Posts Tagged With: questions

doubt is being a jerk to me

faith
I came across this last night and it stuck a chord deep within me. I had to sit with it for a while before I could really process why. I dreamt about this in my sleep.

I know who Elisabeth Elliot is. I’m aware this references faith in God.
God and I had a falling out many, many years ago, and I turned my back to God. Doubt came. It was the first time in my life I doubted God, and I doubted my ass off! But God never left me. Over time, I was able to find my way back to God. Our relationship is different now than it was before, but it’s better. I have a new kind of faith. Not the faith I was taught, but the faith I earned. God and I are square.

That said, I’m realizing what rang true in me last night does’t have anything to do with God.

I’ve been struggling with who I am in this life. In this world. I’ve become distant and distracted. I’m questioning everything. Every choice I’ve made. Did I place my faith in something that isn’t what I thought it was?
I’m Gob Bluth saying, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”
And it has been eating me alive from the inside out.

I’ve pushed everything to the back burner to spend my time obsessing over this doubt. I’m actively digging up in doubt what I planted in faith. I’ve done almost nothing remotely healthy for a month. I haven’t slept well. I haven’t eaten properly. I don’t work. I just obsess. I have spent an entire month obsessing over doubt.

When Thing 2 was a small girl, and something didn’t work the way she expected it to, she would lose her patience. She’s quick to lose her patience, lose her temper. She’s a bit like her momma that way. She had a little phrase she would use. Here’s one example. If she couldn’t open the front door, she would grunt, stomp her foot and say, “The doorknob is being a jerk to me!”
She’s nineteen and still grunts and stomps her foot when she’s angry or frustrated.
I’m forty five and I grunt and stomp my foot when I’m angry or frustrated.
You know what they say about the apple and the tree…
We are what we are.

I share this story because I want to say, “Doubt is being a jerk to me!”
Doubt really kind of is being a jerk to me.
Actually, I think doubt is being a jerk to faith. But faith isn’t sticking up for itself. That means I have to stick up for faith. Which is much harder than it sounds. It’s hard to want to stick up for something that you think duped you.
But you see, that’s what faith actually is. Believing when there’s no ‘real’ reason to believe. I forgot that. I let doubt come to the party. Um…I let doubt throw the party. I’m kind of over this party.
My mom used to say, “This party’s getting rough. I’m going to get my undies and go home.” She was a curious woman, but she made a fair point. So, I guess me and my undies are leaving doubt’s party. (I feel the need to state for the record that I made the choice to use bad grammar.)

I don’t know how to reconcile what’s going on inside me. But I know that it’s time to send doubt packing. I’m going to pull a Jenna Marbles on doubt and tell it to “Pipe the f**k down!”
Once I get rid of doubt then I can pay attention to faith. Which might actually be trickier than kicking doubt to the curb.
I don’t really want to pay attention to faith. Faith hurt my feelings. Faith frightened me. Faith rocked me to my core. Hmm. Seems as though faith is being a jerk to me too.
Faith and I going to have to get it together. I’m not quite sure how we’re going to do that. What I do know is that I can’t dig up in doubt what I planted in faith.
That means I have to keep believing.
I must have faith no matter how difficult it is to believe. I mustn’t listen to doubt no matter how lovely it sounds.

Perhaps I’ve gone about this all wrong? Putting my faith in other things…
Perhaps I must have faith in myself. Trust that I made all the right decisions that led me to where I am in this life, this world. Believe that faith is stronger than doubt. Believe that I was built on a sturdy enough foundation that I can reconcile faith and doubt without getting lost in the weeds. (Mixed metaphors much?)
It’s easy to say that. It’s even easy to know that. It’s in the doing that it becomes tricky. But I know from tricky. I’m a mom. I’m an Auntie. I’m an early childhood educator. Tricky is in my wheelhouse.

To faith I say, “Bring it!”
To doubt I say, “Pipe the f**k down.”
To God I say, “Thanks for having my back.”
To me I say, “Get it together.”

I know I can balance doubt and faith. I simply have to try. You know what Yoda said about trying…but I haven’t even been trying. I’ve been obsessing. I’ve been swimming in doubt so long my fingers are all pruney. Time to get out and dry off.
Gotta shake it up. Get out of my head.
I’m going to remember to believe. Remember that faith falters, but that’s just doubt trying to throw a party. Faith is still there, just like God was.
Perhaps I need to do it the same way…find my way back to faith and make a better, stronger kind of faith. Not blind faith, not faith on the word of others. But a new kind of faith. One that I earned.
Hey, if it worked for God and me, making it work for my life should be a cake walk, right?
Stay tuned…

If you don’t know Arrested Development…well that makes me sad for you. It’s on Netflix. Check it out.
Will Arnett as Gob Buth:
gob

Thing 2 and her friend Jordan introduced me to Jenna Marbles. She uses foul language profusely, but I adore this concept of ‘people that need to pipe the f**k down’.

