My list

I have gotten better about some things as I have aged. On Friday I will turn 79 years young. The year before eighty. It seems like a milestone. It has made me think about the things I really can do something about and came up with this list.

  1. My choices and actions
  2. My attitudes and priorities
  3. The people that I chose to be with
  4. How I use my resources both physical things, my energy and my emotions

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These are the things that I have some control over. Anything else is not something I need to worry about, stew over or waste time on.

Now the only things I need to do is to stick to this list.

Life and death

Years ago I was distressed by  a family’s loss. In an auto accident one young daughter was killed. I felt that her life had been cut short. A minister friend had a different perspective. He felt that each of us has a life span that is ours alone….just as we are all individuals.

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I was reading a novel today and came across a similar thought that was attributed to the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. The book is “Gullah Secrets” by Susan Gabriel. Living near and having cared for Gullah people I have always respected their wisdom.

An elderly Gullah woman says: “Like a story, every life on earth has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Sometimes a story lasts only hours. Sometimes days, years, or decades……It is not about the lucky or the unlucky. The good or the evil…..Life and death are in an eternal dance just like that whirlwind. Wind and sand. Sand and wind. A dance across time.”

This vision of each of our lives is comforting to me. My birth and death are mine and are as unique as I am. Life and death. They both continue.

 

 

Learning and using it

Today I had to attend a class to re-certify as a mediator. The class was helpful and interesting but I realize I am no longer used to sitting in class all day. At one point I stood up for a while to just get out of the chair. We were given breaks but the first one was long in coming.

It is interesting when many things that you have done in life enrich whatever you are doing presently. I have noticed this happening several times in my life. It’s as if I am being prepared for the next thing to come. Today was mostly about listening, discovering what lies beneath problems, and helping to find common ground between people. I have used and taught communication skills many times in my life and this was mostly a endorsement of what I have already learned. I will be using it in a different way and learning that was helpful.

Learning-never-stop

If we are truly living we are learning all the time. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t learn something new. Maybe from TV or books or other people. It is interesting to think at the end of the day about what is new and how can you use it.

Nothing is ever wasted. As you age you learn something you thought was useless 10 years ago is just what you need now. Absorb everything you can in life and somehow it will be used.

Gain an hour???

Well the next shoe has dropped and we have to replace our heating and air system. Sometimes you just wonder if the goblins are haunting you. I guess we were due since it is quite old.

boring

As I have said before life is never boring. I am beginning to think a little boring would be nice. Just a short while of simple and peaceful. Actually except for that it has been peaceful.

time clockDo you ever wonder why we have to keep changing time? It seems to crazy. The reasons I heard in the past (good for farmers –who get up anyway–saves energy???) all seem unnecessary. I would rather that we just pick one and stick to it. Tonight we ?gain? an hour. Do we really since we gave it up in the spring? Seems like we are just treading water.

When will whoever is in charge of this get real?!?

Always something new

Today I find myself leaning on my faith. I have some medical issues which may resolve…or not. Time will tell. This news did not send me into a panic…at least not yet. I have high hopes that this will be an easy fix and life will go on pretty much as normal.

In the meantime I will continue my routines and keep my anxiety at bay. I am grateful that I have some tools that I have made a habit and can actually count on them to help.

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Life is always interesting and challenges us in many ways but it is worth cherishing. Keep me in your thought and prayers as I travel into this joourney.

Good/Bad whatever!

Life is never boring. I wondered why I was so warm and checked the thermostat and it is  way warm in the house. Obviously the air conditioner is out again. Oh well, it will cool down to the 60’s tonight and we can get cool again. We have a friend who fixes air and he will come tomorrow and see what’s up. At least this time we don’t have company.

Picnik collage bowen

It seems like you can never get ahead. That is the negative side. The positive side is that I think we can manage to pay for a new one. The only problem is that we are retired and on fixed income. We have just finished repairing the bathroom and here we are again. We suspect that the air conditioner has died a natural death. It is, in fact, very old. There are two ways of looking at everything. Hopefully this will be something that my sense of humor can cover….in the future but not right now.

Naturally the upcoming week is showing highs in the 80’s instead of the slightly cool temps we had last week. Also it is so humid the air feels thick. Until Thursday it will not cool much at night so little chance to bring the inside temp down.

good bad

There! I have had my rant for the day. Life goes on and I am actually grateful for so many things that this is just a bump in the road. I will put my gratitude list on my mirror and read it every day.

 

Mystery is allowed

We are surrounded by mystery. Though hard for us to accept we don’t have control over many things. We would like to be in control. We yearn to be in control but ultimately we are not.

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We prefer to make decisions trusting that they will happen as we planned. We make judgments about right and wrong, about people, about events. We can make quick certain and smug judgments. We are so sure that our way is the right way. We are sure that life will follow the path we have set. We are so wrong.

This inability to accept our powerlessness can make us blind and unwilling to see the truth. We can say “don’t bother me with the truth, I want to be in control.” We see ourselves as all knowing. We cover our heads and stick with own ideas. This action leads to a lack of willingness to see any other way. It makes us unable to have compassion for others and their thoughts and ideas.

We choose not to see our own biases, imperfections and wrongness. We do not look deep inside ourselves to find the “shadow self” who hides there.

There is so much that we do not know or understand. Pat answers lead us nowhere. We have to see the world as it is in all its mystery. We have to be willing to step out into the unknown. We have to face doubt and fear and understand that they are part of life.

dontknow

We must learn to accept the ambiguous and the anxiety it can cause. To not know the answers is understandable in the world we inhabit. I don’t think we will ever have all the answers and the truth is we don’t have to know.

 

Reflecting

Tonight is a little bit hard to write. I am hoping that on Monday we will have countertops for the bathroom. They have failed to be here several times and it makes me doubt that they will be here on Monday.

to lose a friend

Life continues to throw sadness at me. A friend of my husband’s has died. I know that both of us are feeling how fleeting life is. As we get older and is sometimes difficult to face the fact that you have few years left in front of you.

 

But most of the time that’s not what I think about. Most of the time I like to think about what can be done. What things can I do? How can I give someone a smile or a helping hand. Those are the things that seem to make my life worthwhile at this point.

Each time I can do something for someone there is a warmth that washes over me. I know that this is where my joy lies.There is nothing that can take away your own worries or sadness more than being of help to someone else.

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Not concentrating on yourself but thinking of others doesn’t allow thinking about yourself. Be of help to someone today. It will be the best help for you.

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.

unusual

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.

Without a sense of humor I don’t think I would have lived as long as I have. When as many things fall apart as have around here recently laughing is the only option. It really reaches the ridiculous. Today the water went nuts and decided to gasp out of the faucets and produce brown water. Fortunately I have a husband who can see beyond the ridiculous and solve problems. So we are temporarily able to shower and have water to drink. Further solutions will come in time.

sense-of-humour

I think if asked what is the most important trait needed for survival and sanity I would have to say sense of humor.