The Sun Came Up

The sun did come up to day.  It’s not shining brightly, but it’s there.  I am grateful.  I can’t say that I spent any amount of time as I went to bed last night worrying about whether the sun would rise or not.   It’s just not helpful for me to worry about stuff that’s out of my control.  There is nothing I can do to assure that the sunrise will occur.  I’m just grateful that is has so far.  And optimistic enough to plan on it happening again tomorrow.

I’m pretty sure that I’m not doing “enough” to make the world a better place.  I admire a number of people that I believe are doing a great job of it.  I try to emulate some of their behavior.  I’m sure that I fall short.

I think a lot about what I am doing and what I should be doing. I worry about being “enough” and doing “enough”.

Is it selfish of me to buy a new art journal or should I donate the funds to the local food bank?

Do I need a new pair of shoes when there are people in the world doing without?

Is it right to complain when my air-conditioning goes out when much of the world will never even have that luxury?

Am I a horrible person to be resentful at times when I feel that I have less than someone else…or turn a blind eye to the fact that I have so much more than many?

There is much wrong in this world.  That has always been the case.  It would be easy to fall into the pattern of just not caring at all.  To turn a blind eye to all of it. To give up, or not to try at all because it seems hopeless.

To be sure, there are many problems to be solved.  I think that it is unlikely that we, as members of the human race, can easily even identify what all of the problems are, much less prioritize and figure out how to solve them.  It’s just not that simple.

I’m a reasonably intelligent and fairly well educated individual.  This all makes my head and heart ache.

There is so much anger and hurt in this country right now. So much name-calling and hurtful rhetoric.  So much reactionary thinking and actions.

We are all affected.

“Win” and “Lose” are inadequate words to use in this situation.  They don’t appropriately describe anything about this situation at all.  Nothing is finished.  The work is not beginning or ending…it is continuing.  It’s not a race in a straight line and not really a race at all.  I don’t expect a finish line to be crossed in my lifetime or that of my children.

The race we should be concerning ourselves with is the human race.  The people that we know, those we have yet to meet and those that will remain strangers to us.

To acknowledge that one groups’ fears, anxieties and needs cannot take priority over another..  That we all have value and are important.

We must all dream of and work towards a better world…a world where me must do the work we are called to do.

We must all live in this world…the world that the sun rose upon today.

We must do this together in our own small or large way.

We must be thoughtful and kind.

There is not just an “us” and a “them”.  That is divisive thinking.

There is me and you.

With a big job to do.

I don’t have any glib answer.

If only it were that easy.

I do know that my thoughts and study in the upcoming days will be about the definition and meaning of words like “rights” and “needs”.

What are my rights?  What are our rights?

What do I need?

What happens when my perceived rights infringe upon the rights of others?

What is fair in that case?

How often do I take someone else’s word for what is right and fair and just?

 

Am I sensitive to the needs of others and what impact my choices and decisions have upon them?

Am I being selfish or uncaring, or am I standing up for what is good and just and fair – for myself and for others?  Where is that line, and is is static or fluid?

For now, I am going to talk to my daughter about what is going on in this country today for just a little bit and then…

we are going to get back to work doing the things we need to do in anticipation of tomorrow’s sunrise.

 

 

 

Equilibrium

I’m feeling a bit of balance returning to my life today.  The world has receded a bit and my focus is fully on my little life.  For many reasons.

Calamities abound today – doesn’t that often seem to be the case on Monday?

My daughter who sunburns under the light of a refrigerator bulb actually used sunscreen yesterday and managed to get it in her eye.  Said eye is now red and swollen.  I won’t share photos or her name because the photo is kinda gross and I wouldn’t want to embarrass her any more than I already am.

The dryer is once again making that thumpa, thumpa noise.

And the washer is joining in with a horrible, metallic, continuous grinding noise.  I’ve been informed by my appliance repair person (oldest daughter) that the springs that balance the drum are shot and need to be replaced.  Not happening this pay period or the next…

(You might be thinking…just don’t use them if they are that obnoxious.  That is a valid consideration EXCEPT that almost everyone is out of clean underwear and I do have certain standards that I try to adhere to.)

I’m not even going to mention the sound the refrigerator is making because I’m pretending that I can’t hear it.

All in all, my home sounds like the cacophony when an orchestra is tuning up.  Even my basset hound is having trouble sleeping through it and bassets can sleep through anything except the sound of food being prepared or served.

There is actually more going on, but I’ve probably shared enough as it is.

Someone posted on this on facebook the other day:  “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

So true.

By comparison to some my problems today are small.  Not a big deal at all.  I can hand-wash underwear.  We’ve got health insurance now so my daughter can go to a doctor if need be.

There’s always going to be problems of some kind or another.

And there’s always going to be something to be grateful for…to celebrate.  You’ve just got to keep you eyes open (or one eye as the case may be) and appreciate the good stuff.

Equilibrium.

Looking forward…

This week…

  • my part-time job that takes about 10 hours a week
  • a second part-time job which has paid off our second car
  • a six hour drive to pick up my second daughter and bring her home for a long weekend
  • several shopping trips to prepare for my two oldest daughters’ upcoming trip to New Orleans with their aunt
  • a library summer reading program involving reptiles (ugh, snakes)
  • a sprained ankle
  • a trip through IKEA
  • a snowball fight
  • a sprained thumb
  • 6 A.M. start times and midnight end times for my son’s work schedule (we live 45 minutes away)
  • a graduation
  • a graduation party
  • a birthday party
  • a doctor’s appointment for my husband at 7:15 A.M. (we live over an hour away)
  • 3 optometrist appointments
  • some bad news in the mail
  • some awesomely good news in the mail
  • friends spending the night
  • loads of family
  • a minor car accident

I’m tired.  I’m happy.  We’ve gotten a lot of things off of our to-do list.  We’ve had fun.  Our whole family is together and getting along reasonably well.

I wouldn’t trade this week for anything.

I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t make it through another one.

I just have to make it through Sunday.  I’m looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.  More family, friends and who knows what!

I’m looking forward to what Monday will bring…a nap!

How to Stop a Ginormous Rock Rolling Downhill

I just love the word “ginormous”.

So I figured out a way to use it in a really long title today.

But, I digress.

What I’m really thinking about today is change.  Some folks say that all change is good.  Some of us greatly fear it.  Most of us resist change.

I struggle to be at peace with it.

Regardless of how anyone feels about change or how hard we try to stop it, change happens.

And thank goodness for that.  I, for one, am a big fan of the wheel, written language, electricity, air-conditioning, pre-stretched canvas, and that I don’t have to wear a corset or hoop-skirt.   Cake mixes also.

Not everyone will agree on the cake mix thing, but they’ve never tried my scratch-made cakes.  Nobody has.  Because I’ve never made one.  Honestly,  I don’t even get the box mix thing.  My grocery store’s bakery does an excellent job.  Why strive to achieve out of my comfort zone?

But my Mom thought the boxed cake mix signaled the end of civilization as she knew it.  She refused for the longest time to use one.  She didn’t actually like to bake all that much though, so we just didn’t have cake.

My youngest child doesn’t even realize that there was a time before boxed cake mix…and can’t comprehend a time before electricity.  The power went off the other day, and she just about lost it.  Life was over as she knew it.

Change happens.

You can run from it, ignore it, and try to stop it.

You can yell at it and everyone who is trying to promote it.

Change happens.

It’s called history…and the future.

Instead of trying to stop that ginormous rock of change from rolling downhill –  get out of its way,  ’cause it’s not going to stop.

Take a picture of it if you need to .  Then you’ll have something to look at and remember the time before the change.  You might be shocked  and a bit bewildered to find that you survived it and that the world did not end.  You might even come to like it (or at least tolerate it).

I don’t think that change, in itself, is either good or bad.  It just is.

Change that benefits me, may not be so great for someone else.  A change that you desperately hope for, may adversely affect others.

The Dark ages came and went.  Yea for the Renaissance!  World Wars – not so great.  Peace – awesome!  Lessons are learned.  Newborns are amazing, but not forever (I like to sleep).  Toddlers can be fun.  Then they toddle on to the next stage and we are grateful and a bit sad.  I grow older – and hopefully, wiser.

Perhaps one day, we will all become wiser.  And, realize that fear and yelling and fighting do nothing to change things.  The change is unaffected by our fear.  That big ole’ rock keeps rolling.

Maybe love is the only answer.  Love those who are fearing the changes.  Love those who are hurt by the changes.  Love those who are working hard to change things for the better.  Love those for whom change is not coming fast enough.

Just love.