Wednesday, August 31, 2011

True calling, the dentist and rocket science

I am a smart alec.  Big time.  For those of you who don't know me well, trust me.  And, one of these days, my mouth is going to get me into trouble and possibly get me fired.  So, you say "just keep your mouth shut".  Clearly, you don't know me then.  I talk all the time, and, I promise, it's not just to hear myself talk.  I missed my first calling as a back up singer, which I was totally born to do, and then I missed my true calling as a comedienne!  I love the sound of laughter.  I love, LOVE to make my friends laugh, even if it's at my own expense. I talk to friends about what's bugging them, I talk about my faith, and I talk about injustices.

I happen to like my job.  It's not rocket science (thank God for that! lol  All that math!  Makes me shudder!).  It's four hours a day, and it keeps me off the streets and mostly out of trouble.  However, there's a huge injustice going on there.  It's been going on for even longer than the three years I've been there.  Everyone knows about it, including the managers.  The manager can't do anything because the main hiring/firing person won't do anything about it.  This injustice happens because this coworker (can you call them a coworker if they don't work?) kept because of the color of their skin.  They do not work.  They do whatever they wish, when they wish.  This week, our psuedo assistant mgr told the mgr that the other workers are getting fed up with the situation and having to do our work plus the other persons and it's only week TWO!  She was told by Mr. Manager that if said person doesn't do what they're suppose to that the rest of us "will have to pick up said persons slack".  That did not go over well.

So, yesterday, my mouth was in full gear.  Truth be told, it was awesome! lol  We were doing the dishes and Mr. Manager comes over to help and I looked at him and said "don't worry, we got it, we're picking up the slack."  Not said meanly, but more comically.  He just waved me off.   I don't care what color you are, you could be any color under the sun or a combination of all the colors like the fruit stripped zebra, but if you can't do your job, you shouldn't be there.   What makes it worse is that we know that nothing can be or better yet, will be done to change the situation.  And, as I said, it's only week two!

I know I'm not suppose to judge.  All of us at work try daily not to complain about the situation.  Honestly, we do, but then something happens and BAM....We're right there with "did you just see that?"  What makes it worse is that we KNOW that if we acted the way this conotworker did, we would be written up then fired.  And, the others wouldn't have to pick up our slack.   So, we try our best not to complain and not to judge.  And, as I was stewing about the situation last night it occurred to me, what would we do if the employee was ever removed?  I mean, after the raging party where we all laughed cheered and had a party in the streets.  Who would we talk about?  What would we complain about?  Is it possible that it would be no one?  Now, I must stress to you that none of us at work are perfect.  Nope, not a one.  And, you put more than two women together, things can get a bit feisty.  Which I'd be okay with.  I'm thinkin though, that the torch and pitchforks we carry around we wouldn't need anymore.  Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful!

So, Jesus is all "love your neighbor as yourself".  Am I the only one out there who has trouble with this one?  First off, it took me years, eons, even to like myself.  Really like my quirkiness and embrace who I am let alone love myself.  How am I suppose to love my neighbor?  I don't even know who my neighbors are, well except for Cat and Patrick and I  just love them :D  Shout out to the Underwoods!!!!  I mean I see the neighbors to occasionally say hello too, but how am I suppose to love them, if I don't know them?  I mean, I don't wish ill will on them.  I don't wish anything bad to befall them.  So, here's my dilema.  I go to work everyday, knowing full well that at some point I'm gonna be irked, no matter how hard I work the 'don't fret' mantra.  I don't want to have to work with the injustice everyday, but I have too.  What's the alternative?  How would I feel if I were this conotworker that as a person is okay but as a conotworker no one can stand?  I cannot put myself in their shoes because I'm a worker.  I do what is needed to get the job done.  So, sometimes I take my own advice and pray for said conotworker.  It's easy to pray for the people you like, try doing it for the people you don't.  Maybe that's why conotworker is there.  To teach me patience and tolerance (isn't that why I have teenagers? lol) and not to judge.

