Monday, April 18, 2011

Responsibility does not have to be a scary thing

Today I felt responsible. I mean, yeah, I did my laundry and drank two glasses of milk. But I felt responsible for the well-being of the kids who come to my after-school program, for caring for church property, for doing my part working with other youth group leaders to make a great summer youth program happen...etc.

And it feels good.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Getting out of bed.

I will probably remember the months of March and April 2011 (blips though they may end up being on the radar of my life) as packed full of events and emotions. I'll just go ahead and give you the brief run-down of major events:

March 10 - 14: LVC "North Central" (Omaha and Twin Cities) Mid-Year Retreat, as has already been discussed.

March 18 - 20: Dan and Joy Ernst venture out to Omaha for the first time and find it very much to their liking, to the relief and great pleasure of their daughter. (Along the way, they encounter Iowa, large statues of laborers and pioneers, urban sprawl, plenty of good food, and some churches, and a good time is had by all...)

March 30: State Radio rocks the roof off the Waiting Room as a big SR fan shakes the stress away with new SR fans from Over-The-Hillstrom House.

April 1: Five out of 6 new Omahans attend their first ever Omaha Fish Fry at Holy Name Catholic Church (it was the second for the 6th, I believe).

April 6 - 9: Heading back to school to receive the 2011 Oberlin Heritage Center Community Historian Award for my work on Oberlin's jazz history (accompanied by the one and only Jeffrey Sanders, one particularly wonderful friend) and attend a certain organist's senior recital, among other lovely things.

April 16 - 18: The lovely Caitlin Duke will venture out to Omaha for the second time! (And the first doesn't really count cause she just drove through in the middle of the night or something.)

So that's events. Lots of Omaha-bound visitors as we begin to be able to walk outside again without coats.

A lot can happen when one gets out of bed; often, a lot of good. Unfortunately, a symptom of generalized anxiety disorder is that sometimes one has a hard time believing that, and doesn't want to do anything for fear that they will mess up or do the wrong thing.

For some reason, the week after Mom and Dad left (not because of anything they did or didn't do, don't worry guys), mornings were a little rough. I felt stuck thinking about how I should spend my time at work, my future, etc.  And then I started taking better care of myself. I stayed in pretty much all weekend last weekend, watched some really good movies (Persepolis and Milk, both of which were very inspiring in their own ways), and was ready to go for the beginning of the week - out the door with enough time to breathe. That started getting a little tougher at the end of this week, but our first truly spring-feeling weekend allowed for some Vitamin D absorption time outside in the sun today, so that definitely helped.

"Check yourself before you wreck yourself" is one of my favorite sayings, and I think I'm getting better at doing that this year. 

Also, most of us (my housemates and I) are going to take some sort of vacation away from each other this month, and I am hopeful that that rest time will renew us for the time we have left of this year of service. Intentional community has been a struggle for me lately, especially in the past week or so...probably for all of us. I'm not really feeling up for going into the details, but I'm thinking some of it has been brought on by thoughts of our future, and even though we had retreat away from work, we haven't really taken a lot of time as individuals to rest from work and the conflicting emotions that surface around the subject of our community (how much time we spend together, what we do together, when we do what we do together, when we invite other people besides the 6 of us, etc., etc).

Finally, mainly unrelated to LVC now...the award that I am going to receive on Wednesday, plus the fact that I get to go to Oberlin and receive it, feels like an honor that I'm not sure I can describe in words. The award is for "an individual who has contributed to knowledge of the Oberlin community by researching, writing, and/or educating others." Being recognized for something that I knew I wanted to do when I was finishing up my Musical Studies major proposal on the plane to Madrid two and a half years ago feels pretty good, to put it mildly.

I think another part of the reason these months feel so packed is that there have been many days where I truly cannot believe my life. Though my job and mornings can sometimes feel pretty tough, when I am healthy I love going to work every day, I am in a beautiful Midwest city with lots of space and time to breathe, I'm looking forward to my future (which at this point probably involves DC by September but I'll write more when I'm certain), and I have the most supportive, wonderful family and friends that I could ever ask for. $525 a month may not be much, but I feel pretty freaking wealthy when I count my heavenly treasures. 

(Dad, I think you're really gonna like this video.)