Saturday, September 20, 2008

New addition

After a couple months of not having a cat (since our cat Isabella wandered away at the beginning of July), my parents decided it was time to adopt again. We went down to the Greater Nashua Humane Society and poked around in their many rooms of cats. In the third tier of cages just inside the door was our new cat. We actually walked right by her when we first came in. Her name is Sophie, and she's black and white, and four months old. We considered getting two--they have a "two-for-one" cat special due to an enormous overflow of felines--but decided Sophie would do for now. It was hard to leave with just her, but nice to see many families stopping in while we were there. And I know Sophie will have a wonderful home. As soon as I have a place of my own, I'll be heading down to the local shelter myself to adopt some animal family members.

I'll post pictures as soon as I find the cord to my camera. So far, Sophie seems to be taking to her new home just fine, although at the moment she's sleeping/hiding under the recliner. I think she got a little overwhelmed.

This was my second time at the Humane Society (my first being when I reported Izzy missing) and it's a great place. I think given all my current free time that I might volunteer there. My mom and I also noticed that a lot of the cats were sleeping on mini-afghans in their cages, so we may make use of our overflow of yarn to keep the kitties comfy while they wait to be adopted.

I urge any of you who have some extra love to go around to consider adopting a pet from a no-kill shelter, particularly a cat. The economy hits our furry friends especially hard when their families are forced to give them up, and our humane society has literally hundreds of cats. And of course, as Bob Barker says, spay and neuter your pets!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

On Sale: Authenticity

A few days ago, my Feminist Top Ten list was posted on Fidelia's Sisters, a publication of the Young Clergy Women's Project. I just re-read it, and in light of what's going on in my life the last month or so, came to a big realization about myself: I just cannot live as a fake.

My number one reason to not hide my "crazy feminism" was that I believe in living authentically. Which I do. But most days, I just don't see that play out much. And really, what I realized tonight is that I don't just believe in living authentically, I actually find it pretty much impossible to try and be someone or something I'm not.

Yesterday I gave my two-weeks' notice at my part-time job. I've had the job for just about a month. It's in retail, and offers correspondingly low pay, but the employee discount is great and I told myself I'd be able to get some good, professional, "ministerial-chic" clothes while earning enough to pay bills while I'm searching for a church.

I considered, while putting in applications at the mall, just how much I've come to dislike malls--and all that they represent--in the past couple years. I can handle them in short doses, am not opposed to them, and yes, sometimes even enjoying shopping in them. That being said, in the last couple years I have become much more anti-consumerist, for many reasons: the environment, financial aspects, immoral production practices, loving things more than loving life, etc. I even committed to the Compact for a few months.

I figured it wouldn't be that bad, only a few months, and it'd take no energy away from what I really need to do, which is finishing my ministerial profile and finding a real job.

I was wrong.

The store for which I work is more into selling than some others I've experienced. No one gets commission, but there is always a push to get a customer to buy more more more. And always, there's the push to open the store credit card. We hadn't opened any in a few days this week, and our managers were not happy. I was being bribed with free candles and free coffee if I got someone to open a card. We're even being threatened with being "written up" if not every single associate got a card.

I started getting a sour feeling in my stomach every time I thought about going to work. Not only was I pushing consumerism on others, but it was rubbing off on me! I think I've already spent my earnings, even with my discount (although the well-fitting suit was definitely needed), and was beginning to covet various items in the store, many that I can't afford, all of which I don't need!

I finally came to the conclusion that I couldn't do it anymore. I just couldn't work in a place that went so much against my values. Now, to be honest, I also decided that they weren't paying me enough to make it ok, and I think I should do a little reflection on how much I believe living authentically is worth.

So, before the month is over I'll again be unemployed. I'm going to really push myself to get my profile done, and probably look for another part-time job, as well as try to get some odd jobs like babysitting and editing. Hey, maybe I'll try for some writing gigs as well.

I'm not too worried though, because I know that as crazy as some people might think I am for doing this, and as stressed as being broke might make me in the coming weeks, I know that I am not compromising my values, my truth. I am not just believing in living authentically, I am living authentically.

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