Monday, February 28, 2011

The Cheery Post

So, last night, I decided that my next post would have to be happier. So, here is my next post, full of things that make me happy.

1. House. I know it doesn't make any sense, but I really like watching House when I'm sick. And, no, I'm not a hypochondriac. If anything, I think it's because I like a show about someone who has chronic health problems and I feel like I can relate to him. Even if he's a total sociopath. But I like how he's growing and maturing. I also like that it's not all happening at once. I feel like the show is striking a pretty decent balance between making House grow up and not making it magically happen all at once.

I caught up with the current season until last week's episode. Between yesterday and today, I watched five episodes. And now the stupid internet is making me wait 8 days after it airs. I want more House!

2. Pooh quotes. I saw this quote in my CFS online support group and it made me smile:

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you."

And then I found this other one when trying to figure out exactly where the first one was from:

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.

So sweet.

3. Bobblehead DSD. Apparently the athletic department at Union made a bobblehead of Dr. Dockery. And someone created a website. I smiled so much.

4. More seriously, my family makes me very happy. They love me so much, and when I'm alone and sick and lonely, they talk to me on the phone and cheer me up. Today I remembered how my parents drove down for my neurology appointment last fall, and how the summer before they came and cleaned my apartment for me because I was too sick to clean. Plus, my dad spent almost a full week in Iowa City with me when my apartment flooded. And, not related to sickness but equally awesome, my brother came down for my birthday this year! When I'm wallowing in self-pity about how sick and alone I am, I need to remember how much God has blessed me with an amazing family.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Torn

I get so confused sometimes. I feel like God tells me things, I try to do them, and then they don't work out. And I know that we as Christians are trained to say things like, "God is teaching us something in the process," or "Maybe he's preparing you for something in the future, just not right now," but a part of me feels like we use those ideas as crutches, as safety fall-back answers when we're too afraid to admit that we don't understand God, when we're afraid that admitting our confusion mean admitting doubt about our clean, neat theologies. I'm not saying that it's "good" to doubt God, or to doubt what the Bible says about him. But I think we need to be honest when our experiences don't seem to match up with our theology. We need to be honest with ourselves, and we need to be honest with God.

First, there's this whole "called to missions" thing that I've been passionate about my entire life. I don't remember a time when I didn't want to be a missionary, and since I was ten years old, I've strongly believed that God was calling me into missions. A couple of times, I questioned the calling, but time and time again, I felt reassured. And I was willing to be wrong. When I was at my worse with CFS, I just assumed that I was being hard-headed and that God was doing what it took to show me that maybe I needed to serve him in the states. But then I got better, and the whole Kenya possibility just fell into my lap without my even looking for it. After the accident, though, I realized there was no way I could afford to go to Kenya this summer. I started praying about what I could do in the meantime, but as hard as I look, there's no organized cross-cultural ministry in Cedar Rapids, and even if I find one, I'm too sick to add anything to my schedule.

Which brings me to my second, and maybe bigger, point of confusion. This summer was amazing, and I came back feeling so much better, like God was giving me more health so that I could do awesome things for his kingdom. So, I started working with the youth group. Last fall, near the end of the semester, I began to get sick and had to take a break. In January, I started back up. These past two weeks, though, I've not only had to skip youth group but haven't been able to leave the house on Sundays even for church. Plus, the last time I was there, we had 13 students and 7 adults. It was awkward, and I think we have too many adult volunteers for so few kids. But this is where I felt God was calling me, and now I feel like not only am I too sick, but I'm also not really "needed," at least as far as numbers go.

And in the wider realm of things, the whole CFS thing is confusing me, too. Today, I re-listened to a sermon from a couple years ago about how God grants greater blessings than marriage or children to those who remain single. One of the best sermons I've ever heard. All about how the way we serve the kingdom as single people magnifies the truths of the gospel. I was really energized and okay with being single for a few hours until I realized that I don't have any energy to do anything awesome with my singleness. I'm not definitely healthy enough to go overseas, and I think that God's protecting me from going over and getting myself sick by making it financially impossible to go right now. I'm hardly able to show up to youth group. In fact, I'm hardly able to make it through the 50+ hours of grad school and teaching stuff I have to do every week and I have hardly any social life because of it.

Why has God led me to these different places and then said "stop" and "wait" and "no?" I know the theological reasons. But thank goodness for the Psalms, where writers can ask God hard, emotional questions--where we can know that it's okay to question God as long as we go before him with our questions. Because, right now, things aren't making the best emotional sense.

