Not Quite Mormon Monday. Actually Mostly Drivel

You read the title.  you have been warned.

People, I have a full blown case of the blahs.  I know this, because I am actually forcing myself to blog right now.  Forcing!  So very unusual for me.

And?  I am wondering why I am bothering.  I mean, why force myself to blog of all things, right?  Why not force myself to go scrub the toilets that really probably need it?  Or force myself to start school with Midge so that we can stay on track to have her done by the end of April?  You know?  But instead I’m forcing myself to write.

Weird.

Anyway, the blahs.  I’ve been fighting them for a few weeks now.  I don’t know what’s up.  Usually I can trace it back to hormones, and after a few days I’m good.  I’m thinking maybe the fact that I’ve been weaning myself off of the diet Dr. Pepper (again) has something to do with it also.  But I think the real problem is that March is the One Year Anniversary.

It’s the One Year Anniversary of the month of back surgery, a trip to Vietnam, the start of a new job, the purchase of a new house.  All in one month.  Or maybe the back surgery was late February.  I need to go back and check . . .  Nope, I was right:  March.

Anyway, last March was rather busy.  Admittedly, the Vietnam trip finally happening was . . . well . . . that was a long time coming, wasn’t it?  So getting our son was a good thing, but it was a Big Thing that happened to finally happen in the midst of many Big Things (which are arguably good or not, depending on who you talk to).  And then?  We moved (in April).

And this all happened a year ago, so why should it be bothering me now?  But I think this is why I have an unshakable case of the blahs.  It is the One Year Anniversary of utter chaos.  It is the One Year Anniversary of making the decisions that quickly thereafter lead to dragging my kids up to the middle of nowhere, dragging myself up to the middle of nowhere.  And the oldest two children and I?  Aren’t so much enamored with being in the middle of nowhere.  I mean, there are things about it we really like; but those things don’t exactly balance out the things we miss.

And then, there is Another Thing, about which I cannot blog.  It has been hanging over me since shortly after we moved.  There is nothing I can do about it.  It just is what it is, and hopefully it won’t ever become more, probably won’t ever become more, but it could; so it just kind of adds weight to the One Year Anniversary of Utter Chaos.

But telling you about my case of the blahs and why I think I’ve got them isn’t really a cry for sympathy (because my life really isn’t so horrible, and I don’t need lots of sympathy, though I do probably need a good cry), it’s just to set the stage for what I’m about to tell you next:

Yesterday, at church (See?  I’m working in some Mormon stuff, but not really anything doctrinal), the Branch President asked me if I’d speak in church in a couple of weeks.  (Umm . . . that last time I was supposed to speak in church that I told you about?  Long story, but I wound up not speaking then, so they’re after me again).  Anyway, he said they have a very particular topic for that specific week, and they really wanted me to address it.

I immediately wondered which of my flaws is so very glaring that they particularly want me to spend time researching and pondering it.  Not that they only ask people to speak on topics that might help them grow a bit, but it has been known to happen.

Anyway, the topic for the week I am speaking is:  Staying Positive.

My specific assignment is to talk about: How staying positive will strengthen us during times of adversity.

Ha!  He must have seen me trying not to cry through most of Sacrament Meeting yesterday.  All I can say is, thank goodness for hymns.  You know what I mean?  If you start tearing up during a hymn nobody thinks anything is really wrong, they just think you are moved by the music.

So, how can staying positive strengthen us during times of adversity, and how do we stay positive during times of adversity?  I’ve been pondering these questions in my mind since yesterday (though I haven’t actually taken the time to delve into the scriptures about it all yet), and as I’ve been thinking about it, I keep coming back to my blog.  I mean, not in a literal sense, but, you know, just coming back to my blog in my mind.

I started this blog in an attempt to make myself focus on the positive, humorous things in my life.  It was an attempt to distract myself from the very difficult things that were going on at that time.  It helped immensely, and in so many ways.  All of you who have left comments and sent emails over the past few years have helped in so many ways.

