Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Belong

Five Minute Friday

I am once again participating in Five Minute Friday.  Lisa-Jo is on vacation, so it is being hosted this week by Crystal Stine!  The topic for the week is “Belong” – the rules are always the same.  Five minutes of writing with no editing and no second guessing.  So, here goes:

I love the feeling of belonging.  I guess you could say I long to belong.  I have always felt this way to a certain extent.  I don’t know if it is a reaction to my mom’s seeming resistant to “belonging” to anything.  She didn’t like organizations.  She didn’t get involved in groups.  And even when I was on teams when I was younger, she would choose the more solo efforts required of parents rather than getting involved in group planning, etc.  Part of it may have been my dad’s alcoholism.  Part of it was probably her constant doubting/judging of herself.  But, there was definitely a resistance there.  So, maybe my want/need to belong was a sort of rebellious action.

In high school, I ran for student government despite being one of lower status on the high school social scales.  I was a successful athlete, so I had some recognition despite the fact I didn’t really dress right and my hair was always short and somewhat lacking in style due my 4 – 6 hours of swimming everyday (I was on the swim team, diving team, gymnastics team – I didn’t have time or money to have fancy hair or clothes).  But, I ran for an uncontested office and won.  I also participated in our county’s Jr. Miss competition and won and was able to compete for the State title.  Again, not exactly where I “belonged,” but I loved it.  It seemed like it opened up a whole new space for me.  A space where I was part of a group.  I was “approved”.  I did social things due to my participation in these groups.  It was fun.  It was social.  And I loved it.  I decided that even when I didn’t quite feel like I belonged somewhere, I could still be a part of something.

I am still fighting that battle.  I join mom’s groups.  I went to my church’s women’s retreat despite not knowing another person at the church yet.  I volunteered at VBX and loved it.  And I’m sure I will be involved in my daughter’s school next year.  I don’t always feel like I “belong,” but it is still good to be part of something bigger than myself.

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Lost

Five Minute Friday


I am joining Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday again this week.  This week’s writing subject is “lost”.  So, here goes!

I often feel lost.  Lost in the whirlwind of my life.  Lost in my to-do list.  Lost in a bleak view of things to come.  But, this week, I have lost something else.  This week, I was lost in love.  Not the type of love that leads you to serious relationships, but the type of love that makes you feel worthy.  It isn’t often that I feel lost in love anymore.  But, this week, I felt like those around me were truly loving on me.  They weren’t hugging me or saying they loved me.  But, they were showing me love.  They were inviting me to be a part of “them”.  They were sincerely interested in me and how I fit with them.  They were appreciative.  They were inviting.  They were friendly and attentive.

I like this feeling of lost.  I like being able to feel comfortable and safe and belonging.  Being lost in those things is being lost in grace and love.  Being lost in those things is being lost from all those stressful things in life.  And being lost in those helps me to find myself again.

Done…your turn!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday (6WS) – Christmas Edition

Cookies, presents, lights and more – SCORE!

I am officially done teaching for the Fall 2013 semester.  I still am finishing up my grading, but I am feeling good about being able to get that done before Christmas next week.  Today I have a Christmas cookie exchange, for which I am taking the easy way out and making green and red crinkle cookies from a box cake mix (I am not a baker extraordinaire, but the color seems festive and my chocolate crinkle cookies last year turned out good, so I feel safe doing these).  For a little more flavor, I am adding crushed candy canes to the red crinkle cookies.  I hope people aren’t offended by the simplicity of them.

In addition, since I’ve been busy teaching and finishing up my semester, I have not had a chance to Christmas shop at all.  So, we’re going to get a sitter and do some tomorrow or Monday I think (maybe Monday would be better for less crowds).  We don’t go overboard on presents, but I am going to do Four Gifts for my daughter and I need to buy for my family members since we’re going to my mom’s and/or sister’s for actual Christmas.  We are delaying celebrating with my in-laws until after the new year, which gives me some time for those.

We are planning many trips out and about to see the Christmas lights as this is one of my daughter’s favorite things now.  We listen to Christmas music and drive around ooohing and ahhhing for a while and she absolutely loves it.

Overall, I am very happy where this season seems to be for us!  Now, to hold on to that momentum and make 2014 an equally happy and healthy year!



Social Saturdays #2 – Fail


I included Social Saturdays in my blog lineup because I wanted to force myself to form a community where I live.  A community of real, live people I see face-to-face on a regular basis.  I have a ton of long-distance friends, but not so many in my own city, my own workplace, etc.  I find it difficult to get and stay involved in group activities.  It is especially difficult because of my schedule, but it is also difficult because being with people who I don’t know very well seems exhausting to me.  I either feel constant anxiety about fitting in or I feel constant shame for not really caring about fitting in (depending on the group I’m with).

