Little Red Ink

I want to preface this post by admitting that I once lost in round 1 of a regional spelling bee because I misspelled a three-letter word. The word was nil and I was definitely old enough to know it means nada/nothing/zero, as in the number of Reds World Series wins in my lifetime. Therefore, I was also old enough to know it is not spelled like mill, but I made the mistake anyways because well, we’re all human, right?

Yes, the world is an imperfect place and yet it seems to get more imperfect every day. Lately, I’ve been stumbling upon an appalling number of spelling and grammatical errors in public places and on printed, glossy things. Printed, glossy things that have real live people being paid to ensure they are properly edited and do not have errors.

But alas, since I caught these itty bitty anomalies when it appears no one else did (or at least not the respective editors in charge of doing so), I figured I might as well call them out. Here are three I found particularly interesting:

1.Columbus Monthly – Zack Scott or Zach Scott?

  • Zachary can be a confusing name, I get it. I’ve known a Zachary that goes by both Zack and Zach which admittedly drove me bonkers. Despite the confusion, a quick Google search indicates that the Franklin County Sheriff who is running for the mayor of Columbus goes by Zach. Either way, wouldn’t Columbus Monthly want to at least make their article consistent throughout? (Mr. Scott is mentioned by both Zach and Zack several times throughout the rest of the article, too.)

LittleRedInk - Columbus Monthly

2.Columbus Crave – By Land-Grand Brewing, do you mean Land-Grant?

  • If you know that Land-Grant is “up-and-coming” in the Franklinton neighborhood, I feel like you’d also know what it’s called. Though, Land-Grant does brew “grand” beer, for what it’s worth.

LittleRedInk - Crave

3.BelleChic – Neckalce Sale

  • I really hate to call out a company that sells cute stuff on sale, but alas, a glaring mistake in the subject line is too much. Considering I read ONLY the subject line on the majority of my personal email (that which falls in the promotional tab anyways), I’m thinking companies, brands and the like should take an extra minute to proofread.

LittleRedInk-BelleChic

Bonus: Clean Eating – Veggies are still carbs though

  • This one is more of a pet peeve, less of a spelling error, but I think it’s funny. Though pasta and vegetables are two very different type of carbohydrate, they are both, in fact, carbohydrates. Sure, I should eat more veggies probably, but just because they’re healthier than pasta doesn’t mean they’re not carbs. Don’t play me like that, Clean Eating.

LittleRedInk - Clean Eating

Well, that concludes this edition of Little Red Ink. I do want to clarify that I am a loyal subscriber to all publications mentioned and I have purchased items from BelleChic. I’m not trying to throw hate, just spread the love of language that a few of our editors may have forgotten. Until next time, happy spelling!

Where can I buy memory insurance: a rant on brain health

brain health

The number of different types of insurance I have as a single person in America is slightly unreasonable. Car insurance, health insurance, renter’s insurance, accidental death by business travel (whatever that is) insurance and so on and so on. But the most important thing in the world to me – my memory – is not insured.  And I’m terrified.

I’m a relatively young human, yet I’ve already noticed my memory isn’t what it used to be. I can remember that I once saw Princess Diaries 2 in the movie theatre during a hurricane, but I can’t at all remember the name of the theatre, where it was, or what it looked like. I’ve lived in nine places, but I only remember five addresses. I’ve forgotten to pay my rent twice in the last four months and just last week, I had to Google the name of my own church. I can remember the color of eyeliner I wore the day my first high school boyfriend broke up with me, yet I now refer to where I had quite a few college classes as “that building on the corner with all the trees, I think it starts with an H, maybe a K”. The things I can remember are weird and random and the things I can’t remember are also weird and random.

What I’m saying is…I’m scared. We all should be. If my house burns down and melts my laptop, renter’s insurance allows me to go get a new one. But if I also lose the baseball Barry Larkin signed that one year we road-tripped to Spring Training, what will I have to remind me of such a wonderful family memory? Renter’s insurance can’t save that. It also can’t bring back the pictures my siblings colored for me at school or the Santa Claus candy dish my crafty mom and I made before Pinterest was cool. How can I insure my memory?

This has been keeping me up at night lately. Years go by as we make the memories of a lifetime, but there’s no guarantee that we’ll remember it all. Can we fix this? If I eat grapefruit and always sleep eight hours and floss every day, will my brain be healthy enough to keep track of everything I want it to? Everything I need it to?

Our fate only gets worse. Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease – the ultimate saboteur of the brain. Do you know what Alzheimer’s is? Allow me to demonstrate.

