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I hate bullies

My post today is something that really bothers me, it’s about bullying. In today’s era, it’s more prevalent than it was before social media. When I was growing up and then first entered the work force, bullying existed but it wasn’t as high profile as what it is now. Then, it happened but people weren’t aware like they are today. There wasn’t the memes, the videos, the posts, the pictures, the tagging. It still had the same affect on the victims, just not everyone was aware the problem was a big as what it was.

I was bullied in school. There was this one boy that apparently felt his day wasn’t complete until he humiliated me every single day of my 5th and 6th grade years. His family had money and mine didn’t. I didn’t wear the best of clothes. I didn’t have the newest fad items. My teeth were crooked and I had a weird laugh (I still do, it’s called having asthma, which makes me wheeze when I laugh). He used those things in order to humiliate me, daily. I hated going to school. I hated having to face this each and every day. But yet I did. I faced him and never let him see me cry. I would ask to be excused and go in the bathroom and cry each and every day. The teachers didn’t notice or care, I really don’t know which. But I felt weak. I felt defeated. I felt like the world was against me. The other kids would laugh because they didn’t want to get retaliated against. I had one friend I would confide in. She was home schooled so she didn’t have to endure this kind of experience so she didn’t really get what I was going through. But she would listen and cry with me. I spent almost every weekend at her house. It was like a vacation, a retreat. I didn’t tell my parents because I figured really, there wasn’t anything they could do about it. I just dealt with it. If affected me emotionally, mentally. It got in my head. I was self-conscience about my teeth, my laugh, my clothes. He would make fun of me because of my speech impediment. He would make fun of me because I pronounced either and neither differently from the rest of the class (yes, there are two ways to say those words). And yes, 35 years later I still resent this guy. I still hate this guy. If I were to see him today I would want to punch him in the face. Bullying can damage people. It can have affects that you don’t know about. It can damage us mentally and emotionally. It can weaken us. It can break us. But it didn’t. What I didn’t realize was, it was making me into the person you know and (maybe not) love today.

When I entered the workforce I thought those days were gone. I thought “now I’m an adult, married, raising my baby and no one will bother me”. I was wrong. There were ladies (I use that term loosely) that took an instant dislike to me because I had a sister in management. They thought I was getting ‘special treatment’ because of her. They would taunt me, make fun of how I dressed (because again, I didn’t have designer clothes or the nice things they had), talk about me to other co-workers, leave ugly notes on my desk, and even went to the HR rep to say I was doing things I wasn’t doing, all to ‘punish’ me. To show me how tough they were. To show me not to mess with them. It was agonizing. It was tough. I dreaded going to work every single day. I was confused because I’m out of school, why is this still happening? I didn’t know adults bullied, too. Boy was I surprised. But what they didn’t realize was that I had the same thing going on in my home life. I was married to my first husband and had a new baby. They didn’t realize that not only was I taking heat from them, but when I got home, I got to go through it again. He was, let’s say, not the nicest person to live with and I’ll leave it at that. There were days I really didn’t think I was going to make it. There were days I just wanted everything to stop. But I had my baby and I had a great family. A lot of help from them with my daughter.  Thank goodness. Without them, I wouldn’t have made it. But again, I thought I was going to break, lose my mind, not make it through. But I did. Again.

My daughter grew up and entered high school. Those ladies from work, ALL GONE but I’m still there. The husband, GONE, but I’m still there and stronger than ever. But now she is getting bullied. There were some girls that just liked picking on her. It would make me ANGRY. I would get furious when she would come home and tell me about it. But alas, she graduated and made it through. It didn’t break her, either. She is strong, like her mother, but probably doesn’t realize it.

So there was bullying to me in school and in the workforce and in my home. There was bullying of my child. These things just weigh on a person. They make you question. And this is where some people don’t make it. I don’t have statistics, but there are so many people that can’t make it through. There are so many people that do get broken. All because someone thought it would be fun to pick on them, bully them, harass them. And when the person breaks, the one responsible never accepts the fact it was them. That’s what is sad. They just continue on to the next person.