Advertisements
Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

communication is (sometimes a tricky) key

Communication is key.
That’s a saying, right? I’m not dreaming that up, am I? Nopity nope. Not dreaming it up, I just Googled it.

I know that I’m “wordy”. I also know that I’d make a terrible poker player. My face completely fails at hiding my thoughts. Apparently my facial expressions come across as offensive when I’m being wordy. My facial expressions happen as I’m trying to make sense of what I’m saying. But it seems the perception is that my face is saying is that I think everyone else is an idiot.
Do I think everyone else is an idiot? Um…no.
What I think is I’m trying to answer questions I’m being asked…and doing a “double check” in my brain to make sure I know what I’m talking about and that the answers are correct as much as I know. This is what shows on my face.
I grow weary of being told I look like I think people are stupid. Especially when it’s the furthest thing from my mind.
My initial reaction is, “I give up.” So much so that I say it out loud even.
But that’s not realistic. And I’m not a quitter…
So, I have made a bargain with myself to “fix my face” when I talk. I’m hopeful it works to change the perception of what I’m thinking. Because no matter how many times I’ve said what’s actually going on in my head, folks get their feelings hurt.
I don’t want to hurt folks’ feelings. I’m just trying to understand what’s coming out of my own mouth.
Sometimes I wonder if I should just write everything and never actually talk. When I write, I can edit as I go…and that would take care of the facial expressions. (I make the same faces when I write, but nobody ever sees them.)

I don’t want to be forced into changing who I am…but I’m weary of hurting folks’ feelings. I’m weary of having explain myself.
Communication doesn’t have to be this tricky, right?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

wishful dreaming

I had a curious dream last night. Curious because I suspect it was a waking dream. Meaning that it may (or may not) have taken place in that ephemeral place between asleep and awake.
I don’t suppose that actually matters…but I have that nagging feeling that it just might.

I don’t remember how or when it began, or even what actually “happened”. But I do know I was given the opportunity to make three wishes.
Did I rub a lamp?
Was there a genie in a bottle?
Was I listening to Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge for too long?
Was it just wishful…dreaming?
I have no earthly idea.
But I remember what I wished for.

My first wish: the ability to facilitate healing with the touch of my hand.
I wish this because I’d love to be able to help people who are truly struggling. With physical illness. With emotional illness. Wouldn’t that be an amazing gift to give? AND, I’d like the ability to heal my own brain, please and thank you.

My second wish: to always have the exact purchase price of anything I wanted to buy.
This could mean anything from sending my kids to college to new appliances, from new shoes to a pack of Trident. (spearmint, natch) To always have enough “change in my pocket”.
I would absolutely use this to my advantage, first and foremost to eradicate my dreaded student loan debt. But I would also use it to help and gift the people I love. And most likely, people I hardly even know.

My third wish: for every question I have to be answered with the absolute truth.
I’m talking about the whys and wherefores of things, not questions like, “Does this make my butt look big?” (I’m not sure anyone really wants the truth to that kind of question.)
If I could get answers to my age old questions, perhaps it would help me grow.
What if I could get answers that would help someone find their truest self or potential?
I can see where this wish could be more than I bargained for, I will undoubtedly get answers that would be hurtful. But I could learn from every single answer I get…the good, the bad, the indifferent.

I’m not sure about the first wish, but the second and third wishes are absolutely selfish. To be able to purchase what I need or want as I need or want it would be spectacular, though I suspect the novelty would wear off sooner rather than later. But to help the kids get set up in their lives would be the greatest gift! There are weddings coming, and they’ll need places to live. If I could start them out with what they need for the first year and then let them sort it from there on out. And shoes for me! Think of the shoes!
The third wish is selfish too. I’ve spent my life asking questions with precious few answers. But would answers to my old questions make any difference now?
But what if I could use this ability to help others? I could ask seemingly simple questions and help someone figure out what’s in their truest heart.
That feels more like a ‘using your powers for good and not evil’ kind of situation.

I don’t guess it really matters. There was no lamp. No genie came to me. And I’ve listened to that Pierces album more times than I can count.
Perhaps it was really wishful dreaming.
But isn’t that the best kind?

