Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Smiles and Laughter

I was going through boxes yesterday, and I came across this picture taken when Todd and I were dating....let's see that would be 26 or 27 years ago! I love that sweet face of his. It always makes me smile. I can see it in expressions of both my children, and that makes me smile too.

I also came across more letters he sent during summer breaks. I thought about how my children will probably not have these tangible gifts to sift through when they are older because of this age of technology we live in...written communication for them will be email and text messaging and whatever else electronic written communication evolves into.

In this box I also found funny cards and letters from highschool and college friends. I will share one slightly vulgar one that made me and my two friends who were visiting laugh out loud, loudly!! Don't read any further if you only know me as sweet, demure susan and don't want that image tarnished. ;-)

The outside of the card says "Here is a joke so funny you'll laugh your tits off!"

The inside of the card says, "Oh...I see you've already heard it!"

Oh my goodness, I needed that laugh last night. Laughter is absolutely the best medicine! Do any of you who knew me back then care to guess who sent this? I will "out" her in a heartbeat if you guess correctly ;-)

Hope your day (and mine) is filled with many opportunities to laugh loudly.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cat Out of Bag

This post has some unattractive language…so don't read it if that offends you. It also rambles quite a bit….so don't read it if that irritates you ;-)

Well, tonight I'm pissed…but not too much anymore. I have been bitchy today, and I am thankful that God can handle it…particularly when it is directed at Him like it has been today. If I had had a chocolate bunny rabbit, I would have probably bitten its head off and spit it in the garbage. Try as I might to get worked up as I write this, I can't do anything but laugh about it although all afternoon I've been whining and mad about life in general…how I didn't ask to be born, and I don't really want to "do" this life a lot of days….I am not grateful, I am just plain pissed off to be here. So there…the cat is out of the bag. At one point today, I was so upset I thought I would vomit. I try to put a pretty smile on it, but it is just plain ugly some days. And in case you think I am having a pity party for only myself, you are wrong…I am having a pity party for this entire messed up and hurting world…for all the people who have recently lost everything, including loved ones, in these recent storms…for all those who live in extreme poverty…for all the children who are abused by adults who are supposed to love and care for them…for my friends in unhappy and/or abusive marriages…I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I scream in my car (by myself) as I drive down the road…loud and long, guttural screams. I yell "why is everything so hard!" Why didn't what's-his-name cuckoo head have the calculations right, and the world as we know it could have ended last week…I'm ready and fine with that (although I didn't think for one minute it was going to happen on May 24th… no one knows when, but I am just telling you I am ready).

I am better. I still don't have answers…didn't expect any cause I don't think there are any that would make sense to me…seeing as I am not the creator of the universe or the one who has gifted all of herself over to said creation. But I do trust Him…even when I am pissed…precisely because He has (created and gifted all of himself). I trust that he is in the midst of all this chaos and pain that we humans delve out to one another…this complainer included. I have to remind myself that I have hurt and mistreated those I profess to love most...not just one or two times in my life, but many times over. Ugh…what hope is there? I do know the answer, even though sometimes (like today) I want to pretend I don't. I know He is there in the beauty of His creation and the ugliness we humans have created. I know He is faithful and wants to draw everyone to Him, but He waits for each of us to decide that we want that too. I know that sometimes He does alter circumstances, but I also know sometimes He just keeps you company in awful circumstances. I believe whether He alters circumstances or keeps us company in them, He is always working toward reconciliation between Creator and creation…working out His plan of redemption for all mankind. I know Him, and He loves me. I am thankful for that even when I'm pissed.

The thing is, I'm upset because I'm ready for Parousia—that time when God will be "all in all." And I am thinking He is longing for that as well…so if it hasn't happened yet, there must be a very good reason. So I will have to wait…not idly…but trying to do my part to make this world better as He has instructed me (us) to do. Since I must have His help to do this to the best of my abilities, staying pissed off is like biting off my nose to spite my face.

Thank you, God, that You never leave me to my own devices. Thank You, that You never leave me, period.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Own Skin

I am trying to get comfortable in my own skin…and honestly, I thought I was…but I am finding I am not. You see my skin has always been my own, but it shared a something -– elasticity, or some other not-so-easily named quality—with Todd. I know that 26 years may not seem like long to some, but since that represents my entire adult life (and I do use "adult" lightly when referring to our early dating years --maturity was not my strong suit back then) there is a HUGE part of me that is now missing…because no matter how I look at it, HE IS NOT HERE BESIDE ME sharing in this adventure/mess we call life. I am altered… ME--down deep, as well as on the surface. And now I don't know exactly what's missing (besides the obvious), just that this skin that fit so well when I was Susan who was part of Susan and Todd, is sagging in some places. It seems so glaringly obvious to me today… I think I may be the last to know.

I WILL get comfortable. I know I will. I just have no idea how long it will take...I really want to complain right now, about "no ****! maps, and no time tables"…but it doesn't do a bit of good, so I might as well just suck it up. That last statement may have sounded light-hearted, but I assure you it was not intended that way. I am, however, (still) resolved to moving forward. It is what it is.

The quest begins.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Keeping It between the Ditches

Ditch 1: On one side you can let your skin get so thick, your walls so tall and to live so independently that you create nothing but a lonely, self-imposed exile.

Ditch 2: The other side involves becoming so needy and thin-skinned that almost every action by another hurts you in some way.

Conclusion: Although I haven't pitched my tent in either of these ditches, I do think I have eyeballed the terrain pretty closely. Thankfully, I tend to be drawn to the middle ground.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Receive When You Ask

I am feeling a bit sorrowful this morning. Realizing that there is no way I can put God in a box…no way I can demand to have my own way…no way I can be assured that the way I would like to imagine our life going from here on out is the way that it will go. Part of this sadness is the book I started the other day…it is about one person's dark night of the soul…and I have just begun the really dark part—the earlier part of the book has just been the build-up.

I still get sad when I catch a picture of Todd laughing/playing with the kids…I seem to be able to handle the pictures of us just fine, but not him and the kids.

I was talking with an old friend last night about wanting to learn from the past, live in the present, and hope for the future. Sounds really good, and most of the time I totally buy into that philosophy…wanting to live fully in the present...intentionally living in the moment I have, not lamenting over moments lost or what may or may not happen in the future. I know there will be a lot of days when this is easier said than done...today might be one of those.

Today I am just sad for the whole world and all those hurting. A part of me wants to demand answers, but an even bigger part knows that there are absolutely no answers that would satisfy. The old me would have been in a funk for days…I am stronger now, though, and I know Peace is mine if I will just choose to receive it. I so choose, and I am now going to follow the Rx of Philippians 4:6 and spend some time receiving. God' Peace to you all .




Monday, May 9, 2011

Side Note-part 2 (No maps available)

My response to certain comments or questions is not necessarily rational—as emotional responses rarely are. It is funny that the things others think will be upsetting often don't affect me one little bit, and I end up trying to assure them that I was not in the least upset by what *they* thought was a thoughtless comment. It is hard to navigate these waters, and none of us has a map. I know that trust is a major issue…and when I do open up, I want to know that the person I am speaking with will hold close what I am saying...and value the piece of me (and Todd) that I am choosing to share with them. No matter my demeanor at the time, I do not offer (these pieces) lightly.

As friends, I think all we can do is offer our gifts and hope they are received in the loving spirit in which they are offered…of course if we don't offer our gifts in (unselfish) love then that is a whole-other-issue. (And I have certainly done my share of offering "gifts" that were not really gifts at all…but as I said, that is a whole-other-issue.)

I am grateful my friends and family do not give up on me but continue to reach out and offer love and care in the ways they know best and without strings…whether I receive it or not is my problem, not theirs!

Thanks for traveling this road with me. Those of you still here must enjoy taking the scenic routes (Dad-speak for the longest route to your destination ;-) and following paths that are not on any map. And actually, in accepting there are no maps available, I find life to be much more enjoyable…and hopefully, my hands are free to help some of you carry your burdens along the way.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pain with a Purpose

I received 3 bullet wounds that night…my upper arm, my left breast and my neck…with one of the bullets grazing my chin. The doctors did sew up my chin, but all the other wounds had to be cleaned and left to heal from the inside out.

I have been thinking about how deep emotional wounds also have to heal from the inside out. It's not that some dressing and caring on the top layer isn't absolutely necessary, but how often we try to sew over the outside in a quick fix kind of way.

The cure for what ails us is often VERY painful. But there will be pain whether we choose to stand still or move forward…so I think I'll opt for the pain with a purpose (moving forward), and let God minister to those deep wounds in anticipation of complete healing from the inside out.

Side note:

It's funny (strange not "ha ha") that reading the first paragraph makes me uncomfortable. I don't really know why, as everyone who reads this blog probably already knows that about me. I have also noticed that I still only want to talk about it when I want to and not be asked questions—about anything that has to do with this. I can often feel a flash of anger when someone innocently asks a question to clarify something I've said or extract more information. I can feel myself shut down and disengage. It's like discussing it is so personal—too personal to have anyone make comments or assumptions. It is something I should be talking about with Todd and no one else. I hope one day *it* (the awful memories of that weekend) will have no power over me what-so-ever.