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17 August 2012

It has been a stressful couple of days

It rained cats and dogs Sunday afternoon.  Still it cleared by the time we planned the barbeque, and a few people showed up.  I was disappointed we didn't have more, but thankful that people did come.  :)

Something happened this week. It has the potential for changing my entire world, and yet it is something rather stupid and not very interesting and will not matter at all in 100 years, or probably even in one year.

I'm not free to give the details, and indeed, they are mundane. Still, this issue is of immense importance to me.

But it has already changed my life in the way i look at things, and i hope this change is permanent.

I need to listen to and hear people better, with more love, and without an agenda.

This stupid issue is very important to me, and i spent much of Wednesday crying.   Most of the people who were trying to comfort me kept trying to tell me that the issue is not very important and that it won't effect me enough to matter.  And in doing so, they were telling me (without realizing the impact of their words) that I'M not very important and that my feelings don't really matter much, anyway.

The reality is that it is important to me, and i already know how much it will effect me, and it isn't a small impact.  But the people telling me these things don't see thru my eyes or think with my brain, and so don't really know - what i DO know - that it WILL have a major influence on how i see myself and the people around me.  For such a stupid issue, the ramifications are enormous.

In frustration, i posted at FB:  "So, how do you change your attitude when things in your life feel completely out of your own control? I've read quite a bit about positive attitude, but right now my attitude totally sucks."   I know i really should have kept my mouth shut.

People said very supportive and helpful things.

Someone later (at a group) said to me, "I don't know what the issue for you is, but i wanted to tell you, it just isn't that bad.  It can't be, compared to what happened to my friend.  Someone broke into her house, shot her dogs and her husband, and they died.  The guy is still at large.  So, whatever you've got going on, it just isn't that bad."  (Yes, this is nearly verbatim what she said.)

And she is RIGHT.  What i have going on isn't that bad.  But you know what?  Her telling me that did not in any way make me feel better.  I ache for her friend.  That is bad luck/bad karma/bad everything in the extreme.  That is horrible.  However, my situation hasn't changed.  I know that my issue is not that bad.  It still is very important to me, and hearing about someone else's horrific tragedy does not in any way help me to resolve this issue.  And more, i feel that the person saying this (who meant well, i know) was just another person who said, "You and your issue just aren't that important."

I had the blessing of spending a couple of hours with a dear friend that afternoon.  His mother has cancer and he has been watching her die by inches for years now.  The doctors have just told her "There is no more we can do for you," and his step-dad is in hospital having just had heart surgery.  My friend is stressed in the extreme.  And that did immediately put some perspective on my issue - but he did not tell me that my (stupid) problem "just isn't that bad."  In fact, he said, "It is important to you.  If my mother was sitting here right now, she'd tell you that because it is important to you it does matter."  My friend listened and heard me.  I hope i did the same for him.

And then my poor, dear husband spent hours discussing it with me, and all the implications of where this will lead.  Discussing it in some ways didn't help a lot.  I was pretty exhausted by it all, and also felt there is essentially no hope that this will be resolved in a manner i will see as positive.  My friend and my husband listened to me, and let me feel that i am important and my feelings do matter, even for a reason that isn't, of itself, very important.  They didn't try to tell my why i shouldn't feel the way i do, or how it isn't significant, and how i should just suck it up and deal.  They listened and empathized.

I do try to be careful what i say to people when they are hurt.  I've already had too many people in my life tell me things in their attempt to "comfort."  I've been told that God probably knew that i won't be a good mama, and that's why God never gave us children.  Or, i've been told by people (who don't know my life or story) that i must not want children all that badly, because we could always "just adopt."  (Using the word "just" in almost any context seems to always result in belittling someone's feelings.)  Or that i struggle with energy and functioning because i don't pray and read the scriptures enough.  I could go on and on.

People are not very comfortable with grief or loss in our culture.  Saying, "I am so very sorry" just doesn't seem like enough.  So people tend to tack on other things, and that is almost always a mistake.

So, again i say:  I need to listen to and hear people better, with more love, and without an agenda.

I hope this is a lesson that sticks.


11 August 2012

I think i’ve shared this story before. Many years ago i tried to have a post-Christmas party to overcome the fact that i had no one with whom to share Christmas Eve/Day.

No one showed up.  I was devastated, and it was years before i tried to entertain again.

We have lived in this house for 4-1/2 years.  In all that time, every year i have said, "We should have a neighborhood barbeque so that we can meet the neighbors."  But procrastination lives well with us, and it hasn't happened.  This summer i was determined that we should do this, tho. 

We met a neighborhood child recently (i think she's probably about 13), and mentioned our intent.   She encouraged us to carry out the project, and so we made fliers and passed them out this week.  I've also spent about $250 on food and preparations.  The barbeque is planned for tomorrow at 4.30.  

It has poured buckets of rain with thunder and lightening today; more is scheduled for tomorrow.   

Duane and i often laugh about our bad timing.

So, i'm not only afraid no one will show up for all that food i bought, i'm afraid it will pour buckets (again) tomorrow.  

Welcome to Sugarbear!

It did occur to me that Jesus told a parable in Matthew 22 where God (a King) gave a party (a wedding feast) and none of the invited guests showed up.  

So, i suppose even if no one comes we are in good company.  Tho i admit i'll be disappointed.


05 August 2012

I am uneasy about something, but i’m not sure why and there really is nothing i can do about it.  It really isn't my business, anyway.

Someone we know but not well - i'll call her Aida - has posted pics of herself on Facebook. She is 16 now, and tho we are distantly related, we don't see her often. I thought, "Wow. She has really slimmed and is looking good." It did occur to me that she has learned to take shots that are flattering.

The shots are all face pics, obviously taken in the mirror. The thing is, i saw some pics of her at a family event recently. She looks NOTHING like the pics she posts on FB. The difference isn't just make up. The pics at FB show her to be a normal weight, and the pics of her in reality show a very different reality.

 She has obviously learned to use Photoshop very effectively. It is like the vids you can now find where a model goes in and gets transformed with make up, and then with Photoshop. But that is a situation where a company is trying to sell something. What is going on with this young lady?

I looked at her pics at FB, and not one of them shows reality.  There is one pic she took with her mother where she has been Photoshopped, but mother hasn't.  That pic is probably the closest to reality, but it still probably shaves at least 30 pounds from her weight.

I guess i'm a bit worried that Aida is living in a fantasy.  I understand that.  I think i often see myself in the mirror as slimmer than i am - and then catch a glimpse of myself in a store window or in a picture, and don't like the result.  I wonder how i can picture myself so different from reality?  But Aida is going so much further.

What is more, why does this bother me so much?  She's not my child, and even at family functions i can barely get two words out of her.  I would have no influence on her one way or another.  The discrepancy between the two pics (i wish i could show them to you but it wouldn't be fair) makes me very uneasy.  But why?  I don't understand.


03 August 2012

My knees are warm at the moment.  Jazz cat is lying on my legs as i’m lying here.   He has become much more affectionate since he has been ill.   I think part of it is that he really would like Mac to be comforting him (he likes to cuddle with Mac), but Mac wants nothing to do with him.

He seems better today.   When he was ill, he didn't protest being in the bathroom.   Last night he spent a lot of time complaining about it!  He also is moving around the house more when he is out, and very interested in the birds outside.   I cancelled his appt at the vet today because he has begun eating. Taking him into the vet only gives him "that smell," and i don't think it is necessary.  Bodies are made to heal, and we are doing what we can to support his healing.   When he is better, i think both cats need a bath so they smell the same.  We tried wiping them both down with a scented vinegar, but that didn't make any difference.

I learned how to use my own fonts - i have to compose in the HTML option. (And i have found that i have to use both "compose" and "HTML" to get it to do what i want.

Do you think Christians are judgmental?  That is a pretty loaded question!   There isn't just one type of Christian, but i know we have a reputation for being judgmental.   Someone near and dear to me said the other day about someone else i care for, "She's not a christian lady.   She believes in karma."

I wish i had probed this statement more, for by the basis of this statement, i might be considered a "not Christian lady" either.   I don't use the term karma much, but i do use it some time.    "Bad karma" is probably my most common use - and by that i generally mean "consequences for actions" and "what goes around, comes around."

I wonder if my "not a Christian lady" friend said to the other, "Well, it is good karma that we met"?   Once again, not terms i would normally use, but terms i might use on occasion.    I probably would be more likely to say, "I'm so blessed that we met."   But to me, the statements are equivalent.

Judging other people is an iffy proposition.   We can't know the heart of the other person.  I do believe that Jesus wanted us to be wise, and to be discerning of other people.   Jesus met people where they were at, and moved on from there.    He was very critical of the religious leaders of the day.   He called people to account for their choices and actions.    But he did not stand in judgment of them - he brought to their attention how they were "missing the mark" (another word for sin) and charged them to change their behaviors.  Judgmental (at least as i understand it) is rather a "final word."  What i see Jesus doing is making a judgment, but rather than punishing people for their behavior, calling them to change.  Jesus is about second chances.

 I wonder how Jesus would speak to my "not a Christian lady" friend if she said, "It is good karma we met"?


02 August 2012

Mid-summer post

Goodness!  I’ve not written in forever.  Please forgive me for not responding to your comments on last post.  I treasure each of them.  

I’ve been grieving, and i was sick in  June.  Had a birthday in  June and on my BD, Mac got sick.  Spent a lot of money on him.  He has a stone in his bladder.  We are trying to treat it with food and supplements.

Jazz got sick this last week.  Don’t know if it was the change in food, but he’s had a respiratory illness, and was vomiting.  Turns out he has pneumonia (from aspirating the vomit) and pancreatitis.  Wow.  We have spent a lot more money.  I stayed home this week to watch him.  He has been at the vet 3 times in the past week, yesterday just to force feed him and give him fluids.  He has seemed a little better last night and today.

It hasn’t been any easier that each time we bring   Jazz home, Mac is the most pissed off cat in the world.  He remembers the vet from   June, and wants nothing to do with   Jazz, who smells of the vet.  We’ve had to watch them pretty closely as Mac would attack  Jazz and  Jazz, being sick, can’t handle that.  I’ve been keeping  Jazz in a bathroom at least over night, and when he was sickest for about 24 hours.  I would go in and pet him while i read a book.

I’m doing a weird, raw milk diet (raw milk and only raw milk; i’m mostly sticking to it).  The first six to seven days i was in a lot more pain, and hoping that it was healing crisis and not just inflammation.  The pain went back to normal, and the following week i found that i had more endurance than before.  Not more energy, per se, but i was able to tolerate things more, longer, and with less backlash.  I’m excited about that.  : )

Since i stayed home this week to be with   Jazz and to medicate him, i’ve been pretty busy.  Today was a knit group and i had every intention of going, but i realized that i’m exhausting myself in this “week off” and decided it would be better to stay home and rest.

I read, somewhere, a while back that depressed is not wanting to do things, but chronic fatigue is wanting to do them but not being able.  I’ve hung on to that truth for a while now.  There is so much i would like to do and can’t.  But, as someone near to me helped me see, i can do so much more than many others i know.

I’ve been struggling with the concept of how much my thoughts impact my reality.  The reality in which i live (up to the time of starting the milk diet) is that i have been losing ground and not been able to do as much as i used to.  I’ve tried to be positive about the whole thing, but reality is i am much more limited. 

Someone else i know told me, “Well, if you keep on telling yourself you are getting worse, you WILL get worse!”  And i understand that concept to a point, but reality IS what is occurring.  I’m not TELLING myself i’m getting worse; i’m acknowledging it is happening in my life.  Can i live with the reality of my life without being "negative" and "making myself worse"?  So i struggle with the concept of how do i stay positive and live the life i currently have?  To not admit that i’m more limited when i am is a lie.  I do not want to blanket myself in deception.  But i also do not want to fall into self-pity and not challenging myself. 

I am not getting worse because i “tell myself” that.  The fact is, i have been worse off and more limited, and i’ve been trying to admit that fact and accept it and see where this reality leads me and how i can manage the life that i have. 

I came across this at Facebook.  It is attributed to Mohamed Ghonemi.  I used to do doodles that looked a lot like this with pen an ink.  I tried to create one similar on Photoshop, but it doesn't have the smoothness pen and ink have.

Anyway, here is my own opinion of what i think and say.  (I've thought of a lot more "what i think" items than what i put in here.  But "what i say" is pretty accurate, and it is probably why i've not posted in a while.  Various renditions of "blah, blah, blah."

Hope y'all are having a wonderful summer.

The last time i posted, it let me use my own font.  I don't know why it won't now.