December 29, 2013

Christmas

     A thought formed over three days:

    Christmas is wonderful.  As I sit here writing this, my sister is starting to use the fashion drawing kit that she received this morning.  My dad has already started reading the book "Rough Stone Rolling."  I intend to begin the book on driving I got, although, right now, I'm just working on a pack of nerds.

     Christmas day is truly wonderful.  The magic of waking up to a stuffed, over-sized 'stocking' filled with goodies. Due to tradition my siblings and I waited impatiently for our parental figures to wake. Then my family opens presents all together and take turns unwrapping them.  We look forward to the traditional waffle breakfast.  Christmas day, is one that is typically full of pleasure and gifts both giving and receiving. Sometimes, I think we forget what the whole point of the holiday.  Sometimes, I think we get lost in the magic of giving and getting.

    I sometimes have a hard time imagining how Christs birth turned into Christmas. I mean... who the heck was like, "I want to remember Christ... so how about this: I'll drag nature inside, I'll put lights outside, we'll tell the children about this old dude who wears red and white, we'll put up stockings made just for Christmas day, oh... and we'll bake a large amount of sugary foods."

     Now, don't get me wrong.  I love the presents I got, I love eating the cookies and other assorted baked goods, and I really do love the Christmas tree.  However, what do any of these things really have to do with Christ?

     I think that they don't really have any direct relation to Christ.  Which is why it's sometimes hard to remember that it's Christmas not Santamas.  However, even though nothing (that I can think of without much thought) is directly related to Christ and his ministry, everything can still remind us of Christ.  Putting up the Christmas tree provided my family with a time to be together and to work towards a common goal.  The presents remind me of the pleasure that can be felt in any kind of giving.  Baking plates of cookies can remind us that Christ's ministry wasn't just about making an individual better, or a family kinder to one another, it was about being nice to everyone.

December 16, 2013

Being a Teen - Dating

     Lately the term 'dating' has been on my mind... rather a lot.  See, for us Latter Day Saints (Mormons) dating is something you wait until 16 to do.  Rather, that's what's supposed to happen.  However, the whole thing seems a little confusing.  I mean the whole "Don't date until your 16" thing is kind of straight forward.  However, lots of teens in my religion seem confused about what kind of dating your allowed to do at that age.  *Sigh*  I could go on and on about that... saying how wrong I think some people are... but what I really want to discuss is simply my thoughts and view on the matter.  Not: my view on how others should go about it.

     I think that different people definitely have various things that work for them, whether they be LDS (a Latter Day Saint) or if they are from another denomination.  Some teens are very mature, and some just... aren't.  So, I think that people really should just focus on what their dating ideas are.  What I believe in, as far as dating goes, is based a lot on what my religion and parents advise.

     So basically my view of 'dating' is that its okay to go on group dates starting at 16, and that going on single dates are appropriate when you get older and are more interested in finding a person to marry.  I also think that you shouldn't be exclusive (exclusive = having a boyfriend or girlfriend) until you've gone on several single dates and until you are actually interested in marrying the person you want to be exclusive with.

     There you go.  In one complete paragraph I have stated how I think utopia 'dating' should work.  Sadly 'dating' seems to be a lot more complicated then that.

     For some reason society seems to want people to be exclusive.  They think it makes sense for teens to pair off.  They encourage it!  For me this just seems ridiculous because... well... a teenage relationship will lead either to things that I consider to be sinful when not limited to marriage, or to breaking up.  The fact is that I believe feelings leading to romantic love should be between a man and a woman who can actually take things somewhere without it leading to sin.

     Society's encouragement of teens pairing off troubles me for the above reasons, and because it seems like you can't escape the fact that everyone (including myself sometimes) puts others into 'couples' and pairs.  This makes it hard for me because I know that when I turn 16, and were to go on a group date, then many of my friends (if not all) would think that I liked my date.  Through no real fault of their own, but through conditioning, they would think that we were together.  Then if I were to go out with another young man (lets say the next week) many would see me as a sort of player.  They'd see me as cheating on the young man that I went out with first.  Even though I never had any sort of relationship with either of them and they are both simply my friends.

