When I find out people are incapable of staying up until midnight to ring in the new year…

I really want to punch them in the face.

Like… really, really hard.

Unless you have multiple children under the age of 5 who require you to be up at 4:30 in the morning, or you work the graveyard shift, there is seriously no excuse for your lame assery.

Seriously? Midnight? How hard is midnight? Do you live in a nursing home and go to bed at 7:00 pm? No? THEN SUCK IT UP AND RING IN THE NEW YEAR.

Good grief… Has no one heard of coffee?

Advertisements

New Year’s Resolutions are Dumb… But Here are Mine.

Let’s face it… New Year’s resolutions never work. And when they do, it’s usually just a fluke. A plethora of articles have been written about it. Scientists have probably studied it. Money has most certainly been thrown at it to figure out why this is the case. Regardless, I’ll bet if did a Google search with the query “Do New Year’s Resolutions Work?” you’d probably have a big, fat “NO” pop up on your screen. Scratch that. You’d probably have a ton of results pop up explaining exactly why New Year’s resolutions don’t work.

I’ve never been big on making New year’s resolutions. I mean, sure… a few weeks in and I usually jump on the “I’m going to get in shape this year!” bandwagon, but don’t actually do anything about it until late May when swimsuit season is just around the corner, and even then I’m prone to not following through. (Seriously, food and sleep are just too good to give up.)

Occasionally, I’ve made big plans to “get organized” or “do something I’ve never done before”, but again, usually life gets in the way of those grand plans and I end up getting too comfortable and giving up. I’m not a great “follow through” kind of girl. I mean, if someone is expecting something out of me, I’ll probably do it… like graduate high school and college and find a job. But otherwise, if it’s solely up to me? Mer. I guess I don’t care that much. Does that make me lazy? Yes, yes it probably does.

New year’s resolutions are just dumb. If you want to change something in your life, you can do it at any time, not just the new year. Plus, a lot of us give half-assed resolutions we haven’t really thought through and don’t really mean. How are those supposed to work when our hearts just aren’t in it? Additionally, the majority of us just don’t have the will power to overcome the obstacles and early failures that may occur in our quest to better ourselves. We’re all about instant gratification… why are we expected to work on things we can’t get immediate results in? Puh-lease. Besides, even if we do really mean it, even if it’s something we want enough, even if we’re willing to put the work into it and overcome the obstacles that get in our way… sometimes life just happens and it’s easier to curl up on the couch with a pint of rocky road and a decent Lifetime movie than it is to fight it. Am I right?

However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Or… at least pretend to try. Or maybe just start with something little and build up to the big things?

For instance, I’ve decided that I’m going to start with little things that I want to accomplish that will be easy to achieve which will then build up my confidence and give me the “stick with-it-ness” to pursue the harder things? Make sense? So, I thought I’d start with the following:

  • Make use of my Amazon Prime Instant Video Streaming perk. I have no idea why I need instant video streaming or how it’s going to better my life, but if Amazon took the time to send me a letter through the POSTAL SERVICE to tell me about it, it must be pretty important. I kind of hate watching videos, but hey… it’s a perk. So I better take advantage of it. Maybe I can find “Mad Men” on there…
  • Find a show everyone and their uncle has been raving about the last few years and see if I can’t get through an entire series of it. Possible candidates? Orange is the New Black. Breaking Bad. Downton Abbey. The one with the zombies… you know… The Walking Dead! Problem is, not a single one of these interests me, so I may be setting myself up for failure. However, I hate Mad Men the first few episodes and I got over that real quick so… we’ll see.
  • NOT sign up for any online dating services. No matter how lonely and desperate I feel.
  • Take a walk at least 3 times a week. Seeing as I live in the middle of nowhere where temperatures regularly plunge below zero, this may be a bit of a challenge at least until May. So… we’ll do our best with that one.
  • Blog at least 3 times a week. No matter how inane, insipid, and uninspired. (Bet ya’ll can’t wait for that one to kick in, huh?)
  • Get health insurance. This one is just… non-negotiable. I don’t want to have to file for bankruptcy if something happens just because health care costs are insanely high. (Wait… somehow that’s counter-intuitive…)
  • Get a full time teaching job. YESSSS. That’s just… a given. First of all, I’m awesome. Second of all, I finally have some additional experience under my belt. And thirdly… It’s my turn, DAMMIT!
  • Sell my wedding ring. Get rid of that horrible reminder and get some cash, woman!
  • Buy a new car with money from said wedding ring. Let’s face it, Max, my Accord, has seen better days. Between the passenger side mirror I just took off for the second time, the mystery dent on the driver’s side door that literally came out of nowhere (Okay, I’m pretty sure my dead father put it there, but was too afraid to admit it. I mean… he was alive when it happened, but now he’s dead. It wasn’t like… a paranormal thing..), and the horrible rust now eating Max’s flesh on the rocker panel… it’s time to trade up.
  • Put those adorable yoga pants to good use and try my hand at some yoga. It can’t be that hard, right?
  • Brush Winston more.
  • Make more meals at home. Sure, frozen dinners are quick, but they’ll rot your insides…
  • Achieve world peace.

