Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Rudest Thing

I have a list of pet peeves a mile long. Anyone who knows me in real life could tell you that the littlest things can bother me. It’s mostly things that other people do that are inefficient and therefore bother me, but some of these are real things. For instance, not driving with your lights on when it’s raining or even foggy. This is one of my biggest driving pet peeves. It’s actually the law. I always think that the police should pull these people over. BUT then a few months ago I was driving and saw a car without its lights on in the rain and was telling them from my car to turn them on and I noticed it was a police officer IN a police car. I guess they don’t pull people over because they, themselves, have no idea that this is the law!!

I don’t consider this driving tick rude though – it’s just ignorant to other drivers and endangering other people’s safety! That’s all.

Today I’m writing about what I believe is the rudest thing one stranger can do to another stranger because it’s happening to me right now. This is my biggest traveling pet peeve and I travel a lot and see crazy stuff all of the time! Going through security is a regular adventure for people who haven’t traveled in a while or are just ignorant and don’t read signs or pay attention to what you are supposed to do. Take off your shoes, pack your liquids in those tiny travel bottles, remove things from your pocket, take off jackets and sweaters and just go through the line quietly and efficiently. In the mornings at the Charlotte airport each security check point is for only one type of traveler. This means that if you are business/first class you go through one point (usually C – although today it was for us regular passengers), Pre-Check (typically B & sometimes D), and steerage (A, which is also the only one open at 4:10am and E – where no one ever goes and they have the most amount of TSA agents available). This morning as I was getting in line for security a couple in front of me wasn’t allowed in C because they were pre-check. The kind agent directed them to D this morning to go through pre-check and then they proceeded to argue with her about how they weren’t. She said, “yes you are – it says so right here on your boarding pass.” That kind of peeves me – and it’s because these people were just GIVEN pre-check, they didn’t even know it, AND they were then not taking advantage of it.

I recently applied for Global Entry Pre-Check to take advantage of these features of the TSA that this couple was trying to avoid. I’m still in review – can.not.wait to hear if I make the cut. I’m hoping this makes the early morning flights I have (three more in the next three weeks).

I can deal with security, even the craziness of boarding which should be done from the back to the front if they want it to be more efficient AND faster as well as avoid people getting hit in the face with my bag as I go down the aisle to my window seat in row 32.

The thing that I cannot stand is the fact that all of us are sitting with mere inches of space in these crazy coach airline seats and the person in front of me has the audacity to recline their seat. I know that they have a right to do so, and the ability to do so. However, the extra two inches that you are reclining STEALS two of the six inches I have back here. I’m cramped trying to use my small surface, drink my six ounces of Dr. Pepper, and now must operate/work/sleep/breath with your seat back right in my face.

The last flight I was on where someone invading my space like this I was behind, arguable, one of the BEST seats on the plane. How do I know it’s the best seat on the plane? I received it a few flights ago. It’s an exit row seat in the back near the window. There’s no seat in front of it and you have the absolute MOST amount of leg room on the plane. You literally have three FEET of leg room, and you need an extra two inches of MY precious space to lean back? Yes, it is your right – but should you?

There are so many times when people should thing of the appropriate response to this question, “I could, but should I?” Probably not. 

Linking up with the other gals at the Not Alone Series since this is definitely ADULTING and how I do it ... not blowing up at other people while traveling, eating at restaurants, etc...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

All I Do...

Do you ever feel like all you do is one thing? I feel like all I do is work on the computer. It's my work life - I'm sitting at my computer all day long working on websites, sending emails, making phone calls - LOTS of phone calls. Then in the evening, I'm working on our young adult stuff, writing this here blog, checking personal emails, or just wasting time online.

We live in such a digital society that it's almost unavoidable - or at least that's what I tell myself. Is that really the case or is it just my excuse?

I'm not really sure. And to be honest - I might want to be on my computer less, but I don't really want to cut out any of the things that I'm doing right now, so there's got to be some balance.

There are a few things I very rarely use digital media for and prefer the old fashioned way. One of these is books. I do have the kindle app on my phone and a Kindle that I find to be very useful for reading when I'm traveling. It's super easy to just turn that on and read rather than lugging around tons of books in my already super heavy briefcase and very full carry-on bag. I love the way that books feel in your hands, the satisfaction from underlining a particularly noteworthy point, and the way they sit on the shelf for years reminding me of the good times.

