Birthday Blues

There has never been a year in my entire life that school has ruined my birthday.

That’s one of the perks of being born in the summer, right?

While your friends have to be content with a cupcake, class and a bunch of homework, you get to go swimming, or go out of town, or just have fun.

Well, thanks, law school, for ruining that.

Ducks is taking two summer school classes this year. One is completely online. The other includes a professor who calls on students for 45 minutes at a time. He lets them know ahead of time, so they can be prepared to answer a lot of questions.

Ducks has never been called on for this class before, so I knew he would be called on for Monday, which would end up destroying any chance of enjoying the birthday weekend. And, according to an email I received from his at 8:45 this morning, I was exactly correct. Monday is his first (and probably only) day to be called on. So no long walk in our neighborhood park, no going out to dinner or getting together with friends (not that we have any money for that, thanks to another story – my fault – which I will tell you at another time).

I’m being a big baby about this, because honestly, a birthday is just one day, and who really cares about turning 28 anyway? It just seems that with all the annoyances of law school, this is just one more thing to add.

Sigh.

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Signs and strangeness and your opinions

Have you ever asked for a sign, then actually gotten a sign?

In the past, I’ve actually seen a real physical sign – and I’m not being crazy or superstitious here. In two of the worst and darkest moments of my life, I’ve seen a double rainbow. those are the only two times that I have ever seen a double rainbow (besides in this ridiculously weird video) and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that those rainbows were a sign to me that God was watching over me in those very, very bad times.

Now, a couple of days ago, I asked God for a sign about something else that’s been worrying me/weighing on my mind. And, since then, from three separate people/incidences, I’ve been told or taught, “Making no decision is worse than making the wrong decision.”

All mysticism and such aside, what do you think of that statement. “No decision is worse than the wrong decision”? Not in a moral sense, just in a sense of ambivalence, trying to decide about careers, families, life plans, etc.

Do you think it’s true?

 

11s

I got this quiz/survey/whatever from my friend Stef‘s blog. Sometimes I get a little caught up in the humdrumness of the law school life and I can’t think about anything to blog besides my desire to win the lottery, quit my job and pay off law school debts. So, naturally, things like this help me to think outside the law school blogging box. 

1. What is your most favorite place on Earth?

Favorite place on a regular day – sad to say it, but my bed. I never get to spend enough time there and it is so ridiculously comfortable. The first instant of sliding into bed and encountering the softness of the pillowtop and the snuggliness of the covers (and my husband if I’m lucky) is really without equal. 

However, favorite place ever is anywhere beside water. I really feel like my best self when I’m near the ocean. 

2. If you woke up with an extra $10,000 tomorrow, what’s the first thing you would buy? {and DON’T say ‘pay off debt’. LAME.}

Okay, if paying off law school debt is prohibited, then I’d book our tickets for our post-law school celebratory trip. We’re thinking Maui but haven’t yet decided how we’re paying for it. Sounds great, though, right?

3. Facebook, or Twitter?

Absoutely Twitter. The avenues of stalking are so much greater on Twitter. You may think I’m kidding, but how else would I know what my favorite basketball players had for lunch or how their girlfriends are decorating their baby’s room? EXACTLY. 

4. What’s your favorite book?

I leaned toward Emma for a really long time, but as I’ve gotten older, I think Pride and Prejudice takes the top spot. The only reason why it didn’t before was probably because I didn’t want to seem like one of those people who saw the movie and picked it as their favorite. But really, there are too many to name. A few other favorite authors: Lucy Maud Montgomery, Marian Keyes, Maeve Binchy…. and, yeah, I guess there are still too many to count. 

5. If you could go back and do one thing differently THIS WEEK, what would it be?

Not have eaten my whole meal at the really excellent Chinese restaurant we visited. It was too good, though, to resist the temptation. 

6. What’s one thing you wish you knew how to do really well?

Something highly crafty, like knitting or needlepointing. I don’t have the time or patience to learn right now, but I just found out that the cougar my brother-in-law (more on this later) is dating knitted my mother-in-law something. She shall not use her crafty wiles to supplant me! 

