Monday, January 27, 2014

Perhaps a pause

I'm definitely in a bit of a dry spell on this particular blog. Maybe it's winter, maybe it's work...just ain't a whole lot going on here to justify a post lately.

As my work for Ashevillage increases, I'll be posting more over at Dark, once Spring starts to sneak in around these parts, I'll be wrist deep in the soil and writing about that over there.

I'm also in a dry spell over at Melanie's Gym, but that's just laziness. I'm having a helluva time finding the necessary willpower and mental strength to make the changes this body needs. January has been Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results (is that even attributed to Einstein? just realized it's one of those web quotes that's been used enough where you just assume, rather than research its veracity...). I voiced the issue rather succinctly on my FB this morning: I just want to detox from the Standard American Diet, while maintaining focus on my work and not desiring to murder everyone around me in the process. File it under work in progress, I guess...

It's been actual winter around here! Not getting much above 40 these days, and quite a bit of snow, though the white stuff is light and doesn't stick around. Still, so nifty to watch it fall and dance around in it like a kid!

Getting proactive about the indoor plants finally, keeping them in window areas during the day and watering them when needed. I fear I lost the rosemary and the holy basil...time will tell.

Have a great week, y'all! Stay warm!

Image from here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Just popping in

Nothing exciting to post, actually. One of those times when you want to push down the previous post, because it's too sad to think about. Kendra's memorial is this Saturday, and I wish I could go, even though it promises to be more of a zoo than a memorial. She garnered such support and publicity during her struggle. But it's moot. Weaverville, NC, to Pace, FL, is way too far to drive in a car that needs 2 tires, new brakes, and a serious tune-up, even if we had the dough (and patience) for another long car trip, which we don't. But her story had me praying again, and that's something I struggled with for years since going non-Christian. When you grow up talking to Jesus, and now Jesus isn't the big guy in your spiritual life anymore, who the heck are you talking to now when you pray?

I went to church this past Sunday, a UU congregation a half hour's drive from here. I bypassed the Asheville UU to get to them. I went to Asheville's UU once last year, and the vibe in the place just didn't appeal to me, no clue why. I have high standards with UU churches, because Rev. Dr. John Young (ret.) at the Jacksonville UU was excellent, very friendly and immensely learned. But the Swannanoa Valley UU felt better. The reverend seemed smart and jovial. I was in my shell the whole time I was there. That's the one hard part about hitting a new church - everyone's so dang friendly, and it takes me at least one service to thaw out. But I liked what I saw, and I'll be going back, weather-permitting, this Sunday.

In a case of painfully coincidental timing, the service I attended last Sunday was that congregation's chance to honor the members who passed on in 2012 and 2013. Reading out names, dedicating a song, ringing the meditation bell. I thought of Kendra and got teary, but I also felt a peace, similar to the comfort I experienced at the Catholic funeral last week. Hey, I'll take it.

Just wrote a pile of paragraphs on the frustration surrounding my MIL's attitude and living situation, and then thought better of it and stuck it on my private blog. So I'll just ask for prayers of compassion, that I may relate to her situation better and help her find her way eventually.

This week is about making new habits. I've half-assed started Whole 30, meaning I'm burning through the almond milk in the fridge first and THEN I'll really start, and there have been slip-ups here and there in just the 2 days that I've tried to be more conscious of my food intake. But my inflammation is down again already, noticed it when I woke up this morning, and that's motivating as hell. Eating clean, whole foods as often as possible, and getting back on a walking regimen are the main goals this week.

Image from here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Into the Light

Meara's friend Kendra passed away yesterday afternoon. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Images from FB and here.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Down time

Every two months, for security reasons, my work password dies. I understand this; it's a pain in the tail, but easy to remedy.

In an instance of impressively shitty timing, this occurred yesterday. I spent yesterday attending a funeral, the reception that followed, and then driving from Hilton Head Island back to Weaverville, a 6-hour trip. I didn't go into the work tool to check the queues until 10:45 PM.

I'm stuck, unable to work until Monday, because IT doesn't work on the weekend. I did maybe half my usual quota of sites this week.

Sales hasn't quite ramped up since the New Year holiday, so I may have been screwed anyway; my boss said there wasn't much in the queue to work with. Small consolation.

It's the beginning of a pay period, so there's hope. I can bust my arse on work next week and make up the difference. This will occur only if sales ramps up enough to supply me with work.

I made a good living this past year, better than I expected. I get that this is a temporary condition, that sales should increase in the next week or so. Work has always experienced a significant drop around the holidays. Doesn't make it any easier, and it's certainly a well-deserved/timed wake-up call that I need to expand my portfolio and opportunities.

The funeral was lovely, a standard Catholic mass. I found it a comfort. I don't miss Christianity, but I do miss the rituals behind it.

It almost wasn't my place to grieve...I'd only met Kaye a few times; she was Les' aunt. My grief was for his cousins who lost their mother, and for the grandchildren who lost their grandmother. I was brought to tears by their tears. I watched a 15-year-old boy break down, and I wept for his pain.

His cousins are our peers, and I found myself doing character studies in my head about them on the ride home. We'd be closer friends with these folks, if we lived closer together. This death brought us a little closer, and in spite of the requisite funeral conversations about how we must get together on a happier occasion, I'd like to actually see that happen, instead of it being lip service. But they are spotty Facebook users, and real life gets in the way, so we'll see.

I watched this funeral with a new clarity about my beliefs. In the past, as a pagan, I've been terribly uncomfortable at Christian funerals, not knowing my place, not knowing how I felt. Over my father's dying body, I was forced to take communion and felt like a hypocrite. Yesterday, I bypassed communion and felt fine, felt I was honoring their rituals by not participating. But at the same time, I felt fine repeating the refrains of the mass, doing the motions of the sign of the cross or the little motions right before the reading of the Gospel. I have found my ways to respect religion without believing in it. I found both relief and comfort in this development.

My Lil Sis's friend Kendra is gravely ill. I've written about her before on here. She gave birth prematurely, because she came down with pneumonia, and then a host of other complications ensued, sending her into a medically induced coma for the last 2 months. She contracted pneumonia again, about 2 weeks ago, and if the updates we receive on Facebook are any indication, the doctors are obviously preparing the family for her to pass. Her baby daughter is out of the hospital and thriving, living with relatives while her husband sits vigil.

I learned how to pray again, thanks to this woman's fight...figured out how prayer was possible again, in spite of my non-Christian status. There are other lessons sneaking into my psyche as my mind wrestles with the sadness that this family has been experiencing. It's coming too soon after losing Kaye, standing in a church and realizing that I've hit mid-life and there's still so damn much I want to experience. These thoughts are exhausting, but necessary; they bring clarity about how unique and precious life is.

We came home last night to snow on the ground and bitter temperatures. These temps are supposed to stick around for the next week, turning the roads to ice. I'm going to get back to walking anyway, somehow, and I'm starting the Whole 30 next Sunday. All prayers welcome for my husband's and my sanity as I traverse that sucker.

Image from here.