Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My perception can change my reality

There is no reality, there is only perception. 

I know I've blogged on this before, but perhaps because I'm such a thinker and my mind resides in the world of facts, I need to ponder this again.  There is a philosophical thought experiment that asks the question, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"  Every first-year student of philosophy will ponder this question.  We could go around and around debating the question with the principles of sound and the vibrations of air molecules bumping into one another and how this is a fact and it cannot be disputed.  Then someone else would counter with the anatomy of the human ear and it's ability to be stimulated by the bumping molecules and have those vibrations captured by the ear drum and stimulate the auditory nerves connecting to the brain.  The facts of how sound is captured are indisputable.  But are they?  If there are no ears can there be sound?  We could go around and around.

I perceive a tone of anger in my father's voice as he speaks to me on the phone.  Is it a reality?  Is it anger at me?  Maybe he is frustrated with my mother and her habit of repeating the same story over and over again or forgetting what she did 15 minutes ago.  Maybe he is scared at the thought of having all four of his children and their children and even a child of one of their children's children coming to visit at the same time.   (count 'em, 4 children + 4 spouses + 7 grandchildren + 1 grandchild-in-law + 1 great grandchild.  Yikes)  Then again, maybe he is talking loud and it's not anger and it has more to do with his hearing loss than emotion.  Or, there is the possibility it is anger and he woke up on the side of the bed that made him feel like having a fight that morning to get the juices flowing in his 83 year old body.  When all these possibilities (and I could probably come up with more) are considered, the possibility of my father actually being angry with me seems pretty egotistical.  Seriously, what makes me think it's all about me?

It's all perception, there is no reality.  If I perceive the situation as pleasant and beautiful, so it is.  If I perceive myself as being the least important of all in attendance, so it is.  If I perceive peace and love, so it is.  In the bible, Paul reminds us in Romans 12:3, "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned."  Three things jump out at me from this verse.  The first is that I am not to think of myself too highly.  I am a person, just like everyone else.  The second is that I am to think with sober judgment.  Sober.  Not too many cocktails after dinner.  Not too many beers on the boat.  Sober.  And, third, I have been given the grace to do these things already.  I have the holy spirit inside of me.  I just need to get myself out of the way (for one week) and just be a person of no importance.  I am dying to know if I can do this. 

I read a facebook status from a woman grieving the loss of her child, allegedly at the hands of her husband.  She wrote about people telling her to withdraw from the public.  Telling her that people will try to hurt her.  There are mean people out there that just want to make her suffer further.  Her reply was that of surprise.  She said she must be from another planet because she expects people to open their doors to her and her other children.  She expects people to comfort her and give her rest and a place to stay and be with her daughters.  She said, this world of meanness isn't her world.  She is from a different world.  She realizes she is here, in this dry, cold world, but longs to return to the lush greenness of the planet she used to reside.

My goal, next week, is to be from the planet of goodness and kindness and expect hope for the same in return.  

401.  Observing a woman with faith so strong, it cannot be denied
402.  Shaking off the stress and fear
403.  Moving forward in faith and hope
404.  Taking a step to the right to change my perspective and (with grace) change my perception, therefore, changing my reality 

Linking with Em at Imperfect Prose on Thursdays.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A glimpse into retirement

Today I got a peek into my future.  I took the day off of work.  I call this a mental health day.  If I hadn't taken today off, I may, very well, have quit today.  Between the anticipation of a trip to visit my parents that has turned into a full-fledged family reunion and the extra work passed to me because of the retirement of a coworker, I started to feel a lot of stress.  If it was just the work or just the anticipation of the trip, I would be ok, but the combination of the two was giving me chest pains.  This makes me feel weak.  I'm not going to get into the details of either of the issues, but the trip isn't just a trip (I like to call a trip to visit family a "working" vacation) and the extra work isn't just more work (can you say more responsibility with no authority?).  I'm home from work and I'm not physically ill or going to a doctor appointment.  What I am doing is getting an opportunity to see what my newly retired husband does as a retired guy.

It looks awesome.  If today is an example of what retirement is like, SIGN ME UP!

Today I watched my husband sleep until 9 a.m.  Then he got up and shaved and brushed his teeth and made an espresso and turned on CNBC.  Good morning.  Today was considered a working day for him.  He's watching Apple and looking for a $3 pop today to sell a call and make some money.  So far Apple is is up $0.08, so no trade yet.  Fingers crossed.

Then lunch.  He had leftovers.  I think he ate the leftovers because he knows it makes me very very happy for my men to eat the leftovers from dinners I make for them after working all day long.  I makes me kind of mad to toss out the leftovers from dinners made by my exhausted hands.  Anyway, it made me happy to see him eat the leftovers.

Then, he told me I needed to do something with the lamb I have thawing in the refrigerator.  I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to be tasked to cook at 12:15 p.m.  Yeah, it was awesome.  I hope he wasn't hoping he could have dinner by 5 p.m.  I mean, I know he's retired, but we're not doing that early-bird dining thing just yet.

Next, I went up to the bedroom to turn the tv on to something other than CNBC and possibly take a nap (no dice on the nap).  A few minutes later, he came up to his office to work on his dissertation paper.  (the never ending dissertation...)  He popped his head in the door to ask me to turn the tv down (I think it was tuned to RHOOC, so I totally get the distraction.  those women bitch and whine like nobody's business).  I tuned the tv back to CNBC.  I guess I like watching (read listening) to this more than I thought I would.  Still watching to see what Apple is up to (down $1.57 bummer).

The plan, for me, is to make dinner and that is all.  My husband has a meeting to attend tonight, so I'll try to have dinner ready by 6 p.m. to allow him to leave on time.  This is going to be the extent of my activities for the day.  I completely get how lazy I am.  I'm surprising myself by writing a blog post.  I was thinking this may even be too much effort for me to expend today.  I'm still having waves of panic run through my body, but they aren't as severe as they were this weekend.  I hate the sick feeling I get in my stomach when I'm under stress.  That small knot of fear balled up in my stomach causing stomach acid to pour in to try to dissolve it.  Since there is nothing actually in my tummy, the acid just burns, burns, burns.  Ah, stress...

