Back in May, 2016 I wrote a post on What I’m not. The post revolved around not being long or tall, not being blonde, or (gasp) young.
I believe it’s time to make a part 2 of what I’m not. I’ve thought about this a lot these past few months as my life has taken an unexpected turn and focus. As this focus has brought me to many school board meetings and events revolved around what is happening in our schools right now, I realize that I’m NOT a fashion magnate. Look, I buy a few pairs of new Vera Wang leggings at Kohls each year and any other clothes I buy is at weightlifting meets where Gina at Gameday Sports literally keeps me clothed. In fact, I’ve started traveling to meets with the shirt on my back and maybe one other non-weightlifting shirt and my “officialing” gear which I’ve decided is hideous and will attempt to find a new blue suit for Worlds in December. My current “blues” is in Savannah when I didn’t have room for them in my carry on to Baton Rouge in August and had to send them home with the Polly Pocket who drove so had plenty of room to throw my stinky suit in with her stuff.
I wish I was fashion. I admire women who effortlessly throw together an outfit and wear clothes like a hanger. I don’t need to be a Gigi Hadid but I do kinda wonder if leggings and gym shirts are the new housecoats and that’s all I wear?
I’m not not sassy. Sorrynotsorry. I don’t know know how not to be sassy. It’s in my DNA. The other day, an organization that wanted to publish one of my recent letters to the school board asked if I’d write a quick “bio” to put on the heading of the letter. Sure, I say, here it is: ‘Juli Peterson is an advocate for children’s safety from the teachings of radical ideologies, DIE, SEL. Opt-Out your children from ALL surveys.’
The entire bio took me about 28 seconds to write. Short, sweet, to the point, that’s me. However, the liaison of the group told me that the bio as written was too heavy and they’d like something lighter. My replay? ‘Juli lives in Tosa.’ Srsly, please to fuck off. This group has the opportunity to do some good work in Tosa and they are so concerned with others being mad at them that they refuse to recognize the groups they are up against. Truth be told, they have told me repeatedly that I am “too” much and I’m done. I don’t need a group of adults I’m not invested in to continue to make me feel bad for who I am, I had the Peterson’s for that. I’m sassy. This is me.
I’m not without pain in my life. I have worked very hard to get through to my husband that life has pain AND we can walk in joy. Now, pain is subjective. There is a kind man down in Wichita Falls Texas who is walking in unimaginable pain and my heart hurts for him and the loss of his son. My pain is different. It is not subdued by the enormity of others hurts, but placed in a perspective that I can appreciate. Life is pain (Princess) and learning to appreciate a sunrise; a kind smile from a stranger, or hitting all the green lights on Bluemound is worth taking a ‘W’ for a moment.
I am not without fear. I have fear, in moments an irrational amount of it. I credit those times to learning very early in life that security can be bullshit and really bad things happen. I have fear in competition where I’ve learned to bring that fear with me and put it to work in making things happen. I have a nervousness ( I don’t think it’s the same as fear but it presents the same) when speaking out at school board meetings against a runaway school board but I do it anyway. Matt reminds me that my content is far more clear than any shaking in my voice and I’m comforted by that (the Bigg guy is pretty good at that;) I am NOT fearless, I just don’t let my fear hold me back.
Lastly, I am not quiet. Again, sorrynotsorry. I am solid in my beliefs and the more I learn, the more I will not stay quiet. I have watched, since the inauguration of Obama a core group of Americans who refuse to shut the fuck up on how racist and awful America is and to that I say, piss off. Conservatives are far too willing to sit back and try to live their lives in quiet dignity while extreme far left lunatic liberals have brought many of our institutions to the brink of collapse and I refuse to leave that world for my grandbabies. I. Refuse.
My grandbabies will know that America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Their schools will not be overrun by radical theorists and sexual groomers. Not on my watch. My “why”? Morgan, Luca Nakoa, and Kulani.
