My pastor just started a sermon series called “Now What?”. Now that Easter is over, and Christ is risen, now what. Well the point is that, we, as followers of Christ as to go and spread the Good News all over the world and make disciples of all the nations. Truth. And sure as rain I need to be better about spreading the Good News. I try my best to live the life of a Christian, but I need to not just walk the walk I need to talk the talk.
But on another level, when he started speaking on Sunday I felt another pull in my soul. Another prompting from God, that question again, “now what”, “what are you going to do now?” It seems inescapable. It is haunting me. It follows me everywhere. “Now what?”
I’m afraid. Now is scary. The future is scary but I don’t ever have to live there, and the past was scary but I don’t have to be there again, I only have to relive it in my head. The now is the scariest of all, because, well, it’s now. It’s inescapable. It requires commitment. It leaves room for failure, for mistakes, for heartbreak.
My fingers keep hovering on the verge of what I want to say. What my brain wants to type. What I *think* I want to do, but don’t dare. What I don’t know if I have the courage to do. What I don’t know if I have the talent or ability to do.
What if I fail?
What if I don’t?
It’s been a while since we talked money. And yes I am still poor, no change there – surprise surprise. Ed McMahon hasn’t show up at my door with a big check telling me I have won Publisher’s Clearinghouse (dating myself here…), and hubby’s disability was denied AGAIN. At the hearing level. What does that mean? It means that we have a pretty low chance of it being approved- ever. He has plan B in the works, but until then we are poor. And I have in some ways gotten use to worrying about money over the years, we’ve been poor for many many years- though admittedly not as poor as we have been the past 5 years. Anyway none of that is the point….
I am so tired of the way people treat you when you are poor. Especially how they treat you when you are getting “help” otherwise known as WELFARE it’s a dirty word. A word people whisper. In fact it’s a word of a gone by era. They call it other things now, food stamps are now supplemental nutrition assistance program, and there is TANF, temporary aid to needy families. The names have changed but the way people look at those in line to spend their food stamps haven’t. They scrutinize what’s in your cart.
People in the community and on television say mean and nasty things about people receiving the help. Calling them lazy, losers, moochers. Drains on society. Assume they all sorts of things about “those people”.
The workers at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). They are anything by human and certainly not HUMANE. In the waiting room is a huge poster with a cartoon spy with a magnifying glass requesting people keep an eye out for people defrauding the system and report them. It’s a very intimidating place. To a young person I can imagine it would be scary. To me, it incenses me. They too scrutinize your every word, they look at you with disgust. I get they are low paid, over worked employees of the state, but kindness is free. And I would be willing to bet the majority of people coming through their doors do not want to be there.
I am tired of being judged because of where my life has taken me. I am tired of people looking down on me and assuming I am a lazy, drain on society. I have mental illness, I have enough to worry about, I don’t need to worry about the fact that my being poor is yet another thing that makes me different from everyone else around me. I already live the fact that it makes my life harder.
So next time you see someone swipe their food stamps card give them a smile not a smirk. If you hear someone lambasting the “welfare rats” remind them most people don’t want to be there. And most importantly remember- kindness is always free.
Until next time.
What are you going to do?
What’s your plan after graduation?
And what are you going to do with your degree?
I get asked that question so much. Too much. I want to scream at everyone that I have no clue. I had no clue when I was eighteen years old and in college and I have no idea now…. maybe even less of an idea. I am forty-one years old and I have no idea who I am.
Graduation… ah graduation. 18 days away and I literally feel like no one cares. My inlaws doted on my husband all weekend, acting like he was made of glass because of “all the work” he had been doing for school; My mother in law narrowing her eyes at me asking what I have been doing to be so tired. As if I hadn’t been up until 3am every night for the past 3 months trying to stay on top of a workload I can’t handle. I am so tired I can barely function. I am so overwhelmed I waffle from angry to so sad it’s unbearable. And graduation? Well my husband and “so busy” he can’t make it a priority to schedule 2 hours into his day to watch the children so I can pick up my cap and gown. My mother HAS to go camping – unless there is an issue with her calf that’s to be born that will keep her home that weekend- why even bother. No one cares- Im not even sure if I do. I mean what I care about is the fact that no one seems to care. I know my sister probably won’t make the trip up, she will have just made the trip the weekend before, and I am not reminding my mother in law she just ruins every day she’s around anyway. Maybe I just won’t go. Why would I want to waddle up the stage round faced in front of everyone anyway. Besides I made this really cute countdown, and now, it’s gone. It was on my shelf next to my desk, and it’s disappeared, maybe it’s a sign.
