Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dec 25th

Weird how the anticipation builds. 

We make plans for weeks, discuss the menu, purchase gifts, fight traffic, wrap gifts, make fudge, eat and then it's over and we fix our anticipation towards New Year's. 


12/25 is here. The anticipation has caught up to the realization.


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Friends??

This month I have taken illogical to a new level. I don't know what happened. While I should be saving money in case, God forbid, I lose my job in this unstable economic time, in the past month, I have done some serious spending. This is not like me. I mean, I don't mind partaking in some extra spending when I have extra to play with but right now, I really don't.

Throwing caution off my 3rd floor balcony on black Friday, I made the first of my anti-budget purchases. Here it is:

My 17" Dell laptop has no battery because it died a few months ago. Often, the power cord comes out of the back of it, shutting down the computer, while I'm in the middle of working on something. So annoying. I have always been a PC but I am morphing my identity and now I am a Mac. At least I'm headed in that direction. It's taking a little getting used to. Drafting documents like this one, for blogging, have caused me a little grief with formatting and what-not but I'm stickin' with it. Mac and I are becoming BFFs.
As long as my world of technology is turning upside down, it was time for a cell phone upgrade. My phone, fully charged, only had a 6 1/2 minute talk time before it went dead. So on Sunday I purchased this:

This little beast looks all sleek and friendly but I am not yet convinced that we will be friends. We are still getting acquainted and so far, we disagree on some major things. This kind of relationship is new to me. I'm used to a straight-up cell phone no touch screen or email or MS Word in my purse. I'm giving it a week before I decide if I will stay the course on becoming all hi-tech.
Will these new friends be worth the bad attitude my budget gives me for not giving her my full attention?? I'll let you know when the bills come in.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dear Crazy Neighbor,

I'm writing because I have a few questions concerning stuff that I don't get.  

  • Why do you insist on screaming to me when you hear my footsteps coming up the stairs, assuming I am your daughter?? I can hear everything that goes on over there. You and your daughter are not the only people who live in the building. Have you heard of an "inside voice"?? Please get one. 

  • Why do you flick the ashes from your cigarettes onto the floor in the hallway?? Often, you do it the same day that the cleaners come by. You are not a dog, there's no need to mark your territory. 

  • About the hallway, here's a newsflash - it's a shared space, not your dining room or your garage. What's up with the mac and cheese that you ground into the carpeting?? It now smells like baby throw up. The bike, shoes and other household items will soon disappear. They are a fire hazard. 

  • Why is it, that when I open my sliding glass door in search of a peaceful moment on my balcony, you appear and pretend to have something to do on your balcony?? When I go inside, you do as well. Weird. 

  • I know you don't work and don't have a car. I see you bossing the lady that lives below you and then she lets you use her car. Have you thought about getting a job?? The sketchy men that visit... is that your method of financial survival?? When you locked one of them on your balcony, I thought it was funny but again, screaming late at night is not ok. 

To sum it up, why are you so crazy?? Maybe crazy is all you've ever known. Maybe the substances you indulge have overtaken your life. I am frustrated because your crazy behavior is affecting me. Please get help. 

Sincerely, 
Your Bitchy Neighbor

Friday, December 12, 2008

Facing Feces

Lately, I keep remembering things. 

I'm not talking about the proverbial stroll down memory lane filled with cozy and fluffy nostalgia. It's more like I'm minding my own business and out of the blue, from somewhere overhead, I get pooped on by a pigeon (which really happened but I will save that story for another time). It has been happening frequently these past few weeks. The poopy memories dropping in on me, I mean. Not the literal pigeon poop. 

Are you still with me? 

I found a playlist on my ipod. Good songs. Great songs, in fact, but when I listened to them, I was immediately transported to the time in my life when I first came to love those songs. I cringed. Something in me wanted to turn the music off and find a tune that didn't remind me of loss. 

I got the invitation to attend the company Christmas party. This will be the 3rd year in a row. The 1st year included a posh, all expense paid trip to So. Cal for the event and last year, an in-state, top notch dinner party complete with limo service. Both experiences were fantastic. Both experiences were shared with the same person. The experiences and the person are now gone. I felt sick. I wanted to r.s.v.p that I will not be able to make it this year. 

The ways in which we are able to hold conversations, images and feelings in our minds like a living scrap book is a treasure most of the time but there are some things that I don't want to reminded of; similar to how I wish the pictures of my hill-billy fashion sense and mullet-ish hair from 1989 would disappear. 

Strangely, as these things and others have tried to defecate on me, I have found that when I stand there and look them straight in the eye, it's not so bad. 

I listened to every song on the playlist. I listened, and rather than dwell in another time, I found new meanings in the words of those songs.  

I sent back the r.s.v.p and next weekend, I will go to the company Christmas party. I will have a new experience and I will share it with someone different.  

I asked, without flinching, for God to navigate me through these things and to heal me. It would be easy to cut off these kind of memories when they appear. It wouldn't sting so much to simply avoid whatever triggers them but then there would be no deep healing. Something else that I didn't foresee would arise and prompt more hiding and more avoidance within myself. 

Yes, it's stinky and messy but it's just a little poop. It will wash off with soap and water.  

Besides, running and hiding from a pigeon seems ridiculous, don't you think?    

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Staying Warm In Winter

Winter has once again, made its way to the northeast. Although it won't be official for another week and a half, the days are more cloudy than not and it's been raining for the past few days. Freezing rain and snow are supposed to stop by tomorrow. Ugh!

Winter is not my favorite season. 

I always seem to put on an extra layer of fat as if I were a Kodiak bear living in the frozen tundra. If I could hibernate until spring I certainly would. To keep from freezing up in winter, I eat. This "most wonderful time of the year" is synonymous with sugar-laden cavity-forming goodies. In this festive month, it becomes nearly impossible not to feed at the trough of seasonal comfort foods. New Year's resolutions are intended for tackling weight loss anyway so why not?

Here are a few of my favs:

Candied Strawberries- Essentially, these scrumptious confections are made up of sweetened flake coconut mixed with sweetened condensed milk and strawberry jello powder. You can form them in the shape of a strawberry or you can just roll them into balls, (which is what I do) and then roll them in sugar. If you've never had them, you are missing out. 

