Archive | June, 2009

Going to church….get me my piece

28 Jun

On Sunday mornings when I get ready for church, the usual things that I think of bringing to church aside from my purse generally include a bible and perhaps a bottle of water. Never would I think that bringing a gun to church would be okay, but hey maybe I am out of the loop. After all I do attend one of those more liberal churches, of course that was not always the case…considering I have spent a lot of time in Baptist and Pentecostal churches I am pretty familiar with how my more strict brothers and sisters in Christ think …then again, I stopped attending those churches back when we are under the Bush regime so maybe things have changed. Ya know…we got that damn darkie in the White House.

Check out this piece….seems Ken Pagano the pastor of one New Bethel Church in KY, just hosted a bring a piece to church day. Oh, I meant bring a gun to church but considering piece is slang for gun, I think it’s more fitting. Call me crazy, but church is supposed to be a peaceful place. I cannot think of anything less peaceful than going into God’s house with guns. In fact considering Jesus himself threw folks out of the temple for selling in the temple (Matt21:12-13), I can’t believe he would be none to pleased with some of the folks these days who call themselves Christians which implicit in that name is the fact they supposedly follow Jesus.

Lately I find myself as I recently wrote growing increasingly weary of so-called Christians. Reading the New Testament there is nothing there that I have read that leads me to believe that Jesus was a man that would be down with bringing guns to churches, while Pagano states not all Christians are pacifists, was not Jesus a man of peace? Heck, in Matthew Ch 26, when Jesus was down to his last hours on  earth….when one his own crew pulled out a sword to strike the servant of those who would betray Jesus, Jesus states “Put your sword, in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matt 26:52). One of Jesus’ own was ready to use a piece and here Jesus was saying nahhhh, lets not do that.

So how does one who claims to love Jesus stray so far from his teachings? Because we as humans decide we are going to do what we want and say the Big guy told us, then again these same people will fight hard against issues such as abortion and gay rights.

As far as Pagano and his crew they believe that because this country was founded at a time when carrying a piece was a good idea that it’s still a good idea now….newsflash times have changed.

I’m sorry but folks of this ilk are just one of many reasons that I feel Christianity is losing its cachet here in the good US of A. Folks are seeking spirituality and peace in these crazy times but guys like Pagano are making it easy to just bypass Christianity and look at other faith traditions . After all, I don’t know about you but the idea of praying and holding hands with a guy strapped to do battle does not leave me with a peaceful feeling and if I need a piece, well Norm’s Guns and Ammo is not too far from me and I won’t even need to hear a sermon. Just go in and buy my piece.

King of Pain….King of Pop

26 Jun

Obviously if you are reading this, unless you have been under a rock, you have no doubt heard of the sudden death of Michael Jackson, the self-proclaimed King of Pop. Clearly June 25 was quite a day for pop culture with the expected death of Farrah Faucett and the unexpected death of Michael Jackson.

Michael…what can I say. I was born in the early 1970’s…I grew up listening to the Jackson 5 and the ole Black Michael. Mine was a family where we were always listening to music like many working class Black families…I was in either 4th or 5th grade when Michael made it really big with the release of Thriller. Damn, I still remember how cool that cat was when he burst on the scene with that famous moonwalk, as another piece I read last night stated this was before the era of you-tube, when it was a huge deal to see something like what that cat was doing. I remember when every kid wanted a red leather jacket and a glove. Everyone wanted to be like Mike.

But somewhere along with the way, Mike went from being a superstar to a super oddity. First it was a nose job, then a little more nipping and tucking….eventually Mike went from being a Black boy to being a strange looking cat. Then there were the allegations of sexual abuse of little boys which for many Americans turned us away from MJ. I admit between the allegations and strange behavior, I can’t say I have been an active fan for years. But I still have enjoyed his early music.

In many ways Michael changed the music and dance game, even though there are younger generations like my son, that only remember MJ as a circus act, there is nothing that can take away from the reality that he changed music and broke records…his music broke musical barriers, hell he put Black folks on MTV. He was a game changer.

