Consulting my mind, and understanding my perspective (just exploring, and writing “it” out – yesterday, weeks ago, and next November). Dogs, houses – school and candy.

 

into the arms of make-believe, you find your solace there

cuddled in a hazy inbetween, like you hardly know you’re there

 

-Aun Aqui

1/7/2011.

This is just a streaming entry “of the present;” not copying anything I’ve written down in the past week.. nothing old, this will all be new (unless I decide to share a poem or song I’ve written or composed).

Life has been busy, like usual.  Whose life ISN’T busy?  And while a life without pressure – consisting only of free time and personal pursuits – is dreamt of, longed for, an idea to be worshiped..

is it really THAT worth living?

How interesting is a not-busy life?

I remember school breaks.  I always cried on the last day of school (when I wasn’t homeschooled and my mother allowed me to attend public school).  That last bell and bus ride home meant — I won’t have set goals for everyday, the coaching of teachers, the companionship of friends, the widely acclaimed and somehow special and heart-warming cafeteria food, the early rising and good sleep. 

It was devastating.

I’ve always loved keeping busy.. I’ve thrived when I’ve had demands on my time.  When left to myself — uncalled, nothing assigned to me — I wither, emotionally, spiritually, physically.  What is there, then, to do, but

  • eat,
  • sleep, and
  • watch TV too much?

Chris and 1. eat healthfully and moderately, 2. sleep an average of 6-7 hours a night, and 3.  don’t even own a TV.

Anyways.  So yes, life is busy.. Bruster (our new puppy) has revolutionized our lives.  It’s all about Bruster.  Chris and I are feeling a sort of sentimental sadness, as if we’ve lost our old closeness.  All our “free time” (very minimal, it always was) used to be devoted exclusively to eachother.  Now, when I walk in the door, I’ve barely greeted and kissed Chris on the cheek before Bruster comes running over, whining –wanting to be fed, watered, petted, walked or played with.  Chris falls into bed, late and exhausted every night.. feeling unfulfilled, because “all he’s done” is work 8 hours at Panera, cook dinner for us and entertain and care for a dog.  It’s been hard on me.. because when I sense that he’s unhappy and stressed, I feel entirely responsible. 

He married me.. I was supposed to make him happy.  I’ve made his life harder.  I’ve crushed his dreams.  He used to have free time to pursue his noble interests; now, he doesnt, because he doesn’t have time, because he has to work, because we have bills, BECAUSE OF MEI wanted the dog, I was scared of being alone in the apartment.  He has to cook dinner, because I wont get home early enough this evening..

the list goes on.  That’s the train of thought.

So yes, we’ve had to do some growing, maturing, adjusting, and communicating.  We’ve had to establish that we aren’t turning on eachother in the midst of stress.. financial and emotional.  We just misdirect our frustrations sometimes.

Financial stress..

who doesn’t understand that phrase.

Well, I’m still working part-time (only) at Eco.  My hope of being hired for full-time work after being trained is slowly caving to realism: they just don’t NEED another full-time teller on duty 5 days a week.  Tough luck, should have applied three months sooner, when they were hiring for a new, replacement full-time teller (as the one who had been there for 30 years was – finally – retiring).   You can imagine how often a full-time teller position comes along, considering that last clause.

Anyways, because the hours I’m getting are insufficient to pay for all of Chris and I’s expenses (this modern world makes sure there are plenty of ‘essentials’ and ‘indispensables’ so that you stay as busy and enslaved as possible), I’ve also been working at Cracker Barrel 2-3 days a week and just picked up, this last week, a third job.  I will now be editing the twice-monthly Beauticontrol newsletter for a high-up team leader.  The pay is good, and the work is almost fun.. I enjoy editing and being creative,- piecing things together and applying focused attention to detail, so I’m trying to train myself to look at this gig as more of a “hobby” than a necessity, .. to keep from becoming “overwhelmed” and.. stressed.

Chris, is still working at Panera.  I believe I’ve already shared that he got promoted to the position of catering coordinator?  Which means that he’ll be paid $10/hrly, will receive 35+ hours on the clock weekly, and also has the chance of making tips off of orders.  This, is wonderful.  It’ll take some pressure off of me.. and, I hope that he’ll find that he enjoys it.  Whatever work we do – whatever duty lies nearest us and calls for our attention and care – if we do it “mightily,” as “unto the Lord,” – if we give our honest “all” and do not regard the job with shame and hurt pride, or consider it an indignity –

we are doing a noble work, and the Lord counts us as doing HIS work as faithfully in this indirect way as if we were working directly for Him (preaching, teaching, evangelizing).

Going all the way back to last year (doesn’t seem too far away yet, does it?), Chris and I spent our first “not-Christmas” together (neither of us celebrates the holiday traditionally — with a tree, reindeer, Santa Claus figurines and the exchanging of gifts, but we still enjoyed the time off work and spent with family).  We went to three dinners: one at his Aunt Sandra’s house (Friday evening), one at his mom’s house Christmas day (afternoon; we helped cook the meal a day in advance), and last of all a light meal and social at his grandfather’s house Christmas evening.  It was nice, meeting everyone, talking about recent developments (getting jobs, our own place and a puppy) , and enjoying all the food that had been prepared.  I have fond memories of our first “non-Christmas..” and, our first “Happy New Year.”

