Recently, I have noticed something that I probably noticed before, but somehow it’s more apparent now. Everyone has interests and, for whatever reason, we think our personal interest is more important than anyone else’s interest.
Obviously, that’s a self centered state of mind. I know we all do it. It’s the little things I’ve started noticing more. For example – my sisters love to decorate their homes. They have amazing talent at decorating. They each hint on occasion that perhaps I should do some decorating or painting in my house. They are not wrong. But, my interest isn’t there. I wonder how they can care about something like that. They wonder how I don’t care. Just different interests.
Anyone who knows me knows that we spend a lot of time doing youth sport stuff. We also do lots of other things, but our children play sports year round so people tend to notice that. One thing that is pretty common with coaching youth sports is that we don’t really punish children for having other interests. We are supposed to make exceptions. If a child has some sort of play or church event we don’t tell them they have to skip it. We try to figure out how to work both in because being well rounded is important and most kids don’t really even know what they want to do or where their talent lies.’
It makes me sad that this isn’t the case with everything kids participate in. I totally understand commitment. I understand wanting to have everyone participate in every aspect of whatever interest is being persued. But, truth be told, it’s pretty vain to think that somehow whatever interest we are leading is somehow more important than anything else that is happening around us.
The past couple of months have been pretty crazy. My work has been slow, my husband’s business lost some work and yet all our bills stayed the same. We also added the insanity of basketball season for three kids. We apparently like it when life is adventurous.
Thankfully, we only had two month of lost work for our business. The new year will bring new clients. They’ve already been signed. My work has picked up dramatically which is quite lovely too.
I realize this ebb and flow is normal for adult life. Sometimes, I just wish I could cause it to flow at different times than it does. Like everyone, we have the stress of Christmas. I work to purchase gifts slowly through the year to ease some of that stress. This year was no different. Now, I am close to being done. I have one gift to buy. As usual, my husband and I did not buy each other gifts because we like to use what we have to spoil our kids.
At the same time, each year my office has a raffle. I buy tickets every time, and I have only participated in two raffles where I didn’t win anything in 8 years. Today was the drawing and I won the grand prize. I am soooo excited! Love winning. Love getting things I would never buy myself. I am now the excited owner of a Microsoft Surface.
One of my least favorite games is the one up game. I don’t like it when I try to one up people and I don’t like it when people try to one up me. It’s strange how so many of us are drawn to this behavior. I suppose it’s some weird quirk in our human nature.
If you’re not sure what I mean here’s a couple examples -
Me: I just got a new iPhone. I’m so excited. I’ve been saving for two years to get one.
Other person: I have had an iPhone since they came out. I can’t believe you don’t have one.
Other person: You have twins?
Me: Yes, they are 10.
Other person: Well, my kids are 9 months apart and that is harder than twins.
Seriously, why do we do this? I’m as guilty as the next person, I am sure. I’ve noticed myself doing it and tried to examine my though process once I noticed it was happening. Sometimes, it’s my way of identifying with the person – trying to let them know I’ve done the same thing or I understand what they’re going through to a certain degree. Sometimes, I simply am annoyed that the other person sounds like they think they are somehow better than me. But, it’s the really weird one ups that make me crazy. When I hear them it’s hard not to comment on the strangeness of it all.
Some of the most odd one ups I’ve come across are (aside from the twin one above which I find super weird/funny):
- My labor hurt more than yours
- My kids are better than yours at sports/school/music/thinking/breathing
- Me staying at home with my kids is better/harder than you working and taking care of your kids
- My experiences outweigh your experiences and license me to give you advice on parenting
- My financial donations are better than yours
Ultimately, I feel like this comparison thing gets us nowhere simply because we are all living different lives with different experiences. It’s impossible to prove to someone that their efforts are somehow less simply because they are not the same as our own.
I am just fascinated that once I started noticing it – I now notice it with SO MANY PEOPLE. They don’t even know they are doing it. Listen around you – you’ll notice it too.
Tomorrow is Election day. We get to vote! What a great nation we live in. I am so excited to go tomorrow.
Be involved. I don’t really care which party you are aligned with (though, I prefer those that agree with me outnumber the ones who don’t, but that’s just my selfishness). There are many men and women who have fought for you to have the right to vote. Use it.
I remember the first time I went to vote. My dad went with me. It was a family thing. And, it was exciting. My dad has always pressed us with the responsibility to use our right to vote. So, it was really cool to finally get to be involved in the process.
I hope you make it to the polls tomorrow or have at least mailed in your ballots. If you’re still unsure who to vote for – check this site out: http://www.isidewith.com/presidential-election-quiz It’s pretty cool. You can expand the options by selecting “add more options” and get down to what you really truly believe.
November is considered the month to give thanks. I like to pretend it’s thanks that I was born in November, but as we all know, it’s more about being thankful for our blessings. Recently I’ve been noticing a trend at our house. We say things we don’t mean and it makes us sound like we are not thankful. We have decided to start working on it.
Here is a list of the first three phrases I know we say at our house and I’m so thankful we don’t mean:
- When we say ‘there’s nothing to eat’ at my house – it generally means ‘there is nothing that sounds good or that doesn’t take a lot of effort for me to make’. We have never been close to starving no matter how low our cabinet stock has been.
- When we say ‘I’m freezing’ we really mean ‘My bed was so cozy and warm. I’d rather be there than getting up to get dressed.’ We do not have to wear coats in our house and we have blankets on our beds.
- When we say ‘I don’t have anything to wear’ we mean ‘I wish I’d washed my favorite things to wear today’ or ‘I would rather have something different to wear’. We all have things to put on our bodies, and we even have people who are willing to give us their perfectly good things so we don’t have to always purchase something new.
I hit 3000 views of my page. Thank you, adoring public! LOL!
I’ve had a few people ask me recently why I blog. I have my rehearsed answer that I’ve given since I started writing (way back when – in High School). But, for some reason I was thinking about it as I was driving kids around the other day. The rehearsed answer probably isn’t the whole truth. Blogging is something I do for myself. That’s the answer I give people. I find it relaxing. It’s a way to get my feelings out that really doesn’t have anything to do with anyone. So, blogging ‘just for myself’ is partially true. But, if it were fully true – I’d just keep my blog private and not share with anyone because me reading what I write would be enough.
Instead, I make my profile public-ish. I share the link on my Facebook. It’s not a vanity thing. I admit, I used to be vain about my writing. Now, I do it so infrequently – I can tell it has degraded. Nothing I blog is polished, refined, or even proof read (the horror of it all!!!). I used to write and try to perfect things on nearly a daily basis. I didn’t understand why my friends who wanted to be writers didn’t spend more time. Now that I have a husband and children – I get it. A full wonderful life is a busy life. Each of those people are a blessing, and blessings take time to enjoy. A choice has to be made at some point and the choice is – do I continue in my hobby or do I enjoy each moment I have with the blessing of family God gave me?
I’ve come to realize that blogging in a public sphere helps me feel like others understand what I’m talking about. Even if none of my friends understand when I’m having an emotional breakdown – someone in the universe gets it and will ‘like’ my blog or will comment. It’s a camaraderie thing. It’s about misery loving company. There is something amazing about knowing that someone in Africa or Europe read the words I put down and maybe thought that it made sense.
There are days when I’m overwhelmed by the reality of life. Writing out my opinions and feelings helps me to sort through that. Having others read it and relate or read it and advise gives me comfort. It pulls me out of the little circle I live in and helps me realize the world is so much bigger. There are people out there with bigger problems that I can’t even imagine. I like to think that maybe my simple life gives them a different perspective too.
So, for those who think blogging is stupid or a waste of time – feel free to pass on reading mine. There is no greatness to be found here. My simple life documented in a quirky way is what I’m sharing.
For those who understand the desire to commiserate and enjoy the camaraderie of the online world – read away. Share your thoughts and opinions. I’m happy to have you.
What a wild and crazy weekend we had. Sheesh. I need another weekend to recover. My husband and oldest son were off hunting so I was single parenting. That always makes me worry just a bit. I know that my life is a constant partnership so it is odd when that isn’t available to me. I made it though.
The twins and I had a night of catching up on chores Friday night. Then, we had football pictures and a football game on Saturday. There was one play where my son got knocked over. He flipped head over heels and landed on his head. I sat in my chair thinking “Did he really just break his neck and/or leg while his dad is out of town!?!” But, he was able to get up, rest for a minute, and was fine. (Praise God).
Saturday night we had a youth group event. Usually, I have a helper or two for that, but the usual suspects were not available. I got it all together myself and then had two gracious parents offer to hang out just to help. Awesome. We carved pumpkins, ate tons of pizza and cupcakes, played voice tag, played Pictionary and still kids were wanting to stay. I love when they are having enough fun to want to stay.
Sunday morning brought church. I wasn’t feeling well, but got up and went anyway. Then, I ended up spending the rest of the day in bed/on the couch. Thankfully, my husband came home late Sunday evening. He and my oldest filled their tags and were back sooner than anticipated.
Now, on to the next week. Lots to do….
Our youth group leadership recently decided that instead of just talking about how we should be showing Christ to the community – we wanted to help our kids do that. So, we called our local rescue mission and set up a recurring service date for our youth to go serve there.
I will admit that my original thought process when talking about scheduling such a thing was that I would really be helping out our youth and in turn, they would be helping out the local community. But, now that we’ve been doing this for a few months – my perspective has changed. It’s funny how God does that for us, isn’t it?
So, here are a few things I’ve learned while working at the Good News Rescue Mission:
- I am insanely picky about what I eat, how often I eat the same thing, and how it is placed on my plate.
- Parents who are homeless or just hungry still love their kids enough to make them eat their veggies first.
- Smiling at someone can change their entire attitude.
- My children and I really need to spend more time with people who are in need.
- Even though I want to love people who are ‘poor’ the same way Christ did – I am truly scared the majority of the time. (This hasn’t stopped me from volunteering, but it’s a fear I face each time we do it) Pray for me in this!
- People who are in need still appreciate a good sermon.
- Good manners are not necessarily based on someone’s income.
- I haven’t been truly hungry in a long time and I have no idea what it would be like to be grateful for just one meal a day.
- Our youth have big hearts and even when they are out of their comfort zones they are willing to serve.-
- I am blessed beyond measure.