“AHA” a new tool for me

I didn’t write yesterday as I came home exhausted from taking a class on Community Conferencing. This is a program that works with the school, courts, police, to deflect teens with offences to a resolution process instead of getting them into the system. The trainers told us that where they are teens who have been through this process are 60% less likely to re-offend. I will see how this works for me.

One of the people who was also training told us about a way she looks at people’s differences and how they live. She broke it down into this.

Tolerance: She is tolerant of how others live and their opinions.

Acceptance: She will accept that the way may not be her way.

Approval: This is where she steps back and feels she doesn’t have to approve.

The-aha-moment

 

This makes so much sense to me. I may not agree with you but I can be tolerant about your life and your opinions and accept that you want to live that way but I don’t have to approve of it.

This is a way to break it down into pieces and be a tolerant and accepting person without agreeing with what it is. There are people who I love but cannot approve of their lifestyle. For me, it is usually when I see it as hurtful to them or others.

This may not work or help some people but for me It was sort of an “aha” moment. Another tool to put in my toolbox and help me understand and move on.

With thanks to Yolandra for this insight!

Explore options

My husband has taught me over the years some comments that he lives by. One of my favorites is “there is always a solution…it may not be the one you envisioned or wanted but there is one.”

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I have so often found this to be true. Sometimes the idea that we have can’t be done the ordinary way. We don’t need to give up but be willing to search until we come up with something else that will work. This kind of thinking has lead me to be creative in my solutions and come up with ideas that I might not have found before. It helps me to not give up.

Over the years I have seen my husband (a structural engineer) receive awards for buildings that he was told “it can’t be done that way.” He does it. It works and stands the test of time.

I know that over the years he has learned things from me too. I am a people person and am astute at judging motives and at nudging out the truth. People usually open up to me. I am absolutely no good at math and engineering. I have always been the literature/psychology person.

When I was young I wanted to be a nurse but thought I couldn’t get through the science part to get to the people part. My first college degree was History/Music. Later in life I made up my mind to defy my fears and sturdy nursing. I found out I could do the science since I love learning about human anatomy, diseases and how to help those with problems related to them.

My people skills led to living the last 20 years of my career as a parish nurse. This brought all of my experience, skills and faith and wrapped them up in one package. It was an amazing experience.

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I always tell young people to not worry if they don’t know their passion or their path right away. Just leap out and do something. You have time to do many things and pursue many ideas in your life. Never give up exploring. Something you thought early on may change with time and experience. It is never too late to make changes if you have the desire and the drive to do it. As my husband’s quote says there always is a solution. It may not be the first one you find. Jut keep on and try different things until it works!

Time for checking in

roundtoitTomorrow is Ash Wednesday for us Christians. I actually love Lent. For me, Lent is a time for reflection…a time to assess where I am. I usually plan to take on something as well as give up something. I find it more difficult to take on something. I usually begin reading a book that I should have read already. I have books on my shelf that I meant to read but never got around to it. I have pulled two books from my shelf and would like to get through both of them. We’ll see.

Taking time out to reflect can be scary. It is possible to find gaps in our lives and thinking. We may uncover the flaws. This can be upsetting. Nevertheless this is work I need to do even if it finds the things I need to change.

However, it can also be a time of affirmation. It is important to also look at the good things and see where I am gaining in knowledge and strength. It will show me where my accumulated wisdom has helped me to make changes in myself and to help others.

reflection and growth

This all sounds very grand. But 40 days is a big block of time and I want to use it well. I am glad that my particular faith sets this time aside. If not I would probably skip it altogether.

Thank you

Yesterday I wrote a post that was thought provoking. I knew it wouldn’t be some people’s cup of tea. That, in fact, was the case. Sometimes when we write we don’t think about how others interpret our words. The thing that I love about word press is that the resulting comments were so kind and clearly looked for my meaning. That is so appreciated.

Thank you card

This forum has brought nothing but kindly worded comments even if there were differences about what was posted. This is a great blessing. I know that putting my thoughts to paper do not always speak clearly what I mean. This does happen. It is so nice to know that we can communicate with kindness AND honesty. There are so many places that sharing thoughts does not get that kind of response.

I want to say how happy I am to communicate in a place that allows us to share, agree, disagree, and still keep the conversation going. This also gives us the chance to maybe give a clearer meaning to our words.

Thank you Word Press community.

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.

Keep writing!

As I read the blogs in my reader and explore the writings of those who read my blog I am struck by the wideness of differences in our lives. Yet, we are alike. Something written has caused us to connect in some way.

The view of lives in far away places and close to home expands my understanding. I see the simple, everyday moments people experience and I feel a kinship with their thoughts. The writing is a window into other lives. We are more alike than we are different. Most of the joys and sorrows are the same. Most of us encounter love and hate. Most of us have seen grief in some way. Most of us long for a better, more loving world.

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Surely this glimpse into another life, another world, will draw us closer together. Understanding blocks hatred. The desire to reach out and draw closer will surely open the path to deeper relationships where hatred has no home. We can give love the chance to grow and encompass those around us.