Every dentist I've ever been to says "you have such a small mouth!"  And, I just chuckle.  I use my mouth to praise God and my family and friends.  I use my mouth to feed me (sometimes more than I should, but seriously, have you tried the pizza from Joe's Italian Bistro!?) and I use my mouth to judge and hurt others.  I know that's not what I'm suppose to do.  But, I am human, and I have some major failings.  Judging being one of them.  I called up my bff the other day and said "Hey, I read this on judging and it reminded me of us!" lol  "We need to work on our judging"  And, then I went to work and judged the conotworker.   There's a reason we are taught to *become* like Jesus.  That's because we are *not* Jesus.  I don't like being judge for how I look, my quirkiness, my weight, my hair color or my big mouth.  No one likes to be judge, that is of course, unless you're the winner!   Ever play Monopoly?  Whenever one of us got the card that said "you won second prize in a beauty contest" inevitably one of us siblings who didn't get the card would say "Yea, you were the only one that showed up!"  Funny, right?  Point is no one likes to be judged.  So, I will continue to show up everyday and work and try not to judge.  And, try and keep my mouth shut and not be fired.  After all, I really like the people I work with, sans, the conotworker.  We laugh and we have fun and get the job done.  And, after all, it's not rocket science (shuddering at the amount of math they have to know)

Until next time,
Pray for baby Lily who is getting baptized on Saturday

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's the little things

Like when I'm at work and my friend mops my area or my friend finishes filling out a log for me because I had ketchup all over my gloves.

Like when I'm having a get together and my friend gives me her box of wine that she wasn't using and won't take any money for it.

Like when I can hear my mom smile over the phone.

When my daughter is so thankful that I picked her up from school so she didn't have to carry both pairs of her band shoes and all her school stuff.

When my son brings me bbq home from his work (Rudy's) just because.

When my husband meets me at the grocery store to switch cars because his has air and the air in the minivan is going wacky.

When my best friend calls and says "YOU'RE ALIVE!""""  It's been days since we've talked!

Or when my other best friend calls first thing in the morning to share her day with me.

It's when my friends stops by with extra coupons that they're not using.

It's when my girls wash the dog just because.  Or my son puts gas in the minivan as thanks for taking him too and from work. 

It's an email from my dad, George telling me all about his trip and what an awesome time he had. 

It's my new motto at work "don't fret".  It's not my line, it doesn't concern me, so I won't fret over it.  This week has been full of blessings, as is every week, I just actually paid attention this week! lol

It's cool when I actually pay attention how much I notice God and His blessings.  What's that scripture line about being good with little things and He'll give you big things?  I can't remember.  But, you get my point.

God is awesome.  I just have to pay attention more.  And, if I'm diligent with the small stuff, then I won't miss the big stuff :D

What are you missing by not paying attention?

Until next time,
Pray for members of our parish who lost their 11 month old son.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Funerals, Friends, and Audrey Hepburn

I have a love hate relationship with funerals. 

I sing at funerals.  As often as my schedule lets me.  And, at every funeral I sing, I cry, whether I know the person or not.  Today, I sang at a funeral.  While I knew who the gentleman was, my dear friends, dad, I didn't know him well.

I often wonder what goes through peoples minds during a funeral.  Not the family of the deceased, but the people who came to support their friend or family member.  Me?  I tend to think of lots of things.  I think about my own funeral.  If the reading that was done during this funeral I would like for mine.  I think of who I want to do what.  Yes, I know, I have control issues.  I do not want "May the Angels Lead You into Paradise" sung at my funeral!  While it's a pretty song, it's WAY overdone, in my honest opinion.  I would prefer Pie Jesus.  Such an amazing song! 