This hasn't been the most chipper of posts. In fact, it turned out way more rant-y than I thought it would be when I started typing it. But it's late, and I've gone to the work of typing it, so it would be a waste of time to delete it just because it's depressing. So, I'll post it, and next time I'll try for a more cheery post :-)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Really Weird Dreams

So, I've had a few really weird dreams the last few nights. For example, a couple nights ago, I had a dream that I and the cast of Angel were together running away from a bunch of people with machine guns who were killing hundreds. It was kind of freaky. Then, I woke up and realized it was just a dream. But THEN, I fell back asleep and dreamed that I was talking to someone about that previous dream, and they were trying to convince me that it actually happened. And I was sitting there going, "But noo!!! I thought it was just a dream!!!!"

Last night was another weird dream. I got engaged, and the ring was really pretty and vintage-y with a giant round cut diamond, but it also had little beaded rings that attached all around it. Weird, yes, but in the dream I thought it was pretty. Except that my fiancé did not propose to me, he gave the ring to my brother to give to me. In the grocery store. (This grocery store happened to be the Wholefoods near Macalaster.) At first I was excite to be engaged, but then I realized, I'm not in love with this guy! Could I marry him if I wasn't in love? Well, I went to school the next day (grad school, but taking place in my old high school), and was really excited to show everyone else the ring, but then someone else had gotten engaged over the weekend, so mine wasn't so cool. Even though I had the WAY better ring. So I left school, and ran into my friend Kristina from high school (who actually did get engaged recently in real life). So, we talked through the situation, and I calmed down and realized that this dude who I was marrying was actually pretty nice so maybe I should give the engagement a try. But then I ran into some trucker dude who was acting like he was my dad, and he was talking about how my fiancé was such a good, honorable, and safe driver. And I was like, "What?!? I'm marrying a trucker?" We went out to dinner in Las Vegas to celebrate, but I wandered away and ran into some dude from college who was going to seminary, and I totally fell in love with him and wished I wasn't engaged to the trucker I barely knew. Then, Tricia showed up, and we talked through the whole situation, and I decided I had made a major mistake. So, we decided to go play games in Vegas. Meanwhile, the ring was getting bigger and the extra rings were taking up my whole finger so that I couldn't even bend it, and I couldn't get it off. At the end of the dream, I couldn't even get anyone to play the children's video games I wanted to play at the casino.

So, this is what I deduced from my dream. First of all, all the sadness about not being in a relationship, and therefore not getting married soon, and therefore not having a baby soon, that I experienced on Valentines Day (yes, I know it's sad that Vday makes me sad about babies more than boyfriends) was silly, and my brain knew that and was telling me, through this dream, that it's not worth it to marry someone I'm not in love with in order to have babies. Which I knew, because I've always known that if I'm not married when I'm out of grad school and can afford to, I'll adopt, so I've never (well rarely) felt like I needed to get married. (How that would work into missions is a whole other issue. Which is another debate I've been having with myself: missions vs. motherhood. I don't know if it's a fair debate, but they seem to be exclusive options lately.) Secondly, I've decided that I'm reconsidering my dedication to the princess cut diamond. That round cut diamond in my 1920s engagement ring was . . . awesome. Though also somewhat heavy. Thirdly, I've decided that I always have and probably always will have a thing for theologians, pastors, and Biblical language people. So, if I ever do decide that I need to get married, I should move to Louisville or something ;-) Fourthly, I've decided that the way the ring was taking over my finger reflected my fear of committing to and trusting someone with the rest of my life. Though I already knew that was an issue; I didn't need a freaky metaphorical dream to tell me. Finally, I've decided that my desire to play kids games in Vegas means that I should seek to reestablish the innocence of my childhood by sitting down and playing video games for several hours. (Props to those who get the reference.)

For those of you disturbed by this foray through my mind, I apologize. For those of you who have made it through the end and are amused, more props for you :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Good Distraction

Okay, so when I started this, I had no idea that it would take three hours to complete. I thought, maybe one hour . . . it will be a good distraction from being sick and not being able to do stuff. But then I kinda got sucked into it and it took three, one-hour sessions. Yep. That's how much I love TV.

