Scary things

Today I am again using the Dragon software so forgive any grammar errors.

This has been a quiet day. I did have to attend the funeral of the young man with children who died. The funeral was a real tribute to him. There must’ve been at least 300 people there. Sad though it was his funeral was a celebration of his life.

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There is always something so much sadder about the death of a young person. We feel as if there are things that are unfinished. Someone told me many years ago that in truth the death of a young person is not a life unfinished. That each of us has our own lifespan. It is a lifespan set for us alone. For some reason that gave me comfort.

Death is something that we all come to. It is something that we all have to face. Many people fear death. For me death itself is not frightening. It is the dying that we don’t look forward to.

There are so many things in life that can frighten us. For those of us who suffer with anxiety it seems that we can be afraid of almost anything. Although I think each of us has certain things that trigger our anxiety. I know that some things that might disturb me might not be bothersome at all to someone else. I think each of us has to discover what are the things that set us off.

consistency
Over time with help we can learn management of our own triggers. The thing is we have to practice and keep up by exercising those tools frequently. If we think we can just use them when we are in a panic it won’t work. I think that is the hardest part. Reminding ourselves daily to meditate or pray or whatever it is that works for us to use it. Consistency is the answer.

No matter what we have to keep on going, keep on working, keep on hoping, and keep on living.

Still waiting

golden-retriever-sits-outside-stWe still have no idea what the hurricane will do. It is moving so slowly so we just have to continue to wait and see. We do have somewhere to go if we have to leave but it is not easy, at our age, to board up the house. We have metal shutters but they have to be carried around to the front and screwed in. we will manage but hope we don’t have to.

Again I feel such anguish for those in the Bahamas. It sounds as if the islands will just be swept over with water. I hope that anyone still there survives.

Even though we are waiting life itself goes on as usual. It’s funny that I am not triggered by this situation. It is physical problems that trigger me. Each of us has different things that set us off. It is helpful to know what it is.

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I hope that the people redoing the bathroom will be able to work some this week but who knows. Again it will be a waiting game. I guess waiting will be my middle name for the near future. I will be testing my patience. Not something I am especially good at.

Waiting

waiting-isnt-punishment-its-preparationAs I said yesterday, waiting to find out what a hurricane will do is tedious terror. My sincere hope is that it goes out to sea and spares anyone the trauma of a major storm. All we can do is wait. Not something fun in the best of circumstances. So we do the best we can by being ready to leave or just hunker down for the duration. The price we pay for living in all the beauty around us.

Prayer, meditation and calm are in order for the next few days. If we get to stay and just wait out any rain and wind it can be absolutely beautiful. Mother Nature in full charge can be amazing to watch. I love to sit on the porch, when possible, and just experience the beauty of it all.

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I feel so much anguish for the Bahamas. The amount of devastation on those islands can be unbelievable. I weep for them.

Peace

Addendum: For some reason this was difficult to write. I couldn’t seem to get down exactly how I was thinking. I hope it makes sense.

Seeking peace. I think in a way we are all reaching for that. From my limited experience that’s what leads people to suicide. For them there seems to be no other way to find peace.

Each of us looks for peace in our own way. It may be religion, it could be alcohol, it could be drugs. Some find it in nature, other people, family. There are so many places to look. I remember a story from many years ago in a mystery book about Mrs. Pollifax. (by Dorothy Gillman) This is a paraphrase of the story:

God is having a conversation with Gabriel. He is talking about giving mankind a soul. They discuss where it could be put…the highest mountain, the deepest part of the sea, but God says mankind will look in those places. Then God says “I know, I will put it inside him. He will never look there.”

seeking peace

That is where peace is to be found. Inside us. The trouble is it will be difficult to find. We are affected by the things around us. Life is challenging. I think that there are few of us who can “feel” peace all the time. Maybe the mystics…maybe those like Mother Theresa or Gandhi. I’m sure they would say that they don’t have it all the time either.