Then, after I think about my own funeral, I think about the last person close to me who passed away.  In this case it was my Mema a year ago.  When I see the family walk up at the beginning of the Mass, I remember walking behind Mom's (George's) coffin.  I tend to look at the family.  I know that Fr. Tim is talking to them, will they be able to hear and remember what he's saying?  Will they remember what was said at the Eulogy (fyi, my favorite part of funerals!).  Then, I remember back to Mom's funeral.  I remember Father said the Mom 'lived the beatitudes'.  I don't remember much from the eulogy done by a family friend, but I remember smiling and that he described Mom very well.  So, I think that my friend and her family absorbed what they need to help them cope through the coming trials of life without their loved one.

As I said above, I like to watch the family.  I saw grief, sure, but I saw pure love.  Pure amazing love.  From a Dad consoling his son at the loss of his grandfather.  I saw pure love as the grandchildren walked back to get the gifts to present at the altar and one of the older grandchildren put his arm around a grandchild just a little younger than him.  I watched how one of the grandchildren altar served.  I marveled at just how hard that had to be for him, yet how beautiful that he was able to serve and be a part of something so very special.  I saw husbands consoling wives.  I saw a son consoling his mother and sister while grieving himself.  I saw a beautiful, strong, family bond.  I saw Jesus.

You're probably scratching your head wondering why the eulogy is my favorite part of a funeral mass, and I'll tell you.  The eulogy is the part of the mass where someone gets up to talk about the deceased.  Sometimes, more than one person.  And, it's all good stuff.  I mean, have you guys ever been to a funeral where the person gets up and says "Man, that Mike, what a schmuck, huh!?  He was an alcoholic who couldn't even walk straight when he was sober!"  No, people say nice things.  Deacon Ron gave a most beautiful eulogy of my friends dad today.  Her dad passed along messages through Deacon Ron.  How cool is that!  And, to see Deacon Ron so stoic as he talked so lovingly about his friend that he just lost was amazing.  I love the eulogy because it's a chance to share with everyone how great the deceased was.  Even if they had problems, they were loved.  There's always something nice to say about everyone, even if you have to dig a little deeper sometimes.  And, the eulogy reminds us that are left that a) we are human, as we all like to forget sometimes, b) that life is fleeting, c) that we have work to do, and d) that we are loved.  I take something away from each funeral I attend with the intentions of working on that myself, from living the beatitudes, to saying a rosary everyday, to being a better person.  And, as usual, I constantly fall short.  And, you know what?  That's okay.  I'm human.

Now, why I hate funerals.

Well, first is the obvious, someone died.  That means someone is grieving.  Someone lost someone so dear to them.  As I've said before, one of my favorite things about me is my least favorite thing about me, my heart.  It feels *everything*, including empathy.  For those of you who don't know what that is, empathy is your pain, I feel, in my heart.  Secondly, I dislike funerals b/c I know how my family works.  I have come from a big family with aunts and uncles and cousins all of which we're not close to for one reason or another.  So, when someone passes, there won't be the closeness and the Jesus of it all and with that, I feel sad.  Now, on George's side, I am exceptionally close to his dad.  He is the dad that I've always wanted.  He loves me, warts and all.  True, unconditional, love.  When he goes, I'll be a basket case.  Ditto when my mom goes.  Funny thing...I've always said that when Mema passed away I'd have to be put in the nut house because I'll go crazy.  And, after she did, it took a long time for me to feel semi normal.  Funerals and the grief and my heart, take me right back to Mema's death and I struggle for just a little bit.

Why then, do I continue to sing at funerals if I cry and get a little depressed all over again?  Because whether it's the deceased, a family member or friend, or someone singing in the choir, everyone needs to feel loved.  And, like Audry Hepburn says ""I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it."

Until next time,
Pray for the repose of the soul of my friends Dad and for all those grieving.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

God, Mary Boyle, and Dionne Warwick

Good morning!

Everyone have your cup o joe? tea? red bull?  Sit back, relax.  I have some things to share.

This has been an amazing week.  Are you guys aware it's only Wednesday!?!  Like Ferris Bueller says "Life moves at the speed of light.  If you don't stop and look around, you might miss something".  So, this is me, stopping and looking around.