I also love getting books from the library - brand new titles to explore and read!

This summer I'm going to plan to read more in the evenings and on the weekends. Spend some time diving into a different world, uncovering new adventures, learning new things.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Online Dating Adventures

“I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”
the beginning of Ephesians 4

In the quest for a spouse, everyone from my friends to strangers to siblings to parents have told me that I should do online dating. A way to meet more people, expand my reach. I paid for an entire year's subscription and didn't have any bites - only one guy, who was pretty prejudice even progressed to an in-person meeting. Today as I was looking around my archived draft posts, I found this gem. The below is the real struggle of online dating. Maybe this was just the pool from Catholic Match, but I think it's a good representation of the weird things you see online. The advantage of online dating is that you can just copy & paste this crazy into a blog post as evidence. I'm not sure what my future spouse will look like or be like - but I think comments and profiles like this are off my list. Hopefully it doesn't make me too picky.

Let's call this one 'Rick' - well cause that's his name and he seems a little odd:
Fortunately, I'm not full of myself, and I'llhus try to take very good care of you. I want to be your charming prince. My profile photo is dated. I've lost a little hair since then. Otherwise, it basically looks like me. I try hard to make people feel special without spoiling them. People who have known me would probably agree that I do a good job at that. You needn't contact me. Be assured that I'm looking for you. If you look at my profile, that will be enough. Please don't be discouraged if I don't respond immediately. 
 and ...
Must be willing to consider having an in-house night nurse to tend to the children in the middle of the night so you can be well rested during the day. 
then ...
One of my goals in life is to buy my wife what I call a princess dress - a dress with 'exploded' shoulders and a broad, long bottom half. It isn't very high on my lists of priorities, but it is a goal. 
it's not over ...
I can see traveling a bit. Since I am specifically not enchanted by the hierarchy, the Pope, or the Vatican, I have no burning interest in going to Rome. That doesn't mean I would mind taking you on a trip, though.
Another gem from Nicholas, not Nick ...
Therefore it is for the sake of the children that I have boiled down the most important traits for an ideal match. I call them, "The Three C's." An ideal match should be Catholic, Conservative, and Chiropractically-minded. I don't want to have a house that's divided by religion, politics, or healthcare. Also, to be fair, you would probably not want to get into a lot of arguments all the time as well. I was raised my entire life under chiropractic care. It has kept me healthy all these years, with medicine only being employed on an emergency basis. I realize not everyone is familiar with chiropractic care, and I would be glad to answer any questions about it, but that is how I would intend to raise the children.
for his credit, he does continue to explain himself ...
 As stated above, I am a Doctor of Chiropractic, commonly known as a chiropractor. I prefer the title, "friendly neighborhood nervous system facilitator." It is my ideal job. Before I finally was led to my vocation as a chiropractor, I did not know what I wanted to be. All I knew was that I wanted a job that I liked, could support me and a family, and also helped people directly. When God finally revealed to me that this was the path I should take, it amazed me that I did not realize it sooner. Sure enough, I now have my three criteria.
Back to the old-fashioned way to meeting men - mutual acquaintances, fellow Church attendees, local establishments... With Online Dating, at least you get to the crazy pretty quickly!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Leaning In

Happy Feast! Today is Pentecost and that means that the Holy Spirit was the person of the Trinity on the stage during Mass today. Fr. C's homily got me thinking about my own plan. He was talking about how the Apostles received the Holy Spirit just like we have, but the manifestation of the spirit looks completely different in our lives than in theirs. I'm not speaking in tongues, moving the world, etc... He proposed a reason and asked us to think about all of the prayers we've ever prayed. Then take all of the prayers that sound like this "Lord I need help with X," "Please give me Y," and "Remove Z suffering from my life" and place them on one side of the scale. Then on the other side of the scale put every time you've whole-heartedly said "Lord do with me what you will."

This got me thinking about my life and my plan for it. More and more I think that the plan I see for my life is not what the Lord has in store for me. I have had an idea that I am going to be married with children since I was just a small child myself. I've played with baby-dolls, my own little household as pretend play. I started praying for my future husband when I was a teenager - always keeping a look-out for a nice young catholic boy who might be the one who wants to marry me. This thought process has not changed much now that I've entered my thirties. Whenever I'm at Church, I notice if there's a man who's attending and he looks like he's under the age of 40 and over 25. First thing - look to see if he has a ring. If not - maybe that's where the Lord is leading me. This is quite an unhealthy perspective - but good for not thinking that married men could be potential husbands!

