Saturday, May 30, 2009

To Stay or Not to Stay


What do you think?
On the topic of dating relationships:

One friend said that she stayed with her boyfriend even though she knew he was not right for her. They argued and she did not feel the energy was right but she decided to stay anyway-- until something better.

A guy I dated awhile back admitted to the same thing. He stayed with a woman that he had no intention of building a future with. She was unaware of this and was hopeful that they would one day get married. He was a bit of a loner so he knew it would be awhile before he would meet someone else so he decided to stay-- enjoying the benefits of companionship. The attitude that, "Something is better than nothing" was prevalent there.

A college buddy of mine, when I complimented him on his girlfriend's cuteness said, "She's OK'" either downplaying his affection for her or truly expressing the opposite of attraction- neither being complimentary.

I suppose there are many reasons we stay when we shouldn't. Sometimes we stay for commitment sake (which may be a good thing), or we stay because we are weak- afraid to be alone, want to be held or need a friend. Other times, we stay because we are lazy or get distracted by every day life. Sometimes we stay because we are hoping for something -- even though the other party is clear that they are not really with you. And sometimes, it may be as simple as recognizing that change is a hard thing to cope with at times--so we stay to keep status quo.

I guess my take on things is that if there is no real hope for a future, lack of commitment and/or an unwillingness to work on things, there is no need to tarry there.

I would not want to have someone settle for me. I wonder what the counterparts in my examples above would do if they knew their mates were just biding time with them?

I am a romantic and have hopes that my mate would be there because he chooses to be. I sincerely believe that if you are in a relationship you should either be in it for the long haul and actively choose your partner or get out. I suppose it is different if both parties are aware that they are settling for the time and decide together that they will pass time with one another. But, it seems that it is more likely that one party would express a desire to look around while keeping the security blanket while the other secretly hoped the other would come to their senses. Limbo is no fun- at least in that scenerio.

The other reality is that by staying this type of pseudo relationship it often blocks energy toward building another relationship. And if it doesn't, you may have to carry the eventual baggage that you betrayed someone while carrying a torch for another. Believe me, that is some heavy baggage.

Relationships are messy. There are times when I have been in a relationship where I had doubts of a future. And, it takes time to figure things out-still different though that I was willing to find out if the relationship was worth striving for. But, I would have to say that if you are not willing to fight for the relationship or invest in a solution to the problems blocking possibility, it probably means it is time to let go.

People who know me, know that I believe in working on relationships and giving things a real try. The main thing is being honest with yourself and the other person about where you stand, so they can make a decision for themselves. If you choose to stay on knowing that the person is not able to be faithful, it is probably on you.

Life is too short to settle, too short to live in agony, too short to feel less than or to compromise values.

Things don't always happen in the time frame we hope for and wisdom is not always present as we face these situations. But, I believe that when you have a knowing in your heart then a responsibility comes with that knowing. It takes bravery and resolve to take the right steps, but ultimately, I think you will be better for it.

On another note, here is one of the most disturbingly funny videos I have seen that pertains (albeit peripherally) to the subject at hand.

Letting Go:
video

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Cornhole Song

Found these guys on Youtube and I gotta tell you that I like all I have seen. They are funny, have musical talent and are creative. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another Social Experiement



Doesn't it make you want to shake your groove thing?

Monday, May 18, 2009

First Communion and Baptism

Kids lined up for communion:


Kids watching the bread and wine being blessed:



Kye getting ready for his baptism:

Mom at home after the event getting food together:

Alea in her beautiousness:


Quinn --self portrait:


Kye getting baptized:

Proud/happy god mom's:

Friends who came to share the day:

Cheesy girl:

Quinn with pocket watch, given by Papa. The watch was his fathers and was willed to him. History passed down:


All in all, a beautiful, wonderful day. I was so proud of each of them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best Day

Today, I think, was one of the best days ever. Interestingly enough, it was not because it was a perfect day-- for perfection was not achieved, but the day held many pleasures for me. These pleasures were not thwarted by the late arrival to church, the bickering of children, the mower cutting out several times, an acquaintance calling for help when I did not want to leave my garden, or the shower head spraying water all over the bathroom floor as I attempted to enter the stall. I still remain blissful as I recount the day's events. I will try to share them here even though, you may not be able to relate to the wonderousness of it all.

1. Slept in today. I woke around 9:00 am. The sun was shining in the window and by some miracle, the kids decided to not awaken me. The kids surprise me at times at how they believe you are always alert and accessible. I don't get that. It is quite often that one of them will come in and start talking as if I am conscious and fully expect a lucid response.

2. Went to church (albeit late) and grooved to the music, listened to a homily about love, received hugs and kisses at peace time and shed a tear at "Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed". A church lady came up to us after the Mass and gave us the inside scoop that she made sandwiches to eat, next door. She knows I love her cooking and even though I know those sandwiches were for everyone, I could not help that she felt she was sharing a prize secret with me.

3. Went to Oakland Park Nursery. Purchased plants for a gift basket, a few vegetable plants and a couple of seed packets. One of the packets was a splurge-- a mixture of seeds to grow flowers that will pop up all growing season long. I say it is a splurge because it does not involve vegetables.

4. Put laundry on the line outside. Nothing better than the fresh feeling from line dried clothes. It saves energy and I get in a meditative state when I do this task. It is a relatively quiet time, my hands are busy and I can set my mind at ease.

