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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Because I'm Feeling Chatty

     I know I just published that "Intellectual Loneliness" post, but I can't help it. I need to write. And not in depth on any particular thing, while touching on subjects I do want to write more on later. Like this book, "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker. I am pretty much finished with it, but even when I was only a few chapters in, I decided **EVERYONE** needs to read it. Really. It will change how you look at people, and hopefully how you treat people, in addition to teaching you tools to help you stay alive. Go get it, like right now.
    Just the babysitter. I've been feeling a lot like that lately. On the bad days, I just keep waiting for the Mom to come home, but she never does. On the good days, I'm the fun babysitter that every kid is sad to say goodbye to. 
     We have a cat, sort of. I think she belongs to a neighbor somewhere, but for the past week, almost, she has decided that she lives with us. Very friendly. I like her. Hopefully Code Monkey will remember to print out flyers for me to hang on the community mailboxes, before I end up officially stealing her from whoever she was living with first. She isn't allowed in the house though. But I do have big plans for letting her occupy the feed storage part of the chicken coop, when it eventually is built. 
     Speaking of chickens, I can't wait to get them, though we do have a lot of work to do on the yard before. Like, getting the lot(s) surveyed, so we know exactly where the boundaries are, so we don't infringe on the neighbors. There has been enough irritability going on due to this Sanitary District attempt thing. Small community politics, level stink. But I think we played our cards well, as everyone seems to think we are on their side. Win-win, right? 
     And I am once again not going to bed early, like I had said I would for this week. I've come to realize, that I am tired. Like, really tired. Like, maybe that is a huge part of the reason I'm starting to see the Irish/Italian temper come out, and let me tell you, it is not pretty. That, and hormones. Anyway, I had always been a morning bird. For the first 23 or so years of my life, I was up early, and went to bed early. 7:30 p.m. for the longest time, until we graduated to 8 p.m. so we could listen to Adventures in Odyssey. Dad had to get up at like 3:30, and we kids weren't so good at the quiet thing, so we all had to go to bed early. Code Monkey, on the other hand, is a night owl. It was a difficult adjustment, learning to stay up with him, and not go to bed when I was tired, but it worked out. Until Jose, anyway. (Ignore the lack of accent, it's too complicated to replicate easily.) But I made that work, sort of. The addition of Juanito, who is refusing to sleep more than 3 hours consistently at night, is really starting to take a toll on me. Up relatively early with the boys, and up late with Code Monkey is just too much, right now. And I miss the mornings. I find it really difficult and depressing trying to do things at night with the house closed up, so I'm not productive in the few hours I do have without anyone needing my attention. *sigh* Guess I'll go to bed, and maybe see what getting up "early" does for me. 

Intellectual Loneliness

     Today has been a day. You know, the kind where you really only want to drink yourself into oblivion, and it isn't even 10 o'clock yet. So I sit here, beer bottle of water in hand (no, not sarcasm about beer quality - actual water - story for another day), and I know why it is many, many women don't want to be stay at home moms, and it really doesn't have anything to do with selfish, career driven ambitions. It's because of the loneliness. Now, I'm going to make some general assertions about people, knowing full well that, as such, they do not apply to everyone. 
     In general, women are extremely social. They just need to be able to talk and connect with people. I never really knew just how much I need to do such, until I became the stay at home mom who didn't have access to a car everyday. And now, it seems, I am going out of my mind, for lack of meaningful conversation. Yes, having José around helps some, and really, he is quite a good talker, but it leaves something to be desired as far as quality of content goes. Yes, Code Monkey does provide rather good conversation, but he's gone most of the day. I guess that is what I really miss about being back home. Especially after being blessed to spend a year there between college and marriage, since we were all of an age where actual, good conversation could be held. I miss the connection to people I knew, and who also knew me. 
     I am becoming more and more convinced, that our current living situations as first world people are, well, artificial. And isolating. And suffocating. It is no wonder that social media sites are so wildly popular. Most days they are our only connection to people who give coherent responses and help us feel heard in the doldrums of a normal day. I understand how it is many women can come to the conclusion that they could never quit work to stay home with their kids, because it is mind numbing, the loneliness. The days full of complete and utter boredom and inability to get anything which feels meaningful and productive done. It is so hard to see, through glaze eyes, just how important doing seemingly nothing really is. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Where Charity And Love Prevail

     So this is going to be a quick one, and most likely not the most well thought out. I was thinking the other day, about charity, and how many people are too proud to accept it. You know, "I could never accept a handout" type people. Yes, I'm included in that group; receiving gifts is not a strong point of mine. Anyway, I got to pondering the origin of such a response, and quickly decided that it was pride. Kind of a no-brainer there. But then I got to thinking on the origin of "Charity", and, though it may seem blatantly obvious to some, I finally put 2 & 2 together and realized that it was the same word as the "Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love)" Charity. *foreheadpalm* 
     Derived from the Latin caritas, "Charity" refers to the love and friendship one has for God and, by extension, all of mankind. Though it may not seem so anymore, the origin of charitable donations stemmed from a desire to show love of God and neighbor by giving to those who needed something but did not have the ability to give reimbursement. It was/is a way to show Love
     Back to Pride, now. What does Pride do? Causes us to reject Love. The Proud Man is incapable of accepting or giving Love. Love requires and demands humility, to allow oneself to be open and vulnerable to being known by another. But Pride hinders our willingness to be understood and to understand, even though it is what we as human beings most desperately need and want. 
     To decline either gifts or help out of Pride is, in essence, to deny Love which is being offered to us. It is to say, "I want love, but on my terms and conditions. Anything which causes me to humble myself, and face humiliation, does not fit the model, and thus I will have no part in it." To be too good for a charitable act is a sign of being too good for Love. Something to keep in mind as we enter this Holiday Season, where Acts of Charity are so often a major focus of this time of year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Didn't

     It is tough adjusting to being a mom, having to put basically everyone before yourself. Oftentimes, it seems as though you never get to do anything that you want to do, or sometimes even have to do. It is easy to get caught up in the "I didn'ts" of the day:  I didn't get to finish the laundry, again; I didn't get to getting us all outside (*gasp!*); I didn't get to finish that article; and so on. It is easy to start to slip into the thinking that we are failures - I mean, how hard is it to finish a load of laundry, really? Nevemind that the help of a toddler and 9 month old is really much more of a hindrance. Even finishing what used to be the simplest of tasks is now a huge deal. My huge successes last week? Actually having dinner made by the time Code Monkey got home, three days in a row. The first time that has happened in basically 9 months. But even that victory was overshadowed by the list of "I didn'ts", which it seems haunts my every move. 
     Tonight, though, my perspective was shifted a little bit, as I was thinking about the day while nursing Juanito down to bed. It started out with the typical "I didn'ts", but then I thought about how I didn't lose my temper today. I didn't yell, even when José was hitting me with the book. I didn't lose my cool when José wasn't able to keep the dish water in the sink. I didn't get bent out of shape when Juanito decided that 10 p.m. was a better time for sleeps than his historical 8 p.m. I didn't let the little things get to me today. This is a list of "I didn'ts" that I can feel good about, even proud of. I'm finally seeing, more and more, how much my actual attitude toward and view of a situation really influences how I feel about it (much to my chagrin most times). So when you get stuck in the rut of negative "I didn'ts", try and see if you can't throw a few positive ones in there as well, even if they are really ridiculous. Pretty sure it'll help make a bad day into a not as awful one.