Five Minute Friday on Sunday

I’m a couple of days late to the Five Minute Friday party this week.  I started a post on Friday, but got stuck designing an image for it and never got around to posting.  So, I’m using the stock FMF image and moving straight into the post today.

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This week’s prompt is “steady”.

I have problems with steady.  I lack consistency and often miss out on things (like this week’s Five Minute Friday on Friday) because I get caught up in perfection or anxiety or fall down the rabbit hole of the internet.  So, I don’t post on a steady basis.  I don’t clean on a steady basis.  For that, I paid the price yesterday with a fly larvae infestation in my trash can and kitchen that was absolutely disgusting and took hours and throwing away two trash cans, a broom, multiple rags and a couple of towels to get it all cleaned up.  If I would have taken the trash out sooner, I may have been able to avoid that mess and additional cost.  I don’t grade on a steady basis, so during the school year, I am often dealing with piles of grading that needs to be done.  I don’t read on a steady basis, so I have books and books and more books that I want to read, but never get around to doing so.

Why do I lack this steadiness?  I’m not really sure.  But, I need help to get more steady.  I want to be steady.  Steady as a rock.  It has something to do with discipline and motivation, but it also has to do with being willing to follow a plan.

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Well, there you go…my life of lacking steady.  This weekend has hit me hard.  I am in the midst of a summer sore throat and cold that is kicking my butt.  I dealt with the disgusting fly larvae yesterday.  I have way too many things on my agenda this week and although I still have a good eight weeks left of summer, I feel like it is slipping through my hands like soft water right now.  I can barely feel any of it as it goes through my fingers.

So, what to do about it?  Well, I will definitely be praying about it.  But, I am also going to be looking at getting some guidance as well.  Hopefully, I can be consistent about praying and looking for guidance about being more consistent.

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Worth the Worry – FMF

I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing community this week.  If you have not visited or participated in this community, I encourage you to give it a look.  It is really supportive, instructive and inspirational!

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This week’s prompt is “worth”.  At first I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about, but now it is there and ready to pour out.  So, here goes:

Is it worth the worry and pain and suffering?

I can’t tell you how many times I asked this question as I sat at my infant daughter’s bedside in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and then a Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. For months, I sat and watched her as she dealt with IV lines being placed and taken out and put somewhere else in her tiny, tiny body.  As I watched a ventilator breathe for her and her only signal of pain and suffering being her blood pressure because of her inability to cry out or complain.  And I wondered…is it going to be worth it?  Am I putting her through all of this only to come out with more pain and suffering?

You see, there are no guarantees when your child has a heart problem.  We were put on the transplant list, but even then, the result is questionable and could be short term.  But, something told me that it was going to all be worth it.  That any amount of worry and pain and suffering was worth having this little girl with us.  Whether that time was short or long, it would be worth it.  I knew that for myself.  But, sometimes I questioned whether I was projecting something on to this baby that she didn’t want or need.  So, I had to put it in God’s hands.  And when a heart came for her less than one month after she was listed, I knew that God had spoken.  This little girl was worth all of this to Him.

We are now nearing eight years post-transplant (a couple of weeks away) and she is a beautiful, thoughtful, funny, anxious, loving daughter.  In those eight years, we have had many things to worry about.  She has suffered through a lot of painful procedures and scary events.  But, she has not only lived and loved but thrived.  And I am thankful every day for God giving us this chance to worry and feel pain and to suffer for such a long period of time. I hope that He will give her many more years with us, but I know that even if it isn’t as long as I hope and pray for, that it was all worth it in the end.  She has changed me and changed her little corner of the world in so many ways.

Long term life after transplant is pretty typical now, with many going 20+ years before needing a new one.  Advances in medicine are happening every day that may lend us a hand in making her life even longer with the heart she currently has.  But, we just don’t know.  None of us really do, but for us, it is a little more apparent, a little more highlighted.  But, any anxiety I feel about the future is so worth it every time I look at her smiling face.

Kidwell Park June 2017

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I went a little over the five-minute mark.  But, it seemed worth it.  🙂

 

And so it begins…at almost fifty

Welcome to brand spankin’ new blog!  I was previously blogging over at More at Forty, but since I’m now pushing fifty and I’m wanting to take my blogging to the next level, I needed a fresh, new space with a new direction.  I think I’ve found it!  I’m glad you stumbled upon it and I hope you will find something interesting and useful as I build the blog from the bottom up.

