22 December 2008

Goddess Of The Hunt: Artemis

My fascination with Greek mythology has accompanied me for years. My favorite was always Athena. To me, she embodied female strength and courage and wisdom - three qualities I always wanted to have. Artemis, however, was the one deity of the entire pantheon that I ignored. She liked to hunt and she shunned men; two areas in which I was her polar opposite.

Until recently, when I purchased the book "The Goddess Pages" by Laurie Sue Brockway. The book introduces thirty-six goddesses from faiths and traditions around the world. Each goddess can be called upon for their unique strengths, and the reader is provided with activities and meditations to utilize the awesome power of that goddess. If you want to love yourself and draw others to you, you would naturally ask Venus/Aphrodite for assistance. Evoke the essence of the Greek goddess Nike should you need help achieving victories. And so on and so forth.

The table of contents proved to be an interesting read until I came to "Artemis: Pursue Your Career Goals". Because of my recent job discontent, pursuing career goals has taken a top priority. This section of the book nearly jumped right out at me. Upon reading this chapter, I discovered how much Artemis has to offer me, right now, at this point in my life.

Artemis is known as the goddess of the hunt, as well as an excellent marksman. She could be very cruel to animals and humans who stood in her way, and she represents the idea of aiming high, taking risks, and being true to one's self. She was a self-reliant virgin goddess, and made it very clear she did not need or desire the company of men, especially when in pursuit of her lofty goals.

Artemis has skills I would find valuable, no doubt, as I am a hunter as well. I am hunting a new job and a chance to find my true career calling. To obtain her prey, a skilled hunter must also have focus, a skill particularly useful in today’s world. Artemis is the ultimate embodiment of an independent, confident, powerful woman who is not afraid of doing and being what she loves.

The book then continues on with some easy methods one could use to call upon Artemis's help in this certain area of life. However, the words at the end of the section especially rang true with me. In order to embrace that which Artemis has to offer, remember that she is focus and action personified. She does not complain when she misses her target; she does not whine about how tired and stressed she is. She focuses on her task at hand and actively strives for a solution. It's no small coincidence she's well-known for hitting every target she ever set her sights on.

I think this is a wonderful revelation. Staying focused, not complaining, and maintaining positive, forward action are important keys to professional success, ones I look to implement in my career decisions in the months to come.

21 December 2008

Giving Is Getting

You know me and my issues with Christmas. I'm probably going to pass those neurotic tendencies onto my children. Cool.

Sooo...one thing I grapple with is promoting the idea of selfless giving with my children. For the past few years, we've done the Giving Tree at Walmart. The kids would pick a stocking, and purchase the items listed for the child. They enjoyed the shopping, but they never saw the reaction of the person who received it. To me, that's an important part of the whole experience...seeing the results of your giving.

This year, Brent did not want to give to the Walmart tree. I think this might have been due to an experience we had last year. Last year, most of the stocking tags listed items like socks, underwear, etc. However, more and more, there were tags that listed things like "PlayStation 2 games." The "needy" line had been blurred - since when did needy mean "in need of PlayStation games?" We felt disillusioned, for sure.

However, we weren't going to stop giving. So this year, we signed up for the Salvation Army bell ringing. For one hour yesterday, the five of us stood in the snow and cold, ringing the bell for the needy and greeting all kinds of holiday shoppers as they meandered in and out of the Walmart SuperCenter.

The lesson I hoped we all learned: Giving transcends all races, socioeconomic background, walks of life. We saw well-dressed and stylish people who passed us without a glance. Another gentleman not wearing a coat and who looked as if he might have been a burn victim stopped to drop in a couple of dollars.

It is disconcerting in some ways to see the amount of people shopping at Walmart, pushing heavily-laden carts of toys and food, and yet they can't or don't spare a little for people who really are in need. However, there are people who give - and that's what I wanted my kids to see.

10 December 2008

Yesterday's Snow Day Recap

But, first, a message of manliness from my four-year-old son. He wakes up this morning, crawls into bed with us, and then promptly bolts to the bathroom to use the toilet. Twenty minutes later, same drill. This is when he informs me, "Mom, when my peepee gets big, that means I have to go potty."

Ah, youth. If only it could be that simple forever.

Anyway, yesterday was the first full snow day of the year. The call came at 5:50 a.m. (first the delay, then the cancellation). I went back to bed for only about a half-hour, because I'm one of those freaks who can usually wake up just about once a day.

First came breakfast, and I used the rest of my frozen blueberries in my oatmeal. Then I leisurely shopped around for Christmas presents online...in my bed and jammies. Spencer got his shopping done as well. The rest of the morning was a mishmash of activity, varying from doing laundry to playing Dance, Dance Revolution. Brent then suggested that going out for lunch would be a good idea, so off we trundled (by the way, we'd dropped off Elliot at daycare about 9 a.m.). In the afternoon, I watched "Black Snake Moan" while the kids watched "Willow." Then I graded some papers, did some Taebo, and fixed an apple crisp. Brent made the chili, and we had dinner around 5:30.

The rest of the evening was grading projects and updating grades. I was able to squeeze in a few dances on DDR towards the very end of the evening. I don't know why I've been jonesing after that game. My husband and I retired to the bedroom shortly after that, and I won't titillate you here with the gory details.