Apr. 17, 2013
I’ve been wrestling with spirituality. Losing My Religion fits, though I was never brought up with a “right” religion. My dad is far to the right in his Christianity. He believes that women shouldn’t drink or lead countries. My mom is moderately Methodist. My husband is Jewish in gourmet preferences alone.
Then there’s me, a former experimenter in Buddhism turned agnostic. I do believe that a greater power exists. I don’t believe it cares about me any more than the grass.
I would really love to feel looked after by a God again. I’d even feel pretty great if I could just get on board with destiny. That would give all of this struggling and waiting and wishing some bigger reason. But I don’t have faith in any of that any more.
Having dinner with friends recently, someone said that engaged couples have to work out all of the big life questions together if they hope of having a happy, successful marriage. I didn’t agree. My husband was an athiest when I met him. I was a devout Methodist. We both had open minds, and now he is the one who talks about our “fate” and I roll my eyes. We evolve in all kinds of ways, us humans. I think it’s only love, unconditional, that makes a successful marriage or not. I think it’s only love, unconditional, that makes a happy life.
But I do also believe in people and the goodness of community. I am convinced that helping each other leads us all to more happiness. I think that our lives have meaning when we work towards good and that the world that we live in gets better when we are mindful of enjoying it.
I also see a flicker of my spiritual self in a quote from the Talmud. Maybe there’s a reason why I married a Jewish boy. Maybe it was fate that he married a Christian girl. Maybe our own angels whisper to us whether we choose to believe in them or not. So the saying goes:
Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”
I can almost hear her calling. Almost.
Apr. 14, 2013
The Bombshell Is Back
I get out of my pajamas. That was Rule One, implemented around Week Two of Unemployment. I MUST be dressed by 9:00 a.m.
About Week Eight, I forced myself into Rule Two: I must be dressed nicely by 9:00 a.m. That means no jeans. Some women look great in them. I look fat.
I don’t even want to tell you what week of unemployment—and freelancing!—I’m in now, but I will tell you this.
Secret Fifty-Seven, Revealed. If I have to act like a housewife until my career picks back up, I might as well dress like one. I’m not talking Donna Reed either.
Hello, Sophia Loren!
$134 = 4 dresses + eShakti.com
Hallelujah, eShakti! The best thing to hit the web in yeeeears.
1. You can customize the measurements to fit your shape and customization is FREE on your first order.
2. You can customize the neckline, sleeves, pockets, and length. Fat arms? Cover them! Great legs? Show them off! Did I mention it’s free to customize on your first order?
3. The clothes are a dead ringer for Anthropologie at 1/3 of the cost.
4. Register to get $25 off, which pays for shipping. “Like” eShakti on Facebook and vote in their cute dress contest to get another $20 off. Buy three dresses for the price of two, and boom. A gorgeous summer wardrobe that spares your piggy’s coin-filled belly.
Go on. Wow ‘em, especially if you’re like me and the him is currently bringing home the bacon with a side of rent.
Feb. 25, 2013
If It Ain’t Broke
Photo reblogged from http://dallywinstonluver.tumblr.com/.
The worst has happened. My husband and I are sharing a computer. First a bed, then a laptop. What next—a toothbrush?!?!
Seriously, though, this new merging of married life has us both on edge. My computer had a meltdown last week and, given that we’re both still unemployed, we cannot go around buying up new electronics.
Yet this comes in a series of misfortunate events since we lost our jobs. The washer and dryer both went kaput. No worries—we will go to the laundromat! The breaks went out on my car. Soldier on—we will skip Christmas presents and get them replaced! The breaks on his car went out. Buckle down, kids—we’ll only use one car! The bed frame broke while I was sitting on it. Go to the gym, gal—and let your man super glue and bungie cord the stupid thing back together!
Then this! My computer! My lifeline! My sanity! My digital brain!
I’m an only child. Sharing has never been my forte but I’m getting a good healthy dose of “for poorer” as our life slowly konks out. And here’s the thing. After nine years of marriage, if I have to share the things I desperately do not want to share, I’m still glad it’s with him and nobody else.
We’ve got our vows and so far those are still working tip-top.
(Knock on wood but not too hard, dear. We don’t want to break the coffee table.)
Feb. 14, 2013
Inspired by Love
This morning at 7:20 a.m. a car on my street started honking and honking and honking and honking and honking and honking. I can’t even relay to you how long it went on because it was truly the longest bout of honking that I’ve ever experienced … except that I’ve now experienced it three mornings in a row at 7:20 a.m. So this morning, instead of exchanging Valentine’s cards in bed as is our tradition, my husband threw on his shoes and went flying out the door ready to throttle the person doing all of the honking.
