Weather Alert

Way to make me anxious, Nashville Office of Emergency Management. Today around 2:00 p.m. the OEM announced that it recommends Nashvillians go home by 6:00 p.m. and not venture out for the rest of the night because of the potential for severe weather (hail, possible tornadoes, etc.).

I have a yoga class at 5:30. I may still go to that, even though it would put me home around 7:00 p.m. My thinking is that if everyone panics and leaves work about the same time, the traffic is going to be awful, and I might as well be doing something that helps me relax rather than sitting bumper-to-bumper on the busy road near my house.

I am a little worried about our son, Daniel, who’s due to report to work at Papa John’s by 5:30. He seems to get scheduled to deliver pizza on the worst nights. However, he is level-headed and a good driver, so I’m going to trust that he will use good judgment and not venture into dangerous territory should there be flash flooding. Of course, I called him and told him to be careful. It’s just a mom thing to do. Bless his heart, he is patient with me.

All right, I’m less anxious now that I have made the decision to go to yoga. Now, everyone get out of my way when I drive home in the pouring rain! In a rental car, of all things. At least we have good insurance.

Hopes vs. Dreams

As I was driving to work today, I mulled over the difference between hopes and dreams. That brought to mind a favorite Langston Hughes poem:

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

~Langston Hughes

To me, to hope for something means to live with the expectancy that it might happen. I do what I can to ensure that my hopes turn into reality. But when you get down to it, you can’t guarantee that your hopes will come true. You just have to live as though you believe they will.

Here are some of my hopes:

I hope my children will grow into well-adjusted, happy adults.

I hope I will be healthy enough when I retire to enjoy traveling and other fun pursuits.

I hope I get to retire.

I hope my husband lives a long time and that we get to enjoy many more years together.

I hope that after this life I will spend eternity with Jesus. I hope I will see my mom, my aunts, my friends, my grandparents, and other people I have loved and lost…and that we will know one another and enjoy being together again.

I hope there will be animals in heaven. I can’t imagine heaven without them.

I hope that the political rancor that is taking place in America settles down soon and we are able to have civil conversations again.

I hope that in the next few years we will see peace in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Middle East.

I hope that people who are hungry will live to see the day that they have enough food. And that they will find employment if they are without jobs, and homes if they are homeless.

I hope that I will do something to be part of the solution to many of our society’s problems.

I hope that I will keep my faith and live a Christlike life.

Okay, I have other hopes, but this is getting long. Now on to dreams . . .

Dreams seem to be the stuff we live for. Many of my dreams have already come true—

I married a man I love, and we were blessed with two healthy, independent-minded, compassionate children.

I am lucky to be paid to do what I love, and I get to work with some fantastic people.

I am blessed with friends, some who have known me since I was a teenager.

Some dreams that I have:

To get out of debt (maybe I should classify this as a hope, since we are actively working toward this goal)

To travel to Italy and to the British Isles

To take some extended road trips in the U.S.—to New England in the fall, to Wisconsin in summertime, to the Grand Canyon again in my lifetime, to San Francisco, and back to Oregon to spend some time with my sister-in-law and cousins

Hmmm….I can’t really think of many dreams right now. Maybe it’s because my energy level is low today. One dream I have is to enjoy good health as long as I can. I’ve had some health challenges since age 30, and I do not take a good day for granted. I have an autoimmune disorder, and I feel blessed to have days when I feel energetic and have enough steam to get my house cleaned, or at least partially cleaned, to my satisfaction. In some ways my condition has been a blessing because it has reminded me of the brevity of life and that I need to spend time focusing on things that are worth the effort, and let go of the rest.

Oh yes, I dream to be able to do some challenging yoga poses. For now I would settle for being able to stay in downward dog long enough to be able to do “down dog splits,” bring my knee into my chest, and hop forward until my foot reaches one of my hands. I am setting my mind and determination on accomplishing that goal in the next few weeks.





The Shortest but Longest Month of the Year

Okay, I’m really ready for February to be over. Each year I go into the month thinking, “It’s going to be okay.” And at the end of the month, my tongue is hanging out and I feel almost suicidal (not really, just down).

I haven’t figured out whether I have seasonal affective disorder (SADD) or if February is just hard month for me because it brings back memories of my mother. My mom died on February 10, 1991. You’d think I’d be “over it” by now, but I’ve learned that grief has its own timetable.

Today while driving to work, I felt immensely sad. I thought about my mom and her funny sayings and how she always seemed to know just what to say to add levity to situations. I wish I had that same skill.

I am really ready for February to be over. We’ve had more snow than usual in January and February. Usually I like snow, but now I’m more than ready for spring. Was excited to see some daffodils popping up in our yard today, and I noticed a couple of forsythia bushes blooming on an adjacent street, so surely spring can’t be far behind.

In the meantime, I will try to concentrate on things that lift me up, like walks at lunchtime (somehow I feel like I’m getting out of prison when I go outside at lunch), turning my face toward the sunshine, keeping in touch with friends, and watching funny shows on TV or reading outrageous e-mail jokes (they’ve been rare lately…no one seems to have time to send any).

I’m stubborn enough to know that I WILL get through this. I just need to hang tough.