Being A Grown Up, School

Of religion and consternation

I usually try to leave religion out of the topics I discuss, primarily because it is a hot-button issue for some people.  For me, it’s usually not.  I’m generally pretty open and easy-going about religious discussions.

That is, so long is no one is trying to convert me.

The odd reality is that I’m currently attending a Christian university for grad school.  That is because they offered my major as online only, something that is hard to come by.

So far, the fact that I attend a Christian school as been a non-issue.  In fact, many of my classes have had only minimal mention of religion at all.  Which is excellent considering I’m studying government and criminal justice.

But the class I’m in now…

Whoo boy.

I’m about to blow up at this class.  It’s a government class and so far 9/10’s of the course has been about Christianity and it’s influence on government policy.

…. I’m sorry.  What?

By the end of this course, I’m supposed to be able to identify and critique government policy….yeah. No.  That’s not happening.  I haven’t learned squat about public policy.  I’ve been too busy choking on the sheer amount of GOD being shoved down my throat.

And I don’t mean in the sense of “relate this topic to Scripture.”  No, we’re talking full on “here’s this entire work I’ve composed on how Biblical principles apply to government it’s a mandatory resource for the next 5 assignments.”

Say what?

I’m half-tempted to email the professor and tell him, in no uncertain terms, I’m agnostic-bordering-on-atheist.  Not that it would help my case much considering how much of my assignments’ grades are resting upon my re-hashing of CHRISTIANITY in government.

WTF?

But then I’m also instructed (in a presentation) that the idea of separation of church and state is actually a Christian idea.  Um, ok?  I really don’t care where the idea came from given that you’re making me learn government policy through the very CHRISTIAN lens of YOUR view.  Not actually the material perhaps that I should be studying, like oh, I don’t know, government policy making?

It’s making me very frustrated.  Me frustrated is not a good thing.

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A Day in the Life

Wishlists

Everyone has things that they want.  Some are things they can’t afford but want anyone while others are more affordable but sort of a waste of money.

Hubby’s wishlist right now is pretty simple.  He’s discovered Magic the Gathering and is constantly looking at decks and buying boosters and then having to buy storage cases for them all.  I find it funny because I was into Magic in high school but fell out of it in college because I didn’t know anybody else who played.  I know I still have my old deck from back then in our house somewhere because I remember coming across it while unpacking and cleaning and getting ready for DD to arrive.

Other than that, he’s into the Skylanders games.  Which works because DD loves to play with the little figures.  I just bought him a set of figures that are supposedly hard to find (I had no issue finding them) since he promised me he wouldn’t buy anymore of them for a while (after blowing over $100 in the last 2 months on them).

My wishlist is pretty simple but expensive.  My biggest wish is to get a Surface Pro.  I want to get back into drawing and being able to share them.  I might fire up my DeviantArt account again.  But I enjoyed drawing.  I’d like to get back into it, maybe with Photoshop or something.  Unfortunately, the price tag on that all told would end up being upwards of $1,000 easily, if not closer to $2,000 if I got a really nice one plus the PS program.  I use my laptop a lot for school since I can’t get to my desktop but I prefer a desk.

The other item on my wishlist is a built-in desk and small office.  Which may or may not happen when we finish our basement…eventually, in maybe 5-10 years.

Another is to travel outside the country.  I always dreamed of it when I was younger but always got told it was too expensive, it was out of my reach, etc., and now I wish I hadn’t listened to all the nay-sayers and just did it anyway.  Screw the cost.  I wish I had the experience.  So maybe one day I’ll get to travel.  In the meantime, I try to be content with dreaming about it.

The only other big thing on our wishlist is taking DD to Disney next year.  It will most likely happen since we’ve been planning it for a while and plan to take it out of our tax return.  Of course, how big we go will depend on how big of a return we get.

The small day-to-day wishlists are easy…or easier at least.  A good night’s sleep, DD to sleep in past 7 A.M. just once, a nice dinner, a clean house.  Some of them I can get to, some I can’t.  Just depends on how many spoons I have that day versus things that need to be done.

Maybe one day I can check all the big things off my wishlist.


~ML

Invisible Illness

Productivity

Everyone defines productivity differently.  Overachievers seem to have a hard time considering themselves productive because they set such high standards for themselves (and everyone around them too).

I used to be an overachiever.  Dealing with my fibromyalgia has changed that.  I’ve had to lower my standards for myself in order to maintain my mental health.  When I first was dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, primarily the fatigue, the brain fog, and the pain, I often found myself unable to complete the simplest of tasks.  And it upset me.  Truly, to the point of frustrated tears, upset me.

So I started changing my idea of being productive.  I started taking baby steps, making lists of big things then making lists of smaller things that led up to the big things.

Big things like fixing up our yard.  A task made even harder because I have a rambunctious almost-3-year-old who I can’t leave unattended for 5 seconds without her causing trouble.  And harder because Hubby has left me practically a single parent for the last several months with his 2-jobs-schedules that left us with barely any mutual days off.  So I broke those things into smaller things.

