Monday, December 15, 2008

A tree, a TV, back pain, and super David to the rescue!

I write this from David's couch, where I have been sidelined with a herniated disk in my lower back. Back pain is not fun! I have new appreciation for what my mom and so many other people with chronic back pain experience every day, and I don't know how they do it! Not being able to move is both scary and extremely frustrating. Luckily for me, with rest, physical therapy, and the temporary help of narcotic painkillers and muscle relaxers, I should recover just fine. (I thought I would write this before I take another dose of pain medication, which really fogs up my brain.)

Despite the injury, we had a nice weekend that was full of Christmas spirit. First, we got a new TV...merry Christmas to us! We were finished shopping for our friends and family, and so we decided to get ourselves something new too. We went to Best Buy and got a 52" Samsung LCD TV. It is beautiful, and David will pick it up on Tuesday. Though I have to admit that I never used to be a technology kind of gal, I am really excited for our new TV. We plan to watch Dark Knight once it is installed, which was one of my Christmas presents to David.

Also, though the TV would not fit underneath it, we got our Christmas tree. And by we...I mean poor David, who singlehandedly cut it down, dragged it down a snow covered hill, brought it up to the apartment, and put it up.
At least I was able to help decorate a little bit! The tree has really brought the Christmas season into the apartment. (I will post pictures later when I find the charger to my camera battery.) We picked a really big tree this year, and it completely fills the room that normally holds David's poker table and chairs. I love it!

Coming soon in January 2009: Chochobo's Cranberry Winter Ale! I helped David brew beer this weekend (well, I added things to the pot anyway...again, couldn't really help as much as I had planned to because I can't lift anything)...I am excited to try it!

If you get one thing from reading this entry, you should realize, as I did, that David really was super this weekend. He made me dinner and tea, played games with me, ignored the fact that I slept through the movie we were watching, cheered on my Steelers against those thugs from Baltimore, convinced me to e-mail my boss to ask to work from home until I could move again, made me take my medicine when I was being stubborn...and so on and so forth. I am one lucky lady, and when I get back to normal, I will have to do something extra special for him!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A is for Aramis

Tonight I went to see Slumdog Millionaire with my book club. So well done! I really enjoyed watching it, and not just because of the Bollywood dance number during the credits (though that was AWESOME, and really looked like a lot of fun...maybe at my PhD graduation my classmates and I could coordinate something similar?) -- everyone should believe all the hype that this little film could be a Best Picture contender this year.

This movie talks a lot about destiny, a concept I have trouble grasping and constantly think about. It's a nice idea in theory...there are these fantastic things that we are all destined to do or be, and regardless of the twists and turns in our lives, we will all achieve our predetermined (hopefully happy) ending. In some ways, it's a comforting idea. It makes our mistakes seem makes our obstacles seem matter what happens, we're just along for the ride until we achieve our purpose. The way our life plays out is in someone else's hands. This thinking limits our responsibility for our own lives, which can be a hopeful way of looking at things when our failures or setbacks have us down in the dumps. God (or fate, if you are not so religious) has a plan for us, and we will fulfill it.

But what happened to seize the day? Being accountable for who we are and what we do? After all, when things aren't going poorly, we may thank God (fate), but we also usually credit our judgment or talents. When our lives are successful, it is much nicer to think we played a direct role in doing well.

So which is it? Is life a book already written that we live from start to finish, or is it a choose your own adventure novel, where the ending changes as we make decisions? I truly don't know. It's probably a mix of both, but I doubt I'll ever truly understand how these two conflicting concepts coexist in one universe. Call me a control freak, but I lean towards feeling like I am "taking charge" of my own destiny. I cannot accept that I am not responsible for the way my life turns out and the type of person I continue to be, even if who I am is God's creation. But that doesn't mean I'll stop trying to think about why I was created, and what my purpose in life is.

I loved how the main characters in Slumdog Millionaire believed in their destiny and followed it through until the end -- it made for a great story and a really entertaining/uplifting film. (And if you want another great movie about this sort of subject, I also recommend Sliding Doors from the 1990's.) I'm just not sure what I believe my destiny is yet. Or what I can do to work towards accomplishing it. I guess all I can do is keep asking and answering multiple choice questions until I can answer that million dollar question.