I love the church season of Advent. Not because of all the hoopla leading up to Christmas. Advent doesn’t feel red and green like Christmas. For me it feels blue. A beautiful, peaceful, serene blue. I imagine pictures with stars and the stable with the infant Jesus. I see calm and deep peace. I love listening to Christmas music and singing along. I suppose because the music plays at this time instead of the weeks of Christmas leading to Epiphany.
Advent is a time for expecting. The world is pregnant with hope. People seem kinder, more giving, more open. It is sad that we can’t remain this way all year long. We need to learn from this period of expectation that things can be better. We can be more caring of others. We can live together in peace. Let’s make it so.
This was a productive day. I spent it removing clutter. I don’t do well with lots of clutter in my house but I let it get out of hand and today it was time for it to go! I read something a long time ago about a way to get stuff back in the right place. what I used to do was get something from one room and take it to where it belonged. This took me on a journey from room to room. Not a very efficient way to work.
The suggestion was to take a large container like a basket and in one room pick up everything that doesn’t belong. You then move from room to room putting things away and picking up the things that need to go. It prevents you wasting time. It really works.
I didn’t get everything but I made a really good start. More to tackle tomorrow. My house will be back to ??normal??
When the clutter is decreased it helps my mind also de-clutter and feel more calm.
Tuesday is a day that I always look forward to. On Tuesdays I meet with friends for knitting and conversation. We are a group who before starting this group did not know each other. We are all different. We are from different countries, different social groups. This makes the group inspiring and conversation is stimulating.
To add to it we are also being creative. One of the members is an amazing artist and does many pencil drawings for children to color. Each of us is creating something usually in yarn but not always. Most of the things we create are for others. We also offer free help teaching to knitting for anyone who want to learn. This group is such a joy.
I have been knitting since I was a child. It reminds me of the my wonderful mother and the many things she taught me. The motion of my hands and the creating of something both beautiful (I hope) and useful have a calming effect. Knitting can allow the brain to rest (if not too complicated) and the mind to let go of stresses. Seeing the finished product brings joy. Now that I have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren it is fun to do things for them and for friends.
I have gotten better about some things as I have aged. On Friday I will turn 79 years young. The year before eighty. It seems like a milestone. It has made me think about the things I really can do something about and came up with this list.
My choices and actions
My attitudes and priorities
The people that I chose to be with
How I use my resources both physical things, my energy and my emotions
These are the things that I have some control over. Anything else is not something I need to worry about, stew over or waste time on.
Now the only things I need to do is to stick to this list.
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.
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.
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.
We 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.
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.
As 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.
I feel so much anguish for the Bahamas. The amount of devastation on those islands can be unbelievable. I weep for them.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.