Category Archives: strength

When God gives one a heart of compassion …

it is understood that it will get broken.

There is no way around it.

I am still learning this.

I find that is is both  an honor and a privilege to watch the end of life come to pass.

It isn’t easy nor can it be considered pleasant, but it is a part of life that not everyone gets to see.

The living years is what most of us look for, find pleasure in and hope to be a part of.

But to be present when a spirit leaves this world is nothing short of amazing.

The last breath.

The last heartbeat.

The last moment.

I cannot help but cry for it is, in it’s way, very sad … and yet, when there was suffering, it is also a comfort.

I try, in my weak way, to console the ones left behind, but at that particular moment, there really are no words to say.

I can only be there, in the background, in the edges of the moment, to hold a hand or wrap my arm around those who need the contact.

I’m not, by nature, a hugger or toucher.

It doesn’t really come naturally to me as it does to true nurturers … and yet, I find myself being pulled into the emotion.

It is difficult, but I cannot turn them away.

Not in their moment of need.

Maybe I am weak. But if I can offer some bit of strength in their moment of weakness, then my strength has been made manifest.

I can do, for this moment, what I have learned through experience to do.  Not book experience, or clinical experience, but life experience.

I understand loss, especially unexpected loss that blindsides you and leaves you reeling from words left unsaid.

It is what it is and there are no do-overs.

It is enough to know that you loved someone while they lived in a way that they knew, unconditionally, that they were loved.

It is enough.

Move forward as you can, but whatever the cost, move forward.

To remain where you are, in grief and sorrow is the last thing in the world the one you lost would want.

Don”t be afraid to live.

If you aren’t afraid to live, then when your time comes, you won’t be afraid to die.

It is a circle.

Don’t break it.

Anyone who tells you that aerobics …

is the only way to get fit is blowing hot air.

I will get plenty of flack on this, but as my dad is fond of saying, the truth will stand when the world’s on fire.

This is as far from my regular blog post content as one can get and still stay in this atmosphere, but it, at this moment, is what was on my mind.

I have no intention of downplaying the important role in a good, sweat-inducing, breath-heaving, nearly dying from (ironically) a heart attack,  cardiac workout.

It has its place.  But it’s place in the day to day struggle to get strong isn’t the only one.

It will, with a well balanced diet of protein and complex carbohydrates help you lose unwanted pounds.

But the real kicker is the large muscle groups.  When worked regularly and defined, the simple act of walking from one place to another on developed muscles will burn fat.

Just this week, I had someone say to me “I wish I could be more like you”.  That is not a phrase I hear very often so I take it very seriously when I do.  I gauged my words carefully as it is as important to not damage as it is to encourage.

I told them that only a few years ago, I was one hundred pounds heavier.  I was.  I am not proud of it, but I was.  I told them what I told myself … I had two choices and they were to do nothing or to do something.

I chose something.

Nobody can make anyone else get off the couch, turn off the tv, stop thinking of Lance and Lylac as close personal friends instead of the Soap stars they are.

There is only one person than can instigate anyone  to decide to make a difference in themselves and that is themselves.  And whatever choice they make should be respected.

Not everyone has the heart, the drive and the dream to achieve more than what they have at the moment.

Each to their own.

But as for me, I wanted something different than what I had and went for it, worked for it, sweated for it and while I have a ways to go yet, I am closer than I was when I started.

I will never be “hot”.  I will never be the person who turns heads, but then that sort of thing isn’t important to me.

I want to know that if tomorrow, God said to me, I want you to go into the mountains and photograph them to show the glory that I have given to all, I want to be up to the task.

I do this for me, not so that someone will look at me, but so that when I look at myself, I can say that I am strong.

I am me.

I am Gina and I did it even when I didn’t want to.

I am a hiker.  A photographer who takes any trail, especially a new one I find, and push myself beyond my limits to get to the top.

