Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Regrets... I've Had A Few... But Then Again...

Lately I have been thinking about regrets. I (and I am aware this is cheesy, so feel free to mock if you must) do try to live life with no regrets... but every now and then, I DO regret something. Here is an incomplete list.

1- Never running the Ragnar when I was at my physical peak. I was offered the chance to do it when someone dropped off of a team. I didn't know anyone on the team, it was last minute, and the person looking was my roommate's co-worker who I'd never met. I declined because staying awake and sweating it out seemed like something I'd want to do with people I knew. In retrospect, how wrong I was. Sweating is something to do with strangers, and I am sad that I missed that opportunity, especially given that I will never be organizing a team of my own, and what with the being pregnant and recovering from post pregnancy chub... well, I doubt it will happen now.

2- Never running the St. George Half Marathon. Also given the opportunity when someone dropped out. It was, again, late notice. The girl who invited me was part of a running group I ran with (yes, skeptics, I ran with a running group every Wednesday for over a year). She was married and had a pack of kids and the idea of staying with her and her children at her parents house in St. George for the weekend seemed like an intrusion. I wish I would have done it. If only to say I'd run the St. George half marathon.

3-Leaving my writing group. I used to be a member of a writing group. I hooked up with the group after a BYU writing workshop that I attended for writers of children's books and young adult novels. They were a diverse and interesting group that gave great feedback and encouraged all writing efforts. It was nice to talk about what I was working on with people who 'got it'. Sadly, they met on Wednesday evenings, and so did my running group. I just kind of dropped out without returning calls or emails. That I regret.

4- Not continuing to play with the Shottee Sheep. So, I once played indoor soccer. It was pretty intense as my team was comprised of girls that played in high school and college, and I had once coached an intramural team as a favor, for a friend. That was the extent of my soccer ability. But my friend, Lena, asked me to come along and I joined the team. Everyone was married (except me) and their husbands would come and yell at the refs, and the opposing teams, and even our own team. It was ridiculous, but I enjoyed it. They wanted to get the team back together the next season, but I told them the time commitment was a bit much. If I had it to do all over again, I'd have played with them until the team dissolved.

5- Not golfing in Chile. I also regret not golfing in Scotland while I was there, but I picked up golf post Scotland, so that isn't terribly realistic. The last time I was in Chile, I knew how to golf, so I should have taken the time and made it happen, since it is a goal to golf on all the continents, minus Antarctica. Thus far I only have one... so I have a way to go.

6- Not paying attention in Church when I didn't have children. NO ONE TOLD ME that I might never be spiritually nourished in Church until my children leave home. I really wish I had known to stock up on some oil for my lamp because these Sundays I spend my entire 3 hour block chasing children, trying to quiet children, or wishing I was somewhere else. Mainly, my bed. I don't know why I squandered precious Sundays by day dreaming, or chatting with friends, or whatever else I did.

7-Not working harder at Math when I came home from a Chile trip as a youngin'. Back when they tested for Math in Jr. High., I came out at the top of the heap. I was put into pre algebra, taking algebra in 8th grade, and algebra II and Trig as a Freshman. When I went to Chile for a few months, I knew that I'd be unable to keep up, so I decided to transfer back down to regular algebra. After that I never enjoyed math, and never did well... Hello BYU GPA! And thanks Calculus for making my life hell. I DO wish that I had kept up my studies and continued in Math. Ah, laziness...

8- Not singing live Jazz at The Malt Shovel. When I lived in Scotland, my favorite pub was the Malt Shovel. Every Tuesday a D'jango style jazz band would come play. I LOVED them. And I became friendly enough with the old duffers that they invited me to 1) tour a whiskey distillery where one of them worked and 2) sing with them. I never made it to the whiskey place either, but I do feel sad that I never got to sing with them because they were great. And singing live jazz is also on my list of things to do before I die.

9- Reading James Joyce's Ulysses... TWICE!

