Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Melting, Melting.....

It is hot here in the Lou these days.  Summer time and the temperatures are in the 100s.  I am not a fan.  It is also rather humid.  Miserable is the word to describe it.  This is the time of year I like to sit inside and quilt.  It is too hot to do much outside.  Too hot altogether. But, the weather will change.  I hear that there may be a cold front by the weekend.  Maybe highs will be in the 80s again. Change is a part of the life in this world.

I am moving stuff and melting day by day as I prepare to leave this house for another.  I try to be smart and keep hydrated.  I try to work outside in the cooler parts of the day.  Truth be told, the work is good for me.  I do too much sitting because my knee hurts.  Entirely too much sitting. Sitting is good for prayer though.  I sit and pray.

And I have started attending the daily Mass again a few times a week.  It is hot and that reminds me of all the summer vacations that I went to Mass during the week especially when we lived near our church.  I live farther these days and the church is different.  But, I am growing to love the little daily Mass community. I love starting the day, receiving Jesus.  It is a good way to keep from melting.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Salvage Yard, Salvation Yard

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Isn't that how the saying goes? I am settling into new and old routines.  The new routines of answering to myself.  I am my own boss.  I don't have to anticipate someone else getting mad or getting even with me if they don't like my choices.  For a while I reacted like a rebellious teenager, doing all the things that would have gotten me in trouble before, not wrong thiings, just things that wouldn't have been approved of before. I was "out of control."

I have rebelled enough now.  I am considering how I want to live and not how someone else didn't want me to live.  I went back to weekday Mass the other day.  I hadn't been to Mass during the week for a couple of years and I really missed it.  I missed being with Jesus, receiving Jesus first thing in the morning.  It is what I do.  The way I live. I am not really the rebel type.

I am reflecting on the scraps and ruins of my life.  There are a lot of good things there too, but I am looking at the things I need to abandon and the the things I want to keep.  Marriage for me, wasn't what I dreamed of, wasn't at all a partnership, two separate people traveling in similar directions who didn't know each other well to start and didn't like each other much by the end.  Marriage for me wasn't a place of safety or love, ever. That makes me sad, to think I will never know that feeling of partnership. I am becoming okay with that.

But, I am finding my way as a woman alone in the world.  I am picking up the pieces and looking in the mirror and finding my way.  I am not lonely or hopeless or sad these days.  My life is full, sometimes too full, but happy.  I marvel that God really did have a future full of hope planned for me. Today I am letting Him show me the way.  

Friday, July 7, 2017

Why? Why Not?

The bad things in life are caused by natural circumstances, my sins, the sins of others. and when good and evil come to the same time and place, violence and bad things always happen.  That is the nature of life.  If it weren't for God, that is how my life would go.  Bad, bad, bad.

All that is good, all that is right, all that is perfect comes from God.  I have had many joy-filled, blessed experiences in the past several months.  I suppose that the biggest wonderment to me is the joy in living, in making mistakes and learning who I am again, causes such peace and joy.

God made me for such as these things.  God made me to experience the good in life.  Bad things will happen, that is the nature of the world, but I am learning not to bemoan the suffering in life.  I move through unafraid, the good and the mistakes.  Because, God is with me.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Seven Things

Seven Things I Have Learned About Myself--

1. I really desire to help people.

2. I get energized by helping people, talking to people, doing things. I get energized by teaching.

3. I am terrible at setting and maintaining boundaries.

4.  I am my best self when I stay in the moment and take one day at a time.

5.  I can procrastinate with the best of them.

6. I can be decisive and quickly make up my mind and I can get bogged down over thinking things.  I don't seem to have a happy medium at that.

7. Forgiveness is a daily journey for me.  But, the longer it takes, the farther I go and the more healing there is.  Time heals all wounds and wounds all heels?

Bonus--I have a sense of humor.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ring, Ring, Ring

Call me, maybe?  Today I am working on some business.  Paying bills, making inquiries, catching up.  I love being my own boss and not being second guessed on things I do.  I do it and then I correct it if I make a mistake, or someone else does.  Mistakes happen.  Most of them aren't fatal or even important.

I recently made a mistake in applying for something.  I need to correct it before the problem multiplies.  So, I called.  I was put on hold and then invited to give my call back number and they will call me when they have time.  I was given an estimate of 31 minutes, 45 minutes ago.  At what point do I quit waiting and go about my day?  I need this paperwork in front of me to explain the mistake and try to get it corrected.

And as I am writing this, they got back to me.  Turns out, I didn't make a mistake at all, I just have to make a correction when I get new information sometime in the future.  I love being my own boss.  I love it that no one second guesses or tells me about my mistakes.  But, I hate waiting for the phone to ring with a call back.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Vacay

I have gone to school or worked in schools most of my life.  School has a schedule, start, middle, winter drudgery, spring and hope and summer vacation.  Most of the vacations I have ever taken have been in the summer.  It is hot and crowded and have I mentioned hot (?) in the summer.  Sure there is a break at Christmas and a spring break, but I was really never clever enough to plan a real vacation for those times.

This year since the end of the school year to right now feels normal like summer vacation.  It is the time to get the car serviced, errands taken care of, closets cleaned out.  It is the time when there is margin in my life.  I have enjoyed sleeping late to 7:30 even.  I stayed up late a couple of times and watched some late night television (wasn't that good, probably won't do it much). I have taken a few runs to re-purposing stores, cleaning out boxes and closets.  And I need to get my car serviced this week.

But, my life has taken a new twist.  I am retired.  I will not be going back in the fall.  As I like to say, I will never touch a Chromebook again.  I will miss kids and colleagues, but not really the job.  I look forward to the possibility of the fall vacation, of seeing the leaves turn in Vermont or going to a not busy beach in September.  The possibilities are endless.

I used to count the summer days with frenzy and some regret.  When days passed with nothiing fun, nothing done, just wasted days of vacation that I wouldn't get back I felt sad.  But, now, these hot summer days are the prelude, the introduction, the prologue to life.  Life that awaits discovery.  The journey continues....

Monday, June 19, 2017

Live and Let Live

The slogan "live and let live" can sound pretty relativistic and valueless.  It sounds like the saying "anything goes."  But I have found it another way, as in "mind your own business."  Live and let live says something about judging or trying to control others.  It says something about not focusing on others rather on myself.

First I have to live, to find the grace mercy, gifts God has put in my life.  I have to accept with thanksgiving that I am worth it, that I am good, that I am God's beloved.  I have found that is hard for me.  I don't think I am worth it.  First my mother, then someone else, made demands of me for their happiness and wholeness.  I was only permitted to live when they didn't want or perceive themselves as needing something from me.  I learned to me a pleaser, someone who didn't know my own mind, but rather did everything I could to avoid the anger and the criticism of the other.

I am learning that I am not responsible for the happiness of anyone else.  I am not responsible.  I am not responsible.  Only for me, am I responsible. I don't have to fix anyone else's unhappiness or mental illness.  I can't anyway, even though I used to try.

My mother these days at 96 has moved into assisted living.  She really needed to be there.  She has needed it for quite some time.  But, she isn't happy.  I found her laying into me the other day on the phone and yelling all of her complaints to me.  They were silly things in my opinion, they give her too much food to eat and she doesn't like some of it.  She couldn't find the cups she used to decorate her hutch with.  She doesn't feel like she fits in.

I was upset at this communication.  It felt very much like she was blaming me for her unhappiness.  I am a pleaser, I wanted to fix it.  But, I can't.  I can't make her younger with a better brain, I can't make her less fragile.  I can return her cups. I took all of this to Mary, mother of God, because she surely gets it.  I will continue to pray and meditate.  But, live and let live means, I need to live.  I need not to let my unhappy mother bring me down.  I need to let her live, see that she is safe and cared for, and let her find her way into this old, old age.  I truly can't do it for her.  I am learning to "live and let live."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Opposite of Anger

If you have ever know anyone with anger issues, you know how scary it can be.  I am talking about people who smash things or threaten or hurt you.  Big time anger issues.  It seems like most of the guidance one gets on this is learning to stay calm or subdue anger.  The old count to ten idea.

Most people who have anger issues aren't perpetually angry.  Anger blows like a storm.  Anger is an emotion.  Emotions aren't wrong.  Emotions are part of who we are.  But, still most people would answer that the opposite of anger is calm. Most anger training has to do with self control.  I have known people who were calmly angry.  Seething is the word I would use for that.  Calm controlled anger leads to revenge or getting even in many cases in my experience.

I heard a priest on the radio talk about the opposite of anger the other day as I was driving around.  He said that the opposite of anger isn't calm, it is caring.  What an epiphany.  Caring.  If you care about someone, you wouldn't smash something, scream at them, threaten them or hurt them.  I thought about road rage, and took it to the conclusion that if someone angered me, it was my job to care about that  person.  Whatever the reason for the bad driving, they needed my prayers and my care.

The opposite of anger is caring.  Not an easy practice, not easy at all, but in many ways, better than control or calm anger.  Care about the source of the anger.  Care.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Drop the Mic

Last day of school, evah.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Praise Him all creatures there below.

It has been a good run.  I will miss the kids and the others teachers.  (Well, some of both)  But I will not miss the technology problems.  When it is working properly technology is great.  When it isn't, they bring it to me......

I hope I have done some good over the years.  I know I have made mistakes.  But, I tried to be a kind, supportive presence.  I tried to teach them a few things.  I did the best I could.  It was enough.

And so, now, drop the mic.......

I am off to the next adventure.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Fat Lady Sings....

A decade ago on the first day of school with the kids, the very first day of a new school of a new school year, the school day was called off due to a power outage.  I remember how the day seemed like a dude...all the excitement and then delay.  That day was like--all dressed up and no place to go.  But the second day the kids came because the power was back on and all was forgiven if not forgotten.

Through the years the school had power troubles on windy days and when it rained too hard.  And sunny days for no reason.  There weren't that many outages, but enough.  Recently the power has been pretty reliable.  It seemed as if the line problems were fixed.

Today was the last full day of work, the last full school day of my life.  As I started out to the car to go to work this morning, the cell phone rang.  It was a robo-call.  School was cancelled due to a power outage.  I went anyway just to commiserate with the colleagues about the strangeness of it all.  No make up day either.  Yay!

I went home and took a nap because I had not slept the night before for various reasons.  I wondered what I was going to do with this pre-retirement day.  Then God told me.  The phone rang, the agent had the exact amount I would need for closing on my house on Tuesday.  I could use the afternoon for a trip to the bank.  Then the nurse called from my 95 year old mother's establishment.  I had to drive a paper to the doctor to be signed. This doctor was over 20 miles away.  I had to inform my siblings of the planned move for Mom and I had to schedule an appointment for Friday afternoon.  I needed to get going......

My plan was--school today and clean up to leave forever.  I would stay as late as I needed to, check on the bank thing Friday, and so on,.....change of plans....  But, still tomorrow is the last day the alarm will ring and I will get up and be at school before 8am.  I won't be done....but, I will be working for myself, not a boss.  And tomorrow at 11am, the fat lady will sing.  It ain't over until it is over.  But, it will be over.