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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Be

Lord, I am so frightful. I am reaching blindly, hoping to catch on to something solid. I want so much to live a life unafraid...and then darkness comes.

Why? Why does every night end in pleading for rest, comfort, peace? It's a never-ending cycle of anxiety. It is like Sundowners, anxiety-version.

On the way home, I feel a weird twinge or my stomach starts hurting or I can feel my heart kicking out weird beats. There it goes, a whirlwind that lifts me off the ground and makes me dizzy. I feel sick and being dizzy makes me sicker.

I desperately want to cry. I need the renewal that comes with choked sobbing.

I have had this feeling all week. It paralyzes me and makes me crawl into bed to do nothing. I forgot to pay our monthly bills on time. I forgot to submit something important to the church bulletin. My dishes are piled up. My laundry is overflowing. I haven't cooked a real meal in over a week.  I have been wearing dirty clothes to work all week and no shower, just perfume and deodorant to cover the smell. This is me at my worst.

Rock.
Bottom.

Misery.

Give me relief Lord. Jesus, I trust in you. I hear what you are telling me and I am willing to concede that point.

I think it may be time for more therapy. I am not ashamed, but I am afraid. Will it work? Release, relief, I crave you. Let me snuggle down in the dark and never worry again. Please God...help me be still and know.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fill up your cup

I have had a long week.

My emotional reservoir was seriously depleted.  I have not slept well.  I am fatigued. I wasn't feeling well tonight and didn't feel like eating much. I am stressed, but I am grateful.

I have forgotten how much I needed to take the time for a little self care.  So tonight, I am in my sweatpants. My favorite green "T rex hates pushups" tee, courtesy for the Field Museum in Chicago, reining in the boobage and getting ready for some cross stitch.

How are you? Are you well? Have you had some rough nights recently? It's okay, really. No matter how scared, anxious, lonely, or fatigued we are, we know that we still have each other. We are all in this together.

This week I learned the very important lessons of service and grace and a huge helping of humility. I helped a very dear college friend during a very rough time in her life. I made myself available to her in any way she needed and tried to calm the chaos for her, just a little bit. For a moment or two, she had peace. I am not good at the emotions or the gestures of comfort. I feel awkward and never know quite how to act. However, for my friends, I will do anything. I am fiercely loyal and passionately in their corners. Do not think that because I don't cry much that I do not feel. I feel very deeply.  I am devoted to filling up your cup at the risk of letting my own well dry up.

This tough week has been a trial for the fortitude of our nation and our people. People feel hurt and sad and, whether you believe they should be or not, the reality is that they are.  So, fill each other's cups. Remember that true service, done out of love, can build bridges instead of walls. Keep perspective on your situation. While people cried over election results, others cried because they lived in poverty or because a loved one died. Most of all, extend compassion and actively listen to one another.   Have a wonderful week ahead and know that God is there. Love and light to you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Gee, narcissistic much?

Boy, that first day back after a long weekend is a killer, eh?

My work day went screaming by and now it's almost 8 and I still have a bunch of stuff on my to-do list!  Yikes.

I am writing this in lieu of something else that's due soon, so hey, procrastinators UNITE...tomorrow.

Here's a little something about me you may have noticed.

Sshhhh.  I'm a narcissist.  At least, that's how I feel sometimes.  I struggle with this a lot, especially lately.  I have a really hard time biting back the urge to interrupt conversations (though that does happen frequently, no matter how much I tell myself not to), I rattle off know-it-all facts when people are talking about a particular subject I may have some veeeerrrry tangential relationship to, and I have a hard time keeping friends.  Probably because of these traits.

I am somewhat of a well-meaning narcissist though, if that's a thing.  I try very hard on a daily basis to keep my ego in check.  I honestly think that a lot of people fail at that quite spectacularly.  Instead of feeling jealousy because you didn't get as big a role as you thought you should, instead focus on how to support those in the bigger roles.

Instead of talking about oneself constantly, ask questions of others and LISTEN to their responses.

Constantly serve and ceaselessly pray.  Those both have helped me realize and combat my narcissistic ways.  I will be the first to admit that I do like it when people praise my talents.  I sometimes check what I post on Facebook several times a day to see how many people like it or have commented on it and I sometimes feel affronted that no one has liked my status.  Trust me when I say that I recognize this behavior and constantly feel guilty for feeling this way.

I continue to try daily to not come across so self-centered.  I do this by nearly always asking to help someone or volunteer for some position or another.  I mean, I do it because I really do want to help, but an eensy-weensy part of me does it because if I didn't, I would be even more of a terrible person. Helping people is my calling and one I undertake seriously, but I'd be lying if I said that I don't feel just little bit better about myself because of it.

The biggest problem is the interrupting and know-it-allness that sometimes comes across.  You guys have NO IDEA how much I edit myself before I speak.  Like, ALL THE TIME, thinking about how this will come off and how someone will view me based on what I say.  I feel like half of the thoughts that fly through my head are tsking myself for having said something fairly innocuous that someone may have perceived in a negative light.  I constantly berate myself whenever I mentally correct people and REALLY let myself have it when I actually, finally, give in to the urge to verbally correct someone.

I know.  This does not paint a pretty picture of me.  I realize this.  So why post this?  I just want to know if I'm alone in these crazy thoughts.  I edit my texts, my e-mails, my speech, and oftentimes, my physical reactions to other people based on what I think they'll think about me if I respond differently.  It is exhausting sometimes to hold it all in.  I honestly don't know where I want to end with this.  I am a pretty joyful and exuberant person, but sometimes, sometimes I truly despise myself and how I told some stupid story that's only indirectly related to someone else's true and heartfelt one.  I am a very lonely soul some nights.  I'm the odd piece on the puzzle board.  The one that slipped in to the wrong box.  No matter how hard I try, or how many people try to fit me in to the missing spot, I will only get crumpled and oily around the edges.

Darkness can only be in places that also carry light.

The good thing is that I know God is there and He carries me through a lot of the darkness.  My puzzle piece always fits inside His heart.  I think my husband is the only other person in my life that actually knows how hard I try.  They both love me in spite of my filthy heart.  I will always be grateful to Rick (and God) for rescuing me out of my own personal darkness.  I will continue to work on this, but just know that if you know me, I don't mean to be rude or pedantic or ramble on.  I just want to know you and support you in any way you need.  I promise.

(Also, I took a test and scored really low, so I'm hoping that helps convince you all that I'm not completely crazy!  I tested it myself! haha)

St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for me and all those whose darkness can consume them. Pray that the light prevails within us.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday 5: Summer time and the living is....busy?!

