I’m Not OK But Thanks For Asking

I’m not OK, but thanks for asking. No really. I know I have a well-deserved reputation for sarcasm, but that was not sarcasm. I can’t tell you how much it means that so many people care about me and have gone out of their way to check on me – reaching out across the country and around the world. That is pretty awesome. If love was enough then I would be well, but it isn’t. I honestly don’t know what will make things well again, but love always helps.

I used to believe in the power of time to heal, but lately it seems that more time just gives karma another shot at me.

I used to believe in the power of self-care to see me through difficult times deploying a combination of wallowing and indulgence to see me through the worst, but now every self-care tip I have attempted has only made things worse.

I used to believe in my resilience but this year has broken me. The truly sad thing is that this has not even been the worst year of my life. I’ve had far worse years, but so much bad luck has accumulated that I just can’t cope anymore. Perhaps it is the exponential bad luck, maybe the compression of a lot of bad luck in a short time span, or simply that I am tired and I am hopeless. That is my ongoing struggle. I am depleted and my usual sources of refueling are no longer working to combat the wear and tear of life.

It really is just life, but for me, right now, life is really really hard. I know many friends are struggling with far more serious challenges than I, but that doesn’t help me cope. Incessant wrangling with my employer combined with constantly deteriorating working conditions has worn me down. I shouldn’t have to fight to get paid for working so much this summer, but I do. I shouldn’t have to fight to receive equipment ordered with my personal professional development funds, but I do. I should be recognized for my contributions, but I am not. So much lost time fighting these battles and losing them takes longer and longer to get over. I love my work, but I wish I wasn’t trapped by circumstances in this position. Add a car accident that left my vehicle totaled to this already precarious financial circumstance so no family vacation and now an unexpected car payment – salt in the wound is the weeks of wrangling with insurance simply to get what is owed. I hate State Farm and cannot ever recommend them, FYI. Then in the midst of all this we had to put down our beloved Max. It was time, but his loss leaves a gaping hole in my life.  I can’t express how much this devastates me. The last straw was the death of our desktop (instigated by Clark Energy’s decision to replace our electric meter). A lost morning trying various methods of revival was followed by an afternoon discovering how much of my course preparation was locked into that brick. Right now I cannot summon the energy to cope with that problem and one more unexpected expense.

So now I’m heading into a semester worn down and emotionally destroyed – behind with my preparation and unable to take a break because there are so many demands on my time and attention. I am barely functional, but somehow I’ll muddle through because what choice do I have?

But that’s why I’m not OK. Thanks for asking.

Saucijsjes

Saucijsjes

The thing to remember about cooking with grandma is that
Nothing is exact
No measuring cups or spoons
Just dollops, scoops, and pinches
Everything is by touch and taste
Until it is right  

First divide the sausage
Six to a pound if you are feeding the family
Twelve for a party
Already I’m cheating because I use premixed sausage from the store
Roll each portion into an oblong
Ignore the fat coating your skin seeping into your pores
As sage tickles your nose
The microwave a betrayal
Of grandma frying on the stovetop
Turning rows of sausages quickly with a wooden spoon
Serving as punctuation to her story
Or meting out punishment
Pat the sausages dry
Then wrap into tidy dough packages
At least my dough is made from scratch
And tuck into a greased pan
Leaving room to expand
Baking leaves just time for a cup at the kitchen table
And a story about grandpa
Polish each brown-tinted package with butter
Serve with applesauce on the side
Watch that first bite
Or you will burn your mouth
Biting into memory  

The thing to remember about cooking with grandma is that
Nothing is exact
No measuring cups or spoons
Just dollops, scoops, and pinches
Everything is by touch and taste
Until it is right  

To Camp

To Camp

Soul sick and weary

The road to Yosemite

Promises cleansing

Never the same journey twice

Bonds renewed, joy recovered

 

This Tanka poem was inspired by our yearly (sometimes twice yearly) trek to deliver our son to church camp in Yosemite, Kentucky. He has fun with new and old friends, but it is also a very spiritual experience for him. It has been a wonder to watch him grow as a result of this experience. And both literally and figuratively, the journey to Yosemite has never been the same for us no matter how many times we travel to Camp Wa’kon-DaHo.

My #OLW for 2017 is Light

My #OLW for 2017 is Light

I have chosen Light as my One Little Word for 2017 because this word is comforting and inspirational. Light has so many different meanings that I immediately felt better for thinking about this choice. I have so many fears about 2017 that I need something to give me hope and inspiration.

That is the beauty of light. Light is the candle that lights our way in the darkness. I can hope that we will all find the light at the end of the tunnel in 2017. But we can also think of this word as something that lifts as in lifting our spirits or lightening our load. A lighter can be a device that causes a flame to light or it can be a form of transport. The love of light is deeply ingrained in our being. No matter how dark the night the first light of dawn always offer a lift in spirit and hope. Light not only inspires hope, but it represents it. Lights and light bulbs represent genius and ingenuity. This is something I hope for all of us, because I believe our world needs more of this. Lights are our guides as well as beacons of hope. Light warns us off dangerous shoals and when to pause and to exercise caution. Light shows us the way if we pay attention. Light is celebration, but also a reminder that life, like light, is fleeting. We must embrace the beauty and joy of each moment and search for the beautiful in the mundane.

I think my One Little Word offers me both hope and guidance for the coming year and I hope you find the #OLW that can do as much for you. I hope that I can be a lighter for others whether they need someone to ignite their flame or lighten their load. Check out the path I used to select my #OLW for 2017 and choose your own One Little Word. Check out my brief video about Light to inspire you on your journey.