Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Long Goodbye

As many of you know, we are soon moving to a (not so) distant land.
The process of pulling away and closing down a life feels like a long goodbye.

Yesterday, I had a treasured walk with a friend and ran into another friend on the way home.
Today, I enjoyed lunch with a dear friend who started out as a blogging buddy, but whom I had the privilege of meeting in "real" life.

This afternoon, as I picked up my son from school, I sat with two of my dearest friends on planet earth. For twenty minutes we talked about nothing...and everything. As I walked away my heart broke a little knowing that these cherished moments of time together can now be numbered on one hand.

I am equally horrified, ecstatically joyful and terrified at what comes next.
Thinking of leaving them fills me with dread.

At the same time, I know that even though the physical distance will change between us that there will always be a connection unbroken by time or space, for these women, sisters really, have imprinted themselves so wholly upon my heart that I am forever changed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Moving Hospice

I am in hospice care--not LITERAL hospice care, because I wouldn't be writing a blog post if I were dying. Rather, I'm in moving hospice care. Meaning, I'm taking a step back from where I live and I simply can't wait to get outta here.

The last of the hoops has been jumped through this morning. I can now pack in peace and leave the boxes in the room they are in, just waiting for the movers to toss them on the truck.

I don't return phone calls of people who want me to do something for them in February, because I won't be here.

When people say, "I'm so sorry you are moving." I try to keep a straight face and say, "That is so kind, we will miss being here." Because the truth is, we really won't miss being here. A change was long overdue... And now if I could just manage a way to pack my friends in my bags and take them with me.

I'm excited about the life we will be embarking upon. I wake up in the morning energized and looking forward and feeling a sense of excitement and joy about the coming journey.

I can't help but dream what it will be like to live in a place where the people are kind to pedestrians because they realize that humanity has to get along with one another if any human advancement is going to take place...which explains why Smallville is still so small.

I am focusing on the very dear friends I have.
Each lunch date feels like it's on borrowed time.
I'm treasuring every one.

And then it will be time to say goodbye.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Why I'm Obsessed with Pinterest

Who's a Pinner??


If you're not....WHY NOT?? I'm not judging your choices, (oh yes I am) but why are you spending time on Facebook, or Twitter, or watching the tele or reading--wait. Strike that. Reading trumps Pinterest.

Anywayyyyyyyy, for those of you who live under a rock or in a hole in the ground (like some lovely people I'm related to--a-hem, Mother, I'm talking to you!) Pinterest is an online bulletin board where you can categorize your finds (pins) from around the Interwebs all into one place.

If you're amazingly savvy, you go out into the world wide webbens and find cool images (ideas, etc.) to pin and then you look really cool because you're the original pinner. But if you're like me, you simply repin all the cool stuff from other people who have done all the hard work for me.
What can I say?
I'm a lazy pinner.

Pinterest has changed my life in a myriad of ways.
A few of them include:

  • No longer being irritated when Mountain Man plays video games--because I can be on Pinterest--although I will tell you this: his video games have NEVER (not even once) produced chicken enchiladas, super clean laundry, or a heart garland for Valentine's day. Loser.   
  • I no longer subscribe to home decor magazines because I can just pin all the images I really like from the magazine's websites. .....O.K., I still TOTALLY subscribe to magazines, but I'm moving to Portland soon and trying out my new role of  "recycler extraordinaire" so I can be socially acceptable...who are we kidding. I could care less about my social acceptability, I just wanted to sound cool. It didn't work, did it? ....Sigh. 
  • Most of my conversations now begin with "On Pinterest...." This is especially true when I talk with my mom. I amaze and surprise her with the wonders of Pinterest, and she pretends I am brilliant and came up with the solution all by myself. Of course, I take the credit.
  • I now have the cleanest shower of my adult life. Seriously. You could eat dinner in there, or at least, prepare dinner in there (like Kramer from Seinfeld) if you really wanted to. It's THAT clean. My secret, you may ask? Equal parts blue Dawn dish soap and white distilled vinegar. Mix, spray, let sit overnight, wipe clean. Prepare to be amazed. 
  •  I feel highly accomplished and creative even though in reality, I'm doing nothing more than compiling the longest list (in the history of humankind) of projects that will never be completed or attempted...and I'm o.k. with that. I really DO feel accomplished even just THINKING about making say, a poolside beach towel holder out of p.v.c. pipes, because all good actions begin with an idea and I've got to start somewhere, right??
  • I hate cats. No, seriously, loathe them. I think they are evil geniuses and trying to take over the world. I wouldn't be surprised if one day (so, so soon, friend) we find out that cats have been running things since the beginning of time. But don't get me wrong, just because I'm not a cat person, doesn't mean that I don't honor cat owner's love of their pets. I, personally, just don't want to own a being that will claw my eyes out in my sleep the very first chance it gets. 
          That being said, I am now the most addicted cat fan on Pinterest because of the phenomenon known as "Grumpy Cat". I can honestly say, without shame, I love that crazy grumpy cat. If you haven't seen grumpy cat, here are a few gems: 

Of course, Pinterest has changed my life for the better in other ways too, but quite frankly, I can't remember what they are because I'm too busy trying to decide which grumpy cat image to pin next. 

Which reminds, me, I gotta run, I just heard there's a new recipe for chicken enchiladas which I will never make, but I really REALLY need to pin just the same.

How about you, are you on Pinterest?  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It was Enough

Happy New Year!

Last January, I chose a word to define my year. The word was Enough. I wrote,
I am.
There is.
It is." 
Little did I know that this word would come to define my year in unexpected ways.

In a painful and confusing experience, I had to delete a person from my life completely last February. I firmly believe that we teach others how to treat us, and I am a person that only has healthy relationships. By recognizing that I was independent of the good (or in this case, bad) opinions of other people, I was able to end a destructive and abusive friendship and move forward. To put it simply, it was enough.

In July, we once again journeyed to the Lake of my youth as we do every summer. I had a profound and life changing experience with a book called "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" by Debbie Ford. The premise of the book is this:
"You must go into the dark in order to bring forth your light. When we supress any feeling or impulse, we are also suppresssing its polar opposite. If we deny our ugliness, we lessen our beauty. If we deny our fear, we minimize our courage. If we deny our greed, we also reduce our generosity...Embracing an aspect of yourself means loving it--allowing it to co-exist with all your other aspects, not making it more or less than any other part of yourself. It is not enough to say, "I am controlling." We must see what controlling has to teach us, what gifts it brings, and then we must be able to view it with awe and compassion." 
In the the book of Matthew, the translation goes, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." We teach and preach "perfection" until it leaves us feeling a profound sense of shame for not being enough.

But here's what I've learned about that tricky tRiCkY word: 

 In Matt. 5:48, the term perfect was translated from the Greek teleios,which means “complete.” Teleios is an adjective derived from the noun telos, which means “end.” 10 The infinitive form of the verb is teleiono,which means “to reach a distant end, to be fully developed, to consummate, or to finish.” 11 Please note that the word does not imply “freedom from error”; it implies “achieving a distant objective.” In fact, when writers of the Greek New Testament wished to describe perfection of behavior—precision or excellence of human effort—they did not employ a form of teleios; instead, they chose different words. 12 
~Perfection Pending, Russell M. Nelson, October 1995.

So, teleios means actually means "complete." Synonyms for the word complete include "intact", "intregal", "whole", and "undivided".  So being "perfect" means we can be strive to be whole, and undivided. For me, being undivided meant finally embracing all those parts of myself I was trying to disown. 

I am a wild child.

I always have been. I've been told to "Just try and fit in." But I can't. I just see things differently than the culture I was raised in. The wildness in me wants to push back, do things differently, think other ways, maybe to come to the conclusion the rest of the pack has arrived at, or maybe not. Many people in my culture have tried to shame my wildness and from time to time, I've listened to the critics and my heart broke--and it broke because I was denying the very wildness that God put inside of me. 

Last summer, through Debbie Ford's book, I finally "got it". I wasn't suppossed to deny that wildness. I was supposed to embrace it. That wildness is the thing that allows me to be empathetic to others who feel like they don't fit in. Empathy then opens the path for courage and compassion and ultimately, resilience from shame. Resilence from shame is embracing ALL the darkness within me to be able to fully embrace the full spectrum of human-ness that I am.  

July taught me that I am enough. 

August brought a shock that rocked our world. You can read that story here. Or you can read how it felt here. 

Through this I learned so many "enough" things--that we had prepared enough to lose a job, that there was enough time to grieve, that Mountain Man and I had enough love for each other and believe that everything would be alright. God is not just the author of enough but also the author of the great and the marvelous, the unique and the detailed. There were (and are) enough great and tender mercies from God above to see us through the rapids in this section of our journey down the river.

And I am grateful that it is enough.

I haven't chosen a word for 2013, and I feel like I better be careful. However, whatever word I choose, I plan on being open enough to enjoy the journey.

Did you have a defining word for 2012? If you chose a word for 2013, what would it be?