Saturday, February 22, 2014

Seven late takes


I'm not even going to bother linking this up since I missed writing it on Friday.  I spent Friday playing outside in the back yard, and it was time well spent!


The weather has been truly glorious the past few days, as in it's actually comfortable to be outside.  I can relax outside with a book and just soak up rays.  I feel like a plant .... drinking in life just by sitting in the sun.  I've been feeling down and depressed and anxious and tired and crabby for so long, and a little sunshine just seems to melt those awful feelings away!  (Yes, I take vitamin D.  Maybe not enough?)

It was just amazing, today and yesterday, the way everything improved so fast.  Both days I had migraines and was exhausted due to not sleeping.  (Michael's been hit or miss lately.)  Both days I couldn't get up the energy to do housework, the kids were fighting and making messes, and I had zero tolerance for their clinginess.  But I'd go outside and everything was instantly better.  First there was peace, as the kids found projects to do in the dirt and stick piles.  Then there was tranquility as I soaked up the sun.  Then within twenty minutes or so, I started getting this irresistible urge to get up, do toe touches, run around.  And that seemed to help the headaches, too!

I wish it were real spring, but the weather people say we'll be back to cold soon.  Oh well.  A few more weeks!


Big news for us -- John got the job!  It's an improvement in every possible way: pay is better, he will be using his degree, the work looks challenging but not beyond him, it appears to be a positive work environment, and NO TRAVEL!

John's trips have been the bane of my existence for two years now.  I don't know why they are so awful.  After all, I get through every weekday without him anyway, without much help in the mornings as he's getting ready for work, and with only an hour or two of help in the evenings.  But just knowing there is another adult going to show up and lighten the load at the end of the day changes the whole day.  Even on days when he's got something going on in the evening and can't help out much, just getting to see him seems to keep me sane!

I know I seem like a whiner when there are women who take care of kids solo for months on end due to deployments or whatever, and women who do everything solo all the time because they are single mothers.  All I can say is, that sucks for them too.  Being the only person responsible for such needy people, the only person they want and the only one who can give them what they need, is draining in every way.  It is always, always sub-optimal to be all alone in the mammoth job of raising children.  Just thinking of it makes me want to make friends with some single moms so I can babysit their kids.  You need someone to give you a break.

Anyway, that awful season of our lives is over.  John's job will require the occasional weekend, or an evening event now and again, but he won't be away overnight for work AT ALL.  What a beautiful thought.


I have managed to stay out of Facebook drama for several days, go me!  I'm now in a polite and interesting conversation about politics and free markets.  Unlike debates, it actually makes me happy.

Oh wait, I'm in a debate about circumcision.  But it's a friendly one.  ;)  I do enjoy debating as long as everyone is willing to be respectful, and the facebook group for Christendom's debate society is an excellent place to have that kind of discussion.  There's some good-natured joshing, some rather deliberate pomposity, but no personal attacks.  A nice place like that for discussions is hard to find.

I sometimes go to the real debates, too, and have a good time, but I do think I express my ideas best in writing.  I'm afraid if you all met me, you'd find me much more dull in person!


Today I enjoyed all the benefits of shopping, without any of the miseries of shopping.  That is, I went to a clothing swap.  It was great.  I'm not sure any of my stuff got claimed -- I took a lot to Goodwill at the end.  But there were boxes and boxes of clothes there, and I walked away with two good church outfits, three pairs of jeans with NO HOLES, and quite a few shirts that fit my standards: comfy enough to be like t-shirts, but not t-shirts so I can stop being that person who shows up to everything in a ratty t-shirt.


On the topic of church clothes, am I the only one who hates getting dressed up for church?  You would think, since I dress down the rest of the time, it would be nice to dress up for a change.  And sometimes it is.  But a lot of the time, I get angsty about it.  Who am I dressing up for?  I don't want to dress up just so I don't look out of place .... and anyway, I can't afford to dress to the standard that most people at our parish do.  (I mean the church we often attend, with the nice cry room but in a much richer area than where we live.)  I worry too much about what people think of me, and church is one place where I would like not to do that.

