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Why this journey?

Life is a series of choices. We don’t often think of that but just getting out of bed in the morning is a choice. We are so used to routine that it doesn’t seem like we made a choice. It’s just what we do every day with little thought. How different life could be it we could be fully present for each of those choices. It is interesting to reflect on one’s path in life. It is so easy to see the places where I stepped off the path and usually paid for it. Sometimes the slip brings an instant outcome. Sometimes life continues and only with a long look back can we see the result of the choice.

I have always wanted to learn to live each day in the present moment but I haven’t mastered it yet. If only every second of every day I could remember I am alive now!  How different my whole life would have been.

You see, I am a worrier. I cross bridges and explore every good and bad outcome for each crisis or major event that comes up. I can easily picture myself with a fatal illness or catastrophic problem. The real question is how I have managed to live for 76 years and not learned how to let this go. It is time to move on. This is my journey into change. My first step into a new way to really live each moment.

I know that I have a tough road ahead of me and will struggle with my resistance to changing habits and applying all the advice and wisdom I have been given. I worried as a child. My grandmother used to tell me to sit in a chair and worry as hard as I could and get up and see if anything had changed. Her wisdom (she died at 100 ) was there for me as long as she lived. I heard it over and over but never learned how to do it.

The practice of faith was not absent in my growing years. God was a part of my everyday life. I was baptized in the Presbyterian church that my parents attended and each Sunday was in church with my parents or my grandmother (she was Methodist) I saw my grandmother read her Bible each day and pray as she rested after lunch and again at night before bed. Her connection to God was strong. Was Her consistent time spent with God the thing that brought her such peace? Many of my adult years have been spent in God’s ministry. Interesting that all that energy and action didn’t have a deeper effect on my way of being. One would think that Bible study, leading church events, teaching yoga and meditation would have had more impact.

So many human quirks that have been around since Adam and Eve have been given titles and are seen as present in many of us. In today’s world, my worrying would be given the title mild anxiety. What I do is not unusual nor can it be considered a psychiatric diagnosis. It seems to me that the recognition of garden variety anxiety has given some relief for those of us who worry. I am not the only one and will certainly not be the last.

Added on to this propensity to worry are the major changes in our way of life. It seems to me that sometimes ignorance is bliss. (note: I say it seems that way). Today we are bombarded with information. The world seems to be more dangerous day by day. To quote Dr King “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” We can see the result of this on the streets of our cities. Have we been desensitized to violence so that nothing is too abhorrent to do?

All the electronic devices have added noise on a former unprecedented level. Is there silence anywhere? Do we understand the effect on body and mind of constant noise? Do we ever just sit back and think? I see this pattern as actually increasing worry or anxiety in the future. There is no time to just be.

All that having been said this writing will record my progress (or lack thereof) of a journey into change. I cannot change the world but I can change myself. I believe in the butterfly principle and maybe if one person finds a different way something will change.

What world?

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.

Faith Baldwin

My grandmother used to tell me about her life as a young girl. At 100 years old she hardly recognized the world she was living in. So many things had changed. Some of the changes have been good for us as humans and others not so good. We need to stay aware of the changes in our world and work to correct those that are bad for us and the earth. After all, our children will know what we have done. What world do we want to leave for them?

Savor each moment

If, before going to be every night, you will tear a page from the calendar, and remark.’There goes another day of my life, never to return,’ you will become time conscious.

A.B. Zu Tavern

I’m not sure we take much notice of the passing of time. We say time flies. It certainly seems to. Months fly by with hardly a notice. Someone once told me that time passes faster for us as we grow older because we pay less attention to each day. Yet each day is unique. Each moment is different and we will never have it again.

Don’t let time fly by without notice. Remind us to savor each moment and savor each day.

So what if the sky is falling?

Yesterday was a milestone. We were able to take my husband out for an early dinner at an outdoor restaurant. Afterward he was exhausted but happy. I know how good it must have felt for him since he has been completely for so long. Boredom and cabin fever have hit hard since he couldn’t even get outside except on the porch. Out there it can be so hot that it is not worth it.

I am so tired of doomsayers. People are already warning about the next pandemic. Whether they are right or not is immaterial. We can’t live in constant fear. For one thing we would all suffer PTSD and go nuts. Eventually we would die out as the human race. Suicide by fear is not the way I plan to live.

