2017 Recap: Happy New Year!

FamilyPhoto2017

I’ve gotten this letter completed by the 2nd week of the New Year which beats my time from last year.  Wooohooo!  On top of that, we finally got professional Family Photos this year (long overdue) so we were able to send a photo Christmas card….for New Years. Ha!  I’m not THAT good.  2017 was an eventful year for us, full of vacations, job/school changes, and personal achievements.  We committed to another year of “Operation Reconnect” to make sure Charlie and I had uninterrupted adult dates at least once a month.  We also continued the Family dates of doing something out of the normal routine for the children at least once a month.

We started off the year in Pagosa Springs for skiing and snowboarding for Superbowl weekend.  Haven finally got the hang of skiing, which was much more exciting than the EPIC Superbowl comeback win by the Patriots. Wow!

This year included a bunch of firsts for the children.  We decided to put the children into a lottery drawing for attending a charter school in Moriarty for the 2017/2018 school year.  Much to all of our surprise, they were bumped off of the waiting list and able to start at the new school in August.  While they miss their old friends, they’ve made a much easier transition than we thought they would. They “love” their new school, uniforms and all.

We took a fun but windy trip with the Scamp Camper to Carlsbad Caverns with Charlies coworker, Jesse, and his family over Spring Break in March.  The kids had a great time with their new friends and exploring the Caverns.  Gentry joined East Mountain Little League baseball again in the Spring.  He had an enjoyable season and even got to pitch a little.  Gentry also enjoyed another year with his Boy Scout troop.  Both of the children joined AYSO soccer again in the Fall and had a great season with their teams.  They joined beginners Guitar Club at school in the Fall.  In February, Haven survived her first season of selling Girl Scout Cookies (my waistline didn’t).  She joined her new Girl Scout troop in December.

At the end of May, I took a road trip with friends to Havasupai Indian Reservation in Arizona, part of the Grand Canyon (a 10 mile hike in).  We camped there for 2 nights.  The Havasupai waterfalls were the most beautiful natural wonders that I’d ever seen.  On the drive back from the Havasupai trip, Charlie and the children picked me up in Flaggstaff, AZ on their way to Lake Powell, UT for a short family vacation aboard a houseboat.  We shared the trip with our friends, the Nagyvary family.  All of the children enjoyed the waterslide off the roof and they didn’t want the vacation to end.

Charlie had an extra exciting year of changes and new beginnings.  After 15+ years at Sandia Labs and not even looking for a new job, he took a Project Manager position at Facebook in Los Lunas, NM at the end of August.  It’s been a whirlwind of changes and traveling often to Facebook headquarters in California.  He also took many trips to Houston in February, April, and July to care for his mother before, during, and after her heart surgery.  It was definitely a change for us to have Charlie traveling so often this year but it also was a reminder that he really keeps the family on track and functioning on all cylinders….

Charlie also got pulled for elk and deer hunting in the Fall.  He talked us into going with him so we invited our neighbor friends, The Baker family, and made a fun family camping trip out of it.  Charlies cousin, Skeet, also came along.  The hunt was relatively uneventful except for when Charlie got “turned around” after chasing some Elk and ended up having to spend the night in the woods by himself. Eeeek!! He was unphased but I was a *little* nervous by daybreak.

Charlie also competed in two bike races this year, the 12 Hours in the Wild West in Ruidoso, NM in April, and the South Boundary Big Ride in Angelfire, NM in July.  I have no idea how he rides his mountain bike up & down forest trails for hours but he and his teammates did stellar!  They even took first place for foursome team category.

This year we also had many family visitors.  My Mom came from Guam and did her usual two (or three?) month stay with us.  My twin sister, Yvonne, came to visit us a few times from Austin, TX (Did I mention that she completed writing her first book: Your Pets are Fine and Other lies).  My brother, Marcus, came down from Leadville, Colorado. We were also excited to welcome Marcus into the wonderful world of marriage in September when he and his girlfriend Jessica made it official and got married in Angelfire, NM.  Gentry & Haven were thrilled to be in the wedding with their baby cousin, Gavin. Charlies son, Aaron, came to stay with us for a week in December.  Gentry and Haven loved spending time with their big brother and he even got to hang out with his “cool” stepmom at Ugly Sweater Karaoke night. Ha!

