But wait, there’s more…

When I wrote last Monday, I was coming to terms with life.  I was looking on the bright side.  I was maintaining a positive attitude.

Everything is going to be fine.  Tough times come and they go.  Life is still good.

By Tuesday, I was even making a gratitude list.  I managed about 20 things on that list without getting too trite.  Good health for my family and reliable(ish) transportation that didn’t require a monthly car payment in our extended budget were on that list.

Have I give away too much information?

Can you guess what the rest of the story might be about?

Tuesday night my husband jumped in his truck and my youngest and I jumped in our car (that really belongs to my sister, but she lets us use) and headed off to clean the offices that provide a bit of extra income.

We got the job done and bid adieu to my husband as he set off for work.  Youngest daughter and I headed home.  Five minutes later, I got a phone call as I was sitting at an intersection waiting for the light to change.

It was my husband.  Turns out that as he was sitting at the intersection of Hero’s Way and Highway 183A waiting for his light to turn from red to green there was a horrible accident.  And he was part of it.

A car coming up to the light on the opposite side of the intersection failed to stop at the red light.  She was going pretty fast.  The truck moving through the intersection at 65 plus mph swerved to miss her.  Hit her anyway, went airborne taking out all the signs at the intersection and bouncing off of the hood of my husband’s truck slamming it against the curb and traveling on.

My husband said all he saw when he looked out the window was a truck flying through the air and then his head hitting the inside frame of the window.

Did I mention that my husband has had a previous broken neck and that his neck is fused solid?

He’s okay except for some neck pain.  We’ve visited the doctor and physical therapy is in the works.

Four or five feet further back and the impact of that truck would have been fully on the passenger cab of our truck.

My husband was lucky and blessed and so are we.  That’s the bright side.

The down side.  There is no doubt that our truck is totaled.   The front passenger side tire is somewhere in the middle of where the engine used to be.  It’s a really big paper weight.

The driver that caused the accident had the least amount of insurance to meet the requirements of Texas law.  Her car is probably totaled from what I saw.  The other (much newer) truck is totaled also.  The truck’s passengers were transported by ambulance.  I doubt that there will be any payouts by the time it comes to our turn.

Luckily, we have underinsured driver insurance.  That will help.  The blue book on our truck isn’t much, but it meant the world to us in terms of financial life.

What next?  It’s up to the lawyers at this point.

And the doctors if my husband’s neck injury turns out to be something more serious.

Time will tell.

Nothing serious went wrong on Wednesday and Thursday.

Let’s all breath a sigh of relief.

Oh, wait…the week isn’t over.

Remember Speedy the basset hound?  The nine year old that (for some crazy reason) I adopted because he was surrendered to the pound because his family didn’t want him anymore?  The one that had surgery for the anal tumor.  The one that is incontinent because of said surgery. The really annoying one that follows me everywhere (and I mean everywhere).  The one that needs so much attention that if I won’t pet him, he will simply stand by my chair and rub his own head against my foot.  Yes, that dog.

This morning he woke up and is having trouble walking and whimpering.  It’s probably a spinal problem.  That’s common among older bassets.  He’s on pain meds for now and will go in to the vet on Monday for x-rays.  Then I get to make that decision.  You know the one I’m talking about.  The how much can we afford to spend decision.  The one where you get to place a value on a life…

Other things are sorting themselves out well enough.  Not ideally, but they involve the situations that caused me to invoke the Serenity prayer on Monday.  All I can do is aim for peace and make the best of whatever happens.

…because it is my circus and they are my monkeys.

And all shall be well.

 

 

Just So You Know

Hello again.

Once again, this is not the first post I’ve written today.  I tried two other topics and several versions of each.  It just doesn’t seem to be the right time for those ideas and words to come together.

I’ve decided that this is my thought for the day.

I don’t know if the world as we know it is on the verge of imminent collapse…the very fabric of our society torn beyond redemption.  I don’t know for sure what’s going to happen tomorrow or next week or…..

I do know that I choose to live in hope.  That may seem like denial or avoidance to some.  I don’t really need to know either way.  Please don’t feel a need to comment on my failure as a human being because I’m not “taking action” right this minute.  I’m okay with my choice for today.  There are things about me that I would like to improve…I work at it every day.  That’s why there is an “intentional life” tag on my blog sidebar.

Today, I am choosing to be optimistic.  I am done with listening to rhetoric about the impending rise of a Hitleresque society.  And yes, I do know a little something about that period in history.  As a matter of fact, I did know someone who was there…pretty well as a matter of fact.  I just feel that the terms are being tossed about lightly and without a true understanding of their meaning by some.

I’m not an idiot.  I know things aren’t great right now.  They also weren’t “great” 6 weeks ago or a year ago.  I understand that it’s about more than happiness or contentment.  There are real issues.

I’m just not choosing to live in fear over everything that might happen or could happen. In my opinion, that’s sort of a crazy way to live.  It would make me crazier anyway.

So, unless you have some inside information from a reliable source…God, for instance, I’m going to go continue my life with it’s laundry, dishes, art projects, and dog hair.

And for my evening entertainment (since I am home alone and the TV remote is mine) I shall watch a cheesy movie about “the” big earthquake that takes out California. Then maybe a good zombie move.   I find it helpful to pick up life survival tips with this type of research.

And just in case, everybody else is right and the world is ending, I’m going to eat the last donut in the box because my weight won’t matter.

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.

Just write

IMAG0799So, I haven’t written here in a couple of days.  It’s not because I’ve been too busy.  Just my normal busy.

But, I’ve been feeling pretty sad.  Not because of anything in particular that’s happened.  Just sad.

And when I get sad, I get quiet.   Until I’m not quiet and then I’m normally yelling and screaming about whatever is really bothering me.  The thing that even I didn’t realize was bothering me.  Until I started yelling.

