Let’s Go Vote!

If you are a US citizen, exercise your rights and vote this midterm election!
Don’t know how?  Check this out:

If you’re not a US Citizen, my apologizes for having to put up with us!}
Also, please enjoy this photo while we make you wait for our regularly scheduled insanity!


Clackamas River, near Estacada Oregon, (c) S.M.Lennox October 2014


28 Years Down, so many more to go.

Today is my Birthday.

28 years ago, I thrust myself into this world, and promptly had an allergic reaction.  Having allergies was the first thing I was ever good at.  Thankfully I grew from there, and have built a beautiful wonderful no so terrible life for a 28 year old.

I’m told this is the age when I should start lying about my age.  I’ve heard if you start slipping a year now, it wont be as hard to believe later.  But I’m proud to be 28.  That’s a life time that so many don’t get to have.  Children I shared hospital wings, clinical trials and waiting rooms with didn’t all get 28 years.  A classmate of mine fell off the side of a mountian.  The sister of a friend of mine was hit by a car and killed while jogging.  Others went to war, and didnt come home.

28 years is a long time.  It’s 10,227 day- 245,448 hours- 14,726,880 minutes.  It’s two degrees, three sports, six (or so) surgeries.  It’s long enough to get over an aversion to squash, and to gain one for applesauce.  It’s long enough to fall in and out of love.  Long enough to become “respected” in your field, and work more than entry-level jobs.  I’m just working-level jobs now!  Long enough to make friends, lose friends, to lose parents.  To mend broken bridges and burn others.  It’s long enough to know you don’t know everything.

But today, I know this. I am grateful to be 28.  And in these years, I’ve learned these great things:

  1. Sometimes “good enough” really is good enough.
  2. Friends don’t have to be forever.
  3. Happiness isn’t fleeting, it’s contagious.
  4. Saying “sorry” isn’t enough.
  5. Sometimes you need more than love (like rent money and food and mutually shared life goals).
  6. If your gut says “get out,” get out.
  7. Crying in public is okay, but try to bring tissues.
  8. A flu shot is a good idea.  In fact every vaccination is probably a good idea.
  9. Service before self is admirable, so long as self is on the list too.
  10. The people who matter the most are there when you’re at your worst.
  11. Don’t judge others- you’re no angel, after all.
  12. If duct tape, flowers, or WD-40 doesn’t fix it, evaluate if it’s worth having in the first place.
  13. One day, you will need to know how to fix something, and your Dad will laugh at you.
  14. If they aren’t laughing at you, they don’t love you.
  15. Faith is between you and God.  Other people need not apply.
  16. Diplomas don’t indicate intelligence, worth, or worthiness.  They indicate debt, the ability to sit still, and the occasional paperwork effort.
  17. Let your freak flag fly.  Or don’t.  It really should just depend on your mood that day.
  18. No work is beneath you.  Ever.
  19. Everyone has the same Google.  Except the Chinese, they do weird stuff to the internet.
  20. It’s hard to beat a fire, mug of tea, and book made of trees.
  21. There’s no shame in singing the alphabet song while alphabetizing.
  22. 780 million people lack access to clean water.  Mine comes from the sky, and faucet.  I am blessed.
  23. You can’t get your hearing, sight, or reputation back once it’s destroyed.
  24. A card, postcard, letter, or real life paper note is always better than an email.
  25. Post-It notes will save your life. They don’t say that on the wrapper, but it’s true.
  26. Compassion is more powerful than fear.  Respect is more powerful than admiration.  Sincerity is more powerful than status quo.
  27. Not everyone will like you.  That’s okay.
  28. Age is more than a number, it is a success.

What have you learned in your one precious life?

