September 27, 2010

Silly Putty

A few weeks ago my body felt like a hard plastic egg-
Filled with emotional Silly Putty.

I truly love the feel of Silly Putty.
Just like I enjoy how white paste tastes (it's been awhile, do they even make it anymore?)
And how Play-dough smells.

But when it happens to be my life that is getting manipulated,
it isn't the same effect.

Silly Putty has at least two ways of being stretched.
If you pull slowly you may be able to stretch it until the putty becomes a very thin piece.
The other option is to pull it in a way that it just snaps!
A clean break between the two pieces.

Well, I had the chance of experiencing both.

There were times when I felt I might just snap
And others when I felt that if I was stretched any more, 
I would just slowly break apart.
And crumple in a heap. 

Somehow with self-work and time passing,
my emotions were carefully compacted back into a ball,
And then put back nicely into my shell.

Thank goodness for the ability to remold,
For the chance to start over again.

That whether we get stretched out of our shape,
Or just snap,
We can still become a piece of art in the Master's hands.

"We should not be discouraged or depressed by our shortcomings. No one is without weakness. As part of the divine plan, we are tested to see whether we master weakness or let weakness master us. Proper diagnosis is essential to proper treatment. The Lord gave us this remarkable assurance: "Because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong". ~ Russell M. Nelson

September 25, 2010

Gone To Pot

I do not remember the 'pot pamphlet' being part of my "Welcoming  Your New Baby Home" package.

Do you?

You know, the one that says for approximately the next decade you will not be able to privately go to the bathroom?

If so, I missed it.

Who would dream that someone would want to be in that same room with you?
(The Pot?)

Well, apparently not me!

As all of my children have long been past this stage and are now living on their own, this is a far distant memory....

*The, "Mooommm, what are you doooiinngg in there?" question,

*The muffled, "Mrs. Lee is at the door and she has a flat tire and Mr. Lee is out of town and she has to go to the store cuz she has to make more brownies because Sara didn't know they were for the bake sale and she ate them and she wants to know if you can give her a ride.  So can you?!" yelled through the door jamb,

*The "Can you read this to me?" request (while sliding Everybody Poops under the door), 

*The distinct, it's-too-quiet-to-be-good silence (you know the one, the one that means TROUBLE) interruption,

*The, "I have to goooo! Huurrry!" demand.

(It's all coming back to me now.)

My children have no recollection of those days.
(I think it is because they have often traveled to Denial with me so are very familiar there.) (As stowaways- which was my choice, otherwise how could I have gone?)

So you can imagine my surprise when once again my privacy has been invaded.

                                                          BY THIS:




                                                        AND THIS:

"How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on."  ~Zall's Second Law

September 20, 2010

How Old Is Old?

"Everyone is the age of their heart".  ~Guatemalan Proverb

I had a birthday last week but my children were not able to all get together until yesterday.

When I came home from church they were at my house.

They asked me if I wanted all my candles on the cake or if it would make me sad.

I said it didn't matter.
As long as there was one candle to blow out they could do what they wanted.

(I happen to be really proud of my age because I have worked really hard to get to this point- so a bonfire was o.k. with me too.)

Anyway, they had a light-bulb moment amongst themselves
And whispered as they secretly hid their new idea for the candles.

This is what was lit up across my cake:

Squinting your eyes may help.

Do you see OLD in there or is my eyesight going too?

(Maybe I should be cognizant of the AARP and Scooter Chair mailings I have been receiving?)

"Old age is fifteen years older than I am."  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

September 16, 2010

Is This A Bad Thing?

Warning:  Dates in Calendar are closer than they appear.

 I know that we are more than half-way through this month (of September).

Is it a bad sign then, if this is what I see when I look at my calendar?

O.k. then.

What about this one in another room?

It seems that there is a show on television about me.
It is called Hoarders.
(I hope my therapist isn't reading this.) 

Is it such a bad thing to hoard time?

To deny that my life is passing faster than I can flip the page(s)?!

To wish that on some months I could get a re-do?

And on others, delete and re-write some things?

What about the moments and experiences I would like to freeze in time?

HOARD: To accumulate for preservation, future use etc., in a hidden or carefully guarded place.

Since I just exposed my calendars worldwide and it is no longer a carefully guarded secret, can I still accumulate for future use and not be a reality star?

"Don't be fooled by the calendar.  There are only as many days in the year as you make use of."  ~Charles Richards


September 14, 2010

In Case You Get Thirsty

I had a visit today from a three-year-old friend of mine.
He dropped in for a birthday visit.

He brought me a plateful of chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Excitedly he put a candle (which he brought in a sandwich Ziploc with matches) into one of the cupcakes.
His mother lit the candle and helped him sing.
He and I blew out the candle together.

He then took the candle out

And proceeded to eat the cupcake.
(Thus the vacancy on the plate.)

But that wasn't all that he brought.

He also had a gift for me.
It was a stack of about eight of his used sippy cups without lids.
He said he brought them 'in case I get thirsty'.
He had brought much more than I needed.
He had given me all that he had.
His generosity and lack of concern for what he would do when he got thirsty moved me.

(Maybe he did not need them as much as I did.)

I had heard something about thirst before....
Was it in Matthew "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteous: for they shall be filled"? 
Or was it in John "But whosoever drinketh of the water I shall give him shall never thirst:...."?
Or "....and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."?
Or "....If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." ?

In the end, my little friend took his cups back home with him
But he left a message wrapped in heartstrings that pricked my heart.

He had shared a reminder of where I should go if the need arises. 

His gift unbeknowst to him was full of hope and promise.
Or maybe....
It was His purpose all along

September 12, 2010

If You Can't Say Anything Nice, Come Sit By Me

I thought of my 'kindness' list
And how, like the children s,
it has things on it that I would never do.

Don't slash tires,
Don't blackmail,
Don't torch things,
Don't send white powdery substances,
Don't expose destructive secrets,
Do not kill. (I think about it much less now that I have an empty nest!)

Things that are easy for me not to do.

According to this list I am most definitely a kind person!

That is because my list does not include-


Criticize others,
Hope others get their due,
Ignore someone on purpose, but act like you 'just didn't hear',
Blame others because you can't take the heat,
Think unkind thoughts,
Pass judgment,
And love conditionally.

I once again, learned a lot from the children s example.

So if you can't say anything nice, please don't tempt me!!

"Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are."  ~Author Unknown


September 9, 2010

That's The Good Stuff

As I was taking my nightly, 'Go poop in other peoples yards' walk with my dog, I got an unexpected.

Making our usual U turn at the end of a street, I noticed a little old man sitting in his car with the door open.

He was in the same spot as he was when we had passed just a few minutes earlier.

I looked over as I walked by, telling myself that he was just probably working up to that 'second wind' to hoist himself out of his car.

I continued down the road, glancing back 'just being nosy'.

Luckily, the prompting to go back and ask if he was o.k. was louder than the Minuses.
(Those are negative little voices who say things like, "You're going to look dumb if you do" or "You are going to take away his dignity and embarrass him if you ask".)

I don't know how my dog did it, but like an unusually polite child, she did not make a sound as I approached the car.

I asked the gentleman if he needed help and he said he would be fine if he just had a good flashlight so he could see what key he needed.

Well, I just happened to have one.
(Walking at 10:00 p.m. it is hard to see the gifts my dog drops and I use the light so I can see where to scoop, not just 'to look' at her treasures.)

He heaved himself out of the car and gave me a set of keys that were in his little khaki shorts, (they went along with his mid-calf polyester socks and loafers.) (I sincerely just love that endearing look.)

It appeared he had a tear running down his face.
It was hard for my motherly instinct not to reach up and wipe it away. 

He said he had just been sitting there for quite some time.

We sauntered over to the front door of his house.

Oh, you should have seen us!
We were like two inebriated people trying to direct the other on which key to insert and which direction it should turn.
One with the keys, the other trying to hold the flashlight steady.

I tried several times and could not find a fit.

When I asked if he had any more keys, he magically pulled out two more loose keys.
One of them fit but we (I) couldn't get it to turn.  (Acting like Happy Hour people again, we gave orders about the best way to get in and which way to jiggle it and that sort of talk.)

Again I asked if he had any more keys.

It was like "Let's Make a Deal."

Sure enough he produced yet another set!

This time we made the connection for the security gate.
We then figured out the two separate keys that unlocked his entry door.

Like drunk people we celebrated, proud of our accomplishment as if it was an incredible feat.

Actually, it was a puzzle to be reckoned with.

I helped get his groceries out of the back seat.

He told me that he would have to throw his milk away because it had been sitting out for some time.
I replied that I didn't think that was necessary because it was still very cold.

I had to reassure him a couple more times when he finally said, "Then I am going to go in and have myself a glass of milk."

We said our goodbyes and as I walked away I couldn't help but think of Kenny Chesneys' song that says, "That's the good stuff."

And my heart smiled as I thought about my life and I sang the words, "Drink it up, that's the good stuff."

I cried my own quiet tears of gratitude on our shortened walk home.
Tears of gratitude for the opportunity to help someone in need,
And for the blessing it brought into my soul.

I also cried tears of sadness for the truth that he may not be able to live on his own much longer.
I was humbled, that someday that is a trial I myself may have to face as I experience the 'winter' of my life.

In spite of what may seem to be low- spirited emotions,
It was the best 'night out' I have had in a looonnggg time!!

Now that's the good stuff!

"Service changes people. It refines, purifies, gives a finer perspective, and brings out the best in each one of us. It gets us looking outward instead of inward. Righteous service is the expression of true charity, such as the Savior showed." --Derek A. Cuthbert 



September 6, 2010

Keep The Change

As a society, 
I do not think that we are a people who wait in line to buy tickets to the premiere movie "Change".

I am not a big fan myself.

I like to stick to the old habits,
that like burrs,
are stuck in my mind and behaviors.

But something has been happening with me.
It has been subtle yet progressive.

I have been making changes in my life.
Both on how I treat myself,
And how I allow others to treat me.

This movement originated around the time of my divorce.

What started as protecting myself from abuse,
has now become
being aware of simple discomforts I feel,
And voicing my boundaries if I am feeling vulnerable.

The bad news is, is that not everyone is on board with me.
Some people want me to "Keep the change" so to speak.

I have upset these people.
Even though they are dear to me.
When I said, "This is what I can and can not do",
it was not received very well.

This has saddened me as it affected a relationship of many years.
Yet, I do not have regret for honoring my needs.
Just that a friendship was altered because I did.

Oh, I still want to go back to the old Reyna,
Who when confronted with opposition
would convince myself it either was not that important,
or that I was just being too sensitive, etc.

But I try now to be my best advocate.

That, I have found can be a lonely place.
But, as lonely as it is,
it does not compare to the loneliness I used to feel
when I abandoned myself along the roadside,
all in the name of compliance and neglect.

It is possible that over time,
I will be able to shield myself without having to say anything.
But for now, this is where I am at,
and although it secludes me,
I like the company I am with! 

"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies."  ~Author Unknown

"If you want to make enemies, try to change something."  ~Woodrow Wilson


September 4, 2010

Parenting 101

"Most of us become parents long before we have stopped being children."  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

** PRNTG 101:

18 years credits,
Requires lifetime continuing education.
A grade of Z or better is required for graduation.

This course has prerequisites:

1. Must define sacrifice and humility by example, in daily living.
2. Must be able to clean up snot, throw-up, or poop without barfing.
3. Must be able to turn emotions on and off instantaneously.
4. Must be able to go without a shower for several days and still look as if you have had one.
5. Must be able to make dinner, give spelling words, "watch this trick", stop bickering amongst children-siblings, and remain level-headed and calm all at the same time.
6. Must be able to love unconditionally, even after your heart has been broken.
7. Must be o.k. being accompanied to the bathroom.
8. Must have a "Carol Brady' smile available at any moment.
9. Must be able to function on only three hours of sleep a night.
10. And must be able to experience emotions at a level never experienced before!

If you can do all these things AND with ease, you now qualify to try your heart hand at parenting!

**This course can be fulfilled with a satisfactory score on the AM I STILL SANE? assessment exam. 

"It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge."  ~Phyllis Diller


September 2, 2010

Don't Throw The Guinea Pig

 ''Kindness is the greatest wisdom.''  ~Author Unknown

Although we have never had anyone even think of throwing the guinea pig, # 4 is my favorite 'kindness' rule the children came up with this year.

Last year my favorite 'kindness' rule was, "Wear your clothes when you go in the swimming pool."
I agreed.
The older you get, the more 'kind' it is to others to follow that rule!

''Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.''  ~Author Unknown

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