Keeping balanced

original_good-day-and-bad-day-mugsToday was such a mixed day. I began stressed waiting for some medical results. I think I overdid my meds because of that. I got called about 11:00 that all is well and the anxiety subsided to leave me feeling groggy. It’s funny how there are times when the adrenaline goes it goes all at once. Still I felt good. I went to meet some friends for lunch and on the way out of the building down steep stairs fell the last two and twisted my foot/ankle? It hurt but I could walk on it so went on to enjoy lunch.

After lunch walking back it really hurt so headed home for ice and ibuprofen. Those helped and now it is just a minor ache. I learned a good lesson about managing my meds as I’m sure that’s why I lost my balance.

best daysLife is about balance. Can I balance my checkbook? Can I balance work and home? Can I balance exercise and food? We are always working to keep life on track. We have to weigh the things we do and try to keep an honest balance. Taking care of others and not ourselves makes life out of balance. In contrast we can say the same thing about paying attention only to ourselves and shutting others out is not a balanced life.

Learning to balance our moods and concerns can be even more difficult. Sometimes there is just no way to keep it all together. We need to strive for that balanced life. Sometimes we will lose balance and things will fall over but that is life. Just keep trying.

balance cartoon

“O that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances!

In the hurts we absorb, forgive us

fallToday, a friend at church, was showing us the bruises and stitches gotten when she she fell in the grocery store. She fell while buying a bottle of wine. The bottle broke and she was cut by the glass. She talked about going to the immediate med place and smelling like a drunk. I can imagine her saying “but I wasn’t drinking!”

She will have a small scar in one place and that started me thinking about the scars that we all carry. I have one from the time I put my finger in an electrical socket as a child. I have one from falling on a sharp piece of bamboo in the back yard.

woundsWe all have scars. Some are physical and some are emotional. I think the emotional scars are harder to heal. The trouble is we keep pulling them out to look and remember the pain. It’s funny how we do that and hardly notice the physical scars.

It is so easy to remember the times that we were hurt and to dwell on them. We can feel the emotions all over again…whether it is anger or pain or sadness. We almost treasure them and tuck them away so that we can get upset all over again.

We have to open those closets inside where we shove those scars and pull them out and throw them away. The sooner we do that the sooner we will be able to move past them. Holding on to them hurts us. Probably the people who caused them remember nothing and there we are still hurting.

I am trying to expose those scars and push them away from me so that I don’t have to feel the pain. In the Lord’s Prayer it says (new version) “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” A version from the New Zealand Prayer book says “in the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.” It makes me think that one meaning we can get from that is forgive us for holding on to those hurts.

hang on1

Turn them loose and move on.

Medical Maze

monsterAccessing medicine in the USA has become a nightmare. The questions arises “who is in charge?” There are regulations set out by the government. The insurance companies decide what is allowed. Some people have no access because of cost. Instead of getting better the whole system has turned into a monster.

Doctors offices are busy and usually understaffed. Trying to get a question answered is practically impossible. Individuals are lucky if they see the same physician each visit. I have recently gotten in the car and driven to an office to get a response. This is not unusual. People who have little medical knowledge are lost in a maze that has no way out. There is little communication between doctors and patients can be prescribed medications that can’t be taken with other meds they are on. If they are lucky it is caught by the pharmacy.

Doctors are so specialized that they can’t see the whole patient even if they wanted to. Many of them are having to work under a hospital system with requirements that have nothing to do with patient care. The doctor may not be able to order a test the patient needs due to constraints of cost and insurance strictures.

Man-In-MazeToday we have the most sophisticated medical information and treatment that the world has ever seen but something has to be done about the systems that control patient care. The complexity is mind boggling and impossible to understand.

We have been brought to this place where so many illnesses can be cured but frustrated by the systems that have a stranglehold on care.

Finding Home

home2For the last 40 odd years I have been connected to one or the other church home. First it was the Episcopal church I attended with my husband. The people there are wonderful and at that time there was a great minister. Later, after I was working for the Lutherans there was a minister at my husband’s church whose moral core I couldn’t live with so at my husband’s urging I disconnected myself from there.

