Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Case Study: Part II--Imperfection

In all comparison I've ever seen, the good usually comes before the bad.  The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.  Pros & Cons.  Plus & Minus.  Perhaps it's just because it rolls off the tongue easier that way, but I have no real knowledge as to why this is.  Today, I break with tradition.  I am putting the bad, the ugly, the cons, the minuses FIRST.

My reasoning is two-fold.  To begin with, I am honestly not comfortable with bragging.  I never want to come across as that person whose life or circumstances are perfect.  I have trouble accepting compliments without justifying how the "compliment-able" came to be--(compliment) that shirt looks LOVELY on you!, (me) oh thanks--just an old Walmart buy.  So for me to have placed my talents and other "braggable" things first, would have made me feel very uncomfortable.  My other reason:  I'm just in a negative mood and have been for quite some time, so it's just naturally easier to be hard on myself and post my imperfections than to do the opposite.

So...there you have it.  I am imperfect.  And quite a bit so at that.  Actually, I'll go one step further and even admit that most of the time, I plain don't like myself.  As this portion of my case study states, I am going to delve deep into what it is that I just can't stand about myself.  My imperfection (from the inside looking out mind you) laid out for all the world to see...

#1.  I am a terribly jealous person and have been even more so lately.  I hate it.  I know it is a sin to be envious because you aren't happy and content with the wonderous work God made in you as a person.  I hate carrying around this cross of jealousy.  I have dumped it many times, but like a sick addiction, I just pick up another along the way.  It always seems that no matter what I do, what I say, what I wear...well...there is always somebody popping up that makes me just want to be them.  I wish I lived in their neighborhood.  I wish I had her body, her face, her athletic prowess.  I wish my kids aced every academic and athletic thing they are faced with just like her kids do.  I wish my husband was as outgoing and talkative as hers.  I wish I could just let go and let God like she does.  I wish I could be as good a mother as she is.  I wish I could sing like her.  I wish I could... I could go on, but I'll stop here.

#2. I struggle daily with living for the moment that God has me in right here and right now.  I long for the past or dream of the future...and too much so.  In August 2005, Steve left for a year unaccompanied in Camp Casey, Korea (I shall hereout refer to this period as our first deployment, because even though he wasn't in a war zone, he was gone for a year, in a not-so-safe place, and I had less support from the Army at that time than in later "real" deployments.)  It may sound horrible at first, but that year would have been the BEST of my adult life thus far had Steve just been with me.  I had never felt better about myself--inside and out-- than during that year.  I was in the best health of my life.  I had the "perfect" job for me and I loved it.  I was confident in my role as a mother.  I just felt truly GOOD.  So I long to have that back, but I know I can never relive any part of my past.  Sadly, I am also constantly dreaming of the future.  About where we will live.  About how our kids will be.  About travels, and plans, and projects.  And you know what...NOTHING turns out the way I dream it will be.  It's a waste of time.

#3. I'm not a pretty girl.  I struggle with my weight daily.  I am hardly ever happy with how I look, even if the only people seeing me that day are my husband and kids.  I long to be one of "those" women who, without doing hair or makeup, just look good.  A nice body that can be maintained somewhat easily with enjoyable exercise and good wholesome food yet allowing for the occassional treat.  A face with skin so smooth and features so well proportioned that makeup would only mar it and any hair style, even short and sassy, would look divine on them.  I'm not one of those.  I kid not when I tell you that 10 years ago, I was referred to three times in one week as a member of the male of our species--once I even had my nicely cropped hair done neatly and makeup on.  Let it go, I know.  But it hurt and it hurt deeply and I will never forget how ugly I felt after that week.

#4.  I have a TERRIBLE temper.  Say a prayer of thanksgiving now that most of you have never seen and will never see that side of me.  It's sad really, for it is those closest to my heart that have seen me literally blow up.  I'm ashamed of that.  I scream at my kids and lose my temper over juice spilled on the carpet, and then I'll turn around and see their sad little faces and know how I've hurt them.  No matter how many times I apologize and no matter how heart-felt those apologies are, I cannot take those words said in anger back.  But oh...how I wish I could.

#5.  I am lazy.  You know those people that have to have a fire lit under them to get them to do anything?  I hate to admit it, but I am one of them.  When it comes to doing work of any sort--paid or unpaid, home or away--unless I WANT to do it or it MUST be done, I will put it off.  I look at my dad and his work ethic and those of his generation and those before him and I am amazed.  He can't sit still.  It's not in his nature.  He WANTS something to do every day.  He'd go crazy without work.  As much as I love history, I would never have survived in the days of old when, for example, cooking wasn't a hobby one took up because they were a foodie, but because it MUST be done to feed your family of 12...oh...and it was done over a wood or coal stove with ingredients you grew or raised yourself and canned and preserved yourself, and...well...  I'd have been screwed.

