Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grateful for my bed

So... I have a new full time job. I started on April 1. It was a tough decision because as unhappy as I was with some parts of my old job (which I had for almost 14 years), I had a lot of great perks. I gave those up in favor of an opportunity to start over. I never thought I'd be starting over at nearly-40 - but it seemed like the right decision.

But starting over means some training...which means some travel. As I type, I'm sitting in a hotel room, while it snows outside in Syracuse, NY. Blech.

This is the fifth night in the last two weeks I've spent away from home. I miss my bed, and being able to get my errands done, and I really, really miss my cat.

I'm grateful for this new opportunity. I'm really grateful that it's with a great company, and that my new coworkers all seem very cool. I'm grateful that I finally had the courage to give up those perks and try something new, that will be better for my future.

But - I'll be super grateful when I can sleep in my own bed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wait for it....

I never watched How I Met Your Mother when it was on the air. I resisted when people told me it was totally my thing. Then, a few weeks back I fell in a Netflix hole, and binge-watched several seasons in a weekend - and now I'm hooked.

If only someone had told me how similar HIMYM is to Friends, I'd have been on board years ago!

I know millennials don't like the comparison. I understand - no one likes to hear a show that defines their twenties is similar to another show....that defined another generation's twenties. There's no way people that old could have ever been twenty and cool. Right?

But I can show some parallels. Don't believe me? Watch. It'll be legen...wait for it!...dary!

Since I am still watching older seasons, I did not watch Monday's series finale - but I did read the spoilers. One bit is mentioned below, so -

****SPOILER ALERT****

First we meet Ted Ross - uber-smart professor, often sharing facts he loves, but others consider boring and useless, who is constantly correcting others. Ross Ted is a hopeless romantic who dates, but never commits because his heart belongs to Rachel Robin, the beautiful new-comer who enters their lives in the pilot episode from a foreign land - Long Island Canada - and grabs his heart. The two would go back and forth between dating one another, even living together as roommates at one point, before eventually finding their way back to each other in the final episode.

At one point, Rachel Robin even dates one of Ross Ted's best friends, Joey Barney, the womanizing player who seems like he'll never settle down. That is until the day he realizes he's in love with Rachel Robin.

Then there's Chandler Marshall - the guy who wants to go along with his friends' schemes, even though he can't lie and eventually backs out. Mostly, he makes sarcastic comments. He's in love, and eventually marries and starts a family, with "group mom" Monica Lily, the responsible, dependable one who keeps the group together with her cooking and her schemes.

Of course, the two TV shows aren't exactly alike. A few "major" differences:

• Five friends instead of six
• They meet at a bar instead of a coffee shop
• The first group couple starts the series off that way, rather than connecting mid-series
• There is never any mention of rent control regarding Ted and Marshall's apartment, leaving it unclear how a struggling architect and an unemployed law student could afford a Manhattan apartment with that many rooms.

Most TV - especially sitcom TV - follows a formula. Why?

If it's not broke - don't fix it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I don't do Lent

Lent is "a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations that begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Day.

The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial."

I'm not really a fan.

I know a lot of people who give something up for Lent - usually as a jump-start to a self-improvement campaign. People give up sweets, or junkfood, or ice cream, or alcohol, or meat, or swearing, or TV, or taking the elevator.

Don't get me wrong - that's all awesome. Life is about constant improvement and change.

The thing about Lent is, the sacrifice is supposed to be done in faith; a penance, to honor Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. If you're someone who gets that, and you have faith that Jesus is your savior, and you want to honor His sacrifice, rock on.

Sacrifices done for any other reason are certainly admirable - but they're not penance.

I attend a nondenominational Christian church. I struggle a bit with the subtle hypocrisies I face, since I don't agree with every point of view. One thing I have learned is, in order to truly have faith, you need to understand the traditions and beliefs, and how you can honor them best.

I believe in a forgiving, loving, gracious God. I believe He wants us to be the happiest, healthiest, most successful version of our best selves. I believe He placed us each here with a purpose, and finding and fulfilling that purpose is the best way to truly honor His sacrifice.

To me, the idea of Lent seems to suggest that we are always living in a way that goes against God's plan - but that somehow, we can set that right during those six weeks.

I disagree. The God I know is not that harsh or judgmental. He is not looking to punish, or take away. He has more faith is us.

I think if we strive to always live within His plan, He doesn't much care about six weeks in the spring. I also believe that any time we lose our way, we can come back to God. I think God would accept anyone, anytime - and all we need to do is ask.