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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.

New procedure

Tomorrow will be very busy. My husband will have a “Watchman” implant (a brand new device) to prevent blood clots. A short while after he will be able to come off of blood thinners for the first time in years. That will be great as he bruises easily and is always needing major band aids for small everyday scrapes and cuts.

They will allow me to be with him and can see him following the procedure. He will spend the night and be home on Friday. Medicine just keeps advancing. Hopefully this will be a plus for him.

This getting old is aggravating but it’s better than not being here. I am thankful that we have managed this long and hope we keep moving for a while yet. We plan to.

More advanced, more complicated, more wrong.

There has been a gremlin in my house. I am sure of it. We now have TV remotes mixed up and they don’t seem to work totally anywhere. One will change channels and do volume, the other will turn on and off. We need two remotes for my husband to work his TV. My daughter sent a new remote for him and I can’t get it programmed. The instructions work but you have to search for the codes for the TV and the cable box and the numbers that may work reach out to infinity. If I had a week I’m sure I could get it programmed. So for now he is using two remotes.

Why do things have to be so complicated? My daughter say the more things they add to each electronic piece the more likely it is to go wrong. I’m finding that to be true. Somehow I have got to get something working. I contacted the cable company and they are not allowing anyone to come into the house at this time. Since there are many issue involved with this having someone here is the only way to solve it. Oh well….sighhhhhhhh.

Life is complicated enough without having to fight with electronic devices. I wonder what it will be like when robots do everything? I think I am glad that I will not be here to see it.

A-day out of time

Today is an absolutely beautiful day. It is so pretty outside that it makes me want to stay out forever.

Knitting and enjoying

The breeze is amazing and I can smell the gardenias that are blooming near the house. I can’t think of a more wonderful setting. This is something we don’t get to do very often hear. Usually it is way too hot. It is unusual for us to have mild weather at the beginning of June.

I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of this peace during the afternoon. Life isn’t always so easy. Often there is too much to do. Even with staying home for the virus.

It has been wonderful to have this break as the rest of the week will be busy and stressful.

It is so important to take this time out when it’s offered. For it doesn’t always appear in our lives. Just a few moments of this kind of rest can prepare you for stressful days to come.

Violence is never the answer

The other night I caught the edge of some news. They were talking about somewhere that a protest was being held. Not us, another country. The protesters came out into the street and just stood. No words, no movement, nothing. Apparently people were stunned and paying attention. It was novel. It was different. It was non-violent. It piqued curiosity and questions and notice. It reminded me of the protests of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

All this violence, robbery and chaos does not do the same thing. I was reminded of these quotes.

When will we ever learn?

It’s a dogs world here

Last night while watching the movie “Midway” with my husband (who loves old movies) I took a photo of one of our bassets (Miss Tillie). Don’t you wish you could relax like that? That is true comfort. She knows how to lay down and chill no matter what is going on. She knows this staying home is the best of worlds for her.

If you were reincarnated wouldn’t it be wonderful to come back as a beloved dog belonging to a loving family? I would

Feel good jobs

I will sleep well tonight. I spent several hours pressure washing half of the front porch. The floor the house walls, ceiling and the railings. At that point I decided that it would be good to hire our neighbor’s son (who always wants the money for the jobs to help his ballgame trips in the fall) to do the other half and continue with the porch on the other side of the house.

I am a reasonably active 79 year old but washing the high sides of the house and the ceiling of the porch was enough. I need to work on those particular muscles. I will do other jobs and let him take on this one.

I really like working outside. It is good exercise to garden, mow and pull vines from the azaleas. It is time consuming but it feels so good when you are done. There is something fulfilling about a job well done. There are some things in life that you can do and see immediate results. I love those things. When mowing you can see the cut lawn looking so good row after row. Making a bed brings immediate results. There are many things that do but so many that don’t.

On with the jobs that make me feel good!

Grief for the hatred

I am almost struck dumb by hearing about another incident with a black man. The first one was in a place I have been many times and had no idea what was under the surface. We suffer from blindness that must go away. Why is the hatred so strong? Have we not changed at all? I grew up with a father who lived out that everyone was created equal. He never tolerated looking down on anyone. He was much loved by all who knew him.

The daughter of one of my best friends (the friend sadly is no longer with us) is married to a Lakota Sioux. I have seen through her eyes and that of her family the same kind of selective justice that their people have suffered. It continues.

The Massacre at Wounded Knee

When will we being to see people as human beings….no different than us. Is it going to take DNA testing everyone to prove that in today’s world odds are we all have DNA in common?The world has become very small. Is it going to take invasion by aliens to make us see our commonality instead of our differences?

Surely this virus has made us see it is no respecter of persons. Everyone race, creed or color is at risk. Can we not move past the hatred? I grieve for those hurt recently and those hurt in the past. Not just here in our nation but in the whole world. We can’t seem to learn.

Books: The never ending story

Do you go to the library? There was a time when all those books saved me. When my husband was in Viet Nam the only true place that I could feel calm was in a book. I was there at least once a week and took home five or six books and unless they were complex I had them back the next week.

Now I can hardly remember visiting the library unless I need to renew my card. I either get library books on my Kindle or read from the Kindle unlimited list. I don’t but a paperback or hardcover book unless it is so special that I want a physical copy. I have an extensive lot of books in my house. Before I had a Kindle my husband said if I brought another book into the house I had to take one out.

Now I am starting to pair down my library to the books I really want to keep. There are many here that I used when working that could be of great help to others. Those need to be gifted to those who need them. My absolute favorites will remain. It will still be too many but that’s life.

Pariahs

Yesterday I had the oddest thought. As people begin going out as they want, many without wearing masks, it will be us elderly and the sick who will stand out. We will become the stigmatized group. We will stand out like a sore thumb. I doubt that we will be able to feel the slightest bit safe until there is a vaccine and that will be quite a while coming.

There will be a point where we have to continue to live our lives and know that there is a risk. That has been true for those in war torn countries forever. Going out of the door in the morning does not guarantee that they will be safe. It’s just that we have never suffered that experience since the long past flu epidemic.

Shunned

So if you see us out with our masks until next year and see us obsessively washing our hands and safe distancing from people please don’t see us as lepers. We are just trying to survive.