All that said, he was incredibly tragic figure, I was surprised to hear he was only 50. Considering he got in the music game at 5, that was 45 years of actively being in music. It also meant that he never had a life and later years I suspect alot of his eccentricities were the result of a childhood deferred. It’s also been well covered that MJ’s father, Joe was a unrelenting taskmaster who worked his children hard to escape the grind of life in Gary Indiana which truthfully who wouldn’t want to get the fuck out of Gary? Gary Indiana is the arm pit of the Midwest, less than an hour away from Chicago, for as long as I can recall its always been a shitty place.

Yet the level of fame that MJ found came with a price, perhaps he should have called himself the King of Pain since clearly his journey in life despite the riches and fame seemed rather painful at least to me.

Which brings me to another point, in the hours since his passing, I have noticed at least in my online circles, that while many will acknowledge he was a game-changer when it came to music at least here in America, many were so disgusted with the charges of sexual abuse that his professional accomplishments were overshadowed by his tragic personal life. Yet at least within the American Black community, there is a sense that while we recognize he was tragic at the end, we are still able to celebrate the greatness he was before the madness took over his life. Among whites that I know and that includes the Spousal Unit, there is less of a willingness to see that greatness but more of an acceptance for the circus freak he had become in his later years.

I am reminded though how many great whites in entertainment though still stand the test of time despite the rumors and allegations that personally they were unsavory characters on a personal level. Elvis, anyone? Elvis  is still seen as great despite the fact that getting involved with a 14 year old girl when you are 24 is pretty much a no-no and as a parent equally as offensive as allegations of sexually abusing young boys. In both cases its abuse of a child but America has a funny memory when it comes to race and what we remember.

Anyway may the King of Pop perhaps find peace in the next life.

So you don’t say

25 Jun

I have a confession to make, one that I have only really stated to the Spousal Unit but now I am ready to share with the world. Christians scare me and I am a Christian. No, I am serious….while I attend a UCC Congregational Church which at times feels a tad light and fluffy, for the most part it meets my needs for a church home.

The larger issue is that as the director of a faith based organization, I come across a lot of Christians of all manner, some who are low key and some who are so over the top that even I, a person that tipped my toe into the more fundamentalist styles, find myself cringing.

For reasons of privacy and the fact that there are folks in my professional circle that access this blog, I can’t get specific as it would not be proper but I can share that personally I am sick and tired of folks that blindly praise the Lord and want to turn him into a magic genie who meets all needs.

Fact is since the death of my Mom five years ago, my faith has been in flux. During her illness, I never ever thought she would die. Even when a dear friend who was a medical school dropout (she did 2.5 years) told me that the type of cancer my Mom was battling had a low chance for long term survival. Yeah, I read all the stats but at that time I was still living in the land of where Jesus said whatsoever you ask in my name, I will do for you. (John14:13-14)  Clearly that meant Jesus was going to heal my Mom, and that life was going to be all good. Well that did not happen, not by damn far….

So one could say, I had a good case for ditching this Christian gig, right? Well, I did briefly toy with the idea but truthfully her death gave me a reason to study the word on a deeper level and when I did, I realized that in many cases we don’t get what we think we ought to have or need. No, for me I find I have found grace and peace, a quiet presence that seems to hold me tight no matter what. Christians often call it the Holy Spirit and I do think it is the Holy Spirit that Christ promised he would leave us with.

Yet even with the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, I walk a fine line in that my brain has not been overtaken and that I use common sense which I think is also a God given gift. So many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are holding out for the fantastical supernatural experience, they are so geeked up that they bring others in telling them that Jesus and God will do this and that for them. Some even go so far as to say if you are broke, sick….fill in the blank of whatever afflicts you, that you are suffering because you obviously have a shortage of faith! Really, you don’t say.

So a cold or financial hardship is the result of lack of faith? What about Job, that was a whole book in the Old Testament about a man who had plenty of issues. Even the guys who followed Jesus did not exactly have great lives as a result of their involvement with Jesus. Heck, one could almost deduce that trying to walk the Christian path could bring more woes upon a person, almost like a supernatural battle between good and evil….

