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Random Saturday Musings

Published November 10, 2012 by ia84

-So, winter storm Brutus (our storm is named Brutus because letter a-Athena-is apparently hitting the East Coast pretty hard) has been a huge let down here.  It’s hit other parts of the state really hard, but all we’ve gotten is a rain/ice mix.  I’m not complaining too much, though, because I’m hoping to not have to drive through much snow when I head home in about a week.

-Apparently The Hobbit pre-sale tickets outsold the pre-sale tickets of both SkyfallBreaking Dawn 2.  I don’t care so much about it outselling Bond, but I’m super excited it outsold the (hopefully) final Twilight film.  There’s still hope for humanity!  Also, I say “hopefully final” knowing full well that the entire series will probably get remade in a few years.  Back to The Hobbit.  I’m so, so, so, so super, overwhelmingly excited to see it!  I’m so pumped I can’t hardly wait (but I have to, because it’s over a month until it comes out).  

-So, I’m behind on my NaNo.  I’m at 12,797 words, and I need to 16,666 today in order to get back on track.  That’s not quite 4,000 words, so shouldn’t be too hard to reach.  Right now, in Word, that’s showing up (with page breaks done for new chapters) as 47 pages in Pacifico font, and 37 pages in Times New Roman.  That’s 12 pt., single spaced.  (I’m writing in Pacifico because it looks like actual cursive, so I feel like I’m not just typing, but I’m writing.  I probably sound silly, but hey, it works.)  I can honestly say that I’ve never written this much on one subject in my entire life.  Even though my story is getting better, I know the beginning is an absolute travesty.  I desperately want to go back and re-do it, but I made a deal with Katy that neither of us would go back and re-read and undo until December.  It’s a good thing I made that deal.  It’s forcing me to really try to finish something.  I’m not very good at finishing things, so this NaNo is teaching me a very important lesson.

-Everyone seems to be having babies.  Seriously, I have three friends who all had babies within the last 48 hours.  I have friends who are due soon.  I have friends who’ve had babies in the last two weeks.

-I realized, as I was falling asleep last night, that I left my NaNo characters heading out into the outdoors on their journey.  This ought to be good, considering I’m not exactly Outdoors Woman.  While this issue really freaked me out last night, today I feel much more okay about it.  At least it’s not set on Earth, so I can be as creative as I want.

-This last Monday I was having a particularly down day, and I was feeling incredibly sad and hopeless.  I got an email in the middle of the day stating that I had a package in the mail room of the service center.  I immediately went over, because I knew I hadn’t ordered anything, so I couldn’t imagine what would be there.  To my shock, a family from my home church had sent me a care package!  It really did come at the perfect time, and it was so helpful.

-Okay, so this is kind of hard to admit to, but I started going to the campus counseling center a few weeks ago.  The gal who’s been treating me at Student Health thought it would be a good idea, since this whole chronic disease thing is a pretty bitter pill to swallow.  I figured, “Hey, it’s free, it couldn’t hurt.”  So, I started going.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s actually been pretty good for me to talk to someone who’s neither friend nor family, but who I know isn’t going to go blabbing my issues all over the place.  (There’s a whole contract of confidentiality that legally keeps her from doing this.)  Anyway, this week I got assigned homework.  I’m supposed to come up with five good things about myself.  I think this homework was brought on by the fact that the week before we did my intake questionnaire  and when we got to the question, “What are good things about yourself?”  I sat there frozen, and finally came up with, “I’m punctual?”  Which, I am, but it’ a pretty sad state of affairs when the only good thing I can come up with about myself is that I’m on time, and when I state that fact I end up sounding like I’m questioning myself.  Of course, the following question in the intake was about what I didn’t like about myself, and the list I produced was quite long.  So, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching to try to come up with five things I honestly believe are true of myself and are also good.  I’m not sure why I’ve got such a low opinion of myself.  It’s certainly no one else’s fault.  My family has done nothing but remind me that they love me, and how precious and valuable I am to them.  I have friends who genuinely like me, so I know there’s got to be good things about me, I just have to learn to see them for myself.

