Monday, June 22, 2009

Woman in a Man's World

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: (frantically searching room for something I could tag as a possible goal)...I don't know.
Grievance: None of my boys slept very well last night, and that means mommy didn't sleep too well either.
Celebration: Perhaps we will get to go play with friends in their new pool today!

Yesterday was Sunday. Sundays are my second favourite day of the week. Wednesdays are my first for the sole purpose that Big Love has the day off of work, but Sundays are awesome in a multitude of ways. First of all, Sunday is Big Love's short day (a mere 8.5 hours), which means he can attend night church and eat dinner with us. But first and foremost, Sunday is church day.

I LOVE church. The kids and I attend "morning church" in a conventional setting while Big Love works, and then in the evening we attend a not-so-conventional "night church" which suits Big perfectly. At both venues I am encouraged, spiritually fed, and constantly learning things about myself and the world that God has created. I have not always loved church, probably for the same reasons that a lot of people don't like it. I found the people there judgmental, fiercely competitive with each other, and nitpicky about pointing out every little thing wrong with the world. I remember attending the class time, which was usually the hour preceding the main worship time, and being floored by the so-called "discussions" that would take place. Everyone in the classes was trying to out-smart each other in a sort of "I-went-to-seminary-longer-than-you-and-therefore-have-far-more-biblical-knowledge" kind of way. This made me feel SO angry. Whenever I felt the need to add to the discussion topic, I was edged out by someone who wanted to prove they knew more about Bible history than me. Needless to say, it was not an environment that I felt myself growing, being pruned, and growing back ten-fold.

I also never liked youth group much. Youth group days, for me, were not that long ago. I changed churches with my parents about halfway through my youth group years, and the church we moved to did not have the kind of setting that catered to someone as reserved as myself. Cliques had already been formed, alliances and enemies had been established, and no one was super excited to invite the shy, freckled thespian into their group. In hindsight, I probably wouldn't have let me in, either.

As an adult, however, I have found my niche in church. I LOVE being involved with ministries. There are many ministries that are better suited for other people, but I have found a place in Worship. I have always been a fan of singing. I am not inflicted with false modesty when I say that my singing voice is only a bit above mediocre on a good day, but I love the act of singing to God. I figure that if I love hearing music so much, then God has to think that it is awesome, especially since a lot of music is about Him. I am a Church of Christ girl through and through, which means two big things for a woman: I have been able to read music since I was 6 (hooray for a cappella singing), and I have to go through oodles of red tape if I want to accomplish anything without the help of a man.

I say this with only the slightest bit of resentment. I understand how many of the restrictions on women's leadership roles in a Church of Christ came to be where they are, and I applaud us a church community for progressing as far as we have. The fact that we have a female Children's Minister at the church I now attend is truly phenomenal. But I find myself wanting to be more than involved in ministries that allow women to be involved. I want to be a leader.

I went to school for theatre, as you probably well know. I wanted to, inevitably, bring the theatre world and church world together. I wanted to be able to have a venue to reach those who, like me, are not always church fans. Since I have been in school and graduated, my directive has changed a bit. I want to be a minister. Not a stand-at-the-pulpit minister, because that requires many talents that I do not possess. I want to be a creative arts minister. What is that? I don't know. I have only heard of one person with that title, and I have no idea what her job description was. If I were to invent a job desription for myself, it would include teaching classes, organizing events that bring the community into a church setting using "art" as a common ground, and most importantly showing people that there are alternate ways to express your spirituality than being a singer or a scholar.

So herein lies the issue. As a rule in the Church of Christ, women have many restrictions as to what they are allowed to do in leadership positions. In most churches, women are not allowed to lead in front of a baptized male. I'm sure there is Biblical ground for this rule, but I am not sure what it is at this moment. If you want to get upset about it, find someone else to explain it to you. I have learned to accept it. So if I am not allowed to lead in front of a baptized male, that means I do not pray out loud, do not lead a song, do not teach a class that men attend, and DO NOT EVER get up behind the pulpit and address the congregation in any capacity. Fine. Whatever. I can deal. What I struggle to deal with, however, is trying to accomplish things behind the scenes.

