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.

Image result for too many storage places

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.

Image result for are we all hoarding

 

 

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.

Image result for try new things

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.

Image result for memory

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.

Image result for memory recall

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.

Image result for implantable medical devices

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.

Image result for drug costs gouging

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.

Image result for thank people quotes

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.

Image result for truth can hurt

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.

Image result for why is there war

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

Image result for the miracle of peace

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.

Success at last

Today I have been working on communion bread for my church during lent. Since I make bread all the time you would think that this would be easy. Not so! I lost my original recipe and have been hunting for another one. So far I have tried two that didn’t work for me. They both tasted fine but looked awful.

bread2
failure #2

So I gave up and came up with my own recipe. Here’s hoping that this one works. If it doesn’t it is back to the drawing board and next week is Ash Wednesday. See what we get when we volunteer. Something that is usually easy can turn into a nightmare.

If this one works I will post a photo of it. Here’s hoping.

bread1
Success

Can we help?

In life, we often want to help someone who doesn’t want help. Sometimes they are right. Sometimes trying to help is the wrong thing to do. But sometimes they genuinely need help and there are many reasons why they might refuse.

pitfalls

Pride can frequently get in the way of accepting help. Many of us were raised to believe that taking help obligates us to return the favor to the person who helped.  Over the time that I have lived I have become a big proponent of “paying it forward.” We don’t have to be beholding to the specific person but we are called to help someone else in the future. However,we should never feel obligated but take the opportunities when they present themselves..

I know for sure that I can get the bit between my teeth and be determined to finish something myself. I can push away anyone who really wants to lighten the load. I want to “do it myself” like a three year old.

Image result for when to help

When people turn us away from helping it is difficult to know when is the right time to push and when we should just back away. I really can’t guess myself. It is an individual determination. I wish I had some crystal ball but I don’t. I do know that there are times that I have had to back away or lose any chance to remain a friend or help later.

Happy Valentine’s Day

There are stories about where Valentine’s day originated. Most versions have to do with a Valentius. All the stories agree that he was a hero who helped during the early Christian days in Rome whether by marrying young men against the orders of Claudius II or by helping Christians imprisoned by the Romans. February 14th may have been chosen by the Roman Catholic Church in order to coincide with a festival dedicated to one of the Roman gods. During its history the church did this for several holidays to make it easier for cultures to shift to Christianity.

None of this matters in the big scheme of things.

Image result for valentines day quotes

Hope your Valentine’s Day has been filled with joy and love!