Everything I’m “not” is going to be underappreciated by some, ignored by others, and ridiculed by the phat Shelley’s of the world. The extra last thing I’m not? Affected by it.
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.Marcus Aurelius
I wasn’t raised with convictions. I thought I had been, after all my dad was a Lutheran minister and my mom was a social worker/teacher, but when the rubber hit the road I realized our family values was driven by appearances, what a bummer. The effects of these failures (as I see them) of literally NOT practicing what they were preaching is embedded in my soul.
When it was learned (in a way my mom couldn’t ignore this time) that my brother was raping and molesting me, their decision to send ME out of the house and send ME to counseling while they all got to live their “happy on the outside” lives was, in a nutshell, bullshit. Their decision for me to get an abortion at 15 to avoid THEM having to live through the embarrassment of their troubled daughter becoming pregnant, while they actively protested at the local Planned Parenthood against abortion was also, in that same Peterson nutshell, massive bullshit. (They were right though, I was troubled. Clearly, it was my fault that I didn’t feel good about myself; felt dirty, and wanted to have sex with as many boys, and later men, to cleanse myself of having sex with my brother. Also, the only useful thing about me was that I had a vagina to be used for sex, a consequence of a childhood stolen at 9 years old where the only thing I existed for was sex. Super fucked up Jules, that was me. And when I stopped playing that role, the Peterson’s became awfully nervous.)
I stood up to them and had a baby at 16. Oh sure, I was sent away to a shelter to live out my shame alone. Just more Peterson’s being Peterson. I guess all of their talk on how abortion was murder made it’s way into my heart and I did the hard thing of having a baby and placing her for adoption. I did my best. And I did it alone.
My daughter and I have since been reunited and in true Peterson fashion, they planted themselves smack dab in the middle of it and fucked it up. Peterson’s gotta Peterson. But we’ve (I hope) settled into an existence of harmony and my amazing number 1 granddaughter has her birthday today. Aren’t I the lucky one for getting to say happy birthday!
But it is a fact that my convictions had consequences and I learned very early on that often those convictions will mean I’m standing alone. It hurts, always. But I put on my fierce face and keep stepping. What are the other options? I say, well this is wrong but whatever, I’ll just go along with it! Uhhhh, no. (I imagine my husband just laughed at this sentence cuz he’s met me and “just going along” doesn’t happen.)
I’ve thought about this today because here in little ‘ol Wauawtosa, there is a battle between those who wish their children to enjoy their childhoods, including in school and those who wish to introduce Radical Gender Ideology and a Comprehensive Sex Education curriculum that can only be described at sick, twisted, and completely fucked up. Introduce 8 year old’s to masturbation? Sure! Anal sex to 10 & 11 year old’s? Why not??
There are a few of us who have spoken out against this sexual indoctrination (2nd grade is when children start learning the important lesson of “consent.” As in, maybe these sexual comments and advances aren’t actually pedophilia but a real love among an adult and a 7 year old who can learn to give “consent”.) But there are more who wish to stay in the shadows of opposition. They don’t want the “woke mob” after them. They don’t want their children to be bullied at school for having parents in the news. They oppose these school board moves but don’t want to be associated with those opposing them. Not too hard to see how we got here, eh?
Convictions have consequences, as do not standing up for those convictions. If you are not bold enough to fight for your children, America’s children, who are you thinking will be? Schools are already pitting children against their parents and by not wanting to appear “intolerant” you’re playing right into their hands. Grow a pair, your kids need you more than anyone or anything else.
Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.. John Steinbeck
As is often the unfortunate case these days, when tragedy strikes (from nature or humans), we must all rush to social media to state our opinions.
One thing I have noticed the last 5 or so years is the amount of people who rage against “thoughts and prayers.” ‘Fuck your thoughts and prayers’ is trending on the Twitsville. I’m old so I can’t wrap my head around that thought process but ya know, freedom of speech and all.
