an alphabet of thanks “N”

Steinlausweibchen, frei nach Loriot.
Steinlausweibchen, frei nach Loriot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I’m thankful  for my naiveté. My family is always kidding my about how naïve I am about some things. For example, if a family member tells me something outlandish, (like there’s such a thing as a Michigan peacock) I’m very apt to believe them because of course, they wouldn’t lie. I easily fall for practical jokes therefore  people love to pick on me.

The first definition for naïve in the dictionary is “inexperienced”.That’s not me. I’ve experienced enough of life to know its reality.  Another definition is “youthful”. Young people are generally considered naïve. Young people generally trust and believe in people. Young people believe in possibilities. I’ll take this definition.

I trust and believe in people to my detriment at times. I often walk into situations where I can’t win no matter what because I always believe people can change. I’m naïve enough to believe most people like me. I’m always surprised when people don’t play fair. I guess I really am naïve.

But that’s o.k. I rather be the one picked on than the one that does the picking . I’d rather be easy to play a joke on than so sophisticated no one would dare. I rather be naïve and see the wonder of life, than so jaded I can only see the ugly.

I’ll admit it. I’m naïve. I’m naïve enough to believe that God still performs miracles. I’m naïve enough to believe that my prayers really matter. I’m naïve enough to believe that God is who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can do, that I am who God says I am, and that I can handle anything God allows in my life. Call me naïve want. I call myself smart.

I’m an unhappy little “camper”

google images

google ima

(posting to depressionsgift as well)

Boy, am I an unhappy camper. Probably have never mentioned it but I have “problem” feet. Have had three surgeries with the last surgery including more than one procedure. I’ve been in a”boot” way too many times.  So when my foot started hurting last week and the ankle swelling I made a doctor’s appointment for yesterday. I was so hoping I would be told it was a sprain or some injury. I had done the research and knew what the worse case scenario could be.

It’s a horror movie.

It’s called PTTD and it involves the largest and most important tendon in the foot. It’s  inflamed. That doesn’t sound too bad, right?  Wrong. If it doesn’t heal or worse yet, if it ruptures, I’m in big trouble. Then we’re talking major, major foot surgery that as my doctor said I want to avoid at all costs. The recovery is six to nine months!  So he put me in a brace/boot with an inflatable arch that I pump up myself. That part is kind of cool.

I was very upset with the news but far more afraid of what could happen. It got me to thinking about all the “rock-your-boa”t news people hear. From “You have cancer,” to”I’m sorry, he didn’t make it” etc.  As a Christian I feel I’m expected to blurt out all kinds of Christian jargon which I’m not going to do. Do I believe God will see me through it? Yes, I do. I’m not going to say it’s God’s will. I have no idea if it is or not. Is there some sort of nebulous reason for this? Again, only God knows that and he/she (that’s for shoe 1000) doesn’t owe me an explanation. He certainly has “allowed” it but I’m not sure what means anyway and again it’s one of those statements often made out of the need to sound a certain way. I refuse to go that way.

If I say I’m going to trust God, I’m going to but I don’t have to make it a point to tell everyone I see.   And I couldn’t even tell  you what trusting God will look like for me. It’s just words until I put it into action. Today I’m trusting him to help me to stay on top of my emotions for right now. I have three weeks of wearing my beautiful, stylish boot. Hey, I can do that. This is nothing compared to what some people go through. I trust God to help me do that. After that I can’t tell you what the next thing will be I’ll have to trust God for or how.

I’m bored but there’s always blogging. I so need to learn more about the technical side of blogging. I need to upgrade and fine tune my blogs. I’m certainly going to have some time now.

If you’re out there “recupering”,  let’s talk.

spiritual exchanges


spiritual exchanges

This entire post is from “the me I want to be” by John Ortberg.

“Dr. Jilll Taylor was a thirty-seven-year-old, Harvard-trained brain scientist who suffered a massive stroke.  The left side of her brain, which regulates speech and linear thinking, was devastated.  For many months she lay in a hospital bed, unable to carry on a conversation.  She writes of how even though she could not understand the words people were saying to her, she became intensely aware of whether the people approaching her were enhancing her sense of life or depleting it. 

I experienced people as concentrated packages of energy ……..although I could not understand the words they spoke, I could read volumes from their facial expression and body language. I paid very close attention to how their energy dynamics affected me.  Some people brought me energy while others took it away.”

At a level deeper than words, deeper than exchanging information, every interaction with another person is a spiritual exchange. Some people are life-bringers to us. They increase our energy, deepen our hope, add to our joy, and call out the best in us. Other people are life drainers.  They add to our anxiety and invite us to cynicism.  We find ourselves becoming defensive, depressed, or exasparated.

resolute resolutions


a beautiful healthy apple

a beautiful healthy apple

resolute resolutions

I think part of the problem in keeping resolutions is taking one’s time in compiling them in the first place. Some resolutions are no more than “wishes”, which isn’t a bad thing but without a well thought out plan to keep our resolutions, there’s no chance we’ll be successful.

Resolutions should be based on sound strategy. Sometimes we sabotage ourselves before we even begin. For example, let’s say weight loss or weight control is one of my resolutions. Instead of just saying, “I’ll eat healthier”, I need to qualify what makes uphealthy eating. Maybe I should add, I will plan healthy meals. I will eat fruit and veggies every day. I will only bring healthy food into my home. I will do this by shopping the perimeter of the store. I will develop a strategy for eating away from home. I will tell myself not every special occasion is an excuse to indulge. It’s amazing how every occasion becomes “special” when we need an excuse to indulge. J

My blog is about maintaining good mental health with an emphasis on depression. It never works to just declare, “Next year I won’t get depressed.” Not going to happen without a plan. Everyone’s plan will be unique. It helps to gather information, to listen to what others are doing but in the end your plan will have to be yours.  

Sometimes our plan immerges bit by bit. It’s as if Creation decides to shine on us knowing we’re waiting and little drops of information shower us until a plan comes together. Let me explain. My husband and I exercise regularly. We try to eat healthy but we both have a sweet tooth. Last night I grilled hamburgers accompanied by broccoli.  So what’s the problem, you ask?  Sometimes we don’t eat enough. I get so hung up on keeping us trim, I don’t cook enouth. Consequently, we end up snacking before bedtime.

Light bulb flash!  Eat more.

 So I will make sure our meals are more substantial. I will add more healthy side dishes to every meal so we don’t get hungry later. Whoever though eating more could be the clue to weighing less?  But it’s an old concept. One we don’t hear about as much as we used to.

I already know how to cook healthier. I already know what healthy foods are and what they aren’t. I already know about portion control.  Let’s face it.  Most of us know this. It’s narrowing in on the specific individual issues that sabotage our individual plans, like snacking at night for husband and me.

So this is how I’m beginning my month of planning my resolutions. I’m thinking through each big goal.  I’m narrowing my focus.  In case you’re wondering, my resolutions will revolve around healthy living (including mental, emotional, spiritual and course, physical.) relationships, organization and personal goals. I will be looking at what has worked for me in each of these areas and what hasn’t and then refining my plans.

It isn’t nearly as involved or complicated as it sounds. I’m smart enough to know that those areas that haven’t been working aren’t necessarily under my control. That will mean I will need to adjust my reactions and responses for those situations that are outside my control.  And deciding that ahead of time, will serve me well when the situation occurs.  Forewarned is forearmed.

And even if I’m not successful in some areas, at least I will know I’ve examined my life. I know me.  I know that once I make a plan, I will try my best to implement it. But if I have no plan I know me well enough to know I will flounder.

How are you doing with thinking through your resolutions?  Or are you? You don’t have to call them resolutions if that sounds doomed to failure.  But it never hurts anyone to set aside a little time every day for a few weeks just to think through some things. What could it possibly hurt? And who knows, it might even help. 

Happy thinking.



feeling sad

  This is one of those days when I’m feeling a little down.  It’s a mild case and I know exactly what prompted my low mood. There’s nothing of major proportion going one-just an ongoing situation that makes me very sad.  As my dear husband always says, it doesn’t matter what I do (in this particular case), I end up with the short end of the stick.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the situation were at all predictable but it isn’t. I never know when I’m going to run into the wall.  It’s unnerving to say the least and I end up with a lot of bruises.

I would give anything to be able to gift-wrap happiness for those I know who seem to be in short supply. But I’m learning that in the final analysis I can give “gift” happiness only to myself.  While other people and adverse circumstances can negatively impact our lives (sometimes dramatically and sometimes for a long time as in the case of grieving), in the final analysis, we determine our own level of contentedness. Beleive me I haven’t quite got this right myself yet but I instinctly know it’s true  because it’s a fundamental tenet of Christianity and all major religions.

Ultimately we are the ones responsible for our own sense of well being.  It isn’t easy finding equilibrium when someone we love is miserable. For me, it hurts more than just about anything else I can think of because I have an insatiable need to make everyone happy. But we can’t, no matter how hard we try, make anyone else happy. (I think most of us know that intellectually.) Everyone has to mine their own gold.

With that being said, let me encourage you if you are feeling as I am today. Get on with your life. Get up and get moving.  When you do, you will start to feel better and your mind will start to occupy itself with other matters.  “Putter” as much as you need to ’till your “sputtering” dies down.  Talk with a friend but then let it go.  Constant rehashing  makes it worse.  Rumination (going over the same issue, ad infinitum) is a symptom of depression and  can also trigger depression.  Avoid it at all costs. It never helps.

So what do we do when those closest to us are miserable?  For me, I do my best to keep own head above water knowing that someone has to stay afloat. I keep treading water until the situation improves while guarding my heart against further damage. “Gift”  yourself some happiness today.  It’s not insensitive. It’s the kindest thing you can do for them and for you.