Monthly Archives: December 2012
I was settling down in the movie theater to watch “Les Miserables” and the thought struck me, then, of what I should write about today. We each carry our own burdens and how we face them/allow them to affect the way we handle them shapes our days. I know, intellectually, that there are people around the world (if not even around the corner) who are suffering in their lives worse than I am. We all know this, and we also know we can’t take the entire weight of the world on our own shoulders. It is just too much.
We can work on ourselves, be better for ourselves, and so hopefully be able to be better for others, offer more of ourselves to others-even just one other person-when we’re not bogged down, knee deep in our own trials and tribulations.
Knowing the musical I was about to see, and the real life suffering that existed then…and now…put me in a different place while watching the film version. I still hurt, I’m still anxious…and I’m trying to put things in perspective.
When we came back home, I had an email from an internet friend. No air quotes. Friend. Supporter. All around good guy, from what I know of him. He has a medial condition that may not allow him much time left with us. Timing is unknown. His biggest fear is not for himself (although I’m sure there is that: stoicism in the aftermath of bad news, maybe) but for the one he’ll leave behind. My heart is heavy with this news, and I offered him all I could: my thoughts, and I will include him in the prayers that have now become part of my daily routine.
He mentioned leaving something eternal behind him, and, in all honesty, the best I can think of is that we should try to leave behind good memories, smiles, and a sense that our lives meant something to not only ourselves but to at least one other person, if not many. That we touched them in some good way, supported them as we would like to be supported, and loved as we’d like to be loved.
My worries are of a financial one right now, and my future; his are life and death, and his future. It’s up to us to handle what we are going through with as much grace and strength as we can.
I know I wish my friend much grace, much strength, and that he continues to look for what good he can do now and in the timeto come.
I wish that for any who are suffering, in any way, as well.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
I guess I’d like to know, from whoever is reading this blog…
what reward(s) YOU have attained from being patient?
For me, the major thing has been finally finding love in my life, after being so impatient, longing for it, for such a long time. I met my SO online, a blog writer whose creative writing I truly admired. From comments on each others blogs, to emails, to Skype, to finally meeting face to face (all this ran over the course of six months)…and April 2013 will be two years since first discovering each others blogs by way of the Blogging A to Z April Challenge. The other side of this, with being patient, in that ours is a semi-long distance relationship, is that we’ve had to take our time getting to know each other. We appreciate, care, and accept each other as we are, and being patient in this way, not pushing, not moving things faster than things should, has a deepening effect, a relationship of love, built on so many different levels. I could not ask for a more wonderful woman in my life.
What I am impatient about, and what affects my moods more than anything else, is my lack of a full time job/career at this stage of my life. It leads me onto many dark paths (as you readers already know)…and, as you know, I want/need this to change. I hope to have a second interview after the new year starts with a company that I’ve had dealings with in the past (through a previous job). I’m trying to be patient, as I knew there is nothing I can do to move the process along any faster. That is out of my hands, and I have to accept it. Sometimes, it is just too hard, and that is where the overly negative posts come from.
So…today has been a mixed day: a number of things accomplished, one which was very necessary to do, but sad nonetheless. It took two hours to slog through and bag two black garbage bags of “stuff” that will need to be shredded. Thank goodness for the Mobile Shredding Truck that does it in my county!! The positive that came out of this: my SO finding some important documents that relate to my father’s timeline during WWII and after; most of it will have to be translated, but I now have dates (some approximates) that I did not have before, plus added info.
Maybe it is time to dig out my play about him and add in these facts. Being patient, going through everything, has brought this to light. So…good alongside the sad.
So….again…I’d like to know what you’ve gotten from being patient. It’d be nice to have comments on good things.
