Thursday, February 28, 2008

Closer to 500

I realize that some of these entries aren't directly related to stuff-elimination. but I figure that every time I write something down, I'm eliminating the need to remember it. When I write it, it's there - on the Internet - forever.

Whether or not that's a good thing ...

This morning I was putting away the dishes I had washed last night. I lost another fork. Really? How is that possible? I think that maybe my dogs are hiding them.

Chessa: Hey Chloe, grab that fork on the counter.
Chloe: Why?
Chessa: Chris will think he's lost another one.
Chloe: Okay

I don't have proof, and I don't know where they're putting them, but I'm convinced it's them. What else could it possibly be? It helps me reduce my number of things, but this is not the method of reduction I had in mind. Missing one fork was fine, but with two gone, and only 2 left, I 'm going to have to replace them. My parents might come down for spring break. I should have at least one fork for each person.

Conference Hogs

Yesterday and today I attended a conference on children's mental health. It never fails - every conference/workshop/presentation has them: people who think their opinion is more important than everyone else's. They comment on every topic, respond to every question, monopolize the time. They are conference hogs.

There were two of them in this conference and I was lucky enough to sit within 10 feet of both. I call them "green" and "red." They sat at the very front, close to the speaker, which makes perfect sense. Had they sat in the back, they couldn't comment on everything - the speaker wouldn't hear them. They needed to be in a place where they could be noticed by not just the speaker, but also everyone else in the room.

After lunch yesterday I started keeping score. Every time one of them would comment, I kept track. In three hours, green won by a large margin. Keep in mind, this is in a room with about 75 people, all of whom are highly qualified in their field.

Green: 72 comments
Red: 33 comments

Had I kept score in the morning, I'm sure that green would have been over 200, and red would have been closer. I think red got tired in the afternoon.

The second day (today) was only a half day, but I kept score anyway.

Green: 43
Red: 12

Green would have had way more, but she got cut off by the speaker. It was hilarious, at least to me. At one point green tried to comment on something. I could see the irritation in the speaker's face. "We're running short on time so I'm going to have to move on." Green was crestfallen. She had been rebuked by the person whose approval she most craved. I'm not sure if green's going to be okay.

Tribulation and Joy

So I was listening to The Effect the other day. It's alternative Christian rock, and although a 41 year old school counselor is probably not their target demographic, I really like the music.

At 8:00 they have a show by Pastor Britt Merrick. This particular night he was speaking on Romans 5:3-11

(NIV) We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

He referenced Job, who, when all things were taken away, worshiped God and praised. In the midst of his life falling apart, he worshiped. Are you kidding me? Brit said we should rejoice in our tribulations. Well, not exactly in the trial itself, but in the fact that God will see me through. In the midst of tribulation God is getting ready to do something to me, or through me, or around me.

Am I seriously supposed to rejoice in my arthritis? Surely whatever is going to happen - to me or through me or around me - could be done some other way.

I'm not saying I disagree with the sermon, or the scriptures. I'm just saying ... that is not an easy point of view to adopt.

I have to admit that knowing God is going to use this arthritis is an exciting prospect. But it doesn't seem exciting enough to create joy in me.

Where is the joy in pain?

Mom and dad gave me a book titled Pain, The Gift Nobody Wants.

I never it. I got rid of it along with hundreds of other books. Maybe it's time to find it again and give it a read.

Pain - a gift? How?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Catcthing Up 2

I get to remove an item from my list. I sold my 1989 Ford Ranger. It was bittersweet - but much more sweet than bitter. I've had that truck for 15 years, 204,000 miles. It was a good truck, but it was time to go.

My "new" 1995 Ford Ranger only has 95,000 miles. Heck, it's practically off the showroom floor compared to my last truck. It has 4WD, power steering (which is nice with arthritis), and most impressively - a tailgate that actually works. My last truck has an ... uncooperative tailgate. For about the last 7 or 8 years I've had to coerce it open with a strategically placed screwdriver, unwilling to get it fixed, or even to see how much it might cost to get it fixed. This new truck's tailgate works just like it's supposed to work.