Did I miss anything? Okay, so maybe some of that stuff is… BIG. And maybe it’s not going to be super easy. But dammit… 2015 is my year. No more death, divorces, and crappy jobs. No. We’re moving onto bigger and better things. Who’s with me?

Why I Swear

swearing

A few weeks ago, I came across this blog post by Nate Pyle. It made for an excellent read and it totally resonated with me. Talking about the idea that “God never gives us more than we can handle” he made the following statement:

God won’t give you more than you can handle.  If I may be so bold, let’s just call that what it is:

Bullshit.

This created a firestorm. Apparently, many of his readers were appalled. And so he wrote a blog post about it.

I was surprised by this kind of reaction, because honestly, when I saw that word, I had the exact opposite reaction. My first thought was “YES! Thank you for stating it so succinctly and calling it like it is.” I found it refreshing and honest, not horrifyingly un-Christian-like.

This concept of “appropriate” language is something I have struggled with as both a writer and a Christian. As a writer, I’m compelled to call it like I see it. I don’t want it watered down, and I don’t want to skirt the issue. Sometimes, the only words that can precisely capture the moment are curse words. But then the Christian in me says things like, “You can’t use those words! You’re not being a good witness! What will other Christians think? Do you think you’re setting a good example?” And so, sometimes I’m forced to either apologize for the language I use or water it down which frustrates me to no end. I thrive on writing honestly and clearly… watering it down nearly kills me.

So, how does one balance being a writer and being a Christian? The writer in me balks at using words like “Doo-Doo Head” and “Meanie”. Does it make me less of a Christian when I use “jackass” instead of “jerk”? Do I take my faith less seriously when I use “Bull Shit” instead of “Donkey Excrement”?  I don’t think so, but I’m sure a lot of Christians do. I’m sure a lot of Christians would question my faith and call my behavior un-Christ-like.

To clarify, I’m not condoning the use of profanity. I’m not saying we should just spew forth whatever curse words we can come up with just because we can. I rarely ever swear. I don’t like it. I recoil at people who use cursing as a crutch – where every other word must create shock and awe. I hate it and I think it’s gross. However, in my writing, there are times when a curse word perfectly fits the situation and watering it down would simply not carry the same effect. Does that make me less of a believer? Or does it just make me an easy target for the morally superior, quick-to-judge-and-condemn Christians?

Mr. Pyle put it perfectly.

The Bible does not try to pretty up the facts. It is raw and edgy and reports history as it is. For me, this makes it extremely believable. I can relate to it. I cannot relate to a world in which the only frustrated speech allowed is Ned Flanders gobbledegook. We can substitute all the approved words and nonsensical sounds for words we label as profane, but often times the sentiments behind those words is nothing different. Words mean nothing without the sentiment behind them. And if the sentiment is the same, then why not use the word? Or saying it another way, you can be just as obscene and profane using words considered to be decent.
This is why I swear, and I apologize to all it may offend… but I have to call it like I see it.

Why Christmas Matters

My Christmas was equal parts horrible and awesome. Thankfully, the horrible parts preceded the awesome parts, so it was okay.

However, this Christmas season got me thinking more about why we celebrate the holiday and why it’s so important. I mean, sure, we all know that “Jesus is the reason for the season”, and we try to convince ourselves that the reason we exchange gifts is because Jesus is the greatest gift given to the world so… I suppose that make sense in some sort of bizarre, overly-rationalized kind of way…. and we go to church and try to be filled with love and good cheer and charity in between stuffing our faces and getting greedy over the fact that Aunt Susan totally forgot about us this year, and we invite friends and family over and talk about how thankful we are for this and that and the other thing and clearly all of this is about the little baby Jesus.

Except that it’s not. You know it. I know it. Jesus knows it. Our Christmas traditions really have very little to do with him. Sure, we put up manger scenes in an effort to pretend like we know or even care, but we don’t actually think about it or reflect on it because we’re too busy making food, cleaning the house, and wrapping presents.

I’m as guilty of it as the next person. Every year I’m determined to remember why this holiday is so important but… everything about it just rings hollow. We’ve all heard the “baby born in a manger” story so many times that it feels more like a dried-up fairy tale than a source of hope and encouragement. Christmas has become a holiday full of platitudes and empty messages void of meaning. I finally realized that this Christmas, and so my initial thought was, “Seriously? Christmas? What’s the point anymore?”

