Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm a waiter...

I don't mean I serve dinner at your favorite dine in establishment. I mean; I wait. When it comes to making big decisions, I wait until I feel it's the right time. When it comes to trying something new, I wait for others to do it first. When it comes to enjoying a truly delicious meal, I wait and first consider how many times around the block I'm going to have to walk to counteract it. And when it comes to elevator etiquette, I wait for everyone to leave first before I walk in. You'd think this was some ancient form of southern gentility with how few times I've actually seen it practiced. Students rush into the elevator so engrossed in their own thoughts and plans that they don't even see there are other people inside the elevator about to step out. My question, where were their mothers?
I know, only I could bring a post like this back to my mother. I remember, distinctly, the many times my mother held me back with sheer physical force at times when all I wanted to do was rush ahead, throw myself into the elevator shaft and push all the buttons I could find with my tiny little hands. There she was, with one hand on my shoulder and quiet whispered tone, "wait for everyone else to leave first". This morning I found myself clapping my hands together with frustration and snapping my fingers to get the attention of the student who catapulted herself inside the elevator while the poor student on crutches waited patiently for her to get inside before he left. I resorted to mumbling my etiquette lesson as I walked out, "you wait for everyone to get off BEFORE you walk inside the elevator. hello!". So where were their mothers? Is this a generational lack of politeness? Were their mothers in the 70s rushing ahead recklessly without first checking to see if someone was already on the elevator? Did they not have the patient hand of a mothering teacher on their shoulder telling them to "wait just a minute, then you can push the button".
What this taught me you ask? First comes patience and the reward inevitably follows.
It taught me to lift my head up, look around me, see if there is someone waiting to remove themselves from the elevator before I go charging ahead. It taught me to look before I leap and test the waters before I jump in. It taught me to have patience, think it through and then, when all signs point to clear, walk confidently inside and light up every single button within sight until I reach my desired destination. Ding!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's time to "ber" happy!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my favorite time of year, the "ber" months. These are September, October, November, December. They start with Autumn, transition into Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. It's a time when I wish the city would just pump cinnamon smells into the air and people would smile warmly as if bonding over the idea that we're about to face a really long winter together. Speaking of long winter, these are the months where I envision cold snaps, frigid living conditions, seeing my breath when I breathe, and greeting everyone I know with a "goodness, this is the coldest winter we've ever had!"

I'm ready for homemade cookies, pumpkin spiced everything, cinnamon brooms and yes, the ever exciting red cup from Starbucks. I feel as if happiness is elevated, even if only for 4 months, to new levels simply because of the magical feel of the holidays in the air. I still have to go to work, pay bills and be responsible, but it's as if it's not so difficult because I start to see Christmas decorations go up around town in November and I start dreaming of all the things I wish I could knit. I love seeing how Starbucks, Target, and Publix will all decide to decorate, making even having to grocery shop feel part of the Christmas season. People start getting together at houses, sitting around a hopefully crackling fire with an increased desire to bring out the board games and have long conversations over mulled apple cider.

I know it's only four months, but they're the best four months of the entire year!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Am I stressed?