Eggnog- This beverage is liquid poundage. For some reason, when I pour a glass of this stuff, I tend to guzzle it in one gulp. Something about the rich flavor coupled with the thick and creamy texture grips me from the moment it touches my lips. Weird fact: I always drink eggnog from a stemmed wine glass. Why? I have no idea. As a child, the only time my parents' wine glasses got any use was when we got (non-alcoholic) eggnog at Christmas. I guess I still associate eggnog with a wine glass. Weird. This year, I discovered a delicious variation of the holiday nog. Pour a shot of Buttershots liquor in and you will be heading towards a caloric coma in approximately 10 minutes. 

Peppermint Ice Cream- It arrives around Thanksgiving and disappears before New Year's. The window for enjoying this flavor is not long enough. This year, my sister Kari sent out an email alert the day she saw it in the freezer section at her local Stop'n'Shop so we could all get the maximum delight. Blue Bell is best brand but Connecticut doesn't seem to carry it. After consuming a couple gallons during the month of December, the hips are happy to see peppermint ice cream go into hiding for another 11 months. 
Since cranky old man winter isn't spreading much cheer, 'tis the season to indulge in merry-making treats. The fat content and calories are sure to keep you toasty till spring. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Have A Laugh... It's On Me

Have you ever seen trick ankles?? 

I had to make a stop at Target the other night. I needed to exchange an item I had purchased over the weekend. I trotted up to the customer service desk and made a smooth and uneventful transaction (even though I had thrown away the receipt). After that, smooth and uneventful decided to stay there at the counter and let me go on ahead.  

I turned around to walk away and right there in the main aisle... in full view of everyone walking into the store as well as those standing in line to check out... the trick ankle got all sassy with me. The boots slipped on the waxed linoleum floor... and I went down in a blaze of glory. The knees hit first, then the hands; like a toddler learning to walk but not as cute. I jumped up in one swift move, trying to keep moving so no one would ask if I needed an ambulance. I did not look around to see how many eyes were staring. 

My trick ankles don't really embarrass me anymore. I have grown accustomed to their tantrums. I have "biffed-it" in the mall, at a restaurant and while crossing a street. I have fallen going down stairs on a ferry boat, going up stairs, on a sidewalk (wearing only my swimsuit), in a parking lot and even, chasing a boy down a hill when I was a tween. Wiping out is one thing that I am good at.  

My right knee cap got the worst of if. It's reddish-purple now but I'm confident it will make a full recovery and will live to have another meeting with the ground. 

If you are ever so fortunate to witness the wonders of my trick ankles, I promise you will not be disappointed.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

You May Now Enter

After Thanksgiving I give Christmas permission to officially be on its way in song, in deed, and in spirit. AFTER Thanksgiving, NOT BEFORE. My friend Melissa, who tries to sneak the Christmas music in at all times of the year, received a sneer from me when she made the bold move of rockin' the xmas tunes while dressing in costume on halloween. Not OK with me.

This past weekend, I started easing into the yuletide by mixing up a merry new playlist for the ipod. It's a small thing, I know, but I wasn't ready to run out on black Friday and make a $50 Douglas Fir purchase.

Like it or not, it is December which means eggnog lattes, "Elf" on a different tv channel almost everyday and the full throttle countdown to Christmas.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Lament

A 4-day weekend is always hard to give up.
Getting up whenever I want.
No agenda except the one of my own making.
Spending hours reading.
It has come to an end ever so quickly.

Onward now...to December.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Water Into Wine

In some ways, like the progress of our culture, Christianity has increasingly become more modern and mainstream. Depending on whom you talk to or what groups you circulate in, the opinions of Christianity are about as diverse as the colors of a rainbow.

That being said, there are a few topics that almost always bring controversy. One of the greats is drinking alcohol. Regardless of your personal opinion on this subject, the passage in the Bible about the first miracle that Jesus performed captures me. It's the one where Jesus turned the water into wine.


Here’s the deal; he was partying with his posse. They are at a wedding and everyone is boozing it up when they run out of wine. Here’s what I find interesting. Jesus, being God, perfectly sinless in every way, doesn’t say, ‘you all have had too much to drink; it’s time to call it a night. The party’s over, I’ll be the DD; it’s time to go sleep it off’. Instead, he chooses to make this the site of his first miracle and he turns the case of Evian in the corner into the finest Cabernet and keeps the party going.

Picturing this scenario in today’s American society, I find it comical. Some followers of Jesus today would bail out of a situation like this. Drunken wedding celebrations are not accepted in some American churches but Jesus’ first miracle was actually providing every opportunity for an intoxicated celebration.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A.B.I

Despite the fact that it took her 30-something hours of labor to arrive, Abi made her grand entrance 5 days after Thanksgiving that year. She finally showed up screaming with every ounce of her 8 lb. little body. With that, the drama began.

I was 12 years old when I witnessed my youngest sister’s birth. It was quite an experience for a pre-teen. We had spent months gathering baby clothes, toys, diapers, and all manner of accessories. The anticipation and excitement consumed us. We folded the tiny sleepers and blankets and rearranged the bibs and doll sized socks and pacifiers everyday that summer. My sisters and I were being given the best Christmas gift ever, a real live baby doll. She was ours. Being nearly a teenager, and having babysat other children, I was aware and capable of understanding what it meant to take care of a baby and I looked forward to it.

She was born a fighter, screamer and all drama. At 3 months old, my parents left Abi with my sisters and I while they went out for the evening. She screamed the whole night. Somewhere around 5 months old, she took “getting attention” to a new level. She cried so hard that she held her breath until she passed out. She went limp, eyes rolled back in her head. I thought she was dying. My dad blew in her face and she quickly regained consciousness. After that, the ‘pass-out trick’ became a regular occurrence. One time when Abi had just learned to roll over, I was home alone with her. I put her on my bed while I cleaned my room. She rolled off the bed. Scared but unhurt she pulled the pass-out stunt again. It was a little frightening but I knew what to do and within a minute or so, everything was fine.

At age 3, she had a vocabulary that exceeded most 8 year olds and she had the diva attitude to go with it. Having 3 teenaged sisters, she had to keep up. Since she was the youngest, she needed someone to boss around. Abi had her own pony and was not afraid to sneak out of the house and hop on “Cowboy” with her whip in hand and ram-rod around the arena as fast as Cowboy’s short legs would go. When it came to pets, she loved them. At 7 years old, she became a cat breeder. She had a couple of cats named “Frank” and “Jesse” and soon she had a litter of kittens. She took care of them as if they were her children. She carried them around in a blanket and made sure they stayed cozy at night in the shed. She is still the source of laughter and joy in our family. Easily excitable, she keeps us all from getting too serious. A few years ago, on Christmas Eve, Abi disappeared. When I went to find her, the sign posted on her bedroom door said, “DO NOT COME IN! RAPING PRESENTS”. We still tease her about that.