This works my leg muscles.  One of the large groups.  My thighs become toned and as they require energy to take one more step into the high places, I have not only indulged in building and encouraging my muscles, but by walking at an incline, gotten that nasty little cardio workout in as well.

The stronger the muscle, the more energy it needs and where do you think it gets that energy?  From stored fat.  The more you utilize the large muscle groups and refine them, the more fat you burn.  The more fat you burn, the leaner you get.

An hour with Penny the queen of advanced aerobics who is, by the way, cute as a damn button, will make you sweat and raise your heart rate.  All good things, however, if you have strong muscles in your legs, abs and back, perfect Penny will take a back seat to the ongoing calorie burning process of muscles on a mission.

It may seem like  daunting task to build these muscles, but it is incredibly simple.

Walk to the mailbox for a couple days in a row.  And then walk past the mailbox for a couple days in a row.

Before you realize you are working your muscles, they will already be burning excess fat for energy in order to keep up.

I used to do yoga.  I liked it for about the first five minutes and then I was bored beyond tears.

I found, instead, that with strong muscles, I am more limber than I would be if I did yoga every day.

One doesn’t have to assume the double dog chasing a ratty Frisbee in order to attain strength and balance.

A bit of time every other day (because when you overexert your muscles, you must give them time to recover) working the thighs, glutes, back, shoulders and abs will, in short order, begin to use fat faster than panting to a Jenny Craig video.

I’ve been a nurse for nearly three decades and I can assure you that muscle burns fat … and once the fat starts to go away, you will feel more like walking, biking, swimming and will find yourself, despite your initial resistance to it, doing cardio workouts without even being aware.

So you will burn fat, strengthen your muscles, eat healthier and wake up one day and say damn!  I am looking fine.

If you must be a couch potato, don’t complain when everyone else is having fun.  Either live with it or deal with it.  Your choice.

don't be afraid to to climb

don’t be afraid to to climb

if it were easy, there wouldn't be any reward in it.  Be adventurous

if it were easy, there wouldn’t be any reward in it. Be adventurous

life involves a risk or two ... be adventurous ... be strong ... be yourself

life involves a risk or two … be adventurous … be strong … be yourself

Sometimes, for reasons I can’t explain …

I cry.

And then, when I go to work, which unfortunately, I have to, I cry there too.

I try to hide it, but sometimes, it is obviously, due to the questions and odd looks, evident, for I am questioned.

Or maybe mentally assaulted is the better description.

Have you been crying?

What have you been crying about?

What’s wrong?

Why yes, I want to say … I have been crying nearly inconsolably for absolutely no reason at all.

None.

I have broken things that I don’t really care about, deleted things that I did and find myself on the outside of everything I hold dear to my heart … but that is simply a byproduct.

Just forty-eight hours ago, I was manic and driving 90 miles a hour to keep up with my thoughts.

But there were no tears.

Only euphoria.

But now, I cry just to be crying.

One jag after another until I have a headache and nothing, other than red and swollen eyes, to show for it.

I cry at song lyrics, at the rebuff from a friend, because the light turned red, for the homeless man I saw at the intersection.

I have no control over it.

I want to, but it is beyond what I am capable of.

For whatever reason, it pisses people off when you tell them you don’t know what you are crying about.

What?

Do they never, ever, ever cry without a reason?

Really?  Do they actually expect people to believe that?

Don’t worry, though, not everyone who swings between euphoria, ecstasy, and suddenly in the dredges of despair but still thinking in terms of the ecstasy factor, is nuts.

A few of us hold a golden trophy with our bipolar names on it, but not everyone.

It isn’t contagious.  Remember that.

It.

Isn’t.

Contagious.

And the oddness of it, in itself, is, in that in itself, there is oddness.

They want to know why.

There isn’t a why.

They want to know what about.

There isn’t a what about.

I used a gallon of the “it get’s the red out” Visine today.  A useless fluid that burns the eyes and does little to hide the fact that I was crying about nothing in particular.

