There is more to learn

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Yesterday we had a high in the 80’s. Last night it went down to 45. For us that is winter. Where is fall? I actually enjoy the cooler weather and look forward to having a fire in the fireplace.

One of the most difficult things about growing older is when you begin losing friends and contemporaries. Going to funerals is not much fun. The only blessing is that most of them have lived good, fruitful lives. You can be grateful for the time you have known them and the joy they have brought to life.

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I don’t mean to sound depressing. Most of the time growing older feels to be just another phase of life. It has some incredible joys and blessings. I have experienced so much and learned so much and writing has allowed me to continue to share. I try to appreciate each day. One of the hardest things is to learn to live fully each and every day. Time is not to be wasted but experienced. If only we could learn to let go of living in the past or the future and just be where we are at the moment.

Gratitude

Things have been happening around here as usual. Actually I should not say as usual for nothing has been as usual. My computer came back from having a drive replaced without all the programs installed. I knew this would happen but it hasn’t made things easy. One of the programs that I use all the time, living cookbook, is no longer available and I don’t have access to hundreds of recipes. So I will be correcting that in the next few days. Nothing is ever easy.

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Also my arm that I hurt about a month ago is now starting to really hurt. As a nurse, I suspect, that it is a pulled tendon and I have just been ignoring it. Now it’s decided that it doesn’t want me to type. Which is not altogether bad because it made me installed my Dragon software which allows me to talk and not type. Be aware that this can cause some peculiar mistakes so please forgive me.

That’s enough of my woes. We have to remember that all the aggravations in life are just that… Aggravations. No one is ill in my family or in any crisis for that I am grateful. perspective on what is wrong and what is right is required. It is so easy to get lost in the things that are wrong and not appreciate everything that we have in life. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a family that I love. These are the things that matter.

There are times that things seem to accumulate. And so many things happen at once that it can be difficult to overcome. We have to learn to be aware of that and not blow it completely out of proportion. The countertops that we expected today will not be here until next week which means that nothing else can be done for another week. Another week before we have a bathroom and I can go back to sleeping in my bed. Not such major problems when you consider the things that others are going through.

choosing-gratitude

Counting my blessings every day is something that I have to remember to do. For only then will I be able to keep my composure when everything seems to be going wrong. I will have to start posting the things I’m grateful for on the other bathroom mirror. That way I will be reminded to keep life in perspective.

Stupid me!

Writing tonight is difficult. I did a dumb thing today. I went out to finish the small amount of hedge, wore shoes that were not appropriate and fell. Fortunately after I finished. The driveway is rock so I have some lovely scrapes, cuts, and bruises but no major damage.

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It pays to wear the right gear when working in the yard. I won’t write more since my left arm is sore.

Good night and God Bless.

Do we appreciate our freedom?

In this country we take our freedoms for granted. Most of us are unaware of what it is like to live where there are few personal freedoms. We have never experienced it. Maybe we need to spend some time in North Korea or another country where the decision are not ours to make. As a people we are so naive.

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Be grateful for the freedoms we have. We have to guard them carefully and speak out when we see them being eroded .

Go out…share your fears with someone

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This is a lesson I have learned well in my life. There are many times that I have sat and struggled with anxiety and fear. Even though the last thing I want to do is go out I force myself to get dressed and find someone to talk to. Just getting it out in the open helps me to put things into perspective. For me, fears shared and divided in half.

Memories–always there

Memories

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Memories
Things remembered
Never lost

Childhood
Days seemed forever
Time moved slowly

Teens
Endless life
Untouchable, invulnerable

Marriage
Love, passion, caring
Too quickly passing

Children
Growing, changing, becoming
Then suddenly….gone

Now marriage
Secure, comfortable
Loving, aging

Growing older
Vulnerable health
Fast passing

Memories
Always present
Always, always

“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.

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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!

57 years

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary. It is almost impossible to think that we have been married for so long. Where did the time go? It really doesn’t seem that long ago…and yet a lot of people have no idea what life was like in 1962.

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For me it seemed ideal although looking at it now I wonder how. My husband was a new officer just graduated from West Point and beginning some training. He was in paratrooper school and went on to ranger training. During ranger training he was gone. How in the world did I think that was ideal. I guess I was living in a bubble of newly wed happiness. I think the saving grace was having other wives going through the same thing and us becoming friends. Friends were made quickly as we all needed support. We were lucky as our husbands had known each other at West Point and that made it easier.

Our life in the service was challenging. We moved often and I was alone a good bit. Some things were wonderful…the birth of our first child…language school in Monterey…living in Panama, Central America.

 

Times were also tough with spending two different years alone with children while my husband served in Viet Nam. I don’t know how I managed the worry but I seemed to cope with the stress and loneliness. Children are wonderful companions but they don’t replace a beloved spouse.

Our last tour was a joy. My husband went to graduate school and then taught math at West Point.  It was an amazing experience.

There have been many years and many different jobs for each of us since his retirement from the military and life has been good. Our three adult children, their spouses, our six grandchildren, one great grandchild and one on the way have added great joy.

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57 years. Amazing!

The sadness of remembering – Memorial Day

fdr-memorial-day-quote-1525289591Today is Memorial Day. It is a day for thanksgiving for those who gave their lives that we might live free. This day is hard for me to write about since my husband was in the Army for 20 years. He spent two years in Viet Nam fighting a senseless war. He graduated from West Point in 1962 and felt obligated to serve in the war.  Wars run by politicians cannot be won. All the idiotic rules that governed what could and could not be done made it impossible. I could give many examples of this but it would not only take too long but also bring up too many bad memories.

My husband does not talk about the war except for a few incidents that had some humor attached to them. He fought in the battle of Dak To which was so badly run that many people died. He won’t talk about this.

We have been to the Viet Nam Memorial Wall but he will never go again. There are too many friend’s names on it.

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I spent those years at home with our children worrying about him. There was little communication with loved ones during WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. I even had to number my letters so that he knew if some were missing. His letters to me came in bunches. Communication is better now but it doesn’t take away the worry.

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This is the fate of families today who wait for loved ones in danger. I grieve for both the soldier and the family. Many families don’t survive the separation. Please pray for those soldiers and their families.

The good

If I think I have serious problems all I have to do is to look around me. I know that all of us have problems but there sure are some I wouldn’t want to have. One friend has a child with a brain tumor, another friend has had 2 recurrent brain tumors, I can look around me and there are people in pain with things unimaginable.

the good

I need to remember to be grateful. Maybe I need to start saying: thank you that I don’t have a brain tumor, thank you that my children, grandchildren and great grandchild are well. Thank you that I am not in a wheel chair. Thank you that I have a home to live in. Thank you that I have food to eat.

I could spend the rest of the day listing the things that are a gift. I don’t need to be saying “poor me” and feeling bad.

Focusing on the good things makes life a lot more joyous. Gratitude helps us. Sometimes we are sad that some of our own problems are difficult and it is ok to understand that but it is not ok to dwell on it. It doesn’t help.

good instead of bad

Find some way to keep track of the good things and focus on them.