After the Storm

Not my front yard--but looks like the kitchen!

Image by Abu-Edrees via Flickr

I don’t think it matters whether you’ve had a hurricane, or just been depressed for a while, but after the storm is over, there’s a lot of picking up to do. Some of the debris is physical (dishes to wash, laundry to fold, clutter to be cleared), and some of it is mental (apologizing, making amends, trying to get people to trust you…). I’m not sure which is worse.

My regular depressive cycles are troublesome enough, since I have almost one week of despondency, and then a week of sheer coma-like inactivity. Every month! But when I have a particularly bad spell, like this most recent one, where I’m really bad when I’m “scheduled” to be good, it’s even worse.

It continues to amaze me how bad things can get when I’m depressed, and how incredibly difficult it is to make a lot of headway when I’m feeling better. After all, no matter how bad I’m feeling, I still manage to wear clothes and eat something, so the dishes and laundry just keep piling up, regardless of how I’m feeling. (Note to self: Investigate eating off paper plates in the nude!) And I don’t like to do dishes even when I’m feeling good, so you can imagine how bad it is. Frankly, I’m still wading through a slough of housework that’s months old. It really does make the phrase “two steps forward, one step back” come vividly to life, in 3-D (with Smell-O-Rama!) Except there are definitely some months where things are “two steps forward, two steps back,” and this month is more like “coming from a few steps back, will she ever make it forward?”

I’d just love a maid for two weeks a month! Any takers?

Housework is not easy at the best of times, but if I can make it through the next couple of weeks, I’ll be way ahead of the game.

Continuing my Pursuit…

Jesus I trust in you. (Image of The Divine Mercy)

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This has been a rough couple of weeks. I thought I was actually getting better last Friday, but then had another huge disappointment, which put me right back where I started. Then I came up out of that, only to get kicked in the teeth again Monday afternoon. But I rallied a lot faster this time, and was pretty much back on track by evening. I was so tempted to just give up, give up, give up.

But I didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong here. I was about as low as I’ve been in a LONG time. Even worse, perhaps, than I was back in June. This time, I didn’t even have the inclination to blog! (Obviously, that’s a bad sign.)

How is it, then, that I can get completely discouraged by something one day. and a different day, I get some pretty bad news, and I’m okay with it? Well, I’m not sure. But I think it has something to do with my faith, and something to do with just being reminded, “Hey, it’s not all about you!”

No, it really isn’t. It’s not all about me. Sometimes that’s easier to deal with than other times, that’s for sure.

I’m reminded of a Bible verse here:

Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13b-14, NABRE)

I guess what I’m trying to do is forget what does lie behind, because there’s nothing I can do about it now. I’m just going to continue my pursuit going forward.

I’m a fan of Joyce Meyer, who I think is secretly a comedian, but masquerades as a televangelist. She said on her show today (which you can watch all over the world, but here’s the link to her on-line broadcasts: www.joycemeyer.org), “Trust always requires having some unanswered questions in your life.”

I’ve got plenty of unanswered questions, that’s for sure. But I guess I’m just sticking with the trust right now. There’s no point in complaining, either.

Things are definitely looking up.

One of Those “Character-Building” Kind of Days

Hmmm...It’s already started. I had big plans to accomplish a whole lot today, and so today is the day that everything is coming up to try to make sure I don’t! I’d say that’s natural, but I’m not sure if it is.

Thankfully, I was able to sense, already, that this is going to be one of those days, good for developing patience, and I can really only attribute it to the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, I’d be a hitting the shrew level pretty soon. I’ve got an index card in my pocket with the verse I remembered around 7:15 this morning.

“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4, NAB)

What I don’t understand is why didn’t I get this feeling yesterday? It was the kind of day that could only be characterized as dreadful. I felt like a dirty towel that’s been shoved under the bed, forgotten, until it starts to mildew and you’re wondering, what’s that smell?

I literally did nothing until almost 5:00 p.m., when I pulled myself together enough to get dressed and go to choir practice. Once I did that, the day proceeded splendidly and we had a lovely practice, but of course how much am I going to accomplish after 8:00 p.m., when choir was done?

I got a pep talk from a friend, but nothing seemed to work. I knew that I was behaving badly, but I just didn’t care. I know there will be days like that, too, but by the end of the day I was developing that combination feeling of guilt and anger. The day was wasted! Aarrgghh! It’s hard to brush that off, even when I remind myself that it was only one day, and days like that are bound to happen, it could’ve been worse (a whole week, etc.), blah, blah, self pep talk, positive thinking, etc.

So I made up my mind before I went to bed (early) last night that today would be different. And it is.

More than meets the eye…

Rosa Celeste: Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the...

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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene V.

More things is right! Of this I have no doubt, but I can’t prove it. Well, I can’t prove it to anyone else. I don’t need any proof on my end. I’ve seen enough strange things to have no more doubts about the presence of things beyond our immediate perception.

This puts me right in there with a lot of nuts, I know. And that’s too bad. Sometimes people think that if you’re smart, you don’t have much to do with religion, the supernatural, or other phenomena that are essentially unexplainable. But it seems to me that being an intelligent person and having beliefs that our world encompasses more than we can come to physical grips with don’t have to necessarily be mutually exclusive.

(Such wasn’t always the case, of course. In the past, often times the village priest or minister was the smartest person in town. That, however, is very seldom the situation anymore, even in this very small town where I live now. Oh, the ministers are among the most educated, but they rank along with the doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals. Unfortunately, they also sometimes rank among the dumbest people in town, regardless of their educational level. Let’s not go there.)

Now I don’t believe in just anything. You can keep your alien abduction theories and almost anything printed in the tabloids. There may be a fine line between belief in the unexplainable and credulous gullibility, but there is a line.

Maybe it’s because I am a sort of traditional Catholic that I believe deeply in angels and other spirits, the intercession of the Saints, Heaven, Hell, and a host of other things that veer far from the ordinary. Well, not far from my ordinary, but not things that one generally talks about at cocktail parties. (Not that there’s a lot of that action around here. If you’re drinking at a party around here, you’re not simultaneously engaging in philosophical discussions.)

My ordinary is peopled with all sorts of things—more than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Guilty Pleasures…

Cranberry sauce

Image by cjbakker via Flickr

I’ll admit it. I’m eating whole berry cranberry sauce straight from the can. (Gotta add though, it’s amazing on vanilla ice cream!)

Other things I do:

  • Take naps;
  • Play computer games that are a ridiculous waste of time;
  • Spend money on cut flowers and other non-essentials;
  • Go out to eat; and
  • Eat dessert INSTEAD of a meal!

I enjoy all these things (and many more), and even though I feel guilty—it’s only a little.

What are your guilty pleasures?