Justin Bieber

Yes, I am quoting Justin Bieber this Sunday!  I saw the movie last weekend and was quite impressed with this kid.  Not only is he pretty talented but he seems to be a very loving, kind soul.  That’s what got me the most about him…or at least the side of him that was presented in the movie.

This quote is from this month’s issue of Rolling Stone:

“I don’t love money, because once you start loving money, you’ve got a big house and nice cars and just an empty heart, and that’s the truth, I’m not just saying that.” -Justin Bieber

Do People Think This is Okay?

I know my share of loving, caring, good “Christian” folk who vote Republican and even align themselves with the Tea Party Movement.  I know those people were out at the polls in full force this past November voting in the new Rockstars of the Republican party.  What I really want to know though is how those loving, caring, Christian people feel now that the Rockstars are getting to work.  Are you all really okay with what they are doing?  Do you still feel like they’re bringing the morals and ethics back to our country?

What I’m seeing is a nationwide assault on the middle class by way of attacking government workers.  Who are government workers?  They are the men and women who teach our children from elementary school all the way through college.  They are the police and fire workers who protect our neighborhoods and rescue us when we are in trouble.  They run our prisons and keep the bad guys locked up so we remain “safe.”  They are the postal workers who deliver our mail.  They issue our driver’s licenses, work in our libraries, run our court system, protect our children, and do a lot of other behind the scenes stuff to make everyday life run smoothly.  They are not highly paid and mostly take their jobs because they want to serve the community and perhaps choose security over high pay.  (I always remember my father encouraging us to consider government jobs.)

So what happens when you pay those people less and don’t offer them the security?  What happens to our children’s education when the people who teach them become desperate?  Or what about the safety of our community?  And as far as the people who work for the government…are they really all liberals?  And if not, how do you Tea Party/Republican/government workers feel about this assault on your livelihood???

Next I’m seeing a nationwide assault on underprivileged women and their children.  They are trying to cut funding to Planned Parenthood and WIC.  So let’s get this straight, we’re going to make women have their babies but not fund the places that give them care during their pregnancies or help them care for their babies once they are born.  Choosing to cut funding to Planned Parenthood is sort of like closing a bookstore because there are Penthouses on the magazine rack.  They use a lot more of their resources on helping women stay healthy before and during pregnancies than they do terminating them.

These new Rockstars are also trying to cut funding to public broadcasting.  Are you kidding me?  Once again, I know a lot of mothers out there who are Republicans but also have children growing up on Sesame Street,  Martha Speaks, and Curious George.  Do you really think losing those resources for your children is worth the little bit of money it will save?  The way I see it, they get rid of those programs and the only choice I have as far as TV goes is to let my kids watch Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel.  That’s just great!  Right now my girls watch PBS with no commercials.  They never ask for anything because they see nothing advertised.  They also have an incredible vocabulary because of quality programing.  But hey, I guess it’s worth it to give that up for ICarly and Hannah Montana right?  I’d much rather them be consumerist robots with a tweenage attitude then intelligent individuals.  Would you agree my Tea Party friends??

Frankly, I don’t think any of this is okay!  The fact that this movement is backed and led by so many “Christians” just outrages me.  Christianity is supposed to be based on Jesus’ teachings and way of life.  Last time I checked Jesus was all about compassion, love, forgiveness, and offering help and healing to those in need.  From the actions I am seeing put forth by the Tea Party, I’d say they are doing just the opposite.  In fact, I could go as far as to say the movement is Anti-Christian.  But what do I know?  I’m sure many of my Tea Party friends could find all sorts of Bible verses to support the display of disrespect and hate that is in the forefront of our political scene right now and they wouldn’t listen to me if I tried to argue.  But I couldn’t sit around wondering anymore either.  I really have to know.

Do you guys (Tea Party/Republican/Christians) really think this is all okay???

Where Do I Stand Now

How long ago was it that I said I was tired of seeking?  Two weeks maybe?  I’m not even sure.  I considered clearing all the self-help books off the shelf but being the procrastinator that I am, I didn’t get around to it.

I’ve basically stuck to my plan to just be instead of reading how to be.  I’ve maintained the writing schedule and miraculously this morning finished the first draft of my third novel.  It’s done and for at least the next few weeks while I let a few friends read (and edit) it I should be able to write here more.