Today, my baby sister turns 19. It’s hard to believe the chatty little girl that would tell stories while I put sponge rollers in her hair is all grown up. Generally, siblings are only a few years apart in age so they all grow up together. It’s a different experience to actually watch your sister grow up. In high school, I watched her be a leader to the girls on her volleyball team while she tried her best to stay above the teen-girl pettiness. She is beautiful! She is sensitive. She is becoming a strong and confident woman and has proven that she desires to continue to grow in character. She takes time to connect with people that most young adults her age think they are too cool to care about.

Abi, I am proud of you! I see that you are far beyond where I was at your age. I know you have what it takes to pursue the desires of your heart. Don’t let the tough spots in life derail your dreams. Go after them, even if you find them changing, as you get older. Remember that every person who makes an appearance in your life is there for a reason. And every obstacle or crisis is an opportunity for growth. You possess beauty and joy that the world needs. Don’t ever be afraid of who you are. Take the risk in giving of yourself in spite of the heartache that may come your way. The pay out will be worth it in the end. Don’t shutdown. Be only who you are.

I miss you, Abs. I miss taking you to Wal-mart on a moment’s notice and listening to our favorite songs as loud as we can stand it. I’m guessing you are having a big feast today 'cause this year, you are sharing your day with Thanksgiving.

I love you Abi-jail!
Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Love Or Fear

Love – Deep affection or intense desire for another. Selfless dedication to another.
Fear – Deep apprehension or intense anxiety. Anticipation of adversity or misfortune.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

In every conversation, every human interaction, every day of every life we have the choice to love or fear. All that we do and say is motivated by either love or fear. When we are wronged, mistreated, or misunderstood do we confront in love or do we rise up to seek vindication through fear? To speak to another from a place of fear will reap in return the stirred up fear of that other person. The cycle continues like a merry-go-round. Fear breeds fear. Fear of rejection, fear of hurt, fear of failure, fear of being exposed for who we really are, fear of not being enough, fear of being too much. The things we fear are endless and the ways in which we operate everyday based on those fears are ongoing. On the other hand, if we invest in others from a motivation of love, it sets both us and the other person free to interact and respond without fear because perfect love casts out fear. To approach relationship being motivated by a genuine desire for the good of another no matter what, could transform the way we live our lives. Many times we don’t even know what we are doing. We don’t stop to think about what is behind the conflict, the words, the attitude, or the behavior.

What would happen if I could be completely satisfied in God’s approval of me and being centered in that satisfaction, I was able to respond to everyone in my life from a place of love, not to get love in return but simply for love’s sake. When I no longer seek approval from people, knowing that another person is not the verdict on who I am or what I am worth, then I am free to love people without seeking their love in return. There are no guarantees in life. Though it would be nice to give love only when we are certain that it’s safe or certain that the outcome will be love returned, that undermines love itself. Love, by definition is selfless, it doesn’t seek its own. If we wait to give love until we have a guarantee, we will never love.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Observations From A Nightclub

One Friday night, with a couple of girl friends, I went to a nightclub. This particular establishment was a trendy place, 3 levels of entertainment and loud music, the kind where you can feel the bass in your chest. Due to my new year’s resolution that year, I didn’t have my usual Long Island Iced Tea that night.

We found our way to the lower level where the crowd had gathered. The dance floor and the bar were full that night. Although the club scene isn’t really my thing, I’ve had fun dancing in places like that before. Letting loose with the safety of a few friends can be a great beginning to a much-needed weekend.

Skanktastic. That’s the word I found to describe what I saw that night. Many men stood around with drinks in their hands, not dancing or trying to dance but rather just sizing up the view. Two scantily clad dancers were on elevated platforms showing the rest of us what we should look like. One guy went and parked himself in front of a dancer and basically salivated at her every move.

I’ve never seen so many creepy men in one place before. Maybe at other times it was just the same and I was oblivious, but that night I noticed. It felt like they were hungry dogs looking for a weakened one to take advantage of. It was a stage set for casual sex. 30, 40, maybe 50 pairs of eyes roamed every inch of the room. None of them wanted to engage in conversation but they lingered, looking for any female intoxicated enough to feed their hunger.

There was such emptiness in those eyes. Hollow, hardened and alone. I saw it on the faces of the girls there as well. Trying to escape reality and the pain of their lives, they only continued the cycle by falling into arms that they would wake to regret.

On that night, I felt like I experienced more than just an evening of entertainment, I witnessed the sorrow of mankind.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What Happened Here?





Ummm... Rihanna... Who told you that was cute??

Kanye- Please, stop stealing fox pelts. There is only one Davie Crockett and you are not him.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Upside To A Downward Dog Economy

The economy sucks. Duh! It could be likened to the common yoga pose. It has its ass up in the air and its head is nearly touching the ground.

I opened my 401k statement yesterday from Q3 of this year and I found that I have lost 15% of my retirement funds in the past 3 months. Guess I won't be retiring any time soon.

Hold on one second... I have found a bright spot...

Driving home from work yesterday, I passed the local gas station that I frequent every weekend. My eyes blinked hard when I saw the sign. The price was $1.97. I live in one of the most expensive states in the union. Things in Connecticut generally cost more than most places in the country, except New York. So, for the price of gas to be under $2.00 here must mean that gas prices in other parts of the nation like, Iowa for instance, are probably close to $1.50 or less.

As GM is going down, so is the price of crude oil. Jed Clampett is in foreclosure. Elly May and Jethro are packin' Granny up and leavin' Beverly Hills. They are headin' back to the hills of Tennessee.

However, the Clampett's misfortune is this girl's ray of sunshine! This my friends, is the optimistic side of a pessimistic worldwide economy.

While my nest egg is cracking and oozing the green stuff onto the pavement, it costs me less to get to work than it did a month ago. This is a good thing considering early retirement isn't working out.

Deep breath... Namaste!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh! Hey...Can You See?

Have you ever watched a situation unfold from a distance and were able to foresee what was about to happen?

A couple of months ago I was in New York for a lovely Saturday afternoon. A friend and I had decided to sit for a while in Columbus Circle. Columbus Circle is a round a bout on the southwest corner of Central Park. In the center of the round a bout is a statue and a series of fountains. It’s a lovely spot to watch people, and traffic, if you are so inclined to examine circular traffic patterns.

