I’ve been given a work laptop. Yep. I’m actually pretty stoked since I never would have gotten this far in my career at my previous job. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and now I feel compelled to set back up to work again as soon as I get home. I’ll have to work on finding a work/life balance again.
So, it’s Mardi Gras, and I’m sure that naked people are flooding the streets of New Orleans, beads flying through the air, drunk people becoming celebrities for the upcoming season of Cops….and so on/so forth. We’re ending our Fat Tuesday with a steak and potato dinner, tiramisu, and a few Reese’s cups before the coming day of repentance tomorrow. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find somewhere to go to get ashes, but even if not, I’ll keep my spirit and focus in that direction.
It bothers me how Southern Baptists (in general) tend to write off just about every tradition of the Catholic church immediately without paying attention to the history or meaning behind it. There’s great reason to continue to pay attention to the tradition and liturgy of the Catholic Church; we can’t simply write off the first fifteen hundred years of our faith, you know? Anyway, here’s a brief explanation of Lent in the event that any of my Baptist friends find it useful. I think there’s a level of mystery in the Catholic denomination for Protestants on the more fundamentalist side of things. Although I certainly don’t identify myself as fundamentalist, my circle of friends includes many of them, and the hushed tones in which they say, “s/he’s…..Catholic” is a little funny. I find the traditions and practices to be pretty intriguing…we can’t really fault them for their shortcomings (perhaps in being caught up too much in traditions and not emphasizing the individual’s direct access to God) when we, as Southern Baptists, have so many of our own (continuing to argue over drinking, caring for animals/the environment, equating Christianity with the Republican Party…).
My, I’ve rambled on so. Sorry about that…lots of thinking about Catholicism the past few days. I’ve been trying to figure out what I need to give up for Lent, and the past couple of days, I’ve felt the unhappy tug of something that I didn’t really want to hear. Sugar. Sugar??? Yes, Sugar. It’s become an idol for me, and it’s literally killing me. So, starting tomorrow, I’m abstaining.
yeah, i really didn’t mean for that to sound as “final” or “foreboding” as it does. i’ve been struck the last few days with this urge to detach from “the system.” it’s a moot point, because there’s really no way to detach anymore; we’re numbered, inventoried, and surveilled wherever we go. and, to be honest, i really like my cable tv and smartphone, so it’s not looking to be in my future. but i still want it. what i want is to NOT want my smartphone and tv and the myriad of other things that make my life so very comfortable. i want not to be so tied to them because, if somehow the opportunity arose for us to actually live a more analog, off-grid lifestyle, i would want to jump out on faith and take that chance.
i promise, I’m not trying to romanticize “the good ol’ days” where people were forced to do without modern luxuries (i.e., the Great Depression), but sometimes i think that we’ve been victims of our own success, and i can’t help but feel these days like a big “reset” is about to take place…whether by natural means, or vulnerability of our power grid, whatever it may be. it just seems that the world has become such a volatile place so rapidly and that it’s all coming to a head. of course, the fundies are either freaking out or salivating with joy because they think we’re on the cusp of the end of the world. we’re such a short-sighted, chronocentric people. these things have happened over and over throughout the ages…we struggle, become successful, become victims of our own success, and then the pendulum swings and we’re back to the struggle again.
part of it may be because i didn’t get a chance to unplug this past year. i changed jobs, so we couldn’t take a long enough vacation to justify taking the camper. the weekend that we did tent-camp, we had a horrific storm come through which culminated in our desperately trying to pack up the tent in the pouring rain and lightning while i had a panic attack. also, my health has been pretty piss-poor the last four months of the past year, and it’s not getting better as quickly as i would hope/like.
we’re going to give gardening another shot this year. with the price of food rising, i think we need to be able to mitigate some of that cost ourselves. and, i’m just enough of a conspiracy theorist to think that it’s no accident that we’re getting sicker and sicker the more that the government gets involved in our food. the best solution as i see it is to do what i can to keep them out of my food as much as i can.
i do hope that someday, before it’s too late to do so, we’ll be able to move out to an area that’s a little more rural and secluded, a little out of the way, and that we’ll be able to unplug a little bit more, enjoy God’s creation a little bit more, stress a little bit less, and try to bring things in our corner of the world a little closer back to how it should be, in spite of the political, societal, and religious unrest that seems to be rapidly spiraling out of control.
The past few weeks, my heart has been heavy over the lack of peace in this world. Syria, Lybia, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Colorado, Oregon, China, now Connecticut. When things like these tragedies, atrocities, and abuses of human life occur, I wonder why God continues to put up with us. We (humanity) seem to excel at little more than destroying this world…things, places, creatures, and each other.
On an even smaller scale, things are not peaceful for me right now. Christmas is never an enjoyable time for me, because it’s never about what it should be.
I declared my “word” for 2012 as “healing.” After the medication issues and resulting mental illness for 2011, I anticipated that this year would be a time for healing. There are parts of that that happened; I have a medication mixture that is working for me and has put me in a much better position. I’ve become much more secure in myself, in part because of the weight that I’ve gained (not that I’m happy that I gained it), I was able to rid myself of a job that I hated in a toxic environment for a job (doing the same thing) that pays much better and is in a much better environment. I’ve removed some toxic relationships in my life and have accepted that I cannot take on the guilt for other peoples’ problems.
However, my physical health has declined. While my blood pressure is back under control, my liver enzymes are mildly elevated, my cholesterol is too high, and my blood sugar is at pre-diabetic levels. And that robs me of my own peace.
2013 is going to be a year of Peace for me. I cannot control the fact that our world, our nation, and our state lack peace. But I will do my part, in my own little corner, to help make this world peaceful for others and to help make it peaceful for myself. Dona Nobis Pacem. Lord, give us peace.
Another Sunday is drawing to a close. It was a relatively nice day despite some frustration at church over a couple of different things. I gave my parents a bound copy of my thesis; it was a win:). My parents got me lots of nice clothes for my birthday (Wednesday), which are much appreciated since I’m sorely lacking in clothes that fit me at this size. They also gave me the most hilarious card EVER.
That was from the graduation service at church…I didn’t drive up to school to walk since I did the program online and didn’t know anyone.
So, I’m still feeling pretty frustrated and restless with the way we’re living right now and wanting to live more simply and peaceably…it hit me again at church this morning during the music. I’ve been having a pretty rough time with music in general since Phil died. I haven’t listened to it that much (except for a solid month of the Monkees after Davy died), and I’ve lost a lot of my joy about singing altogether. I used to get really excited when I was asked to sing something. Now, I just feel kind of blah. I’m hoping it’ll pass, because I do know that Phil wouldn’t want me to quit just because he’s not here to give me confidence anymore. I thought about him a lot this morning because 3/4 of the music this morning was stuff that I’d connected with him over the years.
Anyway, enough of that. I think some changes are afoot, though, because I’m finally feeling frustrated enough to start taking action. I’ve always been like that…when I was a kid, it would take me foreeeever and ever to get frustrated enough with my room to actually clean it (shut up, Mom and Dad!!! ;)), but when I did, I really went on a spree. I’m finally getting frustrated enough with all of the “stuff”…the clutter, excess, the diversions and distractions, the emotional roadblocks. I’m not feeling quite so isolated at work anymore, so I’m pretty much out of the woods as far as mental angst goes at this point.
So, I’m going to make a list of things to accomplish this week (because I always used to love making lists), and then maybe get to it and maybe, just maybe, finish a thing or two;).
So, now that I’ve finished my Master’s, I’m a little bit at a loss these days as to what to do with my time. Unfortunately, for the most part, it’s been vegging out on the internet and in front of the tv. I’m hoping that I’ll snap out of it soon now that I’m starting to get back in the swing of not having to spend every waking moment reading, writing, editing, rewriting, revising, submitting for review, crying, and starting the process over again.
I have started back reading my simple living blogs and prepping blogs and it’s turned my mind back toward trying to live a more analog life. It’s tough to think about that since I’m just as dependent on technology as most people; I have a smart phone, netbook, laptop, and tv with cable, and I don’t really know what I would do if all of those items were taken away from me, but I do know that I’d like to be able to look at them as luxuries and not necessities anymore and to be able to live without them without feeling stranded or lost.
I was talking to a girl at work last week about the gas shortage that we had in 2008 and how Joey and I ate out of our well-stocked pantry for nearly a month because we couldn’t do much driving at all, so I went back today and read my blog post about it and remembered how much more frugal our lives were then. As much as I promised myself that I wouldn’t let our lifestyle increase with my increasing salary, we’ve done just that. Some purchases have been worthwhile (the camper), but the little things (tons of takeout) make me quite angry at myself for letting us get into this routine. And my health has definitely mirrored the excess of our lifestyle, which has made me more disappointed in myself. I’m getting back on track, though (3.4 pounds down!).