At the end of the day, I am no Christian scholar but I can say that selling Christ as the magic cure-all for everything seems to go against everything he stood for especially when the man Jesus Christ seemed to have led a simple life focused on helping others….quick aside, very few of these holly rollers ever seem to spend much time engaging with the type of folks Jesus did.

I leave you with the link to a great song from my youth that reminds me of many folks who I come across. (its Front 242’s Welcome to Paradise)

Tuesday ramble

23 Jun

Rain, rain go away and how about you come back in a couple of weeks? Yep, its another gray rainy day up here in my corner of the world. I woke up early to take girl child to her first dental visit and now have a pile of work on my desk that I am avoiding. Too damn tired, so that means I have all sorts of random shit running around in my head…so today’s post has no rhyme or reason other than I was just thinking.

Riddle me this? Why do white guys bring chainsaws when they are about to get down and dirty and fight? No, I am serious, yesterday I was working in my home office and all of a sudden I heard angry voices. As an aside I now understand better why when we were looking at this house, local folks tried to talk us out of buying so close to an apartment complex. I swear 9 out of 10 times if something worthy of calling John Q Law happens on this block its because of the apartment dwellers…by the way I grew up in apartments so I am not bashing folks in apartments it just seems that in Maine, apartment dwellers are a tad rowdier than I am used to but I am getting off track.

Anyway after hearing one guy call another one a filthy MF, I realized maybe I should peek my head out the window. What did I see? A guy who lives in the apartment complex engaging with a man who lives in the townhouse across the road from the apartment. The man in the townhouse had a posse of young men, hopping out of a pickup truck who were all yelling at the lone apartment man, lets go. In case you are not hip on young folk vernacular, that would be the sounding cry that they were about to take the altercation to the next level and get physical.

Now from my view it already looked like apartment guy was about to get his ass kicked unless he was about to bring out his inner Bruce Lee. Those fellas getting out the pickup looked beefy and like they kick asses on the regular and apartment boy looked like he had not been eating his Wheaties. So if that wasn’t bad enough one of the pickup dudes runs to the side of the townhouse and comes back with a chainsaw and starts running towards apartment boy. I admit my heart fell thinking oh shit. Thankfully at about that time, the clear sounds of the police came and the two camps started to back away…guess no one wanted a ride in the backseat.

So who knows what will happen but this scene reminded me of many years ago, my ex-unit got into a verbal altercation with my landlord ( I say mine since we were separated) and the landlord ran in his house and came out with a chainsaw…sadly my ex-unit maced the guy. It had no impact on my relationship with the landlord though the ex could no longer visit our son at my house. But this incident made me think about the fact I have never seen a couple Black or Latino guys getting ready to rumble and deciding hey I need a chainsaw. Shit that makes you go hmmmmm.

So its official Jon and Kate are no more. I know you are devastated just like I was…..not! But riddle me this if your marriage were dying, why the fuck would you put that out there when you have 8 kids??? Look, I know they have a contract but at a certain point where is the common sense. Fucking cancel the contract, work on the family. Sorry, Jon and Kate but I think the college fund may end up being the therapy fund when those cute kids are older.

Also but maybe its me but a show showing each parent at a time with  the kid hardly seems tv-worthy. I mean if we are about to see Kate raises 8 (with a little help from Jon) what the heck is so different between her a million other single Mamas. Ummmm, well she is cute and white and the kids all have the same Daddy. Sorry, but I had to go there.

Lastly, before I went to bed Keith Olbermann mentioned some Republican lawmaker who was against the Summer Food Program that feeds poor kids. In fact she stated that there was no need for a 16 year old to access this program since they could get a job at McD’s…after all hunger is a great motivator. What the hell is wrong with Republicans, I swear they are becoming more unhinged.

Anyway may the sun come out so I can go back out and play between work. Until then I am in my gloomy office with all sorts of thoughts swirling around in my head.

So when are you leaving?

