Why People Don't Suck

Why People Don't Suck

Reasons to appreciate the people in your life.
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Recently a friend asked me, “What is one thing you appreciate?” A few responses ran through my head and “A cold glass of water on a hot day” sounded like a good answer. Instead, I decided to think on it. What’s something I really value and rely on? So I dug deep and answered with “I appreciate the company of people.”

Perhaps one of the reasons I enjoy Air Force ROTC so much is that I’m not alone in it. Waking up at five o’clock in the morning a couple days during the week certainly takes a toll. Having extra classes on top of taking tough classes for my major, attending drill practice and late meetings, are included. Forming up into a flight at six in the morning when it’s cold and windy really makes me miss my warm bed. Standing at attention on a parade field as I wait for my commander’s direction ends up feeling like I’ve been staring at the sky for an eternity. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the added responsibilities, but dealing with the stress becomes less arduous when I know I have others with me. I’m not the only person standing on that parade field. I’m not the only one with goosebumps at PT in the morning, wishing they could go back to sleep. When we start running and a fellow airman calls a jodie, everyone joins in to sing. The people I run with, plank with, and do lunges with, make getting through the pain possible.

I know that one day I will commission and my list of responsibilities will triple. However, I don’t dread that moment. When I receive my first assignment and it’s time to pack up and ship out to a new place, inevitably I’ll feel nervous. That moment will probably feel like how I felt during my first semester of college. Being thrown into a new place, with strangers, and no sense of home felt depressing and lonely. Only when I realized I was surrounded with people going through the same thing was I able to relax. I joined Air Force ROTC and immediately belonged somewhere. I see my peers in this organization as family. I can walk into our detachment lounge and feel at home. I can look forward to drill practice late at night because I know I’ll have friends there with me.

In a group setting, complaining spreads like the Santa Ana winds in Southern California. When one person complains about how cold they are, the next person will complain too. Consequently, the whole group begins complaining. Then morale drops even lower than mercury measuring the temperature outside. Camaraderie is undervalued sometimes. It’s what strengthens a team and gives people a reason to act. It’s what stops the complaining. What motivation do we have to face hardship when we are alone? Loneliness causes us to feel weak and isolated. It steals our incentives to continue working hard through suffering. Knowing that I’ve got a friend by my side helps me endure. I believe in appreciating the people around me. I believe in trusting my wingman and trusting that they will pull me out of a rut. I appreciate people because being with others beats the alternative.

Cover Image Credit: chainimage.com

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100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.

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Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

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Fiction On Odyssey: Meet The Madwoman

So she's not a homicidal maniac, but a mad scientist? Katrina meets the new lady of the "haunted house."

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Author's Note: For more context, go here first

It was weird that the door to Bespredel was open for once. I thought for a moment that I shouldn't be doing this. Maybe I was going to be experimented on, or murdered... Nah. Cate Tesla seemed pretty trustworthy from what I dug up on her. Either way, people at school would be hounding me about the inside of the house, and whether Miss Tesla was the spawn of Satan or a lonely, gorgeous misunderstood genius that needed young company (Pluto's words, not mine. I swear, the kid's obsessed with older women, I should probably probe his computer later...) Still, I made an obligation, and I have to fulfill it, or I'd never hear the end of it from Dad about responsibility.

"Come in, come in!" I heard her chirp, "In the office on the right."

Great. Now I couldn't turn back. Even if she couldn't see me, she could hear me. I had no choice but to follow her orders and wander into the "office" that seemed to have been converted into a workshop. And there she was. Much to my surprise, she looked relatively normal, aside from the aviators on her head and goggles around her neck. She was a redhead like me, although her hair was unstyled and slightly disheveled. I honestly expected her to have messed up peepers like most blind people I knew of, but her big green doe eyes looked fine, even if they didn't work. Yet... Her smile seemed weird to me. It wasn't creepy or anything, but it looked... real, like that of a child. With the late war, most people her age never smiled like that. Everything was always slight or fake. I can't even remember my own father smiling as she did.

"A waltz," she muttered.

"What?"

"You walk in a waltz," she said, "That's how most people with canes walk. Not me. I only tap mine for sonar when I'm not sure. My own invention."

"Yeah... I know," I said uneasily.

"Why do you have yours, if you don't mind?" she asked.

"Spine problems. I used to not be able to walk at all, but I had surgery about a month ago."

She shifted a bit in her stance.

"Why? What do people think?"

This lady was as nosy as me. That could be both a blessing and a curse.

"I don't really care what people think, and with the war over, it's not like I'm going to get killed if I didn't have it," I replied, "But it's convenient to walk. I guess some people are mad at me for not being "proud", but really I don't care. They're mostly idiots anyway."

"Aren't they? I hate those damned elitists." Her tone darkened slightly, but wasn't all that intimidating. "Perhaps I want to invent something to fix my eyes... I used to see, you know. All I want is to see my home, my family, my loved ones again. I don't give a hoot about being normal either, I mean, I'm already a kook, I'm an inventor, after all. But since I'm sentimental, all I hear is 'Cate, you don't need to hide yourself, we fought this war for the right to be alive, be ourselves, why can't you embrace your blindess?!' You're right, Katerina, idiots."

I knew she wasn't right in the head, but I expected her to get my name right. Maybe she has a faulty computer. I could probably fix it if she asked.

"My name's Katrina, Miss Tesla."

She simply shook her head and laughed, as if I were the crazy one.

"Katrina, yes. Means 'pure.' How ironic, since some people come to know it as 'destruction.' At least it's better than Katherine... Which Fievel seems to think your name is."

Fievel von Petrov knows my name. He's just a wad. Dad says he's just displacing, but I say he's a wad. He doesn't have any good reasons to be angry with me after all, it's all supposedly on Dad.

"Anyway," she continued, "Katerina sounds prettier if you'd allow it. And none of this 'Miss Tesla' business. It makes me sound old, come on, I'm not 40 yet."

"If it makes you feel better, you can call me whatever you like except for 'hey, you' and 'cripple'," I sighed, "And sorry, that's just how I was raised. My father always taught me that manners always paid."

"Oh, you city dwellers, always having to be so formal," she said, letting out another laugh, "But then again, I used to be one of you. I guess I've been gone for way too long. If you absolutely must stick with all that, call me Miss Cate."

I shrugged. "Fine." At least she's lively, and for the most part honest. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Surely my classmates would be disappointed there's no crazy old witch, and while she's a mad scientist, she's not THAT mad. However, now that I've got a clear picture of the woman, who was fairly pleasant-looking, I doubt Pluto was going to shut up anytime soon about someday tagging along and "comforting" Miss Te- Cate. Gross. She should be around the same age as Dad. Speaking of which, I should make a mental note to keep one of his business cards on me, just in case. She's an utter and complete lunatic, but at least she knows it, and may want help.

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