Day 1 - A show that never should have been canceled
Firefly. It was so good. Good writing, good acting, good . . . everything. I just watched through it again and kept thinking, "Why Fox, why?!?" Seriously. But they did a good job making the most of it, and the movie wrapped things up really well. (Unlike Dollhouse where they tried to fit three seasons of development into half a season when Fox cancelled on them.)

Day 2 - A show you wish more people were watching

Castle. I love Nathan Fillion, I love Castle's relationship with his daughter, I love the Castle/Beckett-i-ness, and I love Ryan and Esposito. Plus, the writing has only gotten stronger. For a show this good, a surprisingly small number of people are watching it.


Day 3 - Your favorite new show (aired this TV season)

I'm pretty proud of myself that I haven't hooked onto any new TV shows this season. I've cut my "regularly followed" shows from seven last year to four this year. How's that for self discipline?

Day 4 - Your favorite show ever

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I just rewatched it, too (part of my "watch every season of every Joss Whedon show in a year" plan), and I think I love it more each time I watch it. I love the way it deals with themes like redemption and sacrifice, I love the depth and complexity of the characters, I love the wittiness. I love how much is resounds with my experience of life. Seriously, I'm obsessed.

Day 5 - A show you hate

Okay, I hate to say this because everyone who hears this is shocked and surprised, but I really did not like Veronica Mars. I watched four or five episodes from different points in the show, and every time I did, I asked, "Why did I do that?" I've had lots of conversations with a friend about why that is since we both thought that Veronica Mars would
totally be the kind of show I would love and obsess over and since I have such a "film noir" kind of personality. What we finally came up with is that I like the dark edginess, but I like it to have a rounded, full shape; I'm fine with sharp edginess as long as it develops out of a beginning and comes to a conclusion. Whereas, with Veronica Mars, the edginess is the starting point of each episode and it doesn't end at the conclusion, and the whole show feels like that. SO, I don't think it's that the show is too dark for me. I think that the darkness is just too freeform. If that makes sense?

Funny story, though. The first time Shari or I ever saw an episode of Veronica Mars, it was the torture episode, and we both freaked out so much that were slightly paranoid for the remainder of the evening and we had trouble sleeping that night.

BUT, all that being said, I actually have to admit that I really want to try to like the show. I'm continuously tempted to give it another try. Haha. I'm pathetic.

Day 6 - Favorite episode of your favorite show

I like all of the classic "favorite Buffy" episodes like Touched, End of Days, The Body, Once More with Feeling, etc. But my own, personal, unique favorite is probably "Wrecked." I love Willow, and I love the way that the show deals with her addiction struggle. I also love how well it deals with addictive relationships. This episode captures so many things better than I have seen them shown in other situations, or even explained in simple words. The sickness and self disgust that Buffy experiences the morning she wakes up with Spike, the way that she pulls into herself but hates herself at the same time. The way that Buffy is so angry at Willow, the way that she confronts her, the way that Willow breaks down, in fact, I'm just going to post the script:

BUFFY: Get up.
WILLOW: I screwed it up, everything, Tara...
BUFFY: Yeah, you know what, you did screw up, okay? You could have killed her! You almost did!
WILLOW: I know! I know! I can't stop, Buffy! I tried and I can't.
BUFFY: You can.
WILLOW: I can't! I can't, I ju ... god, I need help. Please! (sobbing) Please help me, please.

And then the scene later, when Buffy and Willow talk, and Willow is all wrapped up in a blanket, looking so broken, so alone, and Buffy is standing in the doorway. It's such a good "tough love" moment, and yet complicated by the fact that Buffy is trying to help Willow but not being honest about Spike. It's just so . . . real.

Okay. So that's my favorite episode of Buffy.

Day 7 - Least favorite episode of your favorite show

When Shari and I began watching through Buffy this summer, we forced our way through every episode, even the ones we didn't want to watch, and we were surprised that some of them were actually not as bad as we remembered them. But there are a few tied for least favorite still. Probably the two worst are "Teacher's Pet" and "Ted."

Day 8 - A show everyone should watch

See, this is a problem since the shows I like generally don't appeal to everyone I'm friends with. And I wouldn't make everyone watch any one of the shows I like. Buffy and Gilmore Girls are probably the ones that the most people would like, though.

Day 9 - Best scene ever

Wow. This is hard. So I'm going to list ten of a few best scenes ever.

