Focusing on what we think others see makes us blind to reality.

A number of us were at a friends playing cards and two times during the game she referred to her color at what I thought was unusual timing.  I did not like that aspect of playing a game with her, I felt it was almost manipulative and insulting to hear her statements, “Because I am _____….”  She was putting prejudices up before us that we did not notice or feel, but I felt she was prejudice.  I viewed her as a very intelligent attractive woman whom was good at cards.

I notice I do the same thing, when it comes to my weight.  I mention it all the time.  Just as this persons race seems to be on her own mind all the time, My view of myself as FAT is always on my mind.  This is unfair to those whom love us, it makes people uncomfortable to have such things referred to continually.  When we are around thin or fit people, is there a chance it wears them out to always have it referred to.  It is almost better to just tell them, Your very fit and you look good, is there a certain routine or program you do to keep yourself that way?  One woman at my cardiovascular surgeons office says she runs, and loves free weights.

Aren’t we so much more than our color, weight, or beauty?  It is whom we are, how we conduct our life, and the integrity we demonstrate in our daily dealings.  The front of a popular Running magazine had a heavier woman on it running, and people everywhere discussed it.  I feel she is the perfect role model for the fatfitanfab.com site.  She is demonstrating fitness by being out there doing it.  If you see an obese person out for a walk, give them the thumbs up!  It is not possible for a person to go from fat to thin in a day, but it is the habit of exercising and diet that makes a person fit.  If a person is overweight and walking a few days a week doesn’t that deserve commendation. If we know someone whom is obese, offer to go on a walk or bike ride with them.

Being overweight is not always because of unhealthy food choices or lack of activity.  I have a friend whom is quite overweight just because of her birth control.  Another person I know has problems with her thyroid, and for me, it is the combination of medications, injuries, operations, antibiotics, IV treatments, and topical steroids with antibiotic treatments.  Assuming another is heavy for discrediting reasons feeds them with some very discouraging notions, and it can effect their esteem.  Encouragement and interaction is the best way to help.

When my husband an I were out celebrating our anniversary, I was taken by surprise when a young man came up and said how beautiful I am.  Later he said it again, that he really meant it that I looked great in that dress and over all was very beautiful.  Before we left the house I felt like the big blonde in the blue dress.  It elated me to realize how wrong I was, it felt so good to hear something delightful and I decided to believe it.  My husband was there and later he said, “You really do look beautiful tonight and that dress looks great on you.”  The gift of positive words, we need to accept them graciously and feel good about them for a while. Why are we so ready to believe negative and reject the positive.  That is not fabulous living.

Blind people seem to see others best of all because they do not have the physical appearance serving up to be a barrier.  If we could make an effort to enjoy others of differing looks and backgrounds we may truly start seeing people.  Believing that all others see is our weight or color is an insult to them, and we sell ourselves short.  It not only demeans us, but them.  We must quit being blinded by shallow things.  If we can remember that others are more than what we see, and we are more than what they see, we will discover a substance worth knowing.

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What Month of Your Life are You Living?

20151113_164955Months can be compared to stages or time periods of our lives.  I believe my sons are in the March period of their lives.  A young couple around their early thirties may be in the April of their lives.  I feel I am moving into the September/October of mine.  Why is this important for us to consider?

Earlier this evening my son Brock said, Mom, are you going to downsize?  What does this mean I asked?  He referred to the size of our home and all it’s contents.  Although a couple hairs of defense bristled, I quickly understood that my loving son was asking a natural question.  Really, I shouldn’t expect my children would want to live out the rest of their lives here in this big old house.  I mentioned, “you boys could move your wives in here with you”.  His eyes got very large.  He said, “Really Mom, are you ready to get rid of all this and move into a smaller home?”.  I said, “Yes, when we need to.”  This all requires much consideration.

The fact that I like life the way it is now does not mean I should not consider the future.  I have to think of others, which brings to mind a friend named Albert.  Albert was an acquirer.  He collected whatever he felt he needed, abandoned cars, old paint, parts and just about anything, he even built a storage building to house it all.  His basement was full of it, and his garage and yard.  Albert was an enterprising man and he had built up a great fortune.  Yet, when he died he left so much work for his widowed wife to do the stress made her sick.  She had to go through all this, striving to figure out what was valuable, what was salvageable, and what needed to be taken to the dump.  It was so sad to see Barbara going through all of this.  Eventually Barbara made her way through it all, sold everything and she bought a modest little home.  No clutter, no darkness, and she radiated.

I think of estate sales and auctions.  There is so much there, and the children do not want 95% of it.  It amazes me when I see all that is being sold, what was purchased and prized now being cheaply disposed of.

When you see you have a lot, why go looking at more?  There is a lot I really do not need.  There are books, clothes and other items all of us in our house could do well to rid ourselves with.  Yes, I do not want to leave my husband and children in a bad situation.  Thankfully the situation I referred to is an extreme one, but we need to think about these things.  Yet, it still applies and I want to show appreciation for my sons feelings on the matter.

My friend Michelle, she has her home nicely arranged, a cheerful décor, and it is easy to manage.  It has a pleasant atmosphere and as I strived to recover physically and emotionally after the death of my father it was the best place to be.  I would like to have my home reflect the same sort of atmosphere.

If I am in the fall of my life, I have more to think about then just myself.  We affect more people than we realize, especially our loved ones.

Devastated but not left on my own

Has it ever happened to you?  The extreme of abnormal?  Have you ever suspected things were not quite right?  My father died two days before I could get there to see him, he lives in New England and I live many states away.  I was having to wait to get my stitches out from a hurnea surgery and  I could not leave as soon as I would have liked.  Just a week an a half before I was on the phone with my father and he said he had four to six months to live, that was my last conversation with him.  The family commondeered his phone and would not let me talk to him.

Coming to Maine on a plane, I cried on the plane because this was my first time coming here that I would not see him.  When I went to see my step mother, she was cold and harsh, would not let me give her a hug, said she did not want visits and that there would be no funeral.  My father was a very much loved man in the community, and he was a father to all her kids, and many other children whom needed a father, he was there for all.  No one was left to be hungry or in need if he knew about it.  When she was on the phone I could hear them planning something, but, I was not invited.  I came all this way, and there I was devastated.  Unwelcome, alone with my grief.

Friends to the rescue, my God would not leave me alone with my tears.  My friends Bob and Michelle took me into their home, Michelle and I went and enjoyed many local attractions.  It was great seeing other friends we have known for decades.  Dave and Christine own a house they built up on a mountaintop surrounded by mountains, they let me come stay a number of days, we had old fashioned maple ice cream, we enjoyed the ministry and family study  I saw a storm come in across the mountains, and although it did not hit there, it was a sight to see.  Many nights here and there I cried many tears of grief over the loss of my father and other tears of deep pain and sorrow delivered unnessessarily by an unatural family.

Another friend Jennifer came and took me away for an afternoon of fun at a fine country restraunt where I had one of my favorites, Haddock chowder.  Very delicious, and I had a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, yes, all food in Maine is superior.  Then Bob and Michelle surprised me by taking me to another friends home, I had not seen her for aboout 25 years but I had thought about her so many times over the years. Randall an Liz had some great pizza.  Afterward Liz an Michelle humored me with a walk in Liz’s New England neighborhood.  I would see Liz again a couple more times and it was great.

Taking a day, or a morning to just rest was very important, and I was not shy in doing so.  Most on vacations strive to get the most out of their vacation and run here, go there, etc.  This was not a vacation, my father died, and I was in an unusual situation for me, and still healing from surgery the rest was vital.  Being handicapped, I have to take time to rest, putter, and move about slowly.

Off with Sandy an friends for the day, Sandy and Don have a very nice home in the country.  Sandy an Susan keep the house so nice.  My friends Roger and Debbie spent the morning an early afternoon with me, when I was about 21 they use to invite me over on Sundays and on fishing trips with their family.  They were so kind and it was great spending time with them too.  There were so many more I cannot mention all that extended themselves.  Yesterday Michelle mentioned that this is not without great expense, not referring to money, I am referring to pounds and inches gained.  I had quite a hearty laugh over that.  Now we are doing a diet together.

My friends and I are working our 11/11 goal.  What is that?  I will tell you in the next post.

Last night I was in great physical pain and emotional pain due to all this loss, yet, I got up and focused on a spiritual program of a convention I missed in July due to my operation.  It was great encouragement regarding healthy attitudes and actions that are beneficial regarding happy families and maintaining God’s favor.  It was great just hanging out at the house, resting and doing little things.

I had decided to paint a couple pictures for my friends Bob and Michelle whom I am staying with, (two weeks and three days, minus a few days spent with Christine)  They have been so generous and patient.  In the AID book, a large biblical dictionary, the word Hospitality is defined as having two meanings, The first is about the obvious, extending hospitality to others whether we offered or it is someone in need.  The second is regarding a person whom accepts hospitality.  They have responsibilities too, such a not making it a hardship on the one extending the hospitality.  To clean up after self, to be considerate, to help with chores, to offer financially to offset the overall expense, these are just a few examples.  Learning this years ago from this wonderful book, I strive to be a good guest.  One way I can show appreciation in addition to the other things I try to do is doing a painting.  I finished one today and I hope it suits their needs and that they like it.  I tried to keep their decor in mind, and I prayerfully addressed my care before starting the painting.  After, I layed down again and unable to move I decided it was quite ok to stay down.

One short coming I have is being quite the chatterbox.  Everyone needs quiet time, my friends offering generously do not need constant banter.  It appears I am only figuring it out near the end of this trip.

The day before I left, Liz took me to the Demillo’s at the Portland waterfront.  I love this restaurant.  Haddock chowder, fresh hot bread and a vegtable plate.  Then we rode a duck bus through town where we learned much history about the city of Portland, and architectural history.  Then the duck bus took us out on the water.  It was a lovely day to be out.  I appreciated Liz that while she was so busy with getting ready for school to start, she took the time out to make a special day.  She joined Michelle and I for dinner ( I had made the goulash in the crock pot in the morning before I left with Liz).  Michelle helped me make the beer bread to go with it.  Us old time friends had much to talk about.  It was very pleasant.

I was devasted when I realized that my family is abnormal, I was suspicious of it for years.  Here I became a long distance daughter and now the bridge has been burned unwittingly and not by me.  When step children move in and the original children have been moved to the side, it is a sad situation not just when we are small but when injustice is delivered again later.  We must keep our families together, children are the casualities as adults move from one relationship to another.

In a couple days I will return home to my husband, sons, and daughter.  After a day of rest I will get back to the routine I strive to keep which is fortifying.  I will be pondering precious memories in the months to come of special friends whom turned a painful situation around into a blessing.

When things are not going right …

When things are not going right, and your perplexed what can you do?  Resolving problems is not so easy when emotions are involved, and relationships are at stake.  How do you keep your feelings in check, while your overwhelmed and discouraged?  Finding the answer to problems is not always obvious.

Praying to our Great Creator is always a perfect start to addressing problems.  How we pray is another matter entirely, we can always be sure to Thank our creator for the good we have experienced in our life, then we can let him know we have limited understanding of our problem and thus have a challenge figuring out the best course to follow.  We can ask for wisdom and direction.

Next we should write down our problem and approach it like a business person.  Write out what options we have, at least three.  Then the possible outcomes for each option.  The pros and cons of each, and what happens if we do not make a decision.  We must not be overly pessimistic about the matter, assuming the worst outcome if we make a big decision.  It may work out better than we have guesstimated.  Of course, it could work out worst, and we must be prepared for it.

Being informed about the subject we are approaching is vital.  Yet, discussing it with an intimate friend is not always the best choice.  Their emotions might get the better of them, and you.

Always consider your own moral values when thinking about resolving a matter.  It is best not to second guess your principles or it could nag you forever, and bring the greatest grief.  I remember when I was at a special group meeting for children of alcoholics that a young woman there was in great distress.  She was involved with a married man, he told her the usual tales of his marital woes, and he had her hook, line, and sinker.  She did not know he was married, until after much interaction.  Guilt, she was a slave to, and she wanted to drink, and she wanted to die.  I just let her know how beautiful she was, and that she did not want to hurt another family, and that she is not the first he has fooled around with.  We talked about her freeing herself from this fleabag with no legitimate intentions.  This woman was breaking all her moral values and she was miserable for it.  Love should be a beautiful thing, and if you live with self respect and respect for the creator, you will be the happier for it.

The advise from another is easy to get, yet, they do not have to live your consequences.  Going to an older, mature, person whom has shown by their own life that they live with some principle can be very helpful when soliciting of advice.  Of course the decision is still always yours.  I like to go to   http://www.jw.org and type my problem in the search bar because the way they address issues is well rounded.  It is free, and over 115 years experience, it is great.

This week I have been overwhelmed, sad, and discouraged.  Sometimes I feel a little grouchy, sometimes I want to cry.  The thing that helps me greatest is sticking to my usual routine, and working on a few things I have been putting off.  I have been looking at these shelves in a corner for a few years that I have wanted to paint and put above some special doorways we have.  So, while feeling so blue about my father in hospice, (he is many states away and I cannot get there because of my hernia surgery and recovery), I am very sad.  This Thursday I get my stitches out and then I can get on the plane on Friday.  I hope he lasts til I get there.  I long to sit with him a bit.  I thought of my father as I painted these shelves.  Tomorrow my son will put them up over the doorway and I will be delighted to see it, and it is another thing done.  Although I cannot do regular things, I am doing little things to improve the overall look of our environment.

While going through things, it is vital to still do our laundry, and keep picking up and putting away.  Yet, we must make time to get our cars extra tidy, and do something special with our hair.  Watch a good movie you saw years ago you enjoyed.  Talk about good things with a friend on the phone.  Make something with some skills you have.  Go for a walk with a friend.  It is not always necessary to talk about a problem to resolve it.  Sometimes, we need to get our mind off our problems so we can come back to it with a whole new approach.

If you feel you never get a good outcome when dealing with problems, then maybe you do need to try a fresh approach to an old problem.  Do not respond the same old way, think of an assertive friend and how they might respond, try it.

For example, if you have a mate that likes to holler at you for long periods, think about their heart and health.  Think about your heart and health.  Think about the neighbors.  If you have children in the home, think of them.  New approach, no wining, complaining, threats or ultimatums.  Just say as if you are a good friend to them, the said mate, “I see how frustrated you get when you are expressing yourself, I am concerned about your health, and mine too.  I am also very interested in your feelings.  Your feelings are important to me, but I no longer can be audience to your anger.  It scares me about your health and mine too.  Let us strive to state the concern in thirty seconds or less and then let us see how quickly we can fix the problem.”  Then walk away, start sweeping the floor or something.  If you stand there looking, expecting him or her to agree, it looks like you want a fight.  So just move onto something else, ask them if you can get them a cup of water or something.  Gracious and kind is key to pleasant outcomes.

My first husband was a very violent person.  This really worked for a bit.  Eventually, I realized he had a personal problem and it was not me.  I did not deserve his anger and there was no way I could fix his problem, he was a bottomless pit.  My life has been greatly blessed without him, and I hope he is living respectfully and happily.

We live in a very problematic world.  It is impossible to live in complete peace and security at this point.  We are only in control of ourselves and how we react to a situation.  We can react differently than we usually do, and then we can possibly have a different outcome.  Respect for others, and respect for ourselves means we would never hurt another and we do not open ourselves up to be repeatedly hurt.

I only have a few days left before I leave, and I would like to come home to a more pleasant atmosphere than when I left.  Therefore, besides continuing with my regular routine, I am going to get a few more things done before I leave.  Some problems will have to just work themselves out.  It is great I can meditate on some good memories of my father and me.