Don’t call us, we’ll call you

August 21, 2012

Brain dumping again

We’re back from ALL the vacations now. We have been for a week, and oh, what a week it has been! Activity days; Primary Board dinner; teaching Relief Society (women’s organization at church); Neal teaching Elders’ Quorum (men’s organization at church); cleaning out an infestation of moths, ants, and spiders in our kitchen; watching the Olympics and Project Runway episodes I missed. (Clearly, it’s a tough life with DVR!)

Not many people will appreciate these pics of the clean kitchen, but I will always treasure them!

Last week, I told myself, was for catching up on all those mundane tasks I let slide for a few weeks: bills and insurance forms and budget updates and laundry (coincidentally, all things I could work on while watching said DVR). But this week, I’m supposed to be back to hardcore work. I’ve got a revise and resubmit on one of my academic papers due September 1. I’m trying to help my parents get their rental house rented by September 1. I’m planning a one-day family reunion on September 1. (Is it just me or is that too many things on September 1?) Then I start teaching my online class on September 10.

Neal and I worked out a new caregiving schedule yesterday, on account of a difference of opinion (perhaps a Parenting Ref post waiting to happen, Neal?) about how to handle “naptime” (always in quotes; there’s no actual napping going on), and I thought I was ready to hit the ground running today:

  1. Read my scriptures
  2. Go for 20-minute walk
  3. Morning hour with Addison
  4. Start on article revisions

Instead it went more like:

  1. Roll out of bed and lay down in kitchen while coaxing Addison to eat oatmeal
  2. Get back in bed
  3. Surf the internet
  4. Start new book
  5. Surf the internet some more
  6. Blog

You’re all caught up now.

But really, the reason why this day has been far less than lackluster is that it was preceded by a rough night of sweating (no AC at my parents’ house — we’ve moved downstairs for any bit of relief from the recent 98-degree temps!), itching, and thinking. And what I realized in all that thinking is that it has been almost two months since I wrote something really pour-my-heart-out meaningful and truly self-expressive. That’s a long, freaking time for an over-sharer like me!

At the end of June, I devoted an entire day to only writing — I didn’t even open Facebook, dang it. I was committed. It was going so well that I spent most of the next day writing as well, and then the next. I probably wrote for a total of 30 hours in those three days. I wrote a preface to my therapy series, and then covered all of couples counseling, and the round of therapy the summer before that. And it felt so freaking good. I think I finally figured out how to talk about this thing that I kept thinking about but ultimately shying away from. I got to a place of almost-clarity about how to write more of my personal history, something that I feel quite compelled to do pretty much immediately.

[This is a sidenote to be sure, but I keep worrying that the reason I feel so compelled to write some things down now, ranging from my experiences in therapy to my spiritual journey, is that I’m going to lose my mind, either via accident or early onset dementia or something. That sounds ridiculous I know, but when I think about the worst thing that could happen, it is that. Death — oh man, I’m ready for that. Total paralysis — I have already planned out what I would do to pass the time, ranging from Masterpiece Theatre to writing a book entirely by blinking one eye (watch the Diving Bell and the Butterfly if that confuses you). But losing my mental capacity, if I knew that was happening to me (as some people close to me have experienced), I just can’t decide how I would find meaning in that life. Now of course, the chances of that happening seem remote in my early 30s, but I can’t help worrying that this compulsion to record now is a preparation of sorts. It’s happened that way before, from small things like finishing my stats final just before the appendectomy/bed rest knocked me right out, to larger things that I felt like I needed to do just before my health came crashing down during college. Okay, I think that tangent is over, but raise your hand if you think I’m way too morbid . . . ]

Even though I rationally knew that the end of June was the last of that sort of intensive writing I would have time to do for a few months, I think my psyche did not get the memo because that seems to be what it wants to do . . . at 2:00 am. I’m getting the message. I need to plan another day of writing sometime soon (but clearly not before September 1). In the meantime, I’m going to use the rest of this post to say my piece about another thing that has been plaguing me in the middle of the night.