New yard furniture.  A new yard umbrella to give us shade.  Mowing the lawn.  Pulling weeds from the empty flower beds.  Moving the bird bath (which is solid stone/concrete and takes several people).  Re-planting our crepe myrtle.  Cut back the overgrowth on the side and back of house.  Mark out the deck dimensions.  Purchase supplies for deck.  Build deck.  Build lattice privacy wall.

Smaller things.

Run the dishwasher.  Empty the dishwasher.  Run laundry.  Fold laundry.  Put away laundry.  Vacuum.  Sweep and mop.  Pick up toys.  Dust.

Smaller things.

Read a chapter.  Research.  Write.  Post.

Smaller things.

Text a friend.  Call a doctor’s office.  File paperwork.  Take me-time.  Shower.  Brush my hair.  Brush my teeth.  Eat.

These days I’m excited for accomplishing small things I used to take for granted.

Meeting my step-goal (which is less than the 10,000 recommendation).  Drinking enough water.  Finishing homework on time or even early!  Taking care of laundry.  Loading the dishwasher.

Things I used to be able to do without much effort can now take all I’ve got.  I just don’t have enough spoons to do everything.

So I’m working on adding some spoons.  It’s tough and requires hard work and a lot of effort.  But I also want to make sure I’m as prepared for Disney next year as I can be.

I want to be able to keep up with DD.  I want to be able to be excited with her, not exhausted.  I want to be able to get out of bed every morning with energy, not sore muscles.

I know I have no real control over my illness.  But I can control how I react to it.  And I’m fighting back.


~ML

A Day in the Life, Gamer Life, Geekiness

It’s all in the timing

So I’m in the middle of summer session for grad school.  A COMS class of all things.  It’s not bad but it’s not exactly riveting either.  I’ve learned a lot of this stuff in the course of 30+ years of life already, only now it’s being given names and backed up by research.  Fancy names that don’t really do much in the actually learning, for me at least.  But the timing of it is ironic given what I do for a living and that I’m almost in constant conflict management mode these days.

Timing.  I am a year out from graduating with my Master’s (barring unforeseen circumstances).  I will finish next summer session.  Just in time for Mini to turn 4, just in time for our planned Disney adventure, just in time to start trying for Mini #2.

Timing.  My step-dad passed on Father’s day.  A day that has never really been super important to me given my bio-dad walked out when I was about 3.  I celebrated it with my Opa since he was more of a father figure to me for most of my childhood.  But it was still mostly another day.  I make a bit more effort since we became parents, though even that is more in response to the fact that my husband makes such an effort for Mother’s day.  They are just 2 more days in the year to me.  I know, I’m weird.

Timing.  After my step-dad passed, I got back in touch with my step-sister.  I had never understood what happened between her and my step-dad.  But my step-dad had weird relationships with everyone it turns out.  I knew I was an aunt but it turns out that just a few days before my step-dad passed, he became a grandfather again.  So I have a niece and nephew that I’ve never met.  2 grandchildren that will never get to meet their grandfather.

Timing.  My father in law had surgery last week, has to go back for more surgery next week.  My husband’s grandfather’s dementia got worse this week.  My mother in law is struggling but she doesn’t say anything.  But you can tell when you talk to her.

Timing.  My husband is inches away from finishing his Master’s.  He’s only a few days of internship away from completing it.  Hopefully, the counseling job offer is still open when he finishes in a few weeks.  Supposedly, they’re holding it for him.  He needs it.  He needs to get away from his current job; the shift is starting to wear on him.  A 12 hour shift with a 1+ hour commute one way.  He has to go to bed by 9 pm and be up at 4:30 am.  Plus his department has no appreciation or consideration for their employees, the supervisors do basically whatever they want.  The new sergeant, after preaching about making changes, lets them go on doing like they’ve done for years.  The changes he’s made so far, have not been in consideration of the employees he’s overseeing; they’ve been done to make him look good.

Timing.  Summer is halfway over already.  Soon it will be fall again.  Soon Mini will turn 3.

Timing.  It’s been months since I applied with the new department.  I think if I don’t hear anything by the end of August, I’ll officially call it.  I can’t hang on forever.  Despite knowing that this kind of hiring process takes time, there should still be some consideration shown for those in the hiring process to not drag it out for more than 6 months.  We have lives.  We have goals and aspirations.  We have families to support, plans to make.  It also seems counter-intuitive that if you need to hire new employees, you wouldn’t make that a priority and get it done.  It’s a bit disrespectful to those who applied and those who are having to pick up the slack from a vacancy.  Trying to be patient though because it is summer and people may be on vacation with their families and such.  Still.  It’s tough.

Timing.  While taking this COMS class I got into a discussion with a co-worker of mine.  She’s a devout Christian (in contrast to my Agnostic-Deist-bordering-on-atheist self).  One of my textbooks this session is almost a generic retelling of the Bible, only retelling it as a conflict management strategy guide.  Taken by itself, no big deal.  Taken as a textbook, it’s superfluous.  The topics discussed are already covered in the THREE other textbooks.  My co-worker insists that this is God working on me.  I don’t see how redundant irritants are working on me, other than to work on my last nerve.  She insists.  I let it go, mostly because in 4 1/2 years I’ve learned to accept her ideas, even if I don’t believe in them myself.