XOXOX Sarah Mae

PS- I’m going to start posting more pictures on Instagram for this next year of my life.
Check it out www.instagram.com/lovesarahmae

Top Ten Tuesday: (Character Driven Novels) October 7, 2014

What’s better than a good character?  Really, good characters are what make us love (or even care) about the plot.  And, God forbid, you encounter an interesting story with lame character development (Twilight, I’m looking at you).  So here, without any ado-

Ten Character Driven Novels (in no particular order)

  • The Host, by Stephanie Meyer
    Since this novel happens largely in the head /thoughts of two independent but sharing a body characters, it could be nothing but character driven.  The whole story is told in a reactionary first person stance that embeds the reader into the action like a war-correspondent.
  • The Tale of the Three Brothers in The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K.Rowling
    While not technically a novel, the legend of the three brothers is so heavily dependent on the characterizations of the four main players, that they literally become a sub-cultures fairy tale, invoking the story with just their names.
  • The Book Theif by Markus Zusak
    Not trying to spoil it, so sorry- but driven largely by the action and reaction of two characters this book is nothing if not about the hearts and minds of two “people.”
  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
    Life is a live action, one take play with human souls on the main stage, and John Green’s latest book reminds us of that fact.  These are the hearts and minds that we wish we could be- with the bodies we never want.
  • The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Katie Rorick
    Reminiscent of a stage production, largely because of it’s creation story, Lizzie strings the reader along with her point of view and throws us into a full on *feels* tizzy every third page.  Without her, it’d (and I’d) be nothing.
  • The Help by Katherine Stockett
    Again, what better than a bunch of women with no better plot than life.  This mega story with a million and a half characters is reminiscent of my real life interactions with women in the world, but wildly funny to make up for the realism.
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
    An examination of characterization, and what makes individuals, well, individual.  Two characters, living with one name accidentally encounter one another and go full on teen-aged introspection.
  • The Death and Life of Charlie St.Cloud by Ben Sherwood
    Who are we if not what we leave behind?  Charlie St.Cloud imagines what is left when things go wrong and we must strive for life once more.
  • Where the Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak
    Max is everyone you ever wanted to be.  And if you say that’s not true- I’m calling you a liar.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F.Scott Fitzgerald
    Faced with an impossible life situation: aging in reverse, this novel is a morality tale about living life to the fullest, using the title character as “living” testimony.

This regular feature here at A MaeDay Life is a part of The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday’s.  This week’s theme was “Top Ten Character Driven Novels

See Something, Say Something

We’ve all heard it a thousand times.  There’s a good chance, especially if you live in America, you’ve said it too.  It’s what I teach my Girl Scouts, and it’s what I try to live by.  After all to be a strong, courageous, social justice minded young woman you really should intervene when something is happening.

We tell kids to do it with bullies.
We tell travelers to do it with terrorists.
We tell men and women to do with domestic violence, sexual harassment, and the public demeaning of minority groups.

It seems simple.  See something, say something.

Be the voice for the voiceless, the protector of the weak, the supporter of all people in civil liberties and life.  Simple.

But is it?

Just after the Ray Rice video came out, a friend of mine hit herself in the face with a car door hard enough she needed stitches (hey, we can’t all be graceful beauties).  This friends loving husband left his work to take her to the hospital, and help her through the day.  He was seen as an abuser by the public- a point which was brilliantly illustrated when a stranger came to her in a public place and asked if she needed help at home.

In light of the #BringOurGirlsBack story, a father takes photos of his daughters while on vacation.  A white father with two lovely Chinese born daughters is seen as a exploitative pedophile when the girls are questioned by a self-identified Homeland Security employee about the possibly of them being illegally held.  (See Washington Post’s article here)

And I, with a medical condition causing easy bruising, had a substitute teacher alert Child Protective Services to bruising caused by and fall while hiking and my 18 month old niece and her swinging hiking boots after a family camping trip.  I’ve encountered it many times, in fact.  A bruise here or there brings raised eyebrows, “do you need help,” “is someone beating you,” even “your husband shouldn’t hit you” from teachers, coworkers, strangers.

See something, say something.  It’s a simple idea.  But what else does it say?  Does it say that a strangers influence might be stronger than that of my friends, family and acquaintances?  Does it say I might be “the kind of woman” who can’t protect myself, or the men in my life are “the kind of men” who endanger women?  Does it say we project helpless, broken, or an uncaring towards our own existence?  And that the people we surround ourselves with have even less regard for our well being?  Or does it simply say this person is a do-gooder, trying to make the world better, to make lives better?

