I had some really great responses to the message I put up for my friend last week, and because I have a bunch of really neat things like that, I decided I’ll post one every Tuesday. I really like the idea of having specific things to post every day of the week because it encourages me to write, so here you go!
GEORGE CARLIN’S POST 9-11 (After his wife had recently died). Isn’t it amazing that George Carlin, comedian of the 70’s and 80’s, could write something so eloquent…and so very appropriate. I hope you enjoy this.
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more
degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. It is a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember: spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.”
Since we moved here I’ve felt that I didn’t quite fit in anywhere… at school, at church, sometimes even at work–until today. I don’t really know what changed or when, but tonight as I was sitting on a bus with someone I’ve recently become friends with, I realized that I’m starting to feel like I fit in here. It’s taken me a year and a half, but I don’t feel so awkward anymore. When we first moved here I had a very hard time. I was far from my family, in a city I didn’t know anything about, at a university in second year when everyone had already made friends. If I hadn’t had the Hubster with me or met Dee last year I might have gone nuts. I was so unhappy with the city that we even seriously considered moving last Christmas.
Moving into our new ward was one of the hardest transitions for me. I left a large, fun, loving ward where I felt loved and where I LOVED being and moved into a geriatric ward where no one really noticed us because we weren’t someone’s grandkid. Two-thirds of my ward here is over 65, and they are mostly people who have grown up here together and never left. They do a lot of things very differently than I’ve ever seen before so all in all it was a bit of a shocker. But even that is growing on me… slowly but surely. Where else would I have learned about the Black Vortex? (I don’t think I’ve told that story… ask me and I will)
I guess I’ve really learned something about myself. I don’t adapt quickly to big change. When I family moved when I was 17 it took me a year to like my new city, and then I fell absolutely in love with it. I hope that we can settle there, or nearby, when we start a family. And now, it’s been a year and a half, but I feel like I’m finally fitting in. I’ve met some wonderful friends, explored the city a bit, and thankfully a couple of young married couples have moved into the ward. I know that I don’t want to stay here permanently, but I’m content with where we are for now. I love our apartment and am growing to love how scenic the city is. And even though it’s a trek to campus, it is one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve ever seen. So, no more complaining. Well, maybe a little bit. haha But not so much.
Well, I’m down another half pound. I am the queen of slow weight loss. haha Mind you, I haven’t been good with the whole exercise portion of it, although I am determined to do my pilates this morning.
I had a really good weekend– Saturday was Dee’s birthday so I was with her for the majority of the day! In the morning we went and volunteered at a family literacy day downtown and I was SO impressed with the turnout. I think we had the best booth by far… we just got to stand there let every kid who walked past pick out a free book. They were SO excited. I loved it!
In the afternoon we went to another friend’s house to bake a cake and some cupcakes (which turned out more like little hockey pucks because we forgot to check on them… haha) and that was really nice. I haven’t had a group of girl friends that live close by in a couple of years so it’s nice having some people to go out with.
We went out for dinner at this fabulous Cajun restaurant that serves everything ‘New Orleans’ style, and I fell in LOVE with this brown sugar and malt vinegar chicken dish I ordered. I almost died it was so good. There were about 10 of us out for dinner, so that was really nice. Then we went back to Dee’s for cake, and then the Hubster and I came home!
Yesterday was nice and relaxing… we went to church (which actually was kind of normal this week for once) and had a nice long nap together in the afternoon. I had to go out to a meeting last night, but it too was nice a quick so I didn’t have to be out late. All in all, it was a great weekend. And can I just reiterate how much I LOVE having Mondays off? Not like, LOVE.
I have a good friend who is going through a difficult time, and I’m hoping that this will comfort her as it did me when I was going through my own heartache. Gene, my rock throughout my high school years, sent me this when I went though a terrible break-up, and I’ve kept it and have read it so many times as I’ve gone through challenges and struggles that I pretty much have it memorized.
You know that pain you get in your ribcage when you’re (emotionally) hurt? It kind of feels like something in your chest is going to explode. Unless maybe you could find a way to scream loud enough or cry long enough and somehow just push the pain out of you, as though it could be liquefied or turned to breath and just expelled. And you’re sure if you really could do that, you would flood the world or cause some disruption in the weather pattern because the force and depth of that pain is just SO BIG. And if the world could not survive it’s unleashing, then surely you will never survive its captivity in (what must be) your heart.
We call it heartbreak. Aptly named, really. We feel it near our heart and it does hurt so something must surely be getting irreparably damaged. We are warned about it from the beginning and watch our friends and family suffer from it even before we ourselves are its victim. We are taught that it is a bad thing. To be avoided at all costs.