     I turn 16 in only a little bit.  I have my idea of how dating should work, and the world has their view.  Unfortunately the carrying out of my idea's will probably be viewed unfavorably by those who look at me from a more normal and non-Mormon, non-Naomi point of view.

     So, maybe I'll end up going through with my ideas and pretend not to care about any labels people may give me.  Or, I could just not do any kind of dating for awhile.  I could just wait until I get out of this weird teenage limbo.  I could just hangout with people.  Who knows what I'll do though?  I most certainly don't.

     16... I am coming.  I just don't know what to do with you.

December 13, 2013

Missing Him

     Recently while talking to someone about Christmas in correlation with death I said, "It still hurts to know that somebody's missing, but it gets easier to handle."  This seems true for me even if it is not universal.  The pain changes, yet it still hurts.  At first, when it finally hit me, the pain of losing my Grandpa was sharp.  It tore at the fabric of my life.  It made things feel 'off.'

     Now the pain is a dull throb that every once-in-a-while becomes something more.  Its a subtle ache that doesn't always necessarily hurt, but always makes me remember him.  Sometimes though the pain becomes sharp again.  Something scratches at the scar caused by my Grandpa's passing.  I had one of those moments last night.

     My grandpa and I, forever ago, started to watch the one season show named Firefly. (Click HERE to see previous post about that.)  Last night I finally watched the last episode.  It was... hard.  The show is simply delightful and thus I really did want to watch it.  However, it hurt because I just missed him, the one who got me started on it.

     The show was lovely.  It was very worthwhile.  I really did love it.  What I loved most though is that afterwords I was able to feel at peace. The whole thing made me ache for my Grandpa, but at the end I was able to be happy that my Grandpa was able to introduce me to some of my favorite TV-show characters ever.  Sure I sobbed for a minute there in between finishing and feeling peace but I was able to feel happy afterwords.

     I miss him.  I hurt sometimes because I wish this life still had him in it.  However, I am so grateful I was able to know him like I did.  I am grateful for the time we were able to have, and the fact that I loved him because I knew him, not just because he's family.  Like one of my friends quoted to me: "Say not in grief 'he is no more,' but live in thankfulness that he was."

     I am grateful I had him.  I am so grateful for those I know and have in my life now.  I will still feel grief over not having my Grandpa to write and laugh with.  However I believe I shall see him again; until then, I am glad that I knew him.

December 11, 2013

The Change Fear

     Change.

     Most people think of it and immediately get worried about things such as college, retirement, moving, death, or perhaps simply getting rid of a few things.  We worry about so many things.  "Will it be a good change?" "Does it need to happen?" "Are things better now?"

     There are so many things to worry about.  So many things to think about, but change seems to be one of the top things we think of and let consume our thoughts.  We give it a life of its own.  We worry about if the new school will be to harsh, or if we really will need that power tool in a few weeks, or years.  Life is so full of fluctuating pieces that we must re-arrange, and yet we can't know until latter what kind of picture the pieces are making.

     In my mind the fear isn't really of change at all though.  The change is of the unknown that surrounds, or lays past the change itself.  We get stuck in right now, because it is known, and comfortable.  Some people may argue to say that their present is very un-comfortable, but often these same people aren't happy with the idea of change either.  In a way, I think that many times, its not just the joys but also the pains that make us comfortable. 

     How can pain make you or I comfortable though, you may well ask.  Well, I think that it is not necessarily the pain of something that causes us to be comfortable, but rather the fact that we understand it, and that it is expected, and known which makes it comfortable.  You settle down into your little rut of being called certain things, of dealing with the kids rooms not being clean, (or to be more extreme) of being beaten by your spouse.  However, somehow you find a sense of comfort in that because you know what that kind of pain is like.  Granted I could be wrong... but I think: 

     We fear moving away from things we know. We fear what we don't understand. We fear the unknown. Change brings these things we fear thus, to some level, we fear change.