Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 30 - I can't believe this is the end!

Wow. I can't believe I've finally reached the end of the 30 days! I wonder if this is how Morgan Spurlock felt...  (man I miss that show)
So here it is - Day 30
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself
Dear Self,
I love your eyes. I love that you don't get angry easily. I love that you are positive. I love that you love to be with your family. I love how you play with your babies. I love that you love animals. I love that you have a good work ethic. I love that you have a conscience. I love that you are becoming more adventurous and less afraid of stepping out of the box. I especially love that. I love that you and your husband not only still love each other, but still LIKE each other after 13 years.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 29- Laundry List

Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself.

Ok, here goes...
My size
My teeth
I procrastinate
I let things slide
I have too much to do and not enough energy for all of it
I hate putting away laundry
I am in a dinner rut
I'm easily distracted
My hairstyle (or lack of)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 28 - Scary stuff

Day 28 → What if you were pregnant, what would you do?

Oh boy. I have no doubt what I'd do if I was pregnant again - PANIC.
First of all, I've already had a procedure that is supposed to make me unable to get pregnant ever again. Second, Sophie is only 7 months old! Third, we only have a 3 bedroom house and it's not a large 3-bedroom house. Fourth, things are tight now. There is no way we could afford a third child.
But in the end, if it happened somehow, I suppose we'd do what families all over the world do - we'd make it work somehow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 27 - Best thing going3

Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?

My marriage
My daughters
My job
Good books to read
Parties to plan
Weddings to attend
Lunches with friends
The views in our town
Threw out the scale
Healthier eating
Fall TV starting
Found my iPod

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 26 - Giving up

Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

The timing of this one is heartbreakingly eerie.

I had a few hectic days and wasn't able to get to the next Truth immediately. Friday I did have a minute while eating lunch to look at it, but not enough time to write anything. I had planned, though, to just give a simple answer of "no" and go on to the next one.

Then, Saturday morning, I got a text message that changed everything.

A dear friend at work DID decide to give up on life. It still hasn't fully sunk in, and probably won't until tomorrow at work when I am around everyone else that worked with her, or maybe not even until Tuesday, her usual first day of the week.

Sunshine (her nickname; Judy, her given name, was her name only when she was in a bad mood, which wasn't often) was the first person I met at the hospital when I started my job. She took me under her wing, answered any question I had, and helped me when I didn't even know I needed it. She was the first person at work I told when I was pregnant with Sophie. She always asked about the girls, and sent gifts to them all the time. She made everyone laugh. It was easy to love her. She had such a big heart in such a tiny little body. Every day she had a smile for someone.

I had noticed last week she wasn't her usual cheerful self, but she was sick and I attributed it to her not feeling well. Working 12-hour shifts when you are under the weather will do that to anyone. Still, I'd get moments of her usual Sunshine-ness throughout each day.

She doesn't work Fridays, so I didn't get to see her that day. I have no idea what happened, why she chose to do what she did. I am sure we'll never know. I just can't believe I'll never talk to her again, hear a hilarious naughty joke from her, get a smile and a wave and a "Hello, Love" from her again.

My heart is heavy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 25 - A dash of existentialism

I didn't realize these posts were going to get quite so deep...

Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today

Why are any of us still alive today? No, really - how do we know? If we are alive so we can be in a certain place at a certain time to save a life, or to set something in motion, do we even realize it? For example, have you seen the movie Vantage Point? It's a pretty cool movie, just from the way the story is told. But that's not my point. Not to give much away, but at one point Forest Whitaker's character saves a little girl from being hit by a vehicle. Was that his reason for living? Will he ever know? Or was it just coincidence and anyone could have been there?

I almost drowned once. I am not sure if I ever told my parents this story, I do know that I didn't immediately because I didn't want to cause them to worry or be upset, even though everything turned out fine. (I'm sure I'll get a phone call later if I didn't tell them.) On the day I graduated from high school, after the party at our house, my boyfriend at the time, my best guy friend (BGF) at the time and I went to the river. That's what kids do in that small town. We were blessed with beautiful waterfalls, though. One is called Baby Falls. It's dangerous I suppose, but not like the big beautiful one further downriver, Bald River Falls. (You can see photos of both waterfalls here.) Anyway, apparently it was popular to jump off of Baby Falls into the river below. My BGF had done it many times with other friends, and we decided to go there. He and I were sitting at the top of the falls, when I quickly came to a realization - he and his friends all outweighed me by around 100 lbs. As we were sitting there trying to get the courage to jump, I was pulled over the falls by the current and could not stop myself. Just to the left of where the photo cuts off are some large boulders in the river. The current pulled me to the bottom of one of them, and I could not get out. I wasn't caught on anything, but the current kept pushing me down. I thought to myself, "I am going to die on the day I graduated high school." Then I thought, "No, I'm not! I'm not done living yet!" and started pushing and kicking against the boulder. Finally I made it to the surface, only to be caught again in the current and be carried further down. I was in the middle of the river, too, with nothing to grab hold of. My BGF had been following along with me on the side of the river, and he was able to get in the water and swim to me and catch me, and help me get to shore, and our day of swimming was over.

