Encouraged & Reassured; Joy is a Choice

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My beautiful, strong, independent daughter.

 

After seeing so many posts online regarding the “Day Without a Woman” protest, I honestly thought the world had gone stark raving bonkers. Seriously, who would have thought we’d see women walking around a few weeks ago in pornographic craft projects gone bad in protest?

Then my daughter, Jami, posted a link to this article on her FB page, and I was encouraged and reassured that there are still intelligent, responsible women walking this planet.

via ‘A Day Without a Woman’ Protest Is Challenged by Women Who Say #WeShowUp to Work

The article and the numerous responses of levelheaded women it documents give me great comfort in knowing there ARE strong women out there who don’t whine and complain about perceived injustices. They know they are strong and capable of taking charge of their own destinies, choosing their own paths. It makes me incredibly proud to know that my daughter recognizes what a truly strong woman does and is making her own path in this world without expecting accommodations, but by doing the work needed to achieve her dreams.


To continue the protests, this came out: Some Women Are Striking From Smiling Today. Apparently, smiling is a form of “emotional labor” — and women are tired of being forced to appear pleasant and/or happy. According to the article, “emotional labor” is a term that was coined in 1983 (a year after I graduated from high school) and it refers to putting others first in order to keep things going smoothly and make others happy. Supposedly, women walking down the street are being commanded by passersby to smile, and cautioned that an unfulfilled request can escalate into something undesirable. I’m trying to remember the last time I was out walking about that someone demanded that I smile. Oh, that’s right! NEVER.

Here’s a question for you, whomever you may be, whatever you may be (male or female): Why are these people so determined to be miserable? Whatever happened to taking one’s circumstances and making the best of them? There’s a good chance that, in the process, those circumstances will improve thanks to the effort. I’ve found that when I think of others in a kindly and caring manner, it is often returned to me. Treat my husband like crap? Refuse to think about his needs? I’m pretty certain I’ll reap the harvest of what I’ve sown. But care about him, do what I can to make his day a better day? I find he returns the love.

We just celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, and my husband surprised me with a wedding vow renewal at the beach in Surfside, Texas. He spent a year planning an event that was perfectly us. He had the beach as his background (as a Galveston BOI, it’s his favorite place) and with our sisters’ help, he made sure I had the “pretties” I enjoy so much. Our road to that day (and to the future ahead) has not always been smooth. There have been times that we both thought “what the hell have we done?” Thankfully, we’ve never thought it at the same time, and we’re both too stubborn to quit on each other. So here we are. And here is the blog post he wrote that proves to me success is to be found in focusing on and loving others, not whining and complaining about how life isn’t fair. He said,

When I look at Laura, this is what I see. After 25 years, I do not see a beautiful, young, sexy thing. I see a part of me that has consistently withstood the trials of life and yet remained true and has stayed the course. To me, that is more beautiful and sexy than anything else in this world, and the stories we can tell!

I cannot think of any more beautiful words than those. Of course, a third wave feminist will take umbrage at the phrase “a part of me” — the outcry will be “I am my OWN person, not a part of any man” — and for those who can’t see the forest for the trees, I feel sorry for you. You get so caught up in the minutia that you can’t see this is a man who will give his life for me, who loves me as much or more than himself — who remembers every thing he’s ever heard me express an interest in and does what he can to make sure I have the enjoyment of that thing, the fulfillment of my goals and dreams. On the flip side of that, he is a part of me — I am committed to him with equal fervor.

If I’d only focused on the negatives, and refused to see the positives, odds are great we wouldn’t have lasted and I would have missed out on a ceremony that truly means more to me than the one we experienced in 1992. The first wedding was nice, there’s no doubt. It was in a church, I had the beautiful dress, we were surrounded by friends and family, and there was a big cake and punch. But the truth? Our renewal says this:

I kept my promise, and I choose to keep it again.

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My sentimental husband created our own “unity” ceremony using sand he’d taken from the Galveston beach when he went off to college in 1985 and dirt he got from a crawfish hole in the back yard of my childhood home in Alvin. The Galveston sand and the Alvin dirt, mixed together, is now contained in a glass jar labeled “Galvinston”. ❤

So on the days that aren’t perfect, the days I roll my eyes and think, “What have I gotten myself into?” — I choose to remember he may be thinking the same thing. And then I remind myself of the good times and the promise of more. I choose joy, no matter the circumstances. Choosing misery and complaint only produces more of the same, and is rooted in selfishness. My prayer for all these confused women is that they try joy for a change. Focus on others and see if things turn around. You might be surprised.

Deep Thoughts From a Lover Not a Fighter

My husband, relatively new to blogging, wrote and posted this on his blog this morning. After I stopped sniffling, I thought I would share it with all of you. I am a blessed woman, I am.


This week I celebrated my 25th Wedding Anniversary with my lovely wife, Laura. Although it seems I have made it to 25 years DESPITE myself rather than BECAUSE of myself, I nonetheless take pride in…

Source: Deep Thoughts From a Lover Not a Fighter

My Marriage Wasn’t Meant to Be | TheBlaze.com

A thought-provoking article on the whole “soul mates” thing.  Personally, I think he’s spot on.  Love is a choice, each and every day.

My Marriage Wasn’t Meant to Be | TheBlaze.com.

