Monday, June 15, 2009

Prevention and Preparation

So I'm a Marriage and Family Studies major, right? Right. Except every time people ask me what I want to do with that I have to tell them honestly I have no idea. I feel like my three options are : research, teaching, or counseling. Out of the three I want to do teaching, but I have no idea where or how or what. I've thought about teaching community courses...but I'm not sure how one goes about acquiring a job like that. I've also thought (only a little bit) about getting a masters and such to teach at a university or something. Overall I don't know what exactly I would teach...just stuff about Marriage and Family I guess...(real specific, I know). Just the other day though, we were talking to one of the ladies we interviewed and she asked us what we wanted to do with our majors. And as we were talking I had two realizations.
First, in whatever capacity I teach, one of my main focuses I want to be Prevention/Preparation. Instead of solving problems I want to prevent them by preparing people for being married and having a family. I had already been thinking about this because I finally started reading a book Karen and Merrill had given me "First Comes Love" (which I love by the way...Thank You Kar and Mer!). There is a story in it which I found surprisingly poignant.

There is a man standing on the side of a river. He sees a family floating down the river on a raft. They are about to go around a bend and encounter some rapids. The man on the side of the river can see that, and he can also see that the family cannot see what is coming. He watches as they round the bend. When they hit the rapids everyone flies off the raft. The two adults swim to the land, but the two little boys are pulled under the current and are drowned.

What a simple, but terrible story! The book relates this to marriages and families. I think it is so true. People don't anticipate disaster or crisis to strike their family at anytime, but they do and if you are not prepared people fall off the boat and sadly people drowned...emotionally. It is heartbreaking. This is happening all around us. A lot of the families I visit are either single parents or some are even in the thick of divorce, and I often think "How could this have been prevented?" So much hurt and confusion and despair. And what repercussions! I just look at the kids and feel for them, for the relationship struggles they will have as a result of what they are going through.

Which brings me to my next realization. The woman we were talking to asked me who I wanted to students, adults, children? Honestly I had never even considered teaching children about having strong marriages and families. But as I thought about it I realized that that isn't such a bad idea. Why not start early? Shape an image of how to make marriages and families last amidst the efforts to break them down. I even joked with Jessie that maybe I should teach sex ed. (Could you see me as a sex ed teacher? That would be fun!). I was talking to another girl in my internship and she was like..."You should start up a program!" You know like DARE, but with marriages and families. Like Preparing For Our Futures or something like that. I don't know. It is just something I was thinking about. People might think that it is a weird idea...getting married and having a family is just something that happens right? Why study it and "prepare" for it? Ummmm....because they are probably THE most important aspect of our lives. Marriages and Families can cause the most joy and also the most sorrow in our lives. I, personally, am all about intentionality. Being aware of the things that I can do to make my marriage and family stronger and more resistant to deterioration and doing them!

Interview Blunders

My research partner and I have a really good time going out on interviews. We sometimes get distracted talking about boys on the car ride over and forget to look for the right house. But here are a couple of our most memorable blunders:
One time I forgot all the documents that we are supposed to have with us, so Jessie had to drive back and forth to the house 3 times!!

Just the other day we did an interview at a house right on the lake, we were sitting on the dock and some of our paperwork flew into the water :0 I had to retrieve it with a stick...very exciting and embarrassing.

In between the video tasks we leave the room (which often means we go sit on the front porch) as Jessie was closing the front door, one of the cue cards got stuck in the door, but we didn't want to disturb them family by opening the door, so she left it sticking out of the door. (We think the family saw it happen...)

Today as we were leaving the interview, I felt some weird pricking on my tummy, so i lifted up my shirt to find a little black bug crawling on my belly. I screamed and so did Jessie. Except Jessie kept screaming and saying "oh my gosh oh my gosh". I got two little bites on my was quite exciting.

Okay so the stories aren't that funny, but when they happened they usually provided at least a minute of serious laughing fits for me and Jessie:)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Too old for my age, too young for my own good

This is what I have been noticing about myself lately. I often do things that are typical 20 year old things to do (like be totally obsessed with my social life and flirting with boys), but then lecture myself and set goals about how i should not do those things so much (moderation in all things) because there are much more important things to be doing. Like instead of focusing only on getting to know guys i should be getting to know the girls in my ward, etc. Pretty much all of my guilty fun is ruined because it is that...guilty. It is ok though, i would rather be aware of my weaknesses than have no idea. At least if I know about them i can try to work on them...and boys are definitely one of my weakness!!

This weekend was crazily social! I went camping at Deception Pass State Park, then had a mini pool party equipped with pizza, went to a birthday party (there was a hot tub:), then left early to go to a dance and topped the weekend off by attending a Sunday evening get together! There are a lot of single adults here in Seattle, it is a lot of fun! But very distracting, I have to remember that i am here to work!

Camping though was awesome. It was on the Puget Sound and there was lots of really pretty mist. It smelled so good too! We didn't really DO anything, just sat around the fire talking and eating and then went to the beach once, but it was still really fun. We even had a tooth-brushing party (i love those). And we looked at the stars (which i also love).
Here is me and Jessie (my partner) at Deception Pass.

Gotta love the mist!!!

Work has been going good too. I love my research partner, i can't say that enough. We get along so well and are always together. We have similar views of social-ness and are both really social. She has more guys flirting with her than me! We are less of work partners and more of friends.

One thing I am learning about (partly because Meg and I talk about it frequently and partly because i just finished this book "Keeping the Love you Find" by Harville Hendrix which talks about it) is being self-aware. Recognizing what you do, why you do it and evaluating if it is effective and if it isn't, changing. It is kind of a hard thing, to look at yourself objectively and honestly. Making no excuses, only seeking to understand yourself. It has really helped me in my life though to see what I am doing in certain situations and understanding why. I think this is a big thing that could help relationships, I mean how can you expect to understand someone else, if you don't even understand yourself. Along with this whole self-awareness comes being aware of what your needs are and how you go about trying to get them met. Often times people try to get their needs met in an ineffective way, which causes a lot of strife in marriages. Needs are met best when they are known. Identifying and talking about needs can be difficult because it is very personal and requires that we identify an area of vulnerability (meaning a need that we cannot meet ourselves and therefore need someone else to fill it for us). I don't know about you, but sometimes i like to tell myself that i don't really need anyone else...this is the biggest lie you can tell yourself. We were not created to be alone, we were created to have relationships.

I figured i better live up to my blog there were some "musings" for you:)