Privilege

“I want to practice being comfortable with discomfort”.

Do you ever have a clarifying moment? One of those instances when a thought runs through your head and you suddenly realize just how privileged it is.

“I want to practice being comfortable with discomfort.”

I practice that often. I think it drives my husband a bit nutty when he says “You don’t HAVE to put up with/do <fill in the blank>” (or “You know you can just….”) in an attempt to make my life easier or more comfortable and I refuse. I don’t always consciously choose to be uncomfortable or make something more difficult than necessary but sometimes I do and it’s very much in an attempt to build a tolerance to that sensation. I don’t necessarily WANT to be comfortable. Definitely not all the time.

Let’s sit in that for moment though. Do you see the privilege that saturates the above statements? The fact that I get to CHOOSE whether I want to be uncomfortable or not. The fact that 99% of the time, I get to CHOOSE when to step out of the hardship, difficulty, or discomfort. The fact that I may not want to be comfortable in my (comfortable) American life style but I CAN be. The fact that the mere statement is tinged with arrogance and steeped with first world advantage.

All that doesn’t make it any less true. I still don’t want to be entirely comfortable. If God places me in an incredibly uncomfortable, even painful, inescapable season of life, I don’t want to be blindsided. I don’t believe that I’m only called to a life of comfort and luxury (although I am WELL aware that I have the opportunity to live that right now). (Also – I know there’s a whole spiritual side of that where we could discuss reliance on God etc but I’m currently speaking physically and mentally.)

(And if we’re being really honest, the  most privileged, selfish reason for this is because practicing discomfort helps with triathlon/racing).

How many people do I know, either personally or peripherally, that don’t have the choice of comfort. How many living in third world countries? How many living in deplorable conditions here in the U.S?

I don’t have a nice tidy ending here. No plan of or call to action. Nothing. Just one of those moments of recognition.

Several mini posts in one

I had a menu planning post all drafted and ready to go. But I forgot to hit “publish”. Friday I put all the ingredients in the bread machine and forgot to hit “start”. This morning I put dinner in the crock pot….and forgot to hit “start”. I am on a ROLL. Thankfully the theme for my menu this week was “easy”. With very little prep necessary (because the weekend was PACKED), it’s also very forgiving so rearranging after this morning’s snafu was no sweat. Tonight we had pizza. Homemade even! I had to miss Krav to make it happen but my family is my priority. This time my actions actually matched what I say. Tomorrow we’ll have pulled pork sandwiches & tots. Wednesday we’ll have some sort of cheesy chicken rice casserole that I’m making up on the fly. Thursday is taco soup. Friday is my hubby’s birthday so I don’t know what we’re doing because I’m lame and don’t plan those kinds of things well. Also? How the hell did we get to the middle of January already?

Pretend there’s some sort of fun, witty segue here. I’m tired and my brain seems to be in some sort of a creative rebellion.

Sunday morning I was not functioning well at all. I didn’t sleep well, I was light headed and groggy and foggy and didn’t have coffee until we got to church and I could stumble into the cafe next door. TheKid started talking almost as soon as we got out of the van. Nonstop. And we park across the street and up a hill from the church/coffee shop. By the time we ordered, his voice was just a buzzing beside my head and I finally had to look at him and say “Please. Stop. Talking.” So. Tonight. He’s playing a video game and I hear from the living room “WHY AM I GETTING SHOT?!!?” I answered sweetly “Probably because someone is pointing a weapon in your direction and pulling the trigger.” He huffed and responded (yes, he actually responded…isn’t it GREAT) “Yes. But WHY is he shooting me?” My reply….”I don’t know. Has he ever met you first thing in the morning before he’s had coffee?” (And I love that he actually responded AGAIN…tersely and through obviously gritted teeth  “No. Mother.”)

(Insert segue #2)

The break was really nice but classes start again next week. I’m only taking two again this semester: Biological Basis for Behavior and Intro to Counseling Skills. I’ve been told that BBfB is basically Anatomy & Physiology lite. And since I pulled off a a decent grade in A&P, I’m actually kinda looking forward to this one that will focus more on what I want to study and less on the structure of the eyeball or ear. The syllabus and schedule look a little daunting but the above referenced source said it’s much easier than it looks. And Intro to Counseling Skills…HELLO. I’m super excited for that one!

(Insert clever wrap up that ties everything together nicely….see you next time!)

Justice and mercy and grace oh my

I happened to catch wind of this story on the radio the other morning. Basically a 16 year old boy (in Texas) stole some beer with some friends & drove drunk. End result was he hit/killed four people and seriously injured his two friends. He was sentenced to 10 years probation but no jail time. The defense claimed he was victim of “affluenza” (the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for him).

Obviously the victims’ families are outraged saying his parents basically bought his freedom. The radio hosts here in Boise ID were asking listeners to call in with their opinion. I didn’t listen to those because, for the most part, the general public expressing their fervent opinions on stories they know next to nothing about just irritates me.

And that’s kinda my point to this post. My initial reaction was to be outraged. Seriously? NO one is willing to teach this kid there are consequences to his actions? What is WRONG with our justice system? Where IS the justice?

