Every once in awhile I wake up and can’t believe how fast the years have flown by and how did I get to this space in time where I’m responsible for three little people and guiding them through life. So now it’s 2015 and frankly, I get more and more frightened with each passing year as technology continues to rule the world on one end and then in other countries innocent children are dying because of religious beliefs. People have been at war over religious beliefs since the beginning of time and yet you think, in 2015, the world would have progressed in their thinking and allow people to believe what they believe. While I never tend to debate religion and politics, in this day and age it is not a topic you can avoid. Nor is judgement. People are constantly judging you…what you feed your children, what you dress them in, what car you drive, why you wore that color lipstick and why you wear yoga pants everyday (does she REALLY work out?). For us Mamas, we are constantly defending our decisions and let me tell you, it’s exhausting! Aren’t you exhausted from explaining yourself?!
So as all of what’s wrong with the world is floating around in my head, I start to scare myself about my children growing up in 2015. Heck, I’m scared to step out into 2015 with some of things happening around us. After I had Lily-girl almost nine years ago, it was too depressing to watch the news. I would sit there crying until the hubs came home about bombs going off over in Afghanistan, a child abandoned in a dumpster in our own city and the tragic car accidents that happen every single day. It was just too much. However, we can’t avoid the world and the news around us forever because it’s everywhere you look. While I try to make sense of 2015, here are a few things that I’m still pondering on for the coming year and how I can make sense of them for my kids as we all try to navigate this crazy, crazy world that we live in.
1. Drones – as you know by now, I have a love-hate relationship with technology. While I accept it and try to embrace it, sometimes the whole thing just goes a little too far. Drones frighten me. The other day at the park there was one hovering over my daughter’s cheer team practice. That’s creepy. Who’s to say that the creeper or registered sex offender down the street doesn’t own one of these and is using it for his own secret pleasure. I get that companies use drones for business purposes but what purpose does someone have filming kids at the park without their consent? Just plain creepy.
2. Guns – this is one that almost always sparks a debate. I, for one, am frightened by guns. I get it. People hunt. People want to protect themselves and their family. However, most people don’t have them for those reasons anymore. There are lots of people that own these guns are not educated enough about them, don’t educate their children and tragedy strikes. Innocent people are getting killed everyday by guns and it shouldn’t be happening. It is. It is out of control and frightening but how do you backpedal hundreds of years later to change that? Our forefathers never could have imagined what the guns are doing to society today. It was impossible to predict that this would be the outcome. They say that you shouldn’t let your kids go on a playdate or sleepover at someone’s house that you CAN’T ask the question, “Do you have guns in your house?” If you’re not comfortable asking that question to your child’s playmate, then you shouldn’t send them over.
3. Children no longer can just play – everything is organized from playdates to sports. Nothing is just what it used to be 26 years ago when I was ten years old. I used to walk home from school through a park (not one person actually got picked up by a parent…can you imagine?), play outside until dark around the streets of the neighborhood and come home in time for dinner and do a couple pages of homework. Now there is no time to play. Everything is organized. You pick the kids up from school, you shuttle them to an organized playdate or an after school sports practice, then there’s hours of homework followed by a gourmet dinner (see below) and then a carefully organized bedtime routine. It’s just so organized and sometimes, I crave the free play. Yet, they don’t know what that is. You know, come home and just play with your zillion toys! My new line for 2015: “Just go PLAY and enjoy it!”
4. Food – no-one can just eat anymore for the sake of eating to satisfy their hunger. It’s fear of cancer-causing GMOs, too many carbs, gluten, dairy, wheat, too many calories…and the list is endless. We are just as confused as to what to eat as the caveman once thought about how to warm his food. Eating food shouldn’t be this scary, yet it is. We’re not sure how or what to eat anymore. How do we change this and just eat to live again? Last year as I shuttling from sports practice to sports practice and realized that the kids hadn’t eaten, I went through the drive-thru at In-N-Out. I became THAT Mama and you know what, it was okay and we all survived. We ate, the kids loved it and I felt guilty for only a split-second. It’s okay to just eat every once and awhile and just enjoy it…just make sure you chew extremely well to enjoy every. single. bite.
5. Cancer – how do we not have a cure in 2015? We are so advanced in everything else but cancer seems to be hitting everyone and is just a bit too close to home these days. There isn’t one person I know that hasn’t been affected by cancer whether it be their immediate family or close friends. It shouldn’t happen this way, yet it does, and it frightens me. PSA: see your doctor in 2015 because that ache you may have may not be what you think it is. Early detection is key and to take care of your kids, you must take care of yourself first.
