Stuff to do: 4/12/20

Since I am slightly hypomanic, this is a list of things I thought of that you could do if you were bored. I am never bored. I wish I was bored. This list is full of stuff I could make time to do myself, but I am busy playing on Facebook and working on my Pampered Chef business and talking to people on the phone (I don’t like talking to people on the phone) and learning my new diabetic Way Of Life.

Here ’tis, I may get to this list eventually. Some of it I have done in the past. I wrote this list for a friend.

  1. Sit on the couch with a hot cup of tea or coffee and a pad of paper. Make a LONG list of things you’ve always thought about doing. Stuff that doesn’t have to make sense or be practical, just things that have occurred to you over the years. LONG LONG LONG enough list to keep you busy for weeks. Spend half an hour each day (or more if the topic is interesting) exploring or doing each of the activities (of course some activities we can’t go out and do right now). ie Crocheting, rock climbing, archaeology, detective writing. After you have fully explored an item, or as much as you would like to, check it off your list. Maybe start a page in your notebook for each activity listing what you did to explore it, ie read a book, did an internet search, called an archaeologist, checked online, watched a how-to video, called a  friend who crochets or has a son who is a doctor, make a list of supplies you would need to get to do the activity, call a professional who does it as if you are a newspaper reporter, etc.
  2. Or maybe it’s a trip you want to go on. Study it – geological, sociological, historical, archaeological, hysterical (Oh. Wait. That’s me).
  3. Connect with people other ways than in person– phone, computer, letters, making greeting cards, recording music or your voice speaking to them. Make a list of people you’ve lost touch with, or need to make amends with. Start checking their names off as you get in touch with them.
  4. Start writing that book you were thinking of writing (if you had been). Get an old 3 ring notebook, spiral is fine too, Write chapter titles or headings, one on each page, a foreword page, a table of contents page (or whatever), a dedication page … I like to do this by hand on wide ruled 3 ring notebook paper and be messy. It makes me feel accomplished. I call it “Making a dummy book” and it can lead to “Making a real book.” Once the skeleton is finished, you can start writing a chapter, if you wish. Start with whatever chapter you wish. Write only 3 words, just one scene, a summary, a song the character is thinking of, or a memory they’re having (or you’re having). Or maybe a chapter will fly out of your fingers and run for 3 pages.
  5. Or maybe you are more about art, you’d rather draw than write. You could do a children’s book instead. Same way – old notebook, rough sketch on each page, foreword, dedication, etc etc… Whatever you would like! Illustrate it! Crumple the pages! Glue stuff to the inside – glitter, matchbooks, artifacts, love notes.
  6. (Also personal to my friend): I also picture a picnic with your hubby and you on a blanket in the middle of the living room with bird song playing from the speakers.

So, that’s that  😀

I hope y’all are doing great. Leave me a note! Sorry I haven’t been by  😦

In response to a friend’s comments on a quiz she took:

My friend took a quiz which did not produce the results she thought she would like, regarding her “Word for the year” toward which she should strive.

I responded to her that “sometimes teachers give pop quizzes just to make sure we are paying attention. They aren’t worth as much as tests, and sometimes they don’t even count.”

“How about ‘What word fits what God wants us to strive toward this year?’

My word would be consistency – right around the word faithfulness. LOL.”

Of course, this led me to do a little soul searching myself. And already I am whining. Faithfulness is not something I like. I prefer, “Do it until it no longer feels good.”

Course, that does not pay the bills, sigh…

Notice I am not promising anything in regard to whether or not I am going to be consistent on here! Of course, I’d like to be consistent here.

It just never happens.

And that’s depressing!

More on this later.

Maybe.

😉

Speaking as someone with a mental health disorder, my illness can get worse because I’m trying to keep it quiet, and I’m embarrassed about it. This is partly because many people have stereotypes about those who say they have a mental illness. “If you would just _____,” or, “You’re so _____;” having no professional experience to say what you say, and all those negative messages add to the shame and blame we already feel for not being a normal productive member of society. Most of us try our hardest, we really do! So by the time we give in and realize we CAN’T do it by ourselves, our health has already deteriorated past what it needed to. And as far as being dangerous, a person who is shamed into avoiding help can possibly get to the point of being dangerous, to others, but most often, to themselves. Shamed for taking medication, some won’t take it, and again, this can lead to a person being out of control. Use a little compassion, try to understand, treat it like any other disease that requires medical attention. Spiritual intervention is extremely useful, but often it is not enough to treat the disease. You take insulin; that’s not in the Bible either. Have a heart.

Bleahhhhhh

So for about a nanosecond my Cymbalta seemed to be working. But I can attribute the blahs to being sick with a cold or “whatever.” Don’t really have much to say except that hopefully I will have much to say when I feel bettah.

P. s. I love you, too

Have I ever publicly proclaimed my predilection for coffee?