Timing.  The plan of trying to pay off some of our debts soon.  Not a lot of progress there but given that we’re barely getting time for sleep these days.  Given that my husband is a compulsive stress-shopper.  Our budget takes some hits these days.  My own stress-shopping doesn’t help but I can at least control mine 90% of the time, plus my stress-shopping also tends to be necessities, like new clothes for Mini because she outgrows old clothes.  Shoes, because I’m slowly replacing the shoes I no longer fit into since my feet went up a half-size during pregnancy.  Some clothes because a lot of my clothes are also not fitting since pregnancy, and yes, I’m just getting around to replacing them.  A lot of household stuff though; food, laundry baskets, new sheets or curtains or towels.  Husband buys things like video games and toys.  We have collected all but one of the Skylander Imaginator Senseis at this point.  We also have many of the original Skylanders, some of the Swapforce, some of the Giants, and some of the Superchargers.  I’ve managed to keep him away from the Trap Force one with the lure of another new Skylanders coming soon.  We also have 1 copy of Destiny 2 pre-ordered.  Very likely we’ll have a second copy pre-ordered by the end of the month.

Timing.  With how busy we are, sometimes the only time we get to bond is at night after Mini is in bed and we hop on the XBox with some friends and play.  We were into Destiny a lot.  Husband is really into a lot of the CoD games.  I got into a few of those and sort of interested in Battlefield but not a lot.  But it’s our chance to unwind and talk with friends that we otherwise might not talk to.  We play Skylanders about once a week now.  I play ESO (or try to) once a week.

Timing.  My online roleplay group is not as active as it used to be.  Many of us have had other priorities come up.  One girl had another baby.  Another has health issues.  One has had job issues.  A few I think, personally, have moved on and just can’t say goodbye.  I set aside time at least once a week to be online and try to interact with other players.  I post one or two times a week, sometimes more if school is on break between sessions (when I don’t have overlap).

Really, life is all about the timing.


~M

A Day in the Life

Blogging

I used to blog all the time.  Then I stopped.

Honestly, I think it’s because I have yet to find a blog-site that I genuinely like as much as I did OD (if that doesn’t show my age lol).  When that shut down I tried several other places but nothing provided the same sense of community that OD did with all the different ways you could connect to other users.  Because in a sense that was what I blogged for.

You don’t blog just because you want to express yourself.  You could write in a private book journal/diary and do that (which I have done and try to continue doing though I don’t do a good job at it).  I’ve found that most bloggers, we do this because we want the connection with complete strangers out in the world who feel the way we do.  It validates us.  It makes us feel less alone.

And yes, we could go out and tell our friends the same thing but that’s different.  Those are the people we’ve chosen, of course they’re going to try to understand anything you tell them.  But they’re already  your brand of weird.

Blogging is finding your brand of weird out there in the world.  Finding the other people, the ones who are strangers, who feel like you do, who share  your interests, your fears, your ideas.

I miss that sense of community.

Planner Happy

7/365

On the subject of the matter of planning…

I’m constantly trying to stay organized.  Like, OCD-level constant.  Because between my work schedule, my husband’s work schedule, his doctors, my doctors, DD’s doctors, training for me (I’m an instructor at work), internship hours for Hubby, bill schedules, school dates and assignments (yay Masters!), etc……

Yeah….I’m crazy busy now that I see all that…because that’s not all the stuff I track even.

So I’m getting a new planner, going with a personal set up with a WO2P (which I think I talked about in last post).  Well, my planner inserts came in today while I’ve been at work and I’m sadly really excited to work on it tomorrow.  I have pretty pens and some washi tape and some scheduling stickers like for bills and appointments and such.  I ordered a pretty little planner kit too to go with the new layout so I’m hoping to hold out but I suspect it’s gonna be a few more days (not sure if tomorrow is considered a holiday for mail delivery), in which case I may just get some of the basic stuff in for the next week or so, such as homework assignments and work schedules.

*le sigh* I’m really trying to get organized this year.  I guess you could say that was my NYR but it wasn’t really.  It’s more of a constantly running goal that I never quite get to unfortunately.  The same thing goes with de-cluttering and cleaning my house (which I realize is nigh impossible when I work 40+ hours/week with a toddler).

A Day in the Life

6/365

I’m apparently very bad about this whole posting thing.  Partly, lots going on. Partly, not a habit anymore.

I used to be an avid blogger all through college but fell out of it when I started working full-time.  

Now, I’m kind of ridiculously busy. School started again, still no answers with Hubby, DD still sees her speech therapist.  Hubby also starred his internship. Plus both of us working.

I’m also in the process of getting a new planner set up. My old one still has months left in it but it’s bulky and not a set up I like now that I’ve used it for awhile.  Plus I’m constantly having to pop the pages back in properly.  The new one is a personal size 6 ring.  I ordered a bunch of new stickers (that I didn’t actually need but I wanted) and a sew much crafting Wo2P format off Etsy.