I’m curious about you and your three wishes. Would you be willing to share them with me?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What are you?

I have a friend who is a veterinarian.
I have friends who are educators.
I have a friend who is an educator of educators.
I have a friend who is a dental hygienist.
I have a friend who is an engineer.
I have a friend who is a small business owner.
I have a friend who is a retired Naval officer.
I have a friend who is a hair stylist.
I have a friend who is a nurse.
YBW is a DBA.

Though I am an educator, when this question comes at me I don’t answer it with that label.
I answer like this:
I am a girl.
I am a mom.
I am a writer.
I am a photographer.
And then I say I’m an early childhood educator.

Why is it: What are you?
Why is it: What do you do?

Why do we identify ourselves this way?
Why isn’t it:
Who are you?
And I don’t mean the answer should be: I am Robynbird. I mean it should be who are you in your thoughts? Who are you in your heart? Who are you in your passions?

I believe the question should be: What are you passionate about?
Wouldn’t we get so much more from that answer? Learn interesting and important things about a person? Make a connection?

Next time I meet someone I’m going to ask that question. I encourage you to do the same.
Actually, I’m going to ask you: What are you passionate about? Please share your answers in the comments. I want to know interesting and important things about you that I may not learn from reading your writings.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Just you wait, Henry Higgins. Just you wait.

I haven’t written anything in a while. I just haven’t been feeling well…or feeling like writing. It’s not an excuse…it just is.
Monday starts my last two weeks in my classroom. While I’m sad to say goodbye to my babies, I’ve never been happier to leave a job in my life. And that’s saying something. I used to run the nursing department of a home health care company. Every day on the way to work I would fantasize about being in an accident. Not enough to be hurt, enough to not make it to work.
It’s not the kids, I adore them. Even the ones I don’t actually like. It’s the way the administrators (None of which have any early childhood experience.) never bother to ask the most important question.
What’s best for children?

I ask that question every single day. And I do my damnedest to answer it.

It disgusts me that they are treated like chattel with dollar signs on their chests. Is that what’s best for children?
If parents knew how decisions regarding their children’s care and education were being arbitrarily decided would that be acceptable?
But some parents don’t care. Their careers, their lives are more important to them and they’re content to believe the hype as long as someone looks after their children all day long.

No one gives a damn about emergent curriculum. Or learning through play. Or brain development.
Is that what’s best for children?

I’ve never been truly satisfied at this school. I’ve had moments of great joy. But I’ve always known it fit me ill.
It’s made me question my passion for early childhood education. It’s made me question my love for young children. I’ve been wrestling with “hanging up my spurs” for quite some time. It fascinates me that something beyond my control made the decision for me. Is the stress from this job really creating the sickness in my brain?

Perhaps I’m just a whiny crybaby? Perhaps I’m just lazy? Perhaps I simply don’t want to have to go to work everyday?
I’ve asked myself these questions. With the exception of the first one, the answer is no. (The answer to the first question is: occasionally.)

It’s occurring to me as I write this that as bad as that other job was, this one goes against my personal beliefs. That just might be why it feels so much worse. I care so passionately about young children and their beginning education that I absolutely cannot participate in the degradation of the most important time in a person’s life.
From zero to five years is when everything we need for our entire lives starts being built.

I was discussing with a couple we know, the brain situation and leaving my job under medical advice. The husband (Who is an engineer.) said something to the effect of: But all jobs are stressful. The wife (Who is a teacher at an elementary school.) replied something to the effect of: Teaching is so stressful. It’s not like other jobs. You can turn your brain off occasionally while you’re working. But we never can.
I agreed and said: I am almost constantly engaged with my kids. My brain works even harder than my body does. When a child comes to me with a question or is excited about an accomplishment, I have to be ready to go! I have to give that child my undivided attention while being completely aware of the others.

Most people have no real understanding of what early childhood educators do. It’s not quantifiable but it lays the foundation for every single moment of learning.

I’m going to step down off my soapbox.
I’m going to enjoy the last two weeks with my babies before they move into the “junior kindergarten program”.
I’m going to walk away with my head held high.

It occurs to me in this moment that I haven’t been writing because I was filled with all this poison. It was making me fell unwell. It was making me cranky.
Well, I’ve just spewed the poison it onto this page and I actually feel a great deal better.