For example, this week I put together a special Thursday night service for our church. I had asked for a project to help out our over-worked and under-paid worship minister, and he asked me to put together a prayer service for Independence Day. Awesome. That is right up my alley. So I built a service from the ground up. I have never done this before, and do not know exactly what I need to do to get my project up and running, so the worship minister gives me a to-do list. Awesome. What I notice, however, is that when I send an email, I do not get a response. So I become a cyber-bother, emailing again and again. Still no responses. Only after I have told this to the worship minister and HE puts in a good word for me do I get anything back. And even then, it is often a response directly to him, which he has to re-tells to me. This is frustrating, not only because I am trying and not able to do anything on my own, but I am not helping my worship minister at all. He is still doing all the work.

This is merely an example. I want to make my life serving in a church, and I need to learn how to handle the red tape. Are there any suggestions out there? I am willing to be patient and pay my dues, but if I am going to run into gender issues for my whole life, even after my dues are paid, how can I learn to be understanding and loving about it? I am essentially begging to help the church, and it does not seem like people want me to. I hate to say it, but I am getting a little discouraged.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Make Father's Day presents. I really must do this today, seeing as tomorrow is Father's Day.
Grievance: None yet
Celebration: Today is my 1st anniversary.

I have been married for one year today. It is phenomenal how quickly a year can fly by. When I look back, however, so much has happened in the last year that I could probably account for all 365 days if I needed to.

Big Love and I got married under some rather interesting circumstances. For those of you that know this story, sorry. I am telling it again. Last year at this time, Boy Love and I were residing in a teeny studio apartment in Atlanta. I had moved there in September of 2007 to get my first out-of-college job in a theatre department at a high-falutin' private school. Big Love and I had met in the spring of '07, when I got a job as a bartender in the restaurant he was managing. After I moved to Atlanta 5 months later, we kept in touch via Myspace messages (yes, Myspace has played a significant role in my life. Sad as that may sound). By the time Christmas of '07 rolled around, we were in a long-distance love affair, and were about to re-meet face to face when I came home for the holidays. When Boy Love and I went over to his house for the first time after arriving in Portland for the holidays, I was a little nervous. I had not physically seen Big Love in any sort of situation besides at the restaurant. However, when he came to the door, we had one of those Hollywood kisses and my nerves were calmed. Big Love swears that when we were kissing our first kiss that I dropped Boy Love out of my arms, but I will contest to my grave that I set him down on the ground with the gentleness of a butterfly. By the time I left Portland in January to return to my apartment in Atlanta, the two of us had professed our love for each other, and he began to find ways to move back down south. By March, he had procured a job at a local restaurant and an apartment.

Big Love had lived in the south before. He attended college in Nashville and worked for one restaurant group the whole time he was there. He developed life long relationships with the owner ad his family, and was loved very much by them. When he moved to Atlanta to be around Boy Love and myself, he was in somewhat familiar territory. During his stint in Nashville, he had been to Atlanta a few times, and he knew what to expect in the area. What he did NOT expect, however, was a phone call in early June from his old employers saying they wanted to meet up with him. They were going to be in Atlanta checking out some restaurants and they wanted to meet up. Big Love was excited about this, but had a nagging feeling in the back of his mind that this was more than a friendly meeting.

He was right. Big Love was offered a job from his previous employers. They wanted him to be the general manager and kitchen manager of the restaurant that they owned in Birmingham. This was an amazing opportunity for Big, not only because he could once again work for his friends, but because he would make enough money to support a family. The only real downfall was that the job was in Birmingham, which meant another move. And since Big Love had just moved all the way across the country to be with Boy and I not 4 months earlier, there was no way he was about to move away from us now. That only meant one thing: we were going with him. Us going with him meant we had to make a decision, do we get separate places? Do we live together? Well living together was the only thing that made sense, financially speaking. I would not be working and could not afford to support myself and Boy. We didn't necessarily want to "shack up", so that left only one option. We decided to get married.

