Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Reason for the Season

Actually, if you want to be picky about it...

That... and Cultural Appropriation...

We're prepping for a Christmas Concert with my vocal studio at the moment.  We've got all sorts of music, but because of the season, there's a lot of God in the songs.

And that brings me back to my conflicted feelings about Christianity as a whole.

If you get down to the words written in the book, the ideas are sound.  Do unto others.  Those have have no sinned, cast the fist stone.  Blessed be the peacemakers.  It seems like a great code for life!  I'm not going to get into the beliefs about a higher power, I'm just touching on the here and now practices.

But I'm also a student of history.  And I've seen the mess that Christianity has made in the world, both directly and when they meant well.
  • The Spanish Inquisition*
  • the Crusades*
  • using the bible to justify slavery*
  • using the bible to justify homophobia*
  • Christian Missionaries (Historically and present day)*
  • Native American boarding schools*
  • The Westboro Baptist Church*
*Yes... the realities are more complex, and you could write a dissertation on the the intersections of religion, politics and society.... 

It's hard for me to reconcile the message with the action of the people that hear that message.  And it's hard not to think about the ills that the religion have done to people in the past.

I'll stick to what I've been doing.  Following what JC said to do without the crap that his fan club does getting in my way.  I was thinking about going back to a church, but I don't know.  I have a low tolerance Republican Jesus.

Fred Rogers has been in the news of late.  Not only was he a PBS mainstay, he was also a minister.  His ministry was kindness.
I think that it's a rather good way to live your life.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Starting from the beginning

Way back when, I was in Weight Watchers.  It actually worked for me.  But I quit when I switched to some of the BeachBody methods (the containers).

I’m now the heaviest I’ve ever been.  My weight is affecting my health.  I don’t feel good health wise.  I also feel unattractive and awful.

So I went back to the beginning.  I got out My Fitness Pal.  It's the closest I can get to Weight Watchers tracking without paying for meetings. I’m scanning and tracking everything.  My BeachBody friends may not like it, but this is the most in control I’ve felt in ages.

I also started a new workout program.  It’s something that I’m enjoying, and the workouts are short enough for me to do them before work.  I’m also running.  I had to cancel my plans to run the Wine and Dine in 2021.  But thanks to something unfun, I decided to run it in 2022.  It’ll take me that long to train up a half marathon again.

Now, if I could manage to pack a better lunch for work so the temptation of the vending machine won’t be as great.....

Also, I need to get up the courage to weigh myself again!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Impostor Syndrome

I’ve always been an introvert.  So much, in fact, that if I have time off of work I’ll hold up at home and not leave for days.

Why not hang out with friends?  Why not go out?

Because (while I know it’s not true), most times I feel like my existence is a burden on my friends.  Heck, we’re having a wedding reception and I’m terrified that no one will show up.

Is this true?  I don’t rationally think so.  But the nagging in the back of my mind is rather loud at times.  Why would these people want to be around you?  You’re a looser.

A bit ago I started taking vocal lessons.  It was something I’d always wanted to do.  I was soon swept up into the fall concert.  Then they gave me two small solos.

Going to rehearsals has been tough.  I spend time freaking out that I don’t deserve the solos, no matter how small they are.  (Like seriously... it’s 2 lines of 2 different songs). I’m a crap singer that has been taking lessons for 2 months, that inner voice says.  Everyone will laugh at you, the voice whispers in my ear.  

What am I going to do about it?  Just keep plugging away.  Keep working with the vocal lessons.  Keep screwing my courage on and interacting with my friends.  Fake it till you make it.

Friday, July 5, 2019

You win some, you lose some...

One of the reason that we married in the first place was to eventually buy a house.  Well, we got the ball rolling.  Got pre-qualified.  Found a real estate agent.

We then got smacked with reality.  The houses I was looking at, in the location I was looking at them in were WAY too above our budget. I was budgeting with money that we didn't have.

