Pink castWith my broken ankle/leg, I’ve had an excess of time and space to obsess. That also means I’ve have time to reflect and focus on the graceful side of my life. It all began when I fell…

January 9, near Rainbow Falls, Hilo, Hawaii: When I tripped, slipped, missed my step, whatever happened and I felt myself crashing to the somewhat muddy ground, I distinctly remember my camera (a nice Canon 6D) swinging through the air, and I thought “Crap! I’m going to break my camera!”– when I landed I was pretty sure it was the left leg that had the break, but I wanted someone to check on the camera!

For once in my life, I didn’t say any really bad words as I lay on the ground, pretty much screaming/crying. Gratitude for discovering that what came out of my mouth was more of a prayer and a plea to make it stop hurting rather than cursing the situation. That peaceful spirit I prayed for some many years ago seems to be trying to manifest itself. And, gratitude that I was using my pancake lens and the camera and lens were unharmed in the incident. And, it’s stretching it a bit, but gratitude that when they inspected the scrape/gash across my leg just above the ankle, there was no bone showing. All bones, while broken, stayed in place and I’ve not had to have any surgery.

It’s good to reflect on these things to combat the frustration of being mobility challenged, unable to walk or run, stuck at home unless I have a driver or assistance to get me and my scooter loaded into the car and assistance at my destination to get unloaded. Just getting a shower is a major production number! (I can’t put the cast cover on or off by myself; we’ve installed a temporary grab bar in the shower, especially since you have to step up to get in and our; I have a nice plastic chair in the shower now; I’m terrified of falling.)

I find that I must focus on the gratitude side of the equation and not let the fear and anger side take control. It could be worse, it could be better, but I find that I am learning to rest in where I am. No doubt I’ll come through this with a much more concrete connection with the needs of those in wheelchairs, or on crutches or like me, using a knee scooter. I’m extremely aware of the availability, or lack thereof, of curb cuts and ramps… and of ramps that are too steep. Teaches me compassion.

And still — I am impatient. I want to have mended bones and be back to walking, and even running (I hope!). Learning patience and gratitude are the kind of traits that require lots of practice to master. Aaaarrrgghh!


Of many things…

Part 1:

This morning I was sore from yesterday’s Body Pump session and I had a headache. So, what happened? I was browsing a food and fitness blog, of all things, and came across a post where the author was making the point “It’s a choice.” This woman was talking about getting her butt in gear and doing her workout despite not feeling 100% at the start, and about paying attention and eating right, even when she was in a place where she could just as easily have gone on a binge. But, she finally realizes, it’s always a choice.

So true. And so, I got dressed, told my headache that things would be better “real soon now” and my hamstrings that “a good stretch is just what you need” and headed out for a Zumba class. It was tough to get through, but I feel so much better now that I’ve worked through the sore. It is a choice.

Part 2:

On the way home from the gym, I was listening the “On Point” as they slogged through the civil war within the Republican Party. You can agree with me or not, but it certainly is sounding like a civil war to an outsider. At one point, one of the guests was talking about how concerned the Republicans should be when businessmen are traipsing over to the White House to try to resolve problems like immigration reform and health care.

It seems to me that commerce and common good will drive policy, no matter what is legislated. Remember all those battles over English only? If someone comes to this country, THEY MUST COMMUNICATE IN ENGLISH. You know — no way we need to pay to have government documents in Spanish (or French, Korean, Japanese or Chinese); And what has happened?

Take a look at packaging in the grocery store, or any packaging for that matter. At least in my area, most have a side in English and a side in Spanish. It’s become so common, sometimes I forget which language I’m reading.  I’ve learned a lot of spanish vocabulary by just shopping.

Or think about how the AFL-CIO flip-flopped on immigration reform. At some point they accepted that their stance on immigration was actually detrimental to laborers.

Sometimes, the right thing happens for the strangest reasons.

Part 3:

It has been interesting to watch the reactions as the 3rd season of Downton Abbey unfolds. No doubt, they will lose many viewers because of the events that unfold. I’ve not viewed ahead, so I’m only still angry that they killed off Lady Sybil (one of my favorite characters).  I understand there is more grief to come. And so I mutter to myself that is is fiction, so the writers should think about keeping certain characters alive and kicking… followed by wondering if these stories write themselves at times and if they have a life of their own, then maybe there is no other way. I’m betting I won’t be pleased with the end of the season.

The end:  This doesn’t seem to fit in with other posts on this blog. Can’t find good tags for it. Journey’s are funny that way.

Lent: day 1

It’s one of THOSE days — where all the negative keeps pushing to the surface. All those issues I thought I had dealt with and put down keep trying to get back on board. It’s not like I can say I’m being persecuted for righteousness sake — that would be a lie.

That said, I’ll just go forward, one foot in front of the other. I will remind myself that Love is a decision that may or may not be accompanied by a good feeling. I will remind myself that emotions are not controllable — they are what they are and they often have something to tell me about where I am. But, they are not me. Let me say that again to myself: my emotions are not Me. They might be a part of Me, but they are not ME.

OK — so, maybe Day 2 will be a bit more smooth.

Lord, give me patience – NOW!

Yesterday afternoon provided me the opportunity to observe just how impatient I really am. As I sat through a 2 hours and 45 minute departmental meeting (which could have been completed in an hour, to be honest), I found myself scribbling notes along the lines of

Patience is a virtue, or so I’ve been told. But right now, if I had a couple of socks, I think I could fix this problem…

I practiced the “Am I breathing” technique for stepping back from the situation. It did allow me to step back, but in the process of becoming more awake and aware, the voices just got louder. Things that needed to be resolved by 2 or 3 people being aired out in front of 7 or 8. Talk, talk, no real action.

Made me start to wonder how God might feel about me sometimes. So much talk. So many plans. Anything to avoid real change or real action. Discuss the past, dream of the future, but forget being present right now (which is really all we have).

I survived. I didn’t embarrass myself, or stuff a sock in anyone’s mouth. We did reach some conclusions, and made some lists of tasks to be accomplished.

Lord, please be more patient with me than I am with others…


Several years ago I had my first mammogram. Definitely not a comfortable procedure. And it got more uncomfortable when the nurse called and told me that they thought it would be good for me to come back for a second one in six months. There was an area that was a bit unusual, but not so worrisome. They just wanted to do a second one to be sure that it was all normal for me. So, while that caused a bit of worry, it didn’t seem so awful. At least not until the doctor decided to call me and try to reassure me. I listened to him, and all that I could think was “If it’s so ‘routine’ – if it’s really nothing to worry about, why is he calling?” In a way, his trying to be reassuring backfired. Fortunately, at the 6 month redo, it was decided that all was well. No problems.

I don’t like to wait for these kind of results. Someone close to me is having a lump looked at. I squirm. One side of me says calmly: “It’s probably nothing. There’s not reason to expect this to be bad news. It’s good that this is being looked at. And besides, what good does it do to worry? When the results are in, then we’ll know.” The other side is jumping up and down, coming up with every bad diagnosis on the planet. I;m trying really hard to let calm have the upper hand.

What to do? How to cope with the waiting? Do I believe in prayer? I’m certainly letting God know that this is important to me. I’m certainly asking for this to be OK.

And it comes to me a bit more clearly. Believe. Pray. Ask others to pray with you. Admit the anxiety (it’s there anyway) . I’m back to “I believe! Lord, help me in my unbelief!”

As I write this – as I admit that my faith and my patience are far from perfect, a small voice comes to me. From across the centuries I hear Julian of Norwich telling me the truth: “All shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well.”