Hi Y’all

I got to work this morning to find that my van was used to do something else which leaves me with an unexpected day off. So I thought I would take a minute to say hi to y’all and that I hope as you read this your day gets better.

BTW, don’t you love the word y’all? I am not from Texas but I have been there and I think y’all is a good word for addressing more than one person.

So instead of griping over a lemony day and sucking on a sour lemon, I will make some sweet lemonade. Want to come over and visit for awhile?

Not Tired Of Being Alone

I heard a song on the radio today that used to bother me but doesn’t anymore. You may have heard it.

I’m so tired of being alone, I’m so tired of on my own, won’t you help me girl.

I went through a time where I was so lonesome I could cry. And cry I did. But slowly I am coming to grips with the reality of singleness that will define me for years to come. But in coming to this place in my life I am struck by how much love and romance and falling in love is in our popular media, especially music and film. Listen to the radio or stream music and it is clear that falling in love is paramount in the minds of many song writers.

I am a normal man. I like women. I enjoy their company. But I don’t want to or need to bring one home with me. I enjoy visiting ladies but I don’t want to spend the night. I have dated a few times but nothing came of it except I saw no potential of anything developing. So I am a happily single man.

There are times when I turn my radio off when the emotions get a little too frayed. No sense stirring up something I can do nothing about. But most of the time I appreciate a good love song as much as anyone.

Does music ever bother you? Do you ever turn off the music because it hit too close to home? I doubt I am the only one who does this.

No Pictures For Me

I don’t remember if I wrote about this before or not. I notice that many people who blog use graphics to make their point. I understand the power of pictures. But I am a word person. The Bible is not an illustrated book. But it is the word of God. So if God doesn’t need pictures to make His point, neither do I.

Grief Support Pro and Con

I recently had a conversation with one of the leaders of the Griefshare group I have attended. We talked about the pro’s and con’s of the Griefshare program. It was good for me to hear her perspective since she has been doing grief support work for many years.

One problem with a one size fits all approach is that is will be too much for one person and not enough for another person. The newly grieving person will be overwhelmed by information that is perfect fo someone like me who is years down the road and needing some direction. And no matter how we try to prepare people for this some still drop out early because it is all overwhelming to their fragile emotions.

Griefshare tries to take people from mourning to joy in 13 sessions. No one who is grieving will move through the grief process that quickly. For me, it helped me realize I was normal and not crazy. For others, the pain and anger is still too raw for them to get much benefit from the material presented. We both agreed that the videos take up time that often could be better spent with open sharing among the participants.

Is there a perfect grief support program? No. Does grief support help? Absolutely. Was Griefshare a blessing to me. My life pivoted around my attending a Griefshare group. The conclusion may simply be that we all mourn the death of a close loved one differently. Grief is a personal matter. There are people who God sends our way to help us. There are tools we learn to help us not get hurt by well meaning people. And in time you will find that the sorrow has turned to joy.  Jesus Christ still heals the broken hearted no matter how badly that heart has been broken.

Single, Saved, and Satisfied

One of the questions that keeps coming up either from someone or from my own mind is, will I ever get married again? This seems like a quaint question or one that should be fairly easy to answer. And today as I pondered this question again the answer did seem to become clearer than before. The answer is no.

I got married in 1974 when I was 18 years old and only 10 months after graduating high school. I was married to the same person for 40 years until my wife died unexpectedly. So you see I lived my entire adult life as a married man. I gave my marriage all I had to give. The idea of starting over with someone new at this stage of my life is daunting to say the least.

So as it stands right now marriage is not in my future. I am not anti-marriage. I just don’t see it happening to me again. I enjoy female company. But I want to go home alone at the end of the day.

Will my feelings about marriage ever change? Of course they could. I won’t say never again. But as of today I would be inclined to stay the way I am right now. Single, saved, and satisfied.

Good Enough

Do you ever beat yourself up because you feel that you haven’t done enough or been good enough? Do you ever look in the mirror and not like who you see? Do you ever give up because you think what’s the use of even trying? Well then welcome to the human race.

From time to time we all get battered by unthinking or cruel people who belittle us or accuse us or in other ways speak against us as a person. Children who blame their parents for not doing enough or loving enough. Spouses who lash out at those they love to vent their own internal guilt. An uncaring boss or a frustrated customer or some other person who speaks words that you internalize and that make you feel worthless.

