Friday, May 31, 2013

Ribose and Fibromyalgia

My mom and sister bought me ribose to try as a fibro treatment. Normally, I do nothing for my fibro because  I've never heard anyone say something really actually worked.

But my mom tried this, and her sister did, and it worked for both of them.

I was still skeptical, but since Mom and Beth actually had the stuff sent to my house, I figured I had to try it.

When I was in first grade, I remember looking at the trees along the very top of the mountain ridge and thinking they looked like they were trekking along up there, like a pioneer train. By the time I was in sixth grade, I had forgotten I'd ever thought that. Had it even occurred to me, I might have thought I was mistaken. But the next year, in 8th grade, I got glasses. And then I could see the trees up there on their everlasting pioneer trek across the mountain ridges, and I remembered that I used to delight in looking at them. I had forgotten they existed because I couldn't see them anymore.

Taking ribose has been like that.

Just like I didn't know I couldn't see, I didn't know I didn't have any energy.

I had defined having energy as the opposite of being tired. And I knew how I felt when I woke up and I knew it took all day to get tired, and I didn't wake up tired or feel tired or sleepy all day. And my limbs weren't weary like they are after I go hiking or lift a lot of boxes, so I wasn't that kind of tired either. So it never occurred to me that I was lacking in energy.

But then I took ribose.

And--oh! This is what normal people feel like?  You mean moms take their kids places and do stuff on purpose because they want to, not because they have to? Oh! I remember feeling like this! No wonder I could walk 10 miles a day in Europe without blinking. And go hiking with my friends. And play ultimate frisbee. And have a job and, you know, do the job.

The first day, after just one dose, I got a headache. I had read this happens to some people, and to ignore it for the first 3 days. That night, when Tim came home, I was a little bouncy. I talked straight through, skipping from subject to subject, for at least an hour. Maybe two. He sat there a little stunned and then smiling and then just about laughing at me with a sparkle in his eye.

I haven't been hyperactive since then, though. No headache either. My body adjusted.

The first two weeks I took it, I took 1 tsp 3 times a day, stirred in water. I took it with food always to avoid the headache. And I had energy. Not buzzing with energy like the first night, but the ability to do work. The ability to engage my brain and have a conversation and get up and DO stuff. Any stuff.  But I also couldn't settle in and go to sleep at bedtime. I just wasn't tired. And that pushed my bedtime later every night, so it was a good thing you only are supposed to take 3 doses for 2 weeks because I was going to bed long past dawn (like 9:00 am!) at the end of the first two weeks. And 3 doses made it so that I just couldn't wake up in the morning. I was so drugged, I couldn't shake it off, even after 10+ hours of sleep.

I seem to have hit a sweet spot with 2 doses a day, taken at breakfast and at lunch or between lunch and dinner with a snack. One dose and I spend a long time just sitting in my chair all evening, and I can't get the kids to bed on time because I don't have the energy to get up and do the work it takes. Two doses makes me feel like a normal person, energy-wise, though. I feel like I did in college, before  my mission (which is when the fibro struck). I did stuff then. Took dance classes. Worked. Walked everywhere. My mind was engaged and curious and questioning and active.

Tim noticed. He noticed that I took the kids hiking with him. All the kids--all 7 of them. And I talk to him. And I'm up doing stuff with the kids. We made a goal to make every kind of cookie in our cookie cook book this year--and we're actually working on it steadily. We planted a freakin' garden. Seriously. A garden! I actually wrestled with Benji on the bed on purpose and was glad afterward. I smile more. We shook cream in jars to make homemade butter and I made not one but two lumps worth. I shook a jar for 20 minutes! Twice! And was glad afterward! I made 10 dozen chocolate chip cookies, 12 dozen snickerdoodles, a double batch of lemon bars, and 4 dozen orange cookies in 2 days for a party. And it didn't kill me! Or even phase me. The kids noticed that I talk to them more and for longer periods of time. I can engage with them more. There is no brain fog. Ever. Any time during any day.

Also, amazingly, I don't crave sugar anymore. I actually crave the kinds of foods I used to want to eat when I was a kid (apples!).