Monday, I stopped by my Carol's to drop some stuff off.  (No, not the kids, they were dropped off the night before. lol) And, in the process she wanted to give George and I a little thank you for helping her and Brian out.  Now, for those of you who don't know, I have a hard time receiving.  I'm what you call a giver.  It makes me blissfully happy to, hugs, gifts (bad advice! lol) it doesn't matter.  George taught me how to receive but that's easy when it comes from him.  Although I'm still waiting on my cottage in Ireland! lol.  But, from, others.  It's difficult to receive.  So, here we are and she wants to give me something, even though it is totally unnecessary, which she knows.  I say "you know how hard it is for me to receive".  And in true best friend only style she says "I know, just say "thank you".  So, me, close to tears, says 'thank you'.  That was a grace filled moment.

Then, yesterday, Tuesday, I went to Mass.  Have I told you how much I love Fr. Eugene!?  I haven't even officially met him yet, but he just has this air about him.  Like a Fr. Antony air.  Not that he is or can replace my Fr. Antony.  Which reminds me, Fr. Antony, if you're reading this, don't forget I sent you an email :D.  But, I digress.  Fr. Eugene has some really great homilies.  Then, after Mass, I got to see my Russ for a few minutes!  He's on his way to Boston for orientation so, please say some prayers for him. 

 Then, I stopped in to see my Mary.  Anytime I spend with Mary is good time.  Even if it's for a few minutes.  I can check in on her.  See how I can help make her life a little easier.  She is amazing and yet another one of my favorite gifts from my chrp weekend.  Yesterday, we had time for some beautiful conversation.  And, in the course she says "look how far you've come in seven years!"  She's so smart.  Yup, Mary, God is good.  If seven years ago you told me I'd have two best friends instead of none, I'd tell you you were crazy.  If you told me that my faith would grow in leaps and bounds, I'd say you were nuts.  If you told me, I'd not only read the bible, but that I would have favorite scriptures and stories, I'd say you were a bible thumper and to please leave me alone.  Seven years later, I have two best friends, multiple spiritual gurus, 2 amazing podmates, favorite scripture, favorite psalms, favorite stories and parables from the bible.  I've got my funeral planned (minus the songs, they keep changing, but I have my favorite readings listed and my Teresa is doing my eulogy.  No, as far as I know I'm not going anytime soon, you know me, I have to have control! lol) I now want to be cremated and permanently reside at 1515 Greenville ave (for those of you who don't know, it's my church).  After all, it is my home :D  In seven years, I have been blessed so much, that if the blessings cease, I have enough to last me a lifetime.  In seven years, I have been blessed with  3 spiritual retreats, many amazing silent retreats, and a marriage retreat.  I have gained so many wonderful friends.  I've learned how to have friends and to be a friend.  I've learned how not to guard my heart so close.  I've learned that friendships come and go, but love stays forever.  I've learned that God gives me what I need even though I don't know I need it.  The biggest being my husband.  I've learned what adoration is and how it's a part of me.  I'm learning, albeit slowly, that God is patient with me and I need to be patient with myself.  And, also slowly, that life is a marathon, not a sprint.  I don't have to have everything RIGHT NOW! lol

Last night, my husband and I sat at a band meeting for freshman parents.  I couldn't help but feel bittersweet.  It's Sarah's first year in the Allen Band.  It's Jaime's SENIOR YEAR.  My son is going to go off to college and leave me.  He's going to grow into the man that God created him to be.  This sucks.  Not really.  I know it's a good thing.  I've been focusing a lot on next fall when he goes off to college.  If I keep that up, I will miss all the good stuff that's about to happen.  So, I am trying to focus on the present.  However, that doesn't stop me from getting teary eyed.  So, in the words of one of my favorite singers Dionne Warwick "if you see me walking down the street, and I start to cry, each time we meet...walk on by".  I promise you, nothings wrong.  No one died.  Life isn't over.  It's just my heart coming out through my eyes.

So, that's where we are today.  Wednesday.  Totally filled, with love, grace, and coffee.

Until next time,
Pray for the freshman who are marching in the heat.