My mind comes and goes

I am a responsible adult.  I work hard and I care about doing a good job.  I need to stay current in my field, so I am attending a professional conference.  The speakers are very knowledgeable and interesting.  I focus intensely on their speech – then moments later I find my mind has wondered off!  This is the typical conversation between WORK ME and my NAUGHTY mind:

WORK:  “Naughty mind.   Get back here and focus.’

NAUGHTY: “OK – I am focused on the speaker.  He has brown hair.  He looks like a horse trainer I saw last week.  I wonder if my horse….”

WORK:  “Stop that!! Get back here and listen.  This is important.”

NAUGHTY:  “Oh, Yes.  OK.  It is important.  Hey, did I finish that assessment due tomorrow.  That is important.  I need….”

WORK:  “Now cut that out!  This is crazy.  You are a dedicated professional.   Discipline!!  Be disciplined and listen!!”

NAUGHTY:  “Alright already!!  I am listening.  Chill!  Oh look, there is a picture of a kitty in the presentation….”

WORK:  “I give up!  Where is the coffee?”  

I don’t think I want to talk to mind anymore today.

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What do you see in the night sky?

I teach an evening class.  By the time the class is over, it is near the end of a very long day.  As I walked to my car last week, I was mesmerized by the night sky.  At first, I saw a turtle looking at the moon.  Then I saw a dragon, trying to swallow the moon.  That is the enchanting beauty of the sky, we can all see something different.  

Guilty, hasty, ouchy

You ever have days you just can’t win?  At the last minute, I needed to take my husband to the doctor.  I had to call work and let them know I would be late.  Then, I felt guilty about leaving my work team hanging – I am old-school dependable.  I am ol’ reliable, at work 20 minutes early.   But not today.

My husband kept apologizing for needing me to drive, no matter how much I assured him it was OK.  “I love you.  I want to drive you.  We are a team.”  Then I felt guilty for making him feel guilty.

When I got him back home safe and sound, I felt guilty that I had to make haste and rush out the door to work – no time to throw the ball for Charlie dog or rub a puppy belly.  They both looked so sad!!

That is my vicious circle.  When I am at home, I feel guilty for missing work.  When I am at work (two jobs), I feel guilty for neglecting home and farm chores.  When I carve out ME time to ride my red mare, I still criticize myself for the To Do List I haven’t finished and the floors I didn’t mop.  Then, I work myself into a silly state and get in a huge hurry.  What does that accomplish?

I hurried by the gas station and slammed my finger in the car door.  How dumb was that?  So now I feel guilty, hasty, and ouchy!  Why do I do this to myself?

But, I am still going riding tomorrow!!

Say hello to my little friend

I love critters, most critters.  Let’s face it – I don’t love ticks and horse flies.  But I am good with spiders and snakes and bats, oh my.  

This little fellow is just a dandy little spider, doing his spider business – eating bugs.  I know some people don’t like spiders, so I do apologize if this photo unnerves anyone.

Listen,Listen

As I blogged in the past, there are many casualties of grief.  Horseback riding was one – for me.  In the last months, I have tried to get my saddle time.  While it has been good to be back on a horse – we weren’t a team – not connecting.  My mare would hollow out, jig, toss her head – not good.  My ride last weekend jarred my back – and seriously had me thinking about giving it all away.  I have been riding for nearly 50 years – I can’t quit like this.

So, I prayed.  “God, please – I don’t know what to do.  Help me.  What is wrong with this hateful red, mare.”

The only word that kept popping in my thoughts – Listen

Well, God, I am listening – that’s why I am praying – tell me!!

Listen

AAARGHGHH!!

Listen.

OK, thanks to my loving Spirit Sister, we changed the tack – maybe the saddle was pinching?

Still, nagging voice – Listen.

This morning, after a sleepless night – I hauled my horse to the near by park.  That voice was hounding me – Listen!!

AAARHHHGGH!!  The anger, the frustration – what does that mean????

I just broke down, hanging on my horse’s neck – sobbing.  I hugged her head and pleaded, “Tonka, I am so broken-hearted.  Please, Tonka, I need you.”