SIGH

Now, I’m older. I’ve been at my company right at 28 years. I’m in management. My sister is retired (lucky her lol). Things are going smoothly. I love my job. I love what I do. I have a couple of good friends I’ve made along the way. One I can count on no matter what. My BFF. The one person everyone needs in their lives. I have a great husband. I love him more than I can express. I have four adorable grandchildren and 3 wonderful children (9 total grandchildren when adding in the extended family).  I have good bosses that I love working with and a good department that I love running. My life is great!

I’m a strong woman, I speak my mind, I hold my head high, nothing gets to me. I’ve been through quite a bit in my lifetime. Hard times, good times, questionable times. But when you see me, I show you the strong, opinionated, open, sometimes loud, extroverted side. You will not see who I am on the inside. You will not see the questioning, the anxious, the worried, the quiet, the introverted side (unless you are my BFF or my husband). You will never know that side exists. But it does. I have learned to hide it very well over the years. I have learned to make sure it doesn’t exist any longer when I am at work, or out in public for that matter. I have learned to not allow any one to bully me, run over me, think they are stronger than me. You will lose. I will win. That’s my attitude. That’s what I’ve learned from being bullied and pushed. You will not see me be weak. You will not see me cry. EVER.

But adult bullying happens every day. I see it at work, I see it on social media, I see it on TV. People talking and making fun of others. People posting funny memes and tagging others. They never say “hey, this is what we were talking about” or “hey, remember when you said this about so and so?” It’s underlying. It’s a way of bullying people silently. Does the person they are referencing in the meme know it’s about them? Sometimes, depending on the situation. And sometimes, even if it isn’t about them directly, they may feel it is when they see it just because of situations that have gone on or are going on at work. But the ones tagging are the same people you will hear making statements such as “if someone bullies my kid I’ll……” or “how dare they say that about my kid. I’m going to…..” But it’s okay for them to do it to their co-workers? No, it isn’t.

Do you know what is going on in that person’s life? Do you know what is going on in that person’s mind? Do you know the stability of that person? NO. Do you know if that person is reading social media and thinks “that is about me” and is thinking “I can’t take it any more”? NO. Do you know that ‘innocent, funny’ post could be the straw that tips the person over the edge, making them think there is only one way out of the misery? The only way out is to harm themselves? Do you want that on your conscience? Do you have a conscience? Do you know that could be the straw that causes that person to come to work thinking the only way out is to hurt the person causing their pain so they come to work and not only hurt that one person, but several innocent people as well? Could you live with that?

Words hurt. Actions hurt. You may not see it. You may not know. You are minding your own business, going about your day, talking about this person and that person to your ‘friends’. Posting funny things. But you have no idea what you are doing to that person. Do they know you are talking about them, making fun of them, telling everyone stuff about them? Probably more than you know. You think they don’t know, you think no one will tell them. But then the snickering starts when they walk by or the ones that used to be ‘close’ to them start acting different towards them. You don’t think they can pick on changed behavior? You don’t think they hear the whispers? That, my friend, is bullying. That, my friend, can cause damage. That, my friend, needs to stop.

I don’t use social media as my soap box but if I did, the things I would say. I try to keep my Facebook and Instagram away from controversial topics but sometimes it’s so hard. Sometimes I just want to yell “grow up, act professional, stop being a child!” Sometimes I want to say “grow a set and get over it. Put your adult underwear on and move on.” But I don’t say these things. I also don’t post memes or videos tagging others with underlying meanings about my co-workers. (ok, there’s one that comes to mind but I regretted it after I posted it) I don’t want to be a bully. I try hard to be considerate of the feelings of others. Do I always succeed? No. Do I sometimes say things about people that I shouldn’t? Yes. I’m not perfect. But I will stay professional. I will respect others on social media. I will think about another person’s feelings. But not everyone does. Not everyone cares what others think. Not everyone cares what is going on in someone else’s life. They don’t care if that person is struggling financially, or emotionally, or mentally. This is how the world is going. Everyone only cares about themselves.

I will share my point of view of things…… we are all in a position where we should be an example, not the problem. If you had two employees that were doing this and you had to cover the situation with them and they brought up something you posted, could you defend yourself? If not, you are the problem, not the example.