The evil gremlin inside me is trying to convince me to not do anymore work in my classes, to just not finish to get what I get for grades… It sounds so inviting. I just want to go to bed and never get out of it again.
Yup, I am feeling sorry for myself again this is why I hardly write anymore, I feel like no one wants to read about some whiney American forty-something woman who can’t seem to get her life together and stop feeling like shit.
Duh duh duh duh duh duhhhhh….. were you singing it in your head?
I got a letter in the mail today about graduation. I can’t decide what I want to do about graduation. I don’t know if I want to go. On the one hand I want to show it to all the people who thought I couldn’t do it. I want to say “do I shine now?” But they probably won’t even be there so….. At the same time squeezing my fat body into a cap and gown, be in a huge room with thousands of people, hear my name read off, have to walk across a stage, shake hands with multiple people…. I’m starting to panic just thinking about it. I feel the walls closing in.
I feel the walls closing in anyway. I feel like I am drowning. I can’t seem to get my head above water….
Turned in my term paper and took my final and with that this semester is closed. I have received my final grade in on class 98.75% not too shabby ;). Waiting on grades for my other 3 classes – supposed to post by Saturday.
I was looking forward to a good month off- but instead I decided to take a winter term class. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH ME???
But by doing that I will be able to take 3 classes next semester (MY LAST ONE!!) instead of 4. And one class I took only lasts 7 weeks, so after that I will be in 2 classes until I graduate.
Other than that, things haven’t really changed – just plodding along. Hubby and I were talking yesterday and I said something – I don’t remember what- and he said in a surprised tone- do you think you’ll never get better?” I was brutally honest. I told him I am definitely losing hope of that and that I’m beginning to believe this is as good as it will ever get. He said he can’t believe that’s the case.
But it’s true. I think over the past couple of years and I don’t see very much progress. It’s disheartening.
I guess that’s all. Until next time…
I really should be doing homework, finals week is coming soon and I have plenty to keep me busy, but I really want to get back to writing more faithfully, I really enjoy it.
Today I was in the car listening to Christmas Music and I played this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf6_JBLTNAM. While my father isn’t “gone” I started trying to remember the last Christmas we spent together as a family. I can’t remember that specific Christmas, though I do know the year. It’s funny how you don’t know that it’s the last time of something until it’s already in the past.
The Christmas of 1995 was the last year all four of us were together on Christmas Day. I moved out at the age of 17 just two months later, and later that year my mom and dad’s marriage ended, and while my mom didn’t move out until New Year’s Eve 1996, their marriage was for all intents and purposes dissolved.
When I think back to Christmas as a kid it wasn’t my mom and dad that stand out in my mind, don’t get me wrong I have memories of them on Christmas Day, but it’s my sister that I think of first. Christmas morning was always such a magical time for us. We used to get up way before daylight, to empty our stockings and see what Santa had brought us. I know now as an adult Christmas was 99% my mom’s doing. She shopped, she wrapped, she made the magic. But my sister and I and the memories we made those mornings are some of the happiest memories I have of my childhood.
I also have good memories of the time leading up to Christmas. Getting our Christmas Tree was almost always a good memory. There was the 1991 when my sister and I paid for it because of some family upheaval (not financial but us saving the money from our paper route was enough to humble the party involved). After that year we always had a “Christmas Tree Fund”. We each would contribute a dollar until we had the $35ish dollars it cost for the tree.
There are days I think about the good parts of my Childhood, I remember dancing with my mom to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, making cookies, getting our tree, reading Story a Day til Christmas, and the Gingerbears.
I can only hope that I am making Christmases that magical for my kids.
Until next time….
Do you have that small voice in your head? You know the one that seems to wake up at bedtime and say “hey, you haven’t thought about <insert some worrisome thing here> in a while, let’s revisit that right now”.
Why???? Why must my brain constantly sabotage me? As if I don’t have enough on my plate- IEP for little one in 11hrs 29 mins… but who is counting…. oh yeah – me. Going in with my gloves on, but in truth- if they don’t give her what she needs I am probably done. I’ll take her out of school and homeschool her again. I know there are people who won’t support that decision but they don’t have to watch their child come home from school and lose it for most of the night because they held it together as best they could all day. I don’t know, little one could go one way or another if I pull her out she may be for it or against l. But I think it’s something her dad and I are going to have to think about and decide by Christmas.