11/24/2009 11:37:00 AM

Being robbed of gratitude

Ironic that this week is Thanksgiving... because it feels like this week is when things start to snowball into big rolling boulders of stress, threatening to mow me over in an overwhelming cascade of grumbling and complaints. I mean, I know I'm neurotic by nature, but today I just needed to take a break from it all, breathe, and write in an attempt to organize my thoughts.

Some highlights:
- Condo fee going up (again) to $315/month. I hate being confrontational but 2010 may be the year I really have to make an effort to attend the condo meetings. We don't hear about any progress in trying to recoup money from the previous association that screwed us over. The irony is, they always tell us about the increase in the same letter where they wish us a happy holiday season. I keep having a mental picture of someone stabbing me in the back while wishing me a happy birthday at the same time.
- My master's manuscript which has underwent billions of revisions is still in limbo because all my 'co-authors' (meaning advisors, supervisors, etc.) cannot agree to just support me and let me submit the paper. Too many chefs in the kitchen for a dish that should have really been mine.
- Some departmental politics at UMDNJ, where this girl who doesn't know me at all is assuming things and telling my supervisor things about me and my co-workers that are untrue. I can't stand it when people use others to try to gain leverage in a department. To top it off, she will be there tomorrow when I run the social skills group for a second time with a bunch of psychotic schizophrenia patients.

All this has left me feeling impatient, fed up with people, and aggressive. I guess I should be thankful that I am feeling this way instead of depressed, insecure and down. It's better to be angry and productive than to be a steaming pile of uselessness. But as I sit here and think about everything I can be mad at, I also feel a spiritual component to all this, that there is something almost tangible in the air, tempting me to grumble, to complain, to treat others coldly and to assume the worst.

I'm not sure if this post has any point behind this, but I suppose I just wanted to share that if you are also feeling the same way -- that during the holidays when everything is supposed to be like it is on TV (families coming together, everyone laughing, no stress, huge gluttony and yet retainment of slim waistlines), that it is most likely also a spiritual battle. I know that lack of gratitude leads me to be annoyed with God and to discount all the blessings I've been given, and it's going to take effort for me to push back today through devos, prayer and listening to some solid Driscoll teachings. I hope if you're reading this that you pray for me, that I would learn to be patient, accommodating and grateful this week, and that you know I am praying for you as well. Don't let the world and Satan rob you of the precious gift of gratitude this season.

"Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever." - Joshua 4

11/14/2009 04:17:00 PM

A million miles in a thousand years

"The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen" ~ Donald Miller (p. 106)

11/03/2009 10:48:00 AM

5 things

I haven't updated in awhile, so I'll blitz through the five things that are in my head right now:

  1. Halloween - In NYC was crazy. Never ever rely on the subway during Halloween. Super crowded, filled with skanky girls and drunkards. Steph noticed a lot of drunk girls crying on the streets. Some guy dressed up as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz tried to pick us up, asking if we wanted to go to Kansas with him. Good food made it all bearable (not good-for-you, but it-tastes-good variety). Nicky's Viet Sandwiches, Otakfuku, Crif dogs, PDT, Virage. My stomach misses living in Manhattan. But not my cholesterol count.
  2. Internships - Finally committed and pressed that "submit" button for places in NJ, NYC, West Haven, Boston, Baltimore, Portland, and Seattle. Scary to think I may not be here next year. Comforting to know God will never leave me to deal with changes and challenges by myself.
  3. Dissertation - need to get started on data analysis. I hate data analysis. You start out with predetermined steps then end up in a million directions if the data doesn't 'behave' the way one anticipates. But a necessary step I must complete before the end of this year.
  4. Singleness - For some time after August, I was pretty annoyed and sad about what happened in Vegas, but now it's so weird how mentality changes. Of course, I would still like to have a family someday, but for now I'm really enjoying not being in a relationship. This is (ironically and unexpectedly) creating some interesting developments as of late. Regardless, I am satisfied that my current focus is on God, family (spiritual and earthly), and career.
  5. Thanksgiving - I can't wait until the holiday season. Enough said.

The feeling I have is probably like what someone who is skydiving for the first time feels as they stand at the edge of the plane, waiting to leap. Scared out of their wits, but deep, deep down inside, quivering with excitement. Altogether, not an inappropriate analogy for how I feel about my life right now.