Monday, September 30, 2013

To Those of You I have Met:

If I met you while I was in Elementary School:

When I was in Elementary School, I was one of those kids who was "bigger than my body gave me credit for" (to quote a bit of John Mayer). I was overflowing with ideas and personality. I was a bit intense, and I appreciate those of you who were my friends through that time. I was always sure that my ideas were brilliant, and that everyone would always have a great time if they just followed my lead. I was quite bossy. I was quite stubborn. I am sorry to everyone who played with me....I am sure I was not the easiest person to have as a friend.

If I met you in Jr. High:

I hated being "the Smart One". I didn't want that label, so I did what any self-respecting twelve year old would do to avoid a stereotype....I became a different stereotype! I am sure it was not enjoyable to be around me while I was constantly playing the "Dumb Blonde". I am sure that it made you want to punch me in the face every time I obsessed about my looks and my weight. I am sure that my obsession with "this boy", or "that boy" got old really fast. I was mean to many of you. I was self-absorbed. I know that adolescence is a difficult time for most people, and I had my share of crap to deal with, however as I look back, I frequently mistreated those I was the closest to. There were so many of you that I looked up to, and yet...I struggled to show it. Thank you for being there even when I was not a great friend.

If I met you in High School:

While I had pulled myself together quite a bit, I brushed many of you off so that I could hang out with "this boy", or "that boy". I know that many of you were concerned about my behaviors with they boys, and tried to talk some sense in to me, but alas, usually this just made me angry...and I probably yelled at you, and then refused to talk to you for a few days. The sad thing is that you were right, and I was walking a frequently dangerous line. I just didn't want to be told what to do. I am sorry. I am also sorry for being "that friend" who was so frequently that bad influence. I am sorry for how often I pressured you in to skipping class with me. I think I was just a "misery loves company" type in those days. I was filled with teenage angst and had more than a little "rage against the machine" mentality. We all had a lot of growing up to do, and we all made mistakes...I am just sorry for dragging you along with me in mine.  

If I met you in College:

Thanks to you, I began to figure out who I really was meant to be. You ladies that I lived with were my fantastic little "pseudo family". I know that I was kinda wild, and that many of you thought I had taken my "wildness" about twelve steps too far. I probably did, but I needed to explore who I was to become, and you ladies gave me the forum to do so. I thank you! I also really have to apologize to the men I ran across during that time period. I was needing to discover that I had some kind of control over my life, and a lot of that discovery was done at your expense. I treated a great many of you with quite a lot of disrespect. I justified it at the time by thinking that previous guys I had dated held all of the power, and were very domineering. I wanted to set my life back in balance by "settling the score" so to speak. It was all about me, and I didn't really take your feelings in to consideration. I am sorry that I treated you so poorly.

If I met you in my 20s:

Once I was married, and had children VERY soon afterward, I was VERY lonely. My life had been such a fun whirlwind in college, and settling in to Motherhood was a really difficult transition. I was so afraid of not being "up to scratch" with other mothers. I was filled with doubt and loneliness. To those of you who took my under your wing and showed me that everything was going to be alright, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! You were Godsends at that time for me! It is sad the way we as mothers tear each other down and make our insecurities twelve times worse, however, you ladies were paramount in helping me to overcome those insecurities and be a better mother. I love you and am forever grateful to you!

If I met you in my 30s:

It took my 30 years to figure out how to accept myself for who I am. This is largely due to the fact that it took me 30 years to figure out exactly WHO I am. I learned that I spent way too much time as a square peg trying desperately to fit into that blasted round hole! I became unabashedly my own person...however, as it was in my youth, I am "bigger than my body gives me credit for". I know that many of you don't understand the reasons behind my life choices. I have decided that it is ok not to be understood. I know that I am a favorite source of gossip, and I have decided to be happy to supply you with fodder.

To those of you who were in a band with me, I have to thank you for challenging my perspective on everything. You boys were and are a lovely part of my life/family! My experience making music with you brilliant gentlemen was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done! Thank you for the opportunity!

To those of you who are in my circle of close friends, I thank you! I know that I overschedule myself and burn out and fall off the planet, and don't give you the time you deserve. I am grateful you are my friends anyway. I know that I am not one to share my "deepest darkest", and I struggle to be truly close to people. I appreciate you being there for me despite be being difficult to connect with.

I am grateful for the person I am today, and I am grateful to everyone who became part of the rich tapestry that is my life! I am sorry for the ways that I have hurt you, and am continually blessed for your current or previous part in my life!              