The 4WD has been nice. Recently we've had a lot of snow in the Magic Valley. There have been a couple of days that I'm pretty sure my old truck would not have made it either to work or home again. I feed safer with 4WD. Although I still drive slower than a lot of people on the highway. I don't know yet what kind of mileage it's going to get. I've been hauling around 350 pounds of sand bags in the back. Hopefully I'll figure out the mileage on my next trip to Nampa.

Last week I was in Mrs. Brown's class. She read a book titled, "The Quiltmaker's Gift."

In the book, the king has a lot of things, but none of them make him happy. So, he gets rid of all his stuff. What a concept.

I need that book, but in order to get it, I'll have to find two things to eliminate from my list.

She, "Why two? You're only adding one."
Me, "If I want to get down to 500, I can't just trade one thing for another."

So, I'm currently looking for 2 things go so I can buy that book.

Any suggestions?

Catcthing Up 1

(These two posts are catch up posts. I actually wrote these several days ago - more than a week ago for this first one - and am just now getting them online. And when I say wrote, I mean actually wrote, with a pen, not typed.

I know!! Can you believe people still do that?)

At the elementary school the other day a friend said, "I think you have to count all your golf clubs as separate things. You can't count them as one thing."

I was surprised to say the least:
  • These are my rules; I get to count things however I want to count to count them. (This line should be read with the same tone as, "You're not my mom," or better yet, "You're not the boss of me.")
  • Someone - other than my family - actually reads my blog. (Turns out she doesn't. She just remembers me talking about how I was counting things. Bummer.)
  • This statement came completely out of the blue. We weren't discussing golf, or counting, or listing everything we own and trying to slowly whittle down the list. (As if there are other people who talk about those kinds of things.)
The conversation turned to fast food - I have no idea how it got there - and my 2008 Decision to not partake of fast food or pop for one year.
She, "No fast food?"
Me, "Yes, no fast food."
She, "You mean like none?"
Me, "I figure Subway® is okay. The veggie sandwich is a healthy meal." (I always use that little R in a circle whenever a speak about something that is registered. Although sometimes I get confused between ® and ™ because I'm not sure if Subway™ is a registered name or a registered trademark. Of course when I'm only thinking inside my head, I don't add those symbols. That would just be silly.)
She, "But ... it's fast food."
Me, "I write the rules. It's my decision how to apply those rules for the most benefit to my life." (At least that what I intended to say. I think it came sounding like a 7th grade girl, "WHATEVER!!! You're not the boss of me!" I'm ashamed that phrase has shown up twice in one blog entry.)

Although I haven't yet taken advantage of my exception, I do have one other fast-food-allowable option: Taco Bell
®. I think their crunchy taco, no cheese, is a healthy option.

On the fitness front - things haven't been going so well. I had started going to Spinning
® classes again, with the intent to attend several classes per week, but that's become less frequent.
Monday - I teach a parenting class: can't go Spinning
Tuesday - I'm supervising NNU Counseling Practicum students: can't go Spinning
Wednesday - Spinning
® (that symbol is getting a little annoying, don't you think?), but only when I feel good enough, which hasn't been often lately. And the last three weeks I've gotten home too late to make it to class.
Thursday - Spinning
® class
Saturday - The arthritis shot I take on Monday is wearing off by Saturday, so often I'm not able to get up early enough to spin (I don't know if that word used in this context should have a
® or not.)

I don't know if it's the weather or my that arthritis is getting worse, but I haven't felt strong or limber or energetic in a long time. I've noticed something interesting about my vocabulary usage. Sometimes I call it "my arthritis" and other times "the arthritis." Ownership of this disease apparently varies by my mood, like parents who's ownership claim is dependent upon their behavior.
"YOUR son broke the window today."
"How come he's mine son when he does something wrong?"

My arthritis is getting worse. Ownership implies control.
The arthritis is getting worse. I have no control, hence no ownership.

There's a different meaning altogether. I don't know which I use more often, or which I should use, or which is more accurate.

To be honest, I just don't know a lot of things.