Ideas?!

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The next weeks will be challenging as we are having some repairs done to the house. I don’t know how long it will take but I’m geared up to just putting up with the chaos.  We will still be able to live here so that is a help.

Sometimes it is so frustrating not to be able to use the skills I developed over the years. I feel that so much experience is going to waste. Sometimes that is just how things go. I will continue to find places to help with the things that I can. It’s just that feelings get in the way and make me sad.

Share-Experience-I have no reason to expect others to understand how much I have learned and how much I still have to give. I know that if I keep searching I will find someplace to continue the things I love. Life doesn’t always go along the way we want. I am continuing to explore things I have never done and keep learning and growing. I actually have plenty to keep me busy and should concentrate on the things I can do instead of the things I can’t.

I understand how so many aging people feel useless. We have spent our lives learning and it would be wonderful to be able to share.  When I visit those in nursing homes I can see how the lack of something useful to do can sap the spirit. I have seen nursing homes recently who have found ways to give seniors inspiration and a reason to get up in the morning. Some have integrated with child care places and the elders help with the children and are also lifted up by them. A wonderful idea. There are some other that I don’t remember at the moment. I hope these ideas continue and grow.

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Those of you who are young and full of ideas put on your thinking caps and suggest ways that seniors can interact with others in a meaningful way. Any ideas welcome!

The balance

I didn’t post yesterday since we were in Charleston, SC with our family. It was a lovely time with the most amazing meal at a local restaurant. We are at home resting. They will be back tomorrow and we will enjoy the rest of their visit.

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Life recently has been crazy. Of course that is the usual thing. It is just a matter of balance. The balance between health issue, mental health, the world around us and all the events in our lives is tricky. Sometimes we feel that we are walking a high wire and that any moment we could over-balance and fall. I think that fear of falling is what put such stress on us. Instead of just walking ahead we spend our time looking down at our feet on the wire. That takes the focus from the things that matter and puts it directly on ourselves and our balance. Sometimes we just have to look ahead and keep going.

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Life truly is a balancing act. It can be scary and dangerous and stressful. We have to use all the coping skills we have to keep from falling. Our faith, our friends, our family, our medical resources help us to stay stable. We can use them as a balancing pole if we just reach out.

Never stop thinking you can do it. We can keep that balance and see life ahead.

Let go!

letting go 2Sometimes we struggle and struggle to make something work and it just doesn’t. I never want anything to defeat me. When this happens I feel so unsuccessful. Failure jumps in and causes me to show my frustration with whatever I was working on. I hate giving up.

I just have to learn that in some cases I am not defeated. It is not giving up. That is so hard to see. There are some things that we don’t need to succeed at. It may not be the right thing for us in the first place. We can get caught in wanting to fix things that are not ours to fix. There are things that cannot be fixed. This is a difficult lesson to learn. We can continue struggling and get absolutely nowhere.

The prayer from AA talks about fixing the things we can, letting go of the things we can’t fix and most critical the wisdom to know the difference.

Working in the medical field shows you clearly that there are things you can’t fix. I can’t heal the child with brain cancer or stop an illness from progressing. I can’t go home and night and obsess about those things or I will not be able to help the things I can help.

Sometimes it is time to let go and move on to the next thing. We just have to learn when to do it.

 

Use your experiences

I have learned much in my 78 years. Life has not ever been perfect and usually not at all what I expected but it has been full with everything from grief to joy. I am so grateful that I can look back and see the times I was tested and grew. I realize that my empathy for others and desire to help comes from those testing experiences.

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It is something that I have said often but here it is again. Don’t regret those times of trial.  It is in the fire that the pottery is formed. You have come out of the fire made more beautiful and more compassionate.

 

 

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Remember that and use that experience to help others. I talked with someone today about how encouraging and full of empathy are the people whose blogs I read and those who read mine. We are a community.

 

Make life better

Today I was at the Mediation Center and ran across this list. It is the most comprehensive I have ever seen. Anyone should be able to find something on here that they can do to make their day better. I am appending it to my bulletin board.

We often think there is nothing we can do. Usually because we really don’t want to do anything except feel bad. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to do something to improve things. It may take strength to get going. There is always something that will help. See if you can find some things on this list.

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Do they know how to fix it?

Technology is wonderful….until it isn’t. The more complex it gets the more can go wrong. I have spent three days trying to resolve a problem with my cable, phone, internet, provider. Their system has become so complex that even the people who work for them don’t know what is going on.

