Sunday, December 26, 2010

One of my life's paradoxes, realized.

Sadly, my husband and I are NOT compatible. We dated on and off for about 6 years from the time I was 20 years to almost 26 years of age. We parted ways for two main reasons, the truest one, I think, being that we really weren't compatible.

About ten years later, with some contact during the interim years, we found one another again, reunited and eventually made plans to marry. At this time we were both in our late 30s and neither of us had married or had children during our time apart. I think what was really at work in our coming back together was a combination of ticking biological clocks and a mutual desire for a port in the storm of life. I'm not sure what he told himself, but I told myself that we'd both grown and changed and it seemed that maybe the time was right for us.

About a year later, despite the appearance to me of several red flags, we married. Within three months I was pregnant and ten days before our first anniversary our dear daughter was born. Now, 12 years and some months since her birth, we are together solely for the benefit of our daughter. This has been so for the majority of her life but somehow we are managing this without a lot of conflict. Instead there is great distance in our marriage as my husband and I live our lives pretty separately but do "come together" for our daughter. For now, for reasons of mainly a financial nature, brought about by this "great recession", that this is how it needs to be. I feel strongly, though, especially as she gets older, that my daughter needs to see her mother as someone who takes care of and is faithful to the best interests of, not only her child, but herself. I'm getting more and more clear that staying in this marriage is doing neither for myself but, again, this is how it must be for now.

So, although I know in my deepest being that marrying my husband was far from the best choice I've ever made, it is also, paradoxically, one of the best choices I've ever made. From that choice has come our dear daughter who seems to have inherited some of the best and worst from her parents, is clearly growing into her own person, and is easily the result of the best work I've ever done in my life.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Journey of Losses......

First they lost their jobs, which included losing their healthcare. Not everyone could afford Cobra.

Then next, if they were fortunate enough to have it in the first place, they lost, little by little, or in big chunks, their savings for retirement, for their kids college, for a car that wasn't 13 years old, as they struggled to make up the difference between what their Unemployment Insurance benefits paid and what they needed to pay their bills...

And, while they were looking for work, and losing their cushion, assuming they even had one, they started to lose their self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect...but they tried not to lose hope, as they listened to people in the media, down the street, around the corner and in Washington D.C., claim that they were lazy and weren't trying hard enough. They tried not to lose hope because maybe all those folks were right, and maybe if they just tried harder or tried a different approach, maybe they'd be the one out of 50 applicants to get that job.....

Then, after weeks and weeks and months and months and then a year and a year and a half and then 99 weeks (if they were lucky to get them for that long) then they lost their Unemployment Insurance benefits and they were left with nothing at all, or they were left with what was left of their retirement, or kids college fund and forget any money to celebrate the holidays with their children.

Next when they were finally lucky enough to get even a minimum wage job, they came face to face with the beginning of the end of their identity as a home owner, as they were forced to put their home on the market because minimum wage was just not enough to pay their mortgage.

Then, when their house wouldn't sell because the housing market still was under water, they lost their home to foreclosure, and all the money they'd put into it. They lost it all, including the great credit rating they'd had for years, and any hope of ever owning their own home again. if they were older, and if they were younger, at least for a very long time.

If they'd been lucky enough to find that minimum wage job or were able to qualify for, gasp, welfare, they found someplace to live that was smaller and would never be theirs but was safe and warm nonetheless. Or they were offered shelter or money by relatives or friends...if they were lucky.

If they weren't lucky enough, they lost safe shelter and found themselves living in a tent, or abandoned building, or car or..... outside, which would make finding a job that much harder let alone finding a job.

And somewhere along the way, maybe earlier, maybe later in this journey of loss and humiliation, they lost respect for their leaders and their country, which they used to think was the greatest country in the world, but which they now sadly knew to be anything but true...

What I want to know Dear Senators and Representatives is: How is extending UI Benefits and truly investing in programs that will put people back to work, especially when every penny of unemployment benefits goes back into the economy pretty much immediately, the WRONG things to do and renewing tax cuts, particularly for the wealthiest in this country the RIGHT thing to do? I don't understand it and I figure, since this is how you are voting, that you must understand it. So, please, Honorable Senators and Representatives, our elected public servants, please explain it to me. Because this lifelong citizen of the US, who has a college degree and whose husband does as well, but both of whom CANNOT find reasonable employment, wants to understand you're reasoning. We'd like to understand....and I'm sure we're not the only ones.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bring Kyron Home!!

Please post this notice on your blogs.

