5 Nuggets of Wisdom Shared With My Tween

I’m about to break a major blogging code. I’m going to mention religion.

Wait! Don’t go anywhere! I promise I’m not going to blather about my religious beliefs. And I’m not going to try to convert you. If you stick with me, I think you’ll find that while I may be breaking one blogging rule, I’m also staying true to a main blogging tenet—make sure your content has universal appeal.

Phew, okay. It looks like you stuck around. Thanks.

So my daughter and I attend a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church. (Don’t worry…your computer and/or brain will not be infected with a conversion virus if you click on the link. Pinkie swear.) In the UU world, tweens/teenagers have the choice to formally join their congregations via a special “coming of age” ceremony.

In our local church, this ceremony is preceded by a year-long curriculum, which helps the youth learn more about UU principles and other world religions (including “non-religions” such as agnosticism and atheism) and, most importantly, articulate their own beliefs.

They spend a lot of time discussing life’s BIG questions, with the understanding from their facilitators and mentors that there isn’t any one right answer—except the answer that’s right for them. Our church’s coming of age ceremony culminates with the youth presenting their personal belief statements to the congregation. Keep reading for more awesomeness…


How Many Times Does It Take To Get It Right?

When I was writing my last post, I saw an interesting little tracking tool in my WordPress navigation bar: “Revisions.” A week or two before, I’d commented on another blogger’s post that I, like her, was a first-draft gal—I wrote the first thing that came to mind and pretty much left it at that. I might tweak it slightly, to correct little misspellings, etc. But that was it.

Interesting how perception and reality don’t live in the same universe.

Because I love facts, I checked the revision counts for all my posts. This is only my 13th, so it didn’t take that long. On average I revise these conglomerations of words 41 times.

The fewest number of revisions came in at 13, with the most at 84.

That seems a little nuts to me. How about you?

Can you tell which is version 19 and which is version 55? Yeah, me neither.

Can you tell which is version 19 and which is version 55? Yeah, me neither.

My husband (who is an artist/illustrator) and I have had many conversations about our paralyzing inability to let our pieces go. We have the worst time calling things “finished.”

In my defense, I used to work as a copy editor so the need to tweak is part of me now and not something I can just toss aside.

Also in my defense, I’ve been the victim of NSS (not saving syndrome) and have lost some important words. So I probably over save. Never mind that WordPress has built-in autosave. Still doesn’t feel like enough for me (even though it’s every two minutes). Keep reading for more awesomeness…


Drugs And Alcohol Are Awesome…Really

Any parent who thinks that telling their kids that drugs and alcohol are awesome, that they make you feel invincible and euphoric and like nothing else, has to be the jackass extraordinaire of the parenting world.

And the ones who spill their guts about their own drug or alcohol use with their kids? They might as well be pouring the poison down their kids’ gullets or packing powder up their noses.

Right?

Right! So says D.A.R.E. Here’s what good, upstanding parents are supposed to tell their kids:

Explain that drug use hurts people. It can cause AIDS, impaired coordination, slowed growth, and emotional harm such as feelings of isolation or paranoia. It is also important to discuss the legal issues associated with drug and alcohol use because a conviction for a drug offense can lead to prison, loss of a job or college loan.

Yeah, D.A.R.E.’s advice is pretty much the opposite of what I said above.

But what I said above—it’s almost word-for-word what my husband and I told our daughter. Keep reading for more awesomeness…


I See Dead People

Old houses have tons of original details: inlaid hardwood floors, ceiling medallions, Art Deco tile, ornamental plasterwork…

Spirits of the people who used to live there.

The decorative touches are easy to switch out based on the current owners’ preferences.

The transparent ones? They’re a little harder to get rid of.

So are the people who keep telling you they see them.

Before we moved to our current place, we lived in a house that was built in the 1930s. Outside the U.S. that would probably be considered “newish” construction. For the Midwest, it’s pretty old.

We were the third owners. The first were the people who built the house. They lived there up until 2002, when the second owners bought the home. We purchased it six years later.

I asked the second owner during a walk-through of the house if anyone had died in it. He said he didn’t think so, but disclosed that he did buy it through the original owner’s estate sale.

I thanked him for his certainty.

I don’t know why I asked him that. It never came to mind in any other house I lived. Two years later, my question turned out to be a sort of premonition. Keep reading for more awesomeness…


Old Broad Blogging

I turned forty-five this year. I had to look for a minute to see if I’m the one writing this post or if my third-grade teacher is hanging over my shoulder with her fingers on the keyboard.

I can’t believe I’m that age. I remember twenty years ago thinking people my age were old.

Really old.

Now that I’m here though, I don’t feel that way. However, I found out recently that twenty-somethings still feel the same way about people my age as I did twenty years ago.

My husband and I went to Mumford & Sons’ final U.S. tour stop in Bonner Springs, Kansas, this past September. We’d been fans for a long time, so we queued up at the gates early. We did so because, a) although it had been a while (ahem, years) since we’d been to a general admission concert, we remembered that only the early birds get the “close to the stage” worms, and b) we had nothing better to do than stand for five-plus hours.

But it was so worth it. The early birds got the worm, baby—ten people back from center stage!

M&S

Other than one pee break for me between opening acts, we didn’t move from our spot. Keep reading for more awesomeness…