Monday, December 12, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The last time you asked me if I was pregnant I replied by pointing out that you certainly seemed interested in my sex life. Which you denied. However I pointed out that if you were asking about a pregnancy you were in fact asking about my sex life.
I thought that would be the end of it and you would realize questions like that are not appropriate.
And then last night you asked me if I wanted to hold a new baby to see if he would "rub off" on me. Apparently you have not learned. You probably think you're cute and innocent.
You are not.
The decisions of when and how many children to have is between the husband, wife, and God. It is a private, personal, sacred decision.
When to have a child and how many children to have are private decisions to be made between a husband and wife and the Lord. These are sacred decisions—decisions that should be made with sincere prayer and acted on with great faith.
Elder Neil L. Andersen, "Children," October 2011 General Conference
Your cute comments and questions are actually highly inappropriate. You have no idea what you are talking about. And it is because of your comments and questions that I will never confide any of my struggles to you.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
It often seems like we either have the choice to be considered intelligent, cold, and distant, or we can be considered warm and friendly. But it's really hard to be considered both intelligent and friendly, especially on a first meeting.
Putting aside for a moment the fact that these types of studies use American college undergraduates/freshmen to generalize to the entire human race (it's using a sample of convenience not a true representative sample, but these studies always use it), there was a study that concluded that we can either be seen has having brains or emotions, but not both. The more of one we have the less of the other we have.
There are of course things they didn't take into account with this study. But at the same time it kind of fits with my dating experience. You're either the smarty nerdy girl that everyone is friends with but nobody wants to date. Or you're the bimbo that everyone dates but nobody cares about deeply.
Darn it all! Why can't we just be the smart, caring women that we are and have people see us for both aspects?
I did however keep my corduroy jacket on while I taught my college class today. Evaluations are coming up.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The good news is that I'm feeling much better. Still a little lonely, really needing hug, but not collapsing on my kitchen floor sad about it. The other good news is that in three weeks, one of the most stressful periods of my life will be over and five days after that, I'll be back in The Homeland for a longer than usual stay. I can't freaking wait.
The bad news is that my new sister-in-law is having an emergency surgery tomorrow. It's a routine procedure, but that doesn't mean we're not concerned. My grandpa is dealing with some new health issues too, and I don't like to think about him leaving us any time soon. That's not a risk . . . yet.
And that's life, folks. Ups. Downs. All arounds. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and take lots of deep breaths. Everything is going to be ok.
- Posted wirelessly by Jinxie
Posted by Jinxie at 9:41 PM
Monday, November 28, 2011
This week is shaping up to be very busy: it's the culmination of the project I've been working on (how cryptic can I be...) but after this week, I won't be gone every night which will be a relief! Now I just have to determine how to use my spare time wisely so I can finish up some other projects before heading Elsewhere for Christmas. I'm also teaching in church on Sunday, practicing for a Christmas concert, exploring education options, and a few other things. I have a full plate, but I enjoy so much of it.
My bishop told me the other day that I should think about uncomplicating my life. When I got home, I listed the things I do on a regular basis and realized that the THINGS aren't necessarily complicating my life, but my THOUGHTS are. I am feeling a lot of (mostly) self-imposed stress about things I can't really control, and, because I get so caught up in worrying, it's making it hard to do anything at all. That's when things get complicated. I do need more quiet time. I need more time doing the things I want/need to do and less time worrying about how to get it all done. That means I need to calm down, do one thing at a time, and stop panicking about my family's financial situation in January. It has been an extremely difficult year in my house--without going into too much detail, I will say that the recession has hit my dad's business very hard. Without us pooling our limited resources, we might have lost our home. As it is, sometimes we barely make it through a month and in January, it will get even harder because of some health issues that need to be taken care of despite the loss of income it will entail. We can't afford to lose any income, but we also can't afford to have a more significant loss of income if these health problems aren't taken care of now.
Can I control any of this? Not really. Can I look for a better-paying job in order to help more? Yes, I can. Can I MAKE someone hire me? No. So what do I do in the meantime? I pray, I work, I try to find ways to make a little extra money, I support my family in good health and bad, I fast, I pray, I pray, I pray. I'm doing everything I can and freaking out about things I can't control will only use up energy I need to live this life.
Somehow, things will work out. They always do. And I'm grateful for Roxie and Jinxie who give me perspective and tell me to calm down when I get frantic.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
While my entire immediate family, except me, gathered together with my brother, my brother's wife, and my brother's wife's entire immediately family for a Thanksgiving meal back in The Homeland, I sat with some friends I've known for less than six months. Well, two friends I've known for less than six months, one of their girlfriends who I just met last week, and some family of hers I still am unclear of her relation to (besides the one that is her mother). Yet another year as a Thanksgiving orphan.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
(I chose "short" as the title for this post because it's been a busy week and my internet is iffy at best lately. I think we have a bad router and hope we can replace it soon.)
