Thursday, January 5, 2017

Empathy is not a higher form of sympathy

They are different things.

Closely related I'll give you, but one doesn't lead to the other. You can have empathy without sympathy just as you can have sympathy without empathy.

Here's the difference.

Sympathy is just feeling bad for someone who is having a hard time. You don't have to understand what they are going through to have sympathy for them. For instance, I have no idea what it's like you lose my mother. If you lose yours, I will have sympathy for what you're going through.

Empathy is understanding what someone is going through. You don't have to also feel bad for the person. I know what it's like to run late, but if it's your own fault you're late, I have no sympathy for you. I know what it's like to be poor, that doesn't mean I'm going be sympathetic when you vote against your best interest and mine.

Of course those two things are combined all the time. I know what it's like to lose a beloved pet and I will feel bad for you if it happens to you. 

We can also never completely understand what someone else is going through. Everyone's experiences are different. The circumstances that led to whatever is going on with a person are different, as well as our perspective. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try. And when we do try we shouldn't half ass it. Trying to think of what you would feel like if something happened to you does no good if we forget to add all the circumstances to one event. Just because you think someone is overreacting doesn't mean they are. What else is going on? Is this incident the latest in a long line of small things? All good questions to ask, either the person you're trying to understand or just as a prompt to widen your perceptions.

Finally, being empathetic or sympathetic doesn't mean we need to carry other people's burdens. Most people just want a little consideration. We all have enough of our own burdens to carry. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

I hope everything

Went well last night and everyone made it home safely. I just want to say you don't have to make resolutions. I know a lot of people resolve to lose weight for the new year. We spend way too much money crowding into gyms and buying diet books only to gain all the weight back plus some.

There's a reason most fail and it's not because you're weak. After a few million years of feast/famine cycles, our bodies were built to hold onto as much weight as possible in the very likely chance there will be a famine. And then the sugar lobby messing with dietary research that lead to low fat diets. Not only does fat make you feel full faster, most of your vitamins are fat soluble, which means you need to eat them with fat in order to absorb them. Wrap it all up in the stress of working too much and being shamed by the diet industry, and you have a recipe for an ever growing waistline.

Also fat doesn't equal unhealthy and thin doesn't equal healthy. Behaviors help determine our health outcomes more than our physical attributes. 

So remember to love yourself. Even if advertisements seek to make you hate yourself in order to sell you stuff. After all, no matter what shape your body is, it still carries your brain around so you can experience stuff. We could all be more grateful for that.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Almost Done with the Challenge

This is the second to last post

Of this December Challenge. Since the first one I posted went up on December 2nd even though I wrote it on the first, this is only post number 30. I still have one to go after this. Going forward after the New Year I may not do this every day, just when I need to say stuff. It gets pretty hard to come up with something every day. I'm not sure most people who blog do so every day.

I could write about current events and my take on them but I'm not sure that would be healthy for me. I will however probably tell some of the stories I have from my past. I feel like it will be helpful for me to get that stuff off my chest so to speak.

Just a warning about that stuff. Most of it is pretty shitty and the other people involved won't come out looking good. It's not like I'm going to name people with their first and last names and where they live or anything, but if you have a relationship to me that will come out. I'm not going to obscure the fact that some of the stuff that happened to me was because of my parents. I'm not sure that I could. I haven't decided if I'm going to change names all together, I suppose I should.

Well, it's New Years Eve. Have a save and happy holiday. Make good choices.

Friday, December 30, 2016

I Have a lot swirling today

In my head that is.

It's not like things are actually swirling. 

I read a thing today. It's a angry feminist piece, so if your feelings are easily hurt don't click. Of course just saying that some of you who shouldn't click will. Don't say I didn't warn you.

It hit home for me, because of course it did. She says a lot of things that ring true. Like having be ingrained to seek the approval of men, while also being taught to fear them. It usually played out differently in my head more "Don't upset the men." Because let's face it, they are fragile emotionally while being strong physically. Even the best ones need their ego stroked almost continuously. Laugh at all their stupid, offensive jokes. And carry the emotional load of the relationships. All the while they use and abuse us. 

I'm not even married to a man and I'm tired of it.

So now I'm at a point where I want to stop with this nonsense. I will no longer be coddling men. I will be calling them out on their bullshit. And to be clear calling you out isn't hateful, I'm not PMSing. It's not an uncivil act to disagree with you.

I don't care if how I'm dressed or how I do my makeup gives you a boner. I will not smile because you ask. 

I will tell all the stories of my abuse. I don't care if you believe me. I will not put up with anyone questioning my experience. If I say it happened that way, it did.

I don't hate anyone, but you will be treated how you treat me. I will do everything in my power to protect myself. Emotionally and physically.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Old Games


I've been playing an old game call Pharaoh. Steam has it in a manner that runs on Windows 10. Which is impressive considering it was released in 1999 and the expansion that comes with it on Steam came out in 2000. On my laptop at least I had to slow the speed down because it was going wicked fast. I guess it was still somewhat tied to the processor's clock speed like the old SpaceQuest games, or even the Oregon Trail web emulator I found online a while back. That thing was stupid fast.

Anywho, back in the day when I played this game I would get impatient and frustrated because the learning curve goes steep real fast. These days I have a little more patience, so I just spent the better part of 2 days on one level. Part of the problem is that I started out playing like I always did. I tried to rush building the monument. Well this meant that I was in debt for like 8 years in a row. Do you know what that does to your Kingdom Rating? It was at 0. At 9-11 the interface says that there is a rumor that my presence causes Malaria. At 0 I should be dumped out into the desert. At any rate, it took a REALLY long time to bring that up from 0 to 40. It took 22 years to finish that mission. The monument I built wasn't even a pyramid.

The lesson is kids, don't sacrifice your Kingdom Rating to build the monument faster. It's not worth it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


There seems to be a thing I do

Where I just stay on a trajectory throughout the day. If I get up and jump in the shower, maybe have to go somewhere, I can get a lot of stuff done. All or at least most of my chores get done, I am productive. But if I have nowhere to go and plop on the couch as soon as I get up I don't do anything at all.

Of course there is variation on this theme but it seems to be a general trend. Anyone else work like this?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sarah's Cold

Sarah's temps are weird

So Sarah came down with a cold last week. One of the symptoms was what can be described as a reverse fever. Instead of getting hot she got cold. Well now she feels better other than the snuffly nose but her temps are still low. She's worried about it because she's as low as 95.3 F which the internet says is almost hypothermic. The thing is though everyone in this house runs cool anyway; like 97.8. Which from what I've read is a genetic protection against hypothermia. Alaska Natives tend to run cooler according to an Anthropology course I took. So really Sarah could get colder than 95 and still not be hypothermic.

Right before she got sick she had eyelash extensions put on for the first time. But now she keeps thinking that maybe her temps are low because of a possible reaction to the glue, even though her eyes aren't irritated or anything. 

I think her temp is hormone related.

So that's why this is going up late, I was trying to help her take off her eyelashes. Except they won't come off. She soaked them in olive oil and eye makeup remover, they are all still attached. The glue is oil based so the olive oil should have dissolved it. 

Maybe there's actually a remover for this sort of thing.

* Edited to correct Sarah's low. At 25, she would be icey.