Monday, June 7, 2010

The Wierd and Winding Road of My Monday Brain

The past few days have been interesting.

I really enjoyed the training that Junior League put on.  I enjoyed even more the 2 1/2 hour conversation in 103 degree heat that I had with a new friend.  Miss D. is pretty cool and we had the best time chatting.  We only discovered how long we'd been talking when Kim called because she was in Borders and was wondering if I was there too.  6 pm!  So I was off to dinner hoping that I didn't stink to high heaven because I had been sweating like mad all the while we were talking.  Yummy sushi for dinner and a Bonsai to drink (yum! Plum wine with a shot of saki in it.)  Then Sex in the City 2.  I never really watched the series to begin with but it was a very "Girls Night" type of movie.  It was awful.  SPOILER ALERT: there is a definite schism with reality in the movie.  If I were to kiss another man, Mr. Darcy certainly would not bring me a 3 carat black diamond ring to wear as "punishment."  He might bring me a set of divorce papers, but not a diamond.

The next morning I woke up exhausted.  It took me forever to fall asleep the night before and then I was up at 6:55 with the girls. TriMommy on 5 hours of sleep is not a pretty picture.  But somewhere in there I got all my ideas together and emailed my committee with them - I'm a co-chair and there are 2 assistant chairs as well.  Evidently I am a wild child, an incendiary thinker because I seem to have annoyed at least one assistant chair with my ideas because I am exceeding the scope of what she thought we would be doing at the Center.  But let me tell you, I do not think that talking about nutrition for 9 months to a group of 10-13 year old kids is the way to make a meaningful program.  Sure we're feeding hungry kids with take home back packs and hosting potentially 4 "Family Nights" where we'll have dinner for them as well.  But to talk only about eating healthy and exercising in an area where 76% of children live in poverty, 47% of their parents do not have a HS Diploma or a GED, the area has the highest rate of reported child abuse and neglect in the county, and the median household income is $13,613 is not what these children need.  Yes, they need to talk about nutrition, but the need kitchen safety, personal safety, confidence builders, something to show them that with hard work they can go to college and get out of poverty, and I dare say it safe sex and that inappropriate touching is not okay.  An apple is around $1 in my neighborhood and so is a packet of ramen noodles.  The ramen noodles feeds 2 people.  The apple?  These kids don't need me to read them a Richard Scary story about food choices and then feed them Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter and raisins on top).  Okay, maybe a little of that.  But they need more than that.  Their parents often work 2 jobs, so were going to have them come to a Family Night and give them yoga lessons?  No.  These parents need to know a bit about what we've been doing with their kids, how they can buy healthy foods and make healthy meals on a shoe string budget.  Most of these parents ride the bus and don't have a car.  They shop in the neighborhood conveinence stores because it's close to home.  I feel like if we provide them more education we can help them maybe someday get out of poverty.  We have a health, hunger and poverty initiative.  It doesn't make me sleep better at night to give some kids a piece of fruit every day, some packs with a small amount of food in them every 2 weeks, and then a quarterly dinner with their folks, and some chats about eat this not that.  Well, a little bit better because at least they are being fed.  But I feel like we're missing the boat.  All that does is give them food and a chat on health.  It addresses health and hunger that way, and I guess poverty because these kids are poor.  But how do you get out of poverty? Education, staying off drugs and alcohol, and NOT getting pregnant as a teenager are the Big 3.  Me telling them how to make a healthy snack and that they should brush their teeth is not getting them out of poverty.  And I'm sure they'd love to eat healthier, but when healthy food is so much more expensive than non-healthy food and the budget is super tight does what we tell them really matter?  Not to mention we already have a program that is all about healthy eating.