Can I tell you that no matter who you are or what you have or haven’t done Christ still died for you and He still loves you. God knows more about you than anyone on Earth and He still loves and cares about you. While we were sinning Christ died for us. He hasn’t changed His mind.

Can I also tell you that good enough is most of the time really good enough? No matter what anyone says or how you are judged, good enough for you is good enough. Period.

The Adventure Continues

One thing I have been noticing as a newly single man is how, among the world of married people, I am an afterthought if I am thought of at all. When plans are being made or events are being organized married people tend to join togehter and us single adults are left out. Young people may deal with this but if you are older like me it is a new thing to deal with.

The problem with hardening yourself against being ignored or slighted is that you become hard in other areas of life. You make plans to be alone so you won’t be hurt when you are left out of married people’s plans. You say you don’t care often enough and in time you won’t care about anyone or anything.

I don’t have an easy solution to this. I know there are no simple solutions to complex problems. I try as much as I can stand to insert mysellf into social situations even if everyone else is married. Those who know me know that I was married so it’s not like I am ignorant of married people’s livestyles. But as in all things related to grieving and singleness, the adventure continues.

Bored

Do you ever get bored? I do, very easily it would seem. Not the light weight boredom of a slow moving plot or a monotonous song. But the deeper almost unsettling boredom that makes us lose the joy of living and the enthusiasm of being alive. That is the feeling that seems to overwhelm me on a regular basis.

In my work I deal with customers who are old and poor and live in subsidized housing and do nothing. They cannot work, aren’t physically active. The highlight of their month is going shopping at Walmart. They talk about their maladies and what they used to do and who they used to be. Always it’s the past, never the future.

This is why being bored bothers me. I want to look forward, not backward. I want to be fresh and alive, not barely hanging on. But I am old enough that so far there is very little in my life that is new or different or novel. I am on the verge of being a cynic.

I have a full time job that I am bored with. I go to church three times a week but it’s same old same old most of the time. I am tired of living alone but I was married for 40 years to one woman so getting married and having female companionship is desirable but nothing new. There are days that I feel as though I live in a rut, that never twists or turns or changes. I had a day like that today.

I cannot afford a hobby. I am tired from working and have no vim and vigor for physical activity. I am with people all day every day so solitude is a nice break. I am becoming like old king Solomon who said, all is vanity. There is nothing new under the sun.

Writing this make me feel better even though it does not change anything. And the problem with life is that it is so daily and it happens whether we are in it or not.

Tomorrow will be another day. I hope as you read this your tomorrow will be sweeter than today.

No Regrets?

Do you have any regrets in life? Things you wish you had done but didn’t do, or things you did but wish you hadn’t done? I think we all have some regrets in life. Opportunities missed or wasted. Love lost or ignored. The awful “should have” stories of our lives.

I see two things that we can do with our regrets. We can learn from them and move on in life better for the lessons learned. Or we can carry our regrets like a chain around our necks, always sorry and always pining and always using our mistakes as excuses for our lack of success in life.

I have reached a stage in my life where, even though I have done things I regret, I am not going to let my personal regrets be an anchor that holds me back from life, love, and happiness.

More House Than I Need Now

Since Kathy died in 2014 I have wanted to downsize and move from my house to a smaller place. My house is not large. Two families raised their children here before we bought it in 1997. But as our nest became empty and now that my nest is void of anyone but me I wonder again, why do I live here.

One reason why I stay is that outside of my house I cannot afford to live in this area of Arizona. And I am not anxious to relocate. So I am in essence stuck here. People here in small studio apartments pay more in rent than I do in my mortgage. The price of housing in this area is obscene to me. There is nothing here to justify the price of housing that is charged. And the poor people I deal with every day are hurt the worst by this over priced housing.

One thing that troubles me on a more fundamental level is the waste of resources that allow me to live in more house than I need. I cannot afford to keep this house in good repair, but I cannot leave it. Unless I just walk away, which is an option. I don’t enjoy yard work. And spending all of my spare time cleaning and maintaining this house is not my idea of a blessed life.

Note that I call it my house. It is not a home, but just a place to keep my stuff while I am away at work. If I didn’t have this house hanging over my head I could do what I want to do more often than just doing what I have to do all of the time now. And as to the rising house values, I will never make back the fortune I have paid in interest on the mortgage on this house. At best I will break even. That’s the fallacy of the 30 year mortgage on a depreciating asset.

I welcome any advice I can get from anyone with a good idea or two.