BUFFY:
1) Spike's "You're a hell of a woman" speech and the scene that follows in "Touch."
2) Xander's "Yellow crayon" speech and that whole speech in "Grave."
FIREFLY:
3) The funeral in "The Message."
4) The opening scene of "Objects in Space" with River wandering the ship and reading everyone's brain.
ANGEL:
5) Lorne and Lindsey in the season finale. Lorne's exit.
6) The final scene of the finale.
CASTLE:
7) Castle and Beckett's conversation and then holding hands at the end of "3XK".
8) Ryan and Esposito's torture scene in " ." Not because of the torture, but because they were so awesome during it.
NUMB3RS:
9) The scene where Don faces Buck Winters at the end of "Arrow of Time."
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER:
10) The scene where Marshall finds out his father has died and says, "I'm not ready for this."

Day 10 - A show you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving

House. I actually hated House for years. I didn't like the idea that they made his sociopathy funny. But then I saw a few episodes from later seasons and realized how much House was awesomely Sherlock Holmes-y, and I love Sherlock Holmes, so that helped me love House a little bit. But I was still upset about how his meanness was a humor point. THEN, though, I saw a preview for the premier of last season, and I was like, "What? House finally admitted his problem and is getting help? This is going to be the best thing ever!" And then I marathoned through season 5, and it was so good! I kind of love when shows deal with addiction problems, especially when they deal with them well. (Willow's story line in season 6 is one of my favorites ever.) And then, season 6 . . . even better! I think they kind of lost their awesome momentum this season, but I still watch the show and hope it gets better.

Day 11 - A show that disappointed you

Heroes. Like Veronica Mars, I really expected to like Heroes based on the premise. I watched the first few episodes when it came out. But it just never really did it for me. So I stopped.

Day 12 - An episode you've watched more than 5 times

"Once More with Feeling." I probably watch it around twice a year. And I sing from it frequently during the rest of the year. In fact, the first Christmas I knew Shari, I gave her the music book for it, but it was kind of self-serving because we sing from it together all the time. So I get to enjoy it too.

Day 13 - Favorite childhood show

I was one of those kids that didn't watch much TV. Mainly Arthur and Bill Nye. That sort of thing. But, I have recently started watching Invader Zim. No, it's really not kid appropriate, and I'm still confused about how it ended up on Nickelodeon for two season. But even though it grosses me out at moments, it's also super intellectually funny. And I love Gir. A lot.

Day 14 - Favorite male character

Tough one. Spike from Buffy, Wesley from Angel, Booth from Bones. It's a tie.

Day 15 - Favorite female character

Faith from Buffy and Angel. Seriously. Love that character so much. I want her tattoo. And maybe to be her just a little bit. I do a happy dance whenever she shows up on either show.

Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure show

How I Met Your Mother. Not that it's a bad show, but the ratio of redeeming elements to, well, un-redeeming elements (can that be a thing?) is greater than I normally allow for shows I watch. I think there were more redeeming elements in the beginning, and then I waited for Barney to grow up, and then I thought he would, and then he didn't, and then I thought he would again this season, but . . . not so much. But now I'm hooked, and I love the characters, so I keep watching.

Day 17 - Favorite mini series

1995 Pride and Prejudice. Probably. The recent BBC Sense and Sensibility was also pretty good, though I prefer the Emma Thompson. I like mini series, but I don't have any I'm obsessed over.

Day 18 - Favorite title sequence

The original Numb3rs title sequence. With all the equations and the "we all use math everyday" and the fun little, "do-do-doo-do-do-do-do-do" at the end.

Day 19 - Best TV show cast

Easy. Dollhouse!!!! I can't believe that a cast that amazing only lasted together for two years. Okay, so first of all, I find out that Eliza Dushku, one of my two favorite actresses of all time, is returning to TV. I'm elated. I'm jumping up and down, I'm so happy. But, then, I find out that Olivia Williams, who was my favorite actress even before Eliza Dushku, is also going to be in it? I can't begin to explain how awesome that was. And then, Amy Acker? YET ANOTHER FAVORITE ACTRESS!! Plus, then, Alan Tudyk and Summer Glau show up, and I love them! Plus, Fran Kranz and Enver Gjokaj were really quite amazing, even though I didn't know about them before.

Random note. I love Felicia Day. But I didn't love her character in Dollhouse. I mean, it was okay, and Felicia Day was great as always, but I didn't really connect to her character at all.