The project I've referred to in most of my blogs this month has been stressful but fun. Part of the stress is that it's brought back a lot of memories of the breakup of my engagement a few years ago. Some of the memories are good, some are very sad, but I'm glad I have the good ones and that the bad ones are memories and not current events. Reminiscing with friends (and talking with new friends who ask) has, at times, been difficult, but it's been so good for me to be able to look back and see how far I've come. I know that it is only through the power of the Atonement of Christ that the breakup didn't completely crush me. I'm so grateful to be able to see that, and I hope I can be a strength to others.
I'm happy to be where I am (despite my job angst) and happy to be headed in the right direction.
Life is so good.
Friday, November 25, 2011
There are many studies and many discussions out there about the messages a person sends when they wear certain clothes. You have to be careful teaching people to dress a certain way (particularly modestly) because you don't want to lay all the blame on the dresser for the wayward thoughts someone else might have as a result. However! I do think that both parties have to responsible in their thoughts, actions, and dress. Here's an interesting video that's making the rounds on Facebook regarding some scientific evidence for why we should choose to dress modestly.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I've had a post sitting on the back burner since last year about how to make the holidays your own, especially when you are single and possibly far from the family you normally celebrate with. But we're all different. So what worked for me might not work for you as well.
Instead, here's this little bit of advice - make them your own, remember why you are celebrating, keep the traditions you can and start some new ones. And remember the wonder that is webcams.
I've found that no matter what is going on in your life, there is always something to be thankful for. And counting those blessings is even more important when it doesn't look like you have that many.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Recently, I've had the regular opportunity to be around some adorable children. They are so sweet--yes, they're little monsters, but they're SO sweet. It has been a delight to be around them. Tonight, one of them did something so cute I could barely contain myself. I turned to the woman next to me (who has children in a range of ages, the oldest just about married) and said "I want a baby RIGHT NOW!" She smiled and said, "they're awfully cute, aren't they? Are you trying to have kids?" I laughed and replied, "I'm not even married yet! Let me rephrase: I want a date, and then a second date, and then a boyfriend, and then a fiance, and then a husband, and THEN a baby. I have to do it all in the right order, you know!" She laughed too, and then touched my hand and said, "You have a wonderful mother heart. I can tell just watching you how loving you are. Don't ever lose that heart!"
I was sincerely touched. I told her I was doing my best to stay gentle and loving, even though it's hard to be kind to everyone some days. . . It is good to be reminded that it's ok to be kind, especially to children. It's ok to call them "sweetie" when I see them. It's ok to let my heart be soft around them. Sometimes I think we feel like we can't allow ourselves to love because we might not get what we want to love. Yes, it's hard to love without the surety that we get to keep the loved one, but life is so much better when we allow ourselves to love spontaneously and honestly. I love the kids I get to interact with--I think I'll let myself do that without being upset about the children I don't have yet.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Dinner and a movie is considered a standard date. However most will admit that a movie isn't necessarily the best date idea because there is not a lot of opportunity for conversation and getting to know each other. I was trying to explain to some new daters (recently 16) why a play (or musical), while it is similar to a movie, is actually a much better date idea. Which took me a little bit of time to figure out.
I finally realized that plays have the before (without ads and previews), intermission, and after that are open for talking. And plays more often than not give you food for thought where movies generally don't (movies are fun, don't get me wrong, and we need mindless stuff to relax from time to time, but mindless dates are not the best). Every time I've gone to a play for a date it's provided a full evening of conversation.
We have a few television shows we watch that get us talking too. "Parenthood" has started a lot of conversations about what type of parenting we want to do and where different relationships hit problems and what could've been differently to prevent it. We talk clear throughout "The Sing-Off" as we're analyzing the music and making our predictions about who is going to win the round and who is going to get cut.
I've done my share of dinner and a movie dates. They've ranged from bad to okay/good. But anything that'll get you talking is always better. And going to community theater helps support your local community too.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I told my dad that I met someone. The guy with the exclamation point in his text? In this case, we really did just meet once and had a very fast dinner together a week later, his treat. That and some texting is it so far. My dad grabbed on to that story and ran with it so much so that at a recent family gathering almost everyone asked me: "So, I heard you met someone?" Even a stranger at the gym then my dad goes to and I was attending with him asked, "So I heard you met someone?"
