Monday, December 24, 2012

Places of Worship

There are so many ways people choose to share a common set of beliefs; church being likely the most obvious among them. It seems that lately I have found myself in the company of quite a few friends who are either aetheist or agnostic; that is, either they believe there is no god, or they think there may be a god or gods, but they don't believe in him/her/them.

Regardless of which camp I fall into, I've learned a great deal from having such a diverse group of friends. People are passionate about their beliefs and will argue and defend them tirelessly to any detractors.

The most amazing discovery I have made is this - I love the debate. I enjoy a well thought out argument and relish the chance to match wits with anyone who sees it as a healthy intellectual exercise, and not a personal attack. I don't expect to change anyone's mind; nor do I think anyone will sway my beliefs one way or another. What I love is hearing people passionately defend their belief systems and showing me their rationale for believing what they do. What I find annoying is those who follow on blind faith alone.

The past year has taught me something very interesting about myself. While I am not a "church goer" in the traditional sense, I am far from lacking fellowship. My ever-growing circle of friends is more supportive and fulfilling than I could ever imagine an "organized" group to be. They are my family as much or more than any blood relative could ever be.

2012 has given me so much, and I hope I have, in return, given back at least a little. Find your people, whomever they are. Enjoy each other, and allow those around you the same freedom, in whatever form that takes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I  realize I've been pretty quiet here of late. Life is a busy thing. Marriage, kids, friends, work... all kinds of things to soak up one's time and energy. I've been so busy doing, I've had no time to sit back, think, and write.

Last weekend was the close of another chapter for me. Season 2 of my foray into women's tackle football ended with a less than satisfying record of wins and losses, but a definite feeling of personal accomplishment. After an extremely gratifying round of off season training with the amazing guys at King Football, I finally felt like less of a couch potato and more like (dare I say it?) an athlete. Now I know that some of you reading this are likely rolling on the floor in fits of laughter at the thought of me calling myself the "a" word, and to you I say hear me out.

I have never been athletic. I was the uncoordinated, bookish one. I've always enjoyed watching sports, but never felt confident or competent enough to play. I spent the first 41 years of my life that way. I was always a little envious of people who could jump into a sport and manage to pull off a relatively decent level of performance with seemingly little effort. Last year I finally took the plunge and started playing football.

It hasn't been easy; my body protested loudly. Four decades of inactivity will do that. And to add insult to injury were the naysayers and cynics. "You're too old." "You have a husband and kids; you shouldn't be wasting your time on football when you should be spending time with your family." "Women's football is a joke." "Your knees hurt? Maybe you should quit. Your body is trying to tell you something." "Have you lost your mind? Are you having a midlife crisis?"

Not one of these people ever asked me how I feel when I play. Or what it's done for my mental and physical well being. It's been a fight to try to rationalize with people why I'm doing this, but after handing in my equipment for another year, I've discovered that it doesn't matter. I love this game. As corny and cliche as it sounds, there's a whole other me when I put on that gear and get on the field. There's no way I can explain that to anyone outside my head, but when I talk to other women who do what I do, it's like a shared secret. We belong to an exclusive group of people who do what they love in spite of, and sometimes because of what their families and friends might think.

If you're one of those people who have tried to give me three hundred and two reasons why I have no business playing tackle football (and you know who you are), I say this - you can take your patronizing "girl power" platitudes, condescending comments and attempted guilt trips and stick 'em wherever it pleases you. What pleases me is football, and I'm going to play.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


It's an odd word, passion. Makes me think in two different directions which aren't really that different at all.

There's the romantic, lusty kind of passion that you always hope to find with a significant other, and then there's the pit-of-the-stomach, keeps-you-up-at-night, invades-every-part-of-your-life kind.

Some of us are lucky enough to get both.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Human Garbage Can

A strange thing happened when I had kids. I turned into a human garbage can. It probably has roots back as far as my own childhood - sitting at the table and being told to eat everything on my plate, "because there are starving children in Africa". Heaven forbid I left a mouthful of food on my plate - it just wasn't done.  And on those rare occasions when I did manage to escape without stuffing myself, nothing was ever wasted. My mother was always there to clean up the scraps.

Funny how we, as parents, are loathe to scrape food off a plate into the garbage can, yet we think little of cramming it down our own throats. I was thinking about that very thing as I loaded the supper dishes into the dishwasher last night. What I was doing every time I ate that last piece of whatever, rather than throw it out, was treating myself like a garbage dump. I wasn't hungry; I didn't need to eat any more, so why was I still putting things in my mouth?? Am I not important enough that I can say no to someone else's leftovers?

The answer is yes. I am important enough. I will no longer eat that "last bite of" whatever it is. I don't need it. I've actually found myself putting food in my mouth and then spitting it out - old habits are hard to break, but I'm on this one. My dreams for 2012 are big, but my ass will not be!!