“The perfect storm”

the perfect stormI feel as if I am in a time warp where “normal” has been taken away. Monday we experienced what I call “the perfect storm”. One of those days where everything you touch turns to #%&*. I discovered that the RV we planned to take to Mayo had a problem somewhere between the generator and the things that work from it. Things just didn’t work. So we scrapped that idea and went to plan B. In the meantime my husband and grandson worked to remove some leftovers from the rental house we are selling. While taking things to the dump the trailer they were using had a flat time (at the dump) and the tire had to be taken to fix.

I was working on a Christmas thank you letter and the printer decided to disappear. I am good with technology but the printer had just made up its mind not to work.

Tuesday I drove my husband to Mayo, taking the dogs with me, dropped him off and drove home. A six hour trip. Wednesday I helped out at the church office where the folding machine quit and I spent an hour cleaning it. Then the staple machine glitched and I spent time fixing that. At this point I realized that I was the link and I had better not touch anything else.

Just a normal week.

It is odd how when things start to fall apart they seem to do it in multiples. Some people say things happen in threes but that was more than three. Nothing was irreparable but everything aggravating. My son has to work on Christmas so that will not be a “normal” day but it will all work out. Life is never boring.

laughing

In life, without a sense of humor, we would be hauled away in a strait jacket. Being able to laugh at how ridiculous it all is saves us from a strait jacket.

Life will continue to challenge us and the only important thing is how we respond to it. We have no control over what happens but we do control our reaction. I will just keep moving ahead and be grateful for the life we have.

You can’t always fix it

Have you known people whose whole life is a drama? Their life is really no different from any of ours but they tend to enjoy the hullabaloo. This morning the minister at my church talked about that. He pointed out that for them it is a way to make life more interesting. However, continuous drama gets old fast. The constant anxiety and stress related to it is not good for the drama queen/king. It keeps life in a continual adrenaline rush. Not good for us physically or mentally.

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This lifestyle keeps the focus on the drama-maker. It is part of their way to remain the center of attention. It also wears out the people around them and can result in people not responding as in “the boy who cried wolf.” Their need for acknowledgement is sapping their life force.

I don’t know if this lifestyle comes from a childhood of being ignored. I am not an expert. But it does seem that they desperately need reinforcement of their goodness and value. When relating to people like this we can mirror their goodness back to them but we can’t be pulled into the drama. This can be a negative stressor for us.

Some of the people I love are like this and I have struggled with learning how to deal with it. I have found that giving them as much love and support as possible without diving totally into the drama works for me. I have to make a conscious decision to maintain some distance and calm or else I will be anxious and stressed too.

cannotbefixed

There are some things in this world that no matter how much we want to fix them we can’t do it. It is important absorb this and live accordingly.

In the darkness — hope

high-street-lamp-illuminates-the-falling-snow-dark-winter-night_hen-iw9zg_thumbnail-full01The last few weeks have been busy and stressful. I would imagine that this is true for many people as they get ready for the holidays. This time of year can weigh us down. In addition, it has rained here for the last week. When I wake in the morning it is dark and dreary. I have to turn on lights to function. I am ready for some sun. The sun did come out this afternoon and it will dry up some of the giant puddles where the ground has just had enough.

Most of the time I like rain. I love the sound of it and the smell on the grass but when it is constant it is enough! The winter has enough darkness. We don’t need darkness caused by clouds and rain but we have to believe there is better to come.

wait hope

Not having light can be depressing but the light is coming. If you are Christian then it is coming with the birth of Christ. If you are not then the winter solstice is on its way and days will be lengthening. The light will return, the season will change and life will go on. Hope can abound.

Center down

Unexpected (1)Today has been an interesting day. The plans for our trip are changing daily. I may stay home part of the time. Family may stay here. We will just take one day at a time.

Someone that I read today said that learning to turn ourselves off in prayer or meditation is an ego-ectomy. To do either we have to let go of ourselves and place ourselves in the unknown or the hands of god. We let our own thoughts and the clutter of our minds drift away. I used to be able to do that. I can remember being able to let go to the point that I felt “out of body.” I was lifted up off the floor. I long to have that experience again. I am trying to get back there but it does take time and practice.  When you start out thoughts crowd in and want to take over. With time, the ability to “center down” (Quaker expression) becomes easier.

centuring-your-mind-IG

It is so easy to go off the deep end about something that is really not important. The fact that I can’t walk through my office is insignificant at this moment. My bed will get made and the laundry will get done. Eventually. There will not be anyone coming in to inspect. One day at a time is all we have to handle. Remember that!