Day 20 - Favorite kiss

I don't know if I really have one, but I do kind of love the kiss at the end of "Once More with Feeling." It's a combination of "I just want to feel" and "Finally! Buffy and Spike!" that makes it good.

Day 21 - Favorite ship

Buffy's taken over this meme, so even though I love her and Spike, I'm going to go with another Buffyverse relationship--Oz and Willow--and a non-Whedon-ship: Rory and Logan.

Day 22 - Favorite series finale

As far as doing finales right, I actually have to say that Friends did a really good job. And, then, of course there's the obvious answer "Buffy," and "Angel" and "Dollhouse" were also pretty good.

Day 23 - Most annoying character

I actually was never a very big Paul Ballard fan in "Dollhouse." I thought he was kind of flat and annoying. Probably not "most annoying ever," but in terms of unused potential, he really bugged me.

Day 24 - Best quote

Haha. Oh this is hard. I actually wrote a post about a year ago with my 1
0 favorite Whedon speeches. But, I'll just list three here:

Spike, Fool For Love, Buffy

Death is your art. You make it with your hands, day after day. That final gasp, that look of peace...Part of you is desperate to know... What's it like? Where does it lead you? That's also a warrior's question. A warrior's curiosity.So you see, that's the secret. Not the punch she didn't throw or the kick she didn't land. She simply wanted it. Every Slayer has a death wish. Even you. The only reason you've lasted as long as you have is, you've got ties to the world. Your Mum. Brat kid sister. Scoobies. They tie you here but you're just putting off the inevitable. Sooner or later, you're gonna want it and the second that happens, I pray to God I'm there. I'll slip in, have myself a real good day.

Anya, Hells Bells, Buffy

I, Anya, want to marry you, Xander, because I love you and I always will. Before I met you, I was, like, a different person. Not even a person, really....and I had seen what love did to people. It was hurt. And sadness. Alone was better. And then suddenly there was you, and you knew me, you saw me, and it was this...thing. You make me feel warm, and safe. So I get it now. I finally get love, Xander. I really do.

Wesley, Not Fade Away, Angel


[Why] don't I go off and have one last perfect day? Smell the flowers, or sky-dive [. . .] or whatever the hell one is supposed to do in this situation? There is no perfect day for me, Illyria. There is no sunset or painting or finely-aged scotch that's going to sum up my life and make tonight any . . . There is nothing that I want. [. . .] The first lesson a watcher learns is to separate truth from illusion. Because in the world of magics, it's the hardest thing to do. The truth is that Fred is gone. To pretend anything else would be a lie. And since I don't actually intend to die tonight, I won't accept a lie.


Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)

I have a few on my list. I want to give SGA a try. And I also want to watch Modern Family. But I'm going to get through my current shows first.

Day 26 - OMG WTF? season finale

Bones season 5. Weird, confusing, and then . . . SO SAD! But also so good. But, really, most Bones season finale's are pretty awesome and crazy and good.

Day 27 - Best pilot episode

I think I'd have to go with Bones. Actually, I think Bones has one of the best first seasons of any show. The cast and story line is strong from the beginning. And the first episode doesn't feel as much like the cheesy "hi, everyone, let me introduce the premise and the characters to you," as most pilots do.

Day 28 - First TV show obsession

I watched other shows, but Buffy is my first and (still) strongest obsession. I could go on about Buffy for hours. Oh wait. I think I already have.

Day 29 - Current TV obsession

Right now I'm on a 30 Rock kick. I watched an Ace of Cakes episode where they made a couple cakes for the show
and cheesy blasters. And I thought cheesy blasters sounded so awesome that I should give the show a try. True story. So, in the past three weeks, I've watched through two seasons of the show. And I love it. A few episodes have bothered me, but overall, it's funny, quirky, and smart.

Day 30 - Saddest character death

Fred. First of all, because I love Fred. She's sweet, and nerdy, and strong, and really, really smart. Not to mention super pretty. But, then, her death really struck me because she 1) cried out for her stuffed bunny and 2) asked Wesley to read A Little Princess to her as she was dying. And, even today, my stuffed bunny is probably my favorite "thing" in this world--even moreso than my French Horn I call "baby," and my favorite book growing up, from about second until sixth grade, was A Little Princess. And it's still one of my top three books read as a child. Plus, what they do after Fred's death with Wesley and then when her parents come to visit . . . it's so good. And so sad.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sick=Bad; George Eliot=Awesome

Being sick is no fun. And it's even worse when you're at that level of sick where you're too sick to do anything but still not so sick that you're immune to boredom and loneliness. Today, I went to my ophthalmology appointment and a 10 minute car appointment and, afterwards, I was totally wiped! So I came home and hung out on my couch and computer all night.