Husband just informed me he is going downstairs to run on the treadmill for an hour.  He is awesome.  He has such discipline.  He loves to run on the treadmill and watch CNBC.  I, on the other hand, am happy to sit in bed and type my blog.  I'm considering taking a few minutes to read more of my book.  I'm currently reading compendium one of The Walking Dead graphic novels.  LOVE IT.  I'm halfway through.  I know, I know I said I would exercise, but... I'm sick today.  (cough, cough)  Let's see how Apple is doing... (up $0.22, c'mon AAPL)

I had the opportunity to check my email and found a gem.  The International Space Station will be in the view of many US states.  The ISS is incredible to watch as it goes across the night sky. It is brighter than anything else, save the Moon, and really moves quickly.  This website gives you the times and coordinates for whatever location you want.  I found the viewing time and duration for my area.  It's tonight at 8:57 p.m. and be available for viewing for 2 minutes.  It will approach the viewing sky at 43 degrees above ESE and depart the viewing sky at 12 degrees above SE.  I don't know exactly what that means, but I'm going to the sighting help information on the website.

I was happy to have my glimpse into retirement today.  I learned a few things.  One thing I learned is that there is nothing on tv worth watching during the day.  Another is that reading tweets is considered news.  Seriously?  Reading tweets is news?  What is the world coming to?  On the positive side I learned that I'm going to LOVE retirement.  I cannot wait.  (just in case my boss ever reads my blog, I CANNOT wait, just sayin'

396.  Paid sick days
397.  Prayer
398.  Tums
399.  More prayer
400.  A pretty day in June and time to enjoy it
FYI, APPL is up $0.23.  It doesn't look like we're going to get the $3 pop.  (not every day is a winning day)

Monday, June 25, 2012

I can't make someone happy

I can't, because, just like Abraham Lincoln (not the vampire hunter) once said, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

I can't because, just like (probably) Ben Franklin once said, "The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself."

I can't because, just like Doystoevsky once said, "Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.  If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it."

I can't because, just like Euripides once said, "No one is happy all his life long."

I can't because, just like Ben Franklin once said, "Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one."

I can't because, just like someone once said, "Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections."

I'm so far from perfect.  You can see most of my flaws just by looking at me.  If you know me a little better, you will see more of my flaws.  If you are my father, you can see every single one of my flaws.  I'm sorry, I'm so far from perfect.

390.  Every day is a new day with endless possibilities
391.  I am more than my mistakes
392.  I am lovable, just the way I am
393.  Sometimes intentions matter more than actions
394.  I have a perfect father who loves me, completely, in heaven
395.  I know the right words for every conversation.  All I have to do is use them ("You could be right.")  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Justifying bad art

I've written about bad art before.  I don't like bad art.  I couldn't imagine there could be a justification for bad art.  I was wrong.

The beauty in calling yourself an artist is this, even a bad artist can call themselves an artist.  Seriously.  You don't have to be able to make a living at it.  You don't have to have your work approved by anyone, but yourself.  If you believe you are an artist, you can call yourself an artist, for no other reason than you want to.  Producing art isn't like, for example, juggling.  I mean, if you want to call yourself a juggler, it may help if you can actually keep some balls in the air.  :)  (You can do ANYTHING

There is a relatively recent phenomenon out in the world of art.  It is a thing called an Artist's Statement.  Of late, this statement has become a necessary component of an artist's portfolio or promotional package, because...?  Your art cannot speak for itself?  This is especially important if you produce bad art.  If your art looks as if it were produced by your children, you must write an artist statement.  This is crucial.  Don't worry, when writing your artist statement you can use words that are so vague they can make it sound like what you produce is art, without having to actually say it is art.  After all, you don't want to be called a liar AND an artist.

Like this artist's statement,"Her works are found in private collections and some of the most famous museums in nations throughout the world."  If it's true, don't hesitate to be specific.

If you say you have been dabbling, dipping, and dunking in the visual arts since your mom bought you a set of watercolors when you were three years old and your art has been mistaken for your child's artwork, this may not be the best sentence to have in your Artist's Statement.  If you want to describe your art as using brilliant colors with dark overtones that nature provided in your youth, please don't insinuate you do so because you grew up in coal mining country and you see everything through an inch of coal dust.  Be honest, tell people you can't find the light.  If you say you are a multi-media artist, in pastel, colored pencil, photography, acrylic, acting, singing, dancing, and the written word, be able to prove it.  Because if you think everything you touch becomes art, this limits your credibility as an actual artist.  Pick an area or two.  If you truly want to express your artist’s heart and soul, it would be nice to see effort being put forward, instead of a halfhearted attempt at whatever hit your fancy this particular day.

Now you know what an artist has to do to justify calling whatever it is they produce, art.  I have a gift for you.  Here is a tool to use when visiting art centers or art shows or art fest or even an actual gallery.  I found an art critique site, click here.  All you have to do is plug in any five digits and a phrase will appear for your use in communicating with an artist in their own language.  This is a great tool for those of us with the idea that art should be able to speak for itself and we don't want to embarrass the artist when they ask us what we think.  

For example, 55555:  Although I am not a painter, I think that the subaqueous qualities of the purity of line makes resonant the distinctive formal juxtapositions.  (this would be great for anything with paint on it)

Or, 99999:  As an advocate of the Big Mac Aesthetic, I feel that the metaphorical resonance of the sexy fish threatens to penetrate the exploration of montage elements.  (this could be used for any waterscape, human form, or even something with blue on it

Yes.  This says it all.  I'm not sure if this site has been made into a iPhone app yet.  I hope so.  Oh my goodness, it would come in very handy.

384.  I know I've said it before, but it's worth saying again, air conditioning
385.  Remembering that weeks that seem as long as this week seems makes it seem like my life is longer
386.  Healthy Choice soup cups for the microwave (especially butternut squash)
387.  Only having to deal with musicians and professors half of my work week
388.  The holy spirit giving me excitement to study the book of Mark
389.  A good night's sleep

from The Museum of Bad Art

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why I don't hug

I'm not a hugger.  I don't like hugging.  It's not that I never hug.  It's just that it doesn't come easily for me.  I can hug my husband.  I don't do it often, and he doesn't ask me to do it often, but I can do it.  I can hug my mom and dad.  I can hug my son, but it is hard for me to do.  Weird, huh?  I read Emily's guest post yesterday at Nancy's blog, Out of My Alleged Mind.  So much of it broke my heart.  If you have an extra 5 minutes, click and read Em's story.