Okay, wow.  Sooooo...I took the summer off.  Sorry about that.  I have been BUSY!  This time I actually mean it and I wasn't just suffering from writer's block.

I'm gonna do a Tuesday 5 to get back in the groove, alright?

Thanks for sticking with me, by the way.  And HELLLLOOoooooo to the new faces!  (Pretend that was Seinfeld.)

Without further ado...

1.  I started a new job in May, as a trainer.  I love it.  It's always different and I get to talk a LOT.  Only downside is all. the. MEETINGS.  OMGoodness!  That's okay, though because I would still rather be stuck in a meeting than sitting at a desk doing the same work over and over and over ad infinitum.  I also chose a standing desk at my workspace.  I love it.  I occasionally do a bit of yoga while standing.  I do some squats or calf raises while reading stuff and my legs feel much better.

2.  I am involved in 3 SIGNIFICANT things within my parish.  I have weekly meetings for two of them and am about to start monthly meetings for the third one.  I'm actually THRILLED!  I like having 50 things going at once so this suits me just fine.  The people I work with are all brilliant and kind and funny and creative and so, so generous with their spirits, their words, and their time.  It's amazing.  Truly.  I love my parish so much!

3.  So, I flaked on no-spend August you guys!  I just couldn't plan and commit this year.  It was so hard.  I was busy and just feeling depressed and deflated (losing one of my pets and gaining back some weight will do that to you) and I just felt so blah that I didn't do it.  BUT, I have my shopping list for September and tomorrow after work I am going to prep.  It's going to be a September fiscal fast instead.  I have a few old blog posts on this, if you are clueless.  Check 'em out!

4.  I've been thinking about babies a lot lately.  There's a song by Jason Aldean called "Laughed until we Cried" and it came on my mp3 today.  This is one of the verses:

Just the other night the baby was cryin
So I got out of bed rocked her awhile and I held her tight
And I told her it would be all right
My mind went back to a few years ago
We tried so long, we almost gave up hope
And I remember you comin' in and tellin me the news
Oh man we were livin, goin crazy in the kitchen
We danced and screamed and held each other tight
We laughed until we cried

Ugh, you guys.  I wanted this so badly...I dreamed of the day that I could do this with my husband.  It touches my heart so deeply and some days I can't handle it.  It's been a while since I've felt as sad as I did when all the fertility stuff was actively happening to me.  I trust in Jesus to help me.  He's there.  I know it.  It's just really f'in depressing sometimes.  It makes me hide that pain behind something else and not processing this crap hasn't helped.  Sometimes I watch a bunch of sad videos to force myself to cry it out, but I have to find joy in small things.  I have to. 

5.  Well, the inevitable "signs of aging" have started.  Oh boy.  (Note the sarcasm.)  I put my hair up in a top knot the other day and I apparently have glitter all over my hair now...?  Or something glinting in the light.  I'm going with strands of glitter.  I also have to fill in my eyebrows with a pencil now.  Okay, that's just not cool.  Why do eyebrows thin?  I don't want to be the middle aged woman with just one thin line as my brow.  Also, there's a vessel in my eyelid that's now visible.  The hell is that?  My hands are getting old, too.  This can't be happening!  Where do I submit complaints?  

Get off my lawn, you durn kids!  

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 29, 2016

I am melancholy

I am sadness.
I am the swirling waters of the sea and
the deep expanse of a midnight sky.

I sit quietly among the trees in the forest and
Ponder my existence.

I know that I cannot be here for me alone.

To what do I owe my allegiance?
To who am I called?

I am one with the Maker.
The Giver bestows me with wisdom.

          May I preserve and use it.

The Creator endows me with the spirit.

          Lord, give me purpose.

Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and the door shall be opened.

The Dark One assails me and I

          Raise my hands over my face.

This feeling of despair only comes with the Darkness
I can always see Christ more clearly in the light.

Come Light and Chase out the Darkness.
Soothe me, comfort me, and turn my

Melancholy into
          Joy!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Race

A week or so ago, I needed to get out of the house.  I had itchy feet and I knew I needed to drive.  I just needed to drive somewhere, it didn't really matter where.

Accompanied by the vocal stylings of Bret Michaels (Poison 4everrrrr), I rolled down the windows on my miniv...*ahem*, crossover vehicle, and turned up the radio.  I just started going south.  I drove south, out of the city, winding past close-set houses, until I got further out.  I started passing by wide, lush lawns, huge homes set far back from the road, and kept going.  I drove until I ran out of asphalt.  I live in Kansas, so it actually didn't take as long as you'd think.  Then, I took a left, and another right, and drove south again until I ran out of asphalt.  Slowly, I turned around and meandered home, taking another route, past houses I'd never seen before.

My life's motto!
Every once in a while, the only fix my poor, wanderlusting heart can get for the gypsy feeling is to just go.  I beg my husband to go on Sunday drives, but he's not as fond of wasting gas as I am, I guess.  Occasionally, I get the opportunity to run away, just for a half hour, or maybe a few hours, or even just 10 minutes.  I don't want to escape my life, but I need to run out of my skin for a minute.  I need to feel the wind and see the countryside.  I need to blast my radio and sing out loud.  Sometimes, I need to chase the sunset...or sunrise.  Depends on the day.

In the midst of my drive though, I realized that one of the last times I did this, I had to turn around rather quickly and go back to familiar territory.  My anxiety belted itself into my passenger seat and mocked me.  It scowled as I took off and cringed the further away from my home I got.  When I got to an area where the land rose and became hilly, it wound itself up as tight as a coiled snake and its tail started rattling.  I knew I couldn't make it.  I knew that it was going to bite me.  So, I turned around.  I looked at my piteous self in the rearview and I drove back home, defeated.

This time was different.  My heart soared and I kicked anxiety to the curb like the unwanted hitchhiker it was. I outran my skin that day and for a few moments in time, I was happy.

Life is what you make of it and I am taking my gypsy heart for a ride more often.  I'm making a life that is no longer consumed by anxiety.  I hope you get the chance to outrun your fears, even just for a moment.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

We all fall short

Today started off crazy.  Our good friends' two little boys spent the night Saturday night and this morning they woke our teens up super early. Everyone was a little tired and we forgot what it took to get little ones ready for church. They are 5 and 4 and of course, we weren't used to anyone getting up early enough to eat breakfast before mass.