The downside, other than figuring out the doses so I can get the right sleep at the right hours, has been pain. I am feeling more fibro pain more often. I think that's because I moved around as little as possible for many years, and my body isn't used to moving around. At first, I felt a lot of pain every day. Now I feel less than I did at first--I don't know if that's because I added magnesium to my daily vitamins or because I'm adjusting to having energy. I'm hoping my body adjusts and that, as I have more energy, I can get more gentle exercise and that will help with the pain and movement. I certainly have had to learn how to treat my body gently even when I have energy. Before, I didn't have the option to not be gentle--I didn't have enough energy to not be gentle with myself. Now I have to choose gentle--and the pain is there to remind me when I miss the mark. It is pain without brain fog to numb it, too, so I notice it more acutely. But it's not unbearable pain. And it's not a new thing. This is my old familiar fibro pain. I know this pain, and I know enough not to be distressed by it because I know it is liar pain, not indicating my body is damaged or in danger, much like PMS is liar emotion, caused by hormones instead of human experience that needs to be processed and dealt with. Liar pain and liar emotion can safely be ignored, even though it's real. But the pain does still stop me from cleaning the house, even though now I have the energy to do it.

Is it worth it to gain more energy and pay by gaining more pain at the same time?

Are you kidding? Is there even a question?

Suddenly, out of the blue, I feel human again. And I didn't even know I lost that. I feel like a capable person who can do amazing things, think amazing thoughts, raise amazing kids, finish things, start things, dream things, make things, solve problems...Live.

I don't feel like superwoman. But I do feel like me again--a me I forgot existed.

What a lovely blessing. Who knew that a little box, ordered by my mom and sister, had a new life for me inside it--one that I didn't even know I wanted or needed.

Of course it's worth it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Had a good laugh tonight

We had a good laugh tonight remembering the time, 8 or 9 years ago, when Caleb and his cousin Beth-el had a knock-down, drag-out fight about whether it's a hyphen or a dash in the middle of Beth-el's name.

They were only 3 or 4 years old!

We were astonished back then. Now, looking back, it's even more astonishing.

Ah...funny times.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Things I've been pondering lately

For most of my life, my brain has been able to puzzle through things I'm interested in learning without too much trouble.  If I had something academic I was pondering, it was usually humanities-based or macro-science based (health, general biology, etc), and I could figure out the answers or find them in an easily-digested format. I guess I was (and am) interested in gathering information but otherwise not a particularly curious person. And not particularly interested in working hard to understand things or gather knowledge. I just like to know a lot about a lot. I don't want to work hard to learn it. Usually. I guess I'm what you might call a lazy learner, even though I'm a hungry learner.

Because of that, one subject that has always hung me up is energy.

Learning about energy drives me nuts. The quantum physics section of AP Chemistry nearly did me in in high school, and I refused to take any physics classes at all. See, I got as far as, "The ball wants to fall..." or "The object at rest wants to stay at rest..." and I would throw my hands up and give up. A ball can't want anything. Nor can any object. They have no will, and therefore no desires. We spend so much time explaining chemistry, molecular biology, physics, and like sciences in terms of wants and needs, but the subjects at hand can't "want" or "need" anything, so the explanations simply confused me then and confuse me now.  (Once a teacher explained a biological process all the way down to the atoms--the positive and negative charges--and I was so thrilled. I finally understood how it worked and why! About ten years later, though, I started asking myself, "But why do the positive and negative charges 'want' to come together and the like charges 'want' to repel each other?" and I was back at square one.)

I thought, at the time, that I must be dumb in science because everyone around me seemed to get it and be perfectly content that the electrons 'want' to move to a certain quantum level in the atoms (or whatever else the teacher was explaining) and I really couldn't grasp that (how and why? Electrons can't want!). But now as an adult, I find I really enjoy reading about science--more than about the humanities, which was always my field--so I'm wondering if maybe I'm not dumb at science, but simply needed more or different.