But do I want to bring up my blogging experiences in a church talk?  You know what I’m saying?  First, it just doesn’t seem . . . churchy.  Second, I haven’t exactly been passing out my blog URL to the people at church.  I didn’t even share my blog with any friends back home until I was moving.  I have always been a very guarded person, and having my blog as a safe, somewhat anonymous place to go is rather nice.  The more IRL people who read, the more I feel like I have to edit myself (though I’m not saying I want the IRL people who have found my blog to stop reading, because so far you haven’t sent me any chastising hate mail, so I like you).  And, though I really like the people we go to church with here in the boonies, I’m not sure how they’d feel about me calling their home the boonies.  Plus, some of them blog, and have even given me their blog addresses so that I can read and comment, but I never comment because they don’t allow anonymous comments and I don’t know that I want my comment linking back to my blog because I just don’t know that I’m ready to share this part of me. 

Sure, I’ll have 22 of them in my house this Friday for a Strengthening Marriage class, and even talk openly about the importance of emotional AND physical intimacy in marriage (if it comes up, but the lesson is actually about communication, not intimacy); but let them read my blog??????  I don’t know . . . They’ll probably think I’m some sort of heathen or heretic and sew a scarlet B on all my clothes.

Do I make any sense at all?????

So, how do you stay positive during times of adversity, and how does doing so strengthen you?  And, just as importantly, how many IRL (in real life) people have you shared your blog with?  Are you a guarded person?  Why or why not?  Is it a good or bad thing? 

Discuss.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello, but he can’t discuss since newts don’t really talk.

22 thoughts on “Not Quite Mormon Monday. Actually Mostly Drivel

  1. lauren

    This is the same exact thing that I’ve been thinking about over the past week – how to stay postive when things kind of suck without being fake? Ummm, no answers here, except obviously to try to focus on all the good stuff about your life, but I think about it all the time.
    I do get that about giving the blog out to IRL people. Our squadron now has the blog address, and while its really cut down on the amount of how’s Emmett doing questions, it does make me really censor myself when it comes to talking to my not-always-positive feelings about Mike’s job. I’m not a guarded person really at all, but this is my husband’s career we’re talking about, where a certain amount of “i’m the happiest air force wife EVER and look how well I handle things when my husband isn’t there, so don’t be afraid to give him more responsibility” is expected. In your case, I’d be a little leery of giving out your blog URL to your new church, neighbors, etc. Or maybe just start password protecting more stuff?
    ok, sorry to take over your blog.

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  2. lauren

    dude, what happened to my comment? it was brilliant, I must say, and solved all of your problems. just kidding, but it was long.

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  3. lauren

    ok, since it appears to be long gone, what I will say (again) is that this is exactly what I’ve been thinking about lately. I mean, about staying positive when things suck without being fake. And of course i have no answers, except of course to concentrate on the good things about your life.
    In terms of sharing your blog, I’d be a little hesitant. I am not usually a guarded person at all, but my husband’s squadron now has our blog address and although its cut down on How’s Emmett doing questions, it has made me censor myself when it comes to talking about my not-always-so positive feelings about certain aspects of Mike’s job. Of course, I guess you could always just password protect those posts that talk about Radiator Springs.

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  4. bunnysmom

    I really don’t give my blog address to hardly anyone I know in real life. I’m even horrified when IRL people find me on facebook. It ruins it.

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  5. TX Cajun

    Sorry you have the blahs. I am guessing this topic is pertaining to the economic turmoil the country is in? This answer will probably not solve the great question of what to talk about in your speech – If we lose everything (I know a bit melodramatic), we still have family to depend on. I was talking to my mother and apparently my great grandfather lost everything in the Depression. He was an insurance agent and people were not buying. They lost the house and his rental houses. My grandmother and family lived with different family members until things got better. They survived. People have been through this and worse before and come out the other side ok. I am not being naive in thinking it would be easy but somehow my family will be ok. I don’t know if that is “staying positive” but it is want keeps me going when the economy scares the you know what out of me.

    As for who has my blog address, everyone IRL does. It does keep me guarded as to some of the things I may or may not write about.

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  6. If you don’t want to talk about your blog, per se, you can always just talk about how you “journal” to help you focus on the humurous aspects of life.

    I was really worried at first about all of the people in my ward reading my blog for the same reasons. Yes, I do censor occassionally but, really, is the world worse off for the fact that I didn’t talk about the overly-excited miniature donkey at the petting zoo?

    If anything, I have really enjoyed the interaction that goes on through our ward’s blogs. I have gotten to see sides of the other women that I don’t see in church. And I’ve learned that they are human, too. And the ones who are a little more straight and narrow than I am haven’t stopped speaking to me, yet.

