The American Dream is to reach a point in your life where you don't have
to do anything you don't want to do and
can do everything that you want to do. Jerry Reinsdorf
People have had bumper stickers that said “whoever dies with the most toys wins.” The focus for a long time has been “me first.” We idolize the rich, the famous and those whose life seems perfect to us. We think “just how I want to live.” The sad truth is that the majority of those who have that life are not living the life we think. So many of them have died of drug overdoses, committed suicide, had multiple divorces and aren’t really happy.
The people who are happy are living a different kind of life. Most of them care more about people than they do money or things. They give freely of themselves and their bounty. It doesn’t matter how much they have they will share even if it leaves them little.
Our vision of how we think we want to live is so very skewed. Wishing always to want things we don’t need, stepping on people to get what we want does not bring joy. Living a life of caring and compassion does.
I keep a quote book and was looking through it today and found one that I am sure must have been on someone’s blog but I just love it.
If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. The Dalai Lama
Not only is this very true but I love his sense of humor.
Each of us lives a life of importance. Even though we are quarantined and distancing we are needed. It seems that there is not much that we can do to help but that is not true.
Yesterday I ordered groceries from the store and they were delivered by a family…father, mother, two young girls. There were driving a nice car….not expensive but good. Obviously the parents work and no longer have jobs. So many people have been laid off or the place they work is closed. This may be their only way to make money. At least when I order groceries delivered I can give them a generous tip since it all goes to them.
The restaurants near us that are supplying take-out food are having their wait staff deliver it. We can pick it up but the delivery helps someone who has no income at this time. I am spending so much less than usual I can surely space some for those in need.
Admittedly it is small help but it is help. So many people are in dire straits and we have no idea of knowing how this will turn out. If you are one of the blessed and have an income, a place to live, food to eat and safety please do what you can to help those who don’t have anything.
It is night but after the night comes the morning. And with the morning there are new opportunities . There is so much to be shared. People who need love, hope, joy. Each of us needs to do what we can to bring that to others. Our sharing can make all the difference in someone else’s life. It doesn’t have to be physical things. If we have things we can share that others need that is a blessing. But to share ourselves is more important. For by giving love to others we enhance our own lives as well.
It is easy to get tangled up in “why do we do things? For ourselves or for others?” There is no confusion… we do it for both. We are not free from receiving good from the ways we reach out. It happens. But we can’t dismiss it as being selfish alone. Out helping others can bring them love, hope and joy. It can also bring the same things to us. That is not a wrong thing. It is just the way it works. God wants us to derive pleasure from helping others. It’s joy will remind us to keep on giving.
In my life I loved getting gifts. Interestingly enough, I now get more joy from the giving of them. There is something about the faces we see when we share of our belongings and especially of ourselves.
Share, share share. Don’t be afraid. You will not lose….you will gain!
This is the first day that things have felt somewhat normal. We put everything back on the porches and cleaned up some of the mess. There are small tree limbs and scattered pine and oak stuff everywhere. It will take a while to get it clear but we are lucky that’s all there is.
It is nice to see the sun today. Sunshine always makes me feel better. Now I have some catching up to do with my Community Conference case for next week. Back to routine.
This volunteer work really is important. Everyone involved is hoping that it will help to keep kids from the courts and keep their lives on a better track. It gives me a good feeling to try to help. The schools have become so strict regarding what kids can do that sometimes it is overkill. We have had children sent to court for drawing a picture of a gun. Hopefully the program will be able to see if this is a truly troubled child or just one who wasn’t thinking. After all, they are still children. Maybe some who need help can be sent to the right people.
It is nice to be thinking about this instead of constantly watching the Weather Channel and the storm. I hope the storms showing up now don’t affect anyone.
There are some days when you don’t feel the least bit creative. Recently I realized that I have written almost every day since July of 2017. How in the world have I managed to do that? I guess I can say that my brain is running all the time. I wish I could have the kind of ideas that would produce a novel but that is not me.
I think a lot about helping other people. I grew up in a family who cared deeply about others and helped where they could. Over the years I have made the comment that we “take in strays.” My parents had two war wives living with us during WWII. They were there for years until their husbands came home. They got jobs and became part of our family. For me, they were like extra aunts. I grew up enjoying a variety of people.
During my teen years we had two school teachers living with us. They were the big sisters I never had. I learned so much from them including how to sing harmony. We washed dishes in the evening and sang.
I learned early on that for me, sharing problems made them less scary. I also was there for anyone who wanted to lessen their own stress. This was also true in college when I seemed to attract all those with were seeking a listening post.
Our travel during my husband’s military service exposed me further to different places and different faces. Life was varied and good.