Mostly, I needed to know how to ask my questions (the one time I tried, "Uh, teacher? I don't think the sodium and the potassium can want to trade places," he either didn't understand my question or else didn't want to confuse the rest of the class, who seemed to be getting it even though I wasn't, because he said, "They just do."). And I needed time to think of them. Often, I understood perfectly in class what the teacher had presented, and it wasn't until later--sometimes much later--that I realized there was something more I wanted to know about. Anyway, by the time I reached high school and college, I wasn't used to having to ask questions. I didn't know how to formulate questions or pursue them until I found answers--I knew how to extract information from teachers and texts, solve the kinds of problems they modeled, and pass tests. I'd never had a real question before! School, for me, was about learning ideas as they were presented, not exploring them as they exist in the wide, wild world. I learned how to find and absorb information, but not how to create new questions that forced me to find new information that wasn't on the syllabus. It's like being able to copy any painted masterwork in any museum but not being able to create your own original composition even on a rudimentary level.

So, back to energy. Energy is always described as "the ability to do work." But then we talk about energy as though it's an object, not an ability. You cannot substitute the definition given for the word and have the sentences make sense. I could never "get" what they meant, exactly, by ability and by work. And what exactly were they measuring when measuring energy? The ability or the amount of work? And it wasn't until the last 5 years or so that I realized that potential energy means just that--not real energy, but energy that might exist in the future--Potentially. And that people like to try to measure this, but they're actually measuring something that doesn't exist yet (whoa). And that kinetic energy is activity. I figured that out after watching kinetic sculptures and understanding that kinetic sculptures are sculptures that move, so maybe kinetic energy is movement? Energy that's doing something?  But when someone says, "If I raise this ball above my head, it has _____ much potential energy," I still start to panic--what does that mean? So much potential ability to do work? But what work is bouncing? And how can it lose energy as it bounces lower and lower? It can do less work bouncing lower? Where did the lost energy go? Into the floor, you say? How did that work? How did it transfer--on a molecular level? But the floor has no more potential to do work than it did before, so surely you are lying that it took that energy and "absorbed" it because that indicates it's total energy increased, so it should be able to do more work.....

You see? I just don't get it. It's so confusing. And I usually handle confusing things by refusing to think about them, not by working at it until I get it.

I also just don't get forces, which are related to energy somehow. (You mean to tell me the floor is pushing up on the chair with a force equal to the chair pushing down on the floor, or else the chair would fall through the floor....and when I sit on the chair, increasing the amount of force pushing down, the floor somehow magically conjurs up more force to push up against me and the chair? What the what? I no speak-a your language.)

But thinking about all that last month, I realized I wanted to know how, on a molecular level, bouncing works. I understand material's compression and tension and its 'desire' (there we go again!) to return to its natural shape...but why?! Why does the rubber molecule act that way? And why only when it impacts certain surfaces? It has to hit a surface that distorts its shape in order to bounce (a pillow distorts instead of the ball distorting, so no bounce.)  Why do the molecules act like that? What makes them 'want' to go back to their natural shape when they are forced to distort in a bounce? How do they distort when some objects break instead? How does elasticity work? (All of this came up because someone said on a kids' science show that pingpong balls have a superior bounce because of their superior elasticity, but celluloid, the material ping pong balls are made of, is not particularly elastic...so something else had to be responsible for making them bounce. And they don't bounce well when they have a hole in them, so that's curious, isn't it? And suddenly I needed to know how non-elastic things can display traditionally elastic qualities--like bouncing when they are non-elastic, brittle substances, for example. Like why does a glass bowl sometimes bounce and sometimes shatter?)

I told Tim all that, and he (Brilliant soul that he is) thought about it for a minute and then explained it to me. I was satisfied. I can't remember all of his explanation now, though. I guess I would get this stuff better if my retention was better. (Maybe I "get" humanities so well because my retention there is fantastic.

But I'm not done thinking about materials.

I read about the history of the word 'diaper' and how the fabric used to be for elite clothing, and then for table cloths, but the weave of the cotton was discovered to be superior in both softness and absorbency, so now the same fabric is used for diapers. I totally know how that transition worked--homemakers would cut up their old, worn out or stained tablecloths and use the "rags" to diaper babies, and it worked so well they started making diaper fabric into baby bum-cloths up front, without going through the tablecloth-rag cycle. And now ironically, moms often say that the best rags are made from old cloth diapers....and that the best new-fangled diapers are made of that micro-whatever-fabric that grabs at your fingers that people use as cleaning rags...so fascinating how things evolve, especially in the domestic sphere. Anyway, the humanities portion I just get.