In accepting this job, he needed to begin training almost immediately. We had two weeks to get our affairs in order. That included getting married. Big Love came to my apartment a few nights later, Sharpie pen in hand, and proposed. He drew a pen mark around my ring finger, and I drew one around his. We had decided to get tattoos instead of rings, so the Sharpie would have to do for a couple weeks.

On the 20th of June, we went straight from our respective jobs (his at the Atlanta restaurant, mine at the summer camp at school) and went to the office of our church minister. He married us right then and there, in his office, with my parents on speakerphone. It was perfect. Boy Love was at the sitters for the night and all the next day, so Big Love and I high-tailed it to Birmingham for our wedding night. The one day of our honeymoon we spent in Birmingham finding an apartment, only to return to Atlanta in the evening. We picked up Boy Love from the sitter's house and went to get our "wedding rings". We were officially married.

And that is just the story of us getting married. Chaos continued to ensue after jobs, moving to Birmingham, and a (very swift) conception of Baby Love, but that is a whole different story...

Happy Anniversary, to you, Big Love. You are a perfect, God fearing man, and I will love you forever and always.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Finger Story

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Exchange damaged/worthless spray adhesive without customer service rep thinking I stole it.
Grievance: Big Love has seemed to be quite upset lately.
Celebration: My birthday has lasted for 3 days now. I just spent birthday money from Cheetah to get workout clothes, and have not actually worked out since my birthday.

I have not written in so long. It seems as if decades have passed, dear blog. Oh, how I have missed the mental release you provide...the focus you give my helter-skelter brain...the opportunity to make lemonade of some of my daily lemons. I hope you have missed me as well, but I am sure you appreciated the break.

I have been lacksadaisical toward blogging for the soul purpose that I have zero feeling in my left pointer finger. In case you were unaware, I decided about a week ago that it would be a fantastic idea to stick my finger in an immersion blender (you know, those really neat stick-looking blenders that you hold in your hand like an electric eggbeater) and then turn it on. Why this appealed to me at the time, I have no idea.

It was a Stepford Wife moment, really. I had gotten the kids so they were somewhat content, I had straightened the house, and I thought it would be really neat to have Big Love come home to the smell and taste of freshly baked cookies. I had stumbled upon a recipe on this recipe swap site that looked amazing. They were peanut butter cookies that had a hidden peanut butter cream inside. My minds eye had a video clip of Big Love walking in, looking around, smelling the air, and getting a big smile on his face after his long day at work. He would then embark on an immediate search for the source of the intoxicating smell, find a rack of warm cookies to greet him, take a bite into the creamy center and let out the happy sigh. I love the happy sigh. Unfortunately, this little movie ne'er did come to fruition.

The first step: mix the peanut butter cream. A great tool: the immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender, I highly recommend one. I find many uses for it, and it is SO much more compact than a real blender. The one drawback is that the stuff you are blending tends to get stuck in the apparatus, much like an electric eggbeater, but far worse. Worse to the point that you need to manually clean it out every so often with your finger. Now, being trained almost solely on power saws through college, I know one of the number one rules: unplug anything sharp/fast moving/potentially fatal before handling the most dangerous part of the tool. I chose to ignore this very basic rule for reasons unknown. Perhaps I was just too excited to make cookies. Anyhow, the rest of the incident writes itself. As I was wiping the batter out of the blender, I caught the ON switch with some other part of me. All sorts of things ensued...blood, sweat, tears. I screamed pretty loudly (no swearing though. I beam with pride on that account) which sent the children into hysterics. There was no real pain, but my finger was sliced up real good and blood flowed forth with zeal. I managed to speed dial Big Love, who immediately left work to come home and help with the kids. Once he had arrived, he examined my wounds after the 15 minutes of wicked pressure I was applying. I was still soaking rags with blood and he said it was time to go to the ER. I wanted to do no such thing. ER? Psh. Can't I just throw some butterfly bandages over the slices and call it a night? No, says he. I may need stitches. So kids are packed, new rag for wrapping is applied, and we take a family road trip to the nearest ER.