We loaded everyone up, after running to grab car seats, and headed to church. The boys were very good, even though it was their first time in a Catholic mass.  We brought a couple books and our kids brought their phones to distract the boys when they got antsy.

I have been struggling recently with drawing my kids closer to the church. I have also been feeling a lot more like a stepmom than usual, feeling a bit left out. It's a natural progression as the kids get older and start figuring out which parent is the "fun" one. Shock of shockers, that ain't me!

I feel like sometimes, instead of leading them to Jesus, I have pushed them further away.  I get frustrated because they aren't following along, they are distracted, they don't take as much time to pray as what I think they should, and it makes me hypercritical.  I see myself getting angry and making biting sarcastic remarks to them and I know it only hurts them.  I can see it in their eyes and it makes me feel so, so sad.  

Today during mass, it struck me that I need to let them see the Church through new eyes.  As with the two boys we brought along today, I need to allow them to have the same awe and excitement that the little ones experienced.  Before, I would make sure they were following along closely in the missal.  I would give them head nods or hand signals to let them know to pay attention, but what I was missing is that we have to also EXPERIENCE the mass.  In the midst of the chaos today, I realized that my stepson didn't have his missal.  It was just after the transubstantiation and I at first thought I needed to grab one and hand it to him, but then I stepped back.  We were at arguably the most important point of the mass.  Jesus became present to us, through His flesh and blood, in the sanctity of the Eucharist.  My stepson was still kneeling down and still looking at the altar.  Did I really need to bother him to make sure he was following along line by line?  What if I stepped back and allowed him to experience the mass in his own way?  Would that be so bad?

I am struggling with lots of emotions regarding my children lately.  They are your typical teens, reluctantly doing chores, sometimes reacting with a negative attitude to certain requests or situations, and I often forget what I felt like during those years.  It's a wonder how my parents (and siblings) survived when I was a teenager in that household.  Would it be so awful to allow them to express their feelings and react how they need to?  Of course not.  The teenage years are hard enough without a harpy of a stepmom on your shoulder!  

To draw them to the church, perhaps I need to show them how loving Christ changes you as a person.  Instead of trying to have them stick to my rigid demands, I need to let them love and embrace Christ how THEY need to.  I need to pray for them LOTS and I need to be sure they know that not only do we love them, but God does, too.  I also need to remember the line from our homily on this Pentecost Sunday, that we ALL fall short.

The Holy Spirit guides us and we need to teach ourselves to listen.  I've fallen short a lot recently and it has left me feeling like I am a horrible mother.  I love these children and I want to see them do well in life, but I also need to remember that they are 14 and 13 and at a very rough time in their lives, regarding identity, self expression, and identifying the truth.  

I'm willing to let God take the lead on this one.  Next Sunday, I will do my best to allow them to immerse themselves in the mass.  I will let them look around in awe at the beauty of the physical church.  I will also let them be reminded of the beauty of the metaphysical Church as well, as we honor God by our praise and worship and remember what the center of our lives should rely on.  

I will do my very best to get rid of the critical tone in my voice that has appeared so often as of late and instead, listen to my children.  It's so hard sometimes to know when you need to push and when you need to let go.  I don't think I'll ever get that balance right.  

But, you know, an off balance life is a good life and one I'll gladly take.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tuesday 5...7...5

1.    Mystery bruise found
    What may be the cause of it?
         Normal for a klutz.

2.    New job begins soon.
      More pay-bad elevator.
        Moving up--slowly

3.  Bunny in garden.
He better run faster than
   husband's BB gun!

4.  Starting a new page-
   Subversive Suburbia
     Submit poems now.

5.  My poetry skills
Leave much to be desired.
   Need help.  Send haikus!



Google knows what I like.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday 5: It be Stormin'

Hey everyone!  Time for a Tuesday 5.  I'm not doing these regularly anymore, but that's okay, I still like to contribute every once in a while.  I get so caught up in the random mundane stuff, between a new job and a prayer retreat, it's been a busy few weeks.

Courtesy:  Catster.com
1.  It is raining cats and dogs over here today.  Don't step in a poodle!  Haha.  We had the tornado sirens going off about an hour ago and it's still raining like crazy.  Just another wild day in Kansas.  When I was a kid and it was getting ready to storm, my Dad would open up the garage door and we'd sit on lawn chairs in the garage, just watching the weather roll in.  I love the smell of a storm moving in and I love the smell of the cleansed earth after it's done.  I've become a bit more cautious as I've gotten older, but I still love to watch storms roll in.  That elemental feeling is hard to describe.

2.  Unfortunately, bad weather now means my husband is sure to get called out.  He's a signal maintainer for the railroad and whenever bad weather hits, he almost always gets called out, because either the signals are malfunctioning because of lightning strikes or the water rises over the tracks and causes stuff to go off.  He got called out about 30 minutes or so ago.  I do worry, but I know that he is good at his job and he is a smart guy, so he's going to do what he can to mitigate any danger.  Still, I sometimes hate when he gets called out.  My stepkids are with their mothers and I'm here alone with the cats.  Thank goodness for books.

3.  Speaking of books, I just finished Paige Kellerman's new book, The Beer's Folded and the Laundry's Cold.  It was full of funny anecdotes related to her new role as mother and housewife.  It's a quick read and as always, full of pop culture references.  Paige is very good at turning a phrase and I enjoyed it.  She's also a fellow Kansan, so I'm sure she's outside right now looking up at the sky, too!  You can read more of the funny by following her on Facebook and at her blog, There's More Where That Came From.  Buy it here.

4.  This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.  I have blogged about this several times, but my (in)fertility journey has been a long and arduous one.  It was hard.  It was REALLY hard.  It's not hard to remember how I felt during those endless months of being poked and prodded, told I was too fat, given endless vaj cams, and made to feel about as tall
as Tom Thumb any time the subject of pregnancy came up.   It's so hard to know how it's all going to turn out when you are in the middle of it.  Looking back on those years of struggle, the torturous pregnancy tests, shots, and feelings of hopelessness seem so overwhelming.  And yet, here I am.  I made it through to the other side.  One angel baby in heaven waiting for me and no babies in my arms.  I'm not sad, but I am wistful.  I am also very, very grateful for God's love and grace.