But the science? Now I'm wondering about the nature of wetness, on a molecular level.

How does cotton absorb water--on a molecular level? Why do certain cotton weaves absorb more or less than other weaves of the same material, and also why do identical weaves of other fabrics absorb less (or absorb more)? Why (molecularly) is an identical weave of hemp so thirsty, cotton sorta thirsty, and nylon so water-repellant? Why does natural fabric absorb water but not bond to the water--it lets it go again and gets dry and returns to the way it was before/ And why does the process not change the nature of the material (fabric, and also skin and hair, actually), when it does change the nature of other materials, like paper a little bit, and other materials, like whatever they make cell phones out of, apparently a lot, and other materials, like flour, dramatically.

And, since I'm just learning how to ask these kinds of questions, how do I find the answers--and find them in  a format I can understand and remember? Slow and easy, with enough background initially to make up for the fact that I never took the right classes for questions like this, and deep enough that in the end I'm satisfied?

Can anyone explain wetness to me? Molecularly....

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Elijah says....

Elijah and I were singing the Bob the Builder song the other day. I abhor Bob the Builder, but someone checked out the video at the library and Jack loves it. And that means I can get stuff done while he watches TV. So I learned the song by osmosis.

Anyway, the lyrics are, "Bob the Builder. Can we fix it? Yes we can!"

Elijah and I sang it a couple of times while I was changing diapers, and then I changed it to "Mom the Builder. Can I fix it?"

He popped in, "No You Can't!"

I stopped singing. "What? Why can't I fix it?"

He said, "Cause you a MOM, not a builder."

Haha!

I guess he hasn't noticed that more often than not, when he brings someone a screwdriver, the person who needs it is ME.

Later that day, we fixed the bathroom door because the hinges had come loose.

Because Mom the Builder CAN fix it. Yes I Can.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Modesty Question--a really long post.

I've not been writing everything I'm thinking lately because the shift key on my computer is going out and that annoys me so much when I'm writing that I just don't do it more often than not.

Anyway, this one issue I kept trying to Not Write About, but I can't let it go, so I'm going to write about it.

The latest "in" complaint coming from certain segments of the population is to condemn the church for "the way they teach modesty." And this, apparently consists entirely and exclusively of teaching girls (only--not boys) that they have to cover their bodies so that boys don't have bad thoughts, and that there are arbitrary lines drawn on our bodies and crossing those lines is being immodest. What's wrong with these teachings, according to those who are complaining? They say that boys should take responsibility for their thoughts--if they see a girl and have bad thoughts, it's their own fault; and that arbitrary lines lead people to judge and condemn others unfairly--especially children--and that is bullying and not a good idea; and, finally, that teaching girls to cover their bodies introduces them to sexuality far too early and trains them to see themselves as sexual objects rather than people.

As usual, I don't disagree with everything they are saying.

But the whole thing really grates on me. I don't even know where to start, there's so much here that's close but not quite right.

First of all, while I have heard both arbitrary lines and dress so boys don't have bad thoughts in church, I've never heard them taught as canon. It's a mistake to assume that because culturally in Utah those things are taught or presented in a particular way, that it's endorsed by--or dictated by--"the church." Everything in the church is done by lay teachers. What they say, they heard before more often than not. When they teach stupid or false things, like "chocolate is against the word of wisdom" or "you can't feel the Spirit in a messy house" or "If you show your upper arms, that's immodest," it should be pointed out--in an appropriate way--that those things are not doctrine. It should not be assumed that every word that slips out of someone's mouth in a meeting is 'the way the Church teaches_______'.  It might be the way people in the church have taught whatever it is, but it's likely not The Church. I hear people say (and, quite frankly, I have said) well-intentioned but flawed (and sometimes outright dumb) things in church all the time--ever hear someone say that Alma compared faith to a seed? Yeah--he never said that. It doesn't mean the church as a whole is teaching faith wrong, even if there are pervasive errors that get repeated often.

