The girl I watch has a big book project due in about a week and a half. Last week she cheerfully asked me if we had any rubber cement so she could glue her text in her book when it was ready. So, being a diligent caretaker I immediately added “rubber cement” to my shopping list and included a trip to Target in my weekly agenda. This past Friday I went to Target and very distinctly remember putting the rubber cement in the cart. I remember crossing “rubber cement” off my shopping list. Therefore, when the girl I watch asked Friday afternoon if I had remembered to buy the glue, I gave her a very confident affirmation.
Whether I like it or not, this summer’s move to God-only-knows-where on God-only-knows when is beginning to enter my thoughts. Okay, that’s a lie, this summer’s move has been in my thoughts since getting married–this is the big vicarage move (to be followed two years later with the big first call move, God willing). However, I am beginning to feel like I should actually be doing something about this move. Since I don’t believe in packing until the month prior to the move, the urge to start putting things neatly and snugly into boxes hasn’t struck me yet. Other logical activities to help sooth the moving process would be to do things like scanning apartment prices or starting the job hunt, but the big when and where of the move are still unknown for another two months. Alas, what is a productive seminary wife to do?
Apparently, the answer is to start hoarding boxes. Since we have been blessed to have a spacious (albeit cold) second floor that we don’t really use, my husband and I have dedicated a whole room to moving boxes. Consequently, we saved every box from this last move and have been stashing away any box that comes our way. Amazon boxes, care package boxes, shoe boxes, even the Girl Scout cookie boxes that I dug out of my employers’ recycling can have all been tossed into our lovely box room. along with anything that can be used as packing material.
However, I realized several weeks ago that I didn’t really know how many boxes we have collected over the last six months. So, yesterday’s “You Know Your Husband is at the Seminary When. . .” moment was to take the time to sort and stack the boxes by size. With great satisfaction I now have a good estimate of how many tiny, small, medium, and large boxes we have stowed away for the packing process. Even better, I believe that we are getting enough boxes to actually make this move! The only thing that would make this more satisfying is actually knowing where we are going. . .
Psst. . . Want to hear a secret? Most seminary wives are very, very nervous about becoming a pastor’s wife. We’ve all heard the horror stories–overbearing congregations, stressed out husbands, etc.–and it’s hard not to be concerned about what lies ahead for us. As a counteraction for nerves and worries, wives often seek advice from current pastor’s wives. We ask how they balance their husband’s ministry with family and how they would handle such-and-such scenario. Obviously I have done this too (remember Real Pastor’s Wife, Real Answers?). Now, it’s good to ask questions and be aware of some of the issues that lie ahead after our husbands receive their call (God willing). However, after doing about a year and a half of this “seminarian’s wife” role, I have discovered that asking too many different people too many questions starts leading to conflicting answers. To prove my point, I’ve pulled together all the information I have about being a pastor’s wife, creating some very interesting conclusions.
I was going to leave a snarky post about Valentine’s Day, commercialization, and the societal pressures around it. However, I thought this XKCD comic did a lovely job of summarizing my sentiments. Enjoy!
With that, Happy Discount Chocolate Day (better known as February 15)!
*comic from http://www.xkcd.com/1016/
Today is a Monday sort of a day. A Monday day is when little things keep going wrong–nothing life altering, just daily annoyances come one after another and leave me gritting my teeth and clenching my fists. Nobody died on this Monday day but the realization that I bought the wrong laundry detergent after I started the wash brought tears of frustration to my eyes (fact: using regular detergent in a HE washer can make extremely sudsy clothes). I wasn’t sick on this Monday day but the fact I had no idea what to make for dinner caused my head to ache. On this Monday day the dogs were their usual overbearingly doting selves but their constant following me around started to drive me nuts. Additionally, I realized half way through their walk that I forgot to take off their fence collars, meaning I caused them to get shocked as they obediently heeled down the driveway (we’ll just add “cruelty to animals” to this Monday day). On this Monday day there wasn’t any more work for me than usual but I found out that everything I hoped would have been accomplished over the weekend wasn’t really thought about, meaning the rest of this week will be a mad scramble to make up work.
Yes, I think I can safely say this wasn’t a very good day–most definitely a Monday day. Good thing it actually is Monday, otherwise this day would be downright depressing.
On Thursday, the Pew Research Center released this study that announced that the economy’s mishaps have hit young adults hardest. In summary, many of us youngin’s cannot find jobs and of those of us who can find a job, many are working dead-end jobs that make it difficult to make ends meet. There is an epidemic of boomerang kids and parents’ expectations of their children’s financial independence has lowered significantly. Students are flocking to graduate schools in attempt to delay their entry into the bleak workforce, all the while putting off major life transitions like getting married or having kids. Basically, it sucks to be young and searching for employment.
However, despite the disappointing job opportunities for people my age, it makes me feel better about myself. While I’m not unhappy with my marriage, I do find myself journeying down the wistful road of what ifs. What if I didn’t get married right out of college? What if I actually tried to find a career rather than job hopping as my husband continues school? What if I had actually taken the time and effort to really put myself out on the job market? Well, the statistics show that not much would be different. I probably still would not have a career, but instead would be scraping the bottom of the job market barrel for something to make ends meet. And at least with marriage, I have my husband to help stave off the feelings of worthlessness as my employment comes and go with the constant moving. And like the findings of the study, we are optimistic that this job despair will not last–our future in the job market certainly cannot be much worse than the present. With that, we join the young masses with our youthful hope that things will get better!
I’ve always imagined my writer’s block as a giant toy wooden block. The block is a pale wood and the painted letters and numbers are raised out of the smooth sides. The color changes–sometimes it’s blue, sometimes it’s red–but it’s always on a hill. It’s so enormous that there is no way that I can avoid it. It’s like the Lion Hunt song, “Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, gotta go through it!” I can’t tell you how I ever get through it, mostly because by the time I’m past my writer’s block I’m actually writing, not imagining how I got through that stupid wooden block. But now that block is back and looming over me. I wish I had thought more about how I got through it. Drill? Ax? Fire? I can’t figure it out!