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Reflections of the Funemployed

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Reflections of the Funemployed

Linking up with Conversion Diary for 7QT.

1. It's been an entire week since I've been to work and—surprise—this week flew by. I had and still have a lot of goals for this funemployment period (between ending work and finding out where we are stationed), the first of which was improving my diet/exercise. So far so good. You may have also noticed I've been blogging a bit more. My other, much more important, goals are to read more books and to scratch some other random to-do's off my list. But they involve going to the mall. Sooo, they may never get done.

2. I have a million and one ideas for new posts, one of which is inspired by this quote that anchors the Belmont Abbey athletics website
Sports, properly directed, develops character, makes a man courageous, a generous loser, and a gracious victor; it refines the senses, gives intellectual penetration, and steels the will to endurance. It is not merely a physical development then. Sport, rightly understood, is an occupation of the whole man, and while perfecting the body as an instrument of the mind, it also makes the mind itself a more refined instrument for the search and communication of truth and helps man to achieve that end to which all others must be subservient, the service and praise of his Creator.
Pope Pius XII, Sport at the Service of the Spirit, July 29, 1945. 

That's me in black, fouling but not getting called for fouling by the referee standing right there. As a defender, I spent most of my college career, okay - all of it, pushing the limits of how physical I could be against my opponents and still get away with it. (Because if the ref didn't see it, it didn't happen.) An exercise in refining my God-driven character and virtue? Maybe. Maybe not.

How's that for a cliffhanger?

3. I've also been thinking a lot about what's next for me career-wise. I'm married, Catholic, and pregnant, but I'm also an extremely competitive, goal-driven, young attorney. I was raised by parents who told me I could "have it all" as a mother and a career woman. Basically, I'm hard-wired for discontentment and disappointment. 

A while back, a fellow married, Catholic female colleague sent me a link to an article entitled, "The Retro Wife: Feminists who say they're having it all—by choosing to stay home." In it, the author describes Kelly, 33, a "flaming liberal," and her decision to stay at home full time, despite being a well-educated feminist do-gooder. Kelly's goal for her daughter is for her "to be anything she wants" but also to "[h]ave a career that [she] can walk away from at the drop of a hat." Well doesn't that just illustrate the paradox in a nutshell? If you choose a career you want to do, or, more strongly, that you feel called to do, it's fairly assumed that you will not want to walk away from it at the drop of a hat. 

4. Bloggers are going back and forth about the virtues of watching shows like Breaking Bad. Jen wrote an illuminating post about "Why a show about meth dealers made me feel closer to God":
One of the main themes the series explores is the truth that "if you do evil things, you will bring evil into your life, even if you were attempting to achieve a greater good." In this episode, the main character once again thought he'd do one small bad thing, because he had all these elaborate ideas about why it would ultimately make his life better. I watched with the character as his plan crumbled and his one bad action triggered a chain reaction of evil that spread even into his loved one's lives, and I felt his pain as he found himself burdened with new and more painful problems.  
Like all good art, it made me feel the pain you can only experience if you have a soul, which is to say that it made me feel more human. It reminded me that sin makes things complicated and love[] makes things simple. And as I closed my tablet after the harrowing episode's end, I was overwhelmed with the faith-affirming though, This is what it is to live in God's world. 
I hated Breaking Bad at first. Why did I want to watch poor, innocent Walter White slowly spiral out of control? It really seemed to glorify the "bad" the first few episodes. Well, thanks to a more easily hooked husband, I kept watching. You have to get through more than just the first three or four episodes to really see the faith-affirming consequences of his actions and the evil seep through his life. 

Another reason to love Breaking Bad is the symbology. Some people speculate that Walter White picks up mannerisms from the people he kills throughout the show, which range from the obvious, like shaving his head bald, to the subtle, like only kneeling on a folded towel, how he takes his Scotch or eats his food. Every choice made by the writers has meaning; it's really fun to look for the subtleties that can foreshadow what's to come. 

5. Books. Does anyone have any childbirth book recommendations? I got really overwhelmed doing online research about childbirth that I would meet certain doom if I didn't take a Bradley childbirth class or hire a doula. It seems to be the "thing to do" if you want a "great birth experience." I would like to have a natural birth, but I am not crazy anti-epidural, so spending $1,000+ on classes and a lady-coach just does not seem worth it to me. My mom offered to pay for a childbirth class, but look, I'd really rather have a BOB jogging stroller. 

Priorities, people. 

I'm already going to read Kallah's book recommendations from this post, The Birth Book and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Any others? Help a frugal sister out. 

6. On a much less serious note, when I was looking through photos on my old external hard drive to find the picture above, I came across this gem of my husband:

Stay gold, Ponyboy.

This photo was proudly on display at his parents' house for years, but I haven't seen it since they moved. The questions I have from this photo haunt me after all these years: Who thought this was a good idea? Was the mini pony a local celebrity like L'il Sebastian

7. Finally, and most importantly, tomorrow is a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Pope stating, "War brings on war! Violence brings on violence." (Come on, didn't we just learn this from Breaking Bad?) Take at least a few minutes out of your day tomorrow to pray for Syria.



At September 6, 2013 at 3:25 PM , Blogger Hannah, Horn, and Hannabert said...

wonder weeks kept us sane AFTER the baby arrives. Pre-baby, I wish I would have read a bunch more and perhaps would have avoided having complications from an epidural. A midwife friend recommended that all future parents read Unassisted Homebirth, An Act of Love, by Lynn Griesemer (even if you aren't planning an unassisted homebirth). My husband and i graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law in 2005 and I attened Belmont Abbey from 1997-98..

At September 7, 2013 at 6:03 PM , Blogger Caitlyn Dudley said...

Theresa, I'm not sure if you are already in with Tricare or what but I do know that at the Army/Navy (i'm assuming airforce as well) hospitals the generally have midwives and dulas available and I know that they all offer free childbirth/breastfeeding classes. If they do not have them on the base they generally have deals with the community hospital for you to take them there also free of charge. Hope this helps!

At September 9, 2013 at 11:47 PM , Blogger Theresa said...

Thanks, Caitlyn! I will definitely look into whatever is offered.


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