Yes, friends and family, I met somebody. Just met him. That doesn't mean I'm going to marry him - doesn't even mean I'm going to date him. But, yes, in the true sense of the word, I have met someone. Whether or not I Met Someone is too early to tell.
When there is news of that nature, I fully expect my dad to shout it from the rooftops. However, one dinner and one meeting do not a relationship make and I don't know why my dad feels a need to share this with everyone. For all I know, it's going to show up in the family Christmas letter! I'm glad he's excited. No, really, I am. I'm excited too. I just don't know what it is yet and I certainly don't think it's worth telling strangers at the gym about.
How do you deal with an over excited parent? I think Roxie had the right idea - she allowed her mom to ask her once a month. I am ever closer to making that a requirement. I know my dad wants good things for me. I want them too. I'm glad that I can share things with my parents as they really are some of my best friends but that doesn't mean they need to share my news with everyone.
I also tire of these questions my dad has asked me lately:
Dad: Do you have any boy news you want to share?
Dad: Have you reconnected with anyone?
Me: Are you asking if I've talked to [this guy I've met] since I got back from The Homeland?
Dad: . . . Yes.
Have you dealt with this situation? How have you found a compromise between over sharing and not sharing at all?
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Here, for your benefit, are a list of things you shouldn't say to a single person or a couple dealing with infertility.
1. "Just relax." Which goes with "It will happen when you least expect it" or its twin "Stop trying and it will happen."
Everything I've ever gotten in life was because I did something. Part of getting married is actually putting yourself out there the best you know how. People get pregnant because they do something, and in the case of infertility it's because they do a LOT of somethings. Telling someone to "just relax" is basically telling them faith doesn't need works. "Just relax" denies my works.
2. "Have you tried...? That's what worked for me."
That's wonderful. But I'm not you.
3. "I know how you feel."
Really? You've been exactly where I am with my exact background? If you have been in a similar situation it is to turn that from a "you" statement to an "I" statement. "I felt this way when..." rather than assuming you know how I feel. Or even just simply ask how I'm feeling.
4. "Everyone needs a favorite aunt." or "You can always adopt."
No, being single/infertile is not the end of the world and yes, there are other ways to be fulfilled in this life. But each person needs to figure them out on their own and it is nobody's place to say what to do next.
5. "Husbands/Kids are a lot of trouble."
I swear I'm walking out of a meeting if it ever turns into husband/kid bashing. There's a bumper sticker that says "A bad day fishing is better than a good day working." In some ways a bad day in a good marriage is better than a good day all alone.
6. "How are you doing?" when accompanied by sad puppy dog eyes of pity.
Please, hold the pity. It doesn't do anything to build anyone up. Especially if you give me pity about the area of my life that isn't going the way I want when I'm having a pretty good day in other areas of my life and would rather talk about that at the moment.
But that does not mean you should be silent and ignore reality. So here's some things you should say.
1. "Let me know if I can do anything."
And mean it. And then leave it.
2. "How are you doing?" when accompanied by genuine interest in my life as a whole.
Simply acknowledging there is more to my life than my marital/parental status is huge. When I want to talk about the marital/parental stuff I will, but if I don't bring it up, maybe you shouldn't either. The friends I appreciate the most are those who don't always press for details and who acknowledge me as a whole person.
The best response I've gotten about our infertility was when I told a friend why I couldn't schedule a meeting with her for a certain week because I wasn't sure what I'd be doing medically that week because of the next step we were taking and she replied with the most genuine and excited, "That's great!" She didn't give advice. She didn't give pity. She didn't judge. The most she's said since was to tell me once that she was thinking about us and praying for us. And isn't that what we all need.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Sometimes I feel like my flirter is broken because I don't get to use it very often. Every once in a while I pull it out, dust it off, and see how rusty it is. Usually, it's in pretty good shape, and I enjoy using it.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Roxie and I were talking the other day about how easy it sometimes is to be discouraged, and she made the point that discourage essentially means "taking away courage". Last night, I got a rejection form letter for a job I applied for, and today I feel hopeless and discouraged. I feel afraid to try anything else right now because I'm certain it won't work. I feel like I'm not good enough to try to get out of my dead-end job, that I'll be stuck here forever, gradually gaining 100 pounds through inactivity and losing whatever IQ I have through mindless repetition, eventually becoming grotesque and pointless and redundant.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The wedding was marvelous. Wonderful. Beautiful. Just as it should have been. It made me so happy to see my brother so happy and I can't even begin to describe the feeling that exists in the sealing room of the temple (where we as worthy members of the LDS church hold weddings that will be bound on earth and in heaven forever) when you witness the creation of a new eternal family, especially one that is an extension of your own. Needless to say, I cried many tears of joy watching my punk brother and his lovely bride make covenants they intend to keep always. To get married in the right place at the right time to the right person is one of the most important things about this life and I knew that my brother and new sister-in-law were doing just that.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Two years ago tonight we had our "first dance" as a married couple. We'd danced before, probably even to the same song. It felt like we were the only two people in the room.
