Monday, December 24, 2012

Peace and Goodwill to all!

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:14

Friday, December 14, 2012

School's Out!

I finished the last of my projects, papers, and exams on Wednesday so I actually have time and the mental capacity available to write something for fun! But what to write? I'll share a blog from Marc and Angel Hack with some good pointers and the last one is rather fitting!

Original found at:

9 Things You Need to Chill Out About

1.                  The few things that aren’t going right. – When things go wrong, take a moment to be thankful for all the other things that are still going right.  And if you’re struggling to be thankful for what you have, be thankful for what you have escaped.  Sometimes the best gifts in life are the troubles you don’t have.  I took some time to do that last week. Since I've been working so hard to build up my savings, my first instinct is to complain when I spend $150+ on Urgent Care and muscles relaxers because my back spasmed and $100+ on a new tire since my flat cannot be repaired. Then I think about those I know who lost an IVF pregnancy—Creating Motherhood—, who found out her mother has cancer—True Confessions of a Single Mama—, who lost her grandmother —Confessions of a Pioneer Woman— and I think I'll keep my "problems" which no longer seem that bad after all.
2.                  Trying to label everyone and everything. – Sometimes you’ve just got to take people and situations for what they are, appreciate them, and not try to label them or change them.  This unconditional acceptance doesn’t mean you’re giving up your freewill or waving the white flag – that’s quitting.  Instead, it means you’re willing to let go of who you think people should be and how you think things are supposed to be, so you can fall in love with who they truly are and how life really is. People don’t need to fit in neat little boxes. If God had wanted us to all be alike, He would have made us that way.
3.                  Worrying about what everyone else thinks. – The minute you stop overwhelming your mind with caring about what everyone else thinks, and start doing what you feel in your heart is right, is the minute you will finally feel freedom.  In fact, you can end half your troubles immediately by no longer permitting people to tell you what you want.  You have to put your life in your own hands.  Others may be able stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently. I so wish that I could quit worrying about what everyone thinks of me. I want to. I want to be the person who says, “If I can look myself in the mirror—both the physical mirror and the mirror of the Bible-- and be proud of who I am as a person and as God’s Beloved Child—who cares what others think of me?” I’m not there yet. Blogging helps with that. No one may read this blog, but I’m putting myself out there knowing that many won’t agree with me but saying, “I don’t care; I’m going to be real.”
4.                  Wasting time on the wrong people. – You cannot make someone respect you; all you can do is be someone who can be respected.  The rest is up to them.  No matter how much you care some people just won’t care back.  It’s not the end of the world.  At some point you have to realize the truth – that they no longer care or never did, and that maybe you’re wasting your time and missing out on someone else who does. This ties in with #3. I need to accept that those I want to care just may not and that is okay.
5.                  Old wounds and grudges. – You will never find peace until you learn to finally let go of the hatred and hurt that lives in your heart.  In order to move on, you must know why you felt the way you did, and why you no longer need to feel that way.  It’s about accepting the past, letting it be, and pushing your spirit forward with good intentions.  Because nothing empowers your ability to heal and grow as much as your love and forgiveness.  I usually feel that I have let most things go. Every so often, though, one will raise its ugly head and surprise me because I thought it was forgiven and forgotten. And I have to deal with it again, because I don’t want to be the kind of person who forever lives in bitterness over the past. It isn’t healthy, physically or mentally.
6.                  Superficial judgments. – We don’t know most people half as well as we believe we do; and truly knowing someone is a big part of what makes them attractive.  Every human being is beautiful; it just takes the right set of eyes to see it.  The more you mature, the more you will be able to look beyond another person’s appearance and see the beauty of who they really are. As much as I want to leave my leagalistic background in the past where it belongs, I still find myself judging. Sometimes I still judge who I used to find wanting. Sometimes I judge those who are where I used to be. I hate that.
7.                  Letting small disagreements snowball out of control. – Don’t let a single poisonous moment of misunderstanding make you forget about the countless lovable moments you spent together.  If you’re angry at someone you love, hug them and mean it.  You may not want to hug them, which is all the more reason to do so.  It’s hard to stay angry when someone shows that they love you, and that’s precisely what happens when we hug each other. Aaggh! I am the worst about taking things to the extreme. This is some good advice here. Even if you aren’t feeling it, start as you mean to continue, showing that person love. It’s going to help you let go of it a lot sooner too!
8.                  Showing a lack of self-respect. – Decide this minute to never again beg anyone for the love, respect, and attention that you should be showing yourself.  Be your own best friend.  Trust your inner spirit and follow your instincts.  Be the person you will be happy to live with for the duration of your life.  Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of passion and possibility into a blaze of victories.  Again, I’m a child of the King and He loves me no matter what! Sometimes I don’t feel that way; I feel like He forgot about me—where’s my husband and children? Anybody to love me who isn’t family so they have to love me? I have to grow to be someone that I can live with and if that means being alone, that needs to be okay.
9.                  Thinking that now is the wrong time. – This isn’t the wrong time and place, because you can make it the right time and place.  Today is the first day of a new beginning – the conception of a new life.  The next nine months are all yours.  You can do with them as you please.  Make them count.  Because a new person is born in nine months.  The only question is: Who do you want that person to be? Kind of ironic, don’t you think for this to be the metaphor that they used? But I can assure you, today won’t be the first day of conception of new life for me! But maybe someday, sooner than I think, it won’t be the wrong time literal conception any more than today is for a metaphorical one.