But in the end, I may still encounter people from time to time that feel the need to challenge me. But as I’ve grown, I have found that I can hide my true feelings, thoughts and most of the time, facial expressions. I will do as needed in order to maintain professionalism, to maintain my reputation. But remember those ladies in the beginning? They thought they were winning, too. Where are they now? Who knows? Who really cares? I don’t.

So as I go through life, encountering the bullies, I just remember one thing, no matter what happens, no matter the visual outcome……

I. will. win.

But not everyone does. Some people think there is only one way out. Some people have so much going on in their minds that they can’t take that one little thing you thought was ‘innocent’. Think before you act. Think before you post. Is it funny and too good to pass up? Think about this, what if someone was posting it about you or your child. Would it be funny and too good to pass up then?

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Corgi Photo Shoot- Cades Cove, Gatlinburg, TN

Hello again!! I hope this finds everyone well. I just wanted to share a little bit about my day yesterday, including our trip to Cades Cove in Gatlinburg, TN to do another photo shoot of the boys.

I started the first day of my Thanksgiving vacation by getting up at 5:15 to meet a friend of mine at our gym facility at work for a tough upper body workout. (I am feeling it today!) Once we were finished being tortured (not really) I went back home to drink my protein shake, shower and get ready for a fun-filled day of photography and hanging with my very tolerant husband and Corgis.

The weather was great! It wasn’t too cold and the sky was beautiful. Lot of sunshine! The mountains as the backdrop couldn’t have been better. Photography is something I have always been interested in but my skills are questionable. I have been using our Corgis to give myself practice in order to try to perfect and hone in on the different ways to utilize everything our camera will do. I took the majority of the photographs using the Manual mode, including focus. I used Aperture and Shutter modes for the water pictures and the last few tree pictures.

I have included photos where I overexposed, underexposed, was out of focus or just didn’t capture the image well. And of course, I included some of my best shots. By keeping the bad ones as well as the good ones, I can use them to learn (tips from a friend of mine who does excellent photography).

The first couple were taken as we were starting the 11 mile loop, the only deer we saw the entire trip. Well, until we were on our way home. There were 5 standing on the side of the interstate about an hour from getting home. We joked about seeing more on the side of the road than in the Cove.

These next several pictures I call ‘find the Corgi’. When we took the boys down in the field. We didn’t take into consideration the height of the grass vs the height of the them. So they kind of blend in with their surroundings. Another lesson learned.

 This is why I say ‘find the Corgi’. Duffer is in there behind Divot

 See, there he is

 Divot trying to get through the grass

 One eared Corgi

 The funny colored bear approaches his prey……

 I wanted to focus on Duff and blur Divot

 When I went to reverse my focus, Duff decided to walk off

 Beautiful mountains in the back

 My other one eared Corgi. He listens only half of the time

 Bill getting them to follow him in to the shorter grass

 The next several are action shots as they run towards me causing me to have to adjust focus on their approach. This gives me the opportunity to work with action shots

 Divot wasn’t up for action shots. He was tired and decided to walk back

 And we’re done, take me to the truck

 So we went back to the truck and continued on our way around the loop

 We spotted one other animal (other than the 2 deer) on our journey

 There was debate as to whether it was a coyote or fox

 Just a lone dead pine we found interesting

Next, we got to a flat spot almost at the end of the loop where the grass had been mowed down. You could actually see the boys as they wandered around.

 My favorite shot of Divot. His little tongue looks so funny

 And then Duffer showing his tongue

 Preparing for more ‘action’ shots

 Divot still not having the ‘action’

 He literally fell over

 But quickly recovered

 overexposed

 Almost washed Divot out. Too much exposure

 Better

 Not so better

 Wait, why is mommy lying on the ground? Let’s check it out

 What’s daddy doing?

 Mommy, I’m coming! Don’t leave me!

 Up close and personal

 More mountain shots

 I was intrigued by this one dead bloom

 It’s the little things that catch my eye

Once we left Cades Cove and was driving out, there was a brook following along on the side. I couldn’t resist getting Bill to stop so we could do the tougher shots. Flowing water.

