Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"No one ever told me grief felt so like fear." ~ C.S. Lewis

I woke up this morning to a startling fact: it is November.

How did I get to November?  Strangely enough, I can actually give a pretty good record of the last few months, but I am astounded by the fact that they are gone all the same.  Time runs so differently when each day takes an eternity, but you look back and a month is gone... or two or three.

Over the last week, I have been watching the extended versions of Lord of the Rings, all three of them.  Today I finished the last one.  The theme song for Return of the King is called Into the West.  As I was singing along with it, I realized I was crying, and it had nothing to do with the movie.  I lost someone I love this summer, and it was one of the hardest things I have gone through, but also one of the best.  She was done, her journey over, but I had to go one without her.  She was mentor, friend, grandmother to me, and all by choice.  She loved me from the day she met me and never failed to tell me so.  I will always miss her.

Into the West ~ Annie Lennox

Lay down

Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You have come to journey's end
Sleep now
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
Don't say: "We have come now to the end"
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again

And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the West

Loss of any kind is difficult, but the faith in a future beyond what we know can make all the difference on the days when we are having a harder time being accepting of everything that has happened.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Nothing

Nothing.  What a bleak word.  No thing, no anything.  Isn’t it odd that the word that designates the nonexistence of something is the word people tend to use most when there is something of great importance, but they don’t want to tell anyone.

“What are you doing?”
“Nothing.”  This is usually said as a book, magazine or website is hastily closed or stuffed under a pillow.  For me personally, it is a romance novel that is very silly, or a website devoted to Harry Potter, and on occasion “Toddlers and Tiaras” on Netflix.  I am 26 years old, an adult; I have other things that really need my time.

“What are you thinking about?”
“Nothing.”  When directed to a man, this can actually be an accurate answer.  If directed to a woman, she is lying.  Either her thoughts are very silly, and she doesn’t want to tell anyone, or there is something that is complicating her life.  For me, I have two reasons I answer this way:  one is that the person who asked me is part of the complication and I don’t want to discuss it with them just yet, or I feel that if I try to explain myself, they will discount my difficulty as trivial and not worth the worry.

“There is nothing to do!”  Usually announced in the throes of boredom, this should mean that the house is spotless, dinner made, the table set, laundry all done, and the animals fed.  It actually means that there is noting fun, exciting, stimulating, or thought provoking to do.  Laundry is never ending battle, the whole house is never clean all at once, and dinner is not usually planned very far in advance (not at my house anyhow).  There is always SOMETHING to do.

“It’s nothing.” When thanked for service or help given, this is often the reply we give, most especially when we are angry and frustrated with the situation at hand.  We have put our needs on hold, given our time (and sometimes money) to help this person out, and we are tired and SO OVER IT!  And they are not as grateful and we think they should be, under the circumstances.

“What have you been up to?”
“Nothing.”  We either have boring lives and this is true, or we are unable to express what has been going on, because it sounds much easier to deal with than it is and when we try to describe it, we find ourselves feeling stupid.  We would rather say that nothing is going on than try to explain what we do with our time.  

To all appearances, we spend our lives invalidating everything we think, say, or do.  Somehow we must make the conscious choice to allow that even the silliest, least productive things we do are alright to admit to.  We are always doing something, thinking something (unless you are a man, and then you do think nothing occasionally, which women envy) or saying something.  Even when we are asleep we breath and our hearts beat.  We must admit that "something" is happening, every minute of every day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

To Consider

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7076/7275810372_f6bb7d8dd0.jpg

I will admit that I have never read this book, but I saw this quote today, and it made me pause.

Monday, June 4, 2012

If it's not one thing, it's three or four

I ran away from home for the weekend.  I came home refreshed, only to find that, in the long run, my problem is so much more than I thought.  To all appearances, I either care too much, or not nearly enough.  From my point of view, I am doing above and beyond what is wise for me to shoulder just now, and I worry about being able to handle what I have agreed to be in charge of.

From the other point of view (and this only from what I can tell by the way our conversations have been tending) I am doing just bare minimum and have the easy end of the stick.  Me being overwhelmed is not thought of because I am not being asked to do anything very hard or demanding.  The one thing I can feel sure of is that I have shown that I am not having any difficulties and am plenty strong for the task at hand.

Some days it is unfortunate to be such a good liar when people ask about how you are and you tell them you are pretty good AND THEY BELIEVE YOU!  This would not be such a difficulty were it true, but just at the moment, the person I am having many of these conversations with is under a ton of stress and I don't feel that I should be adding to her troubles by telling her the truth about the state of my emotions just lately, since it is not very good.  I am depressed (which is chronic, but in a valley of late) tired, anxious, angry, and overwhelmed by circumstances that are not my fault, but that I am part of holding what is left together.  And, in the middle of all this, I am trying to rediscover exactly who I am.  *sigh*   I think I may need to invest in a greater amount of bubble bath, or over the next month I am going to run out.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Failure for a reason

I have made a discovery:  I can't finish a "to-do" list when it comes to house cleaning.  Why?  For whatever reason, my brain is afraid of having free time that is REAL free time.  I am excellent at procrastinating, I can spend hours avoiding the things I need to get done!   But get those things done and have free time with no pressure to be doing something else, heaven forbid such a thing!  I had been thinking I was just lazy, but there is more to it than that.  When I get going, I am a force to be reckoned with.

Perhaps it is that I expect too much of myself, and to fail because I didn't try seems to be easier to live with than failing because I did everything I could (and I do mean EVERYTHING) and failed to get done anyhow.  So I work at the list, but not as hard as I could because then I know why I failed, instead of wondering why I failed and wondering if I will ever be able to finish what I start.

It is time to revamp the "to-do" list!  I shall have to think on this a bit (while folding laundry, which needs folding rather badly) and shall post my findings as soon as I have a plan!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Never quite original, but still new

I love to quilt.  I am not wonderful at it, my corners tend to not-quite-match-perfectly.  The way I choose fabric is distracting for everyone involved and takes more time than it should (or so I've been told) because I refuse to  stick to the expected.  I want to be unexpected, to be out of the ordinary (not to be confused with extraordinary, which I will not aim for just now, as I worry about continuing to deserve the term once it has been achieved) and, most importantly, to have each quilt be individual, just as the person it is being made for is individual.

This mentality can get me into trouble.  As I learn things in life, I have "new" thoughts, only to find that I am just following the same path as others have, and that my ideas are not as original as I had believed.  The thing I must remember is that no matter how many people have gone before, I am still finding out things for myself.  That being said, and with the consideration that there are BILLIONS of people alive now and billions more that have lived, very rarely will I have a thought that has never been had - EVER - before.  So I must allow that my out-of-the-box ideas are outside of MY box, and as long as I am trying to stretch myself beyond those limits, I am still becoming who I need to be.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Re-marking Time

To all appearances, I have spent the last few years doing nothing.   This is manifestly untrue!  I have spent a great deal of time in tears, and even more time sitting with my head in my hands, wondering what the heck happened and what the HELL is going to happen next.  (What already happened cannot be changed, but what will happen is important to try and at least understand.)

I have done a lot of things, but none of them for any real length of time, other than be a wife.  Seven years into it and I still cannot figure out how to keep things in proper order.  By the measure of - almost - every woman in the US, I am a failure.  For those who hold that having children is the best thing you can do with your life, I am wasting my time, not to mention being horribly selfish by having no children.   For those who think that children are a waste of time and that only a career can satisfy the needs of a woman to change the world, I am being held back by my husband!  "Poor woman!  She can't even stay at a job a year, her husband is so demanding!"  That or I have betrayed my "sisters" by being married at 18 *gasp* ON PURPOSE!  No children, no career.  I actually want both, but I only want to follow a career path where the people I work with call me "Mom". 

(I must clarify something here:  I am all for equality of men and women.  I think it is good for women to be able to have careers if they want them, but I also think that if a woman wants to stay home and be a wife and mother, she has a right to do that also, without being criticized for "throwing her life away."  Make your choice, but allow others the same courtesy of choosing.)   

While this is a lovely idea, so far there is no progress made to achieve those ends.  So I sit, to all appearances planning to spend the next few years doing nothing.  There is only so much one can do to mark time, and I will admit that I have tried many things in the last 6 years to make that time count for something, but so far it just means that I am 6 years older and about 20 pounds heavier.  Neither of these are considered achievements. 

I am, perhaps, a little wiser than I was.  The only indication of this I have is that I feel like I know less than I did at 18, which may simply mean that I am old enough to know how much I don't know and be able to admit it.  When I have energy, this makes me feel like maybe I am changing more than I think.  When I am tired, it just makes me feel stupid.

The point of all this is explain what I am trying to achieve.  Success is defined by different people in different ways, so I am going to find my own definition, seeing as I don't like the sticks everyone else seems to be using to measure their success by.