See if I Care

I lost something recently that I cherished. No, there’s been no death in my family. I like to use big words and have a tendency to exaggerate. I lost pictures I’d taken on my holidays, pictures I’d admired and played with and hoped to share on Instagram, probably 500 of them. I went on a hike to a lake this summer and impulsively took my phone, the keeper of my precious pictures, on a swim and, nope, I didn’t have them backed up. My phone is dead, blank, unyielding, even though I smothered it in quinoa, rice, and silica crystals, took it in to have it checked out by people who know more about phones than I, stroked it and prayed over it. I’m still praying, but to date, sadly, there’s been no resurrection.

carewoman-3275328_1280

I should have taken better care. When we care about something, we value it. We commit ourselves, our time and our resources, to its preservation. We’re careful with it. When we don’t care about something, we ignore it and, often, disdain it. “I couldn’t care less” is a contemptuous phrase we fling out to show our utter disregard for something. “Who cares about that!” we say, as if everyone in the world is firmly on our side concerning the matter. When we use the words, “I don’t care”, in a situation of loss, we usually do care and are trying to talk ourselves out of the discomfort we feel.

We all have moments in life when we’re careless. A chore, defined as an unpleasant, but necessary task, may receive a hasty, half-hearted response from us, because we want to cut the unpleasantness short. We may not have time to be as careful as we should be. A deadline is looming and we’ve procrastinated or there were unforeseen difficulties and we’re forced to cobble something together. Or, our carelessness may be a matter of flagging resources. My little girl wasn’t a year old and needed to be supervised and, yet, I recall snoozing on the couch while she played quietly nearby. Had something happened, I never would have forgiven myself, but I was used up and couldn’t keep my eyes open. This is an instance where I or others may have suffered for my carelessness, not unlike those who don’t heed danger signs or follow traffic laws.  Or, we’re simply not thinking when we should be caring, which was the case with my phone debacle. When I entered the water, my mind was in the moment on the immense beauty surrounding me and the fact that my friend had already taken the plunge, not on the phone I just stuck in my pocket.

We can’t blame our minds for being elsewhere. In a society as complex as ours, we have to be discerning about when and where we decide to care. We can’t care about everything. We’d go mad. I read a book about the brain and habits once. Our brains are careeye-766166__480set up to enable us to do the things we do frequently without thinking. Supposedly, we have to save our limited brain power for important moments and crisis situations. Breathing, walking, eating, brushing our teeth, even driving, anything habitual, is accomplished with very little care on our part. Certain things, like surgery, require the utmost care and we expect those who practice such specialized manoeuvres to be prepared, alert, and attentive, to care greatly, and to perform accordingly. We want our healthcare professionals, dentists, lawyers, accountants, nannies, etc. the people we rely on for assistance in matters we care about to care about what they’re doing.

We don’t all care about the same things and we don’t want anyone judging us for what we care about. Generally, here in this culture, we care about our health, well-being, and comfort, friends, family, and pets, education, meaningful work, financial success, the acquisition of things we desire, and our leisure activities; sports, literature, music, and the arts. Some go so far as to care about those most don’t care about like stray animals, homeless folks, the elderly, and the sick. They go door to door urging others to care about them, too, by asking for donations or volunteer hours.

I can’t tell you what to care about, but I’ll tell you what I’d like to stop caring about. I’d like to stop caring about what other people say about me. Allowing ourselves to be shaped by the opinions of others can leave us confused, downhearted, and insecure. It’s my desire as a Christian to be rooted in the love of God, the one who made me and knows me more intimately than any other. His love is limitless, unchanging, and eternal, a solid rock on which to build my life. People are fickle and even family and true friends

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

will let us down. I also believe that caring about what others around us achieve or have in an envious way is a recipe for discontent. Of course, we always need to care enough to celebrate others, but why waste time wishing we could do what others do and have what others have. Why not rather go out and get what we want!

In truth, I struggle to care. I don’t share this often with people, but I have Attention Deficit Disorder. Caring, for me, takes focus and I have to work to maintain focus, which is why I’ve quit so many things and that’s a whole other post! I run out of focus and I stop caring. I look back on my childhood, on how carefree it was (there’s that care word again) and I wish I’d known how good I had it. As children in this society, we eat, sleep, and play and responsibility is added in measured doses, more and more as we age. ADDers are known to run from responsibility. We’re always looking for fun, on the hunt for the next high. We want to do things that excite us only. The boring and mundane, we tend to shirk, because focus is required. I wish I cared more, but I have to push myself constantly, assure myself that this task will only take a few minutes and it’s not going to hurt me to do it, convince myself of the value of things that other people say I should value, like housecleaning, when I’d rather be editing pictures for Instagram or walking in the coulees or watching an exciting movie. I even struggle with self-care and you can read about that here. Anything that falls into the chore category is a challenge for me.