Am I crazy?
Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face?
Are personal beliefs and principles so sacred that to go against them makes one ill?
Don’t we skew our principles a teeny bit just to make it through each day?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. Well, I’m pretty sure I’m not crazy…

I am going to take time in September and October to heal my brain. (I’m extremely stubborn so I plan to do that through the sheer force of my will.) I’ll take that time to finish wedding planning. I’ll spend a good deal of that time with my own precious Thing 2.
And when YBW and I come home from our honeymoon, I’ll find a new job. One that suits me and that I suit.

I’m reminded a little bit of Eliza Doolittle: Just you wait ‘enry ‘iggins. Just you wait.
My brain is Professor Higgins. Life is Professor Higgins. And just like Eliza Doolittle, I plan to show my brain and the world what’s up!

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

provoking thought

I talked about the questionnaire YBW and I had to answer for A, the church rector, for our “marriage counseling” meetings in the months leading to our wedding in how very Robynbird.

The first set of questions were about each of us personally, and we weren’t allowed to discuss them (questions or answers) before we talked about them with A.
They were personal, but not intimate. General, not terribly specific. But thought provoking nonetheless. They were completely focused on the self.
1. What are your life’s goals? How will your marriage facilitate your attaining these goals?
2. What personal strengths do you bring to a relationship?
3. What areas do you, as an individual, need to strengthen for the enrichment of your relationship?
4. Do you perceive any personal losses in sharing your life with a spouse, and potentially, family?
5. What benefits do you hope to derive through your marital relationship?
6. If you are currently living with your potential spouse, will marriage change your relationship, if so, how?

The second set of questions were more focused on us as a couple.
1. What are your expectations of marriage?
2. How do you you perceive the role of a husband?
3. How do you perceive the role of a wife?
4. How do you (husband and wife) perceive your role with your children?
5. Out of your experiences together, what strengths have emerged?
6. Out of your experiences together, what weaknesses have emerged?
7. How do you perceive your relationship with the church?

The second set of questions was a bit trickier. As much of a ‘girl power, votes for women’ kind of girl I am, I’m also really traditional when it comes to gender roles in marriage.
The husband as provider.
But while the wife makes martinis wearing pearls when her husband comes home, she can change the oil in the car and replace light fixtures and still fold the laundry like a boss.
I believe husbands can be great cooks, amazing dads…sometimes infinitely better parents than their wives.

I want a husband who will take good care of me in a practical way so I don’t have to fret about finances. But not to the point I’m left clueless.
I want a husband who will treat me with kindness and respect.
I want a husband who knows I’m a badass and isn’t intimidated by that.
I want a husband who loves me because I’m flawed, not in “spite of it”.
I want a husband I can be real with. A man with whom I can say what I think and expect the same.
I want a husband who is my partner. Who will hold my hand when something is scary and when it’s pants peeing exciting.
I want a husband who will rely on me. My opinions as well as my compassion.

We’re in a trickier but overall simpler situation when it comes to kids. YBW told me once that he didn’t like being a stepfather and didn’t want to do it again. As it turns out he really hasn’t had to be.
I think the biggest challenge for me is being mindful that our kids were raised completely differently. That has to be taken into account before expectations are placed. It’s hard to parent other people’s kids. To know that you only have “so much” say. But if I am mindful and come from a place of love that’s what that really matters.

As many strengths as our relationship has I think it has a pretty significant weakness.
We’re pretty crap at communicating about important stuff. So much so that sometimes I choose not to initiate conversations because I don’t believe we’re get anything resolved.
I do have a tendency to over-talk and this frustrates him. I’ve been working really hard at reigning that in. I even made an outline the last time I wanted to talk to him about things that were bothering me so I would stay on track.
I don’t think we’re hopeless…I think we just need to keep at it. And keep at it. And keep at it.
I need to tone down my sarcasm.
He needs to realize everything isn’t a personal affront.

We’re lucky to have each other. We know that. We do enrich each other’s life. I come at him from a place of love and believe the same of him.

The questions for these premarital conversations with A are doing part of what they’re supposed to do. They’re provoking thought.
We must make time for follow up dialogue.

Categories: wedding | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

how very Robynbird

So we have to answer these questions and talk about them with the priest before she’ll marry us. (Y’all, she’s the funniest thing! She said, “I mean, I’m a girl in a collar! How cool is that?”)
Anyway…
It’s not quite “marriage counseling”…but it’s the way they do it in the Episcopal church. Which is cool with me because I’m taking it seriously and answering them with thought and from my heart.

For the most part.
I say this because the second question is as follows:

What personal strengths do you bring to a relationship?
I wrote:
I’m a BAMF!