How did this happen? I distinctly remember turning up my nose at it, but, when I was in my late teens, my father was having me get up and out by five a.m. to play handball before I went to work at McDonald’s. Out of self defense I forced myself to drink it – how else was I supposed to get through a shift? After a while my adoration grew. I began to love the taste of it, the smell of it, and of course, the effects of it.

But it turned on me. The over-stimulation aggravated my familial tremor (also known as essential tremor). And it definitely exacerbated my anxiety.

But I didn’t care. By the time these symptoms appeared, I was hooked. In other words, I was going to drink it by hook or by crook. (Is that where the expression “hooked” came from?)

Coffee is actually supposed to be good for you, in moderation, and I suppose what I do is moderate (my neurologist doesn’t agree). I drink 2-3, or 4, cups a day. According to Healthline.com, there are 13 different health benefits to drinking coffee. I don’t really care what they are, I just don’t want you to tell me to stop drinking it. My excuse is that I’ve stopped drinking alcohol (1985), smoking pot (1985), smoking cigarettes (2006), chasing boys (only because I can’t run any more), and various other bad habits, I ought to be allowed at least ONE vice.

And don’t mess with my coffee. I just want hot, with cream. None of that flavoured stuff. Although this summer I was introduced to sugar-free-French-vanilla iced coffee at McDonald’s, and it has created a new monster in me. Not only is it good, but it is relatively cheaper than that other stuff out there. MMM hmm hmmmmmm…..

So anyway, that’s enough on that subject.

 

P.S. I Love You

 

I just got done writing a letter to my sister, Carol. Carol does not do email. Texting. Facebook. Anything. If it doesn’t have a stamp on it, she can’t read it.

I remember when I used to love corresponding with different friends. My friend Barbara moved from Falmouth Maine up to Thomaston. Our folks couldn’t drive us back and forth to see each other every day (gasp!), so we wrote.

My friend Valerie went to camp. I couldn’t live without her. We wrote.

When my friend Sabrina moved a whole 20 minutes away I was crushed. To me it was a million miles away. We wrote. I think we even taped our letters on cassette tapes once in a while.

Sheryl moved to Boston for college. We’d been best friends since Junior High School. We wrote.

Beth, my first roommate, moved to North Carolina. We wrote!

It was no big deal to pick up a pen and write. In fact, it was kind of fun to find different papers and pens to write with. And I loved going to the mailbox and finding a “real” letter! To this day I look forward to getting the mail, just in case.

But now it’s a big deal to pick up a pen and write. And I don’t know what happened to change things. I guess electronic communication is so much easier, faster. And you don’t really have to think about it too much. It’s “short attention span theater” at its finest. I still get the same excitement out of receiving a text or an email, or a Facebook message.

But what does one write about in a letter? Think. Think.

Oh there’s the weather. Work. Church. My son. I also go line by line through her letter (if I haven’t misplaced it, since it’s been so long), to see if there are questions or comments I want to address.

And I always try to say something to make her chuckle.

Really, it’s the same stuff you’d say on the phone I guess.

What’s funny is that half the time I’ve just sent her a letter and she calls me. And I’m like, I don’t want to tell you anything! It’s in my letter!

I guess you could say that our letters are pretty mundane.

But where my sister is concerned, they are just our way of saying, “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”

And that is priceless.

 

“Make Betend” this is you …

Unless you live under a rock, which is under a rock, which is under a rock, you heard about the false alarm that sent the entire population of Hawaii, their family members and friends, state and federal officials, and, I would imagine, the person who pressed the button – TWICE – into panic!

Remember playing “make betend” as a child? Can you do that with this scenario? What if it was you and your family that received that alarm via your own precious cell phone? What’s the first thing that would come to your mind to do?

I’d like to think I’d be working on my phone list trying to convince any and all of my family and friends to accept the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, now! That would be my last and dying wish and nothing else would matter to me!

So why don’t I do that now?

My family knows the Gospel, they know that it is my fervent belief, but not being faced with a crisis makes the coming of the Lord seem far away, if it is thought to be real at all. My son assured me it was a “not yet” – he has a lot of living to do first before he repents of his sin and changes his life – or consents to it being changed.

But what if that missile was headed for him? What would he do? Would he remember to seek the Lord? Would he even have time?  What if there was no warning? as it is with most people, who simply die when it’s time – no warning, no planning. And certainly no time to reconsider. And certainly every death does not wait until someone is 70, or 80. Many people die “before their time.” But the Bible says it’s an appointment we must keep. From Hebrews 9:

2And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Check out this video for a family’s point of view of the incident:

https://www.cbsnews.com/videos/family-describes-panic-after-getting-missile-threat-alert-in-hawaii/

What would you do?

The Pahty’s ovahh…

Well I am safely back home from the Jubilee! I drove myself up and back, 690 miles round trip, which is a really big deal for me. But I just felt like God really wanted me to go (and at the very least, I wanted to go).

