Saturday, January 29, 2005

Ok, I finally made it

Yay!!!!! My last day of work was Thursday, as urology advice nurse. I was sad to say goodbye to the people I work with, they are all very kind, and they made a nice potluck and a card, and everything. BUT, I am glad to be done, it will take me while to get it out of my system, I find myself thinking and worrying about work things, why? Because that job was way too intense and overshadowed my life for the past year. I guess I learned a lot about urology, and I learned about what I am good at and what I am not. I also learned that I can overcome some things I am not good at, but not for extended periods of time. I don't do well with several things flying at me at once, but the practice of thinking on my feet was good for me.
Now what? I think there are plenty of things to keep me busy for a while, I will need to get a job in nursing so that my license stays active, but it can wait a bit, no hurry. I must complete 960 hours in the past 5 years to satisfy the practice requirements. I have worked half time for the last 2 years, 20x98=1960 hours, taking into account vacations etc. I am well over the 960 hours just in the past year alone. So I can take some time and give my family some time. What a joy that will be.
It's a great morning, I hope that everyone has a wonderful day. We have a broken step that needs fixing, grandpa and grandma are coming over to help. We are all kind of fighting a cold/flu bug and I seem to be winning so far, but what a pain!
Take care all, God's blessings and joy be with you.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

It's 5 o'clock somewhere.....

Well, I finally did it, I made a decision (applause please!! Thank you, that's enough) After a thankfully short lived brush with shortness of breath and irregular heart activity, which turns out is perfectly normal and simply anxiety and stress related, I and my special guy decided maybe leaving the work force for a while would be a good idea. I am giving my 2 weeks notice tomorrow. I like the good folks I work with, and I even kinda like the job once in a while, but the rest of the time, yuck!

I figure, as much as I might be able to rationalize why I stay on the good days, anything that makes me so miserable I can't sleep, causes chest pains and at the end of the day I run from (well, want to run from, I can't actually run because I am too TIRED and OUT OF BREATH), might be something I should rethink.

I am grateful that I have the freedom to make that decision, but it kind irritates me that there still remains a kind of condecension toward non-exteranlly employed parents. In a really free society, we would be able to make choices as we see fit without the need to defend or justify to those who "know what's best for us". Case in point, N.O. W. wants to help women find equality in all aspects of their lives. I appreciate this and appreciate the work they have done to bring up issues of women's rights. But is it possible to take things too far? (why, yes, yes it is)

We live in a society where single motherhood is one of the greatest risk factors in poverty for families, yet, rather than at the very least ignoring or simply existing alongside organizations such as Promise Keepers, which may have a different philosophy but nonetheless have a goal that is not in conflict with NOW's. If women are financially disadvantaged by being single mothers, why would NOW hate PK with such venom, when the organization promotes men stepping up to the plate and being better, more responsible and involved fathers?
Ya gotta read this, what a vitriolic tub of angst. Poor NOW, those men (hiss, spit) are meeting, (grrrr) and no women are allowed (psst, fttttt), and they're doing MAN stuff (whatever that is, it must be bad). Here is the evil plans they are formenting:
Sounds pretty awful.

NOW is pissed that the RR (religious right) is pushing to make killing an unborn fetus a crime, but in the same breath, state they are fighting to decrease violence against pregnant women. That seems contradictory to me. It's ok to hurt the kid but don't hurt mom, aren't the two kind of linked?? I would think that after hopping back and forth across that fence they would need a brace for the whiplash.

Who knows what is best for me? If I am free then I am free, NOW has no more right to patronize me and my decision than any one else. I think that is how God deals with us, he doesn't hate us for doing things that harm us, he is saddened by our struggles. Just like me watching my kids, I have to let them begin to make decisions for themselves, which means I have to let them make bad decisions and experience consequences. I know that when I make a decision I bear the results. Trying to tell people how they should be, or trying to protect them from the consequences of their decisions is trying to infantalize them. NOW served a good purpose in the beginning but they go way overboard sometimes trying to cause a war where none need exist.

What if I believe that someone should lead the family, and it doesn't have to be me? What if I believe that it's ok if I take care of the primary household tasks, and allow my husband to support us financially? I have a profession and a degree, I am not an uneducated slob, and I was not raised in or brainwashed by my upbringing to believe that the traditional family roles are better. However, I have found that I do want to be at home and caring for my family, I like that. I don't want to be the heavy in the kid raising department, my husband is much better suited to take that on and my son needs the authority that a male figure adds, just as my daughter needs a male role model to teach her how she should expect to be treated by men who value and respect her. I can't model that. We don't see things the same way or approach things the same way and the multifaceted result gives our kids, I think, the best of both worlds.