Last but not least, I had a busy year too.  I continued volunteering with the Junior League of Albuquerque.  I served my first year on the Board of the Future Fund, a philanthropic group that is part of the Albuquerque Community Foundation.  I enjoyed this new experience.  I also managed our back patio deck upgrade project at home, which ended up being a 3 month frustration but turned out beautiful thanks to my Stepdad and Charlie’s help.  The icing on my year was in December when I passed my “Clinical” exam to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).  This level of licensure was my ultimate goal because it will allow me to become credentialed/accepted by insurance companies to bill for therapy services if I ever decide to open my own agency.  Meanwhile, I’m still mostly loving my job with Child Protective Services (CYFD).  The stress ebbs and flows, I’ve learned how to take it in stride (most of the time).

We hope this letter finds you and your family doing well. We wish you love and light in 2018.

Love,
The Tomlins
(Charlie, Kellie, Gentry, & Haven)

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2017 Operation Reconnect

DateNight2017

As a New Years resolution in 2017, Charlie and I again vowed to re-ignite the spark of one-on-one time at least once a month in the form of unique date nights.  Like in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016, the rules were to alternate who planned/executed each date night every month and to not repeat previous date nights within the 12 months.  As usual, our hopes were high to be able to get more creative with each date but due to some schedule constraints (traveling) we relied on some old tried and true datenights.  Here is what we ended up with by the end of 2017:

 

January  – Agatha Christie: “And then there were none” play at ALT
February – Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra at the Lobo with Veronica & James
March – BANFF Film Festival at the Kimo with Jesse & Daleen
April – The ABQ Escape Room challenge, and the Mayor’s Gala
May – Big Brothers Big Sisters Breakfast
June – Salsa Under the Stars dancing at the ABQ Museum
July – Future Fund Secret Garden party (Charlie out of town)
August – 505 Food Fight at Hotel Andaluz
September – Facebook datenight at Hotel Chaco
October – Junior League Gala’s A Red Carpet Affair (1920’s style)
November – ABQ Community Foundation Donors event (took my Dad)
December –  Future Fund Holiday Party, Facebook Christmas Party

In addition to planning our unique couples time each month, we also wanted to make sure the children had unique and fun experiences each month too.  This is what we planned or rather, what fell into our lap:

January – Ninja Park
February – Wildlife West adventure with the boyscouts
March – Carlsbad Caverns
April – Junior Leagues “Truck-a-Palooza” on Civic Plaza
May – FAIL
June – Fishing at Tingley Beach with the Boy Scouts
July – AJ’s Birthday party
August – Goonies Scavenger Hunt for birthday treasure
September – UNM Men’s Soccer game
October – Balloon Fiesta, and the Addams Family at ALT
November – Calypso Christmas at the Kimo
December – Annie at Albuquerque Little Theatre, and Meow Wolf

MeowWolf2017

 

2015 Recap ~ Christmas in July letter

IMG_0518I’m not sure my end-of-year recap letter will ever be the same.  I’m not drafting this in the final days of December 2015, nor the days creeping into January or February 2016… No, no, I’m not even THAT good.  It is currently July 7th, 2016.  Yes, I’m THAT bad.  At least I can use a cliche slogan on my letter as a “Christmas in July” recap… but who am I fooling?  Only myself…. The truth is, 2015 held such monstrous events that it’s taken me 6 months into 2016 to really sit down, reflect, and write about it. Or maybe I’m just a procrastinator…

2015 began with my last semester of Graduate school at NMSU.  Masters of Social Work was in it’s final lap and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Charlie and I decided it would be a good idea to attempt “Operation Reconnect” again in 2015, you can read about that here.

