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.
Recently there was a discussion regarding something related to this quote: “Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the bones.” From the Asaro tribe in Papua New Guinea. We were talking about how we don’t really absorb a change of a habit until we live it day by day.
We were talking about habits. Changing habits is a difficult thing. we may want to change but we will continue along the old path unless we act. I often think of it as “act as if.” We may not really incorporate the change into ourselves but we act as if it is already there. We choose to believe it is there and our behavior matches that belief. Day by day, as we continue to do this, the change becomes part of us and a new habit is formed.
Our resolve to make this shift has to be considerable for the change to happen but it can be done. The same is true of a knowledge or belief as in the quote above. It can only change by living it out. Some things can’t be proved but only accepted. My faith is based on “acting as if” every day. There are times when I question but continue to live out my faith as a choice. I have never met anyone who doesn’t question even if they can’t acknowledge it.
This also applies to loving another person. Each day we have to make a choice to love. We may not like the person at the moment or be at odds with them but we can still choose to love. It is a decision not a feeling.
Choose carefully what you wish to change or what you believe or who you love and then live it out.
Things are beginning to settle down. Thanksgiving was good and interesting with the mix of people. My daughter, Jenny, sets a beautiful table and her husband did a wonderful job with all the food. It was an amazing meal. Today I made soup with the turkey carcass and some homemade bread for dinner. We will take it to Jenny’s house for everyone to enjoy.
I am finding my way around and only get lost every once in a while. I heard today that some vaccines may be coming before too long. Medical personnel, first responders and other special need people will be the first to get it. At least that will be a start and maybe we will begin to see a decline in the sudden panic that arose again.
I have not seen a person here in public without a mask worn properly. If everyone would do what they should maybe we can reduce the spread at last. How wonderful that would be and something to be truly grateful about.
I can almost find everything. Unpacking was a chore and things were in weird places but it is getting better. I have really been tired but am bouncing back a little. Finding my way around is challenging but I will eventually. Thank heaven for GPS. When I mess up I can stop and let it tell me how to get home.
Weather is still in the 70’s much like Savannah. I would really love some cool but there we are.
People are panicking about covid again and not helping the situation. If only everyone would just wear a mask and do the things necessary to help this along. Maybe someday this will all be a story to tell (in our case) our great grandchildren.
Life is different and the same. We are some of our family but the reality of covid continues to make life lonely. Connecting with friends from home is mostly the same since it was phone conversations. However we did have a few people that we met to eat outside off and on. Our family is one who does dinner (and it is wonderful ) but I miss meeting people for lunch. Even if we go out it is just the two of us. Sometimes it is so hard not to be bored.
I have picked up my knitting and crocheting but since it has been my go to thing since March the joy of it is wearing thin. Like most people I am feeling the long haul to some changes.
Thanksgiving will provide some change as the family will have a meal together but I am discovering getting my husband and the dogs going can be a real journey. We haven’t yet got the dogs acclimated and they howl if we leave them alone which means that we take them with us or one of us has to be here. Oh well, one of life’s little irritations.
I know I’m sounding gloomy and I do feel that way a good bit but “this too shall pass.” After not being in a different town since 1976 this will take some time.
It is nice to be reading all of you again and connecting. Thank you for your responses.
This is the first night that I have attempted to write anything. Having lived for almost a month in chaos has me really drained. We are finally able to feel as if we live in our apartment. It is a very quiet and tree filled area. It is, however, much different than living in a neighborhood where everyone smiled and waved to each other. It feels emotionally cold although I am sure that is just me adjusting to a different world.
Right now it is hard. My family is mostly busy during the week with work and school even though available for help and ememrgencies if needed. It feels very lonely although in truth no different than our former home during covid. Getting out is the same and it was lonely at home too. It just feels different in a different space. I know these feelings will pass and some of it is homesickness but at the moment it makes me sad.
Sometimes waiting is so hard. All of us waiting for a vaccine and for something to change. In lots of ways putting life on hold. We have to find ways to continue to live even if in a different way.
I am holding on to that hope for now and managing.
I am sorry to have missed so many blogs and so many of you on wordpress and on facebook. I will try to get back to my former pattern so that I can reconnect.
In this week coming up to Thanksgiving in the US I will be counting my blessings and they are many. Peace, Suzanne
We are in Texas! We are not yet in our apartment. The pod arrives on Saturday and we will be able to start settling in. I’m sad that I missed much time with my WordPress family but now I will be able to start catching up. It is a relief to be on this end of the process and though still sad I am looking forward to our next steps.
My brain is slowly starting to function again and that feels good. I may take a while to find my way around here with all those tangled highways but I will get it eventually.
I hate to keep writing that days have been tough but it is the truth. Trying to divide what we want to move with us and what we do is confusing. Also, accepting that this is it finally. I have wanted it here but now that it is it is really stressful. I have been fighting anxiety and taking meds when I usually don’t need them.
Change is hard and not what we usually want. We need this and it will take a while to get things organized. So many doctors to set up for my husband and visits to them. When we get it all set up it will be a gigantic relief. We already have an appointment with an infectious disease specialist and that is the most critical one since his primary problem is the infection in his knee replacement.
At some time I will be able to think again and write about interesting topics instead of whining about my stresses. I am looking forward to that. I have also written so little on my other blog “heargodinothervoices.” my thoughts about God have been thanking him for his support with me and his continuing care.
This week will be busy so I will write when I can and know that the community will understand and support me.
I have decided that this is a day for another “IF” question.
“If you could eliminate one heredity characteristic from your family what would it be?“
This is an easy one for me. I would get rid of our tendency to have anxiety and depression. Mostly it is anxiety which then leads to depression. For some of my family this is a mild trait…for others not so much. In the past anxiety has lead to alcoholism since it is one way to tamp down anxiety. Obviously not a good way but one that was commonly used in the past and could easily be again. It could also lead to drug abuse for the same reason.
I have seen this problem crop up in some younger members but I am relieved to say that they are handling it really well.
Any kind of mental health issue is a challenge that can easily lead to bad ways to handle the problems it causes. I would be happy if this disappeared in my family.
Today has been chaos. Part of my family has been here deconstructing my house. They are taking pieces of furniture that they want and some other things. I have fled to my office to get away from it all. I am going to be living in the strangest house until we get all things packed up. Things that were in drawers are on the floor since the drawer(s) are gone. I can’t pack them until my other child arrives to decide what she wants. Very confusing but hopefully soon over.
Our apartment is ready for us. It just needs us and some furniture which we will get soon enough. In a short while we will move into a VRBO that my best friend is loaning to us. It will be a wonderful retreat from the mess.
This has been interesting, challenging, freeing and I’m sure I could find other adjectives to fit. Keep us in your thoughts are prayers for the next few weeks. It will help me stay sane.
Yesterday I realized that I was doing too much. The amount of paperwork involved in this move has been totally overwhelming. I was trying so hard to do everything that I was stressing myself beyond my ability to function. So I did the smart thing. I asked for help.
It is not unusual for any of us to think that we can take care of everything and that we don’t need help. “I can handle it!” We don’t want to feel weak or needy but each of us has a limit. We don’t want to ask for help but most of the time it is there if we ask.
My children willing pitched in and took a few of the tasks away and the relief was enormous. Just having a few things gone made a big difference.
We never want to ask for help. We want to be so independent but it is good to ask for help. People are usually very willing to do what they can. I know that I will help wherever I can and most people are the same. Don’t wait until you are at the end of the rope. Call for help and let someone pull you in.