Wednesday, August 19, 2015

a few thoughts

There is so much to learn. So much to think about. So much to talk about. So much to do. How can anyone ever be bored? I never understood that.

People I care about are going through some deep challenges. Some marriages are breaking down. Relationships ending. Friendships struggling. Grieving people are experiencing loss. A child stuck in an addictive lifestyle. I don't need to name all the ways people are hurting.

Time doesn't diminish the missing of our loved ones. When I stop and think of Edd or my mom, I can easily be reduced to tears within a few seconds. I miss them every day. I think of them every day... but life softens the rough edges of grief a little bit so we can at least function and have other experiences in life and even have joy again. The emotional feelings are softened that once struck us like physical blows. Truly there were days I didn't know if my body could hold up to the pain I felt.

There are a lot of people we meet each day who are the "walking wounded". If we could see inside deep into the hearts of some of those we come into contact with we might have more empathy.

If loss and grief, struggle and pain doesn't make you a more compassionate human being then I think the experience was mostly wasted. Sometimes that is the only good thing that can come out of our pain.

Friday, August 14, 2015

birthday gifts

A few days ago on the morning of my birthday I brought my little friends... my dog Norman and the sweet little doxie girl I am fostering now.... outside for their romp in the yard. It's warm here in Texas in the morning. We had just finished our walk and I sat down on the step to rest and watch the dogs sniff and roam around in the yard.

Funny how I feel extra special on my birthday even if I don't immediately get greeted with gifts and affirmation! I just feel loved... because my core memories reflect the years and years of love I received... anyway.... I was sitting on my back step and immediately a ladybug flew my way and attached itself to my sock... just like that... then I heard cardinals loudly proclaiming their presence in my yard.

Hmm.... whether I believe these are signs of our loved ones' presence or not, I felt it non the less. I felt love and I felt like I was remembered and I felt like I was visited and I felt like I was not alone....

I rarely feel alone. So grateful for life's precious gifts.









Thursday, August 6, 2015

as summer moves along

Sitting outside after a morning walk now and the scene in front of me changes.... at first in subtle ways and then a little more noticeably. It was still and quiet and then the slightest breeze changed everything as breezes can do. Especially here in hot Texas. Breezes make all the difference when it comes to comfort.  Then a rushing sound came and the treetops began to sway. It didn't last long and soon the air went back to still and quiet. Then, in rushes the wind once again. The birds are a bit active and vocal now, but soon the heat of the day will slow down much of the wildlife. The hummingbirds will continue to make their rounds and the piercing sound of cicadas will fill the air. The less-hardy flowers in the garden seem to beg the sun for mercy while the Texas native plants just grin and bear it... some even seeming to declare, "Bring it on!"

Such is Texas in late summer. As part of the country begins to think of pumpkins, fall leaves, and cooler days, much of the south is ramping up for the hottest time of the year. We even begin to inwardly curse those who celebrate the glorious changing of the seasons. Our time will come though.... and the pleasure will last for months just as our heat has. Then, when others are fighting snowstorm after snowstorm, we are basking in cool air and fresh sunshine...

It's a trade-off we all make. Missing something while enjoying something else.








Wednesday, July 29, 2015

reminders

Often the smallest seemingly insignificant thing can bring joy. The joy that comes from the memory of a thing... not the thing itself. This little mug brought me back to a happy place today. I don't normally look at it since it is kept in a lower cabinet.... but it seemed just right for me today.

Edd brought this mug and three others like it back from Malaysia on one of his trips as a little gift to me that said he was thinking of me. They came in four different colors. He often chose to use it for his afternoon coffee, I think because of the smaller size. I doubt it was because of the hearts since he wasn't really a hearts kind of guy! I'm the one who usually wants a larger mug.

So when choosing a cup for some comforting green tea today, I also took comfort in a memory. A love that still exists. It never really went away. I know that because I still feel it and I'm thankful for the reminder.



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

perfectionist I'm not

I got out in my yard yesterday and found one thing after another that needed tending. Flower beds that were not surviving the heat needed to be dug up and soil turned. Weeds which don't seem to mind the heat needed to be pulled! I fluffed up the mulch in areas with a rake so it would look a bit better until more is installed next week.

As I worked it came to my mind that I was definitely not a perfectionist. My yard looks nice and whatever I do I try to do well, but I am far from having a perfectly kept home and yard. Better than most but worse than others!

Some perfectionists aren't usually too fun to be around so I think it can be a good thing. Ever around someone who has to eat strictly planned meals, exercise perfectly, have a perfectly neat home and manicured lawn, every hair in place? Perfectly behaved children? Everything under control and seldom able to relax? Often we can feel the energy of those on edge.

I guess some occupations call for more of a perfectionist's skill, like airplane pilots. I don't mind a perfectionist at the controls then! And what about skydiving? You need to be a perfectionist in your thinking before jumping out of an airplane... Maybe that's why I've never had the a desire to skydive!

I can appreciate those who have seemed to perfect their talents. An amazing ballet or symphony performance where each step and note is spot on. It seems human potential and accomplishment has no limits.

But, yes, back to gardening. If I was a perfectionist it wouldn't give me half as much joy as it does. I wouldn't want to be upset and anxious each time a new weed sprung up or a leaf or twig fell on my lawn.... but I can do something. Just care a little bit. Or a lot. But just not insist on perfection.

What I do believe in is making things better than they were. Improving a situation. Wherever we go we can leave a trail of good. Maybe if that were our goal every day it would make a huge difference in the world. I think it would.

When I recently visited my dad I spent time doing what I could.... vacuumed, dusted, changed batteries in outdoor lighting, made some meals and desserts, had his internet back up and running, got him a better computer, changed sheets, did some laundry, changed tablecloths... and more. I told him I sure wasn't a perfectionist, but I can at least make things a little BETTER.

We can burn out if we try to do everything, but we can usually do SOMETHING.

I think that leads to peace more than requiring all to be perfect.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

wrong intentions

Every once in a while I wonder how I could have made such an unwise decision. Usually I'm very careful and can spot a phony a mile away... and I'm thankful for that. On the other hand I would like to trust people and what they say...until they prove me wrong. At that point I'm gone... outta there. In my family and the experiences I grew up with people could be trusted. It was expected. That was my reality and the norm for me. I am not naturally skeptical of others' intentions.

Sadly, I need to be.

I trusted someone to do some work for me... thought they were legit.

Our words are so important aren't they?... but some don't really pay much attention to that and just say what they think we want to hear for their own selfish reasons.

I'm thinking that I could never live that way. God has graced me with a sensitive conscience and I couldn't deliberately and intentionally take advantage of another person... but it sure does happen doesn't it? It's the world we live in. I'm reminded of a verse in Proverbs.... 20:17... that says "Ill-gotten gain will turn to gravel in your mouth".... I'm thinking there are quite a few people in this world chewing on gravel.

Sigh.

I can take it. I can cover my losses. But some people can't as easily. And that makes me sad... and mad. Shame on those who take advantage of others. I don't wish them well and I don't wish them sleep at night.




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

a place of contentment

I began this blog many years ago and named it simply memories and musings. I still think that is the perfect name because sometimes I muse about something and sometimes I do a little remembering. I guess today I'll muse.

It's July already!

Time marches on. 

And I'm in a place of contentment.

Some things haven't necessarily changed.. Good things are still good. Difficult challenges are still there. Some difficult situations haven't been resolved, but it's okay. Some of the more difficult situations that are out of my control I have given myself permission to step away from. Not in anger. Not in resentment.... but needed detachment nonetheless. That makes sense doesn't it?  Why fret over what we cannot control or change?

What a learning experience that is though. Some of the more important things we learn in life take time to settle into our brains. Time is often the necessary ingredient for wisdom. As long as we remain mindful that is. And wisdom gleaned produces change. We may not be able to change situations, but we can change our responses to them.

Another thing. I couldn't be more grateful for my health. My yearly exams and tests come in the summertime months and the results came back pretty good. My health is something I don't take for granted.

So I have joy today!

There are so many things we could get bummed about aren't there? Yet today I am focusing on the many things to be thankful for.