Monday, October 30, 2006

Things that should be true every Mon...

* Some time to sleep in before going to work.

* A sunny 60 degree day at the end of October.

* A free 10 minute massage for staff appreciation.

* Being able to work ahead of deadlines.

* People being willing to work for the church and saying Yes when you ask!

* Halloween Candy!

* Diet Coke!

* and a great football game to look forward too!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thou shalt not covet...

Here is a post that has been mulling around in my head for a long time. Perhaps it is because we are talking about the ten commandments regularly on our Wed night children's programming here this year. Maybe it is the nature of the job, but the commandments have been on my mind...two in particular: #9 and 10!

They both start "Thou shalt not covet..." and go on to list spouses, houses and cattle among other things. I remember when we memorized the commandments in Sunday school (4th grade? i think) and I remember thinking that 9 and 10 were sort of "lesser" commandments. I knew it wasn't good to be jealous of other peoples situations or things, but for the most part my kid brain didn't see any harm in wanting those things anyway. So long as you aren't jealous with the actual person and don't try to prevent them from having those things, what was the harm?

But we cut to life now I find that coveting can be a dangerous persuit. It can be a paralyzing thing, keeping us from enjoying and living fully the life we are in right now. I have been struggling with some coveting lately. I have a wide range of friends in a wide variety of places in their life and there are days when I am jealous of where they are compared where we are. Please don't misunderstand me. I don't begrudge anything my friends have. I want them to grow and flourish, but in certain things I wish I were there beside them rather than back in my percieved sameness.

Ironically, some of my covetings are contradictory. I see friends in school and begin to covet the academic life again. (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors school?) I see friends with beautiful homes and covet a house of our own. (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors house.) I see their beautiful babies and toddlers and children and covet their role as parent. (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's baby!) But I dont' think it would be feasible to be pregnant, in school and paying for a home for example, especially if we can't afford any of those right now!

I have been wrestling with this jealous coveting of mine and embarrassed by it. It doesn't seem healthy to want to live in a future time and place when there is beautiful things going on now. I have a wonderful apartment, great cats, a flexible if demanding job and get to have regular sleeping hours! But when I think of the things that I am lacking, things that my friends have acheived, I feel inadequate and mediocre.

It is easy to say, "That time will come" and I know that is true, but more than that I need to learn to separate myself from this coveting me. If I am always looking at what I don't have I will never be satisfied to be where I am.

So here is my confession. I've been breaking the commandments. I have coveted the idea of houses and family, education and financial security. I have been jealous of the gifts of others. I'm sorry to my friends, my husband, myself and my God. I'll try to live where I am, with an eye to the future but the acknowledgement of the blessings of the present. I will try.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Time and teeth

Today is the last in some glorious semi-time off that i've had. I haven't been to work since Wednesday (well technically I was there all Sunday morning doing Sunday School, but that is it). I've had some time with Chris - we've actually seen each other when it was light out! - since it was fall break last week. And I spent some time cleaning (not as much as I should have) and vegging (plenty of this!). It has been relaxing but I'm ready to jump back in the game. After a certain amount of time the unscheduled days off make me edgy. It will be good to have some routine back to the days too.

Today I had to go to the dentist and get a tooth drilled - two teeth actually, the cavity was between the teeth. The novicane has finally worn off and my jaw is sore but it really wasn't too bad as things go. At my dentist they have TVs in the ceiling and you can watch some TV to take your mind off the 6 different instruments rearranging things in your mouth. Today I watched a Baby Story on TLC, and while I was being drilled the lady on the episode was delivering twins. I figured, I may be only getting nicer teeth today rather than twins, but I'm certain I'm more comfortable that she is! Pain is always relative I suppose... and so is reward. Still I'll take my new teeth!

Tomorrow is back to the grind, and I'm sure if you asked tomorrow I won't have any recollection of feeling ready to go back to work! Ah well, such is the life we lead.

Oh, and one lovely story before I go: Last week my fabulous sister-in-law Emily was prep athelete of the week for her school. (For her stellar performance in the swim meet the week before!) As part of the prize she had her own parking space at the school for the whole week! Since she is 15 she only has her permit but my great father-in-law let her drive to school (with him) and park the car there each day. Then he'd walk the rest of the way to work, just so she could park the car at the school. How cute is that! :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A random story for a gloomy Tuesday

Since it is fall, the geese have returned to MN. I love seeing the little flocks of geese taking over otherwise suburban areas with a vengence. There are two little flocks that I see on a semi-regular basis during the fall. One lives near the pond of our apartment building and the other lives near our church and likes to hang out in our parking lot.

I've always liked geese, even though they are notoriously cranky birds and I remember one day trip my family took to a wildlife preserve one fall where literally thousands of geese would stop on the migration trek during the fall.

But it wasn't until I was married that flocks of geese became a reason for me to smile and giggle to myself. And here is why...

For those who know me well, you know that I am a worrier. I worry about a lot of things, and not always the most rational of things. I have some strange fears (usually they are not quite so restricting to be call phobias, but not always!), and I tend to overthink many situations. I know this. My husband is well aware of this (He's such a saint to put up with me sometimes). It is quirky and sometimes annoying but doesn't really hurt anything.

