Monday, May 21, 2018

Some Days are Stones -

Hell of a day; bitchin' terrible day in fact. I've cussed like a sailor this evening and cursed my Higher Power.

And then I visited with a friend, whose family is in turmoil right now, and talked with another whose ex is horribly in legal trouble, and another friend who can't find an apartment for he and his handicapped son, and another and another and another.

And I'm reminded of this poem my wise grandmother would share, and I had to stop and apologize to the world of goodness that I live in (even though my freakin' health insurance payments are killing me, and I work at a hospital, and I still can't afford to see a doctor, because chaplains are the last to be recognized and the first to be needed, and I have no benefits) -

Today upon a bus, I saw
A lovely maid with golden hair;
I envied her - she seemed so gay -
And oh, I wished I were so fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle,
She had one foot and wore a crutch,
But as she passed, a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two feet - the world is mine.

And when I stopped to buy some sweets,
The lad who served me had such charm;
He seemed to radiate good cheer,
His manner was so kind and warm.
I said, "It's nice to deal with you,
Such courtesy I seldom find."
He turned and said, "Oh, thank you, sir!"
And I saw that he was blind.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two eyes - the world is mine.

Then, when walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play;
It seemed he knew not what to do,
I stopped a moment, then I said:
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word,
And then I knew; He could not hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two ears - the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go,
With eyes to see the sunset's glow,
With ears to hear what I should know:
I'm blessed indeed, The world is mine;
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

Friday, May 18, 2018

I'm Home!

The past six weeks has been a whirl-wind of traveling, and I am so grateful I've had the opportunity to travel internationally. It's a dream I've always had, and to be able to do so the past couple of years has been a dream-come-true.

And I'm grateful to be home. I love my home, and I love being home. My home is a place of solace, comfort, rest, rejuvenation, and peace.

I am blessed to be able to leave my home knowing that coming home is going to be as wonderful as the adventures I've been on.

Sitting in a railway station
With my suitcase in my hand
Going back where I came from
I've had more than I can stand
Of watching them destroy my dreams
They picked my brain till it was clean
When I was up they knocked me down
I ain't going to hand around, I'm going home
I'm going home, going home
Tell someone to meet me I'm coming home
Came to this old town seeking fortune and some fame
Never got the chance to prove myself,
Though I tried to play their game
But using people just ain't my thing
And won't dangle from any string
To please some fool that don't care about
They turned me inside out, I'm going home
I'm going home, going home
Tell someone to meet me I'm coming home
Tell someone to meet me I'm coming home
I'm going home, going home
Tell someone to meet me I'm coming home
I'm going home, going home
Tell someone to meet me I'm coming home
I'm going home, going home
Tell someone to meet me I'm coming home

Songwriters: Linda Creed / Linda Diane Creed / Thom Bell / Thomas Randolph Bell
I'm Coming Home lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Travel Time - Dotters -

Two weeks is a long time to wait for another oversea trip! So Jenna and I are headed off to the Netherlands and Belgium for a few days. Scott and I were there a year ago, and I love this area, and I wanted to share this with Jenna (along with some unrealized dreams she has).

I love this daughter of mine. In one of the times I've received inspiration it was when I was pregnant with her. Long before casual ultrasounds to determine gender, I knew - with no doubt, that I was going to be rearing my best friend.

Now I'm not saying that I don't have any friends! Or even any best friends, but Jenna - she's my bestie of all besties.

I try not to put too much pressure on her - treating her as my daughter is a tenuous walk - because we share so much, and we know each other so well.

But there are times she needs a mother and I need a daughter, and we've worked really hard at keeping that paramount in our relationship.

Yet - this! I get to spend 10 days with Jenna in a far-off country visiting exotic spaces and places and eating foreign foods and learning about new cultures - well, it's not that exotic, but still . . .

So we're off. And the beauty of this is - her stepfather, Scott, the man who loves his daughter dearly, will be tending her children while her husband is at work. Now - where do you find a man like that?

Happy adventures to us!

Friday, May 4, 2018

School's Out For Summer -

I was 13 when this song came out - yet it was certainly played every May throughout my Junior and High school years.

And I just finished submitting my Spring 2018 UVU grades, and I am singing this song, and I am high-fiving myself for making it through this school year.