So this last week I had to make an appointment with the dermatologist to discuss some skin issue I’m having on my face. He immediately tells me what it is, that it only happens with women and usually has to do with stress. Then he asked me, “Are you stressed?”. I fumble with my thoughts, completely shocked that this skin thing really is a “thing” that needs to get dealt with and that it has to do with stress, loosely translated I’m doing it to myself. He prescribes me some antibiotics. I think it’s nothing at all, until he tells me I might get lightheaded so go to bed right after taking it. I get the prescription filled at CVS and the pharmacist tells me to drink a full glass of water and sit up for an hour after taking it “cause it can give really bad acid reflux, practically burn a hole right through your throat. Drink lots of water, have a great day”. Um sir, please tell me you’re prone to dramatic overstatements.
How could I possibly be stressed, after all I’m not in charge of a Fortune 500 company or deal with the concerns of raising kids appropriately in this world or even have anyone else’s life dependent upon me. I have no real major responsibilities other than taking care of myself and getting to work on time. Although when I think back over the past 9 years of how many times people have come and gone in the house, I can’t help but chuckle a little and think I haven’t actually been alone very often. Four people, one house, roughly 67 “visits” that lasted anywhere from 2 days to a year. For a girl that craves routine, that’s a lot!
I work a job that I despise and still can’t believe I’ve been working here for 7 years of my life. I’m 30, 7 years is more than a fourth of my entire life. I have to stretch out projects that should take 15 minutes to last 5 hours just so I can look busy or I start worrying I won’t look busy enough and they’ll have a reason to get rid of me, expendable if you will. I have student loan debt that I’m paying off even though I have a Masters degree that I’m not currently using and the job market that seems darn near impenetrable. Come on old lady librarians, you have to start dying off or retiring soon. I’m begging you!
I miss my cat, Shakespeare. I mean really miss him. It’s pathetic and sad all at the same time. He was a great cat. I try to ignore it, move on, but every now and then something reminds me of how awesome it was to have him sitting next to me on the couch, not really bothering me just kind of sitting there keeping me company.
I’m in love! I get to see my wonderful man nearly every weekend, which also means I haven’t fully unpacked in over 9 months ;) I live out of my toiletry bag and have officially deemed Thursday my “laundry/pack/clean” day. But it’s so worth it! I love getting to see him and spend time with him. Although eventually I’m going to have to move, which means I start thinking about boxing up my stuff, moving out of the house I’ve always lived in and making another place feel like home. I ponder what it will be like living in a new city, being a wife and having the do the dishes every single day, even when I don’t feel like it.
I have on my “to do” list that I need to go grocery shopping before my folks get home, clean the house for girl’s night, try to make yogurt with my new yogurt maker, clean out the fridge of the suspicious looking foods that were in it when the folks left a couple weeks ago, remove the cat hair from the lamp shades and couch, try to get a walk in every night, cook something healthy and delicious for work lunches, fill out and fax the form to get transcripts in case I’m asked for another interview, look up what new jobs have posted, don’t forget to pick up cat food, take my antibiotics 2 hours after I eat or 1 hour before I eat, sit up for an hour so I don’t get the dreaded acid reflux but lay down right away after in case I get the dreaded lightheaded feeling, put out the water jugs, bring up the garbage can, buy hurricane provisions just in case, keep an eye on the storm’s track, call for a refill, write and send the email that I’ve been pondering for a few days, drink lots of water...

“Are you stressed?”, the doctor asked me. “No, not really, I don’t think so.”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

If you have ever feared change....

There was once a new tree in a garden full of taller, mature trees. This was the first year the little tree had received a nice covering of leaves, and it was quite comfortable with the leaves it had. So when fall came and its leaves started to turn yellow the little tree was scared! In its fear, it looked around at the other trees and saw that their leaves were also changing color, so it relaxed a little.
But then it lost a leaf! The little tree panicked and held on to the rest of its leaves tightly. IT looked around again at the other trees and saw that their leaves were falling off too!
Why were they letting their leaves get away? They won’t be protected from the wind any more, and what about the sun? How will they give shade without leaves? The little tree decided it was going to keep its leaves, even if they were now turning brown. The leaves were dead now, but the little tree held on, feeling safe hiding under the shelter of the leaves. Snow fell, and the leaves became heavy, but he still held on.
Soon the weather started to turn warmer and light rains replaced the snowfall. Ah, this was much better, he told himself. Then he noticed the other trees had little green buds on them, and some were starting to flower! He looked at himself and saw that he did not have any signs of change. Pretty soon the other trees had glorious leaves on them, and some had fruit hanging among their branches. Now he was jealous!
So he asked God, “Hey, why did you give the other trees new leaves and fruit, but you did not give me anything?”
God said, “My dear tree, I gave you the same sunshine, I gave you the same rain, and I gave you the same love as the other trees in the garden.”
The tree said, “But God, look at me! I am ugly! Why did they get new leaves, and I did not? It’s not fair!”
God replied, “Well, my child, you did not get new leaves because you did not let go of the dead ones. You see, the older trees have been through the seasons before. They know that when they let a dead leaf go, I will replace it with a new one when spring comes. Not only that, but I usually give them more than they had before! They sometimes struggle with letting go, just like you. That struggle does not go away when you grow.
You just have to know that there is a reason why you can’t keep your dead leaves. Don’t allow fear and pride to trick you into keeping the things of your past. Besides, you have to admit that it was difficult to hang on to them in the winter! It is easier to let go and let me worry about the new leaves. That is a lesson all new trees have to learn.”
The little tree said, “Are you saying that I can be just as beautiful as the other trees?”
God said, “You are already just as beautiful as they are to me. I do not love you any less because of your old leaves. I see what you can be, not what you look like now. But if you truly want to grow, be patient, let go of our leaves as they die, and I will do the rest. I love you”.

This was taken from Neil T. Anderson and Rich Miller's book, Freedom From Fear: Overcoming Worry & Anxiety

Friday, April 15, 2011

Laugh. Cry. Remeber.