So what in the world am I talking about? I guess I am just looking at the times I do feel peace and savoring them. They don’t seem to be any more permanent than anything else.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”     Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mastering Silence

There is so much noise in our daily lives that silence is almost unknown. When I worked for the church I would occasionally ask people to sit in silence for one minute. I actually timed it and after 30 seconds the fidgeting would begin.

silence power

There is not only no silence on the outside but there is little silence on the inside. Most of us have not learned how to shut off the voice in our heads. Since we have been so little exposed to quieting that voice it requires time and effort to learn how to do it. We decide that we want to try meditation and we can’t seem to settle and so we quit. It really is difficult to meditate in the beginning on your own. It is so much easier if there is a voice directing you. There are many Amazon Alexa apps that will take you through a meditation but even those aren’t always enough.

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The best meditation I ever did was in a group with someone walking you quietly through the process. A really good leader can help you explore more depths that almost any other way. I have not found many meditation experiences except in yoga classes and most of them don’t meditate long enough for you to get into the place where you can let everything go.

I am hoping to start a group but I don’t know if I will have any takers. It remains to be seen.

The Knit Wits

My friend and I have started an knit/crochet group meeting at a local coffee shop/restaurant. We have been meeting for quite a while but the group has suddenly begun to grow. It seems that we are gaining women who enjoy creating something beautiful while spending time with others. No phones, no media, just us. Since this meets at about 11:00 am we don’t have a lot of young women who can come but there are some young moms who stay at home with children who may want to join. I hope this happens. It will be a wonderful opportunity to share our old ideas and learn new ones.

The atmosphere of the place engenders pleasure and calm. It is like being in one’s home without having to clean and cook. This is an oasis on the islands where we live. There are sofas and lounge chairs where you can just chill. I love this place. The Friendship Coffee Company

Balance

This has been the calmest week (so far) that I have had in a long time. The peace is wonderful. I know that it won’t last but this time has refreshed me. I didn’t plan for calm but it just happened. Maybe because the week was so ordinary.

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I don’t know if chaos just comes naturally or I help it to appear. It is so easy to take on more than I can handle and end up depleted at the end of the week. I did travel in May and had company (family) in July so maybe this is the kick back time from that.

I know that this won’t continue since we will have our bathroom torn up in the near future. We don’t have a start date yet but I think it will be soon. Just having to move everything out of that bathroom and put it elsewhere will be a challenge. Maybe it will help me to clean out more cabinets and not put so much stuff back. That is the positive side.

change-aversion-conflicted-user-leadMost of us don’t like change. In this case change will be good but the process will be excruciating. We have another bath but it away from our closets. I have realized that I will have to sleep elsewhere unless I want to rise at O’dark thirty every day. No and no!

 

As a nurse I learned that there is stress related to good things. Think about the stress of a wedding or the birth of a baby. This is called “eustress” and can be energizing but it can be anxiety producing as well. It depends on how we use it. good changeI will have to work to maintain a regular schedule and life pattern so that I don’t slip off into anxiety. I have been better with the things I need to do lately so I plan to keep on. Wish me luck!

Music, music, music

Music is very important to me. I took piano lessons for years and studied with a concert pianist. It was there I discovered that I didn’t want to be a concert pianist. I just wanted to play for enjoyment. I sang in choirs and for 10 years was a choir director. I think that music moves me more than anything else. I can sit in church or in the car or wherever and find tears rolling down my cheeks. Once, spending three weeks in the hospital, only the Brandenburg Concerto would comfort me. This has a wonderful explanation at the beginning.

I cannot stay still when the rhythms of music move me. I have to tap my toes or move my hands. I MUST do something! I don’t understand people who sit perfectly still. I know that their enjoyment may be equal to mine but they are STILL!

My father was the same way. He loved Dixieland Jazz and took me with to bars as a child to listen to the greats. No one said anything. I think they knew he wasn’t plying me with liquor but with music.

There is so much wonderful music in the world. I know I will not live long enough to absorb it all. I want to develop a playlist for when I am fading out of this world. I want to hear the music I love and take it with me.

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!