It strikes me at these things that very soon someday we will be having a “pahty” much like the Jubilee. Holy music, holy people, holy scripture, and, most of all, our Holy King, King Jesus! It will be the norm to feel at home, rather than feeling like we’re the exception to every rule, the odd ball out. And the shouting from the pulpit will be “HALLELUJAH!” not admonition.

Because sometimes at these meetings things get loud. We are reminded where we’re falling short. There’s a little pounding on the dais for emphasis (okay, sometimes a LOT!)

Will there even BE a podium in Heaven?

I personally can’t wait for every day to be a meeting, a gathering of like-minded souls, smiles all around, instant friendship and understanding!

Yep, that’s what I like about these meetings! I was sad to leave. But now that I’m home I get to go to another meeting – a prayer meeting at my own home church — a gathering of like-minded souls, smiles all around, instant friendship and understanding!

Now to choose between a nap and a shower ….  no time for both!

We’re havin’ a pahty …

I was able at the last minute to go to the Emerald Coast Jubilee in Milton Florida, near Pensacola. It’s a close to 6 Hour drive, or at least the way I drove it, LOL. I left yesterday, about 8 AM, and arrived at 2:30. Had a little talk with God on the way up, and he revealed to me something that will make a big difference  for me in my Christian walk. Lo and behold last night the preacher hit on much of what God had revealed to me. I love it when I ask God to show me something, and he does. Even though it’s not very pleasant (the information that I received about myself. Not pretty).But hallelujah that God has changed my heart, and is continuing to do so!

One Day He’s Coming – O Glorious Day!

 

Cyberhymnal is a great site for finding lyrics to hymns, and the stories behind the songs. I find this stuff fascinating!

 

This morning in church we sang this hymn (youtube video at bottom of page). The hymn is based on Hebrews 9:28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my Example is He!

Refrain

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He’s coming—O glorious day!

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He!

Refrain

One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o’er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He!

Refrain

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!

Refrain

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glories will shine;
Wonderful day, my belovèd ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

Refrain

 

Cyberhymnal attributes the song’s words to  J. Wilbur Chapman. “Chap­man gave two po­ems (in­clud­ing this one) to Charles H. Marsh (MI­DIscore).around 1908. Marsh then wrote the tune, but there was dis­a­gree­ment over the co­py­right be­tween two pub­lish­ers. As a re­sult, this song was not pub­lished un­til 1911.”

Music: C

Here is a Youtube video of the song:

 

 

Does not play well with others …

 

You know, I don’t know how to be friends with more than one friend at a time. Same as having more than one boyfriend at a time; they get jealous and they expect you to tell them the truth, which will inevitably hurt them.

But some people insist on being your friend anyway and (here is where I get vague) I just can’t deal with being liked that much. Why don’t you just make it like when I was in Junior High School and nobody liked me and I was imbisible. Yes I know I said that funny but it’s because that’s how childish I feel when these particular issues come up. Honestly, it was torture being imbisible, too, but what I go through now is not fun either. I really can’t say much about the people and the issues because then I will be talking not-nice about someone and I’m not allowed to be not-nice.

Sigh.

I just want to play by myself. I want to read my book and that’s all.

Boundaries? What’s that?

 

 

 

 

I wish I wuz

 

I wish I wuz

  • the kind of person who has everything in its place. No bags of receipts hidden in the closet, no pile of clothes on the towel rack table in the bathroom, no clutter all over  the breakfast bar, kitchen counter, couch, and ottoman (ditto on the electric keyboard). … something homey to come home to. Something ready for when company comes. Knowing that I don’t have to be sure there’s no ring around the water in the toilet. The bed is made and you can’t write “dust me” into the furniture. The dining room table has a beautiful bouquet, and settings all ready for a Pinterest-inspired meal. Instead, it’s covered with papers, napkins, shopping bags, books, calendars, a half eaten bag of chips, junk mail, a fan (it’s January!), my laptop, and a skir You know, the stuff of life. I wish I wuz the sort of person that could say, “Come over anytime; you’re always welcome!” Instead, I need 3 months’ notice. (Actually, I can make it presentable in 3 minutes – but don’t try opening that closet door).

 

I wish I wuz the kind of person who has everything in its place.

Or who has one.

Artificial Christian  — The Hope Filled Addict

I’m cheating tonight, mostly because of a busy (but fulfilling) day, cold weather, a large supper, fun with a friend, the emotional release of undecorating the tree and forcing it out the door, and polishing off with some “really good meds” (sknxxx) – yeah, I can’t really come up with anything cohesive. I thought this would be a good read for those who, like me, want to be a true Christian and not an actress. The author belongs to a Bible-based support group called Reformers Unanimous, to which I also belong. It’s good. I’ll explain more later (unless I already did, in which case I will reblog myself, lol!)

 

Please Lord don’t let this be me. Keep me from judging people, remind me that is your job. Don’t let me be a prayer girl in public but not get on my knees in my home. If I’m ever able to do good for your name, please let that be only for you to shine, […]

via Artificial Christian  — The Hope Filled Addict

In all thy ways …

January 3. I was reading Proverbs 3 today (I aim to read the Proverb that corresponds to the day each day. For example, today being the 3rd, I read Proverbs 3).

I had only read the first two verses and became instantly discouraged:

“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”

It wasn’t the “forget not my law” that tripped me up. It was the length of days and long life that I objected to. I am all for the peace part of it, but not so much the other. I started to pray:

Lord, the days are long enough. Why would I want to add to them? And long life? I just want to come Home to you. [As someone with a long history of depression and suicidality, living longer just does not appeal to me]. I’m tired, I’m always messing up, and I just don’t feel like I am getting – or giving – much out of life. So this year, help me to want to prolong the days and live a long life, so that I will have more time to serve You. I know you have work for me to do, give me the courage to do it. Show me what to do, give me the oomph to do it!

I kept reading. There is so much richness in this chapter, I thought to myself. Verse 5 was very familiar to me:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

I nodded. Yep, I get that. I’d mess up a lot less if I gave that verse a little more heed.

Then verse 6 popped up, and it was one of those “aha” moments, as in, “Aha, I’ve never seen that verse before.”

But you know I have. I just never noticed it before. This is one way that God speaks to me. He brings the text alive as I am reading, and I may have seen it a hundred times, but the hundred and first time, God nudges me to pay attention: “Hey, Kat. This here is for you. Sit with this for a while.” It said:

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

In all my ways? Do I do that? And what does that mean, “acknowledge”?

Websters 1828 Dictionary says it is “To own or notice with particular regard.” So do I do that in all of my ways? Do I own or notice God with particular regard in my:

  • Family relationships
  • Work
  • Leisure
  • Driving
  • Church activities
  • Friendships
  • Service
  • Handling of money
  • Care of myself physically
  • Care of myself emotionally
  • Care of myself spiritually

In what ways could I improve?

To me, to acknowledge God means that I don’t just forge ahead with my life. I must “bring God along” in all my ways (paths). And I must also acknowledge that He is the author and the giver of it all. Kinda like at Christmas when you would rip into a present, and Mom would make me stop and acknowledge the giver. I didn’t even realize there was a giver, half the time. I was just so eager to get, get, get!

The verse says that if I do acknowledge God in all my ways, He will direct my paths. It is like what we were learning tonight in the lesson at church about David. He would ask God: Should I go here? or maybe here? Should I do battle with this people, or should I not? We also see plenty of examples in David’s life where he would fail to ask direction, fail to acknowledge God, and fail in his life. It was that simple for him.

Shouldn’t it be that simple for me?

*Prophy prophy joy joy

January 2. Today I went to the dentist. That is probably the most excitement that I’m going to have all year. No, seriously, I hope not. I had the panoramic x-rays, and then I guess they’re called bite wing x-rays, the ones where they angle pieces of cardboard in your mouth and make sure that you bite down on them hard and cut the inside of your mouth, again and again and again. Then I had a quick exam, and I was happy happy happy to hear that I would not have to have a deep cleaning, just a plain old prophy (short for “prophylactic cleaning”). It cost me $20 cash +3 dollars on my capital one card which is maxed out. Yeah I have issues with money. We may well did discuss those. Anyway I had no cavities and did not get a prize. Thank you Plackers! (pictured above)

 

I do want to thank the Lord that I have insurance that paid for the exam, the office also did the xrays for free because I had had a set done within the last year at the other dentists’ office, where they wanted to do a cleaning of my pocketbook. That’s a whole nother story. So thank You God for Your wonderful care for me!

Just another stinkin’ resolution post …

January 1. Would it surprise you if I committed suicide? Look around at your friends. Would it surprise you if any one of them tried to commit suicide? Do you know that suicides are at an all-time high, especially among women? It could be anyone. And it’s sad that when I think about starting out my 2018 blogs, that’s the first thing that I think of talking about.

So THAT was abrupt, wasn’t it? Sorry. ANYway … I really would like to write a blog entry every day in the year 2018. Seems like a pretty good resolution. Much more likely than “lose weight” or “save money.” Could I? Would I? Do I have enough to say? Do I think anyone would even want to hear it? But that doesn’t really matter. It’s the writing that I need to do, that’s therapeutic.
Know that anything I say cannot be used against me! or be considered gospel just because I have written it down. Writing is a process, and things change as soon as they are written.
It’s a good thing God doesn’t think that way. His Word is true, period. It doesn’t change as soon as it’s written down. And I like that.

The Little Boat That Could

 

I have lived in Portland, Maine, for most of my adult life, and on occasion my father would take my son Tom and I out to eat.

DiMillo’s was one place we went now and then. It is an actual boat on the water that has become a main attraction of the city: a floating restaurant! Great food! A little more money than the average restaurant, but totally worth it just for the experience; and did I mention? Great food!

Well, my father always liked to “treat” whenever we went out. Even when I had a good job, he would insist on paying the bill. I would offer to pay now and then but he would not allow it. Literally.

But I wanted to be able to express my affection and gratitude for all he had done for us over the years, and I realized that the only way I could do so was to be a bit sneaky. So one night he invited then-10-year-old Tom, and I and a few others, to DiMillo’s, and the plot was hatched. I was going to pay the bill, whether he liked it or not!

So, soon after we’d arrived and been seated, I excused myself “to go to the rest room,” and sought out our waitress. “No matter what he says or does, I am paying for the check,” I told her, and I gave her my debit card number in advance.

Well, come time to order, my father leans back and says, “get whatever you want.” My son Tom, who’d come to love lobster, decided to order not one, but TWO lazy lobsters. Lazy lobsters are one whole lobster taken out of the shell and served with a generous amount of butter and who knows what-all; it’s delicious, and at the time it was $25. a pop. “Tom,” I nearly hissed, thinking of my poor debit card, “I think ONE lazy lobster is sufficient.”

“Oh, no,” said Dad, patting his stomach and throwing an arm across Tom’s shoulders. “Let him get what he wants.” He smiled. I smiled. Tom got his two lazy lobsters.

Afterward, there was a full round of dessert. Coffee. Dad finished his last sip of water and looked around for the waitress. Took another sip of what was now cold coffee and grimaced. But not because of the coffee. Tom, full of lobster and ready to go run around on the wharf, was oblivious. My wallet was crying. Dad continued to crane his neck looking for the waitress.

Finally my father, visibly upset, got the waitress’s attention. “We’re WAITING on our CHECK.”

Beaming, and winking over at me, the waitress says, “The check’s taken care of, Sir.”

“WHAT?”

Her smile faltered a little. “It’s been paid. Your .. your daughter …”

He turned flashing eyes on me. “You did not.”

“I did.” I was smiling, but having a hard time holding it in place. He REALLY was not happy. I could tell by the look in his eyes.

Tom, oblivious, hopped down off his chair. “We ready to go?”

“We sure are, honey,” I said.

I’m still not sure that I did the right thing. I was proud to be able to “provide,” for once. But my dad really never liked that I’d done that. It was HIS job to take care of his baby girl, not the other way around.

The Sound of Silence

Silence like a cancer grows …” Paul Simon

Well, I suppose that is true. I don’t speak (= don’t write), therefore it leads to not speaking, and then it is harder to speak again. The silence grows and the cancer is the self- talk that goes on – “No one wants to hear what you have to say.” Or, “You don’t want them to know what you are thinking.” I don’t know which cancer is worse, and I really didn’t think of it as a cancer until those lyrics occurred to me …

The impetus for this blog post is one by a blogging friend, who says that her silence comes from a need to recover. I suppose that is partly true in my case (Recover from what, though? But I feel broken).

But unlike her, the recovery comes when I do write. When I am silent, i.e., not writing, but I suppose this includes not confiding verbally, I am withdrawing into myself, more depressed.

I did ask my NP (Nurse Practitioner) to help me deal with the increase in depression, which I am experiencing “a little bit,” and she upped my Abilify (which I have to be very gentle with – it can be very touchy!)

The other song that came to mind in reflecting about the quiet is a hymn we often sing during the altar invitation time at church:

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit Divine!

So, silence is not so great, haha, if it means that the Holy Spirit will tell me what to do next (“Write, Kathleen!“). I don’t want to hear. La la la la … (index fingers firmly planted in both ears…). I am living a spiritual life, praying, reading my Bible, spending time with other Christian friends, but I am guarded somehow, lately.

Eh, and I thought my not blogging was just a laziness thing, but maybe not. And I do know you don’t mind hearing from me, at least, a number of you have said so. Somehow, that thought makes me feel tearful.

I had no idea, really, that I was feeling this melancholy. I’m really not! But apparently, it’s in there! (“Ragu: It’s In There!”)

So, I suppose I should keep writing.

I am toying with the idea of participating in July’s Nano Camp (see link if you are unfamiliar). Since we are allowed to set our own goals for it, I think I will work on my old work- in- progress one day, and alternate the next with a new work (featuring Vernon and Maggie Burke, an older couple who have an illustrious past …).

So, I guess I’ll see ya.

 

The Sound of Silence,” Written by Paul Simon.

Open My Eyes That I May See,” Words and Music by Clara H. Scott

(Okay, the song really does touch my heart, sigh …)

Dear Day of Off

Dear Day of Off,
I have been looking forward to you all week, but here I am, not as thrilled as I was, because suddenly you have become a Day of Obligation. Oh sure, I have a Meeting of Friends scheduled for 12 noon, but I also have a number of chores and errands that need to be accomplished.
And a visit to an Office of Government.
Really?
It all started when I woke up.
First of all, I had planned to Sleep In, which, in case you did not know this, means, “not getting up at the usual (or earlier) time.” Did you not realize this? Of course, you and Bladder colluded on this matter and I am quite Put Out.
Next, there is this matter of Clothes Not Washed. Now, I realize that you and I have a deal, that I will keep up on the laundry, enabling me to have said Day of Off available for Other Things. So explain to me where these Clothes Not Washed came from?? And where goeth these Other Things? I have Books awaiting perusal! I have friends awaiting phone calls! I have windows awaiting the Staring of Out!
But instead? Bladder, as previously discussed. Then, the Surrender to Coffee (required regardless of Day).
And Clothes Not Washed, which took precedence. Because of another phenomenon which I call, CRS: Can’t Remember Stuff. Yes, I have come to forget essential things (including the washing of uniforms), and even with a List, I forget the List. Hence, the 12th Commandment: Thou shalt do the Thing, whilst one is thinking the Thing. (The 11th Commandment being, Thy mother worketh not here: Clean Up After Thyself.)
So I am breaking cardinal rule number 1: Thou shalt do nothing before coffee. And here I am, doing something before coffee!
There is also this matter of Vacuuming, Dusting, General Cleaning, and the like. Answer me this: Why have you not kept up these things as much as you have Clothes Not Washed? Why have you eaten up my day with such foolishness? Don’t you know I have other things I would like to have done with my Day of Off? Leisurely Bible reading, perhaps? Correspondence? Extending Meeting with Friends? Daydreaming?
(SMH)
(Which stands for, Shaking My Head)

Do Wha Diddy Diddy Dumb Diddy Doo …

Well there’s an eye catching little title. Nothing to do with this post.

Except for that first word, “do.”

And perhaps, the “Wha.”.

(Leave it to me to get something obscure from a song lyric).

The “do” and the “wha” refers to the “do what?” of my life.  Because so often I’m questioning what I do or don’t do. Am I doing right? And if I’m doing right, am I doing right?

Let me explain. And I’d better hurry up, before I lose you. One of my primary issues is keeping boundaries. And it’s not just the fact that people can take advantage of me. I volunteer myself and my resources. Nobody asked! It’s “What do YOU need?” versus “What do I need?” Then, when everybody’s happy, and I do mean ev.er.y.body, then  I’ll sit down and do my stuff. Complaining all the while, don’tcha know. But to do otherwise, to ignore someone’s need, to leave someone unsatisfied, feels very selfish, and just plain wrong. Sound familiar? (Cough: Martha)

This hurts me. Because after a while I’m feeling disjointed, disoriented, disorganized, and dissatisfied. It’s feeling like life is out of control. My laundry is weeks overdue, I haven’t made that phone call or done my writing, and I’m neglecting my job search and exploration. But maybe that’s the point. In seeing to someone else’s needs, I get to put off the things I need to do, or face, or feel. But that only works for so long. Soon I am in dire straits, and worse, blaming you.

So what is my business? How do I know? What is my responsibility, to you, or to me?

To know this, it starts with prayer. A common prayer of mine is the prayer Paul prayed at the time he was converted to Christianity (and isn’t that putting it mildly?). Having persecuted Jesus and His followers,, and having just condoned the stoning of Stephen, Paul (as Saul) meets Jesus on the road to Damascus.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord,what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:6)

Simple, huh? Just ask God, and He will lead.

So why don’t I do it? Why don’t I make a habit of taking the time, first thing in the morning, to ask what He’d like me to do during my day? Why don’t I pause, before I say “yes,” or volunteer myself? It only takes a moment. Is it because I think I know better what’s best? Is it because I enjoy that adrenaline rush that says “Ooh, what have I gotten myself into?” “It sure has gotten hot in here.” Or, “Where’s the fire extinguisher?”

But there are concrete things He’s asked of me. I don’t need to pause and wait to be told; it’s in the Book. I can pray for others, one of the finest things that can be done for another human being. I can study and meditate upon God’s word. I can serve in my local church. I can spend time with other people the Lord has given me. And I can do my laundry.

Ok, perhaps that last was my mother talking. But you get the gist. There are many things I don’t make time for, and end up a mess. And if you’re like me, you’re spending time recuperating from time with others as much as you’re actually spending time with them (see: introvert). Maybe more. So you still don’t get things done.

It doesn’t mean I can’t drop everything in the event of an emergency, but it does mean that God has specific tasks for me. He has helped me, through a long history of anxiety, depression, and bipolar illness, to figure out what I need to do to take care of myself. He has helped me to know when it’s time to take steps forward in my recovery, and when I’ve taken on too much. He’s given me specific people, family and friends who know me well. They can see if I am “off,” they can give me that refreshing of the spirit that only a true friend can give, and it is mutual, I hope. If I’m neglecting all of that, or ignoring red flags, a lot of sour notes will ensue. And it’s not just me on the piano, or the Mexican food I just ate.

