Browsing "My Story"

Preposterious

Preposterous + Mysterious = Preposterious.

I’ve coined a new word to describe my day.

Even though it’s a Saturday, I had to work. Welcome to my world. I work EVERY Saturday. I’m an Occupational Therapist and I’ve learned that strokes just don’t seem to wait just because it is the weekend. So I worked.

I really enjoy my job. I get to meet people and help them when they’re scared and need comfort. I get to help people be independent and care for themselves again after a catastrophic change. I get to MacGyver things to make it work.

I enjoy my job… but today it was preposterous.

I had a string of interactions which involved people yelling at me for trying to help them. I was cursed at, pushed away, grabbed, pulled, and shoved. I tried to help one gentleman correct his posture while walking so he could look where he was going instead of at his own navel. He told me to mind my own business. And snorted.

I assisted another woman to the restroom to do her business and get cleaned up a little. She “thanked” me by telling me I was ugly and my mother too. No joke. Gee, thanks.

It was preposterous how people were reacting to good meaning offers of assistance and healing. It was mysterious why!

Why were people responding to harshly? Why were my pointers intended to help these people go home and live safely and independently being snubbed? Why were people so difficult?

And then the light when on.

I am just as difficult. I hate accepting help. I want to be the strong one. I want to do it all – by myself. I tantrum like a toddler. Sometimes I fight, push, snub, fuss, fret, and get angry with God. I want to control my own life and story and direction. And that’s not how it works. I think my ways are better. I don’t always see that I’m walking with poor posture. Or about to trip over something. I don’t want help – I think I can do it all. Suddenly the mystery was solved. But the preposterous-ness still remained.

Nov 25, 2012 - My Story    2 Comments

The Soundtrack of my Life

I wish my life had a soundtrack.

It’s how you know something big is coming in a movie – the sappy, lovey-dovey music plays just before the first kiss. The tension slowly builds as the protagonist steels his nerves for battle – raising into a crescendo when the battle is won! I, on the other hand, was completely caught off guard during my first kiss! I wasn’t expecting it and there was no music as warning.

I wish my life had a soundtrack.

I wish the song from Chariots of Fire payed each time I was at the gym cheering me melodically on to run one more minute or lift ten more pounds. I wish that soft and somber music played when I was feeling lonely or sad. Music that allowed me to sit quietly and let the emotion swallow me for a time instead of pressing onward and avoiding whatever is bothering me. I want music to remind me of good times, important memories, difficult trials, successes, missed connections, love and loss.

As I type this I am listening to songs from my all time favorite band, Cool Hand Luke. I love complex, purposeful lyrics, and their ability to subtlely and patiently build to a climax. One of the songs, “Cinematic” reminds me of my first mission trip to Hungary. I used it during my presentation to the church after I returned to remind us all that successes and failures are not up to our efforts, but God’s will.


I remember listening to “One Time” on repeat as I finished my documentation after hours at my first real job – for which I felt woefully ill-prepared. I was a pediatric Occupational Therapist – responsible for the sensory, physical, mental, and academic development of my case load of children with disabilities. I typed to the beat of the music and sang the lyrics, “I can see for miles, you showed me that the mountain I’m climbing is not a mountain at all, but a gentle slope leading home.” It gave me strength to forge steadily onward in my job – and in life.

I remember describing to a friend in the car how I wanted to live my life. Free and unfettered, fully trusting in the Lord. I cued up the song “Friendly Jas” for her on my iPod and cried at the last few lines. They described my hopes, my philosophy of life, and my desire to share this journey with someone else. “Everything has changed, but our hope remains the same. And I want you to know that I’ll be here through a hundred years of rain. Together we run, to what we do not know, trusting on God who made tomorrow.” That’s how I wanted to live. It can still make me cry.

I recently had the immense privilege to meet Mark, lead singer of Cool Hand Luke through a mutual friend. It’s no secret; I was giddy. This guy, though we’d never met, had in one way walked with me in numerous trials and triumphs over the past decade of my life. The words, chords, and notes he wrote were a part of my story. It was a beautiful thing to shake his hand, encourage him for his focus on his craft, and say “Thank you, Mark, your music is very important to me. It is a huge part of the soundtrack of my life.”

My life has a soundtrack. And it’s more beautiful than I could have imagined.

