It’s been an interesting few days, Internet. Lots of ups and downs and hard days and good ones. Often all at the same time and mixed together.
What’s been happening a lot, though, is there’s been a lot of talk about worldviews and beliefs. I’m not sure if all of the drama, drama, drama started it or exacerbated it, or perhaps straight up caused most of it. Or maybe it’s just where I’m at right now. But it’s been wild. And a crazy learning trip. AND SO FUCKING INTERESTING!
Makes me feel more and more like a true UU. Which brings us to day. Church.
I was a little nervous about going at all since I wasn’t sure if I’d see *her* there or how I’d handle that.
But I had committed to attend a Facilitators Meeting *at 9:15 in the fucking morning* (Mornings are bullshit).
So I dragged Beanlet and Jack to church uber-early (poor Beanlet was all snuggled up in her purple and turquoise fleece Tinkerbell blanket ready to geek out on cartoons too! She gave me the evil death ray eyes while I laid out clothes for her… until I told her why we had to go and helped her get dressed). Plus, the homily was scheduled to be a good one: The Power of Optimism in the New Year… even if it was going to be given by these two ladies I’ll call The Doll Ladies.
I decided to call them the Doll Ladies because they each have a certain “doll-like” physical quality to them: but they’re COMPLETELY different. There’s a tall one and a short one. The Tall Doll Lady looks like the kind of dolls Beanlet and I make. They’re basically a thick cylindrical tube with thin cylindrical tubes for arms and legs. This is a really good image:
Yeah, Tall Doll Lady definitely has that kind of shape. Just large cylinders sewn together.
The other Doll Lady reminds me of a Russian nesting doll.
The Doll Ladies serve on the committee that arranges our Sunday services right now while we don’t have a minister (immigration from Canada issues, of all things!). So when the committee needs to fill a Sunday service, one or both of them often speak.
Over the summer we heard a lot of Travel Logs. From the Doll Ladies. But Kukla Doll Lady isn’t a bad speaker at least. Unfortunately, Tall Doll Lady has a tendency to come off like a School Marm from 1895 who’s having a tender moment with a pupil who’s Pop’s just been shot.
And when Tall Doll Lady’s not “on-stage” she’s a straight-up know-it-all.
The thing is, both the Doll Ladies are good people who are honest and hardworking and whose intentions are good. They give a lot of time and effort to our congregation – in 100% volunteer positions. I get that. I do.
But I just can’t figure out how to like them. At all.
I dread their days in the pulpit. I actually enjoy their topics sometimes, but inevitably, they miss some major point of what I wanted to hear about or they get caught up in quoting poetry and don’t draw any conclusions.
So that’s the Doll Ladies. And to be honest, I didn’t expect to even have the option to hear the homily today at either service. Even if it was on Optimism and positive psychology (Hello? See this. OF COURSE THE TOPIC CAUGHT MY EYE!) But between the Facilitator’s Meeting during the first service, and even if we stayed for the 2nd service I figured I’d have to go to Beanlet’s RE class to interpret for her.
It didn’t occur to me that today might be the day Beanlet decided to “grow up” and go to class by herself.
I think what actually happened is: during my meeting, she wanted to go to class but didn’t want Jack to go with her for whatever reason. And afterward, she liked it that way I guess. Because when we sat down to decide whether to stay for 2nd service, Beanlet told me “I need learn more”. So we stayed. And I got up and interpreted the opening for her. But when the kids got sent downstairs to their RE classes, Beanlet told me she wanted to go “myself”. Both the RE teachers approached me after each service and told me how Beanlet did and what she learned about. The language barrier was definitely there, but she was able to participate in both classes, which I was SUPER STOKED on.
So I got to hear the homily at the 2nd service. And I enjoyed it, for the most part. I did have a hard time with the section where Tall Doll Lady read the list of 7 activities recommended by Deepak Chopra for something or another. But Kukla Doll Lady had some really interesting stories about optimism and pessimism and she recommended some cool websites on the topic that I’m totally going to check out. Tall Doll Lady ended the service by saying “We were going to invite you all to share your hopes for the New Year, but we rang a little longer than expected earlier so here are some of mine…” (For the record, Jack noticed that the service actually ended 5 minutes early).
Maybe I should mention that after the homily, they did this song that I totally dig. It’s called “This Little Light of Mine”. Me and my friend I’ll call EarthBabe taught Beanlet’s last RE class to sign it together. And I was sitting with EarthBabe. In the front row.
We totally rocked it out. With signs. It was way fun and we were totally having a blast.
The 3rd lady on the stage, the chair of the committee that the Doll Ladies sit on that do the Sunday services, is super sweet. She stood up and told everyone she was sorry they couldn’t have seen the view from the front.
Which made EarthBabe & I laugh. A lot.
But I did notice the Doll Ladies scowling ever so slightly.
After the service, I even stepped aside from a conversation I was enjoying to compliment Kukla Doll Lady personally on her homily and asking if she had read any of the happiness books I’ve been reading.
I don’t think she likes me very much either, to be honest.
And the thing is, I don’t think I much care. At all.
It wasn’t until we were in the car that I figured out what they had missed on my Favorite Topic. I made Jack listen to me explain it. *of course* (He’s so good to me!)
Anyway, Kukla Doll Lady did a wonderful job of explaining the value of optimism and how your outlook can affect your health and all kinds of wonderful things. She drew sharp and funny contrasts between optimists and pessimists. She discussed how even in identical twins 1 can be a pessimist and the other can be an optimist. But she didn’t mention, like AT ALL, my basic premise: we have at least *some* control over our outlook. We can retrain our minds to look at the world differently. We can CHOOSE the optimistic viewpoint. And that, by choosing that viewpoint over and over and over again we can start to do it automatically: a habit, even. And when it becomes a habit, we can become naturally happier.
No, instead we were advised that both ends of the spectrum were a little extreme and perhaps the middle road – she had a term but I don’t remember it – would be the wisest course.
But the saddest part to me? *She* wasn’t even there to hear any of it. And the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that she’s never really gotten anything out of church. She digs the community aspect and having friends and activities and such. But it’s where we met and she’s gone to Spiritual Development with me a couple of times and such but the more I’ve thought about it, I’ve realized she never really participated or had much to say about the topics. She never mentioned that she wanted to try a technique or that she had been moved by a sermon. So even if she HAD been there, I don’t think anything would’ve sunken in.
It’s been four or five days since the last email I sent to her. Nothing. I gave her Christmas present to EarthBabe instead today. I deserve better than this. I’m done.
But Beanlet had a great milestone today and Jack’s stepping up some volunteering and I had a great time with EarthBabe and it was a good day.
Not everyone has to like me.