And then it occurred to me.

Christmas has nothing to do with a virgin birth, or a baby born in a manger, or wise men following a star, or the coming of a messiah. Those are just scenes from a story. Christmas is about so much more than that.

At its core, the message behind Christmas is this: That an all-knowing, all powerful deity would humble himself to such a degree so as to experience the suffering and hardships of the human condition in order to better serve, heal, love, deliver, minister to and save his creation.

Of all the world’s religions, what other God has done such a thing? What God would do such a thing? What kind of love, compassion and mercy would a God have to have in order to do such a thing? How massive and all-encompassing is His love that He would do such a thing for us – His lowly, insignificant, flawed creation?

That’s… Huge.

And that’s what Christmas is all about – not a baby in a manger or good will and glad tidings. It’s about a God with so much love that He humbled Himself for us in order to save us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.    –John 3:16

Ass Hats Be Gone!

So…

From the looks of it…

And if I have read the legalized mumbo-jumbo in the envelope that came to my door correctly…

I am officially divorced.

Single.

Free.

Um… WHAT.

I think all my family and friends were holding a collective breath, waiting for that notification to come and bracing for the inevitable meltdown that would ensue.

It didn’t.

Instead, I opened the envelope and… smiled. I may have even laughed.

I felt nothing. Not. A. Thing. I think it momentarily occurred to me that I was officially a divorcee, and that maybe I should have that certificate of accomplishment framed and hung on my wall… but other than that… I didn’t give it another thought. Instead I sent out an e-mail to family and friends asking if they wanted to party with me.

Was that inappropriate? Wait, do I actually care?

Not so much.

So… does this mean I get to go out on dates with hot geeks now?

Yes, yes it does.

Now I just need to find some hot geeks in this town…

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

A certain stress-induced insanity, many of us continue to fondly refer to as Christmas.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Every. Dang. Year. And every year, once the dust has settled and the credit card bills start rolling in, and we’re left licking our wounds, we vow to never do it again. But, of course, it never sticks. And somewhere, around mid-December, the stress begins to build and the list of “Have Tos” gets ever-longer, and before we know it, it’s December 23rd and we’ve either worked ourselves into such a frenzy that we’re at risk of developing an ulcer, contracting the flu, or experiencing a massive coronary, OR we’re just so dang tired and cranky that the thought of actually enjoying the holidays seems a distant memory or a mere twinkle in our eye back in November.

It’s craziness, people. And it’s not worth it. Putting our health, our happiness, and our peace at risk for what? A couple days of celebration which never turns out as picture-perfect as we had planned on anyway? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t we learn to simplify? Why can’t we just let it go? Who cares if the packages aren’t wrapped and the tree isn’t fully decked out and the food isn’t ready? That’s not what Christmas is about. It’s about a wonderful gift being given to us… a gift of hope and love and life. And we totally miss the point and go on our greedy little binges trying to be perfect, making ourselves miserable in the end. And for what? You know, as long as you have people around you that you love, and a safe, warm place to sleep, and some food to fill your belly… let’s call it a win and cut all this other crap out. It’s just not worth it.

Who’s with me?

Things That Made Me Go Hmm… Week 7

It is week 7, right? I suppose I could look back at previous posts and check, but honestly, that seems like too much work right now. That’s how lazy I am today.

Anyway… Wait. Where was I? Oh, yes. Things that made me go “Hmmm…” Week 7… or 6… or 8… Honestly? Who the hell knows?

  • This… because… right?
  • This… because I’m 31 and still feel this way much of the time.
  • Pretty much all of BuzzFeed because it’s awesome.
  • Anything having to do with this because it’s ridiculous that we’re letting a 31 year-old pissant call the shots on freedom of expression. (Really, Sony?) Also, the fact that said pissant is actually my age. (What am I doing wrong with my life if I haven’t achieved leadership of a totalitarian government yet?)
  • Should I be concerned that the above statement will result in a cyber attack from North Korea on my blog? No, seriously. Is that like… a possibility?
  • Life Hacks. Basically because I don’t know what a “life hack” is. Is this term a new addition to our vernacular? Why can’t we just say “Tips and Tricks” or “Time Savers” or “Things that Make Your Life Easier”? Why “hacks”? Who came up with that one? And why do I want to punch that person in the face?
  • Christmas Hams. Why ham? Why not fried chicken or Arby’s roast beef sandwiches or 5 Guys burgers and fries? And whatever happened to the more traditional Christmas goose? Does anyone have goose anymore? Or duck? Ham just seems so… common. Goose is much more aristocratic, don’t you think? Do grocery stores even carry goose?

Meh. That’s all I gots, peeps. What made you go “Hmm…” this week? Seriously. I want to know. You know you want to share. All the cool kids are doing it.

And… GO.