Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thinking...

Yesterday I drove up to Denver for more Botox injections into my vocal chords. It went a little differently so I'm afraid that the injection on the left will have to be re-done. I'll talk to my doctor on the phone on Monday and we will decide then. That side felt funny last night and actually hurt a bit. This morning everything seems fine. I usually know if the injections are going to work 2 days after I get them so we'll see how things are tomorrow.



I sometimes like driving places by myself. Interestingly, I find myself choosing silence more and more. I don't know when that happened exactly. I think it has something to do with all the years of struggling with SD and frustration with trying to communicate in competing noise. There's something about the silence that is comforting to me and my mind wanders.


I've been thinking a lot lately. Truthfully, the thing I think about the most is myself. I also find myself looking at my neck in the mirror a lot. I definitely have the beginnings of a turkey waddle and it is upsetting me. Laugh lines and crow's feet are much less distressing and acceptable for my age... although, I don't really have those yet. But... a turkey waddle? Good Lord.

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Yet, I also think of other things beyond myself. Well, no, they still include me. Like... What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Am I ever going to find a job? How can I make a difference in the world around me?




I wish I could fix things. I wish I could make things better for certain family members and friends. I wish I had answers for so many problems I see in the world around me.

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I wish I understood.

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I just don't. There is so much that I just don't get. Sometimes I think if I can just understand why that I would then be able to see clear to the how.

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I've been helping a ministry that serves breakfast to the homeless on Saturday mornings. Double Shot has started coming with me which blesses me greatly. We aren't there every Saturday but we do go often.

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Initially, the breakfasts were served in a park near a creek bed where many of the homeless had pitched tents. There were problems with the city in retaining the use of the park pavillion for that purpose so we've moved down the road and across the street into the parking lot of a very small church that has agreed to let us use it each week.

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Earlier this year our city passed a camping ban and cleared out "Tent City." Now that the weather has improved those people are having to leave the shelters they were sent to. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

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The opinions on the homeless vary widely as well as opinions as to what should be done about them. Politically, people set themselves up in camps and muddy the issue with fighting back and forth, whether it be amongst family and friends across the kitchen table and/or through the media and at the polls. Most often, however, the solution most people choose is to ignore the problem completely. Whose responsibility is it anyway? We all have lives to live... bills to pay, families to raise, and problems of our own.
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Who are the homeless? Where are their families? Aren't they all just drunks and drug addicts?
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No.
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There are drunks, drug addicts, ex-convicts and the like on the streets, in the shelters and in line at the soup kitchens. There are also families... children. There are people who lack the mental capability to function normally within society. Homelessness is not a simple issue.
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Sometimes I have fantasies about becoming a famous author, making a ton of money and then taking that money and changing the world. I've had so many different ideas... buying homes specifically to be used for transitional housing that includes education and health care, writing public policy, and starting businesses that train and employ those in our society that have become unemployable.
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But... in my fantasy life as I try to work out solutions I come up against wall after wall. The problem seems insurmountable. Sometimes when you are surrounded by many that have an entitlement mentality that are simply reaping what they have sown in their lives... or see you as an easy mark... you can feel like there is no point.
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I've been reading Terrify No More by Gary A. Haugen who is the president of International Justice Mission (IJM). This is a group fighting present day slavery throughout the world. This is another subject but I was completely struck by a quote from a speech made at the White House by one of the IJM workers, Sharon (I believe her last name is Cohen), when she was recognized by George W. Bush.
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"While there are millions of girls and women victimized every day, our work will always be about the one. The one girl deceived. The one girl kidnapped. The one girl raped. The one girl infected with AIDS. The one girl needing a rescuer. To succumb to the enormity of the problem is to fail the one. And more is required of us."
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To succumb to the enormity of the problem is to fail the one. And more is required of us.
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Like the words to a catchy song, these words have been playing over and over in my mind. The truth is I don't need to be a famous author or wait until I have a ton of money to make a difference.
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The One for me right now is an older homeless lady. She is cRaZy! She is very intense in her delusions and has frightened me at times. She's called me Charlotte on several different occasions and one day informed me that I was going to be murdered by a 5'6" tall man... in 1971. She obviously sees things the rest of us don't and talks much about the master of this realm while handing out warnings about mud gators (genetically altered beings) and robots.
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There are others... others that are incapable of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and getting it together. Others that will never function within society. Others that can have a day where they don't have to walk quite as far for a meal.
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I know I only see the picture in part. I know I don't understand why or know what the answers are. I know that the enormity of the problem is absolutely overwhelming.
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I do know that I serve a God of Love and Compassion and Forgiveness.
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I am now going to go rifle through my stocked fridge to see what good things I can eat for lunch, bemoan my recent lack of good hair days and stare at my neck in the mirror.

5 comments:

Mrs. Beamer said...

I'm 53 and in the last year, I've been getting that crepey turkey neck thing happening. It's awful and no cream makes it disappear. How about the age spots on the hands and arms - that's a real downer too.

On to a more serious topic...I think one of the greatest impacts we can make in the world is raising decent, honest, caring and godly children. God uses them as plant seeds in the wind. They grow where they land in life and have an impact of thousands of people in their lifetimes. They also, hopefully, will pass those godly values onto their own children. The way we raise our children does have eternal consequences and collectively, a great change for good in the world. I can think of no other job or charity work that can have such a long lasting and important legacy.

I went out and found 2 jobs the last few years after being a stay-at-home mom for several decades. It was quite a change in lifestyle for me. I felt very positive about helping with the family's finances, but at the end of the day, I was giving my best hours and energy to my job and not to my family. I found that very frustrating. I returned home after a period of working. Good luck in finding a job that works for you CB - it's out there somewhere!

Chris H said...

A very deep post chick.
I used to worry about doing something lasting in this world.. something good... and to be remembered for it.
Now... not so much. I want to get to the end of my life with no regrets ... to have done everything I wanted to... be it AMAZING or trivial... and to know that my family loved me.
That will be enough.
Everything else.... like homelessness.. is something I as an individual can not change... so I shall just join you now... and look at me neck in the mirror! LOL

Deborah said...

I'm not sure why, but in our family the turkey neck thing is called a dulap...I googled it...it's a real word....and I'm getting one just like the one my grandma had....and I don't like it!

Have you read the book, "Same Kind Of Different As Me" ? I think you'd like it.

I think I have as many questions as you...especially since we're involved in foster care, and our agency seems to be making decisions that are impossible to understand.....and you may not think you have any answers, but reading your post gave me one. Thank you for reminding me that we can make a difference even if it's just for one....and even we get hurt in the process.

Oklahoma Granny said...

A very thought provoking post. I'll be mowing for several hours today and will take that time to think about what you've said.

Melody said...

You must be about 40! I'm in the same boat, thinking the same thoughts, and noticing the same things about my own body.

I smiled when you said you'd call and talk to your doctor about it. Isn't it great that you can talk to him on the phone now? Congrats! I hope the shots keep taking affect. And I'm glad that you have made friends with silence.

I've thought very much about wishing I had the answers, the time, and the resources to take care of everyone. I think that we do have to help the individual though. There is no way to help everyone; it reminds me of the story of boy throwing the starfish back into the ocean. He could only save one at a time, and probably "failed" many, but the ones that got thrown back was saved. (the story: http://www.starrbrite.com/starfish.html)

Good luck to you. ♥