Then 20 years ago (while still a member of the first church) I was hired by the Lutheran Church as the Parish Nurse. That was the perfect job for me as it married my vocation with my passion. The 20 years I was there I felt at home and completely fulfilled. Since leaving there I have been at a loss. I don’t feel the same at the first church and don’t feel connected to the second since their removal of my position was not done well. I think the powers that be in that church did not get the difference between a ministry and a job. I am sorry and feel that it was their loss.

The bottom line of all of this is that I don’t feel at home in either place. I know that I need to let all of the disappointment with both places go and seek out a place where I do feel at home. It matters greatly to me. For some reason I am reluctant to move forward with this and so don’t often go at all. This is not a solution but I seem to have little motivation to do anything.

home-G-Gawne-KelnarMaybe there are times when we just need to sit back and just BE. I may be in one of those eddies where you just spin around and around. I feel connected to God but not to church. I do struggle with this when special seasons of the church hit me in the face. Holy Week is one of them.

It is important to move forward in whatever way will work for me. A period of absence and reflection is not wrong. I just need it not to go on for too long.

This verse seems appropriate.:

On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Psalm 62:7 NRSV

Patterns and change

Patterns_of_changeI think this is the first time in 43 years that I missed Palm Sunday. We we away attending my grandson’s wedding on Saturday and also a baby shower for my granddaughter on Sunday morning before returning home. It did feel strange. Usually I am immersed in the progress from Lent through Easter. Now we are in Holy Week and I feel lost. I know that I can attend Maunday Thursday services and Good Friday but it seems different.

It is interesting how we can develop patterns that comfort us. Lately my routine has been completely out of sync and as a result so am I. I am looking forward to getting back to routine. I know that some people hate routine and I was not as fond of it when I was younger but over the years I have learned more and more about enjoying things staying somewhat the same. I know, boring. Maybe not.

I need at least some normal to keep me centered. Recently between my family and my friends nothing has seemed the same. It is one of those times in life when we experience lots of change and have to find a new normal. Time has taught me that eventually these changes will slide themselves into a new routine and maybe it will last a while before it happens again but there are no guarantees.

change2

We are guaranteed that life never stays the same. There will always be change and we have to learn to cope. I frequently use this prayer from Compline in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer:

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours
of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and
chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Expectations

SONY DSCToday I am writing random thoughts. I finally finished the baby blanket that obsessed me but I am not happy with the result. Aggravating.

 

We all have things that we do like that. Something that we tackle with lots of enthusiasm and great expectations and then they don’t turn out. I am disappointed but it is time to let it go and time to find a new idea to work on.

It is so easy to get down after working so hard on something. Someone else might say it is fine but it doesn’t suit me. That’s another problem. My expectations of myself. There is no reason why it has to be perfect. It was done with love.

This is how we get into trouble. It’s not only our expectations of ourselves but sometimes the pressure from others. the point is so do the best that we can.

no ideaWe don’t need to get caught in the cycle of too much expectation of ourselves and then disappointment. We must not get caught by the unreasonable expectations of others.

Putting our all into something is enough.

Obsessive thinking

notobsessiveTonight I am just plain tired. I woke up at 5:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep. You know how it is. You wake and think of something that you need to check on but you don’t want to get up and do it. You keep hoping that you will fall asleep but that thought just keeps nagging at your brain. It was a question that could be answered by looking at my calendar on the computer. I knew if I got up and did that it would wake the dogs who would be delighted to have someone up, bark, wag tails, want to go out and wake up the neighborhood. Not a good idea. So I fought the urge and finally dozed off about the time I needed to get up.

How often we do this kind of thing. Once the mind starts working on something it is really hard to let go. It can drive us crazy until we give in. Usually it’s nothing that is really important but just nagging.

Our brains are funny things. They can cause us to obsess about something. We can wring out our brains until we pull ourselves into a state. That is what happens with depression and anxiety. We just can’t let go of the idea. When we are like this we have to find something to distract us from that obsessive cycle. For me it’s usually TV or listening to a book. The minute I stop I can go right back to ruminating again. Just like a cow chewing a cud. I struggle with breaking that habit but am better than I used to be.

I+am+in+charge+of+how+I+feelIf you are suffering from obsessive thinking try and find the thing that will break the cycle. Keep trying until you find something. Don’t give up.