This is not to mention the fact that if my “good deeds” do proceed from my flesh, and not from the Spirit’s call, it’s not worth a whole lot. I am thoughtful of the following scripture in Romans 8:5-8:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

There is a whole lot in that there little portion of scripture! Among other things, it makes me evaluate things: Is my motive selfish, even when I appear to be focused on others? Am I looking to be comfortable, to be honored, to be liked? Am I trying, in my flesh, to make others happy? Maybe God’s intent is for that person to seek their own solution, or to sit with their own discomfort. Or, more than likely, for them to turn to Him, rather than to this friend who wants to make “aw better.” Sometimes, making it easier on someone else is not making it easier. It’s not just the two-year-old who needs to know they can do it themselves. And sometimes the attempt to “mother” someone does more harm than good. After all, “mother” and “smother” are pretty close.

Of course, there is such a thing as analyzing something to death. Sometimes I am procrastinating. Sometimes I am “enabling.”

But sometimes, I’m just loving.

And isn’t that what Christ has begged for us to do all along? As it is written:

And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 2 John 5:

 

 

Ulla – Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

I hate to write this. And after many revisions, trying to articulate this clearly, I am just going to click “Publish,” and call it good. After one more read, then I will. And then one more.

Our Dear Ulla, a fellow bipolar blogger known as “Blahpolar,” who entertained us, saddened us, instructed us, inflamed us, embarrassed us, left us. She took her life, and now she’s gone.

I loved you right away, Ulla, loved reading your irreverent prose. The F bombs, the rants, the things we all want to say but can’t. The extremes of anger and sadness. I wanted to loosen my lips, but not THAT much. Being around it, I started to think it. I have no way to explain, only that it wasn’t good for me and the life I was trying to live. So I left off reading your daily blog. I tried reading you once a week, but I couldn’t. I tried to help, but my solution being God and godly things made you REALLY mad. You had your reasons, and I understood, but that was all I had to offer. So I popped in now and then, said hi, reminded you I still cared, but was it enough?

Ulla was as out there as anyone with bipolar could be. She called herself the bipolar dyke. I know some of my Christian friends would wonder, how can you love someone like that, who is out and proud and loud and bipolar and gay and “heathen,”and what if you catch it? Funny, huh? Not really. After all, there but for the grace of God my desire and passion could be for a woman. It can’t be an easy road. My response is more a tilt of the head, and then, so, what else are you about?

As everyone, I was shocked to find out you had left us, Ulla. Let’s just say it right out, you killed yourself. Why? I am so surprised at your choice. You were so strong, so determined! You had a purpose and that purpose was keeping US alive. Oh Ulla. What tipped you over the edge? But I understand, too. When you’re that depressed, you DON’T have a choice over your thoughts, your morbidity, and yes, your choices. And you, my friend, I am sure you looked at the whole thing practically, logically. I don’t believe you were one bit impulsive or emotional about it.

Where are you now? According to my faith, once you are gone you are gone, and if you’ve not chosen Jesus, you are really gone, to Hell, with no way back. But how could I tell you that? Besides, you knew, right? You’d been steeped in religion at one point in your life. I think. Am I remembering right? And shouldn’t I have said something, directly to you, sooner, more emphatically, more empathetically? I had my blogs about salvation, did you read them? But I should have said, Ulla, please, listen to ME. I should have begged, or at least, been a bother.

Then again, maybe you did know the Lord. Maybe you didn’t land in Hell. I believe that those of us who commit suicide ARE ill, and God takes that into account. Oh Lord. Oh Ulla.

And in some religions, it is GOOD to pray you into that good place. It is believed that you can take someone ordinarily destined for Hell, and pray for them, and they will go to Heaven. I know God can do anything, does do miracles. So I pray. Lord, have mercy. Lord, the ones I love, they didn’t understand. Lord, have mercy. It can’t hurt to pray, God wants us to pray, so I pray, Lord, have mercy.

Ulla, I am just so sorry I didn’t continue to be your friend. Survivor’s guilt, they call it. But not just that. I shoulda coulda woulda. You would now be telling me, F___ guilt. But there are some things I am actually guilty of. And you really were a friend to me. You did reach out to me. Or did I you? Regardless, we hit it off. And nothing I said was unacceptable, I was in a bad spot and you were my friend. And vice versa. I really should have done more. I’m so sorry Ulla. We are all asking, is there anything we could have done differently? Something that would have made you stay for one more day, a day things might have turned around for you? Oh yes I know this is totally self-centered of me, but would you please come back?

Ulla Ulla it just seems that if you had held on a little longer, you might have been okay. ECT does not work right away, you know that.  😦 What was it that tipped you over the edge? And was it the best decision? But how could it be?

That is one thing that haunts me. Whenever I find out that someone has committed suicide, I am so sad and horrified, but a part of me is envious, because I have what you have. And that thing that I have is the occasional hatred of life, so strong it can be overwhelming,  it can be all I can think of. The desire to leave, so strong.