Here’s the deal, sending thoughts and prayers for those in need in any situation only holds power to those who are believers in God and His promises. I happen to be one. I have seen and felt the power of prayer and I mostly keep that to myself because I don’t need to virtue signal my beliefs at every street corner. I have had small town busy bodies say that they’ll pray for me and an instant ‘fuck yourself’ forms in my brain but hopefully stops there and I have had others tell me they’re praying for me and I am comforted. Situational.
What I DO know is that while prayer can bring comfort, it does not wipe away pain. Cuz we’re human and humans feel pain. Anger can mask it for a time, but at some point y’all are going to have to deal with the pain underneath. There are many instances where ALL we can do is pray and for those who do not value this power, they don’t understand. I get it. I don’t understand the Cloud, we all have our crosses to bear. I don’t rail about it (FUCK YOUR CLOUD!) I just understand that this is a thing and cool.
And to those who want to say, “Ya butt the cloud is real and your God isn’t”, I reply with, “Oh yes He is you poopoo head.” People believe a vegan diet is healthy, you can’t fix everybody.
For believers, this one anyway, sending prayerful energy through the universe to a person or event is powerful. You can disagree, you’re wrong, but you can disagree. You do not hold the power to take this away from me. Sorry not sorry.
There are people who, while sending prayers, are also working in their corners of the universe to make the world better and some who send prayers and need to focus on their own survival. Both are okay.
Stop being such judgemental pricks, let people be comforted as they see fit.
Last week, we entered the hallowed ground of American healthcare. On Tuesday, as I was on day 2 of driving home from Savannah Matt called and said he didn’t feel good. Ok, that’s weird. It’s pretty rare that Matt doesn’t feel good INCLUDING when he brought the c-flu home from work one day and was a walking super spreader event all on his own. That time, he went to bed early and woke up the next day feeling fine.
This time was different. I rolled in after lunch and he had already canceled his work trips for the week. He stayed awake long enough to kiss me hello and then passed out for hours. I woke him up a couple of times to drink water and some bone broth and he went right back to sleep.
The next day was better but he complained of a tweaked calf and groin on his right leg and said it was a little swollen. Ok, what I’ve learned in the last week is that when the hothunkyhubs tells me something is swollen, I need to actually look at it (yes, that sounded dirty, no way around it.) But when you use words around here such as ‘tweaked’ and ‘swollen’ we automatically go to a muscle belly tear, even a small one and that’s normal enough in this house that it’s not even a blip on the radar.
By Thursday afternoon, after still walking around with a painful calf, Matt came into the gym and said that if it still hurts tomorrow he wanted to go into Urgent Care. Whoa, this is different. Something’s wrong. I asked if I could reach out to our neighbor who is a NP and a flurry of texts ensued. I was concerned about a blood clot as was she but she also brought up cellulitis, a serious bacterial infection. Uh oh, that one got my attention even more than a clot. My daughter had a serious blood infection in middle school and nearly died so I was far more concerned about infection than a clot (yes, I’m aware of how serious blood clots are and have experienced a loved one with a clot. It’s bad, in my experience, infection is worse.)
Our NP Angel neighbor said to go to the ED (remember when it used to be called ‘ER’ like, there was an entire television show called ER but suddenly we now say ‘ED’ like it’s different) immediately. She also sent us to a nearby suburb instead of the ER close to us to avoid the shit show that the largest hospital in Wisconsin can be. We walked in, were seen right away and once Matt put on his hospital gown and I saw his leg, I knew we were in the shit. Even writing this could make me cry, it was bad. Angry red all the from the foot to the groin and at least twice the size of his other leg although I’d go out on a limb and say it was 3x the size, especially down near the ankle.