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Sympathies

My sympathies to Dresden, Lolly, and W on the loss of their Tartan. Although I have not, of course, lost a child to miscarriage I have lost a sibling and a nice/nephew in the 2nd trimester after ultrasounds where no heartbeat was detected. Another reason to think hard about single motherhood. I don't know if my heart could stand a loss. Then again, we all lose someone we love at some time. Would the chance of a child of my own make that loss any harder? Sigh. To all who have lost babies and other loved ones, this season can be especially hard. Know that in the time that you had them, however short or long that was, that they were loved and they are remembered. Isn't that what matters?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Post

As much as I complain about my life, I have so much to be thankful for. One of the things that most frequently comes to the top of my list is my job. My faith aside, it's the best thing that ever happened to or for me. I am so thankful that I get to work at a university where I have the opportunity to get a great education at a reduced rate. I am especially blessed to get to work in the department that I do. I may not bounce out of bed ready to go to work every day, but I certainly don't dread going. My job has literally kept me sane, forced me to (mostly!) keep it together and keep moving forward toward a better future.

I've been plagued by doubts lately. While my financial future is looking up, I begin to doubt that I'll have the guts to seek single parenthood. I doubt my abilities to set aside my selfishness and be a good parent. I have to keep focused on my current goals of finishing school while trying to get out of debt and make a decision at that point. After all, at this time, it is a "moo" point (Friends reference, one of my favorites!) since I am not in the position to move forward financially. But I purchased a bed this month and I went with the version that had a trundle rather than three extra drawers because, maybe, I'll need that trundle at some point. . .

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and as we move into 2013, I hope that you will see the accomplishments of your goals.

Oh, and if you know anything about Foucalt's views on medicine, I'm completely lost and apparently the travel of the season should not interfere with our ability to research and write a paper for class. Sigh. I could use some help!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Better. . .

This week is going better. Of course, my professor could ruin that in class tonight, but I'm going to enjoy it for now! The loan that got turned down last Monday was approved by another credit union so I can get the "wild life" of my twenties paid off ("wild life" consisting of eating out too much and then spending money on diets that didn't work). I was able to get another argument written in the place of the one that was "superior, for the most part, in the writing" but, apparently, did not make an argument, and got yet another paper written on a topic in medicalization. I chose egg freezing, which is something that I considered and might even have done if I hadn't had the "wild life" to pay off. Good news, egg freezing is no longer considered experimental, so there is a possibility that insurance will pay for it in the future as a "preventative treatment" for infertility (as a result of the medicalization of a women's body, fertility, and aging). See, I learned something, despite the week that I would have much preferred to spend in bed with the covers over my head.

I'm in the process of registering for next semester's classes. You will reading of the trials associated with my trying to comprehend Biology, Criminology, and Foreign and Dangerous Women (a class that will bring my GPA down, but I always enjoys this professor's classes).

