Inspiration and Decision Making

October 21, 2016

I have come to a different place in my life, a place of reevaluation. I am going to have to withdraw from school for now because I am simply not able to keep up the pace at this point in my life. I have asked the school to be able to try again next fall. We’ll see. I was afraid to check my email to see their response. I am simply unable to go there. I feel a little emotionally bankrupt. I feel as if I have failed my own expectations.  Feelings are not sinful; they just are kind of a barometer.  I feel exhausted inside from being stretched too thin for too long.There are dozens of places willing to take my money to complete my BSN next fall, if they do not want me back. This is just the cheapest accredited one. Still, you would think that I could look at it, but no, right now, I can’t.

Also, since I am reevaluating things, I changed churches to a local church in my neighborhood. This has really decreased the amount of spiritual frustration in my life. I will not be elaborating on that point. I will sum it up to say that my former church and I grew apart from one another and parted friends. I tried to work things out, and they were honest and kind, but we are headed in different directions.

Additionally, my husband’s stay in the hospital caused me to reevaluate my own health. It was time to admit that I am obese, and I am tired of it.  I have not been able to lose the weight on my own. I rejoined Weight Watchers today. I have 75.2 pounds to lose in order to reach my goal weight. WW has completely changed since the last time I attended, and I love the changes. It is flexible and has multiple meetings not far from my home. I have felt hypocritical for some time because I am an overweight, out-of-shape nurse. If you cannot see the contradiction in that then you are not much of a critical thinker. I was encouraged by the success that my SIL has had with Medifast. She is making amazing progress. (I did not want to spend the money on that program, although it is a great one, and WW has worked for me in the past. I just need to do the math, so to speak and stay motivated.)

Today is my first day, and it is a day off from work. I have been counting the caloric cost of products in my home and cleaning out cabinets, getting ready to be accountable for what I put in my mouth. I admit that I was more than a little shocked at some of my former choices. I just did not take the time to reflect on what I was doing to myself. Weight Watchers is not fast, but it will work long term if I stick with it. I have no idea how long it will take to lose the weight, but I am considering keeping track of what I put in my mouth a normal part of my life, like balancing my checkbook. It is not something extra; it is now the norm to keep track and stay within parameters. Initially the biggest switch is planning my meals ahead so I can budget for what is most important. Healthy eating is not going to just happen to me; I have to be responsible for it daily.

Somehow I need to learn how to do that in other areas as well. The great thing about coming to the place of feeling like a failure is that I am also finally willing to concede that in order for things to be different, I must make changes. Looking back, I think that I set the bar of personal expectation in an unrealistic place. I am still figuring this out. As a Christian, I find this is more difficult than it looks at first glance. If I should do something, some project,some commitment, does God look at me as a failure if I fail to meet expectations? How do I think about how God thinks of me? I think that I have assigned motives to God that were false and expectations to God which were of my own making. It certainly did not feel like an easy yoke or a light burden. It felt like I was dying under the load. That does not mesh with what I say that I believe about God.

Two very powerful words that are helping me today are “now” and “no.” I have known that I was obese for a long time, but I always told myself that I would take care of it tomorrow or next week. The very best thing is telling myself that I am taking care of it now, today, and I can say, “no,” to anything just as well as, “yes.” No one forced me to eat all of that food; it was completely my decision then, and it is completely my decision now. I love those words. May I learn to use them well.

The 80s

October 19, 2016

This cheers me up.

The Les Schwab Contest

October 19, 2016

It all started with a visiting speaker at church who preached from Psalm 73 about how it is not good to take your focus off of the Lord and envy people who do not give a rip about the Lord, but never have bad things happen to them.

My tire went flat, my husband had to be admitted to the hospital, a tree branch as big as an actual tree fell on my house in the middle of the night, the light which I cannot reach without nearly breaking my neck on the basement steps went out, my husband had to be transferred to another hospital, I decided to withdraw from school because I could no longer keep up and scary unnamed things happened at the hospital.

The moral of the story is that God is good, and it is all working out just fine thank you very much.

However, today I worked my second night shift and before going home to sleep, went to an important appointment for medical things with my husband. (Interpret that as,  “Woman is seriously lacking sleep.” Truly, at the end of the appointment I was loopy.) When I woke up later from a four hour nap, I realized that I really needed to get it in gear while my car tire was inflated and get it repaired.

All of that was just setting the stage for the embarrassing thing I am about to tell you.

Les Schwab has free popcorn in their waiting area. I was only in the waiting area because each of the tables had at least one occupant, and I wanted to read. I took the corner seat in the television/coffee/popcorn area. I put my purse and book bag beside me to discourage anyone from sitting close by. These are tricks that all introverted book readers know and practice. I am not ashamed.

A woman came in and sat down about 5 seats away. She had a bag of popcorn. At this point the previously unannounced paper bag rattling contest began. This woman made more continuously annoying noises with that small paper bag than I would have imagined was even possible. The coup de gras was that her ring tone was country music. The twangy kind. She could not find her phone. At least she was done with her popcorn.

In my sleep deprived state, I forgot my phone. Enter contestant number two. I filled a paper bag with popcorn and proceeded to do my absolute best to make the most noise that would be humanly possible to make with an agenda of somehow possibly, maybe irritating the woman who was down the row from me. Eating the popcorn was not important to me at all. I was looking to score in the sound category. In order to have almost continuous sound, I had to keep rotating the bag. Even with my childish unashamed competitiveness, I could not make as much noise as contestant number one in either length of time or depth of reverberation.

I came away with this satisfaction: she will never know that she won.

The Week

October 15, 2016

It was terrible. It could have been worse. It had a few bright spots, but still it retained it terribleness.

The end.


October 10, 2016

The Race

October 9, 2016

Today I ran the coveted Steak Race sponsored by the Beef Council as a fund raiser for the Y. I hurt my knee a while back, and it recovered. Also, the six night shifts. I ended up walking for about 97% of the race and eating steak from Good Wood when it was over. The person I walked with was the mom of an old friend. She came in first in her category, but she is 85. I will say this. I kept up with her.


October 7, 2016

Working 6 night shifts in 7 days took its toll, but I survived it.

Typically at the end of a run of night shifts, I sleep till noon’s alarm, get up like a zombie for several hours and then switch back to days that night. Yesterday I turned off the alarm, slept until four, and went grocery shopping. Then I came home and watched Netflicks, went to bed and slept even though I had already slept. I was that tired.


Reach for the Stars

October 3, 2016

And so, I found myself working three consecutive night shifts followed by a night off and then, three consecutive night shifts. And so, tonight, on my night off, I went to see the latest Star Trek movie at the late show. For one day off, it is not worth trying to revert back to days.

I was the only customer in the lobby of the theater. Usually I arrive just before the movie, and have to wade through a huge line at the concessions counter. It was fun being the only one.

When I walked in the theater, I was theater goer number three. The funny thing is that we all liked sitting near the front.

Since I liked the original Star Trek television series, and the other ones not so much, I really liked this movie. I will not ruin it for you, other than saying that I kept recognizing one actor from another movie, but I could not place him. Doc McCoy was played by Karl Urban who was in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Eomer) and also in Red (CIA Agent).

The F Word

September 28, 2016

Failing. I think I am failing school.

I read a book. I wrote the power point book review and turned it in and responded the requisite number of times on the discussion board. Pretty sure I am failing. Everything I turn in is late. I have not even looked at the requirements for my other two classes. This has never happened to me before. I have tomorrow off from work, and then I have three (twelve hour) night shifts in three days, one day off, and then three (twelve hour) night shifts in three days again.

I do not think that I am not in a position to catch up. One day of really hitting it is probably not going to make up for how far behind I am. I also lack ambition. I am tired. I do not want to spend my day off doing boring homework.

May God have mercy on my horrible, unrepentant, whining soul.

The only other time in my life in which I got an F was in high school. My other bad grade was a D. I think I got them both the same semester. One was in typing because I looked at my hands too many times on a timed test. The other was in gym because I missed too many showers. In the end, neither mattered. They were not my final grades; they were just six week grades. Today I can type and shower all that I need to in order to survive in American culture. I even held a job as a typist at the regional headquarters of a nationally known insurance company. Of course, they only required 30 wpm as I remember.

I am not sure how this will turn out. I used to think that maybe if like 8,000 people prayed for me that somehow the yucky parts of my life like this would turn around miraculously. I do not have 8,000 friends who pray fervently. James points out that it only takes one fervent praying person to do an awful lot of good. Or maybe, if I just had an attitude change and turned into one of those wonderful people who does not ever get burned out or need time off or want to quit, then this would be a non issue.

I do not have words for how tired I am at this moment.

Over the weekend, I somehow hurt my knee and could not run or do the stairs and pretty much needed handicap rails to get off the toilet. Tonight I could climb the stairs with either leg, but I have not started running again yet. I am in a race in about two weeks.

Also, the plumbing is stopped up. We will not be getting a plumber in here to fix it until Thursday.

On the plus side, when I cannot get to sleep at night, which is pretty much every night when I am not working nights because my body is getting trained to stay up all night, I am reading. My current book is Quiet. (I just finished I Am Malala, also worth reading.) I bought this book with a generous graduation book card gift from one of my many friends (not quite 8,000, and you know that they do not all pray). I thought I might resent this book completely because I sometimes find social media memes about introverts to be tiresome. At different points in my life, I have wanted introverts simply to get over it and to get it together. Then, the unthinkable happened. I started turning into an introvert. Scary, I know. When I asked someone I considered knowledgeable about it, she replied, “Don’t worry about it. Just go with it.”

That alleviated my initial horror of being Jekyll and Hyde. Looking back, I think that some of the transition was from always getting in trouble in nursing school for being an extrovert. Seriously. Aimee’s best advice was, “Mom, just keep your head down and get through it.”  She was right. Don’t stand out. Don’t comment. Endure it and get out. Eventually all of that enduring seemed to change my personality. I am the person who used to drive me bonkers.

One positive is that introverts do not get in trouble as much. Unless they look at their hands when they are typing or don’t take enough showers in gym class or don’t turn in their book reviews or anything else on time.

I feel like I am riding the fail train right over the cliff this time. I should probably take a Thunder Mountain type selfie. No, that is not what an introvert would do. An introvert would just write, “Here I am. I am failing. It is not the end of the world.”


September 26, 2016

The concept of hospitality in America seems in many ways to have gone down the toilet.

As evidence for this observation I will share the following. An unnamed leader sent me an invitation to a dinner. The dinner involved meeting people and helping in a new ministry. When I was sure I was off from work for this event, I received notice that I was uninvited to this kick off dinner.

Also, it was made clear to me that if I wanted to participate in this ministry at all, I would have to fill out an extensive form and submit to two interviews as part of a vetting process.

This was never made clear previously. They just wanted me to come and be involved.

At that point, I declined.

It seemed to me that because of my limited amount of free time in this season of my life, that any free evenings would be better spent at home, despite my sometimes extroverted desire to attend parties.  I decided not to be offended at the offensive note uninviting me or to make snide comments about the lack of administrative organization in this undertaking for inviting people to participate and then telling them that they will be vetted after you have uninvited them.

It is just best overlook stuff like that and roll on. I mean, who would believe it?

Okay, so tonight I receive another invitation from the same person to an event meant solely to promote their other ministry and shoot a promotional video.

Seriously? I said to myself.

After all of that, you think we are all clearing our calendars to promote your money making endeavor?

Please do not accuse me of being sarcastic. I am simply relating what actually happened.

This is part of the very strange phenomenon known as the American church.