Why is it so important to have something to cry about.  There are moments, such as the one I am currently in, that I cry because I simply can’t stop it.

I could make up stuff to cry about, but I shouldn’t have to.

I should be able to maneuver though this stage of my, what should I call it?, psychosis? without being put on the spot to try to explain the unexplainable.

Maybe I should start telling people I have a hangover.  Maybe that would be more well received than the response of I’m not crying about anything in particular, I’m just crying.

Because I’m nuts.

That always goes over well.

I’m nuts.

Does that soothe your mind?   Always have been and have little hope of being otherwise.

Sometimes I cry.

Get used to it or get over it.

If I am very lucky, it will only last a day or two and I can go back to being simply, though wonderfully, semi-manic.

I can assure you, it is much preferred.

I don’t get to the crying stage very often, praise the Good Lord, but when I do, I’m there.

Nothing that can be said, no pats on the head or uninvited and unwanted hugs can change it.

It is what it is.  Those who feel this way from time to time know, without a shadow of a doubt the sheer amount of courage it takes to move from one minute, one hour, one day into the other.

The rest of you … I will always be an enigma and I am tired of trying to explain it.

It is what it is and that is simply the way of it.

It doesn’t change who I am because this, accepted or not, is who I am.

If you know me you already know that.

If you don’t, you never will.

No hard feelings.

Tomorrow is a brand new day.

a light shining in the darkness, whether in day or night, is a grand thing.

a light shining in the darkness, whether in day or night, is a grand thing.

If I’m not me …

then myself, as I know me to be, will cease to exist.

It has been a trying few days … ok, truth be known a trying couple of weeks, but the past few days have been egregiously difficult.

For those who know me personally, you are used to the barrage of chattering that has little to do with anything and everything to do with nothing.  It is part of what makes me who I am.

But sometimes, there is a hitch in the rhythm that brings everything to a complete and utter halt.

That recently happened.  I don’t intend to dwell on it for as far as I am concerned, it is in the past, it is buried and I am well on my way to greener pastures.

It was Erma Bombeck who so aptly said “the grass is always greener over the septic tank” … well, she wasn’t just whistling dixie.

It is funny how life throws curve balls at us and we have two choices … either dodge them or get hit.

I got hit this time, but it will, without doubt, make me more able and prepared to dodge in the future.

I don’t do “woe is me” very well.

I am an optimist.

A follower of Christ.

A positive thinker.

A Sagittarius.

A sometimes bordering-on-crazy person.

All of these things work in tandem to help me to see the big picture.

I don’t even pretend to be perfect, and if truth be told, walk with distressing regularity, the fine line between sanity and oblivion.

But I know myself and my moods and have, over time, learned to live with them.

All of them.

I say curse words when they are warranted, drink Corona when I feel like it and roll my eyes when there doesn’t seem to be any other option.

I don’t hold these things against myself and if others do, that, in my opinion, is their problem.

I have found myself in the past few days facing demons and obstacles that, if given the rest of my life, I would never have dreamed such happenings would come to be.

But life happens as it happens.  It is the same for all of us.

No part of the time we are given is perfect.

Well, that isn’t exactly true, as I can, with perfect clarity, recall a few perfect moments … but for the most part, we are all on a deal-with-it-as-it-comes basis and we either deal with it or end up institutionalized.

Since I am still a free woman, I suspect that I have, at least up until now, dealt with it.

I don’t discount the things that hurt me for they help me grow, but I do learn from them.

If one doesn’t learn from the things that set them back a bit, then they are wasting their time living.

Life is for living; not for reliving failures, hurt or humiliation.

Living.

Learning.

Thriving.

That is how I roll and it is how I will continue to roll.

Wishing everyone who reads this to look inside themselves and decide that life, whatever it may bring, is worth living and worth living well.

