Tag Archives: upset

Again; That Guy: Part II

Again I saw that guy. It’s like everywhere I go either he is nearby or I couldn’t help overhear someone that was obviously talking about him or something else he’d done.

jerusalem crowd

I couldn’t forget the priests in the temple among the debris, the image stuck in my mind. It’s like an earworm, but irrepressible. I hate the way the image makes me feel fearful, and I’m annoyed with myself that it bothers me. I’m exasperated that I haven’t found my friend – we agreed to meet at the Temple Gate. All I want is to be ready for the Passover.

I couldn’t go a block without hearing someone talking about the incident at the temple. People seemed obsessed; both excited and upset. I actually heard someone say that guy touched some blind, crippled and terminally sick people who afterward could suddenly see, walk and are no longer sick at all. How could that be? I must get to my business.

Shortly after eating, I was walking off my meal when I saw the guy again – coming toward me. I wanted to turn and walk the other way – where that guy went there was trouble. But as if the air between us was charged with some peculiar energy that drained me of my will, I couldn’t move.

The guy was not exceptionally tall, but as he moved closer he looked straight through the crowd surrounding him, right into my eyes. All motion seemed to stop – I was captivated, as if his face drew me closer. I suddenly felt as if the guy saw my entire history, knew my unspoken thoughts. I again wanted to leave, but I couldn’t. Distinctively unnerved, I wanted protection from him. For an instant a notion to call for a guard briefly flitted across my mind – I am such a hypocrite.

The moments seemed like hours and then before I knew it he continued moving on with his group. Like an idiot I stood there until I realized people were bumping into me as they passed in every direction. I checked for my bag and feeling it there I started walking again, aimlessly drifting with the crowd.

Later, making my way back to the temple, I heard people saying, “Heaven… wind… light… and Jesus.” I honestly don’t know why, but I am entirely unnerved. I feel drained, exposed, and remarkably uneasy. I long to find my friend and secure a place to stay the night.

“…A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.”
John 3:27 (NLT)

Featured Image courtesy ABSFreePic

Originally posted on What’s Next on 2016 March 22

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Throwdown

To those who have been following the journal of my latest relocation, integrating my life into the home of my oldest, best friend, I submit this latest recount of the process. To new, readers I present an object lesson, and to those who’ve figured life out, my apologies for the rant.

Throwing the Gauntlet

My presence in our new home brought change for Erin as much as for me. For many readers change is no big deal, but as we age – the longer we age – especially while working through mental health issues, we want to wrestle it, pin it to the mat. I understand this and had assumed Erin did too.

We had always stayed in touch, but we hadn’t lived together in over thirty years. A lot of water flowed beneath these two bridges. She lived alone for the past three years while I often longed to. I mostly enjoyed the three years I lived in my beautiful apartment – alone and lonely for my friends and family (who lived at least an hour away – too far for young families or my old truck to drive every week).

So, here’s these two old broads, best friends for over half a century, experiencing our first upset with each other in over thirty years.

gauntlet pinterest

* Old Lady Gauntlets

For three months I had collected little straws, petty little things that bothered me and sometimes disrupted my routine. Thinking they were too insignificant to mention, before I realized it I began to feel like the haystack was going to break this camel’s back.

Now y’alls probably never do that, or if you did it happened once – just once. Doing it more than once is just stupid. As if three years of counselor training hadn’t taught me better, I had surrendered weeks of joy to frustration, and still I was reluctant to talk to Erin about it.

Growing up in a violent, dysfunctional family ingrains a reluctance to confront, or it encourages emotional bullies. I’m intimated by how easily I pivot toward both. So, I didn’t want to offend her – and then have to live with the repercussions.

I grew up with Erin’s family. Now as adults I recognize how she and her siblings bear crosses between them they have no business shouldering. I’m not gonna lie, this isn’t the first time I found some degree of comfort seeing her family is not perfect either. Now I realize they too sometimes transfer their feelings to each other or overlook their responsibilities for their choices occasionally. So, I held it all in, keeping my concerns to myself and carrying my burden alone.

Once I realized it was a big deal I started worrying the next straw would blow the roof off our home sweet home. I’d begun ranting to the cats when Erin was out of the house. Coco’s blinking at me dispassionately made me feel resentful (we’ll blame her – she doesn’t care). I was angry from ignoring all those sore little straw scrapes. That left me feeling frustrated, hopeless and ultimately fearful.

My moods weren’t lost on Erin either. Several evenings she came to my doorway asking, Do you feel any better yet? Are you angry at me? Are you still happy here? Because that was usually late for me I was tired (so not entirely approachable) and I can be bitchy, I’d tell her everything’s fine. I lied.

My. First. Conviction.

With that I began to actually think. By not talking to Erin had I been packing casings with my issues, loading them into the .45, and then pointing it toward my foot?

bullets-on-wood-table-5305x3537_25636** bullseye**

At the peak of this madness sister Ellie called me, casually asking as she always does, “how you doin’.” It was a surface level, polite question. In my state of mind, I ass-umed she and Erin must have talked about my moods. But because I won’t talk to Ellie about Erin, I couldn’t honestly answer her. Instead, my dam broke and I cried. I told her I’ve been depressed and it had me worried.

After saying the “D” word aloud, I realized I had to buck up and somehow talk with Erin about what was troubling me. That started my second conviction: years of misdiagnosis and medication gorking me out unnecessarily proved I don’t suffer from depression. I know this, but each body ages differently. I lamely reasoned being sick seemed much more palatable than accepting I’d been cowardly. That bird didn’t fly far.

I was glad Erin spent the next few days at Keira’s, so I could think, play positive, encouraging music 24/7 pray (aloud) and fast. The cats disapproved, but quickly got over all the noise.

The night Erin returned home she came to my doorway (yeah, around ten p.m.). I’d just started to drift off to sleep, so I don’t remember what she asked me. Hopefully I mumbled something to the affect of Goodnight, but I heard her say as she walked away, “You didn’t answer me.” Exhausted and still reluctant, I let it go for the night.

The next morning I made Erin’s coffee, my double espresso latte and woke her early. I read to her from The Love Chapter” of the Bible***. Then locking eyes with hers said, “I don’t have to remind you I love you. I’m not running. I’m not depressed, but I am sad and a little scared. We must hunt the elephants.”

We talked back and forth for hours, continuing the conversation on-and-off all day during my breaks. Sure it was a short work day. My writing probably took a few hits with the weeks of distractions, but today we’re both talking and feeling much better.

As we age changes, confusion, and some hard feelings are natural. This is particularly so for unmarried people, these feelings can escalate astoundingly quickly and easily develop into withdrawal, isolation and despondency. As we diligently invest in our relationships, the odds for problems decline significantly. In our house we chose to invest and accept deposits as well.

A fool would throw away a fifty-something-year-old friendship. I can be silly sometimes, but I’m no fool – not yet.

puppy-on-beach-4435x2939_53724**

Erin has my six and I’m on her nine.  To this she says, “Sure, point out my side’s bigger than your skinny, old side.” We enjoy the pun, even if nobody else does.

*** “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)

 

Images courtesy of *Pinterest and **ABSFreePics

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Humpty Dumpty Tuesday

calendar coffee-pen-3888x2592_20495

Initially I felt alarmed by the sudden, harsh reality that today is Wednesday, Hump Day – and not Tuesday. Since my brand new Fitbit Dashboard recorded elevated levels attesting that’s actually understated, I admit I freaked out the first half-hour of my day. However, I must quickly add, I only wasted the second fifteen minutes like that – the first were actually lovely.

The recap: halfway into my organic, non-GMO, unsweetened soy, Italian roast, honey-amaretto latte and a first bottle of water, I noticed the satellite clock read Wednesday. Wednesday, not Tuesday. That the…

Instinctively, my heart rate rocketed, I sprang  walked circumspectly up the stairs, to my laptop to find the draft I intended to post early Tuesday morning (rather than late-morning) remains a draft. Confused and slightly shaken, I thought through the events of the past 24 hours or so:

  • Opal was home most of the day after taking a weekend off. I usually have the house to myself most days – this is not typical.
  • I must think and remember it’s winter. While everyone north of us endures lower temps, snow and ice, we’ve enjoyed sunny afternoons in the high 60’s – mid 70’s
  • Roan (who works in Retail) arrived home yesterday morning at the regular time – for the eighth consecutive day; also not typical.
  • I had invested unscheduled time, actually far more time than I anticipated, downloading and starting up my Fitbit account, charging and recharging my worn cell and tablet batteries and, hoping to raise the Fitbit bar, I invested extra time in fitness workouts for my initial Fitbit entry.
  • Opal and I had purged the refrigerator, freezer and pantry (and then, of course I washed the refrigerator) – not typical for a mid-month weekday.
  • I rotated my mattress – also not typical for a mid-month weekday. Least to mention the chore took me three times longer than usual as I performed it unassisted (those who camouflage storage boxes beneath the box springs with a bed skirt understand).
  • This just in: according to Fitbit I slept for 6 hr 26 mins, 3 x awake, 6 x restless.

With so many variables, I accept it is inarguably Wednesday, not Tuesday.

More notable still, I’m actually celebrating the fact that I’m still walking (1,688 steps so far), breathing and the world continued to turn without my Tuesday post. Not that long ago I would be going through some epic mental penance and flagellation exercises for not fulfilling my entire previous day’s agenda, trying to justify my existence in the universe. Though I feel slightly sheepish and will most likely experience some degree of disappointment as today progresses and reveals more unmet expectations, Fitbit confirms I’m in good shape with only 4.8 pounds to go to my target weight. I can live with that.

Especially in America too many grand parents, moreover great-grand parents are in far worse shape. On the average our dimensions change dramatically and we gain weight as we age, without regard to our resources, education, experience and genetic backgrounds. I am indeed blessed. While I suffer occasional aches and pains, and I don’t run more than a few yards at a time (literally) or skip as I like to anymore, time has not ravaged my body nearly as harshly as many of my peers. As compared to once or twice a year, I misconstrue the actual day and date more frequently occasionally. However, I know many millennials that do likewise also.

golden-Jesus -moon-2432x4320_77278love all the timeThe difference in me today is all about perspective and grace. While I continue the practice of loving myself the way God loves me, I learn more about life and relationships than ever before – including my relationship with myself. While I’m still climbing uphill, I do so because I took on another peak, not because I arrived at the pinnacle and set up camp.

Okay. So, I momentarily “lost” a day this week. So what? Time didn’t stop for anyone I know of. I’m not shattered. So, I’ll just roll with it, and hope I somehow bless someone else that might feel like they’re losing it. What’s more, I’ll likely enjoy Friday even more for posting what I’d intended for yesterday!

 

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27

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