Cherish those who matter

Life, as usual, throws curve balls whenever it feels like it. My husband has been peaked for several day and now there has been another family crisis. Nothing health wise, thank God, but the usual drama. It is something that can be dealt with and will be but it has brought about some upheaval.

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Maybe, because I am a nurse, if something bad happens but no one is going to die I am ok. Life constantly has ups and downs and we just have to learn how to cope with them. I have found that one of the things that helps the most is having a strong friend/family base behind you. If you have someone that you can count on to hold you up when you are sinking it makes all the difference.

For me, that is why my family and my friends are so important. I work at keeping those bonds strong and it does require work. If we don’t connect with those we love we are making a big mistake. Someone said “don’t let the path become overgrown between your houses.” That’s not totally accurate but close.

cherish loved ones

We do have to spend time maintaining our relationships. It doesn’t matter if they are face to face, on line, mail, whatever. People’s lives are busy and it is easy to get pulled away from those you don’t connect with.

Take the time to nurture the relationships that matter. They are your lifeline.

Beautiful day!

It is so beautiful out today that it is hard to believe. In May we had weather that was like August and now it is like May out. There is a wonderful breeze and sitting here on the porch is heaven. I have so much more energy when the heat lets us get outdoors. I have been on the porch almost all day. Even mopping the deck was not a chore.

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Tillie decided to join me but of course after I put the rug back. Bassets don’t do uncomfortable.

I put out more bird feed and some squirrel feed. I try to keep the squirrel feeder full to keep the squirrels away from the porch. They make such a mess.

squirrel eating

It is amazing how much difference can be made in how we feel when the weather is wonderful. The tide is coming in and soon the muddy parts of the marsh will disappear. Our daily tide change is around 7 feet so when the water moves it is almost impossible to swim against it. When our children were young we taught them if they were caught in the tide to go with it to another dock, climb out and walk back. It can be dangerous if you are not aware of its strength. We also have extremely salty water. When you swim and get out and dry you can see salt on your body.

There are lots of things I could be doing inside but i’m not moving. This amazing coolness will not last and I am soaking it up while I can.

Change what you can!

Tonight I hardly know what to write. I am having to adjust to where I am with my IBSD. It is not awful but I feel as if I am back to where I was last year. The thing is last year I was used to it and coped daily. I have been so good for so long now that I am having to back up and think logically about maintaining my calm. As with most things in life I will change to suit the situation rather that let it get to me long term. I am now in a re-learning curve.

messy

Our weather has been beautiful for the last week and more normal for us. Our usual pattern is some sunny days and some days with thunder showers. Our dog, Crash, is terrified of thunder and we feel so bad when we have to be away and there is a storm. He just hides under my husband’s desk and shakes.

It we are at home he stays right at our feet and seems to be better. I don’t know what happened to him before he came to us but it must have been terrible. It is so hard for me to imagine anyone treating an animal badly. We see so many pictures of abused animals and people still big game hunting animals that are going extinct. I can’t fathom it.

exploit

Abuse is horrible in any form and there seems to be so much more of it than there used to be. I don’t know if that is because we are more aware of it or if we are seeing more people whose mindset is cruelty. It seems to go along with the number of people who see the solution to their frustration is shooting people.

I keep reminding myself that I can’t fix the whole world but I can be an example of loving and giving. Each one of us has an opportunity to affect our own environment. We must change things one person at a time.

be the change

 

Each day take it on yourself to change the things you can.

Keep fighting

I have been fighting IBSD for several days now. I am on the medication that helped last time. There is two weeks worth to take. I hope it works again. The last 7-8 months have been the best I have had in years. It is wonderful when something actually works.

If it doesn’t then back to the doctor again to see if there is anything else.

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It is so frustrating to have to plan trips and clothing around your physical status but I will keep on doing it as the alternative is to not do anything.

Mental_Disorder_Silhouette2Chronic problems can bite us in the $@#$&**. Aggravating and depressing. I have been free from this (for me) for such a long time that I had hoped it would be a new pattern. Now I have to backtrack and remember how I dealt with it. Life always brings new challenges and asks us to manage them. Here arise the coping skills that I had managed to put in the back of my mind. A stupid thing to do. There are some that I have faithfully continued so at least I am not starting totally over. However, I will increase the concentration on them.

Don’t we all wish that we could wave a magic wand and make ti go away? That is the lazy way out and won’t work. Controlling our thoughts and emotions requires work and energy. The trouble is that when we are down we don’t have a lot of either. We have to drag ourselves up and make do.

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I have done that today and will push myself. I will eat better….I have been really bad lately…exercise….get out doors…meet friends….meditate and anything else that helps. I am determined that I will not be beat by this challenge.

As the Bipolar Writer says:  Keep Fighting!

Use your experiences

I have learned much in my 78 years. Life has not ever been perfect and usually not at all what I expected but it has been full with everything from grief to joy. I am so grateful that I can look back and see the times I was tested and grew. I realize that my empathy for others and desire to help comes from those testing experiences.

fire for pottery

 

It is something that I have said often but here it is again. Don’t regret those times of trial.  It is in the fire that the pottery is formed. You have come out of the fire made more beautiful and more compassionate.

