08/31/13 Why Am I Still Here?


Imagine sitting here talking with God about what He wants you to do with your life.

Imagine sitting here talking with God about what He wants you to do with your life.

I write this with a fresh cup of coffee at my dining room table. In my mind however, the surroundings look something like the setting in the picture. I’ve considered my DVT/PE (Pulmonary Embolism) as a divine appointment with God. I think He’d been trying to get my attention for ages, but I always had a good reason to blow Him off: too busy, making money, paying bills, sweating over inconsequential stuff, worrying about what people thought of me…. the self-absorbed list goes on.

He got my attention on August 8th, but not before I made a few more decisions guided by self-doubt and worry about what people would think of me: Go home instead of the E.R., people will laugh at the fat lady thinking she’s having a heart attack and if she is, she deserves it anyway, she takes such crappy care of herself…. The self-induced pity party and train wreck of thoughts can go on and on until they kill you. Or nearly.

Sometimes a little clarity and wisdom can manage to penetrate your addled mind. My seven-day stay in the hospital gave me time to stop running and actually LISTEN for His voice in my confusion. The quieter I got, the more receptive I could be to thoughts and insights.

If my life were a business, it would have closed down this year due to mismanagement and bankruptcy. As a human, I DID nearly shut down from poor management and spiritual starvation. God in His infinite grace stopped me in my tracks. For that, I am profoundly grateful. What do I do now? I think anyone who has had a life changing event occur comes to the conclusion that if they didn’t die, there’s a reason they’re still here… what is it? Unfortunately for we attention-deficit humans who want answers NOW, God doesn’t always answer you in the time frame you’d like (I want it NOW, YESTERDAY if possible)

For me, the path becomes clear one little step at a time. Sometimes there’s a lot of space between those steps, when I’m too caught up in myself to really care what God would like for me to do. Those are the days I only follow His prompts if it’s convenient for me. Arrogant little squirrel!

I’m finishing the third week of recuperation. During the first few days, I graciously told God I’d like to have this whole matter cleared up to my satisfaction as soon as possible, but if it took a week or so, I suppose I could put life on hold while I figured out what this lesson was for me to learn. How far do you think I got with that mindset?! I think it landed me in a giant pot hole and there I’ve squirmed around until I’m finally admitting I have to get off of this throne I’ve built for myself and let God have His rightful place in my life.

Wow, a bit more light and clarity dents my thick skull. I wasn’t aware that we squirrely people could have such hard little noggins. We could smash walnuts with our rock heads!!

I have a few snippets of ideas and thoughts to ponder for the time being. God never lets me in on the next step until I’ve got what I need to from the step I’m on. I know my life needs some changes. Sometimes I wish God would send a life coach to help me figure things out, and then I realize He does, but I can’t see the next move until the time is right.

At the rate I’m going, I’ll be 225 years old before I get it all sorted out!

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11/10/12 G.L.A.D. Chronicles Week 6 – Changes, Life, “Cemetery Junction”, EastEnders


Life has hurtled so many spit balls at me the past few weeks, I’ve not had time to chronicle it. October and November are a busy time of year at my job. UNDERSTATEMENT! Part of this is due to my complete inability to parcel out work effectively in one particular area during the rest of the year. Hence, I work harder than a one-armed paper-hanger in October and November. The adrenaline rush is apparently worth it, as I do it over and over… Fortunately, I love my job and my coworkers. Can’t imagine going bonkers for people and work I didn’t like so much!

Hey, regardless of who you voted for, the election is over. No more mud-slinging, hair-pulling, name-calling (and that was just in my neighborhood!) and NO MORE POLITICAL ADS! T.V. advertisements are back to all of those pharmaceuticals that show in the small print side effects way worse than the disease or disorder they’re treating. I think the Viagra ad says (tongue in cheek) taking this product may make your wee fall off, but hey, it’ll be alert and at attention when it happens.

Evil, cunning empty carbs getting past my sensible mouth thwarted my attempts to lose weight, dancing with my taste buds and taking up residence on my hips and stomach. Okay, time out, here’s a pet peeve of mine. When women my age (I’m fifty-three) who are a few thousand pounds overweight, like me, call their stomach: ‘tummy’. Tummy? I had a ‘tummy’ for a few short months in 2005, after some serious work at Weight Watchers. That thing stopped being a ‘tummy’ when we couldn’t  wear pants with fitted waists anymore and elastic waist bands became our closest friend.