A short time after Matt’s ultrasound, the nurse came in and stated there was no blood clot. She didn’t use her happy voice. This meant he had an infection and it was terrifying. Now, there IS some positive works around this. The first is that Matt has never been hospitalized before which helped him stay pretty upbeat throughout the ER. Another is that Matt is big and strong and completely confident in his ability to fight infection and to be fair, I took solace in that also. I already knew that he would be admitted so we started talking about the most important fact facing us in this moment as a married couple, how do I get him food since he hadn’t ate since noon. For realz.
As they were preparing where they were going to put him, one nurse came in and stated that unfortunately visiting hours were over and I wouldn’t be able to go upstairs with him. This got Matt’s attention, how was I going to bring him food if I couldn’t get in? ‘Dunno’ kind of felt like, ‘not our problem’ and now their perfectly pleasant patient was turning into hangry bear and good luck with that upstairs. I was 3 miles down the road on my way home when I got a call from Matt, “The charge nurse said you can bring me food, she’ll work it out with security.” Ahhhh, smart charge nurse.
Three pounds of steak & rice from Chipotle later with a happier Matt and a happy charge nurse, I headed home. Alone. Well, I had puppy and he helped some but the uncertainty that comes from a medical crisis is dark. If you know you know. It was a sad night and exhausted, stressful sleep came in bursts. Some of my stress came from knowing Matt didn’t realize what he was facing spending a night in the hospital and in fact when he said in the ER that he just needed some sleep, I tried to gently (ok, Jules version of gently) tell him that you do not sleep in the hospital. He smiled but he didn’t know and bless his heart, he thought I was being dramatic.
When I came back to see him Friday morning, breakfast sammiches in tow, he was tired. Still positive, but tired. That tiredness didn’t improve until this morning after he slept for 10 hours in his own bed.
Nearly 40 years ago, I was a candy striper (spell check wants me to add a ‘p’ to that word, uhhhh no thanks spellcheck) at North Memorial hospital in Minneapolis. I was put on the stroke/coma floor which was not very fun and actually pretty scary for a teenager whose first exposure to illness of others is on a nonverbal floor. I entered one coma victims room to clean up a bit and her family was visiting and praying for her. I tried not to be in the way and then noticed one of the pictures on the window sill was of one of my Sunday school kids! Super crazy. The woman DID eventually wake up which was nothing less than a miracle. OH, there was also a nursing strike when I volunteered so I got to walk through a picket line of people screaming at me for going in and I’m all, “I’m clearly a kid, what the fuck.” That was my first experience with unions, not super positive.
What I’ve learned in the last week is that hospital protocol has changed very little in 40 years since I was a candy striper. When I told Matt that he won’t be sleeping much, again, he thought I was being dramatic. Nope, dead on. It is shocking that we haven’t applied what we’ve learned, healing comes in good sleep. Every athlete on the planet knows that sleep is priority number one for good recovery. Number 2? Nutrition. Again, the hospital protocol fails Americans. The food served has not changed in 40 years. Now, look (shit gets serious when you say ‘look’), high school Jules adored eating 3 kinds of cake down in the cafeteria during my break and sneaking juice and cookies all shift long but I wasn’t in there trying to heal.
Luckily, Matt had someone bring him pounds of beef showered in salt (ya need salt dudes, even in the hospital) and salads from home so he wasn’t eating garbage all day although I did concede on breakfast sammiches each morning cuz they make him happy and full and he needed some of that.
To reiterate, every athlete on the planet knows that sleep and nutrition are THE most important factors in your training program yet our American hospital protocols take a monster sized dump on that notion and do what they’ve been doing for decades, prevent sleep and feed you absolute shit.
When Matt’s hospitalist doctor said that Matt needed to follow up this week with his primary care physician, we laughed and asked what that is. He didn’t seem too shocked that we don’t have a doctor which, to his credit, was refreshing. Why would we need a doctor, we’re not sick. Yes, Matt got sick and we’ve been exposed to the complete and utter failure of healthcare in America. This is the fault of everyone involved in healthcare. Medical professionals who don’t speak up, systems, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, politicians, administrators…everyone but the people all those groups are fighting to dictate how they will care for you and for how much. It’s mind blowing.