 

 

compassion quote

Remember that and use that experience to help others. I talked with someone today about how encouraging and full of empathy are the people whose blogs I read and those who read mine. We are a community.

 

57 years

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary. It is almost impossible to think that we have been married for so long. Where did the time go? It really doesn’t seem that long ago…and yet a lot of people have no idea what life was like in 1962.

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For me it seemed ideal although looking at it now I wonder how. My husband was a new officer just graduated from West Point and beginning some training. He was in paratrooper school and went on to ranger training. During ranger training he was gone. How in the world did I think that was ideal. I guess I was living in a bubble of newly wed happiness. I think the saving grace was having other wives going through the same thing and us becoming friends. Friends were made quickly as we all needed support. We were lucky as our husbands had known each other at West Point and that made it easier.

Our life in the service was challenging. We moved often and I was alone a good bit. Some things were wonderful…the birth of our first child…language school in Monterey…living in Panama, Central America.

 

Times were also tough with spending two different years alone with children while my husband served in Viet Nam. I don’t know how I managed the worry but I seemed to cope with the stress and loneliness. Children are wonderful companions but they don’t replace a beloved spouse.

Our last tour was a joy. My husband went to graduate school and then taught math at West Point.  It was an amazing experience.

There have been many years and many different jobs for each of us since his retirement from the military and life has been good. Our three adult children, their spouses, our six grandchildren, one great grandchild and one on the way have added great joy.

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57 years. Amazing!

Finding the center

This week I have been on a bread baking binge. I’m not sure why but there is something therapeutic about it. I don’t use a mixer with a dough hook so I spend time folding the dough. It feels so good in your hands and gets rid of any frustration. I continually learn how to make different and better breads.

I made sourdough with garlic and rosemary, a normal white bread and a breakfast bread with brown sugar and cinnamon on top. I won’t eat all of these but will share them with friends and neighbors.

breakfast bread

It is a process learning what things give you satisfaction and peace. I do love baking but don’t need to be eating all of it. I am also not interested in making things to sell. I just enjoy the process.

I have been working at doing the things I need to do to maintain my peace of mind. Things happen always but we can get through if we have developed habits that help us. The past week have been trying on several levels but I am moving one.

new way

Persistence is, for me, the most important thing. I can be such a procrastinator…putting things off and not doing what I should. It is so much easier to find something distracting…like watching the Great British Baking Show….than meditating. But if I don’t I suffer for it.

Keeping on track is so important. Keep working at it!

Tears fall

I am sad. Lucy has not been found yet. I am sad for my daughter and her family and sad for Lucy. This is not the end anyone wanted for that poor girl dog. She had such a bad life before. These things happen in life and I think they remind us that everything does not always go the way we want.

Life can be challenging. There are times of joy and times of sadness. Both are important because they are joined. There is not one without the other. I don’t think we would understand how important our good times are if there were not bad times.

The older I get the more empathy I feel. Tears come easily but I don’t mind that. Tears can be cleansing.

rain drops

Tears

Tears fall easily

their drops wash

my face

 

Etching the sorrow

my heart endures

as they fall

 

washing some

of the pain

from my soul

 

each tear

offers solace

and cleansing peace

 

Find Lucy

After the serious dry spell that we had now we have had rain every day. It doesn’t rain long but enough to help. I hope that it reached the farmers soon enough.

Today I had a call from one of my daughters telling me that my daughter in Texas has lost one of her dogs. She rescued two dachshunds a while back. Both had obviously been badly treated and were afraid of almost everyone. She and her family have been working hard to restore their trust and put their fears to rest. One of them would probably be considered to suffer from PTSD. The dog is on multiple meds for anxiety and panic attacks. While I was there visiting she eventually let me touch her but is still terrified of most things. Apparently last night little Lucy got out somehow. She is so fast. I’m not sure how it happened but my daughter is devastated.

lucy

Lucy will not come to anyone if called. She is chipped and has a collar with her name and address but I don’t know if anyone will be able to catch her. Poor thing she is now lost and away from any kindness she has ever been shown. They also live near what is called “green belt” an untouched area designated to allow water retention and wildlife. I know they are worried that if she is there it will be difficult to find her.

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This makes me so sad. I would be lost if I couldn’t find either of my dogs and Lucy is at risk in so many ways. Dogs become part of our families and touch our hearts in so many ways. Lucy found a safe place and I hope she is found and returned there.

Cleaning….inside out

CleanLadyI suspect that everyone knows the phrase “cleanliness is next to Godliness.” I’m working on it. I have continued to clean out drawers, closets, and now file cabinets. I am sure that when I get it all cleaned out I can start again where I began. It has made me wonder am I cleaning out the right places?

 

Maybe it is me I should be cleaning out. I know that I don’t spend enough time in quiet and contemplation. I waste time doing trivial things to keep from looking to deep inside. There are things inside I don’t want to think about.

After my latest episode with IBSD I have pondered on how quickly I move from a physical problem to anxiety…the mental problem. Obviously I have not spent enough time cleaning out the mental closets. Am I cleaning the house to avoid cleaning myself? It is certainly something to think about.

spring

 

Cleaning out is good. It makes me feel I have accomplished something. Now I just need to do the same thing about those inner closets.