Shameful feelings

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote. You’d think I’d have plenty of material during this historic time. And, I guess I do but I’m kind of overwhelmed by feelings. I find it hard to sort my thoughts into coherent sentences. I’m finally at a place where I feel I’ve got to get something out before I explode.

All these people protesting the “stay home” orders! All these people ignoring the scientists and doctors! All these people who think they have the right to decide whose life is worth the inconvenience! To all these people I say, go ahead and risk your lives.

I know it’s hateful and unchristian but, I find myself hoping that these selfish, ignorant people go out, have their rallies, protest in groups, gather at the beach, whatever it is they can’t live without, and get sick! Get COVID-19 and die.

I know, I’m horrible. That’s why I haven’t voiced these thoughts before. And I don’t want innocents to be hurt by these idiots, but maybe this is a good way to thin the herd. I’ve been wondering how we can survive the ignorant 40% of Trump supporters. Now, I’m thinking this is a good way to separate the chaff from the wheat.

I feel like I should apologize for this post. I am ashamed to admit that I have these feelings. I don’t want innocent people to suffer, get sick, or die. I just can’t help but be furious at the idiots, including Herr Drumpf, who are so ignorant and willfully ignoring the truth.

I’ll close by asking you to pray for all of those putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones at risk to help us survive this pandemic. And, maybe say a little prayer for my heart.

Peace and love!

P.S. And please, vote Blue no matter who!

Befuddled?

Befuddled? I think that’s the right word for how I’m feeling. Maybe it’s confused? All I know is that I don’t know what I’m feeling about the world, and specifically my country, anymore.

I’ve gone through so many emotions, sometimes in one day, that I’m exhausted. Shock, sadness, anger, confusion, hope, dismay, sorrow, defeat, defiance, surrender, futility, frustration, grief.

Somehow, a conman has gained the highest elected position in our government and there’s nothing anyone can do to make him play by the rules. At least half of our government is willing to allow the destruction of our democracy to hold on to personal power. The evil that is being perpetrated by these people is so egregious that my mind can’t comprehend the reality of it all.

I’ve looked at historical government rise and fall and see so many parallels to what is happening today. I see the consolidation of power in one or a few. I see the complete lack of accountability and the rewriting of laws to protect those few. I see the complete destruction of my country in just a few years.

How can anyone handle so much emotion? What can anyone do to make a difference? What’s the point anymore?

Decorating drag 😕

Like most folks I know, I’m in the process of decorating my house for Christmas. Well, first I have to undecorate for Thanksgiving and then decorate for Christmas. It seems never ending sometimes.

I love seeing the house decked out for the holidays but hate the putting up and taking down. I do everything I can to make it go smoothly. I always hope it will get easier but it actually seems to get harder each year.

When I take down decorations, I carefully pack everything away in an orderly fashion. I have a bin for linens: tablecloths, napkins, tea towels, and the tree skirt. Then there’s the bin for tree ornaments. I may have to increase that to two bins since my bin runneth over. I carefully box or wrap each ornament to make sure that they stay safe until next year. Then place all gently into the bin. Another bin is for the mantle decorations, and one for the candles and another for the Christmas tree lights, and well, you get the drift.

So, after taking so much time to organize and carefully store the decorations, it still seems endless when I begin to take things out and decorate. Maybe it’s not the storage or packing that is the problem. Maybe I just have too much!

So, if I decide I have too much, what should I do? The obvious answer is to downsize. I’ve tried that. I always find there is very little I’m willing to give up. Then, if I do get rid of something, I absolutely need it the next year so I have to go out and buy it again.

Let’s be honest.  The real problem isn’t the decorations, storage, or quantity of junk. The problem is trying to create the “perfect” Christmas home.  I could probably do a lot less and still have a beautiful home that says Christmas to me. But then, I’d feel guilty because I didn’t do enough.

So, the real issue is that I’m trying to fulfill some requirement that I’ve place on myself. I’m trying to be superwoman, as most women will do this time of year, and in the process, I’m losing my joy of Christmas.

What I really need for Christmas is to give myself permission to do less and enjoy more without feeling guilty.

Aging

My husband and I have reached the stage of life when we begin to realize that our parent(s) are getting older and that time is not on our side. The signs are very subtle and sneak up on you. Suddenly, Dad doesn’t walk as steady as he once did or mom has trouble using her hands to do the sewing she used to love.

We all know that age is progressive. We know that we will get older and that there are consequences to aging, some good, some bad.  We think we’re ready to deal with whatever aging brings us but I, for one, have to admit I suddenly wonder, “when did this happen?”

I lost my mom too early.  She was only 59, but it was emphysemia that caused her early death so I never really saw her age much.  Certainly, I watched as she lost some of her strength and abilities but it was always because of the disease.

But it’s different when you see your parents who seemed to be completely healthy and strong one day and then faltering the next.

One day Mom is working in her flower beds for hours at a time and then hosting the family for dinner. The next, she can only work in the yard for short periods and it takes a few days for the aches and pains to fade away.

Dad rides his bike and walks miles and miles a day. Then you realize that even short walks can be too much for him. You have to be aware so that he doesn’t push himself too hard.  

Or maybe you’re used to Dad being confident and in control all the time.  Then find that he is asking for your guidance more often and leaning on you instead of you leaning on him.

And always there are the medical appointments. What used to be accomplished with you only hearing about it when there was a problem is now something that worries you constantly.  Every appointment brings a fear that all will not be well. That this will be when you find out what is going to take them away from you.

Now, my Dad and my in-laws, who I love like my own parents, are beginning to decline and I am afraid.  I think about how they are going to get along and whether I should be doing more to help. I worry that there just isn’t enough time to show them how much I love and admire them.  I wish I could freeze the clock until I’m ready.

My Dad is my hero. Always has been. He served 30 years in the Navy retiring as a Master Chief.  I always believed he could do just about anything. He was strong and sure and my protector.  He is the connection to my childhood that no one can replace. And no matter what else life hands me, I know that he loves and is proud of me. His faith in me makes me feel like I can do anything.  He makes me feel like a hero.

And, as for my Mom and Dad (in-law), I know there will never be enough time. I was blessed with them only twenty-eight years ago.  They welcomed me with open arms and hearts. I’ve come to know and love them so completely.

How can I face not having Mom’s advice (whether I need it or not)? Who will advise me about caring for plants and flowers.  Where will I turn when I want to know about the family history and so many other things. How will I feel loved without her friendship?

I know I can’t stand losing Dad’s gentle comfort and widom. He always knows how to bring peace and calm during difficult times. He gives profound advice that I know I can trust.  And yes, even his corny humor is something I will miss desperately.

I know that my musings really have no answer.  There is no way to be ready. There will always be regrets and sorrow.  I suppose all I can do is try to show each of them how important they are to me and how much I love them.

 

 

Being grateful – part 3

Well, I’m back to talk about gratitude. I’m working on trying to feel better by remembering to be grateful. I’ve got to say that this is not as easy as it sounds. Just remembering to take the time to acknowledge my blessings is a challenge.

So, as I said before, I don’t have trouble recognizing things that I’m gateful for but the uplifting feeling is fleeting. It’s almost as if I have to go around thinking of gratitude all day. Maybe that’s the answer. Every time I begin to feel sorry for myself, I should stop and think of something for which I’m grateful.

I have a feeling that will get old quickly. It sounds a lot like denying my feelings. Like saying I don’t have the right to feel bad about things because I’ve got so much for which to be grateful. That’s a whole other rabbit hole to fall into.

For today, I’ll make the effort and say that I’m grateful for technology that makes life better; for peace and security in my home; for family that loves, or at least tolerates, me.

Loneliness

You know, sometimes it’s not just having people around you but having the right person around you that’s important. Not that all of your network isn’t vitally important but, sometimes you just need to be able to share with the person who would best be able to understand. When you don’t have that person, you find your thoughts and feelings running around your head like a chicken with its head cut off (as my mother used to say).

When sharing our feelings, we need to know that the listener will understand the context of how we feel, can support our feelings without placing blame, and will not take personally what we say.  For example, if I’m feeling pulled in too many directions, I need to know that my listener won’t blame me or the people I love who are doing the pulling. If I’m angry at the world, I need my listener to help me see beyond my anger while still acknowledging my anger is valid.

Usually we turn to our friends and/or family for this help.  We reach out in small ways, tentatively testing the responses of our support group. But, sometimes we can’t trust that these people can meet our needs.

Then there are the times when we can’t even voice what is going on in our heads.  The voices just keep running around and around.  We try to puzzle through the noise to see what we can do to change our feelings. We try to talk to ourselves to be the listener that we need. We try to distract ourselves from the chaos. Ultimately, there are times when none of this works. Or at least it doesn’t work long-term.

How many times have we been the listener giving the support and encouragement that we all need? Can’t we just tell ourselves all of the things we would tell someone we love and then feel better? Why do the words we speak seem so reassuring until we’re speaking to ourselves?

I think most of us can relate to this feeling of loneliness even amidst an super support network. It’s not that we don’t know we’re loved.  It’s not that we don’t know what we would say to someone feeling just like we do. It’s just that we can’t find that right person to listen and we can’t seem to listen to ourselves. We just hear the confusion running around and around.

Maybe, at this time, it’s time for a professional listener. Maybe that’s the only way to herd those headless chickens home to roost.

 

Want an alternative to Facebook

I’m sure I’m not the only person who is getting fed up with Facebook. The fact that they are comfortable with allowing lies, hate, and foreign interference in our government is infuriating.

I’ve tried researching alternative online but am just not seeing anything. I’m sure that’s because I don’t know what I’m looking at. There seem to be a lot of dating sites and chatting sites but nothing that allows the kind of connections FB provides.

If you have found yourself wanting to leave FB and have found an alternative, please share with me. Let me know what you have found and how it’s going. I hope to find something that doesn’t force me to slog through lies and hate just to connect to friends and family.

Being grateful…part two

Well, it’s been about a week and I can say that I have no trouble thinking of things that I am grateful for. And it does make me feel good…for a while. But then, I feel conflicted and even guilty. How can I focus on how good I have it when there is so much wrong in this country and world?

I’m grateful that I live in a nice house, on the water, with a wonderful husband and pets. But I feel guilty because so many others are homeless or feel unloved.

I’m grateful because my son has grown to be a good man who is successful in his life. But  so many others have lost children to gun violence or have children who have not been as successful, for whatever reason.

I’m grateful that I live in a country that is not overcome with war. But what about all the people who are running from war or other violence?

I’m grateful for my family that loves and supports me through everything, even when they don’t agree with me. But what about those who have no family or are estranged from their family or have toxic relationships with their family?

I could go on but you get the idea. So, where do I go from here?

Being grateful…

I read recently that you can “rewire your brain to be happy” just by thinking of three things you are grateful for each day. I don’t really believe it’s that simple but I’ve decided to give it a try. If nothing else, it forces me to focus on the positive, even if only for a short time.

Being positive in the world today is a challenge. It is so easy to get lost in the chaos that is surrounding us every day. Fighting an amoral U.S. government, worrying about climate change, and trying to protect human beings from gun violence is all consuming.

I’ll post updates to this as I test the possibility of improving my attitude with gratitude. If anyone else decides to try it, let me know how it goes for you.  Thank you.

Worried and wondering…

In the spirit of complete disclosure, let’s start by saying I never believed someone as amoral, narcissistic, criminal, and ignorant as Trump could win the election to the presidency.

That said, I’m constantly looking at history to compare with the chaos we are living in today. I realize that many people are convinced that Trump is the savior they have been waiting for. I also realize that I will NEVER understand their perception.

I have long been interested in World War II. In particular, I have been consumed with the stories of holocaust survivors. How they survived, what they survived, why they survived. As part of this curiosity, I naturally wondered why they chose the paths they chose. It’s only natural, when looking back, to wonder if they could have done something sooner to save themselves and their families from the disaster that was to come.

I’ve read many accounts of families and individuals who watched Hitler come to power in shock and surprise. Then watched as the rule of law was changed to create an atmosphere that allowed for the murder of 11 million people, 6 million simply because they were Jewish, with the acquiescence of the general population. What made them believe it couldn’t happen? What made them stay when hindsight screams, “Get out”? What would I have done in the same position?

What would I have done is coming too close to reality for me right now. A demagogue, who fashions himself as a god, has been “elected” as “our” leader. A person who believes himself and his agenda to be above the rule of law in our country. Many people support this person simply because they have bought into his agenda and believe life will be better for them, damn the rest of the world. If this doesn’t bring flashbacks to 1930s Germany, I don’t know why not.

So, here I sit wondering when it’s time to throw in the towel and find a country that better matches my belief system. When is it time to say I’ve lost the fight to save my beloved country? Am I guilty of ignoring the truth as it seemed the people in the 1930s did when watching Hitler take over?

What options do I have and what choices should I make to protect and preserve my life, my family, my democracy, and my country? Is there anything I can do to save the future of democracy in the United States of America? Is there any hope for the best of America to win over the greed, self-absorption, and loss of empathy that has invaded our country? What can and should I be doing now?

I cry over these questions but still can find no sure answers. Perhaps those with more knowledge and experience can guide us to the truth and best of our great country? I pray that is so and cry until I find the answers.