Realizations

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Casselberry Care Cabin 2011

I was talking to a friend the other day who asked if I was still writing. I responded that I really don’t write much anymore. There is just too much in my head and it is harder for me to just write on one subject without rambling, I start posts, but do not finish them. It is really unlike me in any of the other areas of my life to just start things and then not finish without a good reason. I think my realization came that I don’t have a deadline and I really don’t know who I am writing for. Is it me or others or both?

As I look back through some of my posts and re-read my last one, I realized it doesn’t really matter. If writing helps me to clear my head of all of the extra “stuff” then i should just do it. If I am rambling, so be it.

The past few years of this journey called life have been challenging, and also have been good. I have made new friends, said goodbye to a few friends too soon, and met extended family. I have worked on exciting projects at my job and seen how when the community pulls together we can do good things. I have experienced being a caregiver and being cared for, I have experienced my kids moving away, and I have watched them have their own challenges, but also successes. i couldn’t be more proud of the people they are turning out to be.

The two topics we are “never” supposed to talk about have become front and center for me in the past few years, I have been watching the political landscape and I have been challenged in my faith. While I have not lost my faith, I have realized that if I base my faith on the way others behave, then I am focusing on the wrong thing. My biggest struggle has been faith leaders who have ignored things that should not be ignored, and spoken positively for things that I think should be called out. But that is me.

One of my friends mentioned another person I know. They are both Christians, but the way they see the world is different. My response to her is that she is left and the other person is right and they just have different views. My hope is there is a common ground in the middle and common sense will prevail.

So I realize that I will write when I feel like it, and I will say what is on my mind. If no one reads it, that is ok too,

 

Journaling Out Loud

I feel like the reason I write blogs and then don’t publish them is because the things I write can be so personal. It is almost like having your mom read your middle school diary where you have detailed thoughts about your latest crush.

Writing can be a great way to get my thoughts and dreams out of my head. The question becomes when is it too much to share. Do people even read it or care? Sometimes it is just being vulnerable. Vulnerability can be good and transparent and make you real, but it can also be scary and people can perceive you as weak.

As a closet introvert, I live in my head sometimes. Other times, I love to scheme and dream with family and friends. I love coming up with ideas and plans. Finding ways to execute them can be a little tougher.

To write or not to write. To share or not to share. That is a question that I will ponder this year.

Thoughts?

2018

Each year I start with the idea that I will write more. Generally it lasts from a few days to a few weeks and then becomes random. I expect this year will be the same.

I do enjoy setting up the new year with a set of goals. Some are the same as last year with a few new ones thrown in.

To see others in a positive light- everyone has a story, try not to judge.

Be open minded- listen to someone you disagree with and try to understand their point of view.

Be present- listen intently, don’t be in a rush.

Travel- immerse in other cultures.

Be with people you love- and be loving.

FORGIVE others.

Laugh more!

Give back.

Pay it forward.

Pay attention to my health.

Never stop dreaming.

 

Additionally, I strive to take the high road, but to also stand up for what I believe in and to be more involved in making my community a better place.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Happy New Year!

Taking Control

The first part of healing is admitting you have a problem. The challenge is when the problem is part of who you are as a person and how you operate.

People have always asked me how I handle multiple priorities and keep calm in stressful situations. My response has always been. “I just do.” For the most part, that is true. I can usually step back from a situation, map out in my mind how to handle it, make a plan, and move on. I won’t say there are not a few occasions where I get stressed and snappy, but they are rare.

That works great for the things I can control. The challenge is for the things that I can’t. The problem presents when I try to handle what I can’t control In the same way as the things I can. It doesn’t work. At least not for long.

For the past 3, nearly 4 years there have been many things that I have experienced that were out of my control. I dealt, I compartmentalized, I moved on. Even as I write this, it brings me back to a bible study I did called Unglued by Lysa Terkuerst. She talked about 2 types of people, the stuffers and exploders. I realize now that I have been a stuffer. At some point, the stuffing overflows.

Holding onto things and not actually processing them is not healthy. I am learning that the hard way.

I am learning that making a list of stress relief tools and obsessively trying each one does not work. (This is funny when I think about it). Praying, talking, and actually seeking help do work. I am working on relaxing, working on letting go, and identifying my triggers for stress so I can take control in a healthy way.

I encourage you if you are overwhelmed to seek assistance. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. It is healthier than holding it all in.

This Is Not Normal

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This morning I had to stop looking at Twitter because it was making my blood pressure rise. Between the debate about the NFL, Puerto Rico, North Korea, and healthcare among many other things, it is enough to drive a sane person crazy,

This is not normal.

This is not normal.

This is not normal.

The President goes to a rally in Alabama (that is supposed to be support for a candidate he wants to win) and calls out the NFL and challengers them. This becomes a national debate about patriotism and the flag, when it started as stand (or kneel) to call out racial inequality. We respond with division and debate.

This is not normal.

There is a Hail Mary bill in congress to repeal Obamacare that threatens to harm millions of people by potential taking away affordable pre-existing condition coverage. Having a pre-existing condition, this concerns me. The bill is bad. Republicans know it is bad, but many will choose politics over people.

This is not ok.

My heart hurts for the people of Puerto Rico. We literally have a humanitarian crisis and the President is talking about Puerto Rico’s credit card bill. Did he forget they are Americans too?

This is not normal and it is not ok.

And then there is Rocket Man in North Korea…

I could go on, but you get the point.

I am not sure I like for the new normal.

Speaking Out

It sometimes feels like the world has gone crazy. I think social media has certainly escalates this feeling. Having the President on twitter has not helped to keep us informed, but instead makes some of us reel.

I struggle with staying silent and have since this election started. I have lost people along the way who I thought were friends, and those who have hung on, sometimes do it in a way that seems to add tone to the conversation.

I have been attacked and criticized, but being silent is not an option for me.

This President sows discord and causes me and many others anxiety. If I stay silent, I am affirming what I disagree with.

So I will continue to stand up. I will continue to speak up, I will continue to fight for what I believe in.

The Healthcare Debate

I am pretty sure my friends on social media are tired of all of my posts about healthcare. We don’t all share the same views, but for me this is a really important topic, as it should be for everyone. Apathy is not acceptable because at some point we all need access to affordable healthcare.

Yes, you can argue that Obamacare is flawed and in many cases unaffordable. This is true and should be fixed. The problem is we can’t fix the flaws when we are busy playing politics and trying to substitute the current plan with a plan that in the end will be harmful. The harmful part is not my opinion. It is fact.

There is nothing in Graham-Cassidy that shows that deductibles will be lower or premiums will be less. Pre-existing conditions are not guaranteed to be covered, because the potential increase in premiums makes healthcare for people who need it the most unaffordable.

I for one, do not think having 50 different healthcare plans across the US is a good idea. Florida has chosen not to expand Medicare and is one of the worst states for mental healthcare and I am supposed to trust them with my healthcare? Even employer plans are at risk, because some of the mandates of Obamacare will be gone.

As part of a family where we have hit our out of pocket maximum for the past 3 years due to what is no pre-existing conditions, this bill scares me. Even the Republicans admit this is about politics. We need to make the debate about people.

Please tell our Senators to vote no. This is a bad idea.

Writers block

I was sharing with a friend the other day that I really want to start writing again. I miss it. The problem I am facing is that there is just too much on my mind that I want to say. I know that the simple solution is to just break it down into bite size chunks, but then where do I start?

I remember in college when I had to write essays I would pace back and forth with pen and paper in hand until the words came. They always did.

Today, I made the decision to just start. To put down words and see where it goes. I hope it doesn’t mean that I write today and then leave the words behind again for months like I have been doing.

Part of it is that the world today is so overwhelming. It is like an emotional rollercoaster. Waiting for a hurricane and now watching the devastating effects of Irma and Maria unfold. The earthquake in Mexico, seeing mothers crying for their children in a school that has collapsed. Russia. Healthcare.

So I will use my words to pray, to comfort, to be kind. I will also use them to fight for what I believe in. To stand up for others.

And I hope I can put the words in writing.

Done rambling for now…

Peace out.

Labels

I have been more of a centrist than a a Republican or Democrat. I have always carefully considered the issues and candidates before casting my vote. Early in my life my parents taught me that voting was a privilege. I remember being in the voting booth with my mom back when it was curtains and levers. 

In my heart, I want to understand the deep division in this country. I feel like I don’t necessarily fit into one platform or the other. Both sides have some radical views that I don’t share, but when I side with one or the other it appears that I endorse all of the party platform. 

What I do believe in is that healthcare should be available and affordable. Right now our healthcare system is focused more on sick care than on healthcare. I agree that the ACA needs to be fixed, but it concerns me that we have no real replacement. What I would like is a single payer system like many countries have, but then I am labeled a socialist. 

I am pro-life. I mean this in a way that is more than just pro-birth. I hate war. I believe in gun safety. I am not anti-gun. Certainly we should have the right to protect ourselves in the case of a zombie apocalypse or other circumstances where our lives or freedoms are threatened. 

I keep seeing Republicans call people who are deemed progressive and college students in particular as snowflakes. Stop it. It just makes you look dumb and inconsiderate. Not all Bernie following millennials are weak minded and entitled. 

When it comes to faith. I love and follow Jesus. I am now working beside people who are not believers as well as people who are. It is an interesting dynamic, but being around people who believe differently opens the door for healthy conversation, learning, and debate. 

Today I went to a peaceful rally in Orlando in support of the Women’s march.  It was a beautiful event with women from all walks of life and of all ages.  I have already seen posts across the internet and people saying that women in this country can do what they want and should have no worries while people in other countries are truly oppressed. They think we are just whiny. One woman called protesters sluts and whores. She also calls herself a Christian.  It makes my heart hurt. 

We protest because we can. 

We protest because we should. 

We protest prejudice and judgement. 

As long as there are labels there will be fear. I want so badly to work together to make this country better because it is already great. (I heard that at the rally today.)

Truth and Consequences

Great Insights from Susan into writing and truth.

A Piece of My Mind

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Before we were engulfed in the digital age, reporters depended mostly on human to human interactions to get the news. As a professional writer, you had to cultivate sources on the phone and in person.  You needed to be an expert listener and build trust with your sources.  It was a careful balance (as it is today) to get the story while protecting your source at the same time. Once you had the story, you had to cajole and horse trade to get a few sources to confirm the story on the record before you’d consider writing your piece.

I read somewhere recently that journalism is one of the few respected fields where you don’t need credentials to be really good.  It never occurred to me that this is true, although my experience certainly bears this out.  I’ve even heard it described more of a trade than a profession.

In the 90s, I…

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