Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happiness for My Dear Friend, B!

There are times in our lives when our happiness comes from the happiness of others! Yesterday was one of those times. I have a dear and wonderful friend, B. B was my very first friend when I moved to California...she was also my first boss.

When I first met B. I thought she was just about the "neatest" person I had met in a long time. Just a little younger than me, she was a "take charge" person who was the Receivables Manger at a substantially large insurance company. I was fortunate that she hired me as her assistant manager. We worked well together and the more I got to know her the better I liked her.

As people do when they are getting to know one another we shared our "stories" of our lives and loves. My husband and I were married less than a year at that time. B has a "steady." I didn't like her guy...I thought she deserved SO much better...but it was her life, not mine.

We both lost our jobs at the same time. The substantially large insurance company was purchased by a larger substantial insurance company and our jobs went to the lovely state of Georgia where neither one of us was much inclined to want to go! I only lost an 8 months job but B lost a 16 year job.

We got new jobs and then other new jobs and we have continued to keep in touch, always enjoying our times together. She got a new guy...also not worthy of her and then kind of gave up on any guy at all! I learned how to quilt and then taught her how to quilt and we became quilting buddies as well as friends.

Life took a lot of twists and turns for both of us. When I lost my job in June she was incredibly supportive. She has always had the knack for making me feel good about myself when I was really down on myself. She probably doesn't even realize that!

Now to the happiness part...B has a new guy! He isn't just a "new guy"... I think he is "the" guy. Someone who treats her "like a lady" and who is actually somewhat deserving of the special, special person that she is. Yesterday she shared with me her recent vacation/cruise with Mr. Happiness. We only exchanged emails...but hers was bubbly and happy...I could feel it as I read. And that happiness made me incredibly happy...even happier than if all the nice (and strange!) things had happened to me.

I think this is what loving friendship is all about. Feeling incredibly happy because someone you love dearly is incredibly happy. It is really a GREAT feeling! Much happiness always, B! I love you!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Letting Go...and Cherishing

Last weekend I embarked on a horrific project...getting rid of "stuff" that I have been saving for years and years. It is part of my overall plan to live more simply. This means not just changing some things about me personally but also changing my surroundings.

My dear husband was away for the weekend so I was left in peace and quiet to do what needed to be done. I began by taking everything off the shelves and off the floor of "my" closet as I call the closet in our "computer room."

The "stuff" I found! Apparently I had cut out an kept every newspaper article, every magazine article, every "anything" that had been printed about Princess Diana after her death. All of these things were tucked inside a scrapbook so one might assume that I truly meant to make a scrapbook with all these goodies. I sat on the floor and read every single article...and I remembered where I was when I heard she had died (San Francisco) and how I felt (very sad) that such a terrible accident had taken the life of someone so young. I remembered our trip to England and our visit to her ancestral home in Althrop. I cherished all those memories...and then I threw away every single piece of paper.

Ditto with all the magazine and newspaper articles about Michael Jordan's return to the Chicago Bulls! Of course when I started that collection I was still in Chicago and a huge Bulls fan! I remembered the one game I actually got to see at the Stadium where the Bulls won and Jordan seemed bigger than life to me. I was so excited to be "in his presence!" I remembered all those memories...and then I threw away every single piece of paper.

Ditto with so many other things saved and cherished as "important" but no longer had much meaning.

Then I came to "the box." This was the box that had all the memories of my late husband, Chuck stored in it. There were love letters...hundred of them. There were all the condolence cards that were sent when he died. I read every single one of them and realized that I didn't even know most of those people any more. I found his wallet and his Jewel Foods (our local grocery store) check cashing card, his voters registration card and all of his medical cards which at one time had seemed to important to save...almost as if someday he might need them again. There was so much stuff in "the box" (which was quite large by the way) that it took me an entire day to read every single thing.

Some of the things made me laugh and some made me cry. The memories they brought back were bittersweet and I could feel my heart tingle...and then I threw every single thing away.

Why did I do all this? First of all, I don't want to leave these things for anyone else to have to take care of after I am gone. Second, I truly am trying to simply my life both internally and externally. But most of all I was able to get rid of all of this memorabilia because it going through everything I realized that everything was already cemented in my heart and I didn't need the external trappings to visit those memories. I only needed to look within my heart and they were all there...forever!

And so I cherish all of them...most especially the ones about Chuck...and I am grateful for the incredible gift of memory and love that the Lord has given us. I have let go...but I will always continue to cherish.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another Day, Another Thought!

Turn your face to
the sun and
the shadows fall
behind you.
Maori proverb

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Thought for Today

While cleaning out "stuff" today, I came upon this piece called "The Good Life." I share it today with anyone who happens by. May we all live a "good life."

Do all the good you can,

by all the means you can,

in all the ways you can,

in all the places you can,

at all the times you can,

to all the people you can,

as long as you can.

--Author Unknown

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Changing Is a Process

This thought about redesigning my life is going to require some challenges! I must look at my ability to change! (Easier when you are younger; harder when you are me!) Change is going to mean slowing down, making time and space for new or different activities, a change in life style. Am I willing to change.

Scripture tells us that "The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives." (Psalm 37:23). I am convinced that my single most important goal is to live a life that God will delight in! Of this I am sure!

Perhaps this "life redesign" is very much like planting a garden. Planting a garden is a process which takes time and thought if we want it to be beautiful...delightful to the Lord.

Not only will it take time and thought but it will have to include some weeding out of my life! Keep what is good and discard what is not useful. Take a disciplined approach to identifying opportunities for growth...spiritual and something I love!

And, to grow and change I need Light! I must be open to new possibilities, embrace challenges, take risks! Romans 12:2 tell us "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and the perfect will of God." Okay...I'm ready...let the Light in!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Redesigning My Life


Recently we have been doing a lot of remolding in our 33 year old house. This week alone we have added all new windows, a new garage door and new entrance doors to the house and garage. The result is beautiful. We feel like we are in a new home.

This redesigning of our physical area made me think about how this is a perfect time for redesigning my life. I no longer work at a job that takes not only an extraordinary amount of time but my talents also. I am no longer under the kind of stress this that goes along with this type of job. It is time to renew myself.

So I start with some questions. What do I identify as being really important in my life? What are my priorities now? Does my life landscaping need more light, more color, more whatever?

My blog page is now more colorful...has more light...has more postings...a good start!

But what about the inner me? I am now on a search for insight and understanding as I wait upon God to give me discernment in this new undertaking. Watch and wait with me.

A Morning of Great Joy!

This morning Barclee and I changed our usual routine and I cancelled previous plans and she I went to the cemetery. I had read in the paper on Tuesday that her first "mommy" had died and that there was to be a graveside service today at 10:00 a.m. I wasn't sure how anyone would feel about having a dog at the service but my heart told me that we should go anyway.

We arrived about 20 minutes before the service and I walked over to where I could see that people were gathering (I had left Barclee in the car) and asked if this was where the service for MW would be. Several people stared at me strangley and said yes and then one man came up to me and said "is that really you?" It was MW's son, the one who had given Barclee to my care when his mother became unable to care for her. I told him that I had Barclee in the car and would it be okay to bring her to the service.

You would have thought that I said I had the Queen of England in the car! Everyone who heard who I was and who I had with me immediately rushed to my car to see Barclee! MW has been her "mommy" for 4 1/2 years so the entire family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren knew who Barclee was and apparently loved her dearly.

While I stood in the background during the service, Barclee sat in the front row with the family. It was almost as if she actually knew what was going on and she sat on the son's lap very quietly and properly until the last "Amen."

Tomorrow Barclee is going to have a "play date" with her real birth sister, Molly! The family is so anxious to see "the girl's" together again. After people started leaving, I took Barclee up to the casket and she put her little paw on it and then set her head on her paw.

This morning was one of those joyfully perfect moments ...a time when following my heart was defintely the right thing to do.