The Turtle Will Write

The Turtle Will Write

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

I Hate "Worship"


Had an experience at work that crystallized this thought for me. I was asked to help lead in the singing of Christmas carols at work. Not a problem. I have decades of experience not only with singing in front of people but with leading worship. Part of a youth in lay ministry.

It became a problem when I walked into the party room to see the guy who would be playing guitar setting up what looked like a karoke stage with three mics, an electric guitar (silly me. My brain didn't go there), and a teleprompter. We had no song sheets for the folks who would be singing with us, and we weren't going to practice ahead of time. My control issues gland immediately started secreting. As I was not "in charge" of this venture, I did not take over as was my urge, but my brain hopped into overdrive to simultaneously begin planning for every horrible contingency while not appearing to panic, just in case no one was in charge of this venture.

TT: I sadly have a great deal of experience with "group" activities that are just a bunch of people who "want to help but not lead." I consider many of those people utterly useless in such situations. Harsh? Yes. True? Also, yes.

Turned out, the guitarist had canned music to go with the teleprompter words, but it was exactly in my breaking range, so I couldn't sing for the first song. That didn't matter much because the music was so loud, I couldn't hear myself anyway. I didn't know the second song, and neither did anyone else in what had become "the audience" because I watched their lips not moving. By the fourth song, I decided to "bring out the clown" and camped it up as much as I could, hoping to salvage what I frame as a total fiasco. A fiasco I can't forget, because it's bothered me all weekend. I'm sharing it with you in the hopes this will finally put it to bed.

Please don't think I blame the guitarist. He was doing his best in a bad situation. Just like the rest of us.

My whole issue with today's church music slammed into my stomach. The band wanna-be's who sing their weird harmonies on stage with deafening instruments and songs that not only don't include music for those who can read notes but change every week so we can't even learn it by rote. It's not possible to have group singing when the group consists of the five to seven people on stage. It angers me enough I don't go to church anymore to worship.

Join the choir? What choir? I don't want to be part of the band, and I don't want to be a groupie. I want to use the voice, and the brain, and the ears God gave me to tell Him what I think of Him, and I want to hear myself and the people around me as they do the same. Call me old-fashioned. It's like Worship Group has become the Singing Nanny for the Church. Don't worry, little sheep. We'll sing for you. God gifted us with talent, so don't you worry your off-key heads. We've got it handled. And we've made it loud enough we don't have to hear you when you miss those notes you didn't know were coming.

TT: Wow. Didn't know my vitriol had reached those levels. Sorry.

Anyway, should singing at work take place next year, and I be involved, I will exercise my dominance and create a Christmas caroling atmosphere with the words on a projector, and audience requests, and no electric anything other than the computer I use to Google-search lyrics. I'm not a lounge singer, and you're not my audience. We are in this together, and I'm sorry I helped lead you to believe otherwise.

Keep the faith.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ignore Your Feelings

We live in a society of "how do you feel about that?" "Follow your heart." "Do what makes you happy." It's called post-modernism, and it's a rejection of Truth as an absolute.

Problem with that philosophy is feelings are subjective. It may feel great to eat as much cake as you want in (let's be nice) an evening, but keep that up night after night, and you'll ruin your health, even if it makes you happy at the time. The immediacy of the happy feeling doesn't take into account how bad you'll feel later, even a short time later.

While I consider this a profound, life-guiding truth, I'm more complaining about my reaction to weighing myself this weekend. That Maintain Don't Gain challenge I told you about offers an extra credit point for weighing in once a week. I'm not required to record the result, and I don't have to do it, but I had access to a scale so I weighed myself. And discovered I've gained 5 lbs, according to the scale.

I know this is 5 lbs of muscle. It has to be, because I've been exercising 30 minutes nearly every day for 3 weeks while avoiding sugary snacks. It could also be the layers of winter clothing adding weight. Doesn't matter, though, because when I saw that extra 5 lbs, my feelings said, "That's it. You've worked this hard to gain weight? Time to quit. Go eat a dozen of those cookies you're here to bake and screw the challenge. You can find your 5 points some other way."

Because I ignored my feelings, I didn't eat a dozen cookies. I didn't eat one, actually, although I did lick some dough off my fingers at one point. Yes, I washed my hands before going back into the batch. I'm not going to quit working out. I'm not going to stop the challenge. I am going to start measuring my waist instead of stepping on the scale. I don't need that extra point, and I certainly don't need such an emotional downer in the middle of the challenge.

In case you haven't figured it out, scales are liars. If you are trying to be healthy, don't trust your scale to measure success. Trust your clothes, your breathing when taking steps or walking to your car, and the encouraging remarks of friends and family. A measuring tape is pretty accurate, too, if you're not obsessive about it.