Not only do I take issue with the "how the church teaches" part, I also take issue with the "teaches modesty" part. Personally, I find their definition of 'how modesty is taught in church' to be a gross oversimplification.

For example, boys are taught modesty, too. My husband and brothers assure me of this. And, they have informed me, never are boys told that it's the girls' fault if they have bad thoughts. They are taught that they are responsible for themselves and shouldn't indulge in sin and blame it on other people. They are also taught that they are human and are wired to notice women's bodies, and taught to not dwell on the bad thoughts that come. And, if I'm not mistaken, they are taught to respect girls as daughters of God, not treat them as fresh meat, even if the girls act like it.

When I was a teenager, looking at boys' bodies did nothing to me. Nothing. I was totally clueless that boys seeing my body might possibly do anything to them. Informing innocent girls that what they wear can have an effect on boys is not giving the girls responsibility for the boys' thoughts. Actually, it is the boys own fault if they dwell on bad thoughts or stare at half-naked girls, but seeing half-naked girls in the pews is going to give any hormonal teenage boy trouble focusing on the sacrament. Sure, the idea shouldn't be the entirety of modesty teaching, and it's not the girls' fault if the boys are staring, but it's fair to warn the girls that when boys see their cleavage, there's a good chance the boys are not thinking about what the girls are saying. It is not fair to give girls responsibility for the boys' righteousness or lack thereof, but it's fair to warn them that boys are different from girls, and there might be things going on that they hadn't considered. And yes, there are girls that are _that_ innocent in church. Keeping boys' thoughts clean is not the reason we girls should choose modesty (I agree that that is a dumb way of teaching it--but I've never once heard it taught that way). But mentioning men and women are different and that we should treat each other with respect--including not egging on the boys, trying to manipulate or exert control over them using sexuality, "teasing" them with immodest dress or behavior, or trying to get them to think of women as sex objects or body parts on purpose--is a fair thing to teach, just like teaching the men to focus on a girl's face and ideas and be sensitive to her emotions is a fair thing to teach.

As for the arbitrary lines, thing...well, God has drawn arbitrary lines for temple-going adults, so I have a hard time saying all arbitrary lines are bad. I do think that where the lines are taught for children should be up to the parents and kids to draw, not necessarily the teachers, but it's hard to argue that women should be allowed to wear anything at any time and that's okay because God made it clear that He prefers we cover our bodies--men and women--and he drew lines.

And if children are judging and bullying based on someone not 'being modest' according to these arbitrary lines, perhaps the right answer is not to abolish the lines, but teach the children to have charity. We don't throw out the standards to avoid offending people--we still say tobacco is against the Word of Wisdom, for example, even when that is sometimes very awkward, especially outside of Utah--but it is not our place to judge other people based on our own standards or the church's, and, in fact the Church has repeatedly asked us not to try to force others to follow our personal standards.

And, finally, I have never met a little girl who, introduced to the idea that her body is a special gift from Heavenly Father and it's good to keep it protected and covered modestly, immediately thinks about sex. Seriously. If their parents are teaching them about their bodies and modesty in a sexualized way, the parents have a problem, not the church. Also, we do have bodies. While I am so very, very opposed to all the body-hate garbage out there, and I think the things little girls learn from the media and their friends about their bodies are justification all by themselves for getting rid of all media and homeschooling, I don't think it's fair to say to women, "you exist entirely in your own mind. Your body is nothing." Our bodies are part of us. Teaching girls to take good care of that part and treat it like the sacred gift it is is not a bad or sexualizing thing. That doesn't turn us into objects. Modesty is about so much more than maintaining sexual purity and clean thoughts, and I never once heard it taught otherwise.

So, with all of that, there are a few more things that bother me about the discussion. One is that the women who are talking about this stuff are not giving a positive alternative. I keep watching for it, and I have seen here and there hints of it, but most of them instead of saying, 'fix this problem--here's one way to do it' seem to be saying, 'You're destroying people by teaching modesty. Stop teaching it.' As if church should be a slut walk, where we can wear anything we want and insist that people respect us anyway. (If you haven't heard of a slut walk, it's a parade of women dressed as prostitutes to drive home the point that dressing immodestly is not an invitation for sexual harassment, abuse, or rape.) The women who are going around spouting all this stuff do not seem to be in favor of teaching modesty at all. I might be wrong about that, but if so, they should watch how they are presenting themselves and make it more clear.

