Thursday, December 19, 2013

Complicated


People are complicated. We don't want them to be, but they are.

It's so easy to put people into stereotypical categories to help us feel we understand them, but nobody fits those categories exactly- usually not even close.

We need to let people be complicated. It will uncomplicate our lives by causing less disparity between the reality in our heads and the real reality.

When you let someone be complicated, it then becomes okay if they do something you don't expect. It becomes okay if you find out there's a new side to their personality you never knew. It becomes okay that they may have done something bad in their past, but they aren't like that now.

Letting people you love be complicated is the hardest but most important. We like to feel that we know and understand those that are close to us, but you never truly know everything. There will still be complicated situations, but if you already understand this, then it will lessen the shock.

Another person to let be complicated is yourself. You are a changing person- every book you read, movie you watch, person you interact with, every thing you eat changes you. We have new experiences every day that assimilate into our way of thinking- either falling into place or creating new lines of thought.

When you learn something new, it's okay to add to or change your way of thinking because of it. I've heard things that just felt right that weren't what I knew before, but I added it to my thoughts because it felt right.

Let yourself and others be complicated.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Third Pregnancy

We lost our first child at five months along in the pregnancy. It was sudden and unexpected. Based on what happened with him, we expected to lose the second one, or if it did manage to make it that it would have serious problems. Amazingly, she was only three weeks early and besides a little jaundice, she was just fine.

Almost every day of that second pregnancy was very hard. Our innocence was gone. I remember days that I'd be driving home from work in a good mood, then see a mother and child walking along and by the time I arrived home, I was sobbing.

We went to the doctor frequently, and every trip we expected to be 'the one'. The one where we were told to go to the hospital and that the baby wasn't going to make it. Eight long months of expecting the worst, squashing hope down ourselves so it couldn't be smashed any other way, hating all the parents who casually complained about their kids all the time. Hating every parent who abused, neglected, and took their children for granted or flat out didn't want them. Ignoring everyone who 'just knew' everything was going to be okay- you can't know things for us and our life. We were going to a specialist monthly, and I was popping over five pills every day.

It was so hard.

But after almost eight months and everything still looking good, we finally were able to hope that just maybe everything would be okay. Maybe we should buy a crib and a car seat. Maybe people could throw a baby shower.

It was still hard when we came out of our appointment at eight months and six days with a command to go to the hospital, time to get the baby out because you're sick. Don't worry, it's not HELLP Syndrome, just toxemia- we can handle this. We came out of the building and just held each other and I cried, especially as we watched a pregnant teenage couple walk in the building.

She was born and perfect (minus a little jaundice and figuring out breastfeeding). She's tall and thin like her dad, but she's definitely a mini-mom sometimes.

We were happy, overwhelmed, and ignoring everyone's "I told you it would be okay"s.

We're pregnant again, just over three months along. Doctor said everything is looking good so far, blood pressure is still low even. I'm just taking a baby asprin along with the pre-natal vitamin this time. Being the third pregnancy, my poor stomach is definitely more stretched and showing more, but I hear that's natural. Baby should come out okay, though probably still a little early given my history of being medically induced because I'm sick.

It should be easier, be more normal, and it is for the most part. But every time something happens, like a headache, I worry that it might be something more. What if it's a sign that something is wrong.

Now that we have a lot of hope for this little one to survive and thrive, if something were to go wrong, we'd fall a long way down after our hope was shattered.

Every time I don't feel as good, I can't help but think that it's a sign that something is wrong. We're not going in every two weeks now, and we know from previous experience that a lot can happen in the four weeks between appointments - the difference between life and death. I will probably think this way the whole pregnancy. Silently building in my head until my husband gets a surprising crying fit. Then it starts over again, he's good about it though.

So when you see us or think of us, send good vibes our way. But just remember, we'll never have the extremely happy pregnancies that so many others have. We'll be excited, but it will always be overshadowed by what if.

On a happier note- we've got an interesting thing going on. I had a dream it was going to be a girl, so that's my thought. My husband had a strong premonition it would be a boy, so that's his thinking. We're excited to find out either way when the baby is born.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Light Sharing


"A candle loses no light when lighting others. Build others up whenever you can, support those close to you and help whoever you can – you never know when the tables will turn." -Author Unknown

It is easy to see others' talents and abilities as outshining my own sometimes. If I praise someone else, does that take away from what I've done? No, it adds to my light by being able to appreciate the good that others do.

In my play writing class, the teacher had us read plays by others to help us get the feel of them before we wrote our own. He was very adamant though that we not be intimidated by what we read. Some plays are for some people while other plays will touch other people. We can each have an influence over certain people that other people cannot. On the same note, there are people we can't touch that someone else can. 

