Fatigue . . .

Makes Cowards of Us All. (Vince Lombardi)

The older I become, the more I believe this. We aren’t made to exist in high gear constantly, then never have any down time. With the stress we face daily, that just adds to it. A lot of our stress is self-created and self-imposed. Some of it isn’t.

If we’re ill, been hospitalized, or had major surgery, it takes time to recuperate and gain our strength again. Every major surgery I’ve had has required every bit of six weeks to recover. When I had the tumor in my spinal column, recovery was over six months, with no data to guide us. It was hard to make time to rest, mentally. Our society doesn’t seem too accepting of people who rest and relax. We often feel guilty.

As Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” If a sports team is fatigued, they may doubt their ability and skills. We lose our edge, we miss things, we aren’t as effective as we could be. Now, at the ripe old age of 70, I welcome a nap nearly every day. I need the rest to operate all day long. We’re early risers, and early to bed.

When any of us just can’t take another step, when we want to pull the covers over our heads, when we want to give up, we need to take a break. We need to step back and remember the way of change and improving ourselves is taxing. It is hard. It depletes our energy to learn new things, practice new things, and become all we can be. Change seems to happen uphill, and the steps up are big and intimidating at times. Taking time to regroup, rest, and revive is necessary. It’s as needed as movement and commitment.

Everything is better after a good night’s sleep or even after a nap. Our minds are sharper, our hands steadier, and our outlook happier. We resume command of whatever we’re working at, be it writing a novel, making a quilt, digging a garden. Once things are back in perspective, we see things aren’t all doom and gloom again.

I’ve got a bit of a cold, and am trying to get extra rest. Looking forward to piling into bed, dogs, hubby, and Nyquil should do me nicely until morning. Hoping to kick the cold to the curb and not have it get worse. The weather has turned quite cold, and we’ve had temps in the 20s overnight. Still haven’t turned on the furnace yet. It should get a lot warmer for a few days. The dance between fall and winter continues!

Have a beautiful rest of the evening, stay warm, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Let’s get to #1000followers! We hope this happens soon! Share, and help a girl out! Thank you.

Monday Morning Moving In Again.

I love spring, summer, fall, and winter. Seasons have been part of my life forever, and I can’t see me moving to a warmer climate. Don’t want to be away from family; from all of our grandkids; or from two of our five kids. It’s home, wherever the Babe is.

I have nothings scheduled this week; no pesky doctor’s appointments; no VFW Post 2503 meetings, nothing but whatever we decide to do. It’ll be a good week to visit a couple of friends who are in ill health. Friendship transcends illness, and bringing brightness into the lives of folks who are confined for whatever reason. Call or visit your friends; you’ll both feel better.

My daily meditation book today talks about the labels we have in our lives. Do they reflect the truth of our actual living situations? What’s that mean?

“No pain, no gain.” There is a little bit of truth to that, meaning making sacrifices for your goals is necessary. It does not guarantee success.

When I was married before, I believed in sacrificing my wants and needs, along with a lot of prayer, I would win favor with God. As I matured, I realized God doesn’t want us to stay in bad marriages “for the sake of the children.” He already showed his favor by dying for our sins. I believe what we are supposed to do is use our talents and abilities to make our world a better place. We are not supposed to stay in situations where we are belittled, verbally abused, witnessing the same treatment to your children. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

I said I had to divorce because I believed in marriage. It was supposed to be a partnership, not a dictatorship. I also did not want to become a bitter, hateful woman.

After the divorce, yes, it was hard. At the same time, it was easy. Not financially, not when I needed to be two places at once, but I stopped being on guard. I stopped frowning. I never knew my unhappiness showed in my face. A new neighbor told me afterwards, she noticed the difference in me. I never smiled before. Yes, it takes a toll on a person. And the kids. Sometimes, you need to leave for the sake of the kids.

Pain doesn’t pay off when we misname it. This would fall under the first of The Four Agreements we discussed last week. Being impeccable with your word means telling the truth; it means naming your situation properly; it means naming a series of bad relationships properly, not calling it “bad luck;” it means naming our workaholism what it is, inability to play. As the meditation told me, “Pain Only Begets More Pain.” Your situation stays the same. Forever.

I knew I had to change my situation. And you may need to, also. If you are in a physically abusive relationship, leave. Now. There are agencies who can help you plan your escape. Bring your kids with you. No one needs to suffer any longer, especially you and your kids. Please, you deserve better. So do your kids.

Let’s start our journey’s towards a free and beautiful life with us being impeccable with our word. It’s the best start you can make. As we proceed with our days, let’s learn to recognize what gives us pain. Let’s evaluate why. Making changes will only improve your life. Yes, it’s hard. Anything worth it is. My dad taught me that. He taught it to challenge us. It made all of us kids better people. Have a beautiful afternoon, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Mistakes

All humans make mistakes. Even us. Let’s look at our mistakes with compassion and honesty instead of shame and embarrassment. How? Deep breath, boys and girls.

The world will not end when we goof up. It’s how we learn the best. The difference is, however, in if we repeat behavior in a relationship, that is not good for us. Yes, if we repeatedly accept poor treatment from others, it becomes our fault. Why? Because we can stop it by ending the relationship. How can you do that?

If the person is unwilling to work with you to change, if all you hear is empty promises and see no improvement in behavior towards you and others, you need to take action. I know it is frightening, but it is the best thing I ever did. Truly. The road was long and hard. I’m not telling you it is going to be easy; I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it. Trust me. Prepare to work hard. Prepare to incur criticism. It just goes with the territory.

Sometimes, mistakes and admission thereof cause us rejection, not only from others, but from our harshest of critics; ourselves. We have to give ourselves a break! Telling someone else, “Look what you made me do!” is such a terrible thing to do. Growing up, my cousins and I heard that a lot from our mom’s. Our grandma taught her daughters that phrase. Not knowing any better, they used it on us. And some of us grew up thinking we caused our mom’s to mess something up. That’s a lot to carry as a little kid.

Hear me now: Nothing someone else does is your fault. You do not cause your mom’s negative behaviour, your husband’s bad mood, or your boyfriend’s drunken tirade. You certainly don’t cause him to hit you or your children. No one deserves to be abused verbally or otherwise. Get some help and prepare your action. You are not safe.

Sometimes, I still feel the sting of being blamed for things that were not my fault. It’s just how they are. I cannot change them. I can only change how I react to it. Usually, a quick session with the Babe nips it in the bud. I am forever grateful to him in so many ways. He has taught me how to let things slide that used to disable me.

Whenever I do something and it doesn’t turn out like I’d like it to, I learn not to do it again. Think of another way. I’ve learned to laugh with myself, not at myself. There’s a tremendous difference. I’m basically a calm person, and that has seen me through a lot. We all remember those character building events of our lives. Sometimes I feel my character is just fine, Jesus, so please, no more! But then I know He knows what’s best for me. Acceptance of that fact helps a lot.

Today is another appointment for Mom and I need to hit the road soon. It’s another beautiful, sunny day at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Make compassion and honesty your words of the day. Enjoy, and we’ll see each other again tomorrow. Be safe.

Thoughtful Thursday 9/3/2020

Today is a bittersweet day. My cousins and I will gather to lay one of our own to rest this afternoon. Mom is not coming, I’m sure, due to her limited vision and hearing. It’s a very windy day today, and the Omaha National Cemetery will have even more wind. It just seems wrong to be grieving one of our own so soon. Sure, some of us are in our late sixties, but we’re hanging on. Truth be told, it’s amazing we are still all alive. When you think of accidents, illnesses, we have been fortunate. It is a whole different feeling to bid farewell to someone without our older generations present.

We have become the older generation, right now. How did that come to pass? It seems like I was babysitting younger cousins not too long ago. I suppose fifty years has gone by quickly for them, too. Looking back, it didn’t take long at all. We are parents, grandparents, partners, workers, who were all raised with a good work ethic, a sense of law and order, and concern for our fellow humans. I can only hope the children we all have will make the world a better place for all of our grandchildren. It’s quite poignant when you think of it. Our grandparents felt much the same sixty years ago.

Before the service, cousins and I talked about how old all the little kids were, and how dare they all grow up. We truly are the next group in the rotation. Those little kids have kids, and they’re not so little anymore. That’s what families do – they sometimes grow apart, they lose touch, and reacquaint during days like these.

Somber. Sad. Sober. But paying tribute to a man who, as a very young man, made a promise to his country, and kept that promise beyond anything else in his life at that time. I’m grateful to have been a part of his life as a kid, and I marvel at the beautiful carpentry work he could do as a grown man. He was a dad, a grandpa, a brother to his sister and brother, a son to his parents. The three of them will reunite in heaven.

His family has the loss, the empty chair to deal with at holiday dinners, the extra Christmas stocking to hang or not hang, the pictures to divide up. Cherish your people. Take photos. Apologize. Even if they were wrong, apologize. Reconcile while you still are able. Don’t let it be too late.

Clinging to a mistake, just because it took a long time to make it, is just not a good thing to do. Sure, it’s uncomfortably comfortable, you know what to expect, you don’t risk anything. Well, except your life, your future, your happiness. Breaking out of a bad place to stay is courageous. It’s to be admired. It’s unnerving to witness if you think your life is comfortable. When you leave the comfort of your life for the unknown, it is scary. Scary good and bad at the same time. Persistence and tenacity is what wins out. Over thirty years ago, I made an unpopular decision and divorced my first husband. We were married eleven and a half years. The last year and a half, I was very unhappy, unfulfilled, and felt unloved, more like the help than the wife.

I found out I wasn’t wrong. I made a mistake in marrying so young, and for picking the person I did. I believe that is the kindest way to put it. I outgrew him. He was contented at 31, to be who he was then, for the rest of his life. I felt stuck in a story I didn’t write, living a life that I didn’t really choose. I needed to grow and learn more than I knew. It was the best thing I ever did. Yes, I made mistakes. My kids and I were happy. We worked hard. We laughed a lot. I worried a lot about money and all of that, but it worked out. And we’re still standing.

I was very fortunate to find someone who is a fine man. He is smart, experienced in life, and has a loving presence that reveals how much caring he does for those around him. He is very motivated to do a good job at whatever he tries. We fit very well together. Timing was everything in our lives, to meet when we did. And God was good to both of us to put us together.

We are in the last third of our lives. Maybe less than that, maybe the last fourth. It matters a lot these days how we spend those we have left, for however long we have them. Enjoyment and happiness trump drudgery and misery any time. Break out. Find some help, it’s out there. Don’t stay just because you’re afraid. That’s exactly why you shouldn’t. No one should have to be afraid. Ever.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today, Begin! Start towards a different path. Go a different way, learn something new. This is a perfect time to start. And keep going. I’m with you. Many will be right behind you. Just go for it.

Thank you for taking time to read today. I appreciate it so much. I will blog much earlier tomorrow, as we all begin a long weekend, the last holiday of summer. I’m ready for jeans and hoodies. How about you? Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Courteous, Be Civil.

And, Richard John Wheeler, Sr., RIP, Semper Fi!