Really — THANKFULLY – neither of us is that big on holidays.  New Years Eve, we went to bed at 9..  pm.  It was great!  We needed the rest.  THAT’S how we celebrate.  🙂 

Really, we just celebrate every day.. every day we’re alive and together, every day we have food to eat, water to drink, a place to sleep at and live in.  We celebrate with..

sugar.

Yes. We’re both completely, hopelessly addicted.

Pretty sure you’re all aware of the fact that I’m extremely fond of chocolate (as Pastor Karl draws attention to this truth often.. haha), but chocolate doesn’t comprise the chocolate bar only.  No.. there’s more.

I love

  • Ben and Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream

  and pretty much any kind of chocolate ice cream

  • Chocolate brownies
  • Chocolate cookies (bake them at home and dunk them in soymilk, it’s great; also, specifically, the Chocolate-mint Krinkle Cookie, found exclusively at Panera, is incredible)
  • Chocolate milkshakes (especially good with cherries & whip cream; Bruster’s and Chik-Fil-A’s are the best)
  • Chocolate bars (yes.. the original and most popular/ common form of chocolate; try Chocolove’s brand Chocolate Orange flavor, found at Organic Harvest food market in Hoover) and
  • Chocolate milk (on occasion).

And then, there is a whole other WORLD of sugary treats outside of chocolate delights.  There are ginger cookies (by Immaculate Baking Company: Chris’s favorite), lemon poppyseed cookies (by Alternative Baking Company: my personal non-chocolate cookie favorite), and sour worms (be careful, most have gelatin — pig parts).  There is key lime pie (and Publix offers fresh, made-daily mango key lime pie), cosmic brownies by Little Debbie (okay, that’s chocolate, but with colorful speckles on top), and chocolate dipped cheesecake minis (no sugar added, low-fat, gluten free; also found at Organic Harvest food market in Hoover).  So yes. 

We’re sugarcoated, sugardipped, sugarfilled, sugar FUELED.

Also in recent life —

I’ve been considering, lately, our living situation (apartment renters).  I’ve set a goal, and I’d like to be held accountable for it.  I want Chris and I to be able to put a down payment on a house next November (when our current lease expires and my 1 year cd is released).  I had saved up, over the period of 6 months, enough money for 2 years of community college.  However, I’m realizing now, I won’t need all of what I have stashed away — that being married and (un)wealthy qualifies Chris and I both for significant college discounts/ financial aid.  And so, with half of that money still going towards college, I question, to what greater cause could the other half go to than a place of our own? A REAL place of our own?

And so, to further this goal, I will be setting aside 40-50 dollars a month (or, $10-12.50 a week) to be put into savings.  By next November, that will accumulate into a sum of about $500 (and some months, I’m sure we’ll be able to afford to set aside more than $50 a month.. like birthday months – 2 a year, PLUS Bruster’s!).  So yes, that’s the goal – to buy our VERY own house THIS November.. this year.. 2011.  I’ll just have to share that idea with Chris (you know, now that the whole e-world has already been informed, the plan has been presented, and the standard has been raised).

–VERY jealous. 

My aunt and uncle, Micah and Amy, are heading down to Florida in afew weeks.. it promises a happy family reunion between them, my grandparents, parents, and sibling (Bobby, older brother).  Wish I could be there.. in the moment, in the pictures, in their memories.  Maybe six months from now things will be more stable, and a vacation will be more do-able.  Right now though I’m just sucking it up and keeping the event out of my mind.. (there’s no use dwelling on and dreaming of something you can’t be apart of).

Tonight after work, once Bruster has been fed and walked and Chris and I have had some time to unwind, we’ll head over to Zeke’s house (our associate pastor) for our weekly Bible study with the FNF group (there’s a different host and teacher every week).  Then, tomorrow, I’ll be assisting in teaching the e-teens class and, after church, Christopher and I will be heading over to Pastor Karl and Trudy’s house for lunch (we always enjoy spending time with them).  Sunday I’ll be working 8 hours at Cracker Barrel, Monday I’ll be working at Eco all day, Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll be at Cracker Barrel (Tuesday is also the day we’ll be taking Bruster to his new vet for 12 weeks shots), Thursday and Friday are Eco days, all during the week I’ll be working on editing this newsletter and..

finally, Saturday will come around again.

I’m happy.  I’m learning to let go.. every day, God is teaching me to just let go – to surrender everything. Everytime I miss my mom (who lives far away), my dog (who passed away), my best friend (who forgot about me) or my old, comfortable life (that I willfully chose to leave)..

I don’t cry as much, or as hard –

as long, or as devastatedly

as I used to.

I’m so happy to be married to my best friend,

and I love that we’re able to go through these

hard times together.

-Aun Aqui

******* Original poem

“how I’m feeling, again” -ary

And it’s so hard to sleep

when you’re feeling this way

It’s like there’s no black at all

just a bright and dizzy gray

And it’s hard to dream

when you’re thinking of your pain

Of the hurt that you hide

(and hiding drives you insane)

But they don’t care at all

So don’t give them a word

Cause once you let them know

It means nothing anymore

Cause when it’s only you inside

they can’t tell you that it’s wrong

And when there’s something you can hide

hold on, hold on.  -Aun Aqui 12/29/2010 (last of the year)

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