  • Last year, my grandma drove herself to Macy’s. She picked out a food chopper that she thought I would like and she had Macy’s ship it to me, carefully telling the associate my address. She typed my number into her phone and called me later that week to see if I got her package. She came to visit me a month or two later, bringing tiny little containers of her infamous barbecue with her.
  • Last month, my grandma called me. We talked about the Reds and her tomato plants in the backyard. Even though I had to remind her of a few things – my cousin’s name, the season, what time the game came on – she was correct in knowing her birthday was coming up.
  • Last week, my grandma didn’t know my name but thought we had just taken a plane trip together. She sat in a chair in the house she’s lived in for 45 years and told us she wasn’t at home. She tried to iron the newspaper.

Alzheimer’s is ugly. And it destroys not only memories, but also lives. Until it impacted my life, I took my own memories for granted. Now I’m tempted to frantically write down everything I ever experience or want to remember, fearful that one day I won’t be able to.

I’ve been personally battling with this a lot lately. But it is a battle we all face. If you have a brain, you are at risk for Alzheimer’s. And no one has ever survived it.

I don’t know what to do, other than help increase awareness of the dire state of our brain health and the horrific effects of Alzheimer’s. We desperately have to do something to preserve our mental states, our brain health, our memories. I don’t know what the answer is, but together, I am hopeful we can make positive progress. In the meantime, I’ll be eating blueberries and drinking water and staying active and doing yoga and anything else to help keep my brain healthy. How else can I try to insure my memories?

Life was never meant to be a struggle.

In a world where the “struggle is real” and people are aboard the “struggle bus” more often than they drive their cars, it’s easy to fall in a rut with the rest of “struggling” humanity. But are we really?

Truth be told, I, too, am struggling with this whole “struggling” thing. More days than not, some of the first words I think/say/text involve some conjugation of the word combined with a series of wide-eyed smiley faces and about 17 coffee emojis. I’ve been “struggling” about as long as I can remember, but I’m not positive I really remember why. As a society, how did we get so attached to the struggle, what does it even mean, how did it get so “real”?

A week or two ago, I was out on a trail communing with nature and pondering all the areas I’m “struggling” in (oh, let me count the ways) when, somewhere between reprimanding myself for hitting snooze 12 times and fully regretting skipping half of last week’s workouts, I stopped dead in my tracks. For there, right in front of me, on the same trail I’ve run hundreds of times, was a sign from the universe that I need to cool it with this struggle nonsense.

The sign read “Life was never meant to be a struggle, just a gentle progression from one point to another, much like walking through a valley on a sunny day.”

TheStruggle

Weird. That definitely hit home.

We live in a world where “struggling” has become a competition. If I’m “struggling” because I accidentally ate my entire lunch before lunchtime and spilled coffee in a meeting, but my co-worker is “struggling” because she barely slept the night before and has her shirt on backward, for whom is the “struggle” more real?

The sign in the park taught me a couple of things. Mainly, that life is meant to be lived and appreciated. Struggling and thinking about struggling and beating yourself up for struggling isn’t living. It’s sad and it’s depressing. Secondly, struggling is part of living and there’s nothing wrong with that. Some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you. That’s the cold, hard truth and the sooner we realize it, and start appreciating living for what it is, the better. Don’t beat yourself up so much, the struggle isn’t THAT real.

Next time you’re on a struggle submarine gunning for the bottom of the ocean, try jumping ship. There’s life to be lived, after all.

New Year, Old Me

I realize I’m a little late to the party on this whole “New Year” thing, but with tomorrow being March 1, I figured now was the perfect opportunity to share my thoughts on 2015. (Time flies when you’re having fun, right?)

I’ve never quite loved the idea of New Year’s resolutions on account of the fact that I think it’s silly (and limiting) to wait for one time of year to reset goals, refresh your lifestyle, quit a bad habit or start something new.

New Year’s resolutions aside, I’m also not onboard with this whole “New Year, New Me” idea that rears its ugly head every January. I mean, why do we need to reinvent ourselves every  year? Why should we focus on becoming something totally new? Why is the “me” I was before so horrific that I need to become something totally different?

In my own personal experience, I’ve found that more often than not I stray away from the things I want to be or the things I want to do. Doesn’t this mean, then, that we should focus on returning to our old selves, not totally dumping the old to begin anew?

I absolutely appreciate the wonderful feeling that comes with a fresh slate, a new beginning or slamming a door to the past, but I don’t think that means we have to entirely remake ourselves to accomplish something.

In 2015, I’ve resigned to focus on getting back to the things I love, to make time for the things that make me happy and to truly, 100 percent, absolutely be the person I am or strive to be. It might be a new year, but I’m striving to be more like the old me.

Tomorrow isn’t January 1, it’s March 1. But March 1 is as good a time as any to start something. This year, let’s focus less on being “new”, and more on just being awesome.

Cheers to a brand new, happy year, y’all.

Cheers