Friday, June 21, 2013


There has been a lot of interest surrounding a topic that I have very strong feelings about of late. This is the topic of modesty. Many people have been stating that if a woman is a true "follower of Christ", she will abstain from the wearing of "immodest clothing" on account of what it will "do to the men". I have also seen a woman who is selling her own line of clothing (beware of any information given by someone who stands to gain financially), stating that only those with lowered standards would wear a bikini. I was raised with this thinking. "You just don't know what that type of clothing does to a boy", or my favorite, "Don't you think we as women have a greater responsibility than the men to keep their minds' pure?" were favorite lines of my parents and youth leaders. While I understand that they were truly trying to assist me in my learning and growth, as I went from girl to woman this thought process became damaging to me. I found myself in situations where I was taken advantage of by men, sometimes violently, and I felt the weight of the responsibility and shame of these situations as I had apparently "done something" to these men to "make them" behave in the way they had. My femininity was obviously to blame for the actions of the men, as my body "made them" think and act in ways that they could not control. "Boys will be boys...." My first child was a son. As I began to raise him, I realized that he is an amazing little human, with a kind of "old-soul" presence. He is very logical and intelligent. As he is now a teenager, I am grateful for the realization that he is not, in fact, some sex-crazed maniac. I worked in the field of Ob/Gyn for a number of years, and as I am comfortable with the topic, sexuality has not been a shameful subject in our home. My son has spoken with me very candidly about his sexual feelings and any questions. I refuse to believe that my son lacks the capacity to pull it together, and control his thoughts and actions! I refuse to teach any of my children that their thoughts are not their own. Sexual thoughts, feelings, and impulses are good and natural, however, it is not the person who is being thought about who is at fault for any fantasy. We can have influence over other people, however, we are not responsible for their thoughts and actions. I, for one, will not degrade my son by teaching him he is nothing more than raging hormones within a sack of skin. He is an intelligent human who is responsible for his actions. The second part of the problem with the way that we are teaching modesty, is that we are once again teaching women that they are nothing if they are not beautiful in some form or another. My value is NOT is the way I appear to other people! This is NOT my only contribution to society! I am saddened by the countless ladies that feel their only power is in their sexuality. If you are comfortable in an article of clothing, you should feel free to wear it, however, it is reasonable to assess the reasons for your clothing choices. If you are wearing something because it speaks to the world about who you are as a person, feel free to wear it. However, of you feel that you need to wear something that does nothing but get you sexual attention, you are part of that problem telling everyone that we as women are nothing more than our bodies...and our bodies are only useful as sexual objects. You are perpetuating the idea that once you are no longer sexually attractive, you have lost your place in our society. Ladies, let us re-train everyone to see us as human beings! Dress in a way that shows the world who you really are! The more we state that certain items of clothing are "overly sexual", the more we train our society in an almost pavlovian way that the items in question are sexual, therefore, handing people the thoughts that we are so concerned with. PLEASE evaluate why you are making the clothing choices you are. Do not let society dictate who you are, and DO NOT buy in to the notion that you are only a body! Dress in a way that is not an advertisement for a moment of sexual gratification for another person, rather, dress in a way that helps people understand who you are as a human. I refuse to teach my son that he is just an animal, and I refuse to teach my daughters they are just a body! I refuse to teach any of my children that there are "bad" parts of their bodies! I refuse to refer to sexual acts as "dirty" or "filthy"! I want my children to think of sex in a positive light, and I want them to feel that they are in control of their lives! Ladies, let's show everyone that we are worth more than just our sexuality! Let us make clothing choices that are not tainted with society's rules. Let us show the world our wit and wisdom!

Friday, November 4, 2011


I have music in my soul. I am just one of those people. I have recently been talking to my students about the power of music. We did an experiment to see if they could literally feel music enter and later leave their bodies. It was magical! I played a very upbeat song for them and told them to remain absolutely still. They had a very difficult time doing this. I pointed out to them that music has the ability to create energy. Very few things have this capasity, for example, if you are in a large croud of people who are collectively yelling, this will create energy. However, my class was remaining completely still. They were focusing their minds on being relaxed. They were not in and of themselves the source of the energy that was created. The music did it to them. Suddenly, they were filled with a need to move. They had to find a way to express the energy that filled their bodies, and their bodies became anxious when they were unable to do so. There is a great power in this. I then had them listen to the same piece of music while focusing intently on the way that the energy filled them. I had them remain still after I turned off the music, and had them pay particular attention to the way they could actually feel that same energy leave them. (If you have never done this, I urge you to try. It is pretty amazing).