If we all let our light shine bright and let other people shine as well, we can fill the whole world with beautiful light.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snowflakes Upclose

Alexey Kljatov took these amazing up close pictures of snowflakes. They almost don't seem real, but they are beautiful. Nature is amazing.







There are more pictures here: http://www.natureknows.org/2013/11/amazing-macro-photography-of-individual.html.
tographer Alexey Kljatov takes incredible close-up photos of snowflakes in his backyard in Moscow. Read More: http://www.natureknows.org/2013/11/amazing-macro-photography-of-individual.html
Photographer Alexey Kljatov takes incredible close-up photos of snowflakes in his backyard in Moscow. "I capture snowflakes on the open balcony of my house, mostly on glass surface, lighted by an LED flashlight from the opposite side of the glass, and sometimes in natural light, using dark woolen fabrics as background." Read More: http://www.natureknows.org/2013/11/amazing-macro-photography-of-individual.html

Friday, December 6, 2013

Playwrighting


I attended the first session of my play writing class, and I am the youngest by a good thirty years at least. The others all know each other from acting in plays together, so I'm the odd one out in several aspects, but they are all grownups and accepting so I don't feel left out.

I've never tried writing plays before and it's very different from other writing. It's mostly just conversation with a few interjectory notes to help the actors, and the rest is left up to the actors and director to fill in. In a film script, there can be long sections without words, but a play without words wouldn't work very well.

In the olden days they would say someone wrought a might work, which has come down to playwright. After I've written a play, I will have wrought it, so am I now wrighting it?

I had three years of pre-school, kindergarten, the regular 1-12, then four years of college after that. I still love to learn though and have taken several community classes since graduating. Learning is a lifelong goal for me, and it helps me to stay mentally sharp and challenged. Reading a lot of different books also helps.

Right now my new learning challenge is writing a play. I've started and the characters have taken a surprising turn from when I set out with my idea. My teacher said that sometimes you'll have a great idea, write it down, won't use that part, but will use everything after. We'll see where my play goes from here, but I am enjoying it, and it's helping me in my goal of writing a musical.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Not Just Black And White

As much as we'd like to think that the world is black and white, right and wrong, there really are gray areas. 

A teacher I had held up a piece of white paper and a piece of black paper while talking about making decisions. Then he held up a piece of bright white paper that made the seemingly former white paper look grayish in comparison. 


I think it's a good comparison for life. We think we are making white decisions, but then realize that our white isn't as pure and bright as we thought. They are still not black decisions, but not the whiteness that we though.
"Nothing about life is black and white. Nothing. But for some reason, most people can't understand or accept that. This will cause them to be horrible to you. 
"They'll tell you that you're not a good person, because they've learned to see goodness only in one specific shape that you don't fit. They'll tell you that your experiences aren't valid, because their experience was different. They'll tell you that your problems aren't legitimate, because they don't like what it would mean for them if they were. Your depression is just laziness, because if it were a real thing, that would mean your life is harder than theirs. Your questions are just a lack of faith, because if you were doing everything right and things still weren't working, that would mean their whole system could be wrong. Their privilege (white, male, thin, heterosexual, mental health, beauty, parents' money) isn't real, because that would mean that they don't deserve the things they have, or that their problems aren't legitimate. Everything is zero-sum to them, black or white, right or wrong. You can't be right, because that would make them wrong.
"But people are never all good or all bad. They are hurting, they are stupid, they are full of self-loathing. They are treated badly by others, too. They are working with the information they have, and thanks to the fact that all the same things were true of their parents, that information is often harmful bullshit. 
"Don't let people push that bullshit on you. You figure out for yourself what you believe about the world; don't take anyone else's word for it. Do your own research. Question everything you think. Listen. Seek out different perspectives. Trust but verify (always, always verify). Obey only your own conscience. Talk to people who respect your feelings. Don't be a Me Monster yourself—other people's problems don't make yours less important. Don't compare. Never one-up.

"Don't try to make life black and white. It isn't. Resist the temptation—and I know it will be strong—to assume the worst about people. You'll need a certain amount of self-confidence to accomplish that; try to cultivate it. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others, but don't think that means letting people treat you badly. Saying no is not unkind. In fact, no might be one of the most important words you learn. You can love someone and still say no. Say no to beliefs they try to impose on you. Say no to expectations you don't need to fulfill. Say no to anything that conflicts with your soul, and pay close attention to yourself so you know what that is. Never stop examining yourself, your beliefs and intentions and actions. Yes, this is as exhausting as it sounds. But "only a fool desires cheerful ignorance."*

"Life cannot be black and white, because you will never know everything there is to know about it. The world has enough people who believe they know all there is. We need people who know they don't."
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Try not to think in terms of my view verses your view, but rather think in terms of compassion and understanding.