Characters created by Morgan:
Aren't they fun?
I Knew Better Than That!
Wrestling has come to our house this year. It's a new sport for my best boy, and so far, he is getting physically dominated on a regular basis. Since watching and cringing are not helping, I've been paying attention in practice. I'm hoping to give him some helpful pointers. The boys rigorously chant some things. For instance:
Now, I don't know anything about training techniques for wrestling, but I trust these are true and helpful principals. And, I've seen the basic stances and moves for both offensive and defensive performance. And, oh yea, I've witnessed quite a bit of conditioning (push ups, jumping jacks, etc....)
- Elbows out - look out! Elbows in - you win!
- Hard Work Wins!!
- Champions learn from their mistakes!
My little guy can shout the mantras with the best of them! He can demonstrate the 'penetration moves' and he can 'sprawl'. When they do drills, he looks good. He follows directions and practices each new move introduced. He's even getting strong enough to do push ups with pretty good form these days! I thought he was doing really well. Initially, I wondered if he's a natural. He has quickly picked up other sports.
Then they started moving from drills to wrestling. When matched with another wrestler, he seems to forget all the chants, the positions, and the training. The consequences of failure to implement in wrestling are ugly. Poor guy!
Watching this... well... it got me thinking. Knowledge is over-rated!
Knowing that two people need to work at communicating in a marriage is no substitute for a helpful discussion. Knowing how to pray has little value; but prayer can change everything! I know exercise has a positive impact on mood and energy level, but that knowledge does not give me the same benefit as working out. I know how to eat right, but it's still not healthy for me to choose to eat a whole bag of Fritos in ten minutes. I could go on...
Can you think of a few examples when knowledge in isloation has value? I'm having trouble coming up with many. Help me out if you can think of a few.
I think my best boy needs to think about implementation. And, I think I do too.
Happy New Year.
If Santa DOES come to see me,
I hope he brings an MP3,
And perhaps a box of X
shoes for all my treks.
Just maybe that would be enough,
For I need to amass some heaps of stuff.
Best Girl: In eight years I'll be a full fledged adult.
Me: I hope that you'll have everything you need by then for a wonderful life...
Best Boy: Like a dog.
Oh My Aching Head
I recently had a headache. I don't mind admitting that I have little experience with headaches or any other chronic pain. Call me a wuss if you want, but this particular headache was very different than anything I've had the misfortune of experiencing before. It hurt constantly across the top of my head, ear to ear, and increased in intensity when I would move my head, especially with large movements, like bending over. Also, my eyes hurt when I would re-focus. For instance, I hear a sound and instinctively look that way. Oohhh... And bright light hurt my eyes. And I couldn't sleep. And I couldn't quit using my eyes. I tried some medicine, but it didn't have any impact. Was this because it was 4 years past the expiration date? No, we've been using it for 4 years just fine, albeit infrequently. I believe that over the counter pain relievers are stable compounds; they don't really change over time. But I've been wrong before. I tried an ice pack on top of my head. It helped some, but the benefit didn't last after the pack came off. When it was time to get ready for work, I completed my mental checklist: Fever? No. Vomitting? No. Then go to work. It's the criteria I use to determine if my kids go to school. If it's good enough for them, it would work for me. Once at work, I'd try not to move my head much, and I'd try not to look anywhere. I wasn't sure how to avoid looking, but staying home didn't seem to be the answer. I was looking at home too. When I arrived at work, I told some co-workers that I had a headache. I feared that my eyes might pop right out of my face and roll accross the room, leaving sticky lines on the floor. This would be shocking to a casual observer but seemed perfectly reasonable to me at the time. My co-workers insisted that I needed "Excedrin Migraine". One even said, "I have some in my car. Wait here." When he got back and offered me the remedy from his personal stash, I was hopeful. Half an hour later, I could function. I wasn't ready to watch an air show, but I could walk and talk. I felt hopeful that my eyes could remain snuggly in their sockets. I could fulfill my professional duties. I could help my daughter with 4th grade homework - which is a smidge more difficult than the work for which I'm gainfully employed. Once I started using this medicine, I could sleep. Sigh. Life seemed manageable again. I made a trip to the local pharmacy to stock up on this marvelous product. I even got some extra for my friend at work to refill his little bottle. I had to medicate for four days, then it went away. I'm not sure where it went, but I'm hoping the door closed tight behind it.In the wake of this experience, I've talked with many people who have migraines. Just about everybody has them... or their spouse does... or somebody... Few people I know have no experience with this blight. I shouldn't complain about having only one. I was very interested to discover how others survive these times. It seems most folks use the 'lay down, avoid the light, and wait it out' approach. That seemed reasonable but a bit reactive for me. I didn't like the idea of letting pain dictate my life. And avoiding light didn't seem like a good choice either. It didn't seem right to be convinced that my life is defined by faith, wholeness and light, yet lay motionless in the dark, passively waiting for the pain to subside. I just couldn't accept avoiding the light. It was too inconsistent with my stated values.