I am focusing on how to live each day and appreciate what it brings. There is no other way. I have struggled most of my life about learning to live in the moment and now I am getting closer to that. I will not spend each day in fear and anxiety frittering away my time. Life is too precious for that.

What we can not what we wish

I love having my daughters here. They have been a big help. We have accomplished a lot and are moving ahead. It remains to see how Hap’s recovery goes and how far. This will take time.

Once again we are stuck up against all the changes in the ways that society can interact. Around here I see most people wearing masks which wasn’t happening before. Maybe people are finally getting it. I hope it lasts.

We have all been so weighed down and fighting our way of life. Maybe it is time to step into a new mode and learn to fly again. I am realizing that even though there are things that I can’t do there are also things that I can do and I am going to do them.

According to current information I can eat outside at restaurants with distancing from other customers. I will be taking advantage of that. We have many places with the option to eat outdoors. My knitting friends and I can meet wherever we can find a safe place and there actually are some options for that.

So life goes on. And it is up to us to decide how to accept what is….not what we wish it could be.

Attitude of gratitude

Today my house is full. My heart is also full with the love from my family. My two daughters, my daughter-in-law and a best friend are here. This is the first gathering since the beginning of covid. It wasn’t planned but just came together as a spontaneous time. The girls are all making dinner and my husband’s pain is less and he is able to rest.

All in all I am grateful. I know there are some tough times coming but definitely not as stressful as the week I spent alone in a hotel with Hap in the Mayo Clinic. I got through it and that is the best I can say. Somehow we both survived it and mending is happening.

It still feels strange to be at home the whole day on a Sunday. I guess that feeling won’t go away until church can begin again. I look forward to that.

Each of us is finding new ways to grow and cope in this strange new world. I suppose we will have some ability to meet others at some point but for now not exposing ourselves to those who could be carrying the virus is best for us.

I hope on this Sunday everyone has found some peace and hope that continues.

A view of our world

My granddaughter led me to this musical tht has been on Broadway. The music reminded me so much of the late fifties and sixties that It resonated with me. It speaks so clearly about the things that are happening in our world. We do have to remember when we build walls what we are walling in and what we are walling out. The “call and response” in this piece also echoes the way that many respond to what they hear without really thinking about it. Listen to the lyrics of this piece and see what you think.

Is temporary comfort possible?

It is scary to think that I am beginning to think this life is normal. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I guess I am settling into a routine.

For me, routine is always a plus. Just getting up and following a pattern makes me comfortable. I don’t know how others feel but it works for me. I go out to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy and doctors visits. Otherwise I connect with people through electronic means. I do feel the absence of personal contact as I truly believe that human physical contact is necessary to our well being.

I suspect that this time has been more challenging for those of us alone or with someone else who needs care like my husband. We seek our connections with others and that is limited. My life has changed so drastically that covid is only one aspect of the whole. I have spent months adapting to constant change and now there is some sort of consistency and I suppose that is why I feel more settled.

I hope that each of us continues to find our way through into a routine that is helpful and sustainable. I pray for those who have lost job, income, health and whatever else has struck them.

Share yourself

Today I was thinking about how people connect. How do we really make a deep connection that can change an acquaintance into a true friend?

In my experience that happens when we are willing to open up and share of ourselves. Telling our stories….some of which do not show us in the best light…allows others to see into us in a different way. There is a risk in this. Sometimes this sharing will not be accepted in the way we want. Sometimes we can be rejected or used. But without this kind of sharing we will never reach that level of friendship that bonds people together.

Don’t be afraid to share yourself

Since I am an extrovert I am usually willing to let people hear the stories that tell about my failings and weaknesses. Those stories that let people know that I have anxiety and need help off and on. I will share that I have seen a psychologist and have no problem doing so whenever I need to.

Stories that reveal moments that may relate to the other person usually will bring forth similar sharing. People need to know that we are not judgmental and understand in order to feel comfortable opening up.

It is a blessing that our connection on Word Press allows for that kind of sharing.

Acquiring a new virtue

Hallelujah! My husband is home at last. He is very weak and will need time to regain strength after this more than 3 month ordeal. Things have moved with frustrating slowness but they have moved…..just like covid.

Patience is not one of my virtues but I have had to use it and will get used to it more than I ever have before.

Quotes image of Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.

I am getting good at this. Maybe some day it will become one of my virtues.