I explained that music is not a force to be taken lightly. It has the power to create energy as well as take it away. It has a profound effect on our emotions. I for one, have been moved by music on countless occasions. The first time, I remember having the experience was when I was probablly four years old. I was watching a children's program where a montage of scenery was displayed to "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber. I remember crying and not understanding why. I have always felt that music has the power to speak to us in ways that other forms of communication cannot. Victor Hugo said it best when he said, "Music expresses that which cannot be said, but upon which is impossible to be silent."

I often hear people say that they wish life was a giant musical. I believe that it is. I believe that all of the music I allow into my soul is the soundtrack to my life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why I Hate Christmas Music

As many of you know, I LOATHE Christmas music!! I can barely stomach Christmas shopping because of it. I take a lot of flack because of my feelings toward it, and I am lectured every year as well. Everyone always says, "I can't understand how ANYONE can have a problem with Christmas music.", and, "How can you not want to have the Christmas Spirit all year?". It is because of this, I have decided to take a moment and justify my feelings.

First of all, let me put Christmas music into two categories: Cheesy/Sugary, and of Holy/Religious.

The first category I feel is self-explanatory for anyone who knows me very well, but for the rest of you, I will explain. I am not really that "sugary sweet" kinda gal. I prefer things that are a little dark, or thought-provoking. I despise puns and that sort of silliness. I wouldn't usually listen to a shallow, predictable melody about goofy unicorns or fairies planting sugar flowers or something....I feel that I have moved on to more adult kinds of music. I really don't care about care about the roasted chestnuts on the open fire, or the blasted silver bells on the street corners, and seriously, I throw up in my mouth a little bit every time someone whiles about their heart that they gave to some jerk last Christmas and their plans to give it to someone better this year. However, I know that there are people who love the simple sweetness of some of the more "sugary" of Christmas songs, and on that, we will just have to agree to disagree.

The second category really is the one that frustrates me the most. I have a hard time with what I call "Bumper-Sticker Religion". I have never felt that the rear window or a car or the like is really the place for my declarations of faith. My faith is very personal to me, and I honestly want to hold it in a place of highest value. I think that religion and faith should always be held as sacred, and only reserved for times when it can be expressed with utmost reverence. A beautiful gold cross, or a Star of David on a chain, or a CTR ring worn as an outward reminder of faith is, in my mind, an appropriate show of faith, however, maybe "Jesus Saves" on a mudflap is a bit much. It is because if my problem with this type of attitude that I have a problem with the Religious/Holy type of Christmas music. I love to sing it or listen to it in an appropriate and worshipful setting, but somehow the music looses something when it is performed by a boy band. I RARELY hear "Top Forty" type artists treat holy music with the respect that it deserves, and it upsets me to hear things that I hold as sacred in a callous and casual setting.

So, those are my justifications. I really don't hate the season. I love the spirit of the season and the goodness that it brings. I just never am a fan of the dorky cheesiness, and I just want the sacred to remain so.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Assuming Good Intent

I have been doing a lot of soul searching of late. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that their intentions are good. I don't think that very many people are truly evil, or to quote myself, "No one wakes up in the morning and says "You know what I am gonna do today? Suck!" "

My problem comes when I have come to that point where someone has hurt me to a large degree, or taken advantage one too many times. I am realizing that I have a very difficult time returning to that place of assuming good intent. I assume that if someone has hurt me, and I have chosen to let it affect me, their intentions can never be good again. I look for reasons that the individual could be trying to hurt me again. This is an unfair assessment of people, and I realize it is a hypocritical position for me to take because I believe so strongly that people really do intend to do good in general. I also realize that I have a difficult time trusting people, and when I refuse to allow people to have good intentions toward me, I am a part of the problem, and not a part of the solution. As long as I have this attitude, I will not be able to trust people.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Things I Have Learned From Being a Waitress...

So, I am just like everyone else. I have been to a restaurant and thought to myself, "Why can't that blasted waitress just refill my soda? This job isn't rocket science after's not like it requires a degree of some sort. I mean, seriously, how difficult can this be?"

Well, as Karma would have it, I find myself recently employed as a server at Mimi's cafe. I figured that I could do the work...after all, "how hard can it really be?", as I have asked myself on numerous eating out excursions. I have worked for years in the medical field balancing blood draws and lab tests and billing and keeping pregnant and other hormonal women happy...I should certainly be able to handle bringing food to people, right?

