It’s been long week.
Youngest daughter is ready for school on Monday. Uniforms are bought, books are all here, the lunch bag is ready to be packed, and the lunch food is all bought. We have met the teachers and seen the classroom. She is more excited than scared now.
Son has started packing for his move. There are boxes sitting around as he makes grown-up decisions about what to take and what to get rid of. He is endlessly figuring out finances and making lists of what he might need.
I have a plan for what I am teaching on Monday and have purchased the supplies. All is not ready, but it can be in a short amount of time.
The house is livable. That’s really all I can say about that subject. Unless we are really close friends, please don’t choose right now as a time to drop by for a chat. I won’t open the door because the first statement in this paragraph is a lie.
Barret the dog is fed for this moment. By the time I finish this paragraph I have no doubt that he will be heading for the food dish again. Anybody have any dog food coupons?
The neighbor who has time to drive around our neighborhood and make lists of what is wrong with everyone’s property and then post it anonymously has not yet targeted my house. I’m sure it’s coming.
There’s just one other thing going on that I haven’t shared because it’s not really my story. I can say that my sister had two days of major surgery on Monday and Wednesday of this week. She’ll be coming home tomorrow or Monday. I am her caretaker. I don’t mind. We don’t use the “love” word, but she means a lot to me. This surgery has been hard.
As I was leaving the hospital today, I realized that I was done…drained and empty. I thought about finding the chapel and resting for a while, but I don’t really have the time to lose it right now. Everything is holding together rather nicely I think (picture something repaired with duct tape or maybe picture my old washer with it’s stick and ball leveling plan). I’m okay. Not great, but okay.
On my way out of the hospital, I saw this through the window….this dove perching on a courtyard fence outside a hospital window.
I have an affinity for birds. More than once a dove, in particular, has made an appearance in my life at a serendipitous moment. This was that moment. This day. I stopped in the hallway and said “Oh”. Out loud.
With all the craziness around me during the last couple of weeks, I had lost focus.
Focus on what is important and what is not.
Focus on what I could control and what was out of my hands.
Focus on what needed to be done and what could wait.
But mainly, I had lost focus of who I am.
Dealing with new situations, people and environments, I lost my footing. I got caught up in looking outside of myself for structure, approval, and truth. For a person with anxiety issues, this is dangerous ground.
It results in a feeling of inferiority as I focus on what is wrong with me (in comparison to others) rather than what is unique.
It is isolating as I feel worse and worse about myself and tend to retreat from interaction with others.
It is demeaning. It reduces my view of myself and others to a a set of superficial characteristics that have little to do with who we are as human beings.
The dove had no such issues. Just outside the hospitial, in the midst of suffering and healing, death and life, sorrow and joy…a virtual microcosm of humanity…this dove was building a nest. She found a slender piece of grass, she rested for a while on the top of the fence, she flew to her nest and carefully wove the grass into place. She knew who she was and what she was supposed to be doing. And she did it.
I know that, as human beings, our lives can never be that simple. But, we can learn from her. In the midst of our daily lives, we can never forget who we are and what our job is.
- I am first and foremost a child of God. If this is not a belief that you can identify with, please don’t stop reading. You are here because you can identify with something that I am writing. Please stay because…
- I strive to be tolerant of others and what they believe. This world is a mighty big place and would be a lot less interesting without diversity. Sometimes I fail at being tolerant. I keep trying and learning.
- I am creative. I make some cool stuff sometimes. I believe that teaching creativity (and having art sometimes happen as a result) is one of the most important things that we can share with children and adults who are willing to be child-like when necessary.
- I am stubborn. Sometimes this is even a good thing. I don’t quit easily and when I do, it doesn’t last long. I get back up and keep going.
- I am learning not to be afraid to fail. A mentor once told me that she accomplished so much because in her words…”I’m not afraid to suck.” These are words that I try to live by.
- I am funny. Well, mostly sarcastic, but they’re kinda the same thing so we’ll stick with funny because it sounds nicer.
- I’m intelligent. I don’t know everything, but am good at sounding like I know a lot. When confronted with something that I don’t understand, I try to learn. I believe that intelligence and education do not always go hand in hand. Some of the smartest people I know never finished high school.
- I believe in the choices that we have made as a family. We live on one income. We don’t live in a fancy, expensive house. We drive a old truck that is paid for. We are working to get out of debt. Sometimes we do without or make do as a result
- I’m always scared and insecure and I get up in the morning anyway. Most days, I even leave the house and venture out into a really scary world and pretend like I know what I am doing. Sometimes, I even start to believe in myself.
My hope and prayer for you all today..
Believe in yourself today.
Remember who you are.
Don’t get lost in the world.