As therapy last week I did some Christmas shopping-- for myself! This will be the first year that I will have my own Christmas tree. I am taking my time to select decorations that will not harm my cats or my possible future children. No garland/tinsel, I bought some pretty entwined bead strands and the ball ornaments are plastic instead of glass. I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NOT at my best--

Yes, I’m still here!
Today’s post will be comments on another blog post found here:
There can be no step-by-step guide to simplifying your life, but I’ve compiled an incomplete list of ideas that should help you move in the right direction.  And of course, not every tip will fit your lifestyle, so just choose a few that do and apply them accordingly.
1. Resign from a commitment you’re not passionate about. I’ve done a lot of this lately! Somehow I’m still busy.
2. Stop trying to be perfect. Stop trying to be perfect.  Stop trying to be perfect. Stop trying to be perfect.
3. Implement a basic cleaning schedule. Hah, that’s what Sundays are for after you put it off all day Saturday, right? Sigh. I should seriously do this.
6. Clean out your purse or wallet. I’m sorry; I missed that. Say again?

7. Put a paper shredder next to your mail spot. Fist bump. I actually have just implemented this one.

8. Winnow your wardrobe down to pieces that work together. More like what currently fits and what will still fit me after the holidays. . .

10. Add your number to the do-not-call list. Or don’t install a land line and never turn your cell phone on. . .
14. Turn your phone off when you need quiet time. See answer to #10.
16. Design a filing system that you can stick to.  I have no problem sticking to my filing system. Stack it here, stack it there. . .
20. Set limits on your bad habits, and reward yourself when you stick with them. Yeah, see, that’s how I got this fat. I limited my bad habit of eating and rewarded myself with chocolate.
22. Don’t worry too much about what other people think about you. Sigh. I try. But it’s a lonely life when the person you really are is a person that no one likes. It’s easier to just pretend to be what they want you to be.
23. Stop trying to be a saint and indulge yourself in something fun every once in a while. See answer to #22.
24. Pay off your credit card debt. Sure. As soon as the bank will agree that I deserve a loan. Unless you’re already late and behind, no one seems interested in truly helping you.
25. Avoid watching commercials and reading advertisements. It helps when you don’t have local TV or cable and your internet only works some of the time.
26. Rediscover the pleasure of reading purely for enjoyment. Reason why #3 doesn’t work too well. However, ties in well with #25.
27. Plan two weeks of delicious meals ahead of time and skip the nightly grocery run. Ah, but I have less money to spend with the nightly run thus buy less food that I shouldn’t eat anyway.
29. Learn to ask for help. I am trying. Really. When I know I’m overwhelmed (seriously, why am I running this event completely by myself when my fellow club members are sitting around talking?) I ask for help. I was told they had something to do and would be right back.  . . .
Okay, in all seriousness, this is a great list. Please go read the whole thing. I have just not had the most awesome week and am feeling a little bit snarky. But I am now being pacified with sushi so things will be looking up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More Thoughts from Homework

I also had to write on a presidential election issue. Since I am interested in embryo adoption/donation, guess which one I picked? Here's a little of what I wrote:

“As campaign issues go, this one couldn't present a starker contrast. The supposedly pro-life GOP candidates want to turn [them] into criminals. . . . . The Democrats want to help them pay for it,” writes Stephanie Mencimer for Mother Jones1. What is this issue? In vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF creates embryos in a petri dish after extracting eggs and sperm from the donors/parents. As someone interested in embryo adoption, many of the blogs that I am reading are claiming that a vote for Romney is a vote against IVF.
If that were true, Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, would be one of the greatest of hypocrites. Why? Because without assisted reproduction, Romney would have fewer grandchildren. You see, three of Romney’s sons have struggled with infertility issues and used assisted reproduction to conceive according to Ron Scott, a distant cousin of the Romneys2. Romney’s son Tag, in fact, used both IVF and a surrogate in order to have his three children3. So  why would people think that Romney is opposed to IVF? It isn’t Romney at all. It is Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, who has stirred up this fear in those struggling with infertility. Ryan co-sponsored the Sanctity of Human Life Act and many fear that the bill’s definition of human life will make the process of IVF illegal4. Many similar bills that are being introduced at the state level are known as personhood amendments.
To state that the personhood amendments will outlaw assisted reproduction is not factual, but it isn’t completely without merit either. Reproductive endocrinologists fear that the amendments would place many restrictions on how their work is done. For example, when the sperm and the egg meet in the petri dish, according to many of the amendments, those newly created embryos are human life. The number of embryos created from an IVF cycle often number in the teens. All of the embryos cannot be implanted into the recipient. We would have many Nadia Sulemann “octomom” cases. Usually one to four embryos (depending on the quality) are implanted and any remaining healthy embryos are cryogenically preserved for future use. Two issues arise in that process. First, not all the embryos survive the freezing process. Will these doctors then face abortion charges? Secondly, what about the embryos that aren’t healthy, that obviously won’t survive the freezing process but likely won’t create a healthy baby either? As infertility is rarely covered by health insurance, payment is usually required at time of service and paid solely by the recipient. It is certain that these fears would make the cost of IVF, which already will easily cost $10,000 for just one cycle to skyrocket because doctors will have to factor in expected lawsuit costs. Sean Tipton, spokesman for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine explained, “If . . . a physician or lab tech drops an embryo on the floor, have they just committed homicide? Manslaughter? This law won't ban IVF, but it will ban (doctors) from doing it right."3
Mencimer claims that Democrats want to help infertile couples pay for treatment. She is referencing incumbent President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for one fertility issue- birth control- opens the door for other fertility issues. The president of Healthcare Advocates, Kevin Flynn, said, “Someone is going to make the argument now you’re going to have to cover fertility.” Dr. Jamie Grifo, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the NYU School of Medicine, agrees, “If you’re going to mandate coverage for fertility controls, that includes both conception as well as prevention.”5

As much as I would love to see infertility costs picked up by insurance, I've always said that my right to my way of life ends when it infringes on someone else's right to life. While it is possible that I may encounter some exceptions to that rule along my road of life, this isn't one of them. Much as I don't want to vote for Romney, he is the only pro-life candidate that has a prayer of winning the vote. I do worry though, what changes in the law may have come about by the time I can afford to actually seek out embryos to adopt. Right now they are considered property. While I consider them life, having them legally designated as property makes the donation much easier. Legal adoption is difficult, expensive, and can take years. I don't really have "years" left. Just thinking about being pregnant at 40 makes me feel tired. I'm trying to remind myself that I won't be working two jobs and going to school then and if my debt is payed off-- or at least way down since I'll probably pick some back up while trying to conceive-- I'll feel much less stressed. And I just saw a little girl with the cutest brown eyes. . .

1 Mencimer, S. (2012, August 14). Ryan Sponsored Abortion Bill That Would Make Romney's Kids Criminals. Retrieved from Mother Jones:
2 Goodman, L.-A. (2012, August 14). Would Ryan's Anti-Abortion, Anti-IVF Bill Criminalize Romney's Son? Retrieved from The Canadian Press:
3 Kounang, N. (2012, August 30). Could 'personhood' bills outlaw IVF? Retrieved from CNN:
4 UltraViolet. (2012, August 16). Women's group says Paul Ryan would "outlaw in vitro fertilization". Retrieved from Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact:
5 Marte, J. (2012, February 10). Will Obama Deal Lead to Free IVF? Retrieved from SmartMoney:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Birth Order

I had to write a post for one of my classes so, as I am not getting much other writing done these days, I decided to share portions of it here.

Alfred Adler was a pioneer of the study of the affects of birth order on children but people are more familiar with Kevin Leman’s “The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are?” I can remember when mother read this book for the first time and I talked to her to confirm that I remembered her “diagnosis” correctly. Since there are four of us, we didn’t fit the oldest, middle, youngest so it was interesting to her to see where we lined up in Leman’s birth order. She felt that she had two firstborns, a middle, and a youngest child.’s article on birth order states, “The first born of either gender, no matter where in the sibling order the child falls, will be treated as a firstborn.” And indeed, my mom’s two “firstborns” were different genders. I would be the 2nd child but the firstborn girl. The link is: .

