Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Without my Dad

It's my first Father's Day without my Dad.      

I've been fighting off my sadness for quite a while.  Replacing it with work stress, moving madness, or a glass of wine or two worked for a while.  It's been two months and it seems that life's hills seem a little tougher to climb without him.  

Yet, as I lay in this bed with a wet pillow, I know my Dad wouldn't have wanted me doing this.  What he'd really want is for me to honor the husband person today.  My father adored him and often "protected" him from my wrath.  (��)

So, rather, than trying to tell people how awesome my Dad is, I'm going to instead tell you what makes the husband person such a great Dad.

  1.  You helped make the medium person.  I don't even need to elaborate on that one.  She's your only child and it shows.  I'm gong to be good so I won't say much more than that.  

2.  You're the fun parent.  Sighhh, I can't compete with you.  You know how to have a good time.  Sometimes your fun can be aggravating to the medium person, but alas, it still counts as fun.

3.  You show the medium person what love should look like.  I'm not the easiest person to get along with but you show the medium person what loving someone like me truly means.

4.  You're a sap when it comes to the medium person.  Enough said.

5.  You're a feminist.  This makes me so proud that you made a daughter with me.  You believe in equal rights and would kick anyone's butt who tried to pay your daughter less money for the same work than that of her male counterparts.  You instill in her so many values about her self worth as a human being.

6.  You take care of us all. I love the way you stepped in and helped take care of all of us.  I see so much of my Dad in you.  This makes me smile.

7.  You're smoking hot.  I know this has nothing to do with being a good Dad but it did help you become a dad.  (Wink wink) :)

On this Father's Day, know that I love you and appreciate the amazing care you take of our daughter.  You are as much her parent as I am.  (To be frank, if it were a contest, you'd win, hands down.) In a society, where the role of the father is often diminished, you are a bright light and a beacon of hope for young men and women.

You think before you act.  You think before you speak.  You choose kind words and refrain from speaking if you can't think of any.  You're a wonderful example of what parents, including me, should strive for.   

Thank you for all that you do.  


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Confirmation Sunday

Today is Confirmation Sunday!!!  Woohoo, we made it! :) My medium person will be confirmed and baptized today.  She's being baptized because she wasn't born United Methodist.  

At the forefront of our thoughts is my sweet, departed father.  The medium person has mentioned him twice since he passed away a little over a month ago.  My heart aches for her.  

Her faith has been rocked since my Dad's diagnosis and especially after his death.  It's understandable.  So was mine.  It wasn't my faith in God but my faith in humans that I love.  

As we move forward, I'm very aware of words that are spoken to my daughter while she grieves.  I just pray that whatever God people choose to serve will guide their tongue.  Telling a 12 year old whose pawpaw died on her birthday that it was God's will is NOT comforting.  Sometimes, the best words are none at all.  The beauty of silence is often taken for granted.

So, on today, pray for my sweet medium person as she affirms her faith and love of God, who can be confusing and even seem a little mean, even to us adults.

I'm hopeful that she'll see that the God who called her Paw Paw to heaven is the same God who gives us all the beautiful stars we love staring at and naming.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ten Reasons Men Should Stop Telling Women to Smile

This is my face.  It's a regular face, I think.  I love my eyes.  My lips are awesome.  I have my Dad's big nose.  My eyebrow has a cut on it from a childhood coffee table accident.   Do you notice something special about this face?  What about the fact that I'm not smiling?

I just look like this.  When I'm walking down the sidewalk, shopping, watching tv, or just pondering the universe, I use this face.  I have this face right now.  See? 

I recently celebrated 32 years of owning this face.  For some reason, men (and one holy roller woman who felt like she needed to remind me that Jesus loved me at her hot wing place.  The wings are delicious but I'll never go back.  That's another story.) find it necessary to tell me to smile.  So, I thought it'd be fun (and by fun, I mean the complete opposite of fun) to share reasons that you should not tell me or anyone else to smile.

1. It's rude.
 Barking commands at someone is NEVER polite.  Much like my dog, I don't respond well to verbal commands, without treats.  By treats, I mean money.  I take orders from my employer. 

2.  It's creepy.
Why would you want to see someone walking down an aisle grinning like the joker?  No thanks. 

3.  It's sexist.
This one grinds my gears the most.  If you aren't telling other men to smile, don't you dare say it to me! 

4.  It's lame.
I'm on to your game.  Don't tell me I'm to pretty not to smile.  Apparently, it's working for me, just fine.  You're just using it as a way to strike up a conversation with me and attempt to find out if I'm married, happy, or a willing cheater.

