Today my husband and I took a day off from church. I din’t think that either of us wanted to go to a yearly meeting. Instead I worked on my computer restoring programs while carbonite chugged away and re-installing my data.
Just waiting is something I don’t do well. I tried playing the piano to take up some time but the little finger on my right hand is in pain with arthritis (UGH – again with the aging!) I plan to get it taken care of but it hasn’t floated to the top of the list.
It is so easy to get impatient. We want to fix ourselves and we want to fix others. We want the world to be a better place. If only we could do that. As a nurse I learned the hard lesson that some things can’t be fixed. I am still impatient and still longing to try.
Life doesn’t wait on us while we sit around waiting. Each day holds moments for us to leap in and participate. Each day offers opportunities to do something. Sometimes the something may be doing nothing. We often forget that doing nothing is doing something. It is choosing to step away and just be. We move so fast in our world today that just sitting with hands folded is almost considered a sin. The time is past when people sat on the front porch in a rocking chair and just SAT.
So today, even though I am impatient for my computer to finish, I took some time to fold my hands and sit. I pushed away thoughts of getting up to clean the house or some other work. I just sat. Even though it wasn’t for long it was a time of doing something. Sitting.
Today started out ok. Just the usual, coffee, breakfast etc. My plan was to work on a computer booklet in Publisher for a dinner my husband is involved in. Lately my computer (I use a desktop as I am old and blind..HA) has been behaving strangely. I hate to use my laptop as I don’t like typing on a small keyboard. I know, I know, I could connect the keyboard to the laptop but then I would have to stick on large glasses to see the screen. Aging is aggravating! I had cataracts removed but one of them needs redoing and until then my vision is UGH!
Anyway, I kept struggling along with the twitches of the desktop but today in the middle of finishing the booklet I got the BLACK SCREEN!! Fortunately I was able to get it rebooted long enough to save the document on the web. At that point I went to talk to my husband and say some very ugly words. Being the great guy he is he said “put on your clothes were going to get you a new computer! He has long held the belief that in order to do any work you need the the right tools.
So instead of my original plan we bought a new computer (didn’t really want to spend the money but…) and he took me to lunch. Now I am waiting for Carbonite restore everything. I got Word Press up so that I didn’t have to use the lap top.
We never know how our day will be. We just have to get up and make the bed, clean ourselves up and move forward. The day will unroll one moment at the time. God’s time.
Silence is a useful tool but it can be difficult. Silence is useful if you want someone else to speak. Most people can’t sit in silence and if you are just quiet and wait they will speak. It is hard for us also. Too often we want to fill silence and will resort to anything to fill the space.
In church if you ask people to sit in silence the air will become tense in about 30 seconds. People will begin to shift in their seats. They want the silence to end.
I have occasionally sat in silence in a place that has a sense of holiness. After I have sat for a short while feeling fretful a sort of peace descends and I feel as if I could sit forever. I need to do more of that. Silence stills your soul.
Spending quiet time with yourself is not easy. It can be so revealing of things about ourselves we don’t want to know. And yet, it is just that silence and quieting of the mind that can make the most impact. In discovering ourselves the important thing to remember is that the past is past. What we do today…in this moment….is what really matters. Silence can bring us to the present moment.
I like to create “sacred space.” A place where I feel in the presence of God. It can be created with simple objects….things that are precious or meaningful. I like candles with scent. If I can manage to concentrate on those things I can feel calm. The trouble is I don’t do it enough.
We also spend most of our time in prayer talking TO God. We don’t spend much time listening for an answer. Maybe we think there won’t be one. Sometimes if I wait long enough thoughts come to my mind that come without bidding and with much wisdom. I prefer to think of this as God speaking.
God is always with us in the silence. We spend so much time talking to God that we forget to listen for him in the silence. Maybe the reason we don’t hear him speak more is that we don’t listen.
Dogs know how to relax. It is evident in the two bassets that I have. Never lie down to sleep unless there is something soft to put your head on (not to mention your whole body.) Nothing deters them from the comfort they deserve. Their relaxation is almost instant and complete.
If only we could learn to relax so easily. I know (at least I think) that their minds are not cluttered with all the garbage that we have floating around in ours. So maybe it’s easy for them. All the things that I try to unclutter my mind help but I don’t use them enough or even properly. Meditation helps at the moment but I can easily start right back with whatever was the worry at the time. I can distract myself with TV programs and that helps until I turn it off. I need to practice more and work at it to attain the kind of relaxation that they have. Maybe I can never get that good but it is necessary to try.
Pets are a wonderful thing. I even had a goldfish for years in college that I carried back and forth to home during breaks. I love cats but my husband is allergic so we haven’t had them. I do love dogs. It is wonderful to have someone greet me at the door with wagging tails and happy faces. (yes they do have happy faces) They do sense my moods and are more affectionate when my mood is down.
I will keep looking at my dogs relaxing and remember to continue my efforts to achieve calm and peace in spite of what is happening in my life.
Recently I read an article about the factors that helped people live longer. It was a study by a group of physicians who found that the two most important things were not what I expected. The top of the list was being around people. Out and about doing anything that involved meeting with others. The next thing on the list was having a support system.
Usually the list is topped by things like exercise, diet, etc. It makes me think of how many people are completely alone. For people with social anxiety being with people is very difficult if not impossible. I home that some of the current research into anxiety and depression and the brain will find answers that will help.
It also means that those of us who have some understanding of mental and emotional problems must do all that we can to create better communication with others and foster clearer understanding. For those of us who struggle with both emotional and medical issues connected to these problems more understanding will help us to be a part of society and feel acceptance.
We have to continue to educate and remove the veil that has so long covered mental illness and made it like AIDS and Leprosy.
We too can live among others, have a wonderful support system and have long and happy lives.
Some days are great. The weather is beautiful. It was today. Everything is going fine. It was. And then suddenly, for no reason, you are sad. I can’t explain it. Nothing happened. I am just sad.
Sometimes memories crop up and you remember people who are no longer here and sadness creeps in. That is one of the hardest things about aging. It is possible to lose people at any age but it becomes more frequent as we grow older. Every now and then the losses catch up with you and you can’t help shedding tears and thinking about them.
Two great friends are gone. One several years ago and one just two years this month. She had been my friend since we were in grade school and she wasn’t supposed to be gone before me. She knew me the longest than anyone left in my life and I miss her. I miss the connection. I miss getting to call and just laugh about the past.
This is a normal part of aging but not one that is fun. I am grateful for all those years with both of those friends and I can’t say that I’m not glad to be alive. As long as I am here and others who remember then they are not forgotten. They live on in my heart and in the hearts of others. Love matters. Love didn’t die with them. Love lives on and I don’t regret any of it.
Tonight I have been thinking about friendship. I think we all have many acquaintances but it is friends who change our lives. I feel blessed to have four amazing friends. They are with me through thick and thin. I hope that they feel they can count on me to do the same.
Life may not offer many opportunities to experience true friendship. Sometimes things intervene and don’t give us the chance to bond in “agape” love. In my life experiences I can see that part of having this kind of relationship depends on how much we are willing to give. If we are unwilling to share our true selves then deep friendship doesn’t happen. We have to learn to open ourselves knowing that we can be hurt in the process.
I share joy and sorrow with my friends. We hold each other up in the tough times an rejoice in the good ones. We have all had our share of pain and loss and that has bound us even more together.
I guess my hope is that I can continue to be the friend they need and have them remain mine.