He has been missing for over two weeks and his family desperately wants him back home where he belongs. Please, also, keep this child in your good thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rain Poem

Gently falling rain
Plops, plinks, plunks on leaves, grass, ground
Caressing faces upturned to its touch
As it quietly sings its song of peace and praise

Monday, March 15, 2010

Some of my favs...a Haiku in 3 Lines

sunshine and blue sky
my daughter's smiles and antics
these are favorites

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sky Haiku

Blue skies, puffy clouds
Lovely, tall trees reach skyward
What treasured blessings.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Copied from a daily meditation I receive from Father Richard Rohr

Question of the day: How does dualistic thinking create violent people?

We Christians, who dare to worship the scapegoat, Jesus, became many times in history the primary scapegoaters ourselves—of Jews, heretics, sinners, witches, homosexuals, the poor, the natives in the New World, slaves, other denominations, and other religions. It’s rather hard to believe that we missed such a central message.
The pattern of exporting our evil elsewhere, and righteously hating it there, with impunity, is in the hardwiring of all peoples. After all, our religious task is to separate from evil, isn’t it? That is the well-disguised lie! Any exclusionary process of thinking, any exclusively dualistic thinking, will always create violent and hateful people on some level.
This I state as an absolute, and precisely because the cross revealed it to me. The crucifixion scene is our standing icon stating both the problem and the solution for all of history.
Adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, p. 143

Mantra:Jesus, help me absorb and transform evil.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Teachers who go above and beyond

My dear daughter performed in the 2nd of 2 performances of a play/musical she was in tonite. She played Fern in "Charlotte's Web" and did a great job, got lots of compliments. She is blessed with many natural gifts. I'm envious. But that is not the subject of my blessing for today.

Her two teachers, who volunteered all of their time for auditions, rehearsals and performances, to make this show happen, are the blessings about whom I want to speak.

They blessed the students in the play and, by extension, the students' families and the entire school community with the generous way they shared their talents, encouragement, coaching, time and on and on. And I know they are not the exception, at least not at my daughter's school and probably not in many schools.

As we were driving home I remarked to my daughter about how fortunate she was to be blessed with many natural talents and reminded her, unnecessarily, of how she still needed to work hard to develop her gifts to the fullest. I also told her that she needed to share those gifts whenever she could, my spiritual beliefs speaking, because truly our gifts are meant to be shared and are not really all they can be until they are. In the case of acting and singing, it's not just the sharing by performing that I mean, but the sharing the way her teachers share. Passing those gifts along to those who want to share in them.

So thanks Mrs. B and Ms. B. You two are true gems and bless your students and the wider community, myself included, daily with your energy and devotion to helping your students blossom in ways both large and small. May you both be blessed with continued love and passion for your craft and with the appreciation of the many who benefit from that love and passion.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blessing of the day...

Thrift Stores...

I love em.....One person's "tired of's, don't need, want or use anymore's, are another person's treasures.

The ultimate in reuse!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

a meditation by Richard Rohr

Tonite when I would be writing this post...I'm chatting with a friend on facebook. Knew him in highschool. Probably Jr High too. We were never close but he reached out to me on facebook. He seems to need to connect. So we are doing so.

I was blessed this evening by the most beautiful email meditation from Richard Rohr. Thought provoking and revolutionary and, did I mention, beautiful?

It is below...

Question of the Day:Whom do I expel or exclude in my life?
The absolute religious genius of Jesus is that he ignores all debt codes, purity codes, religious quarantines, and the endless searching for sinners. He refuses to divide the world into the pure and the impure, much to the chagrin of almost everybody—then and now. Unlike most churches, he is not into “sin management.” He is into transformation.
Jesus is shockingly not upset with sinners! He is only upset with people who do not think they are sinners. In most of history, religion thought its mission was to somehow expel sin and evil. As if it could. After Jesus we find out that the real sin lies in the very act of expelling. Jesus knew there is no place to expel it to. It only hides underground.
Either we carry and transform the evil of human history as our own problem, or we increase its power by hating and punishing it “over there.” It will eventually come back to bite us. Jesus taught us how to hold, absorb, and transform the human situation, not to deny it, punish it, or project it elsewhere. He then dramatically illustrated this pattern on the cross, and it became resurrection!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prayers for people in Haiti

Today I was listening to "The World" on PRI and heard a journalist who is in Haiti talking about the people there and how folks were doing. More relief is getting to folks...finally helicopters are being used to bring water, food, supplies to the people. And haitians are hearing on the radio that help is coming that people care.

Anyway this woman said that President Clinton had remarked that he thought that in many ways the level of crime and violence is down in Haiti since the earthquake. The reporter said that yes, there were pockets of unrest, some crime and looting but for the most part people were really rising to the occasion, helping one another.

So here's the thought that came to me: Many, many, many, God only knows how many, people are holding the Haitians, and everyone there helping, in their prayers. And you know what? It's helping!!! Before this quake happened who was thinking about the people of Haiti? Many folks were, but probably many more were not, myself included.

This is why prayer is so works!! But not as in God hears the loudest prayers and intervenes from whence those loudest prayers come. I think that somehow our prayers help people sense that Indwelling Presence of God. And how can that sensing of that Presence not strengthen people and even harmonize them with one another?

Anyway I heard that reporter say that and tears came to my eyes and I cheered, "You go people of Haiti!! You keep on!! We are pulling for you!! You are not alone!!"

So we must continue to hold them for as long as it takes.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"From chaos and emptiness,From loneliness and lifelessness,Come, Creator, Come.

From darkness and shapelessness, From abyss and awfulness,Come, Creator, Come.

From fearfulness and hopelessness,From weakness and dreadfulness,Come, Creator, Come."

David Adam, Tides and Seasons

I was thinking about what I would say tonite...not feeling very grateful or blessed at all. Filled instead with anger and disappointment and brokenheartedness. You see I don't want to step into the place of really baring my soul to my counselor because I don't want to let go of the idea that somehow he could someday be my friend or more, even though I know these are just desperate and probably displaced longings. But what am I going to do, drive the hour drive one time a week and pay what I pay, and really can't afford, to simply chat about spirituality and existential angst? I'm not getting any younger here. It's time to release the grip on the fantasy of that "good enough" love and figure out how to be there for myself. So, understandably, I wasn't feeling so grateful with what I see as my choices.

Then on my way here I stopped by my gmail (which is being really screwy and frustrating as of late) and quite by accident opened the email that contained the above prayer. It is absolutely perfect for how I'm feeling this evening and as I read the prayer and realized how perfectly it fit and how timely it was I was reminded of the dear friend who sent it to me and to many others whom she has included on a prayer list.

Then I went to a lot of trouble, fussing with my screwed up gmail, to send her a reply of thanks and appreciation for all she is to me. I am blessed with her and with my church family, the motley assortment of flawed and beautiful humans that they are.

The world is chock full of us flawed and beautiful folk. Thank God many of them are in Haiti and other places of great need, doing their best to help those victims of disasters natural and not, and many, they themselves the victims, helping, blessing one another.

So now I am not feeling totally grateful but at least have, keeping my sadness company, the knowledge of my belonging with this friend and with this community of faith that is mine...

And so I pray for our broken world full of flawed, broken and beautiful life...

"From chaos and emptiness,From loneliness and lifelessness,Come, Creator, Come.
From darkness and shapelessness, From abyss and awfulness,Come, Creator, Come.
From fearfulness and hopelessness,From weakness and dreadfulness,Come, Creator, Come."
David Adam, Tides and Seasons

May we be granted the grace of awakening to our Truest natures, the grace to bless each other and our world with transformation of the fearfulness, hopelessness and brokenness into something whole and life-affirming...It is our calling I think.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 15

I missed yesterday. I'm not going to make it up and that's not going to ruin this exercise

Today I feel grateful that after three years in attendance at my church, that there are LOTs of people whom I want to come to my birthday bash!! It's an interesting community, one I'm glad that I'm a part of and feel a sense of belonging to. BELONGING...not that's a blessing indeed!!

I feel blessed also that, for now at least, I have a person to go talk to whose job is to listen to me, to give me the benefit of the doubt, to try to understand and care about me as I work to slog thru these challenging times.

One last blessing that I and my family live inside a well built home, especially on this blustery nite.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 14

I feel blessed by the knowledge that help is reaching Haiti, blessed by how many people have the people of Haiti on their minds and are wanting to, and doing, something.

Here's hoping and praying that the momentum increases and has staying power...I've heard "experts" mention sentiments similar to my own that maybe this horrible leveling of a country that has already been struggling against ridiculous odds will end up being some sort of a bottom from which they can only come up, with the real support of many people in many nations throughout the world.

On a more personal level...When I finish here I will go and sit in meditation for at least 10 minutes, scout's honor!!

Other blessings, of a more personal nature, although I'm sure many would agree with me on these: Fridays, three day weekends and mothers who are "there when you need them", even when "when you need them" is when you're "all growed up".

I am vicariously appreciating the blessing of support a mother of a friend of mine is providing for that friend who just had surgery this evening to repair a badly torn rotator cuff. Bless that Mama. She's a good one.

One more blessing, of a most personal nature: good friends who travel more than an hour to spend your 50th birthday with you. I have the promise of this blessing and am feeling blessed by it already.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 13 Part 2

I exercised for 10 minutes and meditated for 10 minutes. It took pulling myself kicking and screaming but nonetheless I did it.

Day 13--Help is Arriving

Help is arriving in Haiti. People are being found dead and others are being extricated alive. As the people wait for the supplies and expertise to reach them they are helping one another. Other Haitians are being opportunistic, many are grabbing for what they can get to survive. Help is coming though. I pray that the politics and egos be left behind as much as possible, that the aid workers from the different countries work together, that as everyone in Haiti struggling to come out on the other side of this tragedy continues to move through this time that people find themselves "cocooned in moments of grace"(quoting my dear friend) and that those moments give them the strength to continue....

I'm blessed with food and warm shelter and family and friends safe and basically healthy.
And as I write I know that any of that could change at any moment....and I'm just so grateful for the many, many moments of these blessings I and mine have had. I pray for many, many, many more for me and mine.

For the people of Haiti I pray again, as I did last nite, that out of this rubble that so much of Haitian life has been reduced to, that little seedlings of hope and enough will soon begin to slowly sprout and grow stronger and stronger with the help and support, like sunshine and rain, of enough others in our human family.

God bless our Haitian brothers and sisters and all who are lending their aid.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 12

As I type I'm listening to Keith Olberman's countdown program for Wednesday January 12. His focus is on the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. I kept this tragedy at bay for a day...but I can do so no longer.

So tonite's blessing isn't one of mine but one I'm hoping the people of Haiti, and those trying to assist them, will be blessed with....

My prayer is that the people of Haiti, who have survived, so far, are blessed with the assistance and support and leadership that they need to move thru and out of this horrible tragedy. My further prayer is that this is the rock bottom for this country and that their neighbors, the U.S. included, find our way to providing them longterm with the help and support that they need.

As for those who have perished already...may their souls rest in peace. You are loved and missed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 11

Today's will be very brief.

Friends, all kinds, are blessings.
The kinds that seem to mostly say the "right" thing and the kinds that sometimes push your buttons with the "right" things that they say.

The kinds that you mostly listen to, the kinds that mostly listen to you and the kinds where you take turns pretty evenly listening to each other.

The older ones, the younger ones, the non-human ones too...

Facebook is what enables some of my friendships these days. So, for all its imperfections and glitches, facebook is a blessing I'll count. Messenger chat is a blessing too, because it, too, enables connections with friends.

Thinking about the chat applications that I use I think also of the blessing of the typed, as opposed to spoken, chat. When you're not in the same room with someone, or even on the phone with them and it's just the two of you typing back and forth, the space and time that are built into that way of communicating can be a blessing too. (like when letter-writing was a popular form of communication) A friend can be typing away and pissing you off and because they can't hear you groan or curse at them or sound annoyed at them, they may just not know that you've gotten momentarily irritated. You have time to think, to reflect and to temper your response. Arguments and hurt feelings can be avoided. And that's another blessing.

So those are my blessings for today.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 10

Well I know I'm not going to be able to keep this up unless I get more creative. Otherwise it will be just too boring. Of course not waiting til bedtime might help my attitude and my recollection of the day's blessings. So we'll see.

I saw this new counselor today. I'm not sure I'm ready to call him my counselor. Especially because he is so appealing physically and as a person to talk to, it feels a little weird to call him my anything. He was very understanding about my only meditating three times this past week and offered some gentle suggestions for how to approach it and was very encouraging. He even said that we could meditate during a session. I told him I thought I would appreciate that, that I appreciated having company while trying to cultivate a good habit. We talked about cultivating good habits. Eventually we started talking a bit about my family, sketched out some of the family tree, etc. That became very uncomfortable. It's one thing to tell a female counselor this kind of stuff. It's another to tell a male, and did I mention that he was an attractive male counselor, this kind of stuff. It is really just so weird to sit for an hour talking with a man, a seemingly kind and caring man, about my stuff, and a bit about general stuff too. That's probably part of making me comfortable.

I saw another male counselor once thru the EAP that the school I worked at back in the midwest offered. He was a nice enough guy, but definitely not as attractive and a very different energy. This counselor has a very gentle energy. He's a good listener. And I am just so pathetically starved for positive male attention. I wonder why I have to state that so negatively, like it's somehow my fault? Bad habit I guess. I wonder what kind of good habit I could cultivate to replace that one? I'll have to ponder that question a bit. Or maybe meditate on it ;)

Anyway after I left and got in my car and started to drive I started to cry too. I realized that I really didn't want to go back to the time in my family that we kind of started talking about, especially not to my dad, not even in my memory. I was explaining about my parents' divorce when I was 16 and the counselor(I'll call him Edwin) commented that that seemed to be the age lots of kids are when their parents divorce, as if that's a safe age. I explained the reason that it happened that way in our family. I won't go into it here, but suffice it to say that it had nothing to do with when it might be easier on me. So that box of Pandora's is slowly squeaking open.

So I guess I continue to count this counselor, Edwin, as a blessing. And I'm blessing myself by going, and feel blessed that there is a situation that I can afford.

The blessing I was going to originally talk about was knitting and new, challenging knitting projects. I have one of those now and tho' progress is slow, I love watching this new thing grow in my hands. Thanks Mom for planting those knitting seeds way back in my childhood.

Ok I think this is good for today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 9 and 10 on Day 10

I forgot to show up for Day 9 so I'm doing two days in one:

Yesterday's blessing...
My discovery of a great and timely, to me, recording by an Episcopal priest, contemplative and teacher, Cynthia Bourgeault. The CD is called "Encountnering the Wisdom of Jesus". This comes at a time when I am, at the recommend of the counselor I am seeing, beginning a practice of daily meditation. This recording by The Rev. Cynthia addresses the practices of centering prayer and meditation and makes a great argument for cultivating one of them through her explanation of Jesus' wisdom teachings. So it is timely in the sense that I am embarking on such a practice and because of my personal spiritual searching and the questions her theories answer.

This blessing goes beyond the particular recording though. I mentioned teachers and public libraries as two of my blessings in a recent post.

I think Mother Cynthia is quite a teacher and find myself so moved and aha-ed by what I'm hearing from her that I even briefly contemplated the idea of what it might by like to study at the institution where she teaches.

I think she also has a book published on the same subject and assuming I continue to connect with and be inspired as I am by this recording, the book is something I might want to add to my collection. It's listening to the words spoken that best bring the ideas to life for me. So it is for that reason that I add books on tape/cd to my list of blessings for yesterday. What an absolutely wonderful invention available to anyone who has access to a library and something to listen to the recording on, which is most people here in the U. S. I would venture to guess.

Today's(now yesterday's blessing):

I went to church in Salt Water State Park today. I need to do that about once a month, instead of going to my church. I was listening to The Rev Cynthia on my way to the park and continued after arriving and parking in the parking lot. So I listened while watching the sound, with a little knitting thrown in. I topped the worship off by taking a little walk on the path that goes by the sound. So I blessed myself by availing myself of the blessings of: an inspired spiritual teacher, experiencing the sights, sounds and scents of the Sound, while i exercised the wonderful blessing of my body and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. That one was a bonus and also much appreciated.

I could go on but it's late. So that's all for this time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 8 on Day 9


caffeine: In the right amounts and right frequency, not every day, makes the days you have it a bit more inspired.

teachers: The vast majority of the ones I've had contact with are dedicated, hardworking, creative and have TOO MANY STUDENTS in their classrooms. God bless them!

public librarians: They have a whole different breed of challenges. The ones I know serve everyone equally, no matter how wealthy or not you appear, no matter how "on the ball" either God bless them too!!

Warm clothes on chilly drizzly Western Washington winter days, when you have a nice boost of caffeine under your belt, can help make a little walk invigorating rather than miserable.

All of the above blessings came to mind much earlier today(actually yesterday). And I had every, well almost every, intention of writing this post much earlier in the day, which would have been a great way to bless not procrastinating and not waiting til midnite or after. Didn't get there this time...

And finally...
Early this morning, actually at this point it was early yesterday morning, an older woman at my church, who has been battling her most recent bout of cancer for over a year now, let go of this life and moved on. She was a wonderful woman whom I feel blessed to have gotten to know. In her last days she worried about leaving her husband behind. Hopefully people were able to help her mind and heart come to a place of peace with that. There are many at my church who will be looking out for him. She is survived by children and grandchildren who will be there with him and for him as well.

I will miss her a lot...her grace and good humor and courage; her smiles and her laughter. The stories she told me about how she came to be a Washingtonian were the ones that made me feel most welcomed the first time I attended our woman's church group. And chatting with she and her husband after church was the bright spot in many a Sunday.

May your soul rest in peace....

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Water.....a blessing when it's clean and plentiful.
When there's too much, or not enough, a curse, maybe even a killer.

Public to all, including me. If I think I want a book I check it out first from the library. If I really like it and don't ever want to return it...then I know it's time to buy the book.

