I love Christmas. No caveats.
I don’t care who says happy holidays. I ignore those who complain about the practice of giving gifts to people other than Jesus on his birthday (I submit that he’s delighted by the love we show to others through gift-giving, but that’s apparently just me). I don’t care if other people over-commercialize Christmas. Not my problem.
I love Christmas. I love being with family. Decorations. Music. Tasty treats. Thinking up the perfect gifts and watching people open them (or hearing about it over a phone call or skyping about it). Receiving the gifts my family has picked out for me. Three weeks off of work. Doctor Who Christmas specials. Most Christmas specials.
And of course: Jesus. No cliches, no reasons for the season, no banging over the head with Merry Christmas. Just: Happy Birthday Jesus. For one day in our crazy hectic world, everything stops to celebrate you.
Also, this is my 100th post. I’ve been saving it for something special.
I’ve made it! November is barely an hour away from completion. I attempted this month to post every day. When overcome by disease and then holiday, I failed. But, failure is a part of life that we must all accept. I still wrote more than I would have if I hadn’t tried.
Fear of failure is an insidious thing, which is why I try desperately to avoid that fear. So many people are held captive by “but what if I can’t?” that they don’t see what they might accomplish if they try. I used to be that way. I have my quirks still, but I am no longer paralyzed by fear of failure. It’s life. Just try to set yourself up for success and accept that there will be bumps. Some of those bumps may feel like Everest, but hey, isn’t Everest supposed to be thrilling?
The show How I Met Your Mother is now on Netflix. I’ve always wanted to watch it, but I haven’t had access until now. It is hilarious and it is probably what will help get me through December. That and the DVD’s of Chuck I now own. Thanks Amazon Black Friday.
November, you were weird. Weird, emotional, stomach bug-inducing, and more. December, please to be more healthy for me.
I randomly set a goal of reading 30 books in the year 2011 on the website Goodreads. I was reminded of this goal with a notification that I am significantly behind the pace.
Now, in years past (read: most of my life), reading only 30 books in a year would seem a defeat. I don’t have hard numbers on how many books I read growing up, but it was many, many books. That was a perk of being homeschooled, having an awesome public library, and an amazing home library. In college, I still read a lot, but less fun reading (obviously) due to different assignments and schedules. Then I graduated from college. And somewhere between finishing college and now, I lost some of my ability to concentrate on a book and want to read it.
If my younger self could read me say that, she would have a panic attack. Fortunately, I’m vaguely at peace with this stage of my life in which I have a great many things to do which make me very exhausted. And reading isn’t always the relaxing time it once was for me. It will come back, I’m sure, but for now it’s on a vacation. Let’s face it, sometimes watching a tv show on Netflix is easier for my emotionally exhausted brain and physically exhausted body. There’s more to my interest in tv than just exhaustion, but that’s for another day.
Nevertheless, I am 13 books away from my goal. I’ve probably read more that 17 that Goodreads has kept track of, but I’ve forgotten those. I also sometimes read books-worth of material on blogs or news articles, but those are not books. So, here’s to trying to complete my goal in spite of my current ennui in regards to reading.
I didn’t get as much reading done this week as I had hoped, thanks to stomach bugs and family time. However, there are only 13 working days (10 school days) between here and Christmas break, so there is still time.
Tomorrow my family is driving to Podunk to attend a funeral. Don’t panic, this is not a funeral of anyone close to me. My great-uncle died, my grandfather’s younger brother. The only time I have a memory of meeting him was at my grandmother’s funeral. 10 years ago. I was a little preoccupied at the time, and much younger (obviously), so I didn’t really care. There were lots of family I didn’t really know at that funeral and after-party, so no one was really a high priority for me.
Nevertheless, going to funerals, even in Podunk, is what you do for family. Even when it’s the strange side of the family, that you’ve seen twice. Maybe three times.
