Friday, May 13, 2016

Bucket Lists, Living the Dream, Life is short.......

Thoughts weigh heavily on my mind today. 
Maybe its several conversations that happened today all combined but what ever it is, I'm feeling a little out of sorts tonight.
The only answer I have for anyone is Quit.
You can't live this miserable. 
You can't live this uncertain. 
I think it has to matter, but maybe it doesn't. 
If its this bad and this heavy, this untenable.........Walk away. 
What is it that I have heard?  "I was looking for a job when I found this one?"
 Everyone should get to live your dreams! 
What is life about if you don't?
I did everything I was SUPPOSED to do.. now I should get to do what I WANT to do.  
BUT THEY SAID!! and now they aren't.....
All I can say is..... Good night, maybe it will look better in the morning.. but if it doesn't????????
Find a new path.




Sunday, May 1, 2016

Better...... or Better

My morning started out with a phrase that caught my eye, or rather my ear. 

It Doesn't Get Better. 


I was watching a segment of the CBS Sunday Morning show where they were doing a story about Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. Battle of Kadesh .  One of the comments made was that they couldn't control the situation they were in or many other things, but they had written on a wall, It Doesn't Get Better. 
9*
In light of some things I am trying to implement in my own daily life, this made me think.  What that statement means all depends on how you say it.  It DOESNT get better.  Meaning just give up and accept where you are at.  Survive, don't expect anything more than that.  It doesn't get BETTER.  Wow, Life is great and cant get any better than this. There are also several levels in between those two statements, in my mind.  It seems to me that any way you put that group of words, what happens to you is all dependent on the world around you, the people around you, and the events around you.  Things are going well, it doesn't get any BETTER.  You loose someone, something, things aren't going your way...... It DOESNT get any better.   This is it, its all there is.  But what if it ISNT? 
What if it depends on how each of us CHOOSES to see the things in life.  It doesn't get better and it isn't going to so give up... or take each day as the best day in the world no matter WHAT is happening in your environment. 

Do you WANT to be healed?

Then, I go to church and our sermon of the day comes from John 5: 1-9.  Man at the Sheep Gate Pool


There is a man who has been crippled for 38 years laying on a mat beside the pool.  This pool is notorious for being a healing pool.  Jesus sees the man, and goes over to him and asks him (in the NIV version) "Do you want to be healed?"  Again, we don't have inflection or facial expressions to go with this.. but try it on for size different ways.. DO you want to be healed?  Do YOU want to be healed?   Do you WANT to be healed?  Do you want to be HEALED?  Does a different inflection change the meaning ever so slightly of this sentence?  Maybe it does. 

But how does this man answer the question?  He doesn't give Jesus a yes or no answer, he gives Jesus all the reasons that healing has not happened for him.  He hasn't been healed because he doesn't have any people with him to put him in the water at the right moment.  The other people who can move better are faster and get there before he can.  Its not his fault he hasn't been healed yet, its other peoples.  Can you just see Jesus stare at him and tell hi so get up and take your mat and walk.  So, he does.   Soon some of the leaders ask him how it is that he is carrying his mat around with him when he should KNOW that it is against church law on the Sabbath... His answer to those men is "HE TOLD ME TO!!!!!"   Not, hey, I haven't taken a step by myself in 38 years when this guy came and told me to get up and walk and take my mat home with me.  So, before long he does go to the temple, because, remember it IS the Sabbath and he should be there and all.  Jesus comes along and "finds him there"  Jesus tells him You are healed, so don't go sin anymore or something worse might happen to you.  (Worse than not being able to more by yourself for 38 years? Interesting)  Then our cripple's part in this story ends with him racing off to tell "the powers that be"  his name was Jesus!!! That's the guy who told me to break the law.  I only did it because he told me to. If he hadn't healed me I wouldn't have been able to.   I had no control over the situation.

So how interesting to me it was to have these two questions brought up to me in the same day. 
It doesn't get better!........... Do you want to get better?   
How about, it doesn't get better unless I want to get better, and I have to take an active part in getting better to get better? 

This covers so many areas. Personally,  I want to get better at what I am doing in my business, with organizing my world and being truly effective each and every day, so that I can honor those who came before me and leave a legacy of effective living to those coming behind me.

I understand that there are things that happen to us that we honestly have no control over,  illness that debilitates us or is even life threatening.  We can want to get better very badly and sometimes that is just not going to happen, however, I'm going to get better maybe in that case is just about how we treat the people around us no matter how we feel.  Maybe its just about looking for the good things in life and seeing what kind of a legacy we can and should leave behind. Everyone has areas in their life that could be improved.   Some of us have sustained great loss. There are emotions that must be dealt with, disappointment, guilt, anger, insecurity, pride.   Butt some point, the question is, Do I want to get better?  Or It doesn't get better.  Which will it be?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Practice what you Preach

I'm not sure if I am the only one to feel this way, but some days there are just things that happen that are challenging.  When you have a day that several of those things happen in a short period of time, it tends to make you think. 

What I think tonight is that when you are faced with BIG challenges in life, you know the ones that are just Black Or White, its pretty easy to take a stand and believe what you believe.  Ask most people what they believe to be their truth about abortion, for instance.  Generally speaking the answer is going to boil down to "for it" or "against it".  How about going to jail for committing a crime?Even when the topic is much grayer.  Its pretty easy to have a general stance.  Take being in this country with out permission.  Is it Undocumented Immigration, Illegal Immigration or just Open the Doors and let em all in immigration. 
Pick any number of other issues that are out there in the middle of society.  We really are called every single day to take a stand on "the issues of our day". 
But then there are other things that are much more private.  Like each of our personal level of spirituality.  So many choices out there in the cosmos. So many reasons for each persons belief system. 

Today, I have been involved in three or four what I will call "challenging issues of the world close around me", none of which I feel at liberty to give details about tonight.  What I can and will say is that each of those issues has challenged me today to examine my inner self.  Do I REALLY believe what I say I believe?  Do I really MODEL what I say I believe to the world around me?  Can I really practice what I say I believe and TRULY MEAN IT? 

For ME, Spirituality means a belief in the Saving Grace of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Belief that a higher power called GOD is in charge of the world down to the most minute detail and DOES care about even the sparrow and the blades of grass, so must care about me even so much more.  For me, that spirituality means a deep abiding belief that that same God is in charge of every single moment of every single day of every single person on this planet. He knows our days and He knows every single hair on our heads and has ONLY the best in mind for each of us if we accept that best.  Most of all, He knows what has come before, what is now and what is to come and is right here by my side through it all.

For me, in this day called today,  as each of these events and conversations that  have taken place I have been challenged to think, are those words above TRULY What I do believe?  Can I really say with confidence that NO MATTER what happens I believe that God is in charge and will care for me and those around me that also love Him? 

Some days are more of a struggle than others, but even today, I HAVE to believe,  If I didn't, what would be left. 

The Bible also tells me to not take on Tomorrows worries before their time as today has enough of its own.  That is easier said than done some times. 

In times of trouble, I have always tended to close in on myself.  I think that is probably because I learned to do that when I was 2.  The thing is,  even when I appear to withdraw into myself, I am really not, I don't think.  I think I have finally realized that I am hiding under The Rock, from where my strength comes each and every day.

There are those out there who think that people who share my belief system are weak and feel the need to have a crutch.  To those people I say, You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!!!  I am weak, and make mistakes, and need a crutch to lean on.  That Crutch is the only thing that gets me out of bed some mornings.  If YOU don't have that crutch, I cant help but wonder how you do it.

So not to make anything that has gone on today about me in any way, because it is not, I just try to figure out why I act and react the way I do in any given situation.  And while nothing in this is about me at all, I know that My God, will hold me up so that I can help hold up others who have needs far greater than mine.

Enough preaching for one day.............. time to go practice it. 




Friday, March 18, 2016

Two Ends Make the Middle

So having stated that I will write every day, at least something, I haven't for the last several days. 
I find that I don't so much have writers block as they call it as I have NOTHING to write.  Mostly, I find myself still going to extremes.  Either my brain tells me that I don't have time to put any of the many, many words in my head actually on paper, or what ever you want to call writing here, or it tells me that nothing of those many, many topics and ideas would be interesting outside my head, so I give up. 
I am tryin to remember that the advise I am trying to follow says it doesn't MATTER if it is interesting to anyone else, and time really isn't an issue because I can control how many words I put down, I just need to write.  As for topic, there is a great big huge world out there to choose from each and every day and I am personally interested in nearly all of it to some degree or another. 

Deep down in my heart I am a sociologist and I really enjoy just watching the people around me (and now that the cyber world has made the whole WORLD my neighbor) and see how they react in various situations.  I am interested to see why each person tends to react somewhat differently to the very same situation. 

I've been listening to podcasts on the EntreLeadership website from Dave Ramsey and is crew to better learn how to do my life, and business.  In one of the sessions he was talking about meeting two different people at the height of the recession.  Short version is that both of them were landscapers in the Nashville area.  One of them came to Dave, distraught and downtrodden because he had lost his business to the recession.  People who were having to cut budgets because their income was being cut, cut out lawn services and he could no longer stay in business.  The second man came in a few days later bubbling and walking 6 inches off the ground because business couldn't be better.  This man was also a landscaper in the very same area.  His answer was that as everyone else got OUT of the business he picked up all the ones they were no longer there to serve and business couldn't have been BETTER. 

I then saw 2 videos yesterday.  One was about a mother who raised a single son.  There was no mention of a father in this video but it was the story of how she raised this boy, did everything for him, cooked, cleaned, washed his clothes, and as he grew up he got other interests and drifted away.  I also, personally, got the impression that there was more,  for some reason he saw his mother as less than worth his time.  As if she had done what she was supposed to do like a nanny or something and he could just almost fire her, so he went off to do his own life.  It showed her sitting at home alone waiting for him to come to see her again and it took prodding from someone outside his family world to push him to come home.  It was a Chinese video I believe as the mother was waiting to celebrate Chinese New Year.  It was a case of "The Cats in the Cradle"  from the mothers point of view from another land. 

The second video was also I believe Chinese.  It showed a father and his daughter.  Again, no mention of a mother.  It showed the father caring for his daughter, reading to her, helping her with school projects, taking her places, teaching her things, walking her to school and picking her up each day in his business suit.  But after he dropped her off at school he ran to work.  His work was ACTUALLY any job he could find, no matter how small it seems to us.  It was interview after interview trying to find a better job, and back to scrubbing dishes in a restaurant, washing windows, washing clothes, and then poof putting his suit back on to pick up his daughter from school and back to the "successful dad" who helped his daughter with school projects and studying and everything else in the evening.  The point of this video was that she had done a paper in her elementary school classroom telling about her dad.  Telling how wonderful and cool and handsome and smart he was, but he lied.  She said he lied because she KNEW how hard he was working to support them and keep them together and to provide for her.  She wanted him to KNOW that she knew and that she loved and respected him even MORE for how hard he was trying.  I am pretty sure that this girl will not go off on her own and not have time for her father when she becomes an adult. 

I constantly see the different sides of how people react to a family loss.  I know how I do it, and I see how others do it.  I wont even go in to that here as it is a doctoral dissertation in and of itself. 

I just simply watch how people choose to face their world every single day as they get out of bed and the differences in the very same situation is as varied as the people laying in their beds. 

I try not to judge right or wrong most of the time, I just try to observe the differences and see what I can take from each thing to better my own world.  Its the best thing to do because quite honestly, most people don't really WANT to know if there is a different, or better, or healthier way to deal with their world.  I am sure that there are several things I could do to make my world healthier but I, myself, have to decide each time if the pain in the beginning is going to be worth the outcome or not.  Sometimes, it is and some times it isn't. 

So today, I am going to continue to judge the EVENTS in my life to see what I can change for the better of myself and those I am in contact with, and what I need to leave alone. 

Happy Friday to anyone who DOES happen to read this.  I hope your weekend is what ever you make it. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Change of focus

This last week I was listening to an Entreleadership Podcast with Seth Godin.  I have listened to several things by him in the last year,.  He is a really smart kinda guy and I always take something useful away from things I listen to him saying. 

One of the "take-aways" from this particular show was that he believes EVERYONE should have a blog and blog on it every day. 

He does not say that it is for vanity, or popularity each of us should write daily, but for a record of our own path in life.  If you write every day on some topic that is important to you in that moment, over a year, you see whats important to you in life. 

He also says that you will begin to see growth in yourself or at the least places where you NEED growth and you can address that. 

I have also been involved in a Bible study for the last few months that suggests the need for living a simpler life so that I can focus on my relationship with Christ which leads to more compassion for the world around me.  In this study, the author, Jen Hatmaker, points out any number of times where your thoughts are at, the level your belongings are at, where your check register says you spend money, is where the things that are truly important to YOU are at.   As I have really taken some time to sit back and analyze those things, I am not terribly happy with what I am finding.  This Bible study is only going to be the education part of some changes that I need to make.  This is going to be a very long process to adjust my thoughts and feelings of what I am called to be a part of, to mesh with the different thoughts and feelings of those in my closest inner circle. 

The way I am going to be able to make these things clear in my own head is by an on going conversation with myself, in my own head, but written here for my own personal accountability. 

The first challenge in living a quieter, simpler, less cluttered life is to make this time necessary instead of an afterthought. IF I have time to work on getting out the words that tend to stick in my head because it is very obvious to me that most of what goes on in my head is less than interesting to those around me., instead of it being necessary to my own journey, period. 


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Working Title: This week (Swiftly Tilting Planet)

I have been trying to sit down and put fingers to keyboard all week and today is Thursday.  I'm not sure I even remember back to Monday except that Sam started Truck Driving School.  He has about a 70 mile commute to get to his class but that's normal in this part of the world.  Getting to class by 7 am requires him to leave the house by 7:30. So he was up at 4:30 and I was up at 5.  This program is 5 weeks.  He was scheduled to spend the first week studying for and taking the tests required to get his learners permit and then the next 4 weeks is time behind the wheel.  Today is Thursday and he should be going to get the permit today.  So, that is Monday. 



Then came Tuesday.  Up at 5, cooking breakfast and leaving the kitchen cleaned up is GREAT!!  We have also been making our lunches to take to school and work with us.  Getting up at 5 has also given me time to read, cook a real breakfast, leave the kitchen clean, make lunch to take with me, and even pick up some stuff around the house before time to leave.  Getting to work was great!!  This is the time of year that we have TONS of work in the office.  End of month paperwork and reports, Quarterly reports, more Quarterly reports, End of year paperwork and changing all the files both on the computer and in physical file cabinets and such for all the companies.  Add to this keeping up with the daily billing, Uhaul, phone calls.  I can honestly say the morning went EXTREMELY WELL.  We BOTH got so much done toward all the above items being completed.  Almost one whole file drawer converted which at this moment involves changing, refining our filing system, got the billing done, and a number of other things done on my side and one of the MAJOR quarterly reports done.

And THEN the adventure REALLY started.  About 3:30, it changed.  I had a UHaul Customer who needed to move his mother from here most of the way across the country.  As we were doing the hook up, we realized that the car was not providing what was needed for the trailer to have stop lights.  Jonathan and I were able to spend the next hour and a half  helping this man basically rewire his moms car so that everything was safe.  The man did most of the work but it took more than 2 hands to get it done.

While that was happening, Sam called and said his truck had stalled at an intersection leaving town from his class.  My mom HAPPENED to be in the same town and was getting ready to leave on her way home so I quickly called her.  Sam called back and said he had gotten the truck started but we were going to have the two of them hook up to caravan back incase something happened.  They got about 20 miles down the road and it quit working again.  So they sat on the side of the highway waiting for us to get there.  On the way out of town now about 5:30, Jonathan dropped me off at the rent a car place that happened to still be open so I could rent a car for Sam to get back and forth to school in so I didn't have to drive him every morning until we found out what was wrong with the truck.  He headed on toward them towing a car trailer we had access to.  I rent the car and start for home to cook dinner.  My mom calls and tells me that after sitting for over 2 hours on the side of the road with her flashers on HER CAR wont start now.  So, I turn around in the rental car and head their way as well.  When we get there, we get her car started, realize that she has an 08 model minivan that has only had a new battery once, which was about a year after they got it.  Yeah, probably time for a new battery for her. 
Jonathan gets the truck started after some work and changing nuts and tightening cables and we find that the truck wont fit on the trailer we have.  SOOOOOO I get in the truck pulling the empty trailer, Sam gets in the rental car, Jonthan backs the ill truck off the trailer and starts driving with my mom bringing up the rear in her car. 

It is now after 7, driving along, my phone rings.  It is the local county law enforcement dispatch.  She wants to know if we still rent Uhauls and I tell her we do.  Then she tells me that they have a situation that someone suggested we might could help with.  There is a man who is living out in the county who needs to be transported to the hospital.  The man is large enough that he cannot fit in the ambulance and they are looking for alternatives to get him there and would I possibly consider checking them out a Uhaul truck to make this happen for this man.  I tell her I am on my way to the office now but my ETA is about 30 minutes.  She gets to work on confirming this order and I drive. 
Long story short on that one is that being ex fire/ems ourselves we take the truck to the location instead of someone having to leave the scene of trying to extricate this man from his house to get it.  We stayed for a while to see if there was anything we could do to help but they had several hours hour of work left to remove a wall from this mans house to be able to carry him out of it.  After we turn it over to the ambulance service it is now about 9:30 and we head for the truck stop to get some food before getting to the house and falling in bed about 11:00. 

Wednesday 5 am the alarm sounds and it starts again. 
Alarm goes off at 5 AM.  Coffee is "making", take the dogs outside.  Work on breakfast while Sam is fixing his lunch for the day.  We eat and drink our coffee and he heads out at 6 in the rental car.  Off to work by 8:30 and start the day.  Morning paperwork started, working on this and that while Jonathan talks off and on to our driver that is hauling fuel.  He is sick we know but trying to struggle through.  Jonathan tells me, he is worse today and I am going to have to make him come home.  We spend the morning trying to figure out various options to make this happen or get him meds or something.  By about noon he says, I'm going to have to have you go because you are going to have to take me over there and bring R. back home, he is very sick. We have a "pow wow" with the local driver to go over his schedule, give him his current and future orders and he starts rolling.  Well, he doesn't really START as he has already been on one load himself for the day.   .  So we decide which vehicles to use, get fueled up, grab some food for ourselves and by about 1 or so we are headed out of town.  Todays adventure is in a different direction than yesterdays.  Across the mountain and about 3.5 hours travel time to get to the truck stop where the trade is made.  Jonathan loads his stuff into the truck and we get R.'s stuff out of the truck and tuck him in in the back seat of my moms car and back across the mountain we go.  Home about 8, need food so I cook myself something quick for dinner, Sam eats what I don't eat and he shares with me the ins and outs of his day. We clean up the kitchen and  I fall on my bed and watch 30 minutes worth of tv.  I know the next show started but hummmm I became aware of my surroundings about 10:30, turned off the tv, tucked myself in and settled for sleep. 

Thursday, For some reason unknown to himself, Sam woke up about 4  and when he came to take his shower it woke me and I realized that I had not set my alarm before I went to bed so up I came.  It was 4:30 before I realized it was 4:30 not 5:30 but by then...... so again, some breakfast and coffee talk, dogs outside, a little news watched.. some blogging  started, talking to other of my kids, a load of towels into the washer.. some papers sorted and dealt with, lost keys found and off to work.

Today, I can say that of my USUAL job, I have gotten nothing done.  Billing done on business one, a lost pay stub found and new copy made for employee, bank errands run, rental car returned, part ordered from Toyota after taking the old one there for a visual to TRY to get the right one ordered, conversations had with my mechanics over it, groceries bought for dinner for Sams Birthday, and back to work to attempt to get a few things done.  I decided to finish this while I was eating my lunch though as I thought it might be nice to not actually WORK at my desk while I eat as I normally do. 

Oh and the thing I HAVENT mentioned in the last 2 days is that the saga of this poor man at the hospital is still going on.  It looks like they are just going to send him back home with some new home health care workers who might actually CARE about his home health.  The thing is though, it is apparently ILLEGAL for the fire department who took his wall apart to come back and put it back together, so he is going home to a well ventilated room.  I really don't understand all of what is going on because most of the information I have is 3rd party or beyond but I continue to feel very sorry for this man. 

My life spins out of control at a seconds notice and stays that way for hours and days at a time, but the thing I can say is that when it happens...... I am physically capable of spinning with it.  And that matters.  It also matters that I am part of a community that even in a small way, I can care about and for those around me.  

Who knows that the rest of today and tomorrow will bring.

OH YES< and happy 23rd birthday to Samuel James Holmes!!!!!  Birthday cake for dessert tonight!




Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Its Complicated, or Ogres have Layers Like Onions.

Things have been really complicated lately.  And, by lately I mean the last 3 or 5 years. 

I have also been going to an acupuncture/oriental medicine clinic for the last year or year and a half.  I go once a month.  I started out going because I had an injury to my neck, left shoulder, and left wrist.  Not from one injury but several, and I was in chronic pain because of it and had very limited range of motion and that was making me nuts.  Over time, we have pulled back the layers to correcting several other issues that have cropped up.  My kidneys are kind of weak (not something new to me, I have known that my whole life but conventional medical doctors have only addressed the issue when I had an infection)  We have worked also on my left knee in particular, but both knees in general.  We have identified that my back hurts as a result of the neck injury and continue to treat that, plus have been working on some weight loss. 

This last Friday, however, was strangely different. 

I have known that the stress was building up to astronomical levels as I had what is pretty rare for me earlier in the week, a full fledged melt down.  This caused what it normally does, people to walk on egg shells around me.  I did what I normally did and just pulled it back under control and went back to trying to figure out how to make it all work. 

Then I went in for my appointment.  Normal stuff,  I was battling a kidney infection that I had on the run from my own holistic treatment but it was not gone yet so we discussed that and started treatment.  Needles placed and I was left to rest.  That is when I realized that my eyes were "leaking" and I really couldn't quit.  Breathing deeply, with the intent of stopping crying, I just kept right on. 

That was a reaction that I had never had before. 


I just keep asking myself if I feel better now,  not sure, but maybe.  Wonder what will happen next month