Families are wonderful and terrible things. When we are connected to others life is not always smooth. I am a fixer. I always want to solve problems, smooth over disagreements and mend hurt feelings. I said I want to. That doesn’t mean that I always can and sometimes even trying can make things worse.
This past week I did just that. I had a personal melt down. It upset my husband who upset other parts of our family. For a change it started with me. I am consumed with guilt and pain for having an emotional crisis and setting off fireworks. The truth is life happens.
My age puts me at the top of the pyramid. I realized that after the loss of my father, mother and all older family. When you get to be the oldest generation you are stuck with results of that position.
I have noticed that at times my family members show signs of expecting my husband and I to sink into senility. I can sense the anxiety about future plans forming in their heads. What will happen to mom and dad?
It’s funny and sometimes upsetting to be where we are. My melt down had nothing to do with this but I think that changing family roles is another change to add to my list. Maybe it just all fused into one bomb. I know that I will be pariah for a while and have made abject apologies to those I upset. Life goes on.
Each day is precious. Don’t let the bad days color all the rest. We all make mistakes and will have to take responsibility for our actions and then move one.
The sun will rise tomorrow, God willing, and so will I.
School is starting here and it has made me think about children. I have a great concern about the children of today. They have so much to overcome. I haven’t read the statistics lately but I wonder how many of them come from homes with divorce or unmarried parents or any home that feels unsteady. The climate today is ok with there being children and no marriage. I certainly don’t condemn the people who choose to live this way but I do question how it is for the children. Marriage doesn’t necessarily help to keep people together but there may be more incentive to think harder about the decision to separate.
To get to the point I am worried for children who grow up in uncertainty. I don’t know that so many of us did in the past. Children need a base. They need a place of safety. Somewhere that feels rock solid. It doesn’t have to be a place….it can be a relationship. That place of safety allows a child to reach outside of that circle without fear. We all need some place to stand anchored.
When parents have little commitment to each other and no incentive to stay together that place of security is threatened. Children need to know that there is a safe place in their world. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be found in the new ways of living but I co think it is harder and may have to be more intentional.Without a safe stand they may seek it elsewhere and it may not be someplace that is really safe.
This has been difficult to put into words that aptly explain what children need. I hope I have, at least, gotten my thoughts across.
Today I am tired. I have finished the major yard work! Yea! The tired I am is called good tired. Now I have to move one to other things. The next things coming are positive bue even good stress can be stressful. This kind of stress is cause eustress.
The end of August will be busy. Our great grandson will be baptized here at our home on August 25th. A flurry of circumstances made this a mess to figure out but thankfully God intervened. Here in the south we have what are called “kissing cousins.” They are usually related but distantly. My kissing cousin is a Lutheran Pastor, retired and aging. I was hesitant to ask him but found an opportunity and chanced it. He was thrilled and we will have a family baptism.
Right after that we start the process for my husband’s knee surgery. Two more trips to Mayo but positive outcome expected. My husband’s brother and his girl friend will keep our dogs. This means deep house cleaning for me but whatever???
All this means that I am starting on a roller coaster of emotions and am beginning now to stay with all my tools for defusing myself. I really want to show myself that I can stay focused and do well. That will be a big plus for me. Support from the blog community is always there and appreciated.
This will be a good test and I will manage no matter what but I do so want to see progress in how I function. With God’s help it will be good.
Recently my daughter prompted me to write some of the stories about my father. He was a brilliant man who never had an opportunity for education past high school He read everything he put his hands on and never stopped learning. This story is one I love. I think it was about the 1930’s.
My grandmother raised chickens. When one was wanted for dinner a chicken was killed by her, cleaned and prepared for dinner. My parents and grandparents lived in the same house. For some reason my mother and grandmother were very busy and asked my father to kill a chicken for dinner. They asked the man who hated to swat a fly.
My father went out the back door. He was gone for a long time. The two cooks started to wonder what was taking him so long.
Eventually my father returned with the requested chicken. It was dead, had its feathers, but it was cold.
My father, unable to kill a chicken, had gone to the grocery and bought one. In that era they sold chickens freshly killed but not cleaned. My mother and grandmother refrained for commenting and went on to prepare the chicken for dinner.
Relationships seem to be a big topic lately. I can understand why. Relationships in today’s culture are really tricky. I’m not sure that any of us understand. Whether it was good or not when I was concerned with discovering someone to become part of my life it seemed simpler. People were expected to get married. Some marriages did badly but it seemed that many did well. I think that marriage was considered a commitment. You were assuming that you were planning a lifetime together. Divorce was available but I don’t think people took it lightly.