We’re still jet-lagged and cranky in general but we’re also only getting to sleep around 3 a.m. so this honking business has got to stop. My knight in shining bathrobe went out to slay the beast … except the beast was a man getting ready for work and frustrated as all hell that his new, fancy car alarm that sounds like someone inconsistently honking—like there’s a real emergency—keeps going off. My husband came back home kind of feeling like he was the jerk, pestering someone about his alarm going off when we’re the ones who can sit at home sleeping all day if we want to while that guy has to go to work.
That got me thinking about Valentine’s Day, the day of love. Specifically, I was thinking about the kind of love that’s the runt-of-the-pack, the under rated orphan of the love tribe, loving thy neighbor.
Their lives are as brutally complex and infinitely irritating as our own. It’s a fact that’s easy—and blissful—to forget. But here’s a challenge for today:
Hold an elevator. Let a fellow commuter cut in. Offer your tissues to those that sneeze. Tell someone that they look beautiful. Smile. Say thank you. Be loving to all you meet, just for a day. Let’s try it and just see what happens.
Here’s wishing you an amazing Love Day, neighbor with the stupid car alarm! Tomorrow we’ll give you a pass … but if it ain’t fixed by the weekend, buddy, you’re in for an earful come 7:23 a.m.
Feb. 13, 2013
reblogged via distinguishedcompany: via theimpossiblecool: Muddy Waters
It might be the blues but looks like love to me. Great picture, huh?
Feb. 12, 2013
I don’t really believe this tea bag but it sounds nice, doesn’t it? I think I’d say:
Life is an adventure.
Love is a gift.
Grace is your mission, should you choose to accept it.
Feb. 10, 2013
Most days when asked how I’m feeling, I lie. My husband always gets the same answer, the truth, always, which is that I feel out to sea. Untethered.
When I’m honest with others, like today maybe, I can say, “I feel untethered. The waters are calm and the sea spray cool across my face. The destination is unclear but I follow the dolphins, the whales, the sharks! I follow and believe the horizon is near.” Some people get jealous, which I find ridiculous. They, perhaps, dream of all of the wonderful things they could do if suddenly they and their loved one were unemployed.
Other days, a lot of days, the waters are choppy and storms lead us off course. People seemed so depressed when I told them that I felt out to sea with no clue where to go, so I stopped telling them. I started lying and saying, with gusto, “I feel untethered.” The truth is that unemployment is scary—scary good, scary bad, scary—and most people just don’t like to think about it at all, including me.
In honesty, we applied and were accepted to two different programs to teach on the Thai/Burma border, then within a few days of acceptance both non-profits folded after being active in the area for more than a decade. Why? I don’t understand. My husband said that it was fate saying that we shouldn’t go. I gave up belief in “fate” after that. But we still didn’t go. I may not believe but I won’t try slapping lady destiny in the face either.
He’s interviewed in San Francisco. I’ve interviewed in London. We’ve both interviewed in Los Angeles. All of the money we’ve saved for a house dwindles with each passing day. Nothing has led us closer to the horizon, not yet. No land, no solid ground, no offer on which to build the next phase of our lives. The sun is hot and I’d love to build a treehouse, but I’m unwilling to settle for the first open spot on the Titanic either. At least at the moment, we’re still allowing ourselves the freedom to choose. Untethered.
As I said, today is hopeful. My house is warm, my husband kind, my belly full, and my mind at ease. I see friends often and truly enjoy them. I’ve babysat their children and danced at their destination weddings—things I never had the time to do when I had a job and only two weeks vacation. I saw my family for Thanksgiving, the first time in over a decade. My grandpa calls in the middle of the day, and I can talk to him for an hour. I do favors. I go out of my way to be nicer to strangers. I pulled weeds yesterday and kind of liked it. I am short on a lot of things, but I have a wealth of time.
Secret Fifty-Seven, Revealed. I think the trick to finding calm waters is to just be here now. The past is behind, the future ahead, and regardless of their power over us, usually right now is bliss if we take the time to enjoy what is instead of what isn’t right here right now. Tethered or untethered, happiness is under our noses, always.
This is a blog about the secrets married women keep and a place to whisper among friends. To whisper to me directly, simply send your memo to mrs.levines.blog(at) gmail(dot)com.