Keep the faith. 


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I'm Getting There

I make a bunch of big promises and then stop blogging.

As Murphy would agree, once you have a plan, life makes other plans for you. This is good news for once, as the other plans life has seem to be actually finishing Daughter of Anasca.

Yes, while contemplating something completely different, I figured out how to solve my unhappiness with the current ending of my I-want-to-be-soon-published WIP (as opposed to my still-in-first-draft-stage WIP that waits until I'm done with DoA). The blog will take a back seat until the rewrite and final edits on the last 100 pages are done and that sucker is uploaded to Amazon whatever it is I'm using to self-publish. CreateSpace, maybe? Can't remember at the moment.

My deadline for publication is Dec 20, the last day of Autumn 2014. Best get to it.

Keep the faith.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Mustache Dream

Tired of me yet? My biggest fear is not that you will tire of me, but that I'll make this revelation so complicated and enormous it will become burdensome instead of freeing. I'd be tempted to stop, except for the mustache dream.

Two days after the election, and two posts later, I dreamed I had a Sam Elliott-Tom Selleck sized walrus mustache. For some reason, it was blonde, but I don't believe that has anything to do with anything. I shaved that sucker off as fast as I could, and it took a ridiculously long time and left a pile of luscious blonde locks on the floor.

While I don't ascribe to Freud (or Jung) or their theories about dream interpretation (I'm was a Minuchin gal myself in practice), I do believe the brain is complicated and occasionally expresses things in ways we don't immediately recognize. This is all rationalization-speak for why I went to Dream Moods dream dictionary to see what they say the mustache was all about. 

To dream that you have a mustache when you don't really have one signifies that you are hiding an aspect of yourself. You are putting on a disguise or showing a different aspect of your personality. If you are a woman and dream that you have a mustache, then it indicates that you are expressing your power through your words and your verbal expression.
To dream that you shave off your mustache denotes that you are revealing your true self. You no longer have to hide under some disguise or some shield. 
Interesting. Days after deciding to consciously express my Biblical worldview and conservative values on my blog, I dream this. I don't know how they draw their conclusions, but I'm a little impressed. 

With my subconscious' full approval, then, I continue this self-imposed quest of cultural influence on an infinitesimal scale. It may only be to cement those beliefs in my own mind. That's OK. 

And because my curiosity got the better of me again, I looked up the blonde thing. 
 
To dream that you dye your hair blonde indicates that you literally need to lighten up and quit being so serious all the time. Try  to be more upbeat.

There you have it. I'm also supposed to keep it light and funny. I'll do my best.

Keep the faith. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Maintain, Don't Gain

My insurance plan offers a substantial reduction in premiums if I "earn" points the previous year through health "challenges." I have no problem with employers or insurance companies offering incentives to encourage healthy lifestyles, thus reducing the need for preventable health-related expenses and keeping overall health care costs down for every customer. Bribes work. Even Proverbs agrees with that (Prov 17:8). Earning these points has never been an issue for me because, by their definitions, I'm a healthy person.

The point requirements were changed this year (as is their right). I have to do a little more to qualify than usual. In theory, this is not a problem because, again, I'm a healthy person. However, I'm also a person who doesn't like anyone "in my business," including my health insurance company. I resent checking in with my daily healthy choices.

Being a mature adult who wants that discounted premium, I am adapting and participating in one of their challenges to get the extra points I need. It was a personal goal I made months ago when I got my pants altered after losing all the weight during the spring, so it isn't out of my way to participate in the "Maintain, Don't Gain" during the holidays. I get daily points for each of the following:
  • Exercising 30 minutes or more 
  • Eating a healthy breakfast
  • Eating a healthy lunch
  • Limiting treat foods to 1 serving or less
  • Limiting alcoholic or sugary beverages to 1 serving or less
Except for the exercise (unless it's Swamp Season), I generally do all this anyway, but having to tell them I do all this is galling. I fear that accepting the reporting requirements will train me to accept worse down the road. At what point does voluntary involvement become indentured servitude?

I'm thinking about it way too much, you say. You think about it for a while, and tell me if I'm wrong. This is the "freedom above all" leaning of my conservative mind, the part I categorize as "Libertarian" because it's inclined to be contrary in the name of freedom, and prefer stubborn resistance to reasonable cooperation because cooperation leads to dependence and that must be avoided at all costs.

Anyway, I'm watching what I eat and using that 30 minutes of exercise to burn off my irritation at having to report it, and, I expect, I'll lose weight over the next 6 weeks. Which will irritate me, too, because that's not the goal. Welcome to my OCD hell.

Keep the faith.