22 Jun

This is a question that I get a lot these days as my son gets closer to 18. See, when we moved to Maine seven years ago, I figured I would do my time in Maine and when he turned 18, I would head back to Chicago my beloved hometown. Only problem is that life got in the way, it started off with the untimely and unexpected death of my mother and grandmother, the birth of my daughter as well as the purchase of our first home. When we bought the house it was during the real estate boom and we figured we would stay here 5 years or so…well this week marks 5 years that we have been in this house.

The truth is that I don’t know if and when I will leave Maine. Yeah, Maine can be a hard place to live as a Black person from one of the larger urban areas that many folks of color live (NYC, Philly, LA, Chicago, etc)…I mean Chicago the city has 3 million people in the city alone compared to the 1.5 million folks that live in the whole damn state of Maine.

So in the early days here I was in constant culture shock…then there is the practical stuff, like getting your hair done. Southern Maine has a whopping 2 hair salons that do Black hair and one of em is so bad that most Black folks her either travel to Boston, go natural or do their own hair. Which brings up another tidbit about living in the whitest state in the nation, even finding hair products to do your own hair can be hard especially if you want products geared towards Black hair. We have Sally’s Beauty Supply here but poor Sally’s Black section is real small…its a good thing I use natural products and have a fondness for Aveda products or else I would be shit out of luck.

Want to buy a lipstick and you aren’t white? Up until a few years ago, a trip to the makeup counter at Macy’s didn’t net a Black woman too much but we do now have a MAC counter so that helps a lot. A sista got tired of ordering online or heading to Boston for a damn tube of lipstick.

Making a nice soul food meal with collard greens? You can find collards here but they aren’t cheap, even at the farmers market in season I pay over $2 a pound for greens and you know you need a fair amount to make a pot. So I do string beans instead of greens most of the time and forget finding smoked turkey parts out here, its a good thing I still eat pork or else I would be really shit out of luck for indulging in my occasional nostalgia for southern food.

Yeah, people do still look at me like why the hell am I here especially when I am in an area that I don’t live in…or like this past weekend when I decided to eat at an establishment that looked like they had never seen a person of color step foot.

So you might wonder, why the hell aren’t you leaving anytime soon? In a nutshell, Maine has become home, Chicago will always be my hometown but Maine is my home. I have met some incredible folks here, the week after I came home from burying my mother, the Spousal Unit and I were out eating at a local eatery. The owner asked where I had been and I explained, well when I asked for the check he told me it was on the house, it was his way of offering condolences.

I could go on with random acts of kindness that I have only encountered in Maine, acts that are so powerful that it makes the occasional idiots less of an idiot. The physical beauty in Maine is amazing, its been 7 years and the ocean still mesmerizes me and the fact that its only a 10-15 min drive to the ocean is great.

The fact that small businesses here still use the honor system is also sweet, this weekend we picked strawberries at a local farm and the farmers were at lunch but rather than close the farm down they had a box sitting on a table so when you were ready to pay, you weighed your goods and put the cash in the box. Now being a big city girl, that tickles me pink…lets be honest, that would not fly back in Chi-town. Hell folks would either steal the cash or at the very least drive off without paying for the goodies. Or as my son likes to joke, the homeless folks would be in the  fields eating up the food.

Its things though like this that really make me like Maine, in many ways its a simpler place and at this stage in life I enjoy a simpler life though I do wish I had more folks of color here especially since my best Black girlfriend here in Maine decided it was a wrap after 10 years and relocated to CT.

Plus there is the practical issue that should I leave Maine, where do I go? Going back home doesn’t make much sense since I don’t have a job or home to go back to. Hell, both my brother and father live in bachelor style apartments so they couldn’t even put us up while we get settled. Then there is that pesky issue that while the Spousal Unit is self-employed it costs more to live in Chicago and I can’t take my job with me, of course the fact that I now have a house for life provided I pay the taxes and insurance are all good reasons to stay a while.

No, I am in no rush to head back but I would like to see my financial situation get to the point that we can visit more often. So guess I won’t be leaving anytime soon.

Reflections on Papa

21 Jun

Its Father’s Day, a day that frankly IMO gets not nearly enough fanfare compared to Mother’s Day. Of course we live in a world where sadly fathers are sometimes not around and Mama plays the role of both Mama and Papa.