I saw it written once on the back of a car, a bumper sticker that said "Laugh. Cry. Remember". And so I do that now. This week has been quite an out-of-the-ordinary one for me. I do better with lists, as if you couldn't tell that already ;)

The Gyno:
Yea I'm not going to cover up the fact that I was nervous for the experience and horrified at the awkwardness. I know women who have had babies take the approach of "whatevs, it's been seen, they're doctors, no big deal". I do not have the luxury of this attitude. I wonder about what I should do before the visit, during the visit and so on. I worry about if I should talk to the Doctor or simply avoid eye contact. I prefer they not ask me questions or discuss the state of economy while messing with my nether regions. I prefer to ignore the fact that any of it is happening. I detach.

I laugh when I remember how long it took them to get my attention to ask me if I was "ok". Um no, lady, I'm not, thanks for bringing it to my attention.
I cry at the thought of maybe having to deal with abnormal results.
I remember how I ever so femininely tried to "scoot down" some more even though my booty was a bit stuck on the paper that covers the exam chair. Massive fail haha.

I came home on Sunday to find mi favorito kitty was limping. I worried something had happened to him while I was away. I worried every time he jumped up that he would hurt himself and even more when he would jump down. I dislike going to the vet office, but I dislike hearing bad news even more.

I laugh when I think about how cantankerous he is and how he just stares at me with a look of "I don't think so" when I try to get him to chase a toy.
I cry when I think about him maybe not being at the door waiting for me when I get home.
I remember how reassuring it is to have him sitting next to me on the couch with his little paw on my arm. He's seen me through some really great times and really tough times too. He's by far the coolest cat around!

I get my Mom here for a couple days while she has a doctor's appointment and needed to get a few administrative life things accomplished as well. I loved getting a phone call from her today saying everything went well at the doctor's appointment and all the check points look good. I'm a lucky girl to have such an amazing Mom!

I laugh when I think about how much fun she is to kid with about patronizing tones or her beating me at Words with Friends.
I cry when I think about some of the tougher days of her chemo treatment and equally as much when I get the sweet, good news of excellent results :)
I remember how when I was a kid she would blow on my skinned knee to lessen the sting after putting Sante on the wound and how she would sing to me as I fell asleep if I didn't want to be alone for the night yet.

I haven't been a fan of this week, exactly, but I see the Lord's guidance and comfort at each step. I see the value of life and how precious sweet moments with loved ones really are. I have been able to learn once again what really matters, and surprisingly enough it isn't my cell phone, tv shows, lunch plans, current job, car or retirement plan. It's enjoying each day that we're given, despite their awkward moments, sad news or losing at Words with Friends. Life is so much more good than bad.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Subversive Window Washer

September 29, 1967
Column by Erma Bombeck

A wonderful thing happened in our neighborhood last week.
Wanda the window washer moved.
Wanda wasn’t a bad sort. It’s just when you get a woman of her kind who washes windows every 10 days the neighborhood gets a bad name.
I remember the day she moved in. We were all poking our heads through the cracks on our doors (our windows distort bodies), when right off we saw her unpack this big stepladder.
“Don’t panic!” I told the group. “It’s probably a garage prop. Undoubtedly got it for a wedding present and doesn’t know what it’s for.”
Within minutes, she was shinnying up the rungs with a bucket in her hand and polishing the panes until we were nearly struck blind by the glare.
After that performance, homemade FOR SALE signs sprang up like crabgrass. We tried to reason with some of the homeowners, but they stood firm.
“We’re selling before property values decrease,” they insisted.
“Sure, now it’s only a window washer, but tomorrow it’ll be a grass trimmer, a porch scrubber, a garbage can cleaner or even some nut who waxes the driveway.”
Those of us who stood firm got it from all directions, especially our husbands.
“Hey,” said my husband one evening, “is that woman across the street washing her windows again?”
“What windows?” I said, trying to divert his attention.
“You told me our windows weren’t washable, that you had to send them out to be cleaned.”
“Our windows aren’t that dirty or I’d wash them.”
“Aren’t that dirty?” he shouted. “We’re the only house in the block growing mushrooms for houseplants!”
“Can’t you see what Wanda the window washer really is?” I asked. “She’s a subversive. She was sent to this good upper-middle-class neighborhood of slobs to cause unrest, discontent and hostility. In time, she’ll cause us to fight with our husbands, argue with our neighbors. The next thing you know, we’ll divide politically and the country will be taken over by Communists.”
The new neighbor moved in yesterday.
“How do you feel about washing windows?” we asked cautiously.
“The same way I feel about biting fingernails,” she said. “It’s a filthy habit. Besides, it’s un-American.”
Now, there’s the kind of woman you’d like your son to marry.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Campus Survey Conversation