I had the pleasant surprise of hearing from someone this week I’ve not talked to in a long time. It’s been enjoyable to hear about the changes in her life and hear she’s doing well. I’m an endless wonderer, when it come to old friends I’ve lost touch with: wondering how they’re doing, if they ever think of me, did they win the lottery and want to share the love with me? (kidding!) (I don’t wonder if they think of me!!)

One fun thing this squirrel learned how to do these past few weeks is to watch movie via Netflix in a mid-sized screen on this computer while I worked with my data entry on another mid-sized screen. A brilliant Ricky Gervais film I watched is “Cemetery Junction“. Favorite scene had to be toward the end as Led Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song” soared in the background, the very satisfying ending playing out. If you like great British films, I highly recommend this instant streamer.

OH! Another absolutely thrilling discovery for me: finding out I can see current episodes of my beloved British show “EastEnders” on YouTube. Back in the day when dinosaurs trolled the Earth and I watched EE on P.B.S., our episodes were two years behind the current show. Imagine my state of gobsmacked delight to see that I can watch TODAY’s episode (if it’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday) on YouTube. Oh YouTube, how I love you! 

Through it all, I’ve been praying/talking with God about my ever-changing thoughts and interests. Like it or not, I seem able to dedicate about a year to any one thing I decide to volunteer at or do. After that, my mind craves a new stimulant. The past few years, I’ve gone through a phase of mystery shopping, volunteering at an animal shelter, visiting with the elderly, and writing poetry/short stories (which I still like, but my writing muse is on hiatus). We’re about to explore volunteering with Matthew 25 Ministries. They do a tremendous amount of good work throughout this country and internationally. Please check them out for yourself!  

http://www.m25m.org/

Touching on the D of G.L.A.D., decluttering is a bust at the moment. My living room is a “Sanford and Son”-dream of tombstones and Halloween decorations from the front yard. I am SURE my son Kevin will put them away TODAY, if he hopes to live until TOMORROW! 

D – Depression… my depression’s in an okay place. With the holidays approaching, I’d do well to increase exercise and getting out in the fresh air. Keeps the black hole sleeping peacefully and not knocking at my emotional door.

I made Texas-style chili last week. This week I may go for Inside Out Ravioli, if I can find my old recipe. It’s so good and fairly healthy!

Peace 🙂  

10/21/12 G.L.A.D. Chronicles – Week 3 Perception, For A Person With Depression


I’m afraid a cheerful post isn’t in the cards for this week. I can’t write fiction. Life this week has felt like Rod Serling came back from the grave and used me for an episode of “Twilight Zone“. Things started out normally. I made use of my new inhaler and cheerfully walked a bit, ate sensibly, got to bed at a decent time and felt pretty darn good.

Circumstances took an invisible dip on Wednesday. A coworker decided to retire and a retirement luncheon went on at work that day. The Chief paid a visit for the luncheon and I exchanged a few pleasant words with him. After a time, being around humans was starting to get to me, and I went back to my office to make a cup of coffee and get back to work. If this were a movie set, you would have seen a villanous fog start to seep in under the door. My mood started to plummet and I couldn’t do much besides sit back and watch it. I wondered if the Chief were going to talk to my Captain and tell him to fire me. I wondered if the higher-ups were putting their heads together and deciding what to do with a complete incompetent like me. I wondered all kind of no-ending-but-bad things. Before too long, I thought about going in and giving my notice. Thankfully, common sense managed to keep me in my office, but the week went nowhere but downhill from there.

I write this to let you view a tiny part of what goes on in a person’s mind who has depression. I don’t always know WHY an episode starts. All I can tell you is that within a few days, I wasn’t sure what the merits of being alive were. It’s not that I felt like ending my life. It’s that I couldn’t come up with a convincing argument that life is worth all the hassle sometimes. Life is HARD. It would be so easy to not go to work everyday, to not pay my bills and let someone else pick up the tab. I began to wonder why it’s so important to me to do the right thing. Living right is EXHAUSTING. Or so it felt this week. The merits of life and death got a little mixed up for me. Life is hard, death is heaven and being with God. I don’t necessarily want to go there today, but I very much look forward to being with my Heavenly Father, Jesus, and all of my loved ones who are already there… someday.