While there are things that need to be fixed (not making victims feel responsible for their abuse is a big deal, for example), you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Modesty is an important thing to teach.

For one thing, how we dress influences our feelings about ourselves. If we dress sexy and slutty, we are more likely to feel and therefore act immodestly (yes, most of the people in the church that I know do actually comprehend that immodesty reaches far beyond simply hemlines and how tight a shirt is). And that will affect our choices and how we feel about ourselves. The biggest danger is not the media or our peers objectifying us because of how we look--the danger is we, ourselves, objectifying us. And modest dressing actually helps us not treat ourselves as though our only value is as a warm, sexy body. It can help us see ourselves as children of God, and to feel like that.

Also, as much as everyone is opposed to everyone judging each other based on what we wear, it does happen. Why do you think they ask missionaries to wear business clothing? Or have everyone wear essentially the same thing in the temple? What we have on and what we see others wearing affects our vision.  And, in fact, it can help protect our teenagers and children if they are able to identify what is modest (behavior and clothing) because what other people wear gives us a hint about the kind of person we're interacting with. Why else would gang members wear similar clothing? While it's wrong to condemn, judge, and bully people for their clothing choices, it's also a quick indicator of what kind of person we're looking at--are they someone we should get to know better, or are they someone likely to get us into trouble?

And it's important for people to know that other people are looking at them and making snap judgments based on their appearance. Whether that is right or wrong, it's real. And the guys in school looking for good, intellectual conversation are going to pick out different girls from the crowd than the guys looking to get laid--primarily, initially, by a girls' appearance. So if a girl or guy wants to be taken seriously, it behooves her or him to dress modestly, whether or not she or he thinks it's a good idea to judge people by their appearance instead of their insides. If a girl wants to attract the right kinds of friends, she has to choose to cover her body more because the right kinds of friends are doing likewise. You cannot dress like a slut and attract a nice, righteous boyfriend, even if you try to feel and act modestly in your immodest clothes (which is harder than feeling and acting modestly in modest clothing).

I realize people are opposed to this--they want all people to be judged by their hearts and minds. But we can't see people's hearts and minds, so we tend to judge by what we do see. Our clothes and appearance are an advertisement for our hearts and minds, and I can't see that any amount of counter programming is going to change that. Having a slut walk is not an effective way of getting people to take women seriously. So while we teach our kids to not judge, we also have to teach them to judge and be judged. It's totally unfair, but totally real.

The clothes might not make the man, but they do influence how he feels about himself and others, and how others feel about him, what they expect from him, etc.

There is a great deal of nuance in the modesty issue--and the way it's being taught in a lot of wards and classes--that we miss by zoning in on this one aspect of the teaching. Can that aspect be taught better? Yes. Absolutely. But the discussion is not talking about how to do better.

Once again, I don't get the idea that the people involved in this have any respect for men or the reality of male-ness, even while they are demanding that men comprehend and respect women and female-ness. They seem to assume that the male experience of mortality is identical to the female experience (or ought to be), and if it isn't, the men are just plain stupid and choosing to be male. (It's the female version of the male disdain for women's emotionalism.)

So, now I take a breath, and then...

to the real issue I have.