But honestly, I think I'll like the dance we'll have tonight even more when we really will be the only two people in the room.
Last year we danced to our song in our living room on our anniversary as well, it's my new favorite tradition. Things just get more fun as we go.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
In the last couple of weeks, I've had moments of loneliness. I'm surrounded by people I love and who love me, I'm happy with my life, but there are times I'm suddenly so lonely it knocks the wind out of me. I wonder, during those brief moments, if I can handle a lifetime of them. I don't want to handle a lifetime of intense, if occasional, aloneness, but I've dealt with a lot of things I wouldn't purposely seek out. I suppose if it is my lot to be single the rest of my life, I'll be blessed to be happy in the midst of my trials.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
My dad is painting and installing closet doors lately, and after inspecting one of the doors at his request, I declared, "I love white doors, but if I feel like painting them orange, I think I will. I figure it will be my house and no one should care if I paint my closet doors orange."
Friday, November 11, 2011
When I was younger I thought I'd probably marry a military man from Idaho. Which seems oddly specific. But I liked traveling/moving (I've since outgrown that) and I liked potatoes, a lot, like eat them every day for two weeks like them. So it seemed like a military man from Idaho would be exactly my type.
My grandpa served in WWII. He left behind my grandma and uncle to fight in Europe. He was decorated and returned home. And he didn't talk about it until a few years before he died.
My dad has friends whose names are on the Vietnam memorial.
One of my cousins served in the Marines. Another cousin married a man in the Air Force and has already been through several deployments.
I am grateful every day for the men and women who serve this country in the military and I pray their families have the strength and peace they need.
And I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't a little bit grateful that my younger thoughts didn't come true and I'm not one of those people who needs that much strength in my life.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I have never been one of those people who has miraculously been healed of an illness; not really. I’ve prayed when I’ve been sick, and I’ve had relief either through medication or sleep, but I’ve never had the illness leave my body instantaneously. Don’t get me wrong! I have been healed in other ways—I’ve been strengthened beyond my capacity to endure emotional and mental burdens that would otherwise have crippled me, and I am profoundly grateful for that divine intervention. There are times I’m sure I wouldn’t be alive today had my prayers not been answered, but this little post isn’t about that kind of burden.
This post is about cramps.
I’m sure we’ve all had them at one time or another. I’m pretty lucky because mine are rarely very bad; mostly just uncomfortable and annoying. I can count on one hand the times when cramps literally had me down for the count, very suddenly and out of nowhere, over the last 20-odd years. Two of those instances, I had the luxury of finding out I couldn’t go to work before I got to work. This last one, I was already at work when it hit. Now listen, I rarely take sick days. The last time I took more than one sick day was last year when I had bronchitis and was coughing my guts out for three days. I might leave work early occasionally when I haven’t had enough sleep or need to see my doctor for something, but I usually tough it out pretty well. One day last week, I couldn’t. I could hardly move. By the time I’d been at work for half an hour, I was suddenly (it's never gradual in this case) in so much pain that I was nauseated, dizzy, shaky, and very pale when I gave up on Advil and looking up pressure points online and limped down the hall to throw up in the bathroom.
I’d been chatting online with my sister and had told her I was shaking and light-headed. She’d responded by reminding me I could take more painkillers and that she’d bring me some if I didn’t have any. I thanked her and told my coworkers I’d be back in a few minutes. I don’t know how long I was gone, but it was more than a few minutes. I remember facing the toilet in that public bathroom, praying that the pain would go away somehow so that I could stay at work and function normally. I kept praying as my body decided to keep my breakfast inside. I kept praying as I washed my hands and saw how pale and shaky I really was. I prayed more as I limped back to my office. I prayed as I saw that my sister had signed off. I kept praying that the pain would recede enough that I could think.
About 20 minutes after I got back to my desk, my sister came into my office with some painkillers and one of those ThermaCare patches for cramps (a GODSEND). She asked how many Advil I’d taken and how long it had been (3, an hour earlier, which should have kicked in but hadn’t made a dent) and suggested I take a fourth immediately and another one if the 4 didn’t take in the next 45 minutes. She told me to put the heat pack on as soon as possible and to keep her posted if it didn’t work, and then she was off to her own job.