I don't think all women are created to be baby making, housekeeping factories, but I do think that men and women function as a group, differently. I think that's ok. No one can say how every individual must be, we are free to be ourselves but that means we are free to be ourselves, whatever that may be. Recognizing that a group may share certain characteristics, while still respecting that we are individuals is a harder line to walk than just strutting around screaming about problems that may or may not exist and insist on solutions that may or may not be in the best interests of everyone.

So, I am going to stay home for a while, take care of the house, parent my kids a bit more closely, go to school events, make cookies, cook meals, shop, clean up (oh shit, maybe I should just go get a job,,,,,), let my husband be a dad, and do guy stuff once in a while, and I may even get my nails done (oh no, that is taking things WAY too far, this has gotta stop).
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

My cat Sammy is lovingly gazing at me as I type. What a great cat, who says cats are aloof and boring? This sweet guy lsays good morning, gives me kitty kisses (he doesn't actually kiss me, he gets really close and smells my mouth, I dunno, it's a CAT thing), he purrs and rubs my hand (or the table or whatever is within reach), he greets us at the door when we come home and watches out the window when we leave, and he flops on the ground in front of you, rolls back and forth, stretches out his tummy and says, "don't you want to rub my tummy?" . I have never seen a cat who wants his stomach scratched."Kay, enough about the cat (but he's so Cute!)
Morning musings- No wish to retread old ground already thoroughly tread by others, I just want to weigh in. On the whole marriage issue, the problem is not the government recognizing gay marriages persay, marriage is a Christian covenanat, other religions have their own version, I believe it was God's idea in the first place and supercedes any involvment or sanctioning by governments, it is an individual matter. We got into trouble when we made churches and ministers agents of the state. It should matter not at all, (except in the determining of legal sta
tus for progeny and benefits of survivorship, which the state can define any way it wants to), to the state who marries who. I am not in favor of same sex marriage because I do believe marriage is a religious act, not a civil one, and I believe the bible is clear that homosexual activity is proscribed. I don't think that homosexual behavior is any worse than any other sin, I would not want the state to sanction anything that is in conflict with my values, be it murder, bestiality, child sacrifice, stealing, lying, etc. BUT I do not believe it is the states' job to enforce my values, I do what I believe is right because I believe it is right, not because the law says I have to. When the law and my consience disagree, I will respect the law as much as possible but do not want to violate my consience over the law. Thank God this has not been a problem so far, but since we live in a country where Christian values are no longer the basis for many of our judicial decisions, even though the constitution is based on Judeo-Chrisitan ethics, I see that I cannot count on the government to tell me the difference between right and wrong, if it ever could. The state can do as it likes in regards to civil unions, recognize any relationship it wants, but I don't have to like it or agree with it and as long as I have a say in what happens I will vote the way I believe. I would not care much if the state decided to revoke the benefits of recognizing marriage and just get out of the business entirely, but it would not do so. Stable, healthy families benefit it in the long run. We pay more taxes, use fewer services and add more productive citizens for the future. Married parents are better off finacially than unmarried. Encouraging people to get and stay married is in the interest of the state. For the same reason, encouraging behavior that leads to increase health risk, unstable relationships, domestic abuse, chemical abuse, etc would not be a good idea for states either. Anyone can use whatever standard personally they wish, to guide and define their behavior, but 1) Judeo-Christian values and belief have stood the test of time and 2)if followed by the vast majority of people would result in less crime, stronger familes, lower divorce, violence and need for social services. "Against such there is no law". It is "not following" the instructions as given by the manufacturer that causes us trouble. I know, in a perfect world, and we're not there yet. But individually, if people took a little more responsibility for their own actions and stopped blaming everything else for their failings there would be less need for more and more laws (that we can't enforce anyway!!!) If engaging in homosexual sex puts you at high risk for contracting several deblitating health problems, don't blame the state for not putting enough money into trying to keep you healthy, when it's your own actions that put you at risk in the first place. There are enough collateral victims that need support because they were infected through birth, by transfusions or by accident, they weren't running around having sex with high risk people. Too much whining. If I eat myself to death, smoke like a smoke stack and sleep with everything that has a penis, then complain that my health and personal life aren't good, does anyone owe me anythng? NO! If having several children out of wedlock when you have no visible means of support, would repesent a financial hardship, don't ask the state to support you in your folly. There are enough orphans and widows that need support, without the added burden of people who did not have to be dependent, but are through their own choices. We live in a society that caters to people who are dysfunctional, we reward people for bad choices. I feel bad for people who have not had the best of circumstances, but why perpetuate it? There are always alternatives, but some of them are really hard. work. I wish there was more of a sense of gratefulness for the opportunties offered and less entitlement "what about me!!" mentality. No one really owes us anything, we are not very grateful for what we have. I've been in bad spots but I didn't want to stay there and did everything I could to get out of them. In the end aren't we all accountable for our own actions? Ok, enough of a rant for today, gotta go, BYE!