I can't stand to read this stuff any more. I'm tired of hearing that God obviously is inept unless his wife is holding his hand (so clearly when we read the word 'god' we're reading about a calling held jointly by a man and his wife). Tired of hearing that the church is run by stuffy old men who just don't get it. Tired of hearing that women need the priesthood because the men can't handle it. Or that women don't need the priesthood per se but just want to be allowed to have those callings. Tired of hearing that if women were in charge of the church, nobody would ever get offended (hahaha! really?). Tired of hearing this weird revisionist view of history that isn't backed up by the evidence when it's all fully considered.  Tired of hearing that if  you look at the role of the Holy Ghost, it becomes clear that the Holy Ghost is a woman (because apparently these people really believe that men are incapable of teaching, comforting, guiding, being gentle, or understanding people's pain.). Tired of this horrible, cruel disdain for men which they claim they don't have but which their words and ideas reveal.  Tired of their power grabs, their insistence that God can do nothing without our permission, tired of reading again and again doctrines that don't make sense when you carry them to their logical conclusions. Tired of people doing deeply offensive things (like ordaining a woman to the priesthood and posting the video on YouTube) to prove some kind of a point. Tired of people saying things like, "I just can't believe..." as if belief is something that happens to you instead of a choice (I don't actually care if they choose not to believe--but presenting it as if there is no choice in the matter bothers me for some reason). Tired of people wresting incredible distortions out of the scriptures when, if they would just read them, they are perfectly clear and make sense (makes me want to ask them to try applying Occam's Razor to the scriptures--perhaps the simplest explanation actually is the right one even if you don't like it?--even though I realize it's the Spirit they should be applying to the scriptures). Tired of hearing people's explanations of what God is going to do in the future because they simply do not understand what He's doing now (and assume, therefore, that God must be wrong instead of entertaining the idea that perhaps we humans are incapable of understanding everything now).  And, most of all, tired of these ideas being presented in a way that is not discussion- or faith-oriented, but partisan politicking and demeaning to those who don't agree.

When I hear about the stupid stuff people do--like male BYU law school students refusing to work with female students because "they took a spot meant for a man who will have to support his family" or "it's not righteous to work with women professionally--I might have an affair"--I understand the outrage. I'm totally opposed to stupidity. Totally, categorically opposed to false doctrine being taught in the church, especially to the children and youth and new members. Totally opposed to women being treated as second class citizens, being told to stay with abusive men, being denied blessings because they got divorced from a guy who molested their kids. There are real issues out there that need to be dealt with--and that are getting dealt with. I am absolutely in favor of people standing up for truth and right and goodness and fairness and all of that.

And I'm also in favor of people being nice because we all make mistakes and get to learn slowly. I certainly have made my own share of mistakes--even while teaching--in my life. Like Elder Holland said--God is okay working with imperfect people, so maybe we should be, too.

But I'm tired of the paradigm I'm seeing among smart people all around me. It's a whole lot of eye rolling, and a whole lot of assuming whatever comes out of SLC is wrong and oppressive even before they consider what was said--or even hear all of it. It's a whole lot of looking for the mistakes before you look for the truth. I know how this works--I do it in sacrament meetings any time I haven't slept enough and go to church anyway. I just have these glasses on that say 'it's all lies, everyone is stupid, and they're going to teach false doctrine'--and so that's what I see. More than once I've started dissecting a quote to show how absolutely stupid it is before it's even done, and then I discover it was Joseph Smith or President Hinckley who said it, and I have to go back and reconsider--perhaps I should have listened first?

It's that paradigm--that set of glasses, so to speak--that I'm most tired of. And I can't write a rebuttal argument to every thing people say that I think is misguided or too limited or from that paradigm. I'm not even sure I should. It might just add to the partisanship that this sister suggests is a problem: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peculiarpeople/2013/05/put-your-mormon-where-your-mouth-is-gender-sexuality-and-the-second-great-commandment/.

It doesn't mean I won't try again. Somehow, I get caught up in it all.

But from now on, if I know beforehand that an article was published on certain websites, I'm going to skip it. Even if it's hard for me to put my finger right on, I just can't take any more of that attitude.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day

For a week, I've been wanting to write a post about mothers for Mother's Day.

I thought of finding all those pinterest pictures people collect that they confuse with motherhood, but really aren't motherhood. You know the ones--home decorating, food decorating, kid decorating, yard decorating, birthday decorating, card decorating, scrapbook decorating....It's as if people have confused showing other people that you raise kids with actually raising kids.

I can't think of anything to say that I haven't already said, though. So you can just read it from before.

 This one: http://beccajones.blogspot.com/2013/01/pondering-motherhood.html and this one: http://beccajones.blogspot.com/2010/05/perfect-moms.html

Have a great Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 02, 2013