I quickly learned that my frustration with serving staff was a direct result of my lack of understanding of situations. My server might not refill my drink immediately because as she was off to get my soda, one of her tables may have accused her of stealing their debit card, or other such nonsense. Here is a list of what I have learned in this position...

1. I was unprepared for the lack of respect that people have for servers. Contrary to popular belief, I am an intelligent and educated person...NOT your servant.

2. I work TOTALLY on tips. Server wage is TWO DOLLARS and HOUR!! ALL of my paycheck comes from you. Even if I wasn't flawless, please be generous with your tips. Imagine going to work all day and having your boss yell at you and tell you that today you get to go home with nothing because you suck so bad...

3. The cooks and bussers and hosts get paid...your server does not. If your food is incorrectly prepared, or your table was not cleaned off properly, this was NOT the fault of your he/she should not be penalized by you.

4. If you can't afford to leave a tip...stay home or eat fast food.

5. Your server really does want you to be happy...if you aren't, please tell them so they can make it right.

6. Servers HATE "Girl's Night Out". Often, they fight over who has to take these tables. Let me explain something to you...a server is given a certain number of tables to wait on during a shift, and if you take up a table for HOURS ON END you should probably tip your server extra, because you are LITERALLY causing them to loose money. Also, groups of girls/women traditionally try to "out under-eat" each other, so the amount that you are going to tip will already be less....however, these groups usually require A TON OF BABYSITTING, so really, just be aware of what you are doing.

7. Don't assume that your server is an idiot. Believe it or not, I have a college degree.

8. If your server if forgetting something, just remind them in a polite way. They really do have a million things going on, and may have just had a table chew their face off and insult their parentage, which may have legitimately caused them to forget. Again, they really do want you to be happy.

9. If your food is not tasting the way you would like, it is fine to mention this rather than just sit and seathe. Again, what everyone really wants is for you to be happy, leave a decent tip, and come back again.

10. Mistakes will be made....are YOU flawless?

11. No one is gonna spit in your food...we are really just too busy.

12. Consider getting an appitizer and a soda. I know it costs a little more, but we really get reamed by our bosses if we don't sell a certain amount. Also, if we have a little scripted thing that we have to say...just let us say it. If a manager happens to be listening and we don't say everything we are supposed to....we may get yelled at. (And truely, we get yelled at a lot).

I totally understand that I have been guilty of many of these things pre-server...and it was because I really didn't understand the job. I am glad that I understand a bit better now, and hopefully you won't have to go through the hell that serving can be before you learn. Payback's a bitch.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What To Do With The Time That Is Given You

I am very blessed. I have an amazing husband, beautiful and healthy children, a lovely house, an education, friends, and the opportunity to pursue whatever I wish in life. I have been reflecting of late on why it is that I have been so blessed. What is it that separates me from others that have not been so lucky? Is it fate, or perhaps luck? Is it really something that I deserve on my own merit? I believe that the answer to all of these questions is, "No". I am one life experience away from prosperity or disaster. Therefore, what right do I have to do nothing while others suffer? How will I choose to use my blessings? Will I lock them away in my house and provide nothing to others whose circumstances are different than mine? Do I truly believe that my responsibility is to those who are a part of my family only? Am I so prideful that I believe that I am superior in some way to those who were not afforded my life experience? What if it was their own doing that placed them in their current it really for me to judge whether or not they are deserving of the punishment?

I recently read a book that provided the theme "People who change the world are neither sinners or saints. They are simply people who had the courage to 'Do'". It suggested that when an individual sees another providing for those less fortunate than themselves or engaging themselves a great cause, the individual will call them a "Saint" or "Crazy". This is a form of "passing the buck". If you can rationalize that that individual is different than yourself, then you are off the hook. You can get by doing nothing. If you admit to yourself that people making a difference are exactly like you, than it is also your responsibility to change the world.

If I am a God-fearing woman....than I believe that it is my duty to make a difference because it is what God desires of me. If I do not believe in God...than it is my responsibility to do something because no "supreme being" will be there to intervene on their behalf.

I am a God-fearing woman, and I have come to the conclusion that I am blessed so that I have the opportunity to give. I believe that I will be judged on what I have done with the blessings I have received. 95% of the world's wealth is in the hands of 5% of the world's population....and that gives that 5% a responsibility to the other 95%. Remember, you are one life experience away from being out of that category.

You are always part of the solution, or part of the problem....there is no middle ground.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. -Tolkien