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  7. Dianna

    My blog used to be simply for adoption folks but when I travelled to Vietnam, I gave it to a lot of people and now it’s fine for my family, adoption friends, and people who used to know me (i.e. in the town I grew up in) but I don’t give it to anyone in the town where we live now. I guess I don’t want to run into at the grocery store the day after I’ve thrown a fit about PTO stuff.

    Staying positive? I fake it til I make it. I let myself have a good cry, maybe curl up on the couch with a book, crawl into a bottle of wine for a night (ha! Tell them THAT in church!). But after a day or so of life being horrible and depressing and such, I suck it up and pretend all is dandy. Because I’ve got 3 kids and a husband who is all doom and gloom and frankly, there isn’t time for me to worry about it all. And eventually, I stop worrying or being upset because I’ve gotten absorbed in other things. So I guess, to summarize, I live deep in denial.

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  8. J

    DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GIVE OUT YOUR BLOG ADDRESS TO PEOPLE IRL…
    DON”T DO IT!!!!

    Seriously, just don’t do it…

    Um, positive in the face of suckiness…. hmmmm…
    I could write a book on this topic, perhaps not a good book, but a book non-the-less…
    Here are my thoughts…
    1. Be real… acknowledge the suckiness,b/c smooshing it and acting like you are ok will come out in other ways(random crying, yelling at husband and kids, and probably the most drastic, depression)
    —–here is the key to realness(in my experience—–
    find a few key people to be real with, arguably this group should include your husband and God, but whatever works for you… in order to be real, you do not have to wear your heart on your sleeve with everyone…
    2. After you have been real, grieve the suckiness, do whatever you have to do to grieve, have a grief ritual that you revisit when you need to for this purpose: so that when the feelings of suckiness come up you have a place to take them, for me I have a candle ritual that I do, its me and God and all of my crap and a lighted candle, that way when the feelings come up I can kind of put them on a shelf so that I can get through my day staying….here you have it… POSITIVE, but knowing that am going to have a chance to feel the feelings that I need to feel,
    3.GRATEFULNESS…
    In the midst of suckiness, there are still things that I can be grateful for, maybe not big things, but little things, and gratefulness always, always changes my perspective, if I am truly being grateful and not pretending…
    ok, so since I have written a book, I am going to quit there… maybe a I need to write a blog post on this…

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  9. Way too many IRL friends & family have the blog. Of course, it was our adoption journal so we kinda designed it that way. I’d thought many times about starting a new one & inviting certain family & friends to read but, eh, that’s too much work. I do find myself censoring a little. For instance, I almost never talk about my horrid inlaws. And to prove the point, the backlash from the post about making an effort, well, let’s just say it hasn’t been pretty. I’m not a guarded person so sharing my thoughts with family & friends isn’t anything new. I don’t anticipate giving the URL out to people I meet in our new town though. Being anonymous has its benefits…

    As for staying positive I find being active helps. I really don’t enjoy working out, but when I don’t I can really tell it in my mood. There’s something about concentrating on my steps as I run or breathing as I lift that reminds me that I am strong & I can do this.

    Sometimes a good wallow is necessary though. And then you’ll hit the point where you’re ready to change your mindset & power through.

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  10. My blog is not a secret, but I’m also not out saying, “So I was writing about this on my BLAWG…” But it’s out there and I know people read it and some RL friends told other RL friends so… But I am also not a very secretive anonymousish person, so I’m ok with it. If I’m uncomfortable about anything it’s that I come off as way more outgoing (I think) on my website than I do in real life so sometimes people make assumptions and… ok, whatever, I have used up my Ellipses Quota, yes?

    THAT SAID. I’ve had nothing but blessings come from sharing about my experiences online. I’m always a little nervous telling someone how important it is to me, esp when that person is somewhat of a Luddite, but people appreciate what I’m talking about. I’ve even had a few people ask for URLs so they could tell SAHM friends who are struggling etc. Count me In Favor!

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  11. Colleen

    Ok, I can relate to the hard year. While our issues have been different, we have both had our share of “all at once” this year. Now, where to begin my book of an answer…

    1. How do you stay positive during times of adversity, and how does doing so strengthen you? – As you know, I have had a lot of practice with being in situations where I have had to stay positive when all I really wanted to do was crawl away and black out. When 9/11 occured and my family (both old and new) was torn apart, we had no choice but to stay positive. Those of us that were left were all that each other had. If we could not be positive for ourselves, we HAD to be positive for each other. I know that is why we made it through that hell. For example, If there were times that I was sinking into a depression, my mother in law would get the streanth she didn’t know she had and be strong for me and vise versa. It was like that with all of us and it continues to be. When my mother was in chemo last year, she had strength for all of us. She stayed stromg so that we would be strong and have faith. So my answer is family and faith. Family makes me strong and family keeps me positive when I need it most. Faith in God makes me know that I will be ok even if it doesn’t feel that way all the time.