5.  I was part of a Christ Renews His Parish retreat at my parish two weekends ago.  I'm Catholic and this program was started in the 70s in another state.  Its aim is to help people find a deeper commitment with Christ, but also to get to know their neighbors and friends that occupy the pews.  It's a wonderful program and there were some amazing witnesses given.  I would encourage anyone, Catholic or not, to find a church offering this and check it out.  Then, bring it back to your church if you like it.  It's a fabulous way to learn more about yourself, Christ, and the other people in the parish.  I have met some very dear people and been delighted to share time, prayer, and scripture with them.

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Child's Hurt

I am so frustrated today.  This is probably going to be kind of a long story, but I need to get it out.

I don't even know where to start.  Do I start with the fact that my stepson, who is nearly 14 years old, got kicked out of school AGAIN today?  Why this time?  Very similar to the last time.  He did something stupid and got called out by the teacher.  His reaction, instead of just taking his lumps and sitting through class, was to write a note about why doesn't the teacher just kill him...last time he drew a picture of himself dead on the ground after getting caught playing around in class.  However, this time no one saw him with the paper, so because he's sick of the class and is too embarrassed to stay in because he got in trouble, he brought it straight up to the teacher.  He knew it would get him sent to the counselor, which it did.  Then, he got upset when he found out he was in trouble with his mom and dad.  Well DUH kid, every other bleepin' time you've pulled this crap, you've gotten in trouble.  This is NOT NEW.

Yes, he has anxiety.  Yes, he has ADHD.  Yes, he is in therapy.  However, his mother only takes him once a month to therapy and the anxiety workbook that's supposed to help was completed last summer and still he reacts like this to anything that upsets him.

Just this past Sunday, he was wearing dirty clothes that had been laying on his floor.  I knew because every time I opened his door, I saw them laying there.  Look, he knows they go in the hamper.  He's 13 and smart.  He should know what to do.  So, I called him out on it and told him to find something else to wear.  He immediately turned the corner in the hallway and I hear a 'slap, slap, slap, slap'.  I told him to get back out here and told him that he knows better than to hit himself.  He knows that doesn't solve anything.  So he tries to lie and say that wasn't what that was.  I call him out again, because I know EXACTLY what that is and he admits that yes, he was hitting himself.

Child, GET A GRIP!  This kid is very close to ending up in a PRTF (Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility).  His mother knows it, his father knows it, and I know it.  They told him about the consequences, but he just can't redirect his anger/embarrassment/hurt to something other than self-flagellation.

His dad and I are getting to the ends of our ropes.  He has had behavior issues ever since he first entered school.  I understand that it was a very difficult transition to move here from California and then surprise, at 7 1/2 your mother finally decides to contact your dad and let him know she's back in Kansas.  His maternal grandparents severely dote on him, to his detriment, and then threaten his mother that they're going to take him away if she doesn't allow them more time with him.  He gets away with a lot over there and then has to come to our house, that's full of rules and chores and a half-sister who is here most weekends and has known us since she was born.  It's a tough hand to play, but kid, you are only doing yourself a disservice.

On top of it, his mother thinks that he needs to be exactly like her.  Pushes him into stuff he didn't express interest in, solely because she likes it and making sure he believes what she believes about everything.  Of course she's also an atheist and while everyone's opinions are their own, a 13-year old that claims he also doesn't believe in God has no clear basis for that belief, besides that his mom told him he shouldn't because she doesn't, even though neither of them have researched any of it.

Rick and I sit here and just shake our heads so often because, even though we know he's hurting and a mess, we don't know what to do.  How do you get a child to understand that he is only hurting himself and saying the same things over and over until it's just an echo chamber of shit nobody listens to?

My stepson is a smart kid.  He's funny and sweet and plays well with younger children.  He loves comic books and superheroes and Legos and I just don't get how this sweet kid can be so broken.  Why is it always a fight?  Why does he hate himself so much when we all show him love?  Why can't he know God's love in his heart?

I don't want him to be 35 and living in his mother's basement.  He deserves better than that.  He can do better than that.  I think a lot of this stems from his anxiety, but he has been given many things to help cope with it.  That aforementioned book, a worry ring, and lots of other distractions to help are all things he has to rely on.  I told him that he needs to ask God for help when he's sad or mad and that's when he said that he's not sure if he believes in Him.  Argh.

My heart hurts for what this child could have been like, had his antisocial mother not tried to make him antisocial in turn.  I still love him no matter what, but knowing that had she stayed here when he was born, he may be a more stable child who accepts love instead of pushing it away.

Pray for all of us.  Pray especially for my stepson, that he may receive calmness of spirit and solace from the anxiety today and always.  Thank you.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday 5: Baseball, books, and BRINNER!

Chilaquiles!!
1.  I successfully made chilaquiles for supper this evening.  It is traditionally a brunch item, but I need brinner in my life!  Especially some bomb af chilaquiles!  However, it made me realize that my small city only has a couple of Hispanic/Latin markets.  Traditional chilaquiles (red sauce) are made with guajillo chiles.  These are flavorful, mild chiles.  You buy them dried and then pour boiling water over them to soak for 15 minutes.  They are also topped with yolky eggs, my favorite!  My husband is crazy and only likes hard cooked eggs, so I had to make a couple for him.  It was a winning recipe and Rick and my stepson Daden loved them.  Bonus:  I get the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!  Mmmmm...chilaquiles.

2.  I have not been doing so well on the whole weight loss thing recently.  I have gained back a lot of what I lost.  Partly because I couldn't afford my trainer anymore, which led to zero discipline.  I am part of a Facebook group of alumni from my alma mater that is focused on health and fitness though.  We are currently reading a book called "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst.  I couldn't wait for the person in charge to catch up with the questions and stuff, so I went ahead and read the whole thing.  I finished it today.  If you are a Christian, this is a great book to help you focus on weight loss as a spiritual journey and not just as a weight loss journey.  It focuses on self-discipline, which can be great for weight loss and help you increase in holiness.  I loved that perspective and am going to do my best to focus on that and also to pray, pray, pray.  Which to me is something that helps in so many areas of life.

3.  Next up is Jenny Lawson's "Furiously Happy", which I have heard nothing but good things about.  I also have Martin Short's memoir, "I Must Say" and Bill Bryson's "Notes from a Small Island".  I discovered a new way to get ebooks along the way.  It's an app. called Overdrive.  You log in to your public library account through the Overdrive app. and choose books available on their site.  Then, you can download it as a regular ePub book or in Kindle format.  I have a Kindle, so when you choose that, it sends you to Amazon, where you log in and download the book.  It's amazing!!  And Free!!  Did I say FREE?!?!  I meant it.  Also, you can get lots of NEW books on it and place holds.  I currently have holds on the new David Sedaris and Chrissy Teigen's cookbook.