On this warm autumn day, a little boy about 7 years old was there with his dad. The little guy started walking on the cement edge of the fountain, back and forth. Soon, he was leaning on the edge of the fountain and dipping his hands into the water, gathering all the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters that he could reach. After a while, there were no more coins within reach so he inched his body over the edge until only his feet were on the edge of the fountain and his body reached out as far as he could, without getting more than his arms wet. He picked up more coins. When I saw how this kid was finding new ways to reach and still continued to get the money that was just beyond him, I knew eventually he was going to fall in. I could see it. He was a little boy, curiously intrigued and pushing his limits. At one point he was on his tippy-toes. He wanted all the money in the fountain and he kept grasping beyond his reach. It was inevitable that there would be a splash. His dad didn’t seem to mind. Dad just let the kid clean out the fountain. Then, sure enough, his foot slipped and in an instant, his shoe was soaked. It was all downhill from there. The shoes came off and next, he’s wading in the fountain and sticking his hands in the streams of water. He gathered up every last penny with the help of a little girl who wanted in on the loot once she saw him get completely in the water. It was nearly dark when he left cold and soaking wet. There are many times in life when we get to observe from a distance. We watch friends make choices and we can see the things that they cannot. We see the ways that those choices are changing them, not always for good. We see the trouble they are walking into and consequently, the pain they will face because of it. We may try to shelter them or talk them out of it or help them see clearly but often times, our attempts to convey what we perceive, are useless. Many times a person we love will choose the path that they want, regardless of our levelheaded argument.

It takes equal parts of love, grace and compassion to continue to offer yourself to someone who knowingly walks into a dangerous situation; but that is what we must do. That is what Jesus continues to do for each of us.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Verb Is An Action Word

Hope.
–verb (used with object)
1. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.


The air is fresh. I can breathe again.
The unknown is not paralyzing. I observe with a serene perspective.
Unchained in my mind, I want to create again.
Though my circumstances cause doubt, I trust in what is unseen.
Believing in spite of disappointment, hope empowers life to find its step again.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Going Back To Find Today

This past week marked the 3-year anniversary of my move to the East Coast. As I realized that this milestone was upon me, I stopped to look back over the past 3 years. In some ways it feels as if it was only 6 months ago and then there are other times when it feels as if it has been 5 years or more.

I tend to measure time by way of significant relational and/or emotional moments. The past 3 years have certainly taken me down relational and emotional roads that I had never seen before and some that I wish weren’t so familiar.

Life tends to move in cycles.
The seasons, the tides, months, and moons all come and go time and time again.
It’s a love-hate thing for me.
Sometimes it’s easy to see what has come, go away again. Other times, well, it takes a little longer to pry my fingers loose.

So, I found it noteworthy that this week, as I completed 3 full years of living in a new state and having started a new life filled with many new experiences and new people, I find myself having come full circle.

When I moved, I found a place of contentment in exactly where I was. I found joy in accepting that regardless of the fact that my life had not turned out how I imagined it would, it was ok. I was ok. I stopped striving to stuff myself into the expectations that I idealistically dreamed up and allowed my life to be just as it was and I enjoyed it. I moved on November 3rd 2005 with an openness and optimism that filled me with peace. If things did not follow the outline I had sketched, I felt that it would be ok because I was taking risks and living, for better or worse.

Somehow, over the past 3 years, as I settled into a new life and found a new normality, I started striving again. I walked a path of trying to make my life into what I thought it should be and found myself continuously frustrated by the ways that I couldn’t make it work out how I wanted. I literally spent months with knots in my stomach every day. To use a phrase I heard on my favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy, I lost pieces of myself along the way. I unintentionally became preoccupied with what or maybe I should say, who was in front of me to the point of becoming consumed with getting to the result I thought I could foresee. If only I could reach a little farther, love a little louder and prove myself a little longer, then I would end up with what I wanted. Then, my life would look how I thought it should.

I don’t regret the process or the wrestling. Without it, there might not have been the growth that can only be forged in turmoil.

Today, I feel like I have found grace to return to that place of living rather than striving. I feel, once again, that even though life doesn’t look as I thought it would or should, it’s ok. I find peace and joy in developing the things that God whispers to my heart at the right time. I don’t have to get wrapped around the pole because I’m 31 and not married. I don’t have to feel like my life is passing me by because I haven’t experienced things that I think I should have by now. I don’t have to jump through hoops to get anyone to see me for who I am.

I simply must remember, to live from who I am. Today.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Time Will Tell

He's not The Messiah.



He's not the Anti-Christ.



Only time will tell what he really is.



For today, he's the president-elect.



Thank God the election is over!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

McBama??

I got jipped... they were out of stickers.

So, since I got robbed of the chance to tell the world that I voted from the collar on my sweater, I am givin' the shout out here.

I voted.

The end.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

So here it is… I donned a costume on Halloween for the first time in my life.

The most stressful part of the whole shebang was settling on a costume. I thought about taking Adam Sandler’s advice and being “crazy protractor beard” or “newspaper unicorn man”. It would have been easier.

Are you ready for this??

It’s scary and spooky…




Friday, October 31, 2008

Give Me Some Candy

Happy Halloween to all you tricksters out there! Tonight I'm making a memory and if the memory is a good one, I shall give the details later.
In any event, in the words of Adam Sandler... "Give Me Some Candy"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bottled Up

Ugh!
I haven't been able to write.
Bottled up inside.

Anxiety robs me.
Stop clinging.
Let it pass away.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

By The Book

I’m not a perfectionist...but I do possess some of the tendencies.

I take my clothes off and leave them on the floor even though the dirty clothesbasket is literally touching the clothing that I have just left on the floor. I make my bed everyday but sometimes it’s sloppy. When I’m in a hurry I leave wrinkles on the comforter and the pillows with the indent of my head still in tact. I can go months without washing my car, vacuuming the upholstery or dusting the dashboard.

However, I get pissed off and want to punch someone if I’m late. I get wound up if I can’t find the right words or way to say something. I cringe at misspelled words. Clutter makes me crazy. I literally feel out of sorts if junk mail starts piling up on the counter. I gas up every weekend whether my car is empty or not to start the week on ‘full’.

I used to be more anal about some things, like timing the exact seconds it takes to walk from the parking lot at work to my desk after lunch so that I was neither early nor late. I used to feel bad about asking for a day off work so I rarely would and calling in sick only happened if I was puking. These days I don’t stress about making certain that I am living to EVERY letter of the law. I have found a little more calm on the inside since I’ve loosened the reins on this way of living but there are still places in my lifestyle that need to chill out.

