Friday, July 30, 2010

Awkward Me

I'd like to make more friends, especially friends nearby. While online friends are great, real-life friends are nice also. I went out to lunch a few weeks ago with an old friend. We attended college together, and later on we worked at the same place and even lived in the same apartment development. Unfortunately, we live a couple of hours apart, so getting together is not an easy task, especially since she works full-time. But it was so much fun, and so rejuvenating, that I think it would be good for me if I could get together with friends often.

The big problem is how to meet people. The easiest way seems to be to join organizations. The problem (and of course there always is one) is that I dislike organizations! Or maybe I have never been in one I enjoyed enough. I generally don't like outside influences on my time, like appointments or set meeting dates. I also don't work well in large group settings. Is it a matter of leaving my "comfort zone" or is this just the way I am? I think the large group thing absolutely relates to my introversion. I find it hard to put myself out there to get noticed. But if I found some group where I really enjoyed the activities and the people, my other issues might not be a big deal.

I'm going to at least try the Parent/Teacher's Association this year. Last year, we didn't even move into the area until just after the girls had started school, and we didn't know until the last minute where we would even be moving to. With all the unpacking and stress, I was not interested in joining anything. This year, we're moving again, which I never would have expected, but the girls are staying in the same schools, so that uncertainty is gone. Once the stress of having to leave this house, which I had really come to feel at home in, is better, perhaps I will have the interest and energy to find more places to meet people.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Do you ever feel that you have certain talents that you don't use? When I was in college, I loved studying foreign languages, German and Spanish in particular, and was fairly good at them. I also enjoyed the smattering of Hungarian I picked up from a Hungarian friend. I was sure I had been given these gifts for a purpose, to make use of them in my future. Unlike Miss Kate, I don't have the gifts necessary to make a good teacher, so I gave up on that idea, but I still felt somehow something would come out of my abilities.

Well, here I am twenty years later, and I use a small bit of German when I talk with a friend who originated from Bavaria. I've started to pick back up on the Spanish since the Musician started it this past school year. Of course, after three years of Latin, Spanish was fairly easy-peasy for her. She'll actually be in Honors Spanish at the high school this year.

Of course, my German was extremely valuable when I visited relatives during a ten-week college trip to Germany and Austria. I spent a few days around Christmas with my mother's first cousin, her husband, children and grandchildren. Only one of the grandchildren spoke much English, and I didn't bunk at his apartment.

My Spanish brightened someone's day at a food trailer during that same trip to Germany. I can only assume this guy was a migrant worker from Spain who had come to Germany for opportunity, and he was buying something at the trailer. I don't know how I picked up that the guy was from Spain, probably something the food trailer guy said. They seemed to know each other. So I spoke to him in Spanish, and the man seemed thrilled with this little touch of "home." I can still remember him exclaiming excitedly to the man behind the counter, "She speaks Spanish!"

And I had a fun time on that same trip when the future Mr. Evil Genius and I ate dinner one night at a Spanish restaurant. The menu was dual German/Spanish, and I ordered in Spanish. The waiter began his very own version of Germish, along the lines of, "Gracias, Fraulein." Poor Mr. Evil Genius was very lost.

Who knows what the future holds? I'd definitely have to brush up on my foreign languages if I was to make use of them again in the future. In the meantime, I sometimes wonder, "Why?"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Feelin' the Love

Staring at a blank screen is about as bad as staring at a blank sheet of paper. :) There is a lot going on, but not much of it is good. Oddly enough, though, when I think about all the things that are going wrong, I then somehow realize how much good is out there. Lots of prayers and support for friends who are facing illness and other difficulties. Economics forcing us to look at what is really important, both in our family life and in our church life. The ability to reach out to friends online, and have a dozen friends answer back with support within minutes. The ability to be aware easily of what's going on in the world that might effect us. As Red Green says, "We're all in this together." Or as my pastor says, "This is why we keep our eye on the goal, it soothes the pain of the present. St. Paul says: I consider the present sufferings not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Being Free

You know what's scary? When you realize your children are going to go their own way, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Oh, you see signs that she is her own person even in babyhood. My daughters started showing some of their strong personal characteristics VERY early on. But when they are young, you can still coerce them into being polite, working on schoolwork, sitting quietly in church, (occasionally) cleaning their rooms. Eventually, though, you come to the Moment. Even as a mid-life crisis can hit you like a bolt from the blue, though you've known all along that eventually you will get old and die, so too can the thought that someday your kids will be on their own and can make some serious mistakes, be startling.

