Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Resolution 2007

Last year, my resolution was to make no resolutions. My rationale was I take things way too seriously and set my self up for failure before I even start.

This year, however, I've decided to make one resolution. One simple, but very difficult resolution. I've decided that for 2007 I will not purchase any magazines.

Since I had no resolutions in 2006 to keep my mind over-occuppied, I had some time to ponder my life. I realized that I'm addicted to magazines - news, celebrity, decorating, food, health - all magazines. I've come to understand that in addition to being expensive, they are clutter. They clutter not only my home; but more seriously, they clutter my mind, heart and spirit.

The information in them purports to offer the secrets to the perfect life, but they only leave me with great dissatisfaction and discontent.

As I can't make a trip through the grocery line without buying some publication or another, this is going to be a hard resolution to keep. But if I'm able to limit the inflow of articles, I believe I will find a bit of peace. I'm going to rely on a more reliable Publication to guide my path.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tomorrow is Another Day

So says Scarlett O'Hara. And she's right.

In today's world, for both belivers and even non-believers, tomorrow is another day. There's always hope of something better tomorrow, or at least in the near future.

Today I was contemplating hell. Hell must be the absolute knowledge that the agony of today will be no different tomorrow, or the next day or for all the days of eternity.

Kind of puts my miserable day in perspective and makes me feel great sorrow for those who don't understand. But how do you make people understand the hopelessness they face when they're great hope for the future is to win the lottery?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Be Careful What You Pray For... might get it.

How often I've made that comment - jokingly, I thought. But today I found myself trying to "take back" a prayer.

I went in to work today, my day off, to complete a couple of overdue tasks. In the midst of it all, I started to feel overwhelmed - by My sin, the sins OTHERS have committed against ME, and the sin that SURROUNDS me continually.

At that moment I had some insight as to how God must feel with all the sin we commit against HIM, the pain of our rejection. I blurted out "God, let me feel how You feel so that I might not sin against You."

Realizing the implications if God should answer this prayer, I tried to "take it back". I don't have the ability to withstand such agony. Besides, I don't know if that would stop me, anyway. And such knowledge would lead to tidal waves of guilt, for which I'm not prepared.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Dark Side of Me

There is no doubt many of women's (and men's) mood swings can be atributed to hormonal shifts. And many a temper tantrum has been blamed on them, as well.

But I wonder, are they the cause, or are do the chemical imbalances just bring to light the evil that is already lurking inside of me?

Today has been such a day for me and the ugliness that surfaced frightens me. Is this something that will go away once my body readjusts itself, or is this just one more battle I need to fight?

I'm battle-weary enough, as it is. I don't want to have to fight on one more front.

As I was reading in Psalms today, I came upon this verse in Psalm 18 - "For by You I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall". But what am I supposed to do when I don't want to leap over any walls? What am I supposed to do when all I want to do is rest in peace?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Pancakes for Dinner

As a child, I remember being so excited when we had pancakes or other breakfast foods for dinner. It was a super-special treat. It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I realized the reason we had pancakes was because:

a) Mom and Dad hadn't had time to do grocery shopping


b) there was more month than paycheck remaining.

Earlier this week, the dogs had Cornflakes and Swiss Cheese for dinner (I hadn't had time to get to the grocery store). They were just as excited as I used to be for the super-special treat!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I was involved in a discussion where a woman complained that she didn't like when others said they knew how she felt, that they understood her pain. She didn't believe anyone could feel the extent of her suffering and that their comments trivialized her grief. It crossed my mind that she was viewing her pain and suffering as her own possession - almost a badge of distinction for her, it seemed.

Recently, a gentleman I know who had once been married used the term "we singles", including himself in with me and other unmarrieds. His comment got my Irish up. My German and Scotch, as well. How dare he! While he may be single now, he's not REALLY single He's not a never-married like me! Oops. Seems I view my never-married status as my own possession - almost a badge of distintion, perhaps??

But if I want to "draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that I may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb 4:16), then I need to understand that "I do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with my weaknesses" (Heb 4:15). I need to give up my hold on my own personal grief. I can only draw so near with my hands full of the burdens of self-pity.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Like Tevya, from "Fiddler on the Roof", I like tradition. But since the death of my mom twelve years ago, our family traditions have change dramatically. They would have changed anyway - everything does. People move out of town, weather or illness keep people at home, family situations change... But things were forced along more quickly than they would normally have occurred without mom. I mourn the loss of the Thanksgiving traditions of my youth. The new traditions don't measure up at all. And so I look forward to heaven, where new traditions will be established, and if they change it won't be cause for mourning, but for new dancing.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lifestyle Budgeting

I love Friday nights. Friday nights are filled with the hope of all that I will accomplish over the next two days of freedom. I start to plan everything I will accomplish over the weekend. I wake early on Saturday mornings and start to check things off my list. It is then that I discover that I'm trying to fit 50 hours of activities in to 48 hours of time...not including sleep. Then I give up and take a nap.

This happens all the time in all areas of my life. My eyes are bigger than my stomach, my wants are bigger than my checkbook, and my plans are bigger than my calendar.

Why do I do this to myself?

I was recently reading an article about Martha and Mary (In case you didn't already guess, I'm a "Martha"). There were references to "Tyranny of the Urgent". Finally there were some questions at the end of the article, one of which asked "When was the last time you found yourself frantically busy? Could you have avoided the rush?"

Even after having thoughtfully read the article, I still answered that I could have avoided the rush if I were more organized. Apparently the ideas of wisdom and discernment in daily activities escaped me. I still don't choose what Mary chose - "the good part, which shall not be taken away from her".

As I consider my constant quest for order and organization, I've often felt it was some defect in my character that I've been unable to achieve this goal. At other times, I've felt it was God's curse for some past sin that I haven't been able to remember (and therefore repent of). Now, however, I'm thinking this may be God's blessing.

Just like He confused language during the building of the Tower of Babel, He's kept me from attaining order to the degree I'd like to keep me from believing I can achieve things apart from Him.

Funny thing, though, is that I never considered myself a goal-oriented personality. I thought that if I were, I'd be some high-powered, wealthy executive. This is a dangerous stereotype, I guess. Just because I don't look like what I think a goal-oriented person is, doesn't mean I'm not one. And even if the goals look like they are "Christian", they can actually be distracting me, taking me away from the One I aim to please.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Grace. What's With That?

