Monday, June 2, 2014

Planting Seeds

I have had a nice break for the last three weeks from school.  In that time, I have cleaned the house a bit more, organized a few things, shaved the dogs, spent a few days in Vegas (for the third month in a row!), and watched the most recent season of Survivor that was on my DVR waiting... and was probably my favorite season EVER!  It has been fantastic!  During this time, I have been contemplating upcoming changes - and wondering how soon I should start making those.  I feel like sooner is going to be better than later, so I've started putting things into place for a possible move this Fall, all the while, carrying on here as usual, in case I end up staying for the winter still.  It really depends on how quickly and easily things fall into place for this.

Saturday morning during my last two hours before I started my predictable schedule that will rule my life for the next 2 months, I decided (with some hesitation) to actually plant my garden.  I can't believe I'm starting this late, because the growing season in Idaho is not long, and I won't have much time to harvest, and may end up leaving it somewhere in the middle ... before it's all cleaned up and done.  Those thoughts made me recognize the hesitation that I have had in planting a garden this year.  It came as a question:  Is it worth planting when I might not be here to harvest?  

I really had to think about that ... I mean, my life is busy, and pretty focused on myself and my dogs and what things I need to survive at this point. I say I don't always have time for too many things beyond survival right now because I'm in Graduate School full time and working full time on top of it.  It makes sense to cut out the things that aren't necessary.   But then I also think of how nice it was to have fresh fruits and veggies that I'd grown last year, how much money it saved me over the course of the summer, and how much I was able to share with neighbors!  This process made me think of one of my favorite poems:

I thought that this concept might apply to so many other areas of life as well ... How often do we start things that may benefit others more than they will benefit us?  How often are we willing to put that effort in when we may not reap the rewards at the end?  Is it really worth it?  I really believe in the "Law of the Harvest - you reap what you sow".  Some people call this Karma.  Whatever you want to call it, I have watched it work - not always immediately, but eventually, so that is a motivation to try harder sometimes.

I guess ultimately, I really do want to be the kind of person that is willing to put the time and effort into something, even though I may not reap the rewards of that.  Someone else will, and sometimes paying it forward is enough.  So I planted.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


What a fun week I had in Vegas, visiting friends, helping with and attending my sister's wedding, and even dating a bit.  The week flew by, and I was very busy!  Then Saturday and Sunday came, and everyone went home except for me.  My "vacation after the vacation" started, and I was finally able to spend some time in the pool and the sun, and dating more!  I had an unexpected opportunity to do something I've wanted to do for years, so I took it.  Imagine my surprise when he agreed to go with me!  Not many of my really close friends are actually able or willing to do my crazy life activities with me, so this might have been a first... Here are some pics from the week...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Finally able to breathe again!

Well things are slowly getting put back together, and I feel like I can finally breathe some days!  I didn't realize just how "backed into the corner" I have been feeling this year - it kind of snuck up on me this time, so when I had a last minute thought pop into my head, I followed it!  I ended up working through my first 3 days last week, so I could take the weekend off and go to Las Vegas!  What a great trip that was!  I left the house as-is, put the dogs in day care, threw a few clothes together, and went for a 10-hour drive, to spend a weekend with my sister, a couple of friends, and the SUNSHINE!!! 

I enjoyed a great sunny drive, and I was able to be there to support Brenda, my sister with her final dress-fitting, and then attend her bridal shower the next day, in preparation for her wedding in a month.  It is so fun to see how excited she is through all of this!  She is going to be a beautiful bride and I can't wait to be there!

Another big "bonus" on this trip was meeting an old friend for lunch, and finding that he really is as easy to spend time with as he is to talk to in e-mail and text!  Got together with Brenda and another friend, David for dinner that night and was surprised that we actually got COLD while eating dinner outside (for 3 hours!) before we were finished.  So I took a chance and invited both guys to go out the next night and walk around the Strip together for a while.  They both wanted to go, and we all had a GREAT time!  Fun to discover that this old friend I am getting to know well for the first time also likes to laugh and enjoy life as much as I do!  I haven't felt these feelings in many years!  It was a whirl-wind trip and went way too fast!  After a few hours sleep, it was time to load up and head home.  I spent the last morning laying on a blanket in the park in the SUN with this new friend, and enjoyed just talking, laughing, sharing stories, and soaking up the sun for 3 hours!  It was over WAY TOO FAST, but what a great time we had!  I can't wait to go back for the wedding in a month, and spend more time with family and friends!  This was exactly the break I needed!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Losses and Life

Years ago when I was in my teens, I came across a quote that really struck me, so I copied and kept it.  I do not remember where I found it or who the author is, but here is the quote:

What would I have done differently in my 20's and 30's if I had known then what I know now?  For one thing, I would have laughed more; seen more Laurel and Hardy movies.  And I would have grieved less.  I would have understood earlier that not all losses are permanent and that some things lost were not worth keeping.
I would have taken more time to note the changing seasons.  ("Can you believe it?" an elderly friend asked me one spring day.  "Can you believe that even if I live to be a hundred, I will see all this only 100 times?")
I would have been more daring.  Emotionally daring, that is; in the spirit of Eudora Welty's observation that "all serious daring starts from within."
I would have understood sooner how profoundly satisfying the ordinary transactions of daily life can be:  the perfect cup of morning coffee; the son shouting down "Good night!" from his room; the ginger-colored cat caught napping in a triangle of sunlight.
Over the years, I have lost many things in my life...  I have lost my keys, I have lost money, I have lost weight, I have lost good friends and family, some of whom never knew what they meant to me.  I have lost a few years of pictures and journal entries from a crashed hard drive.  At times I have lost my faith and religion, and my belief that most people really are trying to do their best in this life.  I've even lost my mind a time or two!

