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Why this journey?

Life is a series of choices. We don’t often think of that but just getting out of bed in the morning is a choice. We are so used to routine that it doesn’t seem like we made a choice. It’s just what we do every day with little thought. How different life could be it we could be fully present for each of those choices. It is interesting to reflect on one’s path in life. It is so easy to see the places where I stepped off the path and usually paid for it. Sometimes the slip brings an instant outcome. Sometimes life continues and only with a long look back can we see the result of the choice.

I have always wanted to learn to live each day in the present moment but I haven’t mastered it yet. If only every second of every day I could remember I am alive now!  How different my whole life would have been.

You see, I am a worrier. I cross bridges and explore every good and bad outcome for each crisis or major event that comes up. I can easily picture myself with a fatal illness or catastrophic problem. The real question is how I have managed to live for 76 years and not learned how to let this go. It is time to move on. This is my journey into change. My first step into a new way to really live each moment.

I know that I have a tough road ahead of me and will struggle with my resistance to changing habits and applying all the advice and wisdom I have been given. I worried as a child. My grandmother used to tell me to sit in a chair and worry as hard as I could and get up and see if anything had changed. Her wisdom (she died at 100 ) was there for me as long as she lived. I heard it over and over but never learned how to do it.

The practice of faith was not absent in my growing years. God was a part of my everyday life. I was baptized in the Presbyterian church that my parents attended and each Sunday was in church with my parents or my grandmother (she was Methodist) I saw my grandmother read her Bible each day and pray as she rested after lunch and again at night before bed. Her connection to God was strong. Was Her consistent time spent with God the thing that brought her such peace? Many of my adult years have been spent in God’s ministry. Interesting that all that energy and action didn’t have a deeper effect on my way of being. One would think that Bible study, leading church events, teaching yoga and meditation would have had more impact.

So many human quirks that have been around since Adam and Eve have been given titles and are seen as present in many of us. In today’s world, my worrying would be given the title mild anxiety. What I do is not unusual nor can it be considered a psychiatric diagnosis. It seems to me that the recognition of garden variety anxiety has given some relief for those of us who worry. I am not the only one and will certainly not be the last.

Added on to this propensity to worry are the major changes in our way of life. It seems to me that sometimes ignorance is bliss. (note: I say it seems that way). Today we are bombarded with information. The world seems to be more dangerous day by day. To quote Dr King “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” We can see the result of this on the streets of our cities. Have we been desensitized to violence so that nothing is too abhorrent to do?

All the electronic devices have added noise on a former unprecedented level. Is there silence anywhere? Do we understand the effect on body and mind of constant noise? Do we ever just sit back and think? I see this pattern as actually increasing worry or anxiety in the future. There is no time to just be.

All that having been said this writing will record my progress (or lack thereof) of a journey into change. I cannot change the world but I can change myself. I believe in the butterfly principle and maybe if one person finds a different way something will change.

What holds you up?

I am tired, sad and struggling. I can’t seem to shake the tiredness left over from my cold and the stress of traveling and my husband’s surgery. I have a strange habit of not reacting physically to something when it is happening but it always hits when things are getting better. I guess I should have expected this.

holds you upI have mentioned before that I am blessed to have four dear friends. I know that it is rare to have four and thank God for it. They hold me up when I am down. At the moment two of them are having problems to deal with. Things that maybe can be solved and maybe not. I feel so much grief for what they have been and are going through. If only I could help more or take away some of the pain. Sometimes the only thing we can do is be present but it doesn’t feel like enough.

For the last month I have had to cope with the things in my own life and it has taken me away from being present more than I wanted. I hope that things shift soon and become more manageable.

I don’t know that any of us could possibly have coped without having a deep faith in a loving God. When things seem impossible leaning on God is my only recourse. Somehow I can sense his presence in the midst of all the chaos.  My friends feel the same and we all have the prayers of many to uphold us. At times is is possible to actually feel that support and love.

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I know there are people who don’t have this belief and that is their decision. I wold find it lonely and fearful without it. I hope that everyone has something that they can hold on to in the midst of life’s trials. May you find that thing that gives you peace and strength to hold on.

Get Going

Today has been quiet and a little depressing. I am so attached to getting out and seeing people so staying home is a challenge. Sure, there are so many thing I could be doing…laundry, house cleaning, etc. but who want to do that?

I am still fighting a stuffy head and hangover from the cold and just am not totally myself yet. I have talked about how change affects us and even though this is not for long it is unsettling. I have cabin fever.

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I am comfortable at home and need my down time but an overdose can get to me. This is one of the good and bad things about knowing yourself well. I know that I need to get out but can’t. I know that there are things I could do to feel better but I don’t want to do them. This is one of the conundrums that we can get ourselves into.

Breaking free from this pattern is a challenge but I will have to find my oomph and do it. Otherwise I will just continue to fall into the doldrums. Not a good plan.

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Sooo…later today I will meditate, do some laundry and get to feeling productive. This will set me on the right path for the next few days. Getting going is the hard part about getting going!

Florence: not over for a long time

Today is the first day that I have felt somewhat normal. I developed a cold just before taking my husband to Mayo and was stuffy and miserable while there. At last I am beginning to see the light.