But then. I thought about it. I have a 16 year old. And a 15 year old. And despite what they may think, they’re still just kids in a lot of ways. They’re going to screw up. Their frontal lobes aren’t even fully connected yet people! They literally can’t think like an adult. Now my kids most definitely do NOT suffer from “affluenza”.  We are not wealthy and they most definitely have limits. (We’re pretty privileged though. And not suffering by any means). But, no matter what his background, this kid is just that – a kid. He’s going to live the rest of his life with the knowledge that he snuffed out the lives of those people and probably destroyed the lives of his friends. For the next ten years he will be accountable to the court system. He’s not “free”. He’s not sitting in a jail cell but he’s not free.

We don’t know this kid’s history. Maybe he has a history of arrogantly flaunting his disregard for rules and laws and limits. Maybe he’s gloating that he practically got away with murder. I don’t know. I know MOST sixteen year olds that I know, no matter their background, would be devastated by this event. I also know most sixteen year olds have had the dangers of drinking and driving pounded into their head. It’s not like he was lacking the knowledge. But again, I refer you to the frontal lobe issue. And honestly, what excuse do adults have? We have all the knowledge we could possibly want in this country. And we’re bombarded with health warnings and discussions. We KNOW everything that is bad for us, yet we do it. Plenty of adults drink & drive. Plenty of adults drive impaired.

I’m not trying to excuse what he did. But with what little information the news stories give, I don’t think he’s necessarily getting off without consequences. I couldn’t call into a radio station to pontificate on this matter. I won’t say if the judge was right or wrong. I can’t imagine what ALL the families involved are going through. How horrible to have your family members ripped from you. How horrible to see your child lying in a hospital bed with brain damage. How horrible to know your baby is the cause. How horrible to watch him grieve. (I hope he’s grieving). Primarily, I would hope that other teens, without wealthy parents paying for bulldog defense, would be shown the same mercy and grace.

The dog that cried woof

Nothing quite equals the experience of being home alone, JUST being ready to step into the shower when  your large, ferocious sounding dog LOSES HER MIND. And our dog has a bark that makes even well meaning, uninvited guests rethink their life choices when they step foot onto our porch. Then there’s the fun of scurrying around the house in a towel, peeking out of each window to confirm that this isn’t the one time there’s really someone up to no good. Because the dog is usually barking & growling because she heard someone taking a walk. THREE BLOCKS AWAY.

Apparently someone was out for a night stroll. On another street. Because I saw absolutely NOTHING. Except the dog happily wagging her tail and “grinning” at me when I turned around.

/sigh 

A Quote You Love

Today’s prompt from Miss Kelsi’s  list is “a quote you love”:

I used to have a notebook of quotes, lovingly organized into categories. (It’s not OCD. It’s efficiency. There’s a difference.) Unfortunately that disappeared in one of my many moves before I had a chance to digitize it. Because once upon a time, a “folder” meant an actual, physical item that held multiple pieces of paper and information. Now we would call that “hard copies”. Anyway. I digress. I had a nice collection of quotes at one time. Alas, I can not even begin to think of one of those right now.

However, I can share a quote that I love.

“I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. I only know what I CAN do.”

Yes. That’s a line from James T Kirk in “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (It’s actually in the linked trailer).

How very pop culture of me. It’s a fun movie though. And that quote is so terribly applicable so often.

Random thoughts from this week

I am very thankful for fleece lined tights.

I’m not into the whole pumpkin flavored everything craze. But my boss brought in some pumpkin pie spice coffee creamer. And I have to say, I don’t hate it.

This tweet from Nicole Cole ‏@nicolevcole4h “Our enemy’s goal is that we live a life with no margin because that’s where he gains access to tempt our weary souls.” #overwhelmed”  Um. Ouch. And wow.

I WANT to really love drinking hot tea. But in reality, the only truly delicious cup I’ve ever had, my husband fixed for me. It just tastes like dirty hot water when I try to make it. (He also makes me the best coffee too. I can’t replicate it.)

I have thoughts on the recent Furtick house controversy but I’m still debating about what exactly to say, and how exactly to say it.

This has been a week of heartbreak with the storm ravaging the Philippines and a prostitution ring busted here locally. On one hand, yay it was busted. On the other, the fact that it’s happening right under my nose kinda rocked me. I’m not shocked…but it shook me. Another post brewing.

Cold = severe aches=a very pathetic me. I’m not quite the tough girl I’d like to be.

I’m not quite dead

It hasn’t quite been two months. I’m pretty sure I’ve gone on radio silence for longer. Last post was right before school started. I’m only taking six hours this semester. Which doesn’t sound like a lot.

I also took a promotion at work. Yay! The pay raise kicks in this paycheck. But they haven’t refilled my position so I’m currently doing a little of both jobs and working 43-45 hours a week. Which doesn’t sound like a lot.

I’m still doing Krav Maga (have I mentioned that here? Dunno. It’s cool.) I try to be there 5 hours a week but usually only manage 2-3. Which doesn’t sound like a lot.

None of it sounds like much until you add it up. And even then I tend to think it still shouldn’t be overwhelming. Except my top priority is still being wife and mom. Or at least it should be. I’m not so sure I always live that.