What is it about hugging that makes it hard for me to do it?  I know my answer, but it's hard to speak the words.  Maybe writing my reasons here will make it easier for me to understand them.  I can't believe how much my aversion to hugging has to do with my poor body image.  This is hard for me to share... here goes.  I don't like to feel the body of the person I hug and I REALLY don't want a person hugging me to feel my body.  There, I said it.  I don't like the feel of hugging anyone.  If they are overweight, I like it even less.  This is because I think they are thinking the same way I think about myself.  I hate the way my breasts feel, to me, when I hug someone.  I know my breasts are pushed up against their body.  I think to myself how absolutely horrible it must be for them to have to feel that part of my body smooshed up against their body.  The feeling makes me hate myself and my body because my body isn't what I wish it was.  I wish my breasts were small.  I wish my body was thin and athletic.  I am completely grossed out by the thought of someone's hands touching my back and feeling the indentation of my bra strap in my back fat.  If I hug a thin person, it isn't any better.  I think they think I'm disgusting.  My feelings of disgust of my body when hugging a thin person are equally overwhelming.  I feel as if I'm smothering them or crushing them.  They feel so small and fragile, I begin to feel like a giant and I can't get my hands off them quick enough.  I know these are just feelings and there is, most likely, nothing based in reality in them, but there you have it.  (who said ISTJ's don't have feelings?)

As I think about these feelings and thoughts I experience when hugging, I am reminded that it is much easier for me to hug someone who is wearing a coat or jacket.  It is much more difficult to hug someone wearing a tee-shirt or blouse.  I am absolutely sure I wouldn't be able to hug someone in a bathing suit or without a shirt.

I feel these same feelings when I am asked to hug children or hold a child.  I am uncomfortable touching or holding them.  I have an idea that the children want to escape my touch as quickly as possible.  I don't like the feeling of their chubby legs and arms touching my skin.  Don't get me wrong, I can push through this aversion and hold a child or hug a child, but if I don't have to do it, I won't offer.  It's just not something I'm comfortable doing.  While we were on vacation my husband's friend and his family came to visit.  They have two children.  We walked to a restaurant.  On the walk to the restaurant, the children held the hands of their parents.  (they are six years old and we were walking along a heavily trafficked road)  On the way back to the hotel, they must have felt more comfortable with us because the little boy wanted to hold my hand as we walked.  We chatted, but the whole walk I kept thinking, when will he want to pull away from me and not want to hold my hand anymore?  I was sure it would happen at any time.  I guess I didn't want to be rejected by a child.  Strange thoughts, I know.

At our church we "pass the peace of Christ" with a handshake.  (thank goodness there is no "holy kiss")  It is the MOST awkward time of the service for me.  Most of the time, hands miss or I notice I'm shaking the hand and wishing the peace of Christ to someone who is not even looking at me anymore.  The touching seems so forced and uncomfortable.  I really don't like this part of the service.  I don't mind shaking hands in a business situation, but I don't get all that excited about a handshake, either, it's just what we do in this country.

I think I was less uncomfortable with the greetings in Italy.  Even though I had to kiss both cheeks and have both cheeks kissed, there was a comfort in the way we grabbed shoulders and kissed and didn't have to embrace.

I shared this post today for a couple of reasons.  First, because I'm pretty sure I am not the only person out there with these feelings.  Blogging is such a great way to discover that other people have the same thoughts going through their heads that I have going through my head.  Secondly, I wrote this post to share that the reason I don't hug is all about me.  It as nothing to do with the other person.  The people I don't want to hug are completely lovable and huggable.  The other people are even people I like a lot.  I try so hard to make warm eye contact in place of the hug.  I try so hard to say the right thing and smile the right smile in place of the hug.  The reason you typically won't get a hug from me isn't about you, it's all about me. 

379.  Warm smiles
380.  Kisses on the cheek
381.  Words of affirmation
382.  Kind eye contact
383.  Kind words

Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose on Thursdays

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Love, you just KNOW it

I read a question on an MBTI forum the other day.  It was from a guy and he said he was an ISTJ.  He asked how you know when you're in love.  His question was flooded with responses from all the personality types out there and the most common answer was, "When you are in love, you just KNOW it."

I listened to a radio show on a christian radio station last night, as I was driving to my small group bible study.  It was about parenting your adult daughter and how to deal with her strong feelings of love and desire to marry whomever she has these feelings for because, "When you are in love, you just KNOW it."

I remembered a day, 23 years ago, I was having a conversation with my brother.  He was about to be married and I wasn't going to be able to attend his wedding.  I was ill with Bell's Palsy and I lived 2000 miles away from where the wedding was to be held.  I told him I may be able to get myself to Chicago to attend the wedding, but I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't guarantee I would feel well enough to leave my hotel room to attend the wedding once I was there.  I told him I would have plenty of opportunities to spend time with his new bride and get to know her.  My brother was upset about this and said, "Oh HappyGirl, you just don't know what it is like to be in love."

When I read the question from the ISTJ young man questioning the status of his relationship, I understood him completely.  Not all of us just KNOW when we are in love.  Not all of us are overwhelmed by intense feelings of love.  I know when I met my husband and was involved in a relationship with him, I kept waiting for the feelings that would let me know I was in love with him.  I wondered what they would feel like.  I liked my husband, a lot.  I looked forward to his calls and talking to him on the phone about nothing, really.  I looked forward to my trips to Jacksonville, FL to visit him and I looked forward to his visits to Chicago.  I remember thinking to myself, before my husband asked me to marry him, that this guy would be a good guy to be married to.  I thought we could have a good life together.  I thought we had a lot in common, but enough differences to keep life interesting.  Is this what "being in love" feels like?  I didn't know.

I've always wondered about the feelings of love.  I love my parents.  I've listened to people who have lost their mother or father and they are devastated.  I wonder, to myself, will I be devastated at the loss of my mother?  I talk to her on the phone, every day.  Will I be grief stricken because I love them so much?  If I'm not grief stricken, will that mean I didn't love them that much?

