Monday, January 13, 2020

Relationship Advice from the Tattooist of Auschwitz

I finished listening to The Tattooist of Auschwitz the other day. It's not a very long book, and about half way through, well even in the beginning, I decided I didn't really like it. I couldn't really stomach it. My patience for these things must have expired in my tween/teen years when I read all the youth books about World War II at the local library. I was annoyed with The Tattooist of Auschwitz because how on Earth could there even be a romance in a concentration camp??? What an oxymoron. It was so unrealistic. Then, I looked into it to see how much of it is based on true events.

If you didn't know, the author interviewed Lali/Lale to make his life history, but wrote it into a screenplay, then the book. So, it's probably more true than not, but you never know how accurate your memory is, but I guess to Lali/e, it is for the most part how he remembered it, accurate or not. So, I finished the book. Of course it was horrible and uncomfortable in parts, but I loved that Lali/e loved women as people. I loved that he adored his to-be wife.
After breaking up their fights his mother would take him aside and explain to him that he would find someone else to love and care for. He never wanted to believe her. As he became a young man, he would run home to his mother each day for the hugged greeting, the feel of her comforting body, her soft skin, the kisses she planted on his forehead. "What can I do to help you?" He would say. "You're such a good boy. You will make someone a wonderful husband some day." "Tell me what to do to be a good husband. I don't want to be like Papa. He doesn't make you smile. He doesn't help you. . . . I want the girl I marry to like me, to be happy with me. . . ." "You must first learn to listen to her, even if you are tired. Never be too tired to listen to what she has to say. Learn what she likes, and more importantly what she doesn't like. When you can, give her little treats: flowers, chocolates. Women like these things. . . ."  (Chapter 19, around 4:56)
Growing up, it was a very loving family life. The devotion my parents had to each other was total and uncompromising. When many in their circle of friends started getting divorced, I went to my mother and asked how she and my father had managed to stay together for so many years. Her response was very simple: "Nobody is perfect. Your father has always taken care of me since the first day we met in Berkenau. I know he is not perfect, but I also know he will always put me first." (Gary, their only child, Afterward, around 7:21)
And a bonus, but about optimism:
How can you just pack and sing? With a big smile on her face she said that when you spend years not knowing if in five minutes time you'll be dead, there is not much you can't deal with. She said, as long as you are alive and healthy, everything will work out for the best. (Said to Gary by his mother, Gita, when his father had to close his business and their house was auctioned, Afterward, around 7:24)

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Self Image

I was deleting screen shots on my phone the other day while watching Willy Wonka with the kids and ran across quite had few little gems about self image; I guess it's a theme in my life, just like most women.
Because Satan is miserable without a body, he wants us to be miserable because of ours. - President Russell M. Nelson, "We Can Do Better and Be Better," April General Conference, 2019
. . . [A]re you more interested in dressing and grooming your body to appeal to the world than to please God?" - President Russell M. Nelson, "We Can Do Better and Be Better," April General Conference, 2019
If Satan can get us to fixate on our bodies, either in vanity or self loathing, then he has caused us to misunderstand completely the role our bodies play in salvation. - Tessa Meyer Santiago/LDS Living
Manage physical desires in a healthy way. - Youth Guidebook, Physical Goal Ideas, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension. - Prince Harry after Meghan Markle gave birth to their son
When we think we need more self-discipline, we usually need more self-love." - Tara Mohr 
Related to that last one, I didn't save it, but someone posted on Facebook recently about the myth of self-care. It basically said that rather than turning to pampering yourself, you just need to turn to God. Then, someone posted in the comments a link to something else saying that rather than feeling like you need to keep up with the Jones's, and needing all that self care because keeping up with the Jones' is so much work, maybe you just need to let go and give yourself a break! That's a total paraphrase of two posts/articles, btw. Anyway, good food for thought.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

I Read The Magnolia Story!

While browsing through my library app, I saw that The Magnolia Story by Chip and JoAnna Gaines was available. I can't say I've ever watched the show (maybe in a hotel room on a trip once, well part of it? Maybe an advertisement for it?), and I think I went to the Web site once? But even then, I oddly do know who they are and what they're about.

This was a fun, short read (well, listen). I loved how they openly talked of God and faith and listening to that Still, Small Voice. I was so impressed with Jo when she felt it was time to stay home with her babies and she DID!

I related so much to Jo's conservative personality and cracked up over Chip's craziness. My husband has a similar personality, but as a software engineer, rather than a DIY/RE/whatever guy, if that's even possible.

I love that they work so well as a team on their projects. I love projects too, but sadly, my husband DOES NOT! He is not handy and does not want to be. We do not work well together like Chip and JoAnna. I had to birth a son and raise him to work on projects with me. We work well together.

I was thinking about Fixer Upper and wondered why so many people are drawn to it. I wonder if its success is because the Gaines' are willing to share their faith along with their story. Earlier in the year, I listened to The Impossible (=>Breakthrough, the movie), the one where the boy falls through the ice and is DEAD, but he comes back to life after his mother's great faith and prayers. With that story, I also wondered if their family experienced such great miracles because God knew they would share them, and it would be a witness that would draw more people to Him.

And lastly, I loved this quote at the end:
Being on a farm is something we both dreamed about, and in the hustle and bustle of our busy life, when I come back here to this place I love it always takes me back to the basics. . . . There's something about doing things the way our ancestors used to do them that puts your heart back into the rhythm of this thing called life. It's why I think cooking for my family is important. It's why I love making things with my hands, designing with my hands, and gardening with my hands. (Chapter 15, 4:49) 
I agree that doing things with your hands keeps it so real! I feel a connection with those who have gone on before when I do things how they did it. I think it's a way to stay grounded.