Going to bed to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep

Day 6

The blessing today came in disguise. We don't have satellite or cable or any other kind of pay tv. What we do have is an expensive HD tv and a crappy rabbit ear anntenae. Tonite, after the news, while gearing up to clean up the kitchen, I was trying to tune in David Letterman. If I would have messed with it long enough I might have been able to get some decent reception, but since I was interested in expediting the dishwashing process I opted not to waste a lot of time on "come and go" reception at best. So I...turned it off!! What a blessing that crappy antennae was tonite!! The quiet in the house was peaceful...gave me space to think. And there's also the saving of some electricity.

Another blessing, one I thought about while washing dishes, is my 12 yo Honda Accord wagon. I don't keep it clean. It has hail damage on all but one of its panels, a broken signal lite cover, around 150 thousand miles on it and it is a GOOD car!! It's been dependable since I purchased it, not new, and has needed repairs: upkeep type stuff like brakes, timing belt, tires. I'd forgotten until just now that the transmission went out on it pretty early on in our life together, but it was covered under warranty somehow even tho' I purchased if from an individual. It's not much to look at but it's a good car and it makes so many things in my life so much easier, and others simply possible. Another of those blessings that has been so reliable that I mostly take it for granted...

My self-blessing for today is....attempting to get to bed at a decent(or more decent hour) and, of course coming here for the 6th day in a row.

I really hope this whole thing begins rippling out or building momentum and I start showing up to daily meditation and daily exercise and eating better. I'm almost 50 and lacking in that kind of self-discipline. I'm certain the quality of my life will vastly improve as I'm able to develop more of that discipline of myself...not to the exclusion of spontaneity, but a mutable combining of the two.

Ok...that's it for tonite.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 5 of showing up

Ok so day 5 isn't going to be so easy.

I'm here but having a hard time of thinking of a blessing that I'm feeling especially grateful for.

So I guess, because the most important thing is that I've showed up, I'll mention a blessing, one that has been with me every damn day of my life. This is one that with the state of the economy, and my husband's and my jobsearches what they are currently, I'm feeling a bit uncertain about for the future:

A roof over my and my family's head
I've been blessed my whole entire life with a roof over my head that has either "belonged" to my parents, been the result of tuition paid by my parents or financial aid, been the result of rent I've paid or "belonged" to my husband and myself, as much as a home we've been in possession of for 2 1/2 years out of the 30years that our loan is for, or even 8 years out of the 30 years our loan was for with our previous home. Oh my God what a HUGE blessing that has been. A huge blessing too many many people in this world have never known. I've always had this blessing, and probably mostly taken it for granted, not these days.

Today I blessed myself by listening to, and coming to understand, how my daughter was feeling about a friendship situation at school. Hopefully she felt blessed by my listening and by my time I freely gave her. I know I was; by being there for her, by making the effort to understand, my heart expanded a bit. I know that everytime I do that for her, or anyone, my heart expands a bit and I am blessed too.

Well so now I'm on a roll...because I'm reminded of another blessing: a daughter who is smart and a good and expressive reader. We had "storytime" today. This time she didn't make me come to the "library"(a room on our lower level that has a desk and 2 older computers and a tall bookshelf full of books) she was a bookmobile and brought the books and storytime to me. She read a picture book I used to read when I was a librarian(well over ten years ago) at storytimes. I'd forgotten how much I loved that book and she reminded me of that love as she brought it to life in a wonderful way.

And another blessing...
My kitty who was 15 in late June or early July...He's had blood in his urine sample two times in a row. The vet thinks he has some kind of tumor(as of October) but I didn't have an ultrasound done because I couldn't afford to do much of anything, even if there was anything to do. He's taking thyroid meds and holding his own, even with our big Ella pup. And everytime he leaps onto the sofa and plops into my lap, and so many other times during the day, I'm reminded of what a blessing he's been to me all these many years. I don't know how much more time he has but he blesses me every day he's here with his elegant feline presence.

I guess everytime I make the effort to show up here and do this exercise I'm automatically blessing myself....I've done it again, by jove.

Lastly, blessings on us all.....
May we come to learn, sooner rather than later, especially as it's already pretty late, how to give to one another, and ourselves, the blessings of compassion and of true listening and understanding, so that the possibility of blessing our world with peace can grow into a probability and then maybe even into a reality...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 4

Technically and otherwise this is day 4 of showing up.

A blessing that needs to be counted is the fact that my sister was very generous at Christmas, which, as a result meant that I had the money in my bank account that I needed to pay a vet bill and thus no need to use a credit card. I didn't expect the visit to be so expensive, but between exam fee, 3 vaccinations, a culture of nasty ear stuff, meds and earwash for the nasty ear stuff and some more flea treatment for dog and cat, it was VERY expensive. My sister had given me this money suggesting that I use some for Xmas and save as much as I could for later. Of course the blessing that is my sister goes way beyond her generosity with money. Her unfailing love and support for my whole entire life means the WORLD to me. Thank you sis!

Another blessing comes again in the form of this counselor I have now seen twice. He is kind and caring and does pay attention. And there is a spiritual dimension to the care/counseling he is providing. I've toyed for years with the idea of meditating, tried it for a bit, but never stuck with it. He is encouraging me to do this and explained why and how he thought it could benefit me. So I've committed to 1o minutes of meditation a day for this next week. This will push all of my resistance to discipline buttons. I know because it's already started, but I did get in 10 minutes this evening. So a blessing in the form of this counselor and a self-blessing because I sat and breathed for 10 minutes tonite. I made a start.

Found two more jobs to apply for. I asked a friend if I could send my cover letter and the job description and get his input as to how effectively my cover letter addresses the job qualifications. This renewed friend from highschool...another blessing. The fact that I reached out and asked for his help...another self-blessing.

I really like this concept of blessings and thinking about how I can bless myself, my loved ones, my home, pets, friends, strangers, you name it, all day everyday, or often throughout the course of each day, by choosing to do something kind and/or constructive. Then by taking note of them and recording them here I have a reminder of the power of paying attention and proof of how many blessings I receive and how many opportunities there are for me to be a blessing to others as well.

Showing up day 3

Okay day 3, technically day 4 but i explained that already.

This one will be short

I'll start with some honesty: Looking for jobs and being continually rejected SUCKS!! Recently got rejected for 5 different positions. I'm getting nervous and feel kind of helpless. The whole age thing keeps echoing in my head.

Now for the blessing: I was thinking about all this ridiculous economy stuff: greedy, stingy bankers, no end in sight in terms of unemployment rate going down til the end of this brand new year and feeling so discouraged because of my age and who knows what else?
I walked into the church in the middle of the homily and heard the priest talking about our dreams and how they need to be God-infused to be stronger than all of the negative dreams floating around out in the world and how we can't let ourselves be limited or limit ourselves with our own ways of oppressing ourselves. That just really hit home when I needed to hear it. . But the whole thing was really synchronistic...I felt really blessed in those moments. I need to get a copy of my priest's notes so I can read and reread as a way of encouraging myself and hanging on to that blessing.

Self-blessing: I got my exercise video from the library....which is a start. But even bigger than that I made myself go to church when I didn't want to go and was blessed with the message of the homily and the affirmation of my belonging in that family.

Ok--that's it for today!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 2 of showing up

Technically it looks as if I missed a day but this post counts as yesterdays because I haven't gone to bed yet.

I've shown up and my blessings I'll count for today are:

Our dear puppy Ella. We had a close call this morning. She was antsy at 5:45 and wanted to go out but rather than really go back to bed I laid awake waiting for her to do her business and finally, after a good 15 minutes or so, went out into the backyard where I DID NOT see her. When I looked at the back gate I saw that two of the wooden slats were pushed out of the gate and it was wide open. Long story short...I went inside to to get myself together to go out looking for her; grabbed jacket flashlite, keys, and as I was getting ready to go out the door I heard her barking at the back door in the basement. I went down to the sliding door...and there she was!! I brought her in, closed the gate and leaned the slats against the gate, then went inside where I made over her something crazy for as long as she would let me.

My daughter. Besides me being born...her birth is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. At this point I will slip in my self-blessing and some authenticity too. I've been anything but a patient mom for some time now. Today I had some opportunities to practice patience with her and I took advantage of them. It's not like she was being trying....she was just talking and wanting to be heard, at one point, and at another she was operating on her own time(instead of mine, imagine that) as we arrived at home and were organizing to go inside. For a change I just slowed down, breathed and waited, offered a bit of assistance as she and our pup climbed out of the car, nothing big, just some moments, but they were kinder moments than they might have been, kinder to her and to me as well. By blessing her with some patient kindness I blessed myself as well.

One more little thing....while chatting with an old college friend on facebook this evening the subject of our overweightness came up. We talked of making small consistent changes to develop some healthier habits and talked of how I used to dance....I definitely want to get into dancing is a bit of an issue then. I do have some dvd's on hold from the library, ballet type dvds. Now I just need to check them out and spend some time working with them. Just a bit of time several days a week. Today I was reminded of this way I used to bless myself and how I want to do that again.....How to start and continue showing up for dancing again.....a double blessing of exercise and creative expression...

