Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This is probably going to be a short post, I'll have to run back to school shortly, but I wanted to touch on something that has always confused me. Honestly, if anyone is reading this that knows more about the topic please let me know your thoughts.

I watched a National Geographic documentary last night about Jerusalem, I actually thought it was going to be about historical Jerusalem, but it turned out to be about modern day struggles between the Muslim culture, Jewish culture, and Christian culture in Jerusalem. Watching all of the separation put between the groups, and the different groups efforts to exclude each other from places that are important for all three religions beliefs. It made me so upset to watch, There was a man in the documentary that said before 1948 when all of the Jewish people were thrown out of the city the Jewish minority and Arabic majority lived in peace (mostly). They were neighbors and helped each other. After the mass genocide of World War II the Jewish population started traveling back to Jerusalem to return to their religious roots, most having the belief that they couldn't be persecuted there. That the genocide couldn't touch them there. And instead, ever since, there has been a massive struggle between religious nations.

I read an article a while back that said if you aren't Jewish by birth or "Jewish enough", meaning your lineage isn't pure, there are parts of the government in Israel and Palestine that won't consider you part of the religion. You aren't able to travel to certain places, you aren't allowed to worship in certain ways...I don't talk about my religious beliefs a lot, but I was raised Lutheran and have since changed my opinions many many times over. Never officially changing my fundamental beliefs, they have simply been rearranged and re-evaluated over and over again. Maybe its the fluid nature of my beliefs that make me wonder how people can justify turning religion into such an exclusive club. How can you teach love and compassion and at the same time build walls and express such hate? That duality is just too much for me to understand...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Goals and aspirations


My friend Becca and her husband have made this list of 101 attainable goals in 1001 days. I love this idea and I wanted to make my own version. Because my life is currently being turned upside down every few months with new school schedules/work schedules I decided to keep the ratio the same, but use 365 days instead of 1001.This left me with about 36 goals. I then split them further, 12 for me, 12 for terry and 12 for "together" goals. I'm writing it on the internets to keep me more accountable this year. I have about 293493287 more things I would like to accomplish so depending on how far I get mid-year I may add more for myself, otherwise I'll hang onto those other goals for 2012.

On to the list!

STEPH

  1. blog two times weekly
  2. complete a "Year in Madison" photobook
  3. keep a mood calendar daily
  4. work out three times weekly
  5. change jobs (obtain lab position at my current company)
  6. read 24 (non-school) books - 12 "fun" fiction books/12 non-fiction books
  7. complete all homework on time
  8. watch Craig Ferguson one time a week
  9. attend one symphony
  10. attend three plays
  11. write five movie reviews
  12. make one "foodie" dinner a month just because it looks/sounds delicious & uses at least one ridiculously indulgent ingredient.
"TOGETHER" GOALS

  1. camp more often
  2. make dinner six times a week
  3. have one date a month
  4. move somewhere with more space
  5. make/follow a cleaning schedule
  6. set spending limits & budget
  7. pay off credit cards (again)
  8. volunteer three times
  9. don't get married again
  10. pay all bills on time
  11. become more social
  12. find a new "together" hobby
TERRY (a work in progress)

  1. buy a firearm
  2. clean animal tanks every other week
  3. get a new job
  4. pay off a student loan
  5. fish more!








I am looking forward to seeing how this goes. Honestly, I think the item that will be the hardest for me is picking 12 fiction books to read. I mostly read biographies/autobiographies & nonfiction books about religion, sex/sexuality and science. I deliberately didn't include anything about losing a certain amount of weight or trying to eat healthier because I feel like any goal I set about that will disappoint me. If I eat more food I make it will automatically be healthier simply because I can control what goes into my food. Also, I feel that by working out at least three times a week I should either lose weight or inches without making a specific goal. Frankly, I know I'm considered obese by the medical industry but I don't care. I'm mostly comfortable with the size I'm at right now, and my chest is enormous. My most recent best guesstimate is each breast weighs somewhere between 15 and 20 lbs. That's a lot of chest and I don't want to make an unrealistic weight goal by not compensating for that weight.


Anyway, I love planning and making goals and I'm super excited as this year begins. There is so much that is unknown. It's like this big huge blank space on my future and I get to write in whatever I want. I'm going to close with the writing that I identify with most at the beginning of this year.

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the under growth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I wish the best for each and everyone of you in 2011. New beginnings are always important!
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