In January, my Dad headed the “mission control” Air Traffic Control team for the Two Eagles gas balloon flight which was aiming at breaking the world record for length and time traveled (and it DID!!).  The flight had many exciting twists and turns and the Albuquerque Balloon Museum was the control center of it all.  Gentry & Haven loved visiting grandpa in the midst of all the excitement. The crew and controllers even got invited to the Roundhouse in Santa Fe for a celebratory day with the Governor of NM in honor of “Two Eagles Day”.

We spent the last weekend of January with a trip to Angelfire to relax, ski, and watch the Superbowl with family and friends.  Everyone had a great time.  The icing on the cake was the extraordinary series of events that happened to a teacher that I had met while working for Child Protective Services in the months prior.  If you have no idea who Sonya Romero is, click here to read all about it.

In March, Charlie resumed his volunteer coaching career with i9Sports and coached both Haven’s soccer team (the 4 year olds) and Gentry’s baseball team (the 6 year olds).  Well, what really happened was that I signed up to coach Haven’s soccer team but then I chickened out and got stage fright and made him take over.  Poor thing.  He hates me but I think he enjoyed it, especially having never played soccer in his life.  Horay for YouTube videos!!  The children both really enjoyed their teams/season.

In April, we put Gentry in ballet, jazz, hip hop camp for Spring break at Keshet Dance studio.  He started out iffy but ended up loving it and wanting the whole ballet outfit (tights pointing shoes and all).  It was cute.  My birthday in April was clouded by Comprehensive Exams, a 72 hour research/writing “exam” for Grad school.   Needless to say, after that, the month was shot and I was struggling to crawl to the Grad school finish line.  I can’t remember anything redeeming for April after that point.

In May, Gentry was so excited to participate for his school in The Run For The Zoo.  Gentry really loved the training with his P.E. coach in the weeks leading up to the run and he left me and Haven in the dust once the race started.  So much for a 2K “fun run”, he’s super competitive (like someone else I know…).

Also in May, my youngest sister, Lindsey, graduated from Manzano highschool.  Congrats to her on all the hard work!  I had to upstage her graduation with my own graduation to make myself feel young & cool again.  Charlie & I and the kids, went to Las Cruces, NM for the main campus graduation from NMSU (he wanted to see the “real” college that my Albuquerque campus was tied to).  My twin sister, Yvonne, drove up to Las Cruces from Austin, Texas just for the graduation.  It was a surreal night “walking” with all my Las Cruces TV screen classmates/faculty.  We attended the Social Work hooding ceremony but ended up bailing on the huge Saturday graduation (the kids could only take so much waiting and boredom…. and quite frankly, me too).  The itch was adequately scratched.

My Mom came to Albuquerque from Guam for all of the families graduation ceremonies.  She always comes back for the summers but the rest of the year she works on grant programs for collaborative art projects with the National Parks in Guam.  We promptly took a little roadtrip to Phoenix to visit my brother Aaron and meet his new baby girl, Atlyss, who had arrived on Valentines Day in February.  She was so cute and the children had a great time with their cousins.  Upon our return, Charlie & I promptly rented a moving truck and finally moved into our “mountain chalet”.  It had been patiently waiting since last summer for me to graduate before we moved in.  It was also that weekend that I officially accepted a job offer and started paid employment with The Children, Youth, & Families Department (CYFD) working as an In-Home Services Practitioner.  It was an exciting and exhausting month to say the least.

In June, Charlies family from Houston, TX came to stay with us for a few days.  We had a great time visiting the Zoo/Biopark and the children got their fix of cousin , aunt/uncle, and grandma time.  They even rode the Tramway.

In July, we sent off my newly graduated little sister, Lindsey, to Guam with my Mom for a little post highschool soul searching time.  I think she enjoyed it but was back by Halloween.  Homesick. (teenagers. sheesh!)

In August, I passed the Licensing exam to get my official Social Work License as an LMSW.  It was such a hard exam so I was thrilled to pass (on my son’s lucky birthdate). Also, in August, Gentry & Haven started school at the elementary school in Tijeras, NM.  It was Haven’s first year of “real” school and she was so excited to start Kindergarten and be like her brother.  Gentry started 1st grade.  The school bus picked up the children at the top of our driveway, and it was the cutest little country thing ever. I love it.  An honorable mention for August, is that the kiddos had their birthday party in the Barn with a country/western theme and Gentry got a Red Ryder BB gun.  Hide your eyeballs, folks.