ISTJ's as loversISTJs are committed, loyal partners, who will put forth tremendous amounts of effort into making their relationships work. Once they have made a commitment to a relationship, they will stick with it until the end. They gladly accept their duty towards fulfilling their role in the relationship. ISTJs are generally willing and able to do anything which they have defined as a goal. So, if maintaining a good relationship is important to the ISTJ, they are likely to have a good relationship. If they have not added this goal to their internal "list" of duties, they are likely to approach the relationship in their "natural" state, which is extremely practical, traditional, and structured.

This is how I love.  I have to say, on paper, this looks pretty boring.  I love in a practical, traditional, and structured way.  I wanted to answer the ISTJ guy's question and tell him he is in love if he decides he's in love.  When he decides he's in love, he will just know it, because he's made the decision.  I wanted to tell the mom that her daughter sounds like a feeler and feelers do things with no contextual basis.  They just DO stuff.  I wanted to tell my brother, 23 years ago, that I DO know what it's like to be in love.  I am in love with my husband.  I had been married to my husband for seven years and we had a two year old son.  I knew what love was.  I was living it.  I'm lucky, I'm married to an ISTJ, so neither of us expect any great outbursts of feeling, happy or sad.  We adore doing things we have asked each other to do.  We don't mind if there is no big surprise or outpouring of emotion.  In fact, that would probably make both of us pretty uncomfortable.

So, you will never see my fb status say, "I wish my husband didn't have to go to work, EVER!"  I don't get jealous and I'm not clingy.  In fact, I wonder if he wonders the same things I wonder, like, "what does he see in me?" and "what does he love about me?"  Maybe we all, secretly, wonder this sort of thing.

Counting my gratitudes every day
374.  Being accepted for who I am
375.  Being understood for how I am
376.  Being loved for just being me
377.  Knowing Jesus is the same MBTI type as me
378.  Knowing my feelings are there, I just don't have to let everyone know about them

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ten habits I will develop

I tried to title this post Ten habits I need to will develop, but Blogger won't allow me to do the cross out thing in the post title.  haha  Even Blogger is keeping me in a positive frame of mind.  Gotta love it.

I've gotten in some pretty bad habits, of late.  I wonder why it is so much easy to slip out of the good habits of exercise and eating right and into the bad habits of sitting on the couch and eating and drinking too much.  Hmmm?

I want to:
  1. Go for a walk every day with my husband
  2. Do the stretching exercises for my plantar fasciitis
  3. Floss daily
  4. Resume selling on eBay (anybody want to buy a Lladro nativity set?)
  5. Do some core work daily (sit-ups or planks or crunches, something)
  6. Cut back on my alcohol and snack consumption (inversely, drink more water)
  7. Do 100 squats every day at work
  8. Start clearing the crap off that table in the office room of my house
  9. Moisturize my skin every night
  10. Eat my dinner at the table and not on the couch
There.  These are 10 things I want to develop as habits.  Is this too much?  I lie to myself so much.  I tell myself I want to do these things and then I slack off and sit on the couch and play Scramble With Friends with my husband.  I sit on the couch and watch three episodes of The Killing and laugh at how many scenes show it raining in Seattle, WA and remembering that my friends moving back to Seattle tell me Seattle has great weather and it really doesn't rain that much.  I avoid going for the walk with my husband because I know my foot is gonna hurt like a m***a when I get home and I'll barely be able to walk to the bathroom in the morning.  I avoid doing the exercises because... they're boring and they hurt.  I haven't done any selling on eBay because I'm tired on the weekends and I have just enough energy to do my chores and then I'm done (stick a fork in me).  I don't floss and moisturize because I've sat on the couch until it is so late and I'm so tired I barely have the energy (and sobriety) to brush my teeth and put my jammies on, let alone floss and moisturize.

I've heard that no one changes their lifestyle until the pain of remaining where they are becomes greater than the pain caused by changing.  These changes will be painful.  There is no doubt.  I know you've heard me whine about this before.  I'm a yo-yo dieter and exerciser.  I do it for a while, then I quit.  Well, it appears I'm back to doing it for a while.  Wish me luck... and perseverance.  :)

368.  Second chances in life
369.  New study starting in my small group... the gospel of Mark
370.  A husband willing to walk with me, if I'd only agree to it
371.  Time to see if doing the plantar faciitis exercises work before I make a doctor appt and see if I need surgery
372.  The goal of having pain-free feet for a trip to NYC in Feb. 2013
373.  The experience of knowing that if I do the ab work and walking, my energy level will increase 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let's hear it for the dads

I hope everybody, who can, calls their dad and wishes him a Happy Father's Day.  Dads are great.  Dads are even greater when moms let them be dads and do dad kind of things.  I love to see dads out there playing and running and climbing and just plain doing stuff with their kids.  It's great to see kids outside, helping with chores like washing the car and yard work with their dad.  Somehow, the feminist movement may have empowered moms to go to work and take authority in the family, but dad (if he is in the picture) still gets stuck with the yard work.  I'm praying that all the sah moms I see on fb, letting their kids play video games and watch tv all day, will allow the dad of the family to play with the kids.  Dads teach kids things moms just can't.  They talk differently to their kids.  They come at life from a different angle.  There is no way mom can be the dad to a kid.  When I watch my husband teaching my son how to change the oil in the car or rotate the tires, I get a warm feeling in my heart.  I don't know if my son will ever take it upon himself to do these things, but my husband can sleep well at night knowing he put for the effort taught him how to do it.

I remember when our son left home and moved across the country (and then came back).  My husband got a bit misty, and what he said was, "I haven't prepared him well enough."  Since my son came home, my husband has gone above and beyond to prepare him for life.  My husband is my son's father and friend.  Dads can teach sons how men are with each other.  Dads can teach daughters how special they are.  Parenting is hard work.  It's so sad that the family structure is breaking so often in this country.  It's sad that our expectations of what a family should be is so unrealistic that people would rather throw it away than stay in the struggle.  Happy Father's Day to all the dads.  Keep it up dads!  Keep taking care of the kids and keep loving the moms (preferably the mom you had the kids with).  You are more than an open wallet.  You are the dad, and that's a very important job.

