The secret to my own happiness?

I’ve worshipped “someday” for my whole life and now I cannot do that any more. I’ve comforted myself with the idea that even though right now things are not exactly as I want them to be, there is a big wide future in which all things in my life can be put right and I’ll be doing all the things that I feel I am supposed to be doing, including that one “thing” that will finally qualify me as good enough.

I have to change my outlook and shift my center. What is it that I want most? I want to get through today and be happy with myself. What do I have to do to accomplish that? I have to write something (not just journaling but actual writing). I have to eat right (count points). I have to be active in a purposeful way. And I have to do something else productive, probably making something.

Maybe the solution for me is to forget about doing anything grand and just focus on one day at a time. Just be happy for this day. God please help me to do this and to stop grieving. I will get through this and be victorious. I will endure and thrive. I will reinvent my life and be happy again.

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Not writing and feeling sick about it

I’m feeling so stuck. I can’t even figure out why exactly. I want to do more with my life. But I feel like I am looking up out of a pit. I am whining about it over and over again and can’t seem to do anything about it. I had a memoir almost all written and gave it up because I didn’t want to hurt or offend anyone. Because my husband didn’t like me writing about personal stuff and sharing it with the world. He would probably protest if he knew that I was saying that. But I am pretty sure he knows that is why I stopped writing and he hasn’t told me to go on ahead with it. I feel broken. When I was in the middle of writing and I had a routine going and I was making all this progress, I felt good about it. I felt like I was going somewhere with my writing. And now I am just going no where.

Then I started writing a book about non-conformity. It was originally his idea but that was years ago so I decided it would be a good theme, it’s something we both kind of developed together and I know that he is never going to write it, at least no time soon. So I figured, well, I’ll write it up real fast and not tell him until it is done. It was going fine. Then I made the mistake of telling him before it was done and I saw that he was a little offput for a second, just a second, by my confession. He told me later to disregard that and just write it. But it all just seems so stupid now.

I used to think I had a lot to offer to the world in terms of my thoughts and ideas and experiences. But for the last few years I have just felt like I don’t have anything worthwhile to share, or if I do, it’s blocked up inside me and can’t come out in a coherent fashion. I’m trying to be patient and wait for something to break but I’m not sure if that is what I am supposed to do or if I should be making something happen.

My heart just hurts over all this. I need help to know what to do and to be able to do it. I have no confidence in myself and my abilities or my perseverance.

I’ve been wasting a lot of time on genealogy. I have some fine people in my ancestry, but it just makes me feel like I am completely off track. I should be doing something amazing with my life, like all my grandparents did, but I’m wasting the opportunity. I don’t feel capable anymore. I just feel like I am getting old and unable to seize the day like I used to be able to.

So instead, I have been just not eating as well as I should, drinking more beer than I should, not being as active as I want to, and spending too much time absorbed in genealogy.

I’m glad I have this anonymous blog to share my deeply personal feelings. I would never share these things publicly with my name attached. But I think it helps to get it out there, more so than it would help to write it down in a private journal. I hope that I can get past these feelings of depression and lack of hope and get back to energy and productivity.

 

 

Am I torturing my husband?

I have to find a way up and out of this emotional pit I seem to be struggling with. I look up and see daylight and blue sky and promise. I just can’t seem to reach it. Yet. All I need is a foothold. And once I get out, I have to defend myself so as not to get kicked back in. I need to be strong on the inside and outside.

If I could do it for him, that would be so great. My secret fear is that I have traumatized him. He’s had the sinking realization that he married an insane person and he is losing hope that I will ever be well. At least the sex is good. And I don’t nag. And we have great conversations. And I believe in him. And we’ve been together for 27 years.

Wait, maybe he’s not so bad off, after all. Maybe he’s really fortunate to have me. Maybe we are truly made for each other. There are some areas where I am crazy and maybe I won’t ever be magically healed from that. But there are other marriages and relationships that we know are horrible, flat out scary. Our relationship is not that.

We are best friends, best imperfect friends limping along together on this hard road of life. I hurt him sometimes and that is up at the top of my regrets in life. He could be more tactful with me but the intent is good. Neither one of us is very disciplined in setting and achieving goals or good with money. We get by pretty well though in spite of that.