In October, the kids took advantage of the Pinon seed explosion and bagged up a bunch for friends and family (and sold a few bags too).  It was their first entrepreneurial experience. My sister Yvonne also came to visit in October and it was a great time.  The children love “auntie Von”.

In November, my Dads brothers and sister came to visit from as far away as Cape Town, South Africa.  It was awesome to hangout with all my aunts and uncles, it’s been years!!  The children loved it too.

I couldn’t mention winter months without mentioning how truly awesome the snow was this year [sarcasm].  I think Charlie had to pull my car out at least 13 times.  The novelty of getting to use his 4-wheel drive was definitely worn off by the time I lodged my car sideways into the ditch-bank across from the mailboxes in our neighborhood a mere 30 seconds after he had just pulled my car out of a snow bank in our driveway.  El nino had a beef with me this year, what can I say?  I’m also a really bad parker/driver apparently. Who knew?  (Now everyone in our neighborhood knows)

In early December, my brother Marcus and his girlfriend Jessica, welcomed their first child into this world, my super cute nephew Gavin.  It was exciting news but we didn’t get to meet him till later on.  Also, in December, Charlie, the kids and I flew to Texas to spend Christmas with Charlies family/brother in La Grange, TX.  The children had a blast playing with their cousins in the mud pond, on the 4-wheelers, etc.  They also got to visit with their big brother, Aaron, who spent an evening with us.  Much needed family time.

As we begin 2016, I look forward to chilling out this year.  Relaxing.  Smelling the roses.  Not having MAJOR plans. For. Anything.  Charlie continues to be blessed and fulfilled at his job and his many home projects keep him happy.  The children are doing wonderful, and they are both doing well in school, especially with reading, handwriting, and art.  They are really enjoying living in the mountains.  It’s like a getaway, everyday, if I say so myself.

We hope this letter finds you and your family happy and healthy going into 2016 (or for the rest of 2016).  Many blessings!

Love,

The Tomlins

Hero Teacher Sonya Romero

Long story short, in the midst of my Grad school “homework”, I stumbled upon a “Pay It Forward” nomination plea on the KOB Channel 4 Facebook page.  I immediately thought of a teacher, Sonya Romero, whom I had met in the fall, who had ended up taking in some children from an In-Home Services case that went arye back in November. I would love to say just google it (google “Sonya Romero” or “Social Worker Pays it Forward”) but if you’re too lazy to do that, here is the general timeline of events and how it turned into a segment on the Ellen show:

In January, a few weeks after I submitted my nomination, the channel 4 producers contacted me and stated they were selecting my nomination as their winner.  They asked me to come to the studio to film the segment.  Little did I know that, the principal at Sonya’s school had invited everyone to the school for the “surprise” part of the filming.  It was super nerve racking but awesome at the same time!  Awesome for Sonya Romero whom deserved it so much!

My FB post on February 1, 2015:  I nominated an APS teacher for something amazing she did for children via CYFD….and I WON the Channel 4 KOBTV Pay It Forward award to give her $400. The story is supposed to air tonight after the Superbowl on the 10pm news. I’m not sure if we’ll be in front of a TV tonight in Angelfire at 10pm or not, I wish I had DVR. Ugh.