Then today Fr. C made a comment about when we pray the  prayer "Lord do with me what you will." He was sure to note that this is quite a scary prayer for us to make. It could take us to a completely different place than we see our plans taking us. He said that for some, our lives might look the very close to what they look like now. For others, things could be completely different.

I don't believe the Lord is calling me to religious life - but more and more I think that marriage is more a missed vocation for me than a fulfilled one. Maybe this is the Devil trying to remove my hope and my joy. Making me feel like I'm not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, meek enough to be a good wife. Maybe those things are true.

Maybe I won't ever get married, won't ever be a mom to my own kids. The thought combined with looking at my friends who are all married and having lots of cute little kiddos makes me sad. I'm not bitter that they are experiencing all of the things in life that I want to experience. I'm not upset that they aren't also in the middle of the misery that I have. I know they say that "misery loves company" but I don't want everyone to be single. I don't want that to be the focus of our friendships. However, I don't want to be left behind or deemed "unrelatable" because we don't share the same focuses in life or have similar lifestyles.

My biggest fear is not being single my entire life. My biggest fear is loosing my friends because our lives begin to have nothing in common or because they don't know what to say to me when the topic of relationships comes up and that my family will grow further and further apart so that even blood won't keep us together. That is what keeps me up at night and brings tears to my eyes during the most intimate moments with our Lord at Mass. My biggest fear is being single and also being alone for my entire life. This is where I need the Lord to come in and provide his healing bringing me closer to him.

Lord provide me the courage to give over to your will with my whole heart that I may always find my heart resting in your presence.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

NAS :: Love Stories

What is your favorite love story? How did your favorite real-life couple meet? Which fictional love stories (from books, movies, plays, or songs) make your heart soar? What’s your favorite love story from the Bible?

I know it's Saturday and I'm writing for our Tuesday post ... but hey, it's my blog and I can do what I want! I'm sure Lindsay won't mind that I'm linking up late. Check out the other Love Story roundups over at the Lovely Lindsay's!

I'm a romantic comedy junkie. I love when everything turns out great in the end and the good guy and the good girl get together and live happily ever after. I know that most of the time (ie: ALL of the time) that's not real life. There's no hard work put in after marriage - sometimes, the movie ends when they finally have a first kiss - think You've Got Mail (with two of the most beautiful people :: Tom & Meg). But I still love them.

My favorite Rom-Com of all time is Yours, Mine, & Ours- the ORIGINAL y'all .... with Lucille Ball! The new one is NOTHING in comparison!!!

I also love tv shows that follow a couple's love story and my absolute favorite is Bones. Brennan and Booth are just lovely together and go through real life. I love watching them together and seeing how they write for them to interact. I feel like I know these people - and truly I do - it's just that they don't really exist!

I think that Love is just lovely - and the romantic part is having companionship for a lifetime. There are so many amazing love stories all around me, which is what gives me hope that there's something for me in the future. If some flawed human beings can write the amazing stories that I love on TV and in movies - then, the Lord of Heaven and Creator of the Earth can write me a love story that will catch me by surprise and be more than I could have ever hoped for! I have faith that he will bring me a Joseph like he did Mary who will help us accomplish his mission on this earth and unite us with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

NAS :: Readiness

How ready do you think you are for your vocation? Are you ready to be committed to your vocation within the next year, or two years? That means being married (and maybe with a baby), taking religious vows, or telling people you’re not interested in marriage and plan to remain single for life. What do you still need to work on or change about yourself before you’re ready? Have you thought you were ready before? How have you become better prepared over time? Married ladies can chime in, too: how did you know it was the right time to get hitched?

Linking up with the ladies in the Not Alone Series this week as it's been way, way too many weeks. This group has been such an amazing help to me in the past few years with the amazing friends that I've met and the support system that they have become. This seems like a good topic to enter back into the writing mood and linking up with the group.

A few questions in this week's prompt strike me. Let's begin with Have you ever thought you were ready before?

Yeah. I'll say I've been ready to be a wife and mom for a long time - but there was one definitive moment almost 5 years ago while I was away with some kids at camp and praying about my future. I felt distinctively that the Lord was telling me that a husband was coming and that it would be sooner than I would feel it was ready for. Now five years later, I am still no married. I don't feel unready - but I do not have the same feeling in prayer either. I don't know if that's what the Lord has in store for me. 