When we don’t feel well nothing seems right. Things that we would normally take in our stride become big hurdles to overcome. Most of the time I felt like I was sleepwalking. Feeling better is wonderful.

hurricane-florence-boardwalk-gty-jt-180913_hpMain_2_12x5_992We were blessed to have been bypassed by the last hurricane but I feel so deeply for those who are suffering through the aftermath. It is bad enough that the storm floods everything and the wind blows trees over on houses but afterwards is horrible. Days and days without power. No clean water, no lights. no place to be comfortable. When you are allowed to go home you find a damaged roof or a tree through your bedroom and the nightmare continues. The rest of the world is moving on unaware of the struggles you face.

People who are not at risk for hurricanes or tornadoes do not know that insurance companies now set the delectable on damage differently than they used to. If it is a “named” storm the deductible is a percentage of the estimated damage. Some percentages are quite high. For $30,000 damage you could pay upwards of $3,000. Sometimes much more. This can hit hard and from the storms we had some people have not been able to have their homes repaired and have done what they could on their own.

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After Florence fades from the picture most of us will continue with our lives. We must, however, remember the enormous toll those affected will be paying for a long time to come. Help where you can and pray for those left with their world changed forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change?

The last 3 or 4 months I felt as is my life was on hold. It now feels different to have my husband’s surgery behind us and move forward. In some ways I have put my life on hold. I haven’t done any mediations or scheduled any appointments. Now I want to get back to my life. There will be healing time and check ups but that can be managed.

It has been strange to plan little for myself and I miss it. I look forward to what I call “a new normal.” I have discovered that life is never consistently normal. We can go along for a while and this something changes our plans and our perspective. I have decided to call this “new normal’ and not expect to get back to the old one.

change is a process

Life is constantly changing. That is one thing we can be sure of. The trick is to learn how to deal with the changes. Also it is important to know that nothing will always stay the same. When we are young we hope for change—growing up and getting to do the adult things. When we have been adults for long enough we realize that it may not be what we imagined.

As children we don’t understand that with adulthood comes increased responsibility. We are the ones who have to make decisions about life altering things and we don’t always choose the easy path. It was a lot of fun when we weren’t the responsible one.

Change is one of the stressors that can set off anxiety and depression and we do have to learn ways to manage it. Some people love change but I am not one of them. It can be hard to let go of a calm and peaceful time and move through something that is not much fun. For me, acceptance that change is inevitable is the first step and then to imagine weathering my way through the storm. Finding any good that is in the change helps and picturing what life will be like on the other side. When change hits us suddenly it is harder to get through. If we expect it we can think our way ahead and do better.

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Change is a challenge we can win!

 

Are we disposable?

Yesterday I wrote about too much stuff and today I am following that thought with this one. Have we truly become a disposable society?

Many places are working to become more earth friendly and recycle some of the waste we create. But we are not there yet. Too often when something grows old we just throw it away.

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When I was a child anything that was broken was taken to be repaired. It was considered too valuable to be just thrown out. Now we not only have too much but also don’t fix things. I know that the racing pace of technology makes keeping old phones, computers etc. impractical and no one wants them. That is where we are.

I do have a concern about where we can be headed and in some cases where we already are. How disposable are people? As a nurse my 20 years visiting the elderly made me lament their current life. So many of them were in nursing homes with no sense of purpose in life. You walk down the halls and they are just sitting in wheelchairs all alone. Many people who walk by do not even acknowledge their existence or see them as too senile to speak to them. This disturbed me greatly. I always spoke and offered a smile or a handshake. They were so grateful to be seen.

Are we putting them away out of sight? Are they disposable? Does their current life have any value?

disposable

Somehow we have to find a better way. Nursing homes are trying to offer programs for stimulation but it is too little too late. We have to begin understanding that we are living longer and, hopefully, in good health. But sometimes we have run out of resources to pay to be in a better place, have better health options, and better care. Sometimes we are struck by illness that leaves us less than ourselves. What to do?

The earth is overcrowded now and we are living longer. Will we start recycling our elderly as food like in Soylent Green?

Too much stuff!

Today we are back from the Mayo Clinic with a successful surgery done. Thanks be to God!

stuffOn the car trip for some reason I noticed the number of storage facilities we passed. It made me thing about what a wasteful society we are. We have so many things that we have to rent storage containers to store the excess. Think of what good that excess could do.

When I was young in the 50’s and 60’s people didn’t buy things they couldn’t pay for. In the 50’s the only credit card I remember was American Express that was used by people when they traveled. Now there are so many that I doubt we could name them all in several days.

While watching the news it was said that 11% of people would be willing to go into debt to get the new Iphone. I think they said it is $1600. Amazing!

We are so terribly terribly wasteful. We throw away perfectly good food. Buy new versions of electronic equipment frequently trashing the perfectly good ones we have. We can’t continue this way. The glut of things that we have flows over into storage areas that we pay money to rent.

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What is wrong with us?

Understanding

I don’t know how much I will post in the next few days. I may be wrapped up in stuff at the Mayo Clinic. However, I may need to write to vent. I’ll just see how it goes. To add to the aggravation I am coming down with what seems to be a cold. Ah well, life goes on.

understanding a lot

Since I am tired I will offer another poem.

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