So there it is for Saturday January 2, 2010...nothing big, but something

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ok it's only two hours into the day. A little early for reporting any self-blessings, but, in fact I think I have one:

I had the tv on as background noise while I wrote my previous post(posted mere minutes ago). The reception was bad, PLUS there was nothing good on. Why even have it on? Indeed!! I turned it off and the blinking lights of the xmas tree on my left and the steady glow of the many candlelights on my right are keeping me good and peaceful company...self-blessing #1.

DD and I closed 2009 and opened 2010 with an imperfect and thrown together ritual of lighting candles with a blessing for each candle. It was last minute and not all that I wanted, BUT it was better than nothing...I'm glad we did it!! self-blessing #2

A few blessings, despite the challenges of my husband's continued unemployment and my underemployment are:

Good health-

Our wonderful critters...
Sweet Pea, our kitty who continues to stick around at 15 1/2 years of age, with kidney and thyroid, and who knows what else, problems AND he had the energy last nite to jump up on top of the china cabinet to try to nibble on a xmas centerpiece-Thank You Spirit
Ella, our wonderful 2 1/2 year old golden retriever "pup" who has the best personality...wants to please and posseses plenty of feistiness too

Loving and caring family...good, kind, intelligent folks whom I'd want in my life even if we weren't related

We continue to have the money to pay our bills and live in our home
A growing community of friends/adopted family
We're living in one of THE most beautiful places in this country imho

all by the Grace of the Creator

I think that's good for now...

And last...I am scared about what is coming in 2010. I'm worried about Tony's and my ability to find employment that enables us to continue paying our bills. I know it's hard for LOTS of folks these days. But the deck seems even more stacked against people over age....???don't know...but it seems to include our age. And I'm scared that I'm just going to continue to flounder around never making any lasting changes in these areas I claim I want to make improvements in. I'm afraid of letting my daughter down. I want to grow some better habits for both our sakes. I could go on and on with my fears, but I'll stop here for now.

I do think I should put the emotional honesty piece or the piece about my less pleasant emotions, however one wants to label it, in the I can end on a more uplifted and encouraged note.

So I'll add another blessing or two:

I've found a counselor/therapist with whom I think/intuit I will be able to work well. He's a he and I think that will be a valuable perspective for me. Plus it doesn't hurt any that he's easy on the eyes...
One more... not as many jobs were lost these last couple of weeks. That's a blessing for all sorts of folks and for us(tony and me) because there aren't as many additional people competing for these few jobs and maybe it will turn out to be the light at the curve in the tunnel as it heads us all back towards more jobs. I do think we could use a bit more help in that dept from our President, his administration and congress...but we'll leave it at that.

Ok...really to sleep.

Happy Blue Moon New Year 2010!!! May we begin to find ways to create a world that is abundant and prosperous enough for ALL it's inhabitants and may we truly begin to give back to our planet in appreciation for all it's given to us. May we as a people begin to find our way to living more sustainably and peacefully. AMEN

Happy Blue Moon New Year 2010

It's one hour and 20 minutes into 2010 out here on the west coast, the Pacific Northwest coast to be exact.

I just read a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Ken Roberts, the Mildly Creative guy. He explained the reasons behind the origins of his Mildly Creative just show up daily and write something, no matter how small.

There's so many things I want to do different, so many unhealthy habits I want to shed and so many healthier and life affirming ones I want to build, grow, create. But where to start and how to "keep showing up" day in and out?

Do I walk or dance 15 minutes? Do I write down my foods daily? Do I make sure to eat at least 2-4 servings of fruit or veggies daily, all things I should be doing already? Or do I come here and make one observation or insight about my day, one blessing, one triumph?

I think I need to cast as wide a net as I can in order to catch myself doing something positive daily that I can take note of, whether it be making better food choices, making room and time for some exercise or noticing something positive about someone else.

Hmmm.......maybe report (at least) one something positive that I did or noticed about me. At the very least. I'll be 50 in 24 days. I'm slowly, or not so slowly, moving into "old dog" land, "really late bloomer" land. I'm feeling like it's really time to start learning those new tricks, to start blooming...... or maybe to just start paying attention to all the tricks I do know already and all the blooming I've done and do. here it is (I was just talking about this with a friend tonite) I'll show up. I'll count some blessings; I'll take note of at least one choice I feel good about for that day( a self blessing) AND I'll be honest about my feelings, the unpleasant as well as the pleasant, AND I'll attempt to keep it short. Because I know there is no way I will show up everyday and write for this length of time.