This is copied from the Childhood Development Institute- :
The following characteristics will not apply to all children in every family. Typical characteristics, however, can be identified:
  • Child Pampered and spoiled.
  • Feels incompetent because adults are more capable.
  • Is center of attention; often enjoys position. May feel special.
  • Self-centered.
  • Relies on service from others rather than own efforts
  • Feels unfairly treated when doesn’t get own way.
    May refuse to cooperate.
  • Plays “divide and conquer” to get own way.
First Child
  • Is only child for period of time; used to being center
    of attention.
  • Believes must gain and hold superiority over other children.
  • Being right, controlling often important.
  • May respond to birth of second child by feeling unloved and neglected.
  • Strives to keep or regain parents’ attention through conformity. If this failed, chooses to misbehave.
  • May develop competent, responsible behavior or become very discouraged.
  • Sometime strives to protect and help others.
  • Strives to please.
Second Child
  • Never has parents’ undivided attention.
  • Always has sibling ahead who’s more advanced.
  • Acts as if in race, trying to catch up or overtake first child.
  • If first child is “good,” second may become “bad.” Develops abilities first child doesn’t exhibit. If first child successful, may feel uncertain of self and abilities.
  • May be rebel.
  • Often doesn’t like position.
    Feels “squeezed” if third child is born.
  • May push down other siblings.
Middle Child of Three
  • Has neither rights of oldest nor privileges of youngest.
  • Feels life is unfair.
  • Feels unloved, left out, “squeezed.”
  • Feels doesn’t have place in family.
  • Becomes discouraged and “problem child” or elevates self by pushing down other siblings.
  • Is adaptable.
  • Learns to deal with both oldest and youngest sibling.
Youngest Child
  • Behaves like only child.
  • Feels every one bigger and more capable.
  • Expects others to do things, make decisions, take responsibility.
  • Feels smallest and weakest. May not be taken seriously.
  • Becomes boss of family in getting service and own way.
  • Develops feelings of inferiority or becomes “speeder” and overtakes older siblings.
  • Remains “The Baby.” Places others in service.
  • If youngest of three, often allies with oldest child against middle child.
The CDI list says of older children, “May respond to birth of second child by feeling unloved and neglected”. When I was born, my older brother was 4 years old (we’re all about 4 years apart). He actually packed a bag and ran away. It was nine years before we actually began to find things in common and became close. My older brother finished high school and started college a semester early. He attended an unaccredited college to study pastoral theology and, after he completed the requirements, stayed around doing some master’s level classes waiting for my sister-in-law, who started a semester before he did, to graduate. He then went back to an accredited college to get a double major in business and some type of computer degree, which he completed in three years. He has done some work on his master in his field of computers but did not complete that- although he has mentioned to me a few times lately that he thinks he is going to start working on his masters again.

Now, if you ask my sister and I- we’re the middle two- we did not consistently fit the traits of a first or middle child. I had a first child personality as a child into my preteens. I was very outgoing and didn’t know a stranger. Before there was ADHD, I had it. (Okay, obviously there were ADHD cases when I was a child but it wasn’t diagnosed like it is today.) My sister was very shy as a child. When we did hit our teen years, our personalities flipped. My sister says that as I became more caught up in the IFB culture, I became less of myself as I tried to become the perfect “good girl”. I took on more traits of a middle child. When my sister hit her teens, she was suddenly this thin, gorgeous, outgoing, popular girl and became more of a firstborn personality. This was about the time she started trying to tell me what to do! My sister says that she felt like she had to step up because my oldest brother had married by that time so it was almost like we did not have a firstborn in the house. She says now that she is an adult she actually sees more middle child traits in herself than she realized she had.

My poor little brother, he says he had three moms. The article states, “They have been found to be most successful socially and to have the highest self-esteem of all the birth position.” Very true of him. When I took Personality Psychology, we were taught that youngest children are the least likely to take on their parent’s values. My brother is the only agnostic among us and he is the only one who voted for our current president.

