Top Hits of a Desk Jockey


I must have saved this fortune months ago because I think Panda Express is disgusting, and only go through there when I have no other options.  I was moving a notepad, and this fell out of the back of it, reminding me of why I kept it.  I have another fortune taped to my phone, “Keep up the good work.  You will soon be rewarded.”  Never hurts to remind yourself of the endgame.  I like rewards.

I also like reminders, which reminds me (oops) that I never got around to putting up my usual mental triggers at this new office.  My old standbys and reasoning behind them follow:

James 3:17
New King James Version (NKJV)
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

That’s pretty clearly stated.  I keep that one up in front of my eyes to remind me that I always need to check myself.  I’m putting that one back up on the computer monitor frame again today because it is timely.  There is strength in wisdom, and there is strength in goodness, mercy, and in not being a hypocrite.  Lane.
Colossians 3:22-23
New King James Version (NKJV)
22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men

I used to put that one up, tongue in cheek, when I worked for a ministry that paid a pittance, but there is good wisdom there, too.  Whatever job I have, I need to work like I am doing it for the highest of purposes.  That’s the only way I have a feeling of fulfillment in routine, and it’s the only way to go to bed at night feeling good about myself.  I feel better about myself when I work hard.
Proverbs 6:6-9
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Folly of Indolence
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep

Again, a reminder that I shouldn’t just be working when someone is watching me.  I shouldn’t need to be babysat in order to produce.  I should take control of my own destiny, and my own work, and be an ant on the job.  I can be a butterfly everywhere else, but at work, I am an ant.  Or a bee.  But not a grasshopper.
Romans 8:38-39
New King James Version (NKJV)
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And this is the one I never truly understood until I had Thor.  It brings me peace and comfort.  I’ve banged on and on about how I really don’t know where I stand as far as religion goes, only that I’m sure I like Jesus, and I want to do my best to do things his way.  I’ve gone from nothing to zealot, to zen, and this verse has meant something to me in all stages.  The first time I read it was in a French science text.  Yeah.  I know.  But after I had translated it, it stuck with me–maybe it was the work involved in the translation?  It was mysterious and beautiful, and I repeated it to myself all the time.  It became a tattoo on my heart.  As a zealot, it made me feel secure and it was hope I tried to throw out to other people.  In my current, more meditative state of faith, I stand on it as a promise that if I’ve strayed off horribly, not even my own best efforts can destroy what’s been put into play.  I trust that if I’ve gone wrong, I’ll come back around because that’s how I love my son.  Nothing, not even his being unsure of me, can separate him from the love I have for him.  He’s just stuck.

He could do things to make me not like him much.  He could do things to disappoint me.  He can certainly go off course, forcing me to correct him, but discipline doesn’t mean I don’t love him.  He is just stuck with my love because I grew him, and I wanted him, and he is mine, and nothing can change that.  I would fight every angel in heaven and every demon in hell, and nothing could separate him from my love.  I put it in there.  He doesn’t have to acknowledge it for it to be so.

And that’s got nothing to do with work, but it does remind me that one of the reasons I work is so that Thor will have a comfortable life.  I don’t work to serve him on a silver platter, but so that he will have the benefit of the peace that comes with financial security, and so he can take steps up from that place to do better than his father and I have done.

So there’s me reminding me of what I am doing behind a desk.  But if anyone asks, you can just tell them they hired me because I’m pretty.

Pinpricks of Joy

A few of my friends have suffered miscarriages and still births recently, and several of my friends have lost babies in the past.  Losing a child is a heartbreaking, world changing thing no matter at what stage or age the child.  When you are looking forward to life with this little person, moving ahead once that dream is shattered is a challenge for both mothers and fathers.

I thought we were losing Thor right after we found out we were expecting him.  That’s part of how he got his nickname.  Not only had he prevailed against birth control, he had prevailed against a flood of cough syrup and a Zpack–you know, because I thought I had the flu, not a case of the babies.  He was a mighty Viking in the making, and I pictured him in there, wearing his horned helment and hanging on to my insides with his pic axe.  The Mighty Thor was born, both figuratively and literally, healthy and wonderful.  However, for those days I thought he might be losing his grip on the axe, I was frantic.

Like many women, I think I became a mother the moment the stripe turned pink on the pregnancy test.  Immediately, I was someone’s mother.  It was my job to protect and nurture this life.  I changed my diet.  I changed my patterns.  I gave up coffee!  I gave up coffee (which is probably why I was always so irritated with Ryan slurping his in the next cubicle–I had jealousy!)

  When I thought I was losing my baby, I went to the doctor to find out what I could do to save it.  Would I need to stand on my head?  Did I need a cork?  Could I drink something?  Take a pill?  Lie in bed for 8 more months?  Yoga?  Meditation?  Animal sacrifice?  Oh yeah, I’d have gone there.

The doctor was removed and pragmatic.  He was pulling off his rubber gloves and he said, “At this poing, there’s nothing we can do.  If you’re going to lose it, you’re going to lose it.”  Then, he sent my shellshocked self to the nurse for bloodwork, and that poor girl was new.  She told me all about how many pregnancies end in miscarriage, I guess hoping to make me feel not so alone in my probable fate?  She figured out that was not helping when I burst into tears.