But if I'm dressing up for God, what's the standard?  What I like?  I like to have warm feet and legs, which is basically incompatible with looking nice, at least with my wardrobe.  What God likes?  God created me naked, but I'm sure as heck not showing up like that to church!

What works best for me is designating one or two standard church outfits which are fancy enough to be appropriate and look like I'm going to extra effort, but which never change so I am not moaning as I root through the closet with ten minutes before we leave.  I'm hoping these two new outfits do the trick.  I haven't had a "standard outfit" since I finally wore out my old favorite skirt.


How you know you're an English major and a mother -- you find yourself contemplating writing essays like these:

Babar the King as a Defense of French Colonialism
The Utilitarian World of the Island of Sodor
Guilt, Fear, and Parental Absence in The Cat in the Hat
Impossible Expectations: Turns Out There Is Not Always Room on Mother's Lap

As well as all the questions that float through my mind as I read: Why is the bed flying all of a sudden in It's Time to Sleep, My Love?  Can the speaker in My Love Will Find You possibly be anyone short of God?  Why didn't the rabbit in Goodnight Moon finish his mush?  Why do animal bedtime books always have the animal babies going to sleep on their own instead of with their mothers?

And for the last time, Thomas the Tank Engine writers: Are those engines able to drive without drivers, or not?  And if not, why the heck do they have sentience at all?

How has your week been?


Gretchen said...

Congrats on the new job!
I enjoy dressing up for Church, but I agree that it can definitely be a pain too!

Belfry Bat said...

Maybe the train engines are like sleepy ents? They can move on their own, only they aren't usually roused enough for it.

Enbrethiliel said...


#1 -- Or you could link it up really early next week! ;-)

#2 -- What a difference a bit of sunshine makes! I can't remember feeling particularly listless during the two New Zealand winters I got to weather, but the really hot, humid days in my own home slay me.

#3 -- Wonderful news as well!

#4 -- I recently decided to take a break from a blog where discussions can get argumentative. It's not a hostile environment and everyone seems to respect each other even when we vehemently disagree, but it feels like a huge time and energy drain to argue with people who don't share many of my basic values. Barring a miraculous conversion (on their part, not mine ;-) LOL!), we will never agree, so after a point, there's no reason to keep explaining ourselves to each other.

And I suspect I'm a little bit different in real life from how I appear on my blog. Not because I lead a double life, but because I tend to be more reserved when I'm physically around people. Alcohol loosens me up a bit, and people often think I'm drunk at parties when I'm just relaxed, because they see me acting in a new way. I suspect only regular blog readers wouldn't be surprised, but I never get to meet you guys!

#5 -- That sounds like fun! I haven't been to one of those, but I did find some great steals at a white elephant sale.

#6 -- I don't hate getting dressed for church, but that's because I've had an odd clothes shopping habit for some time. When I see something I like, I ask myself, "Could I wear it in church?" Unless it's for something really specific, like exercise or a cocktail party, if it can't do double-duty as part of my church wardrobe, then I don't get it.

#7 -- Well, yes, why do picture book characters seem to go to sleep on their own? I can't think of any animals off the top of my head, but there's Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site in which all the machines are as ruggedly individualistic as they are adorable.

Tiffany said...

So happy to hear about John's job, Shelia!

Sheila said...

BB, I don't think that works. In one book, a train gets accidentally started with no driver inside and ends up accelerating down the track and unable to stop. In another, Thomas gets stranded inside a mine and his fire goes out, so he has no way to whistle for help. I can't figure out how he got down there with no one to keep his fire going, if he can't do it himself!

John says there is just no fixed canon for Thomas the Tank Engine stories, which is quite an unsatisfying answer to me. These authors should talk to each other.

E, I talk a lot in person ... the trouble is, the more I talk the less interesting any of it seems to be! Having time to edit and to think of something worthwhile to say really helps. I am also really terrible at arguing; I get upset easily and then I blank out. I come out sounding much more intelligent in internet debates.

There is some wisdom in knowing when to cut bait, though. Internet debates can be consuming and stressful even when they are going well. I left a facebook group yesterday just because I didn't have the emotional energy to keep up with it. My regular life uses up enough as it is!

Belfry Bat said...

I think I will defer to John's greater wisdom on this deep matter; also, congratulations and Thanks Be To [...]!

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