I always thought my Dad would die first, but fate being what it is, it was my Mom that passed away first leaving me with just my Dad. In the five years since my Mom’s passing I have gotten to know my Dad a lot better than I did when my Mom was alive. My brother and I have a tenuous relationship with my Dad, he is a man who tries but the best way to sum up my Dad is to say see the movie About Schmidt. Jack Nicholson’s character is very much like my father….awkward to say the least.

That said, on Father’s Day I am thankful for my Pops. A man who tries the best he can though he is limited, maybe its because I am a parent and I have made a lot of mistakes as a parent that I can still love and now accept my dad for who he is, though its been a hard journey. In the early years after my Mom’s death, I wanted him to fill the void left by my Mom but it was not to be….now I accept him for who he is and most days life works better.

On Papa’s Day, I also look at my husband who often feels substandard as a father because he is not the greatest financial provider though when he leaves this early realm I am sure our kids will care less about how little money had and more about the fact that he was always there for them.

My husband has been in my son’s life since elder boy was three and has an amazing relationship with the Spousal Unit despite the fact there is no biological connection. So my son is doubly blessed to have not only his biological father but an amazing step father who has never made any difference in how he treats out two kids.  For our daughter he has always been an amazing and patient man who if nothing else deserves a metal for his willingness to embrace shit duty when the girl child was still in diapers (I hate changing diapers) and even now when she needs help wiping her behind after a bowel movement.

So to the men in my life and that includes the former Spousal Unit…Happy Father’s Day. To all Papas I hope you are having a great day!

Call me close minded

19 Jun

I am telling you right now, what I am about to say may be offensive to some, for that I apologize but I really need to say this…Now I consider myself a pretty open minded person. To some degree I have to be, I mean look I am a Black woman who happens to be married to a white guy with biracial kids who lives in Maine of all places. That type of background by its very nature should tell you that I am a pretty open person.

I have all kinds of folks in my life that I call friends ranging from raging Christian fundamentalists, gay and lesbians, pagans….really the whole range but some things, I am sorry I just don’t understand. I have recently run across some folks who consider themselves poly-amorous. In case you are not familiar with that term it means they are in relationships with multiple folks at the same time and everyone is aware of the situation….sorta like modern day swingers.

Now I don’t have a problem with folks who swing, but I am talking folks in families with kids and mutiple partners…maybe its my Christian roots showing but I don’t get that. So if you swing , can you enlighten a sista because honestly the more I hear about this, the more I find myself scratching my head going why?

I will be honest, I have always stated that I think in every relationship there should be one get out of jail card free…practically speaking that means you get one time to stray and I am not talking a full fledged relationship with someone else. I am talking you got drunk, skunky drunk and shit happens. Long as you are honest with me (don’t have me going to the gyno with burning or bumps) then we can work through it.

Now I know you are wondering wtf???? Didn’t she just say she is not down with polyamory? I did but for me what I am talking is a one time you fuck up card. Thankfully neither the Spousal Unit or I have ever called in that card and chances are we never will but I did start our marriage putting it out there because I figure if we are married at least as long as my folks were (31 years) I can forgive one lapse in judgement over a lifetime together. Now I would probably be unpleasant for a bit but it would not be the death of the relationship.

However having a regular girl or boy on the side is a problem and talking about moving that person in…well that is up there with I don’t get it. Maybe its me but logistically how the fuck does that work? Baby, I am with so and so tonight. More importantly how do 3-4 folks engage in a loving relationship all at the same time that presumably is sexual?

See, I feel like if feelings for another ever got that deep than maybe its time to reevaluate the primary relationship, I am sorry but that sort of love triangle seems like recipe for someone snapping and losing their mind. Not to equate myself with God but in the Old Testament of the Bible it says thou shall no other Gods before me and that he is a jealous God. Well I feel like thou shall have no other adult love interest but me for I am a jealous wife….yeah, that sounds bad but as someone who is often pushed to the max emotionally the idea of splitting myself emotionally with two men  sounds like even more work that having one man. KWIM?