I don’t know what’s wrong, but I’m losing my temper a lot lately, yelling like a rabid politician who’s seeing their poll numbers drop. And I don’t approve that message of how to conduct myself. Growing up with a dad who yelled more than he didn’t, I know he loved me, but man, could the guy make me shiver in my shoes when he was on a roll. I swore I’d never be that person. How I hate it when I am.

I didn’t go to church today. My still-twisted thinking decided I’d have to miss about three months of Sundays before anyone would notice, and I went back to bed. I’d show them. I don’t know if anyone noticed or not, but I felt like a jackininny when I started to put two and two together and realize what a load of bunk I’ve been falling for the past few days. I did what any sensible person does who’s having a mental and spiritual crisis. I went on Facebook and asked my friends for prayer. All I know is that I felt an immediate need for divine help and in 2012, Facebook is quicker than telephoning a dozen people.

I can’t say that I’m feeling la-di-dah wonderful now, but the pros and cons of death look a lot clearer and I feel the divine strength and ability to go a few more rounds with this thing called ‘life’. Oh, and I’m pleased to report that I’m making great progress on the decluttering project in my Sanity Room. I’ve cleared the way enough to get back to having coffee with God in the mornings. My wonderful minister, Ryan, lent me a Bible called the Serendipity Bible. I’ve got it ready for the morning and will get my backside to bed on time tonight, come hell or high water, so that I can get up and start the day with my Creator… and Folger’s in my cup!

 

4/21/12 Life Isn’t Always BIG Moments


I remember beginning this blog, sitting at the dining room table just like I am today. Window open (to hear the birds) and hot coffee were my only requirements. That seems to be the case today! The thing with writing a blog, for me, is that I feel like I should have a BIG topic to write about. 

The only big things lately in my life have been doing my tax forms on April 15th and 16th. Surprisingly, we’re getting refunds. Not sure how that happened. I’m grateful. A little money is always a nice thing. Two or three years ago, I ended up owing an obscene amount of money (obscene to me, a drop in the bucket to Donald Trump). I did mystery shops during 2009. It clearly wasn’t for the money; or the taxes I’d pay later! The shops provided escape from pain and a bit of an adventure. There were some funny moments! In retrospect, I learned a lot about some unexpected things. That’s not so bad, at the end of the day.

Filing online is an option and touted as FREE, but only if you make under $2. a year, it seems. Life is funny; I’ll waste money on a lot of things, but tell me I have to pay to have someone else fill out my forms and that just tears it! I refuse to pay someone else to file my taxes. I’m a numbers addict. Love the thrill of making the numbers all come out right. I told you my life is pathetically not big!

I’m still in my friend Deb’s book club. We’ve read some brilliant books. The newest selection is “Icy Sparks“. I got the large print edition from the library this week (LOVE large print!) and I’ll let you know what I think.

I took a break from working with my elderly friends recently. One lament is that I only have so many hours in the day. My job, home life, sleeping, writing and reading consume most of my time. Craig bought lottery tickets to help us win early retirement. Alas, we didn’t win big and we’re both still working. 🙂 It’s spring time and I’ve signed to do a few birthday visits with Little Brother’s friends. Their Senior Prom is in May and I think that’s going to be a wonderful evening. Don’t laugh, but I never went to a prom in my life. How ironic: I finally get to go to a prom, but only because I’m escorting the elderly to their prom. Life throws you a chuckle every so often!

My son leaves for Andros Island in the Bahamas soon. For the first time in fifteen years, I’ll be without child for more than an over-nighter. What does a person do without kids in the house? My school never took us to the Bahamas. We thought it was a big deal to ride a bus with our French teacher Mrs. Malvitch (sorry, I can’t remember how to spell it and she’s probably not still around to correct me!) down to Florida for a few days during Spring Break.

Well, I must depart for now. In celebration of Earth Day, Garden Street Recycling is paying seventy cents a pound for aluminum cans. I have about ten bags to haul down. Recyling paid for most of Kevin’s trip to Andros and it’s time to start saving for next year’s trip!

Blessings and do something positive for the Earth this weekend!