 

100 Things About Me, Part 1

I’ve been spending the last few days cleaning up my computer.  Through an “accident,” I ended up with two user accounts on my computer.  I decided to utilize this accident, and add a third account to compartmentalize all my interests.  So I have “business,” “photography,” and “writing” sections on my computer.  While I was moving things around from section to section, I found this and found it pretty entertaining.  I’ll work on posting the second half another day.

  1. I was born in a Texas town that celebrated its 200th birthday long before the United States Bicentennial.
  2. I love the color blue in all its various shades.
  3. I lived in the Virgin Islands for almost 15 months when I was in high school.
  4. The two times I’ve flown to Pennsylvania, my flight has been cancelled and I’ve been stranded there.
  5. I learned calligraphy when I was in high school.
  6. I drove the teacher to distraction because I sat Indian-style in the chair.  She emphasized good posture to achieve the best results.
  7. She was distracted because I proved her wrong by being a very good calligrapher.
  8. I hate the humidity of the part of Texas where I live.
  9. I’d like to live somewhere that enjoyed four seasons, but it will have to be within the Texas state lines.
  10. I have a large freckle to the right (my right) side of my nose.  In junior high, I took a modeling class through J.C. Penney’s, and the teacher thought it was a bit of foundation that I hadn’t blended in properly.
  11. I fancied myself a writer when I was younger.  My first “work” was a pitiful little story about the Bishop’s Palace in Galveston.
  12. I won an honorable mention in the Houston Post Scholastic Writing Awards competition in 8th grade.
  13. Lynn Ashby presented the awards and I got his autograph.
  14. I won third place in the same contest my senior year in high school.
  15. Leon Hale presented the awards and I got his autograph, too.
  16. I learned to scuba dive when I was 15 years old.
  17. Diving over the Cane Bay Wall in St. Croix, I almost gave my dad a heart attack when he saw my regulator float out of my mouth as we swam along.  I grabbed it, cleared it, and kept on going.
  18. I find scuba diving very relaxing (and thus have to concentrate on not letting that regulator float out of my mouth…)
  19. The deepest I’ve ever dove was 80 feet off the Cane Bay Wall, which drops to more than 2,000 feet from the surface.
  20. St. Croix is probably the one place that I would consider living, outside of Texas.
  21. I took Creative Writing my junior and senior years in high school.
  22. The second time I took it was when my physics teacher advised me to drop his class.  I ran to the counselor’s office to return to my favorite class.
  23. I was the editor of the literary magazine that year.
  24. I had a ridiculous crush on the same boy from 8th grade through my freshman year in college.  Thank God for unanswered prayers.
  25. When I was a child, I had a play house with real glass windows.  Three of us were playing together and two of us ran in and locked the door.  My friend tapped on the window with a stick right when the other child pressed his face against the glass.  The window broke and cut his forehead.  I thought it was my fault.
  26. I also had a Schwinn bike with a banana seat and tall handlebars.  The same friend who busted the window in the playhouse gave her sister a ride on my bike.  The sister caught her toe in the spokes, cutting it badly.  I thought that was my fault, too.
  27. I planned to be a school teacher until I realized that I would probably end up in prison for hurting someone’s “baby” for misbehaving.
  28. I’ve been to Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington State, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, plus British Columbia.  Granted, I only changed planes in Florida, North Carolina, and Oregon, and I touched my toes in Illinois and Kentucky on a driving trip, but I have been there!
  29. I love photography.
  30. I have five cameras that were purchased specifically for me.
  31. I also have a 1980 Olympic commemorative Canon 35mm that belonged to my grandfather.
  32. I enjoy scrapbooking, but have a difficult time finding time to do it.
  33. I used to teach scrapbooking classes.
  34. I would like to start cross stitching more.  I used to cross stitch a lot, but haven’t in a while.
  35. I was a perpetual student in college.  From August 1982 to graduation August 1986, I only sat out one summer session to go on a family trip.
  36. I earned my Associates Degree in 2 years — 62 credits were required, but I graduated with 83 credits.
  37. I transferred to Sam Houston State University and earned my B.A. (English major/History minor) in 2 more years.
  38. One of my great great grandfathers was named in honor of Robert E. Lee.  His first name was “Jeneral” and his middle name was “Lee”.  My middle name is Lee, too.
  39. I met my husband on the phone, initially.  Several weeks later I met him in a bar when I went dancing with some friends.  I didn’t make the connection between the person I spoke to briefly on the phone and the person I met in the bar until we’d been dating several weeks.
  40. We dated two years and broke up.
  41. After four years apart, our paths crossed again and we married eleven months later.
  42. I am glad our paths crossed again.
  43. My first job out of college was working as a circulation supervisor for Texas A&M at Galveston’s library.
  44. They did not charge late fees on overdue books and the stack of missing books was ridiculous.  I put a hold on all the records of those students with overdue books.  The graduating seniors hated me!
  45. I retrieved approximately 2/3 of the missing books and collected payment for the books that were never found.
  46. My then boyfriend (now husband) nicknamed me “Conan the Librarian”.
  47. After six months, I changed jobs and spent two years working in the rare book and archives collection of The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
  48. Then I got a REAL job.  I became a legal secretary for one of the big three law firms in Houston and made good money.
  49. And realized quickly that money isn’t everything.
  50. When my husband and I had been married for four years, our daughter was born and I quit my job when she turned one year old.