Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More Declarative Deliberately Positive Statements

I am a damn good assistant.

I know this because everyone at work was very dismayed to see me leave on my last day, which was yesterday, Monday, and not Friday as they had told me on Thursday. And if you think that’s a lot of yanking around, you’re not the only one.

God does not want my next job to be in a Pay Per View division.

Because if He did, He wouldn’t have given me a creeping dread feeling as the Woman Who Would Have Been My Boss described the job duties in the interview today, which included “a very busy desk” scheduling four different VP’s schedules for an upcoming big deal event at Cannes in April. I just came off a three month chaotic job. I don’t wanna dive back into another one. I would like to breathe.

I deserve a chance to breathe.

This is not laziness, this is self preservation. This is also honoring a big part of myself that thinks I deserve a job that I like. For most of my day job career here in Los Angeles, I have taken every job I could without a thought of whether I’d like the job. To me, liking your job was not required. It was a frivolity, and anyone who ever said they liked their job was fronting a happy face to hide the moaning wounded monster inside

So if I’ve never liked any job I’ve had, it seems I SHOULD have taken the Pay Per View gig. (I can just hear My Mother The Phone Harpy Who I Love Very Very Much banging out that tune on her anxiety piano. No, Mom, it’s not cute. Knock it off.)

But no, here’s the crazy thing. I wanna be DIFFERENT! I wanna be HAPPY! I deserve that chance! And if we’re a month from now, and I’ve resorted to digging up roots in the backyard for food and filling up bottles from the water fountains at the gym, fine, I’ll take the next crappy job, even if it’s Corporate Law or Commissary Finance. But I deserve the chance. Because….

I do not have to live in fear that I must take the next job BECAUSE it is the next job.

Which is something my Temp Agency does not understand. In fact, they tried to guilt me into taking the Pay Per View assistant gig. “You may not want this kind of note on your Temp To Hire record.” Oh yeah? Well, you can take your Temp To Hire record and lovingly, filled with God’s Supreme Goodness, gently SHOVE IT. What the hell does that mean, my Temp To Hire record? I wouldn’t even have a Temp to Hire RECORD, would I? There’d really be only one entry on the Temp To Hire record, the one where I was HIRED, right? Jeeze Louise.

Fine, if you’re gonna hold a grudge (and we don’t know that they’re gonna do that), never place me again. I’ve got other temp agencies I can go to. I scored a perfect 100 on the Excel test. People beg to have me as their assistant. Just like the Pay Per View folks did today.

I do not have to settle, no matter what other people want me to do.

No I do not, No I do not. No, I do not. I’ve only got one entity to please in this life, and it’s not the Temp Agency, it’s Mr. Alpha and Omega. And if He wanted me in that job, then He wouldn’t have put such strong negative feelings in my stomach that I SHOULDN’T be there. I have hope. I have faith. I trust that His path is leading me somewhere else. There’s gotta be more than one door to open on the Temp Agency path than the first one. God usually doesn’t want you to go through the first door on any other paths of your life, like I Understand The Meaning Of Love , I Know Exactly What I’m Going To Do As A Life Occupation, or I’m Absolutely Correct In Every First Impression I Make. So why would the Temp Agency Job path be different?

I deserve every good thing that God sees fit to give me. Not because of anything I’ve done, (because I can’t earn His love) but because He’s that good, and that wonderful, and He loves me that much. And He is going to give me good things both tangible and intangible, even though typing that sentence makes me fear I’m sounding arrogant. I’m not. I’m declaring a deliberately positive statement.

God is leading. I’m just the one stumbling behind. He knows what’s going on, and He’ll clue me in soon. No “hopefully” about it. He will do it.

He will.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

Enforced Secret Joy # 29 –Freebies at Work

So it looks like today, Friday, is officially my last day at this temp gig. Which is only sudden in that everyone, including my bosses, had been operating under the assumption that NEXT Friday was going to be my last day. But the Powers That Be that run the Finance Department issued the decree that if you really want her to stay another week, you have to come talk to me and justify why. And rather than take up the gleaming sword of She’s Amazing And We’re Helpless Without Her, my bosses caved. They are HOSED, I tell you, and they’re gonna realize how much they needed me to stay, oh, about 9:02am on Monday.

