Are you a player or a spectator?

As many of us do, I often joke about my blogging addiction, but the truth is, it really has become my passion. Oh, I don’t proclaim to be a GOOD blogger, but I do love to put my thoughts out there and experience the high that comes from knowing someone read my words and really thought about them. I feel that connection when someone GETS me and cares enough to leave a comment telling me so. I have not often felt so affirmed in my life as I have through my blogging.

So when I recently became aware of a couple episodes of unrest between some blogger circles, it really unsettled me. I may be naieve, but I’ve never experienced anything but acceptance, support, and some mild constructive criticism. Maybe that’s because I’m not a big-time blogger. Maybe it’s because I don’t take a stand on any really big issues and I simply write about the small world I live in. I am happy to have the smallish circle of friends I’ve found in the blog world and that I have the time to visit those friends and keep up with them on a daily basis. I have no desire to earn money from my blog and so the stakes aren’t high for me.

I hold nothing against those that strive for more from their blogs. I admire those that can articulate themselves in a way that strikes the very hearts of others. I am in awe of those who can come up with something profound or hysterical or that draws heat from their readers. I experience pangs of envy towards those who are writing actual books and who are on the road to being published. To be honest, I’d love to be on that road but the truth is, the talent is not there or I’ve yet to dig it out from deep inside.

If you really knew me, you’d know I avoid conflict at all costs. Is that a fault or a strength? I guess it depends on the situation. But it IS the reason this unrest gives me so much discomfort.

My world is not all sunshine and roses and maybe that’s why I strive for only that which is positive in my blogging experiences. This internet is infinite and it’s my prerogative to connect with like-minded people, just as it’s anyone else’s right to take us outside our comfort zones. I wouldn’t dare ask them to stop, but I can choose not to step in the ring. I’d prefer just to stand back and watch in wonder, amazement, discomfort and sometimes admiration. This world is full of players and spectators. I think, at least for now, I’m going to stay back here behind the safety glass.

How about you?

Can you do me a favor?

You might remember that if you’re reading my blog here, you’ve arrived at a redirected page. This is not my real blog. I really miss my real blog. So….I want to ask you a favor. If everyone who reads this would go over here to Paul’s site and leave a comment saying something like,

Terri says you promised to look at her blog this weekend and try to fix it. And by the way, you ROCK and she’ll really, really, really appreciate it if you fix it and did I mention that you rock?,”

then I will give everyone who leaves him a comment some special recognition. “What kind of recognition,” you ask? I don’t know yet. Obviously this is not a well thought out plan. I’m open to suggestions!

Oh, and maybe you should leave me a comment if you participate so I don’t miss anyone when I figure out a really great way to recognize anyone who tries to help me out.

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You’re my only hope!

Thanks!

Kids' sports & politics – enough already

Kids’ sports and politics…. Why????? 

Kacey was invited to join an independent softball team this year. This means she won’t try out for a team with the local association as she normally does. She (and we) decided to accept the invitation.

Here’s why. Let me recap last year:

  • 1 “head” coach who was too busy with other commitments to actually attend most practices, ANY regular season games and most of the weekend tournaments.
  • 3 assistant coaches doing the best they could to field a team that could compete in their division, without the assistance of the “head” coach.
  • 1 “head” coach’s wife and her buddy (also a player’s mom) who sat behind the backstop at every practice and game last year, undermining the assistant coaches and telling their daughters to do the exact opposite of what the assistant coaches asked.
  • Endless emails from the “head” coach to his assistant coaches, (and copied to all the parents) berating the the assistant coaches for making the girls run during practice. (Making softball players run! The nerve! Like they’ll need to be in condition for running the bases or something!) The berating stemmed from multiple “complaints” from parents insisting that the girls were being overworked and that there was fear that the girls would get sick or injured.
  • Players’ parents talking to each other after these scathing emails only to find out no one was complaining except for “head” coach’s wife and her buddy.
  • Head coach having a team meeting after the team got knocked out of the state tournament, berating the girls for playing poorly, except for HIS daughter, to whom he announced in front of the rest of the team, “You are too good to play with this team. I’m putting you on a club team next year.”
  • “Head” coach is now the president of our association and doesn’t play well with others.

So, it seems most of the girls in the 14U age level in our association are choosing not to try out for the association but moving on to independent teams. We had a team meeting tonight to get everyone up to speed on how we are going to pull this off. The meeting was held in the banquet room at a local grill and bar. We have several options for getting an independent team together, free of control freaks and their wives.

After the meeting was over, we moved out of the banquet room and into the bar. We happened to be sitting with one of last year’s assistant coaches, Doug.

As we were sitting and excitedly discussing how nice it will be to have a team of players and parents who just want to see the girls improve their skills and have fun, Doug’s phone began to ring. He answered it, only to discover it was the wife of last year’s “head” coach. The conversation went something like this:

Ring, ring!

Doug: “Hello, this is Doug.”

“Head” coach’s wife: “Doug! I know you guys are having a meeting about forming an independent team! You CAN’T do this! There are barely enough girls left to form a team for our association! You BETTER tell me what’s going on there!”

Doug: “I’m sorry. I think you have the wrong number!”

MAN, I am looking forward to this year’s softball season!

I've decided to keep my kids…

even though there were lots of promising offers. Ok, I’m lying.  There were NO offers, just a lot of “thanks but no thanks” type comments.  What’s with you people?  These are high quality kids!

Actually, I’m glad I got no takers on the offer to sell my kids.  They are precious and no one else understands me like they do.

For instance, this evening, Kacey was browsing through her school registration book to pick her classes for next year.  She mentioned she could take a web page design class.  I said I wanted to take a web page design class so that I could fix my blog.  I mean my real blog.  The territerri.com blog. The one with lots of pink which is still not fixed with some urgent WordPress update that it needs to become functional again. So I’m stuck here at territerri.wordpress.com until someone has time to fix territerri.com.  Because I don’t have the slightest clue how to deal with these things.

