Thoughts for Thursday (MaryAlice)

Thoughts for Thursday (MaryAlice) August 26, 2010

What am I cooking tonight? We are going out to dinner!

What am I reading? Middlemarch by George Eliot, more New York Times lately, very few blogs

What are my weekend plans? We are at The Farm, so my plans include long walks, running, canoeing on the pond, reading, mass.

What are my prayer intentions for the day? My girls have a fever, and I am praying for patience (for me) and a quick recovery, so this does not spoil too much of their vacation time.

What is one product that is making my life a little easier? Ginger Snaps

What am I grateful for? Old friends.

What have I done for my marriage this week? push-ups

What’s challenging me lately? My temperament.  At the same time that we have been discussing temperaments, I have been reluctantly facing up to the obstacle of mine, which is to obsess and brood.  I need to get better at letting things go, but for now, when I am a situation that I perceive as full of conflict, sometimes it is just better for me to drop out and protect my own peace.

What is one task or project on my agenda for the week? Scrapbooking with my kids.  They have chosen pictures from the last three years (!) and we ordered prints, and now we are working on albums.  We will keep working backwards on this project until we get baby books done.

Something that made me think? Shopping at WalMart.  The low prices make many things so tempting, but one of the things that I bought — yesterday — is already broken, and I just always feel so dirty after the experience of shopping there.  Plus, when I do make the effort to shop independent instead, I have to make more trips to stores that are more difficult with the kids and pay more, so the whole thing is confusing and makes me feel kind of ill.  There are very few shops left on the main street of the small town I am visiting, but what mom can resist 25 cents for a pack of 24 Crayola crayons?  Should she?

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  • JuliaA

    For your booklist, and to help with the temperament: Rapt, by Winifred Gallagher. Excellent reading, helpful in a million ways, not a self-help book.

  • Sara

    I have thought about the Walmart issue a lot over the years. The conclusion I have come to for myself is that if I do resist and purchase the more expensive item, I buy less things and am more careful about what I buy. That being said, I occasionally go to Walmart and don't beat myself up about it 🙂

  • rightsaidred

    I suggest you add the Wall Street Journal to your reading list. You gotta balance out the influence of the NYT somehow, right? :-)On WalMart, like you, I try to avoid it, but I also try not to feel too guilty for going there once in a while (although the experience isn't very pleasant!). If you actually calculate how many times you go there in a given year (probably very few), and how much money you spend (probably very little compared to other stores), you might feel less guilty. Like food, maybe try to follow the 80/20 rule with WalMart?I will pray the girls feel better soon. I hope you are otherwise having a great time at the farm!

  • Kat0427

    MA, I also love ginger snaps…Or were you talking about your kids? :)I love the idea of scrapbooking WITH your kids! I tend to think of this as a project that I have to do without the kids around, which just means that I never do it! Our albums stop at Lucy's birth, which was now 4 years ago – that's just awful! Has anyone had any luck with doing the photo albums online? My sister-in-law does this and has really loved the results. I may have to go that route if I don't get my act together soon!As for WalMart, I walked in and walked right out again once. I have many friends who love it – they feel that they save lots of money by shopping there – but I just don't enjoy the experience so I've stayed away. I try to be flexible and shop whatever is on sale, so I feel like I am still able to stay within our food budget quite well. But I wouldn't feel guilty about going, MA!Lastly, temperament: MA, I remember praying in high school and college that God would help me to be content with my temperament. I was often frustrated with my disposition and wished that I could be more like certain friends of mine. But through prayer, I knew that God had given me my temperament and that things were just as they should be. I feel “at home in my own skin” now, and feel that others can sense this as well. I've loved this conversation.

  • Kate

    Ooooh old friends who give your girls fevers…sorry about that, that probably came from Baby Nora…She loves you though and hopefully the girls are already on the mend…it was about a 3-4 day thing for us.Have fun up at the farm what a wonderful time. Don't beat yourself up about Wal-Mart too much, even I go there on occasion. My suggestion is to get to know your local independents slowly and well and then you can craft a useful outing around a trip to a few stores with enjoyable breaks. It's by no means easy but I find that trips to big boxes with my kids are easy either, so much stimulus, so little pleasant people-oriented interaction makes them crazy and grabby. Jack rarely begs for things at the toystore because it's fun without getting anything, just playing and having people chat with him.Also I like to find bigger box store experiences in local independents, like the Ace Hardware/Ace Homeware combo in Princeton Shopping Center. You can get a ton of things there but still get that small store experience and they are locally owned.

  • Catherine

    I wouldn't beat myself up about Wal-Mart, I suppose, but I don't shop there, and haven't since 2002 when I had my first baby. I also gave up Target for a year and a half (my new year's resolution for 2008, and I just kept going for longer). And I've lived in very rural areas for several of these years. I think it is just as easy to make it be something you don't do as it is to have it be something you do occasionally. Although I do wonder, is my amazon.com shopping habit just as detrimental as a Wal-Mart habit would be?

  • JurisMater

    Catherine, agreed on Target. We had no Walmarts in Pennsylvania so Target was the big box store. I am pretty cool with plastics and pesticides and shopping cheap where possible, but I couldn't tolerate Target. The employees at the Philadelphia Target belonged to some species of visigothic beasts from the underworld. I cried in the parking lot one too many times after interacting with them, so I just quit about two years ago and haven't gone back. I can get equally cheap diapers by using coupons and watching sales at other stores. Plus often you go to those stores expecting to buy certain things that are cheap, and they're sold out of those, so you end up with more expensive junk and then junk for the rest of your shopping list too.

  • jmb

    I get all freaked out at Costco for some reason – maybe because I loathe crowds, water parks, Disney, crowded NYC streets and slow walkers? I do like Target – most of my summer wardrobe came from there. In fact, I just bought this really cute plaid Converse dress for $20. I figure it can get me through Indian summer here in NJ.