I did want to add, I know this sounds kind of harsh, I don't want to sound that way. It's just frustrating to hear people complain that the goverment is not doing enough, we need more money in AID's research, we need more money in welfare, we need to do more for people. All the social service in the world won't make someone motivated to change their behavior, continuing to help them stay the way they are is not good. From the Christian perspective, at least mine, what impells me to do better is knowing that God is a loving god, that I matter to him and that he is beside me. Before I knew that I did stupid things for stupid reasons, I really didn't care. I had to understand my actions mattered, knowing that, I wanted to do what is right. It mattered to me how God feels about my life and my decisions. I know that some people don't care, that they have no compelling reason to try to change. People have to want to. How can the government make anyone want to change their life? No social service will change a heart, only God.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Make mine a grande

God, help me to hear you today, help me to listen, stay beside me and keep safe. Help me to know what is right and help me to do what is right. Be my strength, my love and my friend.
It's 8:15 and the kids are off to school. Monday is upon us. I need some coffee. I really need to view that video about how to operate theAthena Barista we got last year from my mom as a birthday/housewarming/birthday/anniversary gift. My husband can use it but I am intimidated , I once exploded chestnuts in the oven, I know how WRONG things can go when you don't know what you are doing. As much as I love a good latte, any coffee maker that requires a manual, video, traning class or which could kill you if improperly operated is porbably a bad idea in my hands.
I am pondering the great imponderables today. My daughter has been recently diagnosed with ADHD. I know that most people think that's a catch all diagnosis, that it's a scam by educators to medicate our kids into oblivion, but those people probably have not really watched someone suffer with this problem. I have seen a bright and outgoing young lady become withdrawn, depressed, angry and progressively more beaten down every day with failure. It's hard enough just being a kid but being a kid who never gets a break, never wins, never even gets ahead, that's terrible to watch. I did not really want to see her on medication, but we decided to try and see how she responded. It's not a miracle but she sure is better than she was. She could not sit down to finish one single assignment, now she does her schoolwork of her own volition. It's not that she wouldn't, she couldn't. We tried for 6 years to make her want to do it, thinking she was just being lazy or stubborn or whatever. You keep thinking, at some point the price will get so high, she'll have to decide to get her act together. When the cost becomes so high that you aren't willing to pay it, never mind what she is willing to pay, that's when you say, there has got to be something deeper going on.
I am certain that just like any other treatment, some people will misuse it, abuse it, but don't let that become a reason to avoid treating a problem that can be treated. Especially with mental and emotional health. I have watched famly members run their lives into the ground because neither they, nor their caretakers knew or wanted to address their problems. Things may get better but sometimes they don't and when they don't , more lives that just one's own are affected. Physical health is easy to see, especially when we lose it, but mental health, that we hide away, like the closet of stuff we all have (except for those perfect people who have no closet crammed with stuff). Hurrah for the people who don't have any issues. For everyone else, look inside once in a while. examine what crap we carry around, if it's really ugly, get some help getting rid of it, if it's just out of date or doesn't fit, take it to Goodwill, burn it, whatever works. We cling to these attitudes and opinions as if they were jewels, sometimes they are, but if they are not helping you to get healthy, stronger, kinder or more than you are right now, are they worth carrying around? I read in the Sunday fishwrapper, (in Margie Boule's column I think), about a woman with "issues" whose therapist suggested she carry around a chair to represent the chair of anger she had been sitting in for years (her description and quite justified in her own words). This chair was helping her to decide if what she was hauling around was worth the effort it took to haul. She is still working that out. I like that, a concrete way to clutch the less tangible emotional luggage in our lives.
I did not want my daughter to be medicated, to be ill, I really wanted her to fix it, with my help. That was not working. I hope that the next time a problem comes up, I don't walk around with a stick beating it to death before I go ask for help.
Ask your doctor, as a friend, educate yourself. Ask God, if you know him, he will help you find out what you need, if you don't know him, ask him to make himself known.