Scary things

Today I am again using the Dragon software so forgive any grammar errors.

This has been a quiet day. I did have to attend the funeral of the young man with children who died. The funeral was a real tribute to him. There must’ve been at least 300 people there. Sad though it was his funeral was a celebration of his life.

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There is always something so much sadder about the death of a young person. We feel as if there are things that are unfinished. Someone told me many years ago that in truth the death of a young person is not a life unfinished. That each of us has our own lifespan. It is a lifespan set for us alone. For some reason that gave me comfort.

Death is something that we all come to. It is something that we all have to face. Many people fear death. For me death itself is not frightening. It is the dying that we don’t look forward to.

There are so many things in life that can frighten us. For those of us who suffer with anxiety it seems that we can be afraid of almost anything. Although I think each of us has certain things that trigger our anxiety. I know that some things that might disturb me might not be bothersome at all to someone else. I think each of us has to discover what are the things that set us off.

consistency
Over time with help we can learn management of our own triggers. The thing is we have to practice and keep up by exercising those tools frequently. If we think we can just use them when we are in a panic it won’t work. I think that is the hardest part. Reminding ourselves daily to meditate or pray or whatever it is that works for us to use it. Consistency is the answer.

No matter what we have to keep on going, keep on working, keep on hoping, and keep on living.

Awareness

Mental health day is here and I hope that those who do not suffer from these problems will look with kindness, compassion and most of all acceptance on those who suffer. We have to continue to aid awareness and understanding. We will not remain silent but will continue to seek hope for a new future.

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God bless all those who suffer from mental health issues!

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.

Joy and sorrow

This morning our church celebrated the life of St. Francis as our church is named for him. It was a joyful day much needed after the last few days. We ended the service by singing a fun song called “all God’s critters got a voice in the choir?”

The young father in my prayers died last night. I will offer what solace and help that I can.

We do have the joy with the sorrow. The two are inextricably connected. Without one we don’t truly experience the other. How can one understand joy if one has not felt the impact of deep sorrow.

This wonderful quote from Henri Nouwen sums it up beautifully

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Life is full of both and we must live it out.

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.

Mostly moms is the reality

raising aloneTimes are tough. There are many children who are being brought up by single moms. Most of the work hard and do their best for their children. Still, being without a spouse is doubly hard. I think it takes two parents. The stress on one parent is horrendous. We all need help and in the case of raising children it is critical.

Regardless of who is doing the raising having more than one person to be looked up to and hopefully emulated is so necessary. It is helpful if boys have some male in their life and a female for girls. This is not always possible but hopefully some other family member is able to step up and help.

raising alone 2When we grew up in small towns there were many others to help. It really does “take a village” to raise a child. The more adults loving and molding growing up the better. Many of the children I am seeing now have only one parent and it is most frequently the mother. We need to grow the organizations “big brothers” and “big sisters” to fill in the gaps. children who are mentored do so much better. If not they seek affirmation from all the wrong people.

We must care for our youth

Powerful help

sleepy dogToday I hit the wall. I am so sleepy that I could just drop off writing this. I think the things I have been doing have finally relaxed some of the tension and I am wiped out. It is a wonderful feeling except I have things I have to do so I’ll just keep going until bedtime. Sure hope I don’t end up wide eyed awake then.

Ironically there are still storms floating around in the Atlantic but so far it seems they are little threat. I hope it stays that way. I guess with climate change happening we will have to cope with this or move.

Yesterday was another Community Conference. Again I saw the power of this program as it saved another youth from being caught up in the court system. It is a powerful feeling to think that I was able to help. I hope this child now understands the chance that has been given and it able to move forward with a positive attitude toward a productive life. I think, in this case, that will happen. It also help an adult to see that not all youth should be written off without knowing more than the surface information.

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I am blessed to be able to help with this program.

What can we do?

The storm has passed us by. Yesterday the winds were high. We had moved all the porch furniture against the wall, brought in all plants and cushions and just watched to see what would happen.

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Watching the wind whipping around the trees and pushing the tide water in making waves was eerie. We watched until it got dark. We were blessed that we had power. Very unusual for here. Usually the slightest storm will knock out the power but it never went out. We did everything that we could to prepare for the storm and finally went to bed listening to the wind.

Surprisingly, I slept until about five. It was still dark and the wind had lessened some. I checked things and all was well. When daylight came we had very little to tell what had happened. We only got the edge of the storm.

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I can’t imagine what it had to be like to have been in the Bahamas. Having that storm sitting in place for so long with winds that will lift you up and blow you away outside….seeing the water rising abound you and unable to do anything to save yourself or your loved ones. The horror of that time….hours and hours of fear and horror….I can’t even imagine it.

Those of us who have not had to experience this kind of catastrophe have been spared. I don’t know how much we are responsible for this increase in the size and number of storms. It is possible that we are more than partly to blame. I hope we can do what we can to help the environment and change things.

Volunteering with program to divert children from the Court System

Today I finished cleaning out the bathroom that is to be renovated. It will be nice to be able to shower in the middle of the shower instead of standing against the wall. The shower has leaked through the door in spite of our many efforts to stop it.

Tomorrow we have the workmen coming in and will live in the other bath until it is done. No leak and some other needed fixes will be wonderful.

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I have begun using my volunteer time to do Community Conferencing. The program hopes to keep children out of the Juvenile Court system by having all parties to a problem sit down and find a solution themselves. If we can divert even one child from exposure to consequences that may bring drastic life changes it will be worth the time.

I hope that through the process the children are also able to learn that actions come with consequences. It is something that should be learned early on to keep the consequences from being life altering.

Peace

Addendum: For some reason this was difficult to write. I couldn’t seem to get down exactly how I was thinking. I hope it makes sense.

Seeking peace. I think in a way we are all reaching for that. From my limited experience that’s what leads people to suicide. For them there seems to be no other way to find peace.

Each of us looks for peace in our own way. It may be religion, it could be alcohol, it could be drugs. Some find it in nature, other people, family. There are so many places to look. I remember a story from many years ago in a mystery book about Mrs. Pollifax. (by Dorothy Gillman) This is a paraphrase of the story:

God is having a conversation with Gabriel. He is talking about giving mankind a soul. They discuss where it could be put…the highest mountain, the deepest part of the sea, but God says mankind will look in those places. Then God says “I know, I will put it inside him. He will never look there.”

seeking peace

That is where peace is to be found. Inside us. The trouble is it will be difficult to find. We are affected by the things around us. Life is challenging. I think that there are few of us who can “feel” peace all the time. Maybe the mystics…maybe those like Mother Theresa or Gandhi. I’m sure they would say that they don’t have it all the time either.

So what in the world am I talking about? I guess I am just looking at the times I do feel peace and savoring them. They don’t seem to be any more permanent than anything else.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”     Ralph Waldo Emerson