Saturday, 28 September 2013

So, You Had A Bad Day...



It really hasn't happened to me that often, when I stop, take a look around and wonder, I think my luck has turned...and by that I mean, turned, like the sour cream does in our fridge sometimes. You know, when it fizzes, and hidden deep in in the layers are land mines of green-blue, fuzzy mold, threatening to destroy the very fabric of your carefully laid nachos.  Lately, that seems to be the way things have gone. 

It started with me missing a phone call that my son was throwing up at school, and was quickly followed by an all night puke-a-thon, a (still) missing orange Tabby, frustration that the people looking for employees, don't seem to be as "on the ball" as I would like, a call for a toilet plunger, a near death experience that included a hot cast iron frying pan, and two steaks "getting air", as it were, across the kitchen, and culminating in that shining moment when the red and blue lights of a police car lit up the night behind me, resulting in a significant fine for what I would consider to be a "lucky" catch by our brave EPS Officers.  (To all of my non-criminal reader friends, make sure you have the CORRECT insurance card in your vehicle, a pile that are out-of-date really don't actually count).  

I know, compared to poverty and world hunger, what really am I complaining about? And the obvious answer to that is, nothing. Though, that really doesn't negate the fact, that everyone has a bad day, (or series of days) every now and then.  I know that sometimes people look at it as a punishment, God, what did I ever do to you? but I don't see it that way.  I believe that God has a lot more love, and overall, things to do, than make my life miserable just for the sake of making it miserable.  Is it a challenge? A test? Maybe, and I wish I could say I definitely passed with flying colors, but how can it be considered a test, when the problem is of my own making? I turned my phone down - that's why I didn't hear it, I neglected to take the insurance card out to the van for weeks, so - my fault. 

What if, it's count your blessings. It occurred to me, that just might be it. Maybe it's just easier to recognize the things that go wrong, instead of the things that go right. Those were harder to come by, but slowly as I thought them through, I could find them. When M was sick at school, he recovered very quickly, and we had several dear friends check in on him. Even though I got my ticket on Thursday night, it was book club night, and what a beautiful conversation we had together.  Speaking of that same ticket, the Officer told me that when one can't present proof of their insurance, it's an automatic court date - but, she waived it for me, and I only had to pay a fine. The flying frying pan's only casualty was two upside down steaks on the floor, and as far as looking for a job goes, I've had such wonderful days with my kids, and opportunities to look into different jobs that might be for me, this respite has been a blessing.  

This is "getting through, the going through", it's about knowing that God hasn't forgotten about you, even when things go wrong.  



  

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Never. Never. Never Give Up

I haven't written in a while.  I think that could be because I don't want to beat over and over on the same drum that sounds like job, job, job.  During this time I have been reminded over and over how blessed I am, I've had precious moments with my children that I have cherished, coveted, and celebrated with so much pleasure that I want it to last forever, but know it's a season.  Of course I'm torn in two, between being just a Mama, and having such a strong desire to teach, between parenting and paying bills.  Several times I've lamented my inability to see the future, asked God that I would be able to, but so far he seems to instead be giving me opportunity to be content.  To actively be content means believing that I am where God wants me to be and that I don't want to rush ahead.  It's just in those really quiet moments where doubt sneaks in, and I feel like giving up.  But, the moment passes, and I think...

Never. Never. Never Give Up

I don't know what you it is you are dreaming about, hoping for, wanting. Now, I don't think that things we want just materialize themselves if we sit around and want long enough, I know that we have to participate in working to bring things about, but don't give up on your dreams - the simple, or even the complex.  

I was putting together a poem anthology for a grade 12 class I was in, and my Dad mentioned that this was his favorite poem.  It's gritty, and real to me, and reflects small moments in my life, when I need to remember where I've come from, and where I'm going.  

THE QUITTER - Robert William Service

When you're lost in the Wild, and you're scared as a child,
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you're sore as a boil, it's according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and . . . die.
But the Code of a Man says: "Fight all you can,"
And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, it's easy to blow . . .
It's the hell-served-for-breakfast that's hard.

"You're sick of the game!" Well, now, that's a shame.
You're young and you're brave and you're bright.
"You've had a raw deal!" I know -- but don't squeal,
Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.
It's the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don't be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit; it's so easy to quit:
It's the keeping-your-chin-up that's hard.

It's easy to cry that you're beaten -- and die;
It's easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope's out of sight --
Why, that's the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each gruelling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try -- it's dead easy to die,
It's the keeping-on-living that's hard. 