5.  It's annoying.
I'm usually doing things when I encounter other humans outside of my family.  My stop at any location is usually to check off another item on my to do list.  I'm focused when I'm out.  I don't have time to entertain some buffoon thinking he's helping me by telling me to smile.

6.  It doesn't work.
If your goal is not to date or bed me and is indeed to make me smile, know this: I'm not going to smile when you tell me to.  I'll probably scowl.

7.  It's my face and I don't want to.
This is the MOST important of all the reasons.  I own my face, not you.  I'm not here to make you feel comfortable with my face.  If I feel compelled to smile, it's because I want to.  So, stop it, okay.

I've decided that I'm going to start saying uncomfortable things to people who tell me to smile.  Here's a list, feel free to use it.

1.  The system's broke, yo.  (I know the English is horrible but it's important.)
2. No.
3.  You, first.
4.  Tell me a joke.
5.  Tell me two jokes.
6.  I've only been given 50 smiles and I'll age 10 years if I smile.  It's kind of like the Benjamin Button thing but with smiling. 
7.  Have you seen Benjamin Button?
8.  Pffffffffffttttttttttttt. (That's a raspberry.)
9.  No words (Insert finger in nose)
10.  Shhhh, they'll hear you.
11.  Did you know as we speak, the ozone layer, is depleting itself?  Who can smile?

Let me go ahead and clear up a few things.  I'm a happy person who doesn't hate men.  I LOVE men.  I'm married to one.  My dad is one and my brothers are also men.  That was my attempt at humor.  See, I'm funny!  I also have a male cat, named Mark Anthony, who never tells me to smile.  Well, I guess he doesn't count because he can't talk but if he could, I know he'd never say that to me.  He's a gentleman.  He knows how to treat women. 

I know this off the subject but look at that precious face!!

He'd never be so insensitive!  Also, please note that I'm smiling in this photo. 

Also, I've been told that I should feel flattered when men talk to me.  Contrary to popular belief, sometimes, we aren't attempting to attract a mate.  Sometimes, we just want to buy a box of tampons.  Sometimes, we just want to be left alone.  Sometimes, our Dad has been in the hospital.  Sometimes, we're just tired.  I know you can't know all those things.  I know that it takes a lot of courage to approach a woman.  I get it.  But, that doesn't entitle you to any part of us, not even our smiles.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Silly goose questions

Today, I'd like to address a silly, goose question, that we're often asked.  I don't think the people who've asked me this question read my blog, or anything else, for that matter, so there's a slim chance, they do, but again, they have an option to press the magic x in the top, right hand corner.  (I kid, I kid.)

We go to a United Methodist Church.  It is predominately white.  As, many of you know, we're not white.  (Cue dramatic music.  Wait, let me find a clip.  Here we go: )

