Friday, January 30, 2009

What do you deserve to get?

In watching the news today, i became pretty upset at what i was seeing in the world.

1. Icelandic people protesting and screaming at their government.
2. Plane crash victims "demanding" and "suing" for FREE upgrades to 1st class for LIFE and monetary amounts far beyond what they should get; all for an ACCIDENT! They are LUCKY to be alive and should be thanking GOD, not complaining.
3. People who don't deserve a HUGE bonus got a bonus worth more then any average American will plan to make in their lifetime.  Not to mention we just bailed out their company from going under, they should be lucky to have a job.
4. The Exxon Mobile company (and other oil co.) posted their earnings for last year and they are still complaining their BILLIONS are not enough for them and giving a "poor us" attitude because the price of gas is below $2.00 a gallon.

I do not consider myself an overly educated person or someone who often knows what the heck she is talking about. But what i do know is people.  And i am starting to dislike most people for their "i deserve it all" attitude, and i have lost most of my faith in my fellow humans to just be good people.

I am sitting here looking around my living room.  I know that by next month the couch will be sold, the desk, the shelf, the apothecary CD holder, the bench, and the love seat... oh yes, and the big screen TV, all will be sold and gone.  I know that the only way for us as a family to really make it is to move on.  I'm not going to sit back and stick my head in the sand and cry.  And i am certainly not going to just expect someone to bail me out and take care of us.  We are the makers of our own destiny.  And i for one am not going to just sit here and feel sorry for myself and then expect someone to just fix my life for me!

So, what do you deserve?  What do you expect to get if you aren't willing to make an effort?  And if something "bad" comes your way, are you going to expect to get something out of it, OR will you just understand that life isn't always fair and pick YOURSELF up, dust yourself off and make YOUR life better without asking for a handout.

i really keep hoping for a real change, and i feel sorry for those who voted for Obama thinking he was the "change".  One man can not change the world... and one man can not change this country.  It will take the change in every man, woman, and child.  An effort towards a better life, a happier life, and a more grateful life.  So today, be grateful for all of the things that you have.  Love your spouse, love your children, love your moments.  Don't expect everything to be perfect and just to automatically be done for you.  Create your own destiny, and while you are creating your destiny, be sure to help those around you find their destiny so we can all live in a better world.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

on the mend

I can still remember when this photo was taken... i had struggled with being anorexic for almost 2 years and had thought i had hidden it so well under baggie clothes and unspoken words.  This is me at age 15 eating a piece of cake at a birthday party.  A year earlier i would not have even touched the cake... or i would have moved it around on my plate and pretended to eat it and then tossed it aside acting like it was no big deal that i didn't eat the cake.  For me, this photo makes me look back with hate of how i treated myself those years before.  Even though in this image i am on the verge of getting myself better, i still hate to even look at it.  But in moving my stuff and preparing to move to California, i was going through a bunch of old CD's full of photos and came upon this photo.  I must have scanned it in for some reason, which now escapes me.  I thought i would post it and share a most hated time in my life... 18 years ago.

Monday, January 26, 2009

less is more

I have been trying to teach Claire about religions of the world through the years.  She has learned about every religion and how they work, what they worship, and etc.  Whenever someone asks her what her religion is, it has varied between the lessons of the years.  Recently she wanted to go back to learning about being Buddhist.  She had learned about it back when she was in 2nd grade.  The other day i was showing her a website (Buddha net) about some Buddhist teachings.  After reading it, she came to me in an understanding of what i had been telling her for days... "we don't "own" anything in our life... it belongs to the Earth in the end..." I had been trying to get her to donate her toys that are never played with to charity or friends or even goodwill.  She was having a hard time giving up anything.  No matter what i pointed at her answer was, "no, i need that."  I kept saying, "need or want?"  She wasn't sure how to answer that question, but would always say, "i think i need it" to which i always would give a laugh and a look to her.  But after i saw all of this lesson sink in to her, i went and read what i had already read years before, and i also came to realize that i too was trying to pack up and keep far more than i actually needed.

I have been going through every drawer, every cabinet and every shelf.  It is amazing the JUNK we keep.  I found knobs to dressers we no longer own,  but for some reason i kept the old knobs in a drawer.  I have found letters from friends that i have not heard from in several years,  and i have no reason to keep such a communication, but for some reason i felt the need to originally keep it.  There is so much stuff that is not needed!

Need.  It is a funny word.  We need food, but do we need the name brand expensive food?  We need clothes, but do we need a lot of clothes in our closet that we know we will never again wear because we forget that it is even there and when it comes time to need a certain shirt, we forget we have what we have and we buy something new anyway.   So do we need expensive clothes that will be forgotten about?  Do we need a closet (or two closets) full of clothes or just the basic clothing items of need?  We need certain things, a roof over our head, heat in the winter, food on the table, clothes on the body, and clean water.  There are i'm sure other needs, but those are the ones that come to my mind at the moment.  So as i sit here going through my many things, i have to make a choice; do i NEED that item to survive and to move out to California... or do i simply WANT the item.

Today i plan to go through the things i had already gone through with fresh eyes and see exactly what i NEED to keep and donate the things that i only want for one reason or another.