Try as I might, I never really understand grace.

I know the definition and can parrot it off to anyone who wants to hear it. I've experienced grace first hand. But I don't understand it.

Rather than being thankful for the grace I'm given, I can't get past the guilt I suffer for having received it. Or the frustration I feel for being in the position of needing grace in the first place.

It seems to me that grace should make one free from feelings of guilt and frustration, but for me it only adds to my load.

However, at least I'm aware that I'm better off with grace than without it. But I'd still like to live a life free of guilt and frustration.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Shop Accidents

I was created with a brain for intelligence and reasoning, eyes to see, ears to hear; tongue, nose and neural pathways for taste, smell and touch. I was given a heart full of emotion with the Spirit to pull all these resources together and then some.

So why, even with all theses resources working at full capacity, am I still clueless? Why am I not able to accomplish more, understand more, be more? It’s as if I have a basement full of tools with no talent to repair or build anything. Though my plans are grand and my intentions are good, it seems all I do is have “shop accidents”.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I turned my furnace on, yesterday.  Each year, I try to wait until November 1, but that doesn’t usually happen.  However, I think this year is the earliest it’s ever been turned on.

The deciding factor was when I woke up Saturday morning and the temperature in the house was 60 degrees.  Though tempted to turn the furnace on then, I held off thinking the house would warm up later in the day.  A few hours later, I checked the thermostat and found it was only 61 degrees.   The furnace was turned on minutes later.

Global warming???  Never in Erie!

Friday, October 06, 2006

An Attempt at Poetry

Here are my amateur thoughts on fall...

God empties His jewel box over the earth. The trees drip with precious stones...Rubies, amber, garnets and opals. He blesses us with the beauty of these gems.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Thoughts on Fall

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”

-Emily Bronte

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”

-Stanley Horowitz

“The best is autumn. It is mature, reasonable and serious, it glows moderately and not frivolously…it cools down, clears up, makes you reasonable.”


“Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is a flower.”

-Albert Camus

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It Warms a Miss Barb's Heart

My Barblings three made their Profession of Faith at church today and I was overtaken with emotion. All these years I've watched them watch me take communion. Now it was their turn to watch me watch them.

Barbling #3 was almost giddy with excitement. From the beginning of the Worship Service, Barbling #2 clutched her bulletin, with her finger on the spot where it announced the Profession of Faith - she was alert and prepared. Barbling #1 was pretty somber -partially because she wasn't feeling well, I found out later; but I'm sure the solemnity of the occasion struck her, as well.

I don't think the verse "Do this in remembrance of Me" ever had such an impact on me before. All the times I did so in remembrance of Him, their eyes were on me, watching my example. All at once I felt very frightened, thinking of all my missteps they've witnessed and the poor example I've been. But I was also proud and felt I had some part in them coming to this moment in their spiritual lives. I taught each one in Sunday School at some point. I've spent countless hours with them playing, chatting, praying, worshiping, and sometimes disciplining them. I know I'm not their parent, but I am their Miss Barb, and that counts for something, doesn't it?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Change of Plans

I took a week's vacation from work this past week, and oh the plans I had. There were a few home repairs to do, yard work, reading, cleaning, cooking, etc. I was going to be a homemaker/lady of leisure.

Knowing the packed week I had planned, I decided to do absolutely nothing on Saturday. That was pretty much the only thing on my list that I accomplished.

On Sunday, the first day of Sunday school, I woke up with a horribly painful sore throat and so I called my substitute teacher (the gracious and kind Denise Fair) and proceeded to sleep the rest of Sunday away.

Monday, I was feeling slightly better, but my dog, Grace was feeling a bit peeked, so I took her in to the vet. She'd not been interested in her food for a few days, hung back on our walks, and was showing reluctance at taking the steps and getting up on the bed. The vet suspected arthritis, but because her symptoms were vague, she performed a battery of tests to rule out some other, more serious possibilities. Grace does have arthritis in her hips and is on medication. The bill was $329.00.

After that experience, I had to go in to work for a bit because a few staff members were off for surgery and/or illness and the department is still shorthanded due to a couple of open positions.

Tuesday, I stopped at the ATM for some cash before I went grocery shopping. I discovered the bank showed me at negative balance. This was due to the fact that on Monday, the vet input my Debit Card transaction as $392.00. The error was caught and immediately corrected and reentered, but the bank takes a few days to issue credits. The debits are pretty much instantaneous. This necessitated a trip in to the bank office to explain the issue and get it corrected.

Wednesday, I had a quiz in my Accounting class. The quiz wasn't all that difficult and I'd studied, but I breezed through it too quickly and misread a couple of questions so I only got a B- instead of the A I would have liked.

The rest of my vacation week was pretty much the same. BUT, lest you think this is a "Woe is Me" kind of post, think again!

Though not as I'd planned, it wasn't a loss; total, partial or anything in between. God just had other plans.

Grace only has arthritis and not something more serious. The bank quickly fixed the error, and even if they had not, I have sufficient reserve funds. I learned that I need to slow down while taking my quizzes. And finally, I got the rest I was so longing for. I approach my return to work tomorrow without dread, but with renewed energy, which was the purpose for my vacation, in the first place. God just had a different path to the same end. I'm just encouraged that I had the same goal as God, and that I wasn't discouraged by His change in my plans. Life is a lot easier when I'm on the same page as He is!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Advantages of Higher Education

In addition to the usual things, like learning stuff, I discovered a great advantage to being a college student. In efforts to keep their students honest, Penn State gives us Napster accounts where we can download select pieces free and legally. The "select" pieces number in the thousands! I just spent the last hour downloading an eclectic mix of tracks including Chris Rice, Out of The Grey, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Goo Goo Dolls, and TransSiberian Orchestra.

The tuition is almost worth it.

And yes, I checked...and there was even some Andrew Peterson.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Little Known Fact

Did you know that when a dog regurgitates the raw eggs it's eaten, the result is scrambled eggs? I suspect that the dog's body heat cooks the eggs.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Things I Like About Lawrence Park

In no particular order...