363.  My dad
364.  My husband
365.  My marriage
366.  The value my parents taught me to put on family
367.  Staying in the struggle of being married when it got hard ('cause sometimes marriage gets hard to do) and sticking it through to the good times ('cause the good times come when you keep loving and letting them know you do)

I have to share this new Coke commercial.  I know, I know, it's a commercial, but it's really well done.  It's very uplifting.  There is good in the world, and sometimes it gets caught on camera.  :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The shoe no longer fits

There will be no more cute shoes for me in my lifetime.  I will never wear kitten heels or flip flops or strappy sandals or stilettos or ballet flats or sling backs again.  I have officially joined the ranks of women with "old lady" feet.  This is certainly one of the saddest days of my life.  I will never enjoy and look forward to shoe shopping again.  From now on, shoes with be functional and, hopefully, non-noticeable. 
My new work shoes (Sketchers)
If you are wondering why this is such a sad day, you aren't a woman.  Shoes and shoe shopping are one of the most fun things a woman can do.  Shoe shopping is the ultimate in impulse shopping.  We never NEED the shoes, we LOVE the shoes.  (men, if you are trying to relate to this, just think about the last time you were in a grocery store without a grocery list)  There is just something about shoes that can make you so happy.  We women have even been known to have special shelves built to hold and DISPLAY our shoes.  The best line I ever heard, in a movie, about shoes was in the movie In Her Shoes.  The character played by Toni Collette says, "When I feel down, I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good, and food just makes me fatter, but shoes always fit."  If you want to understand women and shoes, rent this movie.  It's cute to watch.  And, of course, there is always Sex in the City.  Nobody loved a shoe like Carrie Bradshaw loved a shoe.  I'm going to miss shopping for shoes.  I'm going to miss it, a lot.  

Christian Louboutin
Jimmy Choo
Manolo Blahnik

Aren't they beautiful?  Yes, yes they are.  These shoes will never again be on my feet.  You cannot put an orthotic device in those shoes.  I, can now, no longer wear a shoe without putting the orthotic insert in the shoe.  If I do go without the orthotics, I will pay dearly, pain.  I have resigned myself to a future of New Balance (or Sketchers) running shoes and oxford style leather dress shoes.  Neither of these look good with skirts or dresses.  I don't think I can ever feel pretty again.  I'm just going to have to get used to it.  I'll find handsome pantsuits and coordinated slacks and tops.  This is my future.  Now you know what they mean when they say, "Getting old isn't for sissies."   

357.  Orthotics
358.  Cortisone shots in my heels
359.  Running or walking shoes in black
360.  Memories of cute shoes
361.  The feminist movement?  (at least I'm allowed to wear pants)
362.  Every day my feet don't hurt

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm not God, but I work for him

I typically think of myself as a good worker.  I like to do a good job and get things done just for the sake of getting them done.  This pleases me.  I makes me feel good about myself.  I adore organization.  I love nothing more than organized files and a calendar that makes perfect sense.  I love to follow through on an agenda.  I love to get my bills paid and invoices filed.  I like an empty in-box at the end of the day.  I am thrilled when my "to-do" list is completely checked off at 5:00.  I don't like to think about work, when I'm not at work, because I haven't left loose ends hanging about and ready to fray.  I'm not a fan of clutter and disorder.  I despise undone chores.  I struggle to understand people who say they are going to do something, and then never seem to get it done.  Listening to people say they need to do the same work over and over again completely frustrates me.  I always think, to myself, make a plan and get it done.  This is how I am. 

When I see these things written down it makes me wonder who it is I work for.  Do I work for myself?  Do I get enough satisfaction out of a job done well and getting paid for it?  When I am working, do I do things well because I like them done well?  Or, do I work for my boss?  Do I work well to keep from getting reprimanded or, worse, fired?  Or do I work for my family?  Do I earn money and carry insurance to keep them safe and secure?

This week I'm on my own, at work.  You know what they say about vacations at work?  If you don't, I'll tell you.  They say, you get two vacations at your job:  your vacation and your boss's vacation.  Anyway, my boss is on vacation.  Yet, I have a deep need to do a good job and not slack off (too much) while he is away.  It just doesn't feel right.  It's just not who I am.

While I was thinking about why I am the way I am, this bible verse from Colossians 3:23-24 came to my mind.  It says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."  I don't think these verses mean you have to be doing church work or missionary work to be working for God.  I think this has more to do with attitude, because in verse 22 Paul is talking to slaves. 

Then I remembered that Adam and Eve were given work to do in the very beginning of the world.  In Genesis 2:15, it says, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it."  This reminds me that we are meant to do work. 

Even more to the point is what Paul says in Thessalonians 3:10-12, "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their own work quietly and to earn their own living."  Boy, this makes me feel much better about my work ethic and makes me wonder why our government thinks we have to take care of all the slackers out there.  I'm not talking about the poor, I'm talking about encouraging a life-style of having a hand out begging for entitlements.

I'm doing my work and I'm doing my work to the best of my ability.  I feel good about myself when I put in a good day's worth of work.  It makes me happy to think while I am working, I'm not only being obedient to God, but I'm working with an attitude as working for God.

351.  Learning to do another part of the job (since a co-worker has left and hasn't been replaced, yet) with an attitude of interest and willingness
352.  People willing to teach me and help me when I forget what they tried to teach me
353.  Xerox service and a quick response to a broken copy machine
355.  Peace and quiet without the bosses around 
356.  Peace and quiet to focus on learning a new budgeting system


Monday, June 11, 2012

Thou shalt not steal, unless Jesus says it's OK

The parable of the shrewd manager from Luke 16:1-15 was the last of the small group bible study in this series of parables.  I've done a lot of bible studies and, I have to admit, I've never done a study on this parable.  To be even more honest, I don't think our group really understands what Jesus was getting at with this one, but we tried.

Jesus told his disciples:   “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’

The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg– I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’

So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

‘Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.

The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.’

Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’

‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.

He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’

The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

This doesn't seem right, does it.  If I'm reading this correctly Jesus is telling his disciples it is ok to steal from your boss.  Yet, in the passage, the boss is commending the dishonest manager for his clever, albeit, unrighteous ways.  In fact, the boss says worldly people are more shrewd in dealing with other worldly people, than the people of the light.

What is Jesus trying to get across to his listeners (and us)?  I think Jesus is using reverse psychology on his listeners or, as my mother-in-law used to say, "You can learn as much from a bad example, as you can from a good example."  The shrewd manager has no desire to work and he has too much pride to beg.  What he does have going for him is his understanding of human nature.  He knows everyone loves a bargain.  Notice, the boss doesn't commend the shrewd manager for stealing from him.  No, the boss is commending the manager for the shrewdness he shows in knowing how to make his way in the world after being fired.  After all, the manager has already been fired.  Another thing that comes to mind is the quickness of the manager's mind.  Obviously, there wasn't a lot of time for the shrewd manager to think about what he was going to do to survive after losing his job.  He came up with this plan on the fly.  This is one smart cookie.