Until next time, be well, my friends, be well.

only one of hundreds of my favorite things about West Side Market in Cleveland, OH

only one of hundreds of my favorite things about West Side Market in Cleveland, OH

Carl Tanner performing at Toy F. Reid Center, courtesy of Symphony of the Mountains

Carl Tanner performing at Toy F. Reid Center, a concert made possible by Symphony of the Mountains

The Cleveland Orchestra performing Mahler's First at Severence Hall

The Cleveland Orchestra performing Mahler’s First at Severence Hall

My niece, Gracie, living life and having a grand time doing it.

My niece, Gracie, living life and having a grand time doing it.

sudden, immobilizing sadness …

is one of those emotions that catches me unawares.  When I least expect it, am most vulnerable to it, haven’t the strength to fight it; it strikes.  I don’t feel sadness everyday.  As a matter of fact, I rarely feel sad and yet …

there are moments.

Moments when it feels as though the whole of the world is upon my shoulders and my soul is stripped bare.

Then, out of the blue, a thunderstorm approaches.   I find myself on the back porch, tripod in place, waiting patiently for the the lightning; the strains of piano from my favorite music playlist resounding through the darkness as the photographer in me readies for the beauty that seems to be displaying itself just for me ….

And then ….

much to my surprise and unexpected, heart-lifting joy …

the first lightning bugs of the season appear in their magnificent beauty.

I wonder, as I watch them flicker playfully among the trees and grass and rocks if they they know how much I have longed to see them.  How much I have missed them.

They are magical, as they blink and fade before my eyes.  I feel, at this moment, that they are here for the sole purpose to encourage me.  To give me hope and to lead me to a place that is full of light and beauty.

Do they know that I have been looking for them … waiting for them … wishing for them?

The lightning that encompasses the oncoming storm dims in importance as I find myself mesmerized by the display of mother nature’s incredible display of magnificence.

I am encouraged.

They encourage me.  I wonder if they know that … if they understand how much comfort they bring to me.

I wonder if they understand that I have been waiting for them, if they know how much they calm my overstimulated system, my aching heart, my yearning soul.

I can do this.

I can face that which paralyzes me … that which takes me back to a  desolate time when my heart shattered in my chest …. when time stood still.

We all have those things that bring us joy in the midst of sadness … friends who listen to our laments and judge us not.  We have them.

We often take them for granted, at least I know I do …  take for granted that they will be there in our time of need, but we have them; and they are there, without fail, when we are vulnerable and struggling simply to breathe, to live, to move from one moment to the next …not to judge but only to hear our thoughts and fears.

No judgment.

No harshness.

No rebuke.

No unsolicited advice.

No condemnation.

Only understanding , often in silence, as we fight our demons.

I am thankful for the lightning bugs.

And I am thankful for the friends who tolerate me, even when I am intolerable.

I am blessed well beyond what I deserve.

Thank you, Lord, for the lightning bugs, for friends who understand me and for loving me even though I am, many times, unlovable.

I count my blessings and they are many.  While I am sorry that there are others who have stood in the rain, blinded by the sheer magnitude of the sorrow, they, as I have, have made it through the rain.

We are one, we are many and we are survivors in the midst of adversity, sorrow, death and pain.

We made it.

Amen.

It’s not easy …

to look over decisions that we’ve made, roads we have taken, choices we have labored over only to find that they weren’t the right decisions, were the wrong turns and were bad choices.  But it is a constant in our lives.  Not every crossroad we come to will have an outcome that is favorable.  Sometimes, the results can be downright devastating.

If the only person such things effected was ourselves, it wouldn’t, I suppose, matter, quite so much.  But our decisions, our outbursts, our tantrums, our misdirects … they, like a long, intricate line of dominoes, fall, one against another, starting a chain reaction that can last for years and through multiple lifetimes.  Purity and innocence can be taken away so quickly that it would seem as though they never existed.

