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.
I 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
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,
It happened on Sunday. The pastor in his sermon asked us to answer a series of questions. I only heard the first question. I don’t know if it was the mood I was in or if my mind took a vacation but I was completely blank. The question was: “what is your greatest joy?”
It was terrible to be asked that question and to have absolutely no answer. We were told to just think about the first thing to pop into our minds but for me that was nothing. I have been thinking about it since. Do I not have a greatest joy? My life is really good. I have a wonderful husband and family, a beautiful home and I could go on. What is wrong with me? I don’t know if the words “greatest joy” drove all else from my mind or if I really don’t have an answer.
Many things bring me joy. Sometimes just the smallest things but I can’t classify them as the greatest joy. I guess my list is either endless or nonexistent. The question has totally overwhelmed me.
Today I went out and tackled some more vines in my azaleas. Good thing to do? right? NO. Since the temperature was around 98 and the humidity matched it heat stroke was a possibility. I did go out early but that was little help. Working for a while in a sunny area I realized that I need to move to shade. As soaked with sweat as I was I looked as if I had jumped in the creek in front of our house. Since I had no death wish I moved to the other side of the house where shade prevailed and here is where I dipped into dementia.
There was a camellia bush that was in my plans to prune since it was at least 10 feet tall and looking spindly. It was in the shade. This job would take one thing off my to-do list so I started in. It never occurred to me that cutting/pruning the bush was a monumental task and being obsessive there was no way I would quit until it was done.
After hauling the remains to the street to be picked up by the county I raced to a cold shower and remained in that blissful place until I cooled down. I felt better but the thing I hadn’t considered was the amount of time I had spent outdoors in the heat. Exhaustion was on its way. I almost slept through dinner…a pizza which my wonderful husband picked up…and am now barely awake.
Sometime in the recent past I wrote about choosing the right amount of work to do. How the right amount makes us feel great and too much makes us drained of our physical and mental resources. Well…I am there. Tomorrow is a designated rest day!
Remember, we do need to work to accomplish tasks that help us to feel successful but too much will make us weary and enervated. Choose wisely!
Today, a friend at church, was showing us the bruises and stitches gotten when she she fell in the grocery store. She fell while buying a bottle of wine. The bottle broke and she was cut by the glass. She talked about going to the immediate med place and smelling like a drunk. I can imagine her saying “but I wasn’t drinking!”
She will have a small scar in one place and that started me thinking about the scars that we all carry. I have one from the time I put my finger in an electrical socket as a child. I have one from falling on a sharp piece of bamboo in the back yard.
We all have scars. Some are physical and some are emotional. I think the emotional scars are harder to heal. The trouble is we keep pulling them out to look and remember the pain. It’s funny how we do that and hardly notice the physical scars.
It is so easy to remember the times that we were hurt and to dwell on them. We can feel the emotions all over again…whether it is anger or pain or sadness. We almost treasure them and tuck them away so that we can get upset all over again.
We have to open those closets inside where we shove those scars and pull them out and throw them away. The sooner we do that the sooner we will be able to move past them. Holding on to them hurts us. Probably the people who caused them remember nothing and there we are still hurting.
I am trying to expose those scars and push them away from me so that I don’t have to feel the pain. In the Lord’s Prayer it says (new version) “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” A version from the New Zealand Prayer book says “in the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.” It makes me think that one meaning we can get from that is forgive us for holding on to those hurts.
Today I am writing random thoughts. I finally finished the baby blanket that obsessed me but I am not happy with the result. Aggravating.
We all have things that we do like that. Something that we tackle with lots of enthusiasm and great expectations and then they don’t turn out. I am disappointed but it is time to let it go and time to find a new idea to work on.
It is so easy to get down after working so hard on something. Someone else might say it is fine but it doesn’t suit me. That’s another problem. My expectations of myself. There is no reason why it has to be perfect. It was done with love.
This is how we get into trouble. It’s not only our expectations of ourselves but sometimes the pressure from others. the point is so do the best that we can.
We don’t need to get caught in the cycle of too much expectation of ourselves and then disappointment. We must not get caught by the unreasonable expectations of others.
And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?”
Do we visit our sins upon our children? Or we can ask “what traits of ours are passed on to our children and their children?
Case in point: My father had multiple kidney stones. The doctors called him a stone maker. I’ll be he had a least 50 or more in his lifetime. In college I developed kidney stones. You can inherit the tendency but not the actual thing. I guess I go the tendency. Fortunately I didn’t have the same problem as my father and had only a few stones.
None of my children have shown that tendency nor my grandchildren so I hope that is gone. These kinds of things we pass on are not under our control unless they are a major problem such as Tay Sachs disease and we can have genetic testing to make decisions about those things.
There are other things, however, that we do pass on. Sometimes without realizing it. At one point in our marriage my husband was switching jobs and money was tight.My stress over this was passed on to my daughter. The bad news is she worries about money. The good news is she is careful but not obsessive and always willing to help others when needs arise.
In raising children we sometimes find ourselves repeating the things said to us by our parents. Some things good, some bad.
It is a known fact that abuse and addiction put children at risk for the same problems. I know that I passed on my anxiety to some of my grandchildren.
The thing I have learned is we need to be aware that we can teach coping skills to our children and hope that they can learn from our mistakes and issues. Our own ability to cope can be a positive example to them and others. They can fine hope in the fact that we have struggled with problems and conquered them. This is the legacy we can give them.
Share your experiences with your loved ones. Pass down your struggles and how you coped. It will help them.
There was no sin that caused the man to be born blind. Just a natural event. Our children will not be afflicted because of our mistakes. God doesn’t work that way.
Today I seem to have returned to some equilibrium. This episode helped me to realize how easy it is to run the train right off the rails. With the start of this blog I wanted to find ways to prevent this but wasn’t consistent. Unfortunately, consistency is the key. You can’t use a tool if you haven’t mastered it.
So the journey continues. I have made some good changes but not enough. There was no major crisis in my life but I had forgotten how the little things pile up and become an overload. One thing I can say for sure my dogs really do help. Both are rescues and have had their own share of trauma. Their names are Crash and Matilda. Crash was named that by his foster family because when rescued he was hit by something (possibly a car) and had broken his pelvis. He was so covered in fleas and ticks that his blood counts were dangerously low. He is now a happy, health and slight goofy basset hound. Tillie, found at the pound by a friend of my son’s had little history to explain her past but is loving and stubborn and funny. Both of them are a blessing.
It seems to me that our pets are a true gift from God and certainly an example of how to live. They love unconditionally and share that love always. They don’t judge. They love in spite of our failings. What better example could there be of God’s love.