Then there is the issue of kids, how does one explain multiple parents? No, I am serious. Even here where I live parents with 2 moms and 2 dads well that’s normal at least in my world, but 2 dads 1 mom or 3 moms and 1 dad…I don’t get it and part of my writing this is not to bash anyone but to honestly say if you have this sort of situationm please tell me how it works because I have just presented all the reasons why I don’t get it.

I mean what woman hasn’t said she wished she had a wife? Got PMS and the ole man is horny, send your co-wife instead, that I get but what happens when I need some love and my co-wife got the love allotment? See, that would be problematic at least for me.

So excuse me if I was crass and offended you but the beauty of blogging is that I get to say what I want and even look for ways to expand my mind….happy Friday.

Dispatches from the Formerly Middle Class #2

18 Jun

Sadly I haven’t had any takers for the idea of having a guest post each week from someone who is not coping well with the economic downtown (hey, if you have a story you want to share, let me know). But have no fear, I got off work early and figured in the absence of a a guest blogger, that I would share a story with you that I read about.

This piece was in the NY Times a few days ago, anyway in case you don’t feel like clicking the link and you haven’t read this story. Its basically about how credit card companies are starting to offer settlements on delinquent accounts on a more regular basis. In this piece Edward McClelland a forty-something year old freelance writer ended up becoming delinquent on his credit card (since I am married to a forty something freelance writer, I am guessing McClelland isn’t earning the type of loot he used to) and eventually settled with the creditor for half the bill.

Now for folks who are used to paying their bills and have never found themselves in this situation it may be newsworthy that credit card companies will settle with you but the reality is they have always done this…and no I don’t know this because I am a lifelong deadbeat but my mother was a bill collector so I know quite a bit about how the collection industry works.

See, if you have little in the way of wages that can be garnished and the self-employed generally meet that criteria and you have no assets, creditors really can’t do a lot to you. Yeah, they can sue you but again if you have real property, remember the old saying “You can’t get blood from a turnip”…well the same rules apply to collecting money.

Now in the NY Times piece McClelland in the comments section is being taken to task for what many fine upstanding folks consider shirking his responsibility for not paying the whole bill, but the reality in the new world is that many of us want to honor our commitments but if you don’t have it, you can’t pay it…. I personally like eating and while Visa is important, eating is even important.

Personally I applaud the man for trying to do the right thing in these tough times…as I am learning day by day as I deal with my own financial downfall that many of the things that we used to do are simply not part of our reality.

So here is another weekly dispatch from the formerly middle class.

Education versus no education

16 Jun

One of things I kill time doing online is looking at blogs and discussions boards where folks discuss frugal living, it seems without fail the issue of student loans comes up. I am amazed at the number of folks who claim there is no value in paying for an education and as a result have no desire to pay for their own kid to go to college. Often these folks figure if their kid wants to go to college, said kid will find a way to make it happen.

Look, college costs may be a tad inflated, hell even the value of having a degree is not quite what it used to be but I always want to scream at these folks, have you ever lived a life where you had to support you and a kid without an education? I have and it was not pretty at all.

Elder boy was born when I was 19, for less than a year I received government assistance but as I have written in the past, I found it be such a demoralizing experience that as soon as I was able to work, I did. When my son was 2 there was a time I was working 3 jobs to put food on the table, as a high dropout at that time there was not exactly a ton of high paying gigs available. When he turned 3, I was able to secure a decent job that at that time paid well but when you have no education, a good paying job is not always something you can count on….they come and go. Just ask those folks in Michigan who have been living with the decline of the auto industry. Guys and gals who started off at a plant at 18 or 19 and put in years, enough to secure the middle class dream only to see now that the dream is gone.

I know what you are thinking, but what about the college educated folks who are in the same boat? Well the beauty of education is that if done right it can lead to many paths and for better or worse we live in a time where a piece of paper that says BA or BS still has power.

Ok, BGIM you may be thinking but why should I have to pay for my kid to get a degree? Well because child rearing doesn’t stop at 18. Maybe its because my son is less than a year away from turning 18, maybe its because I did put myself through school and will be saddled with student loan debt until I retire but for me personally I can’t see saying sorry kiddo you are 18, you figure it out.