I have a wealth of understanding on making mistakes and living with them; learning from them.  Some of my mistakes have hurt no one but myself, others have touched the people I love the most, causing pain that was never intended, hurt that, though time has surely layered with a cushion, can never, ever, be completely erased.

I understand pain and insecurity.  I have known joy and heartache with equal measure.  I have lain, curled in a ball while sobs wracked my body to the point that I feared my bones would break and didn’t care if they did.  I have known despair and felt the icy fingers of death claw at my mind.  I have thought long and hard about how easy it would be to simply drift away into nothingness where life could no longer kick me senseless.

It is because of these things that I have more understanding than I wish to, that I stand now, with my head up and my spirit intact.  Life did not break me.  It bent me, at times nearly beyond redemption, but it did not break me.  I look around and see others that have been bruised and bent themselves.  They weren’t broken either, but none of us came out of the fire unscathed.  None of us came away from it all whole, but full of holes that left room for the pain and suffering of others to fill.

Because of my broken road, I have found compassion, I have found empathy and I have found beauty that is so stunning that, at times, it nearly breaks my heart.  And along the path strewn with shards of brokenness, I have found others, stumbling along trying to find their way.  And through discouragement, faith and determination, I was encouraged.  We are all, in one way or another, broken and simply knowing that makes me feel less alone.

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Matthew 12:20 ~ A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench

An extra chromosome …

changed my life, as well as the lives of many, many others.  Five years ago, my youngest niece was born with Down’s Syndrome.  She was a tiny, fragile thing who looked as though she would break with the slightest touch.  Her fragility, however, was short lived.  Before we knew what hit us, Gracie was not only growing and thriving, but had managed to wrap everyone who met her around her sweet little finger.  The first time she smiled at me, tears filled my eyes.  The first time she called me Nini, I cried.  The first time she put those precious little arms around my neck and lay her head on my shoulder, I lost it completely.

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The fact that Gracie has Down’s Syndrome is irrelevant to everyone who meets her.  Her charismatic personality and over-the-top laughter make it impossible to see anything but the beautiful spirit she exudes.  She laughs.  She loves.  She thrives.  She plays.  She cries.  She gets mad.  She is everything she’s supposed to be, but because of that little, bitty, extra chromosome, she is so much more.

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Just by being herself, she is an encourager.  It is simply not possible to be in Gracie’s presence and not feel a sense of love and acceptance.  It was evident from the start that she was one of God’s special gifts.  She is blessed in a way that makes her appear larger than life.  Her very being commands attention without ever saying a word and people migrate to her, surround her, find solace in her.  She is, without doubt or reservation, a formidable weapon against everything negative.

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She possesses an innate ability to turn lives around with her genuineness.    She is guileless in everything she does, having no agenda or premeditation.  Her sense of self is unrivaled and her confidence unwavering;  that, in itself, is a testament to the strength and beauty that is part of what makes her who she is.  There are many things I would change in my life were I given the chance to do so.  Gracie is not one of them.

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March 21 is Down’s Syndrome Awareness Day and the purpose of this post is as much to help raise awareness as it is to sing the song of Gracie.    I am more than I was before she came into my life, but not nearly as much as I will be in another five years.  My life changed, for the better, the day she was born and I will never be the same.

To read Watching Gracie Grow, click on the photo below:

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That cherished moment …

when the cloud that surrounds me, taking me perilously close to a state of chaotic madness, lunacy, insanity; call it what you will, lifts.  It is a bit like going through a thick, consuming fog bank, unable to see in front, behind or on either side, left with only the senses (which are already stretched to the breaking point), to navigate.  Then, at the moment when I have reached what I perceive to be the pinnacle of hurt and disillusionment , the fog dissipates and nothing but clear, wonderful skies, stretch into the distance.  These are the days I live for.

