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.
This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.” C.S. Lewis.
Lewis is so right but not just about our spiritual life. Living in unreality is a disaster in every way. It touches us on every level. I impact our physical self. No matter our level of activity it is not the same as it was. Even how and what we eat has been impacted.
Our emotional/psychological life has been impacted. We can’t do the things we used to do. Our social interactions have been curtailed. Whether we are introverts or extroverts this is still a change. I am sure that everyone is feeling this distancing in some way. I used to be an extreme extrovert but in my latter years I am more in the middle. This change has affected me in many ways. I miss the touch of others, the face to face exchange of ideas, the fun of simple conversation. I am lonely.
Our spiritual life has most assuredly been impacted. In some ways mine has expanded in that I spend more quiet time and intense connection with God that I have in quite a while. There are not so many distractions. I miss the camaraderie of our church community in addition to the services themselves.
This time has created a different way of being. One that can either strengthen or break us. We have to maintain perspective. Though maybe months distant there will be a change. The view will be changed making us find a new path into the world as it emerges. We have the ability to blend into the new world around us and adapt and make it better.
Part of my nightly prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book: Night Prayer says:
The night heralds the dawn.Let us look expectantly to a new day,new joys,new possibilities.
May we all do so with enthusiasm and creativity.
Things have been difficult here in the last few days. I hope we are on the up side. It is pretty scary to think that in the middle of covid 19 I would have to take my husband to the hospital. That is the last thing I want to do. But if that is what it takes to get him well then there is not choice. However, for now each day seems a little better but it is slow.
Today I was wondering what it must have been like the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. One day there was war “over there” and suddenly it had come home. What fear and panic must have been felt by everyone. We are facing something not at all fun but it will pass long before WW2 did. They lived with it every day for years.
They were strong. They had endurance, faith and hope. We have the same things available to us. Whatever we have to do to keep on is what we will do.
Since my husband developed this UTI life has not only been abnormal because of Covid 19 but also because of dealing with someone who can’t think straight. It is better but not totally gone. God bless all those who live with an Alzheimer’s patients. I really don’t know how you do it.
The anxiety has taken its toll on my mental health and my body. IBSD has flared up after being gone for quite a long time. I know that all of this will end but I want to hurry it up. Living as we do we are mostly alone. We have some family here but they are unable to help much. It is not the day to day help I miss but the comfort of hugs and contact with friends. I am a person who knows the comfort of human touch. I count on it. It is what I miss the most. With my husband not well I feel very alone.
This is my time to spend time with God and that has been helping. I also keep in mind my grandmother whose favorite quote was “and this too shall pass.” She had such strength and faith.
There are many who are suffering much more that I and I hope they can find the resources they need, stay well, and survive the physical and financial crisis. There will be many to help in the days to come and it is up to us to do what we can.
Remember my favorite quote:
‘ALL WILL BE WELL, AND ALL MANNER OF THINGS WILL BE WELL’
Julian of Norwich.
I was not able to write last night. I was mentally and physically exhausted. It was a day to delete from memory.
It started out fine. I actually worked in the yard for a few hours. Took a shower, fixed lunch. It was then that I realized my husband was not all there. His conversation was totally disoriented. Having seen this once before I had an idea what was wrong. He is 82 and as we age if we get a urinary tract infection it can make us out of it. Sooo…I tried to get him to go with me to the local drop-in Dr. We have been there before with great success.
Unfortunately my sweet man had switched into Dr. Hyde. He had 4 insulin pens on his desk and was telling me they were wrong. He yelled at me when I tried to get him to go to the Dr. My son was at work and he can usually get him to listen but it didn’t work. I finally ended up calling EMS.
The two young men who came were really nice. They checked him over and agreed with me that UTI was the most likely culprit. They also felt that the drop-in doc would be great as we should stay away from the hospital with all the virus around. They also could not convince him to go. Then I had a AHA moment. He always listens to his primary physician and will do anything he says. His office was closed but I had him paged and he called back immediately. He told my husband to go with me….of course he listened to him and the paramedics went with me to get him in the car and off we went.
The Doc checked him out and he did have a UTI and now has the medicine and is even some better this morning.
Don’t want to relive yesterday but today is already better! YEA!
I decided that today I needed some humor. I hope you enjoy.
Nothing like just getting ready to write and the power goes off. In addition to dealing with The Virus we were then without power. WOW! I think we have made Mother Nature mad. We are under a tornado watch. Obviously the power is back on but who knows when it will go again.
