My Christmas Present to YOU!

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20 HOLIDAY SHOPPING “SAFETY TIPS”

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Written by: Cydnee Green

This is no joke ladies.  I wrote this because I have lived it. Please read, and keep these words in mind.

This is not written to scare you. It’s written to keep you SAFE, and ALIVE. No one wants to imagine that they can be a CRIME VICTIM. But it CAN happen to YOU.

Trust me – I know from my own personal experience. It can. And it did.

Crooks are PROFESSIONALS. Their full-time “job” is ROBBING YOU! This is literally what they do for a living, and they are well rehearsed at it just like you are on your daily job.

Before becoming a victim of crime, I had this idea that crime was something that you see on TV, or read about in the newspaper with “other” people. I did NOT think that it was something that could actually happen to ME. This, my friends, is what I call – “WRONG THINKING”.  Hopefully because I am someone you actually DO know, this will resonate with you better than it did with me before I became a victim.

These are my “STAY-SAFE” TIPS for you that I have learned.

  1. PRAY God’s protection over yourself BEFORE you go out shopping.

2. WALK BRISKLY through the parking lots, (especially if you are alone), otherwise you are an easy target.

3. DO NOT BE TALKING on your CELL!!!  This makes you a VERY easy target. Crooks see that you are distracted. This makes you “easy prey”. Nothing is THAT important.

4. LOOK people ‘in the eye’ while walking past them. Just look and observe.

5. BE AWARE and ALERT of your surroundings at all times (Literally turn your head around) while your walking. Notice who’s around and behind you. Crooks don’t want you to notice them. Also they look just like “normal people”….. No mask, nothing.

6. DO NOT carry a purse. Oh, “but I NEED my purse!”  No you don’t. You CAN shop without one. YOUR PURSE is ‘usually’ what they are after. Why tempt a crook?

7. PUT YOUR MONEY and/or credit card IN YOUR BRA -OR- YOUR BOOT!  I’m not even kidding – Especially during the holiday season.

8. If you do take your purse ANYWAY, and the robbers DEMAND your purse (gun or no gun), THROW your purse BEHIND THEM so they will have to go after it, and you can RUN the other way. REMEMBER: It’s very hard to shoot at AND HIT a moving target.

9. While ON YOUR WAY BACK TO YOUR CAR – Be sure to check in, around, and under your car “before” you get back in it after shopping. Does anything look suspicious?  If so, DON’T GET IN. Get help!  (Yes, crooks can hide under your car too.)

10. Also as you are walking back to your car, WATCH for cars passing by you driving very slowly.  Robbers don’t always come on foot. Mine came by car.  Look them in the eye as they approach or pass you by. Don’t be uncomfortable with it – Let THEM be uncomfortable with it. This may encourage them to just keep going so as not to be identified later.

11. When you DO get back into your car, YOU ARE STILL NOT SAFE – UNTIL… your doors are locked, AND your car is IN MOTION.  Crooks can car jack you sitting still (even if doors are locked). And they do.

12. ALWAYS load your purchases IN THE TRUNK. This gives you more than one way to escape, should someone come up from behind you to rob you. If they do, RUN RUN RUN to whichever side that you can get to first. IF they somehow manage to push you into the trunk (FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE first – gun or no gun). If they DO manage to put you in the trunk, and there is no “release”, kick out a tail light and wave frantically.

13. DO NOT LOAD CAR FROM YOUR SIDE DOOR.  When you load from the side door, and a robber comes behind you, you are hemmed in, it becomes almost impossible for you to escape. If the robber tries to push you into the the car, you fight, kick, punch, slide down onto the ground and EVEN try to crawl UNDER THE CAR. They don’t want a scene where they might get caught.

14. DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to STAY OUT OF THAT CAR – Even if they DO have a gun. DO NOT LET THEM GET YOU INTO THAT CAR.  IF they ARE going to shoot you, your chances of survival are much better getting shot right there in the store parking lot (where there are people around), than they are in SOME REMOTE LOCATION WHERE THERE IS NO ONE AROUND.

15. Crime Scene #2 IS ALWAYS WORSE than Crime scene #1. If they take you someplace else, some remote location (Crime Scene #2), the outcome can be MUCH MUCH WORSE.  Your chances of survival are slim to none. There are also much worse things that can happen at Crime Scene #2 besides getting shot. I had a friend who ended up at Crime Scene #2, and you don’t want to be that person.

16. IF you have children with you, talk to them before you get out of the car.  I used to tell mine, “Don’t dawdle in parking lots.” “Lets go quick!”  If they asked why, I just told them, “Because it is safer, and safety is good.”