Them: Ma'am? Would you mind taking a survey on the tobacco practices on and around campus?
Me: What?
Them: Would you mind taking a survey. It's about tobacco use and practices.
Me: Oh um (why did I have to stop and get a newspaper? Never let them see you slow down, let alone stop!!) sure.
Them: Great. What would you say is your age?
Me: I'd say it's 20, but my birth certificate says otherwise ;)
Them: So you'd rather not say. Check. What would you say is your sexual preference?
Me: This is a survey on tobacco isn't it?
Them: So you'd rather not say. Check. Do you believe the faculty would like this to be a non-smoking campus?
Me: (Staring at the Orlando Sentinel newspaper dispenser) Didn't newspapers use to be free?
Them: Do you believe the faculty would like this to be a non-smoking campus?
Me: Seriously, didn't newspapers use to be free on campus? You just had to swipe your id card.
Them: No answer. Ok, what about Administration? Do you believe they would like this to be a non-smoking campus?
Me: I just don't see the place where I'm suppose to swipe my card. It use to be there.
Them: You do realize this is the 21st century, right? No one reads the newspaper anymore.
Me: Exactly why it should be FREE!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ahhhh Amore...

So it's been FOREVER since I've blogged anything. I don't really think I have too many readers so I'm going to be all girly and post something that's been going on in my life recently and what I've learned from it. Let the list making begin!

1. It's fun being liked for even the silly things like how much I love list making :)
2. The more I grow in love; the more I find myself needing to trust the Lord with my future.
3. My favorite things are dunkin donut runs and holding hands.
4. Asking questions, hours of conversation, innocent sweetness....cherish it!
5. Being honest with sharing emotions and thoughts, not as easy as I once thought.
6. Too much smiling and laughing can really make the cheek muscles hurt haha
7. I'm a mixture of wanting to plan the future and enjoy the present to the fullest.
8. The Lord blesses us far beyond what we deserve or could ever imagine.
9. Learning to think about someone else more than myself takes great maturity and definitely worth it!
10. It can be scary, really scary, but oh so wonderful.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Airplane Mode

Fun conversation with an Airline Attendant while recently flying:

AA: (cheesy smile) You're going to make sure to turn that off, right?
Me: Oh, actually it's in Airplane Mode.
AA: (beginning with Airline protocol curtness) Please go ahead and turn it off.
Me: But it's an iPhone; it's in airplane mode. That means it won't be harmf....
AA: (interrupted) Please turn it off. We ask all passengers to turn off their cell phones during take off and landing.
Me: (giving a perlexed and slightly annoyed expression) Do you understand what Airplane Mode means? hehe I'm just kidding. I didn't actually say that. I just sat in silence while giving an incredulous look to the airline attendant.
AA: (starting in with a patronizing tone) Ma'am, We just like to have all cell phones turned off during take off and landing. We like to avoid any potential loud music that might disturb the other passengers.
AA: (Full on placating tone now) You can just go ahead and put it away, there's no need to turn it all the way off.
Me: Wow, really? That's great, thanks!
AA: (cheesy smile)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

And then one day I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Things I've learned recently...

1. If you stay up super late for multiple evenings, I think you start acting as if you're in some kind of super charged mode or perhaps like you're taking some kind of illegal substance. I'm sure the crash will eventually happen, but until it does.... Walmart? 3am? Yes, please!

2. Thursday night as cleaning night, brilliant. I woke up this morning (Friday) and realized I have a completely spotless (maybe not completely spotless but pert ner') house in which to begin the weekend. Score!

3. I can, if provoked, be a bit of a rebel. I'm not sure it's full on anarchy status yet.... I mean, I'm not be checking out the latest tattoo designs or anything, but you never know ;)

4. I do not miss school. I repeat. I DO NOT miss school.

5. I love conversation! Good conversation, boring conversation, funny, sweet, entertaining, it doesn't matter. I like it all! I never would have thought of myself as a talker, but my goodness. I like hearing what people have to say. So get a list of awesome questions, find someone you think is fun and go to town!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ahhhhh relaxation....

So it's been a week since I finished my masters degree, and I have done absolutely nothing productive. As a tribute to this new found level of laziness, I thought I would list out what has occupied my time this last week.

1. TV. Really, I had no idea how relaxing and wonderful TV can be.

2. Reading. I pulled out a nonsense book that a friend let me borrow. It has the wonderful smell and the crackling of the plastic that always covers a library book. I was in heaven!

3. Cooking. It really is fun to put more effort into dinner than just "heating up" some leftovers or eating a bowl of cereal.

4. Cleaned off my desk. I finally went through and trashed every paper that had anything to do with class. I'm ashamed to even acknowledge how many pages of assignments, journal articles and rough drafts I tossed, but my desk is looking positively amazing!

5. I finally set up my Google Reader. Right now I have mostly "field" feeds for librarianship, but don't worry....I'll be adding some more that cover the really important topics like celebrity gossip. For now, however, I'm enjoying just scrolling through article and article knowing that I don't have to read it and won't be graded on my summation of the thesis!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

TV therapy

I remember a time when my brother and sister and I would be in our pajamas on Saturday morning, eating cereal out of what now would be called cool retro bowls while watching cartoons. Our little black and white tv use to sit in the bookcase and we would gather around right in front of it. It was magical! A few years ago I decided that I would stop watching tv all together, use my time wisely and be productive. I thought I was wasting my life with hour after hour of tv shows. Although you know what, since then a lot of life has happened. And frankly, it's changed my mind about a lot of things. I like tv! It relaxes me and makes me laugh. The RIGHT kind of television anyway. A friend of mine recently blogged about this same concept. I only watch fun and light-hearted comedy sitcoms. I know that seems surface and simple, but that's the kind of therapy I need right now. My friend Kelli said it perfect, life is too short.

I don't enjoy watching about crimes and murders (fact or fiction), the medical dramas, unsolved mysteries and the like. Instead, I enjoy hearing laughter, witty banter, and watching friends and families interact in regular life kind of ways. I enjoy escaping from my current responsibilities for a few minutes to get some feel-good moments of therapy. It's only made better when I get to sit around the same living room (although the tv no longer sits in the bookcase) with my friends or family. I think it's as magical as being 5 years old and watching Saturday morning cartoons!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

No Tylenol PM for me :)

Refreshing Sleep
"So He giveth His beloved sleep" (Psalm 127:2).

Ours is not a life of anxious care but of happy faith. Our heavenly Father will supply the wants of His own children, and He knoweth what we have need of before we ask Him. We may therefore go to our beds at the proper hour and not wear ourselves out by sitting up late to plot, and plan, and contrive. If we have learned to rely upon our God, we shall not lie awake with fear gnawing at our hearts; but we shall leave our care with the LORD, our meditation of Him shall be sweet, and He will give us refreshing sleep.

To be the LORD's beloved is the highest possible honor, and he who has it may feel that ambition itself could desire no more, and therefore every selfish wish may go to sleep. What more is there even in heaven than the love of God? Rest, then, O soul, for thou hast all things. Yet we toss to and fro unless the LORD Himself gives us not only the reasons for rest but rest itself. Yea, He doth this. Jesus Himself is our peace, our rest, our all, On His bosom we sleep in perfect security, both in life and in death.

Sprinkled afresh with pardoning blood,
I lay me down to rest
As in the embraces of my God,
Or on my Saviour's breast.

Taken from "Faith's Checkbook", by Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tragedies of Life

So this week I started to notice a lot of Facebook activity about a sweet, little girl named Ava, but I didn't fully understand it right away because I'm only friends with certain people. See, I went to school with a great fella named Joel. His brother's little girl has just been diagnosed with brain cancer. This is difficult for me to understand. But even more than that, I don't understand how, after reading both Joel and Josh's blogs, they can still be functioning upon hearing such life-altering news. God's strength alone. And I'm not talking about some vague, super natural power that 98% of the world believes might be out there....I'm talking about the God of Abraham, the God of the Old and New Testament and His perfect son Jesus Christ.

God does not give us strength to handle the tragedies of life 5 years before they happen or even 5 minutes before they happen. If we draw near to God, He is walking with us through each step of life. So if or even when certain tragedies happen, we have His strength and peace in that exact moment. This is why worrying really is purposeless. I worry about things like cancer, losing my job, never marrying, dying alone and a myriad other little things. Truth is, I might go through cancer, never marry, lose my job AND die alone...and that's ok. Such things seem overwhelming, scary and impossible to handle if I let myself worry about them. This is because I haven't been given the strength to handle them today. Today I simply have to handle today. Let those days, whenever they might be, handle themselves.

This is the day which the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24