6. Social Media – oh, how I love social media. I get to catch-up with all my friends on Facebook and chat with strangers on Twitter and they can read all the wonderful things I have to say right here on this page. News is spread right away: don’t take the freeway there is an accident or there is a bomb scare at a high school or that it’s snowing in San Diego (true story). However, there is a flip-side to it all. Most people aren’t educated on the way social media works. Our brains can’t think and process as fast as we can type in those 140 characters and post it for the world to see. Then it’s done and it’s out there FOREVER and there’s no deleting it because someone, somewhere snapped a screenshot of it and then sent it viral and now you just look like a fool. While as adults, most of us shouldn’t be posting anything we wouldn’t want our kids to see someday but people do and it’s embarrassing for them and their kids. Parents need to take the time to not be afraid of social media but to educate themselves about it and then educate their kids. You should not let your kids be on Instagram if you’re not on Instagram. You should monitor all their posts and be aware of what they’re posting out there. Kids are losing college scholarships, internships and jobs because they are not responsible on social media. You can’t hide from social media forever because it’s progressing forward and if you don’t accept it in 2015, it will eat you and your family alive.
7. No interpersonal communication – kids don’t know how to talk to each other anymore. They can text but they don’t know how to talk. Look me in the eye and talk and have a real conversation. The same goes for adults. We need to learn to reconnect as humans and relate to each other. People wonder why there is no longer empathy or sincerity in the world…because smartphones and the Internet robbed us of those values as humans. Sit down, ask your child questions and teach them to have a real conversation…no phone in hand. And for the love, do NOT snap a photo of yourself having a conversation with your child because then it doesn’t count.
8. Ridiculous lawsuits – does this really need any explanation? I still can’t believe some of the lawsuits that actually make it’s way to the courts. Suing the school because they want to hold a jog-a-thon? Then don’t participate. Suing the school because your child was running on the playground and fell? I fell all the time and it’s part of growing up. The things people come up with just amaze me. Just amaze me. How do we stop being so ridiculous when we’ve come so far?
9. Racial tension – I don’t care what color or nationality you are, as long as you treat people how you want to be treated. Racial tension in America is at an all time high since segregation ended. Why are we going backwards in 2015? It just doesn’t make sense. America is one big melting pot and it shouldn’t be defined by nationality or color. In 2015, it frightens me that this is even an issue that my kids will have to deal with and discuss. We need to teach them to accept people for their differences and learn from them.
10. Healthcare – Our healthcare system in America makes me want to tear my hair out. There are so many countries that have it together and for some reason, we’ve taken again, ten steps back. We have the technology but for some reason we can’t make it work. This, of course, could spark a health insurance debate which is another issue itself. It’s all backwards and it’s 2015. How do we fix it and move forward so people can get the care they deserve? That’s the biggest question of 2015!
11. Bullying – I remember when we were kids that people would tease you. Yes, it was teasing. They used to call me “buffalo butt” on the playground because my butt was bigger than the rest of my body and JLo and Iggy Azalea were not around to make it cool to look like that. That’s okay, I eventually lost the nickname and we moved on. However, it’s more than just playground teasing that is going on and it’s more than just kids. Adults are now joining in on the bullying but mainly through the Internet. It started with mean comments popping up on their sites and now there are full “hate” sites that people have created to bring others down. It’s disgusting and should be stopped immediately. I often think that if you don’t like what someone has to say, just don’t read it but people can’t seem to help themselves, they are willing to type whatever pops into their head but then when faced with having a real conversation with someone about it, they no longer have the words. That is not brave, nor amazing. It’s just frightening that in 2015 we are reeling from teen suicides due to such bullying. It must stop.
12. Love is love – does this really need an explanation? Yet, in 2015 couples are still fighting for their right to love. In 2014, many states made the right move towards equality, it was fabulous. Let people love, marry and let’s move onto more acceptance in 2015.
13. Kids growing up too fast – I was shocked the other day by stories of what is actually happening in high schools in America. Public or private, it doesn’t matter, they are drinking, they are doing drugs (pot is way too sissy…we’re talking about the hard stuff), they are having sex, they are doing it all and to me it’s shocking but maybe, I’m just naive? I remember people partying in high school but not like this. This somehow seems different because not only are they doing it, they aren’t concerned that they are doing it and it’s posted all over the Internet for people to see and for people to “like” and “comment” on. OMG! Really, is this what we’re teaching our kids? How many people will see your picture of under-age drinking and “like” it? I’m shocked, I’m not sure what to say or do and I have a few more years before we reach high school and I’m frightened. Girls soaking tampons in vodka so the alcohol goes right into their blood stream…that is frightening and yes, it’s really happening at a high school near you. Don’t bury your head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening around you, it is and you need to be aware so you can educate your kids about it in 2015.
14. Belfies – why is this a trend? Really, a selfie of your butt? I have no words and I hope it ends like STAT in 2015.
15. Reality shows – can we just find the next Friends or Seinfeld and move on from these horrible reality shows? First of all, we know they aren’t 100 percent real at all and I maybe if we all stop watching they will go away. While I love So You Think You Can Dance, The Amazing Race and The Voice…I’m thinking the Real Housewives and those horrible TLC shows like, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, will just disappear in 2015. One can hope, right?!
While there is plenty of happy also happening in 2015, let’s get the scary stuff out of the way first! What frightens you about 2015?