What Matters Most: Loving God & Living Simply…part one

It’s getting close to my birthday and there’s nothing like getting a year older to make me stop in my tracks and ponder life. There is no doubt in my mind I want to make changes. How will I go about it? What are my first steps? I ask myself questions:

  1. What matters most?
  2. What have I accomplished?
  3. What do I want to accomplish?
  4. What do I need to eliminate?
  5. What brings me joy?
  6. What needs changed?
  7. What needs to stay the same?
  8. What is God leading me to do?
  9. Are there people I need to distance myself from?
  10. What goals do I need to set right now?

Wow. That seems like a lot of questions. I’ll answer the first one first: What matters most? To love God and live simply. This is what is the most important to me and how I want to move forward with my life.

The next few weeks I will be answering these questions, and I will share my thoughts here. This is my way of taking steps to change my life and to recognize my priorities. I’ve been feeling a bit stuck, like my feet are trying to ice skate in mud. It just doesn’t work. And some things in my life don’t seem to be working, either.

OK, back to my answers of what matters most. This answer has two parts, so today I will address the first part. For me, loving God is where it all starts, where it all leads, and where it all ends. God comes first. Without him, I am nothing. So, how do I plan on loving God?

  • Through daily prayer. My conversations with God can be lengthy or short, complex or simple, tearful or happy. The important thing is to keep the relationship strong and active. I totally believe God understands my frustrations, anxieties, heartaches, sorrows, and joys and wants me to lay them all out to him. Part of the healing is in our communication.
  • With daily devotionals. One book of devotionals I’ve been reading is Jesus Calling. It’s written as though God is talking to me. I am his child, He loves me, and I am important. Most days it touches a part of my heart that needs healed. I will continue with this, and I will add in a variety of other readings from time to time.
  • By studying God’s Word. By not only reading the Bible, but actually studying thoughtfully what it says and gaining understanding, it draws me deeper into a relationship with him. I will read the Bible daily and continue my Wednesday night Bible Study at church.
  • Journaling. My journaling often turns into “Dear God” letters. What I cannot say with my tongue, I can usually write into words. It has been sporadic in the past, but I will strive to make this a daily practice now.
  • Worship. Oh boy…this is where things get really complex and uncomfortable. I haven’t been attending worship services for a multitude of reasons. My agoraphobic issues, for one. The rest I cannot disclose for risk of being fired from my job. Suffice to say things are uncomfortable. This week, I’m going to see if a pastor within another denomination would be willing to talk with me about my concerns and perhaps give me some guidance, or at the very least pray for me.

So there is step one. This step has been relatively easy, thus far, but I know there will be more challenges to come.

If you’d like to follow along with me on this journey toward a new life, subscribe.

Take care of you.

Trish

I Have a Purple Hair There

Flash back about three years ago, when I first started noticing more young men and ladies coloring their hair like a box of crayons. Blue, pink, orange, green, purple, and everything in between. Oh my, I thought, why would anyone want to do that? It looks stupid. Crazy stupid!

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would now be sporting purple and turquoise stripes in my hair at age 57. I mean, it is so not like me. My personality is not outgoing and bold. I do not demand or encourage attention to myself. I’m an introvert, more given to staying in a quiet corner by myself, reading a book. Yet, there it is; there’s a purple hair up there.

Searching in my mind for an explanation to my uncharacteristic behavior, I have come up with a few possibilities:

  1. I am experiencing dementia and need medication.
  2. I am overly medicated and sane.
  3. I am going through a mid-life crisis.
  4. I have multiple personalities I’m just now getting around to meeting.
  5. I just don’t give a bunny’s butt anymore.

Ding dong! Number 5! We have a winner!

That’s right…I no longer give a bunny’s butt what other people think or expect of me. Don’t like my hair? Stop looking at it. I’m 57 and I will wear my hair any way I want to. Don’t like me? Stay away from me. Have an opinion? Good for you, but I don’t want to hear it.

At my age, I have earned the right to be unique, creative, offbeat, and a little eccentric. I have earned the right to have fun with my life. I have earned the right to make choices, to play, and today, I choose to wear a purple hair there and anywhere!

Life is short, incredibly short. I have learned that it’s ok to have joy, to smile, to laugh at silliness. It’s ok to want to look at life through multi-colored glasses. It’s ok to make changes, experiment, and try something new.

It’s ok to be me.

Take care of you.

Trish

Night Thoughts, Again

I'm lying awake, once again, with sleep no where close to being within my reach. I've tried counting sheep, counting fish, counting lightning bugs, and counting Diet Coke cans and nothing puts me into a slumbering dream state. I have no magic pills that make my mind stop thinking, and no magic wand to take away the hamster that is surely running a treadmill through my brain. So I write.

Sometimes I wonder how people cannot see themselves the same way I see them. Like the kind lady I think is so beautiful, and she only sees the age of life etched deeply on her face. Like the self-absorbed man who is drowning in his own pool of depression, yet says he is perfect in every way. Like the self-righteous church goer, who has forgotten why they were saved. Like the buffoon who makes a mockery of anyone he disagrees with, yet is crying inside from his own pain.

If life were so simple that we could all wear a mask and no one would be the wiser. Along with fake news and fake smiles, we would have fake faces to match our moods of the moment. We could skid through life on the slippery ice of our frozen personalities. We could hide behind our condemnations and judgements and change the world just by pointing our fingers. That would solve everything, wouldn't it? But what about faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these being love? Where would those come in?

It is tiring to listen to the echoes of voices that say nothing. Those echoes are everywhere… on the news, in classrooms, on the streets, at the supermarket, in the church. Sometimes they are difficult to tune out because of the shrill loudness and number of them. But by golly, I'm determined to find the volume control!

Trying to stay positive amongst the deafening roar of naysayers and hissy fitters is certainly a challenge. It has driven me to my knees in desperation on more than one occasion. Tears have been shed in infinite numbers during wee hours of the night, and with embarrassment in the light of day. Some say I am much too sensitive. I say they are much too harsh. Some say I'm a wimp. I say the cruel thrive on bullying the wimps of the world. Regardless, I am who I am and I cannot be who they want me to be. If I weren't sensitive, I would be like them, and I do not want to be them. I am me.

I made the mistake of glancing at the news headlines today. There is so much sadness, anger, blame, hate, fear, rebellion, and cruelty. So I found the OFF switch, and then there was no volume. They no longer existed for me.

Perhaps the trick to living happily is to make the OFF switch a continuous thing. Turn OFF the echoes of negativity swirling around life. I'm finding it easier said than done, though. There's still a part of me that wants to save the world from self-destruction. I want to make kindness a type of virus everyone wants to catch. And I want smiles to become the greatest sport every played in competitions. It's just hard finding that OFF switch sometimes.

I will keep trying to lower the volume of the mindless echoes. Every once in a while, I might give a big ol' yodel and listen for its echo to get back to me. Wouldn't that be fun!

Take care of you.

Trish

The Power of Words

words1So many times I struggle with finding the right words for the right situation.  When someone has lost a spouse, a family member, a pet, a friend, it is very difficult to find the words to convey how sorry I am and how much I care.  Too many times, my day has been totally ruined by one word, or a series of words.  And then once in a while, much to my surprise and delight, just the right words find me at just the right time.

This week has been rough.  It has been an emotional roller coaster ride and believe me, I hate roller coasters.  My heart was shattered, my pride stripped and burned with a hot iron, and my spiritual life questioned.  I felt disrespected and abandoned.  The future looked bleak.  I was angry, confused, rebellious, and broken.  I felt like a fox with my leg caught in a trap and I was prepared to bite anyone who came close to me.

But then, an amazing thing happened.  On Thursday,  I entered the Fellowship Hall to attend a meeting and no one else had arrived but one pastor.  The first thing he said to me was that he had been reading over the notes from the last meeting, which I had written, and he told me how good he thought they were and how he appreciated me doing them.  Wow.  Talk about being knocked off my feet.  Not literally, but the appreciation was unexpected, nice, and boosted my feeling of self-worth a notch or two from the gutter it was laying in earlier.

That is not where the conversation stopped.  It was probably 3 or 4 minutes before another person arrived to the meeting and in that 3 or 4 minutes, that pastor said every word I needed to hear at that moment, on that day.  He was from another church and had not been in contact with me, so he had absolutely no idea of what I was struggling with.  But somehow, the brief conversation took a turn down the street I needed to travel.

You see, I was fully prepared to resign from that team.  My plan was to tell them that would be the last meeting I would be attending for this event..  And then, I was going to go back to my office and write my resignation from my job, having no other job lined up, and not knowing what I would do.

Within three minutes, I heard the right words, the words I needed to hear on that day, at that time.  God was alive and working through that pastor, and He was working in me.

A word can be tiny, but pack enormous power.  Simple words can mean the world to someone at any given moment, and complex words totally miss their mark.  Make no mistake, words can wound and maim.  They can bring the most powerful to their knees, and the weakest to destruction.  But they can also renew hope, bring understanding, and show caring.  We have the choice of choosing our words to either tear someone apart, or boost them up.  It’s important to choose wisely.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  For all of us, it is a constant struggle, if we really care.

The pastor was holding the door open when we were all leaving the meeting.  As I walked through, he shook my hand and said he would be praying for me.  Kind words spoken with meaning.   Knowing someone cared enough to pray, even though he still had no knowledge of what I was struggling with, only that I was struggling.  They were the right words for me on that day.  They were powerful.

words have power

How have words shaped your day?  Your emotions?  Your life?

Be kind to each other.

 

Blessings.

Get Angry!

Tonight, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, occasionally clicking on a headline I wanted to read, when I came across a particularly disturbing headline. It was at the bottom of the article I had just read and a few other articles were “recommended.” There was a picture of a young girl and right beside it the same girl as an obese adult woman. The headline stated that she was now a “hideous creature.” Wow.  
Instantly, I felt a stabbing pressure against my heart. That could have been me in those pictures. It could have been a number of women I know, none of whom I would ever begin to describe as a hideous creature. They are caring, loving, successful women who are wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters.
My own struggles with obesity and self-esteem all came surging to the surface for a brief moment. All the tears, rude remarks, disgusted stares, and feelings of unworthiness again fought for my attention. The men I’ve heard say to me, ” You’d be a nice looking woman if you would just lose weight” echoed in my mind. The refusal of my ex-husband to be seen in public with him because I had become an embarrassment to him ripped through my heart. Watching in my mind a replay of a man at a dollar store hold the door open for the slender blonde woman in front of me, then let it slam in my face, and it was a man from my own church. Remembering an awkward conversation with a gentleman from my church coming into my office to tell me I was fat and needed to lose weight. And then I became angry.
In a society that strives to include all races, nationalities, religious beliefs, and sexual orientations as being equal and worthy, how is it that it is still acceptable to be rude and hurtful to fat people? How is it that it is OK to make a person’s weight the subject of jokes and insults? How is it that a person’s worthiness can be based on the number on a scale? How is it that there can still be headlines describing a woman as a “hideous creature?” Why would any woman be described that way?
So many times I have asked myself these questions with no acceptable answer. These things happen because the word respect has no meaning to a large majority of our society. Overweight people are easy targets because we are so humiliated we rarely strike back. We just want the insults and embarrassing moments to be over. People laugh at all the “fat” jokes, encouraging comedian’s to tell more. Well folks, it’s not funny, and it hurts.

No matter what a person’s size, weight, or shape, they are worthy of respect and love. Our hearts are not immune to painful words. All women are beautiful and deserving of kindness. We are all God’s children in an imperfect world that keeps trying to mold us into a perfect, unobtainable image. We all have love within us just waiting to be accepted by someone else.

Ladies, if any of you ever doubt your worth, let it be only a fleeting moment. Remember that your beauty and strength runs much deeper than a headline. Your dignity cannot be destroyed by the insensitivity of the ignorant and immature. Get angry, get excited, get motivated to stand up for yourself! You are a child of God, and you are worthy.

Blessings

My Thankfulness

Today is Thanksgiving Day, the day of family feasts, gatherings, parades, and the eve of Black Friday, our country’s biggest shopping day of the year. It marks the kickoff of holiday shopping frenzy in every store. Sales upon sales, coupons, rebates, incentives for all of us to buy more and more. Promotions for credit cards; don’t have the money? Just charge it! And so it begins.
With all the festivities and celebrations taking place, it can be easy to overlook something important about this day, and that is about being “thankful.” I like to take a few minutes every year and remember all I’m thankful for. It helps me keep life in perspective amidst all the spending and overindulgences. Today, I am thankful for…
I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the new life he has given me.

I am thankful for my job at church and feel it was the job I’ve waited for my entire life.

I am thankful for the hope of new career choices in the upcoming months, following a lifelong dream.

I am thankful for old and new friends and my sisters in Christ.

I am thankful my family is well and/or recovering nicely, and that communication is open where it once was not.

I am thankful for no longer wearing wigs, and for my hair stylist.

I am thankful that gray hair is an “in” thing right now, and that I wouldn’t even care if it wasn’t.

I am thankful for my fur children and that one of them is snuggled up close beside me snoring as I write this.

I am thankful that with all the e-mails, ads, and incentives to buy things right now, I’m finding I don’t want a thing.

I am thankful for the country’s leadership of President Obama the past eight years and wish him even more success in the future.

I am thankful for shoes on my feet and clothing for my body, for warm winter coats and gloves for my hands.

I am thankful for food to nourish my body.

I am thankful that as each year goes by, I care less about what others think of me.

I am thankful for the technology that allows me to write this on my phone, communicate on my phone, play games, do my shopping, read a book, look up a definition, take pictures, watch videos, awake to an alarm, and keep track of minutes and days, all on my phone. This is something I would have never dreamed I could do thirty years ago.

I am thankful for kind words and warm smiles.

I am thankful for nature’s changing colors throughout the year.

I am thankful for first responders, 911 operators, and volunteers who make us safer.

I am thankful for those who see pain in someone’s eyes and offer a hug instead of condemnation.

I am thankful for those who generously give to local food banks and thrift stores because they genuinely care about feeding and clothing the hungry and cold.

I am thankful for churches who welcome in everyone with open arms and the love of Christ without judgment.

I am thankful for the men and women serving our country in armed forces.

I am thankful for seeing the brightest stars during the darkest nights.

I am thankful for pumpkin pie.

I am thankful for parents who have raised their children to show respect, to say please, thank you, and you’re welcome.

I am thankful for all people who lovingly adopt or foster pets from shelters. All fur lives matter.

I am thankful for hope, and for God’s Word that continuously replenishes that hope.

I am thankful for people who respect boundaries, both at work and home, who respect my work hours and my time.

I am thankful for the rainy days, whose darkness prepares me for the sunshine ahead.

I am thankful for people who make me laugh.

I am thankful for men who still open doors for ladies…all ladies, young or old, fat or skinny, no matter how unique.

What are you thankful for today?

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Blessings

I Will Not be Silenced

flagWell, it’s over.  The people have spoken by election of Mr. Donald Trump, President-Elect of the United States of America.  For better or worse, he will be our Commander in Chief the next four years.

My feelings have been a roller coaster ride since the night of November 8th.  From my doubt that he would have any real chance of winning, to total disbelief as the polls began turning in their results, to absolute sorrow at the announcement that he had won.  My emotions were blanketed with doom.  Surely, we would never come out of this presidency alive.  There will be wars, men and women will lose their lives fighting senseless battles that should never have been started.  Questions were filling my mind.  How could this have happened?  How could the good, hard working people of our country vote for such a man into one of the most powerful offices of the world?

My television remained silent after the election.  I couldn’t force myself to turn it on.  There wasn’t anything in the news I wanted to hear.  All the speculations of the previous months were shattered on November 8th.  The media was all abuzz over more speculations about where they went wrong, how they could have underestimated his appeal, and it was all the “uneducated white male’s” fault.  At least I knew who to blame now.  But I couldn’t.  I could not blame any one portion of our population for what had just happened.  Throwing blame serves no purpose and solves nothing.