Big Love left me there and took Baby and Boy in the car to get a late dinner at Sonic. At first I was hesitant to send him off. After all, there was no one waiting in the ER, and it wasn't like I was needing oxygen and major surgery. So Big stayed in the parking lot. As soon as the frazzled looking triage nurse came out the doors and called my name, in walks an elderly woman having heart problems. Obviously my spot in line was relinquished to her, and I was happy to do this for her. I still was the only one waiting. I sent Big Love to Sonic, for there was no point in him waiting until I got called again. As soon as I sent him away, six ambulances came roaring in to the carport. I think that bears repeating. SIX ambulances came, lights spinning, sirens blaring, and wheels speeding up to the automatic double glass doors. I could tell that I was going to be there a while.

As soon as the ambulance came, the waiting room began to fill up with the non-life-threatening emergencies. First in the door was a rather redneck looking bloke, maybe 20, with his parents, with a head injury. It was difficult to not judge him and try to guess the origin of such an injury. A BB gun recoil after playing target practice with crumpled Miller High Life cans? A flying tire iron after attempting to change the patched up tires on his '89 Chevy Pickup? I can only begin to imagine. Next was a young couple toting their 10 month old with a 106 degree fever. Then was a young gentleman experiencing extreme chest pain. After about 30 minutes of waiting after my name was called the first time, the ER was completely full of the ill and ill-at-ease. What was I to do? There were obviously people there with much bigger problems than mine. Head injuries, chest pain, ambulances, and babies come before the able-bodied 25 year old with a boo boo on her finger.

So then I had a dilemma. What was I going to tell Big Love to do? Wait for hours with two children sitting in the car twiddling their thumbs? This was a bad plan. I tried to ask the front desk lady if I could just go home, but no. I had filled out the paperwork and I was getting charged the $250 copay. I may as well get fixed. So I send my boys home to catch some Z's. So then how do I expedite this experience as quickly as possible? Do I play it off like it doesn't bother me at all, in hopes that they let me in for a quick heal and quick discharge? Do I hold my finger and fain extreme, agonizing pain so they take pity on me and let me in? While that sounded entertaining I went for the former option, which worked to my advantage. I was admitted promptly, fixed up, and sent on my way.

I chopped up the nerve endings in my finger, which means that the top of it is completely without feeling. This makes the act of typing an unusual challenge. I often look back on what I have written and see strange letters that I am quite sure I did not press. Of course, I blame the alien finger who now has a mischevious little mind of it's own.

Thanks for your enduring patience with my lack of writing and my inevitable typos. I shall re-enter the world of blogging, starting today, for my own sanity more than anything else.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Motivated Mom

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Inventory Boy's and Baby's clothes and make trip to donation box.
Grievance: I haven't done laundry in far too long, so I get to do it today.
Celebration: Date night last night with Big was way nifty.

Since I have become a SAHM and have had a few more minutes in the day to pay attention to each household chore, I have started noticing things that I have not paid any attention to in the past. For instance, my attainable goal of the day is to inventory clothes and make a donation run. When I was growing up, I would rarely (if ever) inventory my clothing (perhaps because I wore all of my clothing until it had to be thrown away) and I would almost never take things to Goodwill unless my mother put the box in front of me, opened it up, and held my hand while I filled it up. So now, as a mother myself, I see what my mom was trying to do. I am thrilled to be able to donate clothing to people who need it far more than I do as a sort of "clothes recycling program". There is a shelter in my town that helps abused mothers and children, and I am excited to give my unused things to them. It makes me feel like I am really doing a good thing.

Opportunitites like this seem to be everywhere. Opportunities to save money, help someone in need, or support a worthy cause without spending a lot of our disposable income. We have a membership to the local zoo, which is great way to support the animals and we can get into most zoos in the country for free. When the kids are old enough, I would like to get a membership to the science center for the same reason.