I followed her instructions, choking down another pill before limping to the bathroom to put on the heat pack. I huddled over my desk, praying still, and felt that if I could, I should find a place to sleep for even 20 minutes. I talked to my coworker and told her I wasn’t feeling well (she wasn’t surprised, based on how I looked) and needed to lie down for a while but would be back before her meeting in 45 minutes. One of the bathrooms in the building has one of those anterooms with a padded bench, a shelf, a mirror, and a light you can turn off. I made my way there, set my phone to wake me up in 40 minutes, curled up on the bench, and tried to sleep. I never went into a full-blown sleep, but I dozed enough that my body was able to calm down and restore itself so I felt much better by the time my alarm went off. I checked my color in the bathroom mirror, realizing I was much less shaky and that the pain, although still in the background, no longer made me nauseated and dizzy.
I was able to get through the rest of my work day with only a little illness, and thanked my sister again when we met for lunch, which was cottage cheese (lots of protein, which I needed) and French fries we split (carbs, which I also needed). She said it was funny because at the time I told her I was shaking and dizzy from the pain, she had gotten distracted by something and was still online. Normally she wouldn’t have been in her office on the computer just then, but something made her stay. I had prayed for relief, and she had been able to see my need and provide help. If she hadn’t been there when she was, I don’t know if I’d have been able to drive myself home—I’m not a wimp, but I really don’t know if I would have made it all the way home, let alone out of the parking lot—and I know that I wouldn’t have been able to stay at work.
She was in the right place at the right time; angels didn’t come down from Heaven to take away that awful pain (I really feel for those of you with endometriosis!), but the pain was taken away because my sister was paying attention. Was my prayer heard? You bet it was! Was it answered? Definitely. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who takes care of me and for a sister who follows promptings.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Several years ago a friend, who I lovingly refer to as my ADHD friend (and I think everyone needs a friend like him, life is always awesome around him) gave me a book called Story People by Brain Andreas. If you are not familiar with Story People you should be. It is a delightful book with something you can relate to every few pages that will make you think or smile or laugh.
Here's a few I thought related to this blog.
- Little Man - I actually really like the quirks and have no intention of ever training them out of anyone. It's our quirks that make us who we are.
- Partial Enlightenment - Now this one is hitting really too close to home right now. But it's a good reminder. My life always goes better when God takes over, it's just a hard thing to let go.
- Wheelbarrow - Now this is a lovely image. I'm not leaving my dreams, I'm just getting help with them. Related to the previous, I'm sure my Heavenly Father would be more than happy to help me push my wheelbarrow, I just need to let Him chose the direction.
- Fast Forward - And let's dedicate this one to Jinxie, because there's definitely a lot of guys missing out there.
Monday, November 7, 2011
I think I got my answer about the last guy this weekend. He deliberately came over to me at a party to say hello and give me a side hug, which was nice of him. Eventually, we started talking, and I asked how things (work and school, specifically) were going. We talked for several minutes and he mentioned that his schedule would be less stressful in the coming weeks. I suggested that if that was the case, it would be nice to spend some time with him again. He nodded and said "We'll see, we'll see." with a slight hint of a smile.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Today a sister gave me back a book I'd loaned her. It's a book I've loaned out several times because it changed my perspective on things so much. It's called, "Confronting the Myth of Self-Esteem: Twelve Keys to Finding Peace" by Ester Rasband. I think everyone should read it.
After she gave it to me I was flipping through it I came across the section, in the chapter about identifying the needs of your heart, about people who live a checklist life.
I have a lot of checklists. They help me remember to do all the little things. So this section caught my eye. And as I reread it, my eyes became wet. This was the section I needed to read today.
The type of checklist talked about in the book is the one that leads us to say "I've done x, y, and z, now the Lord owes me the blessing I want." Which is something I recognized in me. There have been times, and now is one of them, when my prayer is something along the lines of, "I've done everything that is in my power, now it's your turn Lord."
We do need to do everything that is in our power, this is true. But that isn't the way to think about it, like a checklist. My prayers and thoughts should instead be "Thy will be done" or at the very least "help me accept Thy will."
When I was single I did everything I could think of. I was faithful in attending my church meetings. I expanded my talents to make sure I kept growing. I put myself out there in different ways so that it would be possible to meet people even if I would've rather just stayed home. But doing all of that won't bring peace if I'm then going to the Lord and basically saying, "What's wrong with you that everything I've done isn't enough?" Pride is never peace.
Things with that aspect of my life worked out better than I could've imagined. And I need to let that experience of putting that aspect of my life in God's hands to put my life back in His hands.