This time, I understood the voice – Listen to the horse.  I looked into her eyes and knew that I put too much in the saddle.  I don’t mean just my extra chubby butt.  I mean I took all my pain, grief, sadness, darkness, rage, and frustration riding with me – I piled all that onto Tonka’s back.  As I clung to her neck, I asked her to forgive me.  I promised her today, it would be just my chubby butt (again, I apologized for the chubby part). No more emotional junk.  I felt her lean into me and sigh.  

Today, was the best ride in 31 months!  Today, Tonka and I connected.  When a horse and rider connect, it is beautiful, powerful – it is spiritual. 

I believe the Great Spirit blew HIS breath into the nostrils of the horse – he gave them life so they could held guide us.  In the woods today, surrounded by creation and truly connected with my beloved mare – I know GOD was there and my prayers were heard.  I am so thankful.

After a 3 hour ride, I smothered Tonka with kisses and scratches and stuffed her full of apples.  She was so relaxed, I could feel her relief.  Finally –  I listened!!!

Naomi and Ruth

I have always loved the Book of Ruth – beginning way back in my childhood (about a million years ago).  It was like a fairy tale to me.  Ruth was beautiful and loving and kind.  She did not abandoned Naomi in her pain and grief.  In the end, Ruth and Boaz fell in love – and in my mind “live happily ever after”.  I was so absorbed in Ruth’s story, I never really considered Naomi’s.

Now, I am living Naomi’s story!!  Suddenly, I read Ruth from a whole different perspective.  Naomi lost both her sons.  I lost my only son.  I know her pain.  I feel her pain.  Naomi had a loving daughter-in-law.  So do I.  I cherish her.

In Ruth Chapter 1, Naomi tells everyone not to call her Naomi anymore.  That name meant pleasant.  Instead, Naomi wanted to be call Mara which is bitter.  Yeah, I am bitter too – I understand.  Sometimes the bitterness is all-consuming.  But I am trying, everyday trying – not to be bitter.  I am trying to remember the end of the story where Naomi is blessed by Ruth’s love and ultimately, her relationship with Boaz.  GOD saw her pain and grief and heard her sobs.

So, the loss of Naomi’s sons was not the end of her story.

Maybe this is not the end of my story.

 

 

Bathroom Organization

Bit of an odd topic for me – maybe the title should be “another bad idea”.

Let me explain, I am not a neat freak, my house is clean-ish.  I try, truly I do.  But farm chores come first.  Of course, I vacuum and mop daily – I have a German Shepherd.  Dishes and counter tops get the daily scrubbing – dust and clutter, I can overlook.

So I came up with a genius idea.  I will put all my daily bathroom toiletries in this little basket.  Everything will be nice and tidy versus sprawled all over the counter.  Then, I simply pickup the basket to wipe down the vanity.  Problem, when the age spot fade cream tube is the same color as the toothpaste tube – AAAAAHHH – I threw away my toothbrush and my breath is NOT minty fresh.  Maybe the fade cream will remove coffee stains from my chompers??

OK, maybe I need to rethink my storage.  But, this is not my worst idea – not by a long shot.  There was the time I didn’t want to take time to go to the hair salon so I decided I could cut my own hair – how hard could it be??  That was my hat phase.  Oh, then there was the time I super glued my bare foot to the floor – I may never live that one down.

I need more coffee.

Blanket Fort Morning

My  morning began in a blanket fort.

First alarm just went off at 5:30 am.  My mind acknowledged the alarm with a snarky snarl, “I have 20 minutes before second alarm goes off.”

I am snuggled in my blanket fort with the blanket pulled tightly over my head.  It is a soft, cuddly blanket – feels like kittens  – fresh from the dryer last night, smelling sweet.  I want to burrow down into my blanket fort and just think of you.   No grief, no tears, no pain – safe in blanket fort with happy memories.

I remember pulling couch cushions and blankets and turning our living room into a camp site.  I remember looking through the view master at dinosaurs, and pretending they were binoculars and real dinos and we were brave explorers.   I remember the giggles and the tickles – blocking out the whole world in our little blanket fort.

The second alarm pierced my perfect memory – had to finally drag it out of my blanket fort.  But don’t worry, Son, I will be back.  Does anyone else have a blanket fort?