Tuesday, January 27, 2009

things i like right now

space heaters
big sweaters
spring days in the dead of winter
the high after a long run
my comfy bed
drinking tea from my baby blue stanley thermos
knitting scarves
curling up with a library book
wii tennis
real bowling
the office tv series
tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
bloggers who care about the poor, oppressed, widow, orphaned, sick and lonely

Monday, January 26, 2009

got community?

for book club we are reading The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner which is about happiness and what makes people happy. the author travels around the world to poor nations and countries that are statistically happy and various governing bodies to find out what makes people happy. i just started the book, so i don't have all the answers yet, but i'll be sure to post when i become enlightened.

something that did strike me in the book already was this:

"Trusting your neighbors is especially important. Simply knowing them can make a real difference in your quality of life. One study found that, of all the factors that affect the crime rate for a given area, the one that made the biggest difference was not the number of police patrols or anything like that but, rather, how many people you know within a fifteen-minute walk of your house."

community. do you have it? i'd like to think i do because i know a few neighbors from the community garden we tended to last summer. and i run toward city park a few times a week and i nod at my neighbor sitting on his porch as i leave and come home. but the fact of the matter is i live in five points, all be it a trendy block, but still five points. homeless wonder down the alley, packs of kids spray paint my garage door, 2 kids got shot at the park i use to run around. and do we ever got police patrol. there's police rolling by our house multiple times a week and those hoovering helicopters aren't checking on a car wreck during rush hour.

i live downtown in the midst of yuppies and homeless men and low-rent housing and hispanics and blacks. i know a few yuppies because i am a yuppie. i don't know the homeless, the helpless, the needy. how sad for me.

the quality of life would go up for everyone if we knew our neighbors, not just because we feel safe and can trust people, but because community (as an action word not a noun) is what we all desire, to be known and to know others.

the other day, we received a valentine invitation in our mail slot. someone is having a st. valentine's day tea and they have invited the neighborhood. i have no idea who the invitation is from, but i am going to attend, i am going to put my insecurities aside to know my neighbors and have community.

how many people do you know within a fifteen minute walk?

Monday, January 12, 2009

paper gifts for me

today is my 1 year anniversary and i feel proud and nostalgic and lucky and wiser. pride comes from the fact that i'm with the most amazing and patient man and that we made it 1 year in marriage. i look back on our wedding as such a special day, a day that goes down in my history book. thoughts of the past year bring me joy and embarrassment because there are definitely happy moments to remember. the big trips to tahiti for our honeymoon and the trip to china and korea. the simple moments of having dinner with friends or dinner he made for me. but i'm not so proud of the ugly time together fighting or pouting and the realization that marriage is a lot harder than advertised.

there should be a release form every couple must sign and read the fine print. marriage is the hardest thing you will ever do. you will be required to give of yourself daily and then when night falls, you must give some more. sorry's need to be abundant as you will be an ass most of the time. being right doesn't mean you are the winner. be forewarned that you will reveal the ugliest side of yourself and be constantly reminded how selfish and petty you are. it is wise to learn grace and forgiveness and grace. the most important quality you can pick in a mate is humility and the ability to easily forgive you because you will mess up A LOT.

marriage has been on my mind a lot lately partly because i'm not very good at it. i'd rather do things my way all the time. 30 years of relying on myself does not breed dependence, it breeds bad habits communicating and selfishness.

i'm lucky because i have an extremely patient husband. we're lucky because we won't give up on marriage or each other. life is better because i have him and because i'm being refined and reshaped, not by my husband but because i have a husband. and when/if we are blessed with children, get out the sandpaper or sledgehammer because more of self will be chiseled away. i guess this is what taking up my cross daily looks. no one should give the illusion it's easy, that it's a fairytale of happily ever after because that's sh!t. And maybe that's why the first anniversary gift is paper... toilet paper to whip away the loads of crap that we expected marriage to be like. paper to remind you that marriage isn't roses and gold necklaces.

divorce seems to be rampant today as more couples i know fall victim to it. and it scares me. so give me toilet paper for this anniversary as a sober reminder that there will be sh!t ahead, toilet paper needed!