So that's my "fight" at the moment.  I'm not a conflict oriented person.  I like things to go smoothly and often act as a consensus builder, but there are some things that I stand my ground about... and they are those things that matter. And I feel like this matters.  I've seen these kids.  These kids aren't statistics.  They're smart, they're growing, and they need direction in a directionless atmosphere.  These kids live in a situation where they know the smell of pot, what a crack pipe looks like and who does drugs by the 2nd grade.  There is rampant teenage pregnancy, starting as early as 11.  I can't give them all a chance all by myself, but we can maybe plant a seed somewhere in them that can grow to help them out of poverty.

All I can think of today is this situation.  It's already driving me a little nutty, and we're not having our meeting until Thursday. Sigh.  A few phrases come to mind, like "Give a man a  fish and he'll eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."

But other than that, all is well.  I did a 2250 swim today.  I felt great - super strong in the water. Drills and then half of a ladder - 400, 300, 200, 100, 50 all out.  The funny bit was that I did my 50 all out, but evidently I had more because it seemed like I could have gone farther at that pace... and it was super fast (for me).  Who knows... maybe one of these days I'll bust out a killer time on race day too. : )

Lots of work at work.  Mr. Darcy is grumping a bit because every Tuesday except the 1st Tuesday of the month will be dedicated to Junior League stuff.  But, I don't have sorority stuff anymore.  I don't have Team in Training practices anymore.  Just work, training and Junior League.  You'd think that would make him happy.  I think he's kind of jealous, actually, and that is what the real issue is.  He hasn't found that something where he's been able to make friends and have fun while doing it.  Not for lack of encouragement on my part.  For me, it's a necessity to have something.  I work out of our house on a job that is primarily done via email.  Phone calls are rare.  Then I get the kids after work and bring them home, cook dinner, play and eat, and take care of the chores.  I need external interaction.  I'm a social person.  You close me up for too long and I become angry and irritable.  Take me when I'm like that to a crowded place and in 15 minutes, I'm happier.  So, while I'm sorry that Tuesday evenings will be engaged otherwise and Mr. Darcy doesn't care for it all that much, I'm not sorry.  It's my only chance to interact with others and possibly have the chance to make a difference in a small little corner of the world with my evidently incendiary and shocking ideas.

On the radio this morning they asked the question, if you were to die today is there anything that you wouldn't want people to know or discover.  Perhaps I live a rather boring life, but there's nothing that I can think of that I wouldn't want people to know or discover about me.  It did make me want to get my skydiving videos put on DVD though... I would want the girls to see those.  To see their Mommy, the lady who is saying "please stop that - I don't want you to get hurt" jumping out of an airplane and loving every blasted moment.

My friend Doug is not doing well at all.  He is not responding at all, has terrible sores on his skin and his skin is weeping, he's back on blood pressure medicine and the doctor has said that he is a worst case scenario.  He's seen people come back, but it's extremely rare.  I hurts me to think of his lovely wife and children and the pain they must be going through seeing Doug like this.  It hurts not to know the right words to say or the right thing to do or how to make it better.  His leukemia had started poking through the 2nd medicine too.  He needed the transplant.  And it's also the transplant that caused all these problems.  It is hard to wrap your mind around.  I still believe in miracles.  Now it's just up to God to perform one if he sees it fit.  That's another difficult thing to wrap your mind around.

I'll have alot to think about on my 3 mile run tomorrow.  Or is it to run away from?  Either way, running seems to help. So until tommorrow.  Tell the ones you love that you love them, and thanks for reading my blog.  It is nice to have bloggy friends out there!


  1. Great post Kate! The Junior league is lucky to have someone as bright as you and who can think outside the box. Bravo! Enjoy your run (away) tomorrow...hopefully it isn't as dang humid as it ws this morning. Yuck!

  2. I love this post and your fight, Lil Ms Tuddy is mad that she didnt think of it, your right, and she is wrong in my opinion, the bare mimuim is not going to fix the problem

  3. You stand your ground! That group is luck to you such a passionate leader. :o)

  4. You are such a rebel. You give them what-fer. Let them worry about what to eat and not to eat when they are able to make the decision!