A friend and I were reminiscing yesterday and I wanted to share some memories from the “ancient person.”
I remember lying in front of our fireplace and listening to the radio. Yes radio! Fun programs like “Let’s pretend, The Shadow, Fibber Magee and Molly, and many more. There was something enchanting about picturing the stories in your own mind.
I remember watching TV for the first time. Of course black and white, tiny screen.
I remember playing outside in the twilight..Kick the Can, Hide and Seek.
I remember visiting my Aunt and seeing the horse drawn milk delivery truck. The horse knew the route and moved to the next stop while the man took the milk to the door and picked up the empty bottles to be washed and used again. She lived in what was a small town at that time.
I remember standing in my front yard (on a main highway) and watching convoys of military vehicles going to a nearby post. I was quite young but still remember this from WWII.
I remember hanging clothes on the line outside to dry and running to bring them in if it started to rain.
I remember, in my teens, taking a bus to Washington DC, (we lived in the suburbs) and visiting the museums and Smithsonian. Taking the bus home and being perfectly safe.
I remember watching the McCarthy hearings and being upset that people could be treated that way.
It was a different view of the world.
It is obvious that we learn more from the mistakes that we make than from the things we do right. It is important that we teach this truth to children. We spend a lot of time lauding success but little time talking about failure in a positive way. When children learn that only being correct on test or questions answered then they become fearful of making mistakes. They become less willing to answer or try something out.
I know it sounds crazy to reward failure and that is not really what is happening. We need to take time to discuss mistakes and errors and ask what has been learned. Someone who is more into education than me needs to come up with a curriculum that allows time to discuss “boo boo’s,” understand what they taught and maybe find amusement in them (when appropriate). This time should include the mistakes made by the teachers as examples of how everyone is included. They could discuss what might have been a better path for next time.
Maybe this way we won’t stifle creativity. Most inventions came after many failures.
Today the plumbers came and fixed the pipes and covered the hole. Yea! Sometimes we tend to bite off more than we can chew. At our age it is so easy to do. One of the hard things about getting older is understanding that you are not 30. Even thought we are both active there are still some things we don’t have the strength for.
My grandmother used to say there were advantages to growing older. ( I may have said this before) She said: “when I get up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror without my glasses I don’t look bad and when people are talking and I don’t want to listen I turn off my hearing aid.”
It’s funny but I have never wanted to be any age but what I am. Even now. Maybe if I get to be 100 I might wish to be younger. Who knows?
I know people who would like to go back and live certain years again. For me, every years has had its joys and its sorrows. I don’t need to revisit them. Each taught me new things that I use in my life now. Wisdom is gained by living.
Sometimes I would like to tell someone how to fix their problem but manage to hold off. (Most of the time) With years behind me I can often see an easier way but each of us needs to learn for ourselves. If someone really wants me to share my wisdom I would be glad to. I do some of that on this blog.
Learning is a lifelong journey. Don’t ever stop learning and growing. That’s when you are dead before you have died.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday for us Christians. I actually love Lent. For me, Lent is a time for reflection…a time to assess where I am. I usually plan to take on something as well as give up something. I find it more difficult to take on something. I usually begin reading a book that I should have read already. I have books on my shelf that I meant to read but never got around to it. I have pulled two books from my shelf and would like to get through both of them. We’ll see.
Taking time out to reflect can be scary. It is possible to find gaps in our lives and thinking. We may uncover the flaws. This can be upsetting. Nevertheless this is work I need to do even if it finds the things I need to change.
However, it can also be a time of affirmation. It is important to also look at the good things and see where I am gaining in knowledge and strength. It will show me where my accumulated wisdom has helped me to make changes in myself and to help others.
This all sounds very grand. But 40 days is a big block of time and I want to use it well. I am glad that my particular faith sets this time aside. If not I would probably skip it altogether.
It has been two weeks since I was so sick with IBSD. I have been so well in general that the episode completely blind-sided me. Now I am experiencing the hangover. Since these particular episodes always occur between 9 and 10 in the evening I get anxious each night around that time.
The irony is that this kind of episode only crops up, at the most, once a year. It will take weeks for it to fade from my mind and then I will be fine.
It is so amazing what we can do to ourselves. I am fine physically but my mind clings to the latest event. So what to do? I have increased my prayer and quiet time, continued my regular routine and let that event become a memory that will fade. Learning and using coping skills is such a critical piece to our health and wholeness. We must remember that we were created as whole beings….not separate parts. Everything that we do affects our entire being.
One of the problems with out medical systems today is that we are not see this way but as different parts managed by different physicians. Not only do they not see beyond their specialty but they seldom communicate with each other.
We must learn to be our own advocates. Even if a physician ignores or puts you down for your concerns and conclusions about your care remember who sees the end result. Don’t ever be afraid to speak your mind and if you have someone who can’t accept that change to someone else. Never let a caregiver dismiss you. Each of us is just a important as the person caring for us. Never forget it.
Life moves along. The things we knew slide away and new things come. The church that I used to work for has 2 new pastors. They seem to have jumped in with vigor and lots of things are going on. This is a really good thing. The offices, which were in another building, have been moved back to the church building and rooms have been updated. This is moving forward.
I was there today and it did bring memories and nostalgia about the past. There are things that I will miss. A while ago I said I should have a T-shirt made that says “I have survived 8 pastors.” If I added the ones I worked with before that job it would be even more. Each one had their own personality and own way of doing things. Part of the job is to support the pastor so I learned the ways and ideas of each one. It feels strange not to be doing that with these two but it is time to help elsewhere.
We have all talked about dealing with change. it is a constant like death and taxes. There are changes that are easy to move on from and some that are not. Regardless that is life. There will always be changes that we will regret and mourn. That is as it should be. We just have to accept that there are things we can’t do anything about and we don’t need to get hung up on them.
We have to move on to new things ourselves and find our place and our fulfillment somewhere else.
I was thinking today about how our image of God (if you have one) colors who we are and how we think. If anthropology tells us correctly the images of God dug up from very old civilizations were mostly feminine. Women with bulbous breasts and often pregnant. The idea that women created life brought about ideas of their sacredness.
I don’t know that I have ever read any study that gives a step by step progression of how and why that image changed. Might be fun to look that up but I suspect it had to do with the shift from a hunter-gatherer society to a less mobile farming one. As civilization progressed roles continued to be defined and somehow the God as woman shifted. In many cultures there were multiple Gods connected with the perception that Gods controlled the vagaries of the earth and could be appealed to to bring good outcomes.
As God, melded into a single entity in several cultures that entity was primarily male. Our Christian beginnings, linked to the Jewish culture, were firmly entrenched in a male image.
All this being said how does this affect how we think? If we see a male, patriarchal God we will expect a male dominated society. Our society has had this aspect for quite a long time. If we believe in a God we have to learn to see God as more. God as feminine, God as neutral, God as gay, transgender or whatever allows us to feel connected with the divine. This idea can be offensive to some but the point is we connect with a God who is like us for right or wrong. That is why some people have had a difficult time with images of god. The image we have definitely colors our thinking. It is time we espouse a very broad image. After all, we can’t possibly grasp the infinite. Don’t put God in a box.