Desires for marriage and children are righteous desires. We should do all we can along those lives. But then we also need to remember not to hold it against God when he knows what is best for us better than we do. The natural man is prideful and putting him off is not easy. But it is the only way to have peace. And I could definitely use more peace in my life right now. I don't know that I'm strong enough yet to say "Thy will be done" but I can at least change my prayers to ask for help in accepting His will.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Remember last time how someone mentioned I was a "young 36" and I thought part of it is that I'm still curious and sometimes silly?
Tonight, I watched "This Old House" with my family and was absolutely delighted at the tools and techniques and innovation they show every episode. I loved hearing them describe how different tools do different jobs. I enjoyed watching them demonstrate an innovative techniqe. I was fascinated by how things were put together. I wanted to learn more about some specific tools and materials!
Tonight, I put sparkly nail polish on my fingernails and am so delighted by it that I keep getting distracted while I type because it's so pretty.
This morning, I was so delighted by a small boy's running and playing that I clapped my hands and grinned like crazy.
This afternoon, I went to my church to check for some equipment I need for my lesson tomorrow, and was delighted to find the library had exactly what I was looking for.
This morning, I met a sweet cocker spaniel/blue heeler cross who licked my hand and I laughed with delight while I stroked her soft ears and watched her walk around the room.
There is SO MUCH in this world that is delightful!
Friday, November 4, 2011
One of my favorite quotes about hope is:
Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
- Shawshank Redemption
I recently heard a father talking about his son who had recently gotten married. He actually said, "We'd almost given up hope" because this poor son had hit 30 before getting married.
How sad is that!?! Parents giving up hope on their kids. That's kind of rotten parenting isn't it?
Now, I'm pretty sure that isn't what that father meant, but that doesn't mean I haven't heard it many times in many places. However, the words that come out of your mouth reflect the thoughts rolling around in your head. So if you're saying you have no hope in your kids than somewhere you're thinking they are a lost cause.
I never lost hope in myself. It might have dimmed at times but it never went out. Don't lose hope. Don't let it die. Have true hope and faith.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Some weeks ago, I went on a really nice first date. I had asked him out to an event, but he couldn't make that evening, so he asked me to dinner later in the week.
So to dinner we went. We laughed a lot. We had great food. We went on a post-dinner walk. We talked for hours. He would go on to describe the evening as "refreshing" and that he "had a wonderful time." A few nights later, we arrived separately to a party only to spend most of the night near or with each other, leaving together and talking in his car into the small hours of the night.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I met someone the other night who knows my dad through work. When I told her hi from him, she said, "oh, he's a dear! I'll tell him I met you when I see him again!" (In order to keep this as anonymous as it is, I'm trying not to be a name-dropper. Sorry about the vagueness.) I felt inspired by this woman and refreshed on my journey to other employment/education.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I apparently did it wrong.
Lately I've heard two people say things that are often said in one way or another, and honestly, I think it's those people who are wrong, not me. I'll talk about the other person later
Last week I was at a youth event and one of the other youth leaders told one of the teenage boys that every dollar he spends on a girl before his mission is a dollar spent on someone else's wife, implying he shouldn't spend a lot on girls before his mission. Which was odd. Because every dollar a guy spends on a girl before his marriage is a dollar spent on someone else's wife, not just before his mission. It's a weird way to look at it anyway because until a guy marries a girl, some other guy is spending money on his wife. So really, stop worrying about it already and go date! (if you are over 16)
However the leader then went on to say that a young man who recently got married had "done it right" because he'd only dated one other girl after his mission before getting married. Is that really the "right" way to do it? Not all of the adults standing around know that HP and I got married in our 30s, but he did. He'd known and watched us since I moved to the same town as HP about four years ago.
So I followed up by asking him if he thought HP and I had done it wrong since we'd dated a lot of people after our missions before finding each other and getting married. Which flubbed him up a bit and he had no answer so he had to pretend I hadn't said anything.
Truth is, we didn't do it wrong, because there is no one right way to do it. Good for that couple that got married that fast. But I wouldn't have done it any other way for us. There is no wrong way.
Monday, October 17, 2011
They say that you marry the individual and not the family. So if you don't get along with the family, or if they don't get along with your family, then it isn't their place to say anything.
Except you do marry the family.
Who I am is in large part a result of who my family is. I reflect them. I reflect how we grew up. I reflect the experiences we shared. I am my family and they are me. And the same is true of everyone. So when you marry a person, you really are marrying the family.
I dated one guy whose family I never really got along with. They never really liked me and thought I was the one who was the bad influence in the relationship. The last time I spoke with them (at his wedding) his sister wanted to give me a book so I could figure out what was wrong with me that I wasn't married. Talk about awkward.
