Wednesday, September 30, 2009


What if my genius only comes out at night?
But by letting it out at night, I compromise my ability to work during the day.

I have tried to be a responsible adult and get to bed a decent hour regularly. Andrew and I have, for the most part, established a routine that guarantees a good night's sleep.

And being well rested, I can get up and go about my day successfully. I am more alert and energetic at work, which is a job I love. I enjoy life more when I sleep well.

But there is a restlessness within me because I am not writing. I have often blogged about my love for writing (cause where else is it more appropriate to share such love?). As I go throughout my day, I often wonder why I haven't sat down and produced anything. Thoughts flow in and out of my head all day, but nothing gets written down.

Then at night, I lay in bed, and the words start flowing together in wonderful prose. I read the words to myself in my head and I enjoy the stories I tell. I am persuaded by my own essays and I am touched by own soliloquies. But yet, there is no pen to paper.

Every now and then, I've created a document that so desperately needs to be written down that the words even start editing themselves to better prepare it for paper.
But by this point in the night, I should be in dream land.

If I were to actually write it down, that would require, at the very least, sitting up in bed to write it in the journal I keep nearby. And at minimum, it would engage my mind so much that sleeping any time soon would certainly be compromised. If I take to typing, I can absolutely forget about sleeping that night, as words pour out despite hurting and tired shoulders.

And it gets me thinking, is it worth it? Is it worth the exhaustion to get the words out of my head? Even if the farthest place they go is simply on the journal next to me.

Should I sacrifice my rest for my creativity? Or rather, should I sacrifice my creativity for my rest?


It makes me think of John Nash and his brilliance. The scene of his life that is most heart-breaking is him sitting on a rocking chair with a comatose expression, unable to access the genius inside of him. But it's for his good, right?

Not that I think I'm anywhere close to being a brilliant writer, but is sleep my anti-psychosis drug? Is it suppressing my genius? If it is, is it worth it??
If I am going to be restless even with a full night's sleep, am I doing something wrong? How can it be made right? Writing blogs certainly isn't going to pay the bills, and it isn't going to help fulfill my desire to teach students...

Thursday, September 24, 2009


the smell of a bonfire
the rush of cool air
the comfort of an old hooded sweatshirt
the sound of the band playing at a football game

drinking hot apple cider
shopping for halloween costumes
pulling out the scarves and sweaters
taking pictures before the homecoming dance

the color of the sky in the early evening
the start of new shows and returning favorites
the fun of celebrating birthdays
the race to the World Series

taking walks in the cool of the evening
watching the trees slowly change to red and orange
kicking off new programs at church
re-establishing the routine of school

what's your favorite part?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

fat cat

I have conflicting thoughts about my cat's weight.

You see, when we rescued her, she was so undernourished that we thought she was only 6 weeks old when she was actually 3 months old. And I didn't know anything about feeding a cat so I accidentally underfed her for the first few days. In my guilt and pity, I decided to always make sure she had more than enough food. We "free fed" her by overloading her bowl with food and leaving it out for her. When we saw it was getting low, we'd load it up again and let her have at it.

Flash forward a year. I notice how much she has grown and that she is an actual CAT now. So we switch from kitty food to adult cat food. But because of all the vacations and traveling (which I know I still haven't blogged about... sorry), it was just easier to have somebody stop by every few days and load up her bowl, so we kept up the free feeding habit. But I noticed she kept growing and I could no longer easily feel her ribs...

When our traveling was done, just before school started, we took her to the vet. He weighed her and then, as polite as possible, suggested a feeding plan. I wasn't surprised, but I did feel the conviction of being a bad mommy. We have since put her on the regulated food plan, which is still more than enough to eat, but just in small portions so she can't just eat when she's bored (which proves eating habits are LEARNED and not just genetic!).

She has been on the plan for a month and in that month, the conflicted feelings have overcome me. Am I a bad mother? Should I lessen her food more? Have I allowed her to become lazy?
Those are the predominant feelings.

But then, I thought "Isn't she beautiful no matter her weight?" "Should I really be concerned as long as she is happy" and all the other thoughts on self-image and confidence that we are forced to consider in our culture.

And I realized that self-image concerns can only go so far. For instance, they really shouldn't apply to a cat. I could be wrong, but I doubt she really cares that I call her fat cat. But also, I realized that they shouldn't get in the way of the overall health. Yes, I should love her no matter what and I will always think she's beautiful. But the fact is, she would feel a lot better if she lost some weight. She can't even enjoy playing anymore. She stops after just a few minutes and just lays down.

I wonder if we realize our concerns about self-image go too far.

I believe it's essential that everybody learns to love their inner-self. I believe that we should be looking at the qualities that make a person unique - their personality, sense of humor, intelligence, problem-solving skills, etc. I believe that people that are within a healthy weight range should absolutely believe they are healthy and beautiful. I believe growing boys and girls should be encouraged to keep growing. I believe anorexic models should not be promoted as ideal but instead fed a hamburger. I believe we should never call somebody ugly or insult them.

But I also believe that when we tell somebody they are perfect just the way they are when they are overweight (or underweight), we are denying them a better life. They are not their healthiest.

I am not my healthiest. I am denying myself a better life. I can't play too long without getting tired. I sit out way too much. I just need a doctor at a check up to politely suggest a diet plan. To simply suggest "these are good foods and good portions." I need to make more of an effort to push myself to play just a few minutes longer. Because I'm really not perfect just the way I am, physically speaking. If I lost some fat, gained some muscle, worked on endurance and ate the right kinds of food, I could actually experience health in a way my self-image could never give me.

And I bet I'd feel a lot better about the way I looked in the mirror if I wasn't sweating and panting from walking up the 2 flights of stairs to get to it.