Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Do You People Want???

I just read yet another headline about stocks falling. On CNN:
Stocks tumbled Wednesday morning as a weaker-than-expected January housing report and ongoing worries about the recession ate into the previous session's rally.
So my question is: What the heck is it going to take to get people to stop selling off stock? You'd think the fact that the more they sell, the more money they lose would be a motivation. Hmm. I just don't get it.

But I'm no accountant that's for sure!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Gist of It

I'm listening to Obama's speech and what it boils down to is this: He's asking for a little ingenuity. He's asking Americans to stop being lazy and passive and resting on the accomplishments of our forefathers. He's asking for the engineers and inventors and geniuses among us to step up and give us some new technologies that will propel us into the future. And what he's offering in return is the funding to pursue these innovations.

Just listening to this, it becomes clear that part of our problem is our passivity. We let someone else do the hard work. It's a generational issue. And it seems that the newer generations are going to have to become like the older generations: become hard workers who are willing to sacrifice to secure the future.

I like this quote: "Dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It's not just quitting on yourself; it's quitting on your country. And this country needs and values the talents of every American." That should be posted in the hallways and classrooms of every school in this country. "By 2020, America will once again have the highest percentage of college graduates of any country in the world. If you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood, give back to your community or serve in the military, we will make sure you can afford to go to college."

"In the end there is no policy that can substitute for the parent." Isn't that the truth!! Much of the reason I was so glad when my parents retired from the education system was due to the apathy and sense of entitlement of the parents.

Moving on to the government budget, what Obama is proposing is no different than what we've had to do at the church. That is: cut out all unnecessary spending from the budget. Our program staff sat at a table together and went "line by line through the budget" before the beginning of this year and made absolutely certain that we were being responsible with the money that people have given. That's exactly what Obama has said they are doing with the government's budget. Good call. And no hiding billions of dollars of expenses (i.e. war or in the church's case - debt). No different.

"Living our values doesn't make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger." "The United States of America does not torture." Yes!

"A new era of engagement has begun...." That whole section is golden.

And on and on... so good. Genuine. I just wish that the people who "can't stand him" can get over themselves and actually listen to what he's saying. Because you can't argue with his logic. You can't argue with his acknowledgement that we're all - conservative, liberal, or neither - just after the success and prosperity of this country.

All Over the Map

My thoughts are just bouncing from one random thing to another this afternoon. I'm putting a "Thank You" note in E-News from a man whose wife just died. I'm not dealing with anything near that dramatic/traumatic, and yet I complain at any opportunity.

Random thought - I cut a guy off in traffic this morning just to teach him a lesson about speeding and "crossing the double white line" when you're not supposed to. I'm sure he noted said lesson and will never do that again.

Back to what I was saying... After a conversation with Armando, I find myself playing the cynic. He comes to me about trying to draw out the spiritual aspects of our activities in some way. After some conversation, I realize that this sounds strangely familiar. Like it was the "Communications Goal for 2009" that I submitted to Ken a couple of months ago. How quickly I get lost in the STUFF (nice word) that has to be done and lose all desire to pursue that goal. Armando asks if I don't ever consider the spiritual aspects of the things I'm putting out there to the congregation. I say I don't have time. I have to get the facts out there. And then when I get home I don't want to think about it at all. This is why work is not spiritual for me. This is why I have to get my spirituality elsewhere. Of course it's probably also why I'm burned out on all this STUFF.... which in theory is all great. But in practice just makes me weary and leaves me wondering where God is in all this. Remember that question I asked a few months ago? What does this have to do with God? Well I can answer it in a roundabout way. But the practical, uber-busy side of me never has the time to. Reflecting on the spiritual aspects of the 200 ministries that are fighting - LITERALLY FIGHTING - for attention around here... that's just not something I have time to do. I would hope that most people can see the correlation between the two all on their own. Otherwise they'd just go to some other non-religious entity to do their volunteering.

Ugh. I just don't want to think anymore.

I also don't want to go to Curves this afternoon, even though I promised myself that this was going to be the week I'd get back into the routine. At the moment, though, I have a killer headache, feel kinda feverish and just want to go home and lay on the couch and listen to MY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA tell me that working together we can all get it done. And there IS hope. Sidenote: I'm really tired of being surrounded by conservatives. If you're even remotely middle-of-the-road or liberal-leaning... please be my friend!!

I bow and thank you for your time. Wrist-wrist-beauty-queen-wave... and I'm back to work.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Vacation

I've been off work for a week... today back in the office. It was nice to be away - wonderful, in fact. I've decided I'd make a really good retired person. Over the last couple of days I've been thinking about why I don't want to be at work anymore. It's not the job. It's not really the people either (although some are more annoying than others). I think the issue is this: I used to think that my job equaled my purpose in life. As much as I enjoy it, though, it's not a reason to live. It's not ENOUGH for me.

So, realizing that, I am faced with the daunting task of figuring out what my life IS about. I would say it's about relationships... but I'd venture to say that most people I know would be just fine without me. Which begs the question: Are my relationships what they should be? Probably not. What do I do about that? I have no idea.

It could also be about "serving God" - but that's so trite and vague I won't even dignify it with a response.

So then I wonder if my sister is right: Life is about being happy and having fun. Hmm. That doesn't seem quite right to me either. Because that means if you're not happy and having fun then you shouldn't exist.

There's the perspective I read about a couple of months ago: life is about showing people what God's kingdom is really all about - i.e. mercy, love, grace, etc. Ooookay. Easier said than done.

I guess the bottom line is that I want to know my purpose in life. And I want it to be easy. Ha.