It might be a small thing. I know people who are happily married and don't get along with their in-laws. But I also know people who don't get along with their own families, so there's that. The evil in-laws are a stereotype that I'd like to see go away. I know both of my parents got along with their parents-in-laws. My grandpas used to ask after the other one. And more than once I remember my dad's siblings asking about my mom's dad. It is totally possible to get along with in-laws.
Just like any relationship it takes work though. You've dated the individual rather than the family. Your experiences with them have been limited (which is why it is, except in extreme situations, vital to keep relationship issues within the relationship, that way when you get over it nobody else is still holding a grudge). And it takes time to build a relationship.
I met HP's family very early on, and he met mine very early too. His family still talks about that first meeting. I apparently made quite an impression. But neither of us lives near our family, so those interactions were rare. It has taken a lot more than those first meetings to develop the relationship to the point where right now I feel connected to them and can confide in them. It's taken time and communication. When he's talking to them on Sunday and I tell him to tell them I love them, I mean it. And the same goes the other way too. I've had conversations with his family that he didn't initiate, and he's had conversations with my family that I didn't initiate. And more than once this year I've told him how grateful I am that his family likes me. It makes so many things so much easier.
Now, not everyone can have that. Because while we are our family, we are also our own individuals. So it's possible to get along great with one family member and not the rest of the family. And some relationships can be stronger than others. But you do marry the family. And they are important. And in-laws are not evil.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
If "all men. . .were like unto Moroni", I wouldn't be single. ;)
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I was recently at a Relief Society meeting about standing in holy places, and specifically about making where you are standing a holy place. The couple doing the main presentation was great. At one point while she was speaking he brought all five of their children into the room and they played chase around the room while she kept talking. Excellent object lesson. Because some times it can be really hard, for one reason or another, to make where you are standing feel as holy as the temple.
After the meeting I was talking with the sister and she actually apologized to me for talking about children so much. Which really caught me off guard. She was worried she might have offended me because I don't have children. She doesn't even know about our struggles. I assured her that I was not offended in the slightest. Family, children, marriage, all of that is truth. It actually offends me more when I can tell someone is leaving things out because they don't want to offend me.
Two months ago my mother said they had a lesson in Relief Society about eternal marriage where the teacher did not talk about marriage at all because she did not want to offend the single, divorced, or widowed sisters in the ward. How do you teach a lesson about eternal marriage without talking about marriage? I have no idea.
Eternal marriage is an eternal truth. Children are an eternal truth. We are not living in the celestial world currently and so there are all kinds of situations we may find ourselves in. But the truth is still the truth. And we should never shy away from teaching truth.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Don't get me wrong--I love my ward. I love being in a family ward. I love the diversity of experience and age and education.
I don't really love the well-meaning but slightly stupid things people say sometimes. There are many people who say well-meaning and non-stupid things, but the few who say things that are actually stupid are the ones who drive me batty. Yesterday one of them metaphorically cornered me after church. She and her husband are parents of several boys of varied ages. The older ones aren't married yet and they're getting worried, so she told me of her husband's solution: get all the single people together, line them up facing each other, arrange them by height and age, and then just pair them off.
While my brain was thinking "good heavens!" my face was friendly and amused and I laughed as I engaged in that particular conversation. I admit I HAVE had moments when I appreciate the idea of arranged marriages, but know that it's no way to "solve the singles problem". Just marrying someone the same age and taller than me won't mean I'll be happy or that it's right. I know a lot of tall guys around my age, and there is at least one you couldn't PAY me to marry. This is the 21st Century! I am not considered property and I am NOT a problem to be solved. I suppose some people still don't see that a single person can be pretty darn happy with her life as it is.
Still, I can't help smiling because she seemed so concerned for my welfare. Bless her for that!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
That I won't cry if Campbell gets engaged to this girl he's dating.
That I'm completely over even the idea of a relationship with him.
That I'm not a tiny bit shallow because I think she has bad skin and brassy hair and that I'm prettier.
That I'm not a tiny bit at peace with it all.
That we didn't have potential for something awesome.
That I don't miss his friendship.
That I'm not confused by the way things worked out.
I will say that I wish I understood why we were such good friends if he's not going to be part of my life ever again.
I will also say that I'm working on a much longer post wherein I try to be philosophical and hopeful even though another Person With Potential no longer has any potential.
It's hard. What's that line from "When Harry Met Sally"? Oh yes--Marie turns to Jess and says, "Tell me I'll never have to be out there again," and Jess replies, "You'll never have to be out there again." Out There kind of sucks. This whole balancing act between not liking someone enough and liking them too much JUST IN CASE he might or might not like-like you back? It's stupid. It's exhausting. I'm tired. I'm usually optimistic enough to accept set-ups (few and far between as they are) with good humor and an open mind, but the latest guy, The Professor (I think that's what I'll call him if anything pans out), has been exchanging emails with me for a month and hasn't made a single move. All I really want is the reassurance that I don't have to be on this particular balance beam/roller coaster/seesaw very much longer, and that there will come a day (soon, please) where I know I'll never have to be Out There again.
