Monday, November 10, 2008

Regrets

'No Regrets!' A phrase we hear in movies from time to time that can be misleading I think. To live your life with no regrets is a very tall order. Either you must live life exactly the way you want and are proud of or you must let go of all those mistakes you made, claiming that they made you who you are today. I am finding it almost impossible to do either. The life I want to lead I just can't seem to do. And the many, many fouled up situations I find myself in, I just can't let them go completely. Mostly because they affect how other people think and live, in regards to me. I have so many regrets that sometimes it is overwhelming. I regret things about yesterday. So, no regrets? Not for me. In another light, I do need to use my regrettable circumstances and choices to better shape my future decisions. Yes, I need to do that, but I know I need a lot more practice on that.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Why Can't You Be Just Like Me?

One of the hardest things about marriage is also what makes it so beautiful. As children, many of us are misled into thinking that everyone is or at least should be just like us. When diving into marriage, whether we realize it or not, we carry that sentiment with us. Of course, the blinding love usually keeps us from seeing just how annoyingly different our mate-to-be actually is until its way too late to back out.
This morning, my husband and I were playing 20 questions, mandatory answering and they must be honest. In asking him what his ideal holiday plans would be if he had complete authority and control, I was struck by how different he was. And it wasn't that I didn't already know that because his differences were some of the reasons I loved and needed him. The most difficult part was that I finally realized how important it was to me for him to be just like me, in some areas at least. If it were up to him, he would spend the winter holidays in a different place every year vacationing. Leaving home, not being around family and setting up our own (home-centered) traditions struck me as absolutely the worst thing I could do. Yet, that's the best thing he could do.
Rational or not, I went into a little bit of grieving for myself. In a lot of ways, I had always felt vastly different than my family growing up. One of those secret solutions that we seek in marriage (yes, that we never verbalize or admit) for me was finding validation for me being me. This certainly was not doing that. Now, I know all of the positive things about the joining of two very different worlds, especially for our future children. Compromises can be beautiful things. As much as I want to share my perfect holiday with him, spending a week in NYC or Flagstaff could be fun too. So, yes I know we can share and probably be better off. But, there is just some kind of insane draw about sharing things that you love with other people who love it too. And suddenly realizing that may not happen in quite the way you had hoped with the most important person in your life is pretty mind-altering, if only for a while.
As usual, Randy's differences set up a learning situation that is exactly what I need. We are two extremes, sitting opposite of one another, sharing commonalities mostly because of our extremity. So, really, I shouldn't be surprised. But as a kid, going over to your friends house for dinner can bring quite a wrench to your relationship. Especially if they have weird food for dinner and watch weird things on tv or don't have a tv at all. Suddenly, you're looking at your friend much differently. Most likely, you'll still be friends because kids are more resilient than adults. But how many adult relationships, between parent & child, friendships and even nations, get stuck here and never are the same again. No worries, I'm sticking with Randy despite his 'crazy' holiday ideals, but its certainly something to help me reflect on how I deal with differences.

Thursday, November 6, 2008













As I have mentioned before, we have two dogs. Lizzie (on the left) and Grace (on the right. For those who believe dogs are dogs and have no people-like tendencies, just skip this entry. These dogs are stricken with personality all over and oddly enough one favors my husband and the other favors me. Just as Randy and I are not like the rest of the world, well neither are out dogs. With that said, Grace still seems to amaze me sometimes. In our large backyard lined with a privacy fence, there has never been a hint of them getting out or even wanting to get out. As weather and age do, though, wood can wear out after a while. In the corner, without a gate, a couple of panels had started to crumble and with a little help from doggy noses looking through the holes, they just came down the other day. So, what does Lizzie do? Nothing. She looks out for squirrels on occasion, but she has remained within the confines of our yard. It might be argued that she is just too big to fit through the whole, but I don't think so. She's big and strong. If she wanted out, she could make it through. Now, what does Grace do? She marches herself through the whole to greet the blue yonder of freedom never to be seen of again??!! No, she marches through the whole and stays just on the other side of the fence. Sniffing around at the leaves and the neighbors air conditioner, she doesn't even make it to the front yard.
Getting around to fixing the hole just hasn't been top priority, plus I thought I had scared her enough then to make her not try it again. Unfortunately, that was not the case. This morning Grace slept in until about 9:30. When I finally let her out, not 10 minutes later I called them for breakfast. Lizzie trots in, happy as a lark, but no Grace. Yeah, here we go again. This time I was mad. I had to go put decent clothes on, shoes and a jacket. When I finally opened the front door to track her down, I didn't even have to leave the house. There she was sniffing around the front walk, shivering the moment I opened the door. She knew she was in trouble. What possesses a dog to get out but not really get out? If it were me, I'd make the breakout worth my time and run up and down the street or something!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