When I was 17, my fairly active mother fell from a bike while she was exercising my brothers sheep dog. One broken leg surgery plus staph infection later and she officially entered the world of, “I received a lot of love and care from this surgery so I’ll have an additional 20 more before I die.” Sounds fun, eh? She was addicted to the doctors appointments, the specialists, the 2 gallon sized baggies full of different medications and the attention they brought. No bueno. What’s worse is that she was the American healthcare system’s best friend, unlimited visits with good insurance. (In 2018, Bernard Tyson, then CEO of nonprofit health care giant Kaiser Permanente, made nearly $18 million dollars per the Google. Don’t try telling me non-profit hospitals don’t care about money, someone tried to do that once. Lol.) In fact, add ‘non profit status’ stipulations as part of the system that works against the average American in healthcare. It’s bottom line baby and if you’re not contributing to it GTFOH with your bad self.
When Matt was finally released, we had to go and pick up his pill form antibiotics to continue his progress at home. It was “called in and all ready for him” according to the nurse. Nope, it took 3 visits and a creative pharmacist to understand that if they didn’t have the large sized gel caps to make his prescription, she could put each dose in 3 smaller caps and sent him on his way. When he went in this morning to get his blood checked in the location (including exactly where to park) according to the email confirmation, they told him he was in the wrong place. They ran the test anyway but the experience tells me that it was up to their discretion to send him on his way and figure it out or actually help him. Kinda bullshitty.
What I’ve taken away from the entire experience is A) get big and strong and yes, big is subjective but a 145 pound male with ankles smaller than my wrists better have a competitive weight class listed behind your name or you’re likely just small and weak (I call it the Brookfield dad condition, they’re all over the place over there) and you’ve opened yourself up to the reality that you may not survive a completely survivable condition. B) you better know how to get healthy after an unhealthy episode and your doctor has no clue how to do that except hand you pharmaceuticals. Don’t know how? Find someone.
The last thing I’ve learned or at least have confirmed, is that the healthcare system in America is stacked against you if you are an average American. You will be harassed/bullied/given attitude (Matt’s ER NP gave me kind attitude when I asked if they’d be checking for a blood infection. “Why would we do that?” 5 minutes later a different nurse was in the room taking blood cultures looking for what could cause a blood infection. I didn’t point it out to the NP, that was your mulligan, you don’t get another one;) If you need to go to the pharmacy 3 times to get your life saving/sustaining medicine, you better make sure you have a car and the ability to take off of work to do so while someone watches your kids (I watched the puppy for Matt, I’m giving that way.) You also better make sure you have the tenacity to ask tough and direct questions of everyone involved because very few people in the industry appreciate being disagreed with. Stand firm, this is your life.
I’ve been reminded of the absolute goodness of people. The nurses and caretakers, our amazing neighbor who is stopping by later to check on Matt’s leg who has been tireless in checking up on us throughout it all and giving me important questions to ask. Matt’s parents who have been so supportive and our many friends who’ve checked in each day to make sure BOTH of us are okay.
I’m grateful that healing, health, and strength is a foundation of our living together, I couldn’t imagine living with someone who would hand over their health to a one trick pony “professional” who hands out meds like orange and yellow jellybeans and tells you they’re the best part of the jellybean bag and will cure what ails ya. Partnership with a doctor/nurse practitioner/nurse is paramount to moving forward in health. It’s going to take you a while to find one who is open to listening but when you do, it will be worth it. Probably, I’ve never found one which is why I also don’t have a primary care physician. Oops.
Lastly I’m grateful the hothunkyhubs is still around and we can look forward to celebrating the twins birthday; our granddaughter’s 2nd birthday; a Savannah wedding with our besties, and whatever else happens when he’s feeling up to it ( yes, that sounded dirty, no way around it;)
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love.