So, I have avoided social activities the past couple of weeks.  I’ve had decent excuses, but I’ve missed multiple opportunities for being social with work mates and community groups.  I definitely need to force myself to do some social things.  I did go to church last week, but I don’t really talk to people there other than shaking hands at the beginning of the service.  I plan to go tomorrow as well – and maybe I will force myself to talk to some people – at least ask them a question or comment on something while having coffee before or after the service.  I have an opportunity to go to a crafting group tonight, but I’m a little short on money for the next couple of weeks and I already have huge babysitting expenses for next week because my husband is traveling for work during the middle of the week, so I don’t feel like I should spend even more money we don’t have to go out tonight.  Plus, I have so much work to do around the house and for my jobs (see, good excuses).

I guess if nothing else, having this in my blog lineup forces me to recognize when I’ve been totally unsocial.

How do you all meet people and find people that either (1) don’t make you anxious about yourself and/or (2) you actually want to spend time with?  There are some people who I think I would really enjoy spending time with, but those are never the people who are at these events I go to.  I would like to think of myself as a social being, but I find myself acting more like a recluse most of the time.


Social Saturdays #1 – Roller Derby

2013-08-10 19.28.41Tonight’s Social Saturday post has me experiencing something new – Roller Derby!  I have known about our local Roller Derby for a while now, but have not got around to going.  My mother’s club had this as a social, but only me and one other mother ended up going.  Luckily it was a mother who used to be in a playgroup with me and we know each other pretty well.  So, it worked out.

Roller Derby is a pretty strange sport, but I loved the local, small town flavor of the event.  People brought their own chairs to avoid the uncomfortable bleachers (where we sat – and it was painful after a while), some brought home made signs cheering on the skaters, there was an over-21 area where beer was sold by a local bar, but the rest of the place was free of alcohol and full of families.  Even though the local team got blown out (I mean, seriously blown out – It was something like 234 – 79 when we left with about 5 minutes left in the…what do you call it, game?), the whole experience was fun.  I definitely would like to go back and do it again.  They have another in September and I may try to get a group of people together to go.

In addition to tonight’s Derby, I also got my hair cut (pictures to come someday soon – I tried to take a selfie tonight, but the lighting in here is horrible) – much shorter and I really love it – and attended a classmate of my daughter’s birthday party at the park.  That was social as a few of the parents from preschool were there and I was able to chat with them a bit while watching our crazy kids play.  Overall, today was a good day.  I felt like I accomplished many things – I was able to throw chicken and salsa verde in the crockpot so my husband could eat nachos tonight while I was gone, get my hair cut, shop for a birthday gift (I have a new go-to gift for kids that makes it simple – colored pencils in a cute little decorative box that reminds me of Peter Rabbit, a package of stickers and a notebook or sketch pad, all bought at our locally owned bookstore downtown), shop for salad fixings (the party was a potluck), make a pretty decent looking salad (another go-to I now have – spinach, strawberries, blueberries, avocado and pre-sliced chicken with Raspberry Vinaigrette or Poppyseed dressing on the side), go to the party and stay until the bitter end, rush home, drop off a dirty, dusty, but happy child, and go out to the Roller Derby!  Makes me feel like an active participant in life!

Tomorrow I leave to go to my in-laws for five days.  I have a dog/house sitter scheduled.  I have quite a bit of laundry to fold/finish doing before we leave, but the kitchen and dining room are clean, the dishes are clean in the dishwasher, most of the laundry is washed and dried, just not folded.  I still have to pack, but that shouldn’t be too bad…I hope.  We plan to do a couple of days on the coast by Santa Barbara and then a couple of days back in Bakersfield with my in-laws (but I plan to get a hotel room so we can have a bed big enough for us all and a swimming pool available for my daughter whenever she wants to swim – it will be her last swimming hurrah of the summer so-to-speak, so I want to give her some time for that).  Then we come back home and I kick off my Fall semester of teaching with a coach’s conference for our regional speech and debate association on Saturday (while my husband takes my daughter to another four-year old birthday party for twins in her preschool class – that should be interesting) and my husband leaves yet again on Sunday to go to the Bay Area to leave on a working retreat to Lake Tahoe on Monday (jealous of the Lake Tahoe thing…not going to lie).  I have many, many meetings that week, but my daughter is back in preschool so it should be a little easier to manage.  But, I also need to get our car-buying done that week (which is a nightmare for me so far…I hate the whole process) so we can start fall with a new car for my husband to commute to work.  I also need to figure out whether I can really get our truck registered (it won’t pass smog, but I’m going to try to use our waiver program to get it registered for one more year – and we can either piecemeal repair it over that time, since it runs great, or buy another car next year to replace it).  So, so, so much to do and so, so, so little time to do it.  Sigh…

Wow – that Social Saturday really got off track there at the end…but, it feels good to write everything down that is coming up in my life.  Hopefully I can figure out a way to make it all work and work well – just like today.