Nov 24, 2012 - My Story    No Comments

Liquid Patience

There was a lot of texting going on yesterday. Friends saying, “Happy Thanksgiving!” or chatting about the fantastic deals they snagged on Black Friday. One friend’s comment caught my attention. He posted, “I’m drinking my liquid patience at Starbucks– getting ready for the mall.”

Liquid patience.

If only!

I needed liquid patience today. I didn’t sleep well, had rough patients, needed to have a potentially tough conversation with some friends. I felt off, un-resilient to life. My eyelids were heavy and my fuse was short.

I needed liquid patience.

But instead, I prayed. I prayed for grace for the moment. I prayed that as I drove home that I would have grace with the other drivers. I prayed that I would enter the house happily instead of crabby for my roommates’ sakes. I prayed that I would be given words of grace, seasoned with salt, instead of caustic, biting words. I prayed for liquid patience.

I think it worked.

And it’s cheaper than Starbucks and always available!

Nov 23, 2012 - My Story    No Comments

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

My brother is profound.

Especially for his age – he’s only fifteen, but can come out with some doozies.

This year, for the first time ever, I went Black Friday shopping. While I am not a fan of crowds, once inside I could sense the excitement and knew why people did this. It was like a drug. According to my receipts I saved over $200 today and spent just a small portion of that! My family frantically rushed from store to store to get the best Black Friday deals we could find. I snagged some seasons of hit TV shows for $8 a piece. Towels for just quarters and quality coffee for a few bucks too. My brother and I headed to Target at opening and waited in a line a few hundred people long to pay. We drove to three different stores to find the absolute best price on a Wii video game he wanted. As we were driving home, feet exhausted, packages piled high, he said, “Isn’t it funny that after we give thanks for everything we have on Thanksgiving, that we focus so much on getting more the very next day?”

Ouch.

So we take one day a year to give thanks, and our gratitude lasts only that long.

What would it be like to live in gratefulness? I think I’d like to find out.

Nov 22, 2012 - My Story    No Comments

My Green Dream

Last night I dreamed that I bought deodorant made out of used crayons.

It was the rainbow packaging that got my attention.

I remember walking through the grocery store aimlessly and finding myself on the health aisle. Then I noticed it. The rainbow packaging. So glittery, so sparkly. I wondered what this diamond in the rough could be.

It was crayons repurposed as deodorant.

I stopped my meandering and studied this new find. It contained every color of the rainbow swirled and glitteriezed. It sat quietly on the shelf, sanguine and self-confident next to the Degree. I picked it up, uncapped it, and breathed in slowly. I smelled that waxy new crayon box smell. I was instantly reminded of arranging my 64 count Crayolas into rainbow order. And explaining, in detail, the significant differences between green-blue and blue-green to my parents.

Now that I am awake, I wonder what this could mean. Other than the applaudable fact that my subconscious is apparently extremely environmentally conscious, what does this say about me?

Am I longing for a connection to my childhood? Am I longing for creativity and newness? Am I just really attracted to glittery things?

I’m not sure. But it was a fun dream that I’m thankful to remember and will continue to ponder.

What do you think?

Nov 21, 2012 - Devotional, My Story    No Comments

Welcome to my Crazy

I’ve decided that I’m crazy.
Maybe I stepped over the line whilst doing a jig in my kitchen waiting for the microwave to ding. Or maybe it was when I burst into laughter in the middle of a quiet room because I remembered something hilarious from the day before. Or maybe it was the practical joke that I planned for months and managed to keep secret. (See photo for evidence!)

 

But sometimes, my crazy isn’t fun or lighthearted. Like the time I tried to have a conversation, but it   consisted of mostly harrumphs and sighs because I was too frustrated and distracted to actually find words. My crazy is sometimes insidious. It’s the internal voice that harangues me whispering half-truths that I can be more.

So I’m declaring it. I’m crazy.

Maybe you can relate.

One of my professors in seminary said, “If stress doesn’t get out frontwards, it gets out sideways.” I know this first hand. Sometimes I feel resilient to disappointments in life. I can handle traffic or missed appointments or hard conversations. But sometimes I react more strongly than is warranted for the situation. That’s when I feel the most crazy.

But I’ve also come up with a treatment plan.

Writing.

That’s how I let my crazy get out. In controlled little bursts so as not to overwhelm anyone!

I process life best by writing and thinking through what happened, how I reacted, what could be different. Hence this blog. Because the title is true, I really do think on paper! This blog will contain stories, anecdotes, and general life processing. It will be real thoughts on virtual paper!

Thanks for being a part of my crazy.

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