Monday, April 27, 2009

Into the light

Over the weekend, I had several moments when I had to actively fight being hateful, and I lost. It's not my nature to be hateful. I think I am the exact opposite of hateful, and because of that, it's easy for other people to view me as a doormat you stand on to wipe away any dirt you might have picked up on the bottom of your shoes. The people who love me think the well of my giving is bottomless--that I exist for that purpose alone. I think when it gets to be too much I have to scream for them to hear me, see me. And then they behave for a couple of days like I am a queen and then after that we repeat the whole process until I get hateful and start screaming again. I've never mapped out these episodes but I'd estimate a guess that this happens every couple of months. It's good to know that I can count on life never changing.

I think I mentioned before about how I decided to read the Bible and it has been a very sobering experience for me. Being raised a Catholic, I remember most of the stories, but what has surprised me is how much I missed as I left it to other people to interpret for me. I don't want to sound fanatical or anything, but I feel as though the experience of reading the Bible has changed my life. The messages of God in the Bible are very clear but they get lost in man's translations. Furthermore, God stresses that man should NOT translate his words because God says what he means and means what he says, so no translation is necessary.

The Catholic church has done lots of rewriting of the laws of God, and this is not something I recognized until I took the time to read the Bible. I followed where I was led and never questioned anything. This is just one more example of how I went along with what other people said to me or wanted for me. I have a long history of doing that and I am not sure why. I'm the "go along gal" even when there is voice in my head telling me to run in the other direction. It's not that I like sabotaging my life, but you might think so by some of the choices I have made.

Anyway, without going into a whole big spiel, I think I am finding truth inside the Bible, and the truth I am finding is throwing my life into a bit of a turmoil. I have to wrestle with the fact that I have been deceived by a church that has moved away from serving God. I mean--I didn't even realize that the Catholic church had changed God's ten commandments! But they did! And I just followed along reciting the Catholic church's altered commandments as if I was speaking the truth. And I felt self-important and superior to anyone who did not have the same beliefs. I did not know any better--but is that really a good enough excuse? I don't think so.

No one really likes the new me who keeps quoting God's words and telling everyone that the truth they believe is a lie. But it's like I can't stop. I want them to see what I see. And then I'll panic and think that maybe this new truth I'm believing is just another deception, another way that I'll end up being wrong about everything. That's what finding new truths has done to me--it has made me question everyone and everything.

I feel like the story of all of our lives has been written already and our purpose is to try to make the best choices that put us in the best position for peace in our next life. Obviously I have some things to work on. I am a work in progress. I am potentially awesome.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Positivity early in the morning

My daughter was gathering her things to get ready to go to school and my husband yells out to her:

"Sara, drive carefully. There's lots of nuts out driving this time of the morning. Keep your wits about you. And be on the lookout for any end-of-the-year Columbine-type episodes at school. Have a great day!"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The nerve of some people

While I was on vacation a week ago, we stayed at a really nice hotel with a pool that was located right on the ocean. We had an ocean front room and it was simply heavenly waking up, opening the shades and seeing the beautiful ocean right there in front of me. I would sit on the balcony late at night and listen to the waves crashing and think about how much I would like to live there forever. I belong near the ocean. Case closed.

During the day, my daughter would spend a lot of time at the pool because she doesn't especially like the annoyance of sand. From the beginning of the week there was a group of women (about 4 of them) who would come to the pool with their children (each woman had at least 3 kids) and they would hog a whole section of the pool area with all their pool/beach/snacking/drinking paraphernalia. This wasn't a quiet little group as you can imagine. There was lots of drama coming out of that corner, including, but not limited to: the women downing beers as early as 10:30 AM (who watches the kids when you're partying with the gals???), balls being misfired and landing on other hotel guests who were minding their own business, fights between the kiddos while the moms were focusing on their tans, and there was even an episode of a MISSING CHILD where they could not locate one of the children for about an HOUR. Come to find out, the little boy had wandered to the BEACH by himself to play in the ocean. The horror! I would need to be sedated for the duration if something like that happened on my watch, but this group merely gave the lad a little time out then he was sent back into the pool to splash and make noise to his heart's content.