So the point of this blog post is to write about how I’ve felt over the weeks I’ve stepped off my spiritual path and how I feel now that I’ve reached a huge goal and am still hanging out OFF my spiritual path (which I consider all my reading and contemplation of spiritual concepts my path or part of my path) .

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been seriously stressed, more worried than I’d like to admit, and found myself tossing and turning at 3am more than once.  I have dealt with two sick kids and a sick husband for well over a week and writing a novel is no easy feat, but still that seems like no excuse for how uncomfortable I’ve felt.  I think a big part of this is because when I stopped reading certain books, I also decided not to meditate anymore either.  Screw it all I thought.  I’ll never find or understand God and I felt like I was missing too much of my life as I tried.

I will say that although I haven’t been reading about God or any of what I consider his (or it’s) business, I have been talking to him.  I’ve prayed a lot lately.  I’ve prayed for certain things to fall into place in my life, for inspiration to do my work, for my niece to have a successful heart surgery, for my family to feel better, for our country to come together, for the homeless, the poor, and the desperate.  I’ve felt so empathetic lately…with every new story I read of cuts in services to the underprivileged, my heart absolutely breaks.

Where I stand right now is in a place of a lot of emotion.  On one hand it’s good.  I stepped off my path to self-discovery (and/or God) and started paying attention to others.  I feel an amazing amount of compassion.  But I am also so freakin worried and scared for a population of my country, USA, that I can’t stop thinking about it.  An easy answer would be to do what I was doing before.  I can shove my head in books and meditate on a mantra.  I can forget about peace in my country and focus on peace in my heart.  I can convince myself that all that really exist is love, while Rick Scott cuts the entire department that helps the homeless in our state.  I can plug my ears and say “la, la, la, la” hoping God has this all taken care of, while thousands of people across the country lose everything in the name of shrinking government spending.

Going back to the positive aspect of this post, I did finish that novel I was working on.  I like it a lot and have high hopes for it’s future as long as I do the work necessary to make it the best it can be.  It’s bittersweet to be done with it.  So much of the joy in writing comes from the progress towards the destination.  Once your there the taste isn’t actually as sweet as you thought it would be…or at least that’s how I feel today.

Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble today.  I wrote this one over two days so it’s sort of all over the map, but hey, I’m posting it anyway!

St. Augustine of Hippo

I read a book last week that may or may not count as cheating on the whole “giving up self-help books” thing.  The book is Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I’ll just call it a memoir.  In one of the last chapters she included this quote, which I loved and took as validation  for my bleeding heart.

“Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ;

rest your weary ones; bless your dying ones;

soothe your suffering ones; pity your afflicted ones;

shield your joyous ones.

And all for your love’s sake.”

The prayer was attributed to Saint Augustine of Hippo.

Nostalgic

I just finished reading The Red Tent.  It was a wonderful novel that illustrated the sacred nature of relationships between women.  What I found over the days I read it was I felt so nostalgic for the days when I was a new mother and I had a tribe of my own.

Bella was born in Texas, a place where I felt utterly alone.  When we made the move to Florida, I vowed to connect with others and find friends for myself and my baby girl.  Bella was 5-months-old when we began our new life and I went about finding those friends I longed for.  I started at a group for breastfeeding mothers and met the first three women who would join my circle.  My neighbor rang my doorbell with her 5 month old in tow and at the community pool I introduced myself to another new mother who was also new to town.  From that point we gathered at Wemoon Spirit, a women’s community center, where we were joined by three more moms.  There we circled up, sang songs, nursed our babies, and joked about the vagina chair that sat in the corner.

In the end there were ten of us and we met like this again and again at different places for three more years.    We shared our birth stories, tales of sleepless nights, and offered each other advice on all that we were learning in this new role in our lives.  Over time there were new pregnancies and new babies joined the group.  Our nursing toddlers finally weened and baby brothers and sisters took their places at our breasts.

Soon enough our little ones were beginning preschool.  The hours in our weeks were becoming filled up with new activities and tasks.  Life was leading us out of the red tent we had created for ourselves.  I busied myself with meditation workshops, self-help books, and the resurrection of my writing life.  When the fourth year was over my friends, the women who’d held my hand through the early days of motherhood, were farther away than I had realized.

