Monday, December 06, 2004

Catching Up

It seems like my life is flying by so fast right now, my brain doesn't have time to catch up in processing it all. Writing it out always helps me, so here goes.

The Subject of Bitterness...

I have decided that I am tired of exposing myself to bitterness. In life in general, but especially in the blog world. Don't get me wrong. I am all about exploring your feelings, and sadness and anger are just as valid as happiness and joy. Sometimes, it feels like they are actually more valid and real. However, there is a big difference between expressing those feelings to get them out and reveling and/or wallowing in them. It can get addictive reading a bitter person's blog. Let's face it, "I hate all you bastards" is a lot more interesting than "Isn't life grand?" or even "I went to Walmart today and bought some double-stick tape." And bitter people seem to cause a fair amount of blog "trolls" to come out of the woodwork, usually starting a heated comment engine firestorm, which is always good to get your blood boiling for a half hour's worth of reading. (And some trolls aren't actually trolls, just people presenting a different point of view, which always frustrates me when other commenters are so quick to jump on the "Fuck You, Trollie" bandwagon.) So yes, the bitterness is interesting. But do I really need that hatred and venom in my life? I've I don't. Sort of like watching "Fear Factor." Do I really need to watch someone ingest squid testicles? It may be out there for me to "enjoy" but it's probably best for me to avoid it.

The thing about bitterness is that it is entirely avoidable. Life can be crap. Life can be hard. You don't always get the thing you want, and sometimes the person next to you gets it without even asking. Then they win the lottery and get to move to Aruba. But you always have a choice in life on how to handle it. Just counseling and medication are great bitterness fighters. I have an aunt who is bitter. For her, the glass is half empty and filled with poison. I tried for years to be sympathetic and a listening ear. But after listening to a rant about the evils of me registering for baby gifts at the dark empire, Wal-Mart, then laughing at my daughter's chosen middle name, I decided enough was enough. Go ahead and be mad at life and God...but don't drag me down with you.

The Subject of Working vs. Staying At Home-

I went in to talk to HR this past week. I found out the grand total of how much I will make while out on maternity leave, including all the half pay, deductions and insurance increase and whatnot. I actually laughed out loud when I saw the amount on paper. The HR lady even apologized. "I know it's a small least we get maternity leave pay, even half. I remember back when you had a baby, you just went without pay for five weeks then hurried back to work." I know. I wasn't mad at her. But I'd just been turned down for a small raise a few days prior (apparently, I was on a salary "track" that I didn't realize I was on) and I've been weighing the cost of daycare greatly. I've been very open to working after the baby comes, and still am, but I guess I was hoping from a large neon blinking sign from God that I am doing the right thing. I haven't really gotten that. Instead, I've gotten more and more of my stay-at-home mom friends begging me to stay home with them, so we could go to the park with our children and eat sack lunches.

The Subject of Control-
I've been trying a little experiment lately. I've been attempting to trust my husband more. When he says, "We've got enough money. Stop worrying," I am trying to do just that. When he says, "Everything is going to be okay," I have been deciding to believe him and just go read or fold laundry. I figure that if he's willing to be in charge of all those things that stress me out, I should take him up on it. So far, it's working out pretty well.


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