The other factor is that the sexual revolution hadn’t happened. No birth control pills so pregnancy was much more of a risk. Society frowned on pregnancy without marriage and it made deciding to raise a child alone meant you could be a pariah.
These things made marriage a more serious undertaking but of course that didn’t make it easier. Some people stayed married when they should have been divorced. Many stayed with their children in mind for good or ill.
I think that relationships today are much more difficult. Choosing to split is taken more lightly. I think many times people split rather than doing the work required to make a good marriage. How do people approach commitment? Does a relationship begin with at least one party thinking “let’s try this out and see if it works?” There may not be many long term partnerships like the one that my husband and I have.
A while ago I posted a blog about different kinds of love. It was called “Commitment, why? I found that the Greeks actually had more divisions of love than I previously thought. They have a definition of the kind of love that lasts through all the storms and trials. It is called pragma and here is the description.
Pragma –Another Greek love was the mature love known as pragma. This was the deep understanding that developed between long-married couples. Pragma was about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance.The psychoanalyst Erich Fromm said that we expend too much energy on “falling in love” and need to learn more how to “stand in love.” Pragma is precisely about standing in love—making an effort to give love rather than just receive it. With about a third of first marriages in the U.S. ending through divorce or separation in the first 10 years, the Greeks would surely think we should bring a serious dose of pragma into our relationships.
I worry about people trying to find a fulfilling relationship. There is so much uncertainty involved and I truly believe children suffer when they grow in a environment of uncertainty. They need solid ground to hold on to. The world is a scary place and we all need someone to depend on. Someone who we can trust with our life. Not just our physical life but physical, mental, emotional, and psychological being. We don’t just find someone who can be this but we both grow into it over years of companionship. God willing that you too can have this.
My friend Deirdre loved and cherished all those who crossed her path. She welcomed people from different faiths and different cultures. Her death was so amazing with people of many faiths joining together to send her on her way. I wrote this poem following that experience. The “all shall be well” is a loose copy from Hildegard of Bingen.
The Death of De
The light is waning and the gloaming is here.
There is a hush in the turning of the earth
it holds its breath for just a moment.
We stand watch sensing each breath
matching it with our own
anxious with each pause
while darkness encompasses the room.
Her soul loosens but holds
I sign the cross on her brow and Christ is here
A Hindu friend joins and her prayers are added.
Another comes and the prayers to Allah are lifted up.
With loving hands we anoint her with sweet lotion
brought from France by another.
All faith is here, we can feel God's gentle breeze,
there is true communion
My friend is held in the arms of love
She is suspended between life and death
through the night.
As the sun lifts itself into the heaven
love lifts her on her journey
and with the smallest wisper
she is gone.
Behind her from the air come the words...
All shall be well
and all shall be well
and all things shall be well.
For weeks I have been gathering the information my husband needs for his doctor at the Mayo Clinic. I need to take this burden from him since I am so familiar with how the medical systems work (or don’t work). This has been so frustrating for me and I have realized how having to confront people over and over to get what I need brings on my anxiety. The funny thing is that I can do it for others but when it is my own family I fall apart. Now we need more records and tomorrow I have to ask to speak to an office manager that I have called on so many times (and she has been so nice) that I am embarrassed and anxious about having to do it again.
I know this is silly and part of my incipient anxiety but there it is. I will force myself to do this tomorrow and I know I will suffer through it and come home drained. I just pray that my IBD will not flare up and cause me to seek every bathroom I can find. Why is it that to do this as part of my former job was not a problem but it is for my husband.
Worrying about what someone will think of me is still an issue at my age. It doesn’t get me all the time but these kind of situations will cause it to rear its ugly head. I have just connected this specific incident and now understand why I keep wanting to put it off.
This is a trigger that I haven’t noticed before but now that I am aware of it I will ready myself, use my learned tools and get it done.
Over the years learning ways to cope with my anxiety and manage the situations that I need to get through has changed my life. So many things that were triggers no longer bother me. I think in some ways I have de-synthesized myself and this has been a blessing.
Have faith. You are able to grow and find new ways to move forward. My 77 years have proved it. A good life is possible. Everyone lives with limitations it is just that each person’s are different.
Keep growing, keep learning, keep trying. You can do it.