Scared

Hello dear reader.

I promised you complete honesty at the beginning of this journey.  You know I try very hard to be positive, to be thankful for everything in my life.  You also know that my health is not great.  Today is not a good day.  As a matter of fact, the last several weeks have been quite rough.  I haven’t written in a few days because I was hoping I would feel better, both physically and mentally, before I wrote again.  Sometimes it’s hard to see the difference between complete honesty and a pity-party.  This is not the latter.  This is me being honest about myself.   That said, I’m going to tell you what happened today that scared the crap out of me.

Let me begin at the beginning…I’ve had problems with kidney stones for a long time.  My kidneys, as well as the tubes between the kidneys and the bladder, are full of them.  This, along with my lousy immune system makes me more succeptible to kidney infections.  I’ve had the flank pain for almost a month this time, but didn’t go to the doctor until my temperature shot up to 102 a little over a week ago.  When I got to the doctor the fever wasn’t there but she gave me antibiotics anyway.  Of course I got the whole “if you aren’t better in a few days or if it gets worse…” deal.  I took my antibiotics religiously and didn’t miss a dose.  After a week of them, the pain isn’t just in my right flank anymore.  It now goes around and inside my hip bone.  It feels kind of like a vice on my right midside.  My temperature has stayed around 99-100.  So I called the doctor’s office and made an appointment for today.  Okay, there’s the background.

When it got close to time for me to leave I gathered the things that I needed to bring.  I also realized that I had forgotten to take the chicken for tonight out of the freezer, so I did that too.  In order to be sure it would be thawed out in time, I put it into the sink with water.  I left my house with time to spare so I wouldn’t have to stress about being late.  So here I was, driving up the pass with no worries listening to the radio. Just as I got to the summit of the pass I suddenly realized I hadn’t turned off the water in the sink.  I racked my brains.  Surely I didn’t leave it on!  But I couldn’t remember turning it off no matter how hard I tried.  I tried to think who I could call to go turn it off for me.  There are several people I know would do it, but who would Duke let into the house?  I didn’t trust him with anyone, especially without Tim or I there.  So I turned around and headed back to the house to turn off the water.  Traffic was totally stressing me out!  Every minute that passed I could envision the water getting deeper and deeper in the kitchen.  Would it spread onto the hardwood floors?  What kind of damage would that do?  Finally, after what seemed like forever, I got to the house.  I stopped on the side of the road and jumped out of the truck without even turning it off, much less locking it.  I ran as fast as I could to the front door and fought with the lock, got in and ran to the kitchen to see how bad it was….

There was no water running.  Everything was fine.   Of course by then there was no way for me to make it to the doctor in time.  I called and told them I would be a few minutes late, but they said if I was late I wouldn’t be seen.  So I rescheduled for tomorrow.  No big deal, right?  Happy ending, right?  No.  Not even close.

My short-term memory hasn’t worked very well since they removed the back part of my brain (see my post on Chiari Malformation).  I’ve learned to work around it some.  I write things down and set reminders on my phone for appointments and phone calls that need to be made, things like that.  But this split from reality, whatever you want to call it, how do I work around that?  It’s one more thing that scares me to death.  I’m terrified that my conscious brain’s functioning is getting worse.  I’m too young to be senile, aren’t I?

I was 100% certain I left that water running.  How could I be that certain and be wrong?  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m over-reacting, maybe I have reason to be afraid.  Either way, that’s where I am.  That’s how I feel.  Tomorrow will be better.  I’m 100% certain.

Until next time…

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6 reasons not to worry

Hello dear reader.

Lately, I’ve been finding a lot of inspiration in what certain quotes bring to mind.  Glancing at them doesn’t get it.  You have to stop and let your mind wrap itself around what they say and, more importantly, what they mean.  How do they relate to your own life?  Here’s the one I picked for today…..

“Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries.”

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

Worry…who doesn’t do that?  I think we all do it, some more than others.  I’ve figured out over the years that worry is something that should be avoided if possible.  Here are reasons why…

1.  Worry fixes nothing.   No matter how much you worry about any given thing, it will not change the outcome.  For example, say you’re a student with an important exam coming up in a subject you struggle with and you’re worried about it.  Will that improve your grade?  Of course not!  The way to make a better grade is to study.

2.  Worry actually makes things worse.  Worry is often a self-fulfilling prophecy.   Let’s go back to that exam you’re worried about.  Worrying about it causes stress, right?  Stress interferes with your ability to think clearly.  It also impedes your ability to relax, which can cause you to lose sleep.  Loss of sleep also interferes with you ability to think clearly.  You see where this is going?

3.  Worry can blow things out of proportion.  Monsters hide in the dark.  When you worry about things they grow in your mind.  Continuing with our example about the exam, worry can blow it up from a single exam to your entire future.  Who hasn’t done this before?  “If I blow this exam, I’ll fail that class.  If I fail that class, my GPA will drop.  If my GPA drops, I could lose my scholarship.  If I lose my scholarship, I won’t be able to graduate.  If I don’t graduate, I’ll end up flipping burgers for the rest of my life.  If I end up flipping burgers for a living, nobody will ever want to marry me.  If nobody wants to marry me, I’ll be old and alone.”   Etc., Etc.   Your head has convinced you that you will lose any chance at a happy life if you don’t do well on this one exam.  How many times has the unknown been much worse than the reality?

4.  Worry is habit forming.  Have you ever met someone who worries constantly about everything?   They can’t stop.  Once your head starts feeding into worry, it becomes a vicious circle.  One worry leads to another, which leads to another, which eventually leads to worrying about how much you worry.  Okay, that may be a little extreme, but you get my point.

5.  Worrying wastes your time and energy.  Worrying is exhausting!  Back to our exam, your brain is too busy running scenarios of what might happen if you do poorly (see #3) to have time or energy to absorb the information you need to do well on the exam.  There are only so many things you can focus on at once.   So you decide to go to a study group, where you spend the entire time talking about how worried about the exam you are.  So you’ve wasted three hours and exhausted yourself for absolutely no gain.  And the point is…???

6.  Worry robs you of happiness.  This is probably the most important reason of all to avoid worrying.  You cannot be worried and happy at the same time.  It’s just plain not possible.  It’s a proven fact that happy people are more productive people.  Back to our exam one last time…it’s simply a choice.  You can choose to study hard and do the best you can.  That mindset allows happiness.  You can also choose to have thoughts that say it’s not not good enough.  You need to find something more.  That mindset will lead to worry and frustration…the opposite of happiness

I can hear you now, “But Lynnette, sometimes you can’t help but worry.  Haven’t you ever been in a situation like that?  Are you trying to tell me that you just don’t worry at all?”  Of course I worry!  My kids will vouch for that fact.  However, I don’t allow myself to stay worried, and that changes everything.  When I begin to worry about something, I ask myself three questions…
      1.  Why am I worried about this?
      2.  Is there anything that I can do to make the situation better?
      3.  If I’ve done everything I can, why am I still holding on to this?
Those questions bring me back into focus, into reality.  I’ve done all I can, so let it go.

I’ve learned over the years that while things may not work out the way I want them to, they do work out the way they’re supposed to.  Some people call that faith.  I honestly don’t know if it’s faith or simply experience.  Whatever you want to call it, it leaves no room for worry.

So what do you think?  Do you have little worries?  Big worries?  Or a big mind?

Until next time…

Love or fear?

Good morning dear reader.

Sorry I’ve been AWAL for a while.  Time seems to fly by much too quickly these days. Anyway, I’m here now and that’s what matters, right?

I found a quote not long ago that I want to share with you. I’ll tell you my feelings about it and I’d love to hear what your thoughts are…deal?

Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we have learned here. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.
by Marianne Williamson

Think about that for a minute. We are born with love as our primary emotion. We give it away completely and freely asking only to have it given back to us. We are innocent and, more importantly, unscarred.

Soon we learn that there are people outside our circle of love. The world is a much bigger place than we ever imagined. At first, we try to give our love to all the people in this huge world. Some respond with love in return, as expected. But there are others who respond with anger or hurtfulness. That hurts. It teaches us not to give our love so freely and completely. Why? Because we become afraid of that pain.

Anyone who has been reading my blog knows I learned fear very early on. My heart wasn’t the only thing that got hurt…my body got hurt too. That made the fear much bigger. Here’s the strange part…I kept giving my love, hoping to find someone who would give it back to me, someone I wouldn’t have to be afraid of. For a long time I found that in my children. They were innocent and unscarred and gave their love completely and freely. I wanted it to stay that way forever. Unfortunately that isn’t what happens, is it? Children grow up. They get hurt and become afraid.

The spiritual journey Marianne Williamson speaks of is a very difficult one. We are asked to overcome all the hurts and the fear and give our love completely and freely again. Only by giving it can we learn to accept it back. That can be a dangerous thing….giving our love as we did before we learned to be afraid. We’re no longer in that little bubble. We know that giving our love can be a dangerous and hurtful thing. However, if we can overcome that fear wonderful things can happen. If we don’t, nothing will ever change. We’ll live out our lives alone in our scarred hearts.

I’m so very thankful that I took that spiritual journey. Don’t misunderstand me. It wasn’t easy. As a matter of fact, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But the end result was worth every tear. I now get to spend the rest of my life giving that love and having it given back to me. That’s a beautiful thing.

What do you think? Is that journey one worth taking? Is it worth the risk of being hurt again? Should you try to “unlearn the fear” so that you’re able to “accept love” back into your heart? Think about it, then tell me your story.

By the way, I have a couple of wedding pictures to show you. The entire wedding album is on Facebook as well as Google+ if you want to see more.

Until next time…

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Wedding vows

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You may kiss the bride

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Toasts with sparkling grape juice
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Rings and flowers

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The whole wedding party and Tim's mom

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We're really married!!

The wedding

Hello dear reader.

I’m certain that you’ve been on the edge of your seat wondering how the wedding went.  Well you can relax and smile.  The wedding was wonderful!  I’m putting a couple of pictures in here that were taken from a friend’s phone.  I haven’t gotten the ones from the photographer yet, but when I do there will be many more for you to see.

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Our Beautiful Cake (Thank you Cookies with Altitude!)
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George gave me away :-}
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Hmmm.  I’m gonna have to figure out a better way to format this when I get the other pictures.

Tim’s mother came in the Wednesday before the wedding, which I was really nervous about.  It turned out to be a really good thing.  We spent quite a bit of time together and discussed some things that I really needed to talk about.  By the time the wedding day arrived, I felt really good about things between us.  Don’t tell anyone, but she cried through most of the service….happy tears.  She knows how much Tim and I love each other.  As a mother, that’s what you dream of for your child…a life full of happiness, love, and laughter.

Speaking of laughter, Tim and I both got the giggles a few times during the service.  I suppose that should have been embarrassing, but it wasn’t in the least.  It was just us being happy.  Laughter is a big part of our lives, so it only seemed natural for that to be a part of our wedding.

I’m in a rush today, but I wanted to update you about the wedding.  Much more coming soon.

Until next time…