Don't know if it's a cold or allergies..

But I'm up at 4:25 am and I just did my nasal cleaning, now I can breath again. Very annoying...I should have done it way earlier but thought I could get away with another night. Anyway, I was reading a blog (rock paper scissors) about how her kid has allergies. There was an interesting video from the perspective of kids who have allergies (food). I could totally relate not because I'm so allergic to foods (milk does a whammy on me) but about that outside feeling...feeling left out because you physically can't do something. It's that Charlie Chaplin feeling of looking inside a window, wishing you were inside and there's not much you can do besides walk away. Thankfully, a lot of people are becoming much more aware about allergies and being sensitive to this problem. On the whole, my allergies are much more under control (still get my allergy shot once a week and have my allergy meds 2x a day). I had a bit of a fall out last week after we crunched a bunch of dry leaves...the dust/pollen I guess was high (didn't have any rain for a few weeks) and this made me have a slight migraine. Still, I bounced back quicker than I used to. So, this was a relief.

With this current job I have, there is a lot of driving. Since I work primarily on the weekends, this isn't too bad but I am nervous about the snow. I hope my 4-wheel drive is going to be all right and I can handle the weather.

Jon splurged last night and got us a heated mattress pad. This is REALLY good (though I can feel the coils a bit) and keeps you warmer than a space heater. I really like it. Plus, it's not a pain to get out of bed and feel like you're loosing your warm spot. It actually knocked us out when we tried it...kind of funny; like falling asleep in a giant mother's arms. lol!

Now, I want to get two more for the gals and maybe even some for Christmas presents. The first time I heard about heated mattress pads was way back in the mid-90's. I was a Target cashier and one customer has just bought one. She said this is the best thing in the world...getting into an already warm bed. Since then, I've thought about that for nearly 15 years, apparently, and now I have one. How funny...

Last night was Lydia's first teacher's conference. Went well and for being 5, there certainly is A LOT of pressure to achieve well in grades and reading...all this in kindergarten. I think it's a bit overkill myself...I don't think reading is that much of a need at 5 or 6 even...Honestly, I didn't start to love reading until I was 10. Jon was much earlier in that department...but he was probably gifted or above level in this regard. I'm just glad she's getting attention she needs. I think one of the problems isn't so much that the kids need to read by 5 or 6 but that they have to go to all day kindergarten. This is a bit much, really. And I do know why it's like this...both parents are forced to work...sometimes 2 jobs each. To be quite frank, this really stinks and stresses the family out. I know it stresses me out having to do artwork and tend to kids and work on the weekends being away from the family. I feel like it's wrong and is going to give a whole lot of wrinkles and gray hairs to a bunch of people for no reason. But it's this or not paying the bills.

Actually, the real culprit is not being paid fair wages (as if this weren't obvious) and being stressed out to make choices that tear up families. I'm thinking of time. Time spent fretting about being "perfect" (no messes, fixed up to the nines home/car, or just not having the resources of people to help out when you need it such as child care) or time to just go for a walk outside of the city and stare at the stars.

It's funny how we devalue time by either watching too much TV (or internet) or else play video games and these things have little show for all the attention we give it. I recently talked to my friend, Caroline, and we both have a habit of sitting when we watch TV with something in our hands. It could be knitting, paints, a baby, etc. We just don't feel the need to immerse ourselves in TV or the internet. I'm not saying we should be multi-taskers or something like that...but rather, TV should be something that is very little used or is like background noise while you paint or talk with your kids. I guess I see it as fluff. I do focus on some shows but usually the writing is pretty bad and I can solve the story by about 10 minutes into it. Actually, if you're a good reader (read a lot of books) you can do this as well.

I've even gotten bored with movies and (hate to say this) some blogs because of the writing or lack of it or too much of it. I know this sounds critical but it's just my opinion and everyone has a right to their own thoughts (thankfully).

I guess I think it's best to just do what you want to do, don't worry about whether you sound good to every freaking person out there and do what makes you happy (as long as it doesn't hurt someone else). That's one of the realizations I had recently. I was stressing about an upcoming art show and how I thought I HAD to make sales. And I thought, why? If you sell one thing, great. If you sell nothing, that's all right too. The main thing is to have fun. This is a new experience for you, you're learning and have fun with it. That's the main point of this. Have fun, enjoy the day and show this little part of the world you're art. What more can you ask? So, I let go, as Jon said, and I feel a lot better and excited about everything. I'll do my best and have fun.

There is another thing I want to write about but I also want to give it an entire post...I was reading a bit from the Dali Lama about attachment and true compassion. I think this is the key to giving up hurt feelings and seeing people for who they are instead of what they are "supposed to be". One example he mentions is how we see our friends. If they react to us in a different way then we expect, we often feel hurt or confused. But if we see them without attachment and as true sentient beings, we see them as a whole person. I hope this is understandable because it's so important. If we see our friend as a whole, we understand that they have needs, frustrations, joys, and so much more. We see them as much as possible as a whole person and can react in a way that is compassionate. It's not a feeling a pity or that they are lower than the Dali Lama says, but as true compassion. It's a difficult thing to grasp as I think a lot of responses are based in judging and gossip, unfortunately (interestingly those are the very things Jesus taught against as well).

Once I understood this concept, I could see why I have certain friends in my life, am able to get past hurts I've been through and still have a lot to go. Let me just say, it answered a lot of questions of why _________ (fill in the blank). I'm going to eventually share the whole passage the Dali Lama wrote. It's a good feeling to find wisdom and thoughtfulness just by chance, it seems.


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