So then begs the question, besides donating clothes/toys, getting memberships for the zoo, and clipping coupons for Babies 'R' Us, what are some other things, as a mother, that I should be doing/collecting/cleaning/etc? I feel like there are some things that my mom used to do that I haven't even thought of yet. For instance, what kind of things will little boy scouts come around and ask for? The boy scouts in the northwest asked for soda bottles and cans to recycle, but people in the south don't recycle, so that is not an option. What about schools? What will Boy Love and Baby Love come home and ask me for? Soup can lids? Toilet paper cardboard tubes? Box Top for Education things from our morning Cheerios box? I also feel really guilty throwing my plastic/paper/cans into the trash when I know I should be recycling them. However, there is NO WHERE to recycle here! Not even a recycle center! So give me some ideas on what more I can be doing. I want to help support our environment and worthy causes in any way I can, since I have the time and the motivation.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Discipine Dilemma

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Keep the laundry going all day until it is done. This did not happen today.
Grievance: Forgot to take my daily Exedrin today. Tragedy.
Celebration: I got to shop at Victoria's Secret today. It was much needed and I was appropriately frugal.

The boys and I are at the Y. On our way out the front door at the end of my workout, we maneuver around what appears to be a father/mother/4 year old son family under the rain awning that covers the threshold. In retrospect, they may not have been this child's mother and father, for their age seemed to be older than that of someone with a 4 year old, but I am not going to guess or judge. This little boy, a sweet pudgy thing wearing a wetsuit/swim suit like he had just had a lesson in the pool, was stomping about listening to his shoes hitting the ground. He then sees something "shiny" over by the pedestal that holds up the roof, and runs at full speed for it. I do not know what this object was, but apparently his parents had a decent idea. As soon as this little boy got near to touching it, his mother screamed at the top of her lungs, "Stop it! Don't touch things on the ground! Who knows who has been slobbering on that thing!!!" Now, at first I thought the outcry was a little bit much, but I am reminded of times that Boy Love is particularly frustrating, and even the smallest of misdeeds gets an equally impatient reaction. The boy does not put the pretty whatever down immediately, and gets an even more exasperated screech from his obviously frazzled mother. He is visibly startled by the last scolding, and looks so frightened that he drops the object onto the ground.

As it falls to the ground, the dad figure starts barreling for his son with fire in his eyes. The kid begins to weakly apologize for not listening, but the dad already has his momentum built up. He bends down to the level of his child and starts screaming "Shut up! Shut up! I said, shut up!" in his face. This frightened little boy starts to quiver and whimper, then the dad does something I still cannot believe. He backhands his kid across the face. At this point, the boys and I were headed into the parking lot to find the car, and I had been glad to be getting away from this negativity, but I was not moving fast enough to avoid seeing...and hearing...this man smack his 4 year old's face. I was entirely sympathetic to the squeal that ensued. If I had been hit that hard, I would have yelled, too.

Understand that I am the biggest advocate of letting people parent the way they want to parent. One of my biggest pet peeves is when strangers come up to me and say, "You shouldn't have your child ride in the shopping buggy like that" or "Hey you shouldn't have your son carry that bag of groceries. It is dragging on the ground and he will break it". Strangers should not impose on the parenting of other strangers. Each time that happens to me, I feel like looking at them with false embarrassment and responding, "Oh, gosh, I am so sorry! I had no idea that you are this child's mother! I feel so silly for giving birth to him, feeding him, clothing him, teaching him, and loving him every day when he is actually yours to raise. Forgive my intrusion. I feel so foolish..." I have never actually done this, but the sentiment is there.

So when the little incident happened at the Y, I was really torn. I am of the firm belief that parents should not hit their children, but I do not represent every family in the world, and it is naive of me to think that every family functions best in the way that I think they should. In the fall of last year, I babysat for a family who had very difficult children, and they spoke frequently of how their father spanked them with a belt them when they were bad. If that is what works best for their family, then I can live with that, no matter how sad it makes me. But when I saw this poor, sweet little kid get hit not 50 feet from me...that was really hard to take. I was very happy to know that my son did not witness it.

