Thursday, June 20, 2013

Worth It

I don’t know where this came from, but this morning in the shower I had some deep thoughts. I was pondering my reasoning. What? OK, I was wondering to myself why I do what I do, or don’t do what I don’t do. Better? Why am I who I am? Why do I have issues? Even better, how can I get over these issues and function better. I want to be wiser, smarter, and kinder to myself. I cannot be the best person I can be, the best servant, if I am constantly circling the same issues. So, that being said, what are my issues?

I have food issues. I seek comfort in food. I eat when I am happy, sad, angry, and broken. I do not know why this works for me, but it does, at least in my head. Food never fails to taste delicious and make me feel satisfied. Until my clothes won’t fit, my health suffers and I look terrible. I have eaten and eaten until I am 100 pounds over weight.  Yes, I am tall and you might not guess it.  People say, you are not "that" heavy.  Let me tell you that when you are 100 pounds over weight you are heavy by any definition.  I am fat.  I recently started a new plan for dealing with this problem. I have had some success but I have a long way to go. It feels good to be managing this, instead of it managing me.

I have money issues. I do not balance my check book, keep track of my bills or plan for my financial future. This one is so embarrassing and hard to understand. I have no reasonable explanation. Dr. Phil always says that repeated behaviors have some sort of reward for you or you would not repeat them. So in seeking this mysterious reward I can only guess that I am rewarded by putting off the stress that not managing my resources causes. I pretend to be a smart, savvy business woman. I don’t want to think about it, so I don’t. I just fake it. Really stupid, I know, because the stress never fails to raise its ugly head. By pushing it back over and over instead of addressing it, the problem becomes a beast that will not be ignored. This is one of my worst problems. Starting today, I own it. It is not anyone’s fault by mine. People live comfortably on much less money than I earn. There is no reason that I cannot manage the resources I was blessed with.

I feel sure there are many other problems or issues, but those are the two that seem to consume me. So my next issue is “Why?”. Why do I feel the need to hide from stress and bathe myself in fat? Who would want that for themselves? Why am I not worthy of a healthy, secure lifestyle? What pain or problem convinced my subconscious mind that treating myself this way was a good idea?

I had a rough childhood, but I knew that someone loved me. I had family that cared. My parents divorced probably before I was born. I essentially had no father figure until I was about 12 years old and went into a foster home. What a strange world that was to me. Prior to that, I, along with my siblings, was sent to live in a children’s home by my family. Part of my mind feels like we were given away by people who were supposed to love and care for us. There are a lot of reasons that this happened. My family is not full of horrible and selfish people. They are just regular hard working people. They all had their own children or were finished raising their children. They were sometimes good, sometimes bad, just like everyone else. But there is a small corner of my mind that feels like we were disposed of like an unwanted litter of puppies, thrown into a pillowcase and tossed out the car window into the lake. My truth is that they did not want to take the risk of bringing me into their homes. My truth is that I was not worth the trouble. I guess I have trouble believing I am worth anything.

I am not interested in pity, or people telling me this is not true. It is true. We (my siblings and I) were not worth the problems, drama and expenses that we would bring into their homes. We were cast aside, to be brought back on convenient weekends and holidays to visit. We were placed somewhere that they could know we were fed, clothed and educated. I am not ungrateful for that. So many people have so much less. However, the hurt of the rejection lingers.  I honestly hold no recrimination for my family.  They did what they had to do.  They had their own children, spouses, problems, retirement and finances to consider.  We would not have been an easy task to undertake.  We were wild and undisciplined. I know they did what they thought was best.  Perhaps they really did, I will never know what would have happened if they chose to keep me.  But just maybe I would have believed that I was worth the trouble.  

I have to learn to fix my eyes on what has never failed me in any way, shape or form. God. He sent his son to die for me. He loved me enough for that. He paid the ransom when I was kidnapped and trapped in my own ridiculous problems. He did not cast me aside like an unwanted dog. He thinks I am worth it. I am a mess. I am a lot of trouble, but He wants me anyway. I accepted this gift a long, long time ago. Thinking back, maybe what I needed at that point in my life was not so much forgiveness but rather acceptance. I was very young. I believed Him and wanted to be accepted, loved and of course, forgiven. Even still, for some reason, I have been dragging this “not worth it” attitude around with me for 45 years. I need to embrace His choice to redeem me and love me as a greater value than the rejection of my family all those years ago. I need to leave this crap in the trash. I have more value than this. I am of little use to Him when I am wrapping these chains around myself morning after morning. What an insult this must be to God. My doubt and bad attitude are like a hammer pushing those spikes into the hands and feet of Christ. What I have been doing and thinking is a rejection of his perfect gift. If God thinks I am worthy, then I am worthy. I am not too much trouble. He wants me in His family. He wants me in His house. I am worth the trouble and pain.

This will be another long journey of my continual failure, I am sure.  Forty-five years of belief and bad habits will be hard to forget. I am roughly half way through my life assuming that I live as long as my precious Grams.  So I have one half left to make some improvements, or rather to let God make some improvements.   I just have to keep remembering that I have been appointed as worthy.  I need to live like I am worthy.  Every day, every hour I will need to remind myself, I am worthy.  If I can make some progress, maybe you will notice changes in me.  Then again , maybe not.  I have been hiding and pretending for a long time.

So here I am.  Worthy.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Long Time Gone

It has been over a year since my last post.  Wow.  Things have really changed!!  I post here as much for myself as I do for an audience (good thing, because I think there are just two of you!).  This is a bit like a diary.  I can look back and see where I was, and where I am now.  So here is what happened.

Jacob moved out early in 2012.  That was rough.  It took us about 6 to 8 months to get him to come back home.  I think it was just too soon for him.  The details of his time away I will leave out.  Those are his story, I am just a character in that drama. He is still home now, but making noises about moving out.  I sure hope he will wait another year or more so that he can save some money and leave when he is better positioned to succeed.  However, I know by now, that he will do, what he will do.  I will be his cheerleader, counselor and I hope a trusted advisor.  But maybe not his banker.  That is not my strong suit.

Forward to early fall.  Kim lost his job at... no, never mind, I won't name names.  He lost his job, to be specific, he got fired.  That was hard.  He worked mainly for benefits, gasoline and grocery money.  All three of those were and are very critical!  Kim is diabetic, so benefits were something I set to work looking into right away.  We had three options in my mind.

1.  Purchase COBRA coverage.  That was a beastly number to consider in my newly shrunken budget!  It was really not an option at all, even if we only covered Kim.

2.  My boss offered to add us to the company plan with several options.  He was very generous and also offered to pay for the majority (if not all---I cant remember now) of my portion of the bill.  This was also a nasty wake-up for me.  To find a plan remotely similar to the coverage we were losing at my husbands job, it would cost us out of pocket over $1,000 per month.  That was no option at all.  There were more affordable options, of course. but the coverage was much lower.  We would have paid around $500 and still had a large deductible to meet, and also would have had to pay for the majority of his medications. 

3.  Sadly, the option I was most seriously considering was no coverage at all.  I had decided that we could pay for his services and meds for about what the cost of the insurance would be.  The dangerousness of this was not lost on me.  I do sell insurance!  I knew that a catastrophe would ruin us. 

I was really struggling and praying about what to do.  Trying not to worry about the future.  But sort of consumed by it anyway.        

Then out of the blue a job opportunity dropped into my lap.  A friend (insert AWESOME!) contacted me about a position where she worked.  It would include benefits at an affordable cost, and a modest raise.  Benefits not only for Kim and I, but for Jacob, too!  All for less than the option I had looked at with my company.  Good benefits, too.  Comparable to what we had lost!  I tried to say no.  I argued with myself.  How could any company offer me what I had worked 20 years to have?  It would be different.  I knew that.  The fear I felt was like a MONSTER chasing me.  But every objection I tossed out, was batted back down.  It seemed like the right job at the right time.

So here I am!  5 months later.  Learning new things, messing things up, crying a little now and then (especially at first!), but I think I am doing well.  The first month was brutal.  We had some family health issues and I was trying to learn new things.  It seems like a bad dream, now.

Most recently, and most sadly, we lost my beloved Grandma.  She was 91 years old.  She had a stroke and lingered a few months.  My heart just yearns for her company.  Puzzles, cookies, long talks, or just the peace that I always found in her presence.  She was HOME to me.  But I am getting used to it.  It was past her time to go.  I am sure she stayed so long just to keep taking care of the family.  RIP, Grams.  Thank you for being my peaceful, safe haven.  Love you forever!       
This was a long post about something many of you don't care anything about.  But, now that we are up to date, maybe I will check back more often and share some happiness.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Winter or No Winter? February Update

What a strange year this has been so far.  Almost no winter weather to date.  We did have a little bit of snow one time, but it was gone fast. Not much to speak of.  I guess that is really not that unusual for Oklahoma, it is just that the last few years we have had so much snow that I have come to expect it, and love it.  We do have some winter weather predicted for Sunday night and Monday, and later next week too (eeek!).  That is something to look forward to (for me).

I have been continuing on my journey to health.  I am still trying to get to the gym four times every week.  Most of this year has been a "fail" in that respect.  The last two weeks I have corrected my behavior.  I can feel the difference too!  When I only go a few times a week I seriously start to feel the muscle going away and the flab returning.  I am still overweight, and I fully expect that I always will be.  But I am trying to get a little healthier every year.  So far so good.  I push myself (hard) at the gym.  Several times I have had people come up to me and say, "Are you ok?"  Apparently, I get really red in the face.  I know I sweat A LOT!!!  I am spending an hour on the eleptical or arc machine.  I have been doing that for a while, so to amp it up, last week I bumped up the resistance to 100 (the highest level) for short bursts of time.  By doing that in increasingly long bursts, I have increased my calorie burn in the same hour from around 800 to just over 1300 last night!  Woo hoo!

The hardest part is eating.  That is my downfall.  I love to eat.  I have really not changed my eating habits at all.  So I did lose some weight, but not much, and it has mostly stopped.  So maybe this extra exercise will help.  And maybe I can find a way to adjust my diet in some form that I can live with, I can drop a few more pounds this year.  I am just not willing to give up all the things I love.

Happy February!  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011--A Year In Review

It would be nice if I were a musical person, or a songwriter and I could just write a song that would sum up my year.  I am thinking of that Billy Joel song, We Didn't Start the Fire.  But I am not, so I am trying to reflect upon what I have learned this year and as a whole, how I feel about the year.

Bad things first, so I can finish on a good note. As I think through the items that tally up on the bad side, I find it ironic that some of them will appear on both sides of the list.  Life is full of irony. 

Financially this was another staggering year.  It is just not going to get better for about another year, or possibly two.  We are working so hard to get back on top of everything that went wrong in years past that is so hard to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I find us still in a position of receiving charity.  I am humbled by this because my foolish pride wants to be in a position to GIVE to others.  It is much nicer feeling.  I am embarrassed by how low I have fallen.  It is ever so much harder to receive charity than it is to give it.  I hope someday, when I am again in a position to give, that I will remember how it feels and be sympathetic and sensitive to others.  God is working on my on this.  I can see what he wants me to learn, but I am stubborn and thick headed, so it is taking a long time for me to accept it.  

Pride makes an appearance again in this item.  Jacob.  He has decided to drop out of school.  That was a low blow for me.  I have probably been in denial about this for longer than I care to think about.  He has just not been a committed student for the last several years.  But he always told me that he WOULD graduate, no matter what.  I held onto that.  I took comfort in that.  But now it changes.  Upon examining my motives, I can see that pride is driving me again.  I did not want to be the mother of a drop-out.  To be honest, I still don't.  I know that Jacob has above average intelligence.  It hurts me so much that he won't apply himself.  But I guess that is back to me.  I have to move that pride thing out of the way and try to let Jacob focus on Jacob and what he wants from life.  I have to let that go.  It has to be his choice.  I can no longer chose for him.  Sigh.

Work.  I want to quit my job so bad it hurts.  The pressure and stress just seem like too much.  I find I don't pretend to get excited about it any more.  I won't play the games any more.  I am just so negative about this part of my life.  I know it is time for a change, but referring back to the financial paragraph above, making that sort of change at this point would be self destructive and stupid.  I need to keep my focus for a year or two longer.  At that point I will have more flexibility.  I just keep chanting to myself, you can do this, you can do this.  I am strong.  I can do almost anything that has to be done if I keep my focus.

Enough of that painful stuff!  On to the good!

I am blown away by the generosity of others.  My brother-in-law paid to fly my sister and I to Pennsylvania to see by brother and his family.  I know there were dozens of other ways he could have spent that money.  I am so thankful for the chance to get to know my 2 nieces and nephew there.  They are amazing and I will never forget how much fun we had there.  Even the time spent with my amazing sister is  an incredible gift.  We usually see each other when we are surrounded by family and distractions.  We had a lot of fun during our trip and I am so glad we had the time to talk and laugh.

We were nominated by a work friend. Kristy to have a new furnace installed in our home.  Hopefully they will be doing that this week.  What a blessing.  I did not know how we would  be able to do that for several more years.  The cost of a new unit would be beyond our reach for several years.  I am so thankful to Kirsty, Channel 6 and Airco for chosing us.  Just WOW!

Health.  This has been a much better year for our health.  I had surgery last year and it dramatically improved my health.  I feel so much better.  When I read what I just typed, I am at a loss as to how to convey what a difference this surgery made for me.  I feel like I can do ANYTHING now!  I feel better than I have in 20 years.  I don't think I even knew how bad I felt.  Kim is doing well too.  No more problems with his foot.  He keeps a close eye on it, and is constantly baby-ing it so that another problem will not crop up.  But he has been able to keep it under control for most of this year.  That is a big deal because his diabetic ulcers have ruled our house for the past 5 years or so.  I am so thankful for good health.

Jacob.  I am so proud of him.  He always makes me laugh.  Even when I am mad at him.  I am so filled up with love for him, and am so thankful that God blessed me with him.  I hope I have been a decent mom to him.  I wish I could do parts of his childhood over.  I wish I could give him more.  But I know I could never love him more, so I succeeded at that!  

Friends.  Amy, Necia, Kathy, Nettie, Emily, and so many others.  What would I do without you?  Thank you for keeping my feet on the ground and talking me off the cliff of despair so many times.

There you are, the good and the bad, all together.  Goodbye 2011.  Thanks for the memories. I am glad you are leaving, but thankful that you were what you were.               

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Negativity **WARNING** NEGATIVE CONTENT!! Read at your own risk!

October is here.  My favorite time of the year has arrived.  I should be happy.  Suddenly I find myself getting sucked into a hole of negativity.  I don't like it.  I am an optimist.  I am a happy person.  I do know why this is happening.  First, things are catching up to me.  Bad things.  Things I should have done and did not do.  Also, it seems that when things start to go wrong, it snowballs.  I am attracting bad stuff on top of other bad stuff.  Some of it I totally deserve, some of it is random.  Last, work has been bad lately.  I am expected to do the job of 3 people.  I am pretty good at my job, and I can do that sort of thing for a few days, but it has started (after close to 6 weeks) to catch up to me.  Anyway you slice it, I am tired of it.  I want to be positive and up beat again.  I am tired of stress and worry.  I want to fling it off like I fling off the blankets in the middle of a hot flash at night (lol).  But I just can't seem to shake it loose. 

I hear people who say, "In the name of God, I reject this..."  Why I can't I just speak this nonsense into oblivion?  I have asked this question before, and I still struggle with it.  How do I give this burden to God?  How can I just turn lose of something so personal?  Something that I mostly deserve.  It is not God's problem.  I know He is willing to listen, but what do I do to give it to Him?  Can I just pack it up in a suitcase and drop it off at the gates of heaven?  The problem is still here all around me.  The worry is picking at me.  Poking me and cropping up.

I know my life will never be free of worry.  Life is a series of up's and down's.  I am just really sliding down, quickly right now. 

My first post in a while.  Reading back over it, I feel the need to apologize.  So, here I go.  Sorry. this is depressing.  Maybe I will feel better by venting.  This is also a journal of sorts for my life, so maybe in a few years I can look back on this time and see how far I have come.  Maybe I will be so thankful to God for getting me past this.  So I am going to post it anyway, with a warning.             

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Taking Them for Granted...

I was thinking this week about how fast you can lose someone you love.  Life changes so rapidly.  What you have today could be gone tomorrow.  God gives us no guarantees that we will have the people we love for as long as we want them. 

I find myself taking my family and friends for granted.  "Take for granted".  What does that even mean?  I am just thinking this out...  When I hear the word "granted", I think of a wish.  As in, "your wish has been granted!"  As in, you have what you always wanted.  So if you have what you wanted, and you take them "for granted", it seems it means that you assume they are yours.  Your possessions.  A part of your life that you get to keep.

I can find no such guarantee or promise.  Kim is not mine, neither is Jacob.  I can't own anyone, not really even my dogs!  They are here on loan to me, as I am on loan to them.  Who will go first?  Who will be left behind, the last person standing?  As a parent, I pray that is Jacob, and that God will "loan" lots of other precious people to him.  So that when someone gets called home, he will have others with him to comfort him.

My thoughts wander back to "the last person standing".  That thought takes me right to my Grams.  She is 90 years old now.  Her husband died over 20 years ago.  Her friends have all passed away.  Lee and Rudy, Vick and Thelma, Pete and Marge.  Lots of others.  All gone before her.  Now she is alone with her children, four of them.  Her grandchildren, 10, I think.  Her Great-grandchildren, I know of 17.  And even two Great-great-grandchildren, maybe more.  And yet she feels so alone.  She is wealthy beyond reason, if her offspring are her treasure.  She has a very rich legacy.  I wish she could see that, and feel blessed.

So back to the "taking for granted" thought.  I want to remember how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life.  My family, my friends, even my silly dogs!  I have a rich legacy, too!  I am thankful for all that God has loaned me.  I don't know how long I get to have you on loan, but whoever you are, I am thankful for your part in my life.  Thank you for helping me build a legacy.  If I check out before you do, just be happy that we got a chance to be family, or friends.  We are blessed.               

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I hate it when I notice qualities about myself that are unattractive that I never noticed before.  Even worse, when someone else points it out to you.  It sure hurts to look at yourself and see painful, ugly qualities that you have stubbornly refused to see for a long time.  That deep, raw look you take in the mirror can be brutal.  And for me, just the thought that other people could see it so clearly, and I couldn't feels so awful.  It makes my heart hurt, or maybe my pride hurt, to think about what I was doing.

But isn't a good hard look at yourself pretty important?  No matter how ugly your reflection is, I think you have to do it now and then.  Maybe you need someone to prod you, like I did.  Someone to nudge and poke you into seeing what they see.  Or maybe even throw it at you in a moment of painful confrontation.  What everyone can see.  Everyone but you.  But me.

It hurts to know that I have qualities that ugly.  I get to thinking sometimes that I am good enough.  That I am better than average.   Just another reminder that there was only EVER one perfect person.  I know I will be forgiven, and I am thankful, but still just feeling a little bruised.