breathing space

inside headToday I decided that I needed to heed the statement that cleanliness in next to Godliness. For so long my office has been cluttered with material brought home from the job I left last year and I decided it was time to clear out. I did save some things that are important to me but trashed a lot. It is so nice to see this space neat. I realize that the disorder was connected in some way to my own disorder. When you are not functioning well it doesn’t seem important to be neat. Now I can see that the neatness has made me feel better.

I am not an obsessive neatnik but too much stuff everywhere will start to get to me. I don’t know why I tackled the job that I have not felt like doing for over a year but I am glad I did. Some boxes are gone and only some minor things to file left. I hope this is a step on the way to recovery. When this started I had no idea that so much anger, pain and sadness was bottled up inside. Losing my best friend and her daughter and then my own job within one year was overload.

It has been a tremendous help to be able to share my journey with my blog. It helps so much to find others who fight each moment and keep on fighting. We can conquer the things that stalk us. We can find companionship and peace. Without the ability to communicate we could so easily be alone.

God is good. Our needs are known to him and if we open our eyes we can see his work in out lives each day.

open our eyes

Lord open our eyes.

Waiting or living?

waiting 2Today I have been sad. For the 20+ years that I worked for a church I have seldom been sad. Now it seems to be a recurrent state for me. I am still grieving over the losses of the last few years. I suspect that it is really ok to feel sad from time to time. We are entitled to grieve over things. Many people do not understand grief and think that it follows the same pattern as the stages of accepting dying. This is not the case. Grief is an entirely different thing and doesn’t follow a precise pattern. For that reason it can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

Going to church now is sometimes painful. I do miss the life I had. It is just another thing that I have to face. Change is inevitable and sometimes difficult to go through. That knowledge is part of the journey I am on. As I have said before waiting is not my strong suit.

journeyNevertheless waiting is what I am doing. I need to remember Life is what is happening while waiting for life to happen (a familiar saying). I will continue to work to embrace where I am and live in the now. If you read any of the mystics such as Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen (sp) or the desert fathers you learn that they lived in the moment. I suspect that God is telling me that I am not waiting but living each day. I will learn much during this time if I just see what is directly in front of me. The journey continues and yes at times we are entitled to be sad!

 

Impatience Doesn’t Help

Life can sure change. I have been out of a ministry since January and I’m trying to learn how to live without doing something meaningful. The thing is it seems to work but only for a short while. I find myself playing computer games and watching TV. I know that there are lots of needs out there but the bad news is that I’m losing my enthusiasm for trying anything. With so much experience working  for churches and my jobs in nursing I have much to give. I just need to get out of this slump and get going.

When I started this journey I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy but I forgot how hard change can be. The problem is that the thing that has to change is me. I refuse to fade into another older person who does nothing every day.

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I am a 50’s girl. I was born in 1940 and grew up in that idyllic (??) world where everyone knew what they were supposed to do. It was fine if all I wanted was to marry and have children. The problem was that it wasn’t me. Fortunately I married someone who understood that and who encouraged me to jump into a meaningful life with both feet. In many ways I had it all. A wonderful family and the encouragement to follow my dream. Helping people is my passion. I have followed that passion my whole life. Now I need to choose to continue that in whatever way I can. I am sure that I will find it. I just wish that God would hit me over the head with it.

It is a hard struggle when you are young to find and pursue your passion. The world doesn’t always help with that. After all, we have to eat. I have had time to learn the skills I needed and the chance to use them for much of my life. I know what my passion is. Now I need to find a way to use it again.

What is Next?

let go 2

Today has not been a good day for me. The sky is sunny. the weather hot but I am sad. I am all too aware that it has to do with my job loss. The problem is that it is not just a loss of a job but that of a ministry. My position as Parish Nurse was everything I yearned for wrapped up in a beautiful package. It was my joy.

So now, I struggle not only with grief for the loss but with questions about what now. I find myself working to maintain a much too big garden and asking “Is this all?” After 20 years my connection with so many beloved people has been severed. My perception of who I am is disrupted. Life is a huge question mark.

 

I know that sometimes we just need to do nothing. I need to continue with my journey to change myself since that is the only thing I have control over. I will wait no matter how hard that is and hope for a door to open.

I am alive today!

What started this journey? It wasn’t just the issue that headed me into worry and anxiety. In January of this year the job that I held for 20 years was pulled out from under me. The circumstances don’t really matter. It is the fact that my life as a Parish Nurse for a church was done. When I started I only planned to work for a short while but the pull of putting together my vocation and my faith was almost the culmination of everything I had ever done in my life.

Not everyone is into church and I can understand why. Church can be a family. Just as dysfunctional, mean spirited, kind, loving, and any other adjective you can put on it. It can be the best and the worst of things. Sometimes working within that framework can make you doubt everything you ever believed. It is challenging. However, my role as caregiver was unique and its rewards were abundant. I received much love and thanks. All of this made me question who I am and where I am going now. AT 76 years old I am not done. Out society tends to focus on youth and forget the wisdom accumulated over a lifetime of living. What a shame. So much is lost.

This blog is my chance to share. Perhaps what I have learned will touch some and help others. If so, then it is worth it. All we can do is cast that bread upon the waters and see what happens.

awake

I am continuing to journey. Life as we grow older is not easier but more difficult. Health issues arise, possibly financial problems, decisions about what to do if we are not capable of caring for ourselves have to be dealt with. But we are definitely not finished.

I will keep on learning to change the things that I can about myself. A big task but a worthy one. One step at a time. One day at a time. I am alive today!