Short commute to work

Great place to walk dogs


Dairy Queen within walking distance

Library within walking distance

Four Mile Creek across the street from my house

Listening to the creek during still, quiet summer months

Neighbors who help me chase after a runaway dog

Variety of birds in the trees

Within walking distance of the Gardners

Gotta love a place that has a Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks

Wednesday evening concerts in the Gazebo during the summer

Taking the dogs to Iroquois High School football games (where Grace performs her community service by eating the chewing gum off the parking lots and sidewalks)

Listening to the High School Band practice

The sight, sound and smell of fall leaves

The sweet smell of everyone's lilac bushes in bloom in early June

Neighbors who snowplow my sidewalk while I sleep in

There are plenty more reasons, but these are the ones that came to mind while I was walking the dogs this evening.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Let the Truth Be Told

My father had open-heart surgery on Monday, August 21. When I saw him in the Surgical ICU, he was still on a ventilator so he was unable to communicate verbally. My siblings and I would ask him a series of yes/no questions until we hit upon the right one - "Are you in pain?", "Do you need suctioned?" and so forth.

At one time, when I was alone with him (and unfortunately, had no witnesses), he tried to tell me something. I went through the series of questions...Pain? (he shook his head no), Suction (he shook his head no), Oral Swab (he shook his head no), An Itch (he shook his head no), Am I your favorite child? - HE NODDED YES! I always knew it!

Lest you think this was a hallucination of a heavily anesthetized man, I remind you that they don't call it "truth serum" for nothing.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Artificial Intelligence

I've been amazed (and a bit frightened) at how perceptive Spell Check can be. Often, when I have spell check peruse a document, it suggests some amazingly accurate choices for what it sees as my misspellings. Some recent examples: Adiel = addle (she is the mother of two toddlers)

Adiel = waddle (pregnant, it won't be long before she does waddle)

Brenda's = brandish (No shrinking violet, she! Fortunately, what she often 'brandishes' is loving exhoration)

Barblings = purpling (anyone that's had children crawl all over them as if they were a giant toy will understand the purple bruising that occurs)

Dora = Dork (enough said)

Leon = lean (good for a Pastor)

Livie (Barbling #3) = live (she’s definitely a live wire)

Malachi=water thrower(I just made that one up. What really was suggested was malice. As the recipient of his water bombs on THREE occasions, I wonder if some malice wasn't involved).

Atticus= attaches (he attaches his paws to the chest of the first one through the door)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Savvy Quote

"I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family, and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter of February 1788

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Out of the Mouth of Barblings

At church last Sunday, Barbling #2 whispered to me, "You got new shoes. I could tell because I sniffed them."

They were on my feet at the time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

One Good Thing, Two Days Early

After a busy nine hour day at work, I went grocery shopping. I needed a few things for myself and also one of the greatest necessities of my household, dog food. After navigating the crowded grocery store checkout lines, I entered my home, hands filled with grocery bags, and maneuvered around anxious dogs who smelled the lunch meat in the bags. After putting the lunch meat in the protective custody of the refrigerator, I opened the back door to let the dogs out in the yard. It was then I noticed I'd only counted two dogs walk past me and (for this week only) I have three. Atticus Otulakowski was missing.

At first, I thought he'd gotten to the yard unnoticed, but after a few brief yells "Aaatttiiicccuuusss" and some brief glances about the yard, I determined he was not there and went searching throughout the house. I remembered I'd been in the basement this morning and Atticus had followed me. I quickly ran to the basement door fearful he'd been shut in all day and possibly gotten himself in to some dangerous basement-type things. I flung open the door calling "Aaatttiiicccuuusss" but there was no dog to greet me.

I ran downstairs worried I might see his dead body, poisoned by some unknown cleaning agent. No Atticus.

I ran up the basement steps yelling "Aaatttiiicccuuusss" but there was no answer.

I ran up the steps to the second floor yelling "Aaatttiiicccuuusss", expecting to find him collapsed on my bedroom floor from heat exhaustion, when I heard my next door neighbor call in the front screen door, "Barb, are you missing a dog". There was Atticus, running towards Napier Park and Four Mile Creek. And I ran after him.

Thanks to I can tell you that at 6:30 pm it was 91 degrees in Erie, PA with relative humidity at 52%. Therefore, it felt like it was 98 degrees (what a wonderful name for a deodorant). However, meteorologists fail to factor in to their calculations the effect of panty hose on the temperature. After today's experience ( I was still in my work clothes), I feel confident stockings add an additional 10 degrees to their formula.

As I hit that wall of heat, I was amazed at how quickly I'd gone from being fearful of finding his dying body to wanting to find his dying body and wring the last bits of smelly dog breath from him!

Two of my neighbors, whose individual ages are almost equal to the temperature in degrees (Fahrenheit, not Celsius) braved the Hades-like heat to help me find him. We all ran, then walked, the creeped up and down Napier Avenue (and parts of Iroquois Ave) calling "Aaatttiiicccuuusss". One gentleman even gave me a handful of canned dog food to try to attract the dog.

For forty five minutes I roamed Lawrence Park with a handful of mystery meat, my pores absorbing the odor. After awhile, my sweat started to smell like Alpo. At about the time I was ready to go back and get in my air conditioned car and search further, "Aaatttiiicccuuusss" came right up to me, exhausted, panting and slobbering (on me) heavily. I tried to feed him the Perspiration-Poached Alpo, but he spit it out on the street.

One Good Thing - Atticus goes home on Friday.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

My God is So Big

Years ago, during an exercise in a Women's Support Group (secular-based), we were asked to choose a picture from a magazine and describe why we chose it. I chose a picture of a mountain range where you could see how small the people were in relation to the mountains. I said I chose it because I liked how it reminded me how small I am; not the thing to say with therapists in the room! They felt that was an indication of my poor self-worth.

I like feeling small. At 5'11" , I'm usually the tallest woman in the room. In fact, I'm often the tallest one, period. When I weighed substantially more than I do now, I was the largest person in the room. Throughout elementary school, when we had to line up according to height, I was at the end of the line with only Joe Angelo behind me - eight years of the back of the line! So feeling small is a novelty for me.

Feeling small reminds me there is someone bigger than me (no matter what my size) and I'm in His care. Sometimes, during particularly intimate times of prayer, I can feel the physical presence of God surrounding me. And He is HUGE, able to squash me like a bug, if He so wanted. I feel very small at these times...tiny, even; but not weak or inconsequential. In fact, I feel the opposite...protected and cared for. Like a child in the protection of her Daddy's arms. Like one in a lover's embrace. Not a bothersome fly to be swatted.

My self-worth is founded in feeling small, "for when I am weak, then I am strong".

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Report from the Front: Resolution Revolution

You might remember that in January of this year I declared a war on New Year's Resolutions. It's been seven months since my uprising and I'm happy to report that I still have not made any resolutions. And as I evaluate these last seven months, I realize I've accomplished as much as I would have if I'd made resolutions in the first place!

Let's house is no cleaner than it was before, but it's relatively clean, and in fact my bed has been made about 70% of the time. But dust bunnies and dog hair still prevail. I've lost and gained the same 5-10 pounds, and eaten more fruits and vegetables than I had previously, but still way short of the 5-a-day recommendation (I think I average 1, and that's counting the ketchup for my fries and the sauce on my pizza). You can walk through my spare bedroom without slipping on papers and tripping on books, but that's because they're stuffed under the bed and work table (to be honest, this is an improvement). My desk is a mess, but there are no dirty dishes on it and crumbs in the keyboard are kept to a minimum. All totaled, things are normal in the Best household.

The only casualty in this revolution has been the guilt I would normally feel by not having accomplished as much as I thought I should. But as I mentioned in January, what's really important - what really counts are relationships.

I've played tennis with a friend (more like shagging balls for 30 minutes but we had fun), went to the Medieval Faire in the rain with another (and got a henna tattoo). I've gone to Gardner Parties where I've been getting to know a few people from church better than I would in just the brief conversations following Sunday worship service. At school, I made a few friends in my classes - in fact a 19 year old girl said she thought I was "cool"! I reestablished a relationship with a college friend with whom I'd lost contact. Another "casual" friend and I had a meaningful conversation that I found encouraging - I look forward to more. I've made a few new friends through this blog. Finally, and most importantly, God has been revealing more of Himself to me, deepening and cementing our relationship. This has been occurring through many instances - some standard means like Bible Study and worship service; some through trials; and a lot through the relationships mentioned prior.

Who says war has to be hell?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One Good Thing

At my first dining experience at Chez Ben-Ezra a few years ago, I was introduced to the "One Good Thing" tradition, whereby each person has to share something good that happened that day. Being polite hosts, at the first dinner I was allowed to go last so I had time to think of something.

The tradition continues at our Gardner Parties. As being forewarned is forearmed, I came to our first party prepared with something to share. I knew they were a tough crowd and wouldn't give me a "bye", especially since I had prior knowledge of the custom!

Some of the "good things" I've shared have been very simple (I got a prime parking spot) or just pleasant (I met a former co-worker for lunch and reestablished the relationship).

Our dinners are only held every other Monday, but lately I've found myself thinking of a "good thing" on some of the other 13 days. It's a good habit to develop.

And so, here's Thursday's good thing...and since I'm not allowed to save it up until our next dinner and it's too nice a thing not to share, I figure I'll share it with you.

Today, I had a very nice conversation with a friend of mine. Although we've been friends for many years, this conversation had a depth that we've never attained before. I feel very blessed for being given that time and for the advice that was given to me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Went to a Gardner Party

No butchering of Rick(y) Nelson lyrics this time. My attempts at being Weird Al Yankovic are on hold for awhile. It's too mentally taxing!

Last night was our Gardner Party. I found myself anticipating this gathering the last few days. At our first couple of dinners, we've celebrated birthdays and an engagement. The food has ranged from Mexican, Italian, and American grilled, and always desert. The guests are a range of personalities and ages - 1 in his 50's; 1 in her 40's; I think the 30's have been missed but a couple of those in their 20's are closing in; 6 in their 20's, 1 still a teen (19 is still teenager); 3 in single digits; and even one in utero.

But during last night's dinner, I was struck that what I like best about our gatherings is the tradition we've already established. At each dinner, we share our "one good thing", Josh reads scripture, we all sing from the Psalter.

Some might find this boring and stagnant, but I find this gives our assemblies structure and direction so they flow nicely. I find these gatherings comforting, like riding an innertube down a river. The current varies, the scenery can change, but everything is within the confines of the riverbanks. And I've enjoyed going along for the ride with my friends.

Friday, July 14, 2006


In my last post, I mentioned I often refer to Jim as "my best friend's husband" when in fact, he is my friend as well. Another dilemma I've faced in posts has been how to refer to Jim and Brenda's children. I find it necessary to give them some sort of title so those of you not familiar with our relationship will understand.
The girls aren't my nieces. While they too are my "friends" that can be confusing when referring to their parents in the same posts. I find "little friends" and "young friends" banal; our relationship is anything but commonplace. I want something short so I don't have to waste a lot of blog space explaining who they are. Therefore, I've created a new title I find befits our unique and beloved friendship. I dub thee Jennifer, Rebekah and Olivia (drum roll....) - Miss Barblings.Comments, anyone?

Monday, July 10, 2006


This is the best title I could come up with for this post.

On Friday, a friend of mine, Jim, was diagnosed with cancer of the appendix. An aside - Jim is married to my best friend, Brenda, and I usually refer to him as my best friend's husband. But I feel this description short-changes our relationship, especially in current circumstances. So he's my friend - a demotion or promotion? You'd have to ask him.

On Friday evening and all day Saturday, I just tried to be there for my friends and their children. I was strong and I planned on being so as long as they needed me to be. Saturday evening, Brenda asked me if I would pick up their daughters and take them to church on Sunday, as she wanted to go to the hospital and be there when Jim's doctor stopped in. I said no problem - I've taken the girls to church before. It was no big deal.

It proved to be a bigger deal than I ever expected and by Sunday morning, my strength failed me.

As I said, I've taken the girls to church before when their parents were out of town, or Jim was working and someone had the flu. But Sunday, I was very conscious of the drastic difference and I knew the girls were, as well. This was no temporary flu bug - this was dadcan'tbeherebecauseheisinthehospitalwithcancerandmomneedstobewithdadsoMissBarbisfillingin. It was a very emotional experience with so many different, unexpected thoughts and feelings slamming in to me.

