Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Would Love to Say Something Profound...

...but I smell like a cheesy pine tree air freshener.

I will, however comment on tonight. Partially because it must be done - partially because it should be done - partially because I want to remember it.

If you have never attended an Easter Vigil in a Catholic Church, I highly recommend the experience. GO. And wear comfortable shoes.

The beauty of it all was breathtaking. The candlelight, the bonfire. It was really overwhelming to the senses. I almost wished I'd attended one before I had to be part of one so it wasn't so all encompassing.

What really hit me was the homily. Father Joe touched on several things but one portion in the 7 minutes really has stuck with me. He talked about how, just like Jesus, we need to get out of our own tombs and into the light. It couldn't have been more relevant. I was so grateful for those words.

I'd love to give you details of the actual ceremony portion of being confirmed...but beyond blushing, tripping, and my husband's steady hand on my shoulder, I don't remember very much.

Other than the fact that I smell like a cheesy pine tree air freshener from the oil.

The days to come will be filled with interesting musings on these various subjects, but for now, I'm going to sign off and find a way to get this smell off my head.

Tonight it ends...or rather begins.

After two weeks of being on the road and living a life that swung drastically between watching paint dry and herding cattle on crack, I can now safely say I am ecstatic to be home.

However, I arrived just in the nick of time (Literally - got here yesterday) for the ceremony tonight that will bring me into the Catholic Church. I didn't even know which of the 3 parishes in our little "system" here in the sticks I was supposed to be at until this morning.

In exactly 2 1/2 hours, the Easter Vigil ceremony will begin outside at the bonfire. In exactly 3 hours, I will likely be vomiting in the bathroom.

I'm a bundle of nerves, but surprisingly calm considering I have absolutely no idea what to expect and am petrified that I'm going to make some huge mistake.

Friday, April 1, 2011

How a Kindle Solved All My Travel Problems

I've always been a very firm believer that whatever you need, God will provide it if you only have the patience to wait for His perfect timing.

So about a month ago, I ordered my Kindle. I'm a big reader. I LOVE reading and few things in this world make me happier than delving deep into a book.

This weekend I'm preparing for a road trip I'm starting next week. The wireless internet card arrived today from my step-dad who is kind enough to share his technology with me as I bounce across the country. I'd planned to take it to the store and find a USB cord so it could be powered from the computer to eliminate yet another plug when they're always so scarce on the road.

Lo and behold, I'd just unplugged my Kindle last night next to where I was sitting and, guess what? The plug matched the wireless internet card perfectly! :)

Then I went to the bathroom to tidy up and stumbled across my Bluetooth headset. I haven't used it since my last road trip as I don't use my phone all that often. I had no idea where the charger was and figured I wouldn't be able to use it without one. Out of sheer curiosity, I opened up it's little port to see what the plug looked like and thought...hmm....that looks rather familiar.

So I brought it out to the living room, unplugged the wireless card, and tried it. Once again, the little light lit up and the Kindle cord (which is a USB cord) would power my headset as well!

1 cord, 3 amazing devices, 1 thrilled human being!!!

A Sociable Sue trying to be a Perfect Paula teaching a Competent Carl.

For those of you who have NO clue what I'm saying, allow me to elaborate. :)

My mother is the most wonderful person on earth. Really. She's fantastic. She was so organized as a child my grandmother used to take her friends into my mother's room and show them how perfect it was. She even earned the nickname "Peggy Perfect" from friends and family as a school-aged child.

So you can understand that her perfectly organized, extremely type A, beautifully wonderful person is, in Cathy Duffy's terms, a Perfect Paula.

I spent my whole childhood knowing I wasn't like the other kids. I didn't learn like them. I didn't look at the world the way they did. Music was background noise to them. It was what moved my soul. My entire being focused around my music because it was a way I could please the people around me using my gifts. I am a Sociable Sue.

People often think chatty people are Sociable Sues. That's not really what it's about. Sociable Sue's are the textbook people pleaser. We don't come second, or third. We put ourselves at the bottom of the list and devote 100% of our energy to pleasing other people. We're often artists and musicians. Our entire and total language is making other people happy. It's truly where we find our bliss. It's our every happiness.

Being the daughter of a Perfect Paula, I tried to be like my mother. Always having it together. Always being perfect. Always trying to do it all, have it all, be it all. Because, in my heart, I wanted to BE like my mother. It would make her happy. It would make the people around me happy. People LIKE Perfect Paula's.

It's kind of the ultimate irony.

So, up until a few weeks ago, I was a Sociable Sue trying to be a Perfect Paula teaching a Competent Carl.

Perfect Paula's make great homeschool moms. They're the ones who have it all together and have the perfect curriculum and perfect little smiles on their 6 perfect children's faces.

Reading Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum opened my eyes. To me this book was SO very much more than about homeschool curriculum. It showed me, in simple black and white terms, why I couldn't possibly be happy with what I've been doing.

Because I can't be a Perfect Paula any more than I could be those kids on the school ground. I can't learn the way they learn. I can't do things the way they do them. Because I'm not a Perfect Paula. I'm just not.

I'm a Sociable Sue.

I'm vibrant with piles of energy. I love people and I love to be surrounded by them. I'm a free wheeling, fun loving, crazy to the point of almost being insane person.

And somewhere in the middle of trying to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect person, I forgot I needed to be me too.

I forgot to embrace that side of me. To be happy and free. To be that person with a crazy love for life. I forgot what it was like to dance in the rain..yes, literally dance in the rain. I dragged a bunch of my college classmates out of the building one day in the middle of a class and we went out and danced in the rain.

That's who I was.

That's who I AM.

And now that I've found it again, I'm not letting it go. I'm not going to try and be something I'm not anymore to try and make the people around me happier. I'm going to be me. Crazy, fun loving, emotional, borderline psychotic but so much fun to be with you just can't put me down. I'm that wild book you always wanted to read, that crazy woman in the movie that, secretly, you wonder what it would be to be like. I'm a lounge singer, a church cantor, and I sing lullabies to the most beautiful, wonderful little boy on this earth.


And I'm not hiding anymore.