    2. How many IRL (in real life) people have you shared your blog with? At first, only my closest friends and family had my blog address. I wanted to be able to speak openly and because I really am a guarded person. I knew if I opened it up to others, I would lose part of that. Eventually, everyone I knew and many I don’t got the URL and now I use it as a tool to help make me less guarded.

    Are you a guarded person? Yes, See above

    Why or why not? I think that 9/11 made me so. The feeling of always being on display for everyone. I was “That poor girl who lost her fiance” and the loss of my father in law as well only enhanced that display. It made me want to always put on the “I am OK” face. It made us all want to do that I think. It just became easier to become guarded then to worry those who loved me.

    Is it a good or bad thing? I think that answer is one you have to answer yourself.

    I hope that helps. Good luck and have faith.

    Col

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  12. Did you write this post for me? The blahs part and staying positive??? I’ve had the MAJOR blahs for a good month now. Our family hasn’t had the best month. To be honest, I think I’ve dealt with them better than I would have in the past. I did my best to focus on the positive – even when I felt like the positive wasn’t looking too positive. I also let myself have my time to freak out and cry or whatever else I needed to do, but then I’d get back up and tell myself that really, truly, things could be worse. If I didn’t buy that, I’d think of the things that could be worse and then I’d convince myself that yes, they could really be worse.

    About the blog and privacy thing? I wouldn’t give it out. I’ve been VERY guarded with my blog and my IRL family and friends (besides adoptive friends – they all have my blog). I don’t want to feel like I have to censor myself when talking about anything. Not that I censor myself in real life, ’cause I really don’t, but on my blog, I don’t want to feel like I have to try to delivery things really nicely when I talk about race, adoption issues, etc. I might be a little more careful with the delivery if I were talking to friends and family and IRL friends about that stuff. I know that with my online friends – mostly adoptive parents – I don’t need to take too much care with how I phrase things. Does that make any sense?

    I love what J said. but then again, I always love what J says. She makes a lot of sense to me.

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  13. Hmm…sometimes I really don’t feel like I do a very good job at staying positive, but when I do decide to suck it up I usually start by reminding myself of all the things in my life that DON”T suck at the time. This usually just helps me to feel like it’s not all terrible and remind me that things will eventually get better. They always do. I’m actually in need of a little blessing counting right now 🙂

    As for my blog, I haven’t given it out to a lot of IRL people. It is listed in my facebook profile but I don’t thing a lot of my IRL friends have found it and iif they have they haven’t told me. I feel the same as you. I just don’t know how they will take some of it and don’t want to have to edit myself constantly. I think I would have to say I am pretty guarded, which stems from my fear of rejection. Sometimes I don’t like that about myself. Because I want deep relationships with others (like a BFF-sorta) but being guarded prevents me from being able to build those relationships. I’m working on it.

    Here’s hoping your blahs clear up REAL soon 🙂

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  14. When I learned that my husband (now ex) had been cheating on me I was devastated. Unfortunately, it affected the way I interacted with my children. Nine years and several affairs later (his, not mine) I finally had the courage to divorce him. Though it was a very painful time for me, I made sure to remain positive for my children. I’d learned my lesson from nine years before. I HAD to keep life as normal for them as possible, and normal was having an upbeat mom.

    As far as letting people know about my blog…not many people that I know in real life know about my blog. Some family…some close friends. That’s about it. I like it that way.

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  15. Christina

    Okay, here’s what you can say about blogging without actually identifying it as blogging – call it “Journaling” – as in “Journaling the humorous and/or positive things in your life, no matter how small and insignificant, can help you stay positive.” And the comments? Why that is “Community” – as in “It really helps to have a supportive Community who will share in your daily ups and downs.” 🙂

    Obviously I do the same as you – use my blog to help me through the tough and stressful stuff. Also I like upbeat worship music and truly funny sitcoms and movies. (Like Everybody Loves Raymond. That show can crack me up no matter how cranky I am.) And sometimes you just have to have a good cry – I find that a cry in the shower or bubble bath works well because the door is locked and I know I won’t be interrupted or feel like I have to explain the tears. (Because sometimes there really is no explanation other than “I needed to cry” – oh and there was a Raymond episode about that and it was SO funny!)