***

I have written before about my love/hate relationship with politics. But friends, there’s no love right now. I can’t wait for this election to be OVER. I’ve long accepted that politicians bother me — partly because they seem to become the worst possible versions of themselves under the strain of so much campaigning. But the thing that is bothering me most this time around is not the politicians but the citizenry, my friends/family. I see so much name-calling going on, and until this last couple of days I had no idea how much it was bothering me. I don’t think any of the specific people I’m thinking of read this blog, but even if they do, I’m going to give my little plea for dropping the name-calling (hopefully, without offending anyone). Mitt the Twit, Obama bin Laden, and so many more I’ve seen just in the last few days on a cursory glance through my Facebook news feed — how are these helpful? Here I am, an independent swing voter who is still undecided in this particular election — just exactly the sort of person that people who feel strongly about their politics should be trying to reach, no? And I honestly care about what my friends feel passionately about; I want to hear about how they’ve arrived at their decisions, what they view as decisive issues and why. I have clicked on a tremendous number of links over the last several months, exploring what people I know and don’t know think is worth talking about in the political discourse. But attach a derogatory name to someone and it just loses me.

It’s good to write this out as a manifesto for myself as well. I’ve certainly been guilty of name-calling at times, both toward public figures and personal connections. But when I do it, rather than more clearly identify what it is that bothers me about this particular person or their actions, the fault is inevitably with me. I’m taking the easy way out rather than acknowledging someone’s more complex nature and respecting their humanity. If you catch me doing this, on here or in person, I hope you remind me that I can be better than that.

***

Also, I had a dream about Ryan Seacrest last night. So you can see why the world seems to be turned upside down for me right now!

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10 Comments »

  1. I hear you about the politics. I haven’t heard, or seen the name calling, but I’ve seen – and tried to ignore- all the horrible ads. And not ones that the politicians use, I’m talking about the ones people make and post on FB or share on FB. I will admit, the ones that bother me the most have to do with PRESIDENT Obama. And that’s why, he is our president and every citizen of the USA should have respect for that office no matter who holds it. It dissapoints me greatly! *sigh* That felt good 😉
    I like your clean pictures – i might take some(after I clean) myself. Then I can return to them and say to myself ” see self, you made it look so nice once”

    Comment by enelo — August 21, 2012 @ 3:40 am

    • I agree; I think one should show respect for our president even if he is not your personal choice. I felt similarly while George W. Bush was in office — people obviously name called horribly with him as well, although I am especially disturbed by racial undertones in some of the things directed at President Obama. But even if one did not believe that the office of president itself deserved respect (I have some anarchist friends), I think human beings do.

      Comment by llcall — August 21, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

      • That is a quoteable quote “But even if one did not believe that the office of president itself deserved respect (I have some anarchist friends), I think human beings do.”

        Comment by enelo — August 22, 2012 @ 3:27 am

  2. mmm. Ryan Seacrest dreams.

    Comment by neal — August 21, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

    • It’s not as exciting as it sounds. We were preparing a presentation on a charitable community organization using a big interactive computer screen. (No doubt his Olympic appearances played some sort of role in that.) Also, his mom was loud and Italian and looked like Michael Phelps’ mom. (Have I been watching too much Olympic coverage?)

      Comment by llcall — August 21, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  3. Every time someone asks me to rejoin facebook, I think about how awesome it would be and then I immediately think of all the family I would have to add whose political expressions drive me up the wall. So call it apathy or call it preemptive striking, but I have really started to cut down on the political reading I do. Which is exactly what I shouldn’t do.

    Comment by kei02003 — August 21, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

  4. Also, this sums it up perfectly
    http://reason.com/archives/2012/08/20/the-wrong-side-absolutely-must-not-win

    Comment by kei02003 — August 21, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    • Yes, it does! I chuckled at this comment from the article: “The thing is, when Dems and Repubs both say ‘Our country faces unmitigated disaster if the Other Side wins,’ they are both right.”

      Comment by llcall — August 21, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

  5. I completely agree! See my latest FB status. And it makes me feel so much better to know you haven’t decided who to vote for either. I’m not the only one who hasn’t decided!

    Comment by v. blanchard — September 2, 2012 @ 12:31 am

    • I’ve actually been contemplating not voting for either Romney or Obama, actually. Typically, I pick a presidential candidate from one of the main two parties, but so far I’m not really feeling it with either of them, probably in part because of the level of negativity going on. That said, in the past I have had a decisive experience/impression/realization in the last few weeks before an election, so may be I will end up picking one or the other.

      Comment by llcall — September 2, 2012 @ 5:21 am


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