When life does a fake-out number on me and I am left with spinning and crossed cuckoo clock eyes, it makes me stop and say, ‘what just happened?’ In my examination I can see that in the same ways I have adopted hard-lined practices of doing some silly or small things I have also carried the same system of thinking into relationships.

I have unconsciously bought into believing that if I do A + B, I will end up with C. In life, that is not necessarily so. We are people, not mathematical equations. We are complex and unique. Just as each person may react to the same situation differently, I can’t expect to fit people neatly into my small perspective and assume to know another person’s intention based simply on my own previous experience. I need to be reminded that things are not always on one extreme or the other. So much is missed when I do that. I need to stop putting everything into a logical category and enjoy whatever twists and turns may take place along the way especially when it doesn’t fit into my idea of how things should go. Stress and fear are the only things I have lost when I live without the extreme rules. Still, I continue to seek the balance.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Could I Love Another?

We met last Saturday afternoon. We have a mutual friend who has wanted to hook us up since I moved to the east coast nearly 3 years ago.

After an awkward introduction via a trolley ride through a shady neighborhood, I began to feel more comfortable. Blind dates offer the intrigue of the unknown but the unfamiliar is also one of the drawbacks.

He was kind and spoke with a heavy accent that is prejudiced against pronouncing the letter “R”. It was most noticeable when he mentioned “pawking the caw”. Translation: parking the car. We strolled through The Commons taking note of the leaves on the trees in varied shades of green, gold and deep red. The autumn breeze caused them to whisper gently while the fading sun made them shimmer like paper coins. Some floated to the ground as they complete their death, others still holding to what life they have left. We continued on for a soup and ice cream at Quincy Market. He carried a solid stance that projected a sense that he wouldn’t succumb to impulsive whims.

When darkness crept in on the day, we took the train past a few more stops. We entered through the gates and took a peek at Harvard yard. The sidewalks weaved between brick buildings that have housed intellects for hundreds of years. For a second I felt as though I was back in New Haven. It was reminiscent of the Yale campus. After a late dinner at an outdoor pub, we parted ways (because I don’t sleep with boys on the first date).

Pondering this long anticipated first date, it was romantic. Yet, something is missing.

Meeting Boston was nothing like meeting New York. It wouldn’t be fair to compare them however; I didn’t feel the instant connection with Boston that I felt with New York. I felt strength and surety in Boston but my heart did not leap inside me. I didn’t have the feeling of being more alive every minute we were together as I have when spending time with New York. With New York, there is passion and tension whether we are together or apart. I fell hard for New York from the moment we met.

Maybe I should give Boston more time and invest in getting to know him. Maybe I am scared of loving a new city. Maybe if I let it, my love for him will grow but right now, my heart is still with New York.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Song of the Day

I can't get this song out of my head...

Find Me Tonight
by Everyday Sunday

Yesterday, I could not feel this
Today I'm sick of trying
To live like I can live on my own
This world around me is suffocating
But I keep forgetting
To turn and run into You
So Find me
Wherever I am won't You
Find me
I got myself lost and I
Don't think
I want to be roaming in heartache
Please find me tonight
I make it hard and I can't stand it
Can't wrap my head around it
I wrestle with You more than I should
I make a mess of everything
But You see the best in me
I'll never be too far gone
You speak without sound
Your love is so loud
You always save me



Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trusting in Love

Because I'm a blog-stalking-hummingbird that flits from blog to blog and clicks on link after link for hours, taking in bits and pieces of other people's lives and scandal from around the world, I have forgotten where I read this statement that has been haunting me for the past few days. I have tried to find the blog so I could give her (I think it was a girl) credit and a link to her site but such is the downside to just clicking and reading. I'm sorry to whoever's site I read this on.

Here's the statement, paraphrased as I remember it:
You can't trust someone if you don't believe that they love you.

I keep thinking about this.
I think about my difficulty in trusting people.
I think about the way I trust some people only on surface levels.
And I wonder how much I really trust God.

Do I believe that anyone really loves me?
Do I believe that God really loves me?

Is my ability (or inability) to trust directly related to what I really believe about love?

These questions have been on 'repeat' in my head.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Choice of Life

In the election year, life is always a hot topic and this year is no different.

For the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about life.

It was late August when she went for the first routine ultrasound. It’s a boy!
Something was abnormal. Something wasn’t right. The Dr. gave the report; a heart condition (it was uncertain if he had all the chambers of his heart), a skin condition, fluid on his lungs, fluid on his brain, and 2-clubbed feet. He sent them to the state university hospital for a second opinion. More doctors, more tests, a bleak diagnosis. With all the physical problems the baby had, there was a good possibility that he wouldn’t live to birth or if he did, he might die shortly after birth. The amniocentesis revealed Down syndrome. The options presented by the professionals were a) do nothing and see what happens or b) terminate the pregnancy.

The joy and excitement of expecting a new baby was suddenly overshadowed by devastation and grief. This can’t be real. There must be some mistake. Two previous pregnancies were uneventfully normal. There was no reason to believe this one would be any different. By number 3 the unknowns of pregnancy are ordinary expectations. What will this child look like? What will he need? What will he be capable of? In light of the diagnosis, these normal questions that accompany every pregnancy now hold new meaning. Now, a whole new set of unknowns and expectations are looming. Will he live? How long will he live? These questions are rarely asked during the cheerful expectation of a new life. Months of prayer by people across the nation, research of all the medical terms, uncertainty, and sorting through up and down feelings followed.

By January, check-ups with the Dr. had become a weekly occurrence. Every week that the baby was growing and developing was a good thing. Every week that there were no signs of stress in the womb meant that he would be stronger when he arrived. During one of the weekly check-ups in mid January the Dr. did a stress test and suggested that she be induced so the baby could be born as soon as possible. She went home and told her husband, packed a bag, got a few last minute things in order, and they checked into the maternity ward at the hospital. The Dr. told them that there would be a fleet of doctors present at his birth to assess all his conditions and that they needed to decide how far they wanted the doctors to go to keep the baby alive.

Once labor was induced, it progressed very quickly. So quickly in fact that he was born on January 19th without any doctors present. The nurse and his father delivered him.

