Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Acceptance and Regret

I was a miracle
I wasn't in the best years of your life.
I was a source of pride
I wasn't important enough to call for years
I was the past, never the present and
I wasn't a reason to stop

You made magic but
Christmas stopped around 21
I was your Fritz but
I wasn't someone to stand up for
maybe that was the worst
I wasn't a reason to stop

I was across the world, the country but
I wasn't someone you missed
I was fun to have lunch with
I wasn't worth crossing your comfort zone
I was the celebration of the job
I wasn't more than a mistake sometimes
depending on who asked, I guess

I was your favorite kid but
I wasn't worth taking care of
I wasn't special enough to get treatment
while it was still possible.
I wasn't really, was I?

I wasn't a real person to you.
I wasn't deserving of your passion.
I wasn't deserving of the hero of my childhood

I won't be regretful
I won't be resentful
It was what it was
and I won't be the last person you ask for.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Tricky Thing About Talking to God

2014.  When will I stop whining about how bad that year was? I guess, when I finally am able to heal that spiritual hole that got left in me, I'll laugh, I'll tell the story like it was nothing.

That year I prayed so much. Hubby and I prayed for justice, for a way out, for people not to win by lying, for financial help, for the baby we'd just had. Mostly, though, I prayed for patience. I prayed for faith, I prayed for peace.

And the answers were pretty dim. Looking at it now, 3 years later, I see. . . we survived it. We got barely what we needed.  The baby was pretty hearty. The financial help came here and there. We sold the house. We got out of what seemed like an insurmountable situation. God gave us new answers, and a new direction.

That faith I wanted, that peace, that patience.  I begged Him to help me, and instead, it felt like we just fell into the mire.  The justice, that never came. The liars, they still made us pay their legal fees when they lost. And the more those things happened, the more I wondered, "is there really someone, or am I grasping at straws?"

And it didn't help when we moved across the country. We had no church, no spiritual support. We were scraping by, and a new set of things I'd hoped I'd never have to deal with arrived.  Slowly my prayers started to constantly contain "if it's your will" as if I was hedging my bets, giving God a way out if there was no answer, or the answer was the one I'd hoped it wouldn't be.

Tonight I heard someone speak about giving God that way out. It does seem strange to believe in something if you can't ask.  Why ask at all?  If I'm going to talk to Him, it's to tell Him that I still believe He's capable of delivering miracles.  It's Biblical--He can be swayed.  We should ask.  We should keep his commandments, and He will keep His promises.

I'm still shaky. After watching a bunch of people who claim to follow Him figuratively go at each other's throats like animals over politics, culture, and what they believe were causes somehow worth abandoning the fruits of the Spirit like they never mattered anyways, I'm more challenged than I was back then.

My favorite thing to read in the Bible is the woman at the well.  Jesus encounters her. He doesn't insult or accuse, but when she lies, he calls her on it. She knows it's not right. And the second he calls her on it, she goes right to one of those questions we ask "religious"  people. She tries to set him up a little.  He doesn't go for that. Then he says to her he's got LIVING WATER. And as I just heard someone say, you have to imagine what it's like to be thirsty.  It's hell.  It feels awful, you feel empty, you feel like you're gonna die.  And water, it only lasts a minute.  You drink, you're thirsty again.  He says that to her.  He says this is different.  He says His water assures you will never go thirsty. EVER.

But I have to keep coming back, don't I? I have to walk up to that well, even if I'm still pretending and lost in my own shit. I have to hear Him say it again.  That day, she prayed for water, essentially.  She spoke to Jesus himself and she expected a little drink.  And He, thinking so much further, had something so much better to offer. 

The tricky thing about talking to God is you have to listen. He answers, he's always answered me.  I just have to listen.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Time

I am in my third year of grad school.  The year hubby and I said we'd finish. I imagine what's next and I feel peaceful, but looking at the road I want to barf.  I am seeing job postings now, starting last week.  They fill up a little spreadsheet I've created.

My weight is astronomically high. I guess that's what stressing all the time and having no personal time whatsoever do to you.  I am working a job where I'm paid to do everything under the sun. I'm good at that. I'm over involved. I have a problem with that. Now their stresses are my stresses and I forget that I am one month away from my recital and French test, oh and teaching.

I have a lot of rough mornings.  I think my diabetes is starting to present complications. How do I even think of that?

I've really been wanting a drink lately.
I have one year to accomplish the following in order:
Recital
Pass out of French
Pass music Ed 650
Pass independent study
Pass out of German
Pass written comps
Pass Oral comps
Deliver lecture/recital
finish 70 page dissertation

Also apply for jobs, raise two children, teach classes, work part time job.

Can someone tell me that's possible? It doesn't feel possible.

Monday, July 24, 2017

People Pleasing -the Journey

I won't even comment on how long it's been since I blogged.  A year? Sheesh.  I've been busy.

I remember the term "people pleaser" as I was growing up.  It was ascribed to me, and others around me, back then in the 70s and 80s, and I rarely hear it now.  Did it get less popular? Do we still think that? Have I just changed.

I thought of it last night when I noticed my 4 year old son doing something.  He apologizes quickly, and often for things he didn't do.  If I step on a toy, he apologizes.  "Sorry mom."  And it sounds sincere.  Sometimes it's twice, "Sorry, mom, sorry." And sometimes it wasn't his fault.  When I tripped over my own shoe, that I left out, he said, "Sorry, mom, sorry."

My daughter and husband never do this, but my son and I do. And at first I wondered--will he get walked over? I was always worried growing up, from what people said to me, that I'd be taken advantage of.  And there are moments, yes, when I do.

But sometimes, I think his quick apologies are just a reaction of being considerate.  He feels sorry that my foot got hurt, or sorry that the room is a mess, or just generally, what do you say when you feel bad that something went wrong?

And recently I've been working for someone who has a tendency to not want to take blame.  If they ordered the wrong item? It was listed badly in the photo.  If they gave me an impossible task and I made an error, it was my fault.  Every apology is considered--how will people see me if I apologize? Will it weaken my position? Will they think it was all my fault?

With that, I'm starting to think that the whole "people pleasing" is not so bad.  If my son apologizes, it's part of his compassionate makeup.  I can tell already he's the type to charm a room instantly.  My daughter might struggle more--babysitters will speak of his being "sweet" but will note their challenges with her more.  Having a personality which doesn't challenge others is not the be-all-end-all.  I hope like crazy that my daughter challenges people, shakes them up, moves mountains, and gets whatever she needs.  And if my son feels bad when you hurt your foot, even if he wishes he could have helped you, and even if he had nothing to do with it, I hope that stays around too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The World My Kids Get

I have been too busy to blog, and it's likely that I'm too busy now.  My children are both at school, and I have a day at home.  I've done enough of learning the opera.  I always tell my students when they know it well enough that they feel absolutely sick of it, you can set aside the music and take a break.  Of course, I'll be working on it again tonight.

I don't know how to say the next part, except that suddenly I feel the world is sad all over.  I keep hoping my kids get something better than I got, but it seems doubtful.  Raising them in a "survivor" mentality, where they need to get enough skills to be "one of the lucky ones" while the poor get poorer, and violence is so constant and eruptive, and people hate each other just because they have different ideas of the way our country should be run.  . . it's ugly.

Appreciating the cute differences I have with other people has become a bag of what to say and what not to say at Christmas dinner.  My church is splintered, and I find all I want to do is jump from one worship place to another, in hopes that I hear compassion and empathy among those who believe what I do.  If my kids live in the country, I'm afraid they'll get shot at school, or maybe at a friend's house, where the parents thought it was not a big deal to tell me they've got loaded guns in the house.  If they live in the city, it'll be oversexualization, or drugs.

I don't know if I'm sad for them or myself.  Do you start taking anti depressants once you have these thoughts?  They don't make other people sad?  I guess I need to exercise, get some natural endorphins.  The bible says this is supposed to be ugly.  The hope comes after we die.  Here, now, I guess theology tells me it's just gonna get worse.  And sometimes I think maybe bringing kids into it wasn't so kind.

I guess I could have had kids 100 years ago, in an environment where there was no school, or women weren't allowed to speak in public, and maybe they wouldn't have had to worry about guns and drugs, but they might have gotten eaten by a wild animal.  Maybe things aren't worse, just dark.  Sometimes I sing Emily Salier's words to myself "My place is of the sun, and this place is of the dark, and I do not feel the romance, I do not catch the spark." Sometimes I just pray to take a day at a time, and dive into some housework.

I would love to imagine some utopia coming. I guess I'm just too old for that now.  At least I will get to watch my kids do that "hopeful, youthful" thing where they imagine the world better and try like hell to make that happen.  Thank God for the young.