I'm so glad that my CFS is better. Because a day sick right now is like a normal day last spring. So thank you, God, for that.

I do hope I feel better enough to do stuff tomorrow, though. I have big plans to clean my apartment and read The Mill on the Floss. Speaking of which, I love George Eliot. Middlemarch was a struggle to get through, but I loved it. The first chapter of The Mill on the Floss, though, might have some of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever read:

How lovely the little river is, with its dark changing wavelets! It seems to me like a living companion while I wander along the bank, and listen to its low, placid voice, as to the voice of one who is deaf and loving.

I am in love with moistness, and envy the white ducks that are dipping their heads far into the water here among the withes, unmindful of the awkward appearance they make in the drier world above.

So good.

So that's my incentive for getting better. A clean apartment and awesome George Eliot-ness.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Codependent with the Internets, or how the world wide web makes me feel better

So, this is what I do when I'm feeling down . . .



I also watch other TV shows, like




I "window shop" for pretty things (I'm thinking of getting this, but have never bought clothes off ebay): http://cgi.ebay.com/Target-limited-edition-black-halter-cocktail-dress-4-/400172977554#ht_657wt_761

I also sometimes take stupid quizzes, go on "celebrity news" kicks or randomly read up on random people just because they're famous, research random diseases and disorders, and spend way too much time AIMing.

Yep. Who needs friends when you've got the internet?

Monday, February 14, 2011

All's Well that Ends with Orange Chicken

Today was a weird day. It started off with a presentation in Romanticism which, I think, went well. We'll find out for sure when I get the paper back. After Romanticism, though, I checked email and found a rejection note from the English department for Dickens Universe, an awesome Victorian convention-y thing in Santa Cruz that I was 99% sure the department would choose me for. Major disappointment!

The rest of the day was okay. Not crazy awesome, but not bad. I was still working to get over D.U. disappointment, though. And, on the way home, I started thinking about Valentines Day. At first, I was excited because I had the evening free and decided to have some fun, me time. But then I started thinking about last year's Valentines day and how it was one of maybe two of my favorite dates I've ever had . . . even if it was just eating Chinese food and watching Sense and Sensibility. And then I started thinking about my other favorite date ever, and then . . . I started missing people. Thankfully, however, I snapped myself out of it and decided to go ahead with the fun evening. So . . .

I made orange chicken! I hadn't had anything slightly resembling Chinese food in a year since I can't have soy, ginger, allspice, garlic, or most other things you put into Chinese/Americanized Chinese food. But, I decided to be creative and I came up with a really awesome recipe. So then I sat around eating with chopsticks and watching 30 Rock and feeling all around awesome.

Oh, also, another thing I didn't mention in the transition from "grr" Valentines to "yay!" Valentines . . . I got three Valentines in the mail this evening! One from Amber, one from Shari, and one from Aunt Jo. Saturday, I got one from Taryne, and my parents told me that their card is on the way. Five Valentines for one Valentines day is a record I don't think I've hit since elementary school. And then I think there was a rule that you had to give one to everyone, or something.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's Amazing What You Can Do When You Feel Good

As amazing as it may be considering the week I've had--reading 4 books, 11 articles, and a play, teaching, working, and setting up a website for a conference all on little sleep--I woke up from an excellent night's sleep feeling great today. Which was good, since I had so much to do. Since I woke up, I've run a few errands, worked out at the Rec Center, read a book, written the first page of a paper on the book (blogging is my break before page 2), and managed to watch 2 episodes of 30 Rock and an episode of Angel as well as make a decent dinner. Many Saturdays, I'd either not get half of this done or I'd get it done but feel miserable and cranky about it. Today, however, I have more energy than I've had in ages, and I'm actually enjoying all this productivity!

I wish I could feel this healthy everyday. It's so hard for me to not overdo on my good days. I feel like it's the only good day I'm going to have for awhile, so I need to push myself super hard to fit a lot into it. Of course, the result is that I crash the next day and feel miserable for the next few. It's also hard, though, because I just have so much to do that I need to take advantage of my energy when I have it. So, I'm learning to find a balance between taking care of myself and getting stuff done.