Anyway, cut to over three years ago, the week before Chris and I were going to be married: June 2003. It was a busy week filled with packing, moving, planning, prepping and all the little details that occur before a wedding. It was the Thursday before the wedding and some final details were taking place. I went to get my manicure for the big day and Chris was running some errands he needed to do. (Was he picking up the groomsmen gifts? I forget exactly).

He was running errands in a beat-up barely running white oldsmobile that his parents lent him temporarily since we hadn't bought a car for him yet. This car was beginning to have some serious engine issues beyond its rusty exterior but it was still running. At that point, a car was a car.

So... I had just finished my manicure and was getting into my car to head home for lunch before running more errands when my cell phone rang. Of course my nails weren't entirely hard so I struggle to retrieve my cell phone from my purse without damaging my nails and finally manage it and answer my phone.

Chris is on the other line. He says, "The car is broken down and I need you to come get me."

Ok, no problem. I asked where he was and figured out how to get there. And I asked if he knew what was wrong with the car.

He said, "I don't know, I haven't looked"

? I was confused. Was the road busy? "No" Was the engine steaming too much? "No"

So why? I asked. I figured there was some reason he hadn't done the typically guy thing and fiddled with everything before calling for a ride.

Well, he said..."There is a flock of geese here and they are watching me and I'm afraid to get out of the car"

It turned out that my fabulous and brave husband-to-be was afraid of geese due to a particularly mean goose that had chased him as a child. A good reason and I don't blame him. But whenever I see a goose now I smile because I know that sometimes our worries are just ours. We can't necessarily understand the worries of others, and we can't really judge worries too seriously because we all can have something that triggers our own worries.

It was the Thursday before our wedding but I learned something new about my husband that day, and it was endearing to me. I may give him a hard time about geese from time to time, but honestly it makes me feel a bit better about my own plethora of worries. I had already planned on marrying Chris and knew he was the guy for me, but somehow it seemed fitting that my husband should have an irrational fear too. I know that I can relate!

I did rescue my husband from the geese that day, but I learned something too. Now, when I see geese not only do I think that worry is a weird and personal thing, but I'm continually reminded how lucky I am to have him as my geese-fearing husband!

There you are, a random story for a gloomy Tuesday.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Please ignore the previous pity party.

I'm feeling much better today. Friday had me in a funk and I'm sorry to force it on all of you. Despite the fact that I'd worked every day for over a week is no excuse. I took today off and am feeling much more positive about the world.

The reunion was fun but there were not many people there, there were even fewer people that I cared to see. But I did catch up with a few aquaintances and I got to go to a great Ole Band concert which always revives the soul (or at least mine). I tried to take pictures but I got down there and discovered that my batteries were dead, oops. It was great to spend an afternoon/evening on campus though, and sunny October days are about the best ones there are. (So please enjoy this photo from the St Olaf website so you know what I mean.)

I got to go up and sign my name in the tower of Old Main which was very cool, despite the fact that I am not found of rickety staircases! Still it is the oldest building on campus and it was cool to add my name to a whole host of other alumni. (People have been sneaking up there for years, but now they start to open it up for specific times for people to sign without breaking in). There were signatures up there in chalk from a long time ago...class of '38 was the earliest I saw.



In other news, I am 4-1 in my fantasy football league and tied for the lead. The other leader and I play next week so then we'll know who is really on top. Oh, and on Sunday I went with some church friends on a paddleboat ride on the Mississippi. It was fun and relaxing. It was also the same company that we hired to have our rehearsal dinner on a paddleboat for the wedding 3+ years ago. So it was nice to think about some great memories about the wedding weekend. Aahh, reminiscing can be fun!

It looks to be a busy week so I'm not sure how much I'll post. Anyone want to teach Sunday School? J/K :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Well, it is official.

I'm in a foul mood. Blech.

I suppose a big portion of that can be attributed to the fact that is my supposed day off and I'm at work...again. And tomorrow is a day off, and I'll be at work...again.

But is is more than that. The Twins are playing lousy baseball right now and we have a must win game this afternoon and we are already down in runs.

And then there is the college reunion this weekend, which has me pensive and brooding. It is one thing to feel confident of where I am in life when I am on my own or with my husband or friends, but I'm not sure I'm feeling strong enough to deal with the judgement of my college class. Because face it, a function of college reunions is to see where everyone is and judge them and compare their lives to yours. I know that it can be good to see people you haven't seen in a long time, but in my foul mood I'm pessemistic that anyone would care whether I showed or not.

Most of my friends from college I'm still in loose touch with. I don't know of any of them who are going this weekend, though I don't know for sure. There are people who I would be interested in where they are and what they are doing, but as I was only on the fringe of their lives at school I have a few doubts that they will notice or remember me.

