never stare up the stairs, just step up the steps…

When I was in second grade, I was enrolled in CCD at our church. The point was to instill me with a more fundamental knowledge of our faith — to help me realize more fully what it meant to believe in God, and what it meant to be Catholic. There was a textbook, with pastel paintings of Jesus and his disciples, helping the sick and feeding the poor. There were tests — memorizing the Commandments and reciting the Our Father. I needed to learn these things to make my first Holy Communion, to advance in my faith. The weight of the spiritual world was essentially resting on my shoulders, being this was the first rite of Christian passage that I actively was participating in.

But none of that mattered. The fear and anxiety of the tests and the practicing and the ultimatums (“If you don’t learn this, you won’t be able to get Communion,” which loosely translated into “You won’t be able to wear a pretty white dress and have your own special party”) completely paled in comparison to my true source of anxiety every Sunday: the open staircase that led to our classroom. Continue reading

5 (+1) things.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to come up with shit to write in here. Granted, once I start writing, I’m good, but finding the topic/inspiration to open WordPress to begin with can be trying.

So, I’m going to pick up something I tried before–both in this blog and back when I was a kid: Gratitude postings. Basically, I note 3-5 things from that day that were good/I was grateful for. It’s a good way to help shift perspective, and a good way to take the time to acknowledge some of the “little things” that otherwise might pass you by…

  1. It was a beautiful day. Seriously, pitch-perfect fall weather. I was in the office for most of the day, but I took a couple breaks and was able to step outside for a few moments each time and just freaking love the hell out of feeling the muted sunshine on my jacketed shoulders and watch the stark white clouds sail across a bright blue sky.
  2. My co-workers are hilarious. Now that I’ve been with my new job for almost a year, I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to work in a place where I like everyone I work with. Beyond that, they are hilarious. The past couple of days have included numerous e-mail chains with YouTube link one-upmanships, Photoshop/MS Paint fun, and various entertaining/clever exchanges that make daily office drudgery less drudge-y.

    In my next life, I will be an artist who exclusively works in MS Paint...

  3. Breaking bread. Dinner wasn’t anything particularly fancy tonight (although I did enjoy the Illiano’s yumminess), but it was nice to actually sit around the table and have a conversation with my family. Especially considering so many of our meals end up on the couch/in front of the TV, it’s just nice to exercise some of those good ol’ fashion nuclear family values every once again awhile.
  4. Rediscovering a favorite song. I’m still trying to figure out my new ride, but one of the big benefits (beyond 40 mph on the highway to the gallon) is the fact I can sync my iTunes to the radio. This morning as I was driving in, I was skimming the music I had on there and came across a song that was one of my obsessive jams from last winter:I really enjoyed listening to this about 10 times on the drive in, volume blaring, while I sing along. It was like catching up with an old friend after a long absence.
  5. A silver lining. This doesn’t really fall under “happy” news, but my friend called this morning to tell me her beloved bunny, Alejandro, passed away. She and her 2 sons were absolutely devastated by his passing and hearing the news made my heart sink, too. But there was some positive to the sad news: so many people expressed genuine remorse for their loss throughout the day via FB, which I thought was not only nice for my friend and her kids to see, but it also shows how people really are connected to their pets. Whenever someone apologizes to me for their emotional response when their pet is sick or has passed, I make sure they know no judgment is being passed their way and that I understand completely the love one feels for their anipals.Beyond that, I’m proud of Heather for really going above and beyond to help her kids process Alejandro’s death and to make sure they understand that it’s OK to be sad and OK to grieve. I admire the loving, intelligent way Heather handles her boys–letting them fully be children, but also taking their feelings, thoughts, and concerns seriously and always speaking to them like people whose opinion/thoughts deserve to be heard. Her FYI later in the day that there may be a memorial service for Alej, and it may be open to the public, only further proves the sweet, quirky, and brilliant lengths she goes to make sure she does right by her children.
  6. Light at the End of the Expressway. Super bonus that I almost forgot until just now: For the first part of my commute, I was followed by a full rainbow for a several miles of my morning commute:

    Not the best picture ever, but you take what you can get at 70 mph...


Choosing Happiness.

Holy shit. Apparently, summer is over.

And as most of you have noticed (and some of you have nagged me about), the blog has laid rather dormant during the past few months, although I assure you it’s not for lack of trying.

In fact, I just went through and browsed the many drafts that had been started, left unfinished, trying to get an idea for what’s been going on/what my mindset’s been when I write this prodigal son blog after months of silence. And it seems all these drafts seem to center around a common theme, or at least a common emotion: melancholy. Continue reading