Friday, January 23, 2009

California? with a hair cut!

So California has warm weather, but not HOT weather.  We have my brother and his wife... and my favorite cousin and his family life there too.  California? Perhaps, could this be where we could go???

I was trying to grow out my hair until summer; mainly to donate to "locks of love"... but i could not take the stress of moving and the annoyance of my every growing hair.  So today i cut my hair off to help ease some of my "stress."

We told Claire after school that we are seriously discussing a move to California... she is full of mixed emotions.  Her main concern, where will her cat live?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where to move?

The only reason we stay in Lafayette, Michael's job.

So now we are wondering where to move?  We are growing tired of all of the snow and cold.  I have ALWAYS wanted to live by a beach.  My entire life, i longed to live within 2 hours of a REAL beach.  Sure we go to Warren Dunes in Mi and there is a "beach" at the lake... but it just is not the same as walking down the beach, collecting rocks and sea shells and beach glass.  It is a feeling that since i was a very young child, i have longed for it.

We are looking at maps and avoiding areas that we just don't want to live near.  Florida is last on our list.  We are thinking of South Carolina... but we would know NO ONE and that is something that we could live with, but it would be nice to be near at least some person in our family or a close friend.  Now we are just pondering where to go?

California is on the table... and we have family there...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a move begins

It started with a mention of moving.  Then the slow progression of talking about moving.  Then the jobs that were keeping us here, today, they were no more.  Last month we knew we were hitting hard times, but the summer looked bright with several jobs lined up.  Work was coming, we just had to hold on and keep going.  Then one job, then two, then all of them started to be cancelled because of the economy.  It wasn't long before we only had two jobs left this summer to keep us going.  And now, we have none.

Our talks of "someday" have now turned to, why not now?!  We are going to take a few days to think about it, talk about it with each other and our 9 year old daughter to figure out if moving to another state is something we want to do...

The great economic situation

I can not hold the faith for everyone in the world, but i hold faith for so many. It is like holding onto a bubble; you hope and pray that this bubble doesn't pop! I feel like if i move too much around in my life, the fragile bubble will pop. I feel as if i must keep this mental grasp on this faith bubble... but a very gentle grasp. I keep hoping that this bubble will turn more solid so that i can adjust my mental grasp. But it is still so fragile, it is still so un-movable in my mind. I fear that if i let go, even for a second, the bubbles will pop and all of my energy will go with them.

It is just an illusion built up in my mind on how i see my world around me. I hold bubbles for not only myself, but for several friends and family members. My mental concentration is such a struggle on some days that i keep building up that wall around me. I keep out so many people for fear of them coming inside this wall... they might accidentally pop one of my bubbles! If i lose concentration by a distraction for even a second... what will happen?

I've felt like this for over a year now. It is a feeling that i can't describe much better than the "bubble" feeling. I don't want to let go of my hope and my faith... but i'm starting to get so intwined with my many mental arms holding bubbles and this wall that is ever-growing around me... i'm feeling trapped. I made a choice recently to just drop 1 bubble. I let go of my volunteer work and quit the PTA. And i have to admit... letting go felt good! Dare i let go of another bubble? If so, which one do i choose? Which bubble is less important to who i am, or who i want to be?

These are my thoughts of today: Our house has come to the realization, we are not as secure as we were a year ago. The economy is making us re-evaluate every inch of everything that we do on every single day. We've cut out so much of our daily lives (Starbucks Frapp. i miss you so! lol) but we are still standing strong. I keep wondering how much more can we cut back in our daily lives and still be who we are in our daily lives. I've taken step after step to save, scrimp, save and remove all debt from our life. It seems to be helping, but recent changes in the economy have brought more "bad" news into our lives. I am now holding a very large bubble of hope and faith that we keep our current way of life!

We discussed moving last night. We use to talk about "one day when we are super rich... let's move somewhere fun!" And now we have the conversation of, "if things do not turn around and pick up... we will HAVE to move somewhere for work..." And now my personal bubbles feel heavy.... i am not sure i can handle the weight of much more in the bubble area. I hate to drop my faith and hope for anyone else that i am holding out my hope for... but today i am thinking that the weight of my own personal bubble needs more support than anyone else... but i just can't seem to let go.

So today, i am asking God to help me hold these bubbles... not just for myself but for all of the other people i am hoping and praying for each and every day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

in the eyes of an Obama Nation

When i was a child of 4 years old, Ronald Reagan came to the school down the street and met with the kids (my older sister being one of them). I remember hearing about the visit and how important it was to not only our town, but our tiny school. Even at the age of 4, the presidential happenings meant something important to me.  I do not remember it vividly but i do remember watching the Inauguration of Ronald Reagan.  I remember so many things coming onto the TV and into my life via this tiny box.  I often times hate the TV, i think it is a waste of time to sit and watch sports and "junk" shows.  I find it appalling that people use such a great innovation to watch such things as porn.  But in all the bad there is a lot of good to come across the TV screen in my life.  Some were sad, and some were important and moving.  But one thing is for certain, without the TV i would not have been able to take part in viewing a large part of history.

