01 February 2008

This I Believe

I have many beliefs - social beliefs, political beliefs, emotional beliefs. My beliefs are a central part of who I am and why I react the way I do to that which happens around me. But today, rather than write about those beliefs, I'm going to write about another belief that I have a harder time verbalizing. My belief in life after death.

I was baptized Catholic, had my first communion and believed in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost for much of my formative years. It wasn't until I'd moved to Florida at 15 that I started looking at other religions. I went to Youth Group with my best friends in high school, an Assemblies of God church. That was where some of my hot button topics, like abortion and sexuality, came into play. (Strange, isn't it, that it wasn't the Catholic Church where these questions came up. I think I was too young at the time to realize they were hot button topics.) My friends would speak about how abortion was always wrong, how those that were gay were sinning, and I couldn't get my head around that thinking. I think that's where I first started breaking from the church, though I did flirt with it once more when I got to college. Though, to be honest, a large part of why I went to service in college was because it gave me a chance to sing.

After college, I started thinking more seriously about what I believed. I had friends that were Wiccan, friends that were Buddhist, friends that were Jewish, Christian, Atheist, Agnostic... you name it, I've known someone who has practiced the religion.

Seeing so many believers of so many religions made me think that there couldn't be one true religion and the rest were all false beliefs. How could such large portions of the world be condemned to hell if the Christian view in which I was raised was the correct one? For all that the word is Belief, what makes one belief right and others wrong? And all of the religions that say "Ours is the only way" seem to rely on blind faith. While I have no problem with faith, it's the "blind" part that I have a problem with. It's difficult to tell the difference between magic and science when you're not nearly as advanced as those who are showing you their tricks.

I knew that there was something out there. I've had too many things happen in my life that I can't chalk up to coincidence. Too many experiences that border on the mystic. But what was out there?

I finally decided that it didn't mater what was out there. They all, in the end, were one in the same. Whether it is the Universe, God, Yaweh, the Great Mother... they all were one in the same - someone to believe in, to watch over us, to guide us. I don't think s/he/they/it care what we call them - for all that many bibles claim otherwise. The importance is that they ARE there more than the belief that they are.

I'm not sure if I'm getting this written as clearly as I would like to. I think I'm going to have to dwell on it a little more. I would like to discuss my beliefs with anyone who would like to, though. And maybe I'll take another go at writing this belief up, of clarifying it more, in a month or so.

It's sometimes easier to know your belief than it is to put it into words.

25 January 2008

Learning as the Year Progresses

I'm still a little slower going at some of this. I'm finding that keeping track on a daily basis of the things I do and the things I don't is beyond me. I can keep up with them, at least most of the time. With Rich's help, I've been taking my meds daily. I've made time to play with Teddy, read to him, sing to him... They're little things but I'm working toward them.

I've been trying to be better about keeping in regular contact with my family and friends. I haven't been so good about the e-mail answering, but what I really need to do is set a time weekly to take care of certain online things like e-mails. I'm thinking Sunday would be best since we don't usually have things planned for Sunday morning.

I also need to set aside some of that time for some of the writing I want to do. Some of it is lack of time and some of it is lack of organization. I'm starting to find that if I have a to do list with a little wiggle room, I work much better than if I just leave my days free to do whatever.

The house cleaning... that's something I need to work a bit harder on as well. I've had some very good days of cleaning where I've felt productive but thanks to some health problems, I've been told I have to take it easy. And since cleaning up after a toddler involves a lot of bending and lifting things to find what's been stuffed under what, I haven't been keeping up. I need to get back on that as well.

Making changes isn't easy. I have a lot of changes on this list. And some are going to take longer than others, I think. But I also think that having almost 3 years to accomplish them will make it all happen. I may not do something every day, but I will do them more times than not. And, in my mind, that is still a success. Especially if I can make them second nature by doing them often enough.

14 January 2008

When you fall down, you pick yourself back up again

I've been falling down on the daily end of my 101 in 1001. Some of it I blame on sickness. I had the crud that was going around last week and it made me apathetic about doing much of anything. But some of it was the fact that I ALWAYS lose enthusiasm after about a week or so. But this really is important to me, so I am trying hard to get back on the wagon and do what I've said I'm going to do. One of my friends on LJ reminded me that it takes 15 repetitions of something for it to become habit.