So this evening, I walked away. I don't know if that was the right thing to do, but I don't want to go do anything crazy when this was obviously not my kid to raise. I wanted to run up to him, kneel down next to him and push his hair back from his face to see if he was alright. I wanted to give him a hug and tell him it would be okay. I wanted to tell his parents what I really thought of their actions and offer to take their son home with me so he can play with my kids while they cool down their attitudes. I remember a very specific instance when I was young and in the car with my mother. We were in a parking lot sitting in the car, and the lady sitting in the car next to us was screaming at her car full of children and saying horrible things to them. Mom looked at the lady then said to me, "Do you think it would be okay for me to offer to take those kids off that lady's hands? She is obviously too frustrated to be bothered with them right now, and we could all go to the park and have a picnic." I was reminded of this when I saw this family, and my heart broke for them.

So here is the dilemma. Did I do the right thing by walking away? Should I have done something? If so, what should I have done? What is the line that, when crossed, requires outside intervention?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Family Day

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Get to the Y and really try to work out hard. Done.
Grievance: Today could not have been longer.
Celebration: Quality time between the boys and their daddy.

I don't really have a topic for today. I am just so blissfully happy with how today went. I was not expecting disaster, but today exceeded all expectations that I have for a Wednesday, which is a difficult feat. Wednesdays, as I have mentioned before, are my favorite day because it is Big Love's day off. Today was fantastic, even for a Wednesday.

First of all, I got to the Y while Big Love took a well deserved nap. I did awesome. My arms are so tired that I can barely lift my dinner plate. Big Love got to revel in the solidarity of a mid-day slumber with no crying, feeding, or obnoxious wife who always tends to wake him a consistent 2 minutes before his alarm is scheduled to sound. By 3:00 we were all awake, showered, dressed, packed, and ready to go paint the town.

We made our way to the zoo, for it was a beautiful 85 degree day and the water fountains were just begging for Boy Love to play in them. While he frolicked with he other kids, he would watch the water intermittently shoot up from the ground like gentle geysers and, when he got the gall, would stick his fingers in it or try to drink from it. I played the role of damage control, making sure he shared the water and watched where he was running, and Big Love and Baby Love got to watch adoringly from a nearby lunch table. When he was adequately dried off and re-dressed, we made our way around the winding paths of the zoo in our complicated yet genius double-stroller contraption. First stop was the reptiles, at the request of Boy Love who was only interested in seeing the turtles and the monkeys. After we saw every scaly creature that we could have ever wanted, we made our way toward the monkeys, and to do that, we had to go past the birds. Freaky. Big Love told me that at one of the bird exhibits you can go into the aviary with a cup of nectar in your hand. The birds will, apparently, flock toward you in a way that only Alfred Hitchcock could imagine. This sounds terrifying, and I am sure that Big Love is only telling me this to get a rise out of me. Which he does. We make our way to the monkeys after the horror bird cage was conveniently closed, and to the new rhino exhibit after that. We made it out of the gate right before they closed it behind our backs.

After our couple of hours in the sun, it was imperative we get ice cream, so we went to the local creamery and indulged. Boy chose some sort of cake batter monstrosity because it was yellow, Big got something else that was an absurdly high saturation pink colour, and I stuck with a standby chocolate raspberry scoop that served my taste buds perfectly. After our dishes, we took the short stroll to visit Mr. Bret at the restaurant nearby, and brought him some ice cream.

The whole afternoon...the zoo, the ice cream, and even our evening meal accompanied by Lion King was truly amazing. We were just together. I love my family, and I love spending time with them. How long will my children want to spend time with me? Hopefully for a long time. I know I love spending time with my parents as an adult, and I would be thrilled if my boys would want to do the same.

Monday, June 1, 2009

All the World's a Stage

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Work on save-the-dates for my party!
Grievance: Big Love had to be at work at 6 am. Gross.
Celebration: Big Love and I get to go out on a double date tonight!