Yes, I swear to you I did.
Now, I followed it up with more appropriate things that I can’t share with you, because YBW reads these words and we promised we wouldn’t talk about the questions or our answers until we shared them when we meet with A next week.
I do bring pretty spectacular personal strengths to my relationships that go beyond those four letters. But I liked that they were succinct.

Categories: me, wedding | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

on the advice of Nick’s father

Whenever I begin to compare my life to that of someone else, I’m reminded of Nick Carraway’s line at the beginning of Gatsby: In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.”

I’m using the concept rather loosely, less in the way Fitzgerald intended and more along the lines of considering each of us comes from a different place. It has nothing really to do with having, or the lack of “advantages”, and everything to do with point of view.
Each of us is raised with a certain set of values based on our environment and the life experiences of the people who raised us. We take those values and adapt them as we gain our own life experiences. We raise our own children based on these values we were taught and modified for them to continue the process.

I sometimes fail to remember, or perhaps simply take into account this very important advice. I think about the people I know and, I think rather naturally, compare myself to what I see of them. Of course this is futile as we seldom see the reality of an individual, but what they choose to share with the world.

We each behave based on that initial set of values we learned as children, even though we’ve changed them here and there to fit our new world view.

I am accused of being extremely judgmental.
I am a little…to deny this would be a bold face lie. But I’m nowhere near as judgmental as get accused of being.

I question everything.
This can be misconstrued because I ask questions in a way that may not always reflect my desire to understand. I question everything partly because I was brought up in an environment in which questions were ignored or left unanswered and I have a life-long compulsion to have answers. Partly because I’m curious and want to know and understand. I especially want to understand motivations for behavior.
This creates a goodly bit of friction between YBW and me. I ask to know and he hears my question as criticism. Occasionally I ask to criticize, again this goes back to what I experienced as a child, which is no excuse. It is however, the truth. I ask to understand the motivation, the thought process behind it…whatever the “it” is.

When I look at other people and see the differences I have nothing to base my opinion on other than the “advantages” of my upbringing. So I don’t understand why they do or don’t do things. I don’t understand what motivates them. I can only compare it to what I know and understand, what motivates me. I don’t think that’s judgmental.
The stubborn part of me doesn’t feel I should have to rephrase my curiosity so as not offend. Perhaps it’s not stubborn, perhaps it’s that bit of me that was stunted in my childhood. Perhaps because I couldn’t ask questions and get answers, I’m much more inclined to question everything? (The question mark at the end of that sentence is not lost on me.)

I am, have always been, interested in human behavior. The whys and wherefores of the way we behave, make choices, socialize, raise our children. I’m still learning everyday what motivates my behavior, some aspects I accept, some I realize need improvement. But I’m still asking questions. I’ll most likely go to my grave asking questions.

I must remember that I was brought up very differently than some of the people I know. That we will function in completely different ways.
I must remember that though I’m curious to their whys and wherefores I have to be mindful in the way I ask questions.
I must remember that I did have “advantages” that some people didn’t have.
I must remember that I am capable of many things and needn’t compare myself to anyone else.

Will I remember these things? Will I always act upon them?
Most likely not, but if I simply pay attention…I’ll make progress.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Life and Random Thinking

A old dog CAN blog

charles french words reading and writing

An exploration of writing and reading

I am Kat...

My journey through this thing called life....

Self Love Coffee

read. sip. heal.

Hey Mom, Now What?

Real Mom Questions, Real Mom Answers

A Question of Lust

"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Sawblades In Your Walkman

effervescing with muchness

History Tech

History, technology, and probably some other stuff

Tales from the mind of Kristian

Visit the darkest crevices of my mind, dare to tread where many fear to go. You may find something interesting or you may find a mirror to your soul.

Writer of Words, etc

Words, food, thoughts, sports

walkingtheclouds

where the clouds may lead

Meditations in Motion

Running and life: thoughts from a runner who has been around the block

Winter1137's blog

Social anxiety, depression and a cat obsession. The fun never ends.

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

..because the thoughts that fall, kicking and screaming from my head need a safe place to land..

WhyToStop

Seattle Fashion & Lifestyle Blog By Rachna

Finding French Charming

Finding True Love.. Even After Forty

The Nerdy Lion

Lions can wear glasses too

Family Furore

Motherhood, Mosaics and Mental Illness

A Guy Called Bloke

Storytelling My Life For You!

Thought Box

Sweet...Bitter...Happy...Sad...All thoughts trapped in a Box...

M.A. Lossl

An author's life, books, and historical research

%d bloggers like this: