09/03/13 Living In Limbo


How I Really Feel!

How I Really Feel!

The attached photo may strike you as a little odd… it did me! It’s a squirrel in Britain helping himself to someone’s Halloween decorations. I like it for a variety of reasons. The squirrel and I both look ‘normal’ on the outside. On the inside, I feel more like the screaming skull the squirrel is wrestling with. Looking in the mirror, my appearance is pretty much the same as always; but nothing on the inside works as usual. My return-to-work date from this pulmonary embolism is uncertain… when I’m physically ready, I’m told. What about the psychological side, which is beginning to use my frame of mind for ping-pong practice. “They” say this roller coaster ride after a life-changing event is normal. Why does it feel so freaking weird then? I KNOW my thinking’s not right, yet, I can’t seem to change it to my liking.

Being an ‘island’ during this recovery slows down my progress. I’d prefer to not need anyone or anything to get back to ‘normal’, but that doesn’t seem to work so well. Last night, The Who’s ‘We Won’t Get Fooled Again’ played on the radio. The bit toward the end when Roger Daltrey lets out that bellowing “YEEAAAHHHHHH!!!”, I thought, “That’s IT, THAT’S how I feel.” For some reason, it’s comforting to put a known marker on a feeling. At least if I can name it, it’s one less unknown scaring the snot out of me.

A friend recommended I read ‘The Shack’. My minister, Ryan, had a copy. He always seems to have what I need to read on his bookshelf! It’s kind of funny how the same book can strike various people so differently. The ‘editor’ side of my brain read the first few chapters and thought the writer should have hired a different editor. His writing style is not my cup of tea, still, I’m seeking the spiritual insights it may offer, the message God might be trying to pass along.

I’m trying to turn off my inner editor! Actually, that’s probably a hopeful sign when my mind starts editing… maybe I’m feeling a little better, after all!

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!

08/28/13 I’m Still Alive – I Hope I Never Take That For Granted Again!!


Vin Diesel Riddick Standee 080813This is a post to tell myself and whoever’s reading this…. I don’t think I’ll take the saying about “appreciating today for tomorrow is not promised to me” for granted again.

August 8, 2013 I experienced what I thought was a heart attack, in all places, at a movie theatre, while I was doing a part time job of putting together a Vin Diesel “Riddick” standee. It would take a whole separate blog to adequately describe that night.

A heart attack, it wasn’t. Severe, massive Pulmonary Embolism saddle blood clot lodged in my lung with countless other little mutant clots riddled throughout my legs and lungs, it was. Forgive me for saying, “What the f**k?” to the doctor when he told me that. I don’t have blood clots, sir, you must have me confused with someone else. He didn’t. A stay in the i.c.u. for a few days followed by another few days on the 15th floor of the hospital gave me a lot of time to think about things.  There’s a part of me that’s still convinced this is all in my imagination, much like my favorite Robert Downey, Jr. daydreams…

but Denial only stretches so far. The part of me that can’t quite reconcile what I’ve been told about how many people ‘buy the farm’ when this happens, that part is still accepting that I’m alive for some purpose, I don’t really know what yet. It can’t just be to drive my family crazy! Maybe because there are still Robert Downey, Jr. films to be made and for me to watch! Maybe it’s some appointment with the divine and there are some things I need to do, I don’t know.

I’m still at home recovering, until these unnerving dizzy spells are under control. Part of me misses my job and coworkers like crazy. Part of me thinks I could get used to this lazy-piece-of-human-sitting-idly-watching-life-go-by gig. Not really, it’s driving me even squirrelier than I already am.

I have decided if I ever meet Vin Diesel, I will cheerfully tell him, “Son, you put me in the hospital!” I’m guessing he’s never heard THAT one before!