Soon after birth, the doctors began a series of tests. Down syndrome was again confirmed. There was talk of open-heart surgery and a liver condition. He had one clubbed foot. Further tests revealed that his liver was enlarged but functioning ok, although he had a small hole in his heart, it would heal on its own and there was no need for surgery. His heart was in the right place and all the chambers were present and working. His foot was fully in tact just turned in at the ankle. An orthopedic doctor said it would be easy to fix with a small surgery and casting. By the time he’s old enough to walk, he would have no problems. He had no skin condition. The way he cried when they poked his foot to draw blood proved that his lungs were just fine.

He went home 2 ½ days later.

That was nearly 10 years ago.

My nephew, David is a miracle child. He was healed of many things that were originally diagnosed. He is now in 3rd grade. He is healthy. He talks, reads, runs and is able to do most things that any other child can do; he’s just a little slower to learn how. One thing he isn’t slow at is making people smile. David will find the kid at school that is having a meltdown, give him a hug and ask him if he is ok. David will talk to anyone, young or old. He’s quick to say ‘I love you’ and hold the hand of someone he senses may be scared or lost or sad. At age 5, when his great grandfather was dying, although he didn’t understand what was going on, he kept saying, ‘granpa you ok?’ until grandpa was no longer conscious. David is acutely sensitive to how others are feeling and by just being himself, offers inspiration to everyone who meets him. He goes to his sister’s volleyball games and his brother’s football games and he sits in the bleachers and cheers the loudest. He tells them ‘good job’ with a pat on the back, when they get done playing. David is devoted to his family. He fights with his brother and sisters just like anyone else but at the end of the day, he makes sure they are all ok. He likes cartoons and his flag that he waves as if he were a war veteran. With everything inside of him David is alive and happy to be so.

So, thinking of life as I have these past few weeks, I think of David.

My brother and sister in law had a choice to not bring him into this world. The doctors didn’t give him a chance but if his parents had given up on him, there would be innumerable people that would not have experienced the joy that he has given them and continues to give everyday.
I can’t imagine my own life without his impact. This is why my choice is for life.
(Dave is a jokester...to him 3 bunny ears are better than 2)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Unexpected Boiling Point

I don’t consider myself an angry person.
I’m not a screamer. I don’t wave my arms in the air or breathe loudly.
I don’t blow up easily. I’m pretty chill most of the time.
Even when I get upset, I usually get over it without getting steamed up.

However, sometimes I get ambushed.

It’s crazy to me that I would find myself in rage out of the clear blue autumn sky.
I am shocked by my capacity to contain such an intensely hot emotion without any warning.
I have spent the better part of the past week trying to understand it and deal with it and feel it and surrender it.

It’s the wound again. Just a seemingly benign phone call but that’s all it takes. A voice triggers a memory triggers reality triggers the pain and in a split second I’m fighting feelings that feel like they will overtake me. Anger is a new one. Disappointment and sadness, I’m familiar with them. I know they will drop by every now and then unannounced. Anger, I’m not used to. I thought I was doing well. I thought I was moving forward, not obsessing, not even analyzing but realizing that I’m feeling so mad that I want to scream and write hate mail illuminates a neon warning sign in my head.

Maybe I’m not as far forward I as thought. Maybe I need more time to wade through the muck.
It’s ok.
One day I will laugh at all this mess.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

99 Balloons

My Dad sent this video and I thought I would share it. It's just 6 minutes long.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Appreciation Aplenty

I am thankful for my life. (Even though it isn't how I expected)
I am thankful for my health. (Others suffer every day)
I am thankful for the opportunities I've been given. (Some far beyond what I could imagine)
I am thankful for the people in my life who love me. (And some who don't)
I am thankful for love - the abilitiy to give and receive it. (Even though I don't always feel it)
I am thankful for redemption. (Nothing is wasted)
I am thankful for the bigger picture. (When I get hung up on right now)
I am thankful for things that I cannot see. (They are still real)
I am thankful for pleasure and beauty. (One moment at a time)
I am thankful for my job and a boss who is good to me. (Bad days could be worse)
I am thankful that I have been spared from destructive people and things. (In spite of my own choices)
I am thankful that God knows my name. (He doesn't give up)

Even in brokenness and failure, I am still thankful for the experience.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wordle

This is a fantastic little thing. It's a "wordle". All you have to do is go to the website and paste any text in the box and it turns the words into a lovely piece of art. You can customize the colors, fonts and style. Click on the link to see the larger version. This is endless hours of fun stuff!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Silent at Night

The phone doesn't ring at midnight anymore.
The text messages at 1:48am have ceased.
Strange comfort was found in the voice and the thought coming through.
Now, the silence wakes me in the middle of the night.
The cell phone illumined reads 2:22am.
No missed call, no text message or voice mail beep.
Just time moving clockwise without a sound.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Some Thoughts From The Weekend

I went to see the movie “The Women”. Didn’t know what it was about or what to expect but I liked it. There’s not one man in the whole movie and although I started to think it was pushing a feminist agenda, by the end, I didn’t feel the same way. There’s so much in this movie in relation to women at different places in life and in different roles. Some women may not get as much out of it, but I certainly did. I want to see it again.

Without doing a review on it, one point has kept me thinking all weekend. The main character’s husband has an affair and as she goes through a process of dealing with that she also takes a look at herself. Near the end of the movie, she is on the phone with her husband and she makes a statement that goes something like this… I take responsibility for my part. I couldn’t give you myself because I didn’t know who I was…

She had gotten lost in being everything to everyone. Her husband’s affair brought her to the realization of who and what was important. She was then able to live out of who she was and not what she thought everyone else wanted her to be.

After the movie, I went out with the girls. I haven’t been out on the town for a couple of months so it was nice to do the hair and make up and get out to feel the beat of New Haven. We stopped by a new restaurant/bar that we hadn’t been to before. It was after 10pm so the Saturday night social scene was buzzin’. As the three of us sat at the bar talking and picking at nachos, I had a thought that I have randomly entertained over the past 2 years.

“I should be a bartender.”

I looked around at the people packed into this establishment. They all sang along with Eddie Money…”Take me home tonight, I don’t want to let you go till you see the light, take me home tonight…” Shoulder to shoulder, many different ages and types of people connected, if only on a surface level. I wondered about their stories.

I zoned out momentarily while I jumped on the ‘what-if-I-was-a-bartender’ train of thought. It would push me out of my comfort zone in ways that I may not experience any other way. The introvert that I am, would only be able to handle about two or three nights a week of mass amounts of intoxicated people in my face. But maybe I should do it for 6 months. It could be something to stretch me, give me a different perspective and teach me about people. My life may never again be in such a place that would allow me such an opportunity, the way that I am right now. The more I thought about it, the more I could see myself doing it. Not forever and not as a full time job but as a way of expanding myself.

