The first time I heard the saying, Life is in Session, was about 24 years ago in a 12-Step meeting for families and friends of alcoholics. Someone was going through a crisis and after they shared about it, they closed with, I guess life is just in session. I’ve probably heard the phrase thousands of times since then and it has never been used in reference to a pleasant or exciting event in life. It has always been associated with a difficult stretch of time, probably because families and friends of alcoholics seem to have more than their share of those. It is not so much a complaint as an acceptance that life is not always easy and that we are probably best off trying to learn something from what we are going through instead of just complaining. The notion that life is a classroom offering lessons we are intended to learn appeals to me philosophically … it even fits with what my Mom taught me about life … that it’s for growing. As somewhat of a lifelong student, it’s a notion that helps keep me going if I can see the value of the lessons I’m learning. But I’ve never done well in required course if I can’t see their purpose. (more…)
Posted tagged ‘spirituality’
This is a repost of something I posted at the end of 2009, the year I started Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog. I don’t remember what was going on but obviously I was looking for guidance. This has been a difficult few months and I find myself looking again. The same thoughts apply.
Years ago, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she went through surgery and the subsequent radiation, my son’s cat, Mr. B, was staying with us. Mr. B was an affectionate people-loving cat to start with but when my wife came home from the hospital, he became her constant companion. He’d curl up next to her on her pillow whenever she was in bed and drape himself over her neck when she came home exhausted from radiation treatments. A genuine bond formed between them. After the twelve weeks of radiation were over, we made plans to go back east and visit our families. The morning we were leaving, Mr. B was killed by a coyote in our front yard which was devastating to both of us. I don’t remember which of us it was that suggested that he was an angel who’d been called home because his job looking after my wife was done. Interestingly, when I told my sister what had happened, she suggested the same thing. Of course, we aren’t the first to suggest that our felines might be angels … Allen and Linda Anderson’s book, Angel Cats – Divine Messengers of Comfort, is full of similar stories. (more…)
Have you ever heard someone speak of The Committee in My Head as a way of describing the assortment of thoughts that can seem to appear out of nowhere in your mind, especially in difficult situations? As you’ve tried to reason your way though such a situation, have you been surprised by the unproductive and sometimes downright nasty thoughts that turn up? According to Barry Gordon in an article in Scientific American, We are aware of a tiny fraction of the thinking that goes on in our minds, and we can control only a tiny part of our conscious thoughts. The vast majority of our thinking efforts goes on subconsciously. Only one or two of these thoughts are likely to breach into consciousness at a time. And if that isn’t bad enough news for those of us who would like to be clear and rational thinkers, Harvard University psychologist Daniel Wegner says that vigilantly struggling not to think about something or someone forces part of your brain to be on guard for that thought. Holding it there, even subconsciously, keeps the thought alive, and sometimes it escapes out of the prison it’s being kept in and erupts into your active thoughts. This is mostly likely to happen when you’re under stress, mentally overwhelmed or just plain exhausted. So, if we can’t control our thoughts … and trying can actually make doing so harder … what is an over-thinker to do? (more…)
I will tell you that this post could be a ramble. It addresses a topic that’s been rattling around in my head for months and unless I write it out, it won’t stop. It might not anyway. I am fortunate to be part of several men’s meeting where guys talk about life and how they live it in a much more intimate way than I have ever known before. Sometimes, I get to see our similarities, how we all do our best to deal what life deals us and how we can learn from each other’s struggles. Other times, I get to see differences in the way we view the world … and the way we deal with it. In those instances, it would be nice if I could just say to myself, This is what I do … that’s what they do. But sometimes, their way looks easier if I could only mange to follow suit and I need to articulate my beliefs … to myself. (more…)
Late last night, I received an email from our realtor that someone had made an offer on our Little House in the Desert. Just the fact that the house has a name should tell you that it was more than a house to us. It was a home away from home, even though we didn’t spend more than the equivalent of a month or two there each year. In this Little House, we got to be there for the birth of our three grandchildren. My wife, Muri, and I adopted both our children at about ten weeks old, so holding a baby … a grandchild yet … shortly after birth was a new miracle to us. In the ten years that our daughter’s family lived there, it was Nana and Papa’s house, a place where the grandkids could come for a night or two … or the whole family could come for dinner. Then, the grandkids moved to Utah with their parents and the Little House went on the market. The offer we received last night was the first offer in eight months and it was substantially below our asking price. We went to bed wondering whether we should even counter but I awoke to a second email. Our realtor had done what a good realtor should do … she convinced the buyer to consider a much more reasonable price. Tonight, we are under contract. By the end of June, our Little House will be someone elses.
I am sitting at the kitchen table in my daughter’s house in Herriman, UT. Through the window in front of me, I can see an early spring snow flurry lightly coating the back lawn with white. My daughter just got home from work, stylish and beautiful (much more so that she believes, but isn’t that true of many of us?). I’ve been sitting here, writing and emailing friends for a couple of hours. I am at peace. I am happy. It is all too rarely that I stop to acknowledge that kind of happiness, simply being in a place I want to be, doing what I enjoy doing. Too often, I want the Capital H Happy. You know. Everything is going well, the future looks bright and, by the way, any unhappiness from the past is resolved, forgiven or forgotten. (more…)
With visitors coming this week, this Saturday was a chore day. I had a long list of things to do around the house and of errands I needed to run in order to be able to do those things around the house. Chances are about 98% that on a chore day, a trip to our local Home Depot will be required. Today, I needed flowers … assorted viola and some sweet alyssum … to brighten up my flower pots in the yard. I also picked up some kitchen cabinet polish. The plan was to finish at Home Depot, take some boxes to our storage bin, then stop at Target to pick up some cat food before heading home to start on my chores. Everything was on schedule until I loaded the plants into the trunk in the Home Depot lot and closed the lid. Have you ever had one of those moments where your hand is in the process of closing the door and a voice in your head shouts KEYS!!! … but it’s too late to stop? You hopefully look in your pocket but you know where they are. In the trunk with the plants. And the car doors are locked. Shit. (more…)