Monday, August 10, 2009

The Universe is Toying with Me

Perhaps I've made it known, or perhaps I haven't, but I'm a Unitarian Universalist. While it grew out of a Christian tradition 600 years ago, today, it bears almost no resemblance to the modern Christian church. It has no creed, just 7 guiding principles, all of which I held in my heart before I joined the church. There is unifying belief among its members. Some identify themselves as Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddist, agnostict, atheist, and "other". I guess I would fall under the "other" category. My beliefs are atypical, but they are mine, and they spring from my heart, my soul, and my experiences. I will never force them on someone, nor expect anyone else to believe in them as I do. Explaining what the Unitarian Universalist church is to anyone who is unfamiliar with it is difficult to do in a blog post, and it's not something I'm going to try to attempt today, but maybe down the road, if anyone is curious, or I have a burning desire to voice my soul to the ether, I'll make an attempt. In the meantime, I would check out this website if you're curious.

Anyway, the past week has been a test for me to follow my spirit and trust in the universe. Angie's job going buh-bye is stressful, yes, but not as stressful as I thought it would be. Everything will come out in the wash. We have a great and loving family around us, and with their help, we'll weather the storm of unemployment like so many other people are doing. That being said, there is a rather large undercurrent of stress in the atmosphere around our house, but nothing beyond what one would expect in this situation. The trick is to look at what we have and be grateful for it. Patience is NOT abundant in the Benson household, and it's something that all three of us need to learn.

We've also been working with Max on getting to sleep on his own, which is a bit nerve wracking. He is the child I deserve, for good and for not-so-good. He's as stubborn as his old man (whose own mother, I might add, referred to him as a "stubborn Swede" from a VERY early age), and that is a bane and a boon. It served him well when he was in the NICU, and his feistyness, which EVERYONE could see at a young age, has saved his life, and driven Angie and I mad on occasions. Take the good with the bad. There was a point when we wanted to hear him cry, because he couldn't, and now, he's making up for lost time. When he hits the 45 minute, 1 hour, 1 1/2 hour mark of crying when he's put to bed, I try to remember that. He was the tube/Borg baby. Now he's a bullheaded Swede, just like his dad, full of piss and vinegar. That's my little preemie Max, making all that racket. Whatever happened to that baby who was going to die the day after he was born? You hear that air-raid siren?...yeah, that's him. So his lungs are fine? Uh, yeah...just fine. Super, in fact. It makes me cry. For joy or frustration, I'm not sure which. A little bit of both.

But the universe has a funny way of working. When one removes the value system one tends to impose upon it, things really do seem to happen for a reason. And everything balances. Today, I was informed that a bid on a small construction project I had submitted was approved, and I'll be making a little money off of that, which will help. That helps balance off the loss of the job this month, and will carry us into next when my student loans hit. Likewise, my computer tanked last night. It's under warranty, but I have several projects that I'm working on that need to be finished by August 20 that I can no longer access. I have been at my mother's taking care of her house while she recovers from knee replacement surgery, so I haven't had a chance to back up my work. Anyway, as I was frantically trying to find a place that could extract my data from my hardrive, one of the technicians who was familiar with my computer and the particular problem these units have, assured me that my data would be safe, and if the technician who will come to fix it this week needs to touch the hard drive, I'll be able to back up the data. As anyone who has had this problem knows, that's fantastic news! I don't need to spend the money unnecessarily, and I'll have my work in time to finish the project.

Perhaps the greatest evidence that the universe is working for us is my notification that I have been approved to submit an application for a grant. This grant, funded by the SAMFund, is specifically for young cancer survivors who are in school and who need monetary help. While moving forward to the next step is no guarantee that I'll receive any funding, it does mean I'm still in the running, one of about 200 people and last year they handed out 78 grants. I just squeaked under the age requirement (I was 35 when I had my cancer last year, the maximum age for applicants), and the grants are to be used to offset the cost of treatment, including fertility treatment, which I received and need to receive due to the chemo, but is not covered by my insurance. The funds can also be used for rent, computers, anything related to school and living with cancer. I had half-heartedly submitted my Letter of Intent last May, forgetting about it as soon as I sent it. I was heartened to receive my notification that I was approved to submit a formal application! Who knows, maybe nothing will come of it, but maybe it will. (They also take donations, so if you'd like, check out the website. There are some great stories of past recipients.)

So those are my musings for today. Just letting the universe take me for a ride, and I'm smelling the roses with the fertilizer.

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