Of course, there are many things that can help influence a child's development. In this category are not only how you raise the child, but what examples you set. When looking at people whom I know personally who have made mistakes in their lives, I can see how seeds of negative behavior were sown by the actions of others who had significant influences in their lives at an early age.

In the end, though, everybody makes their own choices in life. Though it can be daunting to think of my daughters out on their own, in a way it is freeing to think that in the end they are responsible for decisions they make, even as I am responsible for what I have done, no matter the bad things I can point to in my past. It is freeing because none of us can be perfect as parents, or as significant people in a child's life. We should strive for the best, so that our children are not too burdened with a poor start. But our best influences fade before personal choice. The best we can do is pray for the young people in our lives to make positive decisions.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Day

Yesterday was my birthday! I'm honestly not fishing for birthday wishes, because I got enough yesterday on Facebook to turn anybody's head. But I wanted to mention that my new BTEG icon was a birthday gift from the Musician, as well as this picture:Wasn't that nice?

My younger sister (with whom I don't talk much) shares a birthday with me. It was kind of nice having this in common with my sister, but it also stunk not to have one's birthday to oneself, plus without the "specialness" of being a twin. It also made it more painful when my youngest sister started ignoring my birthday. It's not like she could forget it! However, that's years under the bridge, and I've learned that real family is the people who are there for you and who care for you, no matter whether there is a blood tie or not. Praise God for all of them!

Monday, July 12, 2010

House Hunting

The Musician has always been very sensitive to smells. For the longest time she couldn't even walk down the shampoo aisle or the laundry detergent aisle without getting ill, and of course she is very sensitive to what kind of shampoo and soap she uses, and what kind her sister uses since they share a bathroom. She once threw up when my sister with no sense of boundaries forced smelly hand lotion on her (one of the reasons I don't speak to my sister much.)

She must get it from me, because while house hunting I have been frustrated with how badly some of these houses smell to me because of some kind of air freshener or cleaner. As we were driving away from the last house we looked at, I remarked to Mr. BTEG how badly it smelled and he replied that he hadn't really noticed anything. So perhaps I am extra sensitive, but I would think a person would be careful about that sort of thing when trying to interest a prospective buyer or renter in a property. Easier said than done if you are not sensitive to it, I guess. Oh, and don't leave the dustpan on the stove. That squicked me out as well.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


First of all, the Equestrienne is now the Musician.

Secondly, the Musician just returned from a fantastic youth convention in Nashville, Tennessee, through a Lutheran group called Higher Things. The theme for this year was "Given." She not only had a great time with over a thousand other teenagers, but she worshiped, communed and learned more about what being Lutheran means. I'm so glad that she has this opportunity, and I wish something like it had been around when I was a teen. I'm also glad that my daughter takes her faith seriously and enjoys learning about it.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Mind's Eye

A commenter on my blog once noted that people are open about suffering from mental issues--when things are going well. It's true that it is difficult to share things with the outside world when one is in a chemical imbalance state of depression. Even without seeing pink elephants or purple spiders, you know when you are "off" and you don't want to scare people away. I have really been grappling with the issue of having to move, especially when we thought we were settled in where we were. The ground was pulled out from under our feet, and I spent a lot of time getting through the shock. Now I am putting a lot of energy into packing and finding a place to live that I would rather be putting into other areas, like relationships. Such is life, really. This too shall pass, and I hope we will come out better for it.