Monday, August 27, 2012

No More News!

 Nipping the News Bud

For many years, I paid little or no attention to the news, to politics, to the global economy.  When something truly major happened, I would learn about it, but the variances of the day weren't my concern.  I was caregiving for my mother, and attempting to learn some of the lessons for which I was placed on this earth. 

In the past few months, however, I've been swept into the constant news cycle.  I've decided this is not in my best interests. It simply makes me agitated and worried to know that the Dow Jones is dropping, the latest lie a politician has said, that the price of soybeans is reaching record highs, the number of victims in an auto accident in Outer Mongolia...I'm sure you see my point.

I can't do a thing about any of these. But knowing them, and seeing them updated hourly on my Google News ticker, makes them assume an importance in my life that they don't warrant. It's not that I don't care about the economy or who will govern the country or that people have died in accidents.

I do.

I care too much.

I was trained as a journalist and so each of these enters my subconscious as a story that should be pursued, no longer for publication, but simply because one should get to the bottom of all news stories.

The result is that I feel a constant state of anxiety about the future, which often prevents me from focusing fully on the present. I feel like deer in the headlines, so to speak, paralyzed by what might be coming next.

So I'm going to stop checking the news.  I'm going to ignore all the siren calls of hourly updates and in-depth analyses of current events. (At least I'm going to try!)

Instead, I'm going to focus on figuring out what the next right thing is in my life. I don't know what that is...yet.  I have some ideas and some options, but the for now I need to listen to the small, still voice in my heart that is my godly compass, pointing me in the direction for this, the next chapter of my life.

I'm anxious enough about what lies ahead.  I don't need the gaping maw of the insatiable media to munch on me as well. Instead I need to make the most of whatever days I have left on this fulfill whatever mission is left to me, to use whatever gifts I have been given, to become the person God wants me to be so that someday I might hear, 'Welcome home, Good and Faithful Servant."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Griefwalking the Unexpected

This month, which contains my birthday, my grandfather's birthday, my cousin's birthday, the birthday of my childhood friend's first child (on my birthday), and several significant personal anniversaries is always a bit hard.

But this year, add in a visit from my son for the first time since my mother's death and meeting a once very significant person in my life from whom I've been estranged for nearly 15 years and I've been sort of flattened by it all.  No blogging.  No writing.  Not much of anything.

I've learned these past months that grief and the subsequent changes just have to be lived. You can't plan your reaction and you can't plan your feelings.  You just have to see what comes and adapt to it along the way. Especially when it's a month that is already filled with major emotional events.

I've been adapting with chocolate and staring blankly at walls.

But now summer is drawing to a close and fall always feels like a new beginning. May it be so.

Sunday Gratitude

1. Corn on the cob.  Not genetically altered.
2. Coffee with cream, preferably iced.
3. The beginning of healing of old wounds and old estrangments.
4. Answers to prayer.
5. Apple right off the tree.

Answers to Prayer

With August nearly over, I've been slack on recording answers to prayer, but so far this month, I have 18 prayers listed in my journal.  I've probably prayed a lot more but didn't record them.  For reasons, see above.

Not answered yet--10
Sort of yes--2

The sort of yes deserve an explanation. One involves a health issue that seems to be improving, but it isn't fully clear what the result will be.  The other one is number three in gratitude: healing seems to be happening, but it's a long way from being a full "yes" to the prayer.  So they are "sort of yes."  Certainly not "no" in any event.