10- Never properly executing a cartwheel. I know this seems silly, but if you knew HOW MUCH TIME I spent as a girl/teenager/woman trying to do a cartwheel... you'd feel for me. My body just refuses the physics of it all. The last attempt was about 3 years ago in a church hallway while a group of us were cleaning the building for Sunday Services. I was confident that somehow, someway, all my previous failed attempts had led to that moment of triumph. I was wrong, and got a rug burn to prove it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Warning: Religious Post

Well, maybe post is the wrong word. Perhaps RANT is the word I am looking for. Lately there have been all sorts of 'feminist' movements within the church. I put the feminist in condescending quotes because that is how I see the whole movement. The first item of business was to wear pants to church... okay? Who cares? Never, anywhere, in any handbook I have seen did I read that it wasn't okay to wear  pants to church. If a person feels like they can worship in their everyday clothes, congrats. The only clothing 'suggestion' is that men and boys who are blessing and passing the sacrament wear white shirts and ties as a token of respect for the ordinance they are performing. But this isn't a rule, or a commandment. Merely a suggestion that I think is 100 % appropriate. Long story short, if you are a lady, or woman, or girl, I don't care WHAT you are wearing to church.

Now the big crux of the matter is who is praying in General Conference, and I begin to care. A lot. Who prays in General Conference is not up for a vote, or a discussion, it is decided by a group of men who I believe are apostles and the prophet of God. Now, I don't believe these men are infallible, any more than I believe that I am infallible, or any other member of the church is infallible. And it is my belief that all of us are called of God to do something in this world or in His Church. Currently I have been called to teach children (read: little monsters) every Sunday, and I am always asking to be released from THAT bitter cup, but enough of my sacrilege back to the subject at hand. Apparently, everyone is up in arms that women haven't prayed in General Conference. First off, untrue. If you've ever been to the Relief Society portion of General Conference, which IS General Conference for those of you keeping score at home, women are praying up a storm. But according to those who have WAY too much time on their hands, apparently women haven't prayed in the Sunday or Saturday sessions. I am unsure why this so offends people. If women NOT saying a prayer in the Sunday or Saturday sessions of General Conference is your big hang up with Mormonism, you lead a VERY charmed Mormon life.

Now, I don't care if women pray in General Conference or if they DON'T pray in General Conference. It will not change my life, or my faith, either way. But I've been reading news articles all day about how 'progressive' it would be for the leaders of the church to call on women to pray, almost as though they've been RESTRICTING them from praying. Hahahaha. Please, people, please. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and those men who I believe guide and direct the Church, have never been backward in their treatment of the female sex. Women could always vote in the Utah territory and was the second state to give women the universal right to vote (just because Wyoming moved up their voting dates!). Women have always been encouraged to learn, to produce, to create, to guide, and to lead. The Church has taught women from its beginning that we are more than objects to please men, more than empty headed and frivolous creatures that need protection, and more than just fashion or food bloggers (THANK GOD!). Women are co-creators, and co-directors, and eligible for Godhood. Women stand on equal footing with Men and have divinity that comes FROM WITHIN, not from the external pants they wear to church or the prayers they say over the pulpit.

Mainly, what I want to say is, Grow Up. People who are so busy worrying who the leaders are the church are calling on to pray in meetings, perhaps you should take a step back, see if you have done your Home/Visiting Teaching lately, and work on making the world around you better by building up those whose lives you touch. The End.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Let the Haters Hate

This is a TRUE moment. Ladybug being feisty!

You know what I hate, and everyone else (and I truly mean almost every other female person in the world) loves? Newborn baby photo shoots. Seriously.  Though I love my friends and family dearly (but some more dearly than others, lets be honest here, shall we) whenever I head to their blogs or see their facebook feeds full of newborn baby pictures... I roll my eyes. Then I die a little. I am not suggesting no photos should ever be taken of recently born children. On my laptop you will find SCORES of photos of both Ladybug and Squirmy when they were in that ugly raisin like state that we call newborn. It is the NEWBORN PHOTO SHOOT that I so despise.

When have you ever seen a baby hanging out naked except for a ridiculously large floweresque headband? When do you hang out making hearts around your baby's feet with your partner's hands?
When does a newborn throw on some weird knit pod situation to lie in?
And when, please tell me when, do newborns don silly hats (also knit a majority of the time)?
When (minus Moses) do newborns hang out in baskets???
Then please, please remember that half of these photos will be in super dramatic black and white. UGH. My eyes are rolling so much just thinking about it that my head hurts.

Never. Never do newborn baby photo shoots reflect reality. And isn't that what a good picture is? A reflection of reality that can spark an awesome memory? Not the memory of how the baby wouldn't 'sleep right' or you spent so much time trying to prop the poor thing up on its hands, or the many, MANY, costume changes, but the memory of your child discovering his/her tiny fingers. The natural sleeping in pjs in a crib. The light in the child's eyes when it recognizes a sibling. Yep, feel free to disagree (I am sure most of you do) but I stand for the minority who don't like to play dress up with my newborns because they are babies, not dolls.