Change your mind not your plan

It is so easy to think that we can’t do something. Recently I was making a baby blanket in crochet. I haven’t done that in a long time. Not a difficult task one would think….but I got a short distance into it and decided I couldn’t do it. Now it is sitting in my yarn pile waiting for me to change me mind.

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Yes, it is my mind that needs changing. By becoming easily frustrated with it I decided that I couldn’t do it. I was struggling and I quit. I can’t tell you how many times I have done that with something.

The mind is an amazing thing. It can help us or hurt us. Learning to focus on that positive side can be difficult. I can finish that blanket. It may frustrate me at first but I can do it and I will.

I put off

We procrastinate. I think we all do. We put off things. Those of us who have anxiety would rather suffer being anxious than tackle the thing that is causing the problem. We would rather obsess about it and keep putting it off. This make the anxiety blossom and nothing has gotten better.

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I am better at doing things than I used to be. Somewhere along the line I discovered that doing the thing I dreaded got it our of the way and then I felt better. Sometimes the list has to be scrapped until the next day. Sometimes I fall back into the trap of putting things off and then I suffer for it.

Image result for listsOne of the things that got me started was some advice a number of years ago. The person suggested making a list of the things that needed doing and then prioritize them. You may not get to the end of the list each day but you will be able to cross some things off. Seeing those cross outs makes you feel better. It also tackle the things that I obsess about first.

It doesn’t work for everything but is does help with some things.

 

Flowers and friends

Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small it takes time–we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O’Keeffe

We often hear the phrase “take time to smell the roses.” The truth is we seldom do take the time. There are some people who do but most of us don’t. Georgia O’Keeffe painted the flowers and she took the time to really see them….on a level most of us never will. Do I ever see the beauty? Do I ever experience the smell or the shape of the petals? Not often.

O’Keeffe compared this to the time it takes to have a real friend. Seeing all the things about a person and understanding them takes time. Accepting  who they really are takes more time and the ability to see beyond the surface. We don’t often take that time but that is how we find friends who understand and accept us as we are.

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Stop and really look at that flower. Absorb everything about it. Take the time to do the same things with those who could be real friends.

Are we all becoming hoarders?

I have written about this before but today it jumped out at me again. We are a nation of hoarders. As a nation we have too much stuff. Near my neighborhood there are already two massive storage facilities for people to put their excess “junk” in. I have know people who put stuff in those places and later have no idea what they have stored. I know there are some people who have downsized and know they will be moving up again and need to keep their things but they are the exception.

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There is a TV program where people bid and buy unopened storage places and recycle for money what is inside.

Now a brand new huge facility is being erected. I guess there is so much “stuff” that we have outdistanced the two already here. What are we thinking?

I have spent the last six months sorting and cleaning out closets, cabinets and drawers and taking the excess to charity. I am still not done and am ashamed that I have so much extra that I don’t need. At least I have never needed a storage facility to house the excess. I know that someday we will have to move from our home (as age catches us) and my intention is to give away everything we don’t need for a smaller place. I will not keep and store things.

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Are we a hoarding nation?

We are not perfect so TRY!

Usually, when we say we can’t do something, what we means that we won’t do something unless we can guarantee that we’ll do it perfectly.      The Artist’s Way

I am so guilty of this. Growing up my father was always encouraging me to try lots of different things. So many time I wouldn’t because I didn’t think I could do it well. The sad part is that I missed so many opportunities by not trying.

It took me way too many years to try anything I want to experience. I am not afraid any more of not being perfect or of failure. When I started my last job I told people that if I gave a presentation and it didn’t have an error then I didn’t do it.

So many times I post blogs with errors because my mind is running faster than my fingers. I know, I know I should check them over but I get ahead of myself.

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We are not perfect. We never will be. Don’t miss out on things because you are afraid of not doing well. Life is too short not to try!

The elusive memory

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order…the continuous thread of revelation.  Eudora Welty

Our lives move forward on a continuum. Events happen every day. Some events are memorable and some are not. I have always found it interesting the things we have stored away and can recall and the things we can’t. Our memories are selective. Our brains store information….probably everything we ever did but most of it cannot be recalled.

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I have been asked about my earliest memory. I have a memory but it is not really clear. I am standing in a crib in my mother and father’s room. That is all there is. There is no context…nothing more than that. I don’t know why I have that memory. It seems to have no significance but there it is.

Image result for memoryOf course we remember traumatic events or days of special happiness but we don’t always remember the specifics and our memories will usually not match those of others who were there.

It is also interesting how memories can be triggered by other senses. A certain smell can cause recall. I grew up in Virginia and my family had large privet hedges around the back yard. When I smell privet it brings back memories of that place.

Music can remind us of a particular time that we heard it. We also experience the feelings associated with those memories. This can be a good thing but in the case of persons who have had a trauma it can bring it all back full force. That is what happens to those with PTSD. The memory comes with all the feelings of fear and horror.

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How our brain keeps memories and which ones come to light is not fully known but more is learned each day.

 

 

 

Drugs and Devices

My husband is scheduled in April for the implantation of a device to prevent clots. This started me thinking about such devices and prescription drugs.

The FDA regulates drugs and devices used in the US. In general this is a good thing but there are some holes in the system.

If a device is very similar to another device it can be approved without as much testing as the original. This can be used by companies to slide in products that have not had the extensive testing required by the original. For example, there is not just one heart valve replacement on the market and they may not all be considered equal.

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There are similar issues with drugs although the problem can present in a different way. Has anyone wondered why the company that raised Insulin prices astronomically was able to do that? A small change in the medication made it able to considered a different drug and was therefore allowed a different patent allowing the price gouging. Insulin was originally given away by its creator in order to help mankind. Look what has happened now.

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We have so many problems with our medical system and these are ones not always at the forefront. If only we could all care about the patient and not all the outliers how wonderful the system could be.

A thank you matters

Recently I have received two notes from people I saw often when working for the church. The notes were so affirming of my ministry when there. It was such a surprise and a joy. It touched me so to know that my time there meant something.

It reminded me of how important it is to affirm those who have meant something to us. It is so easy to make complaints when things go wrong but we forget to give thanks and praise when things go right.

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It try to thank those I meet daily even if it is a small task…thanking a waiter/waitress or someone who works on our car. Thank you for doing a good job means so much to someone who has had people putting them down all the time.

Take the time to be appreciative. It can change someone’s day or their life.

Tell the truth??? or not??

Truth said in love can hurt before it heals. Unknown

Sometimes we know something that we feel needs to be told. It is something that we know will be a surprise (not always a good one). It is something that could be devastating. What do we decide to do?

This can be an awful decision. It is important to look carefully at why we would disclose. It is possible that we might never be forgiven. It is possible that any friendship will be gone. Do we want to tell for us or for them? Will the disclosure be worth the pain it could inflict? We absolutely have to look closely at ourselves and think about the outcome. Sometimes revealing something it not necessary in the long run. Some times the repercussions will be too painful and can be unnecessary.

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Taking the time to think everything through is most important. Hurting someone should not be done lightly. Think before you do!

Why?

Today we went to see the movie 1917. I am not fond of war movies but my husband wanted to see it. I don’t want to talk about the movie but something that came to me while watching.

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Another war….how many since? Why are we this way? Why do we go to war rather than solve problems? Why are we greedy and selfish? Why do we hate those who are not like us? Why are we not loving and kind and compassionate?

Did we start out that way or did we grow into it? And the real question is what can we do to change?

Lots of questions and no real answers. Rilke’s quote tells us to live in uncertainty and wait for answers.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke

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I hope that he is right and that some day, somehow, a miracle will occur and the earth will be a place of peace and love.