I am thankful for many things, but when the fog lifts and I realize I have cleared another hurdle … well, I am especially thankful for these times.  They aren’t easy, not for myself nor those who suffer along with me by simply being  close to me in one way or another.  It seems that those I trust most carry the greatest burden.  I could apologize, but I have found that apologizing for who I am is a useless and undermining endeavor.  I am who I am and other than trying to live a more Godly life, I wouldn’t change a thing.  If an apology were needed, then I would have, obviously, been confiding in the wrong people; instead, they humble me with their tolerance.

I am thankful that each day brings me closer to that which I strive to be.  I don’t know, exactly, what I will be when I grow up, but I know, whatever it is, it will be wonderful.

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Isaiah 40:31 ~ But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  Amen.

I am just as at home everywhere …

as I am in only one place.  As I look over the past several years and think of the places I’ve visited, it occurs to me that the short stay I had in those various cities and towns, in the air and on the roads simply wasn’t enough.  I needed more time.  Weeks.  Months.  Not just days.  There were things I didn’t have time to experience, time I wasn’t able to spend wandering around in and absorbing that which, although unfamiliar, was as familiar to me as my own backyard; people I didn’t get to meet and sit down with.  There was food I didn’t get to taste and sheer beauty, of which, I wasn’t able to become a part.

I suppose such words are those that only one with wanderlust can understand.  Everywhere feels like home, at least for a time.  The people are different but so similar, the air smells different, but is, again, essentially the same.  The roads all lead somewhere, the sun rises, the sun sets, the moon shines, the stars twinkle and even though I haven’t actually seen it yet, I know it is will be beautiful.  There really isn’t anywhere on earth that I can think of that I could lay my head and not, at least for a bit of time, feel at home.

Last night, I started driving for no other reason than to be somewhere other than where I was.  I was driving West.  No radio.  No sound at all except my wheels on the road and the thoughts in my head.  It was very cathartic.  After about one hundred miles, though, instead of continuing on until I came to another ocean, I turned around and headed from whence I had come.  It wasn’t my time to go; not yet.  While my family and friends are perplexed by my consuming need to go, I know in my heart that there will come a time that I will leave them.  It won’t be easy, but it will be necessary if I am to fulfill what has been predestined for me.

That sounds so mystical, but it isn’t.  I have dreamed of it my entire life.  There is nothing mystical about hoping to see a life-long dream fulfilled.  I sometimes feel selfish when I think this way, but I have to remind myself that there will be no one else to live the dreams I dream; no one but myself.  I will follow the will of my Father God where His wind takes me and I will do my very best to honor Him no matter where I lay my head.

There are so many places I want to go; some I’ve already been and want to go back again.  I don’t care, really, if I have a place, other my car, to rest when I get weary.  Where I stay is the least of my concerns; what I see, though, well, now, that’s a different story altogether.  It isn’t that I’m not content where I am, it is simply that there is still so much of creation that I want to see.  No, that isn’t right. If I only wanted to see it, then it would just be a passing thing.  I need to see it.  To feel it. To breathe it.  To taste it.  To touch it.  To stand in it; whatever “it” may be.  And need surpasses want on every level.

I consider the people of the world to be my family and friends.  I don’t think of them in colors, religions or nationalities.  They are just people.  We are not, in our hearts and dreams, dissimilar.  I suppose some of my optimism spills over into what I perceive the world to be, but at the end of the day, I need to know, to learn, to experience.  I want to see for myself and not rely on the eyes of another to mold my perceptions; not live vicariously through the stories that have been told.

There will come a time, if God wills it, that the places of my dreams will become places of my reality.  I can wait, for nothing  truly worth waiting for is time wasted.

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Proverbs 3:6 ~   in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

 

Coughing, sneezing and I’m going to be sick …

seem to be the catchwords these days.  There are, at any given time, several bugs going around that are contagious, HOWEVER, due to the unusually warm weather this winter season, the bugs (and not just the flu ones) are winning the war.  It’s funny how, when someone is sick, all the lessons they learned as a child (such as covering their mouth when they cough) just fly out the window.  I have been coughed on, spit on, puked on and, as of today, hit on (though that is, unfortunately, not contagious hahaha). 

I never really intended on being a nurse, but for some odd reason, I seem to have a knack for it.  I am not a people person.   Might as well admit it.  Through the harsh experiences in my life that God had decided I needed to face, however, I have been given an arsenal of ways to relate to people facing crisis.

I still wake up every morning wishing I could spend the day looking for photographs to take, but that is not the turn my life took.  I went to school and studied things that grossed me out on many, many levels and, got kicked out of the OR by a very irritated surgeon; at some point, though, was able to actually practice (mostly without gagging) what I had learned.  I hate germs, hair and skin cells.  They make me want to run for cover, so I ask myself over and over why I became a nurse.  The answer is one that doesn’t please me, but the truth is often a bitter pill to swallow; I became a nurse because I didn’t have the nerve or courage to be what, in the depths of my soul, I wanted to be.

Ironically,  there is a survey that everyone in the place I work has to fill out.  Thankfully, we don’t have to put our names on it because one of the questions is “do I get to do what I do best every day”.  The answer is no.  I don’t get to photograph nature and life and I do not, on any level, consider making a note in a patient’s chart using medical jargon and words that I am pleased to not only know the meaning to, but know how to spell (such as costochondritis, hyperemisis and macrocytosis), writing.  But even so, I don’t discount the sheer magnitude of the moment when someone who is in need says to me “you have put my mind at ease” or “I am thankful for you”.  Those times almost (not completely, but almost) make me feel guilty for not wanting to be a nurse for the rest of my life.

I have, more than once, as any of my friends can tell you, been in a position where I needed to have my own mind put at ease.  As recently as the last two days, if I am to be honest.  I find that I treat patients the way I want my parents to be treated and often spend more time than I should trying to fix an unfixable problem.  Doing so is like hitting my head against a wall again and again, but I simply don’t have the mindset to do something halfway.  All or nothing, whether I love it or not, is just the way I roll.  It is a blessing to know that, along the way, I can give back what has  been given to me; that I can relate, even in the really bad stuff, and give someone a bit of peace by letting them know that I understand.  And, too often for my own comfort, I do understand.  It is both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because I can bring some peace to a single, solitary soul, and a curse because I often wish, without guile, that I were anywhere but where I am at the moment.

Knowing that I am relevant in peoples’ lives  doesn’t cure the wanderlust or the need to write or the need to see or the need to photograph.  Those things make me who I am and whether I am face to face with the flu bug or dodging vomit, or squinting my eyes shut as someone coughs directly in my face, it doesn’t change what I want to be.  Just because I am good at what I do to earn a paycheck doesn’t mean that I want to keep doing it.  I’ve been saying that for over twenty-five years and my reality, though sometimes skewed by moments of insanity, hasn’t changed.  In my heart, I am a photographer and writer and that will not, even if those particular desires are never fulfilled, change.  I still have my trail shoots.  I still have my blog.  I still have my dreams.  I still have my faith.  While I will continue to do what I do as long as I must do it, there is so much more I want to experience.  Being an optimist, I have no doubt that the chance will come.  Being a Sagittarius, I am just stubborn enough to wait for it.  Being a follower of Jesus, I have the faith and patience to wait.  Being a nurse, I at least know that, while I am waiting, I am accomplishing something that matters to someone.

So all of that being said, I remind everyone to wash your hands several times a day, change your clothes the minute you get home and for Heaven’s sake, don’t eat or drink after people;  that is nasty even when you are well, even when it is people you love dearly.  Remember, germs don’t care who you are, they are just glad when you are gullible enough to bring them into yourself, so protect yourself and run when necessary. Be well, be safe and follow your dreams, no matter where they may lead.  I certainly intend to.

flolicking

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.