“When I panic, God, teach me patience. When I fear, teach me faith. When I doubt myself, teach me confidence. When I despair, teach me hope. When I lose perspective, show me the way- back to love, back to life, back to You. Amen.” ~ from Talking to God by Naomi Levy (c) “When you feel broken, alone ,full of PAIN, and not sure of what to do anymore, just SMILE.” ~ from Unknown “Grant me, O God, the strength to face each hour of this and every day. In fact, when it seems that I cannot face even this hour, fill me with sufficient strength to face the next five minutes. Amen.” ~ from Gates of Healing, a message of comfort and joy
“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.” “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Had a bad night; woke up at 4am, something went wonky, set my mind at a million wonky anxiety things a second; took something for it. Then, trying to fall asleep again after being up for over an hour, had an anxiety laden dream. Nightmare. Whatever it was, this morning is the antithesis of how I’ve been feeling the last couple of days.
I am tired-so tired-of feeling like this. It has been a really pleasant couple of days (yeah, there were moments, but they were pushed aside and I dealt with them after a bit). This morning…not so easy. I’m tense, stressed out, and have a monster of a headache. It’s supposed to be nasty out, so it is a pj day (which, at this moment, sounds like the best thing).
Said my morning prayers (Thank you, again, Rabbi Pam…and thanks to Naomi Levy) with my SO, which always helps. Will def do some of the online Mindful Meditation, and try to readjust my thinking. That’s what it is: I get to that point that I start beating myself up over things I know I have no control over.
One thing I have to deal with is feeling like a failure. That comes out of my mouth too often. The psychiatrist wanted to know is that how I feel just now, or something that has deeper roots; it’s deeper, and I have to really start addressing that feeling and its history in me.
I don’t prefer suffering, but I do have a hard time letting go.
“Be with me God. I feel so lost. I can’t seem to escape the dark cloud that is hanging over me (today). Help me, God. Give me strength to combat despair and fear. Show me how to put my pain into perspective. Teach me to have faith in the new day that is coming. Thank You, God, for today’s blessings, for tomorrow’s hope, and for Your abiding love. Amen.”
During this month, communications with others has been key to my mental health, a positive source. The internet and phones (cell or land line) have kept me in touch with others, not feeling so lonely. Yes, there are times not having someone around to take care of is utterly lonely. I find myself wandering around, not really settled. This is the first time I’ve gone someplace and not had to check in with anyone, to see if they are ok, if they are eating, etc.
Skype, Facebook, cell phones, emails: all are important to how I’m trying to cope. It’s not always easy: I’d almost always rather be somewhere else than in the apartment. I reach out, and, thankfully, others have reached out to me as well. It’s not as one sided as I used to feel.
Someone surprised me with a very unexpected gift (a gift card) and then with words why it was given. The why is so much more important, and I can not tell you how humbled I felt, how bereft of words I was at this act of kindness. Others have left me with great gifts of their support and care, and again…that is what has been really needed. It’s good karma, a Mitzvah, a good deed…whatever you want to call it…I thank one and all for what you’ve done.
“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.”
— Emory Austin
“God gave burdens, he also gave shoulders.”
— Yiddish Proverbs
I’ve lived the role of care taker for many years: first, with my children; then when my father got very ill; and after his passing, with my mother. With her passing, a role I’ve had now since I was 24 years old is no longer part of my life…except it is, but in a different way: care taker for myself. The one person I pretty much put in the background, the one who I took care of only on the periphery. I can’t say I was a total drudge and had no fun for myself, for that would be a total lie.
But…in REALLY taking care of myself, treating myself well, loving myself…not really. That has been brought up to me often enough now in these last few months, and part of my healing process is dedicated to trying to do those positive things. I have an amazing woman by my side, and some amazing friends and family, and a circle of caring internet friends…they all help. It does need to start with me; not narcissistically, but for a healthier me in body and spirit. It’s communicating with myself too; the prayers help; the meditation helps; giving myself a breather helps.
As to the camel; I went to a Christmas pageant on Christmas Eve (no, I’m not converting: this was with my SO, and the pageant was cute with kids in costumes, their choral singing, etc). The (out of focus) camel captivated me, and I know for the hour or so I was in the service, I was outside of myself and observing, listening, and finding my own meditations and prayers.
It was good to sit with so many people, hearing them laugh, seeing them smile, with the simplicity and care for their children.
It’s always a good afternoon when you spend some time with a camel. 🙂
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”
— Bernice Johnson Reagon
During a long drive, I turned off the CD I was listening to, just needing some of the quiet (as quiet as it can be on a highway). Many things crossed my mind, some of it in the negative realm and my doing my best to blow it away with other thoughts. Almost a driving meditation, concentrating on something else, focusing my attention on the task on hand. I drove safely, very aware of the trucks and other cars on the road, so don’t worry. The traffic was light.
Here is what came to mind when I thought about laughter: three stories, all dealing with times when most would not even think it’d be a time for laughter, but…this is where I went.
My mother had an unofficial nickname: Edith “Two Shoes” Nager. When my father died, in the funeral home, we (my mother, my son, my daughter and I) were in the side room when the family and friends were called into the main room. My daughter looked down at my mother’s feet and said “Grandma, you’ve got two different shoes on!” We all looked: yup…same type of shoe, but two different colored shoes. The four of us started laughing out loud. The moment was cathartic and broke a lot of the tension we all were experiencing. A cousin of mine came in to scold us for laughing, but…well, he is not important to all this. I told the assemblage, during the eulogy, why we laughed, and they laughed/chuckled along with us, along with the feelings of loss of my father.
At my mother’s funeral, I again gave the eulogy. When talking off the cuff about parents sometimes being difficult, my son (a young man now) snorted a laugh. My instant retort was with a “shut up”, but with a smile towards him, and again the assemblage laughed along with us for the moment.
I guess these thoughts entered my head as I was driving past the hospital where my HS friend Charles died. My memory of Charlie is almost always of him laughing/smiling. At his funeral, I was asked to give the eulogy as well. I asked the congregation there if there was anyone who shared a smile, a laugh, with Charles. Everyone raised their hands, and everyone smiled.
Sometimes, we need to just remember, even at the most dire of times of loss, some of these moments. An online friend just lost her father, and her post was full of memories like that, laughter and smiles of and with her dad.
Here’s to the moments of lighter, brighter days…those behind us, those still to come.
I wrote the below first for Lisa, for all the reasons one would think. I did this just before the first night of Chanukah. Originally, it was only with her in mind, but…I had invited a number of people over, to help me get through the evening, and I wanted to break with tradition, which in my house was: light the candles, say the blessings, and then either eat or open the presents. Not much else went into it.
So…I gave Lisa her copy, told her it was written with her in mind, and then asked if it was OK to share it out to the guests, since I had nothing to give them beyond opening my apartment to them, inviting them in, and sharing the evening (recounted in an earlier post), food, laughter and stories.
Now, I give this to you. I again asked her first, before doing so. She agreed, again, that it was a good thing to do.
One postscript to the above: when I saw my therapist, it had been a couple of weeks of last minute missed appointments. I told her about the evening and what I gave everyone. It was then it dawned on me:
I gave this out to ten other people, but I did not give one to myself!
When I went home, I printed out one more copy, just for me, and hung it by my desk, so I see it now every time I sit at the computer. It’s part of the process: allowing myself to experience my own wishes, hopes, and prayers.
There are some things I can give to you…Wishes, Hopes, and Prayers for:
To feel it coming to you, and from yourself to yourself!
To share in your life, to surround you, at all times!
Happiness and Joy!!
Patience, Calmness, and Satisfaction…
As much of a stress free life as possible…
Fulfillment in all you do…
That your needs are met as often as possible…
That if you’ve been searching for something, that it comes your way,
And it is all that you hoped it would be!!!
Thank You for being in my life
Thank you for the love, care and concern that you have shown
I find myself in the middle of a difficult period of my life.
Others tell me that opportunities lie just around the corner.
I want to believe that, hold onto that thought, take it inside and embrace it.
It is not the easiest thing to do,
And I know that there is next to nothing I can do at this moment to make anything happen.
Everything stops at this time of year,
For thoughts are on gatherings and gift giving and days off;
Of eating, of cheering on your team, of taking a nap, of cleaning up…
So, with patience, I must wait past the season, to begin again.
Renew the search, and hope for the best.
For, there does lie opportunity, harmony, and hopefully simplicity…
It’s just on hold, for a week or two.
My wish for you:
That if you’ve been searching for something, that it comes your way, and soon…
and that it is all you had hoped it would be, if not more so.