It’s really by the grace of God and my grandfather’s decision to go to college instead of living a migrant worker’s life that made the difference in me not living in Podunk now. My life is vastly different from that of my extended-extended family (I’m talking second cousins and beyond). All because of some good choices by people (my grandfather mainly) who I don’t really know. It’s crazy.
It may be a long drive tomorrow, but ridiculous stories are a guarantee. I probably won’t write about them here, but those of you who know me in real life will get to hear stories. Or if you’re dying to know, send me an email and I’ll write some down.
And the city we’re going isn’t really called Podunk. It just feels like it. And it’s an amusing enough name that I wish it were called Podunk.
I finished the last episode of Battlestar Galactica today. Yes, I know watching BSG makes me an epic nerd, but I care not. It’s amazing. And terrifying. I could have been done ages ago, but I kept putting off watching the last few episodes because I couldn’t handle it ending. Even though it actually ended a couple of years ago.
There are so many philosophical, spiritual, and ethical questions that BSG raises. It’s a fascinating show, a political drama of sorts that happens to be in space. It’s bleak, it’s fascinating, it’s crazy, it’s thought-provoking.
Yet, all I can think about is how I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive the hair people on Season 4 for the travesty that was done to Jamie Bamber’s/Lee Adama’s hair.
I was trying to post once a day in November, which resulted in some four sentence gems of posts. But yesterday I forgot. And I’ve gotten over it.
I’d like to discuss problems which are not real problems. I often find myself watching tv shows and reading books where people or characters begin complaining about the difficulties they are having with things that either don’t matter or problems they have created. This drives me bonkers, in both media and real life.
Take Sister Wives. The sister wives often discuss the difficulties of sharing a husband. Well, yes. Sharing one man amongst four women will be a little tricky. Yes, he’ll have to split his time. Yes, you knew this when you got married. This is not a real problem. It frustrates you, but since you created and expected this outcome, this is not the same as a legitimate problem.
Another example of not real problems are situations where people make a huge deal out of something nearly everyone sees as something simple. You know those people, who blow small situations out of proportion. I’m not claiming I’ve never done it, but I certainly try not to make a habit of creating Everest out of a mustard seed.
I’ve spent too much time with people like this in my life. And I don’t know why I put up with it. Probably because I don’t know how to end it without flat-out telling people they’re stupid and just need to stop. I haven’t actually tried that approach, because polite society discourages that. Think it might work, though? Probably not.
If you’re going to have a problem, please make it a real one. I’m quite good at helping and supporting those who have real problems. Not real problems just make me want to smack you.
I used to have weird stomach anxiety. In high school and off and on in college, I would have a stomach ache when I woke up in the morning. Occasionally I would be able to track it to some stressful situation, but most of the time it was just there for no reason. It often meant I couldn’t eat breakfast. It wasn’t nausea, just weird stomach ache. It’s been so long since I’ve felt it that I can’t really describe it anymore.
Because once I started my job, I haven’t felt it. Not once. I’ve been working since August 2010, and can’t recall a single instance of my weird morning stomach. It makes little sense, because my job is often stressful. I’m confident that I’m in the right place in my life–but I’m confident I was where I was supposed to be in high school and college. It’s just a thing that will probably always befuddle me (assuming that it keeps staying away).
Alas, I have traded that weird morning stomach for preschool. And you know what preschool means? Germs. Lots of them. I spent the last two weeks with a cold, after spending August/September/October with allergies (although the latter can’t be blamed on the children). Aaaaand then last night I was struck with the least delightful of diseases: the dreaded stomach bug. It’s nothing like weird morning stomach. It’s terrible, but at least it has a cause Five out of my nine kids had had a stomach bug over the last week and a half. It was only a matter of time before it came to me.
I’ve traded one thing for another. In the throes of illness, I’d obviously rather it just GO AWAY. But I’ll take definable, contagious diseases over weird unknown ailments. That seems like an odd thing to be appreciative of, but hey it’s Thanksgiving week. Time to be thankful.
And, of course I get sick as I start a break. One, because I worked myself to exhaustion on the brink of disease (not quite sick enough to not show up, but not quite well enough to feel 100%). Two, because that’s just the way it is.
