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.
Sometimes it is hard to see the good. Sometimes the down side is so much more visible. I live in a wonderful place. I can want for nothing but I still feel disconnected. With a partner I had what I saw as a life of connections. Picked my own directions…did my own thing. I can still do that but I didn’t realize how disconnected I would feel from the lives of my family.
They were raised to find their own way…to make their own choices and they have done a wonderful job of that. But they frequently called with updates and questions. I knew about their lives. I was connected.
Now I am in a safe, prime environment and for some reason I have become disconnected. Is is me? Am I not functioning the way I used to?
I guess in some ways I was the matriarch. My home was still the center. Now that is gone. In some ways it is a relief to not have that role but I realize I miss it. Something else to absorb and learn to accept. It is the way of life. Each generation moves on and leaves room for the next.
Today I want to talk about a touchy subject. …Gender expression. My granddaughter is in her 20’s and talks with me about friends that want to have as a designation “they.” I have no problem with people expressing their gender any way they want but I do think that there is a problem with they and them.
In our society we tend to divide ourselves into groups of us and them. This definitely puts a negative spin on those designations. Are them and they on the outside?
How people see their gender is only a small part of who we are. I am multiple people. My gender is important for me but the other aspects of ME are just as important. I think of myself in many different ways. Today my persona may be an artist or a writer. I may be functioning from a male perspective. I may be childish and not 82 years old. I may look at people as people I need to help from my years of nursing, or taking on my passion for expressions of God. I am many things, many people, multiples. I am not they or them. I am definitely WE !!
So if people want to address me as something other than she I want to be called WE !
The weather has changed again. We go from ninety something degrees two forty degrees. You can never figure out what to wear.
At last after being here almost two years I am loving my apartment and feel at home. It’s always good to remember that nothing is ever perfect. And we can’t expect it to be. I am still amazed At the people who live here. It is like a brain trust here. There are so many people with p h d’s and amazing life experiences.
Crash does really well for a big dog in a small space. He ages along with me and we both move slower than we used to.
We have lifelong learning classes that we can choose to attend. At the moment I am going to a philosophy of aging class that is very interesting. I don’t think I will ever want to stop learning. Curiosity is a wonderful thing. I am also reading an amazing book the song of the cell. I can’t even pretend to spell the name of the person who wrote it but it is really good. He won a Pulizer Prize for his first book which was about cancer. His writing style is easy to read and makes If it’s something that interests difficult topic easy going. If it is something that interests you check it out.
Today I am trying a new way of scheduling my time. What I have been doing isn’t working. I have been spending too much time on meaningless things and not giving myself time to do the things that feed my soul.
In the last few days I realized what was holding me back. When I was living in my old home I did not have to spend much time managing the dogs. Now it is different. In an apartment I have to take Crash out at least three times a day. It’s not that it is bad but my pattern for years was different. I now have to establish a new pattern for my days and let that send me into a better lifestyle.
Now, back on my desktop computer and not fighting to hold the laptop (sitting in a lounge chair) it is so much easier to write and to think.
Thank you, my WordPress family for putting up with me over this long haul to a new pattern and hopefully a richer way of being.
I just remembered a story that I must have heard on a TV show. It was powerful but didn’t get into my quote book. I have been too stressed to see aha’s when they come at me. I want to share it here and am sorry that I can’t tell you where I saw it.
A woman felt guilty about some gossip that she had passed on and went to ask her priest to confess and ask for forgiveness. He told her to go home and take a pillow from her bed and go to the roof of the building with scissors or a knife. She was to rip holes in the pillow and come back to him. She did what he asked and went back to see him. He asked her “what did you see?” She said “feathers flying everywhere.” He said “go back and find all those feathers.” She protested that it would be impossible.
It is easy to go insane with anything due to a medical issue today. My Dr ordered a med for me over a week ago. I am blessed to have have the benefit of being covered under a long-term military insurance and so have to use express scripts. For routine medications this is not a problems but when it is a new rx or something expensive then weird things happen. My med was ordered last week. The ES countered with a request for the doctor to approve mailing it. My DR called this in. Then they wanted something more which wasn’t listed. She called again and sent a partial fill to a local pharmacy. The pharmacy, while getting approval, was told that it couldn’t be filled until March 25th. I spoke with the pharmacy and they were going to call again for approval. I called Express Scripts and they told me the drug was shipped out today.
With my experiences in nursing I am at least able to attack the issues with some knowledge and find solutions. It is impossible for the general public to manage such complex systems.
It has also reached the point where if a person is in the hospital they need to have an advocate with them or things go wrong.
Here I am again having not written for a while. I don’t know what is wrong with me. These posts are my connection to others and I have to do better.
Recently I had a really bad episode of IBSD and it threw me into the most difficult panic I have had in a longtime. If I could just get past my unreasonable fear that stems from years ago I would get whatever I could do done and find something that will help this. Things that happened in the past really can come back to haunt us. I suffered for three months without edimy (then) doctor doing anything and when I finally got to the right person I was in the hospital for three weeks. This experience left me with unreasonable fear of repetition and brings on panic.
Years later I started this blog and it has helped me through a lot. I do so much better when I can express myself and push the problem away.
On the whole I am better but once in a while it comes to haunt me. Those times are less frequent and I know that the meditation, journaling, writing here and keeping busy have made a tremendous difference.
Not finding the right church has not helped but I will keep on trying.
I guess my thought for today is never give up. Just keep going.
Let me preface this post by saying that Austin Texas has a motto “keep Austin weird.” This probably came about since Austin is a liberal place. My son-in-law calls it “An island of liberals in a sea of conservatives.”
I have spent the last few weeks changing my apartment around and I can’t believe how much better it is. It is not only looking better but is it is so much more efficient. Now everything has its place and I can keep it neat. How is it that we find myself hunting misplaced objects more in this small space that when I lived in a much bigger house? How weird is that?
The days are getting longer and I find it easier to get up in the morning. I am so dependent on light. I will hate it when the time changes this month and we go to daylight savings. It makes no sense to continue to do this.
I have heard several reasons about how this came to be one of them says it was for farmers. This makes no sense since farmers get up regardless of daylight.
Oh well, another of those interesting decisions that government did. Living here in Texas I am finding a lot of those things. I have learned that Texans really love their state, know it can be wrong, but are passionate about it no matter what and that is one way to “keep Austin weird.”
When you are getting older (actually we all are) the smallest things can throw your day off. It may be only me but I prefer consistency. I have learned that I do better following my plans. Lately several days have gone awry. Due to my problems with anxiety it can really set my IBSD off which sets the whole system (mine) to go downhill. I didn’t sleep one night and yesterday was a loss.
I did sleep well last night and will work on getting the rest of my issues under control. Life is always interesting.