Even when it hurts, I don't think it's in my best interest to shut out light. Light and truth are similar. They hurt, and they also heal. In the case of headaches, I don't judge those who choose the dark. But for me, I'm going to give in to darkness in small doses. Even when the light hurts, I choose it over darkness.
In the spring, a local boy scout rang my doorbell. He asked me if I would like to buy some flowers. Since there's a cub scout in residence at my house, I happen to know that the flower sale is instrumental in funding most of the boy scout events throughout the year. Just so you know, I'm famously cheap. I LOVE a bargain. Nobody shops harder than I do to save a buck. And this flower sale was not a bargain. At all. But, I'm a neighbor... and I like boys... So, I signed up for a flat of impatiens. When they arrived, they were puny and sickly looking. I hoped when I got them into some rich soil, and some nourishing water, and some marvelous sunshine (but not too much) they'd revive. I planted them. And watered them. And they continued to look sickly. So I watered them some more. And it rained. And they still looked awful. I pulled up a few to make room for something that looked nicer. And it rained some more. They still looked puny. The other plants bloomed. They didn't. So I approached the boy scout who sold them to me. I said, "The impatiens I got from you are not looking good. I planted them right away and I've watered them, but I don't think they're going to make it. Can you get me some more?" He said, "You can buy more if you want." "NO," I replied, "I don't want to buy more because the ones I already bought are dying. I'd like replacement flowers if there are any more." He shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't know about replacement flowers. But I could always buy more. For weeks, every time I pulled into or out of my drive way, I grumbled under my breath about the boy scouts and those flowers. About the time I quit complaining about them, they started to grow tall and bloom heartily. I then started grumbling about my throwing some of them out becuase I thought they were dying. Ever the miser. Now, in late September, I'm getting comments about how those impatiens are flourishing. I told my father-in-law that as soon as I quit complaining, they just took off. I wonder how many other things in my life would flourish if I would quit complaining and expect something beautiful to happen?
Tagged with The Book Meme
I typically don't read. I know many of you are gasping in horror, but it's true. I have trouble with reading. I'm slow, and it's laboriouis for me. Since I've done a bunch of vision therapy exercises alongside my best girl, I think I'm a better reader, but I still don't enjoy it or do it much. Hopefully, I'll be able to answer most of the Book Meme though:
1. One book that changed your life Recently, Train Up Your Child, by No Greater Joy Ministries.
Several decades ago, Romans. Especially chapters 5 and 6.
2. One book you've read more than once
Disappointment with God, by Philip Yancy.
3. One book that you would want on a desert island
Certainly I'd need a survival guide. You know, what's safe to eat... how to construct a shelter... how to locate a water source... This presupposes that I'm stranded without other people who know all these necessaries. Then again, I'd still like to have my own reference.
4. One book that made you laugh
Something's Fishy, Hazel Green, by Odo Hirsh
We're not finished with this one. I've been reading it aloud to my kids.
5. One book that made you cry
The Diary of Anne Frank
6. One book that you wish had been written
Overcoming Depression: a Two Day Journey
Or, Toilet Training Your Cat: a Two Day Journey
7. One book you whish had neer been written
8. One book that you are currently reading
Blood Money, by Thomas Perry
I trust that listening is enough. I have this audiobook from the library. It's a novel about a woman who is helping a girl escape from persueing mafia goons. So far, it's entertaining.
9. One book you have been meaning to read
The South Beach Diet, by Arthur Agatston, MD
I bought it beacuse I had several friends rave about it. Deep down, however, I don't believe it will say anything interesting. That's probably why I havn't read it.
10. Five People I tag to do this meme
The Cox Family
Anyone else who wants to tell about your literary journey (You can leave answers in the comments if you want to.)