Passion, what’s yours?

Passion! To explain the feeling is almost to lose the memory of the sensation. Some things are felt so intrinsically, they defy definition and indeed, to ground these other worldly, higher level experiences in ordinary literature is to rob them of the ethereal beauty in one’s memory.

How do you explain the rushing sound of swirling, rising water to a person in the desert? How do you explain the elation of flight to someone who’s feet have never left solid ground?

Likewise, how can I explain the soul wrenching redemption of Jesus Christ to someone who has always remained imprisoned in a world lost to sin? The freedom to acknowledge that which we are not, the grace to praise Him whom we are not, the joy that swirls within, culminating, in a shout of recognition that I am not, but He IS!

A tender baby cries out to his mother for solace. I cry out to my Creator! What sense am I to make of this world into which I was born? And yet, I feel in the silence, a deafening presence. Somehow, I know I am heard yet, not judged, loved and not abandoned, guided and not lost. The dichotomoy my logical finite brain suffers as it tries to dissect and rationalize the infinite God is excruciatingly painful at times until I just give up trying to grasp it and just let the peace that passes all understanding wash over me and renew me.

I have many passions, activities into which I pour my soul, body and mind in an effort to give it my all. Kayaking, what an all engaging sport! Writing short stories, I pour over them for hours editing the right adjectives and metaphors and verbiage, and rearranging paragraphs and anything else I find lacking. Poetry flows naturally at times and expresses deep feelings I cannot otherwise convey. Above all these passions, my passion for God is second to none. My passion for my family is constantly amazing to me! My children!

What moves you?

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Weapons of mass distraction, or why do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow?

Do you do all you want to do?  Is it good enough?  What does that phrase mean anyway?  Good enough?  I feel like my house is in a constant state of “good enough”.  It definitely doesn’t meet the white glove standard, nor does it ever stand a chance of even qualifying for “most organized house”, not even in the top billion!  I’ve been distracted by two remarkable little beings, whom I claim delightfully as my very own flesh and blood.  And, no they are not the subject of the title, as appropriate as that may appear to be at times.  I spend a lot of time with my two little clones, constantly rearranging schedules to be in their classroom and on field trips and home with them after school, even though I work part time.

They are both in school full time now and I am sloooooowly, ever so slooooowly, as in slothfully slowly, (just ask my husband) starting to concentrate more on my house. I firmly recommend preventive maintenance of things rather than tons of catchup work later, please note the word “recommend”, not “practice”. Intent is not the problem, distraction is and, I am an expert!

Here’s how I clean: As I’m sweeping the floor, I hear the dryer has stopped. I walk the first batch of clean and folded laundry to my son’s room, stepping over the Lego landmine because I’ve now developed a sixth sense in my toes, especially for small plastics. Place laundry on bed, pick up laundry, make bed, replace laundry. Pick up Lego, try to figure out if there are any other landmines awaiting my bare feet. Upon placing brick back in bin, notice daughter’s bride Squinkie has somehow escaped her room and is playing with the big boys now. After rummaging through to rescue other possible survivors of the minuscule wedding party, and thereby also head off any arguments later, I also notice a sock I’m sure has a mate in my room, or did at one point. I return the bride to my daughter’s room, picking up shoes as I cross the threshold into the danger zone. I remember the shoes need laces as they are the worst design in “no laces needed” shoeware, I have ever seen! Or maybe its truth in advertising since now one shoe indeed has no lace and the other has but one shred of material which vaguely resemble a worm or lace, hanging on purely out of stubbornness. I reflect on their lack of wear, we’ve only just bought them 3 weeks ago! I’ve deposited the miniature figurine of wedded bliss back in her hometown and now, sock still in hand, laceless shoes in the other, I head to my room to find the mate. Oh and I’ve now made two beds and am about to make a third. Walk into my room, spend 5 minutes looking for afore-mentioned sock mate, find more laundry by the door like a small mountain, daring me to conquer it before I need to pick up the children. I’ve now gathered the pile, taken it back to the washer where my trip originated and, unknowingly placed the lone sock in the dirty clothes. Do you feel my pain? And the floor still isn’t completely swept but, I won’t notice that until later, when I’m barefoot again and my toast crumb toe sensors fail! I’ll probably wonder how that could’ve ended up there when I just swept up?

We haven’t even covered the kitchen, bathroom or living room and its time to go get a good parking space close enough to avoid the pedestrian gauntlet of after school pickup. Oh, did I mention its Spring and my garden is less cultivated, more apocalyptic? For today, it’s just got to be good enough. Are there days you need to give yourself permission to be good enough?

What’s your plug of choice?

What gets your creative current flowing?   Is that where your energy is going to the majority of the time? After a rather calm day, ending in last minute panic, sucking the calmness away in the blink of a phone call, I just had a random visual of myself as a wall outlet, but unlike those poor inanimate objects, as “live” as they may be,  I had the choice whether I was going to allow energy to flow to whatever was plugging in to me.  You think that’s random, I was also only a double socket!  I hope the first thing plugging in is an extension cord leading to a power strip!  I’ve got way too much to do to only depend on two measly plug ins!  You see what I did there?  I delegated to the power strip!  I am still the major energy source and none of them, despite their ability to power things independently of each other, will get anywhere without my support because their main energy source is still me.  However, instead of occupying all my time and energy exclusively on one need, now I can support many needs at once and still remain strong!   What a concept!  And, I still have an open plug left to focus on other needs and maybe even hold back on some of my energy to divert it to this other source!

Do you leave any open plugs in reserve for whatever may happen, even if perhaps only to recharge yourself? Do you choose who or what you plug into, or do you find you’re suddenly surrounded by people and commitments sucking the juice out?

Want flaws with that?

My perfect day started like this:  Up at 3:00 because I had so much to do, I couldn’t wait to get started!  I baked a batch of cookies from scratch for my son’s class and did two loads of laundry in between baking times.  I also made two loaves of banana bread, made my children’s lunches for school, did my daily workout, showered, woke the two darlings up, made them breakfast, and off to school we drove! I helped in my son’s classroom, went to work, met my mom for lunch and so on and so forth. Envious yet? For those of you Laugh In fans, here come ‘da flaws, here come ‘da flaws. REWRITE!

I went to bed at midnight because I was talking to someone important, which is why I decided I would leave the cookies for the morning. Somewhere in the next 2 hours, my young daughter climbed into bed, making me the meat in the Daddy daughter sandwich, did I mention we have a Queen size bed and we are both King size people? I digress. Moving on, at 3:00, I awake to the sound of thunderous snoring and the lack of blood to certain extremities due to poor circulation of contorted limbs attempting to stake a claim to some meager portion of the bed. After extricating myself from my flesh and blood straight-jacket, I figure I might as well get a start on the day. Make cookies, start laundry, make kid’s lunches, actually, that last part did go off without a hitch. Cookies however, which felt weird when I was making the individual balls, (a little too greasy, as if there wasn’t enough flour, was a thought which fluttered through my mind and then just as quickly fluttered out), went in to the oven minus the flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Ugh, at least I managed to see the lonely little bowl, while glancing up from the melting remnants of the first batch of cookies in the oven.

Fixed my cookies but, now of course they have less butter, I scraped the now sweet, crispy, crunchy oatmeal, butterscotch concoction into a bowl, season it with cinnamon and stir it up, not willing to throw it out. I went to turn on my workout and actually made it through a whole 10 minutes or so of the 30 minute program before I just couldn’t do it anymore, whipped up a double batch of banana bread but, used the wrong coating for the pan and forgot to use it entirely on the other pan. The sprayed one had a weird taste on the outside which thankfully could be covered with a glaze and the other came out perfectly because it was in a silicone pan, yay for small mercies! Hopped in the shower, woke the children, thank you time change, off to school, late for the first time in I don’t even know how long! Now you have the truth about my morning, flaws and all. The kicker is I actually remember looking around before the children awoke and thought, I should get up this early more often! Oh, the madness our brains confuse for rationale when sleep deprived! Oh, and also, because of all that, I fell asleep on the couch at about 8:30! And, did I also forget their nutritious breakfast was a bowl of the “granola” Mama made fresh? And, I needed to go to work, pick up the children, and make a rehearsal for a skit I am in tonight.

Which version do you usually tell of your day? The clean, no flaws version of all your accomplishments? Or the all to real fully flawed version, aka the human version? Conversely, which one do you want to hear about from a friend? I go for the more entertaining version every time! I don’t want to hear just about what you did but, what it took to get you there! It gives me insight to how you think and persevere and operate under pressure, thereby giving me a greater glimpse into your character and thinking process. There might be a little part of me which rejoices that my day wasn’t as bad as that but, if you are a friend of mine, I will voice that openly and we’ll laugh about it anyway.

Is suffering optional?

I was walking by a faded sticker on the back of a car not long ago and read “pain is optional”.  I had to read that a second time, sure that I had skipped a word.   All sorts of thoughts were running through my head as I stopped and turned around to read the full text.  Turns out I did miss the other part of the statement.  “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. The subpoint to this whole thought process which struck me, was a subtle reminder to make sure you have the whole story. And sometimes you have to stop (your assumptions) and back up to get the whole story, context and all. But, now that I had, it rang so true.  Who do you share your pain with?  Who do you trust?  Have you been disappointed, betrayed by those whom you considered protectors of your secrets? Do you wallow in the betrayal by someone not perfect enough to avoid a misstep?

I recently read a friend’s post stating you shouldn’t tell your problems to anyone because 20% don’t care and 80% are glad you have them.  I hope the author doesn’t really feel that way.  Luckily, it only takes one person.  You are truly fortunate if you have found that one person to whom you can entrust the truth, the whole truth and, nothing but the truth. Sometimes, it’s not a quid pro quo, it even works out that although you may be the perfect confidante for someone else, they are not the perfect confidante for you. Maybe, it works out better that way, less risk of co-dependency happening, perhaps. The point is, we shouldn’t have to pay a therapist who too many times, has nothing invested in us personally. There are times when having the objective viewpoint of someone distanced from the intense emotions involved is needed, been there myself. Yet, that should be the exception, rather than the rule, shouldn’t it?

If your goal is to better yourself, then let the past be the past. I am in full acknowledgment this can seem to be impossible! I still have oodles of past bad choices, invisible to others and yet, still they haunt me to a certain degree and at key times, I’m sure they’re hanging out there like a freshly laundered shirt flapping in the wind, getting everyone’s attention. I don’t suffer anymore because of those choices, for the most part. I admit, it’s a progressive project to let go… I have been reminded at least a dozen times in the last month or so, by chance readings and glances at signs, “it takes time, so take some time”. So annoying when those little quips strike a chord! Nowadays, I can look back and see the long, twisted, ridiculous road I’ve traveled and I like to think of it as a mountainous hike. Once I hit the peak and go down the other side, I can no longer see what was on the other side. Unless I choose to revisit the past, it remains in the distance and gets a little less painful each year. It’s all faded into a blur of different experiences and hopefully I’ve learned to make less mistakes or at least not the same ones without some improvement. I guess only time will tell.