'Change' in 2008

Since last night's win for Obama (whether you are happy about it or not) is historic, I thought I'd at least borrow from The Daily Oklahoman's headline "'Change' in America". In time, I'm sure, we'll see what kind of changes will actually occur in America. For now, I'm embarking on change in my own life, having little to do with the rest of the world.
Did you know that as of today, November 5th, we have exactly 8 weeks left in 2008? 8 weeks until New Years Eve and less than that until the holiday season. I know some are groaning, 'only 8 weeks?!?' It has me pretty excited though. If I lose a pound a week, I could lose 8 pounds by the end of the year! I could read the entire New Testament by the end of the year! More specifically, I can take steps in being a writer instead of just talking about it. That is what prompted this new leaf I'm turning over, but man 8 weeks exactly? You gotta take advantage of things like that.
We have all done our fair share of griping and complaining about politicians, their ways and their lies. They promise us changes until those votes are tallied and anything else we get is fluff, right? If I'm going to be honest, as you should be too, I'm not that different than a politician, except perhaps that I don't always do it on purpose. I declare change and prosperity to myself, my husband, my friends. Sometimes I even follow through on a few changes. But honestly, before I realize it there are too many fires to put out and everything I vowed to change earlier just doesn't seem that important anymore. That is until I'm 10 more pounds overweight, embarassed for a career that's going nowhere and just plain miserable. Then, all of those changes that just weren't important enough are the biggest thorns in my side, plaguing me with regret and self-loathing. So, I guess our politicians found all of this appealing and wanted to do it professionally, huh? :)
What makes the next 8 weeks different than any other lame attempt at change? Lately I've been inching myself closer to consistancy. I don't expect sprinting towards it, just a little bit each day. I have run over a mile every day for almost 3 weeks, up to a mile and a half right now. My perfectionism is waning, in a good way. I have goals now, not unrealistic standards. Most importantly, I believe I can get the jobs done. I'm trying to keep balanced with spiritual goals as well as physical, inviting God to be a part of everything. And not being foolish enough to think I can muscle my way through everything with or without Him. That is where I have stumbled many times in the past.
Here's to Change - Change in America and Change in Me! May it all be successful and healthy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

She and Him Discovery

Once Halloween is over, my mind (perhaps prompted by our shopping malls) fast forwards into holiday mode. Yesterday I was reminded of 'Elf', one of Will Ferrell's redeeming movies, and made a mad dash for Google and all the possibilities it brings. Zooey Daschanel's character "Jovie" does a rendition of the song 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' that I just loved. Her voice was so impressive, yet I had never taken the time to see if she had done anymore singing. Google and I made some neat discoveries! Turns out I wasn't the only fan of her voice, searching for an album of some kind. This FAQ page was created for people like me and at the time of publishing, she had no album or recording plans in the making. Disappointed, but not defeated, I turned to YouTube for solace, hoping I could find a video of her singing anyway. Those who perservere will be rewarded!! Not only did I find several videos, but this past year she colaborated with M. Ward to form the band She & Him and released a new album, Volume One in March. There is at least one official music video on YouTube and I have heard several other tracks on Pandora. Quirky, raw and reminiscent of something long gone, I really like it! Now I just wish I could make a show of theirs.