My husband retired from the service after 20 years and since then we have been in one place. We have continued the family tradition and have housed friends of our kids and one friend of ours who was with us for a year after the kids were gone. People asked why we would have someone move in with us until our friend painted all my kitchen cabinets. Then they wanted to know if he could live with them.
We have no one extra right now except for our two rescued bassets. They are such a blessing to us. I continue being a sounding board for others and am able to share my joys and griefs with friends. There are always challenges and things that make me step back and struggle but I will keep on exploring all that life will bring me.
Thank you for reading these ideas and thoughts through the years.
Yesterday I didn’t write which is unusual for me. I spent the afternoon with my friend while someone came to get a history on her husband and help to evaluate her husbands mental status. He has had such a devastatingly physical journey that it has taken its toll. It took all afternoon to get it all down on paper.
She wanted me there because I have been on a good bit of this journey with her and could help with the history. Just having someone write it all down made me realize what an extensive and harrowing time it has been.
I feel so humbled by how she has weathered this whole scenario and my heart aches for all she has been through with him. I don’t think anyone can appreciate the level of exhaustion and stress seen when a long illness puts their partner into the caregiving role.
It is so important for caregivers to have time away from the situation. Without it their physical and mental status is at risk. It is a blessing when help can be afforded but in some cases that is not possible.
Most people just keep going and hate to ask for help. Frequently there are friends, neighbors, church members or others who would be willing to sit for a while with the ill person. When they do it is important for the caregiver to do something for themselves…..meet friends for lunch, go outdoors away from home, or whatever rejuvenates them. Too often they take that time for errands and tasks that must be done. This may be necessary but even a short while doing something they love will help.
If you know someone who is a caregiver take the time to offer help. Be specific. Tell them you can sit for them or run errands or, if they can, take them out. Caregivers need all the help we can give. It is so easy to continue with our own agenda but remember those who have no time for themselves.
This has been a beautiful day. The temperature is in the 80’s. A miracle for Savannah at this time of year. We were able to spend some time sitting on the porch in the rockers. Just like two old folks. Well, I guess to many people we are.
They would be wrong. I am busy most days of the week with volunteering, meeting friends, helping those in need and just cleaning house and yard. Neither one of us sits on our hands. If we did we would probably be stuck. It’s only keeping going that keeps us going.
Unless illness interferes, it is important to continue living an active life. Helping others is the best way to forget about your own issues and give back what you have learned. However, when I used to visit the sick and shut-ins I always reminded them that although limited in motion they could help by praying for others. There is always something we can do.
The most satisfaction I have had in life is when I have been able to impact someone else’s life in a positive way. The joy and satisfaction I have gained is enormous. Always lend a hand, an ear, a hug, and a prayer where you can.
This has been a busy day. My youngest daughter and her family are coming to visit tomorrow and I am a cleaning fool. I keep reminding myself that this is family and everything doesn’t have to be perfect but oh well.
I remember when our children were young and someone would call and say “we’re in town and wondered if we could come and visit.” That was what we called “Emergency Clean.” Everyone knew what that meant and everything not in place was shoved in closets etc. so the house looked clean. In a funny was it was exciting to do. The kids pitched in and the house was a whirl.
You would think with just two of us the house would be clean all the time but I have never let cleaning come before people. My house is always ok. It may not be so you can eat off the floors but it is fine to live in.
For me, people are more important. If a friend calls and needs help I will stop what I am doing and help. My husband is the same way. We care about others and are willing to help where we can. Most of our friends are the same way.
We are blessed to be where people care. My Aunt used to say “you get out of the world what you put into it.” This makes sense. We have to do the right things. We have to respect others, treat them well, love them and care for them. Everyone may not behave the same but it is up to us to be an example. Maybe it will help.
Today is Good Friday. A day to ponder about what it means to sacrifice.
Today, for some reason, my eyes hurt. I don’t know if it because of too much straining to read things but I’m not going to write much. I am putting drops in my eyes and resting them for the night. I’m a human with sore eyes but I did see this quote and it cheered me.
I don’t know how many of you have good friends but I sure hope you do. A good friend, a lifetime friend is a treasure beyond compare. Most of us are blessed if there is one such person in our lives. Some people in our lives are friends and they may be kind a caring but they are still not the one who would back you up if the whole world was against you.
I have been thinking about this because three years ago in January I lost one of those friends. We knew the good and bad about each other and it didn’t matter. We didn’t live close for quite a while but on the phone it was as if we had seen each other the day before. Nothing ever changed the link we had with each other.
During her illness I was blessed to live close enough to help her and was with her when she faced her death. She was the kind of person who drew people to her and many mourned her passing. She, like me, was not perfect but she was my friend.
Following are some excerpts from Proverbs that have to do with a wife but they apply to her friendship with me also.
A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
20 She opens her hands to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”