 

See what happens

This has been a difficult week and it’s not over. My husband is working on a house we need to sell as our age makes it difficult to care for it ourselves. We have been doing repairs on this rental house for years and it is time to stop. Unfortunately, we didn’t plan well and now we are trying to get work done so it can be sold. Nothing like adding this on in the midst of going to the Mayo Clinic, getting ready for Christmas and life in general. Our friend who loaned us the RV has never used it and we don’t know how to work the many devices that we have to use to work things. She has no idea either. I guess we will take it to an RV place tomorrow and hope they can help. I feel as is everything is frustrating. I find myself flying off the handle at every little thing.

see what happens

I know that we can manage to work everything out but right now it seems too hard. I must find time to stop and take a deep breath…calm down and just let things come as they will. I will sign off for tonight and go meditate.

 

Waiting for what?

waiting isnt punishmentThe other night I had the strangest dream. I was in a situation where all I did was wait. I won’t explain the whole dream but it was obvious waiting was the point. I was with others and waited for hours. I got very upset and angry because the wait was due to poor management.

I don’t like confusion, poor planning, and waiting.

Years ago I learned the response to poor planning: “poor planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on mine.” I actually used it once and then felt so bad that I have never said it again.

I think the dream was trying to remind me that there are times when we have to wait and we need to do it patiently. We also have to remember what we are waiting for, This season before Christmas is Advent. The dictionary says that Advent is: the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. If you are Christian then the wait is for the Christ child.

I am not sure in this day and age how seriously we consider this. There is so much else….shopping, parties, baking, decorating and sometimes traveling. We are so busy that there is not time. I doubt that those who are celebrating other holidays do any better at paying attention to the meaning of the holiday. I hope some do.

what does it mean

During this time before Christmas I plan to  concentrate on the meaning of it all and try to move away from concentration on gifts and gatherings. I hope that my times of meditation and contemplation will help me to focus on what I am waiting for.

What has been done has been done!

one day at a time
Jane Seabrook

Today I have been feeling stressed. I started obsessing about dec 18th through 21st when we have to go back to Mayo clinic for therapy for my husband. We have no one to keep the dogs and so if all works out will take my friend’s 27 ft, camper. It is a real luxury but easy to drive since it is not one of those ones that looks like a bus. It looks more like a truck and has all the bells and whistles that we need. She bought it recently and has not used it so we do have to check everything out and be sure it all works.

I can’t say that I am looking forward to those days with the dogs. I don’t know how two bassets will respond to the trip. However, bassets are not know for their energy but are know for their incessant talking. (read that as barking). I will also have no internet to blog unless I can find a hot spot.

carry onI should take this as “time out of time” and relax into it but I haven’t wrapped my head around it yet. Maybe I will after we get the camper all set up. I can spend time reading and walking the dogs. If it is not cold I would love to walk them on the beach.

Today I began something new and it really helped me to back down off my anxiety. I watched “the great bell chant” on you tube and another video that taught how to use the bell. Since I have a bell from Tibetan monks I used that and found that the sound is very calming for me. Another tool in my tool chest. Something I will continue to work with.

I have been so good about my meditation, prayer and writing time and that has helped also. The place I have failed utterly is cleaning my office and my house in general. I don’t do well with cluttered space and usually my office is my “sacred space.” Right now it is filled with Christmas presents that need wrapping. Oh well. My mother used to say that I don’t have to worry that the elves will come and clean it for me and that after I rest or go out it will still be there for me to take care of. A very wise woman, my mother. She lived to be 95 and was wise ’til death. I hope I am that blessed.

Advent continues to slide toward Christmas. I have decided to live by the prayer I use each night before I sleep. Hope you enjoy this prayer as much as I do.

From “Night Prayer” in the New Zealand Prayer Book

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Lord,
it is night.

The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.

In your name we pray.
Amen.