But what you didn’t have is what I do have. The hope that no matter how bad things get, I have a future. A future in Heaven. I have Someone Who loves me, will love me forever. No matter who or what happens in my life, I have an assurance that is real enough that nothing else matters. Not my pain, not my misery, nor the endless days. And eventually those days change, and I am happy again, and can move forward. Write again, smile again, hope again. See that I matter.

I pray, as I said, that your endless days ended in Heaven. I pray that I can be a better friend.

But more than that, I wish you were here Ulla. You are so missed. I wish you were here.

 

 

 

Whyy oh whine, AKA: I want my mommy!

Why do we cry when we’re angry?

(Because we want to kill something, and we know we can’t?)

And why do I try to accomplish ANYthing on a Monday?

Today on my list I had planned to try – again! – to get some insurance issues taken care of. I say “try” because this is not the first time I have found myself in tears because of these people. But what I am is MAD, not sad. Ok, maybe sad, too…

Every three months I get BOTOX® shots in my neck for my spasmodic torticollis. I found out that I can get reimbursed for the money I paid for the medicine by the BOTOX® folks, but I need certain documentation from the insurance company – which I can’t seem to get. I am also having a problem with how the doctor’s office billed me the first time, so there’s that.

We’re talking times two procedures! So theoretically I have $700. floating in front of my face like a carrot. And I sure could use those dollars to pay on my crredit cards! (I should write about credit cards. Talk about crying!)

So who am I going to bellyache at? The insurance company? The people who manufacture the BOTOX® ?

No. They aren’t going to help.

What I need is a “person.” Someone who can help me navigate the red tape  😦 Is there such a person? Cuz I am not going to get far crying! Urgh! I hate crying! Especially when it comes to having to do adult things!

(There. Ya feel better now?)

(A little)

(Does anyone out there feel sorry for me?)

(A little.)

(Good, do ya think you could send me the $700?)

I’m falling for you, Baby …

Ok, perhaps that’s a weak title, but I’m hoping it’s win-some enough to win-some readers. Besides, my original title was a mis-heard song lyric, and no one would have gotten it anyway. In my estimation, lame is better than “just plain wrong!”

But I digress (as always).

Much to my dismay, someone on Facebook posted a photo of the first Fall leaf they’d seen in New England this year, and it’s (checks watch) August 6th! Really??

“Heaven help us!” I thought. “Will Winter be soon upon us?”

And then I remembered. I don’t have to worry about Winter anymore. I live in the great State of Florida, where oranges grow and tourists flourish!

Back in Maine, the prospect of Winter had grown more and more dreadful to me each year. Emphasis on the dread. The previous two years had really outdone themselves, with record snowfalls and frigid temperatures.  So in the Summer of ’15 I said “Nevermore!” and got on a fast track of getting rid of my things, literally giving away most of what I had, and keeping just enough to fit into my Ford Focus. I just could not take another snowstorm, another head-itching hat, another “you’ll be towed if you don’t move your cah!”

And I had known for a while that God was moving me on. It wasn’t just the weather. It was my heart. So I started making plans for my escape. I was Florida bound! And here I am! I arrived in Jacksonville in October of last year, and have not had one regret.

Okay, maybe some. I miss my friends and family, my church, the Spring and Summer in Maine. Susan’s Fish and Chips. Amato’s Italian Sandwiches…

Doesn’t it always come down to food, lol.

Besides, Winter here in Florida is COLD! But it’s worth it, it’s worth it! Not bikini weather, but that’s okay; you won’t see me in a bikini this side of glory anyway! Ok, ever!

Then again, I’m not living in the Southern part of Florida. Some even tell me that Jacksonville isn’t Florida. It’s fine, I believe I’m where God wants me to be. I’ve found a good church, some writing buddies, and some good friends. God is good.

But having seen the picture of that red spotted leaf, I have mixed feelings. I have taken so many pictures of Fall colors; I adore the smell of those leaves, the proverbial crunch underfoot, and the first few nips of cold on my nose. I went through the same pangs of regret when I heard about the flowers up there this Spring, the many hikes and activities, and the Summertime blue of the ocean. Yes, there are beautiful beaches here, but they’re not like the rocky crags of Maine, her pebbled shores, and the ice ice cold of her waters. Here, there aren’t many white sails, lazy fishing boats, and lush green islands rising up against the horizon. It’s pretty, but it’s different.

So if I sound a little sappy, indulge me, if you will; it’s rare. Most of the time I’m really happy with being in Florida. I finally get my Florida Orange license plate! I get to be that irritating tourist behind the wheel! Finally I am where I’ve wanted to be for so many years, and God has been so good to me! I enjoy the adventure of “I’ve never been there! Let’s go!” And of finally giving in to God’s will.

But I don’t plan on getting over the things I’ve left behind. I miss my BFF beyond measure, and other friends. My church “Up North” cannot be duplicated; I wouldn’t even try.

And those Italian sandwiches…

xo