During each of these days–

Continually I am asked by the ones that are closest to me, “Are you fine?”  “What is the matter?” “No I don’t think that is the reason, so what is it?”  If I try to answer the first two questions, most likely I receive the third question in response to my answer.

This brings me to a point in my life where I ask a question, “Why is it when I say what is the problem, I am told that my reason is justified and that I don’t understand the situation.  The situation is mine I think and after all this time of living I should hope that I know what my situation is.  But, there is a difference.  When I was young I would never think of telling someone what was bothering me.  Now I do and I think that is the basic problem.  I was an expert at covering up what I was feeling.  Well, how could I tell them when my self esteem was even lower than it is now.  Back then I felt I could never be truthful because I felt that the truth would hurt me more than them.

Now, it feels more important to me to tell the truth.  Yes I suppose I could sugar-coat it a little, but then usually these same people don’t sugar coat much for me.  One is M. who is so troubled with the way that I am, particularly in my reaction to acquaintances and friends, as well as himself.  Well, as two examples of his worry,  one friend has used up all the care and help that I have for her.  I have helped and helped and been there, and been there for her and what have I gotten in return is a plea for more help.  I just don’t have more to give since now I feel I must take care of me and so I stay away as quietly and politely as I can.  Another is a new acquaintance, who I thought might become a good friend.  When I realized that the “the sale–the job–the inevitable bit of money made” was more important than understanding what I wanted and dealing with it.  Yes I was the client, but it didn’t seem to matter much.  I was quickly told that I should understand that what I wanted to happen, (I had full rights to ask for what I wanted)  went against the grain of the acquaintance.  I understood in a moment that the commission in the sale was the most important.  Well, as I am known to do, the axe fell on this supposed relationship and now I am questioned why I made the decision I did.

I often think that this is the most appropriate time in my life to say what I am, what I want and how I see it.  If I don’t act now on my beliefs what am I going to do during that long journey with in my Crepusculum.  I can just imagine how my care can take quick turns that I don’t believe in.  That fact is catalyst enough for me to know I must grab a hold of my own life and start letting everyone know my wishes.  I just can’t sit in the quiet “corner” any longer.  This is all different to me as it is to the others who question me, but I believe this current life turmoil and questioning must be during my transition  from quiet toad sitting on the side of life, to a new, determination that makes people say, “Guess I can’t run over him any longer!”  Its not easy to change.  If you are  like me then agree  to  take a chance to stake out your independence.  Grab a hold of your wishes and sell them boldly to all you meet.  That little change will make you begin to see that it is possible to journey through Crepusculum with a modicum of respect and enjoyment.

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Is it a question of attitude?

 

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  I am convinced that life is 10% of events that happens to me and 90% of how I react to those times!  Therefore, it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.  Charles W. Swindoll

When I first read this quote, I passed right on by it.  A few days later, I came upon it again, reread it, and finally realized what I should have seen before!

I stopped to think about my attitude and how my outlook for the day is formed and if it ever changes during the day, what either format means and if there was anything I should do about making sure I carried with me the best possible reaction to the events in my life.

Usually, I awaken in the morning very early.  This is a hold over from when my Mother was alive, but now I treasure that time because it is my time to think, write or do whatever I like on the computer.  It is a time that is always in the darkened room.  It is always quiet and affords me the ability to write in privacy!  While I am at the computer I have a small cup of coffee and if it is one of the days that sleep has eluded me then the coffee does no good, I still feel like sleeping, I nod often and soon realize the best thing to do is go lay down!

When I first awaken and during this private time, I am one of those that do not wake up to well.  Two hours can pass and I will still be in a cloudy state.  Yes, I can write and develop what I am writing, but if I need to really think, or function, I am not too good at it at this hour.  I have always been like this in the morning, quiet and possibly, you would think I was in a dreamland, which I may be.  Regardless, I feel I am innocent in premeditated actions because I just could not plan a thing until much later.  When I worked, I always responded the same way when I got up.  So often, then, I repeatedly told myself everything would be fine once I got in the car, because I knew I needed to face the day as soon as possible.  After arriving at work I still needed my time…everyone knew that and usually, unless a crisis set in, everyone respected that time.

At home, during my state of reverie I may go about straightening things up a little.  I may move a comb, a knife or a sheet of paper, all in grand innocence, yet those are the things that annoy M the most.  If I do move them, I am chastised and there fore, at that moment, my Attitude is negatively forned for the day.  Possibly, the phone may ring and the caller may also perturb me or even the cat can bring me from cloudy maze to arched eyebrow disdain.  These ill-received words received may cause my attitude to be less than stellar for hours.  I can, unintentionally, brood during that time.

When I finally read Swindoll’s quote I sheepishly thought, yes I do have a choice.  I can allow a sarcastic question/statement to send me lurking about in dark moments or I can tell my self that it is not worth having them affect my attitude for the whole day.  I think he makes sence wben he writes that events happen to you each day but they only comprise a small percentage of your life, as compared to how we react which can be a much higher percentage of getting it wrong.  So if life (my happiness and good will) is 90% of how I react to the events in my life then I had better start making respond positively, rather then letting my attitude travel south into a not so happy place.

 

A Time of Reflection

To reflect upon my own life is much more difficult than if I was asked to give thought to another’s worth. While I was in college, I became concerned if I had done anything that would let me be remembered after my death. Even more so had I achieved any lasting legacy for the far future to know me?

I asked that many, many times and now my reaction to that question is that it is unimportant. There are other concerns in my life that I should attend to, or begin to resolve. These are issues that relate directly to my elder years or that will help me feel fulfilled. I cannot guarantee that anything I have done meets some unknown criteria. If it does, fine, but then it runs the risk of history not recording the accomplishment. Often a special deed is lost or distorted and if it is a small achievement, it can be lost. I think I am far better off knowing the things I have done in my life have made me happy and that I have done some good for someone else and not worry if anyone else remembers or agrees.

Even though I may occasionally complain, I know my life has been good to me. I have little wrong with me except many, many extra pounds! Early in my life it became important for me to be employed in distinctive positions, ones not in the regular mill of things. I accomplished doing that, but now wonder if I was doing that so others would acknowledge my success, or was I doing it for me so that I could feel better? Until I went to college I always felt I wasn’t equal to someone who was educated. So often in grade school or high school, I had problems with my grades. I had no idea how to go beyond that stigma. Even when I applied to Arizona State University and was finally accepted it was on the condition that I take limited courses the first year. After the close of the first semester the grades rolled in and I was astounded I had a 4.0 pt average for the semester. As I graduated from grad school, I still had a 40 average and I began to understand what my capabilities and intelligence was. That lack of trust in me marked why it was so important to me to have jobs people recognized as special. I never was able to understand that if I could do the job that it must have taken a little more something than pure brawn.

Throughout my life, withstanding any minor character deficiencies, I have been generous and willing to help someone. Unfortunately, this help and generosity has been limited mostly to my family, but occasionally I have given my time to help others. The last few years I have cared for my mother, as she passed from her Crepusculum and into her darkness. Constantly I hear how special I am that I can do this for her, or that I will do this for her. It is my choice to care for her because when I watched my Aunt and Father deteriorate faster in a nursing home than necessary, I decided I would never allow anyone else close to me to experience the same. Now, a few years later I know I have made the right decision. Caring for her has given me insight, knowledge and patience. Now, even when one of my S/O’s family members called to tell us that they were terminally ill, I offered for her to come here so that I could care for her. This is not an act of goodness on my part; I believe it is more an act of caring and a responsibility of what should do.

Possibly, I should list the flaws I believe I have. Probably I am one of the worst people you can communicate with on a one to one basis. I am one of those who doesn’t listen unless they want to and I am often too quiet, nor will speak my opinion. From early on I was timid and even today carry many of the traits of an introvert. In addition, I live in a continual gray cloud. For years I only knew that everything was fine until suddenly I was moody or uncontrollably down. I continued this way on into my early fifties. During my forties, instead of changing things in my life I began drinking. I went away as so many do, but never could control it. Finally, during another gray period I decided that I couldn’t go on this way. I packe our truck with my cherished items, hooked up the muffler to the window and passed out believing there wouldn’t be another tomorrow. The next morning I awakened, unbelievably groggy and slightly irritated I couldn’t even orchestrate this event flawlessly. By that evening M had arranged to have me started on antidepressants. The world changed in a day. The gray cloud lifted and now only occasionally returns. The new day allowed me to stop drinking immediately, go to college, receive two degrees, make plans for the future and be able to take care of my mother now. Unfortunately in the past fifteen years there have been times I stop taking the antidepressants for a couple weeks and each time I do the gray, overwhelming cloud overtakes me with such intensity that it reminds of taking my pill.

My memory is very selective. I may choose to remember you as a dear friend, but I will never remember your birth date, nor will I always remember to write or call when I should. If I remember to call it may take a very long time because phone calls are a little bit of a problem. I do not like to make phone calls. I hated making business calls and always had a secretary or someone else to make the call and then give the phone to me. My family was even included in the continual hesitancy to make a call. Today I am much the same. M makes most of my calls unless i am calling a family member or a very close friend.

As I grow older and think more about my future, I find I think more of the past and wish to relive them (never change them-just relieve). Once I asked my mother if there was a time in her life that she would like to revisit. Her immediate response was, “Why should I–tomorrow is better!” It was the first time I realized how much I tend to live in the past and the first time I understood how much her attitude has allowed her to continue to live. If she had not been able to enjoy her unknown tomorrows, she may have had less living to today! I see the lesson in her curiosity of tomorrow, but it is a lesson I most likely won’t take.

Now is is time that you may decide if I have even come close to reflecting upon myself. My life is mine and at the present time I am happy with the way that I am. Tomorrow I need to forge on in my journey to Crepusculum. During that time I know there will be many diversions, particularly as changes occur with my Mother. To those of you who read my posts and especially to you who are kind enough to respond then if you have a moment that I have made you smile, gave you a moment of thought, or let helped you resolve a problem, then I am happy and content!