Sometimes I'm tempted to resent the fact that I have to work and envy those people with CFS who can stay at home and actually take care of their bodies. Having been at the point where I really shouldn't have been working and considered quitting grad school because I was so sick, I know that I don't actually want to be so sick that I can't work. I just wish that I didn't have to force my way through 50 and 60 hour weeks with a body that can probably only healthily handle 30.

God is good, and I've made it through thus far. I love what I do, and that helps a lot. I also appreciate that I feel so much better than I did last year and that I have the energy to make it through without becoming paralyzingly sick every weekend. I just sometimes wish that I could work when I feel well and say "hey, I'm too sick for this!" when I don't.

But I love days like today. I love being able to do my work and really enjoy it. I love that work can be "fun" when I have enough energy to tackle it.

Also, I think it's funny that "taking a break" from writing a paper means doing more writing, but on my blog :-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Friendships

I've decided that I'm officially in a transition phase socially. The past two weeks, I've realized, I don't have a lot of friends in the area. At least, the kind you can call up to do something or hang out with on any regular basis. In three of my closest relationships in the area, two moved and one just slipped away. (And I'm trying not to be bitter about it, but . . . I am.) On this subject, I have two thoughts. First, it's sort of sad when it takes you a few months to realize that you're alone because you're too busy to notice. Secondly, though, it's kind of awesome that I'm not more frustrated with the situation. Last Spring, when I was housebound and sick so much of the time, I prayed that God would teach me to be okay when I was alone and trust him to be everything I need. And I think that my current situation is evidence that he's answered that prayer to some extent! Because, really, I'm not lonely. Sometimes I want to hang out with someone, but I'm happy with my alone time. And I feel like I can really go to God like a friend more than I felt before. Though, that being said, I am hoping to develop some more friendships :-)

On that note, I'm getting together with a woman from church tomorrow who is a friend! But, the kind of friend who has six kids and is really busy, so we don't hang out a lot, but I love having her as a friend. And I'm excited about forming more relationships at church. Even if I am one of only two young, single women that I can think of in a church of maybe 200 people. I'm all for diverse friendships!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Birthday Weekend and Other Thoughts

This past weekend was my birthday weekend, and it was sooo goood! James came down from MN to spend the weekend with me, and we had a fabulous time. Friday night, on my actual birthday, we went grocery shopping for yummy supplies and then came back and ate spinach and artichoke dip while watching Gilmore Girls and then ate cheeseburgers while watching XMen 2. (I had a cheeseburger with a bun and real cheese! That hasn't happened in . . . 10 months? It was awesome. Yay birthday diet-cheating!) Afterwards, we were talking about swing dancing, and I said, "I want to swing dance!" So we put on a Frank Sinatra song and danced around my living room. James has been a part of a swing club for the past three years, so dancing with him is awesome. When you have a good lead, it makes you feel awesome even if you're really . . . not. Then, I opened a card a present from my parents, and we ate cake and watched more GG.

Saturday, we went to HuHot for lunch and then came home to make cupcakes. In between batches, we watched half of the first season of The Guild. And I likes it. Felicia Day just makes my heart happy, plus I feel nerdy solidarity with the show. The cupcakes were for Sonia and my joint birthday bowling adventure that evening. We had a really good sized group that took up two lanes, and it was super fun. Then, James and I came home for more cake and more GG!

This week included an awesome snow day-and-a-half which allowed me to clean my apartment and do lots of reading. School reading, but still fun. Today, my aunt and uncle came from the Quad Cities to have dinner with me, and that was also great!

In other thoughts, I don't think I'm going to Kenya to teach this summer. I was praying about it a lot, but a few things happened that seemed to be God saying, "not now." First, the accident, which cost me a significant deductible, and then I found out that I'll probably be going to the Dickens Universe (a Victorian convention-y type thing) in California this August. I struggled for awhile, because I didn't want to just not trust God to take care of the money, but then these bigger things seemed to be pretty clear signs. And I guess it's good for me to realize that the most important thing was that I was willing to trust God with the money if he told me to. And once again God teaches me about "waiting." It's hard, because I so want to do missions and be overseas doing awesome stuff for the kingdom, but every time I want to go, a tornado or chronic disease or financial situation comes up and God says, "wait!" I know, though, that if God doesn't send me overseas right now, he'll use me in some awesome way here.