I'm sorry.  I had to take a moment to stop laughing at that hamster.  The interweb can be hilarious and scary at the same time for someone like me. 
Back to my story, a few years ago, a church sponsored an amazing camp that encouraged girls to explore engineering fields.  I happened upon one of the church's leaders and we started chatting.  I mentioned that I went to blah blah blah church and his face went limp.  This is a TRUE story.  So, when I say these words, know that I was just as shocked as you are that he said them.  He said, "I don't think different races should go to church together."  I stared across the table.  He hands me brochure to the school that the church owns and continues talking.  They'd love to have an amazing child like the medium, person, and blah blah blah.  (I know I've given to much away about the place.  But oh, well.  People need to know what they're endorsing.)  Needless to say, a certain family member of mine, (My bossy preacher brother, hahahahaha) just LOVES this church and encouraged my family to go there for a visit.  I simply stated, "I'm good."  We tease each other often about me being a Methodist because I grew up very, very Baptist.  Hahahahahaha.
So, that brings me to the silly goose question I get about my church.  I often post photos of my daughter and her confirmation group.  They happen to all look nothing alike.  (I'm just being silly.) The medium person is the only brown person.  We're one of a few, brown families, at a large church.
I've had at least 9 people ask the same questions.  "What brought you to a white church?  There are so many black churches and there's two black United Methodist churches in Jackson.  Why didn't you go there?"  The short answer, "Because I do what I want to."  The nicer answer, "We walked into the doors and felt a reverence for God that we've felt no where else.  Our church isn't judgy.  They're not making a list of all the times we miss.  (Which is more often, these days, because Sundays are sometimes, the only days, we just get to look at each other, with no interruptions.) We can wear what we want.  I felt like I was among friends.  It sounds morbid but I knew that I wanted to grow old with the people in my Sunday school class.  I want to tell them about my arthritis. 
Now, I'm sure we can get those same things at a black church.  But, my church happened to be on tv.  I thought one of the pastors was beautiful (that sounds horrible once I type it) and the content was always amazing and spoke to me. 
One day, we went to vote for governor, in a church near my home, and my daughter wanted to know why we couldn't visit churches closer to home, instead of driving 20 minutes to get to the other United Methodist Church (the black one) that I mentioned earlier.  My mom, who happens to love when my daughter asks uncomfortable questions, chuckled.  "Well, aren't you going to answer her," my mother asked, barely able to contain her laughter.
I didn't answer.  I didn't want to tell her that I'd never set foot in a white church.  That churches were still very segregated places.  Defacto, unfortunately.  So, that Sunday, we loaded into the car, put on our Sunday best, and went to our church.  I found the perfect pew in the middle.  I've been sitting there since.  (I mean, I get up to go home.  But, you know what I mean.)
We haven't looked back.  Our church is far from perfect.  Neither are we.  Sometimes, they make me mad, when they don't do things my way.  They plan things to make stuff convenient for everyone, and usually, that isn't convenient for me.  Sometimes, I make them mad when I don't read the emails and call and ask questions that were clearly in the email.  I also, forget the dates that they take hours typing in different calendars and mail to me.  (Actual, paper mail!) I still forget.  That, sounds like a perfect match, right?  It is.  Perfect for us.
The level of pastoral care we've received throughout my Dad's illness has been amazing.  They've done an amazing job of showing God's love for us.  I rarely cry.  It's not my thing.  Can't explain it.  It's kind of weird but the first true tears I shed about my father's illness were with my Sunday school class.  They're my family, as much as anyone else is. 
So, I guess that's the answer.  Maybe, I'll start handing out business cards with a link to this blog when I'm asked again.  Haha.
I'm still a runner, ya'll.  And a biker, now!  Whoohoo!
I just have to play that hamster, one more time.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Break throughs

A few weeks ago, I wrote about praying for a sign that I needed to make some serious changes in my life.  I also wrote that those signs had come and gone with flashing red lights, and that I constantly ignored them.

On Sunday, I finished a huge meeting that took weeks and weeks to prepare for.  So, it's kind of like it's my new year. 
Everyone knows what happens with the new year!  Resolutions....

I usually don't make resolutions.  But, this year, I'm kind of a mess and need to diligently work on being a better human being.  Here goes:

1. I'm done overpromising on deadlines.  If you ask me about how long it'll take me to do something, you're getting an honest answer plus 2 days.  

2.  I'm going to respect my family time more.  No one has any obligation to my family except me.  Not friends, not managers, not coworkers.  I have the obligation and I have the duty to give them the best of me.

3.  I'm working a set number of hours each week.  After that, I'm going home.  I'm not going to dwell on what wasn't done and I'm not going to make my family feel bad for needing me.

4.  Sundays are completely reserved for my family.  No exceptions.

5.  Social media limits.  I broke my rule about social media and started sharing again.  Nope.  I'm not going back to that.  I've decided to hide my social media from people who aren't close friends or family.

6.  Date night: I've decided that I don't want my spouse to leave me this year.  We need date nights.  I need to put on makeup more than twice a year.

7.  I'm not going to talk on the phone in the car with my daughter anymore.  She doesn't need to know anything about my endless reports and/or meetings about the memo about the meeting.

8.  I'm limiting phone conversations.  People tend to forget what they've said.  For that reason, I'm going to encourage people to send emails to request things.

9.  I'm going to know when to fold em.  Ha.  Seriously, I'm no longer agonizing over decisions.  If something or someone makes me unhappy, I'm getting rid of it.  Life is precious and we all deserve to be happy.

10.  I'm going to smile more and yell less.  Especially when it comes to my family. They've done nothing but love me and my jumbled mess that I call my life.  They deserve to get the best of me and not the leftovers.

That's it, folks.  :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Self Absorbed Confession Post

Here's where I am...

Yesterday, I came home, took off my shoes, and sat down on my closet floor.  I spent 10 minutes crying while watching Mr. Roger's videos on my laptop.

I've been dealing with an extremely challenging issue for a few years that I've just decided to accept will never change.  I can't go into explicit detail but here's what I will say:

1.  Humility is the most valuable asset any of us can have.  
2.  Being kind in private and in public is free.  It costs nothing.
3.  Telling someone they are "just" anything makes them angry.  (Example: Oh, you're just his (blank), therefore, your feelings are blah, blah, blah.)
4.  Wealth does NOT always equal inferior intellect.
5.  Saying, "Oh, that's just (insert name here), that's just how they come across," does not exempt anyone from bad behavior.  I don't care how many times you say it.
6.  We mess up sometimes.  Being human means we're allowed to make mistakes.
7. Sometimes your concerns, even if true, just don't matter and that's ok.