4.  Baseball is back baby!!  I can't wait to see how my WORLD CHAMPION Kansas City Royals do this year.  Dang, it feels good to say that!  They are amazing and really just such a great team, because they are a true TEAM.  Four of the players who are really good friends, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez, and Jarrod Dyson even did an awkward family photoshoot!

L to R:  Cain, Perez, Hosmer, Dyson
5.  I interviewed for a new position last Wednesday.  This new position would be in a different state department, as a medical trainer for Elderly and Disabled Medicaid.  They only interviewed 3 people!  Eek.  I thought I had a pretty good interview, but it's so hard to tell.  Of course, I haven't heard anything about it yet, but I know they were checking my references.  I would love this because it is truly what I want to do, but I do enjoy my current position and my current supervisor is amazing.  It's always hard to leave one job that you love for another that you hope to love, but aren't sure about.  Although, in this case, my direct supervisor would be someone who is a friend.


Have a great week everyone!!  Lob some ideas my direction, because I am failing miserably with thinking up my own.  Yes, I've tried idea generators, but I can't seem to find something I like.  Hmm...maybe I should just start jotting down my dreams.  I have some crazypants dreams!  What do you think?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Way Back

And there I was, sitting in my vehicle, sobbing.  Wretched, convulsive sobs engulfed my body.  A flood gate had opened and I sat there, vehicle humming, seatbelt undone, face in my hands, sobbing as if I had lost someone.  

My faith life got off track for a bit during and immediately after college.  I would like to think this happens to most people that go through a huge life transition like college and becoming a true adult.  Admittedly, it began because I got lazy.  I got lazy with my faith and lazy in going to mass.  It just became so much easier to not go.  The innate desire I once had to be there was gone and I rejected all of my friends' invitations to go with them.

I think part of it was also due to a new boyfriend and residual guilt I had about our relationship and the fact that he was not Catholic, nor did he claim any denomination in particular or go to church.  I loved him and hey, I was a pretty decent person, I didn't really need to go every single week, did I?

I became a lapsed Catholic and ya' know, for several years after college, I was okay with it.  I would make it to church with my family and maybe a couple other friends, but never on my own.  I couldn't sit in that pew, lonely, dejected, and feeling guilty over my sinfulness.  What if people guessed how I felt?  Could you see those sins as easily as I could, imagining them scrawled on my flesh like pen on paper?  My soul felt smudged, blighted, as if I was no longer good enough for God.

I remember a distinct conversation I had with my grandmother, regarding my faith, years after this period.  I was telling her about it and she said, "Yes dear, I think it happens to a lot of us with our faith, but God was always faithful and standing by, calling you back to Him."

He was and He did.  I felt that yearning deep in my soul on a daily basis.  I felt that want to go back to church, to meet Him face to face in the Eucharist.  I knew I couldn't without confession and boy, that was hard to admit.  During this time period, I had met my now husband and drug him along with me to mass from time to time, but I still felt I needed something more.  We got married in the church.  I kept making excuses to God and myself about the steps I needed to take to get back to Him fully.

Finally, just a few years ago, I summoned up some nerve and went to take part in the sacrament of Reconciliation.  Standing in line for the confessional, I bit my lip and tried hard not to pass out from the anxiety of it all.  After several arduous minutes, it was my turn to step in.

I shut the door, kneeled behind the screen, and immediately burst into tears.  In a shaking voice, full of anguish, I choked out my plea, "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been over 10 years since my last confession."  I'm sure some of those words dissolved under the weight of my guilt and sin and abject misery.  I gave my confession, my complete and total list of everything that encumbered my soul.  I prayed the Act of Contrition and received my penance.  When he said these words,

"God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of your son, you have reconciled the world to yourself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the church, may God grant you pardon and peace. And I absolve you of your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

I started sobbing again.  I was a weeping mess for a few minutes, before the priest said he had a question for me.  He asked me what made me come back.  Why did I seek him out?  I told him my story, of how my husband and I had tried for 5 years to have children and how it didn't work out, even though I prayed every day.  I told him how I changed that prayer after a while and started asking God to make me okay with not having children of my own, to ease the pining in my heart, and He answered that prayer.  How could I not come back after He granted me that?

I walked out of that confessional in a daze.  I'm sure, to the others in line, I looked a hot mess, clutching a handful of Kleenex and a puffy, tear-stained face.

And there I was, sitting in my vehicle, sobbing.  Wretched, convulsive sobs engulfed my body.  A flood gate had opened and I sat there, vehicle humming, seatbelt undone, face in my hands, sobbing as if I had lost someone.

I didn't lose someone that day.  Instead, as the sunset streamed a golden hue through the windshield, I realized that I had finally found myself.  I had finally experienced true redemption.

This Maundy Thursday, I thank Jesus for instituting the priesthood.

Matthew 18:18New International Version (NIV)

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I Bite my Thumb at you, Sir!

I mention my obnoxious coworker a lot in my normal Facebook feed.  I have had a few friends ask exactly what makes my coworker so obnoxious.  So okay, here's the story on that one.

So, I have been in my current position within the agency for what, 2 years now?  We were originally in a different building and in that one, he was on the other side of the wall from me.  I am normally friendly to people unless they give me a reason not to be, so when I first met the guy, I thought he was okay, though a Nebraska fan, so ya' know, a little suspect.  

One thing I quickly learned about him was that he was a real smartass.  Not a problem, I thought.  I am, too!  I once had an ex state that I was too sarcastic?!  Is that a thing?  However, I noticed that it wasn't just that he was a smart aleck.  He repeatedly would go out of his way to aggravate someone.  If he knew someone didn't like something, it was like he had to do whatever that was more often.  Again, didn't seem like a big deal at first, but then something changed.  He was always talking about things that were slightly, um, edgy?, you could say and he thought he was hilarious.  Everyone was always saying, "Oh so-and-so, *haha* you shouldn't say those things, you could get into trouble."  He was one of those people that always tried to push the envelope and people let him, because I guess they thought it wasn't worth the trouble to say anything and the director of our department was one of the people who just said, "Oh, so-and-so, you're just so funny..."

Well, in my old office I had a massive attention whore who did something very similar.  Always had to speak out about everything in the office and try to make it all. about. them.  Every single time.  I'm just not a fan of these type of people.  This guy is very similar to that, but almost worse, because he intentionally tried to provoke people.  

