Friday, September 28, 2007
Having an interest in something like this is not very typical of me. I am a practical person, and do not believe that I am "searching" for something, or that I need more fulfillment in my life. I have a very even temperament, and do not show a lot of emotion in most situations. I do laugh a lot, and I do cry sometimes, but mostly I am calm and collected. I am not a cold person, but I don't get overly excited, or react particularly passionately to all the ongoings around me. In keeping with my usual self, I went into the class with the same attitude that would take to a biology class. I don't need this information, but it couldn't hurt to know it. My first impression of the instructor and classmates was that they were flaky. I perceived them as people who are looking for life changes, and looking for new age solutions. I did not identify myself with them at all. I have to admit, although I consider myself to be a kind and tolerant person, I am prone to "lovingly" making fun of people, and that is where I was going in my head as I sat in the room, watching everyone be moved by the instructor. Don't get me wrong, I do buy into most of the message, but I'm not going to be all "Praise the Universe" about it.
In part of the discussion, the instructor talked about disease, and asserted that at the root of all illness, you will find unforgive-ness. By this she meant that holding on to negative feelings about someone will make you physically ill. I challenged this by bringing up the fact that my friend's friend's daughter just died from a brain tumour. She was only three years old. I asked how it could be at all possible that such a young child could harbour enough negative energy to make herself so ill. As with any religion that I have encountered, the reply was that it is not possible to know what her contract with the universe was. This is the same as saying, "we cannot know or understand God's methods". It is kind of a non-answer, if you ask me, but I wasn't going to push it further. The instructor, however, wanted to keep talking about it as part of her lesson on how to think about the little girl's death in a way that does not bring only sadness, but to help to celebrate her life and acknowledge the love that her family will always carry around for her. I will mention again that the little girl is my friend's friend's daughter. I barely know the friend's friend, and didn't know her daughter at all. I couldn't even tell the class what her name was, as I don't think I ever knew it. I have done my best not to think about this subject too much because as the mother of a two year old girl, I find it too horrific to fathom. I cannot think of anything worse than losing my daughter, and I don't want to make myself crazy by imagining and worrying about the possibility. I hide my head in the sand a lot when it comes to upsetting news that I am helpless to do anything about. I used to think that this made me socially irresponsible, but now I believe it is just what I need to do to function every day. The problem for me was that while the instructor continued to discuss this little girl, and ask me questions about her, I became upset. I became upset enough that I started to cry. I cried in front of absolute strangers. One girl started rubbing my back while I cried. A stranger who I perceived to be the "flakiest" of the bunch was rubbing my back, consoling me while I grieved for a family that I barely even know. The instructor tried to help me through this by suggesting how to handle death. Focusing on me made me cry even harder. I went from being the practical, I'm-not-like-the-rest-of-you, skeptic of the group to being the biggest emotional wreck. Worse than the girl who was there to get over her recently, broken heart. Worse than the two people who were there to get over deaths in their own families. The instructor tried to cheer me up by telling me that there is often crying in her classes because of the personal nature of the subject matter, and that I was just starting the group off. That is sooooo not me.
I know it is ok to cry. It just isn't something I like doing, especially publicly. I never cry around my own friends and family, and really hate the idea of doing it. I would say that my friends have only seen me cry once, relating to what seemed like a major crisis about seven years ago, which was probably the last time I cried in front of my mom too. I have always liked the shit-together reputation that I have among the people who know me, but I am starting to think that I have boxed myself into it, and it is starting to get uncomfortable.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Then we visited the playground area, complete with a giant slide, swings, and sandbox, where we both spent a lot of energy.
Next, we took a hay-ride to the Macintosh aisle, where we picked some of the tastiest, crunchiest apples I have ever eaten. Pumpkin even sunk her teeth into one, which is pretty much the extent of her fresh-fruit consumption in her life thus far.Once we finished picking our apples, we carried our loot to the cash, picked up THREE mouthwatering, almost-as-good-as-sex pumpkin pies, and headed off to McDonalds for a "nutritious" meal. As you can tell, I'm not counting calories this week.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I am in no way trying to cast disrespect upon the culture/religion. I am sure there are many who love this time of year and who eagerly adhere to the ritual of praying, feasting, praying, fasting, praying, and feasting again. I am just a little resentful of the way I am forced to participate. I am not willing to start any sort of fight within J's family over this. This is what they do, so it is what I will do. I'm still gonna complain though.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
I had to somehow redirect her excitement to the splash pad near our house, 'cause that was the best I could do on short notice. Two-year-olds are great that way. I don't know if she understood when I told her that the slide was broken, but she was just as excited when we got out of the car at the familiar park, and saw the same splash pad that she has frequented all summer long. I was the only sad one - I really wanted to go on the water slide!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
In addition to all the socializing that we did, we managed to get out for a day of mountain biking! Before we were parents, we were avid mountain bikers. When J and I first started dating, we went riding a few times, but then broke up a few months into the relationship. Then we both separately befriended another man, R, who was also into biking. I was kind of interested in this other guy, but every time he invited me to go biking, he would later invite J to come along with us. Yeah, I get it - R wasn't that into me. Nonetheless, J and I found ourselves hanging out a lot every week because we both wanted to go biking with R. Biking led to apres-bike activities, which eventually led to J and I tangled up together on my living room sofa once again. I have always felt that without mountain biking, there would be no "us". I suppose we can give R some credit too. Yesterday we biked for the first time this year. We probably could have gone out sooner in the summer, but we were kept off the trails due to a combination of J's mom having major surgery, lack of motivation, and bikes needing tune-ups. We also don't have day-time babysitting on week-ends, which doesn't help. Anyhow, mom was around yesterday, so she kicked us out into the woods. It took us a little while to get our shit together (2 hours just to get our equipment organized due to some malfunction J was trying to repair), but we finally made it to the Durham Forest. We probably only rode for 1-1/2 hours total, but it felt great. Mountain biking is an activity that brings J and I closer, despite all the b/o and pudgy bits that now show through our spandex. It's almost a spiritual event, (the biking, not the spandex). As always, we finished the day-trip at McDonalds, enjoying milkshakes and wishing that we had more willpower. A good week-end overall.