Thursday, January 13, 2011

Charity Never Faileth

I just returned from a very frustrating weekend away. I went out of town to help someone who had requested assistance and ended up feeling totally taken advantage of. The assistance was monetarily costly and basically ineffective. The people being assisted were disrespectful of our time and resources. I generally try to give people the benefit of the doubt regarding their motives when I feel hard done by, but in this situation it almost feels like a con, like the things that I'd like to chalk up to absentmindedness were, in fact, deliberate attempts to put me in the position of being long-term financially responsible for something they couldn't afford. I hate feeling like this. I don't like to think someone I love could be capable of such calculation. But either way, whether it was deliberate manipulation or egregious disorganization, the end result for me is the same. I'm out a chunk of change, I've lost respect for someone important to me, and I am that much more cynical about helping those in "need". I'm sure in a week or two I'll have talked myself into a more softhearted state of being, but right now I'm pretty pissed.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

The year started well. I slept in and had a lazy breakfast which was interrupted by my brother ringing to say 'meet me at the theater across the street in 10 minutes and we'll see the new Narnia movie'. Lovely film, lovely company.

After we got home I took a tumble down the stairs and sprained my ankle, (yes, again! Left ankle this time. Could have been MUCH worse) followed by a trip to the vet to have our sweet little pet rat Bella sent to rattie heaven. She had a HUMONGOUS tumor and was starting to have mobility issues, so it was time for her to go before life became too painful for her, but I still cried like a baby. I don't even kill spiders or houseflies. It was very difficult to say to the vet, 'yes, go ahead and kill her'. I firmly believe in animal heaven and I know she's happier now and thankful we did what we did, but it was still sad. We buried her in the flower patch out front. In the spring she'll be surrounded by fragrant blooms. Man, I'm all teary just writing about it. Silly. She was just a rat, and she only lived with us for a month. And it was for the best. Yes, for the best. Humane. Sigh.

I wrote this bit a couple of weeks ago:

This last week was the 9th anniversary of my divorce. I kept my husband's last name after the divorce, mostly because I couldn't be bothered with the paperwork of changing it back. I had just finished getting all my ID and accounts changed over, it felt like, but I always said if I were still un-remarried 10 years after the divorce I would choose a new name for myself and keep it forever. That will be next year, which incidentally will also be the year I turn 40. Seems like as good a time as any for reinvention. And I do feel like I need to reinvent myself. I don't like myself much. I mean I guess I'm nice enough on a superficial level, but I'm not a dedicated person. I skate by on pretty minimal effort. In order to really approve of myself as a person I need to be more actively engaged in bettering myself, spiritually, emotionally, socially, financially. I need to cultivate more discipline in my life. So perhaps as a 40th birthday present to myself I will take for myself the name of one of the kindest and most industrious people I know; my grandfather Elmer Hansen. That's right. From now on you can call me Elmer. Just kidding. I'll keep Leah, but I'm serious about the Hansen part. The new me will not wait for the life she expected which hasn't occurred, and will attempt to cease repining for what she doesn't have. The new me will go forward with her life as a single person who has contributions to make and who deserves a full life, not a life of continually disappointed expectations. Not a life of waiting. I'm done waiting. My life is what I make it now, independent of anyone else.

Since writing the above I've made some specific resolutions for the coming year. Just two. Number one - I would like to take to heart the advice I heard in General Conference and become an early-to-bed-early-to-rise kind of person. I think I will feel better physically and be more organized if I get more sleep... so I'm going to try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Since my new work schedule starts at 6 am that means I'll be arising at 5 am every day Gah! And going to bed at 10 pm.
Number two - I will try to be nicer to people. I realize that's very vague, but I mean to try to be of good cheer, particularly at work, not to let little totally unimportant things get to me, not to let little annoyances ruin my whole day. I'm going to try to smile more, even if I don't feel like it. We'll see how it goes :)

And lastly, just because I can: Some days at work I think deep and meaningful thoughts. Those are few and far between. Some days I think frivolous thoughts. Those are many. Sometimes my frivolous thoughts amuse me to such an extent that I have to share them and today you are the lucky recipient of my confidence. Yesterday I witnessed an altercation between a driver and an unruly passenger who's language left much to be desired. It got me thinking about this poor young man who has yet to realize that profanity doesn't earn you respect, it marks you as a particular kind of person - one who can't hold their temper and has a limited vocabulary and therefore a limited intelligence. I started to think about the art of insulting intelligently... is there such a thing? Anyway, this is the result of my ruminations. Judge me if you dare: "If my canine companion were as unpulchritudinous as your mother I'd use a depilatory on her gluteus maximus and instruct her in the art of hindward perambulation". Bah hah!