So Kacey asked me, “Why hasn’t Paul fixed your blog yet?”

And I said, in my best whiny voice, “Because he got a promotion.  And he has to WORK. And he has to KEEP his job so he can, like, feed and clothe his son. And he’s been busy at CHURCH!  I mean… WHERE are his PRIORITIES?”

And as I sat fully expecting my daughter to swat me on the shoulder and tell me how selfish I was being, even though I assure you I was being COMPLETELY facetious, she said to me, “I KNOW! Like feeding his kid is more important than fixing your blog? JEES!” (She really says it like that.  “JEES!”)

Who am I kidding? I’ll never find any other kids that are as warped and twisted as I am! Took me forever to cultivate them just so. Why give up a good thing?

Anyone want to buy a kid? or two?

Kacey: “Mommy? Will you sign my grade report?”

Me: (busy doing important things  reading blogs) “Yep.”

Kacey: “Do you want to sign it with a regular pen or a sparkly pen?”

Me:  “How about a regular pen so the teacher doesn’t think I’m an idiot?”

Kacey: “At least he’ll know the truth!”

Me: Glaring at my daughter with the big, fat, scary evil eye.

Kacey:  “Just kidding, Mommy.  You know I love you.”

Any takers?  She’s pretty sweet most of the time and I think she’s almost done growing….?  And those grade slips I have to sign usually have A’s on them.  Anyone?

Ok, if that one doesn’t do it for you, how ’bout a sixteen year old boy who just announced he wants to move to Germany so he can drive where there’s no speed limit?  He really only eats cold cereal and drinks chocolate milk.  He’s low maintenance!

Just think about it, ok?

These peeps cheer me up

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Robert gave me this cool little award because “many times I have made him smile!”  HA!  How cool is that?  Go check out Robert’s blog because not only is he a gifted poet and storyteller, but he’s funny too.  He shamelessy signs every post with a plug encouraging all to “hug a redneck” and sometimes even encouraging cyber hickies (but that was before his “managing editor/daughter” put an end to it.  He’s back to behaving himself as much as possible again.)  Plus, he’s on the verge of spilling the beans about a reunion that recently took place at his high school reunion.  Juicy stuff, I’m tellin’ ya!

I’m passing this award on to:

Abbynormal for breaking into her own house and for totally being the girlfriend I wish I had right here in my own neighborhood!

Darrin at Dad’s Dish for saving the world from scary donuts (complete with videographic evidence.  HILARIOUS!)

Reggie at I’m Always Mentally on Vacation for video taping and blogging about his drug dealer

And Judy, Where One Day Runs Into Another for embracing her lack of culinary prowess.

Thanks for making me smile, you guys!

 

Book Review

Last month I wrote a post about my participation in the Winter Reading Challenge. I’m happy to report that I’m reading to my heart’s content whenever I can squirrel away a few moments or sometimes a precious hour or so.  I’ve finished three of the books on my list.  (Three of them are in danger of being knocked off the list, but I plan to add others.) It occurred to me that I also promised to write reviews and so please let me tell you about one of the best books I’ve EVER read.

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At three in the morning, she was on her knees, forehead pressed to the bathroom floor, sobbing.  She had begun the life she had always expected she would want, but only while her husband slept, unaware, would she admit that she did not want to live it.  All alone, in the depths of the darkest depression imaginable, she began to pray.  This was the beginning of Elizabeth Gilbert’s search for inner peace.  And she would eventually find it, but her journey was not without adversity.

On the bathroom floor sobbing in desperation… ever been there?  Have you ever completely broken down over the state of your life, your children, work, family dysfunction?  I have.  I could relate and this is what drew me in to this book.

A painful and difficult divorce followed Elizabeth’s revelation that night on the bathroom floor.  She hoped that when the divorce was finalized, her path to happiness would begin, and she found hope in a new relationship.  Sadly, this too began to crumble and Elizabeth soon learned that peace and contentment were not things she could absorb from any other person if she didn’t first find them in her own heart.  The one good thing that came from this relationship was her introduction to her Spiritual Guru and she began to explore the world of meditation.

And so began a voyage of self discovery.  Eat, Pray, Love is the story of Elizabeth Gilbert’s yearlong journey in which she learns “how to live in this world and enjoy its delights,” while also devoting herself to God.

Liz had the privilege of taking a year’s sabbatical from her job to find what she was looking for.  This book takes her through four months in Italy where she immersed herself in the food, the people and the language of a beautiful country.  While in Italy, Liz builds on her faith by writing in a notebook whenever she feels her despair returning.  She writes notes to “God,” some as simple as, “I need your help.”  She then writes responses to herself, “I am here. I love you more than you know,” knowing those responses aren’t coming from her own mind, but from God.

After her time in Italy, Liz spends four months in India living and learning the art of devotion and then later, four months in Bali, discovering a balance between worldly pleasures and divine transcendence.  She eventually discovers her inner peace.  It is not a constant state, but Liz learns how to find that place when she needs it most.  Her journey is aided by the most unlikely of friendships, a young Italian student, an ex-junkie from Texas, and a very elderly Balinese medicine man. 

What I loved most about this book is that it taught me an enormously valuable lesson.  Finding your spiritual center does not have to involve a single set of rules or require conforming to the beliefs of a single faith community.  The message is, “Do what works for you.”  I learned that what we believe to be reality is not always so.  It is possible to face life’s challenges in such a way that things don’t always have to be so tragic, so gut-wrenching, so impossible as they seem.  There is joy and peace to be had, if only we will allow ourselves to experience it.

Now if I could just find myself a Guru and a wise old medicine man….