A few days after the election, I noticed a news headline on my Facebook feed that mentioned riots.  I followed the link, and then another, and then another, and that was when I first knew of the riots happening across our country in reaction to the election results.  I was shocked.  I expected riots if Mr. Trump lost.  What on earth were people thinking?  Followers of the Democratic party, like myself, were rioting and causing millions of dollars of damages, people were getting hurt, and to serve what purpose?  Could they not see that what they were doing was exactly what the Republican party was hoping for, thriving on?  What happened to “When they go low, we go high?”  I understood their anger, frustration, and hurt, but this was no answer and would only make the situation worse.  My prayers for peace and for our country took on a more fervent tone.

In the meantime, all my Republican friends were celebrating their victory.  Rude jokes and defamation of the character of anyone and everyone of the Democratic party continued in earnest.  Some became arrogant in their victory.  Others were full of hope for the future, seemingly putting all or most of their hope for our country in one man.  “He’s going to fix America and make it great again.”  Over and over I read those words…he’s going to fix America.  Over and over I read the words that said all Democrats were worthless, unemployed, stupid, and living off government welfare.  Over and over I felt I was also being attacked by my “friends.”

On November 13th, 60 Minutes ran an interview with Donald Trump.  I agonized over whether I wanted to watch it or not.  Did I want to make myself upset again, or live in ignorance of our current President-Elect?  I chose to watch the broadcast.  Trying to keep an open mind, I listened to his answers, watched his demeanor and facial expressions for evidence of true or false statements.  At times, I wondered why he didn’t conduct himself in this manor before the election.  But then I realized if he had, he would not have been able to amass the targeted audience of voters he was aiming for.  He knew exactly what he was doing and who it would affect.  There were brief moments during the interview I felt hopeful, that perhaps our country would be OK, that maybe he could be relied upon to make sound decisions for the good of the people and not just for himself.  No sooner had I felt that glimmer of hope than he would then say something with self assured arrogance about himself and would bring my newfound hope to an abrupt halt.  The ego was still taking over.

It is now nine days post election.  The sadness has eased, but not disappeared entirely.  There is still a foreboding within me of something bad about to happen.  There is also a bit of hope I am wrong, that good changes for our country will be made, an improved health care system in place, and fewer people will be living in poverty within this great nation.  My trust for these changes lie not in our President, but in my faith in God.  I continue to pray.

My thoughts this day are:

  • America is a great country right now!  No, it is not perfect.  Yes, it can improve.  But it is an amazing country filled with amazing, hard working people who are trying to get along the best they know how.  For those who don’t believe this is true, perhaps they are the ones who should look into relocating.  This is my country; I love it and I’m staying.
  • President Obama has served and led our country well, with dignity and grace.  He was fought tooth and nail by the Republican party every step of the way.  He was not given the chance to do even greater things because of the never ending roadblocks and the right wing crying “foul.”  Yet, he continued to go high when they went low.
  • I have a right to my opinions, just like everyone else.  My voice will be spoken for the equality of all people, for the rights and respect of women, and for the fight against bullying.

The next four years will be a challenge for everyone, all political parties.  It’s time to work together more than ever.  It’s time to lay down the egos, lay down the prejudices, and lay down the personal grudges.  For those feeling that same sense of sadness and loss that I do, it’s time to make our voices heard for what we believe in.  We can still make changes to our communities for the better.  We can make changes within our homes to promote respect and love for each other.  We can raise our children to know right from wrong.  We can renew our focus on God and rely on our faith to overcome all the challenges ahead.

This is not the time to be silent.

Blessings.

 

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Why I’m Voting for Hillary

Politics has always been a touchy subject for most of us.  This Presidential election, it’s even more so.  I’ve never heard so many people say, “I’m not going to vote this year,” or “I hate both of them.  They’re both liars.”  The problem, or one of the problems, is that if we do not vote, we’re contributing to the downfall of democracy as we know it.  We have opinions and they need to be heard.  I’m no expert in politics and I was never a good student in history or government.  Fortunately, those are not qualifications to vote or very few of our country’s population would be able to head out to the polls in November.

I’ve made my decision.  I’ve watched several debates and did a lot of reading to help make an informed decision.  Of course, I have always felt that presidential elections are a real shot in the dark…sometimes you hit the mark and sometimes you don’t.  So here are a few of my top reasons for supporting Hillary Clinton for President of the United States:

  1. I’m not stupid.
  2. She has been in politics and service for decades.
  3. She cares for the issues that concern women and children.
  4. She supports improved health care for all.
  5. She has, and will, worked for improving education and the affordability of it.
  6. Education is of key importance.  The number of people supporting Trump in this election makes that painfully clear.
  7. Service.  She actually knows what it means to serve the people who have elected her.
  8. Not only has she already been in the White House serving as our First Lady, she has served as Secretary of State and has gained years of knowledge about what it entails to be Commander in Chief of our country.
  9. We already have a great country.  I feel her leadership will continue to improve it.
  10. She handles herself well under pressure.
  11. She freely disclosed her health records and income tax records as was required of her.
  12. She didn’t kill Bill when he was making a mockery of their marriage with his indiscretions.  I think that proves she has tremendous self control.
  13. The very quirks of her personality that people criticize…her unapproachability, coolness…are characteristics I feel will actually help her as President.  And they wouldn’t even be discussed if she were a man.
  14. I believe her to have strength of character and determination.
  15. To be quite frank, the woman has balls.  She will be able to hold her own against adversaries.
  16. Do I believe she is always truthful?  See No. 1.
  17. She encourages equality, compassion, and fairness.
  18. She has learned the proper protocol for sending e-mails.
  19. She sets a good example for young women in that working hard, being confident, and well educated will help them achieve their dreams in life.
  20. I want Hillary to prove that a woman can serve and lead this country as well as, if not better than, a man.

So there you have it; those are my reasons.  Agree or disagree, it’s your choice.  But whatever you do, vote this November, no matter who it’s for.  Exercise the right that men and women have died for so that we can have it.  Vote.

Soon to come on the blog, my reasons for not voting for Donald Trump.
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Blessings

My Autumn To-Do’s

autumn-country-roadIt’s a new season, time for some changes.  Isn’t change a wonderful thing?  We can choose to change or not to change.  Or maybe I should be saying having a “choice” is the wonderful thing.  There are some things in life I love changing and experimenting with.  But there are others I don’t want to see change at all and do not welcome any sort of circumstance that tries to change them.  For instance, as much as I love technology and typing this on a computer, I still love writing with a pen in my personal planner.  Don’t make me try to stop doing that; it makes me a nervous wreck.  It might also be the obsessive compulsive in me but I can’t rely on just one of them, I need both paper and technology to keep me going in the right direction.

Almost every season, and sometimes every month, I make a To-Do List.  It’s sort of a bucket list, just in a shorter time span.  I make these lists in both my iPhone and in my personal planner so I will always have access to them.  Here’s what I have on my list for autumn:

  1. Keep making lists.
  2. Write down my weird dreams in a Dream Journal.dreamjournal4
  3. Attend a weenie roast.
  4. Visit a new produce market and buy an apple I’ve never tried before.
  5. Drive on the gravel roads of my old stomping grounds when the autumn leaves are in full color.
  6. Go to the lake on a sunny, warm autumn day to write poetry like I did in my teen years.
  7. Try out a restaurant I’ve never eaten in alone, just to prove I can.
  8. Go to one movie matinee and see a great movie on the big screen.  It’s been several years since I’ve done this.
  9. Clean out my garage.  God help me.  Please.
  10. Write, write, and write.
  11. Read, read, and read.
  12. Work on my fiction to make my characters more interesting; more quirky.
  13. Lose 20 pounds.  (I think I can, I think I can)
  14. Eat one piece of something pumpkin.
  15. Visit someone special to me.  I am so guilty of not visiting because I always feel awkward and uncomfortable in someone else’s home.
  16. Have a Golden Girls marathon for an entire weekend.golden_primary
  17. Make and keep an eye doctor appointment.  It’s overdue.
  18. Spend as much time as I can with Maggie outside while the weather is so nice.
  19. Go out with friends at least once.  I know I’m a loner, but I also love my friends.  It’s a hard balance for me.
  20. Find a covered bridge in my county and take pictures.  This has been on my list nearly every year and I still haven’t done it.
  21. Call my brother.  I have no idea why I haven’t.
  22. Find a dark chocolate that I like.  Oddly enough, I have read it can do good things for blood sugar.
  23. Read one book by an author I’ve never read before.
  24. Read one book of nonfiction.
  25. Write more on my blog.
  26. Take flowers to my family’s graves.  Flowers for autumn or Christmas are always nice and I haven’t done this in a long time.  Difficult memories, I hate cemeteries, but I need to do this.
  27. Teach Maggie to sit.  This will probably be my most difficult challenge.
  28. Stop being so hard on myself when I mess up.
  29. Forgive everybody everything.
  30. Stay away from people who deliberately hurt me.
  31. Vote for Hillary.

OK, I’ve shared mine, now you can share yours.  Do you have a seasonal To-Do List?

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Blessings

 

 

Grey Hair, Gravy, and Lipstick

IMG_2813
Wearing my wig.

“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”   Wait, I stole that line from a soap opera.  But ain’t it the truth?  As a child, I was always told that time moved much more quickly as an adult.  I had no reason to believe that; I saw no end in sight to Fifth Grade. 

The days of our lives turn into the decades of our lives before my crepey eyes blink twice.  The sands of time pile up from a play box to barefoot on the beach.  Unfortunately, it took a few dump loads of sand before I realized this really wasn’t a dress rehearsal and the time I need to enjoy is today.

It’s been a trip watching and feeling the changes to my body as it has gone through each decade to its current latter side of 50.  It has grown wider, heavier, curvier, and given into gravity.  It’s been abused, and sometimes pampered.  Scars have been carved deep both inside and out.  Arthritis has settled in to stay, my gall bladder was sucked out and discarded with the trash, and gravy can no longer be tolerated on a daily basis.  I do miss gravy.

I’ve gone through a few identity crisis over the years.  One was about six years ago when my thinning hair became so thin I felt everyone was staring at my glaring scalp.  So I began wearing wigs, and they saved me for several years.  They saved me from self-esteem issues and gave me some peace of mind for a while.  They served their purpose and gave me a little confidence in living.

About three months ago, I was sitting on the deck on a particularly warm summer night, and I began thinking how lovely it would be to not have to wear wigs. How nice it would be to experience the freedom of driving with the windows down and not worrying about my hair flying off.

I began asking myself questions, like was I trying to capture the attention of the male species with a gorgeous, Raquel Welch inspired thick mane of hair?  Did I care what others now thought of me when looking at my hair?  Was I trying to impress anyone?  Did my self-esteem lay solely on Eva Gabor?  My answer to all those questions was, “No.”

So I began thinking that maybe, just maybe, someone could take a pair of magic scissors and do something with the impossible.  You see, only a couple weeks before, I had taken an old pair of dull, rusty scissors and chopped away at my hair with a vengeance. I figured it didn’t matter because no one would ever see it under the wigs.  I couldn’t let just anyone see what I had done to my hair.  It had to be someone I trusted and knew would care whether my bald spots were showing, and I knew exactly who to call, my cousin-in-law, Kris, hair stylist extraordinaire.  I made the appointment.

With quiet observation, Kris looked at my hair, gave it a wash, and then set to work.  It had been several years since anyone had touched my hair and the clipping of the scissors made me a little nervous inside, but I trusted her, and I knew the important thing was that I regained my freedom.  It was no longer about how I looked, it was about how I felt.  Kris made it easy.  No judgement, no shocked looks, no screams of terror.  She had a plan.

With what little she had to work with, I felt Kris had performed a miracle.  I walked out of the salon armed with new product and a sense of freedom I had not had before.  Traveling down the highway with the windows down and the warm air blowing against my face and through my hair, I smiled at the absolute joy of it.

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My new, natural hair.

 

Since that day, there have been a couple awkward moments when someone would see me and express a terrified or shocked look.  I grew to embrace those looks as much as I have embraced my crown of grey.  I am one step closer to being the me God created, and enjoying his creation.

With this new found freedom to be myself, I have discovered that freedom goes wonderfully with a lovely lipstick, in any color that makes me happy at the moment.  It’s my life, I shall use all the colors in the box to bring joy to it.

What moment changed your life?

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Blessings