A Journey Shared

I think I’ll just start typing and see where the words take me today.  I have a story to tell, but there are many dimensions to it and I’m not sure what is the most significant element.

I’ll start at the beginning and we shall see where we end up…

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store with my sister to pick up a few things that the family needed.  I say needed because we’ve been in a sort of financial dilemma for the last couple of months.

By dilemma, I mean that a combination of miscalculations on my part and factors outside of my control have combined to mean that there is just not enough money.

We’ve eaten down the pantry and freezer and are being creative about meal making.  No worries, we are pretty creative types.  Still, honestly, there has been some stress around our household about the situation.

Anyway, I arrive at the grocery store with my sister and as we are parking we notice a young family with four small children standing around a car with the hood up.  Various car parts that appear to be from the engine are leaning up against the car.

It is obviously a bad situation, but since I know nothing about engine repair and don’t know what I might offer to do to help in this situation, I continue into the store with my sister to purchase what I need to feed the family through the weekend.

I complete my purchases, excited that by combining markdowns, sales and coupons, I am able to buy quite a bit for a relatively small amount of money.  To be completely honest, I didn’t spend more than we had available so I won’t overdraw the account.  Life is good.

On our way out of the store, that same family is at the service desk.  The four children are sitting quietly nearby,  Mom and Dad are doing something with some Western Union paperwork.  My sister walks over to talk with them and upon completing the conversation discretely hands the dad all of the cash that she has.  My sister does stuff like this all the time.  She’s a giver.

I help my sister out to the car and while unloading our groceries, I ask her what their story is.

The mom had landed a job cleaning at a hotel just up the street from the grocery store.  The hotel was letting the family stay in a room while she worked there.  She got laid off because they were overstaffed.  The family had resorted to living in their car which had now broken down.  They had found someone to fix the car, but were attempting to make arrangement to get everything done.

Four kids, no job, no home…

I don’t know what choices or decisions guided them to that grocery store and that parking lot and that situation.

I’m not even sure that I completely understand the choices and decisions that have landed me where I am today.

The journey is complicated and we make a thousand choices and decisions along the way.  Sometimes, we take the right turn.  Sometimes, not.  Anyone of us could end up homeless with a broken down car in a parking lot.  Of that, I am sure.  For millions around the world, that would be a step up.  Life is crazy that way.

What I do know is that in that moment I was hit full force with the realization that “need” is relative.  I had just purchased groceries that I was certain that I was in “need” of.

Now, in comparison with the “needs” of this family they seemed like luxuries.

I did some calculations in my head and went back in and purchased a gift card for the family.  The groceries I had purchased for the next few days will need to stretch further than I had planned.  I’m okay with that.  I’ll be eating them in my house at my dining room table.  My family will have a car to drive to work in.  There is a paycheck coming in the future.  It won’t be enough, but we will make it work.

I wanted to do more, but at least I know that they won’t be hungry for a day or two.  And I hope and pray that they hold hope in their hearts and that there journey will become easier.

I have continued to think about that trip to the store.

Did I do enough?

What else could I have done?

What was my responsibility?

If “need” is relative, what standard do I use to determine our needs vs wants?

Many questions.

Many choices and decisions.

Lots more to think about.

Need vs Want.

Sharing.

Kindness.

The journey continues.

kindness

Travels

Days and days since I last posted.

It wasn’t an intentional thing.

I missed a day, and then this happened and that happened and so on…

You know how it is, right?

Then so much time passes and the thought of doing a “catch-up explanation” post is exhausting.

And because I’m me, I start feeling guilty (or guiltier).

So, maybe tomorrow becomes I don’t know when

or

today.

Today it is.

Here’s a fast re-cap.

I’ve had good days and bad days.

Mostly good.

Husband took a week long business trip to Atlanta followed immediately by two daughters heading off to Florida for a visit to Harry Potter world.

Lots of lists and laundry and a few shopping trips.

Mostly laundry…before and after!

The money situation has been challenging.  We’ll leave it at that.

The vegan diet didn’t work out well for me.  My vision showed no improvement and my moods didn’t either. In fact, I feel that I was more depressed and anxious overall.  A visit and discussion with my doctor showed that I was seriously deficient in vitamin D.

I’m now on a supplement to remedy that and I’m feeling much better.  Research has shown that a vitamin D deficiency can affect mood so maybe that is part of the answer. Multiple stressful situations have been handled with relative calm and clear thinking.  I’ve worked through them without losing my sh@#.

It is really hard and a lot of work to get all the nutrients one needs on a vegan diet. It can also be more expensive than I can afford.  I did pick up a taste for some new veggies and our diet improved overall.  So, the new plan is to more veggies and meat only a couple of times a week. We’ll continue to keep out processed food.

I’m going to just keep reading and looking for answers to be a better and happier me.

It’s all about growth and taking the next step.

I guess the adventure wouldn’t be as much fun if we had all the answers ahead of time.

Here’s to trying new things and enjoying the journey…

celebrating the wins…

and learning from the things that don’t go as we’d hoped (see how I avoided the word “failure” there?)…

Life is good – it’s all good.

Welcome back me!

Peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Be Me

today was the day

where i found myself comparing

everything I have done,

am doing

and will ever do with everyone else

and finding myself lacking

not thin enough

pretty enough

talented enough

organized enough

successful enough

just not enough…

but i stopped and reminded myself that

i am

the only me

there is

in this entire world

not just now

but ever

i

was created

to be me

and that is enough

i will probably always need to remind myself

of this fact

that is a part of

who i am

kind of old

and wrinkly

and messy

and forgetful

and quirky

i like quirky

that is enough for now

 

And now…today

new begin

What’s happening around here today…

Using the above quote as a mantra for today – a new week and a new day.  Trying not to worry so much about what I haven’t gotten done and what I’ve screwed up and all the projects I’ve been avoiding.

Today is a day to start anew and set reasonable goals…and practice grace.

Loving this quote (so much that I put it on a card)

0326181204Still wondering how this happened when I just went in to buy dog food…

0326181219Twelve chicks to add to our menagerie.  We only have one mature chicken left after the last fox attack and she is no longer laying eggs so chicks aren’t an entirely bad idea. Just not planned for right now. They are busily growing and cheeping in the guest bedroom.  The dogs are very intrigued – including our new addition, Skye…

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She belonged to a friend and got in trouble for trying to “play” with their neighbor’s pet rabbit.  We took her in to keep her out of the shelter because what’s one more dog, right?

Getting ready to start preparing these cards for an art mail project that I’ve been wanting to do.  I’ve been putting it off waiting for the “right time” to do it.  That’s code for me worrying about not doing them “well enough” so I just don’t do it at all.  I found this quote and put it on the jar holding the cards to remind myself that I just need to do it…”the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”

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Anticipating this little guys arrival in August and my new role as Grandma.  The big news I’ve been waiting to share!

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And finally sitting down and actually typing out a blog post which I’ve avoided because I haven’t been doing it…which isn’t really a very good reason not to be writing, but it’s the only one I’ve got.  Technically it’s an excuse, not a reason, BUT…

today is a new day and full of grace…

so there you go.

Hoping that today finds you living in a new day full of grace!

Peace.

Then, Now & Maybe

Or yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Different words, but same sentiment.

Almost.

Perhaps a nuance of difference.

As a world, we spend a lot of time arguing about terminology, meaning, and other rhetoric.

And (in my opinion) not enough thought or discussion about intent, but all this is a rabbit trail off topic…

Much like my meandering passage through life lately.

For instance, three trips to the laundry room this morning in search of clean underwear so that I could venture out into the real world.

The first time, I forgot why I went down there, but did start a load of laundry.

The second time, I still forgot to forage for clean underwear, but emptied the trash.

The third time, I remembered the point of my visit, but (alas) there was no clean underwear to be found.

Eureka!  A separate search for something else that was lost yielded a pair in a stack of clean laundry that I forgot to put up and buried under a pile of other stuff that I need to put up.

I don’t remember what I was searching for when I found the needed undies.

Maybe it wasn’t important (she said hopefully).

And then we were late leaving the house.

But managed to get where we needed to go on time.

Life is good.

life is good

Some days clean underwear and a successfully completed journey is good enough.

Which still has nothing to do with the title I initially typed into the heading of this post.

(Sigh)

And I am out of time.

 

On the bright side:

  • I have written here today
  • I have a topic ready for tomorrow
  • If you follow this blog, you can now wait in breathless anticipation for what is to come (or not)

And as a separate set of “little dotty things” that I can’t remember the name of…I have helped you recognize that life is good if any of the following apply to you

  • You didn’t have to search for clean underwear because they are folded neatly in the drawer where they are supposed to be
  • You didn’t have to go out into the real world today (after worrying that you might have to do so without underwear)
  • There isn’t something lost that you need to look for but you can’t because you don’t even remember what it is that you are supposed to be looking for
  • You can remember the name of these “little dotty things” and you aren’t even an English major like I am
  • Oh, and you don’t have a Basset hound that is totally and remarkable NOT housebroken and pees continually and non-stop all day and all night without ceasing (this is, once again, off topic, but I really, really needed to vent my frustration)

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Anyways…

If any of the above makes you appreciate the goodness of life…

you are most welcome.

every day

Peace!

 

Hopefully Hidden

 

treats

Today’s post shall be short because I am hungry.

And there are Rice Krispies treats in the house.

My sister bought them for my kids.

I love Rice Krispies treats so much.

They can’t live here with me.

I ate one…maybe two…

I’m lying.

I ate a lot of them.

Then I gave them to my daughter to hide them from me.

Tomorrow I shall talk about my problem(s) with food.

Now I will finish making my salad and my bowl of fruit

because that is a better decision

and will make me feel better in the long term.

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Hopefully, the Rice Krispies treats are hidden well because night-time sugar cravings are the worst.

 

 

the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad yesterday…

alexander

When I woke up yesterday, I knew it was going to be one of those days.

It wasn’t a bad day because bad stuff happened although I did have to decide what kind of health insurance to sign up for as open enrollment ended today.

It was a “maybe I do belong in a psych ward” kind of day.

It was the kind of day which reminds me that I’ve got a problem.

I can call it depression or anxiety or whatever.

When a day like yesterday happens, it’s quite evident that there is a definite physical component to these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

There are other reasons for it including a not great childhood and miscellaneous other “traumas”.  There’s been therapy and meds and lengthy “good” stretches and not so great times.  Stress makes it worse and there’s been an abundant supply of that lately.

There are reasons and explanations and theories and things that help and things that don’t.

Basically, these days are a part of who I am…and I don’t say that lightly.

Most days I can do a pretty good impersonation of a normal, functioning adult.  And I can convince myself that it is truly who I am.

Sometimes I actually am a normal, functioning adult.

Some days, it’s just really a struggle.

Time and life experience (a polite way of saying getting older) have shown me that I’m not alone in this.  There’s a lot of crazy out there pretending to be okay.

 

Late last night as I was sitting in the front yard, I looked up and saw the moon nestled among the stars.

And I felt tiny and small compared to what I saw above me.

But suddenly, not alone at all.

I was looking at the stars and the moon

And they were looking at me.

And this is what I finished and hung on the wall the day before.

And I thought about how it wasn’t just me…alone.  I was a part of something larger and more complicated than I could possible understand.

But occasionally there might be serendipitous reminders that I should just hang in there and wait for a better day because there is always a better day….

often a tomorrow that became a today that left me wondering what the hell had happened yesterday!

So, in conclusion I’d like to think that yesterday can serve a purpose and that something good can come of it…

If you’re ever feeling lonely and alone and like nothing really matters,

just look at the moon.

Someone, somewhere is looking right at it too.

It could be me or any of a million other people.

You are not alone in this journey.

There are other people walking the same path facing similar struggles and pretending on most days that everything is just fine.

And some days it is just fine or okay or even fantastic.

Don’t give up on the person you are becoming.

 

Good Night Moons

1112170214aCan’t sleep Saturday night and now it is Sunday morning.

Most of my world is sleeping and will awaken with the sun.

Pulling out a canvas…adding a bit of this and removing a bit of that.

Becoming frustrated and putting it to one side.

Pulling another one off of the top of the stack.

Determined to make something happen.

To actually finish something and not to walk away…giving in and giving up once again.

Then, I am staring at these two works in progress that were once two singular blank canvases…

Two canvases that, in turn, were painted and repainted, laid aside, placed back on the easel, a brush stroke here, a change there…

and now upon study and contemplation in these early morning hours have suddenly and quite obviously become one…

Destined without plan to go together.

A before and after perhaps?

The meaning is still unclear.

The symbolism still to evolve into something real or at least understood.

But it appears that tonight I am staring at two moons that are staring back at me…

waiting…

for the sun and light and enlightenment.

But further discernment will have wait.

Progress.

A small victory.

Light shining from an artwork worked on in the dark.

Perhaps that is enough to allow sleep.