Through it all, I have often reflected on the lessons from the quote above, and especially the line that I memorized in my teens:  "I would have understood earlier that not all losses are permanent and that some things lost were not worth keeping."  Through some of my more devastating losses, this has brought me comfort, as I reflect on the hope that line brings.  I often wonder - is this something that will eventually come back to me, or is it something that was not worth keeping, but I had failed to recognize or acknowledge that?  Sometimes we don't know until years later just how much of a blessing some losses can be!  I find great comfort that in the middle of things, it is worth hanging onto that belief that indeed many of these losses do find their way back, and that when they don't, sometimes our lives end up better than if they had!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I just want my life back!

This week is going to be a BUSY one, and I'm hoping I get everything done ok, and maybe THEN I can reclaim my life.  Grad School is no picnic most days, but having to do a semester's worth of clinical hours in 2 months instead of 4 has had me on my toes.  It was supposed to be done by the 28th of February, but I'm extending by hopefully just one week.  I have almost 24 hours left to put in at the clinic, which doesn't sound like much until you figure in all of the other things I HAVE to do this week - like a major exam and clinical forms for the summer.  Oh and I picked up an extra shift at work (4 hours) because I thought I would be done by now.  Good times.

I set aside everything in my life for 2 months to do these clinical hours - I had done all of the stock-up shopping so I wouldn't run out of anything that wasn't perishable during this time, and so I was able to strip everything out of my life that didn't NEED to be there, for 2 months.  But now the 2 months are over, and my life is not yet back on track...the hours just keep dragging on!!!  This last week, I noticed things were starting to "break down" - I was wearing clothes out of the dryer for half the week instead of folding them and putting them away.  The house needs to be deep-cleaned desperately!  This light brush-over isn't covering it anymore.  Some areas need to be scrubbed, others could use some paint touch-up.  The yard needs to be picked up.  We are running out of supplies and I need to make a run to Costco, which ends up being a few hours because I have to go to Pocatello (52 miles one-way).  I want to start my seedlings for the garden this summer, and they need 8-12 weeks before you plant them in the ground...that's NOW.  I need to get in better shape for my sister's wedding in a month (ie...losing the extra 15 lbs that I gained last semester!).  My DVR is almost full.  And the dogs are STINKY!

A few weeks ago I had one of the dogs with me in PetSmart, and we met another Golden Retriever who was very friendly.  As I got close, I was embarrassed for the owner because her dog was STINKY.  You could smell him from 4 feet away!  I didn't want to pet him and have my hands stink with another dog's smell.  I judged her harshly in my mind even though we had a nice conversation.  Now I am that owner!  I don't dare take my dogs in public right now!  It's embarrassing!  They both need baths badly, and a nice trim would be good too.  And they are both neglected.  So sad.

Catching up on school work would also be helpful.  Time to actually learn the things that I want to remember longer than the exam.

So many things...It's really motivating me to get these hours DONE so I can reclaim my life and make it not only look better, but be functional again!!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bleary Eyed but Alive!

I didn't realize how long it has been since I wrote, so let me take a brief minute, in my too-tired-to-effectively-study-so-let's-write-on-my-blog state...because THAT'S a good idea!

Alabama in November was fantastic!  I passed the big exams, and I'm off and running this semester with clinical time, seeing and treating patients.  Graduate school to become a Nurse Practitioner is not easy, but someday it will be worth it!  I am learning so much, and that part I love, but the every-day reality part is tough.  Right now I have logged just over 200 hours in the clinic seeing and treating patients since the beginning of January.  That is in addition to studying and my full-time job.  I basically have a few hours Monday afternoons usually to clean house, do laundry, shopping and cooking for the week.  It would be easier if I could still live on fast food, but alas, I have had to go gluten-free for my health, which necessitates cooking at home.  My poor pups suffer the most I think, but they are hanging in there.  I am so thankful to my awesome neighbors who play with them when I can't.  I am also glad it's winter, so everyone is in hibernation mode...that helps a little.

So what have I learned?  I have learned that with faith, all things are possible when we are following the Lord's plan for us.  I have learned to take things one day at a time, to be present in the moment and do what I can, and to not think too far ahead.  I have learned that planning and discipline make almost anything possible.  I have learned that choosing priorities and living by them is the key to accomplishing anything worthwhile.  I have learned that I am a happier person when I get enough sleep, and that when I don't get enough sleep, I tend to catastrophize everything around me.  I have learned that while I feel alone and insignificant sometimes, I really do have so many people that have popped into my life and been willing to do whatever they could to help me along in my pursuits.  I have learned that this can only be a blessing from a loving God who knows me individually, and knows what I need, and blesses me with the people and places that make these things possible.  I have learned that with faith, I can do anything He asks me to do.  I don't always see the path before me, but as I walk, it somehow appears.