As I read the book last week, I was reminded of how blessed I was to have had those women in my life.  (They did so much for me, including stepping in and being the family that took care of me through a difficult c-section recovery.)  Though most of us are still connected in some way, whether through church, school, or our neighborhoods, we will never again be the tribe we were in those first three years.  Wherever my life takes me I will always remember them and those wonderful Oxytocin filled hours we spent together learning what it meant to be mothers.

My advice to new mother’s is to go find yourself a tribe and build your own red tent.  The love and warmth of those days will stay with you forever.

I’ll leave you with a deep bow of gratitude to my Tally Toddler Tamers!

Fiction

So lately the focus of my writing has been on fiction.  Right now, I’m sitting in Border’s breaking one of my rules.  (I’m using their internet connection and writing a blog post.)  Of course I’m allowing myself this discretion because I just cranked out 2000 words and a new chapter in the novel.  I’m up to 40,000 words now.

I want to be a fiction writer.  I mean, I’m not sure if that’s what I’m supposed to do as I’m utterly confused with that whole life purpose business, but it is what I feel like doing now.  I used to have an endless supply of personal essays and blog post ideas running through my head and now I’ve got nothing.  Frankly I’m getting a little embarrassed by what I’m publishing here on Waiting for the Click.  How many different ways can I write about not being able to write.

But I AM writing.  I’m writing about this interesting 15 year old girl, her slightly messed up parents, and her very sweet friend across the street.  I’m writing about reincarnation and history all swept into one elaborate piece.

Through fiction I can put myself out into the world without really putting myself out there.  I can write about a character who believes whole-heartedly in reincarnation and is certain they can identify their own past lives without having to address whether I am one of those people.  My characters can be and do a whole range of things, but they are not me.  I don’t have to believe in what I create in a story and if I do in fact believe it, I don’t really need to admit that to anyone.

I believe that it will take me three to four more weeks to finish the first draft of my novel.  I am going to continue blogging during that time, but I am not going to force it anymore.  If I’m not inspired to write about my personal thoughts or observations, I won’t and if I am, I will.  And as I prefer to believe everything happens for a reason, hopefully the reason for this is to move me closer to my goal of being a published YA author.

Saboteur

I ended up taking an accidental break from the novel-writing today.  I’d found a dental appointment card in my purse one day and assumed it was for this Feb. 2.  I wrote it on the calendar and planned accordingly.

Today I dropped Callee off, did an errand to pass a little time and showed up at the office 40 minutes early for my teeth cleaning.  When I pulled in the parking lot I just knew I was there on the wrong day.  I went to the counter and discovered sure enough my real appointment is actually next week.

It was 9:30 when I left the office and drove home.  I still had plenty of time to write, I’d just have to do it in my living room instead of at Border’s.  Easy enough, right?  Not at all.  I came in and sat down at 9:45.  I wasted about 30 minutes on Facebook, then pulled up my latest chapter.  I read the first sentence and a voice in my head screamed NO!  I decided that the whole mix-up must have been for a reason and that I needed the break from the novel.

Of course, I didn’t want to waste anymore of that precious writing time, so I tried to rattle off a post for Owning Pink.  One paragraph in and the voice did it again…NO!  I trashed the paragraph and gave up.

So here I am and I bet you can guess what the voice is saying?

I’ve got one hour left, I guess I’ll have to use that time for cleaning.  (Holy crap, this must be really bad if I’m choosing to clean instead of write!)

 

George and Me

Every week night at 11pm, if I’m still awake, I lay in bed and watch Seinfeld.  What I have realized over time is that I have a certain affinity for the George Costanza character.  In fact, he is without a doubt my favorite.  He is also arguably the most annoying character on the show which brings me to question why I like him so much.  Today it occurred to me that I have a lot in common with ole  George and maybe that’s why I like him.  So I thought I’d run down the list of things I have in common with George.