I've sat in "our pew" by myself before and it never felt as empty as it did this past Sunday when there were four of us. This made me angry and very sad. This was not the way things were supposed to be, but because of sin in this fallen world, people get sick and families suffer. I hate that they have to go through this. I hate to see the pain and fear in their eyes.

All I wanted to do was cry (and I did). But I tried not to because I didn't want to upset the girls. When I couldn't hold back the tears any longer, I wanted to bolt to the ladies room. However, that would leave the girls even more alone and that could not and would not happen! So I tried to cry inconspicuously, and when the girls noticed, I just put my arms around them. I wanted to explain to them that I wasn't crying because I was frightened, but I was crying because they were frightened and sad, and I don't want them to suffer. But I didn't know how to explain it to them, and besides it would have been difficult in the middle of worship service (I hope they understand).

The issue now was the child to arm ratio was not balanced - three girls, two arms, one teary-eyed and emotional Miss Barb. How do parents do it! No matter what I did, someone was short-changed. I tried resting my arm on one's shoulder while my hand squeezed another's arm, but this seemed inadequate. I tried holding their hands - with two small hands in my one larger hand. This didn't seem to be enough, either. I tried a number of configurations, all of which seemed insufficient. All the while, I wished another parent (someone who knew what they were doing) would come forward and take over for me. And I selfishly wished someone would come hold ME. The most effective and optimum ratio for comforting is still one child, two arms.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mr Roboto, CEO

A long intro to a short post...

I've attended two funerals this past week. The first was the mother of a former co-worker. She was 61 years old and died of cancer. The other was the 51 year old son of a dear friend. He was found in his home (he lived alone) dead of a suspected heart attack. Therefore, I've been thinking about death. In particular, my death. I'm deciding what kind of funeral I want (no viewing - I don't see the purpose; upbeat service and quirky - maybe everyone could wear orange). And now I'm deciding whether I want to be cremated or buried.

Having been raised as a Catholic, I've heard since birth (from the religious powers that were and not my family) that cremation is sinful, so I have this predisposition against it. But then I started thinking - why was/is it thought to be wrong? I was taught by the nuns in school that it was wrong because if one was cremated there was no body to be raised to heaven. Then I started to wonder - what about people who aren't cremated but die in a fire. Surely God must have some mechanism to handle such occurences.

And now the point of this post...

God must have a mechanism?

What on earth was I thinking! Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my mind I view God as some cosmic CEO who employs engineers and project managers (and of course a few talented Purchasing Mangers) who develop all sorts of processes, procedures, and mechanisms to cover all possibilities. Or worse, I think of Him basing all His decisions on "sound thought" or "good sense" (as defined by ME).


My God is not like a computer, processing input and producing output. My God is not an emotionless robot who functions from some chip. He's not Mr. Spock, doing things because they are "logical". And He's not a CEO, conerned with what the Board of Directors or shareholders might think.

If that were the case, then prayer would be fruitless - all His decisions would be based on reasoning and any request on my part would not factor in to His rulings. There would be no need for worship - how could a robot comprehend or appreciate such a thing? And grace and mercy could not exist - there's no place for it in today's business world.

Thank you, Lord that I'm in Your employ and not in the hands of Mr Roboto, CEO.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Here I Raise My Ebenezer. Why?

At a recent Bible Study, the group got off track a bit (surprise, surprise) and started talking about the idea of memorials or "Joshua Stones" (Joshua 4:1-9). Now, I understand the idea of memorials, and they are God-dictated, but I'm at a loss as to their purpose. Everything is temporary, even memorials. Even for those that might still be standing to this day, their purpose is not even remembered. The people to whom they meant anything are long gone.

I've gone to garage sales and auctions where people's scrapbooks, photo albums, and even wedding dresses wind up in dumpsters. Even if there was family remaining, they obviously didn't find any meaning in these items. And that's not really wrong, is it? Those items are only things.

In my own life, people, places and things I hold dear are either dead or dying, succumbing to old age and decay. My employer of 21 years went bankrupt and closed. Two churches that I've attended in the past 25 years no longer exist. My high school and grade school no longer exist. And the hospital where I was born went bankrupt, closed, and has been razed to the ground. Even the house where I grew up and my father still lives is falling down around him. When he leaves or dies, it will most likely be leveled.

Besides, even if all these things and others were still around, there is no next generation following me. There are no children asking "what do these stones mean to you?". At 45 years old, no marriage prospects and therefore no child prospects, I ask - Why? What is the purpose in my life for stones that crumble and altars that rot?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


When "Seinfeld" was still on the air, I would have some out of the ordinary experience and think "I should submit that to 'Seinfeld'." Now, when I have a similar experience I think "I should blog this". Considering the number of odd things that occur, is it any wonder my creative plumbing got clogged?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

For Women's Eyes Only

WARNING: If there are any men in my vast blog audience, I advise you to stop reading here. The following topic will not interest you and might give you more info than you ever really wanted to know.

You may have heard of good/bad hair days, good/bad makeup days, good/bad wardrobe days, etc. In the last ten days I experienced two new type of days. I'll begin with the good...I had a "Good Bra Day".

I bought a new bra the other day. I purchased it at a place called "Braserie Dearie", whose sole commodity is undergarments. I had a professional bra fitting and the bra I got fits perfectly. Since wearing it, I feel taller and more confident. I remember an episode of the TV series "Designing Women" where one of the characters, an eccentric older woman whose eccentricities were ascribed to a "circulatory problem", was having a great day where all her synapses were firing. She credited this to her new push-up bra, which was increasing her circulation. I felt that way today. It's been one of my most productive days in months!

Now, the bad...I had a "Bad Underwear Day" about a week ago. And not your normal creeping or twisting underwear problem. Allow me to explain.

I was getting dressed for work and only had one pair of clean underwear in the drawer. They were a pair with high cut legs, that I don't really like much and only wear when they're the only drawers in the drawer. I put them on and found they were more uncomfortable than usual; but they were the only clean ones I had so I figured I'd just have to suffer for the day. It wasn't until I was pulling up my pantyhose that I realized the source of the discomfort...the crotch was at my hip. I'd put them on not backwards, not inside out, but sideways? Truly this was one for the books. Or at least my blog!

So, am the only one or can anyone else relate?

Monday, June 26, 2006

I Went to a Gardner Party

Introduction: For those of you unfamiliar with the Ricky Nelson song, ask your parents, or check here for original lyrics. I went to a Gardner Party to fellowship with all my friends; a chance to share our "one good things" and sing the psalms again.

When I got to the Gardner Party, Malachi wouldn't come. He just eyed me warily, and went on sucking his thumb.


But it's all right now, I learned my lesson you bet. Don't sit next to Malachi unless you want your lap wet.

People came from Lawrence Park. Everyone was there. Olympia brought her "My Little Pony". There was whinnying in the air.

And over in the corner, Lilly laughed with Grandpa B. Josh & Adiel's little darling is a sight to see.


Elijah and Patty are engaged. Wedding plans are being made. Will the cake topper be Sponge Bob or a traditional floral cascade?

Tom and Elizabeth spoke of swordplay. Brad looked amazed. Sharp Oriental weapons make me want to run away.


If you get a chance to attend a Gardner Party, you'll experience lots of love and fun. But if Malachi picks up a glass I suggest you run.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Avant Garde

For those of you who don't know, I'm still working on my Bachelor's degree. Needing some Arts credits (and a much needed easy class), last semester I took "Evolution of Jazz". I was already a fan of jazz music before I took the class, but the class made me appreciate it more. I was exposed to different styles and artist who I might never have considered before. It was a rewarding class, and not just because I got an "A-".

One jazz style I'd never heard of before was something called "Avant Garde Jazz" or "Free Jazz". It came about during the 60's, when everyone was rebelling against the traditional. As described by professionals:

"The avant garde challenged the listener by allowing the musician to choose his own musical path rather than follow the traditional approaches to which jazz musicians had previously adhered. All aspects of the music were at the discretion of the improviser. The music often transcended recognizable pitches and musical shapes, allowing moans, shrieks, and cries to convey the energy and emotional discourse of the individual musician. (

Sounds nice, huh? My own amateur description would be that each musician plays whatever is in his head at the time, disregarding any thoughts of harmony, chord progression, or beat. In other words, NOISE.

The sad thing is that those musicians one is able to pick out among the cacophony are quite skilled, but their talent is lost amidst the racket.

I'm to be conformed to the image of Christ, and when I'm in rebellion, my life is discordant, like free jazz. I'm out of harmony, and although I might be living a "pretty song", it gets lost with all the others who are playing over me.

The independence and individualism prized and encouraged by our culture is disturbing to our spirits, like a constant blare of a horn or siren. It agitates and irritates, like fingernails on a chalkboard. There's no musicality to it.

In Corinthians, Paul says "For the body is not one member, but many." And an orchestra, band, quartet, etc is not one instrument, but many following a musical score. Even when they improvise, band members complement the soloist, not work against him.

The musical style might be different - classical, jazz, rock and even Country & Western, but there is a tonal quality to it(well maybe not as much to C&W).

I've got a great composer, arranger and conductor in God. He's able to make beautiful music using me and my short, stubby spiritual fingers in His band of players as long as I read His score and follow His baton.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm Fenced In

...and loving it. I had the fence in my backyard replaced last week. The previous fence was about 40-50 years old, rusted through in spots, and only encompassed 2 of the 3 sides of my backyard. Therefore, I was unable to let the dogs roam free. I would put them on a long tie out cable, but they would get tangled up (especially around my ankles), knock things over (quite often ME), and just be inconvenienced and an inconvenience.

With this new fence, they are discovering corners of the yard they've never sniffed (and other unmentionable practices) before. And they aren't knocking over the table and chairs anymore. This used to be a big problem, especially when I was sitting in said chair.

Though it seems a contridiction in terms, this fence has allowed all of us freedom we didn't have before.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Plumbing Problems

It's been over 2 months since my last post. But I have a legitimate reason, HONEST! I've had plumbing problems. All these blog ideas have been plugged up in my brain but unable to work their way down to my fingers and keyboard. But tonight, I decided to tackle this DIY project. I'm sitting here with my mental Liquid Plumber (a large Diet Coke) and plunging my brain, pushing the thoughts through to the screen. Things are draining a bit slowly, but they are draining. It might be a few days before things are flowing freely, though. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spin Doctor

These past few days have been chilly, requiring a sweater or jacket. In fact, some days were downright cold. But it's been sunny. That makes the days bearable. They're no longer cold days, but crisp.

The weather didn't change, but my attitude did.

I'm sure there is some great spiritual wisdom in this, but I'm too busy enjoying the crisp days that I don't feel like thinking too hard.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Case of the Missing Biscuit - Epilogue

Since her bout with gastritis, Dora has taken to eating healthier foods - especially whole grains, such as Frosted Mini Wheats.

The Case of the Missing Biscuit, Part II

Though I had my suspicions, I still did not know for certain that it had been Dora who'd stolen the biscuit. When I woke up Sunday morning, I found a large pile of evidence that the missing biscuit had been upchucked, but still no proof of who was the guilty party.

As the day progressed, though, Dora was still vomiting canine gastric juices. By late afternoon, the gastric juices became bloody so off we went to the Northwest Pet Emergency Center.

Bread dough can be lethal to dogs because it can cause intestinal blockage. But another serious effect is that the bread dough will begin to ferment and cause alcohol poisoning.

After a couple of X-Rays and an exam by the veterinarian, she was diagnosed with severe gastritis. She was given an IV for dehydration, and a couple of injections of: Antibiotic, Anti-nausea drug, and canine Prilosec. When I was given the bill I suffered a gastritis attack as well, but was unable to afford any drugs for myself, so I suffered in silence.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Case of the Missing Biscuit

I was preparing some Pillsbury Refrigerator Biscuits when I left the kitchen for a minute. When I returned, one of the raw biscuits was missing from the baking sheet. There was only one explanation - a dog took it. But which one?