You’ll Be An Adult For Forever!

Published August 8, 2012 by ia84

This has been the summer of babies.  As mentioned previously, I became an honorary aunt this summer.  On top of that, this past spring my cousin and his wife had their first child.  Whenever I see either baby, I’m reminded just how quickly childhood passes.

Personally, I wasn’t in a big hurry to become an adult (and some might argue that I’m not an adult).  I wasn’t in a rush to get my driver’s license.  My parents pretty much had to drag me to the DMV.  (Side note: I enjoy driving now, and I’m so glad they made me get my license.)  I never dated, but since no one was really interested in dating me that pretty much that point null.  Mom and dad certainly didn’t do much pushing to make me grow up.  They made sure I knew basic adult things like driving, cooking, cleaning, living on a budget, and being a polite, responsible human being.  Looking back, it’s pretty clear to me that I am so glad that they let me be a kid when I was a kid.  But, I digress, back to the babies.

I’ve been thinking about what I would want to tell kids as they are growing up and facing all that goes along with being an adult.  By no means is what follows a complete list (I’m sure I’ll make additional posts with follow up thoughts), but here’s what I’ve got now.

1.  Have Fun

This probably seems like a no-brainer, but to me it’s important.  Fun is different things to different people.  Some people find running to be fun.  Others find skydiving fun.  I find sitting for hours on end, in a quiet room, alone reading giant books to be fun.  When you are an “adult” it’s incredibly easy to get bogged down in work or personal issues and never come up for air.  This will turn you into a hollow shell of a person.  Make time, even if it’s only a few minutes, to do something you enjoy.

2.  You are NOT the smartest person in the room.

“But wait!” you may be saying, “I’ve got an IQ that’s triple what yours is.  I build rockets and perform brain surgery at the same time!  Sheldon Cooper was based on me!  I don’t watch Jersey Shore.”  Yes, these are all things that are evidence that you are smart.  However, I have always maintained that everyone is smart (keep in mind, I developed this theory years before reality tv became a regular part of daily life), but we’re all smart about different things.  I’ve known people who really struggled with reading and considered themselves dumb, but they knew absolutely everything about raising cattle and were incredibly successful at it.  I’ve also known people who can figure out difficult math problems and with only a pen and a napkin, but when it comes to music, they’re pretty lost.  I’ve got loads more examples, but my point is that you should never look down on someone just because they don’t get what you’re saying.  It doesn’t mean they’re stupid, it just means that your expertise is not their expertise.  I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t excel at something.  Treat everyone with respect, and never consider someone beneath you, just because you don’t think they’re as smart as you.

3.  Life’s not fair.

When I was in high school I was really good at music.  Along with all the school band and choir groups I was involved in, I made it into honor bands and choirs all over the state, and I frequently got to show off.  Towards the end of my high school career (I can’t remember  if it was my junior or senior year, it was a long time ago), I received a letter inviting me to participate in a trip, along with other kids from around the state, doing musical performances.  These performances would be in Europe.  I desperately wanted to go, but I didn’t even get my hopes up because I knew it was financially impossible.  My parents saved all year just so they could send me to music camp and let me take lessons.  I was so busy with music, and other extracurricular activities, there was no way I could’ve even hoped to come close to making enough at a job to make it.  So, I threw away the letter, and when I  got a call from my former band director’s wife (who was in charge of the trip), I was able to hold my ground and tell her it was just impossible.  Was it hard?  You have no idea, but I survived.  I really hope to make it, at least to London and Loch Ness, someday; but if I don’t, it won’t be the end of the world.