So, why am I still alive? One year after that happened I met my husband, and now we have two daughters. Are they the reason? Will they accomplish great things? Will their children? Maybe. Who knows? Maybe I still have something to do. Maybe I've already done it and don't realize it.

I do know, though, that I am very glad to be here. And even though our friendship became tumultous and eventually faded, I am forever grateful to my friend for jumping in the river and saving me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 24 - This one goes out to the ones I love

Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

1. I Know What I Am, Band of Skulls
2. Single Ladies, Beyonce
3. They All Laughed, Charlie Biddle Trio ft. Stephanie Biddle
4. Like a Star, Corinne Bailey Rae
5. You Gotta Be, Des'ree
6. Seasons of Love, Rent soundtrack
7. Cinderella, Cheetah Girls
8. Hands, Jewel
9. Heaven, Live

This playlist is for two girls, Emma and Sophie. Now for the explainations.

1. Always know who you are. Don't let anyone make you into something you're not.

2. When you are older and dating, make him work for it. Don't settle for second best. And if you are dating someone forever and you just aren't sure - if he's really the one, he'll put a ring on it. At least you will be discussing it. And if you have a feeling of doubt or worry when discussing it, he's not the one.

3. When you find the right one for you, don't let other people tell you otherwise. Someone will always want to define your relationship for you, or tell you what you should do based on their experiences. Ignore them and live your own life.

4. Just like a star across my sky
Just like an angel off the page
You have appeared to my life
Feel like I'll never be the same
Just like a song in my heart
Just like oil on my hands
Oh, I do love you

5. Be bold. Be strong. Be wise. Know you are loved.

6. Measure your life in the important things - friends, laughter, love.

7. Em outgrew this group a few years ago, but this song still has a great message: I don't wanna be Cinderella, waiting for someone to come rescue me. I'd rather rescue myself. I hope both girls live by this.

8. Your hands are your own, so is your life.

9. How could I look at these two and not believe?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 23 - I wish

Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life

I wish I had gone straight through college without taking a break.

I wish I had stuck with my original major instead of changing.

I wish I had been braver sometimes.

I wish I had been quieter other times.

I wish I had done a few things differently than I did.

I wish I had been more assertive.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 22 - Regrets, anyone?

Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life

Hurt others' feelings

Led boyfriends on, let them think I was as "serious" as they were

Wasted time

Wasted money
Read certain things

Lost touch

Lost my iPod

Spent time with "this group" instead of "that group" in college

Let things slide

Let fear take over

Given up on something I wanted

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 21- That's what friends are for

Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

Ok, this is a no-brainer. Fight, schmight... What is a little disagreement in a situation like this?? I can't remember us ever getting into a fight so I don't see it happening now, but if it did, that is not even close to stopping me from being there for her. At the hospital, taking care of her son, sitting with her mom, at her house cooking for her, whatever she needed. Without question.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 20 - Nancy Reagan would approve

Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Remember the old "Just Say No" campain from Nancy Reagan? I guess it was in the mid-80s because I was in elementary school. Or how about the egg in a frying pan?

They sure didn't give many details, did they?

As for alcohol, it falls into my "everything in moderation" category. I am not a drinker myself, personally I can't stand the taste of alcohol, but if someone wants to enjoy adult beverages, more power to them! As long as they are responsible about it, who am I to judge? Don't drink and drive and have someone sober in charge of the kids and you're ok with me.

Drugs are a different story. Drugs are bad. More than just "frying your brain" like the egg commercial, they ruin lives. Of course not ALL drugs are evil; many of them are wonderful healing tools prescribed by doctors (and yes, I include marijuana in this category. It's been proven over and over again.). But the bad ones - meth, heroin, cocaine, whatever else is out there - they are so not worth ever trying. And watch out for those prescriptions, too - some of those can be addicting as well. Frequently I hear in the news about a pharmacy being robbed for Oxycontin or Vicodin.

Just say no.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 19 - Forbidden territory

What are the two things that we grow up instructed never to discuss in public? Religion and politics. Guess what today's topic is: Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

So here goes....

Religion: I have struggled the past 14 years, trying to figure out what exactly I thought of religion and how it all fit together. I finally came to this conclusion: Everyone wins.