7. Iced tea: sweet or unsweet?

A true Southerner should always say sweet, right? I do like sweet tea, but I can’t drink very much of it or I get comatose. Maybe a half-and-half? 

8. If you were stranded on a deserted island tomorrow, who would you want to be stranded with? {ONE person only!}

My husband. This would actually be almost too good to be true. Can someone arrange it? 

9. Have you, or have you not, ever thought about ordering a pair of pajama jeans? {no lying!!}

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo.

10. What do you love/hate about blogging?

Love: Getting to know other bloggers and connecting with cool people. Also, getting to write for people and hopefully provide amusement or thought-provokingness or something.  Hate: I don’t often have time to write, so then I start feeling guilty over something that was meant to be a fun hobby to begin with. 

11. How do you know me?

I know Stef from the BBCE (best book club ever). I’m still just a new member, but these women are SMART and they are always very inspirational in their discussions. 

11 Random Things: 

1. I organized my whole kitchen this weekend. I am mad because I wanted to share the pics, but I forgot to take “before” shots of the clutter and chaos. 

2. I haven’t seen any of the 80s movies that everyone loves – Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, etc. 

3. I have a new eating plan that includes vegetables for specific meals. I’ve explain in more detail after I see how successful it is. 

4. If I start a book, it is really hard for me to do anything else before finishing it. I think it could truly be called an addiction. 

5. I shot baskets yesterday and today. I have definitely lost my touch from earlier years, but it felt awesome to be outdoors and active. 

6. I am the world’s worst at MarioKart or any game that involves driving. 

7. I had forgotten how happy “Flight of the Conchords” songs make me. Seriously. Those guys are funny. 

8. The thing I’m most dreading this next week is scrubbing out our big garbage bin, which reeks right now. Truly horrifying. Oh, also, on Tuesday night, I have three hours of JL training. That ranks right up there as well. 

9. I’ve lost 19 pounds since January. When I lose one more pound, I will get a reward, but I haven’t decided what it should be. 

10. Breaking Bad is an excellent TV show. It’s our newest summer addiction. 

11. My husband is the best because he already has a stack of birthday presents piled up for me in the corner of our living room. Frabjous day. 🙂 

So, there you go. 11 questions and 11 random things – you now know quite a lot more about me. Hope you have a wonderful, wonderful day! 

Strings

Sometimes the difference between my parents and my in-laws is really striking to me. I love my parents, especially my father, but I am amazed at the difference they have in their attitude toward their children.

My in-laws are really all about what they can do for us. They are obsessed with spending time with us. They send us thoughtful birthday gifts, send cards on our anniversary and enjoy treating us with things like trips and outings.

My mother, on the other hand, is all about what she can get from us. I think it stems from the fact that she never wanted children. But, regardless, she has always thought of children as her own personal servants or slaves. Growing up, we did all the work around the house. She was bitter about everything, and became irrationally angry if she had to take us to any extracurricular activities or if we wanted to do anything with friends. She cloaked all her controlling behavior behind God’s will. She really never let up on her controlling and borderline-abusive behavior until Ducks and I got married and she realized that I could choose between her and my in-laws on who to spend time with and that I could truly sever all ties with her if I wanted to. Even when she tries to do something nice, it’s in her own way. For example, she bought us a rug that she happened to find on sale when doing a real estate deal. She didn’t let me see it or anything beforehand, just purchased it, then expected me to put it in my living room, although it looks terrible and doesn’t match the style of anything else we own. And we can’t do anything about it, because she’d be mortally offended if we removed it.

That brings me to this past week. My father-in-law took Ducks and I to the coast for the weekend. He paid for the house, our meals, etc., without asking for anything in return other than our company. That’s not to say that he can’t exert his own form of selfishness or be wearing sometimes. BUT, I am offering this up in contrast with what my mother has done this week.

For my birthday (which is coming up in a few weeks), she gave me a starter kit of facial cleansers from a company that she recently signed up to do sales with. However, apparently, the gift comes with strings attached. To get this gift, she SIGNED ME UP AS A SALESPERSON. So now, what was supposedly a nice birthday gift to help me with shrinking the size of some pores near my nose, has become a nightmare of being bombarded with emails and phone calls encouraging me to go to trainings and to sell these products. Great birthday gift, right? I have less than zero interest in selling ANYTHING. In fact, I am actively disinterested in selling anything.