What does this story have to do with us (followers of Jesus)?  The first thing that came to my mind (because I'm still a bit self-centered) was how I steal from my boss and what Jesus must think of it.  Yes, I steal from my boss, too.  I've mentioned, here, that I write my blog while I'm at work.  Sometime that makes me feel as if I get paid for blogging.  In reality, this is stealing.  However, many times I blog about what I've learned in my bible study or about forgiveness or about gratitude and I have readers who are seekers of the truth regarding Jesus and the bible.  Which is the greater good (or lesser evil), stealing time (but still getting my work done) or sharing God's truth?  After all, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23.  Maybe you think I'm trying to justify my actions.  I'm not, I'm trying to understand the parable and put it in today's world.  Another thing that came to my mind while studying this passage was the quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good."  Maybe Jesus is pointing our the shrewd manager's understanding of human nature and  the church's lack of willingness to try to understand the people, but focus only on the LAW.  Jesus was all about meeting people where they were.  One of his giant pet peeves was the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.  They weren't able to get on board with Jesus and his point of view.

In regard to the quickness of the shrewd manager's mind, I think, Jesus may be reminding his disciples that his time with them is short and they need to listen closely and learn quickly.  Or maybe, Jesus is telling us that our time on earth is short and we must make the most of the opportunities to share the good news with others while we still have a chance.

I'm probably not helping you understand this parable, so I'll remind you of its context.  This story of the shrewd manager is grouped with three other parables:  The first is the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:3-7), the second is the Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10), and the third is the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).  The Parable of the Shrewd Manager comes last in this series.  In all these parables Jesus is talking about the value God places on people over things.  He knew the Pharisees were listening to him and looking to stop him from teaching.  His beef with the Pharisees was that they had lost their perspective and were more interested in the money and politics of their position and no longer focused on their relationship with the people and the people's relationship with their God.  He reminds the Pharisees (and us) in Luke 16:13, "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." 

I hope I didn't make this parable more confusing than it already is, although, I'm not sure that would be possible. 

346.  Hot weather is really here now
347.  Relaxing weekends and trying not to feel too guilty about not getting anything accomplished
348.  Willingness to part with the Lladro nativity set that I wanted so bad, but feels like "stuff"
349.  The desire God gives me to want to understand people so different from me
350.  Having God between me and my circumstances instead of having my circumstances between me and God

Saturday, June 9, 2012

So, you think you're special? Think again

I have found my hero.  I swear, this guy makes my heart pitter-pat.  (or, maybe he has been reading my blog and I just love hearing my sentiments spoken in such an eloquent fashion)  Finally, someone telling high school students the truth.  Of course everyone laughs, because this guy has a wonderful way of making the truth palatable, but don't laugh so hard you don't hear what he is saying.

David McCullough, Jr., an English teacher at Wellesley High School near Boston is my new hero.

He told the students and all their parents and grandparents, "none of you is special" in a lively, if unusual, speech.

He highlighted their "pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped" existence.

"You've been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored," McCullough said. "You've been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. Yes, you have."

But he warned them, "Do not get the idea that you're anything special. Because you're not."

McCullough pointed out that "across the country, no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools."

"That's 37,000 valedictorians ... 37,000 class presidents ... 92,000 harmonizing altos ... 340,000 swaggering jocks ... 2,185,967 pairs of Uggs," he added.  Then, driving the point home, "Think about this: even if you're one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you."

(this is my favorite part)  "You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless," he said, before musing, "We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement." 

Mr. McCullough does not leave the audience feeling hopeless.  He reminds the graduates to live their lives fully. 

"Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction," he urged his audience. "Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency."

He pointed out, "the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the greatest thing you can do for yourself."

At the end, unfortunately, he did contradict himself by saying, "the sweetest joys of life come then only with the recognition that you're not special, because everyone is."  (I guess he wanted to keep his job)

I hope you take 10 minutes to listen to the speech in total.  This guy has a very good delivery.  I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of my weekend knowing that, at least 400 people have heard that they aren't special and maybe, just maybe, we can start working together, in this country instead of just working for ourselves.

The excerpts from this speech were lifted off this internet article.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Potential problem areas

I'm tough on myself.  I know my son doesn't believe it, but I'm way tougher on myself than I am on anyone else.  And to be perfectly clear, I've been told I'm pretty tough on other people.  For example, yesterday I arranged a farewell luncheon for my retiring co-worker.  She wanted to go to Olive Garden.  In our little burg, the Olive Garden is PACKED at lunchtime.  I called and made reservations for 11 people for a noon seating.  My reservation was accepted.  When I arrived at the Olive Garden for my noon reservation I discovered my name was not on the list.  I mentioned earlier that the Olive Garden is typically packed at lunchtime.  Today it was extremely packed, as there had been an eighth grade graduation at the local middle school.  I was very concerned.  Not only was this a party for a well-liked co-worker, but the vice president of the college had decided to join us.  The woman with the headset on her head asked me if I knew the name of the person that took my reservation.  I did not.  Instead, I asked her if the person answering the phone takes the name and information from the caller when they are requesting a reservation?  Evidently, this is not a requirement, as my name and reservation are not written on your paper.  I asked her if the procedure for taking reservations requires the caller REQUESTING the reservation to get the name of the person TAKING the reservation, then the person TAKING the reservation should be required to give their name when answering the phone.  (I was very polite when having this conversation, but I was serious)  I asked the woman with the headset on her head how long it would be before my party would be able to be seated.  I was told the restaurant was very busy and there were reservations ahead of me.  I commiserated regarding the busyness of the restaurant, but not about reservations ahead of me, as I had called and made a reservation for noon and it was, in fact, noon, and then I asked to speak to the manager.