Those of you who receive my posts via email have been experiencing my carelessness first hand, as I haven’t put out a post in the last few weeks. I haven’t been true to the schedule I set up for myself. I’ve never been one for schedules, preferring spontaneity to structure, another ADD trait. The fact that I put out a post almost weekly for the past year is commendable, as I live very haphazardly otherwise. It’s not that I don’t have anything to post. I still have plenty of material, I just have no desire to write or share. Sometimes carebrain-951845__4802there’s nothing of merit up there, no deep thoughts exploding, no quips rippling, no prose begging to be born. I think it’s because I haven’t done enough to feed and grow my soul. I used to read voraciously and as a writer, I think it’s an important discipline to follow, but somewhere along the line, I allowed Instagram to take over my life and too much Instagram makes Polly a dull girl. I tried to limit my Instagram use by deleting my first account which had grown to 3000+ followers, but I failed to even contain my second account and I’ve had to downsize again. (If you were following me on Instagram and would like to continue, request a follow @penelopepantaloons. Please message me indicating that you’re a reader. Thanks.)

When I first set up this blog, I took the advice of a successful blogger as to when and how much to post. I’m ready to decide for myself what’s needed and, right now, I need some space. I want to thank all of you who regularly read my posts. I’m humbled that you would give me your time and attention. I don’t know when I’ll post again, because I’m granting myself the freedom to post when I’m inspired to do so. But, at the core of my being, I’m a writer. Writing is something I’ve chosen to care about and I dedicate myself to it anew. I don’t intend to quit, so I’ll be around. You can count on it. In the mean time, take care of yourselves. 🙂

Photo of the Canadian Rockies graciously provided by Keith Traber, Instagram, @trabs_thesecretlifeof.

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: @penelopepantaloons. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Advertisements

Out of the Blind Side

Those of you who’ve been following my blog know that I’ve been running to improve my fitness level. The city I live in has two sides divided by a river and coulees or, if you’re not familiar with that term, ravines. I live a few blocks from the trails on top of the lightroad-815297_12802coulees, a pleasant place to exercise with a beautiful view of the river valley. Yesterday, I awoke at 5 am to get my run in, because I had to be somewhere to volunteer at 6:45. I know, an ungodly hour, but I work in healthcare. A 5 am start to the day isn’t unusual for me. What was unusual about this particular run is it was in the dark. I still opted to go out on top of the coulees, because running on trails is gentler on the body than smacking the pavement, but I didn’t consider how challenging it would be to run without being able to see. Continue reading “Out of the Blind Side”

There’s a World out There

There’s a kid picking through a garbage can

While I sit down to breakfastworldpoor-2382641__4802

There’s tired man in an unemployment line

While I head off to work

There’s an invalid struggling to use his limbs

While I climb on my bicycle

And there’s a world out there trying

While I’m watching my TV

 

There’s a girl, she’s been living in a cardboard box

worldchildren-of-war-1172016_12802While I’m warm and sheltered

There’s a child lying broken on a kitchen floor

While I have been embraced

There’s a boy dodging bullets in a civil war

While I take peace for granted

There’s a world out there crying

While I’m watching my TV

 

I live in a world where I can choose to stay

Will I venture out, will I look and really seeworldboy-529067_12802

That life is happening all around me?

I’ve been living in a fairytale

Some are living in a tragedy

What can I do?

Will I do anything?

 

There’s a lonely one pining in an empty room

worldalone-2666433_1280While I’m loved and wanted

There’s sickly soul looking for a lasting cure

While I’m whole and strong

There’s a muddled mind searching for the simple truth

While I’m clear and rested

There’s a world out there dying

While I’m watching my TV

 

I live in a world that I must choose to leave

I must venture out, I must look and really see

That life is happening all around meworlddrink-3021521_12802

Lord, I wanna be a living spring

Welling up to eternity

Where everyone can come and drink

There’s a world out there

 

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

 

What are we Waiting For?