THE NEW YOU

You may have come here based on the “almost fifty” in the title.  Are you someone who is getting ready for the fifth decade and thinking “what have I done with my life?”  Or maybe you are happy with where you are in life, but you are thinking “what do I do now with my life?”  I am much more of the former than the latter myself, but we’ll save that for another blog post.  Whether you are almost fifty, younger, or older, I think we can all relate to reaching a point in our lives where we are settled in, but not necessarily comfortable in that place or even our own skin.  I am there.  I have been there for a while now, but I’ve reached a point where I have now realized that it is up to me to get out of that place where I am not really comfortable and seek out a place that is more “me”.  Like this one:

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Just me on a beach, looking fashionably casual.  Instead, I am riding the waves of eight-year-old and forty-eight-year-old discontent, hating my hair and most of my clothes and living pretty far inland.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in my near five decades of existence it is this – you can be whoever you decide you want to be in life with God’s help and approval.  But, you have to know who that is in order to become it.  That is the hard part.

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I started out life as a swimmer and a gymnast.  I followed that “destiny” through high school (when gymnast fell away and swimmer took center stage) and on into college.  I then became a swim coach in my 20s.  But, I longed for more.  I returned to finish college with a new identity of “academic” and pursued speech and debate.  In college, after six years off, I was a debater who enjoyed a good party atmosphere and was looking for intellectual pursuits.  I went to graduate school, became a debate coach at the age of 30 and that was my lived “destiny” until 2009.

In 2009, at the ripe age of 40, I had my daughter and my new “destiny” was mother and provider.  Now, as I approach the next decade of life, I feel like God is again calling me to a new destiny.  Not one that requires me to leave those other identities behind (after all, I am still an academic and debate coach along with being a mother and provider), but one that is more about who I REALLY am in God’s plan.

In each of those “destiny” time periods, I made quite a few mistakes and I was not always happy with who I was.  Often, that was the impetus for change.  I am more satisfied with who I am now, but I want just a little more.  I want just a little different.  I want to achieve things I never thought possible.  I want to be more in control of my life.  I want to be able to self-determine my destiny instead of having it happen because of reactions to other things in my life.  I constantly place limits on myself and my identity.  Instead, I need to push past those limitations.  We are all guilty of painting ourselves into a box at times.  Whether it is based on others’ expectations, our own expectations and identities or just lack of creativity and imagination, we limit ourselves.  I want to remove those limits as I move into my fifth decade.  So, what are some of those limits I want to remove?

  • I can’t travel. I don’t have the time or the money or the energy.
  • I don’t manage money well and I chose a career that doesn’t pay that much. I will always struggle financially.
  • I am not fashionable.  I don’t have the time or the money or the energy to work on myself that much.
  • I am disorganized and messy.  I will always be running late, losing things and living in chaos.  It is just who I am.
  • I am not creative.  My mind doesn’t work that way.  I am logical and academic, not creative and capable of DIYs.
  • I lack discipline.  I just don’t have stick-to-it-iveness.

So, if I remove those limits and look to all the gifts God has given me, here is what I have in my fifth decade of life:

  • I am a traveler.  I go places, see things, and enjoy them.  I make time for it, save money for it and it energizes me.
  • I am a great money manager.  I am supplementing my income through writing and workshops and I am spending, saving and giving in ways that make me feel joyful.
  • I am beautiful.  I love playing with my hair and dressing in clothes that are flattering, comfortable and fun.  I love playing with makeup and taking care of myself.  It makes me feel confident and capable.
  • I am living simply.  I have what I need and love and not a thing more.  This means I can keep those things nice and tidy.  I also keep a calendar and plan ahead and make time for fun.
  • I am creative.  I do fun, creative projects and I am successful at them.  They bring beauty and joy into my home and into my life.
  • I am disciplined.  I can see the things worth investing time and energy in and I pursue those whole-heartedly.

That second list sounds like the makings for a pretty good decade of life.  I have one more year before I start that decade, but I figure some of these things need a bit of a foundation built before I can really get building the life I want and that God has designed for me.

So, there you have it.  Project Hawaii 5-0 is off and running…or should I say, off and riding the waves!