Because raw dough containing leavening agents can cause great gastric distress for dogs (many times requiring expensive surgery), I phoned the Pet Emergency Center for advice. They told me to induce vomiting in the guilty dog. Vomiting is induced in dogs by feeding them Hydrogen Peroxide - 1 Tablespoon per 10 pounds of dog. That meant 1/4 cup for Dora and ~1/3 cup for Grace.

While I was pretty sure Dora was the guilty party, I couldn't take the chance. So I had to force feed about 2/3 cup of peroxide down two very uncooperative dogs, walk them around a bit to speed up the nausea and wait for the biscuit dough (and the dog food they'd eaten about 15 minutes before eating the dough) to reappear. It did...all bubbly and foamy from the my backyard, in the front yard, and (because of unwarranted optimism on my part that all was well) in my living room. Well, at least I had the incentive to scrub my carpets this evening!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Spring Has Sprung

Although it is still officially a week and a half away, unofficial signs of spring have revealed themselves. I saw my first robin a few days ago, and the first crocus in my yard bloomed yesterday.

It has been a mild winter, but still, I'm invigorated by the approach of spring!


My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began, So is it now I am a man, So be it when I shall grow old Or let me die! The child is father of the man: And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety.

-William Wordsworth

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Just When I Thought It Was Safe...

After my prior post on my desire for simplicity and balance my life became even more complicated. I profess my desire to trust God's hand in my life and He inserts that big mitt of His right on in and stirs things up. Life is hard...but God is good.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Complex Thoughts on Simplicity

Simplicity is not as simple as one would think.

My life is quite complex. I have many demands on my time, energy, mind, body, finances, etc. There really isn't one area of my life that isn't taxed to the max. I know that something has to give, but what?

This is where I get lost. If I choose to simplify things to ease my time, I have to pay financially or expend physical and mental energies deciding what activities to give up. If I choose to simplify my finances, I have to pay in time and energy. If I need to simplify my physical needs (i.e. eat more wholesome, nutritional foods, exercise more, etc) my time and mind are overwhelmed.

There is this knot of ideas running through my brain and in order to simplify my decision making, I must first unwind the knot - a complex task in itself.

I guess the first step would be to define simplicity; or at least the kind of simplicity I'm looking for.

For some, simplicity is defined as getting back to nature - home grown foods, fresh ground flour, etc. As attractive as this sounds, it is not practical for me at this time.

Others might define simplicity as hiring out various services such as housekeeping, laundry, or personal trainer. I find this option distasteful and not what I'm looking for.

I guess what I want is BALANCE. But my pendulum is swinging wildly, of late; as if caught in a wicked wind.

However, it's not "back to nature" that I need, but back to my Creator's steadying hand. He, and only He has the ability regulate my pendulum at the speed and pace that He ordains. No matter what all the self-improvement books at Barnes & Noble say.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

We Have Ignition

Dryer was installed yesterday. I'm basking in the warmth of freshly dried towels, bathrobe, jeans, etc...!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

All Dried Up

Because of circumstances that don't have any bearing on this post, I've been without a clothes dryer for two years. Last Thursday my time, finances and energy level all converged and I purchased a new dryer. It was even able to be delivered and installed on Saturday, a mere two days after purchase!

I was so excited! Thursday evening, all day Friday, and most of Saturday I planned out all I was going to accomplish because I would now have a dryer. Not only would this affect my wardrobe, but my pillows would be fluffed, blankets washed, afghans freshened. I could wash curtains and tablecloths easily. I would be able to achieve the order and organization I crave because of my new dryer.

My whole life was going to change because of this dryer! I could host dinners because my house would be cleaner. I would have so much more time to accomplish things because I wasn't having to run to the Laundromat every Saturday. I would look better, cleaner, fresher because of machine dried clothes. And because I looked better, I'd achieve the attention and success that goes along with it.

Saturday came. The dryer was scheduled to arrive sometime between 8 am and 5 pm, but I didn't care. I woke up early with an uncommon amount of enthusiasm, ate breakfast, moved things out of the way from the door to the basement so the delivery men would have a clear path to that special spot I had for my sparkling new appliance. I didn't want them to trip and drop it or damage it (or themselves) in any way. I wanted nothing to delay the installation of the dryer. And then I waited. Patiently - surprisingly so. I occupied my time with thoughts of what I was going to dry/fluff first and how everything around me would improve!

The delivery men arrived about 3:00 pm and the installer went directly to my basement, looked at my gas line and said he wasn't able to install the dryer because I needed a special connection for my antiquated setup. He was not allowed to do such an installation and I needed to contact a plumber.

I was angry that no one at the appliance store had even mentioned such a thing, even though I'd told them my old dryer was 30 years old. I was disappointed,as well. But even more so, I was distraught.

Distraught??? Over a dryer??? Yes, you read right. Absurd as it might seem, I was very distressed over the delivery delay of an appliance that I have managed to live without for two years.

I understand how ludicrous this is, but it doesn't change the way I felt.

The issue here is how much emphasis I've placed on this machine; how I've looked for a home appliance for comfort and fulfillment. While it's not a life requirement, a dryer will help me immensely. But it is not "life-changing", as I was envisioning it to be. It's not a magic wand. As much as I'd like my life to change in some manner, to "get out of my rut", an appliance is not going to do it.

I'm glad I was able to identify these issues early, before I allowed myself to fall in to a pit of despair. But I pray that next time (and there will be a next time), from the very beginning, I won't look to something or someone, other than Jesus, for satisfaction.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Growing Pains

Sometimes, I long for the days when growing pains were relieved by a baby aspirin, hot water bottle and my mother's caress.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Thomas Wolfe Was Right can't go home again.

Yesterday, I had opportunity to attend an Open House for the new Select Specialty Hospital, now located in the building that housed my former employer (of 21 years), Metro Health Center.

I had not been inside the building in almost 3 years and was looking forward to seeing what they'd done with the place.

Of course, I knew I'd also be a bit misty-eyed; after all, I have a lot of (good) memories of the "old homestead". I matured personally, professionally, and spiritually due to much of what I experienced there. I developed a lot of friendships, as well and am quite proud of the work we all accomplished.

But upon entering the building, it hit me immediately that this was no longer my home. It now belonged to all those people milling about taking visitors on tours of their building.

I felt sad. I felt angry. I felt like someone had taken something from me - my home. And since I don't really feel settled in with current employer (of < 2 years), I felt in limbo somewhere.

I'm sure there's some spiritual message in this, but I'm feeling too sad to figure it out, yet.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Who Can Turn the World on With Their Smiles?

Today, a woman at work shared with me a video clip e-mailed to her of a mother with her quadruplet infants. The 4 children were laughing and giggling in the cutest manner. Just the thought of that video brought smiles to me all day.

In a similar vein, last Saturday a group of people from my church sang at a local nursing home. Our singing sounded pretty good, but it was all the children roaming the halls with us that brought so many of the residents to their doors. They smiled and waved; the children smiled and waved back. One little boy climbed on to a few laps. And a couple of residents followed us a bit, pushing themselves along in their wheelchairs.

It's amazing to think that something so simple as a child's small wave and shy smile can continue to warm a heart even these few days later. Now, a cynic might say that for people stuck in nursing homes, any change in the normal routine is welcome; but there is nothing routine about a child's coo, giggle or smile or the impact they can have on anyone - from a lonely nursing home resident to a busy businesswoman. I'm blessed to have witnessed it on Saturday and on my co-worker's e-mail.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Unexpected

Last Saturday, as I began to look at my schedule for the upcoming week, I saw a VERY full calendar for my work and personal life. I was looking forward to an awful week.

So, last night at Bible Study I asked for prayer in dealing with my upcoming week. Today, two of the four meetings I had expected at work were rescheduled. Two after work commitments I had were shorter than expected. God had answered my prayer.

But then, something totally unexpected happened and I've been dealt a blow. Now I wonder, would this unexpected have happened had I not prayed for relief from all the expected items OR would the expected been worse than the unexpected? Is this an example of the old adage "be careful what you wish for, it might happen"? If so, how then am I to pray?

Too many questions.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

An Apple for the Teacher

I found out last night that one of my high school teachers, my favorite teacher ever, died on January 10. She was only 62.

I hadn't been in touch with her for years, but coincidentally she'd been on my mind the past few weeks. I think the reason I was thinking about her so much was due to the Steelers' playoff run. She was the main reason I got interested in football.

In addition to English and Math, she taught Football; specifically, STEELER FOOTBALL. Every Monday morning, there was little Algebra, Grammar or Literature taught - we rehashed yesterday's game. Since the 70's was the Steelers' hey-day there was much to talk about.

Now, Miss Reznik was a very feminine woman, rarely in pants and her hair, makeup and nails just so; and Ursuline Academy was an all-girl school, so football would seem to be an anomoly. But Miss Reznik knew her game and taught us alot about various plays, penalties and strategy. I wonder what came first - my interest in football or my interest in what Miss Reznik was teaching because she was an inspiring teacher

Many times over the years, usually during football season (beginning with training camp and ending with the draft, as any devoted football fan would understand) Miss Reznik would come to mind and I would think about tracking her down. Now it's too late.

So I publish this post as an "apple for my teacher" although I think she'd enjoy the Lombardi Trophy just as much.

BTW - Miss Reznik loved LOTR and took our class on a field trip to see the animated version of the "Hobbit" when it was first released in theaters. And she gave me my pewter sculpture of "The Riddle Game" with Gollum and Bilbo among other LOTR-related items. She was really a contemporary Renaissance woman.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Why I Blog, Part III

A Thought Went Up My Mind To-Day

A thought went up my mind to-day
That I have had before,
But did not finish,--some way back,
I could not fix the year,

Nor where it went, nor why it came
The second time to me,
Nor definitely what it was,
Have I the art to say.

But somewhere in my soul, I know
I've met the thing before;
It just reminded me--'t was all--
And came my way no more.

-Emily Dickinson

I feel a need to document my thoughts and feelings lest I forget them and they leave me forever. This seemed like a logical place to keep them. As much as I like pen to paper, I have a tendency to misplace my notebooks. It's hard to misplace my computer!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Glance in the Mirror

The other day when I came home from work, I was fuming! I was upset with my staff and my coworkers. Despite their umpteen years of experience they continued to perform tasks the easy way - their way, not the correct way. After a 1-1/2 years of encouraging, cajoling and directing them, they still did not listen to me - their boss. And I was seeing red. It was at that point the Spirit reminded me that despite my umpteen years as a Christian, I continue to perform things my way. Despite His years of encouraging, cajoling and directing me, I still do not listen to Him - THE BOSS. Oops. Seeing my own reflection in the actions of my employees does not condone or justify their actions. Nor does it require me to ignore their shortcomings. I have a responsibility to my employer to manage our department properly and address their perfomance issues. Even if it means they can "throw things back in my face". But this incident reminds me of:
  • God's amazing ability to take every moment of my life to sanctify me
  • The tremendous responsibilty I feel being the boss is overseen and carried by God; I need only obey.
  • Life is full of "Oops's", but God forgives; and His is an example of how I'm to react to my staff.

Friday, January 20, 2006


My days seem to be so much of the same. Monday through Friday I work. Monday and Wednesday evenings I have class. Tuesday nights are Bible Study and Sunday is church. Somewhere between all these items I take care of dogs, clean, grocery shop, etc.

As I progress through each week, I feel the ground under me slowly give way, steadily eroding. I'm in more than a rut or a gully; more like a crevice with ever rising walls around me.

Where is the way out? What manner of "excitement" can energize me to climb up and away from this pit?

Monday, January 09, 2006

A Report from the Resolution Battleground

It's been a little over a week since I made my stand against New Year's Resolutions and so far I've been winning the battle. However, it has been a battle. The temptation to give in just a little has threatened to take me prisoner once again. During the occasional cease fire I've thought about the word resolution. Re-Solution? Is it any wonder that I make the same resolutions year after year after year? I'm always trying to re-solve the same bad habits and vices. Since I've declared my war, my house has been cleaned, but not spotless. I've eaten a few healthier meals. I've decluttered a drawer or two. But not because these are items on a list somewhere (even if only on my mental list). I'm just taking things one day at a time. But isn't that how any soldiers in a war live? They leave the battle plan to their Officers and just obey orders from the Commanders. That's what I'm trying to do.