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  16. Hmmmm….I’ve been feeling the same kind of blah the last few days. Maybe it’s going around. The blog and privacy thing- don’t give it out. I gave mine out to IRL friends and co-workers for my trip to Vietnam and now I totally feel like there are so many things I can blog abour but I can’t blog about….
    that is why I am thinking of moving to PW protected. Hope you start feeling better soon- the 1 year anniversary seems to be a difficult anniversary for a plethora of things and you had a plethora of things happen at one time!

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  17. Nancy

    I wouldn’t give it out if you plan to continue blogging about Radiator Springs, and there would be a big hole in your blog without that.

    I hope you get over the blahs quickly. Sunshine and warm weather will be here soon, and that always helps. Love you –

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  18. I’ve had giving out my blog addie to someone IRL backfire more than once. It’s just not worth it. I do, however, keep a much less updated, much more censored blog that friends and family have access to. That works much better. That one is just full of fluff and whatever.

    I’m not good at all with the staying positive thing, so I’ll leave that to other people.

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  19. tryingtraditional

    I’ve switched around enough that there are few IRL people that read. Not sure how I feel about that. I do know, though, that I would not want everyone in our church reading it. I’m a very shy person so it just would make me uncomfortable and unable to write. Besides, I blog for me. I could care less about traffic/comments. It is a stress-tamer for me to see it all written out and see how the bad times really are not all the bad, to see how God has worked in our lives throughout the year, and to go back to that great recipe I liked. Simple enough, but keeps me happy and serves it’s purpose.

    The staying positive thing can be very hard. I was gone from home (with all the girls, no husband) for almost two weeks last year and it freaked me out. I’ve never had something like happen to me. It brought back the panicky feelings I had when in Vietnam and feeling lost and unsure. I think it was being gone from home and husband that triggered it, but I did not like it. When your mind and emotions double punch you like that it is hard. In that case I tried to focus on the now, focus on where I was going in the future, and to rejoice in making it through the hard times in the past. In the end it was just enduring it and coming out the other side of it. Full of encouragement aren’t I? Soemtimes just grinning and bearing it is all you can do and there is nothing wrong with that.

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  20. See, now this is the post that I wanted to make sure I got back to, that has been in the back of my mind, not that I have much of anything unique to add. And I think you’ve moved through the blahs a little, and I think the talk at church is probably done, but I’m going to ramble on anyhow. I really, really understand a lot of what you are saying – I’ve had a lot of the blahs over the past months and I know a lot of it is related to where my life is right now and how it ties back to other events. I think about it all A LOT and it hasn’t been particularly helpful other than to try to tell myself it is time to start fresh and move forward. For me much of “it” is still tied to losing my dad – almost seven years since he passed away, 10 since he was diagnosed. So much of where I am right now (in not so good ways) is tied to him – well, if I hadn’t bought this house I’d be so much better off, but I bought the house because of x and I did x because of y and I did y because of z and I did z because of losing my dad. See? I can really blah myself out with this a lot. I can’t change any of that now, sure wish I could. What I’m going to try to do with this year is focus on moving forward – I have a great kid (who sleeps somewhat better than she used to, thank goodness), I will likely be starting a new job and moving out of the house and my 30’s are behind me so I’ll try to make my 40’s better. I stink, really stink, at staying postive. Just not my forte. All that rambling to say I do get, I think, so much of how you’re feeling and I know there are days that will be better and some that will probably be worse.

    As for sharing the blog with those IRL – what everone else said. I don’t. I have a separate blog for family/friends that is usually just the cute pictures and short updates. But I’m 99% positive at least some have found my main blog (through a friend’s blogroll, cause I shared her blog with them) so I do still censor myself. Thus the PW-protection on some things lately. Even so I think about doing more PW or even moving, just tightening the circle a bit to those bloggers I consider friends and my support system, feel more secure in knowing exactly who is reading. But that sounds like work…

    Speaking of PW’s – since if I understand right you’ve changed yours, can I get the new one? Or if you’re keeping it just for certain folk I understand. But I am still reading (almost immediately when you post, actually!), just haven’t been good at commenting lately… Sorry for the novel!

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