Still, he is so much better than I am. And I feel I have put him in a bad position with the slow death of my business and nothing else coming up after it so far. He has to work so hard and his body might start to have trouble keeping up. I know he is stressed. I want him to be relaxed. I want him to change what he is doing but he doesn’t feel like he has time for that yet.

Real estate would be a good option for him. If only he could just take the time to do the training.

I am going through paroxysms of stress because I feel like a lump sitting here every day not making money, when it used to be pouring into the coffers with my Etsy business. Not any more. And it puts a lot of pressure on him. And I can’t seem to find a way to replace the lost income. I have gone back into panic and anxiety mode.

I think my best option right now would be to focus on trying to rebuild the traffic to the Etsy store. It still brings in some money and maybe if I could tweak things just right it would turn the spigot back on. I have been praying that I could find the faucet and get under it.

Bodily resurrection – an exciting hope

The idea of bodily resurrection is not one that is highlighted in evangelical circles. Resurrection is mentioned, but not as a central doctrine of the church. In fact, a kind of unspoken Gnosticism has seeped into evangelical church culture. It leaves one with the feeling that going to heaven is the ultimate end game for Christians, where we will have a kind of ethereal presence: airy, floaty, and spiritually perfect. Forever.

I don’t usually write about doctrine or theology but this is exciting.

My kids used to ask, but what will we do in heaven? It’s a valid question that hasn’t received any conclusive or convincing answers. But recently I read N.T. Wright’s book “Surprised By Hope”, in which he expounds on the doctrine of bodily resurrection and God’s redemption of all creation, not just humans.

Wright reminds us that God will be redeeming the Earth, and he posits that we humans will continue to live here on Earth in the coming creation/resurrection. Heaven is not our final destination, but it is a place where we go to wait for Christ’s return to Earth. Christ is returning to us, we do not go to him. He comes to rule physically, in his resurrection body, and we will all be transformed in an instant when this new earth comes.

These ideas bring me more hope than the idea of my disembodied soul floating up to heaven when I die.

I don’t know about you, but for me there is a pervasive sense of longing when I see the imperfections of the world and my own imperfections. The futility of so many things, including human efforts to make the world a better place, is frustrating and disheartening at times.

Instead of feeling like all those efforts are wasted, Wright’s hope is that nothing we do for the Lord is in vain. It all counts toward the redemption and resurrection. We really do have something to do here on Earth – it is not just a decaying and dying waiting room where we sit with our decaying and dying bodies waiting for Jesus to take us away.

Instead, everything I do to care for my body, everything I do to care for others and to set things right in the world, every act of courage, beauty, and love, all these go toward the day when all will be made right.

This is a hopeful doctrine that I can’t wait to share with my kids.

 

I am weak-minded and entitled

So I clicked the “Write” button. And here I am. I’ve always been able to write well but I kind of lost my mojo, to use a hackneyed cliche. It happened way too long ago when I burnt myself out as a freelancer. I don’t seem to have ever been able to get it back after that. I’ve become afraid recently that I don’t have the ability anymore, that the brain cells that were reserved for that skill have been fried away somehow. Probably too much beer.

As I have gotten older the thoughts and ideas have become more elusive. They tease me. I have a cool thought and then another, and when I try to go back to the first one it is gone. Can’t remember it.

I may be a little negative in my focus.

This is a time in my life when my writing should be at its best. So many things get harder to do well when you’re older. You don’t fit into the job market quite as well and the possibilities seem slimmer. But one thing you can do well is write. You have a deeper reserve of experience from which to draw. You have years of dues paid. You’ve had time to hone your skills. So what am I doing here?

I realized something about myself recently. It’s not flattering. I’m not used to working hard to get what I want. And I may have a tendency to think the world owes me something just because I am “special”. I don’t know how the hell that happened and how it happened without me realizing it until now. So if I get turned down for something or pushed back or rejected, I pout and withdraw instead of shrugging and just working harder. Like my business – it did so well for quite a while without a shit ton of hard work. I mean, I did some work and spent some time building it but I wasn’t killing myself. Then it took a down turn. It slowed way down to a minimum part time job. And I pouted. OK, so I deserve a pout. But then I should have busted my ass to try to make things happen again. But I didn’t. I haven’t.

