Sunday, October 18, 2015
I wanted to give her concert tickets. Then I considered a box of pumpkin faces. A blog post and gift card were my last option.
Monday, July 28, 2014
|Time for new adventures...:)|
Monday, June 30, 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014
Since most of you who read this are from Cumberland County, you likely know Barbara Booher. Even though I went to school with her son, David, it wasn't until I took the job at the library that I realized what a wonderful person this woman is. The library, our kids, and the community in general are truly lucky to have her. I promise you, you won't find many people with a bigger heart.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Don't be around people who make you question your self-worth. You are stronger than that.
When I think about or tell people the basics - climbing to an elevation of 10,000 ft. in a five-seater plane on a cloudy, drizzly day (by the way, "drizzle" at 120 mph isn't like the "Oh, I don't need an umbrella to walk to the car. It's just drizzling." sort of rain); standing on a 6" ledge at that height in a slightly oversized, Kentucky-blue jumpsuit with black rectangle accents; crossing my arms, leaning my head back and jumping out with the parachute-toting, tandem skydiving instructor I only met about thirty minutes prior - I'll admit that it sounds pretty outrageous. I promise you, though, it didn't feel that way at all to me. Exhilarating, surreal, inexplicable, yes. Scary, careless, unsafe, no.
I realize that seems to make very little sense.
Well, here is my rationale...
1. The staff at Skydive KY in Elizabethtown, while professional, was friendly and laid-back. They had an office dog. They didn't offer cliche or corny jokes about flying/jumping/landing. I did not hear "dude" once. They suggested that we would have fun, but never implied that we were embarking on some life-altering adventure. In short, they seemed capable, but relaxed. I had avoided talking about the trip to anyone beforehand because I did not want to answer questions or be burdened with others' fears or excitement. I appreciated that in the two hours or so before the jump, the time when we were signing liability forms, being trained, and watching other people jump, I could still live in this environment of relative calm, devoid of nervous chit-chat or unnecessary verbal build-up.
2. I trusted the person I was with. I never questioned whether Lee would do it. I never worried that I would have to talk him into it and in so doing, make myself more nervous. I knew that if anything seemed askew or I was in any danger, he would stop it. I knew that we would both have fun and not take it too seriously. I knew he would be up for Cracker Barrel biscuits afterward.
4. I realize that I could die tomorrow on my way to the library. I realize that if we worried about everything that could go wrong, we would do nothing, whether that was mundane tasks like driving to the grocery store or extreme sports like skydiving.
5. Even though I have certainly made mistakes, done my fair share of stupid, stupid things, and have regrets, I know that in the past few years I have consciously tried to live the best life I can live. I have made hard choices, I have taken chances, I have tried to be more open with my feelings, I have pursued some of my dreams, and kept hope that the untouched ones might be fulfilled. I guess I am just more of the Avett Brothers mindset, "if I live the life I'm given, I won't be scared to die."
Plus, as i said, jumping out of a plane really isn't as scary as it sounds.;)
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
One article in connection with this discussion that has particularly interested me since I read it a few years ago, is one written by Anne Lamott (a favorite author of mine). In this article, which I by no means agree with in its entirety, Lamott questions Mother's Day on the basis of these arguments: 1. it elevates mothers above other women who have chosen to or cannot have children. 2. it tends to ignore all those non-birth "mothers" who have nurtured us perhaps as much as, if not more so, than our actual mothers. 3. it plays into the notion that "true" love and self-sacrifice can only be known through parenthood.
As a non-mother, here is my take...
I didn't feel bad last Sunday. I would never want pity or for others to assume that I sat around wondering, "Why isn't there a day for ME?" If I rolled my eyes when glancing at Facebook it was because public displays of affection of any sort tend to make me gag, not because it was some defensive physical embodiment of my biological clock. I would never want mothers to feel bad about recognition simply because there are those of us who do not have children, just as I would never want someone to feel guilty for mentioning their dad around me on Father's Day. Just because I do not have something, does not mean that I'm so selfish that I can't be happy for those who do.
In regard to Lamott's third point, I do think she is on to something here. Although I am not sure on the accuracy or source of her data, she mentions that roughly 98% of American parents seem to feel that unless one has been a parent, their capacity for love is diminished, that "non-parents can't possibly know what it is to love unconditionally." This point also reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert's in Committed (I highly recommend) whereby she argues, "all too often, those of us who choose to remain childless are accused of being somehow unwomanly or unnatural or selfish." In both cases, the conclusion is the same: "they are not like us." Regardless of the validity of these general claims (and really, how could we ever really test this?), I would guess that they are assumptions most parents do secretly hold to some degree.
And you know, you parents might be right. I'm sure you want to roll your eyes when I talk about how I love my dogs like they are my children. I know that when I talk about the privilege of being a stepmother to a wonderful, wonderful child, most of you probably think "that doesn't really count." I realize that being an aunt carries very little of the responsibility of a parent. Nevertheless, I also know, without hesitation, that I would give my life for any of those mentioned above. I know what I feel is not just something "kind of like" love.
I can't be defined by something I am not; thus to suggest that my ability to give of myself is relative to, and less than, a parent seems just as arbitrary as our national fascination with a groundhog coming out of a hole.
I am fully aware that this quote somewhat challenges the point I just made (that the roles we play do not have to be in competition with one another), but I love Jane Austen and I love that being an aunt is one of the roles that does define me.
"I have always maintained the importance of Aunts as much as possible. Now that you have become an Aunt, you are a person of some consequence." - Jane Austen
Saturday, May 10, 2014
The truth of the matter, however, is that my mother often makes me want to do this: