Sensing sadness

Things don’t go the way you want them to. It happens. All the time.

You don’t get the job you want; you lose the job you had. The relationship ends. A loved one passes away. The bills pile up. The days pass by. Turning into weeks, then months, then years.

Sadness can sit in your chest like a dead weight. It doesn’t move. It claims ownership over your body. It becomes the dominant emotion.

So now what? You can sit with it, you can get advice about it. You can bury it. You can journal about it.

There are a lot of choices on how to deal with sadness. The truth is we want the outcome to be different.

The outcomes are out of my control. I can work on the sadness. Maybe that is the first step.

I can only speak for me. What works for me may not work for anyone else.
The way for me to deal with sadness is to go through it.
To work, To contribute, To ask for it to be healed. To pray for God to aid minister to it and me.

To try to learn from the emotion. It is telling me something. I just need to listen a bit longer.

The New Normal

Does normal mean better? What are we searching for when we use the term get back to normal?

It feels to me that when I hear the term, my mind says, normal must be better than the present moment. Normal is more desirable than the present moment.

Normal may mean good. Normal may mean peace. Normal in mind may be experiencing an event that is free of the discomfort and fear lingering in the present moment.

The present moment can be scary; we don’t know what will happen next. We have hopes and dreams, but they may be fulfilled, or they may not.

The present moment can be filled with a longing for an outcome that we believe may make our life better. We could be right, or we could be wrong.

Now there is a resignation that we won’t be going back to normal, but we will have a new normal.

What is the new normal? I don’t know, but I believe that we will have a chance to define it.

What is normal ?

What does getting back to normal mean to you?

Is normal a place?

A time?

A season?

Or is normal an experience?

Holidays and events come around each year. Each year I know that Christmas is in December, and Labor Day in September, Thanksgiving is in November. My birthday is in January.

I look forward to those days; I have memories of those days and will create new ones in the future.

The question is still present. What is normal? Is going back to normal actually a real possibility?

Normal decades ago for me was this. Christmas involved my mom, dad, and two brothers; we all lived in the same home.

Now my mom, and dad have passed away. My brothers and I live in different states, and now Christmas involves my wife and my son.

What is normal?

Normal could be the ability to experience your past with positives memories, be thankful in the present moment, and allow the future to play out, with a hopeful story in your head.

Hopeful about the future is difficult when we want to get back to normal.

Normal might just not exist. Normal may just be a memory.

That is ok. Maybe normal is just the ability to create something new and memorable each day.

Contribution

How does it feel when you are preparing to contribute? The moments before you begin your work?  Here is a trick to try. Contribute without expectation.

Without the desire for praise, if you are expecting praise, you may compromise your work. The urge to adjust or change for a feeling generated may prevent you from taking chances or allowing your full voice to be heard.

Do it without the fear of rejection or people not liking you.

Again you may compromise your work, or you may hide and not contribute at all. It is reasonable to not want people to reject you, don’t actively seek out rejection, this can lead you to be mean, and your contribution can come at the expense of another person’s humanity.

All of these choices require negotiating with tension. It is worth it. The entire world won’t pay attention to your contribution, don’t aim for the entire world. Aim for the few people. Those who will appreciate your contribution and those who will be served by it.

Your ideas, thoughts, gifts, talents aren’t made for everyone. It is tempting to allow that thought to make you feel sad or less than.

Don’t. Sit down at your workstation, or stand up, walk, run, draw, create, talk. Contribution is needed.

Expectations of outcomes can rob the present moment of the joy it is designed to give you.

What would happen if you let go of the story in your head about the outcome you desired? What if instead, you directed that story towards your contribution? Try it.

Rushing

Rushing. From event to event, from place to place. Achievement to Achievement, outcome to outcome. I noticed it this morning when I read the Good Samaritan parable; a man was beaten and robbed of all he had; he lay bleeding in the street in need of help. A priest walked by, A Levite walked by, but a Samaritan came by and helped this man. The Levite and The Priest were the ones who were supposed to take care of the man.

They didn’t. The Samaritan came along and did. Perhaps the man was lying on the ground, beaten and robbed, and was praying for help. I wonder if the Priest and the Levite noticed him or were stirred by him. Did they even realize that this is why they became Priests or Levites? It was their birthright and obligation to help people.

The Samaritan stopped and decided to help him. He did the unconventional. In a world of planning, looking for certainty and outcomes, he allowed himself to be interrupted. Unless it was his job to wander the roads and look for travelers who were in distress. Maybe that is what he did.

Could the Samaritan had been a first responder? A person who traveled the roads looking to help people who were in trouble?

The teacher of the law was able to identify through this interaction that Jesus was lifting up the concept of showing mercy.

Life has a way of putting us in both situations. There are times when we are the person on the side of the road, needing to be helped, and we hope that there are people out there who will help us, and there are times when we are called to help other people.

The day can be rushed through or lived in. I am a rusher. I want to get to the next Achievement, the next goal. I can get there. It is possible, but it is also valuable to slow down. To see what is around me. To choose to help someone in need.

Coffee

My favorite recharge activities are going to coffee places; I have been to four different coffee shops in the past four days. It wasn’t a problem at all. In 2016 I went to 52 coffee shops. One a week. Where I live, I think I could go to 365 coffee shops. A new one every day.

Why do I go to coffee shops when I can make coffee at home? This is a lingering question. I mean, truthfully, if I didn’t go buy a coffee somewhere, then I would save the money. I could invest the money, use it for a car, a downpayment for a home. The reality is, I am not going to generate a down-payment for a home by not going out to purchase coffee. I do think that by purchasing coffee, I am supporting a small business. I am helping out people who use the shop to generate an income.
So there you have it. Coffee A conundrum.

One that isn’t easy for me to solve. Perhaps I am overthinking the room. I don’t go to coffee shops for the coffee, I go for the experience, but I order coffee. So I do go for the coffee.

Drinking coffee is something I do. It is a habit that I built over time. It isn’t a habit that I had growing up. My mother and father would drink coffee every morning.
My mother and father didn’t go to a coffee shop and buy coffee. I don’t know; maybe my dad did. Perhaps he went to McDonald’s or some local place and got coffee. Who knows. It was just one of those things I will never ever know.

Re-charge

Last full weekday of break. I find myself trying to squeeze in activities that are designed to help me recharge.

Purchased a new pair of green converse all-stars.

Finished a paint by numbers waiting.

Found a new coffee shop in the area and tried a Hot Pink Latte.

Purchased a book and challenged me to read one book at a time this weekend. Hopefully, it will work out. We will see.

How do you recharge when you are off?

 

April 1st.

April 1st. It is my mom’s birthday, and also her sister’s birthday. It amazes me how my grandmother managed to give birth to two daughters on the same day five years apart.

My mom passed away more than a decade ago. Today I don’t have a phone call to make. I don’t have a gift to send or a visit to make. Today I have my memories of my mother. How she loved me, cared for me, and put up with me.

Oddly, her birthday falls on April fools Day. I don’t like pranking people or joking with people on this day. I wonder why? Maybe deep down I see it as not honoring my mother and aunt. So today, no pranks, no jokes, just pleasant memories.

Back to the Movies

My son and I went to the movies today. It was the first time that I had been to the movies since COVID caused all theaters to shut down.

The movies are comforting to me. I can’t even think of all the movies that I have been to in my life. We went to see King Kong vs. Godzilla. The movie also came out on HBO Max at the same time.

I know that theater owners are worried that people won’t want to go to the movies, but people were out at the movies today. We enjoy the experience of seeing movies on a large screen with strangers, and I believe that we will continue to.