Second question to consider What do you still need to work on or change about yourself before you're ready?

Um, a lot. Everything. I need to be better at submitting my will toward the other. I need to not be so selfish. I need to act with more humility and be a stronger woman of faith. I need to be more open to the Lord and His will. I need to feel better about my body. I need to clean up my eating habits. I need to kick my sugar addiction. Intellectually I know that these things are not the reasons why a man hasn't asked me to marry him (or date him) - but they feel like things that are wrong with me. They are definitely things that I should work on to be a better wife to this man once we are married. To give us a fighting chance of having a marriage that lasts until dead instead of divorce.

Final question to consider How have you become prepared over time?

In so many ways that I cannot even write them all down - some more profound than others. I know how to rely more on myself to my emotional well being than someone else. I can cook better. I'm stronger in my faith. I'm better able to take criticism and make changes to improve. I am better able to have discussions about topics that I feel passionate about. I have more control over my emotions in public. I'm more confident in myself and my abilities. I have a job that I love and am good at. 

All of these make me a better human being and therefore it would make be a better wife. I'm sure than during the time between now and when I do meet my spouse, I will grow even more into a better human being and better wife and mother.

Check out the other ladies and their thoughts this week over at Lindsyy's at the NAS Link Up.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Being Single ... Still

I've been thinking about what I'm going to write here for a few days. I've been wanting to get my thoughts down, but can't figure out what I want to discuss. What I want to tell my future self about this time in my life. I watched the movie Spotlight on Friday and had some thoughts I wanted to share, but it's such a difficult topic that I'm not sure this is the place to discuss them or that I have them all worked out in my mind. Last night a friend and I watched War Room which was really great - and I thought about writing about that, but not really moved. I did listen to that book on the library Hoopla app a few months ago and it was just as good - I highly recommend that. In the past few weeks, I've been watching Friends on Netflix and I've had some thoughts about that as well, but doesn't seem like fuel for discussion here.

So this morning, I googled "writing prompts for single women" and found a blog by Mandy Hale, who sounds so familiar to me, but I can't place how I know her. Maybe I followed her on Instagram, but I cannot remember. Anyway... I read through them all, and didn't feel like writing about any of those things, but then I found this article of hers: Why I'm Still Single - The Ugly Truth. It's very excellently written. I felt like I was reading some of my own journal notes.

Mandy writes:
The truth is…I don’t know exactly why I’m still single. I think I’m starting to come to a better understanding of why…but for the moment, it’s still just shadowed and blurry truth that I’m struggling to make sense of. But the reasons I often convince myself that I’m still single aren’t pretty.
There are the reasons I tell people like her, as simple as "I haven't met someone who wants to marry me, that I also want to marry, yet." That's the objective truth. I almost wrote "someone who wants to marry me," but then I would have friends who tell me that isn't true - that I've rejected guys before who are interested in me, that I'm not interested in for one reason for another.

However, like Mandy - that's not the reason that I believe in the hard moments, in the difficult evenings when I'm alone, in the times when I'm a single gal in the middle of a ton of couples. During those times, it feels more like something's wrong with me or that I've done something wrong recently or in the past. 

This is the exact area where the devil digs in and destroys me. Right here in my singleness, in the times when I'm alone and it feels like there's no hope of it changing. What if I am single forever? That's the question that haunts me and the one that I don't know if I'm comfortable with. 

I wish I could end this with some piece of amazing wisdom, with some words of positive affirmation, with a solution. I can't.

I can only tell myself that there were many other times in my life when I didn't see what was at the end of the tunnel. I didn't see what was going to come next when I was struggling with my job as Office Manager. I had no idea how I was going to get out of there and move on to something better for me. I couldn't see that working at OSV was what was right around the corner.

I didn't see what was at the end of the tunnel when I had trouble with a roommate after my friend got married and moved out. This one took a little longer to resolve. I had two more roommates in that apartment before I ended up purchasing my townhouse. I had some great times with those ladies, but the years of renting and not knowing if I was going to have a roommate for the next year or not was difficult.

Although these things aren't decisions as big as a life partner and living our my vocation - they do remind me of the Lord and his faithfulness toward me. He's been faithful in the past and he will be again in the future.