Life’s not fair.  There are going to be times when you don’t get what you want.  Don’t believe me?  Watch the Olympics.  Everyone wants the gold medal, but only one person gets it.  If you aren’t into sports, go on a job interview.  There’s always at least one job candidate who doesn’t get hired.  This candidate might be you.  It’s no fun to be rejected.  Sometimes it will make no sense, and even if you fight for yourself, it still may not end in your favor.

4.  Take advantage of travel.

Missing out on Europe brings up the fact that if you do get to travel somewhere, go, even if it’s only within your state.  Visit museums.  Even if it’s just the local historical society’s  county museum.  Historical places are important.  They teach us where we’ve come from.  Attend at least one county or state fair in your life.  All of this will all expand your mind and experience in ways that television and internet can’t.  (Although, if you can’t travel internationally, watch the Rick Steves’ travelogues.  Not only will you get to see many amazing places you might not see otherwise, he’s got loads of travel tips that are useful, even if you never travel the world.)

5.  Write

You may never be a best selling author.  So what?  Just because no one reads what you write, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write.  Write stories.  If they’re terrible, don’t feel obligated to share.  If you can’t write stories, keep a journal.  Even if the best you can do is, “Had tacos for lunch with roomie.  I think I’m going to buy that lamp I saw at Menard’s.”  These things may not seem important now, or even like something you’ll forget, but someday you may forget, and then you’ll be glad you wrote.

6.  Avoid reality television.

I’m not talking about HGTV teaching you how to pick the perfect house.  I’m talking about things like, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, Big Brother,  just to name a few.  I try to avoid reality shows, but the few times they’ve been unavoidable, the behavior shown by the stars makes me cringe.  These “stars” are vain, selfish, rude, and morals get thrown out the window if it means they could do something to increase ratings.  Reality shows don’t show what the real world is like.  What concerns me the most about them is the fact that too often it seems they advertise that this week Person X  gets into a fight Person Y.  What is that teaching a society that does nothing but watch hours and hours of this stuff?   If nothing else, avoid reality shows, because five minutes of a reality show is the most intellectually draining thing I’ve ever encountered.

I do have more to add, but it’s getting late, and I’m getting tired.  So, for now I’ll end here.

The Little Things

Published August 6, 2012 by ia84

I had an interesting conversation today.  I was spent the afternoon with my best friend and her beautiful baby, while her husband met with his guy’s group.  After the group finished, my friend and her hubby gave me a ride home.  During the ride, my friend was sitting in the front while her husband drove, and I was in the back with the baby.  My friend said something to me about my being the baby’s aunt.  This prompted her hubby to ask me if it was odd (not exact wording, but I’m forgetting the word he used) for me to be baby’s aunt when I’m not biologically related to baby.  I told him, no,because there is the possibility that this is my only shot at being an aunty.

I’m an only child, and single as single can be.  It was so special to me when my friend called  last fall to tell me that I was going to be an aunt.  She has a few more brother’s and sister’s than I do, so it’s not like baby girl would be without aunts and uncles.  Still, to be an honorary aunt means so very much to me.

Now, a baby is no little thing, but this conversation got me to thinking about the things in my life that I cherish that other’s might scoff at.  Things like Grampa’s golf marker.

A few weeks ago, my grandfather passed away.  It was a bittersweet passing.  He’d been in such bad shape, and had fought for each day for so long, it was a comfort to know that he wasn’t miserable anymore.  We had the funeral, and the following day we (mom and I) went through some of Grampa’s things that my aunt hadn’t dealt with yet.  (My aunt is seriously amazing.  She’s been an absolute rock throughout this whole ordeal.  I wish people could know how amazing she is.)  Anyway, while going through stuff, I found this:

 

(It reads, “Here Lies Roy”)

 

Considering  I found this the day immediately following the funeral and burial, this is incredibly morbid.  It’s also incredibly funny.  I know if Grampa were here he would find this incredibly funny.  It was almost like Grampa left this to remind me of his great sense of humor and incredible optimism.

The little things.  Finding contentment in the life you’ve got, even when you can’t do or have that which you want.