The quiz may not be any more real than the ones that people make up for Facebook, but I took the quiz here: and tested as an only child.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Congrats to Jen Aidan, and Ashlynn!!

I just wanted to post a congrtulatory post to Jen and her babies, Aidan and Ashlynn. Jen had to go on bed rest before the twin were viable but she made it to 32 weeks and 5 days!

Welcome Babies!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First Comes Love. . . But What if it Doesn't?

School is swamping me just a little! I constantly feel behind even though (so far!) I am meeting deadlines.

So, I'll just share a blog post with you. I don't have much to add. Today's blog post was posted at: 

Posted on September 9, 2012 by smc
Sometimes I reflect on my life over the years.
15 years, probably more, that I have fought for what I want, for what I believe. I guess in a way motherhood and dating go hand in hand, since my whole life I believed that one was the means to another.
My mother tells me that I have always believed that what I wanted, what I desired was out there. She admired my persistence and fight that it could be real for me, that I stood for what I believed steadfast, despite years of unsuccessful relationships.
Mom always taught me the lesson in life, the lessons of relationships – that you learn from them, that you take the lesson and grow, so the next relationship would be even richer.
Have I had hard times over the past few years?-yes.
Realizing Mr. Right was not here in time. Yuck.
Deciding, grieving the fact that I had to take matters in my own hand and become a single mother by choice. Not easy.
Deciding to do it, and losing a pregnancy, and my infertility in one moment. The most difficult thing that has ever happened to me.
IVF, then my miracle-Aidan.
Made it all worth it.
I remember the first time I sat in the doctor’s office, and meeting the IVF staff. They were celebrating a staff birthday as I waited for my first consultation. I looked up and said to them “hopefully I won’t see you guys anytime soon” knowing deep down I probably would. (I was right.)
My dream – motherhood, was met after that terrible loss of normal baby making without spending 15K. Of course it did not matter once Aidan was born.
I lost a babysitter after 5 weeks, and found Elba. She was a miracle, and she loved my son.
I was ready for him to go to preschool, and she found out she was pregnant, and would have to take care of her own little one.
I squashed my need for companionship, for love and sex and all that made me who i was, and dove into parenthood. I was happy, and my dreams were met. Then almost by accident, I “meet” my boyfriend, my old friend for the past 12 years.
Completely unexpected.
I am still so blown away by his heart, his honesty, and how safe he makes me feel. He has a soul that makes me feel fulfilled and a sense of humor that entertains me.
He has the one thing that I have always dreamed of, what I have fought for for so long-pushing forward and believing that it *could* be possible: he communicates with me. We talk through things – he speaks my belief that “It is all about communication.” I cannot believe it, but alas – it is real.
Is it true that my struggles over the years to follow my dreams, and what I knew to be true, despite what people said – could have lead me to what I have always desired?
Remember the old rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby and the baby carriage”? Many people think that single mothers by choice despise men, or think that they don’t need a man, or even that they are lesbian. While in some cases that may be true, in many cases the woman considering single parenthood never met Mr. Right. You can fall in love at any age. It may not sound as romantic to fall in love at 60 rather than 16, but does that make it any less real? Finding Mr. Right can happen at any time but, as a woman, your fertility has a “best by” date. Should a woman have to let that date go by because she has not met Mr. Right, no matter how desperately she desired to? Does she have to give up the dream of motherhood because the other half of the dream of her perfect life never happened, or at least, it did not happen in time?
Each woman who is facing her late 30s and early 40s desiring motherhood but still single has to answer those questions for themselves, along with many other considerations. Can she afford a child/children on one salary? Is she physically able to carry and care for children? Is there someone who would care for her children if she were incapacitated or died? It isn’t a decision made or entered into lightly, nor is it made without much grief that she has to make this decision alone.
And there is always the hope that Mr. Right will still come along, a little late to the party, but willing to jump right in, and The Dream will be realized after all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?

In some ways it seems like we have forgotten 9/11 and in may ways we have. The comraderie that we all felt in the weeks after that event has lessened, references to God and prayer again cause offense that was overlooked at that time, but no one has forgotten the shock or the fear and sorrow that we felt. Where were you?