The manager had, evidently, been briefed, but took a moment to speak with me.  I was honest with her.  I told her that I understood the restaurant was busy, which is why I made a reservation.  I needed to have my party seated.  I told her I did not want to be embarrassed in front of my boss and in front of the vice president of the college I work at.  She said she would help.  And, she did.  We were seated at 12:15 p.m.  That is not too bad considering the busyness and the lost reservation.  When my boss received the bill, he discovered a $30 deduction to compensate for having to wait.  I thanked the manager, personally, for all her help when I was leaving the restaurant.  (at the time I didn't even know about the $30)

When I got home from work yesterday a conveyed this story to my husband and his eyes widened.  Yet, he said, "good for you."  There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself.

Last night, I was reading more information about my Meyers-Briggs type, ISTJ.  This time I was reading about personal growth and where my difficult areas for growth lie.  I learned a lot.  The site gave me a list of potential problem areas.
  • Excessive love of food and drink
  • Lack of interest in other people, or relating to them
  • Occasional inappropriate emotional displays
  • General selfish "look after oneself" tendencies
  • Using judgment to dismiss others opinions and perspectives, before really understanding them
  • May judge others rather than themselves
  • May look at external ideas and people with the primary purpose of finding fault
  • May become a slave of routine and "by the book" ways of doing things, to the point that any deviation is unacceptable
  • May have difficulty communicating their thoughts and feelings to anyone
I looked at some of the other MBTIs and discovered many of these bullet points are used over and over.  Nevertheless, this list is a fair description of my problem areas.  I absolutely have an excessive love of food and drink and I do lack interest in other people.  I have to force myself to listen after I ask people how they are doing.  I don't know about the inappropriate emotional displays.  I rarely cry.  I do often have a "serious" look on my face and I have to think about smiling and remind myself to do it more often.  The selfish "look after myself" tendency, well, I'd like to say I look after mine.  I look after my husband, my son, my boss, my co-workers, my friends.  I'm very loyal.  I do have a tendency to look at ideas and people with the purpose of finding fault.  Doesn't this sound horrible?  I have often wondered why I do this.  This is ABSOLUTELY a trait I find quite distasteful  about myself.  I try, try, try to see the positive in a situation or a person, but the first thing I ALWAYS see is the fault.  Of course, I'm an adult, so I've learned to keep my thoughts to myself.  When I was a child, this trait got me standing in the corner more times than I can remember.  (Mrs. Haan, you think your drawing looks like a cat?  This was 1st grade, I could go on and on.)  Regarding the difficulty in communicating my thoughts and feelings?  Well, here I am.  I'm writing a blog about how I feel about things and how I feel about myself.  I'd say I'm getting over this one.  In fact, I've received comments from readers on posts and have been so enlightened.  I am always happy to get a different perspective on an issue.  It's always surprising (because I think I'm pretty smart and I love to depend on what I know) and it's always welcome.

339.  New shoes purchased on my lunch hour
340.  Cold coffee on a warm afternoon
341.  Looking forward to going to a community theater production of Into the Woods
342.  Wrestling with some verses in the bible regarding The Shrewd Manager (I love digging into scripture)
343.  Looking forward to a restful weekend with beautiful weather
344.  A returning confidence in the power of prayer
345.  Praying with an eye open for the answer

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

There is no road to happiness

People take different roads seeking happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they're lost. ~H. Jackson Browne

I saw this quote on my twitter feed this morning.  It made me think.  Our forefathers new enough to know the pursuit of happiness was an important endeavor for every person.  They believed it was so important they said it was an unalienable right in the Declaration of Independence.  Maybe it's my ISTJ (you know me, I'm all about what you do, not what you feel) personality, but Mr. Browne's quote is a tough one for me to swallow.

I might have an easier time swallowing it if the definition of happiness was a bit clearer.  I know what happiness is not.  Happiness is not pleasure.  Pleasure comes and goes.  It can slip through your fingers and fade from memory.  I know of women seeking to recreate the pleasure of the initial flutterings of love and attraction.  They don't understand where this feeling goes after 2 or 3 years of marriage and a child or two.  They look for it outside their marriage.  Only to discover they cannot hold on to the feelings.  Those feelings are not happiness.

I've heard it said that happiness itself is not a destination, but a journey.  This has to be true.  How else can we explain the finding of happiness in a job well done and finding happiness in leisure time?  Our forefathers were so wise in calling the inalienable right a pursuit of happiness and not happiness, itself.

The problem I have with Browne's quote is that people often are on the wrong road to (what they believe is) happiness and they are lost.  I've seen so many people spending themselves into unfathomable debt in their pursuit of happiness.  I don't think they found the happiness they were hoping to find.  Instead, they find themselves trapped in debt.  Not a happy situation.  I've seen people sink into addiction thinking happiness was drinking or drugging themselves away from their problems, only to find themselves trapped in their addiction.  I've seen people attempt to find happiness by moving and leaving all they have and all they know, to find happiness - out there, only to find themselves lost and lonely.  There is no happiness in these situations.

The bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:12, I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live and in Ecclesiastes 7:14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.  (I think it should say, be happy in the other, as well)

There is no road to happiness.  You cannot travel to happiness.  You have happiness in you all the time.  Happiness is not a mood,'s a Decision.

I'm linking with Em at Imperfect Prose on Thursdays.

332.  Knowing I can decide to be happy
333.  MBTI information and knowing I'm ok, just the way I am
334.  MBTI information and knowing there are just some people I will never understand
335.  Being fascinated by those MBTI types I don't understand
336.  The feeling of anticipation as you near the end of a wonderful story
337.  The feeling of satisfaction as I am confirmed in my prediction of how the story ends
338.  Co-workers with generous hearts

Monday, June 4, 2012

Feel the love or feel the pain

Last week I wrote about the parable of the unmerciful servant and about forgiveness.  I remember sharing with my small group about forgiving my husband and the difficulty I had had doing this.  I truly wanted to forgive, but at that time I was still feeling pretty darn hurt.  I told my group how I was able to forgive and truly move past the hurt.  The way I did it was a bit unorthodox, but it worked for me.  I told my husband I needed to punch him, hard, in the shoulder a bunch of times or until I thought he was feeling the hurt as bad as I felt I had been hurt.  I told my small group bible study, I believed I punched my husband about 800 times over the span of a couple months.  Then my hand started to hurt and I stopped.  Everyone laughed.  This is a bit exaggerated, but the kernel of the story is true.  I did punch him in the shoulder many times in order to get past the hurt and forgive.  I love my husband and I didn't want the hurting to go on and on.  I wanted to get it over.  This worked for me.  Obviously, from the reaction of my group, this isn't a conventional way to go about forgiveness.  I told my husband it would only hurt for a little while and then I'd be over it.  And, seriously, I don't punch all that hard.

