Monthly Archives: February 2011

Live in the Now!

Have you seen Wayne’s World? If not watch it and love it with me. If you have, do you remember that scene where Wayne is pining over a guitar he can’t afford and Garth says to him “Stop torturing yourself, man! You’ll never afford it! Live in the now!” I’ve been thinking about that phrase, live in the now, and how that looks for me.

It’s hard to live in the now, especially in today’s society. Technology is constantly on the move, there’s a new iSomething out everyday it seems. But it’s not just technology, it’s holidays. Before Christmas is over, grocery and department stores are putting out Easter decorations. I even saw new swim suits available at Target in February. Who’s thinking about summer in the dead of winter? (I suppose a lot of people are, but still…)

Even something like raising a child can make you feel as though you’re always looking forward. You wonder when your child will start doing this or that, when you will potty train and how you’ll do it. Some foresight is a good thing, like saving for college, but I think that’s just being prepared. Like having an earthquake or zombie apocalypse survival kit. I think the issue is being so preoccupied with what is going to be happening that you loose sight of what actually is happening.

The future always seems better. Things will get better with time. Even if they did get better would you notice or would you push past them as so many of us do looking for the best time? If we keep pushing and waiting for things to change or get better eventually we’ll reach the point where we’re out of time for pushing and waiting.

But let’s not get morbid. The fact is, we need to slow down. Alright I won’t speak for everyone. I, at least, want to slow down. I need to slow down.  All my life I’ve been waiting for the next big thing. In middle school I looked forward to high school, then college, then marriage, then kids, but things don’t always go smoothly. How I wish now that I’d been more cognizant of what was going on because the fact is once those times are past they become memories.

I suppose I’m adding another resolution to my short list this year. And that’s to be more aware of what I have now. That’s not to say that looking forward to fun things is bad. I’ve got a fun weekend ahead of me that I’m looking forward to and Emerald City Comicon is the next weekend. But during those fun weekends, I want to be totally present. I don’t want to be distracted by things that may or may not come to pass. I just want to be.

A Better Person

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about becoming a better person and the standards I set for myself. I don’t think there’s anything odd about wanting to become a better person. I’m not saying I’m a bad person who needs to become good. I’m a good person who could be better. As I examine the standards I’m setting for myself on becoming a “better” person one that sticks out as unusual to me is one regarding money.

Before you jump to conclusions let me give you a little background. When Jordan and I were married, we had a bit of an old fashioned set up. I took care of hearth and home while Jordan brought home the bacon. We didn’t sit down and decide this one day. In fact, for most of our marriage I had a job too. This set up became very apparent after the kiddo was born. I was ok with this. I think feminism is more than just burning bras and pursuing a career. Feminism for me is about being able to choose what I do. I chose to be a mother and stay at home because it has always been something I wanted.

The problem with this set up became very obvious only a few short days after Jordan died. Since Jordan brought home the bacon he was also in charge of the bacon. He paid the bills, opened accounts, took care of credit cards and even managed our student loan payments. Anytime I wanted to buy something I would check with Jordan first. I had no concept of how much money we had or where it was going. Obviously this was a problem after he was gone. I didn’t have the knowledge or the tools to manage finances and suddenly, here I was trying to make good decisions for my family.

I know a lot of folks think it’s rude to talk about money. I’ve heard it called “the last taboo topic.” To some extent I think that’s accurate; for example, asking someone how much they spent on a house or making comments about the expensive items inside said house is rude. But simply trying to get information to make good decisions with your money is something else.

So one of my standards on becoming a “better” person is to get a handle on my finances. Because I want to be able to manage my money. I want to know where it’s going. I want to pay off debt and own a home and send my son to college. In order to do all that I have to ask questions to gain the knowledge necessary to conquer my goals. Will this actually make me a “better” person or just a more fiscally responsible one? I think, perhaps, for me the two are interchangeable.

Here’s An Excuse

I have a great idea for a post, I really do.

The problem is I’m so completely distracted by a number of other things that I can’t put the energy into that I want to. I’ve been pondering it and making notes, but I don’t think I make it a coherent entry so I don’t even want to try.

This week was draining and next week I hope to put up a post that explains why. So hopefully I’ll see you all next week.

Judge, Judge, Judge

First let me say that having an inside joke as the title of this post makes me smile.

Last night I was having dinner with bf and some friends. One friend asked me if I was writing, which reminded me that it was Thursday and I had no thoughts whatsoever for a blog today. This week has been very weird. I suppose it really started with last weekend when I caught a stomach flu. I don’t remember the last time I’d been that sick. Bf graciously took care of me, but then got sick himself. There were other things that happened this week that threw me for a loop but they aren’t things I’d like to air in this arena. All that to say, I hadn’t really thought about what to write for today.

Then suddenly it came to me, as I was making lunch for the kiddo, I could write about judgement. It has been an overarching theme this week. The trouble with writing about judgement is I could get in a bit of trouble. So I wondered if I should wait, put a little teaser on my blog this week, work on it and delve into the subject for next week. My final thought was, no I should not do that. Normally when I do that I end up not working on it, or not putting in as much effort as I wanted to.

So even if it gets me a few nasty comments, here goes my post about judgement.

I’ve noticed there is a largely negative connotation with judgement. Which I think is a bit silly since we all do it. You can disagree with me if you want to, but just try something first. Think of the last time you met someone you had never met before. What were some things you noticed, their hair, clothes, looks? Did you really have no thoughts whatsoever about those things you noticed? Were all the thoughts you had about that person negative, or positive? I think therein lies the problem. Judgements are not always negative, they can be positive too.

Thinking something like ‘what a neat person, I think we have a lot in common’ is just as much a judgement as thinking ‘this girl is so obnoxious, I will never hang out with her again.’ The thing that makes it complicated is the fact that positive judgements go by another name, compliments. But I believe they are essentially, still judgements. Each person faces judging differently. There are many approaches and opinions, but I’ve noticed there to be at least three groups of people.

The first group I’ll call the “No Judgement Crowd.” These are the folks that are always proclaiming they do not judge ever. I always feel a little wary when I’m talking with someone I don’t know very well and they say repeatedly  ‘no judgement.’ Mostly because it makes me wonder if they’re reminding themselves not to judge. Then I start to worry because generally the folks who say ‘no judgement’ are the ones who think of judging in a negative way. So each time they say ‘no judgement’ I wonder what it is I said that made them think of me in a negative light.

The second group I’ll call the “All Judgement Crowd.” These people generally think that judgements are negative, but are ok with that. They judge all the time because, similar to my point of view, everyone judges, they just aren’t afraid to do it. My experience with these people is they are difficult to impress and once they form an opinion of you it’s hard to change it.

The third group I’ll call “My Crowd” because this where I think I fall. These are the ones that believe judgements exist and everyone does it, but it’s not always a negative thing. They try their best to not pass negative judgements on people but don’t beat themselves up if they do. Because hey, nobody is perfect.

I’m not saying that these are the only groups there are. I’m also not saying that every person who has ever uttered the words ‘no judgement’ falls into the first group. These are broad generalizations I’m using to explore the different sorts of people I’ve encountered. If you don’t like it well, go ahead and judge me.