I’m not upset, I knew the end of this particular job was in sight. And as many blog entries can attest, it’s not as though I liked this particular assignment. There is a concern that the temp agency may not have an assignment ready for me to start on Monday, so I could work without a break, but while not working means I go back to eating Ramen and drinking rainwater from the roof, at the very least it gives me more time to WRITE. Those zombies aint gonna kill themselves, ya know.

I’m not looking forward to the multiple good-byes I’ll have to do to in the department. I hate those kind of things. Sure, I can temper it with the whole “I’ll still be on the lot somewhere, as soon as the temp agency places me,” and “You can always request me to fill in for anyone in your department if you have a need.” But the act of saying “Good bye, thank you for everything, you’ve been wonderful to work with,” over and over again wearies me.

But something I WILL miss is all the freebies. The office supplies are a given. Reams of paper, stacks of post-its, boxes of pens, everything an aspiring screenwriter needs to be a happy brainstorming baby.

But since my division was a small part of Marketing and Promotions and Publicity, what I didn’t expect to see was all the free FOOD. It must be from regional clients that the Unnamed Movie Studio works with year round. I’ve been here through two holidays, Christmas and Valentine’s Day, and the amount of free edibles was STAGGERING. Baskets of goodies that one person simply cannot consume themselves, so they put it on the counters in front of their desks, signaling anyone to come by and help themselves.

Chocolate truffles, vanilla chocolate covered pretzels, toffee candy, and more Sprinkles Cupcakes than any one person should scarf down in their lifetime. There was an authentic Mardi Gras King’s Cake last week. It was YUMMERS (no, I didn’t find the plastic baby baked inside. Apparently enough cakes had come through to where certain folks knew exactly where the baby was and went for that section first.)

Everyone in the department has their birthday in January, so there’s usually birthday cake in the kitchen once a week. Not to mention the dozens and dozens of lunch meetings held in the conference room that require catering from the commissary, and that food goes to the kitchen as well. And while I felt like Templeton the rat, scavengering through the left overs for three months. I have to say it was damn good eating.

So when I got the news late last night that today was 90 percent likely going to be my next day, this red velvet cupcake eased the sting. (I am a huge fan of red velvet cupcakes now.)

Dear God, thank you for this job. Thank you that it’s ending. Thank you for the consistent paycheck it provided, which allowed me to continue to pay my bills. And while I don’t know what Monday brings, I trust You to continue to lead me towards the jobs You want me to have. And if I’m being honest (and why not, with You, since You know everything anyway) I have to say that I didn’t understand why You led me to this particular job, since it was so stressful and stupid at times. But if the reason really was as simple as You wanting me to experience a continual stream of baked goods and candy, then thank you thank you thank you. (Yes, I’m sure that there were other reasons which will become clearer later.) Thank you for cookies. Thank you for the free soda. Thank you for the bottles and bottles of Arrowhead water. Thank you that every Friday is Bagel Friday. Thank you that my sense of discipline is such that I was able to indulge and not gain fifty pounds. Thank you for these silly things in life which make other things like stressful jobs bearable. And thank you for this cupcake, which might be the last free one I get. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

How Did Happy Go?

My sister Agatha and I traded calls all day yesterday, always missing each other, and now she’s busy watching AMAZING RACE because she’s on the East Coast feed and has no time for me, ha ha ha. But the message she left yesterday is a keeper, because she was calling in between a party for a bridal shower and drinks at another bar, and needless to say, she was a bit tipsy. In between giving me the important details of how tipsy she was, she said “Hope, you know, that happy mood is doing well for ya, because for me? It IS!”

So how IS my happy mood doing, without the benefit of bridal party shower alcohol? Well, I can certainly tell you all that it IS exhausting to consistently be HAPPY. C’MON! GET HAPPY! GET HAPPY AND STAY THERE! DON’T MOVE A SINGLE MUSCLE FROM THE HAPPY ZONE! DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! AH! I SAW ONE CORNER OF YOUR MOUTH DROOP INTO A FROWN! CUT IT OUT! You start to feel like that poor newscaster in Batman. Hysterical painful laughter leading to death because the Joker dosed your lipstick with Happy Poison.

So what happened was Happy kinda boiled down to a Pleasant Bemusement. Which is still better than Mopey Whining.

I’m not lying, it does take work to consistently focus on the happy, or pleasant stuff. I’m not saying my heart got instantly lighter. But I did smile more. At silly things.

