Accept yourself

It has been nice to be here in Boston with my daughter.We have visited museams and seen some beautiful things. Art feeds my soul. I so wish it was something I could do. Sometimes I feel so lacking in creativity. I keep forgetting that I can’t do everything. It is so hard to focus on the things that I can do well. I used to put myself down. I do better now and have accepted myself more. I suppose that may come with age. I know myself better.

It is not easy to accept yourself with all your flaws. We have to remember that God accepts us no matter what. His love is freely given.This is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his theses. Luther believed that the grace of God is freely given.I agree.We are so blessed.

Accept yourself. God does.

Moving On

life-changes-and-insuranceA friend of mine told me today that she is moving to be near her daughter. She feels that since she is aging it would be best to be near her daughter. She is moving to an independent living place. We talked about this major change in her life.

As we age there are many changes that come to us. We don’t think about this until we are at least in our sixties. We begin to realize that there may come a time when we can’t stay where we are. In the past when families lived near each other this was not such a major change. Now it seems that our children grow up and move away and we not longer have family where we are. I don’t look forward to having to leave my home but know it is a possibility. We all hope that we will age gracefully and maintain our independence but it doesn’t always happen.

Most of our lives are spent acquiring. We acquire spouses, children, homes, furniture and lots of other stuff. As we age we begin to divest ourselves. The next home may have to be much smaller and things will have to go. Children have moved away and have different lives although they are faithful.

moving-on-quote-birds-300x286The thing about divesting yourself is it’s the little things that get you. My friend has saved cards sent to her that are special and she is deciding let them go or not? It’s these kinds of choices that break us. The mementos of life….they carry so much meaning and to part with them is painful.

Sometimes when I think about this it’s as if most of life we have been on the way up and suddenly we are going downhill way too quickly. It is a difficult time. Maybe losing health, sight, hearing, and friends is too much. We are lucky if we are able to keep active until God takes us home.

Are we Disposable?

As I thought about things that can’t be fixed I realized that there is another issue for us.

The trouble is that so much of what we have learned over the years is that many things can be fixed. If we have an infection medicine invented by science may fix it. Science has learned to fix many things.We see science as the fixer. If we have an accident in the car that is not a major crash the car can be fixed. As a people who want everything fixed and with as little distress on our part as possible we are impatient to get it fixed.

throw it awayIronically we are a society that fixes few things. If my cell phone breaks maybe I will turn it in to get recycled or maybe I will just throw it away. Most of our small electronic things will be trashed instead of fixed. There is hardly anyone who runs a fix-it shop today. We see things as disposable.

What a scary thought. Just how much of our world is disposable? We don’t cherish things as we used to. We have so much that each item is of little importance. Our solution is to just throw it away and get another. Where are we headed with this kind of thinking?

we-live-in-a-disposable-society-its-easier-to-throw-things-out-than-to-fix-the-403x403-nk29awAre we going to become disposable? Are we moving into the era of 1984 and Soylent Green. (If you haven’t seen or read these do so) As we grow older and are perceived as having nothing left to give will we just be ended and recycled as in Soylent Green?

There is already an issue of the elderly using a large amount of funds for medical problems. Will we be ended so that money can be saved? Already this has come up for discussion. (not ending the elderly but curtailing available medical help) I am concerned about where we are headed.

Are we disposable?

Don’t Lose the Wisdom

A friend called today about the effort of getting her very elderly and fragile husband out of the path of the storm. It started me thinking about the plight of those of us who are aging. So often society today is concentrated on the ideas of the young. Everyone wants to look younger. Many plastic surgeons live off of this. There is the idea that the old have nothing to offer. Let’s just shuffle them off to a facility where we can visit once in a while so we can live our lives.

wisdom-189When families lived together this was not the case. The elderly were respected for their wisdom. Those of us who have lived for a while do have insights that we never saw when we were young. Sometimes our vision is based on past experiences and is given to help someone not make the same mistakes. Someone once said that history is to remind us of what didn’t work.

It is a tragedy that so much wisdom is being lost. I remember spending time with my grandmother and learning so much about life and how to live it. Somehow we need to learn how to reverse this trend and appreciate the wisdom we can gain from those who have learned throughout their lives.

old ageMany of us are finding ways to help by volunteering where our skills are needed and appreciated. I hope this trend continues.

Don’t lose the wisdom gathered by our older generation.

And the News Is……

bad weatherNext week may be an interesting one for me. At the moment it looks like hurricane Irma will make landfall right across my home. If it does this will be two hurricanes in two years. One of my friends said that if we are hit again she is just going to put up a for sale sign in her front yard and pray that someone is not afraid to live there.