First, let's get this out of the way: I am a Christian, and follow those beliefs. But I recognize that there are many other religions in this world. I wondered when I was a girl about them - obviously the followers of those religions all feel just as strongly that they are "right," just as Christians do. So, who IS right?

Since religion deals with souls and the spiritual plane, and not physical bodies, we aren't limited to a physical place for Heaven, Paradise, Nirvana, or whatever the final destination is called. So, why can't there be more than one? In the end, we go where we think we are going.

Politics: No one wins. I hate election years. I don't agree with either party 100%, and actually I agree with right about halfway with each side, depending on the issue. It's basically a 50-50 split. When it's election time, I check out each candidate and research their voting history. I stress about who is telling anything resembling the truth. I vote. Then I let go - because we are a large enough country that even if the candidate I chose turns out to be a typical politician I can realize that it's not all my fault. I am not enough of a voice all by myself.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 17 - A story of food

Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

A couple years ago I bought a book by an author that I already liked very much. I had read several of her books and loved every one. So I had no worries about this new book I found.

I loved this book, too. But it was different. Instead of getting lost in a story of fictional characters, I was lost in the story of the author's family's move across the country, making a home out of the old house, and the change to local foods. I had never considered the journey  my food made to reach me, how much was involved in the transport, the packaging, the fact that produce had already been picked for several days before I bought it, making my window of use very tiny (explaining why I had to throw out so many things). I became more interested in growing my own vegetables (although I have yet to be successful with this), composting, and buying local produce. I am not to the point of raising chickens or cows; that is a line I am not willing to cross, but I am more aware of what I eat and how it gets to me.

Day 18 - Live and let live

Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage

This one won't be popular with my conservative friends and family, but I won't apologize for it at all. I feel very strongly about this one.

If two people love each other and want to get married, let them!

I do not buy this whole "protect the sanctity of marriage" BS that gets gay marriage opponants all riled up. What about people who commit adultry? What about people who marry and divorce?

What about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette? Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? No one complains about these shows tarnishing marriage. And how in the world does the fact that two men or two women get married affect MY marriage at all?

This stupid, illogical argument drives me insane.

Then there is the religious arguement. I may step on some toes here, but so be it. I am a Christian and was raised in church, and take my girls most Sundays. But - not everyone is. Many conservatives are concerned about protecting freedom of religion, as long as it's their own religion. But there are many. Also, marriage in our country is a legal contract, not a religious contract. Sure, people get married in the church. But they must get a document from the courthouse legalizing their marriage. People get married outdoors, at City Hall, while falling out of airplanes. Religious leaders perform marriages, but so do judges. Christianity does not have a monopoly on marriage.

So my ultimate view on gay marriage?

Live and let live. There are way more important things to put energy into.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 16 - I'll pass, thanks

Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.

I could definitely live without alarm clocks. Seriously, I would love to be able to work around my sleep pattern! I could get so much more accomplished, you know? I do hate getting up early and can't fall asleep at an earlier time at night (usually).

I could most definitely live without IBS. I would LOVE to live without it. And I've passed it on to Emma, also. Too early to know for Sophie, but at least I know how to feed her when she's older to lessen the severity if she DOES develop the evil monster.

I could live without reactive airway disease, and most of the year I DO live without it thank goodness. But whenever I catch a cold/respiratory infection/sinus infection/whatever, I have an allergic reaction to the infection (I know, right?!?) and cough like I'm trying to rid myself of my lungs for 8-12 weeks afterward. Thank goodness I have an inhaler for it now.

I can also definitely live without knowing ANYTHING about the lives of Paris, Lindsey, Miley, a Kardashian, anyone from The Hills.... It's bad when I know all about Heidi & Spencer's dating, marriages, divorce or not, surgery, habits, whatever... and have never seen one episode of any show they've been on. Same with the Kardashian/Jenner family. Not. One. Single. Episode. So how do I know about all this crap? Why is it in my head??

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 15 - I've given up trying to give it up

Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

I choose the something because the someone will just be getting annoyingly redundant.
So, here are things I know I can't live without, and yes - I have tried.

Caffeine. Coffee, tea, soft drinks- all of it. I just cannot give it up! I did seriously try, once, and lasted several weeks, maybe even a couple months. It took a while for the headache to go away, but it eventually did. I carried a reusable water bottle and refilled it constantly. All day long I drank water. It was probably the best thing for me and I'm thinking of doing it again - sort of. My new goal is 2 servings of water for every 1 serving of caffinated drink. I think it's reasonable, right? Of course as I type this I have a Dr Pepper Throwback on my desk that I am sipping from (have you tried the throwback version yet? It's made with real sugar instead of HFCS. It's goooood.). It's not even about the drug itself for me, though - it's the taste of the drinks themselves. I LOVE sweet tea, cherry flavoured soft drinks, and a delicious coffee treat. I am such a sucker for a Javacano that I drive way out of my way on my commute to get one. I'd still go there, though, even if I gave up coffee forever (not that I ever intend to!) because you can't beat the people, the whole atmosphere, and the delicious baked goodies.  Anyway, caffiene is here to stay. And I like it.

