Tag Archives: people

Flutter


Fall leaves outside of Waynesville, North Carolina

I took this a couple of weeks ago. Most of the leaves are gone this week, driven down to the ground by wind, rain and snow.

Last week, I saw a Swallowtail butterfly stopping off for a drink at my butterfly bush. A few minutes later, another one of these lovely creatures appeared.

Fluttering by – the leaves and the butterflies…on their way to the end of their lives. And not minding at all.

People mind the thought of their lives ending. We think we should be entitled to live forever as we gather more and more things, find fabulous clothes to show off our bodies, and compete for which set of toenails has the best nail art. Oh, forgive me. I forgot tattoos.

I’m glad I don’t have tattoos, because I don’t want to look at my wrinkled skin when I’m old and see crinkly tattoos. But it’s perfectly all right for others to have them. I really don’t care much what others do. And I’m not worried about the end of my life. I’m too busy trying to do the next right thing in my own life for today. That’s a job, all right.

People flutter by in our lives as well. My friend from high school and I went to see the leaves together last week. We hadn’t spent any time together in more than forty years. We had a nice trip, stopping off at the old general store (of course I had to buy some of my favorite old-time candies). The rainbow trout I had for dinner both nights was delicious. My only regret was that I didn’t have my fishing rod with me! Now my friend has fluttered back to California, and I am still here in South Carolina with my two constants – Annie and Bootsie, my rescued kitties.

I just celebrated my 64th birthday. What a lot of living I’ve done. And what a lot of living I still have to do. I wish you well, my readers. Have a blessed day!

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Two Tubes of Toothpaste or What, Me Worry?


My cat Annie is not worried about anything.

Yesterday one of my friends said, “Don’t bleed before you’re cut.”

I like that. I used to spend a lot of time doing that. I’d project the feelings I would have in a certain situation and then I would wallow in them. Or, I would worry about all the things I can’t control, such as other people, places and things.

It’s true. We can’t control other people, places or things. Nada. Zilch. Not at all. Zero. But we spend much time complaining that our spouse left the cap off the toothpaste AGAIN, when we could just buy two tubes of toothpaste.

We worry that our kids won’t get good grades, but we don’t spend any time helping them with homework.

We drive ourselves nuts wondering if the boss will be in a good mood or if s/he will have another one of those “bad” days.

We have sleepless nights thinking about the money we don’t have or the money we do have or the bills that have to be paid.

We think, “If only he/she would change, I’d be happy.”

We ponder whether or not we’ll have enough money for retirement, whether the food we make for a party will have guests adoring it, or if we’ll die of cancer.

Huh?

What? Me worry?

No more. I don’t worry about any of these things. I don’t project my feelings all over the place all the time and then blame it on someone else. Why?

Because I am only responsible for me. I can only control what I do or don’t do. I can’t predict the future, nor would I want to do so. It’s not up to me to tell someone else how to live their life if they haven’t asked for my advice (which is always good, by the way).

If someone says s/he will do something and doesn’t follow through, what can I do about it anyway? Nothing.

If something I plan doesn’t go the way I thought it would, I might be responsible for that or I might not. So, if I’m going to the grocery store and have a car accident because someone else was not looking and talking on his/her cell phone and hit me, can I change that? No. Period.

I don’t know when it happened, but I got tired of worrying, wondering, pondering and thinking about all the things, places and people and what might or might happen and what they might or might not do. It’s none of my business anyway. Really.

However, when I live in the moment, find joy in the small things, do the best I can each day no matter what my situation is, and help others I feel more whole. I feel closer to God. I feel that my life has a purpose, even if it’s only driving someone without a car somewhere that person needs to go.

I can’t change anyone else no matter how much I’d like to sometimes. I can only work on changing myself and being the best person I can be each day. I can be responsible for me.

So, what? You’re worrying? Try stopping and see how much better you feel. So, what? Someone drives you crazy because they do or say certain things all the time? Forget it. Just for a moment. One moment at a time, you can find peace. Really.

Oh, and by the way, it’s okay to bleed after you’re cut. But not for very long! Get on with it. Celebrate life! It’s the only way to live.

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A few of “THOSE” days…


flowers
My pansies are still blooming, even in this 90-degree heat! That’s because they’re in the shade and I water them every day!

It’s been three or four days since I wrote in my blog. I know you’ve missed me (smile). I’ve missed me, too.

I’ve always been bad about letting people rent space in my head. Sometimes I think I should have some signs made to put on the back of my shirt or dress. They would say, “Space in Ellie’s head for rent. No charge. Get it before it’s gone!”

However, recently I’ve been working on not letting that happen. As with many things, the minute you start trying to change, the old stuff comes up more fast and furious than ever — it’s trying to see how you’ll deal with it. Will it be different this time? Will the people win the free space, or will you maintain your serenity? Do you get the white elephant gift or the grand prize?

The main problem with allowing others to have that power over you is that you not only lose who you are in the process, but you also feel absolutely crummy, downtrodden and almost physically ill.

The latter is what happened to me this week. I was depressed, felt worthless and couldn’t sleep at night.

When I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate. When I feel depressed, it makes me wonder how I could feel that way again. When I feel worthless, I don’t really want to see many people…only my good friends who give me hugs, words of encouragement and remind me to pray more.

Yep. When those negative feelings happen, I sometimes forget God. Not for very long, but I forget. This is different than when something negative happens to me, such as a flood or fire (yes, I’ve experienced both). It’s the negative feelings that take over my mind that really are my EGO. EGO in this case means “edging God out.”