I'd fallen off the exercise wagon a little but I've jumped back on that this week. Rich and I are going to work out together six nights a week. Last night we did the strength training together, which helped a lot. I'm a bit sore this morning, but it's the good kind of sore that tells me I did good. I'm also getting better about drinking water. I drink at least 8 cups a day. At work, I keep filing my 32 ounce jug throughout the night. The next thing I need to do is work on my portions so I know exactly what I'm putting in my body.

I'm spending more time playing with Teddy, which is good. Of course, I'm also spending less time cleaning the house, which isn't as good. I did get the living room completely done this weekend, though. And as long as Rich and I keep up with straightening it every night after Teddy goes to bed, we should be in good shape. Today, I'm going to work on my bedroom.

I'm also trying to read more. I finished my first book, Broken by Kelley Armstrong. I just have to do the write-up for it. I've started my second book, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown, in preparation of reading a book about the truths and myths of the book that I picked up the other day. I've only missed one turn of SB so far. Right now, I'm waiting for Jason's reply so I can reply back. (Though I do have the off-list post that I need to reply to.) I'd stopped doing my daily Good Thing post, but I've started that back up in my LJ as well.

I've been bad about keeping in touch with people. That's one of the things that I'm hoping to change starting this week. I can't necessarily say today - I've go too many other things on my plate for today. But if I can do my To Do list for the rest of the week, I will put a time to answer e-mails as one of the To Dos.

I'm still committed to this. I've had a bit of a false start, but I am going to continue working on it. It doesn't have to be all at one time. That's what I have to remember. Maybe I can't keep up with certain things every day, but if I can start doing them until they become habit... I think it will be good for me in the long run. I'm going to become a better person. (Not that I'm a BAD person, by any stretch of the imagination, but everyone can strive to become better than they are and that is what I'm doing.)

02 January 2008

Still here on day 2

There were a few things on my daily list that I wasn't able to get to today, more because of opportunity than anything else. The big one was reading to Teddy. Teddy had a friend over today so there wasn't a lot of chances for reading. I did dance and sing with him and Ali though, so that was good.

I haven't been so good on the nail biting. I keep finding my nails in my mouth. I've got to get that stopped. I also need to cut the nails down like... darn. Forgetting who. But it was a great suggestion in LJ. I blame the late hour for my brainlessness.

The closest that I can get to a pay-it-forward was letting someone in front of me in heavy traffic today. Not the best, but not the worst either. There just weren't a lot of other opportunities.

All in all, I'm still on track, though. And that's what matters most.

01 January 2008

A good start for the year

I haven't done any of the one shot goals yet, but I have managed to keep up with most of the daily ones.

I made sure to take my meds this morning. I haven't had any soda yet today. I've been keeping track of what I've been eating over on SparkPeople. I wrote out my To Do list for the next three days. I cleaned the living room AND the dining room (though I didn't get to vacuum because the filter for the vacuum seems to be missing and we need to get a replacement).

My Pay It Forward is helping my friend Christie by watching her daughter tomorrow. My daily good thing about me is that I have a big heart. And I haven't bitten my nails yet today.

I had a chance to dance with Teddy, though I haven't had the chance to sing with him or read to him yet. The singing... might not happen today. I've got a sore throat and a cold. I sound horrid. But who knows.

I even managed to get my SB turn done - though it's a bit more... interesting than I'd expected. (Alex isn't very good at being sexy.) I'm even looking forward to the next post.

The only things I haven't done yet are singing and reading to Teddy and downloading our transactions. That I'll do when I get back on the bigger laptop, since that's where Quicken is located.

It's not a bad start for the new year, though. I may even work on Teddy's Birth Chart tonight. I'm not sure about that one, though. There's a part of me that really feels the need to rest and relax a bit rather than have a computer on my lap. I'm aching more than a little from all the stuff I've been doing lately.

Still, it's a good start to the 1001 days. I'm feeling good about getting there.