Internet. Ok, why would anyone ever want to give this up? I admit, I did consider it for a fleeting second when we changed providers and were without internet service for an entire weekend. Emma had a school project due soon and had no idea how to research material without going online. Seriously- apparently middle school doesn't teach how to look up information from sources without http:// at the beginning. But that didn't last long. I was soon missing the net myself because I couldn't remember the exact way to cite sources (WHY does that have to be so freaking complicated and precise?!) and had no idea where my "Rules for Writers" copy from college ended up. Thanks to the internet, though, I now have a connection to long distance friends and relatives, an instant and free way to communicate with oversees family, and so much more! News, music, television, finance, social networking, job assistance... it's all there. Even on my phone.

Books. Ok, so I haven't actually tried going without books. I just can't. Even though I love the convenience of ebooks, you just can't beat being curled up in a chair with a great story, turning the pages with anticipation, peeking to the last chapter then chickening out and going back to your page. The feel of books, the smell of books, the look of them all lined up on the shelves (or scattered over the house, as the case may be...). And I bet no one is brave enough to take a Kindle into a bubble bath. Isn't that what bubble baths are for? Uninterrupted reading time?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 14 - Insert cheesy "hero" song here

Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)

This one wasn't quite so simple. I couldn't think of anyone at first. Then I remembered. It's not quite the same, but I did look up to this person for a long time. I won't name anyone, because we are related. I thought she was fabulous, though - very smart, had it all together, and nothing was going to stop her. We became adults and our lives were very different, but I still looked up to her.

Then, the phenomenon of social media exploded.

I was following her on Twitter, and finally just had to stop. I can respect that we have different views on many things, but some of her tweets just appalled me. Where did this person come from? She berated and belittled anyone who supported the opposing political side. When she used a dozen or so tweets making fun of someone on her Facebook page who didn't agree with a comment she made, just endlessly belittling his hometown, his job, his education, that was it for me.

So, I painfully clicked the "unfollow" button.

That may not seem like a big deal to you, but it was to me. You see, I've grown up nowhere near my relatives. Don't get me wrong, I loved my life, but the few times I got to be around my aunts, uncles, and cousins I was thrilled and embraced those times. I envied the close relationships that many of them had, so social media was an incredibly easy way to keep in touch with them. As much as I care about my relatives, though, I can only take so much negativity and hate.

I noticed later that she either unfollowed me, or deleted her account all together. I hope she didn't take it personally - I missed hearing about her life, but the political venom was just too much.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 13 - The music in me

Here is the actual prompt for Day 13: Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)

I'm not going to write them a letter. Yes, I'm a daring rebel like that.

A few come to mind, though, not just one. When I was in high school, in the teenage drama/no-one-understands-me phase we all go through, R.E.M. was IT for me. I loved the music, the words, the melodies, Michael Stipe's voice... I still love their music actually. But back then, it resonated with me. It was amazing to me that a super-famous band from Athens, GA could reach through my radio and find me, a teenage girl in Small Town, TN and make me feel like I wasn't alone. Their music spun a web around me, reaching through my ears into my head and entwining with my thoughts.

Then there is No Doubt. Remember their Tragic Kindgom album? Gwen Stefani wrote the songs after breaking up with her bandmate and longtime boyfriend. Guess what happened my first year of college? Big breakup, out of nowhere. The song "Don't Speak" came on my radio on my way back to my dorm. I liked the song anyway, but it really hit home that night. Gwen and I both got over our respective breakups and soon found our husbands, but her songs helped both of us through at the time. There were times I had to turn off the music because it would make me cry again, but that was ok. I got the message, Gwen. We were stronger than that and are better now than we've ever been.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 12 - No compliments

Wow. This is awkward to think about. Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on. Who sits and thinks about things that they DON'T get complimented about? Someone pretty insecure I'd imagine. I can just see it now: "I like my legs. Why didn't So-and-so say anything about them?  Why doesn't everyone talk about how awesome they are?" Ugh!

Well, I don't get compliments about my beautifully landscaped yard (we're lucky it gets mowed before it reaches the jungle stage). I don't get compliments on my spotless car (oh please!). I don't get compliments on the architecture of my house (yeah, right).

And you know what?

I really don't care.