1.  Choosing comfort over style. There was an episode where George was out of work and started wearing sweatpants every day.  That about sums up the past three winters of my life.  When I bought my first pair of Old Navy sweatpants I discovered a certain level of bliss.  Now I have four pairs and rotate them throughout the week.  I also live in sneakers and rarely put on make-up.  I get the idea of investing in your beauty and the face you put forward in the world, but I just can’t seem to sacrifice my comfort to do that.  Thus, I feel a lot like George…

2.  Thinning hair. Alright, this one totally freaks me out, but two years ago when I cut my hair super short I realized that it is not nearly as thick as it used to be.  These days I part my hair over a little further than I used to and try not to obsess about the hairs that find their way to the drain in the shower.

3.  Often wonder what I do all day. What does George do at his job anyway?  In one episode his biggest responsibility is getting a birthday card signed and he can’t even get that right.  I’ve had so many moments over my lifetime, whether it was school, work, or parenthood, where I just feel like I’m not doing enough.  Right now, I’m scanning the room (that my husband would lovingly refer to as a “clutterbox”) and wondering how to get myself motivated enough to clean it every. single. day.  I mean seriously…I’m a stay-at-home-mom, I consider cleaning a part of the job description there.  Yet, I SUCK at it!

Now for the last thing I have in common with George…

4.  I can be a bit self-deprecating. From where I’m watching, George doesn’t think too highly of himself.  He’s beyond surprised when women show interest in him and he has very low expectations for what he’ll receive in his life.  Because of this he has a hard time telling people what he really feels.  He even finds himself sending out wedding invitations when he doesn’t want to get married at all.  I had a George moment a couple of months ago.  Lissa posted something about a video project she was doing geared toward young girls.  They were looking for mothers of daughters to play a role in the video.  I decided to put my name in for it.  I sent an email, honestly thinking it was a shot in the dark and I didn’t really have a chance.  Three hours later a producer from LA called saying they loved what I wrote and wanted me for the project.  I hung up the phone and the only thoughts going through my head were you’ll never be able to do this, you’ll ruin the whole thing, you really shouldn’t let them waste their money on you. In the end, I didn’t get a call back about the project.  I’m not sure what happened, but honestly I was somewhat relieved because I just didn’t have the confidence that I could actually DO it.

In the end it is probably unfortunate that I liken myself to George…these particular characteristics aren’t either of our stronger ones.  But it is what it is and all I can say is I’ll work on it.  (Hopefully a little harder than I work on cleaning my house.)

*Was fixing breakfast for the girls and remembered I didn’t include the most important thing I have in common with George.  I’m cheap..

Courts Against Healthcare Bill

I saw the headline on my Comcast homepage.  Courts are declaring Obama’s Healthcare Bill unconstitutional.  I understand the idea that it’s unconstitutional to make people buy something if they don’t want it.  I don’t want to argue that, or argue at all.  It just seems like fighting a war against something that is basically benign.

If people walk around without insurance and then something serious happens (like needing open heart surgery, getting shot at a public community event, flipping your car on the interstate, or finding a lump in your breast) they may be left bankrupt with tax dollars picking up their tabs.  So is it really all that bad that people are asked to buy insurance to save themselves and their fellow citizens this heartache?  Of course, I recognize this is face value and it is probably a lot more complicated.  I’m also sort of obsessed with the safety and security that comes with insurance-whether or not I’m actually all that protected because of it.

I think there are some really positive things in this bill that will go out the window if it is declared Unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.  I mean if everyone has to buy insurance, won’t companies have to insure them?  So people who have been desperate for insurance for years but have been unable to qualify because of pre-existing conditions will finally be able to be covered.  It will help a lot of people.  It will even help people who don’t think they want to be helped.  Isn’t it possible there could be a general feeling of wow, we should have done this years ago?

It just seemed to me that all through the years and during election time people always talk about healthcare and insurance issues.  There are probably more people walking a line with the possibility of one terrible accident or horrible sickness destroying them financially than there are people who will never have to worry about how they’ll pay a hospital bill should they need to.  Of course as I say this I realize the Baby Boomers are starting to turn 65 this year, so that probably makes that statement false or at least will in the next ten years.

I’m mostly just so tired of these games.  Why are we using money, time, and resources to fight this?  It was an enormous compromise from where the whole  thing began.  At this point in the debate do average everyday citizens even know what’s so bad about the bill?  And more importantly at this point, considering it was voted in last year, do they even care?  I suppose they care if their side tells them to.  I really think the only thing that matters to our leaders anymore is political capitol.