I also found this old post on Authentic Living vs. Virtual Living and realized that we haven’t had a good dinner by a bonfire in a long time. Some of that has been because of the ebb and flow of friendships and relationships changing/people moving away, but I miss a good night by the fire “solving the world’s problems.” It’s a little hot for that right now, but I hope we can reconnect with old friends or build relationships with new friends so that we can do that some more in the fall/winter.
This past year has been incredibly challenging and we got so off-track trying to survive that now, it’s going to be a very slow and deliberate process to start building back (and forward) to the lifestyle we want to have. And for me, that needs to look like a return to simpler times.
Lots to think about in Weaver-land.
I ended up taking a 2.5 hour nap yesterday and it has resulted in my waking up at 3:45. I finally got up and left the bedroom because I have this bad habit of popping my joints when I can’t sleep, and I didn’t want to keep Joey up. That, and he’s sawing logs pretty loudly, so I really didn’t want to stay in there. At least local news starts at 4:30.
Today marks the day Joey and I set for ourselves to begin getting life back on track. I’m nervous about it since we’ve spent the past year pretty much eating whatever we want and getting ourselves into the bad habit of getting takeout several times a week and wasting the groceries we buy by not eating them.
Some observations about the physical ramifications of the weight gain:
- Standing for more than a few minutes hurts my lower back and into the backs of my legs.
- Holding long notes while singing has become difficult.
- Feeling crampy off and on nearly all month.
- My meds aren’t as effective in controlling my anxiety
I’m still doing pretty well mentally, but I can definitely tell that I’m not enjoying the full effectiveness of my meds.
Anyway, I just wanted to get that down on “paper.” I’m going to shoot to document this journey. I’ve finally remedied the untenable stress of my day from 8-5, and It’s time for me to pick up the pieces of the rest of it and begin the healing process:)
Well, as I told you in my last post, I recently got a new job. It’s the same job that I was doing before, but it was a good move financially, and the new job allows me some liberty to get into the aspects of my industry that I really like. Additionally, I needed a less-stressful environment (or a different kind of stress, at least), and I’m getting to the point where I feel that I’m going to get that. So, after a month, I’m starting to feel like I’m a part of the new place. It helps that there are five of us who have come over here, so I immediately had a group of people with whom I was familiar. I’m also finally feeling challenged again, and like I’m a part of the process rather than “just another customer service rep.” However, I’m still not entirely at ease yet….so, in the long run, I know this place will be less stressful, but right now, I’m still suffering from the (good) stress of getting adjusted. I’ll gladly take that over the previous environment, though!!
Shelli’s adoptiversary was last Saturday; we gave her some treats and she was largely nonplussed by the entire thing. I can’t believe it’s been five years. I’m a little sad about it…she’s all grown up now, and the memories of that first “kitten” year seem so far in the past. I’ve also been pretty depressed lately about the fate of many shelter pets. Sometimes I wonder if I’m cut out to have kids, because at this point, I’d rather spend my time, money, and effort on rescuing animals. Try explaining that to church people who look at you like you’ve just denounced Christ Himself. Knowing what I know about God, though, He gave me this tenderness toward animals for a reason, so I’m just trying to go with the feeling and let Him change my mind about kids if/when it happens. I would love to be able to get another kitten, but I’m just not sure that Shelli would be able to handle it. I wish we could’ve afforded to take her sister, too, but we were so poor back then that Shelli’s medical care that first three months almost put us into debt. It would have been worth it to take the risk, though, because I got a pretty nice raise about a month after we adopted her, and I think she would have been a little less paranoid and crabby toward people.
I’m still struggling with motivation to take care of myself and get myself back in some sort of shape. I gained my last thirty pounds pretty rapidly since November, and it’s taking a toll on my skin, which is pretty demoralizing. I was discussing the situation with a friend Friday at lunch who deals with anxiety like I do who’s going through a similar issue, and I explained the motivation problem to her like this: you have a finite pool of energy and emotion from which to draw, and when you expend so much on being anxious about this or that, it leaves the pool empty when it comes time for other things, like cooking and cleaning and exercising. Apathy is what’s left, and then you just don’t have the effort to expend to try to better yourself.
But there’s got to be a way. That’s my mission for the summer….to find that way.