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The first person I dealt with was in the store. A very nice person who admitted that so much had been changed with their offerings that he was unsure about what channels were available with each plan. My husband was adamant about having certain channels and we were assured that they would be there. You guessed it…they weren’t. I had a very unhappy husband when he turned the TV on.

Next I got on a chat session with another agent who assured me that adding one premium channel would fix the problem. Ha! Didn’t happen.

The next morning I again chatted with an agent. In the meantime I had spent time on the web site searching for quite a while to access the channel line up so that I knew what had to be done. I told the agent what was necessary to fix the issue. He agreed but then wanted me to sign up for home security. The total would be less that I am paying now. Because of that I agreed. He made the changes and guess what? Still no channels!

This morning I again tackled the problem with another agent on chat and wrote out step by step what I wanted done. I didn’t give him a chance to decide. By this time I could work for the company. Finally what I needed was taken care of and we are all set.

It is amazing that things have become so complicated that even the people who work with them don’t know what is going on or how to fix things. I am reasonably tech savvy and wanted to just do the fixing for them.

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My level of frustration was high after all of this and I took to gardening to reach a level of calm. Potting plants can sure remove tension!

Kindness heals

Today has been a better day. The hurt of yesterday has had time to be absorbed and put in its proper place. There is a difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is something for me usually comes from the outside and gets logged into its place. Depression hangs on.

sadness vs depression

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So, I will still feel that hurt but it will not push me into depression. It will just go its way in time. Thanks for the kind words that lifted me up.

A Serious Problem

Caveat: This blog talks about the partners addiction and suicide.

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Recently our family has watched a (for me) distant member continue to self destruct. From early on in his life he has been addicted. I suspect alcohol at first but quickly drugs. He has been to rehab many times and now in his twenties he was in a serious accident with his transportation. A short while before this he was hospitalized for an overdose. In the hospital following this latest incident it seems he has expressed that he couldn’t cope any longer.

I can imagine that to have spent most of your life battling addiction, always needing drugs, in and out of rehab unsuccessfully, it would be difficult to see anything in your future except continued pain. I can understand the desire to end it all.

Several blogs have talked about that kind of hopelessness. It is devastating to feel that there is nothing that you can do to stop the circle of pain. Most of the blogs that talk about this have suffered from mental health issues and many have found help with medications, therapy and coping skills. Unfortunately, I know several families who have suffered with the problem as it relates to addiction and wish there were more successful help for sufferers. Some people are helped by rehab but there are those for whom rehab is not enough. It has made me suspect that for these people there are underlying problems, possibly mental health issues, that have never been identified and addressed.

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It makes me suspect these victims have spent their lives self-medicating their unaddressed mental health problem with drugs and/or alcohol. I hope that as we look more carefully into the people who are suffering with this that more help can be found.

Why?

Often we wonder if all the trails and pains of life have any purpose. A number of years ago I wrote this poem expressing that I can see a reason.

Why?

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The pain of aloneness

not belonging

not accepted

 

Is an instrument

carving out the soul

making a space

to hold and heal

someone else’s pain

 

©Suzanne Boyd 2018

 

A season of gray

I worked for a Lutheran church and I now go to an Episcopal church. I love liturgy. It has form and function. In the midst of a chaotic world it continues an age old pattern. That gives me comfort.

dreary-rural-road-landscape-on-260nw-466153421We are now in the season of Advent. Advent arrives in the darkest time of the year. Where I live it has been gloomy for the last week. We have had cold and rain. The sky is gray, the trees are gray…it feels as if the world is gray. The weather at this time of the year can be really depressing.

We are at the time of the year when a lot of the world is preparing for the (dare I say) Christmas holidays. Hanakkuh is also being celebrated. Even people who have no religious background or affiliation get into the season. It is hard to resist lights, trees, and presents. The commercial world is pumping out enticing ads and people are binge watching holiday movies. For most people the mood is bright.

Xmas-lights-2However, this can be a difficult time for some. Think about those for whom this time of year is hard. For the homeless it is just cold and miserable. We see them huddled on the streets and in cardboard boxes cringing away from the cold. Those who have lost loved ones during this season struggle with their loss. There are so many memories. People who are without family or friends see the season highlighting their loneliness.

This can be a wonderful time. Anticipation can be joyful. It can also be devastating. Look around you at those who suffer in Advent. What is coming for them can be sad and lonely. Do what you can to help.