Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring Has Sprung (Finally)!

Spring!  I love Spring.  I am so happy it is finally coming around, and it has really just happened in the last week.  I love the parks here.  They seem like a small oasis in the middle of the city.  Especially Central Park.  I also love that as I am in the middle of some great park, I can still see buildings in the distance.  Kind of like two worlds coming together. 

So I just needed to share my joy of the new Spring with a few pics from the last week.  Most of these are from Central Park on my ramblings, but I have one from Bryant Park too.

Bryant Park, 6th Ave/42 St.

 Central Park last Monday, and below, Central Park yesterday while out with my friend Melanie.

 I went on a walk today back to Central Park, but to a different area closer to midtown.  I was not the only one with such a brilliant idea.

 I feel like I have seen this bridge in so many movies.  Geeked out a little bit.

Yep, with today being so beautiful in the park, it was the kind of day that makes me wish I had a boyfriend to enjoy it with, or that my parents were here so I could show them, or both. 

Mormon Super Bowl Weekend, Or Should I Say, General Conference

Last weekend was General Conference.  I always love that weekend for so many reasons.  Not only do we get to hear great talks from the leaders of my church, but it kind of feels like a holiday weekend to me.  No formal church, getting together with family or friends, and of course, the food.  Oh, the FOOD!  My roommate Abby called it the Mormon Super Bowl, and how right she is.

I spent the weekend with some of my favorite people in the city.  I have great friends.  We play together, eat together, take walks together, plank together.....
And, as a side note, I met my first hairless cat at Carolyn's house, which belongs to her roommate.  Who knew these creatures existed?  I didn't, and I am not sure how I feel about it now that I know.  Just saying.

Anyway, it was great.  This morning I reread one of my favorite talks, the one by Elaine S. Dalton about being daughters of God.  Last weekend as I listened I just felt really empowered as a woman.  Today was no different, but since I was reading, I could take a little more time and develop some specific thoughts.  Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"As daughters of God we are each unique and different in our circumstances and experiences. And yet our part matters—because we matter."

I love this so much.  We ARE all different, but we all contribute to this world, and we MATTER.  I matter.

"Again I renew the call for a return to virtue. Virtue is the strength and power of daughters of God. What would the world be like if virtue—a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards, including chastity—were reinstated in our society as a most highly prized value? If immorality, pornography, and abuse decreased, would there be fewer broken marriages, broken lives, and broken hearts? Would media ennoble and enable rather than objectify and degrade God’s precious daughters? If all humanity really understood the importance of the statement “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father,” how would women be regarded and treated?"

I do wonder what the world would be like if virtue were revered as it should be.  I really can't even imagine it.  But it would be a beautiful place.  I don't have a lot that is profound to say about this passage, but I just like it.

"In a morally desensitizing world, young women need women and men to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.” Never before has this been more important than now. Young women need mothers and mentors who exemplify virtuous womanhood. Mothers, your relationship with your daughter is of paramount importance, and so is your example. How you love and honor her father, his priesthood, and his divine role will be reflected and perhaps amplified in your daughter’s attitudes and behavior."

This was my favorite passage.  First of all, young women do need women AND men to stand as witnesses of God.  They need women in order to know what to aspire to as a woman; they need men in order to know what to look for in a partner.  I just liked how Sister Dalton did not let anyone off the hook with that statement; we are all accountable to lead the youth.  Also, she nails women to the wall on how much affect their relationship with the father of their children will have on their daughters.  We hear a lot about that principle from the male perspective on how they should be treating us.  But the principle goes both ways, and we women could stand to hear it.  Sister Dalton is not saying be submissive to the head of the household; she is saying love, honor, respect your spouse/baby daddy.  Show your daughters what that looks like.  Ideally, both spouses are doing it for each other.

But the phrase that really stuck out to me was "Young women need mothers and mentors who exemplify virtuous womanhood."

As a single woman in my church, I notice how often people refer to women mostly in the context of being mothers. It even happens in this talk a lot as well, and I can understand why, since we do believe that is our divine purpose as women, to be mothers.  I not offended, per se; they are probably speaking to the majority.  But I just don't relate to it, since I have no children, and sometimes there is a little part of me that feels left out, maybe.  Like whoever is speaking is unaware of me, and others in my situation, childless, for so many different reasons.  And, I am sorry, but it feels like such a consolation prize when people say that "we are all mothers," whether it is because we are actual mothers, or aunts, or friends, etc.  Like being invited to a party as an afterthought because someone felt sorry for me. NOT THE SAME.

However, I can really get behind the idea of being a mentor.  As a mentor, I can contribute to the well-being of a youth in my sphere of influence and feel like I am in my element, and not trying to be someone I am not. I am not trying to nose my way in to being something to someone I have no desire to be; their mother, or second mother, or whatever.  But I can mentor.

Maybe it is just a question of word choice for me.  But the thought of being a mentor fills me with the desire to follow through on that call to action, to be an example of a virtuous woman to whomever is watching.  It spoke to me in a way that being a figurative "mother" has not.  It gave a legitimate name to the contribution I can make, that I would love to make. 

I think of my nieces, and I want to be that person for them.  The type of woman they can emulate, should they choose to.  I think of my nephews, and I want to be that person for them.  The type of woman they can use as a gauge for when they are dating and looking for marriage, should they choose to.

I just loved this talk.  There are others I loved, but this made me think a lot today, and I really felt empowered, ennobled, and enabled to work harder to be that virtuous woman, so that I can contribute my part to this world as best I can.

Since I lack a really graceful ending to my thoughts, I will leave you with a picture of my first foray into Coronet's Pizza last Saturday between sessions.  And Deb's photo bomb.