I had a relational difficulty at an organization I used to be part of. After that happened I just walked away. I had been in leadership. I had been recognized for some of my accomplishments. But as soon as I hit a challenge in which I felt personally slighted and I felt ashamed of my response to that slight, I left.

When I write about painful things, it stresses my body. I can feel it. When I am happy and distracted in life, I feel great physically. No aches or pains, no digestive issues, no fatigue. But when I muck about with memories or future worries that are emotionally painful, my body responds in kind.

What can I write about that brings me joy instead of pain? Why am I drawn to write about things that bring me pain? Do I dislike myself? Why?

Many roads have led to pain. Things that I thought were going to be joyful have ended in disappointment. But one must continue on. My life has been more painful than some and much happier than many others.

Sometimes I think I am weak-minded. I need to do some serious work on truly, finally, letting go of this stone of pain. I need to work hard for the things I want and not just expect them to come to me. Stop sitting around and waiting for life to come to me.

I don’t want to be stuck anymore.

I want to love myself

I waste so much damn time when I could be writing. Do you do that? I sit here and piddle around with checking other websites that seem so important. I am avoiding the pain of writing. And then when I am constrained by other activities, I sit there and pine away for the writing. Why am I playing this game with myself? Why do I do these things to myself?

I’ve lost twenty pounds since the beginning of the year. It’s been a slow process but a good one. I have much more than that to lose. But now that I am at the threshold of actually making a difference in my appearance, I have begun to sabotage myself. Why? I have been stuck for over a month now at the same weight or even a couple of pounds up. Why am I doing this to myself? Why can I not get it together? Why do I hate myself? Please, please don’t hate yourself. Please give me what I need, please stop being so cruel.

I need to write. I need to be a healthy weight. I want these things. But the me deep inside of me hates me and I don’t know why. God in heaven, please send help. I don’t know how to overcome this challenge. I have overcome so much in my life. But this…

I think part of it is that I hold myself responsible for some things I did as a young mother that I feel like affected my children, in particular my older three children. The younger two, I think I got it together more. But with the older three, I still had anger issues. And I cannot hold myself blameless on that. I feel like I damaged them. And two of them have had drug issues and one of those is probably an alcoholic and not seeking treatment. The other one is married to a man who is older than her actual father.

I blame myself for these failings.  And I cannot seem to let myself off the hook, which of course means that I am playing God in my own life because I believe that God forgives – but how do I go on knowing that my kids are suffering the consequences of my sins? And this is exactly what happened to my mother. She killed herself with alcohol and partly because of what she did to me. Maybe? I don’t know what she was thinking. Maybe she wasn’t even sorry for abandoning me. Maybe she truly believed that was what I deserved. Maybe all she was focused on was the fact that dad had left her for another woman and my mother’s parents were so heartbroken over how their only daughter had turned out.

I don’t know how to make peace with my failings. It keeps coming back to haunt me. I’ll think that I have put it to rest and forgiven myself and let myself off the hook and then it will come back when I don’t expect it. Like with this next phase of my weight loss. I have to fight. I have to fight to set an example for my children. How is it going to help them if I kill myself, no matter how slowly I do it? How is it going to help them if I hate myself? They don’t want me to hate myself, I can tell you that with some confidence. I didn’t want my mother to hate herself after what she did to me. Maybe for a little while I did, but I was able to forgive her and all I wanted was for her to forgive herself and stop drinking.

The way for me to help my children is to love myself. It seems so simple but it is not easy. This is not a new discovery for me, but it is one that I seem to have to re-discover over and over again. God please, please help me to love myself for real, for permanent, for change. Please show me how to do it.

Friendship: difficult and complicated

It’s quiet in the house this early Saturday morning. I’m reflecting on relationships. Messy, uncomfortable, repulsive sometimes –  especially for someone like me. Friendship drains me and right now I don’t feel like I want it at all. I want to walk away from 18 years of friendship because someone is difficult. There’s a tiny voice talking to me though, through all the mental noise of emotions, and the voice is asking me if I really want to throw away 18 years. It’s not that friends themselves are scarce. I could find a new friend (if I wanted to, which I don’t really) – but I can never replace those years. I can’t just go out and get myself an 18 year friendship. And what is life all about if not human connection?

My husband says I make things too complicated. I can’t help it. I don’t understand simple.