Saturday, October 22, 2016

No more wallowing. For a while.

We went to the temple today. Our temple is the Winter Quarters Temple, which might be one of the only temples in a sort of crummy neighborhood (as a side note, the Ostrava ward meets in a "gypsy" neighborhood on the "bad" side of Ostrava. As if Mormons in the Czech Republic didn't have enough difficulties. Sigh.)

We try to go every month. It's pretty far from us (2 1/2 hours), but not too far that we have a "good" excuse to not go.

I love going to the temple. It is really neat to be inside the temple and do temple ordinance work for my ancestors, especially my Czech ancestors.

We went with our good friends and their kids and just swapped watching kids at the Omaha Children's Museum.

While we were watching 7 kids run around like crazy hooligans from place to place (a room full of balls! An inside sandbox! A place to hammer nails! A dark room with glow in the dark things to stick on the wall and halloween lights!), of course I started thinking about how this was a metaphor for life. Ugh I'm always so meta. And whenever I start complaining about how annoying it is that I'm meta, Danny says, "'re being meta about meta?" and I slap him.

But I wonder if God sometimes looks at us as if we are little tiny kids running around in a giant children's museum of earth, wandering from place to place, learning fun new things, experiencing challenges, and he's always following us, watching us. I suppose the biggest difference is that I'm not going to let Cora fall down the stairs and break her arm, but God will let us screw up our lives, because he wants us to be free to choose.

I've also been feeling really incredibly sad recently about the theme of this book I'm reading. While I'm really excited to come closer to understanding my Czech heritage and culture through reading Czech literature, I find the theme of men being animals and women using their bodies as a means to control/influence/reward/punish men a horribly sad idea. I think I spend a lot of time thinking about how unfair some things having to do with gender are, and this perpetual lie half-truth about human sexuality seems to be one of the most unfair of all: that sex is a bartering tool, or meaningless hedonism (and thus, by extension, women's brains don't matter.) Blah I feel so crummy just typing those words.

There are also all kinds of things unfair about being a housewife "nurturer" in today's world. I suppose it's one reason I'm always looking towards the past: I want to find out how women used to manage these issues. But seriously - the alternative - to not have children, to live my life as a self-centered unit of one, I think that would be worse. And it's not like being "the provider" is that great of a job, either. I mean, life sucks and then you die, for all of us, right.

But maybe focusing on these gender issues is like being in one of the areas of the Children's museum. I mean, maybe I'm just really interested in it, but if I walk away, I'll find some other issue. I mean, maybe other issues exist, and I'm just spending all my time stuck in one corner of the building instead of exploring all the interesting possibilities for learning. I mean, maybe it would be a good idea for me to stop worrying so much about sexism in the world; it's not fair, and it's sad, but that should not prevent me from feeling joy, or exploring a different idea.

This is one reason why I feel compelled to believe in God, actually: I believe that a huge purpose of my life is to learn things and feel joy, and that is because God loves me. I sort of understand this love, on some level at least, because I'm a parent. I strongly believe that it is not right to go through life feeling miserable and sad at all of the overwhelming injustices that come with being mortal (and especially with being female). One of the most frustrating of all for me is that I am stuck in this mortal body and I can't communicate with God very well. I generally can't rely on my physical senses to come to know and develop my relationship with him. I have to use faith.

I don't think I'm supposed to become a darkly cynical jaded person. I think I'm supposed to trust that there is a purpose to some of these really hard experiences, and that it will be for my good. I think I'm supposed to try to find joy and peace now, despite the trials.

And just like I was following my 1 year old all around this place, I think God is aware of the little things that happen in my inner world. I feel really pathetic when my trials of loneliness/frustration are not even on the scale of things to worry about compared with some of the trials of my friends, which include such awful things as infidelity, divorce, addiction, violence, abuse, etc. It feels so comforting to trust that God cares about my longing to find additional collaborators in my genealogy world, my worries about being a huge nerd/completely trapna (awkward), my desire to find close friends, etc.

I have a really happy, easy life, and I should make sure to stay away from the wallowing.


  1. Kate: I enjoyed reading this piece. A couple of thoughts, there is more to life than it sucks and then you die. If you keep praying and studying the scriptures and maybe some other spiritual things you enjoy, if you continue to go the church every Sunday and to the temple one day you might be surprised to feel the spirit and know it is not just your emotions. If you think about all the blessings you have and do not dwell on what you desire yet want (in this context want means do not have) you will begin to notice peace and joy in your life. It is important to experience sorrow. Nobody wants to liver permanently with grief. They day will come when you will experience more satisfaction and happiness than sorrow or pain. Life can be good.

    1. Of course :) Life is not just "it sucks and then you die." That was my tongue in cheek way of saying, "men are not excempt from misery; being mortal means experiencing sorrow and pain."

      And joy.

    2. Of course :) Life is not just "it sucks and then you die." That was my tongue in cheek way of saying, "men are not excempt from misery; being mortal means experiencing sorrow and pain."

      And joy.