Like this morning at church, Percy and Petunia’s little baby Paddy was wearing the Jack Skellington baby hat I got for him. (and me without my camera, but it looked a bit like this.) I held him for two seconds, then when I tried to pass him back, he reached for me, because he doesn’t know I don’t really like kids, I just like to buy Jack Skellington baby hats for them. So I end up holding the little guy for most of the songs, which was funny.

Like the other baby girl, who’s a bit older, but not by much, and she was wearing a cornflower blue dress, and held on to her mom’s hands while her pudgy baby leg stretched out and pudgy baby foot pointed like she was skipping along the sea shore. That was amusing too.

Like Lewis the Dog and his Pink Puppy Paw Pads , who’s staying here for the weekend, and when Roomie Jekyll and her boyfriend left to go see a movie, he jumped up on the couch to wait for them to come home, like a cat would, here.

Like how my goal yesterday was to name the characters in my zombie script, and several folks at the Act One reunion dinner were more than happy to volunteer ideas, including their own names, and how we discovered one of them had parents named Dale and Gale. Dale and Gale! How can that NOT make you smile? I ended up not only naming my characters, but figuring out the first and third act while I was at it. (Second act? We don’t need no stinkin’ second acts.)

It’s the little things, folks. If you find enough of them, it could almost constitute a lot of waking moments that could constitute a life.

I think I need to take my camera around with me more often.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Enforced Secret Joy #28 – Skirts and Boots

I haven’t worn skirts on a regular basis in years. YEARS. Like, right after high school, I think. And I don’t even think I wore them that much in high school, but I do recall a skirt or two on my body during that time. But it was always the chaste kind, where the hem is coming down to your ankles, because it’s September, and it’s cold, and it seems very fall like to wear a long skirt, and high school principals frown on Le Miniskirt, and blah blah blah.

When I hit college, it was ALL about Hey! I’m on my own! I’m gonna wear what I want because there’s no Mom staring at me across the kitchen table! So no skirts. Ever. Which seemingly has persisted to this day. Sure, there’s the occasional dress I wear to church during the Christmas holidays and the random wedding here and there, but no skirts. Ever.

There’s a psychological block at work. I inherited most every genetic trait from my Dad, the Great Stoic Wonder, and that includes my tragic bowedleggedness (He is also to blame for the genetic code that wakes me up at 5:30am in the morning.) Seriously, when I was a competitive gymnast in high school, my coach informed me that I was getting points docked during my balance beam routine because the judges kept thinking I wasn’t straightening my legs when they actually WERE straight. Just bowed. This high school coach also cracked the joke that “you could drive a herd of wild pigs through your legs,” they were so bowed. I didn’t like this coach much.

So the last thing I wanted to do would be to don a skirt that would highlight this unfortunate quality. But now here I am, working in Corporate Dilbert World, worse, in Marketing and Advertising, where every girl sports every trendy fashion they can pick up from Vogue, and every day someone’s wearing the skirt and boots get up.

I thought maybe I should try that look myself, since the boots would offset the bowlegged quality I was concerned about. And I also thought that it was high time I just got over myself already. I’m a chick. I don’t HAVE to wear jeans and pants all the time. Guys can’t wear skirts unless they’re Scottish, so I should embrace the feminine aspect o’ me and all that crap.

So when I was at home for the Christmas holidays, I picked up a skirt and boots combo, which you see here. And I’ve incorporated it and other skirts into my wardrobe on a weekly basis.

And I’m truly surprised at how much I like wearing them. Not only do I look like I belong in Marketing and Advertising, but they make me look GOOD. Sexy, even. Like a chick. Sure, the corporate length of the skirt goes a long way to hiding the bowed legs, but it’s the boots, definitely. No demure two-inch heels for me. It’s boots all the way, baby. I can type 90 words a minute AND kick your ass in my almost knee-high boots, I can.

Dear God, thank you for skirts. Thank you for boots. Thank you for MY skirt and boots. Thank you for giving me the strength to once again get over myself, though it wasn’t so much an active act of will as it was more of a “Um, okay, fine, whatever,” kind of letting go. But it still counts. Anything I achieve that makes me feel better about myself has to have Your hand in it somewhere. Thank you that I’m a girl. Thank you for my bowed legs, not because I want to, but because it feels like something I should say. ☺

Thank you for the fact that nobody walked into the office bathroom when I was taking these pictures in the full length mirror, because they would just think I’m weird, instead of the truth, which is the only full length mirror in my house is in Roomie Jekyll’s bedroom, and I have to leave for work before she wakes up. Thank you for letting me acknowledge and embrace this part of me: Amy + Boots & Skirt = Goddess (in a completely non-competing deity kind of way.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Deliberately Positive

It hit me the other day, when I was responding to my buddy Donald, who was apologizing for not reading my blog lately because he had lost the link. I wrote, “You probably don't wanna read my blog these days, because I've been stuck in somewhat of a funk and the blog entries are REALLY whiny.”