Even in my po dunk ass state, tuition plus room and board (main campus is almost 4 hours from me so elder boy can’t commute) still costs damn near twenty thousand!!!! I don’t know about you but what sort of gig do you expect a 18 or 19 year old to get that can pay those costs and still have time to actually attend a class and maybe even study? Even  a summer gig at 40 hours a week isn’t going to add up to that sort of cash.

Now I know what you may be thinking but what about my retirement? True, you should be concerned about your retirement but maybe a better step is thinking about the cost of kids when you are doing your family planning and no I am not trying to be snarky. The reality is if you only have 1-2 kids it might be a heck of a lot easier to help your kid with college than if you have say 4-5 kids.

Personally while elder boy has no college fund I fully expect that just as I have always figured out a way to pay for things, we will figure out a way to help with college costs. In fact its funny that when baby girl starts school next year, elder boy starts college, so guess the daycare money will get moved to the college payment fund.

As parents we want the best for our kids and starting life struggling in many cases is not the best, yes at 18 they are legal adults but as someone whose own parents took that approach I can say it sucked monkey balls.

However there are options aside from college that are cheaper and they include the military, Americorps (kid can earn valauble work experience plus cash for college) , plus if you have decent community colleges a kid can always start there. Or if the kid is eager to get in the work world, there is always trade school but whatever you do, don’t just tell an 18 yo they are on their own. Its one of the few things my own folks did that still pisses me off.

I am a firm beleiver that having an education gives you options in life, I come across too many women in relationships where they never finished their education, don’t have recent job skills and in many cases feel trapped because they hate their partners but have no way to provide for themselves. I have my days where I hate the student loan debts I have but I know that if for whatever reason the Spousal Unit and I parted ways, that I have the ability to take care of me and my kids. I may have to leave Maine but education gave me options that many years ago I didn’t have…even now I have been able to use my education to do multiple things to earn money. Yes, there is always someone who earns plenty without a degree but in many cases those folks are exceptions.

So think about it, what kind of life do you want for your kids?

Unplugging for connection

15 Jun

A while back I wrote about my marriage and how I wasn’t feeling as connected to the Spousal Unit as I would like…sorry I am too tired to link to that post. Anyway since the time I wrote that post, things have gotten a tad better. No, the Spousal Unit did not suddenly grow a luxurious head of hair, his beard is still flecked with gray and he still has a bit of a pot belly though he is working on not snacking as much. I can’t even say our money woes have suddenly gone away.  Though the Spousal Unit has gotten some clarity around his mid life crisis as it relate to his career and is heading in the right direction.

So what did change? Well as of lately I have decided to unplug a bit from the internet. See, I spend a lot of time online, in part I am on my computer a lot because of work but truthfully over the past few months (really longer than that) I have started using the internet as an avoidance tool. Its much easier to read blogs and read about other folks seemingly perfect lives, granted I had a revelation today that the grass is not always greener on the other side. As a blogger, I tend to be a bit raw, or as one of my favorite professors in grad school used to say..get raggedy so you can see what’s really beneath the surface.  In many ways this space serves as my place to let it all out and over the months I have appreciated the feedback.

However last week, it hit me that I need to really limit my time online. So this weekend I did just that and guess what? The result was a level of connection that I have not had in a long time, so much so that I found myself wondering how many of us use the internet to avoid dealing with those less than perfect things in our lives?

I suspect I am not alone, maybe you don’t use the internet, maybe you stay busy…really doesn’t matter what it is but I am reminded that in our high tech world sometimes we need to turn it all off to get some perspective on our own lives. Today started like any other Monday in that I had a lot on my plate but for the first time in a long time, I saw the Spousal Unit in a positive light and it felt good.

So if I go MIA for a while it most likely means I have unplugged so that I can plug into those who are most important to me. If you don’t have relationship issues but are just feeling overwhelmed with the pace of life, I strongly advice unplugging, summer is here, get off the computer and enjoy some nature. Now I just need the sun to come out again so I can get back outside.