I won't say I'm looking forward to much of anything right now. Sigh.
I wasn't planning on discussing Sk8er Boi here again, but that was before he announced on Facebook that he's in a relationship now. Not only did they go "Facebook public", but he actually posted about how it might upset people because he said he wasn't going to date anyone for awhile but he is and he cares about her.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
I DO know. I know that I am NOT attracted to men who are shorter than me, thinner than me, or who have smaller feet and hands than I do.
At nearly 5'9", I'm a taller-than-average woman. I have long arms and legs, and, yes, bigger-than-average feet and hands. Thanks to genetics, they're well-proportioned and well-shaped, with long slender fingers and toes (my second toe is nearly as long as my pinky finger, which is fun to demonstrate when people don't beleive me). If anything other than average, my bone structure is on a slightly smaller scale, but I'm not one of those size 2 women with a 24" waist. I am, I think, at a fairly healthy weight--the 20 pounds I've gained over the last several years at a desk job haven't made a HUGE difference in my overall size, and I've never gone past a certain weight (either low or high) so my body is pretty set within a 30 pound range of what I weighed in high school (I was pretty skinny during puberty).
While most of my friends were getting over their gawky stage, I was in the thick of it at 17. I'd grown an inch and a half sometime between junior and senior years, and I grew an additional half inch (and half a shoe size) after high school. I was suddenly taller than a lot of my friends and felt awkward and gangly--thank goodness for childhood dance lessons, or I'd probably have been even MORE clumsy. I had these arms and feet and legs that got in the way and for a while I could walk down the middle of a wide hallway and still end up with bruises on my elbows.
My feet were average until 8th grade, when I suddenly realized I couldn't borrow my mom's shoes anymore. By the time I was 15, I was wearing size 9 shoes and I was only 5'4" tall; I felt like a clown. I have a difficult time finding gloves big enough to accommodate the space between my index finger and my thumb, but small enough that my fingers aren't swimming in them. Long enough skirts and pants are also hard to find, and I won't get into my shoe issues except to say that I'm so grateful I don't also have wide feet. I feel for those of you who do, especially if your feet are a size 9 or more.
Although I've maintained my weight and I'm not quite overweight for my height, I know it's a possibility if I don't exercise. I see women at work who have been in desk jobs for 15 or 20 years and have gained a lot of weight. It wears on them; one woman can't walk down the hall without panting and sweating. I honestly think that the hand genetics dealt me doesn't include the morbid obesity card, but that doesn't mean I get a free pass. I don't want to get too thin, either, because that would be unhealthy. Women who talk about wanting to get back to their high school weight don't realize that I didn't start puberty until I was 15. If I ever get as thin as I was in high school (somewhere between 120 and 130 pounds), there is probably something very wrong with me.
Now that I've established my size history, perhaps you'll understand that when my ex-fiance (just two inches taller than me) quoted the weight loss goal he was trying to attain, and it was just 10 pounds more than the weight I already was, I felt very insecure talking to him about my extra weight. He said he wasn't bothered by my high heels, but in the end I think he was. I felt huge around him sometimes even though he was stronger than me.
I don't want to feel huge around my husband. I am insecure about enough things that I don't want to be insecure about my weight, shoe size, height, or hands. When I've held hands with men whose fingers are shorter than mine, I feel huge (unless their hands are actually BIGGER). I work with an attractive man who I outweigh by 30 pounds, so I don't even go there. I was once cast in a play opposite a man who was 2 or 3 inches shorter than me and at least 35 pounds thinner. I did my best to act the part well and to let my character be attracted to him, but it was a huge relief when he had to drop the show and was replaced by someone much taller. I've been out with wonderful men with small hands and feet and, much as I like them as friends, I'm much more comfortable around someone bigger than me. I like feeling secure that if something happened to me, the man I'm with could easily help me get to safety.
I am just not attracted to men who are smaller than me. I wouldn't go out with one in pursuit of a relationship. So for all those women who say "you never know!" I would like to say, YES. I DO know. I don't think God wants me to be in an eternal marriage with someone to whom I'm not attracted, and I am not attracted to men who are shorter or thinner than me, so stop assuming I'm just being picky and close-minded. I really do mean it when I tell you that I won't marry someone with smaller feet than me--I really don't need him trying on my shoes and commenting on how big they are. . .