I think the difficulty of being forgiving may have something to do with this desire for the person that hurt you feel as hurt as you do.  I guess some may call this revenge and not forgiveness, but if the retaliation only lasts for a little while and the offender agrees, this may be an ok way to go about it.  I think the key to this is having the offender agree to the retaliation.  I think someone truly looking to be forgiven or someone accepting the responsibility of their actions would agree to something along these lines.  I think it becomes difficult to forgive when the offender doesn't acknowledge their hurtful actions.  This is where it becomes challenging.

For example, if you were in a bible study with church ladies and you shared about a heartbreaking situation in your family, you may be hoping for an outpouring of love and comforting actions.  And, you may get this and even have your name mentioned in the prayer at the end of the study.  After leaving the study, you might think you would get a phone call or email or text or some sort of communication from one or two of the church ladies to see how you are doing.  But, nope... nothing... crickets.  Now, I know, unspoken expectations lead to resentments.  So, here's what you do.  The next meeting of the group you mention you need support during this difficult time in your family.  You would like to get this support from this group.  You don't know exactly what you need, but you know you need to feel the love of Christ.  ('cause right now, you don't)  Again, your name is mentioned in the closing prayer and the rest of the week... crickets.  Live and learn, right?  Maybe you need to skip a week, because the sight of the church ladies is beginning to sicken you.  But, you go back.  You've learned your lesson.  There is no way you are bringing up your heartbreaking family situation, because, you've heard loud and clear, ...they aren't going to be able to be there for you.  Instead, what you hear is a praise report for the members of the youth group visiting a person in jail that came to church one time.  (this feels exactly like salt in a wound)  Aren't our youth wonderful to visit this stranger seeking Jesus, but then, unfortunately, being incarcerated and not able to attend church.  In fact, the group of church ladies wants to encourage the youth and others to continue to visit this fellow and share the love of Jesus.

And you sit there, stunned at the outpouring of love going to a stranger.  And you wonder why there is energy and desire for this stranger, while you sit there, quietly bleeding.  (what's the matter, aren't you over it already?)

You won't be going back.  You've learned that it's easier for them to show love to a stranger than to you.  It hurts.  You don't come back and they don't call you.  (it's been said, christians shoot their wounded)  You want to forgive them, because that is what christians do.  But you want them to hurt, because they hurt you.  You want to tell them they hurt you, but they won't know what you are talking about.  They prayed for you.  What more can they do?  They cannot fix the heartbreaking family situation.  You need to let them off the hook.  Besides, prayer is the best thing they can do.  There is no acknowledgment of hurt.  There is no, "I'm sorry."  There was no "bearing of another's burden."

Don't you wish you could punch them in the shoulder until they hurt like you do?  Then it would be easier to forgive. 

326.  Great re-connection with old friends
327.  Listening to my son share work "war stories" with a kindergarten teacher
328.  Homemade potato salad
329.  Beautiful afternoon with cool breezes sitting on my new deck for the first time
330.  Black forest birthday cake
331.  Watching my son and husband working together to get a big job accomplished

Friday, June 1, 2012

300th post

Wow!  300 posts.  I feel like 300 is a pretty big milestone.  After all, if you bowl a 300 you've bowled a perfect game.  That's pretty incredible.  I think I bowled a 220-something once, but I've never bowled a 300.  (I even have my own bowling shoes, although I haven't bowled in years)  The movie 300 was a pretty popular movie and Gerard Butler is pretty darn easy on the eyes in that flick.  If my batting average was 300, I would be considered a pretty good hitter.  I'm going to say that blogging 300 posts in a year and a half is a pretty big accomplishment.  :)

It appears my 300th post isn't going to be all that profound.  It's Friday and Friday's are notoriously difficult blogging days for me.  It's difficult for me to come up with a topic on Friday.

I'm looking forward to this weekend.  Tomorrow is my son's birthday.  He will be 25.  I don't know why, but for some reason 25 seems so much younger looking at it from 55 than it did when I was 25.  When I was 25 I thought I knew everything.  I had been living on my own for four years.  I had a good paying job and I was paying all my own bills.  I even got married when I was 25.  I got married and moved away from my family and friends in Chicago and moved to Jacksonville, FL where the only person I knew was my husband.  Yep, just my husband and he left immediately on a nine month cruise on the USS America (CV-66).  I can't even imagine my son doing this.  Anyway, he asked to have a black forest cake for his birthday.  I, therefore, ordered a black forest cake.  I have no idea how to bake a black forest cake.  Fortunately, the bakery does ($22 for a 6-inch cake, yikes).  I wanted to try to bake a picaken, but he thought that sounded too weird and wasn't interested in it at all.  (Seriously, if you don't know what a picaken is, click the link)

We are going to see the Hunger Games on Saturday.  Remember, I told you (here) I bought Lionsgate Entertainment Corporation (LGF) stock back in February.  Well folks, so far, it wasn't the investment I hoped for.  Nevertheless, I'm not locking in my losses yet.  This thing is a trilogy, remember.  I'm holding it for the long haul and we'll see what happens.  :)

Another reason I'm looking forward to the weekend is because we are going to have a gigantic fire at our house.  My husband and son are going to burn another huge pile of debris left over from Hurricane Irene.  It is so satisfying to see those branches and logs go away.  It really does help to erase some of the bad feelings still lingering from having a tree crash into my house.  While we're having the Big Burn, we invited some friends over to enjoy the event and share dinner with us.  We haven't seen this couple in a long time.  They went to the church we left and, for reasons unknown to me, stopped having contact with us.  We kept trying and, voila', they are coming over for dinner.  (It's only taken four years)  This makes me very happy.

You can see, I have a fun-filled weekend planned.  All I have to do is provide the follow-through.  I know I can do it.  Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend.

321.  My son and celebrating another milestone year
322.  Reconnecting with old friends
323.  Cleaning up the yard
324.  Enjoying an entertaining movie with my family and friends (yeah, we're bringing along some guests)
325.  Finding an outlet for the tiny bit of creativity I have, in blogging

Eye candy :)