There are many more smaller, trivial things about myself that I don't like, that are imperfections, but these five emcompass the majority. 

Please read Part III when I post it, because for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Don't walk away from this post feeling like you need to run to my home, or call me, or email because I need encouraged.  I'm fine.  I'll be okay.  I needed to write this. 

It's freeing in a way because our society just seems to glorify "perfect lives" when you know what--THEY DON'T EXIST!  And for me, personally, to go one step beyond just admitting "I am not perfect," and saying what it is about me that makes me scarred and marred...I feel better already.  See you at Part III...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Case Study: Part I--Introduction

Tonight's blog is brief.  It's an introduction and those are generally supposed to be short in nature, so it's only fitting, right?  Well...that, and the only time I get to really delve into my other passion of reading is at bedtime and I simply can't spend to much time on here if I want to comprehend what I read.

Beginning tonight, the next 4 (possibly more) blog entries will be part of this case study on...me.  Not my biography from start to finish--that would bore the pants off a pantless cartoon character (think about it...many of them aren't drawn with pants oddly enough)--but a self-done study on how I see myself right now.  The good, the bad, the ugly, the mediocre, the ridiculous, and so on.

Just know now, I won't apologize.  Truly, I am going to say what's on my mind and in my heart and some of it I would never be brazen enough to say publicly, in person, on Facebook, etc.  But this is going to be about me, by me, on my blog...I have nothing to lose.  I won't be rude.  I won't gossip.  I won't backstab.  I won't even name names even if I need to give examples.  I wouldn't dream of it because that is simply not my goal in the next few days.  My goal is to help myself overcome some issues and see myself in a better light.  To excavate my true self--my God-intended self--from under alot of crap that I've let accumulate over and around me.

BUT...in doing so, I am going to blunt and honest.  I will be whiny.  I will probably sound pathetic at times.  I may curse and lose some of the eloquence with which I usually try to write.  I may even sound like a braggert at times.  And I may not have covered all the "I may's." 

Just promise me this--if you start reading this one, you'll read this case study through to the end.  Otherwise you will, more than likely, draw some incorrect or presumptuous conclusions that if you'd just read on, would have righted themselves.

However, as of right now, my novel calls...see you in a day or two...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Year, I Shall Wear Gold

Gold isn't my thing.  Actually, let me clarify: in the debate between gold or silver, I prefer silver.  It suits me.  It fits me.  I simply prefer the color of it--steely and gray--over gold--yellowing and ruddy.  Does this mean that if someone were to offer me a nugget of gold, a golden chain, a ring of gold that I would turn it down based solely on its color?  No, of course not.  It's just that, left up to me and my devices, all my jewelry would be in the silver color family.

I must interject here to tell you dear reader that two of my most precious pieces of jewelry are yellow gold--my wedding and engagement ring.  They are real as are the tiny diamonds set within them; however, they are admittingly worth more to me in sentiment than in cash.  In September of 2006, my wonderful husband presented me with an "upgraded" band--an anniversary band to celebrate our 5th--of white gold, thick and sturdy, with a considerable (in my eyes) amount of diamonds flatly laid within it.  I loved it!  I wear it to this day with pride in place of my wedding band set simply because the solitaire in the original sits quite high (it's the mount NOT the size of the diamond) and catches on things including my babies, so it isn't the safest ring for a mommy to wear.  So for the past four years my fingers have been home to one ring--in the silver color family.  The yellow gold tucked safely away in my hiding spot.

Today, however, I will again adorn my finger with yellow gold.  And I will wear it proudly and at the same time humbly for the next 365 days.  The ring finger of my left hand will be home to Steve's worn and scratched, terribly simple, yellow gold wedding band, with my anniversary band placed on "top" of it to protect it from falling off.

It may shock the senses of some to think that my husband left for a war zone for a year without taking his wedding ring and that I almost seem to celebrate that fact by proudly wearing it.  Let them be shocked.  His decision not to wear it has never had a thing to do with a lack of trust, in fact, it's quite the opposite.  I could say, without lying, that working with weapons, and in rough terrain, and in the midst of battle are all good, and logical, and practical reasons for wearing no jewelry at all, other than one's dog tags.   And they are amongst the lesser of his reasons for not wearing it downrange.  But the real reason is much deeper than that.  I love the fact that when we said our last goodbyes, he lovingly placed his ring on my finger for safe keeping and in doing so it was a small moment in which we both could relive quietly and to ourselves the promises we made to each other nine years ago at our wedding.   However brief that moment was, it was a beautiful one in which I have never trusted nor loved him more.  