Friday, 6 September 2013

You know, that Stranger I live with...my Husband.


Ok, so don't get me wrong, I've been married for what some would call a good while, for example in Hollywood we've already passed our Golden Anniversary, but as I looked over at my best bud for life I couldn't help thinking, I want to do something with him...but what? I mean, we're married, I love him, we get along well, we like to talk to each other and watch old Star Trek episodes together, we have two beautiful kids, but what on EARTH do we like to do together? Be forewarned: This is not one of those blogs about marriage that has all of the answers - those are out there, trust me, Google it.  You will find no answers here friend, only more questions.  Using the aforementioned super searcher, we actually looked up THINGS COUPLES CAN DO TOGETHER ONCE THEIR KIDS ARE ASLEEP.  I am happy to inform those of you who are newly married, that of the lists of things that we found, we have successfully mastered their suggestions in only eight years.  Some of the top suggestions were as follows: 

1. Watch a favorite show together - check and check. We don't just watch SHOWS together, we watch entire SERIES together, Firefly and Dr. Who being amongst our favorites, but I have to say - Though Malcolm Reynolds is easy on the eyes, in his leather holster and spaceship, can you blame a girl for wanting some of that good old fashioned TIME together that we craved as a young couple? But, answering this begs the question, what is it that we did together all the time to make us want to spend our lives together? I actually can't come up with a solid answer...shiny.

2. Make Out/Write Each Other Love Letters: Reading these suggestions made me cringe a little.  Seriously - for the rest of my life, every night, you want me to write a love letter?  Creativity people, there can be a limit to how often I compliment his ruggedly handsome physique - I don't know, it might start to feel disingenuous. Also, don't get me wrong, making out and cuddling are great, but again, the kids got to bed at 7:30, and the above mentioned are kind of time sensitive activities. Marathon make-out sessions end in chapped faces that you must later explain away by blaming the overly dry Edmonton weather - just a word of caution.

3. Share a Favorite Snack: This one, we've done once too often, I'm afraid.  There's nothing like a bowl of popcorn, or our standard favorite, chips and salsa. (Usually while watching a favorite show - TWO at the same time - Don't try this at home, we're professionals) But, back to the problem - this being one of our favorites, the truth is, we've put diet restrictions on ourselves. I don't know if you can, when you're at home, but eat a certain amount of snacks and the treadmill starts to leer at me every time I pass it, as if it is saying, come to me, you who are heavy, and I will TORTURE it off.  I know, exercising is important, and working out as a couple can be a good pass time...but it for SURE crosses suggestion number 2 off the list, getting close to someone when they're sweaty is not the best fun I've ever had.

4. Ultimately it was what boiled down to Make More Babies: Again, fun. But - isn't this the very thing that put us at home before 7pm on a Friday night to begin with? Now, don't anybody get on my case, ok? I wouldn't trade my precious kids for a million late nights out, it's not nights out that I want. I want to know my kid's Dad.  Another part of me couldn't believe this was an actual suggestion. C'mon people, I thought this one was sort of obvious. Intimacy can't be left out of the equation or nothing in a marriage works right, but there's so much more to marriage than just that. 

Besides I want to know who my husband is, know what he likes, know what I like - and DO THAT together.  I don't want to live the next fifteen or so years in my house with someone I don't know, and have one of those epic-movie worthy-crises when I'm fifty and have missed out on the partnership part of being married for twenty five years.  I want him to like me, like spending time with me, and I want the same of him. 

Writing about marriage is tough - it's why I don't do it very often.  It's personal, and for some reason it's supposed to be perfect.  Writing about it makes it vulnerable, and transparent.  It makes it seem like it is teetering precariously on the edge of the big D word, and that's uncomfortable.  So, what do you do?  What do we do? Tonight we played Scrabble (so far I'm beating him). But before that, we talked and laughed a bit at ourselves, about not knowing what to do with one another - and I liked that.  Maybe it isn't actually about BIG activities, or specific things to "do", but sharing our time together wisely.  I don't have all the answers - remember?

So, here's a question, what do you like to do with the love of your life? How do you spend the "off" hours together? I know there's things out there that I just haven't thought of yet, and there's a lot of you wise ones out there with really good, long lasting marriages, who have gone through the "home at 7" phase - what do you do?  How do you, my dear friends, build your marriages? 

Thanks for reading. Really.

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