17. I almost ALWAYS at least ask if there is a “security person” who can either walk with me to my car, or if closer, watch me walk to my car (especially if I am alone). Store managers are usually VERY accommodating.

18. FOR the MEN out and about this season – Keep a “special” money clip in your pocket, with a $50 or $100 bill in it with the dollar amount showing.money clipThis way, if they say, “Give me all your MONEY”, you can hold up your (special) clip with the BIG bill showing, then throw it behind them so you can get away or do whatever you gotta do.

19. Practice these TIPS with your family if you can, or AT LEAST read this often. Make these things “clear in your mind” BEFORE you go out shopping. We learn by repetition.

20. Remember………. Criminals are professionals, and they go to “WORK” EVERY DAY just like you do. The only thing different in their job and yours is that THEY ROB PEOPLE FOR A LIVING. This is how they support themselves.  It’s very important to them for survival, just like your job is to you for your family’s survival.

YOU are not the expert on finding them.  THEY are the expert on finding you – and I am hoping that “my gift to you” will be helpful in keeping your family safe this holiday season.

BE SAFE, BE ALERT, BE AWARE 

P.S. A note from my friend, Theresa ……. Don’t forget about the RED panic button on your remote!

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Baby Steps

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In my “new normal”, as I try to put my life back together, it is very very difficult.  Often times people tell me, “baby steps”.  I get it, well at least I thought I did.

This past week, I was surprised to find out just how long I have really been practicing “baby steps”.  In my mind, this has been going on for a year and and 7 months.  In actuality it has only been maybe 5 or 6 months.  I am understanding now that I was in complete shock for an entire year.

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Now things make more sense. But that does not mean it has gotten easier.  In a way it seems more difficult.  I worked so hard for that whole first year in shock?  Really? That’s a shock in and of itself!  Does this mean that all of my hard work was for nothing? On a good day, I know the answer to that question. It’s not for nothing.

All I know is that I am tired. I still hurt. And there are days when it seems like nothing has changed. I know that I have made changes (and I can probably name them if I had to) but, I don’t want to “name” them. I want to “feeeel” them. I want to feeeel that sense of accomplishment. I want to “see” it come to fruition, all around me, just all around me.

I’m still in so much pain a lot of the time, I feel like I have not grown at all. I mean, I really work hard at it – really really hard.  I have not been sitting on my hands all of this time.  I have been working through the trauma at least 4 days a week for 2 1/2 hours a day, and then some.

How much processing of traumatic events has to happen before one can resume a somewhat normal life?  I don’t know the answer to that question.  More importantly, I don’t even know if there is an answer. Everyone processes things differently, and at their own pace, based on their own life experiences.

I want the pain to stop. I want the sleepless nights to stop. I want the anxiety and depression to stop. I want the sadness to stop. I want the grief and crying to stop. I am just TIRED. And it’s not the kind of tired that can be taken care of with a simple nap. This is different. I can nap, and when I wake up, it’s still there.

What I do know though, is that, many people all around the world have gone through much worse in their lives than myself. I have a roof over my head. I have a husband who loves me dearly. I have friends that love me. I have a nice home. I have a business just waiting for me to get back to it. I have a car to drive. I have clothes on my back. I have nice food to eat. Gratitude.

That’s where I’m at. It always comes back to gratitude doesn’t it. Gratitude, loving yourself, help from God, guidance from the Holy Ghost, your circle of supportive friends, trusting the process, and Radical Acceptance. Repeat. This is the process.

Thankfully, I have had joyful “moments” in the midst of my sorrow.  I am SO grateful for those moments like you don’t even know. Now if I can just string enough of those joyful moments together, that would make me so very happy. It will come. It will come because it has to come. I will not quit. I will go forward.

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Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Give God a shout!!!

Let’s Laugh

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Years ago, I was an Image Consultant for BeautiControl Cosmetics.  I would store some of my inventory under the bathroom sink.  From time to time, I would pull out a NEW lipstick that had little teeth marks in it, or the top was bitten off of it.

Lauren was my toddler (about 2 years old). Obviously, she was the one getting into the cabinet under the sink and playing with my new lipsticks.  I just never caught her in the act, so I couldn’t scold her.

One day, I went in the bathroom, and she was comfortably sitting on the floor with the cabinet door opened. As soon as she saw me, she smiled really big and held up a lipstick for me.  It was so stinkin’ funny, I couldn’t even get mad at her.  She had drawn bright red circles around her mouth. It was in her hair, down her arms, hands and everywhere!

She was SO proud of herself.  This picture reminded me of that day.

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