It hasn't been unbearable, and my students have been absolutely amazing, and I am happy to have a 4 month break.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Happy Birthday Scott - Mantra -

If Scott had a life motto, it would be this: 

He has no fear of life - he often speaks of living life on life's terms. And he does, and I love him for this perspective. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Brother's Keeper - Jet Lag -

I recently read:

We are –            
each of us is –
our brother’s and sister’s keeper.
The goal is
to reflect on all this –            
to carry out all this –
tolerance and            

Helen Dunbar Flanders
I've had chronic jet lag since coming home from England, and - I'm leaving again on May 7 for 10 days. I've been worried, not necessarily having jet lag when I get to Holland, but it's the return that gives me cause to mourn. 

I knew this past week was going to be tough - jumping right off the plane and into 40 hours of hospital work and 10 hours of last week of class was on the docket for me, and I figured I'd push through. 

And I did, and I'm healthy, and yet the past couple of days have worn me down, and I slept 9 1/2 hours last night. And boy, what a difference some deep sleep makes. 
Because of my jet lag, I pushed through the week, but I don't think I was able to live through the week. I was mostly available, and that meant to those who really needed me, not those who wanted me. In fact, they've had to push through the week with me!

I've helped others, automatically, but I have not been the best brother's keeper, because my self-care has been limited. I really don't like existing - pushing through the day to day without a single moment to pause. I NEED to pause; I need rest, a moment of peace, time for contemplation. I want to be present, not semi-asleep! 

We are each a helper and a helpee. And in caring for ourselves we are then capable of caring for the other - with tolerance and encouragement

Monday, April 30, 2018

I Do It Myself - Vulnerability -

When I was young and younger I knew that if there was anything I wanted, I had to get/do it, no one else would. And so I conquered - I worked hard, poked and prodded and tormented and nagged; I was driven to the extent I became stubborn, bull-headed, so independent I think I scared and pushed people away. I needed no one.

In fact, my mother says my first sentence was, "I do it myself."

And so it's been, for most of my life. And to some extent that's been good. There really was no one I could trust; I had no one in my life to confide in, to "need." In fact, it came to the point in my life that I thought "needing" was a weakness. I needed no one, and in doing so, I closed the door on relationships - the kind where people give and reciprocate, where interpersonal communication was possible. If I wanted something, needed something - I did it myself, from relationships to jobs to "seek and ye shall find."

Being alone takes strength. It takes someone really strong and scared to believe they don't need anyone. And what a foolish foolish thought.

Of course there were times when I broke down, opened that door just a crack, just enough to test what was on the other side, but of course, I quickly closed the door, never, really, even allowing myself to see what was on the other side. And never ever allowing anyone in.

And I became friends with like-minded people. We needed no one, reveled in our independence. When actually we were just a bunch of people who wanted to be wanted, not needed - tired as can be of those needy people who saw us as strong, caring, and able to do anything for anyone, particularly "them."

Until one day, just a few years ago, out of the blue, I had no desire to shut the door. I was tired of me. Tired of doing life all by myself. I gradually opened that unsafe door, the door I believed was terrible, evil, worldly, selfish, needy, decided to be vulnerable for a moment, and on the other side I saw beauty. A world where vulnerability was actually safe, where I wouldn't be slammed for my independence, my "git 'er dun" attitude. Where I was accepted for my graciousness, for my openness, for my energy. And I found safety and want - when I was brave enough to see.

What a difference a few thousand miles and a few weeks makes - don't ever ever believe time and distance do not heal. They healed - or taught me now to heal.

A patient the other day, who was so fearful of change herself, of accepting her now, of seeing the life she was leading was hurting her, reminded me of how my life has changed - from being safe to being vulnerable (not that I don't have walls and boundaries and baggage), in safety. I've thought about where I am now, and how I got to this beautiful intense confusing colorful place.

And it was all because I was tired. Taking care of myself, being my own savior, is exhausting. Choosing to live in a place where I could not reach out, because I did not want to seem weak or risk "falling," took so much work.

And the past twenty-five years have been filled with bad and good and lessons I never ever signed up for. The work to stay behind my door was so much more intense than even the work it has taken these past five years to get healthy. Walking away from the old me toward the new me has been very very tough.

And here I am. And some days I do life by myself, and some days I invite others into my space, and some days I am brave enough to step out of my door into the world. And now, now I have a choice.