A few months ago, someone approached me in my Sunday school class and told me I seemed different, changed.  It wasn't a compliment.  Suddenly, I knew what they meant.  I'm a shell of the person I was 5 years ago.

I've prayed for signs about what to do and I keep ignoring them.   Day after day, God sends me reminders of the truly valuable things in my life.  He's given me opportunity after opportunity and I've often let them slip through my fingers because of fear and self doubt.

Well, today's the day, folks.  I'm moving forward.  No more crying on the floor.  God's given me a sign with big flashing lights and I'm finally ready to listen.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I'm Breaking Up With Facebook

I'll admit it.  I'm an oversharer.  I love posting random thoughts and nothingness.  I guess I just really like hearing or seeing myself talk.  Ike is the opposite.  He's a man of few words.  When he speaks, people tend to take notice and listen.

I share my recipes, joys, sorrows, and mostly things about my amazing medium sized person.  I joined Facebook in 2007 after Ike, of all people, began telling me about all the people from college who asked about me.  What?!  People missed me.  I had to get in on this mystical world that my husband belonged to that I didn't.

Here's my "Dear John" letter to Facebook:

Dear Facebook,

We've had a great run.  You've given me views into people's lives that I'd otherwise never have seen.  I've volunteered, partied, cried, laughed, and even argued with so many amazing people and it's all because of you.

The thing is, I'm bored.  Yes, you're a plethora of excitement and change daily.  I think that's what bores me the most.  I share things and people laugh.  People share things and I laugh.  People talk about politics and religion.  I complain about people who talk about politics and religion.  I comment about the joys and sorrows of life.  People try to figure out exactly what brings me joy and sorrow.  It's the same thing, day after day.

You've crippled me, Facebook.  I've gotten lazy.  I no longer have to make an effort to maintain relationships.  I can just send them a quick message on Facebook or comment on their status to let them know I care.  That convenience, at first glance, seems to make life simple.  I tend to be of the opinion that it actually complicates life tremendously.  You see, life during the time I'll call B.F. (before Facebook), if I discovered someone was annoying, I'd just not talk to them.  I'd avoid them and their phone calls and eventually they'd get the point.  The same thing could be said of people and their relationships with me.  Life was simpler.  I didn't feel attached to people because I didn't have to look at pictures of their amazing children or great lives daily.

Now, I'll acknowledge that I'm to blame for this breakup as well.  I didn't realize that when you overshare on social media, people tend to expect you to overshare in real life.  When people approach me at work, church, or the grocery store and ask me how I feel and I say "fine,"I expect to be able to carry on and not have to explain why I changed my profile picture to a bear eating a picnic table with a look of rage on his face.  I know that I've created this super fun happy go lucky character that never gets down.  I'm silly, witty, and sometimes a tad bit sarcastic but ALWAYS upbeat.  Not everything is related to a certain event, sometimes I just feel like crap.  I'm allowed that being human and all.  Lately, I've felt down more often than usual.  It's not something I want to share with the world but I do drop tidbits of my though process throughout the week.  You can usually guess what I'm feeling by looking at my profile picture.  I love being surrounded by supportive people.  Support doesn't mean I want to explain myself over and over again.  (Especially to my parents who don't even have a Facebook account, but always seem to know what I write.) That's another story in itself.

I don't want you to think I don't appreciate all you've done for me.  I've reconnected with people that I hope to continue to engage in real life.  I've also befriended people from my past that I never would have gotten the opportunity to know otherwise.  I am forever grateful for a place to express myself.  You led me to blogging and reintroduced me to my love of the written word.

I'm not deleting you.  I'm going to try have a ghost profile, so I don't lose my posts and pictures.  I'll also still post links to my blog and my coupon shopping trips.  In the upcoming weeks, I'll be reaching out to friends and family to get their personal email addresses.  I'm going to make an effort to cultivate relationships with people that I feel value me and my family.

 I want to be completely honest with you, Facebook.  I've been using Twitter and I like it.  It'll never replace what we had but it's a great platform to push my blog and future writing endeavors.

Life will be different as we transition into a different relationship.  Now, when I see a turtle running across my yard, I'll not race to get my phone to record it for Facebook, I'll simply enjoy the turtle running across my yard.

Carpe diem, ya'll. :)

P.S.  Follow me on Twitter @kimhatesfootbal (One l folks.)