God’s grace is so deep, however, that He always puts someone in my path to help point me in the right direction again. Sometimes I have to make the phone call. Sometimes someone calls me. It doesn’t matter who makes the call. What matters is being able to listen to the truth without getting angry or feeling even more “less than” you did before.

My guardian angels were busier than a mound of termites eating a house this week. I would get down and then get a phone call. I’d be okay for awhile and then get down and make a phone call. That lasted some time, then there I was at the bottom again. Then I would pray for God’s guidance and ask for the strength to follow it.

It’s about thinking I can do it all myself. It’s about how we’re brought up to be independent and taught that we’ll have more satisfaction if we do it ourselves.

I started really coming out of it yesterday morning (except I still didn’t sleep last night — oh well).

Remember my friend Wille from a prior blog? Here’s the link in case you missed that one.

Well, Willie came over yesterday with his darling daughter Kim, whom I haven’t seen in quite awhile now. They came to help me plant some plants that desperately needed to go into the ground and to fill hanging baskets with multi-colored treats of nature. Kim and I worked on the latter; Willie worked on the former, as well as hanging plant brackets, helping me turn my mattress around and pressure washing my deck (Gosh, it looks SO good now!).

Playing in the dirt always calms me down and makes me concentrate on the task at hand. I talked about that in another blog. In case you haven’t read that one either, here’s the link. That, in turn, begins the process of evicting the unwanted tenants in my head. Watching little Kim use the trowel to fill the hanging baskets one at a time, seeing the delight in her eyes when I told her the last one was the one she could take home, and having Willie kid me as he always does turned my whole day and week around (except for the sleeping – but that’s a small price to pay, don’t you think?)

I told a friend who’s having difficulties of her own to pray unceasingly this week. When I said the words, a little voice in my head said, “So, are you going to follow your own advice? Huh? Huh?”

I did. And maybe that’s really the thing that turned my whole day and week around, because when we are trying to BE like God and do God’s will consciously, something in our whole being changes.

I hope you’ve had a good week this week. I hope that you feel strong, healthy and at peace with the world.

Two final notes: If you want to see how someone overcomes adversity, watch this video about a homeless boy in South Korea auditioning on Korea’s Got Talent.

And finally, if you like my blogs, won’t you please pass them on to your friends and family and publish the link on your facebook page? Thanks so much! (Shameless self-promotion 🙂

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I Met an Extraordinary Young Man at a Yard Sale Today


Camelias
Smokey Camelias – I need to learn to take better close-ups, but I love this photo!

My daughter loves to go to garage sales on Saturday mornings. When we’re together, we do that sometimes too. Every time I think of garage sales, I think of her.

Last night I went to bed too early. I woke up wide awake at 3 a.m. I decided to make the best of it, so I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out a closet and figured I’d go back to bed around 5 or 6. No such luck.

A friend of mine was having a yard sale today, so I decided to go. He told me it was starting at 7. I showed up with coffee and a sausage biscuit for him, figuring he probably hadn’t had time to eat breakfast. It’s fun to do random acts of kindness, don’t you think? They’re not something I plan usually, but I always get such pleasure when I bring a smile to someone’s face because of some small act.

Anyway, after that sale, I decided to hit some more. I found two small tables for my large houseplants, a turkey roaster (small), a strawberry pot and a few other things.

I went to one sale where they were selling lemonade for $.25 a glass. I asked for a large cup and paid $.50. A homebaked cookie came with the drink. So delicious.

I’m trying to remember what exactly I bought at that sale and can’t. All I can see in my mind is this tall young man with brown curly hair and a beautiful blonde wife and three-year old daughter. He walked out to the car with me and we started talking.

His house was for sale, so I asked him where he was moving. “We’re moving to Louisville, Kentucky,” he said.

“For a job?” I inquired.

“Yes.”

“What do you do?”

“I’m in family medicine. I’m just finishing up my residency here.”

“Aren’t there any good jobs here for you?” I asked.

“Yes, but there’s a special clinic for low-income people in Louisville. That’s where I want to work.”

We talked a little more about how he’d be making a lot less money practicing medicine in a clinic setting rather than private or hospital practice.

“It’s okay with me, though. I really feel God is leading me there. I want to serve people.”

Here’s a new doctor who is going into medicine for the reasons that doctors did years ago. Instead of looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in income each year, he wants to use his talents to help those in need.

I have some friends who are struggling financially right now. Any of you who know me know I struggled for almost my whole life with money matters. It was difficult, gut-wrenching and frustrating beyond belief to not know where the next dollar was coming from in order to keep the electricity on.

But God protected me and kept me safe and always provided just exactly what I needed. I didn’t see that for the longest time. And lots of times, even when I did know I had everything I needed, I was resentful, jealous and green with envy (pun intended) of all the people who had much, much more than I did.

I’m glad I went to that sale today. It made me ever-mindful of how much God loves me and how blessed I am to have friends and family who care, a place to live, food to eat, a car to drive and two precious kitties to sleep next to me at night. And it made me think of all the people who go into various professions to help others. I’ll never forget this young man. I know he will bless and be blessed.

I hope you will be blessed today.

P.S. After the sales, I hit the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. And guess what I found?

A six-foot ladder for under $20! Why is that important? Because now I can hang the plant hooks myself, change the light bulbs and do a great job washing my windows.

Thanks for all the comments so far! If you like my blog, I hope you’ll send this link to your friends and family members.

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