I’ll get to reading books eventually. Today, it’s been movies and tv shows on the couch. Alas.
One of the great things about working at preschool is that you get multiple holidays. For example, tomorrow we have a Thanksgiving Feast in each classroom. Parents bring different Thanksgiving foods, and the kids and staff eat it. It’s delicious. Pie! Pie! Pie! Stuffing! Potatoes! It will be delicious, this Thanksgiving the First. We also have like twelve Christmases (classroom party, schoolwide party, staff party, etc). Basically we celebrate virtually every holiday at my preschool.
Although, I just remembered that I wish I had paper plates so I have less dishes to do.
This week has been exhausting. These last few months, really. The incentive of pie is what will keep me going to work tomorrow. That and responsibility. 🙂
This is what I’m talking about at Flock (work devotional time) tomorrow:
Luke 18:1-8: A Widow and a Judge
1 Jesus told his disciples a story about how they should keep on praying and never give up:
2 In a town there was once a judge who didn’t fear God or care about people.3 In that same town there was a widow who kept going to the judge and saying, “Make sure that I get fair treatment in court.” 4 For a while the judge refused to do anything. Finally, he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 I will help this widow because she keeps on bothering me. If I don’t help her, she will wear me out.” 6 The Lord said: Think about what that crooked judge said.7 Won’t God protect his chosen ones who pray to him day and night? Won’t he be concerned for them?8 He will surely hurry and help them. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find on this earth anyone with faith?
Today I wrote about ten college-paper (read: double-spaced) pages. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that and liked it. I loved researching and writing in college (okay, I didn’t always love writing, but I enjoyed the finished product), and I HATED it in grad school. HATED. Because nothing I produced was really useful. However, I had the opportunity today to help with a spur-of-the-moment, we-need-it-today research project at work. Things are often an emergency at my work: IT MUST BE TODAY! I just have to get on board and be available. So I did. I just hope what I wrote is what was wanted. If it’s not, then it’s close.
It doesn’t have to be perfect–but I was available, I was willing, and I finished the task set before me. And that counts for something. It’s days like this that I really like my life: being single, no children, no appointments (except Starbucks Mondays), few commitments. Because that is my life, I can drop everything to work on something that’s really important. And adding my writing to the load takes the weight of others. And I prove myself faithful.
I love my job. That doesn’t stop me from being really excited that in five days I will have a weeklong break. I love my job, but it is exhausting, and it’s time for a break.
My plans include enjoying family, seeing some friends, and reading. I have a large stack of books from the library that I’m scanning through, trying to prioritize which I want to read first.
And I’m listening to Christmas music, no matter what social constraints frown on pre-Thanksgiving listening.
I’m part of the social media team at work. This is a new focus at work: utilizing social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the blog we have on our website. I’ve also started and am now curating a Pinterest page for us. Today we had some training about how to use WordPress, the platform by which our website and blog is maintained. Most of the information presented I already knew, but I did pick up some tips on linking and raising ranking on Google search.
I could care less about the Google ranking of this blog, because it exists for a writing outlet and vague updates for friends and family who care to read. However, I want to do everything I can to improve the ranking of the LLH websites and such. As you may have noticed, one tip was to link back to other pages. It improves our rating and that of the site we link. I’m experimenting with new things here, as this is my own personal experimentation ground. I’d rather do strange formatting things here rather than on a blog we’re trying to use to spread the news about what we do for kids with special needs. So if weird things pop up around here, that’s why.
I love being a part of the social media team, because I love helping further our mission past our doors. I feel like I am uniquely qualified to help make our presence on these tools better–I’ve been using nearly all of them longer than anyone at work. Facebook? Since I got my jbu.edu email address in early 2006. Twitter? I don’t even remember how long I’ve had it, but at least two or three years, if not longer. YouTube? Ok, I don’t really do much with YouTube, but words are my thing, not videos. Pinterest? Well, that hasn’t been around long, but I’ve been on it since it’s early stages. WordPress? I’ve had this blog since 2007. Writing? I’ve been doing that forever, but that’s not a social media tool. It’s just an awesome tool.