I’m just tired right now. I’m beginning to think that the season contributes greatly to these “health issues” or perhaps lowers my tolerance? I don’t know. I just know last year it was worse during winter and as the temps drop, I find my energy levels dropping significantly as well and nausea increasing. I know it doesn’t make sense.

I love every element of my life. Except statistics class. I don’t love that but it’s necessary and I love that I have the opportunity to take classes – even the ones I don’t love. Anyway. Life elements. Love them. But the combination is making me tired right now. Tired. Weary. Mentally struggling. But not dead. Which means I’ll be just fine.

MIA

I know. It’s been over two months. Two months.  I have no excuses. We’re busy but then, isn’t everyone? My schedule has actually not been as crammed as it’s about to become but I’ve been kinda reveling in that. I’ve read a LOT and absolutely none of it had any intellectual value. We’ve started attending Krav Maga classes and I try to be there more than once a week. (Perfect week? Three days, five hours total. Perfect weeks are rare.) We’ve spent hours upon hours upon hours with friends. We’ve had lunches after church and cookouts.. We’ve gone to baseball games and movies. We traveled to Seattle for a friend’s wedding and have had friends visit us here. We’ve shared coffee and ice cream and conversations. We’ve had a full summer. I just haven’t written about it here at all (although if we’re Facebook friends you’ve seen a lot of it). Until recently, I didn’t even take many pictures.  And now it’s winding down and the school year is winding up. Our older boys start back next Wed, the youngest a week later, and then my classes start a week after that. TheKid starts Driver’s Ed in about a week and a half (ten days to be exact. not that I’m counting). I’m not nervous about that at ALL. Nope. My birthday is this month. My parents are coming to visit at the end of the month.

Most of my writing time happens at work. Which has been crazy. Hopefully that will start to settle out soon. In the meantime, I leave you with a picture from my father-in-law & his fiancee’ s home.

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Random weekend mumblings

Friday:

I realize I didn’t post at all last week except for a picture. Work has been crazy. We have a new director and while I LIKE him and his enthusiasm to lead the department to a new level of excellence, it’s created a bit of pressure cooker while we all adjust. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Not at all. It’s rather, dare I say, invigorating? But down time during the day has been eliminated. (Again, not bad) And it’s requiring more mental energy so the reserves that COULD be used for writing are instead burned up with new tasks leaving the balance to be spent on more pressing priorities like the family and school. I sat here trying to write an actual post now that it’s the weekend. TheBoy and LilBit are with their bio mom. TheKid is happily entrenched in front of the xbox. Jon is at hunter’s education for half the weekend. School is…mostly…caught up. I’m being handed downtime on a silver platter. And yet, words are not forthcoming. Unless you count the fact that I just wrote a full paragraph detailing how I was incapable of writing. Which I don’t. My brain feels lethargic, if that makes sense.  I did manage to prep a couple of photos. But beyond that, I got nuthin. Except a non-school book that’s calling my name. If I can stay awake to read it.

~~~~~~~~~

Saturday:

I did manage to stay awake to read. In fact, I finished the book in one sitting. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done that.  This morning start leisurely with a cup of coffee and a…grocery list. I then woke up my (almost) 16 yr old boy by turning on his light and lovingly calling his name, multiple times, at increasingly loud volumes. Then I dumped cold water on his head. That? Is remarkably effective. After grocery shopping, the remainder of the day was lazy. Lunch with the hubs, a visit at Grandma’s (which results in chores for Jon and a nap for me), then home to lounge & introduce TheKid to Tarantino’s work. Because I am a outstanding mother.

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Sunday:

Church. Talk to some of my students. Lunch with Jon, TheKid, my sis-in-law & her family and some good friends. Meeting with the mentor. Teach. Home with the boys while Jon headed to a muddy softball practice. It was refreshing to see so many of current and former students and honestly, to have them seek me out.

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Monday:

Welp. It’s back to the regular routine. Except this week I’m striving for my actual routine. I made it to the pool this morning for the first time since early February. I’m not sure what I did could, in any way, be considered swimming. I propelled myself through the water. I did not drown. But it was not graceful or smooth or coordinated. I reacquainted myself with the feel of the pool. It is remarkable to me that even in water, I am able to be clumsy.

The summary makes my life seem so…bland. And yet. It’s not. At all. This weekend contained much welcomed and needed down time but was still full of great moments. Including the nap.

 

I don’t hate Mondays

It occurred to me today – I don’t hate Mondays.

In truth – I actually kinda like them.

I know. It’s weird.

Monday mornings remind me of opening a brand new notebook with a brand new pen in hand. (Or a brand new Word doc? Somehow it’s not the same.)

Maybe it’s because I really don’t dislike any part of my life. I love our weekends. But I also enjoy the structure of the week days and the flexibility I have within that structure. I enjoy the fresh slate feeling of a Monday sunrise. I enjoy the week stretching out, full of opportunities and possibilities.

A student employee at the Rec chirped at 6:00am one Monday “We only get one Monday morning this week! We should make the most of it.” Well spoken.