Mask Up!

I do not like to wear a coat. Oh, I’m thankful for the warmth it provides, especially considering the weather here a couple of weeks ago. For several days, the morning temps hovered around freezing.

If I’d only had to walk from my car to the building, that coat might not have been necessary. However, I have morning car duty-about twenty-five minutes outside. So, not only was I bundled up, but I also wore rain boots and carried my umbrella.

Although thankful while outside, I felt restricted while driving to school. That zipped up coat felt like it was holding me back. Constricting my movements instead of protecting me.

Sometimes that is how it goes, even with the things we need. Rules, routines, laws intended to help, protect, keep us safe. And yet, we struggle against them. Somehow afraid they will do the opposite-take our freedom.

Think about speed limits and other traffic laws. We push the boundaries by wanting to drive a little faster or speed through that yellow light. What about our work schedules and expectations? Designed to help us be our best, yet we complain and find small ways to buck the system.

In our current state of a world-wide pandemic, mask mandates come to mind. I wear one to work every day, as do my colleagues and students. No, it is not fun. However, it is necessary. And we wear them to show our respect and to protect each other.

And yet, depending on which business I happen to enter in which town or city, I may or may not be able to count on that same consideration. It is disheartening, to say the least. Something so simple met with such resistance.

As with most things in life, balance is needed. No one wants to feel like they are wrapped up in a cocoon. Yet, we need the wisdom to recognize the times when necessity says mask up and face the facts. You might just save someone else’s life.

Reminders

I seem to need the same reminder over and over these days. My husband would agree. 😉 What reminder? Stop worrying about things that are out of your control. Focus on what is in front of you today.

Sounds easy enough. And yet, I continue to struggle. I am beginning to recognize it more quickly, so I suppose that is progress. Or maybe, it is just part of life. Either way, here is a little reminder for me. And anyone else who might need one. ❤

Release

Holding on
Too tight
To things
I cannot
Control
Tension
Held in
Clenched fists
Raised shoulders
A stiff neck
Its journey
Does not
End there
It travels on
To the heart
Then shows
On my face-
The struggle
Within me
Seeping out-
Perhaps
The solution is
Also within me
A cleansing breath
In and out
Allowing
Every fiber
To release
The hands
To relax
A full circle
Ending with
An honest
Smile and
Open heart

Rediscovered

I love it when I rediscover something. Especially when it involves music. Such was the case this week.

I happened to notice a friend sharing a new music album on their Instagram. The name of the album was Out of Body, the group Need to Breathe.

“Oh yeah, I used to listen to them. Such a great sound. Maybe I’ll check it out.”

Later that evening, I downloaded the album. It played in the car on my way to school the next day and again on my way home. On the second listen, one song stood out-Banks. The following lyrics stuck with me.

I wanna hold you close but never hold you back

I’ll be the banks for your river

Turned out to be the inspiration for a poem. 🙂

Riverbank

Walking
Alongside
The riverbank
Wondering
What it might
Have to say

Wisdom
Gathered
In tiny bits
Only when
The water is
Still and quiet

Changes
In the current
Noticed by
Trees leaning
In just close
Enough

These wise
Residents
Hold hands-
Keeping
The river
In place

Sometimes
The bank
Allows itself
To be overtaken
When the river
Loses its way

Patiently
It waits for
The waters
To recede
And continue
On their journey

Strength
Evidenced in
Roots and trees
Dirt and rocks
Always faithful to
Its fickle friend

Humility
In willingness
To give up a
Part of itself
Every time
The river strays

Wondering
If the riverbank
Will share some
Of its wisdom
While I quietly
Take a seat

Unexpected Wisdom

Kids love to share their thoughts and opinions. Sometimes, they express wisdom beyond their years. I was reminded of this during my second-grade music class.

Our music lesson this week was an introduction to Thanksgiving. Before teaching students a song about being thankful, I asked a question. “What are you thankful for?”

The answers from this particular class were basic and sweet. Food, clothes, family, and friends topped the list. One boy excitedly mentioned his grandmother coming to visit from Mexico.

And then one little girl gave the most precious answer. She very sincerely said, “I am thankful for the food my mom cooks. Even if it is food I don’t like. I would never want to hurt her feelings.”

The more I considered her answer, the more wisdom I recognized. This little girl truly understands what it means to be thankful. Being thankful for something, even if it isn’t exactly the “something” you want. I don’t always display that level of maturity.

Thanksgiving will be here soon. My home will be filled with family, friends, and good food. Hopefully, I will remember that being thankful has very little to do with “things.” It has everything to do with the attitude of my heart toward others.

As for today, I am thankful for the unexpected wisdom of a sweet second-grade girl.

More Waiting

Wednesday did not go as planned. Yes, I had a moment of clarity which encouraged me to be patient and focus on others. My mood improved and I felt prepared to face the rest of the day. At least, I thought I was prepared.

After being in pre-op for more than two hours, my dad was informed his surgery was canceled. Apparently, previous surgeries had taken longer than expected. A new anesthesiology policy would not permit the procedure to begin unless there was a guarantee of being finished by 5:00 P.M. What?!

Although the doctors were sincerely apologetic, I was extremely frustrated. You can imagine how my dad was feeling. I could not simply walk away without advocating him.

I not so quietly reminded them that Dad is 75, diabetic, and had been on a liquid diet for five days in preparation for this surgery. This was not acceptable. The doctors agreed and offered other possibilities, none of which were “best scenario” options.

Returning to the waiting room, I informed the rest of the family. By this time, I was angry. I shot off several texts to friends and family, expressing my frustration. Let’s just say, that patient attitude I had reclaimed earlier-well, it was gone.

Some dinner and quiet provided time to think about the situation. Maybe dad is not supposed to have this procedure right now. Are there other options to pursue? I don’t know. I do know we will do some more waiting. And for now, that is ok.

Waiting provides time for praying, researching, and asking questions. Which hopefully means the waiting will lead to wisdom. Which brings us back to patience.

My sweet dad with his youngest granddaughters. ❤

On a positive note, we were able to enjoy the Fourth of July. A small family cookout and some fireworks at a local park. For that I am thankful.