I do not typically have any free time. I can’t even keep with my work and professional commitments. There is no way that I’m going to go out shilling any kind of product. And, yet, she won’t get the message through her head. I’m trying to be kind about it, because she is very excited about starting to sell this stuff. However, what can I do? I feel deceptive when her director keeps calling me, asking me about attending training, etc. Should I return the gift to cut the attached strings? How should I handle this?

Oh, Jealousy

I am guessing that I must be a kind of bitter person lately. I’m jealous of everyone, it seems. 

At this very moment, my stomach is twisting in knots because I just found out via Facebook that a girl I grew up with (since we were 3 and lived on the same street) is expecting. 

It makes it more ridiculous to be jealous because we’re not even trying. But I felt the same way when Ducks’ best friend from high school and his wife made a similar announcement around Easter. 

And it doesn’t stop there. If it were just hormonal/biological clock issues, that would make sense. But I’m jealous of people who post their travel pictures, who are out having fun and being fancy free. I’m jealous of people who have better jobs than me, and I’m jealous of the people I work with who don’t seem to care about anything besides staying at the office from 8:30 to 5, then going home and putting work out of their minds. And, I’m most jealous of the stay-at-home wives, the ones who can do what they want when they want. 

I think this is one of the worst things about law school, because it’s easy to see the common thread in all my jealousies. It’s freedom. Being able to choose what you want to do and when you want to do it. Being free to say, “Let’s have a baby,” because you’re not worried about student loans and mortgage payments. Being free to say, “You know that money in savings, let’s use it to go here.” Image

because you know that you should be using it to pay down debt. Honestly, I can’t even make myself buy frivolous things. A few weeks ago, I got a huge and unexpected bonus from work. And I went to Hobby Lobby at lunch that day and couldn’t even convince myself into buying trinkets there because I didn’t want to frivolously spend money that needs to be used for debt. 

So, that’s where I am right now. I’m really contented with life and happy for the people among my acquaintance who are producing offspring and drinking wine in Tuscany (although, obviously, those are two disparate groups of friends), but I’m just having a hard time at times being thankful for the many blessings I have – a goal-oriented husband, a good job, and a bright future. 

Do these moods strike you? What do you do to count your blessings and keep a bright outlook on life? 

Coming to a Close

We’re getting close to the end of another school year. It’s hard to believe, because time has really just flown by this year. A lot of times, it’s hard for me to realize the way the “school calendar” flows by, because we’re not really in the law school crowd that much. We very occasionally go out for drinks or bowling or something like that with law school people, but we don’t really spend all that much time hanging around them.

So, what does the end of the year mean for us this year? It means piles and piles of books apparently. He has a big paper, the one that fulfills his writing requirement, due just before the finals season begins. So, adding that on to studying for everyday class and reviewing for finals definitely makes the study schedule stressful.

Other than that, things are the same. We are really passe about finals this year as compared to the first semester of 1L, when our house was wrecked with papers and both of us were just secretly hoping he’d pass! Who knew we’d be able to take things calmly and see the light at the end of the tunnel just a few short months later?! How’s your year wrapping up?

Oh, to leave you with something cheerful, here’s a picture my talented coworker drew of me today during our staff meeting. I think it epitomizes my workday pretty well, although I need about four more arms and six more computers to get everything done!

(If you’re wondering what the extra white is, you’re just privileged to witness my expert skills in Paint. Yeah, be jealous.)

Enemies of the Bears, beware.

My sister Beth, the one still in college, is so freaking funny. This is her Facebook status from yesterday. I literally laughed out loud reading it.
 
Went to a bathroom in the SUB today, and saw a snake etched onto one of the taps. I got really excited about the Chamber of Secrets… and then realized I etched it in there last year.
 
She wants to be a filmmaker when she grows up and I can definitely see her sense of humor lending itself to creating excellent movies. 🙂