The pay it forward story aired on February 1st, 2015 on Superbowl Sunday in the 10pm news. It was the kick-of story for their new Pay-It-Forward news stories series.
KOBTV Channel 4 Pay It Forward – Social Woker Pays it Forward to Teacher who opened home to 4 children
http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3693857.shtml?cat=12846#.V39POEDqPdP
payit4wardSonyaRomero

Well, a month or two later, in March, the principal at Sonya Romero’s school contacted me stating that the producers of the Ellen show had caught wind of how awesome Sonya Romero was from some national news articles that she had been quoted in stating the effects of poverty on children’s learning.  The principal stated that the Ellen show wanted to video the foster children for their segment on Sonya Romero and she wanted to know who to contact for them to get permission.  (The State did not give permission for this due to confidentiality issues and parents still having rights).  The principal let me know that the show was taping the segment at the school that day and for me to come down for an on camera interview.  They had tricked Sonya Romero into going out to California while they filmed with the students/teacher at her school.  I agreed and went to the school and had a short on camera interview about Sonya’s awesomeness.

My FB post from March 18, 2015 – Remember that awesome teacher/foster mom I nominated for Channel 4 Pay It Forward in January? She’ll be on the Ellen Show tomorrow (Thursday) and I might have a very small cameo… Somebody please record it, as I will be at CYFD and I don’t have DVR.
“Getting to introduce you to Sonya Romero tomorrow is why I love what I do via @theellenshow”

Here is the clip of the show from Ellen Tube – Hero Teacher Sonya Romero.  When Ellen heard about humanitarian Sonya Romero, she knew she had to bring her to the show.  This was an interview neither of them will soon forget.
http://ellentube.com/videos/0-ux3r2qq8/

Sonya Romero

My thoughts posted on FB on March 22, 2015 – Finally able to process the Ellen Show excitement & aftermath from Thursday. I can only explain it as rooting for a football team full of underdogs (public school teachers and foster parents) who’ve been under-appreciated for so long and then one day the quarterback (Sonya Romero) throws a touchdown to win the Superbowl ($20K & being recognized by Ellen/our community). Nothing makes me happier than people getting the recognition/reward they deserve for helping others (thank you Ellen & Target). And for me to have a small part in an even bigger story was just a lil bonus. To hear Ellen talk about a case that was my very first case/family to work with at CYFD as an intern last semester was just surreal. The guilt & sadness I had over the circumstances was greatly diminished by knowing two of the four children were placed with Sonya. I will never forget her, nor this case. ‪#‎GiveGratitudeAlways

The End of an amazing story.

 

Operation re-connect (2012 New Years Resolution)

We started 2012 with a very special New Years Resolution. We realized that this whole parenthood thing could very well consume us, become our everything, make us want to stay home 24/7 and spend every waking moment with these irresistible little people. We realized that the past 3.5 years had come and gone so swiftly that at times we wouldn’t even notice a new haircut on each other for weeks. Sometimes I’d catch Charlie in his snug boxer briefs (a la David Beckham) and I’d say to myself, ‘Who the heck is that hot guy, he’s been sleeping next to me every night?’. It was sad but true.

So for 2012 we made a resolution that we were going to force ourselves to reconnect, to make the two of us and our relationship a priority, not that being absorbed in our kids was a bad thing, but we just didn’t want to be one of those couples who looked at each other after 18 years and said, Who’s this stranger I’ve been married to for all these years and why don’t we have anything in common?

Our plan was simple. We would plan an outing for just the two of us, once a month. Not necessarily a traditional date night, but something that involved at least 4 hours of time with each other (without the kids).  We would alternate planning the dates each month (one month he would plan it, the next I would plan it, and so on). We couldn’t copy or repeat a previously planned date for the year. We assigned the alternating months at the beginning of the year so each person knew well in advance of their month and could plan accordingly without procrastination or pressure. This was only 12 dates, out of 365 days in a year, probably less than 48 hours of actual time. It allowed us to be creative, sort-of a competition almost, to top the last persons date in uniqueness.

The stage was set. We combed the Alibi, Local IQ, & Albuquerque The Magazine for ideas. Operation “re-connect” was in motion.  In addition to us reconnecting, we also decided to do the same for our kids, to plan one outing per month that was something unique for them to experience.