We have just finished with the last of the repairs from last year. We have insurance but it only pays for damage to the house and we are responsible for anything outside which sounds fine until you realize that we had to remove at least five downed trees for quite a lot of money that had to come out of our pockets. I’m not sure I can face it again. The thing is I know that I should not be complaining with the devastation in Houston. It will take that city and surroundings years to recover.

mother nautreThe devastation this hurricane will leave behind in places like Haiti that have no infrastructure will be horrible. They are being pounded with 185 mile an hour winds which is the highest winds only reported one other time in recorded history. There will be many deaths, loss of homes, food, medicine and much more. In the last ten years Haiti has been hit by two earthquakes and several hurricanes. Please pray for them and the others who have been and will be in the path of this storm.

I am anxious and not thrilled about putting up storm shutters which at my age (76)  and my husband’s 79, will not be an easy task and then removing everything from the yard and nailing down anything that can’t be moved. I keep reminding myself that these are the things we deal with in life. We choose to live here (but we may change our minds after this) and so we will deal with what nature brings. At least with a hurricane..unlike a tornado…we have warning and can get ourselves and our dogs out of harms way.

My hope is in the Lord who made heaven and earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There Remains Hope

hidingIt is only in the last few years that I have realized that anxiety (and related problems) runs in families. It may manifest itself differently in each person but those descended from us may have it. Since there are two people involved in conception it is not 100% that a family member will have it. In my family I now realize that there are several of us who suffer with some form of this. More than one of us has some anxiety, OCD, depression and/or inability to sleep. The only light is that they can see at the end of the tunnel me still moving along at 76. They can feel comfortable that it is possible to manage these problems and live a good life. In the early years of my life anxiety, depression etc were not understood or talked about. Where women were concerned it was brushed off. In the south it was often called the “vapors” and you could go to a hospital to return to a calm demeanor. Some women just kept to their rooms. I am sure that most of you have read or seen Pride and Prejudice where the mother is constantly in a state of anxiety.

As the years went on I learned that certain situations caused me extreme stress with some symptoms of anxiety such as sleeplessness, increased heart rate, etc. I had one panic attack in college and the school had a psychiatrist who gave me ?Valium short term. I felt there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t face some things without anxiety. I tried so hard to change but nothing helped. I felt guilty for being the way I was and never talked about it. It was a no no subject.

hopeThank God things have changed. The invention of anti-depressants and other meds that can help the symptoms make this no longer a guilty secret. I know that my problem is mild compared to many and that I am not crazy. This is the information that I feel the need to pass on to anyone suffering from these disorders ,,,,especially to those I love.

You can live a full life. You don’t have to hide or be ashamed. Doctors now realize that this a brain wiring problem and much research is being done on the brain to identify where the various problems are located and what can be done to help. This also doesn’t mean that you must be born with it. Extreme trauma such as PTSD can cause the wiring glitch. There is a recent book by a lifelong anxiety sufferer called On Edge – A journey Through Anxiety by Andrea Peterson. It can be a tough read but she has done major research with scientists who are studying the problems. It may or may not be something you want to read but I found it enlightening.

The most important thing to remember is that we are not some weird creation. “God didn’t make junk.” (from marriage encounter) We have issues just like everyone else. Ours were taboo for a long while but that has changed and will continue to as more research is done. Hang in there! I lived through “the dark ages” and have a wonderful husband and family. Life is good most of the time. You can do it!

Impatience Doesn’t Help

Life can sure change. I have been out of a ministry since January and I’m trying to learn how to live without doing something meaningful. The thing is it seems to work but only for a short while. I find myself playing computer games and watching TV. I know that there are lots of needs out there but the bad news is that I’m losing my enthusiasm for trying anything. With so much experience working  for churches and my jobs in nursing I have much to give. I just need to get out of this slump and get going.

When I started this journey I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy but I forgot how hard change can be. The problem is that the thing that has to change is me. I refuse to fade into another older person who does nothing every day.

house-party-1950-from-look-mag-debutante-who-went-to-work+copy

I am a 50’s girl. I was born in 1940 and grew up in that idyllic (??) world where everyone knew what they were supposed to do. It was fine if all I wanted was to marry and have children. The problem was that it wasn’t me. Fortunately I married someone who understood that and who encouraged me to jump into a meaningful life with both feet. In many ways I had it all. A wonderful family and the encouragement to follow my dream. Helping people is my passion. I have followed that passion my whole life. Now I need to choose to continue that in whatever way I can. I am sure that I will find it. I just wish that God would hit me over the head with it.

It is a hard struggle when you are young to find and pursue your passion. The world doesn’t always help with that. After all, we have to eat. I have had time to learn the skills I needed and the chance to use them for much of my life. I know what my passion is. Now I need to find a way to use it again.