Hallelujah, Alleluia……really?

Listening to O filii et filiae sung by the choir of Notre Dame de Paris. Not a bad way to start this Holy Saturday, yeah, forget the traction part and just go with this music. Hope your weekend is everything you’d want it to be, the strife is over and even if it’s not, pretend.

As for my own Lenten challenge, I did ok, not great. I did read a heck of a lot and explored new topics that I previously knew nothing about, not sure how long I’ll remember any of it but I tried. I did dabble here and there in some of my other thoughts “to do more” but consistency is always an issue. Actually, the only thing I’m consistent at now is TRACTION! Anyhoo, even if the strife is far from over in your life celebrate what you can because if all you know is pain you’ll never know the opposite even if it hits you in the face.

Hang in there, that’s what I do and it works out ok. In the wise words of my friend Carl, “don’t ever, ever, ever give up.”

Well, that never happened before!

I almost did traction twice in one day! It may have been in part because I was tired and forgot I had done it earlier in the day BUT it was really because I WANTED to……yep, even harder for me to believe. I wasn’t feeling well and I found myself headed for traction because I thought it would help and also had the thought in my head, that’s not so bad, maybe it will help make me feel better. Woah, just the mere thought that traction and some sense of relief or comfort are in the same sentence just goes to show anything is possible…to go from something I dreaded, so hated to a “comfort” zone, crazy, absolutely crazy……..life is so unpredictable, just goes to show if you just “hang on” long enough anything really is possible! Not saying I’m going to start everyday of my life sitting here with a smile but wow, we’ve come a long way baby!

Addition

I was good at arithmetic when I was a kid, I was the champ of my fourth grade math class, even beat the boys, and that was tricky back in my elementary school days because there was a lot of favoritism and sexism and the boys ruled. But before I boast one more second and live on in the glory of my 10-year-old math brain I’ll let go of that tangent and instead share what I’ve been thinking about, a different kind of addition. It’s easy to hear people these days talk about “giving up” something, sacrificing or fasting, sort of subtracting something from the norm. I’ve decided I’m adding this season not subtracting. I’ve been thinking about my life and I think it needs to expand and if I believe the whole point of any season, especially the Lenten season is to grow closer to God I think I need to work on becoming more and I’ve decided this season I’m not going to do that thru less.

In certain phases and stages of my life I’ve felt “practicing” my faith an obligation, sort of like when you’re a child and your Mother makes you take something to the house of the old person down the street. Your first reaction is to say no, then whine about how their house smells funny and they talk too much. She insists you do it and when you go in the house and the woman greets you at the door sitting in her wheel chair you are creeped out, scared because you are alone with her. She’s so grateful that you have brought her the newspaper and her mail you think she’s faking her excitement because how could it be that big of a deal. Not until you are a grown woman dealing with your own physical challenges do you realize how complicated it can be some days to get your mail in or what a comfort it is to have someone bring you something that you can’t easily manage for yourself.
Your Mother made you visit that woman and run errands for her and it took a long time before it didn’t feel like an obligation, until you didn’t mind going, until you actually sat down in the lady’s home and ate a piece of candy that she offered every time you went. It took a long time to not notice the funny smells and to talk to her. Eventually it was easier and your relationship changed. You grew and it was no longer a burden, she had become your neighbor and by the time you were a teenager you never thought twice about stopping at her house to check on her. Your Mother knew what she was doing all along and it seems to me it’s sort of like that with faith. If you hang in there and do the routine, unpleasant, tedious stuff, the boring stuff, the creepy stuff you eventually get to know God and yourself a lot better than you did when it was only drudgery. God feels like your friend because you invested in the relationship. So it seems to me I’m going to add things this Lent, not deduct. My heart needs to grow wider, my attention needs to focus on more than me, my mind needs to expand. So everyday I’m going to research something I know nothing about and learn more about something new every day. I’m going to double up on some of my “practices” that bring me joy. I’m going to add more to my life, grow my mind and heart and hopefully deepen my faith. I’m spilling all of this to you because accountability is a big part of any new endeavor. You are going to keep me honest.

I’ll let you know in 40 days how I did. Happy Lent!

Hanging In

I’ve suddenly come up with a nasty cough, sort of sounds like a two packs a day kind of cough, but I swear that’s not me. I’ve had more colds this winter than I’ve had in the last five winters, what’s up with that?

Anyhoo, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, life marches on, March is on its way and I’m hanging in. That’s the absolute key to it all, don’t let it get you, you can moan and vent but perseverance is the answer. Courage, love and conviction will see you thru just about anything. Song of the day, Jimmy Durante’s ‘Make Someone Happy,’ not a bad way to live……on my third listen and haven’t found a reason to stop.

The stars align in the right order, then it snows!

Yep, I’m frustrated. Here goes my little traction rant and this happened the other day and I’m still ticked…….So I have my traction gig and sometimes when I’m finished, well, let’s just say, you know I dislike traction, but my back hates traction, it puts me out of life for days on end. Depending on its’ mood it really, really hates traction. But let’s say it’s in an ok mood today which is huge and it’s one of your off days from traction and the rest of you that feels like it’s falling apart is in a good place too. You’re excited you might actually get some things accomplished. Hands and fingers are working, check, neck not throbbing, check, back there but tolerable, check, numb foot, normal, check, numb leg, normal, check, a night’s sleep, unbelievable, yes, it’s true, check, numbness in face, none, check, wow, hurry, get out while you can, double-check list, oh yeah, dizziness from meds, nope, yipee, this really is a good day, triple check! And we’re off, showered, dressed, excited to feel “normal,” be like the folks that get up and go, ok, so let’s open that door, ooooh…the hand is cooperating so nicely today, wow, this is great……….now what is it that my eyes are seeing outside, closer look, it can’t be, not again, not on a day when I feel well enough to go out, NO………..SNOW………SH……………really, I mean REALLY, it’s all aligned for me today, I feel well enough to leave the house and it’s snowing, AGAIN! Jeez……

Life, see you in the Spring when all I have to worry about falling from the sky is rain and bird poop, can’t wait!

Feeling groovy, but not.

I’ve been in the groove lately with traction. I feel like I’m really in a manageable routine and even though it’s uncomfortable and tedious and sometimes a bit too much on the painful side I’m really doing ok with it. For the first time I’m allowing myself to even think ahead a week or two and believing, I can do this. Looking back if someone had told me that I’d be so “ok” with it, so compliant with traction I wouldn’t have dreamed it, yet now that I am, it’s so freeing.

BUT, (why is there always a but, anyway)can I tell you my new thought, rather new fear, it’s that I’ll be all content in accepting this, rather than resigned to it, I’ll be as fine as I think a person can be who straps their head and neck in traction several times a week and yet, it will stop working. I’m not sure if this is an irrational fear. It’s just lately the more I do traction the more it feels like I’ve plateaued. The clerk at the pharmacy had to come out from behind the counter to push the key pad for me since my touch wouldn’t push the machine to the next step, yeah, the tired fellow customers in line where real happy about the delay in that moment too, like what’s with the chick who can’t figure out how to use the key pad. Oh and let me tell ya, there was this moment the other day when I couldn’t hit the digits with enough pressure to turn off the security alarm. That got my attention, probably the next door neighbor’s too, definitely got the attention of the alarm company but fortunately not the police’s.

So the new year could prove as interesting as ever but my wish is not to get too far ahead of myself in the fear department, to just take this all as it comes. Like I began this post, I wouldn’t have believed I could come this far with my attitude, or rather to this place in “Thoughts In Traction” as I have, so maybe I shouldn’t terrorize myself with the “what if’s” just yet. Instead I’d rather think of the new career possibilities, just think how “useful” I could be to someone if I develop the skill of not leaving fingerprints!

So I’ll leave you with a cliffhanger, stayed tuned, will I use my new skill for GOOD or EVIL?
Only time will tell.