 This, my friends, is overexposed

 Out of focus

 Better

 Bill brought the boys down so they wouldn’t be left alone in the truck

 On the next few, I purposefully blurred the boys to focus on the water

 I accomplished what I was trying to do but it made my photo turn out odd

 Here, all’s well

 I don’t remember what Duffer did to warrant these looks from Divot and me

 Again, not sure what he did

 But now, we’re back to normal

 OUCH! Can we say underexposed? Sorry, Bill.

 Getting a little lighter

 Focusing on my foreground

We walked back up to the truck and I decided to do some testing on my settings.

 Way out of focus

 WHAT IN THE?

 Still overexposed to me

 I feel the focus is there on this one and not as overexposed

 I like this one

Well, our annual Cades Cove trip is over and it’s time to go home. The boys are in the back seat ‘out like a light’. Both are well exercised and snoring loudly. Bill and I stopped for a quick bite at Sonic so we could sit in the truck with them but still eat and then head on down the road.

All in all, it was a great day!

We got home, fed the boys, turned on some Burn Notice and settled in for the night.

Thank you for taking the time to check out the pictures. I hope you enjoyed looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

I will continue to practice and learn and as I do, I will continue to share with you.

I hope you have a great week!

TTFN,

Denise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday Follow-up

So, this is my follow up post from yesterday telling you if I accomplished my to-do list. Well, I did get all of the laundry put away, which was a task. I made some crock pot deer chili. Cleaned the rest of the kitchen. I didn’t get to work on the wedding scrapbook because the laundry and chili prep took longer than I had figured in to my day. I guess I’ll leave that for Tuesday since Monday will be our Cades Cove picture day with the boys.

I spent quite a bit of time working on the appearance of my site. That was time consuming since this is an all new world to me. I added the colors, a couple of links and a picture of the boys. I think it will perform as I want but that remains to be seen.

Bill got in from work and it was time for chili. This is the first time I’ve ever made deer chili so I was nervous as to how it turned out. Surprise! It was delicious. We added shredded cheese and sour cream just to add to the yumminess. I had used 2 lbs of meat so we have a ton left over. I hope Bill wants leftovers for lunch this next week.

To let my dinner digest, I relaxed for a bit and watched some Create TV with America’s Test Kitchen and then Pati’s Mexican Table. These are two of my favorite Create cooking shows.

Now, it’s time to sign off and go to bed. My plans are to get up at 5:00 am to go workout at 6:00 am. Then come back home, shower and head out to the mountains for some fun adventures.

I hope you had a great weekend!

TTFN,

Denise.

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SATURDAYS

Saturdays, these are my favorite days. I look forward to these days more than any other. Typically on a Saturday morning, I sleep in, get up and wander around the house for a bit trying to decide what I should do that would be a good use of time while at the same time accomplishing everything I need to do while still relaxing from a trying week. I debate as to whether I should clean, craft, or work on projects needing to be done around the house. Some Saturdays are productive, some not. It just depends on where my desires lead me.

Today was a semi-productive day. Yes, semi. I started off in the right direction but somewhere along the way, I allowed myself to get derailed. I slept in, which was much needed after the week I had. I just can’t seem to get it right during the week, no matter what I do or how much I try. That puts a lot of stress and strain on the mind, the body, the emotions. But alas, my favorite day came, the day that no one is expecting perfection. The day no one is demanding something. The day that is completely mine. I am very thankful for an understanding husband. He is ok that I use this day as mine. He is ok if I get derailed and decide not to do housework or projects needing to be completed. (Or at least he seems ok with it. lol) I have a list of things I want to do every weekend and sometimes things get marked off, sometimes not.