I have a confession to make. I was a Ferberizer. If you aren’t familiar with this term, a Ferberizer is a person who prescribes to Dr. Ferber’s approach for training an infant to sleep. When I think back on those early years with my children, the newborn stage was, by far, the most difficult for me. You see, I adore sleep and have generally been very good at it, sleeping on average seven to nine hours a night. Going from a healthy, luxurious eight hours of sleep, to sleeping three hours before being awoken by a cute, tight-fisted, red-faced, screaming narcissist was a nightmare. Within a month’s time, I was transformed from a relatively fashionable, semi-capable human being, to an unkempt, waitingbaby-2387661__4802smelly, baggy-eyed, babbling zombie, which is why I was a Ferberizer. It was imperative that I find the quickest way back to my cozy bed and the sweetest of dreams. You can read all about Ferber and his methods here, but essentially, when it was time for your babe’s beddy-bye, you placed your little one in the crib awake. The premise was that the child needed to learn to fall asleep on his own and self soothe, if need be, without any cuddling, rocking, or excessive bum patting on the part of the parent. Inevitably, the crying would begin. The parent was to wait an increment of time and then go in and give their offspring a few gentle pats of reassurance and exit the room once more and continue doing this until the child went to sleep. Eventually, the kid, squawking, waiting for his mother’s return would think, “Aw, nuts, she’s not coming back and this is exhausting” and he’d peter out into a restful slumber. Sometimes, this worked perfectly and sometimes it was an agonizing waiting game, but whatever you think of this method, I believe it taught my children a valuable lesson: sometimes, in life, one has to wait.
Continue reading “What are we Waiting For?”

Standing in the Storm

When most people think of Canada, they think of cold, ice, and snow. We specialize in winter up here. The province of British Columbia has milder temperatures the further south you go, but Canada is largely a chilly place for a substantial part of the year. I’mblizzard-91898_12802 from Alberta and winter can last close to six months with dumps of snow recorded even in the summertime.
Continue reading “Standing in the Storm”

Here’s to the Great Sorter in the Sky

Take control of me, Jesus. The current management is woefully incompetent.

 

My son, like many other boys his age, loved to play with Lego. His imagination soared as he created all manner of scenes, structures, and creatures. One Mother’s Day, I even received a clever, Lego cake!legocake_Fotor

At one point, he began the daunting task of sorting his Lego. He made this decision, because it took too long to locate the particular piece he needed. Having obtained a load of it at a garage sale, I watched him patiently sorting through it for days.

One afternoon, I was helping him, while his younger sister looked on.

“Why are you helping him sort his Lego, Mummy?” she asked.

Without hesitation, I replied, “Because I love him”.

In the silence that followed, I had a moment of gratitude for the love of God
and His willingness to help me sort out so much more than just my Lego.

 

Complete the experience. Listen to Audrey Assad’s “Good to Me”. 

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Got Junk?

Does freaking out all the time make one a freak?

Self-awareness can be a scary venture. We all try to bury or look away from those things we don’t like about ourselves. Yet, if we want to grow in goodness and grace, we must take the time to examine who we have become. If it’s something we put off, because wagon-524514_19202we’re busy and reflection takes time and stillness, or because we’re afraid of what we might find, we will pay for it in our relationships. Too often, I’ve taken the train to destination unknown, all the while failing to note the scenery and I’ve ended up in Sorryville. It’s about being in the moment and it’s a matter of self-care. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis.
Continue reading “Got Junk?”

Pieces

I’m starting to piece my past together

                And at this point

I’m wondering

If my past should have been left in pieces

                                                   When I open up the wounds of my past

I suffer again

Having gained an understanding of why I suffered

It’s painful

But worth the pain

I think

    Understanding leads to forgiveness and healing

Healing is about wholeness

                                                                                      It’s about picking up the pieces

And putting them back together

One shard at a time

Fashioning something new

                     That glitters

When the light hits the jagged edges

 

Complete the experience. Listen to Gungor’s You Make Beautiful Things.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

What Does a Gal have to do to get a “Like” Around Here?

For those of you who enjoy watching movies and are around my age, you may remember the moment Sally Field received an Oscar for Best Actress in the 1985 film Places in the Heart. She was glowing and gushing as she delivered her acceptance speech, her bouncy curls combed high atop her head as was the style. (Watch the clip here.) She mentioned her cast and crew and her family and then went on to say something that has been mimicked and mocked ever since and I quote, “But I want to say thank you to you. I haven’t had an orthodox career and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now! You like me!”
Continue reading “What Does a Gal have to do to get a “Like” Around Here?”

Don’t just Live a Little

I can’t help but wonder. I keep it turned on.

marjorie-bertrand-147634The little girl I looked after today wasn’t two yet. I’d forgotten how utterly spontaneous they are at that age. On our way to the park, like a clumsy butterfly she landed here and there. She had to peek through the neighbor’s fence in search of doggies. She had to lie flat on her back in the grass, in the gravel, in the middle of the road. She tried, anyway. She caressed rocks and inspected pine cones and, at one point, sat down in the dark dirt and proceeded to cover herself with it. The idea that we were on our way to the park, the place designated for child’s play, meant nothing whatsoever to her. The world is her park.
Continue reading “Don’t just Live a Little”