Tuning In… Out?

This is the story of a car from my past. Though I no longer drive the car daily, the lesson I learned lives on… (poetic, right?)

When I purchased my car, I was pleased to find that the stereo had been upgraded from the stock radio and that a CD player with an auxiliary option and removable faceplate had been installed. It’s one of my favorite features of the car.

A habit, however, formed soon after I bought the car: when I’m not in the car, neither is the faceplate. I take the faceplate inside in the evening and to the car with me in the morning. After months of owning the car, it’s become part of my morning ritual; grab the coat, keys, coffee, purse and radio faceplate before I leave the house.

One morning a few weeks ago I was running late and I missed a step in my morning routine. I grabbed my coat, keys, coffee and purse and ran off to the car. As soon as I turned on the car and realized what I had forgotten, I knew it was too late for me to run back inside; I was late enough already!

I was certain from the moment I put the car in drive and started toward the office that the lack of music during my the morning commute was going to throw off my entire day. But it didn’t.

As I drove the familiar route to work, I was sure I was going to be annoyed by the silence in the car. But I wasn’t.

Instead, I found myself noticing the beautiful morning sunshine. I rolled down my window and listened to the cars on the road next to me and felt the breeze on my face.

Cliché as this may seem, I was amazed by all the sounds and sights I was missing on a daily basis because I was so caught up in my routine. Beyond that, however, I also found on that unusual morning drive that I was more relaxed when I arrived at work because I had spent the 10-minute drive, not listening to an upbeat song or hearing the morning news, but instead relaxing, preparing and praying for the day ahead.

Don’t misunderstand, most of the time when I’m driving, there is some sort of music playing in the car. But after that peaceful morning commute, I find that I’m not all that upset when I “forget” my radio faceplate.


Choosing to Chill

Recently I was asked how I spend my evenings. The questions was asked out of a concern that this individual was missing out on what 20-somethings do for fun, but it made me ponder my evening itinerary. What DO I do with my evenings?

Here is what I concluded… I do less.

There was a time when I filled my life with anything and everything I could. I was a hobby connoisseur and a multi-job master. I would volunteer for this and offer to do that. I would make dates with friends and I would attend events.

Then I married my wonderful husband and realized that my priorities had to change. I couldn’t keep doing everything I was doing if I wanted our marriage to work. So I started cutting things out of my life. Bit by bit and piece by piece, I started dissecting my life. I put myself on a pretty restricted extracurricular diet.

Now, when I leave work, I go home and do the normal things (cook dinner, clean up the kitchen afterward, clean the bathroom, pay bills, etc) and then I relax. I spend time reading a book or enjoying a crossword puzzle. Yes, I’m still involved with things and I still meet with friends and I still have hobbies, but I am actively choosing to chill and I’m starting to understand what peace is.

Fortune Cookie Conundrum

I appreciate the fortune cookie – both the tasty treat part of it and the slip of paper promising me health, wealth and happiness. However, I received a fortune today that stymied me.

Little Lessons

Three-year-olds can be smart. They master lessons that adults don’t seem able to grasp. Whether those lessons stick with them through their adulthood is another story, but when they are 3, those little lessons are a code they live by.

I know a 3-year-old who lives her life by this code: listen, show respect and share. That is how she measures her morality (not that she knows what “morality” means).

What would it be like if the population lived life based upon this code of conduct?

It seems so basic. These things should be common sense, but are they? But when approached by a tough situation, do you remind yourself to listen? Do you make certain you are being respectful? Do you make sure to share you knowledge, experience, possessions?

If not, shouldn’t you be?

Written? Kitten!

Stumbling through Facebook, a friend posted this site: … Brilliance!

The following is what I wrote in order to A) test the site and B) see cute kitties!

So, if I write 100 words in this little white box, a picture of a kitten will pop up? I don’t know that I understand that point of this endeavor, but sure, why not. I’ll test it at least. I mean, what’s the harm in that. I want to write anyway, so why not have a cute and furry kitten pop up on my screen as a reward for my excellent grammar and verbiage? I see no reason why this isn’t a good idea, do you? I thought not. Honestly, who could have a problem with this? Only mean people (CUTE KITTEN) I think. Ah, I see how it works now. This is quite positive reinforcement because now I’m quite determined to hit the 200 words mark and see what sort of cuteness pops up next. I wonder if copying and pasting text into this white box is an option? I want to try it, but that seems like cheating, like I didn’t actually earn the cute kitten. I like to earn my rewards, not cheat to get them. Oh, I’m at 180 words! Only 20 more to go. Hmm… what to discuss next. World hunger? Religion? The proper sugar to real (CUTE KITTEN!) crack ration? All those seem like negative subject matter, don’t they? Gah! Now I must keep typing to reach the 300 word mark. I must see one more cute kitten! It’s imperative! I’m sure there is an easier way to do this, like go on Flickr “most interesting” photos and search kittens or cuteness, but where’s the fun in that? This at least challenges me to be a wordsmith. This at least requires an ounce of effort on my part. The effort is half the fun, right!? Who’s with me?! A kitten will be with me in one (CUTE KITTEN) word!!