He constantly brought up topics that were inappropriate or hurtful to others.  Sometimes I heard him and cringed.  Other times I intentionally put earbuds in so as not to get irritated myself.  Luckily, at the time, he was on the other side of my cubicle wall and I rarely ran into him.  

That all changed when we moved to our current building.  (By the way, this guy is so obnoxious that he actually stole signage from our old building, because he thought it was hilarious to put up in his new cubicle, and people LET him!)  Now he was in the same aisle, in the corner, and all of his buddies would come over and sit in his little corner cubie and talk and talk.  Still, that wasn't too bad.  What really made him super obnoxious was when they moved everyone around again and he was assigned a cubicle directly across the aisle from me.  Now he was catty corner to his BFF, my coworker, who is the other half of my 2-person unit.  This is the same lady who he made it a directive each day to go in and make some comment about how she looked that day.  She's my age (upper 30s) and he's in his 50s.  He would come in and ask about her necklace, ask why she wasn't wearing a certain shirt, ask about her weight (seriously?!) and just every day go in and say something mildly inappropriate.  

Now they sit where he has a direct line of sight (and speak) to her.  Look, I'm a morning person, y'all!  I love the AM.  Once I actually get out of bed, I'm awake and usually happily humming a tune while getting coffee started, making my lunch, and putting on makeup.  I love the mornings, so, so much.  I get to the office about 15 minutes ahead of my 'start time' and RELISH that quiet. The first hour of the day for me is like a meditation.  I check my voicemails, my e-mails, finish up responses from the day before, go through anything due, and then start on my new requests.  

Now, I have a LOUD person, who doesn't care one whit about his volume, that as SOON as my coworker comes in, has to speak with her.  Not a big deal at first.  Everyone has that "Hey, good morning!" crap they do with one another.  This however, is not a 5-minute chat.  That first week, he talked normally to loudly (way above a whisper every time) for an hour to 2 hours EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  

I thought it was the newness of the situation for the first few days.  Still annoying, but ya' know, easily written off.  Nope!  Every single day for the first two weeks it started in as soon as my coworker stepped foot in her cubicle and didn't usually end until an hour in.  

Look, the guy already knows I don't like him.  I don't care for the way he talks to people, so snotty and thinking he's just all that and a bag of chips.  Add on that I don't care for how he treats women either and I really don't care for the guy.  So, because he knows it, I couldn't be the one to say anything to his supervisor, because he would just excuse it away as me not liking him.  Finally, even his friends and cubicle neighbors told his supervisor.  He was talked to.  He grumbled and talked some more.  He was talked to again.  

I just want 1 friggin' hour in the morning at peace.  That's all I am asking!!

After he was spoken with, as soon as I reach for my mp3 player, he'll shut up within a few minutes, because I guess he thinks it's me complaining.  But on days like today, when his boss isn't in the building, it's no holds barred!  Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk....this guy will NOT shut up.  

Okay, so there's a bit more to the story than just this, because I have said something to his supervisor about his inappropriate remarks to my coworker.  He actually tried to defend himself, as he began degrading women AGAIN!  

So, is this obnoxious behavior?  I would say yes, but maybe your definition is different.  A guy who is misogynistic, an attention whore, a constant provocateur on purpose, and not a little bit creepy with the younger ladies in our office, is obnoxious to me.  Maybe I'm not stating my case well enough, but believe me when I say that most of you would NOT like this guy.  He goes out of his way to make people feel like shit and he goes out of his way to exclude the people he doesn't care for, too.  Plus, he does NOT want to get into a conversation with people who might possibly chastise him for his language and/or vulgarity.  All of this adds up to obnoxious for me...what do you think?  Am I not being charitable enough?  Am I being too judgmental?  All I know is in the mornings I just want a little peace and quiet.  Do your work and I'll do mine.  In the afternoon, after we've put in more than 4 1/2-5 hours, go for it, for a short while anyhow.  

So, since I didn't do Tuesday 5 again this week, I may need to get a good topic for next week.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Limitless

Okay so, I don't really have a Tuesday 5 for you today, because as I was cutting up my grapefruit into beautiful segments...(I lie, they were all busted up and scraped out of their rinds, with juice dribbling down my hands and wrists), I was thinking a lot about my anxiety.  I have dealt with it for what, 3 years now, I think, maybe 2 1/2.

I was thinking about how it's actually probably a good thing that I'm not in a more high pressure sort of job.  What if I had become an ER doctor and developed anxiety?  How could I have helped people in life and death situations if I was anxious about my own mortality and my own medical needs?  On the other hand, I would have had a bunch of doctor friends that probably wouldn't charge me much for the occasional paranoid CT scan...hmm.  I got a little bummed thinking about this because I was viewing my anxiety in terms of how it has limited me.

Believe me, I'll be the first to tell you that anxiety hit me like a frickin' sucker punch, right to the gut and chest.  It didn't come on slowly.  Before 2 1/2 years ago, I was a (moderately) sane person.  I was still scared of heights and got the occasional vertigo, but the most that hampered me in Kansas was not being able to climb up to the Capitol dome.

Oh, anxiety has limited me in a number of ways, but I believe that it has also given me several blessings in disguise.

I am much more conscious of the things that I view and if they will be positive or negative.  I do a lot more things outside of sitting and watching TV.  I found more, varied hobbies that I didn't realize I would enjoy.  I am much more aware of the things I put in my body, food wise.  I am hyper aware of the medication that I take and how it affects me and my mood.  I think that these are all positive consequences of anxiety.  The two most positive things about having anxiety?  I have changed my way of thinking about this world and the next.  I have grown closer to God and learned to trust in Him more than ever.

I think deeper thoughts than I did before.  I mean, I never before truly contemplated death and how it would feel or what would happen afterward.  This is one of the best/worst aspects of anxiety, that ability to conjure up the topic that will make you feel the shittiest.  Mine is death.  Death is frightening and thinking about it, as a person with anxiety, would nearly make me have an attack as soon as I did.  However, working through this stressor has actually brought me a lot of relief, because I know I am prepared.  Okay, so how can you ever TRULY be prepared?  You can't, but, you can make sure that you have forgiven your enemies and told your family and friends that you love them and requested forgiveness from God for the things you have done.  You prepare mentally and spiritually, because anxiety will deceive you into believing that death is around every corner.  When you think like that, you plan on how to make sure you don't die with hate on your heart.