This group could give soap operas a run for their money what with all the over-the-top-nonstop-nonsense. Both my daughter and I wondered where the husbands were because we never saw any men in the group. Then, on the second to the last day a man showed up and spent about an hour with the group--but that was it. I assumed they must be out fishing or golfing or whatever it is men do while avoiding taking care of their kids and hanging out with their wives on these "group" vacations. I've never really understood the need for group vacations. I know people who NEVER go on vacation unless they have another family (or two or three) going along with them. I don't get it. I keep thinking these people cannot stand to be alone with their own families for any extended period of time if they have to have "buffer" families along. Maybe I'm just an oddity. I only want my family around, and sometimes even THEY are too much for me, let alone 2 or 3 other families.

On the second to the last night there, my daughter and I headed out to dinner and as we were turning out of the parking lot of the hotel, I happened to look across the street and saw this entire group of people camped out at a house (a rental home). There were 5 cars outside the home, and everyone was on the front porch having some sort of gathering. I said to my daughter, "Is that the noisy group of people that have been at the pool all week?" (I thought I must be seeing things because if they were renting that house for vacation, there was NO WAY they should have been hanging out at the hotel pool). She said, "Yep, that's them."

Huh? I couldn't it believe it. I had noticed that a couple of the women had brought along beach chairs for when they went to the beach (from the pool), and I wondered why they would do that since we were given complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas if we stayed at the hotel. I decided to keep an eye on the cheaters the next day so that I could confirm their nefarious pool/beach shenanigans.

So the next day, I watched them at the pool, then they'd go to the beach (and they would take along their chairs), they'd go into the hotel and use the bathrooms. We ended up going out for a while and when I came back later that evening I noticed the troop marching over the stairs from the beach. The women instructed the kids to jump into the pool to wash the sand off, and they also rinsed their boogie boards off in the pool. Then the group took their belongings and made a beeline across the street to their vacation house for the evening. I kid you not.

As far as I am concerned, those people were stealing. They were using a pool for free that everyone else had to pay for. And the thing I couldn't get over was how brazen they all were. If I was blatantly stealing something, I think I would at least try to be as inconspicuous as possible and yet this little party did nothing to blend into the background--in fact, they behaved as though they owned the place. Who acts like this? Who thinks it is a good idea to teach your children that it's ok to be dishonest in this manner? Do they not have consciences? Don't they think it's important to do the right thing, especially when little eyes are watching?

I learn something new every day, and some days I learn more than one thing. Lately, the things I've been learning about people leave me wondering what the hell is wrong with some people.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Brighter than sunshine

I came home from the grocery store Sunday afternoon to find my son sitting on a bench outside the front door armed with a hose and one of those car cleaning mitts. I asked him what he was doing and he explained that my husband was being driven crazy by a tiny bird that kept coming up to the brass kick plate on our front door. Apparently, the little bird could see it's reflection in the kick plate and hopped around cheep-cheeping at himself. So I was "But what are YOU doing?" And he told me that he was waiting for the bird to return so that he could spray it with water or toss the mitt at it so that it would go away. This is what I live with. I went inside and I had to hear all about the terrorist bird (about the size of baseball) who would NOT stop making a racket while my husband was trying to watch TV. I told him to turn up the volume. I mean, REALLY. The little bird wasn't hurting anything or anyone. He was just hopping along the front step looking at himself and cheeping merrily and we have to immediately institute plans to murder the poor thing.

This reminds me of the time years ago when we were taking a road trip back home with the kids. It was a 18 hour trip and about 10 minutes into the ride, the kids were in the back screeching at each other at the top of their lungs. I had brought a book to immerse myself in and I just tuned them out but my husband went ballistic and pronounced that "Everyone better knock it off and remain silent for the rest of the trip!" Now that's reality for you!

The bird hasn't been back all week while my husband has been out of town so let's see if he makes a reappearance to start harassing him this weekend again.

I can't believe it's mid April already. Time is flying. My youngest daughter is getting ready to graduate from high school and I thought I'd be truly depressed by the prospect of her leaving to go off to college, but strangely, I'm just so excited for her and how well she has done. I really have been blessed to have children who have remained grounded in a world where it's so easy to get distracted by excesses everywhere. She has been especially hard hit by the loss of friendships due to their involvement in drinking,drugs and just plain rebellion towards EVERYTHING and she has managed to pick herself up and find new friends and a new way of life without them. She has kept her eye on the prize and I am unendingly proud of her for that.

Monday, April 13, 2009

There you go with hope again

I spent the last week sitting on a beach staring out at this awe-inspiring ocean.

I keep this memory close and take it out when I need to remember just how beautiful life can be.