I was working. The radio was on. They announced that someone had flown a plane into one of the towers. The announcement made it sound like it was a small plane accident. I'm not sure anyone knew what was going on, really, at that time. I remember thinking, "How dumb can you be not to see a tower in your flight path?" Terrorism never crossed my mind. As it became clear that this was not an accident and the reports came in of a second plane, then a third, I worried about friends I knew living and visiting in Pennsylvania. Then a fourth plane. I went home at lunch and just watched in shock at the TV. I didn't want to go back to work. I just wanted my family near me. For three days, I watched TV every second I could hoping for good news of survivors. Eventually, I had to turn the news off and watch something else. And life goes on. I was fortunate not to know anyone who was killed. In fact, it was five years later before I met someone who knew someone (several actually) who had been killed, who was one of the people who had to go through the experience of the process to identify pieces of a best friend.
If you were one of those people, please know that 11 years later, I am hurting with you and sending an internet hug {{{{{hug}}}} your way!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If You Want Your Life to Change, You Have to Change Your Life

This is another blog post where I discuss my thought on another blog post. This one is from Marc and Angle Hack Life, “9 Reasons it’s Time to Move On”- .

It happens to you slowly as you grow.  You discover more about who you are and what you want, and then you realize that there are changes you need to make.  The lifestyle you’ve been living no longer fits.  The people you’ve known forever no longer see things the way you do.  So you cherish all the great memories, but find yourself moving on.
This article is very timely for me. I mentioned my fundie upbringing in a recent post- “Take Heed Lest You Fall”- but what I didn’t mention is that I have still been attending an IFB (Independent Fundamental Baptist) church, although I don’t think it is as extreme as the ones I attended in my pre-teen and teen years. Still, as the opening mentions, I have been living a lifestyle that no longer fits.
In fact, yesterday at church a girl (and she is still a girl) in her early twenties asked me how I had managed to accept and be content being single when I was in my twenties, after all, every girl wants to get married and have babies. As gently as I could, I said that not all women do feel that way and it happens at different ages for some than for others. My biological clock did not overcome my fears until I was in my (very!) late twenties. (I’ll post more about my fears at some future date I’m sure.) But as to how I had accepted it, I told her that if you want your life to change you have to change your life. I was too scared to change my life and I am a practical enough person to know that. It wasn’t about accepting it; it was just fact. Still, I knew what she was really asking me was for some sort of formula to make her feel better about her life and I couldn’t help here there. I got a job, a real job, with health insurance and paid vacation, but I know that may not be possible for her because of mental and physical limitations. In my junior year, I ditched my non-accredited degree program and re-started my bachelor’s degree at an accredited University. I’ve also discussed this with her before and know that she wants to go to a fundie college and is not willing to compromise with online courses. Maybe I should have told her to get on the internet and start looking for programs that would help her to be able to become more independent. I am sure that they exist.
When I realized that she is looking up to me as an example of how she should act as a single woman in an IFB church, I felt badly that I did not go on to mention the fact that I am making changes because I realize that my life won’t ever change if I keep doing the same things I’ve always done. While getting a job and going to school was a great start, it wasn’t enough. I started reading and listening to differing opinions. About ten years later than the average person, I started making decisions, finding out what I believed, learning who I really was.
Here are nine reasons it’s time…
  1. You can learn from your history, but you can’t live in it. – You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.  Sometimes we avoid experiencing where we are because we have developed a belief, based on past experiences, that it is not where we should be or want to be.  But the truth is, where you are now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow.  Read The Power of Now .
  2. Some things aren’t meant to be. – Everything from your past does not belong in your present.  To hold onto relationships and circumstances that have already moved on without you is to stay stuck in a place and time that no longer exists.  Moving on doesn’t mean you completely forget the wonderful things from your past, it just means that you find a positive way of surviving without them in your present.
  3. Life is shorter than is often seems. – While you are complaining about all the little problems in your life, somebody is desperately fighting for their right to live.  You own every minute that you pass through, and that it is up to you to make the best use of each one of them.  Because someday, suddenly, there will be no more minutes.
