Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Glimpses from Here...
We were watching a movie, my husband and I, when out of the corner of my eye appears a small round face. It's Lila, peeking around the wall, long after her bedtime, with a pink plaid hat on her head and a mischievous grin on her lips.

So, the movie was paused and I gently picked my little girl up and hugged her for a moment before explaining that she really does need her sleep. And I put her back into her bed.

A few minutes back into the movie, the phone rang. It was my mother and as I stood in the kitchen speaking to her, I saw the door to my children's bedroom slowly moving. This time, my Little Miss appeared wearing her pink plaid hat...and her Halloween bunny ears.

Through my laughter, I described the scene to my mother - telling her first how Lila appeared wearing the hat - at which point, from across the room Lila was quick to point to her ears and say And bunny ears - lest I forget her latest bit of dramatic flair.

Sometimes we wonder how dull our lives would be without these little moments of entertainment and joy.

In the morning, we trekked out in the rain to see our newest addition. He is a he, much to The Boss's elation. A brother. No name settled yet, but soon. And we do need to go into Boston for a more in depth ultrasound next week, as there were some (very minor, nothing to be concerned about) calcification's on his beautiful little heart.

I'm thinking now about the differences between my children so far. How fearless and dramatic my daughter is - how sweet and thoughtful my son is - how neither of them ever seem to lack the energy to storm circles around my house, chanting gibberish at the tops of their lungs. And I wonder - will this little one be my quiet one? Will he be the one content to read on my lap rather than chase invisible monsters with flashlights through the darkened bedroom? I wonder.

A whole new person, in every way. What an exciting thing to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 08, 2008
I'm working five days a week now. The job itself pays very well and includes full benefits, even at my part-time status. And it's easy. Monkey work, really. Ok, perhaps a step above monkey. Maybe a trained monkey.

The problem is...I'm in a cube. I've never considered myself to be a "cubie" - as they affectionately refer to themselves here at this company. I'm in a cube, doing something that is completely uninspiring and/or interesting. Which has me thinking...

If I'm going to be spending time apart from my family, I should at least be doing something I'm passionate about. Something that I'd do with or without a paycheck and health insurance attached to it.

And so now I'm pondering the possibility of going back to school...yet again. Because I know that what my heart wants, is to teach writing. To be facilitating workshops and encouraging college students or MFA'ers, to be actually using my MFA degree myself.

What I need is a low-residency or distance learning PhD program that will still allow me to be a mother and "cubie" in the meantime. I've found a couple, have inquired. Will see what's to come...

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Thursday, November 06, 2008
Where I've Been...Mentally
I posted this yesterday afternoon as a note on my Facebook page, at the end of a week of politcal back and forth with several of my friends and aquaintences from college. It was cathartic to write and I think sums up where I've been lately and perhaps why my creative writing has been put on hold. When my mind is muddled with conflict, I have trouble thinking about much else until I've sorted things out. I'm not looking for any more debate, this was just me, sorting out my thoughts:

As we went to bed last night in the wake of a nearly certain Obama victory, I turned to Vinnie and told him that I actually felt a sense of relief. Those who have been reading my posts and rants lately know that I am anything but a supporter of Obama's policies, social or economic.

Having said that though, I did truly feel a sense of relief. Perhaps similar to way that one who has been waiting for a loved one long suffering from a debilitating illness might feel when they finally let go and are at peace.

The writing has been on the wall for some time, and so to finally have closure is actually quite freeing. And I am left with these(surprisingly not bitter or hopeless) closing thoughts:

For many of us, the politics of these past few months has come down to the principles of who has the right to tell us what we can and can't do with our earned income. And I have been disappointed by the number of people who consider the American way of life to be evil at worst and corrupt at best. Capitalism, like socialism, is only as good as the people who are practicing it. Both have the potential to inspire a nation to greatness or defeat.

As a conservative, I have been accused of being not being compassionate,of not caring for those who are in need or for being greedy for wanting to have more of my tax money stay in my bank account. But the reality is, the more money that I am able to retain, the more money I am able to give - as I see fit. To the causes and the people that I want to reach out and help. And of course, the more money that I am able to keep to support my family, the more time I will be able to spend with them, andthe less time I will need to be at work itself.

One of our most important God given gifts is the freedom to choose. God knew that if it were it not for this ability, our service and love for him would be empty and meaningless. We would be reduced to puppets or robots, not beings capable of choosing compassion and love. In this same way, capitalism gives us freedom to choose our path. Are we being good examples of God's love and compassion by forcing people to give when they are unwilling? Does this do anything more than create bitterness in their hearts? To suggest that they must hand over their money to a government that they may not trust is hardly the same as inspiring them to give freely of themselves. We must be witnesses to the world, to the rich and the poor. And we need to win over hearts and minds, not only pocketbooks and wallets.

After all, Jesus called his followers to sell all they had and to follow him - he did not demand that they give him all that they had so that he might redistribute it as he saw fit. Actions speak louder than orders. And in this way, I feel candidates for change must lead by example. They must have servant hearts and give of themselves in a way that inspires people to follow, rather than spend millions of dollars on elaborate stage sets or slanderous ad campaigns. (I am speaking toward all politicians and to both of the recent campaigns.)

We are not a perfect people, nor a perfect nation. But as Christians, we need to strive to be examples, apart from the political arena, of what it means to follow Christ. I know that I am far more inspired by those who are actively doing than those who are actively enforcing and delegating. I am not inspired by smooth talking politicians or preachers, but by scuffed shoes on the ground and by burdened hands carrying the load.

And so rather than worrying about where our country is headed, I'm going to pray. Instead of thinking that I can change the world by electing the"right" candidate, I'm going to do what I can, from where I am, with the blessings I have been given.

Monday, November 03, 2008
Just a Quickie

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