I pray like I have never prayed before.  I ask Mary and the saints to help me with every little thing now.  I ask God for all kinds of stuff I never would have asked before, because now I understand the purpose of prayer.  It isn't to just ask for material things to receive or even for people to get better or
for things to turn out differently, it's to be united with God in a quiet moment and recognizing that you can give it to Him because He has, and will always, carry that burden for us.  I know that I have increased in humility and meekness (believe it or not).  I pray for causes and people in new ways.  I pray for God to invade the souls of the people who wish to do others harm.  I pray for mercy for people most would say don't deserve it.  I pray for safety and protection of my family and friends, but most of all, I pray that God will inflame my heart with even greater love for Him.  This is the power of anxiety.

Anxiety has pushed me to the brink.  There were moments where I just wasn't sure how I was going to make it through the night.  I was scared of everything.  When you're scared of everything, how do you truly live?

When I try to explain to people how bad it was and my lowest moment, I always go back to the bathtub.  That moment when I had anxiety so badly that the only thing that could relieve it was literally sitting in a tub of warm water, with the shower head on, pouring even hotter water over me.  I would shut it off for 20 minutes to let it warm back up, then turn it back on.  Over and over and over again, for nearly 3 hours, I did this.

My lowest point, the nadir of my journey, the bathtub, was where I met God face to face.  I cried and prayed and begged for relief.  He has salvaged my soul and helped me grow spiritually in a way that I was limited by without the anxiety.

Huh, imagine that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday 5: Big important things!

It has been a couple weeks since I last posted, so I guess I should do a little bit of writing. It's that Tuesday 5 time again!

1. I am still going through a bit of the winter blues. I don't mind winter, but I would prefer to get a boatload of snow at least once this year! The one time we were initially projected to get a huge snowstorm, it all went north of us and we got nothing but a trace. Boo. I miss the snow. I love being out in it, the look of the pristine lawn of snow before anyone walks on it, and the way a city shuts down in silent reverie. It is so lovely. Come back snow, I miss you!

2. So my stepdaughter graduates 8th grade this year and she goes to school in a small town, as she mainly resides with her mother. We went to an 8th grade parents' meeting a week or two ago to go over graduation, the 8th grade dance, some fundraisers, and the 8th grade trip to an amusement park.  The kids want their dance's theme to be Royal Ball and they are going to wear formals. Are you kidding me?! It's 8th grade! Not only that, but the parents are talking about spending gobs of money on decorations and a DJ. They even made statements like "This is my child's 8th grade dance, of course we are going big! The school isn't paying for it, so we can do what we want!" Okay, I understand that this is a milestone in a child's life, but it isn't high school. Plus, the K-12 is all in the same cluster of buildings, so they aren't even physically moving anywhere. Back in my day, (yes, I am legitimately using that phrase) the only decorations we had were a few streamers and balloons on the refreshment table and we wore regular dresses, nothing fancy to our dance. Oh, and THEN, they started talking about how maybe they should do a glow in the dark theme and have the kids' hands get painted with it so they could see who got too handsy on the dance floor *tee hee* Oh isn't it so funny to sexualize our 13 year olds?! *wink wink* It's nothing we didn't do back then. Except uh, no, we didn't do that. Anyone who had "boyfriends" in junior high went to the movies and held hands and maybe kissed a few times, but I KNOW our parents for the most part encouraged modesty and self-respect. Ugh, sorry for the tangent, but that really disgusted me. Am I a prude?

3.  Today is Fat Tuesday y'all! Mardi Gras! I am thinking about what to do for Lent this year. I am sure you are all supremely interested, right? Well, I am thinking of abstaining from all pop and alcohol this year and adding some prayerful activity. I am terrible about following through on the prayer stuff though, so I am going to start small and maybe do a rosary once a week and maybe 2 religious books over the course of 40 days. What are you doing? Any more, simple ideas for me?

4.  Is there anything quite as rage-inducing or perhaps frustrating as the election cycle in the U.S.? I think you are hard-pressed to find something worse in that respect. If the super mysoginistic, and bankruptcy-loving Trump wins the nomination, this country is far more selfish than I originally thought. It's sad how successful he is in using fear and loathing to his advantage and disguising it as frankness.

5. Speaking of loathsome politics, Hillary Clinton is pretty despicable as well. So much history of shady dealings and outright lying and basically saying anything anyone wants to hear just to garner votes. The worst part is that Gloria Steinem, someone who considers herself a groundbreaking feminist, basically said the reason young women (under 45, that's me!) are flocking to Bernie Sanders is because all the boys like Sanders. Whaaaa?!?! So women like Bernie because we are too stupid to think about issues and just go where the cute boys are. Wow. Just wow. Not to be outdone, Madeline Frickin' Albright stated her "jokey" motto that she has said (according to her) many times in the past. "There's a special place in hell for women who don't support other women." So now I am supposed to vote for Hillary because she and I share the same gender?! How is that not the very opposite of what feminism stands for? It's truly appalling that women are actually considering her.

I know, I know, people have very different ideas of what they want a president to be like. It's great that there is so much attention focused on electing our next leader. However, I would encourage everyone to do some digging and not just vote for someone for superficial reasons. This is important and yes, your vote does mean something. It's too bad we don't take up a grass roots movement for an intelligent person that's not worth tens of millions of dollars or more!

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday 5: Stuff to do, stuff to think about

1.  This weekend was a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I made homemade burger buns Saturday for the sloppy joes the kids made and followed it up with chocolate mousse for dessert. I worked on a new puzzle, did a little bible study and a little poetry dissection.  I have been trying to make an effort to keep myself busy and productive at work and at home, instead of just sitting on a computer or watching TV. It's a work in progress, but I have been fairly successful so far.

2.  I talked to someone at work about my anxiety the other day. She asked me if I was still into The Walking Dead and I was explaining why I didn't really watch it anymore because of my anxiety. It turned into a discussion on the topic. It has been 3 years since I developed anxiety through a medical emergency. At my worst, I was sitting in a tub, with the shower head pouring hot water down, while I tried not to think some of the worst thoughts to enter my brain. For hours I was in that tub. I have come so far, thank the Lord! My work offers therapy services through our employee assistance program. If the therapist you choose is on their list, you can receive up to 10 1-hour sessions for free, paid by my employer. That program saved me. Truly. Why is it not mandatory everywhere?

3.  I am currently reading Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. It's 20th century British literature. I read The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the D'Urbervilles years ago,  but this is most acclaimed work. I really like it so far. I am intending to alternate between modern and classic literature this year, but I would love suggestions of classics that are really good  (no Dickens or Hawthorne) but most people either haven't read them or have never heard of them.