Obviously there is a not-so-fine line between watching abuse happen and seeing the evidence afterwards.  I’m not questioning intervention when someone is being attacked in front of you- by all means step in, but what about when it’s not as obvious as a punch or slur being thrown?  Maybe it’s about how we approach the situation.  How we speak to the perceived perpetrator, and the supposed victims.  Maybe it’s about how far we let things go before we question evidence.  Maybe it’s just about our gut that day.

I don’t have the answer- but I’m beginning to wonder if See Something Say Something is really so simply after all.

What do you think, readers?  Where is the line- when do you speak up, and when do you let things go?  And how do you feel when it’s done?

XOXOX Sarah Mae

Dear Hangers On

To the people still on my mind:

  1. To the family who doesn’t show:  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see who’s really important to me.  When you failed to come, they didn’t.  And when they are missing and you are there… I fixate on their absence.  You gave me the chance to choose a better family- one who loves me not because there is an antiquated obligation, but because they know me, and genuinely like me.
  2. To the family who do show up:  I love you.  You’ve been there at the greatest and worst moments in my life.  We’ve laughed at funerals, cried on beaches, drank A LOT of tequilla and eaten even more taquitos.  You know me better than anyone, projectile vomiting and all- and I could not have found a better group of people to claim me.
  3. To the boys who didn’t want to date me:  I’m still not a huge fan of you.  But I’m over it.  It’s a lot more fun to hang out with people who like you.
  4. To the boy who poured his heart out and I didn’t sleep with: Life is funny, isn’t it?  I’m sorry we drifted apart… we should still be friends.  But I’m still not going to sleep with you.
  5. To the girl who calls me fat: Go eat a hamburger.  Seriously.  I’d rather carry an extra 5 pounds and be happy eating what I want, than to starve like you.
  6. To the boy who calls me fat: Go f**k yourself.  Did you really just say that to a girl in size 4-6 jeans?
  7. To the IT department at work: Thanks for dealing the the other people, so I don’t have to… I couldn’t describe the power switch as many times a day as you.  But know this: I already tried jiggling the cord and turning it on and off.  Next flow chart step, please.
  8. To the men who banned real sudafed in our state: Ugg… I understand, but I hate you all the same.
  9. To the mentors who set me right:  Thank you.  I’ve never had a hard time having good people around me when I needed them, and I am so greatful you answered my questions, set me straight, and helped me grow.
  10. To my boss: If you understood what I did, you might understand me a little better.  Also, we have the same Google.

XOXO Sarah Mae

PS- Idea blatantly stolen from Thought Catalog’s Maria Aeliya

I’ve committed to writing 30 letters in 30 days, according to the 30 Day Letter Challenge.  To learn more about my project, check out my introduction.

Dear Could-Be-Me

All the things you are, that I am not:

  1. An honours student
  2. Married
  3. Mother
  4. Perfect Hair
  5. Perfect Manicure (or at least one at all)
  6. Musician
  7. Published Author
  8. 100 % Honest (or at least slower to lie)
  9. Rich
  10. Stylish
  11. Tidy
  12. Focused
  13. Gardener
  14. Doesn’t Eat Fast Food or Junk Food
  15. Camps All the Time
  16. Sleeps Regularly
  17. Eats Regularly
  18. Home Owner
  19. Debt Free
  20. Good penmanship
  21. Better speller
  22. Better Cook
  23. Committed Baker
  24. Room Mother
  25. Party Planner
  26. Dinner Host
  27. Bar Hopper
  28. Opera Lover
  29. Ballet Dancer
  30. Equistarian
  31. Horse Owner
  32. Dog Owner
  33. Dog Walker
  34. Runner
  35. Sports Enthusiast
  36. Cool Restaurant Patron
  37. Home Renovator
  38. Flea Market Aficionado
  39. Expert in Everything
  40. Expert in Anything
  41. Mountain Climber
  42. Kale Smoothie Lover
  43. Birthday Remember
  44. Fairy God Mother
  45. Laundry Magician
  46. Bargain Shopper
  47. Name Remember
  48. Charity Champion
  49. Pretty Panty Wearing
  50. High Falutin’ Woman

But you know what… all those things that I’m not.

Doesnt matter.  Still HAPPY.

XOXO Sarah Mae

I’ve committed to writing 30 letters in 30 days, according to the 30 Day Letter Challenge.  To learn more about my project, check out my introduction.