And it hit me. I don’t really want to be this way. I don’t wanna be whiny. I don’t wanna be in a funk. You guys don’t wanna read about me being in a funk. You guys don’t wanna read about me being whiny.

I’m reminded of Say Anything. I know a lot of people remember a lot of things about that movie, but I’m always the strange one that remembers the odd stuff, so here ya go: Greatest Man Ever Who Doesn’t Exist In Real Life And Has Sent Many A Girl Despairing Lloyd Dobler is having an argument with his sister Constance, and he says

“How hard is it just to decide to be in a good mood, and then be in a good mood?”

Constance’s withering reply is “Gee, it's easy.” But she’s a single mom with a little kid in a crappy apartment with her brother staying on the couch and the parents in Germany. I have no such excuse.

At the same time, I was reading on a friend’s Myspace page how her acting teacher had told her this:

The moment you start seeing life as non-serious, a playfulness, all the burden on your heart disappears. All the fear of death, of life, of love - everything disappears. One starts living with a very light weight or almost no weight. So weightless one becomes, one can fly in the open sky.

The fluffy weightlessness and “fly in the open sky” bit aside, the part about not taking life seriously, to make like Lloyd, to decide to be in a good mood and then BE in a good mood, was something I thought I should try to do.

So I approached Friday with that mindset. I was going to view life as though it was a game today, that nothing that would happen today would really MEAN anything, because it’s all a game, a piffle, a bit of nonsense and stuff.

Because that’s essentially what a temp’s life is, right? Nothing really counts, or is consequential, because you’re not really there. I mean, the professional integrity thing spurs me to do the best job I can, and because I’m human, I can’t help but feel bad if something goes wrong. But if something does go wrong, so what. 99.9 percent of the time, it’s not my fault, so they’re not going to fire me.

I was off to a good start, as I had finished my latest Christmas monologue for Joseph’s poker playing buddy, Big Al (what? They did TOO play poker back in Jesus’ day!) When I get to work, there’s plenty of stress going on, as some people have let the fax machine run out of toner and not ordered a new one, other people can’t type in email addresses correctly and get frantic when the emails bounce back, other people are having shitfits because they’re moving their trip dates around and we can’t get them hotel rooms, blah de blah blah.

But I don’t get stressed. I’m viewing it all as a game, like I’m looking at those people through a glass wall, watching them tear their hair out. I know better than to get stressed with them, that won’t solve anything, I’m just here to help, and even if I’m asked to do something I already know the answer too. “Could you please go check to see if Bonehead is sitting on that document I need?” “The fax machine is broken.” “Could you please just go and check anyway?” Okay, I think to myself, but it’s not going to be there. But if you want me to, sure I’ll go. Lo and behold, I’m right, there IS no document. And I’m (inwardly) laughing at how funny this is all turning out to be.

Coincidentally, all around me, the marketing and promotion chicks are buzzing about The Secret, The Secret, have you heard about The Secret? Well, yes, actually, I have, I heard about it at a birthday party last month, and the girl that told me about it said something like, “If someone else tells you about it within a week, you have to go buy the book.” Which is actually a brilliant marketing idea on their part. Nobody told me about it within a week, but everyone’s talking about it now, because it was on Oprah on Thursday.

All it is, is another self-actualization book and movie, saying that you control your reality, and if you put out negative thoughts out there, that’s what you’ll get back. If you put positive thoughts out there, that’s what you’ll get back. The Biblical version of it is Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

And there have been plenty of times in my life where I’ve stood in my backyard, stretched my arms out wide, prayed the neighbors didn’t look over and see the Crazy Chick In The Backyard, and put out to God and the Universe In General what I wanted. Not that I was going through a wish list, I want a bike, a pony, and a CAR, but things I was actively working towards, and what I wanted to have happen. None of them happened, and at the time, it brought me down, made me miserable, made me doubt, scream, throw margarita glasses against the side of the garage, la la laaaaaa.

