Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cat Fight in the OK Corral

So, if I'm OK and you're OK {psychological feel-good phenomenon of the 70's}, why pray tell was there a fight between a couple of female clients today? There is so much about this life I don't understand but with every addition to my "Don't Understand" list, I'm reminded how grateful I am I don't have to judge all this in the end! And shouldn't be judging it here in the middle!

There's a smoking cessation group {fondly pronounced 'sensation' by the clients} and as soon as it's over the entire group meets out by the dumpster to have a smoke. Then they come to another group where the therapists are attempting to teach them coping skills and mechanisms. How do they choose to cope? In the middle of a misunderstanding, they get in a cat fight. Literally. There are clumps of hair in the garbage can. And, by the way, this was not our children's group. These were adults, age wise.

So, to help me decompress afterwards {besides self-medicating with a Pepsi Max}, I dig one of the many books I am in the process of reading out of my bag. The particular book I select is written about Mister Rogers and, picking up where my bookmark is, I begin reading a description of an impromptu beginning to one of Mister Rogers' shows. He came in wearing sunglasses in addition to his normal sweater and sneaker attire. In his soft voice, Mister Rogers asked the children if they knew who he was. Then he took the glasses off so they could see it was still really him. Then he put a wig on and asked them the same question, "Do you know who I am?" His point was, it didn't matter how he looked on the outside, he was the same Mister Rogers on the inside.

{Side Note: My fondest memory of Mister Rogers came when Nathan was just small. He was in the front room watching the show and all of a sudden I heard muffled words coming from Nathan. I went into see what was going on and found him with his blankie over his head, chanting over and over, "Please Freddie don't sing. Please Freddie don't sing."}

I process that with what has just transpired and my mind is wandering around wondering about a few things. I feel like I am friends with all these people. I care about them. Every morning I pray for Heavenly Father to bless me with his spirit that I can discern the needs of the people I come in contact with and, in some small, uneducated way, give them something positive. Many of these people share their joys and their sorrows and their anxieties with me. When I make reminder calls, often I get updates on other parts of their lives.

I also realize that these people I see on a day to day basis and who share laughs and tears with me, also wear disguises. Maybe they don't realize they have the disguises on or maybe they do realize it but they're confused because they don't remember actually choosing to wear this particular disguise. And either they don't know how to rid themselves of these deceptive disguises - or they don't dare get rid of them because their disguises protect them. Their disguises have labels like bipolar or borderline or depressive or OCD or schizophrenic, etc., etc,. I wouldn't even dare start sharing the labels on my disguises {the ones I know about}!

However, after all is said and done, I hope I will know these people in another realm when their disguises are removed. I hope I will know what to look for and will recognize their familiar spirits. I'm sure they will be among the brightest spirits there. I hope they will still want to share the laughter and tears with me - even when my disguises are off!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two Easters

We got to enjoy two Easters this year. We spent the morning at the Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt {which lasted its usual ten minutes} and then came home for a combined Easter/Alan's birthday party.

All ready to track down the eggs hidden in the house - since,

once again, it was too cold on Easter to go outside!

They searched high . . .

. . . and low . . .

. . . and then inventoried their loot.

Mid-afternoon we chased everyone off and headed down to see our Manti family. We took them their Easter eggs and then Joe was going to be singing a solo {I don't think he's ever been asked to sing a solo before - not that I've heard anyway} in church on Easter Sunday. We wanted to be able to listen to him. Mandy let me make the girls each a spring church dress and Brian wanted a pair of frog shorts so it also gave me an opportunity to get those to them and make sure they fit.

Jodi & Brian looking

Mariah looking

Joe helping Reagan find some eggs

It was a busy weekend but fun, nonetheless. It was good to hear Joe sing, "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked" and remind us of what Easter is really all about. I don't ever remember hearing that song sang by someone so that I understood the words. Maybe it was just because it was my son singing it and so I was listening more intently. {I was listening so intently I forgot to even think about making faces at him!}

Just so I can refresh my memory at a future date, these are the words to the song he sang:

I walked today where Jesus walked,
In days of long ago.
I wandered down
each path He knew,
With reverent step and slow.
Those little lanes, they
have not changed,
A sweet peace fills the air.
I walked today where Jesus
And felt Him close to me.

My pathway led through Bethlehem,
A memory's ever sweet.
The little
hills of Galilee,
That knew His childish feet.
The Mount of Olives,
hallowed scenes,
That Jesus knew before
I saw the mighty Jordan row,
in the days of yore.

I knelt today where Jesus knelt,
Where all alone he prayed.
The Garden
of Gethsemane,
My heart felt unafraid.
I picked my heavy burden up,
with Him at my side,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
I climbed the Hill of
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
Where on the Cross He Died!

I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt Him close to me.

I am so thankful for, and have a testimony of my Savior and His Atonement. I am in need of it so much! I read a book entitled, "The Continuous Atonement" and was so taken back by the concept that the Atonement is not just a huge event that happens at the end of my life but it is an actual event that affects my life on a daily, constant basis.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ode to an Unfinished Thought

Ode to an Unfinished Thought

Ummm . . . well

{deep sigh}

Or, maybe . . .

{finger to lips}

No . . . I wonder . . .

{intake of breath}

But what if  ???

{rubbing forehead}

It couldn't . . .

{staccato pause}

. . . be . . .

{scratch of nose}

Do you think . . .


Well . . . if you're . . .

{double hiccup breath}



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Openness vs Vulnerability

As I have mentioned multiple times before, I have come to believe very heavily and honestly in the Law of Attraction. Positive affirmations have hauled me out of more than one hole. The fact the Law of Attraction hinges so heavily on Gratitude has also been an eye opener. I've welcomed the challenge of finding ways of rewording my thoughts so I can express gratitude in the present moment instead of focusing on the lack I might be feeling. The bigger {and more frustrating} challenge has been when I'm faced with situations where I can't figure out how to reword my feelings. That's when I just kneel by my favorite chair and cry. What will I ever do when my chair collapses under the load?

"Today I choose to open my arms wide to receive all the good the Universe has to offer!"

That's a new affirmation I learned while listening to one of my audio books a few weeks ago. At first I clung to it and loved the feeling of freedom it gave me. I imagined myself camping in one of my favorite spots and waking up to that fresh mountain air and stretching my arms wide and breathing in deep and feeling exhilarated. For some crazy reason, though, I got an image of myself stretching and breathing and getting all exhilarated but, unbeknownst to me, I was in the cross hairs of the scope on someones gun.

Opening my arms to gratefully and willingly and eagerly accept all the good the Universe has to offer also makes me very vulnerable. And it bothers me to be vulnerable. No. Let me rephrase that: I HATE  to be vulnerable! Like the feeling you get waiting for the snowball to hit you in the back or getting blindsided by some vehicle at a four-way stop. Every time I say that affirmation now, I have the image of me stretching and all that but then I immediately see myself pull my arms protectively close to me. I'll tell you, when I go down, CSI will find defensive wounds on my arms and DNA under my fingernails!

So, yeah, I've been hung-up a bit on my unwillingness to purposely allow myself to be vulnerable. Knock the air out of me and watch how quickly I mix the mortar and add another cinder block to my Wall of Defense {not to be confused with my Wall of Calm which is several layers thick of comics by my desk at work}. Each cinder block is labeled, too, with things like, "Be Smarter Next Time", "Avoid Feeling Comfortable", "Don't Trust", "Don't Share", "Don't Look in Mirrors", "Sleep With One Both Eyes Open", etc., etc. Maybe this is all part of my Funk and not being able to let go of the doorknob. Then I remembered this quote I had copied down: 

Until you are willing to be vulnerable, you will not be able to trust yourself. You will not know how far you can go or how much you can do. You will not know what makes you tick or what will make you crack. Until you are willing to let down your guard and lay down your defenses you will not know how far you can push yourself or how you will handle what happens when you get there. Unless you are willing to be vulnerable, to let people know that you don't know how, but that you are headed there anyway, you will not be equipped to deal with the reactions of those you will meet when you get there. Unless you are willing to be vulnerable, to make a mistake, to fall down and stumble when you are trying to get up, you will not know how durable or dependable you are. You will not know the beauty of your authentic self.

So maybe Openness and Vulnerability don't have to be opposing forces. Maybe one doesn't 'conflict' with the other but perhaps one 'accents' the other.

Out of the blue tonight another, more familiar image came into my mind as I was reminded of another pair of outstretched arms demonstrating ultimate love for me. Kind of puts my fear of being vulnerable to shame.

"Today I choose to open my arms wide to receive all the good the Universe has to offer!"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Goodbye Faithful, Old Friend

I was putting some hamburger in the freezer the other day and got all nostalgic. It was kind of weird how the emotion just sort of came on. I mean who starts crying when they're putting food in the freezer? Well, I guess with the cost of hamburger nowadays, it is cause for a tear or two.

What happened was, out of the blue, the cirucmstances of Faithful Freezer entering our life came to the front of my memory and I was reminded that the freezer was only a day older than Nathan and then it just snowballed from there. I didn't dare ask Nathan to let me take his picture standing by Faithful Freezer for fear it would become my Faithful Coffin or something but here it is in all its faithful glory, even though its been taken out of the house and now sits alone outside in the cold and rain and snow. 

Yes, that's the fingers and crowning top of the

head belonging to LOML as he holds the

door open for the picture. I should have

just had his whole person in the picture!

Our Faithful Freezer has served us well. It so happens that he's pretty full right now but 33 years 6 months and 17 days ago {approximately}, he only held a bag of homemade cookies.

IFA used to sell freezers that long ago and LOML had now been working at the Delta store for almost four full months. We made one of our first major purchases {second only to the washer and dryer} when we decided to invest in one of IFA's freezers. We'd gotten some meat from Alan's family and, with a baby coming, felt it would be good for food storage and also more convenient to be able to store our meat at our house instead of having to go to Flowell whenever we wanted to get some of it.

So, on Saturday, September 24, 1977, our Faithful Freezer was unloaded into our garage in Deseret, plugged in and a bag of cookies plunked in it to make sure it was going to work before filling it full of meat. Well, next day Nathan decided to enter this world and so Faithful Freezer had to hang onto that bag of cookies for a few more days. I think I was still in the hospital when Alan went and got the meat because I remember him telling me he was going home and fix him a steak and french fries. I think I was supposed to be jealous or something but it just served to remind me LOML will never starve if left alone.

The years have taken their toll on Faithful Freezer, who has had to have a bungee cord to help him shut tight for quite awhile now but that's really through no fault of its own. When the kids had to get something out of the freezer, they'd stand on the bottom shelf in the door for leverage and support in order to reach whatever was just beyond their reach {probably OtterPops or popsicles or ice cream}. Therefore because Faithful Freezer was willing to lend his door for their support, the door became crooked and could no longer hold the seal when it shut on its own. Hence the bungee cord.

We were told by the salesperson that we'll

be lucky if this freezer lasts ten years. They

don't use the same type of freeon or something

that they used 33 years 6 months and 17

days ago. Crazy!

We've burned up many a blow dryer and broken several spatulas defrosting Faithful Freezer, too, as we've chisled away at the build up of ice. Faithful Freezer's replacement won't enjoy that kind of one-on-one time and loving attention since we opted for the hassle-free {albeit less energy efficient} model with a self-defrosting mode.

Anyway, the only reason we even considered replacing Faithful Freezer was the fact he started blowing the fuse or the circuit breaker or whatever you call it in the mudroom. LOML called around and did some troubleshooting, finally coming to the conclusion that the compressor on Faithful was failing and he was in an active state of dying.

After a quick trip to Logan, we now welcome Replacement Freezer into the family. Believe it or not, Replacement Freezer has a Sabbath mode, like my new stove! What's with that? I was understanding the Sabbath mode on the stove to mean you would put your food in before the Sabbath and the stove was timed to start cooking it and stop cooking it so no one had to do any work on the Sabbath. Maybe I was wrong and it makes it so you actually can't use it until the Sabbath is over. Replacement Freezer says when it's in Sabbath mode everything except the compressor shuts down. So are there religions that don't believe in using electricity on the Sabbath day? I guess I need to do some research.

Anywho, to the relief of many, I now have one less thing in the house to get nostalgic over and ramble randomly about.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ah, Boloney {another word for mindless, pointless rambling}!

I'm standing in the doorway in a Funk. Have been stuck here for a few days now {maybe weeks}. Not sure if I'm going out of the door, leaving the Funk behind or if I'm hesitating on this threshold, trying not to go all the way in. Whichever it is, I wish I'd let go of the doorknob and get myself out of the doorway.

Work has been difficult lately. Sadness and despondency are rampant and hope and forward thinking seem impossible for people to grasp. I try and express mounds of gratitude for my life but still the weight of it all sticks to me. I need a lint roller to use before I leave the office and go home.

All this has sort of got me stuck on choices/decisions. Do I make a choice to decide or do I make a decision to choose? And what, really, is the difference? All I know is I'm a different person today than yesterday or years ago and, surprisingly, I recognize that. And I've learned that the good changes have to do with choices to think positively and with gratitude. But I don't always remember those choices being conscious ones.

What I mean is, I don't remember a specific moment when I said, "Hey, Night, this is Day. See you later. I'm here to stay." So when Night {aka Funk} returns for a season {or for a moment or a day or a week or disguised as a doorway}, I'm wondering what decision I made that gave Night the indication I wanted to get reacquainted. And, why, oh why, did I think this earth life would be easy and so eagerly agree to it? I fight so many demons that I wonder at my choices. So you're probably sitting there with crossed eyes wondering what in the heck I'm talking about and feeling very confident that everything I've written is just a bunch of boloney. I have only one thing to say about that {at least something that shares the same sound} . . .

Tyler got to spend some time at my house Saturday. He was helping me find something to eat in the fridge and saw Grampa's package of bologna. I used to like bologna when I was little. Mom even made pizza with little bologna triangles on it. Then I got pregnant with Nathan and every time I opened a package of the stuff to make Alan's lunch, I had to swallow gags. Haven't been able to stand bologna since then.

At any rate, Tyler evidently didn't recognize it as something familiar - or enticing - and so he asked me what that was {heavy emphasis on 'that'}. Just answering him that it was bologna was not satisfactory and he asked again, "What's bologna?" So I expanded my answer.

"They take hot dogs and run them over with steam rollers and then cut it into circles and call it bologna!"

"Really?" Tyler asks, wide-eyed.

"Yup!" Grandma responds with all the honesty and sincerity I can muster {that's 'muster' not 'mustard' which is usually associated with bologna}; trying hard not to crack a smile.

At that random moment, I'm reminded of how much I love my life. I love that I'm going to have a whole dozen grandkids by fall because they keep me on my toes and remind me why I had children in the first place. Maybe this doorway is just a transition point and I'm having a hard time believing I am where I am. I should worry less about the choices/decisions I made that ultimately led me here and put my effort into choosing/deciding appropriately today so I can enjoy more of this good life tomorrow.

"Goodbye Night. This is Day and I'm back. And that's no boloney!"