  4. Holding on to pain is self abuse. – Your past has given you the strength and wisdom you have today, so celebrate it.  Don’t let it haunt you.  Replaying a painful memory over and over in your head is a form of self abuse.  Toxic thoughts create a toxic life.  Make peace with yourself and your past.  When you heal your thoughts, you heal the health of your happiness.  So stop focusing on old problems and things you don’t want in your future.  The more you think about them, the more you attract what you fear into your everyday experiences – you become your own worst enemy.  Read Full Catastrophe Living .
One of the changes that I am making is that I am leaving my fundie church. Because of past pain that I experienced in IFBx church, I purposely became less than I could be in order not to draw attention to myself. I was punishing myself for something that never happened just because people believed that it had. My leaving will hurt some people, including this girl who is looking up to me.
  1. Some things are out of your control. – No matter what happens, no matter the outcome, you’re going to be just fine.  Let the things you can’t control, happen.  Allow the universe to bless you in surprising and joyful ways.  What if, instead of pushing so hard to make life happen, you decided to let go a little and allow life to happen to you?  What if, instead of trying to always be in control, you sometimes surrendered control to something bigger than yourself?  What if, instead of working so hard to figure out every last answer, you allowed yourself to be guided to the solution in perfect timing?
But some things are in my control. I have spent too much time letting go and letting life happen to me. Right now is the perfect time to make this change while I have an “acceptable” explanation for extricating myself from the few areas of service that I allowed myself, areas where I was one of many so all I had to do was not stand out. In my efforts to make my life hospitable to becoming a single mom, I have taken on a second job to help me clear my debt faster. Since this work takes place on weekends in another town, I have just said that I will be attending church there instead. For this girl that looks up to me, maybe this is the best way that I can be an example. Maybe she will find the inspiration to change. If she does not, do I have any responsibility for “failing” her?
  1. The past never changes. – You can spend hours, days, weeks, months, or even years sitting alone in a dark room, over-analyzing a situation from the past, trying to put the pieces together, and justifying what could’ve or should’ve happened.  Or you can just leave the pieces in the dark and walk out the front door into the sunlight to get some fresh air.
I don’t know why my life took the path that it did. I do know that I am tired of staying where it is constantly brought back up to me, even if the person who keeps bringing it up is me.
  1. Moving on creates positive change. – You may blame everyone else and think, “Poor me!  Why do all these crappy things keep happening to me?”  But the only thing those scenarios all have in common is YOU.  And this is good news, because it means YOU alone have the power to change things, or change the way you think about things.  There is something very powerful and liberating about surrendering to change and embracing it – this is where personal growth and evolution reside.  Read The Noticer .
I certainly hope that it will be a positive change for me. The problem is that it seems like when life is at its best that is just when the other shoe drops.
  1. New opportunities are out there waiting for you. – Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, something they need, or something they thought was meant to be.  But it is these losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities.  Embrace these opportunities.  Enter new relationships and new situations, knowing that you are venturing into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to experience something or meet someone that just might change your life forever.
There really are. Despite this girl thinking that I was so accepting of being single, there are so many times I cried myself to sleep and wondered what was so wrong with me that I wasn’t worthy of a second look from the opposite sex, nights where I cried because someone younger had gotten married or gotten pregnant and I had no hope. Now at a new church in a different or non-denomination, I don’t have to let my past follow me. Maybe there is a guy out there for me. But if not, I know that through the miracle of modern science, I can still have a child if that is what I find that I need to achieve contentment with my life. Maybe I will find contentment in being single and childless.
  1. The world needs you to let your light shine. – The powers above added one more day in your life today, not necessarily because you need it, but because the world still needs you to let your light shine.  So starting today, fall in love.  Not necessarily with a person, but with an aim, an ambition, a passion.  What would be your reason to wake up every morning with a smile?  That’s what you need to start working on today.
The person that I hurt the most by trying to be invisible in my church was myself. I’m not saying that I am a superstar at work or school, but I make good grades and I get excellent recommendations from my coworkers and frequent praise. I know I have the ability to be an asset to a church and not be someone who is invisible. Many who leave their fundamentalist churches find they need the time to sit back and be invisible but I have spent the last fourteen years being invisible and I am ready to let my light shine.