I recognize the folly of what I was doing at the time, telling God what I wanted, as opposed to asking Him to tell me what He wants me to do. But what was also missing was after I stood in the backyard and asked God for things, I then squared my shoulders and went through my day with a grim determination, like life was a chore, life is a hassle, I’m just trying to keep my head above water, and not drown in a sea of despair before a life raft in the form of a sold script comes along.

So right here, right now, I’m making a declaration: I’m going to put myself in a good mood and stay there. This is different than clinging on to an already happening good mood. This is a conscious, rational, reasonable decision. I’m DECIDING to enter a good mood and will focus all of my conscious effort on STAYING there, and DEFLECTING any little gnats of negativity that might try to buzz through. I’m having good days only. Because honestly, given my usual tendencies, the most twisted peculiar going against my grain thing I could do would be to live deliberately positive.

Therefore, I’m deliberately declaring these statements:

I am an awesome writer.

I will sell a script.

I am attractive and have an amazing ass that grabs the attention of everyone I know, men, women, gay or straight. I used to have a problem with this, but I DON’T ANYMORE.

I am worthy of being loved.

I am MORE than worthy of being loved. I am an absolute GODDESS. I am funny and interesting and independent and strong. I’m talented, thoughtful and resourceful, like MacGyver but different (thought I did unblock my ignition lock by digging out a twisted piece of metal with a pair of tweezers this morning.)

I am not like any other woman you know and that is a GREAT thing.

Making these declarative statements does not make me a loser, it makes me focused on the positive parts of me. So there.

Let’s see how the week plays out.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Enforced Secret Joy # 27 – The Puppy Bowl!

I’m not into pro football very much, since I prefer the jaw dropping boneheadedness that comes with freshmen newbies in college football. I used to be really into the Superbowl for the commercials, but with all the internet hype and ad meters magnifying every second, that’s not much fun anymore either. Since I am not a guy, the Lingerie Bowl doesn’t do a thing for me. But God in heaven above saw fit to correct the lack of Amy Options On Superbowl Sunday by smacking some smarty pants at Animal Planet with the idea of the Puppy Bowl, now in its third year.

It doesn’t matter that the Superbowl itself is officially over, you can catch clips of the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet’s website.

There are no rules, there is no rhyme or reason, it’s exactly what it sounds like. They built a Puppy sized stadium, threw a bunch of puppies in there, a bunch of chew toys, trained about 10 cameras on them and hoped for the best. I’m sure there was plenty of peeing, pooping and humping, but it’s all been carefully edited out. (though there are a couple of times where a ref calls a time out to clean up the field, ha ha ha.) There’s even a puppy tailgate party outside. They’ve thought of everything.

Seriously people, I dare you to watch more than ten seconds of this and not find yourself oddly hypnotized by the cute little fluffy bundles of love. I got Roomie Heckle, who’s called cuteoverload.com “porn for girls” in the past, to watch five seconds of it and he was HOOKED. “I can’t…I can’t believe this,” he sputtered, not being able to stop himself from sinking down onto the couch as Sonny the puggle faced down three Samoyed puppies. “Somebody over at Animal Planet is a f’ing millionaire for thinking this up.” And yet he couldn’t stop watching. Roomie Heckle’s buddy came to pick him up to go to their Superbowl Party, and sank down onto the couch too as Jackson the golden retriever puppy kept picking fights with Milo the French Bulldog (who sported a neck vein so bulging I really did think it was gonna pop at some point.) Then Roomie Jekyll came in, “What the f are you guys WATCHING?” she says, but as soon as she saw the Bowl Cam (they stuck a camera underneath a transparent water bowl to get super close up shots for puppy tongues lapping the water, and puppy feet including PINK PUPPY PAW PADS splashing around) she was hooked too. It’s a drug, people. You don’t wanna stop.

Dear God, thank you for the Puppy Bowl. Thank you for the silliness, the inanity, the puppies. Thank you for the patient Referee and his vacuum. Thank you for the cameramen who might have thought at one point there has to be better gigs than tracking the movements of a directionless pack o’ puppies with no game plan. Because honestly, there ISN’T a better gig. This is it. Puppies, squeaky toys, pink puppy paw pads, sniffy noses and cockeyed ears. Thanks for the kitten halftime show, too, because even though I’m not the biggest kitten fan in the world, kittens playing on a playset to disco music is damn funny. Thank you thank you thank you. Amen.

