1halffull's Blog


Losing Perspective
August 8, 2011, 3:17 am
Filed under: Sadness | Tags: ,

It’s amazing how fast things can change.

 One day, you’re on the beam, walking it perfectly and the next, you’ve fallen off and you definitely can’t get back up.

 That’s what has happened to me this year.  One thing on top of the next.  Mind whirling dervishly.  Suddenly in the middle of the biggest anxiety attack I’ve ever seen because the steaks I cooked weren’t as tender as I wanted them to be!!!

HOLY COW!

The next morning, after figuring out that I hadn’t had a heart attack, I took stock, lock and barrel of myself and my surroundings and realized how many disappointments I’d endured since February.  None of them are end of the world, earth shattering tragedies.  Still, there are about a half dozen or so events that needed to be worked through and weren’t.

I realized that in my attempt to pretend that all was still right with the world, I hadn’t acknowledged that instead, it was all completely contretemps to my usual life.  What I saw was that I’d been hiding out, pretending that in the midst of all the loss, everything was still normal.  I’m not surprised at that.  It’s a survival mode that I’ve used all my life.

In the midst of trial, even though I’ve learned that my help has most often come from the Lord, this time, I was ignoring Him.  I might have even been misdirecting a bit of ire toward Him by turning my back – not completely – but shrugging off any attempts He might be making toward me to ease my pain.  My plan was to live in Egypt, by de-Nile.  That allowed me to ignore my own need for help.  I’d show anyone who might be looking.

But the anxiety attack brought me up short, staring into the mirror, seeing my current life flash before my eyes in all its sadness and grief.  I recognized right then that I needed to clean up this act, take it off the road, and take it directly to Him for a good going over. 

What’s really interesting about God is that He’s always ready to take you in, provide you with help and with healing.  He’s also usually going to teach you something profound in the process.  He uses your own mess to show you His love, pour out His grace and mercy and forgive you for your own bad behavior.

He’s also often very blunt.  His notes for me came in the form of this morning’s message at church.  It was a marvel as it seemed spelled out just for me.  He not only lifted my spirit, but also showed me the first steps to getting through all this.  I felt real joy in realizing just how much He cares for me.  Even when I ignore Him, He’s not ignoring me; He’s planning my way out of my mess.  Another reason why I love Him – He never gives up on me – even when I give up on myself.

I can honestly say that I’m not out of the woods yet.  But at least, following in the footsteps of the Lord, I’ve begun to find my way out.  I give Him thanks for that.



What will your legacy be?
November 30, 2009, 1:49 am
Filed under: alcohol abuse, drugs, Legacy, Life, News, Sadness

photo Tribune Chronicle

     Friday night, five young people, four men and a woman, got into a Mustang and went on what would be a last ride for some. By the time the ride was over, two of them were dead. Two more were in critical condition in local hospitals. The driver lived; but he, too, was in critical condition.

     The speed of the car was so high that when it hit the pole, the car literally split in two. The newspaper said bodies were thrown everywhere. How could they not be?

     All of this caused me to think about the belief that many young (and some not so young) people seem to have that they are invincible, that nothing can stop them when in fact, everything can stop them. In a mere heartbeat, with the next breath, life can change forever, just as it has for these five.

     Was alcohol involved? Most likely and it is suspected that other substances played a part as well. Not to say that the same thing could not have happened without those influences; they could. But the likelihood goes up 100 fold when you add alcohol or drugs.

     One of the reasons people, young or old, use drugs of choice is because it reduces their inhibitions, makes them feel free. It also adds to their already overblown sense of indestructibility. Next thing you know, you’re trying feats of madness you’d never dream of in a sober state. You look for the next big thrill and the bigger one after that.

     While you may get the thrill you’re looking for, you may also get more than you bargained for, like these kids did.

     Though we might think that death is the worst part of what has happened, I think there’s a large case to be made for the aftermath that will follow those who were ‘merely’ critically injured. Paralysis, mental deficiencies, speech defects, many reconstructive surgeries, future arthritic conditions, a life of physical pain, not to mention the emotional pain that will most likely linger, especially for the driver.

     If it only affected those who are now in hospital, it would be one thing. But every single thing that they will have to go through to recover from that joy ride (funny how fast joy riding turns into death, isn’t it?) will also be visited on their families who will bear the brunt of all the care, the worry, the sadness, the questions of ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ to be spoken and thought of time and time again. Every family member will become the sad witnesses of how a night of folly, drowning in the sea of alcohol and drug excess, changes everything. They will be forced to trade their peaceful lives for a life of being a caregiver to someone who thought they were invincible.

     Friends, we are not invincible, be we 18 or 88. The choices we make have consequences, consequences that should keep us ever mindful of how our lives can change in the next breath.

     So, dare to be ‘thrilled’. Dare to be maimed. Dare to be dead. But remember: what you do may end up unexpectedly affecting every single person who knows or loves you in some, possibly terrible, way. Can you live with that?

     If you die, is that the legacy you want to leave behind?



Everybody Poops
October 18, 2009, 12:47 am
Filed under: Bragging, Everybody Poops, God, Humor, Life, Love, Parents, Racism, Sadness, Storms, Unions, Work

billnyeThe book, ‘Everybody Poops’, was written by Bill Nye, The Science Guy.  Remember him?  He was a hit with kids back in the late 80’s and early 90’s I think.  The first time we saw the book, we giggled like school kids.  I mean, after all, it mentioned the word poop and that word makes everyone giggle at some point or another.  Well, unless you’re a person whose job is to clean it up.  Then, I suppose, you probably don’t giggle much about it.