Many of the dates somewhat planned themselves based on charity events/organizations that we were a part of or friends party invitations.  All ended up being an amazing time:

JanuaryMoonlight Ski/Snowboard hike at Sandia Peak with the Adventure Racing Club
February – Salsa Dancing & drinks at Sandia Casino
MarchAnne of Greene Gables at the Albuquerque Little Theater
March #2 (Anniversary bonus date) –  Speak Easy Culinary Club dinner
April – Couples Massage
May – The Warrior Dash
June – Future Fund Mad Men Party
July – Future Fund Ferrari’s & Franks party
August – Future Fund pre-Concours du soleil party at Mercedes Benz
September – Albuquerque Wine Fest
October – 50 Shades of Ghattas Halloween Party
November – Future Fund Holiday Party at Albuquerque Community Foundation
December – Company Christmas Party at Slate Street, It’s a Wonderful Life at ABQ Little Theater

The kids events were just as much fun (probably more-so):

January – Albuquerque Comic Con at the Hard Rock Casino
February – Alpaca Farm with Auntie Yvonne, Mini-Taste of Albuquerque at Crown Plaza, Kids Fishing Fair at Tingley Beach
March – Camping at Villanueva campsite
April – Easter party at Doras house
May – Barnyard Animals 101 at Los Poblanos farms
June – Malachai’s pool party birthday party
July – Ojo Caliente Camping/swimming, Bowling Birthday party, 4th of July hotel getaway
August – Carnival at North Domingo Baca Community Center, Dinner at Stacy & Johns house
September – NM State Fair, Birthday parties at Peter Piper & ABQ Jump, Elephant Butte Camping
October – Greek Festival, Balloon Fiesta Campout, Lion King at Popejoy, Day of the Tread, Maize Maze, Sophia’s Birthday party
November – Lobo Football game tailgate
December – Christmas Tree cutting down in Jemez, Sandia Casino Staycation, Ruidoso for Christmas

Holiday haters gonna hate

Thanksgiving is a week away and after that, the countdown to Christmas officially begins.

Christmas time is one of my favorite times of year.  There is something that feels magical about it.  No matter how hard I fight it, it still pulls me in. The reason, the cold cozy weather, the food, the family time, the charity, the giving, the Christmas movies on TV, the smell of fireplaces going in the cold crisp winter air, cinnamon, Christmas music, anticipation of snow, and eager excited children.

I also love Christmas because I am such a nostalgic person. I remember the excitement of the season year after year as a child.  And almost every year, the sights, sounds, & smells take me back to feeling that same magic.  My heart would flutter with excitement seeing all Christmas lights & decorations, like a kid in a candy store.  Eyes wide, heart excited.  I think it’s even more magical now that I have children of my own.  In a way, it lets me re-create the magic of my childhood for a 2nd time.  Priceless.

One thing I can do without, is all of the people who complain about “the stress” of Christmas and not feeling “into it”.  Family members, friends, co-workers, all have their complaints: stores are too busy, shopping

is too rushed, cooking is overwhelming, gift giving is stressful, in-laws are unpleasant, etc.  It’s become customary to say that we are “so busy with the holidays” anytime anybody asks you how you are doing, even if you aren’t busy.  I’m guilty of this often.  The gasps I would hear if I actually said I was enjoying the season and I didn’t feel an ounce of stress.  People would think I was nuts.

We are all entitled to our opinions and we are all allowed to vent and complain from time to time.  However, my message to those people who year after year complain about Christmas, is 6 simple words that have been spoken many times before… Life is what you make it.  Period.

I remember some years ago, it became a CHORE to shop for Christmas.  I was so stressed out about spending money that I didn’t have and picking out things that people would like, that I literally HATED Christmas.  Why?  Because I was unconscious, like a lemming, swept up in the frantic glittery frenzy.  I lost sight of what was really important about the season.  I let myself get hung up in expectation & what society (& myself included) was feeding me about what the season “should” be like.  Shopping, Shopping, Spending, Spending, Consuming, Consuming, Stressful.  Rushed. Expensive. Busy. Elaborate. Forced. Unpleasant.

It took me several years to step back from that way of thinking and say, okay what do I want to take away from & make out of this season?  What does it mean to ME?  What do I WANT it to mean to me?  What is really important? And lastly, but probably most important now, what do I want my children to appreciate most about this season?  The answers became clear.  Not gifts.  Not shopping.  Not consumerism. Not over indulgence. Not STRESS.