P.S. Thank you for Prince’s halftime show on the real Superbowl, because he RAWKED. Thank you especially for his cover of “The Best of You.” That was my favorite. Amen.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Return Of The Whiner

Once, a long time ago, my sister Agatha had a roommate Tabitha who was well versed in the art of tarot card reading, and occasionally would do readings for me. YOU’RE GOING TO HELL FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE DARK ARTS OF TAROT! Ha ha ha.

Anyhow, there was one reading she did for me where the card that was the centerpiece of the reading was the Five of Cups card. While the picture on the card she used had a guy with his head of the table, I couldn’t find that one, I found this one instead. The intent is the same: you’re either a guy crying with your head on the table along with three spilled cups of wine, and two full ones behind you on the mantel, or you’re a cloaked, vaguely Byron-esque guy standing with your back to the reader, and your empty cups in front of you, your full ones behind you. The point is you’re crying over the cups o’ wine that you lost, instead of seeing the cups of wine you still have.

And the definition of this card is one you would expect from a picture like this:

Represents regret over past actions or over a loss in a relationship. The seeker has suffered a loss or disappointment and is grieving. As with every loss, this initiates a change. There may be some obsession over past wrongs. It's time to put that behind and move forward. Concentrate on what you have, not what you lost.

In fact he (Mr. Quasi Lord Byron) becomes so caught up in his grief and remorse that he turns his back on the two upright cups that are sitting right there. (Mr. Quasi Lord Byron) reminds us that where we focus our thoughts we also focus our energy. In our lives sometimes feelings of loss will be present. It is in those times it is important to not become too attached to the emotions of nostalgia and regret, but to turn around and shift our focus to those two upright cups... the blessings and abundance that already are there. In so doing, we make way for more abundance to flow in while working constructively to heal our grievances.

And as Tabitha nicely lectured me, “Stop focusing on what you don’t have, and look at what you do.” I tried to point out to her that three cups of wine is definitely more than two cups of wine, so of COURSE I’d be upset if three cups were spilled. Tabitha said that was my whole problem right there.

That reading was so long ago that I honestly don’t remember what was going on in my life where those kind of predictions would have applied. And yet here we are in present day and present time and sometimes I don’t think I’ve learned a damn thing.

I’ve talked a bit about my Functional Depressive status before, and that’s what I was wrestling with this week. I’d like to think that Midlife Virgin is right, that it had something to do with the full moon. YOU’RE GOING TO HELL FOR ASCRIBING POWER TO THE MOON. Yeah, thanks for that.

It is not easy to live with the knowledge that a big part of you would like nothing more than for you to be miserable 24/7 for the rest of your life. That even when things are going reasonably well, there’s a Paranoid Circus in your head that likes to insidiously whisper how people are lying to you behind your back, how people are being untrue to your face, how them wanting to know how your week has been is really a polite front because they don’t give a shit, and they’re bored in your presence. Sometimes it’s not even insidiously whispering, they’re slamming a big brass kettle drum against your forehead, chanting over and over how you’re never going to sell a script, you’re never going to sell a script, you are not talented, you are not witty, the only thing you’ve got going for you is that you’re disciplined, and that’s wasted on you, you of mediocre talent.

See, I’m not saying these things because I want you all to leave comments telling me I’m wrong, wrong, whoop de do wrong, stop focusing on the negativity, stop crying over the three spilled cups of wine on the table, focus on the two full ones behind you. I KNOW those thoughts are wrong. The issue is I can’t make them stop. The Christian platitude of Give Them To God doesn’t do SHIT for me, because I’m always Hey God? Um, God? Could you, you know, keep Your promises that You talk about in the Bible, where you’re talking about laying our burdens at Your feet. Cast our cares upon You, and You will sustain them? ‘Cause, um, and I hate to be whiny about it, but IT’S NOT WORKING.

And maybe I’m misinterpreting everything, and it’s not that God will take them away, but that He will gave you the strength to sustain it. But, um, I don’t want to SUSTAIN, I want it to GO AWAY!?