I don't know where this extreme negativity is coming from. I have no reason to assume such venom from most of my class, with the exception of one or two people who kept their venom out in public even while at school. Is it my introverted side coming back? An extreme fear to be the wall flower at a rocking party tempered by an equal fear of being noticed and laughed at? Is it that I've always felt like a party pooper - not being a big drinker in college and never part of the society of the class.

Am I worried that I don't have a PhD (or am I on track for one)? That I don't own a house? That I don't have a baby? Am I worried that people won't even remember me and I'll fade into the background? That no one will remember my name and we'll stand in an awkward moment before the person walks off to find interesting people? Is it that I'm going back to the world of over-achievers, having left my over-achiever persona behind but not my desire to stand with them? Is it because I may see my ex-roomate whose made it quite clear that she hates my guts, despite the fact that I think of her as a friend still?

I don't know why I'm so stressed about it really. I've always been large - so there is no huge change in my looks (So hopefully no, "Boy, she let herself go...", since I've been gone for a long time.). I'm happily married. I have a good job doing worthwhile things. I have a good education. But I feel like I'm getting ready to go to prom without a date and I have half a mind just to skip the whole thing. (At least I do actually have a date)

But that is silly isn't it? Of course it is, for reasons I just don't know right now.

Didn't I tell you I was in a foul mood?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

If you have a minute...

If you have a minute, please go and read this blog entry by Keith Olbermann. It sums up some of the rage and concern that I have about the direction President Bush is taking this country. You may be republican or democratic, for or against the war, but this expresses to me that the freedoms and ideals upon which the country was founded are truly in jeopardy. It also reminds me that it is terribly important to think before I speak.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nebulous-ness continued.

1. Chris thinks that I made up the word nebulous-ness from my last post. My response - so what! Great writers have been making up words for years and I may not be a great writer but I reserve the right to make up a word when I want.

2. Maybe we should make up more words. It helps the English language, we don't want it to get to boring now do we!

3. It occurs to my that maybe my thinking may have been pretty nebulous in that post too. Oh well! Enjoy!

4. At least there are pretty pictures.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nebulous-ness

Well, again, it has been longer than I would have liked since I've posted anything of note. I'm not sure why that is exactly. Yes, I've been very busy at work and home. But it hasn't been anything particularly out of the ordinary.

Church is keeping me on my toes and I've been working every Saturday since Labor Day, which can be frustrating since it is supposed to be my day off. But desipite the busy schedule and frustrating hours it has been going fairly well. I've come into my own as the staff member here and feel comfortable in my role. No longer do I feel like a poser trying to take the place of the previous long term person. This confidence is helpful. It makes my calling and asking for help more successful. I am more confident with my critics as well, taking things to the senior pastor when necessary, but willing to discuss problems directly with the cause as well. (Could it be that I'm learning NOT to avoid conflict...gasp!)

But despite this newfound confidence in my abilities and talents, I find myself questioning my call here. To be sure it is a good job, where I am helping the world, and I get paid a part of what I might be worth, but I wonder if it is what I am meant to be doing. I suppose the question of call and vocation is a topic for another post but it is always below the surface of my job for me. It rears its head when I am frustrated and is soothed when things are successful but it has never really gone away.

I have wanted to post more too, but I feel the urge to have something to say. I don't want to rant about the state of political affairs too often. I acknowledge that I can get passionate about it but that isn't the only thing I want to say. It seems sad to post about the children of all my friends too much, or the kids at church. Though they are all wonderful and I'm lucky to know them. There are only so many cat pictures a woman can post without seeming scary too!

Maybe my blog is stuck in the nebulous-ness that life can get into. Nothing much is happening right now. Not much great, nothing too bad. Just a lot of same old, same old. There are joys to be sure: Watching football on Sunday afternoons, the Twins in the playoffs, a clean bedroom, a thought, a word, a compliment. Little moments when life seems blissful and easy. There can be sadness too: A gym routine falling away in busy times, colds, friends needing prayers, gloomy days and restless nights. But nothing that makes life too crazy or disrupts things in my own daily life.

Is this a good life? Nothing too life changing, nothing too dramatic. There have been times when that is all we want. Times when there is too much stress, sadness or even too much joy to be able to process it all. I certainly couldn't live in that time forever. It is good to be in a nebulous life from time to time, but I think that my blog may suffer. There is a tendency in life to jump from big event to big event and forget the average, nebulous but beautifully sweet (or sour) days in the middle. Already I am looking forward to the cruise in December, or Thanksgiving with family. I worry about sad life events that will ultimately happen, though I hope that they are far away. Can we simply be happy to be nebulous? To be a cloud of swirling life - filled with color and meaning. Will we be able to see our own nebulous life or will the bright stars of specific events in our life overshadow the nebulas?

I will try to post more. Know that I'm well. There is not too much going on. I'm in a nebula and if I stop to think about it I'm glad for the swirling space dust in my life. I at least know that even though it is hard to nail down in a description that it is a beautiful place to be.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sometimes it sucks to be a responsible adult...

Especially when you get the opportunity to go to a Twins playoff game but you know that you shouldn't go because you have a lot of deadlines and events at work that day. Sigh.