20 December 2013

Rules to live by...

Jill's Rules for Jill to live by, as consistently as possible:

Don't buy dustibles for friends unless you stick around to dust them.
Empty the dog BEFORE he becomes uncomfortable.
Be polite to other cars; they probably have people in them.
Lovingly speak truth.
Ask more questions than you answer.
Smile at grumpy people.
Organise your closet by colour, but not your bookshelves.
Pull weeds before they seed.
Listen to birdsong.
Be grateful for running water, hot water, drinkable water.
Recycle when possible.
Lower barriers to communication.
Engage in conversation, not debate.
Seek consistency and integrity, but know it's ok to be imperfect.
Value the dear friends; they enrich the journey.
Listen carefully to those with whom you disagree.
Eat food with more colour.
Write more thank you notes.
(... to be adjusted, continued, and refined)

19 December 2013

Difficult or Lonely Christmas

There’s no such thing as a PERFECT Christmas or New Year’s.

Stop seeking the elusive.
Muster the courage to enjoy whatever little glimpses
or joys or beauties there may be.


How have your circumstances changed since last Christmas?

Drastically? Incrementally?

For the better, or not?

As we go about our business, it might be easier on those we care about if we realised that Christmas and holidays are not always jolly celebrations.

We know people for whom this is likely to be their last Christmas. They may be aware of it, or those closest to them may be harbouring that thought. It will cast a shadow, to some degree, over how they go about these next days and weeks.

Others are eager for the holidays to be behind us all because they feel they have little to celebrate this year. Losses have changed things for them in ways we may not consider as wish them a Merry Christmas.

1.) Celebrations are good.    
2.) Lives and losses worth grieving are good too.

Those "good" things may not be obviously or easily compatible.

Let's Handle With Care those we care about.

Struggling through Christmas? Plan ahead!  
If you know Christmas is going to be difficult for you this year, make a plan now to make it as survivable as possible.

You may not be able to get home, or you may have a broken relationship, or have lost a dear loved one, or just can't cope with the hubbub of big groups. You may be in the dog box or have no money to do anything special or have kids who are celebrating with their other parent.

I remember sitting at an intersection in tears one Christmas, knowing I was welcome several places, but not feeling at home in any of them. It happens. Holidays are not always jolly-days.

Some options:

You can find ways to cocoon yourself and ignore the whole thing, though that will mean little or no access to TV, internet or radio. One friend considered going to a country where Christmas wasn't celebrated! You could get enough books or videos to last 2-3 days. Plan healthy snacks with a few special nibbles.

Another option might be to involve yourself in a project you enjoy and want to do anyway. Get out those paints, that puzzle, book or toolbox . . . glue gun, knitting needles, sewing machine or model airplane.

 You have to plan ahead though. Make sure you have all the supplies you'll need so as not to add to your frustration on the day. 

Read more and or download a pdf to share with friends.

08 December 2013

Humility, being loved, being vulnerable.

My message, unchanged for more than fifty years, is this: God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be. ~ Brennan Manning, April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013

We believe we’re invincible until cancer comes knocking, or we believe we’re making a comeback until we tumble down the stairs. God strips away those falsehoods because it is better to live naked in truth than clothed in fantasy."

The Trappist monk Thomas Keating once said, “The cross Jesus asked you to carry is yourself. It’s all the pain inflicted on you in your past and all the pain you’ve inflicted on others.”

Ragamuffins have a singular prayer: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Any additional flourishes to make that cry more palatable are Pharisaical leaven.

"My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it." - Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

06 December 2013

Refreshing tides

The tide washes out the little pools, scours the beach, washes the exposed stones and sand; every twelve hours or so it sorta refreshes itself. If only the seasons in our relationships and memories could be refreshed and clean again so quickly. But no, it takes longer with people.

01 December 2013

Stigmas & Stereotypes are stupid: live well.

1 Dec is/was World AIDS Day.
Testing, management and care are vital, as it is with diabetes, depression and high blood pressure. We'll all die of something, but a focus on living well is what matters.

I dearly love some people who are HIV+, and have lost a few dear friends to AIDS.

Stigmas and stereotypes are stupid. - Posted using BlogPress