I found a new doctor.  Thor hung in there.  We have a lovely boy.

Back last September, I got a new pink stripe on a pregnancy test.

People ask me if we plan to have other children pretty frequently.  I don’t think they are being rude.  It’s just conversation.  I have one child, so I must not be opposed to the idea of children, and if I am not, then might I not want more?  I would love to have more children.  It just hasn’t worked out that way.

So, back in September, we got excited.  We had our moment of shock, and I did my dance of trying to pretend it wasn’t that big a deal because when things are really important to me, I am a weirdo.  We had about 24 hours of being very excited, talking about names, and a new nickname–just enough time to fall in love with the idea and the potential for reality.  It was a Saturday.  I planned to call the doctor on Monday and make an appointment.  But, on Sunday all the plans changed.  It simply was not to be.

I was too sad to talk about it at the time.  I told a couple of select people, but I didn’t even tell my therapist about it.  I sat on her couch just a few days later and thought, “I should be talking about this, but it seems silly. It wasn’t dramatic.  It wasn’t even a big enough deal to go to the hospital.  It’s over and done, and nothing can change it.  Why talk about it?  Why trivialize what other women go through, when this was such a simple-to-lose loss?”

You all know that I’m not an “all things happen for a reason” person.  I’m a “sometimes shit happens” person.  I have faith in biology, and oddly enough, in natural selection.  It simply was not to be.  And, it was simply sad.  And, quite simply, I was broken-hearted.

So why talk about it now?  Because you all also know that I am a “talks about everything eventually” person.  It all comes out sooner or later, and because my friends who have so recently suffered have said, it helps to know someone gets it.  Because it’s the damnedest thing how attached you can get to something that isn’t the size of the head of a pin, and what a huge hole that pinprick leaves when it goes.

There is joy in remembering the excitement, though.  And joy in the knowledge that the capacity to love is endless.  And joy in other friends who are expecting.

Love, Laughs, and Laps

I did see this quote on the internet, which means it could very well have come from Abraham Lincoln and not Maurice Sendak, but given that warning, it still meant something to me to read this quote attributed to Maurice Sendak: “Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim: I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, ‘Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

C.S. Lewis, in his book on love, writes of loving someone so much you want to eat them up.  “Love you?  I am you!” Is one of the expressions he uses to convey that feeling.  I know that feeling well.

That is the feeling that makes me kiss the soles of my son’s feet, and that spot on my husband’s forehead, right between his eyebrows.  It is the feeling that compells me to growl like a beast and pretend to gnaw up Thor’s neck, while he giggles and howls, and to blow fantastic raspberries on my B’s belly.  It is the feeling that inspires bone cracking bear hugs, awesome tickle fights, and the best laughter on earth.

The boys went off on a Man-Trip with Granddad this past weekend, leaving me all alone.  I was delighted when they came home.  I missed them!  I think Thor might have missed me a little because he grabbed me, sniffed my hair and said, “I don’t know how you smell so good!” before running off again. 

And my wish for all you readers today, is that you love someone or something so much that you want to eat them/it*. 

While they were gone, I thought to catch up with my movie watching.  You know, the shows they wouldn’t want to watch anyway (or that Thor isn’t old enough to screen.)  You know what I ended up watching?  The Godfather.

I’d never seen it before, and since I’ve fallen so hard for Boardwalk Empire, I thought maybe I should view the –er– godfather of all mobster movies.  It was funny how much of the dialog I knew, just from the social vernacular.  I half quoted Marlon Brando’s opening monologue along with him (something else I can’t do when the boys are at home–act out the movies as they go.) 

I’ll be honest, I thought the first fifteen minutes were awful and boring.  It didn’t get good until they shot Vito Corelone, and then I was interested.  No, then I was hooked and I really enjoyed the rest.

I also watched Bad Teacher on Saturday.  As black comedies go, that one was pretty funny.  I do wish people would stop trying to make Justin Timberlake The Actor happen, though.  He is hilarious on SNL, but otherwise, he is strictly Disney style.  Really.  Watch that video.  God bless him.  He tries.  But he succeeds at making great music.  Anyway.  Bad Teacher=Okay Movie.

In other news completely, this is my  new lap swim toy:

90010 Combination Sport Count Ring

It’s a lap counter for swimmers–looks huge, doesn’t it?  Nope.  It fits on your finger like a secret decoder ring!  It is so cool, y’all.  I was swimming this morning, watching the timer while I stroked, and pretending I was a spy who had planted a device and was swimming away as the countdown ran.  That lasted me two laps before Sweet Child of Mine came on my mp3 player and I had to concentrate on not playing air guitar underwater.  I am that nerd.

What do you think about when you work out?  I have to entertain myself.

*Don’t really eat anyone, okay?  That’s not mentally healthy.

B-eing in Love

I write about Thor frequently, and I think I’m fairly clear that he is the light of my world, and the best thing that has ever happened to me. I had a great life before he came along, but from the moment I heard his first cry–well, it was like going from an oil lamp to a room full of 200 watt lightbulbs. That’s easy to shout from the rooftops, and I am unashamedly his biggest fan.

