Friday, January 30, 2009
This Week's Musings
Where do the weeks go? I'm too young for life to be going by so fast.
(1) How do you determine how you'll spend your time? Does life dictate your actions or do your actions create your life? My life is a mixture of both. Some activities are done out of necessity, others purely for my own benefit and enjoyment. Are we really living life if our behavior is predominantly done out of obligation? Or is it honorable and noble to live that way?
(2) I've had a very rough week, hormonally speaking. That may be TMI, but I figure there's probably someone out there who needs to know they aren't alone. You aren't the only woman who is breaking out like a teenager, who wishes everyone would just be quiet already, and who wakes up every morning (I use the term "wake" loosely as sleeping is off and on) with a backache. Hang tough, girls.
What does God expect of us in these weeks when a gentle and quiet spirit is FAR from us? I know we don't get an out once a month. Press on, I guess. Do hormones explain why women are more likely to pursue a relationship with God and be involved in churches than men? Do they make us VERY aware of our need for Him?
(3) My husband and I were having a discussion about how many women have a warped view of themselves. They have trouble believing they are attractive regardless of what their husbands may tell them. (Before you point it out, I'm raising my hand. Guilty.) "Men don't even think about this stuff," I told him, "Why are women so preoccupied with it?" We didn't know our teenaged daughter was listening in until she passed through the room and said, "Satan is a butt hole."
(4) There's this 25 Random Things About Me thing going around Facebook among my friends lately. I wasn't going to do it (25 things is A LOT), but gave it a whirl last night. It's funny what we pick as interesting facts about us. I was helping my husband do his and he was mostly writing about things he has done, not quirky traits. Does how we define ourselves say something about us? Are we made up of what we've accomplished or our preferences in life? I don't how you'd describe the things I chose about myself and frankly my head is starting to hurt in this analysis.
(5) Tomorrow night everyone in our house has plans except my thirteen-year-old son and me. I told him we should go out to eat and catch a movie. He raised his eyebrows and smiled weakly. "I hope we don't see any of my friends so they don't think I'm a Mama's boy." Was that a no or a reluctant yes?
(6) My sister is a county supervisor in northeast Nebraska. Her county is unique in the fact that most of their land falls within traditional Indian reservation boundaries. Over a hundred years ago, the Indians sold their land to non-Indians and these people have been farming it now for generations. Because federal policy has gone back and forth so much, Indians claim they have jurisdiction over this land because it falls within the traditional (original) boundaries. They have authority from the EPA to tell farmers what pesticides they can and can't use. The county has to get the tribe's permission to fix any roads, even though the tribe is exempt from paying taxes and does not fund the repairs in any way. If county officials don't obtain permission the tribe assesses huge fines which the federal government allows. A tribal tax is required on gas and alcohol sales of non-Indian business owners which discourages patrons to trade and has put people out of business. The tribal police are even cross-deputized, meaning the state of Nebraska has given them authority to police ANYONE within the reservation. A non-Indian could be pulled over for any reason, arrested and taken to jail and have no representation or rights in the tribe. It would be like getting arrested in foreign country, except it would be unlikely for an ambassador from the United States to step in and try to help you.
And glimpses of the abuse of authority have been seen. A few years ago, tribal police pulled on to a family's private property and threatened a farmer, pinning him between their squad car and a piece of his equipment. The tribe does not answer to anyone and there were no repercussions for these actions.
It's a big mess and there is lots of conflict, yet few people know about it. Very little is written about it and few politicians will touch it. No one wants to be seen as a racist. It's a scary situation though. Tensions run high. And it's happening in little pockets all over the country. Apparently there is a tribe in Washington state that is trying to claim sovereignty over the air space. They want to tax people to fly through it.
There are no easy answers. Throughout history Native Americans were horribly mistreated. We have to own up to that and many of the policies of the federal government have tried to right the wrongs done. But now, it seems the rights of non-Indian citizens are threatened. How can a country protect the rights of ALL its citizens, especially when racial tensions run deep from generations of conflict and resentment? Complicated stuff.
(7) My husband and I saw a piece on Good Morning America about the great deals to be had in thrift stores these days. They were showing how a person could create a designer label wardrobe for next to nothing. It sounded great, but we were skeptical. It might be possible in New York City, but designer labels are a little harder to come by in the thrift stores of Nebraska.
There are my pea brain thoughts for this Friday. Be sure to take a look at Conversion Diary to see more Quick Takes.