Today I have been thinking about those people who are sheltering at home and are alone. It must be worrisome to not be connected to others. I decided that I need to being calling the ones that I know just to touch base and share a friendly greeting. There are some people we know who we only see at church and lunch after. I want to reach out and see if there is anything that they need. I know we can’t help much but I do have a son and grandson here who would help if needed….especially to run errands.
I heard today that there are now people getting prescriptions for Hydroxychlorquine to stash away in case they need it. They are getting doctor friends to write the RXs. How selfish can some people be?
I hope that there are more people out there who are concerned about their friends and neighbors than those that hoard. I hope that somehow everyone learns that this quote is true.
Today has been hard. The isolation has finally hit us both. My husband really wanted to go out for lunch but not possible.
Yesterday I talked about living (as a child) through WW2. My husband’s experience was much more noteworthy than mine. He was four years old living in Hawaii behind Diamond head in army quarters when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He remembers waking to lots of planes flying overhead. He got up and told his father who told him it was people training and go back to bed. A few moments later his father was called about the bombing. His father was in charge of the Coast Artillery that was actually in the volcano.
My husband, his mother and sister, lived in a bomb shelter in the yard that day expecting the bombers to come back. Later they moved into the volcano and stayed there for several weeks before being evacuated to the states. The ship that took them to the west coast went back for more people but was bombed and sank before getting there.
His memories are much scarier than mine and clearer. After all, being bombed is enough to sit in the memory for quite a while. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live where that is a threat every day.
This crisis is bad. It is testing our will just as WW2 did. I hope that we can pull together as we did then to get past this enemy. I hope it will unite much of the world to the real threat….the distress of the environment which may be why these viruses are gaining hold. I don’t know that… I just wonder.
As a nurse there is one thing that I have learned well….not everything can be fixed. Often people grow up with the idea that there is nothing that can’t be solved in some way. Working in the hospital it is evident that things go wrong, people die, life is not perfect.
We live in a world where we expect everything to be fixed. Get a headache take a pill. Go to the doctor..get a diagnosis..get fixed. We don’t want to wait for anything. We want everything to be done at once.
Because of that this time is a real eye opener for some. I can’t go to the store and expect to find everything I need. I can’t hop in my car and go out to a restaurant. Everything I want is not available. What a shock.
I was born a year before Pearl Harbor. I don’t remember much about the war as I was very young but I do remember rationing. You couldn’t get everything you wanted. Gas was limited so you couldn’t go where you wanted all the time. We mostly stayed home. My father was working on the pentagon (construction contractor) and was exempt from going to war. This grieved him and he tried several times to go but to no avail.
My parents built a house shortly before the war began. They had extra rooms and took in war wives whose husband were overseas. They lived with us throughout the war. That was the environment I grew in. We were comfortable but certainly weren’t able to choose the life we wanted to live. I was blessed with a sense of extended family and lots of love but we lived in frightening times. Even as a small child I could sense that angst.
This time reminds me of those days. Something from my distant memory pulls feelings from the past. Those feelings are attached to the way things are now. Just like that time we can’t fix it. We just have to wait it out and live with whatever comes afterward.
Remember…patience, patience and waiting. It can’t be fixed but it can be endured and lived beyond.
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
Today I was out in the car delivering some cake to friends when I saw a man in the middle of the 2 lane road. He was getting in the way of cars, shaking his fist at them, banging on car windows, and obviously was intoxicated or on drugs. He was scary so I called the police. On my way back home he wasn’t there so he either disappeared or the police picked him up. Very strange. Not something we usually see around here. I hope he is ok as I worry about people who are impaired in some way.
I will never forget the time my best friend called the police because there was a naked man in the street. The police noted that many people had called and there was much amusement about it.
The good thing that I saw on my way was families riding bikes together, playing ball. walking and other pursuits. My husband and I took a ride around the neighborhood in our golf cart and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. (the golf cart is a workhorse for me I use it for yard work) We also walk the dogs.
This crisis has brought some families together. I know that it has probably caused problems for others but I hope the good outweighs the bad. There are always good things that come out of bad times. There will be people grieving the loss of loved ones but there will also be those who will see and appreciate the intangible things in life. They have had time to stop and smell the roses.
Yesterday when coming back from the grocery we were behind at school bus with a police car behind it. The bus stopped and we remained stopped. The bus didn’t move and we just sat there. In a few minutes the bus pulled forward and to the side of the road. Not being sure if to pass or not we drove alongside the police car. I put my window down to ask if we should pass. The police office said to go on by that they were delivering food.
It made me feel good. The school buses are not being used right now and what a wonderful thing to do. Obviously the county where we live has decided to use the police, when they are available, and the school bus drivers are not working. This helps everyone.
This shows me that our community is finding ways to help those who can’t get out to get needed supplies.