But back to today. I got up feeling like ‘today, I’m going to conquer the world’. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and ran it. Put groceries away that had been out since earlier in the week. I prepared breakfast for Bill to take to work tomorrow (Sunday). I did laundry (washed and dried. remember semi-productive). I fed the boys after taking them out. Took them out again after they ate. Tidied up around the house a bit. Then I decided to work on my class course work. I am currently signed up for an ASL level 2 course and I only have a certain amount of time to complete it in order to receive my certification. But this course is not like any others I’ve taken, it’s boring me out of my mind. It repeats information from previous course sections and the instructor in the videos assumes we can understand his signs and can pick it up quickly. He goes so fast I have to watch and re-watch. It’s doubly confusing because he’s mirrored to me so when he is showing signs, I have to be opposite of him in order to get the sign correct.

Enter my short attention span.  I did not complete today’s course.

Now I’m on Pinterest, looking at recipes to see what I want to do for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Looking at Christmas wreaths I want to try. Looking at Christmas card ideas to see what designs I want to use for my cards this year.

Now I’m on a site downloading images (royalty free) for my blog. Trying to decide what I may write about in the future so I can go ahead and download what I need because I am on a 7-day trial period. Once it’s up, it’s gone. But as I’m going through their pictures, I realize, most of what I’m looking for, I already have. Bill or I have already taken what I am looking for. Snow scenes, got ’em. Rainbows, got ’em. Pandas, got ’em. You get the picture (hahahahaha).

So what I’m doing now? Yep, going through all of my pictures finding the ones that will make great images for future blog topics.

So, there ya go, that is what semi-productive means. I started out of the gates at full speed, then started slowing until I finally end up on the couch, covered in Corgis, going through pictures, writing future articles in my head.

Now, it’s 5:30 and I’m writing. Bill will be home from work in a bit. He has breakfast for tomorrow and clean scrubs to wear, but no dinner for tonight and projects still unfinished.

I say to myself, there’s still tomorrow to get it done but who am I kidding? Sundays are not typically productive for me because I am mentally preparing for work the next day. However, this Sunday is different. I am OFF Monday! I took this week off since we only work 3 days and it gives me wind-down time. Alone time. Refresh time. Reload time. No, I will not be Black Friday shopping. No, I do not care to get out there with the rest of the craziness just to save a few dollars. I will wait for other holiday sales and maintain my sanity. This Monday Bill and I are taking the boys to Cades Cove in the Smokies and we’re doing another photo shoot with them. I seriously can’t wait. It is so peaceful and beautiful. Just to be away for the day, to have time for just us, I can’t wait. Plus, they are the cutest Corgis in the world so I want to show them off.

Welcome to my world. This is how my mind works on the daily. One topic, another topic, another topic, then back to where I started.

Saturdays.

My days.

Tomorrow is going to be productive. I just know it. I’m going to get all laundry put away, I’ll have dinner ready for Bill when he gets home, I’ll have everything together for our Cades Cove trip Monday, I’ll work on my wedding scrapbook………. I’m already tired.

I hope you all have had a great Saturday and I hope you have a great Sunday. I will update you on my progress for tomorrow. I plan to have pictures to add of my scrapbook work because I’m going to work on it. I’m going to work on it.

The boys are looking at me as if to say they need another trip outside so I am going to sign off and take them out.

TTFN,

Denise.

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Welcome Post

Welcome to The Panda Girl’s page. This is the beginning entry post. I love talking about the things I’m passionate about so I decided to create this blog in order to share with everyone.

I will be sharing lots of pictures and stories about my two Corgis, Divot and Duffer. As you can see from the picture, they love to travel.

They are named from golf terms because my husband, Bill, is an avid golfer. (Shown below on a course on Sanibel Island in FL)

I will also be sharing things about my grandchildren, Faith, Kenzie, Dallas and Mason, along with crafting, sewing and card making (and sometimes pandas).

Above: Faith, Dallas and Kenzie on Kenzie’s 4th birthday.

Above: Mason

Above: Me feeding a panda during my Panda Experience at the Atlanta Zoo, GA. This was a birthday surprise Bill gave me. One of the best birthdays I’ve had. I love pandas.

Above: Bill feeding a panda during our Panda Experience.

As you can see, we love travel, family and our boys (Div and Duff).

So, each time you visit my page, there will be lots to check out. Keep coming back for more updates, stories, pictures and information.

Have a great time!

Denise (The Panda Girl)