People matter

expect-e1573855705917.jpgToday is my 79th birthday. I was hoping that it would be a good day but my hope was in vain. While backing out of a parking place my car caught on someones bike rack and pulled loose a part of the side panel on my car.

This is my favorite car that I have ever had. It is not going to be difficult or expensive to fix as it looks as if it just needs to be popped back but it really got to me. I don’t know if it’s because I was expecting a good day or if it is because the car is my favorite.

It is not usual for me to be so upset about something like that but I am. Just one of those days.

 

I have talked to many times about how life is never boring and here it is again. The fact that it is not boring can be because of something good or something bad. Today it was something bad. We will get the car fixed and all will be well. Now all I have to do is get myself back to a better state of mind. By tomorrow this will just be a bump in the road. After all, for me, it is not things that are important but people. Remember that when things go wrong that can be dealt with.

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People matter!

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.

 

 

Work place stress

One of the joys that I have being retired is that I don’t have to work with bullies or crazy people. Over my years of working I have had to deal with many different types. Fortunately for me the people closest to me were usually wonderful.

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Over my working years I read a lot about how to handle situations at work and sometimes the advice worked and sometimes not. In my last job, as a parish nurse, the major frustration was not the staff but those elected by the congregation to sit on a board. The major headache is a typical one for any workplace in that the people who don’t do the work make decisions for the workers. If you are not the person doing the job you really have no idea how improve the work.

I think they were glad to see me go as in that job I didn’t have to work and was free to bring up any problems. May be why I am not there.

I once heard a consultant who “fixed” major corporations asked how he found out what needed to change. He said that he dressed like the workers, had no one tell anyone he was there, and spent time with those doing the jobs. He asked them how they did their job and how and what they would change to make it better. He took that information, wrote it up as his report and submitted it. I wonder if the companies followed his advice.

 

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.

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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.

 

Speak up, share your experience!

Today another Word Press blogger wrote about the state of our country. This is a great article from https://earthwalkingworld.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/unworthy-america/

speak up

The article and some comments started me thinking about how we should live our later years. I am of the opinion that we should not sit down and let everything pass us by. We have much to give and we have to speak out. This country and the world need to hear our voices and see that there are other ways. This whole thought process reminded me of this poem. It is my mantra!

Dylan Thomas – 1914-1953

Do no go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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.

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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.