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

In other news, at my church’s Home Group this week, we were talking about Ephesians, and God’s grace, and “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” La la la. One of the questions for discussion was to look back at our lives and look for times when you thought your life was going to be going this way “BUT GOD” had other plans. Most everyone had some sort of dramatic examples – planning on moving overseas when they got pregnant and had to stay in the states, job offers in faraway places, illnesses, deaths in family, the whole nine yards.

But I couldn’t come up with a decent example in my own life. Is that weird? Boring? Unfortunate? My life has been a on a pretty steady course. I came out here to write, I’m still pursuing it. Life hasn’t thrown any major curveballs in the form of illness, financial hardship, insane relatives, abusive relationships. Even the two times that I’ve been job hunting weren’t truly curveballs, as I had plenty of advance notice that losing my job was in the works.

And now that I’ve recognized it, does that mean I’ve jinxed it? That the next plane I get on is going down? Does it mean I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, if there haven’t been any major curveballs? And if it does mean I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, where is the final product? The results that are supposed to come from obedience? WHERE’S THE SUCCESS? Or am I supposed to take the lack of success as a sign that this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing?

See why I’ve been a little internally freaked and paranoid lately? Sigh.

Sometimes I torment myself by telling myself if you have the audacity to ask, to wonder, to question, then you’ll never receive it That asking God why aren’t things happening faster means I’m somehow setting the clock back for them to arrive. If I only have FAITH, if I only TRUST in God, if I pull an Orpheus and go down to get Eurydice from the Underworld and bring her back up to Earth without looking back to see if she’s still behind me, then BLAMMO, a script sells tomorrow. I know it’s stupid to think that way, I know that’s not how God works. But again, thoughts I can’t shake. And I wonder where His grace is that’s supposed to help me shake them.

I’m sorry the blog posts have been a series of downers lately. I’ll try to do better, I promise. Enforced Secret Joy post this Friday! I promise!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Enforced Secret Joy Post #26 - Pansies

Must do Enforced Secret Joy Post, must do Enforced Secret Joy Post, it doesn’t have to be long, just get something up there. Get back on the schedule, get back on the routine. Because the world has gotten far too dreary if I don't actively look for things to write about Enforced Secret Joys posts.

Is this even going to be coherent? I’m pretty manic today, and I don’t know what started it. It’s been so hard wrestling with mental shit this week. You all just THINK I’m calm, cool, and collected on the outside. Inside, though, I’m screaming at the top of my lungs, tearing clothes, beating heads against the metaphorical walls Why! Why! Why is this happening! WHY!?!?!?! No, I’m not explaining more.

If I happen to run into you this weekend, I apologize in advance for any drama I am unable to successfully suppress. You can only keep the lid on for so long, folks. On to the Joy.

Pansies! I like Pansies. I do. (okay, half of you are waiting for the obvious joke “And no, I’m not talking about English daffy guys that dance around.”) I like them even though the Freedom From Religion Foundation uses them as their corporate symbol. (I am NOT linking to them, you go look them up on your own.)

I don’t know why I’m drawn to the Pansies. Because they look like they have faces? Because Alice sings “Golden Afternoon” with them in Alice In Wonderland ? (before they turn on her because they think she’s a weed.)

I toyed with the idea of creating Amy’s Pansy Pot, since we’ve got a couple of spare gardening pots around the house, but I don’t think I have the strength to spend time upkeeping a flower that’s not a perennial. I’d taking the dying thing too personally.

So I like looking at anybody else’s Pansies. And I saw some on the Unnamed Movie Studio Lot today, which is pretty amazing, considering the Unnamed Movie Studio Lot is a lot of concrete and soundstages and parking garages and precious little greenery anywhere. So yay for that.

Dear God, thank you for Pansies. Thank you for their vibrant color, thank you for their face-like petals. Thank you that I was able to see some on the Unnamed Movie Studio Lot, even though this pansy bed is woefully dry and dusty (see previous paragraph about how Unnamed Movie Studio Lot doesn’t have a lot of lush greenery going on.)

Thank you for my life, which is also woefully dry and dusty and thus must be why You put these pansies in my line of vision for me to see. Thank you for Your grace and patience in listening to me whine, moan, bitch or otherwise complain about why I can’t seem to tame the internal winds of discord within my own psyche.

Thank you for this yellow pansy.

Thank you for blessing me, even though I am a rotten ungrateful brat who truly doesn’t deserve everything You have given me.

Thank you for this white and purple pansy.

Please let me gain control. Please let me gain control. And please send someone to water those pansies. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen.