Friday, March 30, 2012

The Rules Don't Apply

This morning as I'm on my way to see Fr. Charlie - going to confession about having a bad attitude amidst other things - I start belly aching to myself about the decreased speed limit ahead. Last summer there was road construction along this stretch of highway and the construction pretty much, but not quite, came to a stand still when winter arrived. For a little quarter mile stretch of construction they kept 15 miles of highway traffic slowed right down. Ridiculous, I tell, you, utterly ridiculous.

I tell myself that I'm going to ignore the posted speed limit. Screw the law. I'm not slowing down for anybody. I start boasting to myself about having a 35 year clean driving record. I wonder why I think I shouldn't slow down and the first thing that pops into my head is because the rules don't apply to me. As I think this the first decreased speed ahead warning sign appears complete with a red and white sunburst of stripes around it. They're making sure I am without excuse I tell ya.

I shake my head at my ridiculous conclusion that the rules don't apply. Of course they do. But still, I want to fudge them.

So I make a compromise within myself. I will only slow down if everyone else who is driving that stretch of highway slows down, too. As I mull this over the second red and white striped warning sign appears. I envision getting stopped for speeding and pointing to the vehicles ahead of me and protesting that they, they were speeding first.

And then I ask myself if I'm willing to take the consequences of believing the rules don't apply to me. Turns out I'm not. So I slow down and set the cruise control to the posted speed limit. I shake my head at myself. How quickly my thoughts can be not only illogical and self righteous but also how ready I am to defend them before putting any of it into action.

As I crest the hill I meet oncoming vehicles who are also going the speed limit. In fact all the way through this stretch of highway I see not one speeding vehicle. No one passes me. No one passes anyone.

Which might be explained by the cop car sitting in a wide turn out on the highway less than ten minutes after I entered the construction zone.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I'm grateful to be done work for the week. This week has been a journey of accepting what is in front of me instead of railing against what isn't. The more I do it, the easier it gets or the sooner I recognize it's the only solution if I want inner peace.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Utter Lack

It's been a long, full day. One of those that ended with another reminder for me to check my attitude and ego at the door. I've lost count of the number of times in the past few months when I have run ahead of myself with an utter lack of humility. I haven't had a train wreck because of it but pretty darn close. I've been so judgemental of people who have acted too big for their britches. One of those things I thought was behind me. Ha. Still capable.

This Lent I've been praying specifically about this. Have felt the check in my spirit and heeded it before I opened my mouth several times. I'd felt that check in my spirit many times before and chose to ignore it. The world wouldn't know of my greatness if I didn't open my mouth. Or so I thought. I'm learning that I'm capable of hearing and heeding the Spirit. I didn't know it could bruise my ego so to do so. The only kind of good bruising there is to be had.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Purple Striped Joy

She was just a bit of a thing - dressed in purple stripes from head to toe - yet she captivated the whole waiting room with her joy. She was the brightest spot in my day. I was disappointed when the nurse called her in for her appointment.

Between her and later going for a walk in the mud puddles I am one happy gal on my way to a good sleep tonight. I often pray that God will give me the eyes to see Him, the ears to hear Him and the heart to respond to Him. Today I think I did.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Of Impressions and Miracles

I attended the funeral today of a man with decades upon decades of sobriety. As I listened to his eulogy I was left with the impression that he not only knew what was important in the whole scope of life, he lived it thoroughly. Thoroughly enough that nearly a thousand people turned out for his funeral. He touched many, many lives.

Our paths crossed last year for the first and last time as we shared service commitments. Within minutes of meeting we realized we'd grown up in the same area and attended the same school. That we we came to this conclusion many hundreds of miles from our original homes left us shaking our heads at the miracle of sobriety, tears in both our eyes. He took me under his wing for the brief time we spent together, a big brother with a twinkle in his eye and goodness in his heart.

Hope has many disguises.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunshine On My Fingertips

There is a strip of sunshine running across my fingertips as I type. It makes me smile.

A year ago tomorrow I stepped away from blogging, unsure of whether I'd start again or not. It took months for me to stop looking at happenings in my life as bloggable moments. The break has been good.

But here I am, giving it another go.

I don't know what exactly I've learned in the past year. I do know I'm further down the road including the times when the road has seemed to circle around to the same stuff. My spiritual director would say that even though the view sometimes looks the same it's from a different place on the road.

Deeper awareness. Hopefully, deeper acceptance. The more layers that get peeled off, the deeper the hope. Funny how the more aware I've become of my humanity, the more I've been able to accept myself. And then when that happens, change not only becomes possible, it happens.

I spent so many years fighting to distance myself from my humanity, protesting that "no, I'm not like that", whatever that was in the moment. Whatever I see in others is in me, too. I'm much more the same as everyone else than different.

I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to accept that reality. I was never going to be human. I was aiming for super human, better than, better. These days I am content to be me.Yes, there are moments what seems like long stretches when my ego runs the show. Sometimes I recognize it in the now and sometimes after the fact.

Yesterday I jumped off a diving board. Water went straight up my nose and burned like hell. I coughed and sputtered when I surfaced and swam to the edge of the pool where I heaved myself up and rested. One of many who jumped. No need to be the only one, the best one. Just me. Being a kid in a middle aged woman's body.