Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Random Kindness

Last week while stuck in stop-and-go traffic on the way home from work I was slowly approaching an overpass. Because I was stopped, I looked up and noticed that two people were walking across the bridge, and one of them was waving to us pseudo-stranded beings below.

I had to smile! I tried waving back, but was too far away for them to see me. Oh well. It made my day and I was smiling the entire rest of the way home. I forgot that I was stationary in traffic and remembered that I am a human being, connected to those around me. I still smile thinking about this experience. What a simple act of kindness to remind us that every moment we can change our attitude to something positive.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"screw you!" to "how to nurture myself?"

Letting go of a deeply patriarchal belief system and adjusting to marriage all at once was quite a delicate battle for me. Nope, delicate isn't the word. Only now has the "battle" aspect of it subsided and morphed into a kinder, more gentle reality.

As my spouse would often go do things that Spousie wanted to do, I often felt left behind and I didn't feel very strongly that I could go and do the things that I wanted to do. At times I would, but I felt I had to sport a sort of "screw you!" attitude towards my spouse in order to exert some particle of independence. It was a very defensive mode; I needed to be callous and uncaring to what my spouse might think. It didn't like having to cop that attitude. It just didn't feel natural or "work" for me, but that was all I could muster. And I didn't do it very often.

Recently I've realized my spouse knows what things Spousie likes to do (which don't always involve me) and Spousie does them. Spousie did consult me about it, and initially I wasn't too keen on it. But I've begun to perceive my situation with new eyes--I now a few evenings free for myself each week. The real revelation is that I have morphed from a "screw you" attitude towards my spouse, and begun to think "How do I want to nurture myself with this time that I now have?"

One Friday night I went to Barnes & Noble where I picked up some books that looked interesting and started reading. (I did a little people watching, too.) I came home rejuvenated! Spousie noticed and was happy for me. Sometimes I spend the night going to bed early after a long week. One of these days I'll get around to making some cards or pull out my pastels and do some artwork! Woo-hoo!

As I've reflected on this newly found time for self-nuturing, I realized the growth and evolution from my original self-defense mentality ("screw you") to one of self-empowerment and self-respect. It feels much more natural and "works" for me. My growing self-respect has also seemed to correlate with my spouse respecting me more too. I need to model how I want to be treated--with respect. The evolution has shifted from fearing external factors (thus the self-defensive stance), to taking internal responsibility. I am able to meet my own needs.

More on this later. There's more to discuss regarding this shift of perception. It's been a year of growth!

Happy Anniversary!!!

It dawned on me during my Sunday morning walk that it has been about 1 year since I officially left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Time to celebrate some accomplishments:
1. I'm still alive!
2. I feel much more psychologically stable and am constantly happier (I let go of the 'not good enough' constant self talk)
3. I'm not bitter anymore either. I grew up as a Mormon. Sure it colored my experiences, but that was my life. It's history--no more, no less, no need to whine or cry about it anymore.
4. I'm beginning to create the life I want. And it is good!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

To save a baby bird

A few weeks ago returning from a morning walk, my spouse and I noticed a baby robin hanging in one of the trees! It was hanging by some type of thread or wire which had caught on some branch near it's nest. The poor little thing was hanging by one leg upside down. I felt so bad for the little bird!

I wanted to do something. It was a windy day, and the poor thing was getting blown around. We looked around our apartment complex to try to find a ladder. All we found was a short one. I waited until the office opened and called them, still no luck. I tried some friends--they had some ladders, but no way to get them to our place. I really felt bad for the little bird and was almost getting panicky as the day wore on. We ended up dragging a picnic table over and stacking the small ladder we found on top of that. Some guys in the parking lot saw us and helped us out too.

We were able to cut the bird down, and had to detangle some type of thread off the bird's leg, which had already been wrapped around and was choking the leg. One of the guys that helped us said it was some type of thread from old carpet that had been taken out of the building and was thrown in the dumpster. :( We released the baby bird and set some water down near where we left it.

The cool thing is--the whole time momma and poppa bird were flying around, nearby, and bringing food to their stranded little upside-down hanging baby. They brought berries and other things. It was neat to see the dedication of these parents. They were also freaking out and chirping away at us as we tried to cut down their baby. After we released baby robin, one of the parents helped move baby to some deeper grass til it recouperated and the next day it was gone.

Baby robin might be a gimp for the rest of his/her life, or baby robin may have died a few days later from infection, a broken foot, or any other number of things. But I just couldn't let it die hanging in a tree! I had to do my little part.

O the drama of life!