Mental illness, crazy, anxiety, depression, chemical imbalance…I don’t care what it is called.  Labels don’t matter.  The ups and downs are what is frustrating.  My family looking at me with concern…walking on eggshells until the yelling part hits.  Not knowing what might trigger the outburst. Days where I’m “together” woman followed by days when I just want to take a nap…all day.

It has gotten better….way better.  I’ve had some pretty magnificent mood swings in the past.

But there has to be a better way.  A way to work through whatever is going on without the yelling.  (Not that yelling isn’t appropriate sometimes…toilet paper on the bathroom counter instead of on the toilet paper dispenser thingie, for instance.)

What might be bothering me?

The house.  I’m still doing the “20” list.  I’ve even taken it a step further.  I assigned each room(s) a day of the week and then I actually typed out a general list of what should be done in each room to pull it together.  That daily list gets copied over to my “20” list each morning. IMAG0795IMAG0796 (1)

I didn’t use to be a totally disorganized person.  Now, I find that I can be easily distracted by something (anything that I’d rather be doing than housework).  Then I realize a couple of weeks have gone by and I never got around to dusting the living room (for example).  Or, I’ll open the fridge and gaze upon a science fair project.  That would actually work for us since we homeschool, but is probably not a good idea on a regular basis.

Having a list gives me focus and the satisfaction of crossing a completed item off the list.  And last night, the kitchen looked great.  Family even washed their own dishes at the end of the evening instead of piling them in the already towering pile.

As I’m writing, I’m thinking about other things that have been going on lately.  The house is what I’ve talked about mostly, but there have been other things as well.  I think the house is just representative of how I feel my life is going.  It’s just a glaringly visible picture of how the inside of my “head” feels.  Of how “out of control” my life seems right now.

And this blog is one of the places I’ve been working things out for myself.  I’m not okay with things being just okay anymore.  I want GREAT!  A great life.  Not “a drifting along with the current” life.  I want to make choices that change things for the better. If I don’t know how to fix a problem, I want to have the courage to figure out how to do so.  And, if I problem truly doesn’t have a solution, I want the strength to ride it out.

The house isn’t the whole problem.  It’s a symptom.

And I’m glad I started writing here today because I feel a lot better.  Laying things out in black & white is good for a visual person like myself.

Just to keep the “positive” mood going – here is a gratitude list for today.

  1. The kitchen is clean!
  2. Our chicks are happy and healthy in their new completed coop my family built.
  3. I have two art projects going.
  4. Our trash can is less than half full because we started recycling again.
  5. Our second car is paid off because of a new part-time job.
  6. I got 15,000 steps on my fitbit yesterday.
  7. I don’t have a huge pile of lost socks anymore.
  8. My whole family will be together under one roof tomorrow night.
  9. I am reading a book just for fun.
  10. I have 3 full boxes to donate to the thrift store.
  11. We have enough food ’til payday (and some after that).
  12. I wrote this blog post and I feel better.

The Home Sweet Home List

I think I have blindly and accidently stumbled upon something brilliant.  Last week, I made a list.  A list of things to do. Note to reader:  I realize that list-making is not a new concept and that I did not personally discover “the list”. I was hoping it would help me focus on specific things that needed to be done AND help me stop before I lost focus and became discouraged.   I wrote down numbers 1 – 20.  Why twenty?  It seemed like enough tasks to make some progress and challenge myself a bit, but not too many to accomplish. I didn’t get everything done on the list.  And I forgave myself.  I just “rolled over” the undone tasks to the next day. The items were very specific.  I didn’t write “clean the kitchen”, for example.  I picked the most urgent tasks.  Wash the dishes (so we actually had some clean ones) and sweep the floor.  Once those were done, the kitchen was somewhat presentable and I was able to move on to another area. The idea is to deal with the worst of the situation and end up with a reasonably lived-in home that is not overwhelming and discouraging.  Spending all my energy and time on one room results in one clean room, but I’m eventually going to have to leave that room and come face-to-face with the rest. I’m not going to write down “finish the laundry” because the laundry is never finished (unless we all walk around naked for a day).  I’m going to do a load of laundry a day or two if there’s a lot. I’m not writing down “weed the garden” because that’s not doable.  I’m going to weed for 15 minutes. Small wins…the satisfaction of crossing something off the list. And when the day is over and it’s time to rest, I can do so knowing that I’ve taken steps in the right direction.  Progress. To celebrate that – and to ensure that there is creativity in even the hardest days – I’m going to paint over the day’s list and do a quick journal page.  Nothing fancy.  Just a symbolic gesture.  That day is over and done.  It can’t and shouldn’t be re-lived.  Let it go and move on. IMAG0715 I’m three days in on the list-making.  It may not be a forever thing.  All I know is that it’s working for me right now. It was an awesome weekend.  Lots of family, friends and accomplishments.  Oh, and LOTS of rain.  Did I mention that it rained this weekend?  It’s raining now.  I’m not complaining (much).  We’ve been in a drought.  I would imagine that it’s over. It’s part of who I am to start worrying when things are going well.  When is the other shoe going to drop?  This happiness can’t last.   Something is going to go wrong. What a horrible way to live. Missing out on the good because of worry about the bad. I’m going to work on changing that.  It may be an actual item on the list today! Good things will happen.  Bad things will happen.  That’s just the way it is.   One doesn’t cancel the other out.   It’s a matter of perspective. In reality, my problems are still with me.  The financial issues aren’t resolved…and a thousand other things.  I’ve just changed my focus and moved the good stuff into the forefront.   Perspective.  It all needs my attention, but in equal measure. There is that balance thing again I am a work in progress – with a list.