I write about my mom and my best friends, and I have no problem telling you that I love them all as extensions of myself. They are always on my mind, and I feel very deeply for them.

When it comes to love, I don’t write so much about my husband. Why? I was thinking about that while having a conversation with a friend today. I really don’t like admitting how much in love with him I am. Isn’t that silly? I am happy to tell you that I love my husband. I am happy to tell you how content I am within our relationship. I do not like letting on just how much he means to me. I do not like letting on that I would be lost without him.

I am not a gooey romantic. I’m not a pet name calling, shmoopy, swooning bride. I would just as soon punch B in the arm in public as kiss him. Maybe I would rather punch him in the arm. Kissing is too vulnerable. Letting on how much I love him is too vulnerable.

At my most naked, you will find Bryan because with Bryan is where I want to be–where I choose to be. My choice in him as a partner, my choice in him as a co-parent, my choice in him as my future tells you more about Lane than anything else in the world could. I am, and I say this with full understanding of what the words mean, embarrassed, even a little humiliated at how deeply I desire his validation, and at how much I want his approval. I really don’t care what anyone else in the world thinks–I want to be liked, but I can take or leave anyone except him. I care what he thinks of me.

Both of us being human, we aren’t perfect by any means, but I trust B absolutely. And there’s where I feel the most vulnerable, and maybe even naive given my family history, but I can’t help myself. I trust B like I love him, and that is without limits.

I like for you to think that I am practical and realistic, like a well sifted, exact cup of baking flour. The reality is that when it comes to my feelings for my husband, I am a heaping, lumpy, lovesick mess. I’ve decided that’s all right. Sloppy suits me.

Lane on Love

For as little as I like the tie-dye and crystals that so often go along with the words holistic lifestyle, I think there is a lot to be said for looking at the simplest forms of function, and considering how your life might adapt to them. Even as metaphor, simple function reveals basic foundations for higher structure.

Consider the heartbeat.

When your heart is beating in a good, solid rhythm, it keeps your blood flow good and constant. Assuming your highway system of arteries, veins, and capillaries works properly, and the rest of your organs are cooperating, a steady, rhythmic heartbeat keeps you well oxygenated and flush with health. If you get your heart rate up with excitement or exercise for limited periods of time, it is even better. Your body reaps the benefits of that encapsulated increase. When your heartbeat slows to its resting rate, your body reaps the benefits of that slowed time for recuperation and repairs. However, if your heart rate is higher or lower for too long, it throws everything off and can cause other, radical problems.

I believe it is best to live your life like a heartbeat, within a steady rhythm of structure that works for you. It is okay to have stress or excitement in doses, but if you work in a pressure cooker of stress, or you’ve got someone jumping out from behind corners at you all the time, eventually, that’s going to exhaust your system and affect your whole life. Same for depressed conditions.

Specifically, I am thinking about relationships right now. I keep hearing people saying that they don’t feel the same initial passion for their partner, and think maybe it is time to move on. They still storge and phileo their partner, but they don’t feel so much eros. * Passion comes and goes, and comes back around again. That is the elevated part of the heartbeat rhythm. You can’t live in that state forever–it would sap the life out of you.

The best part of relationships come when you’ve known each other a while, and you can function alongside one another contentedly, without even realizing your contentment. The feeling of security and naturalized happiness that comes from familiarity is a beautiful thing. When your relationship reaches a level of involuntary muscle type service (meaning, it just happens on its own without you having to think about it), that is the best place. Yes, you have to do things to stimulate it and excite it, just like you need to exercise and elevate your heart rate for health, but you also need periods of rest, where the expectation is just for being quiet and still.

Most of the time, though, it should be a steady, unnoticed rhythm. You can put a finger on the pulse and feel that all is well. Steady doesn’t mean dead or dying–or boring. Steady means healthy and alive.

One other thing I have been thinking about, is how Thor is growing. He is growing right under our noses, so I don’t really notice it until his pants don’t fit and he’s wandering around in high-waters. When he has grown, I don’t go, “Oh no! Thor’s pants don’t fit anymore! Time to get a new kid to fit the 4Ts.” No, I buy him new pants.

Relationships are the same. We live together, constantly growing, and we may not even notice how our partners have grown and changed until our proverbial ankles get cold, and we realize our pants don’t fit anymore. That doesn’t mean it is time to change relationships. That just means it is time to go shopping for some new pants.

Shopping for pants takes time and effort. You have to get to the store, go into the store, look around the store, hopefully find what you want, stand in line to pay, pay, then get home and take the tags off and wash your new pants before you can put them on. So, if your relationship pants aren’t fitting right, don’t expect to just be able to go into your closet and pull out another pair with no effort. Chances are, those pants don’t fit either.

Take your time. Trust me. And buy quality pants. They last longer.

For small children, I suggest Garanimals.

*link goes to an article about the CS Lewis book, The Four Loves. I highly recommend this book. It is not an easy read, but it is an honest, almost surgical look at love, what we expect of it, and what it can really offer us. It almost entirely informed my view of what to look for in a partner–and I think I did pretty well on that count.