I didn’t ask for a job application on my way out of the bar (haha…that’s a funny visual…walking out of a packed bar with a job app) but I left with the beginning of an idea and a seed of possibility. I’m going to consider it a little more seriously and look for open doors. Maybe I will and maybe I won’t but maybe I should.


These were my thoughts from this weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering...

A stab of sadness today.
More than just a date.
More than just an event.
7 years gone by so fast.
The memory seared as if just yesterday.
Remembering today...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hmmm...

I’ve almost finished reading “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I realize that I must be the last woman in the country to read this book but I had no interest in it whatsoever until recently. I have a friend who read me a few excerpts so I thought I’d check it out. It’s one of those books that I take bits of truth from and leave the rest.

The idea of “soul mates” is something that I still have a lot of questions about but this excerpt from the book made sense to me.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. "


This is just a portion of dialogue from chapter 48 between the author and a friend she met in India discussing a man that she is having a hard time getting over. Without retyping the whole thing, here’s another piece of the dialogue that makes sense.

“David’s purpose was to shake you up…tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over.”

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Checkmate!

My life has seen a series of “checkmate” moments. It’s those situations where, for all the desire in the world, all the best choices and all my strongest efforts, God says, “I got your most valuable guy (quite literally in this case), game over, I win”.
These are the most frustrating and heart wrenching moments of my life. Today, a 2-year long chess game comes to an end with that 2-syllable word, “checkmate”.

In times like this, I find myself pissed off at God. He has the unfair advantage. He’s the master chess player, he does this ‘life thing’ as a profession I’m the amateur. I try my best and still I can’t foresee his moves.

Driving home from work tonight I screamed at God amidst the tears that dripped out from under my sunglasses. “It’s not fair! I feel like I’m being punished for trying to live right and denying my selfishness. You let those who don’t care about right living get what they want, but my heart is broken AGAIN.” I sounded like the whiny “older brother” from the prodigal parable. I didn’t hold back. As I continued on the Interstate, I sobbed through everything I was feeling inside. When I stopped to take a breath, my head was pounding but I heard my thoughts say, “Do you live your life to get only what you want?” I had to stop and take stock of my motives. Although I want to believe that I live for Love’s sake regardless of what I get out of the deal, my emotion flooded me with something quite the opposite.

As I contemplated the true condition of my heart, I confessed that I don’t want to be the selfishly pouting sister but I am weak in this moment to see past my pain. I petitioned for forgiveness and hope. I asked for help to trust in the sovereign love of the chess master who can see all the moves before even one has been played.

When the salty lines on my face dried, a bud of thankfulness had sprouted. I became thankful for the ability to feel love and joy and even the aches. Thankful that everything happens for a reason even when I don’t know what those reasons are. Thankful for the opportunities that I enjoyed by one person’s involvement in my life. Thankful for hope of a new day. Thankful that God is God and I am not. And thankful that as my sister reminded me, love saved my life.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Workin' On My Fitness

For most of the summer, I have not been going to the gym. Over the past 8 years I have been a 5am gym rat. Wherever I have lived, I always make sure a gym is close by so I can keep up with my exercise routine. For a month or two here and there along the way I have taken a break from sweating my guts out everyday but I always start craving it and get back to it.

This summer I hit a wall. My motivation took a deep dive and there was no bribe or deal that I was able to make with myself to get my lazy ass moving. I haven’t missed the creepy Italian guy who wears the same black sweat pants and white t-shirt everyday. He talks loudly to the other 50 year old men while they strut around the gym like they are 25. He drinks his coffee in-between sets and stares at me. Sometimes he tries to talk to me and lets me know that he’s a nutritionist and work out guru. PLEASE!

I have turned a corner.

For the past few weeks I have been gettin’ my sweat on almost everyday. I've changed it up and started going after work. I don't see creepy Italian guy in the evenings. It feels good to get back to pumping iron and rockin’ the elliptical but I’m still struggling. I have to force myself into it most days and remind myself that when I’m done I will be…“ harder, better, faster, stronger”. When I drag myself against how I feel and discipline my laziness, I don’t regret it. Today was one of those days.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Harder To Believe Than Not To

I was recently reminded of the lyrics to this song written by Steve Taylor. A great song indeed!

Nothing is colder than the winds of change
Where the chill numbs the dreamer till a shadow remains
Among the ruins lies your tortured soul
Was it lost there
Or did your will surrender control?
Shivering with doubts that were left unattended

So you toss away the cloak that you should have mended
Don't you know by now why the chosen are few?
It's harder to believe than not to
Harder to believe than not to
It was a confidence that got you by

When you know you believed it, but you didn't know why
No one imagines it will come to this
But it gets so hard when people don't want to listen
Shivering with doubts that you left unattended

So you toss away the cloak that you should have mended
Don't you know by now why the chosen are few?
It's harder to believe than not to
Some stay paralyzed until they succumb

Others do what they feel, but their senses are numb
Some get trampled by the pious throng
Still they limp along
Are you sturdy enough to move to the front?

Is it nods of approval or the truth that you want?
And if they call it a crutch, then you walk with pride
Your accusers have always been afraid to go outside
They shiver with doubts that were left unattended

Then they toss away the cloak that they should have mended
You know by now why the chosen are few
It's harder to believe than not to
I believe

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Heart NY!

It’s quite possibly the cheapest T-Shirt ever. 6 for $10 was the going rate on Canal St. yesterday. I didn’t try but you could probably get them to take even less. I don’t think anything sold by vendors on Canal St. has a fixed price. Chinatown is one neighborhood in New York City where goods are negotiable much like any street market found in Bangkok, Thailand. Rolex watches, Gucci and Coach hand bags as well as Tiffany’s jewelry all for a fraction of the price you’d pay in a store makes Chinatown one reason why I heart NY. (This kid knows what's up!)

Yesterday, Angie and Kari (my 2 sisters), Sean (my brother in law), Travis (my brother) and I took a little trip into the city for a fun-filled day trip. Walking to the subway, we turned the corner at Broadway and 43rd St. and were stopped by a bottleneck of people with cameras in hand. The sidewalk was blocked. Thinking we were going to see P. Diddy or Regis Philbin, I readied myself to become part of the paparazzi. Using my elbowing and scooting skills, I inched forward to see the main attraction. Only in New York City does a cop atop a horse become a celebrity. This is another reason why I heart NY. (This couple's trip to NYC is now complete.)