It will never quite FEEL right wearing two rings on that one finger, but everytime the awkwardness of it catches ahold of me, it reminds me not only of him but of how life will always have moments of awkwardness and discomfort, yet we must trudge on.  Every time he looks down at his hand and sees that worn area where the ring should be, every time he goes to fumble or play with it mindlessly (as he often does) and realizes it's missing, he will be reminded not only of me but of how those we love leave indelible, permanent markers on us for eternity and how we can take them for granted yet miss them terribly when they are no longer there.

So for the next year, I will gladly and happily done a piece of gold jewelry.  Even if it looks funny.  Even if it feels funny.  Even if I wish the original owner would claim it personally and let me see him wearing it.  This I can bear...and I will.

Friday, October 22, 2010

...And There Was Much Grinding and Gnashing of Teeth...

The title pretty much says it all.  My night last night.  Around midnight, I was joined in bed by a somewhat plumpish 3-year-old who was ever so upset, yet could not muster any words to describe his anguish.  He simply crawled into bed with me and fell asleep.  Which was followed quickly by my awakening and subsequent restless night. 

For only minutes after he fell asleep, I heard the most annoying sounds and in my tired stupor seriously thought Levi had brought two hard plastic action-figures to bed with him and, instead of sleeping, was having a party with them in my bed.  Sure--that is what I heard, but the source was instead coming from his mouth.  Levi is a teeth-grinder!  And I now know undoubtedly, that I do not like the sound of grinding teeth at all.  Not one bit.

There isn't a whole lot I can do about it...except keep taking him back to his own bed.  Which rest assured, I will do.  His 7 year old roommate, Zeke, seems completely undisturbed by Levi's unintentional flaw, so I'll let him deal with it.

My main reason in writing this was to let you know why today's entry is so short, but as I write, I realize that this revelation last night served to be a reminder to me--that all people, no matter how cute they are on the outside or seemingly perfect they seem to be, have flaws.  Period.  So easy to say but in those moments of life where jealousy and envy snag at our coat-tails it is so difficult to truly remember.

So here's to my little Levi!  You certainly didn't set out from your toddler bed last night with the intention of reminding mommy of an important lesson, but went back to it have done so. 

I love you Rex!
Signed, Your very-flawed-like-everyone-else-Mommy

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In the Beginning...

...was a very brief entry to get it all started.  It was brief because the eyes that watched the screen and the fingers that typed the words and the head that processed the thoughts were tired and wanted to sleep.  And they thought sleep was good so they just stopped and did just that...slept.

Okay, so to expand just SLIGHTLY...this is my first entry ever on my first blog ever!  I love to write and have since I was a little girl in Miss Inboden's third grade class.  The problem was...life happened and finding time to write got harder and harder, even though I had a serious lot of good friends and family members cheering me on and encouraging me to keep putting pen to paper (which I do prefer, but typing will have to do for now.)  Hopefully having this "personal" space to publish my works will encourage me to be much more regular in writing--a sort of ex-lax for the mind?  We shall see.

I chose this evening to start my  endeavor because within the next 48-72 hours Steve will step foot on Afghan soil for the second time and our little family can begin our year long count down to that joyous day of his homecoming.  What better time to turn toward an old passion of mine to help me through the rougher spots of deployment!

I do not forsee any sort of continuity of flow with my postings--thus my blog's title: Mercy, Grace, and Comic Relief.  Some may be "simple" updates about me, my husband, my children, my goings-on (that would be the grace portion).  Some may be rants about any number of things that could have me frazzled and I could therefore say things that I might regret or that might mildly offend some people (that would the mercy portion...possibly me begging for some).  And some, well...some may just be down right funny whether they are the creation of my mind or something hysterical that I witnessed or that happened to me (you guessed it...the comic relief portion). 

So...don't have expectations...I won't live up to them...but I could frankly care less.  This is, after all, MY blog and I'll cry if I want to, laugh if I want, SCREAM if I want to...you could too if you blog too.  ~yes...a LAME attempt at word play on the oldies hit, "It's My Party & I'll Cry If I Want To."~

Thank you for taking an interest; I hope I don't lose it along the way! 
 Until next time...