5. Mowed the lawn. Quinn did the bulk of it, I raked up the grass clippings. My yard looks so good when the grass is short. It also feels rugged and unruly even when the grass is cut-- I am trying to think of ways to tame it a bit. I have ivy and brush piles and weeds gone wild in places. Even so, some of the weeds are gorgeous as they bloom.

6. Gardening. Put in cukes, onions and weeded around the broccoli, lettuce, peas and tomatoes. Added manure to the soil to add nutrients. Still a lot to do, but my garden is beginning to look like a real garden.

7. Fire. Burned brush that was in the back half of the yard; left by city workers who cut a couple of trees to clear the alley and wires on telephone poles. A mess was remained there and it made it hard to mow around. We started a fire and chipped away at the pile. The ashes from the fire make excellent compost. We probably burned through about 2/3rds of the pile. The day was crisp and a little chill was in the air, the fire was a nice addition both physically and mentally.

8. Linner. In between tasks, I stopped to make a meal. As I peeked in the refrigerator, I saw that I needed to cook up some pork chops that were waiting to be eaten. I debated whether to spend the time cooking and was tempted to eat out, when I just decided to go for it (knowing going out would cost more and would take time too). I poured a little olive oil in the pan, cut up some sweet onions and peppered the chops. I scrounged around a bit more for added sides and found some pesto pasta in the freezer and some green beans. Within 15 minutes we had a whole meal and to my surprise, the kids kept coming back for more- they can be finicky. So, I earned points for cooking, fixing something the kids would eat and eating the chops before they went bad.

There was much more that made my day great, but I will end with the fact that it is ending with a perfect cup of tea. I try often to achieve tea greatness and often fall short. Tonight, the tea is hot, just enough sugar, a dash of milk and goes down just right.

I hope you will have many a day like this, filled with simple joys and pleasures. Sometimes, I think it is just as important to experience a day like today as to reflect upon it. Many days get passed over in a rush or because we are too preoccupied with other thoughts to truly appreciate what is going well.

I think another reason today was special is that even though I was multitasking, I was able to stay very present with each task.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wolf Sword Story


I went to a retreat a couple of weeks ago through the Cum Christo movement. It is a neat opportunity to refocus on your spiritual path, meet neat people and feel love. It was a great time and I made several friends. While there, we heard speakers and had discussion groups. After one of the talks, I was talking to one of the guardian angels for the group. He was one of 3 guys on the retreat since this was a woman's retreat.


I asked him if the guys retreats were much different, and he said that they basically do the same things. And then, he said that he had a particularly vivid memory of a story that a speaker gave during one of these talks. I am sure I won't get it totally right, but I will do my best to portray it here.


He said that the speaker laid a sword on top of the podium and began to tell a story about a sword that was dipped in blood. This sword was dipped a few times and dried between each dipping. The sword was placed in the snow. A wolf approached attracted by the blood and began to lick, until he did not know if the blood he was tasting was on the sword or his own. The wolf in his attraction, lost sight of the fact that he was getting hurt in the process. The speaker said that this is how sin is with us. We are attracted to it or by it and as we interact with it, we end up getting hurt within the process.


I gotta say, guys are different. Even though, these thoughts were kind of gross, there was something poetic in the metaphor.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

He that lives in hope danceth without music.
- George Herbert

I read this quote recently and I realized there could be a couple of interpretations of this statement.

1. Those who hope(and are not content with what they have)are somehow missing music as they dance. How many times have we sat in hope for some other circumstance when right around us we have much to be joyful for?

And/or,

2. Those who hope, don't need music to dance--the music is in them.

I love to dance. I love music. I am holding out for it all but in the meantime, I will enjoy right here, right now.

I am sure George meant the second option, but this reminds me that a lot of what we experience is based on how we choose to see things and what hopes we hold.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Towel Anyone?



I laughed myself silly with this.
I am not sure it would actually happen. I think people are too worried about germs to do this, but I think some people could have fun with the concept.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Devil is Gonna Get Ya

Had a chat with Alea in the car the other day. We were talking about "bad" words and when it is ok to say them. There is a particular snappy song on the radio that features the word hell a lot-- so she wanted to know the official ruling on such things. Should she sing the lyric or not?

Usually, I dole out an official answer and we may talk a bit more about it but this time, I decided to share the why behind. I basically told her that words have power-- power for positive or power for negative impact. The guideline I suggested was to evaluate whether a word brings about good feelings or negative feelings and choose accordingly. She seemed to understand.

Then we started to talk about hell. Hell is an actual concept about a place. She sat there thinking for awhile and basically said. "Mom, I think that our souls go to God and that our skin and bones go to the devil." I asked her, "Why so?" and she responded, "That would only be fair-- that way they both get something."

Friday, May 1, 2009

video

Yes, your very own Erin Sprouse (not Sprouss) was on TV yesterday. This interview gives a snippet of what we are trying to do at the Ohio Benefit Bank.

Would it have killed me to wear a little color? Well, I guess we live and learn. I was soooo tired yesterday and surprised when the TV crew showed up.

Note to self:

1. Get some sleep!

2. Wear color!

3. Smile more!

Friday vs. Monday

video

I am sure we can all relate to this to some degree. Now I am hoping to look more like the penguin in the future--I have been so tired that even days off can be slow going.....

The good news is that I genuinely like going to work these days. I get to meet many people, do something good in the world and get quite a few perks. All good.