Anyway, we were talking today about people who think that for one reason or another, they’re at least a half head better than everyone else.  We all know them.  We work with alot of them.  They make it their business to make sure we know how important they are, even when they aren’t.  We watch alot of them on TV or in movies or on sports fields.  Then we watch them get all haughty because someone wants to take their picture or asks for an autograph and they don’t think they should have to participate.  Hey, bucko, you’re the one who wanted to get all famous, and I helped you get there, so suck it up and sign the autograph.

Which brings me to – Everybody Poops.  I started thinking about how we all want to point out the differences among us and Poopshow some of us even want to get all haughty about these differences.  Whether we should or not is another question.  

Just in case you ever get the idea you’ve got something to get all haughty over, I thought I’d give you a list of some of the things we do pretty much the same.  Here goes….

We all have skin covering our muscles, unless yours has been burned off in a fire.

We all have hair covering our bodies, unless you have alopecia.

We all have eyes to see, unless you’re an alien from another galaxy, then you might not.  Or if your haughtiness has blinded you.

We all have hands and feet and, generally speaking, ten fingers and ten toes, unless you were in a very bad accident or born without them.

We all have navals, I believe, without exception.  There is a difference in navals, as some people have innies and some have outties.  Even so, I see no reason to get haughty over it.

We all have ears, although some of us use them less than others.

We all have mouths, although some of us use them more than others and should think about that.

We all have butts, some flat, some round, some with kind of a table top effect, some sagging.  Maybe you can get all haughty over your booty if you want.  I wouldn’t lord it over others, cause the booty can change at any moment.

We all put our pants on one leg at a time, unless, again, you’ve been in a terrible accident, lost your legs to diabetes, or were born without them.  If you’ve got ’em, be thankful for them and keep on walking.

We all have brains, although with some people, you just can’t tell.

We all breathe the same air, but some of our bodies respond badly to it while others consume it regularly.

heartWe all have hearts that pump the blood that we all have, carrying the oxygen that we just breathed to all of the organs that we all also have.  Here there is a difference:  some hearts beat with love while others beat against love.  Again no reason to get haughty – those beating with love should strive to help those beating against love.

 We all came from the collision of a sperm with an egg and were ‘baked’ in a warm uterus until it was time for us to pop out.

We all have birth mothers; we don’t all have moms.  Those who have moms should share with those who only have birth mothers.

We all have access to God.  We don’t all choose to access Him.

We all have the capacity to love one another.  When we use that capacity wisely, without mixing love with power or control, we just might forget the reason we thought we could get all haughty and enjoy and benefit from the gifts we each can share.

If all else fails just remember:  everybody poops.  Sometimes, that’s a very stinky business, so try not to poop on anyone else.



Am I happy?
August 14, 2009, 8:18 pm
Filed under: Happiness, Sadness

Probably not.  Happy that is.

But that’s not a bad thing.  No, really, it’s not.

If I was always happy, how would I know?  Generally, don’t we measure our happiness against the sadness we’ve known?  If we know no sadness, then how can we tell if we’re happy?

What is happiness anyway?  Is it when we’re laughing out loud, you know, from deep down in our bellies?  Is that happiness?

Or, is happiness more like when we’re all snuggled up on the couch on a cold winter’s night, touching toes with someone we love?

Maybe happiness is the way a really good chocolate cake with thick, sweet butter cream frosting melts away in your mouth from first bite to last.  Or the smell of new mown hay as you drive down a country road?  Or the peaceful, sleeping face of your newborn child in the first sweet hours after birth?

appleAdam and Eve knew perfect happiness when they roamed the Garden of Eden.  Of course they didn’t appreciate just what a happy time that was until they messed it up by taking the big bite that has been felt ever since.  Suddenly they knew what unhappiness was and regretted leaving that other, wonderful, happy place.

Scarlett O’Hara chased after happiness on Miss Mellie’s plantation instead of on Mr. Butler’s.  When she finally caught up with it, she realized she’d have been better off with Rhett.  By then Rhett Butler didn’t give a damn so all was lost to Miss Scarlett.

Then there’s Dorothy Gale who took an unlikely trip only to realize ‘there’s no place like home.’

So what is the key to finding and holding onto happiness?

The Bible tells us in the New Testament that we need to be content in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.  While we don’t necessarily think of contentment as happiness, at http://www.dictionary.com we learn that one is a synonym for the other.

In our culture, we find very little contentment; in fact, we find a particular contempt for contentment.

Marketing tactics not only want us to be lured into keeping up with the Jones’s, but we should strive to surpass them in every way!  So, we get credit cards to purchase stuff with no waiting.  We move into houses that we can’t afford so we can have a three car garage to put our Beamer, our boat and our motor home into.  We work hard to try to pay for it all but we have no time to enjoy it.  Indeed, we find that there’s an inner restlessness, a kind of disturbance that repels the happiness we seek.

It’s not the stuff itself that brings on our malcontent.  It’s our faulty thinking that the stuff can give us what we long for:  love, peace, joy, satisfaction, contentment, happiness.

Stuff has no life of its own.  It gets its meaning from usefulness.  derek-jeter-autographed-baseball

Take an autographed baseball.  If my daughter and I went to a game and she caught the ball, then we got the player to sign it, when I die, she may want it because it’s attached to a great memory.  If I buy the ball on Ebay, it will hold no meaning for anyone and become nothing more than a yard sale item.  See what I mean?

So what am I saying here?  Go get stuff and if you use it you’ll be happy?  Nope that’s not it.

I think I’m saying that happiness becomes self-sustaining when you discover what is really meaningful and has value in your life.  Figure out what your purpose is and follow that road to something more eternal than stuff or careers.  Learn to stop measuring yourself against everyone else.  You are unlike anyone else so why measure apples to oranges?  Enjoy the person that God has created in you.  Find contentment where you are in each and every moment.

Along the way, your experience will still include sadness.

But your appreciation for the happiness will be all the more sweet because of it.