Basically, I’m not the best at using these tools, but I am very familiar with them. If I don’t know how to use anything on each website, I can problem-solve quickly to find a solution. I hope to get better at explaining how I use these tools to others. I don’t want to hoard all the information!
I have a vision for how we can use all these internetly tools to help children with disabilities and their families. I just need a plan. So I’m going to write one. We have big things coming up these next few months and I want our social media front to be ready.
What a world we live in. People in my circle of the universe like to point to things like earthquakes, immodest dress, cohabitation, lax morals, etc, as harbingers of the end of the world.
I’m more worried about cheering a presidential candidate accused of sexual harassment. Instead of asking real questions about whether the women speaking out are telling the truth, many of his supporters are choosing to turn a blind eye. Even if the allegations are true, some in that linked article believe he’s still the best candidate.
I’m more worried about a university where many students are booing the firing of a man who didn’t report an alleged child rapist to the police. Some of them are rioting over it. They’re more concerned over one man’s legacy than the unimaginable pain of abused children.
I’m more worried when people seem to care more about the feelings of those in power than they do over the powerless. Those in power have enough of it–they don’t need our affirmation and praise on top of their power. Jesus came for the weak, the powerless, the oppressed. His people just have to remember that.
This time last year I wrote about voting. Because I voted.
Many things I voted about did not go the way I voted. Silly propositions about sharia law and voting identification passed, despite my no votes. When I voted today, I encountered the consequence of the latter new law.
I had to present my driver’s license or voter registration card. Despite my love of voting, I’m really not sure where that card is. So, my license I begrudgingly displayed. I was informed that my license was set to expire in April and to make sure that it was up to date if I wanted to vote in the next election, because your driver’s license must not be expired in order to vote.
Really? Really? Because my license expires, I cease to be who I am? I don’t think so. It had always been my understanding that the expiration had more to do with keeping track of drivers rather than proving that I still am who I was four years previously. I don’t even need a birth certificate to get renewed! So what does my driver’s license expiration date have to do with my right to vote? Nothing. But because people vote with their fear (or hope of stifling others’ voices?), these nonsense rules about license’s and expiration dates apply.
Voting is a right. Not a privilege. Men have died so that I could vote, both on the battlefield and on places like a driveway in Jackson, Mississippi. My vote isn’t being infringed. No one is questioning my right to vote. But they’re making it annoying. And laying the ground for the possibility that someday I might have to use a provisional ballet just because my license might have the wrong date on it. This is nothing compared to some of the obstacles we’ve put in front of people in the past. But I don’t think it’s right.
I am against impediments towards voting. It seems reasonable to require an ID to vote, to prove who you are. But it’s just another way to keep people away from voting. And in a country where voter turnout is consistently low, it still just seems like a plot to weed out some people from voting by making it more difficult.
The polling ladies told me I was one of the only people they’d seen at my polling place under the age of 50. And I went at 4:30 PM.
On the plus side, all the things on the ballot went the way I voted. So that’s something.
One vote. I have it. I use it. I hope I use it to help others use their votes.
I was on the second story and felt the house begin to shake. I called down the stairs to my parents, “earthquake!” My mother responded, “It’s just the wind.” When the earth kept moving and the house kept shaking, she changed her mind.
Let’s review Oklahoma 2011
Winter: Snowpocalypse. I was home for most of TWO weeks. Because of snow.
Summer: Hottest temperatures EVER. I was home for most of TWO weeks. Because of heat.
Fall: Earthquakes. Third major one in 3 days!
As I’ve said on Facebook and Twitter: May there never be an earthquake while I’m at work with the children. They will panic like nobody’s business. And FEMA is no help when trying to prepare for an earthquake with wee ones with special needs: Seismic Safety (click me). It does however, reveal the secret that children are often terrified of earthquakes.