Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday Musings

It is Sunday morning and I'm sitting at my kitchen table with my computer and a mug of Cranberry Blood Orange tea.

I overslept so I won't be making it to worship this morning, but that's really just a convenient excuse. I'm struggling this morning with all the changes in my life. I want to pour it all out here on my blog, but there are issues with that. I want to be writing every day, but I don't like feeling constrained by the need to be vague. But I'm not comfortable baring my soul just yet.

So I sit here typing vague and random words and phrases because I believe that if I can't explain why I'm feeling this way, then my feelings are invalid. I need to explain why I feel these things so that everyone will understand and agree that my feelings are appropriate.

Convoluted? I suppose, but it's how my brain has worked for so long that it's more automatic than rationally thought through. 

I like my new place, but there's still a lot of work to be done. I worry that I'm being by judged by those around me for not having gotten more done. For wasting time that could be used to get things in order so I can "get on" with my life. I make lists and start out well, but as the day wears on I run out of emotional steam to get things done. I begin to wonder, "What's the point?" and "Who am I doing this for?"

I know the "right" answer is I'm doing for myself. So I can have a comforting, inviting place to call to home, but I've never been very good at doing things for myself. When I have been able to, it often leads to guilty feelings that I am just a self-centered person. 

Understand I'm not looking for pity here, but I am trying to work through some feelings and coping skills that I know aren't in my best interest. But I'm tired of working so hard. I'm tired of feeling as if I may be a burden to those around me. I'm tired of being needy. I crave normalcy, but I don't even know what normal is going to look like now. 

I have no answers except the repetition of phrases I've been using for years to deal with the lasting effects of abuse -- be kind to yourself, rest, eat as well as you can, get some exercise to help with anxiety and depression. 

As this day progresses I will do those things to the best of my ability with the knowledge that, even though I believe at times I am the only one struggling with these things, the reality is I am not alone. Hopefully by sharing my struggles I can help someone else who's feeling the same things I feel today.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

What I Did Today

Every day is different lately. Today was no exception.

I got up and followed my somewhat usual routine which now includes trying to empty one more box. I chatted with my son and my daughter. I made the bed, showered, dressed, and ate breakfast. 

The afternoon was a completely new and different experience. Several weeks ago a friend told me she had applied to work the election polls. I was intrigued because I've considered it myself in the past. I called the election commission and got signed up to work. We went in together to turn in paper applications. I apparently volunteered both of us to help with change of address on election day. I didn't think it would be a big deal. My friend wasn't as enthusiastic as I was.

So today I went to my training class to learn how to deal with changing addressed for voters and some other unusual circumstances that sometimes come up. It's not rocket science, but it is a fair amount of detail and paperwork. 

What interested me the most was how much I enjoyed listening to the instructors talk about their jobs and the significance of the election process. I take my vote fairly seriously as a rule, but I also admit I've missed some opportunities over the years to get out and vote. Today reminded me how important it is to part of the process. No, one vote probably won't change the final outcome, but it's important to remember how many people don't have the opportunity. 

Now I'm officially trained in how to change addresses for registered and non-registered voters, and on November 8th I'll work from 6 AM to 8 PM helping other people get out and vote. It will be a very long day, but when all is said and done I will have helped a lot of people (I hope) take advantage of the opportunity to share in the future of this country . . . and that's pretty cool in my book.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Day 5 (Yes I Missed Day 4)

Well, it didn't take long for me to miss a day!

One of the things I promised myself going into this series was kindness.

Tuesdays are generally my busiest and sometimes toughest days. I have therapy on Tuesdays for chronic PTSD. With all the changes in my life right now, it's a good thing, but can be tiring.

Then there was an attempted errand that fell through because of my own forgetfulness, followed up by a trip to the chiropractor as the pinched nerve in my neck as been acting up again.

When I got home, the delivery man was waiting on my front porch to bring in some furniture I'd recently had painted, so there was quick rearranging to get pieces in the right rooms at least. My son called wondering what was for dinner. 

Once the delivery man left, I took a few minutes to place tables in the living room and even set up a little decor just to give me another #smallvictory and #oasisofcalm.

Then there was a call from my daughter and dinner plans with son and his girlfriend. And somewhere in all of that I collapsed in the big comfy chair and turned on Netflix.

I had good intentions. Rest and regroup and then go write a blog post. But every time I thought about it I was just sooo tiiirrreeedd.

And then I fell asleep in the chair.

So I missed a day (in the first week) but life goes on and I will continue to strike order in this messy world of mine while seeking out #smallvictories and the occasional #oasisofcalm.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Finding Routine in the Mundane

I have no routine right now. That is neither good nor bad. Just different. 

I have a love-hate relationship with routine. When it's working for me I love it; when it's not I hate it. Maybe that's a truism. 

This morning I woke up at more or less my usual time. I got up and had my tea, puttered a bit, handled a few phone calls, finally ate some breakfast, and made a list of things to attempt accomplishing today.

My best friend reminded to find "small victories". I had a nice rambling chat with my daughter. I organized the laundry closet and did some laundry. I talked with my son's girlfriend (how nice that she stopped by to pick up some stuff and made time to talk!).

I paid some bills and organized some paperwork. Answered a few emails. Checked Facebook and the news. 

All of these mundane bits and pieces did something unexpected for me -- I found myself. I felt a little like Sabrina in the movie of the same name, except of course she "found" herself in Paris. Somehow it's fitting for me that I found myself in the routine, mundane activities, because in truth that is who I am. I'm not interested in flashy events and behaviors. I'm not belittling myself here. Quite the contrary, I enjoy my mundane routine. 

So those are my ramblings for today. Nothing exceptional or amazing, except that finding myself felt pretty exceptional to me!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The First Sunday of October

I'm in a new place, both figuratively and literally. It's going to take a lot of getting used to. Some of it is coming together pretty well, while other portions are pretty much a rollercoaster ride. 

I found my robe this morning, so that was nice. And yesterday I got my prayer bench set up. I'm dogsitting for a little Schnauzer (not my favorite breed, but Charlie's a good girl), and this morning I'm heading out to worship on my own in a new place to call home.

That's a lot to take in all at once.

I know some of the people at this church. My best friend and her family attend there, and I've met several people through her and know a few more on my own. It's still odd though to be heading out to a new place all on my own. If anyone had asked me what I'd be doing in my 54th year on earth, this wouldn't have been on my list.

But I'm trusting in God to lead me as He always has. I'm trusting His time and His knowledge to get me centered and integrated into this new way of living.

Life is not a constant, but rather a constantly shifting paradigm. Change is the norm. And if I can't learn to accept that I will find myself in turmoil all the time. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Little Out of Practice

It's October 1, 2016. 

I don't know how that happened.

What I do know is I miss my blog.

I miss writing.

I miss sharing.

I miss connecting with other bloggers.

Today is the first day of the annual Write 31 Days and I want to be a part of it again.

Once more it will be random, but I'll give it a shot and hope for the best.

Routine is good for me, and I need some serious routine in my life right now.

So here's to the next 31 days of writing.

Blessings to all.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

This Time Last Year

Last year about this time I wrote a piece called Scarred. It's interesting to go back see where I was and what I was doing a year ago. I gain some perspective of time and healing. And that is a very good thing.

I stand by all that I said in that post. Emotional scars do smooth over. I can't say I've reached the point where my past doesn't show up every day, but the impact from it is so much lower. It happened. It is fact. It is history.

The present has a way of supplanting the past. That's generally a good thing as moving forward is what I strive for. But sometimes that forward movement requires me to look back and examine how the past is impacting and informing the present.

Right now I'm going through a difficult time. Things are not right in my world, but they are not right in a way I don't feel good writing about. That is problematic for me. I use this space for processing. But here is what I can share I'm 53 years old. My children are grown and practically on their own. My husband is mid-job change, and I don't know what my next phase looks like. 

Maybe I should have planned more for this. Maybe I should have been thinking about this time, but the truth is I'm a live-in-the-moment kind of person. I've never found 5 year plans to be very helpful mostly because life (at least mine) is messy. Plan all you want but be prepared for it to go to hell in a handbasket at the drop of a hat.

I don't think that's negative. I think it's reality. So I'm looking at options. A new career path? A return to the life of a librarian? Part-time? Full-time? A major change or a minor shift? Who knows? I certainly don't.

I recently told a friend I needed God to come down and smite me on the head for clarity. I'm not usually one to wonder and fret over what God wants me to do, but I've been fretting a lot lately and I need that to change.

So if anyone has a good job idea for an undecided former stay at home mom with a masters in libary science who really only wants to work about 20 hours a week and make really good money, could you shoot me an email or just reply to this post? 

Or maybe I should just buy a lottery ticket.

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . January 12, 2016

Outside my window . . . it's sunny and cold but not nearly as cold as it was yesterday morning!

I am thinking . . . about changes.

I am thankful . . . for my son's safe return from his travels out west. He got home yesterday afternoon from a 10-day drive from Tennessee to California with stops throughout the west for hiking and climbing. He with his best friend and they had a wonderful time full of great experiences.

In the kitchen . . . last night was crockpot white chicken chili. Perfect for the very cold day we'd had.

I am creating . . . another prayer shawl. I seem to be on a roll but I'm having trouble with some tendonitis in my thumbs. I may have to slow down a bit :)

I am going . . . to get back into some kind of yoga routine. I've fallen off the map on yoga and I'm beginning to feel it in my body.

I am wondering . . . how to handle TV next Sunday night. NFL Playoffs and Downton Abbey. Choices. Choices. (And no I don't have DVR)

I am reading . . . I finished up The Absent One (Afdeling Q #2) by Jussi Adler-Olsen. I borrowed it from the library and had to return it before I finished so then I had to wait for it be available again! Now I'm re-reading B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton as I continue my way through the Kinsey Milhone stories. Next up is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

I am looking forward to . . . going to LB's house tomorrow to help her out with a few things and then taking her out to eat for a belated birthday lunch.

I am hearing . . . my son figuring out his day.

Around the house . . . things are officially undecorated. Yay! Love the holidays, but love having things back to normal as well.

I am praying . . . for clarity and peace.

One of my favorite things . . . is watching old movies. I recently watched "The Inn of Sixth Happiness" (1958).  It is currently on Netflix and I highly recommend it.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . several meetings, fun times with my bestie, a haircut, and then football playoffs this weekend.

Here's a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
blocking my completed scrappy prayer shawl

linking up with The Simple Woman

Friday, January 8, 2016


There is the "first" you feel good about and then there is the "first" you wish had never happened. The one you hope will be an "only".

We've all had them. The first kiss, the first birth, the first anniversary. I'm guessing we've all had the other kind as well -- the first wreck, the first fight, the first major illness. 

Last year (2015) had some of that second kind . . . unfortunately. And 2016 has had some already as well. The thing about those "firsts" is they seem scary and daunting until that first one is behind you. We begin to roll with the punches pretty quickly, for good or bad.

None of us knows what this year will bring. That's the good news/bad news of the future. What we do know is that God is with us in all things. He will guide us and sustain us if we allow Him to. We are the only things that keep God from being the centerpiece -- our touchstone. 

I don't know what other firsts may show up this year. God is the original miracle worker. What I do know is whatever "firsts" He has in store for me, He will use to bring me closer to Him if I will let him.


linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Things have changed in my world. It wasn't overnight, but they are big changes. And we're not finished. I don't know what the end result is going to look like, but going backwards is not an option.

Some of the changes were predictable. My kids have grown up. My daughter is out on her own living life as an adult, and doing quite well, thank you very much. If you'd told me just a few years ago that's where we'd be I would never have believed you.

My son is about to start is final semester in college. He's away right now on his first "adult" trip -- he planned and organized the whole thing and is driving across the country with his best friend seeing the sights and experiencing the great outdoors the way he loves. 

Those little babies I worried over have changed. They are grown-ups. Fully functional, "I can take care of myself" adults. I am so very proud of both of them. It also means I've done my job. Not that I'm no longer a mom because I'll always be that, but there's a fundamental shift in the relationship once you reach this point. I'm a touchstone for my kids. They know I'm here. They know I'll listen, talk, advise, and empathize, but they have their own lives to live now, and that's a good thing. (As long as they stay in touch regularly!)

So whether I like it or not, it's time for a change in my job description. It's unrealistic to limit myself to stay-at-home-mom at this point as I don't have any kids to be at home with anymore. I'm just not sure what I want that new job description to say. 

I've looked at some part-time opportunities and applied for a couple of full-time positions that didn't pan out. I'm not really sorry the full-time didn't happen. I don't really want a 9-to-5 job if I don't have to have one. But I'm noticing the truth in something I was told a long time ago. It's pretty hard for a 53-year-old woman to compete with all those 20-somethings searching for jobs. I'm fully qualified. I have a masters degree in my field from a good university. But I have a feeling that on paper I don't look very impressive with those longs breaks from employment. It's difficult to get credit for being a SAHM in the workplace. Most people just don't realize what good training that can be for almost any job.

I'm not complaining. I don't HAVE to get a job right now. No one is going to starve or go without anything if I don't go to work, and I have absolute faith that God will provide whatever I need. I'm just wondering out loud about this point in my life. There is a lot of change going on, which leads to a lot of uncertainty, which means I'm trusting in God more and more.

And that is a good thing.

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . January 5, 2016

Outside my window . . . it's sunny and cold with a heavy frost sitting on the ground.

I am thinking . . . several meetings today and what I will discover.

I am thankful . . . the prayers of faithful friends.

In the kitchen . . . we've had Inside Out Ravioli, Honey Baked Ham and Bean Soup, and Chicken Pot Pie recently. I'm not sure what tonight will be.

I am creating . . . a prayer shawl made from all those left over bits and pieces. Kind of like a crazy quilt.

I am going . . . continue praying and talking and having faith that things will get better around here.

I am wondering . . . how long it will take me to get back into a routine following the holidays.

I am reading . . . well, really re-reading A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton. I'm not sure how many times I've read the Kinsey Milhone novels, but it seemed like a good time to revisit them.

I am looking forward to . . . my next day of crafting with my bestie.

I am hearing . . . Squeaker's nails tap-tap-tapping on the floor. It's incredible to me that she 16 years old and still so active.

Around the house . . . undecorating from Christmas . . . SLOWLY!

I am praying . . . for my relationship with my husband; for peace; and for many friends who are having struggles right now.

One of my favorite things . . . doing my blog.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . lots of meetings and errands this week. Hoping for some time for quiet thought and meditation.

Here's a picture for thought I am sharing . . .

linking up with The Simple Woman

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sacred Authenticity

It's 2016. Not sure how that happened as I fell off the blogging wagon back in 2015, but I'm back today. I'm not sure what's happening in 2016, but I suppose that's true for everyone.

I could talk about organizing and resolutions. Or I could talk about moving from one day to the next as best as I can. The reality is, that right now, in this moment, I only have this moment. That's it. And this moment has enough for me to handle.

Things have been rocky in my world lately. I won't go into all the details for a variety of reasons. I'm unclear on my future and whether or not there may be some big changes. I foolishly thought that by the time I was 53 I'd everything fairly settled and organized. I was wrong.

But I'm learning it's not unusual for me to be wrong. And I'm not alone. 

We all live with a certain false sense of security. I frequently believe that I'm the only one who doesn't have all her ducks in a row. The only one whose life isn't going just the way I dreamed it would. Why is it so difficult for us to admit how hard life can be? Why are we all (or maybe it's just some of us) so compelled to make comparisons?

I've worked hard to be able to live an authentic life. To be true to who I am. To accept the reality of my life and not play games or put up walls. But it's still really difficult to say, "No. I'm just sailing along on a stiff wind hoping and praying that I end up where God intends." Not because I don't trust Him, but because of the vagaries of life. 

I'm not sure what this place will look like in the coming months because I'm not sure what my life is going to look like in the coming months. But this much I do know. This place is important to me. I found a lot of myself in this place. I spoke truth here many times before I could literally speak it to another person in real life. And so I will continue to use this place as a testing ground. To recognize the gift it has been for me. A sacred place where I bared my soul to myself and others and learned it was okay to be who I really am.

Blessings to all of us in 2016.