So (all with my brother visiting, might I add) we had a talk.  We decided to spend the next year saving money, cutting unnecessary spending, weeding out things from our current place.  We've had some expenses crop up in the last year that we didn't anticipate.  Like having a tree fall on our cars and having to buy new ones.  And I think we're at the point where I need to invest money in allergy shots.

I really wanted to move.  I wanted to get away from sharing walls with people.  I wanted more space.  But I also want to afford to live someplace AND eat.  I've been foreclosed on before, and it SUCKS.

Along with the rather tough talk about money, we also talked about Disney.  And how expensive it is.  Even if we do have the time share... the price of park tickets alone makes one shudder.

So we're cutting back to every other year.  And since I'm standing up in a weeding AT Disney in 2022, that means that there will be no 2021 Wine and Dine Half Marathon for me.
I'm ok with that.  I might register for a half marathon in town for that time.  Keep the momentum going.  Maybe try for 2023?
But regardless, We now have a plan, and I feel better when I have a plan.

  1. Cut unnecessary spending
  2. Look at where our money DOES go and see if we can reduce it
  3. clean out this place (maybe we can use a smaller house in the long run if we have less stuff!)
  4. Keep up the training, and step it up
  5. Profit?

Monday, June 17, 2019


For ages, the Spousal Equivalent and I declared that we didn't want or need to be married.

Then 2 things happened

  1. I realized that I'm getting older.
  2. We have WAY too much stuff for the house that we have.
Because marriage gets you benefits when it comes to end of life and medical decisions... and the need of a mortgage.. we decided to get married.

Shocking, right?

So we got ourselves a license.  A friend performed the ceremony.  This is shorter than it was, but not by much.

And honestly, that's how we wanted it.  We've been together for 10 years.  We live our marriage every day.  We don't need a white dress or a church.
We're still having a wedding reception.  But that'll be at a later date.  Have you been to Virginia in the summer?  it's hot!

Monday, June 10, 2019

It's nice to have some hobbies.

When I was in High School I was a musical theater kid.  I performed both on stage and worked back stage.

College came, and I moved my work to the backstage region.  I was good at it too.

But in the last few years, I came to realize that I have absolutely no hobbies.  I work, I come home, I cook dinner and clean, I go to bed.

So I decided to get a hobby!  I started vocal lessons!  I get to sing show tunes for an hour a week.  For the first time in ages, I look forward to something!  I have something that gets me out of the house after work.

But with everything in my life, there is also guilt.  At times  feel guilty that I'm out of the house and not home cleaning.  I feel guilty that I'm not spending my time taking care of my family.

But then I realize that you can't pour from an empty cup.  My life doesn't need to revolve around what I should be doing.  I'm allowed to do things for me once in a while.
In fact, I'm going to be in a show in September.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thank goodness it's over.

I've had a few things go on in the last month.

  • Commencement
  • Some weird health issues
Commencement is the same issues every year.  It's 2 hours of herding cats, then a speed through to the finish.
This year Mother Nature had another plan.  We had to call the Rain Plan, since our ceremony was under a tent.

That meant that we were moved to a gym.  A big echo-y gym.  We rolled in at 3 and had an hour to figure out how we were going to run things.  

By the grace of some deity, we did it.  All the students got their diplomas.  The refreshments were eaten.  Sadly, we ran out of cups for the beverages.

That was my capper to a weird month, which started with a pounding heart.
A few weeks before we were getting ready to go to Busch Gardens.  The excision of putting on my damn pants caused my heart to pound.  Like, I had to lay down.  I assumed it was a panic attack, since panic attacks mimic heart attacks.

It wasn't just that.  I wear an Apple Watch and noticed that my heart-rate was running a little high.

After going to the gynecologist and having my blood pressure super high it was decided that I needed a talk with my primary doctor.  I was prescribed the following:
  • a new blood pressure med
  • changing my diet
  • exercise
  • lower my stress
The exercise is going well.  The new medication is going well.  The diet and exercise are still a work in progress.  We're putting some effort in the healthy eating!

The de-stressing is going to take some work.