A Spontaneous End to a Day....

So, I didn't go to sleep last night until long after 11pm. I have no really good excuse as I was feeling pretty pooped! However, I decided after work to do some errands and spontaneously decided to pick up the food waiting at the church for a struggling member and head over for a visit. I think these spontaneous decisions sometimes turn out to be some of the most significant choices that I make at certain periods of time in my life. I end up not doing everything that I 'should' – the house is not clean, my bed in not made and I haven't read my scriptures in a few days... but I find that I can look back on the things accomplished, feel satisfied and even find that some of my thoughts and future plans can change to the better. I awoke this morning in a much better frame of mind than I have been in a week.

Two things that were unplanned yesterday is that I did head down to see a member friend and ended up sitting for a few hours and just chatting. I consider this sweet sister my friend and yet I have been so busy over the last few years I haven't really kept up with or spent much time with her. Sitting in a glider with her on her porch– one of my favorite kinds of chairs and a kind I haven't sat in since the divorce- I sat and listened and I talked too. I feel like we both understand each other and what is going on in our lives and hearts much better then we did. I had even left the phone in the car so I didn't notice anyone call or leave emails for me or CPR or anything else until I left around 8:45 pm. I drove away knowing that my commitment of service for this sister had ended and that I have no real service commitments now... and yet I feel a renewed purpose to try and pay more attention not only to her but to others and even in my exhaustion and relief I feel an energy and a motivation to spend more of my energy and resources towards that. I hope I find myself more willing to squeeze in visits like these with people. (Earlier in the week I was invited and circumstances made possible a visit to a family at church whose house I have never been to and to see them outside of church and activities and it was pretty neat too... another spontaneous get together. Maybe that is a lesson I should keep in mind- that I enjoy visiting and joining other people, but it is easier and more enjoyable when it is not planned so I do not have the opportunity to worry or fret about it.)

When I left her house and pointed the car down the road towards home, I received a call from my ex husband and we ended up talking until almost 10:30. We talked about many things and what was fascinating about our chat is that it is the longest call/ conversation we have had since the divorce and it was also the most open and honest one in a long time that didn't get a bit angry and hurtful by either of us by the end of it. We chatted about Bug and then chatted about diets and 'cheating days' and health. After a bit we moved into what I considered more troublesome territory and we talked about Kate Kelly and her recent excommunication and John Dehlin and his appointment this Sunday and the church and gender inequality and modesty rhetoric and sexual assault and power... not a surprise the conversation took a while ;) I talked about what all of this means to me and he talked about the new things that he had learned on the internet and we both found surprises in each other. He was surprised about some of my knowledge on gender and race issues in the church and I was surprised that he had truly taken the time to try and look into all of it instead of just reading an article or two. It felt like he figured I couldn't know some of the flaws in church culture and even past actions and still be a member of the church- in his defense, I can understand that opinion and have had troubles sometimes dealing with those particular problems. We were able to express our thoughts and feelings about a lot of it and learned a bit about some of our actions in regards to church and people in it while we were married. I think that was a great opportunity in an of itself. Trying to turn our relationship into a strong friendship is something that I have been working towards- the better we get along and communicate, the better for Bug after all.... and when the call was over I lay in bed surrounded by slightly annoyed but purring cats. (Didn't I know that it was past bedtime!?! :D ) I thought about the conversation between us and just how amazing and unique it really was. I certainly have a bit to think about over the next few days and weeks in between patients and other work.

So my mind is more hopeful and optimistic today. I am tired but doing OK. Feeling more settled with the world right now and able to see the longer perspective more easily. Life is full of suffering and disappointment, but it is the small choices and the ways we look can really bring out the small joys around and in us. We just have to look for them. :)


Only Once...

Sacrament meeting had a very interesting effect on me today - I am not sure I was ready for it. I found myself listening happily to the talk when I looked into a different pew and saw a family. Just a simple family listening and trying to help the kids be quiet and as I watched, I absolutely felt my mind change. The longing for that simple experience that this family has every Sunday and takes for granted was so painful and so despairing to my heart that I could no longer hear the speaker... I could only sit and think as I felt the tears run down my face. And the words that came to mind began with “Only once...” And as I sat, here is what came to mind.

Only once have I sat in a Sacrament meeting side by side with my husband- on the day that my son was blessed.

Only once have I really loved- fiercely, romantically, fully. It still burns inside me today and I can't seem to change it... it feels like it will always be there and that I am tied and bound by it. It no longer feels safe.

Only once have I gone to Europe and that trip to Paris with my future husband is a memory that I cherish. Paris was beautiful and wonderful and culturally strange and enticing to me. I would love to do it again.

Only once have I lost a best friend due to their choice and betrayal... in that sense I am lucky as others may have had worse...

Only once have I seen an egg hatch into a tadpole and over time become a small frog.

Only once have I been pregnant... and felt life grow and swell inside me.

Only one have I gone to the temple to do my endowments...

Only once have I married... and after the pain of that forced separation I do not imagine I will do it again.

Only once have I sat with my son in Sacrament meeting since he has been able to sit on his own... I do so wish to do it again.

Only once have I sat in Sacrament meeting with my son and my husband while his girlfriend sat on the other side of him. Later he got his wish and his divorce, but for that moment we sat in church as a family.

Only once have I mourned a soul so strongly who is still living that it felt as if they were dead. And since they are alive I still mourn... I wonder how much longer it will go on.

My mind feels so hurt that I need to focus on getting through the day. I will admit I didn't expect that trial today and feel a little blindsided. These thoughts are so painful to digest right now... I am so grateful that some of them were positive- almost like my optimistic sense was trying to find the small gifts of joy in the despair. Send good thoughts, ok....


On Dandelions and Dew

I love the beauty of dandelions- I know that I am one of the few. :) But boy was I given a beautiful treat a few mornings ago!

Isn't it just an amazing sight. And so for the last three days, I have gone out around four in the morning to look at it in the dew and watch it change. Here is Sunday:


... and this morning.

Even as the wind and animals change its shape and look, it is still so beautiful with the dew shining off like small diamonds. This is a wonderful time of year. How are you enjoying it? :)


Cupcakes and Thought

Yesterday, I snuck out of work at lunch to buy a cupcake. Not just any cupcake, but a fancy, big, full of gluten cupcake! I forgot that today was the last day for one of my co-workers who is headed off to a new job and I wanted to give her something. And the fact that I am broke and not willing to buy or make desserts for myself but I’m running around on my lunch time to buy a cupcake for someone else was something that I thought was a really interesting choice. So I gave it to her when I got back and a big hug and settled in for an afternoon of patients and testing and business and let my mind wander. And while I was being introspective, I discovered a few things.

The first was that I really work at a pretty cool place. I think I have known that for a bit, but even with its problems – as all places have problems- it’s pretty amazing. It feels a lot like Miller Drug did when Bill Miller still owned it and it was a business that cared about both its customers and employees. After he sold it and retired, everything changed quickly and I am so grateful that I no longer work there- those I know who do really struggle to feel anything positive and turnover is pretty astonishing. With the exception of two co-workers I love them all… and I get the feeling that they like me too. I work with several people of my faith so I feel a kindred spirit that I haven’t had the opportunity to have before… heck, most of them moved from Las Vegas as well. Isn’t that an amazing coincidence. :) I have only been at this job for about five months and while I do see some of the challenges and not every day goes smoothly, I can feel myself relax into a routine that feels quite nice. I spend the day helping patients, working as a team player and being valued for it, and as I learn a new occupation, I am finding myself learning new strengths and helping myself to grow in new ways. This place doesn’t have a great deal of turnover and has a few employees who have left for other jobs and then come back to work here again. (I think that says something pretty good on its own.) I haven’t really worked closely with patients since my emergency medicine days and as I gradually return to similar work, I realize how much I missed working with people and trying to help them improve their health and help through crisis, etc… But I have also found that I just love working with people who seem to love working with me. I’ve always found a handful of people in every place that I have worked that seemed to like and respects me, but not a majority and certainly not in such a way that many people would stick up for me- and feel they were in a safe enough, stable environment to do so. And it was in that thought that I realized that even though I do not know the co worker really well, she has been consistently kind and nice and I didn’t feel comfortable not acknowledging that… even if I could only do it in a small way. That in itself is pretty cool. :)

I think that I also wanted to do it because I think that even in small ways people appreciate knowing that they as people are valued. I don’t tend to feel that very often and while some of that is self esteem and therefore, my fault… a lot of it is the world we live in. All of us do not tend to take the time to show or gratitude to the people around us very consistently. We also tend to not comment on the small things that we quickly notice, appreciate, and then they leave our mind as we continue with our tasks or thoughts. Corrie has smiled every time she has seen me with only one exception- she didn’t smile when I came in with my broken foot for the first time. Granted I wasn’t smiling either ;) Knowing that my interactions with her in the future will probably be quite limited, I knew I only had a short window of time to do something to show her what her attitude and kindness have meant to me. A cupcake was so little, but she seemed to appreciate it and I am glad. I remember all the jobs I have had in the past and even when I was cared for, people pretty much said goodbye and that was it- the one exception was one workplace threw a pizza lunch for me, but forgot about my celiac disease so I couldn’t attend my own going away lunch- that was sad and funny all at the same time. I guess I knew how much it would mean to me and wanted to offer that experience to someone else. And so we parted, hugs all around and I have a phone number and email address in my pocket- more than I expected and was a gift in and of itself.
The last thing that entered my mind was that the fact that I am willing to splurge on other people but not on myself is something that I need to really analyze and look at. That tendency has been pointed out to me in the past by counselors and friends alike, and I have been able to acknowledge the truthfulness of their observation, but haven't felt like I could really change it. I feel a renewed urge to change that and so today, early.... six in the morning... I was at the store to get Brock some pasta and me some brownies Gotta start somewhere! :D

Happy Saturday my friends!