The 1 train was nearly empty yesterday afternoon when we took it uptown from Canal St. However, a homeless black man rode with us. He had a child’s car seat strapped to his back filled with a bundle of clothing and he was talking to himself. Somewhere between 34th St. and 42nd St. he launched into a puppet show with his hands. He used quotation gestures to make one hand talk to the other while bobbing his head from side to side. When the train stopped at 42nd St. and the doors opened, he didn’t get off but he took a poker chip out of his pocket and threw it onto the tracks. He did get off at 50th St. with us and we watched him walk up the street a few blocks. He eventually threw the car seat on the sidewalk and kept on his way. New York City is home to all types of people with all types of stories and because of that, I heart NY. (I didn't get a picture of the puppet master but this is Travis, Angie and Kari on the 1 train. Trav, sorry about the pole in your face. Kar, love the black market Coach bag!)

After we went to see Cirque Dreams (in the picture below), the Broadway show that is a knock off of Cirque du Soleil, we went to Carmine’s for dinner. Carmine’s is a famous restaurant where they serve family style Italian food. Usually reservations are required unless you are willing to wait an hour or two to get in. I’ve been into the city countless times and always wanted to go to Carmine's but never wanted to endure the wait. Last night, as all the Broadway matinees were getting out, we walked into Carmine's just to see how long the wait would be. There was no wait! We were seated immediately! In New York City, there is always something to do that you haven’t done before and always the possibility for the impossible to happen.

After traveling to 45 of the 50 United States and 6 other countries, it’s still my favorite city.
For all these reasons and so many more...


I Heart NY!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pursuit

I don’t pursue. It’s not in my nature, it’s not in my personality but sometimes people need to be pursued.

I’m not good at it. I’ve been disappointed in many of my attempts at it so generally I don’t pursue anything or anyone. I will make a move in the direction of someone or something that I desire but if I get shutdown at all, rarely will I ever embark in a full on pursuit. I often struggle to know if what I desire is really what is good for me so I allow obstacles to be signs that maybe I shouldn’t be pursuing it anyway.

Unless…

I get a sense that I need to stay a little longer or dig a little deeper or try a little harder.
There are times I can pinpoint when I have had an unexplainable strength that I normally don’t have. It’s that knowing deep in me that I must not give up but rather keep asking, keep standing, keep loving, and just keep on no matter what.

As a woman, I would much rather be pursued than be the pursuer when it comes to relationships. Be it a man or a woman, I don’t like tracking people down. I don’t like getting in anyone’s business. I cringe at the thought of being overbearing to anyone. However, sometimes a friend has no strength to reach out, yet is in desperate need to know love and that someone cares. This is when I need to get off my self-centered ass, risk rejection and chase that friend down.

This is what I’m learning to do. Its not always fun. I take one step forward then I shy away because the result wasn’t the way I wanted it to be. Then I inch into another step toward my friend. It takes vulnerability and being open to getting hurt. Pursuing people is something new to me but it’s what is being asked of me in this time and I am up for the challenge.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Empty

You're addicted to thrills?
What an empty life!
The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied.
Prov. 21:17

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dropping Insecurities of Old

Talking with a friend this week, we began to discuss how insecurities are manifested in older generations such as our parents. As we compared our experiences and our perceptions of our parents’ insecurities, I had to stop and consider the ways in which these same things have been inadvertently passed on to me.

There are things that we inherit, not because we have discovered them to be true or untrue for ourselves but because that is all we have known or how we’ve been taught. These are not things that were directly taught to us but rather ways of thinking that were instilled in us indirectly by example. These things are not always easy to spot. Most pocket sized insecurities, we are unaware of.

Maybe it’s the way I respond to someone who doesn’t return my phone call. Maybe it’s the conclusion I assume when someone doesn’t invite me to his or her home. Maybe it’s the way I lose trust in someone who hasn’t appreciated my kindness. Maybe it’s the way I place expectations on people or situations that are unrealistic and then I lose faith when I’m let down. Maybe it’s the way I self-protect so I’m not disappointed.

If I’m not intentional about dissecting the things in my life that I have picked up and carried with me, then I run the risk of maintaining a cycle of generational insecurities. I have plenty of my own junk. I cannot be all of who I am if I am packing baggage from a previous generation.

As I got off the phone with my friend, I realized that questioning the root of my insecurities is something that is necessary in my life. If I don’t develop a way of thinking that questions my own ingrained thought patterns, it will limit growth in my life.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Breakfast of Fencing Champions

I wanted to be Mary Lou Retton.

As a youngster, I was a gymnast and when Mary Lou made history in the 1984 Games by being the first American woman to win a gold medal in gymnastics, I was sure that I too could make Olympic history.

“Mom, how old do you have to be to get into the Olympics?”
“15, I think”, she replied.
“Ok, so I will be in the 1992 Olympics then.”

I made my mom buy Wheaties because Mary Lou’s picture was on the box. I hated Wheaties. They weren’t sweet like Frosted Flakes but I choked them down because if I wanted to be like Mary Lou Retton, I had to eat my Wheaties. I was secretly happy when they took her off the box because I didn’t have to eat them anymore. I made my mom buy enough boxes of the bland cereal so I could mail in the required number of UPC labels to get an autographed 8x10 poster of my Olympic hero.

I’ve always been a fan of the Olympic Games. This year, my excitement for Beijing was slow to get started. Abi, my youngest sister, is the Olympic Wikipedia. She started spittin’ out stories and stats of
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh which propelled my interest in Beach Volleyball. Of course, who hasn’t heard about Michael Phelps and his magical accomplishments? A little too good to be true, the pessimist in me made the Debbie Downer comment that I hope we don’t find out in a couple of months that he was on performance enhancing drugs… wah,wah,wah.

By now, I have watched a little bit of many different events. Track and Field, Rowing, Badminton, Marathon, Diving, Cycling, Equine Jumping, among other normal Olympic Summer Games.

One event that I had never seen before was Fencing. The United States won the Silver medal in Men’s Fencing Team Sabre. I’m not the Wikipedia on Olympic events so I don’t have all the facts but from what I saw, it’s high tech medieval style sword fighting. The competitors wear armor looking outfits that have electronic sensors in them that register the “hits”. I don’t understand the scoring system and I didn’t do the research to figure it out but I think I’ve found a new goal for my life.

London, save me a spot. Wheaties, will you put a “Fencer” on the box? Forget gymnastics, I want to be on the United States Fencing Team in 2012.