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.