4.  The things I don't really like about winter: icy roads, stupid drivers, dry skin, and static electricity! I zap myself everywhere. I am always a little static-y, but it gets 10 times worse during the winter. The worst is the grocery store. Inadvertently touching a shelf, picking up cans, opening the fridge doors...they all get me. The other day I got zapped so hard you could see the actual spark! I would like to say it's my electric personality, but it's actually pretty annoying. Does this happen to anyone else?

5.  I have a major sweet tooth. The other day I was watching Friends and they were talking about salt water taffy. It made me crave some taffy, so I called my husband and had him stop and get me a Laffy Taffy. My favorite candy bar is probably Mounds or Milky Way Midnight. I love dark chocolate. What about you?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday 5: Mmmm...food

I was thinking about what to post for my Tuesday 5 while I was in the midst of making my supper.  It is cold, icy, and snowy outside today and I drove home through a very pretty snowfall that was coming down fairly densely.  When I got home there was only one thing I wanted for supper - something warm!  Which made me contemplate my top 5 cold weather foods.

We're going to talk in specifics here people, because while soup is obviously going to be on this list, there are certain types that are better than others.

5.  Goulash!  One of my favorite cold weather meals, it's all encompassing.  Meat, pasta, tomatoes, and cheese, plus a little kick with the chili powder.  Yum!

4.  Shepherds Pie.  I just started making this one last year, but the combo. of ground beef, tomatoes, and mashed potatoes makes this warm your tummy up right!

3.  Chili.  There's nothing like coming home to a crockpot full of my husband's chili.  The smell is fantastic and it tastes even better!  He loads it up with 3 kinds of beans, ground beef and steak, as well as several kinds of peppers.  I'm sensing a theme in my dishes.

2.  Malt o' Meal.  Now here's where I break away from my theme, because when I want something quick, easy, delicious, and nutritious, that will warm me up, I have to have Malt o' Meal.  I know, I know, some people hate it because of the texture, but with a splash of milk and some sugar, it is my favorite pairing with coffee, in the morning or the evening.  (It's what I made for supper tonight.)

1.  Tomato soup and grilled cheese.  Top marks for a reason, whether out of a can (with milk) or homemade, nothing hits the spot like creamy tomato soup and gooey, cheesy grilled cheese.  A little on the dark side, making sure the bread gets full cheese coverage.  Superb!

What are your favorites?

Have a great week!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday 5: The Force Awakens and so does my Soapbox

1. Yes, we did see Star Wars opening night, but I really want to see it again. Rick and I both had New Year's Day off, so I was going to watch it again while he and my SD Ashley watched Krampus. We went to the 4pm showing. I did not purchase tickets ahead of time. It was sold out again, y'all! 2 weeks after the release and still selling out. Wow. That's quite a feat. For the record, while I love the new characters and the *SPOILER* light saber battle in the snow was amazing, I really didn't like the way they jammed it down my throat that this film was going to be like the OT (original trilogy for you normal folk) and definitely not like the prequels. I get it, I get it. People despised the prequels. Yes, I don't like them nearly as much as the OT, but TFA was TOO self-referential. I was actually kind of glad *SPOILER* that not all of the OT characters will be in the next ones. Focus on Rey and give me a sweet back story for Poe Dameron and I will love you forever JJ!

2.  So, instead of watching Star Wars like I wanted, I ended up seeing Sisters, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  It was hysterical and there were several spots I laughed 'til I nearly cried. Yes, it's raunchy. Yes, it's a party movie, but it is a party movie for 40 year olds! Plus, it has awesome cameos by lots of funny people, including Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, John Leguizamo, Rachel Dratch, and Samantha Bee. All hilarious! Reviews are divided, but what bothers me is that the biggest complaint from the naysayers is that it isn't cerebral enough. That's right, apparently Tina Fey and Amy Poehler can only do comedies that are smart, like Parks and Rec. or 30 Rock. Yes, they are smart women, but they are entitled to cut loose every once in a while. Seth Rogen and James Franco aren't the only ones allowed to do those types of movies. They have enough comedy cred to do whatever the heck they wanna do! Tina Fey as a writer was one of the best SNL staff writers of all time! This feels a little personal to me, because a lot of those people doing reviews make it seem like smart women over 40 can only be certain things. They can't be raunchy without being sluts. They can't be sexual without being trashy sluts. They can't act silly without being stupid, trashy sluts. Look, I am not saying we should advocate binge drinking and drugs as a regular lifestyle. I am merely saying that women can portray those roles for the purpose of a funny movie without degrading women by that portrayal. I think Fey and Poehler do a good job of that. Yes, these women are a mess, but they aren't setting feminism back through these characters. What does set it back though, is when reviewers make it seem like Fey and Poehler MUST portray only cerebral funny roles in order to make a statement. Sometimes there is no statement. Sometimes it's just frickin' funny.

3. Oh my, that soapbox got a bit lofty, didn't it? Let me bring it back down. Speaking of statements, I made one this weekend when I was crowned CHAMPION of my Fantasy Football league. I am the only female in a league of 10 players, comprised of my husband, my brother, and their coworkers. This group includes 2 guys making a career out of sports broadcasting and a couple others who have been in leagues for years! I am so proud of myself, as my first year in the league was last year and I ended up in the middle of the pack then. I studied players quite a bit and I feel like I managed my team pretty well for a relative newbie. If you're a nerd who likes numbers, FF may be for you. I played my brother in the championship and won $225. Now to find something(s) fun to spend it on. I foresee a few hours on Etsy!

4.  I have been listening to my mp3 at work a lot lately. I ended up setting it to play every soon it (391) in alphabetical order. What a hodge podge that is! Alt. Rock, Beatles, Johnny Cash, 90s country, Les Mis, Edith Piaf, among others. Music is integral to the wellbeing of my soul. That is not an overstatement. Music feeds me spiritually. I have done music-related posts on here before. Seek them out, read them, and let me know the one current song you could listen to on loop. One current, one old, one hymn...how's that? I am so looking forward to your answers! For the record, mine are: nothing new, so I will say a new-ish one, The Cave by Mumford and Sons. Old one would be: Folsom Prison Blues. Hymn? Hmmm. I actually love the Gloria (Glory to God in the Highest) in the Catholic mass. I hum it a lot, in the middle of the week.

5. Finally, my husband just got called out for work, so it looks like I am by myself tonight. Dig in to The Martian or a book on mercy? Decisions, decisions.

Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading and sharing!