I recall exactly where i was when i watched events that were moving in my life on the television.  Today i made the choice to keep Claire home from school to take part in the very Historic event of Obama's Inauguration.  For me, it is something that all Americans should view.  Even if you do not care for Obama, or did not vote for Obama... such as it is in our family.  We should step back away from how we politically feel to accept the new leader of our country.  Today is even more historical because it is the first African-American President.  It is something that i will remember viewing, and i hope that Claire will remember the Inauguration (and not just that mommy let her "skip" school).

My one hope for the future of America and my child and all of the children is this; Peace.  If i could wrap my arms around the world to give it hope and deliver peace to every man, woman, and child... i would do that.  For now, i know that i can hug and protect, to the best of my abilities, my own child.  I hope that all parents got the message of hope, peace, and freedom from the speech given today by the new President of our country, Barack Obama.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

what's on the list today...

Pet peeve of the day: Dishes left in the right side of the sink.  This is the side where you wash your hands, wash out your cup, dump un-eaten food down the drain.  Both Claire and my husband have this habit of just sitting their dirty dish in the sink.  As if a magic dish elf will come along and clean it off for them... oh wait, that's me!  Even if they do "rinse" it off, i hate when dishes are left in the side of the sink that is for using.  The left side was invented for a reason, am i right? 

Friday, January 16, 2009

How do you do it?

We do not live above our income. We do not take lavish vacations, or hardly any vacations really.  We do not go to movies, theatre shows, concerts, etc.  We do not go out to eat unless it is a "special" occasion.  We spend very little on "hobbies"... i do love to knit and sew but it doesn't add up to that much!

So how is it that i sit back and watch people who make far less than we do live far "better" than we do?  

I admit to not clipping coupons or shopping around to several stores just to get a box of cereal for 1/2 price!  I do use coupons that print off at the store, quite often actually.  I stick to a budget and plan out our meals for the week so i do not over buy food that we will not eat.  And we still spend 100-150 per week on food and random grocery items.  Which would add up to around 5,200 a year... and that is just for food!!!

So again i question if i should go out and earn more money, or just spend less?  And i really would like to know how people survive with more than 1 child (like we have) and only earn 30k a year?  

It is hard to imagine having our house payment, car payments and normal bills but earn far less than we do.  I feel like i am a bad person because i can't figure out the "trick"!  

I think i'm going to go into deep research mode and figure out if people are just big fat liars and really do live off of credit and debt... or if they have wonderful parents who just pay for their lifestyle... or a trust fund... or something.  Because i honestly am at a loss when i look around at several of my friends who claim they have ZERO credit cards, ZERO debts, and they live off of a very small income and still have more than what we have going on.

This started because i felt guilty buying 42.38 worth of groceries today to earn Box Tops for my daughter's school.  Sad and pathetic, i know!  But i honestly felt that buying cake mixes and cereals we didn't really need was a waste since we really did need other food items.

help me understand, because i really am strangely fascinated by how people live their lives when they have no money to live by. (and i don't mean that to be mean and nasty, just that i can't figure out how to send my daughter to an acting camp this summer and we actually have a decent amount of money coming in and little debt; yet i have one friend who is going to a tropical island, another who is taking her family of 5 on a cruise, and another who's husband isn't currently working and is making crafts like they are surrounded by money and then i felt guilty buying a $2 packet of yarn the other day! am i overly feeling guilt for spending money when times are hard, or are other people just not caring enough?)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Keys to my life

although the car has changed twice, the key chains remain the same. I got a Hurley keychain in pink and white back in 1997. You can see the backside of a silver "Roswell" keychain that was a gift back in 1999. My house key which is the first key to our first house (where we still live) hides behind the Ford truck key. The key to my current car is snug inside of the ignition. And lastly (but not least) the Penny Angel which guards and protects me as i drive was given to me by my mother back when i got my first car along with the privilege to drive it! 

They are something that gets tossed in my purse daily. They get thrown in pockets and dropped on floors and driveways.  I've "lost "the Hurley logo several times because it falls off of it's own little circle and i often find it laying next to my car.  Luckily it's always found its way back to me.  These keys mean very little to me but at the same time they mean the world to me!

Yesterday they were shimmering in the light as i sat and waited for Claire to get out of school. It was as if i noticed them for the first time in a long time. It was like they were screaming out "notice me" and that i did; i took notice and what each part of it means to me. 

Today i sit here wondering where the economy will take my family in this new year. It's been a rocky past few months and the future on one day looks bright and then another day takes away a job and the future looks questionable. It seems to be one of those days, where the future has a giant "?" staring us in the face. No matter what the future holds for us as a family i know that i will always hold even the littlest things in my life close to my heart and understand that no one can take away the memories of our lifetime.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

things we see...

i saw this on another person's photo page... i have NO idea where it came from?
In Each of us, two natures are at war --- the good and the evil.
All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer.
But in our own hands lies the power to choose --- 
what we want most to be... we are.
And i am starting to wonder if i stand alone in wanting to be good?
i'm not saying everyone i know is "evil" but they are not exactly "nice" and willing to be helpful and always kind to others.