Maybe we were taught wrong.
What if I told you that the pain in your chest isn’t your heart breaking, it’s just your heart stretching?
When you think about it, those situations and experiences that cause us “heartbreak” are always the ones that require us to grow in some way. Maybe we are learning to love bigger and broader. Maybe our heart is widening its boundaries to accept a new and different life. Growing pains for grown-ups.
And if you’re skeptical, think of this – don’t you get the same kind of pain in your chest when you witness something really beautiful? Like a child being born or watching that last guy cross the finish line at the Ironman?
The problem is, we’ve been taught to call it heartbreak and there’s a negative connotation to the word “break”. As a result, in seeking to avoid the deep feeling that may bring us pain we also cheat ourselves of all the joy that it will also bring us. That’s why the people who cry at sad movies are usually the ones who cry at happy ones. And some people just don’t cry at anything.
Our feelings can’t be selectively filtered, except by depth. If we keep our deepest feelings buried, then that includes the joyful ones as well as the painful ones.
If we stop thinking of the pain as something bad and think of it as a part of our growth process, maybe we wouldn’t be so afraid of it. Maybe we wouldn’t be so afraid of getting attached to people. Maybe we would stop alternately hiding ourselves away from the world and searching desperately for ‘the one’ who won’t ever cause us such pain. Maybe we’d get better at following our wildest dreams because we wouldn’t be so worried about rejection. Maybe we’d tell more people we love them without fearing that it would be seen as a romantic overture. And maybe we would become comfortable enough to hear that someone loves us without running away. Maybe we would learn to say “no” more when we normally say “yes” and “yes” when we usually say “no”. Maybe if we let our hearts out to stretch once in awhile, we would all learn how to love better – ourselves and others.
I think it’s really another matter of perspective. If what you see is what you get, why not look for the pleasure in your pain? Sometimes life hurts. But nothing is going to break.
So, go on, stretch a little.
I meant to write last night, but the Hubster and I ended up spending a quiet evening together so I didn’t get a chance! The job interview went very well (I think)… I met with the program coordinator and a principal of one of the participating schools. They seemed very impressed with my involvement (present, and what I’ll be doing next year) in my organization at school. Anyway, I find out sometime next week. I’ll keep you posted!
As well, I had my interview for ISW today with Sar & Dee. We met in front of a panel of about 9 people and they questioned us for a full hour. It was kind of exhausting… but they were very thorough. Again, I think it went well… and I’m DYING to get it. I want this so badly it’s not even funny. Again, there was one group who can’t present until next Wednesday, so I’ll be waiting un agony until next Wednesday evening. Keep your fingers crossed!!!!
I try very hard not to judge people. I know I am far from perfect, but sometimes I see things that bother me so much that I can’t help it. It’s horrible, I know. But what can I say… I’m human. My city seems to have a high number of teenage/young single mothers. I guess it’s sort of “normal” for cities like mine… we had the same thing in the town where I grew up. And because we are currently vehicularly-challenged we take the bus, as do all these young mothers. Anyway, about a month ago I saw something that bothered me so much I almost said something to this woman but held my tongue. She had a young boy in a stroller (not strapped in, might I add) in a red snow suit. If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll know that the weather was mild for January, but still cold enough. It was below zero degrees on this day. Well this little boy was out with his mom at a bus stop in bare feet. We waited outside for almost 10 minutes and the little boy had nothing on his feet. Nothing. I felt so bad.
Well, last night I saw this same woman and this same little boy on the bus again. Our weather has since become significantly colder, often dipping to 25 below after dark. The boy was in the same red snow suit, with only a thin pair of socks on. I should say, HALF on. There was about a 2 inch gap of skin between the suit and the sock. And he had nothing on his hands… my heart just went out to the kid.
I had a conversation with some members of my organization at the conference last Saturday after watching a First Responder in-training kick a baby doll across a floor. I honestly feel that a parenting class should be mandatory in high schools. And it shouldn’t be a “bird”course. Then at least these young mothers and parents would have some basic skills and might help their child have a slightly better situation. I just did some quick research on the internet and read that there has been a decline in the teenage birth rate, which I was quite relieved to hear. But I also came across something I can’t even fathom it’s so unbelievable. I found out that the youngest woman to ever give birth was FIVE YEARS OLD. OH MY GOSH. That is INSANE. You can read about it here: http://youngest_mother.tripod.com/. As if. I can’t even imagine. That poor girl.