Just like all the other cliché sayings out there:  Perception is Reality.  Life is not what happens to you but how you react to what happens to you.  Yada Yada Yada. But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense.  If you ALLOW yourself to be swept up in the materialism of Christmas, what the media sells you, what those around you expect or impose on you, then of course you will feel out of control of it all and stressed out.

Although, I’m sure that when I get to the point of cooking huge meals for the family, my kids, their kids, etc. in the future, I will be singing a different tune.  But for right now, I’ve got sight of “it” and I hope it lasts.

If you’re one of the HATERS, the next time you say “I hate Christmas time”, think about why?  Examine your own internal thinking.  Do you hate the gift-giving/shopping?  Do you hate your own self-imposed expectations?  Perceived expectations of others?   Do you hate that you’ve bought into society or the media’s idea of it, instead of defining what it will mean to you & what you will take from it?  Does the season have any deeper meaning to you or is it just a required routine? Or do you just simply hate the colors red & green together? Hey, it could just be that simple. LOL!

I think it’s hard to really enjoy something without having a personal reason to celebrate it.  It’d be like celebrating Julia Robert’s birthday every year but having no idea why, just going with the flow.  Kinda pointless, eh?

Again, Life [Christmas, or insert noun here], is what you make it.

Ratings for Killings

After the Aurora movie theater shooting and all of the shootings in the weeks since then, I feel compelled to write this.  I am sick & tired of the media making TV stars out of these tragedies.  I’m sick & tired of the shooters name & photo being on every single channel.  I’m sick and tired of the “Special Reports” on these killers & the tragic event.   15 people being shot to death shouldn’t be entertainment.

Yes, we should know what is going on in the world or in our neighborhoods, but what I have a real problem with is the fact that the News media dwells on these tragic events to gain ratings.  Of course, if one News channel chose not to make a spectacle over death & human tragedy, a majority of people would probably change the channel to find the play-by-play on another channel.  In the past I might have been one of those people.  The coverage of the death of Princess Diana had me watching the TV in tears for days.   The coverage of the September 11th tragedy had me glued to every single news station for weeks.  I was mesmerized by the sheer magnitude & tragic circumstances of those events.

But since then, I’ve developed a real problem with the way that these mass shootings or human tragedies are covered.  I don’t want human desperation & destruction to be prime time entertainment.  I don’t want the death of somebody’s daughter or son or mother to be used for media ratings.  I don’t want to be watching real life tragedy like it’s a Hollywood movie.  I don’t want some shooters face to be made famous on my television every night.

I’m not making any excuses for the crazies that commit these horrific crimes but I do think the media makes it too easy to be the star of your own nightly news special.  Heck, if you want to be the star of your own reality show for a week or two, just commit a huge horrific crime & you’ve got it.  We are desensitizing ourselves for ratings & entertainment.  I might just go out on a limb here and say that I BLAME the media for being part of the cause of these mass shootings.  I have no doubt that if our media wasn’t doing 2 hour news specials analyzing these tragedies & the shooters lives & why they “snapped”,  that many of these shootings might not have been so extreme & outrageous.

Yes, people are going nuts.  Yes, times are rough.  Yes, people snap & decide they want to kill people.  It seems to be a fact of life these days.  But with a society so obsessed with movies, TV, Hollywood, celebrities, The Kardashians, and wanting to be FAMOUS, it’s no wonder that these crazies decide to go out with a bang and take everyone with them so that they are sure to make the evening news for a week or two.  It makes me sick.  I’m sick of the media turning these killers into celebrities and perpetuating the cycle of fame in exchange for killing.  It wish it would stop.  I wish every News media company would vow to stop making these shooters famous and to not make immediate entertainment out of horrific tragedy.

It’s no wonder that the feed we watch on TV is recreating itself in our communities more & more.  We need to quit selling so much of the sick & twisted and start selling the good & positive.

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