Monday, January 29, 2007

The Waiting Place

"...Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.
You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...or right-and-three-quarters?
Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place..."
- quote from "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss

When I graduated from high school, my friend's mother gave each of us a book by Dr. Seuss called "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" She wrote little comments on each page, specific to that person. It was a very creative, sweet gift. The book itself is an allegory of the ups and downs of life. For whatever reason, one particular illustration has come to mind recently: the Waiting Place.

I was in a Lurch, and just escaped my Slump, but now that I find myself unemployed, with the whole world laid out at my feet, and my opportunities endless, I find that I don't know where to go. I am in the Waiting Place.
Waiting for the phone to ring.
Waiting for the right job posting.
Waiting for my personal life to calm down.
Waiting for that sense of peace about it all.
Waiting for the other shoe to fall.
Waiting for that tug, that inner feeling in my gut, of which direction I want to go.
Waiting for some of the hurt to go away.
Waiting for God, who feels so distant right now.

Dear Dr. Seuss doesn't tell us how we get out of the Waiting Place. He gives no hints or instructions in his little story. He just says, "Somehow you'll escape/all that waiting and staying." However, David of the Bible has something to say about waiting. Specifically, the waiting for God.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

I know God has a plan for me. I know He is in control. I just wish I could have a little peek at those plans. I wish I could feel His guidance right now. Because I don't have the first clue what I should do with my life. I'm ready for a new song - I just wish He'd give me the lyrics!

Have you ever been to the Waiting Place? Drop me a comment and let me know how you escaped. ;-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Touch of Class

Well, my darling husband has re-entered the college world this week. He is working on completing his bachelor’s degree, then he will be moving on to a masters. You can read more about it here .

I’m so excited for him, especially because this is the first time he will be going to college because he wants to, not because he has to, and because he will be working towards a new career that will really make him happy. That, in turn, makes me happy.

All this talk about course syllabuses and homework this week has gotten me to thinking about my own schooling history. From the minute I hit Kindergarten I loved school. Not only did I enjoy it, but I was really good at it too. It’s one of the few things that I actually do very well. In fact, if someone would pay me, I would gladly just go to school for the rest of my life.

I was one of those annoying kids, the ones who got all As, even in the subjects I didn’t like or wasn’t as good at. And I was also that annoying kid who would cry if I got an 89 percent instead of a 90 or 95 percent. Yeah, I was a perfectionist and set high standards for myself, but I loved the challenge.

My favorite subjects all throughout school never changed. They were always English, Art and Music, in that order. I enjoyed History and the Sciences too, but they weren’t my favorites. Using my imagination to read, write stories and draw…ah…there’s no better high for me. In fact, from the time I was very little I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I even have a little drawing I did when I was 5 years old that says “I want to be an artist and write books.” There is a lovely little clich├ęd picture underneath it of myself in an artist’s smock and beret with paintbrush in hand. And I’ve been right on track for that goal, a stunning success in English and Art, until I graduated college and hit the real world, that is. I’ve been derailed ever since. But perhaps that is a lament best saved for another blog entry.

In elementary school, I loved Drama too, but once I got to High School, and it became an extremely competitive thing… well… that ended my acting career before it even got started. I was too scared. Being competitive is just not in my nature (and that’s an understatement).

My most hated subjects where Math and P.E. Numbers just don’t stick in my head. They never have. I can’t bend them and get them to work properly. I always got As and Bs in Math, but it was with much blood, sweat and tears. The homework took me about three times as long as my other homework and included much complaining and whining. I hated P.E. even more, because I’ve always been such a klutz. My middle name is not “grace”. Then add to that equation the fact that I wore glasses and was a complete geek. My glasses would invariably get knocked off my head by a wayward basketball and go flying across the playground. It was an hour of humiliation every week. I’m so very glad to have those days behind me.

Well, I think I’m done taking a stroll down memory lane, especially after those last bumps in the road. One of the reasons I wrote this post was to ask you, gentle readers, what your favorite subjects in school were, just to get to know a little bit more about you. I invite you to leave a comment and let me know.