Keep writing!

Homeless home

Ozzys-Tent_MHOn my route to town I pass a colony of homeless people who have set up a camp underneath an overpass. There are tents there and open areas to congregate. There are trees and a forest-like setting. Basically they have formed a community. They have been there for a good while and are law abiding. The police don’t bother them and have actually helped at times. A porta-potty company has put and potty there which they empty at their own expense. An Episcopal priest has formed a church for them and most attend.

This is a thriving community. Most of them don’t work except for odd jobs. They don’t pander on the streets or beg.  Some of the churches in the area offer meals. On the whole they do ok.

Sticking together
community

Often I have heard people ask why these homeless don’t seek more that the community has to offer? Why they want to stay where they are? For the first time today I had an aha moment. They have found a place where they are understood and feel welcome. They are a bonded community. They help each other and form friendship. They are accepted.

I finally got it. I understand. They have found their safe place. It may seem a poor choice to us but to them it is a home. No wonder they don’t want to leave.

Life in balance

Expectations. Something that can really send us  into a tail spin. It seems that there are always people expecting things of us. We can spend our whole lives trying to live up to someone’s expectations.

expectations-heyokyay

Too often those expectations are not appropriate. Sometimes they are actually too low because we are thought to be damaged because of mental health issues. That prejudice can make us feel “less than” and sets us up for problems with self esteem. Labels can be so damaging.

The other side is when expectations are too high. They may not be logical or reasonable. We are set up for failure and again threatened with low self esteem.

their way

Challenging expectations that are too high may require discussion regarding what is appropriate. Too often anyone can find themselves pushed by overwhelming expectations. It is part of the society we live in. Sometimes it’s hard to bring it up, as for some, jobs could be on the line. The most important part is to recognize when it is not your issue but someone else’s. Don’t let the situation affect your own sense of self worth.

Somehow we need to find a path down the middle. There may not be anything that can be done about other people who give us labels. Until things change just consider the source and move on. If it is just an education problem that can be solved. Continuing to work within your own abilities solves many issues.

life in the balance

Watch out for people who want you to fail or who want to put you down. These people are toxic and need to be avoided.

We also have to be careful in setting our own expectations. Setting them too high or too low can make us feel inadequate. We have to find a reasonable path.

 

Remember you count! Your life matters too! Seek the place where you can find success and self affirmation.

The Nine Phases of Adultery/oops Adulthood

black coffee

With thanks to Mitch Teemley        https://mitchteemley.com/2018/09/24/the-phases-of-adulthood/

A spoof on adulthood with apologies to William Shakespeare

 

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man/woman in his/her time plays many parts,

His acts being nine ages.

At first the arrogant know it all of the 20’s. Bragging profusely and entitled to the best of everything. Inheritor of nothing, expecting everything.

And then the world wise 30’s always available by cell phone, avoiding marriage but just living together. Uncommitted.

The 40’s bring children, married or not. More money, more of everything, more than the Jones’s– family a show piece, acknowledged when able to break away from meetings. Mortgages, cars, big house, wishing time would allow more love and peace.

Come the 50’s exulting in success, self-adulating, Children off to Harvard enjoying money and status. On wife/ husband #2/3/4. Wishing for old love, should be happy but something missing.

The 60’s enter with shock, memory a little off, aches and pains when working out. Gym daily to get rid of paunch. Maybe face lift, hair dye. Still got it!

The 70’s are the new 60’s! Time isn’t passing…it can’t be. Grandfather/mother not possible! Child in 30”s living at home not working. Knee replacement coming up. Gave up gym membership. Maybe I’ll retire….next year.

The “I don’t give a damn 80’s” arrive and the whole government is lunatic! Read what? Facebook? That cell phone makes no sense. Text. Sure I can write….on paper. This is not a cane…it is a walking stick. Drs appoints get in the way of my naps. I’ve still got it!

I made it! 90! Living the life. Have several girlfriends/boyfriends here in the retirement village. Who cares about the rest of the world! It can go to#####.

The hearse pulls away and many tears fall from friends. Many relatives are already dead. Wish I could do it all again.

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Am I an elephant?

On the way home today I was listening to another of The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Something was said that set me to thinking. What kind of animal are you? Not what kind of animal would you like to be but what kind you are most like.

It does require some thought. Am I like a dog who loves more than life itself? I doubt it. Am I like a cat….independent and quiet? NO. So what animal am I like? There are many to choose from.

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I am social so I am like dogs with that. I can be anxious like a ground hog sticking its nose out to see if it is safe. I am curious…poking my nose into places where I shouldn’t like monkeys.

 

 

hammock-1

I can be lazy like a sloth. I am caring about my family like elephants. At times I can be unapproachable like swans. (If you have never been around swans…trust me…they are territorial)

There are always quizzes on Facebook to tell you what animal you are like but we each have traits in common with animals. The exercise of matching up your traits with different animals is an enlightening experience. It makes you explore yourselves and see some of the good and some of the bad.

elephant

 

What animals are you most like and what are the traits that you see in yourself?