house in Florissant, Mo. and we got 15-and-half inches of snow. There's was nothing I could do but take pictures of it because there's no way I was going out there, a-shovelin'! But I did get to test the panoramic setting on my new camera, so there you have it. I love snow ... to look at. But like all Midwesterners, hate snow once it gets all gross and slushy and full of dirt from cars. But for right now, it's a Springtime Winter Wonderland in March.
For my St. Louis, Mo. peeps, hope you're staying nice and warm. It's cold out there!
In honor of Women's History Month I'm dedicating various posts to the ten different women who I've called my "best friend" at different times in my life, as well as the dozens of other women who are my close friends as well. Who've been there for me. Who have even saved my life. This one goes out to two women and an entire town that for some reason decided I was one life worth saving:
Anyone who is close to me, truly close to me, knows that I have a morbid streak. Some of it is due to my humor. The rest is due to the fact that I'm a long-time sufferer of depression and Bipolar Disorder. Although I've been relatively healthy and stable since 2009, I went through a dangerous eight year period where the next day wasn't necessarily guaranteed.
A friend recently brought it to my attention that my personal Facebook page was a lot of pictures of myself, taken by myself, in various stages of hair styling. I jokingly responded, "Well, I have a bit of a narcissist streak."
But for serious, I have a bit of a narcissist streak.
In Clutch Magazine Online, I talk about why I wrote the chapter I did in Gil Robertson's book of essays, "Where Did Our Love Go." My chapter in the divorce section called "The Problem with Marriage" asks people to free themselves from the burden of societal expectations and find the kinds of relationships that work for them.
Here's a snippet:
I know some of you badly want to get married and many of you actually will. But many of you will also get divorced. And some of you will live with someone. And others will have kids, but not be married to the father. And you will feel guilty because you failed at finding “forever” with a “soul-mate.” But that is the wrong way of thinking.
Love can be for a reason and a season.
Before I start talking about rock/R&B/soul "chanteuse" Alice Smith of Washington, D.C. and of "Woodstock" and "For Lovers And Dreamers And Me" fame, full-disclosure, I am hopelessly biased. It's easy for anyone to be biased for Alice if they know her journey, have enjoyed her in concert and donated to her Kickstarter campaign that got this album off the ground. (Fuller disclosure, I donated.) But probably the only person more biased than maybe me is her own family, who I had the pleasure of living with the entire time I lived in Washington, D.C.