As many of you know, I am a thespian. This is a label that often comes with a certain stigma around it of geekiness, prissiness, and general quirkiness in personality. I don't see myself as any of these things in excess, although I may be blissfully ignorant, in which case, please feel free to keep your opinions/observations of me to yourself. I began as a thespian in high school. I spent most of my 4 years playing water polo with the stoners and jocks, but my senior year I made the transition to drama nerd by getting a lead in the fall musical. By the end of senior year, I was an Honor Thespian (yes, an actual title) and I had found my true passion.

So, of course, I pursued theatre in college. My first year in college took place at Pepperdine, where my hopes of acting were consequently dashed by all the really good actors that were in the program there. That did not hinder me. I had three jobs in the theatre during the year I was there. I worked in the box office, as an usher, and in the scene shop building the sets for all the shows. It wasn't until I withdrew from Pepperdine the next fall and went to Portland State that I found my niche backstage. I loved being backstage. I loved the scene shop, I loved running shows, I loved having my hand in all the different artistic aspects of the performances without actually having to don costume and makeup and memorize lines. I was blissfully happy. Until I realized that I had to take acting classes to graduate.

I had resigned myself to the fact that I was not an actor, so taking acting classes was a combination of wasted time and salt on the festering sores of my lack of talent. I was not excited about any of this. But I did my time, and through the process my fellow classmates who were actually there to learn to act were appropriately complimentary of my skills. Through college I only acted once (strangely, it wasn't even at the school, it was a real show that I got paid for. Weird) but I found myself having a strange feeling from time to time. I would get the "acting bug". The "acting bug" is a phrase that industry folk use to say that they are in need of stage time. I always thought that getting the "acting bug" was entirely cocky and self-serving. I scoffed at those who got it, thinking that all they want is to see their name in lights. I have no such interest, which was one of the selling points of working backstage. This means that whenever I get this ridiculous "acting bug", I would be thoroughly disgusted with myself. So I began to Psych 101 myself. Why do I feel the need to act right now? I don't necessarily like acting, and I am not necessarily talented. I have no interest in being "discovered", or getting seen on stage, or having to take a bow at the end of a performance.

After some consideration, pondering, and self searching, I think I have come up with it. I like being someone else. For as long as I can remember, I have always fantasized about what it would be like to live someone else's life. I have no complaints about my life. Comparatively speaking, my life was/is pretty easy, full of love and support. However, I would love to read about the lives of celebrities, or watching a movie and wishing I was in the situation that the hero/heroine was in. Whenever I would watch The Little Mermaid, one of my most favourite movies of all time, I could hear myself when she sang "Part of Your World". That song, in many ways, became like a mantra for me. No matter what I was doing in my life, no matter how hard or easy my situation was at the time, I would want to be part of someone else's world. This is a really sad realization to come to. I don't like that I have been dissatisfied with my life at times, because my life has really been a good one. Not to mention, after I have had an experience in someone else's shoes, I am desperate to get back to the stability of my own life.

So I currently have the acting bug. This must mean that I am somewhat dissatisfied. Perhaps it is because I am at home now, and being a SAHM is not something I ever thought I would be. Maybe because I don't see myself moving forward for many years to come. The only changes I see happening to myself will be experienced vicariously through my children's accomplishments. This, of course, is not a bad thing. After all, what could be more satisfying than seeing your children take their first step? Or attend the first day of school? Or play their first game of tee-ball? Yet, I still have the acting bug.

I am looking for a creative outlet. I need something to distract and re-direct my thinking so I can realize how good I really have it. I don't want to do something silly like audition for a show. Being in a show with two small children at home is, perhaps, the worst idea ever. I need something creative that I can still do while being a mommy. Any suggestions? I have already spoken with my worship minister and pulpit minister so they can give me a project for church, but they haven't yet gotten back to me in this regard. They may not even have anything for me to do. Does anyone have any alternate ideas?