Some People…

It happens when things are just slightly off. Some people do this on purpose; others, by happenstance. Either way some people just want to watch the world burn.

That sounds you hear as you read this is the sound of my heart breaking and me dying a little more inside…

Adventures in Babysitting (and other childhood games)

Epic 1987 Film starring greats like Anthony Rapp

I’m 25 years old and I have recently survived my first babysitting experience.

That sentence will shock some readers, I’m sure. What 25-year-old female hasn’t made her summer living by babysitting, I mean honestly. Right? Well, you see, it’s not that I don’t like kids, it’s that I have no experience with them. I never babysat for the next-door neighbor, I didn’t work in the nursery at my church, I didn’t have younger siblings or cousins, … my experience with tiny humans is limited at best.

So, when a dear friend messaged me out of the blue and says that she is in desperate need of a babysitter, I was nervous, but I knew that duty called! Who am I to turn down a friend in need?

Query: Is it bad if one of the first thoughts I had after agreeing to this endeavor was, “What’s the worst that can happen?” It’s probably worse that my brain responded, “Well, the kid could fall, choke, get sick, vomit, cry all night, poop, and be a general terror.”

I’m sure there are moms reading this and shaking their heads at my ignorance, but it’s not your story about babies, so hush!

My friend drops off her Kiddo around 6:30 p.m., gives me the breakdown of the diaper bag, and is off. I sit on the floor across from Kiddo and we stare at each other. I’m quite sure he was sizing me up. As for me, I was analyzing any outwards signs of possible crying, peeing, vomiting, and tantrums. No signs were detected.

As things seemed like they were off to a swimming start, I breathed a sigh of relief. After playing with him for a few moments, I turned him over to my husband to watch with eagle eyes while I finished dinner.

As this entire experience didn’t seem to mark any major milestones to my husband, allow me to fast forward back to me and my experiences with this evening.

Dinner is now eaten and dishes are done (well, done enough). Now it’s back to me and Kiddo. I was assured by his mom that he would be ready to sleep by 7:30 p.m., no problem. Well, 7:30 p.m. came and went with no physical or emotional signs of sleepiness. I assumed this was due to a new environment and people and that by 8 p.m. he would be ready to hunker down and sleep.

Oh how wrong I was.

8 p.m. came and went, as did 8:30 p.m. and 8: 45 p.m. I would have been worried, but Kiddo seemed happy as a clam to hang out with me and play with his blocks.

Side note: I discovered that he loves knocking down blocks. I would build a tower with the blocks and he would giggle through his Godzilla impersonation. It was quite entertaining.

Around 8:45 p.m. when he started to get a bit fussy. Time to pull out the bottle that his wise mommy had prepared for him. He loved that, so I figured, “This is it! It’s bedtime!” But, alas, no. He seemed to gain his second wind after the bottle. I thought, “Hey, why not give him a snack and see if that might make him sleepy.” (If you are a mom reading this and judging me for this guess… I stick my tongue out at you).

I hand him a piece of teething toast and he goes at it, apparently thrilled with this treat. He chews and plays and plays and chews. Everything seemed quite lovely until…insert Jaws theme here…. Everything went wrong.

He began to crawl, teething toast in one hand wooden spoon in the other, toward the previously abandoned pile of blocks. He pauses. He rocks back and forth for a moment, then looks down and vomits on the floor, then carries on toward his initial destination. (Am I being over dramatic with the Jaw theme and doomsday wording? Yes, yes, I am.)

For those of you that don’t know me, you probably should be made aware that blood, guts, and gore don’t faze me, but gagging and vomit typically reduce me to a quivering mass of uselessness.

I watch this whole scene play out before me and after the initial wave of horror and nausea wash over me, I’m pleased to say that I didn’t vomit or panic! I quickly picked up Kiddo to wipe him of and move his playing area and then cleaned up the mess on the floor. I WAS SO PROUD OF MYSELF! This was a victory for me, let me just say.

I’d also like to point out that Kiddo wasn’t in the least bit upset by these happenings. He didn’t cry or even whine about this. He just carried on playing for another half hour, then rubbed his eyes and held up his hands to be held. After a few minutes of cuddle time, he was off to dream land. I laid him down on the pre-arranged blanket and pillow nest that was created on the bed.

It was at this juncture in the evening that I discovered what may be the bane of my existence when I become a parent: I was terrified that Kiddo would somehow suffocate in his sleep. I checked every five minutes to make sure that no blanket was covering his nose and/or mouth and that he was still breathing. This was a true source of panic for me! I breathed a sigh of relief when his parents returned and their child was still alive and in one piece.

To say I was proud of myself for my first successful endeavor adventure into babysitting was an understatement. This was a person victory for me! Though I’m not jumping into parenting anytime soon, at least I know that I can survive an evening with a little human in my charge and survive.

I celebrated by falling asleep, exhausted from the ordeal.