Monthly Archives: April 2010

Too Busy

I’m too busy.

A variety of things have converged on my schedule for the last three weeks and for the next three. This six week period is the busiest time I can ever remember. This is when my training of “one day at a time” really comes in handy.

But really. What does “too busy” mean? Too busy to do what? To meditate? I make time for that. To appreciate my husband, my home, my health, my life? I make time for that. To work in the garden, to play with the dog, to buy groceries? I make time for all those things. To have lunch with my girlfriends? To read? To study? I make time for those things, too.

When I say I’m too busy, what that means is that I busy out my schedule just enough so that I don’t have time to do the things I find most distasteful or inconvenient. I don’t enjoy bookkeeping chores, so I put those off until it becomes a project, and then it looms larger and I would rather kill the beast than to have the bulging file folder stare at me a single minute longer. There are other things I don’t particularly enjoy, and my excuse is: “I’m too busy.” But that’s no excuse at all.

Except for right now, of course. Right now I really am too busy, but there is an end date to this crazy time, and I swear upon all that is holy in my life, that I will never let my schedule control me the way it has these few weeks. I don’t like what it does to my mental health, or my physical health. I tend to not exercise (low priority…). I make mistakes, and then I have to clean up after myself, adding more stress and using up more daylight.

I heard the other day that if you want to live in the material world, you have to speed up, and if you want to live in the spiritual world, you have to slow down.

A friend sent me a link to this fabulous timer. I’ve downloaded it to my desktop. It serves either as a timer or as a random reminder. Every morning I set it to go off randomly every 7 to 15 minutes, and when the gong sounds, I sit back, close my eyes, and take a moment for myself, to remember that I am a beloved child of God, no matter what. This helps slow me down and reminds me of what’s important.

Are you too busy? Or is that just a good excuse?

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Filed under peace, Possibilities, Spirituality, Stress, time

The Twentieth Annual Ghost Story Weekend

…is now in the history books.

I have to say, this was perhaps the best weekend with the highest quality stories across the board. Everybody really rose to the occasion. You’ll be reading some of those stories in magazines soon, I expect.

And now we turn our attention to Science Fiction Story Weekend this fall, perhaps in a new venue with accommodations more befitting our advancing ages, and the next Ghost Story Weekend next Spring, God willing.

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Filed under Ghost Story Weekend, Learning, Short Stories, Writing

We Choose Our Lives

Those of you who are parents have undoubtedly said to your pre-teen or teen, “You’ll remember these times as the best times of your life.” We worry that they want to grow up too fast, cutting short many childhood experiences, in quest for the more alluring adult activities. I was one of those kids; perhaps we all were. Eager to get out of high school and get a job, get out of the house, get on with life.

Well, the same holds true for today. Now that I’m “of an age” I’m in no hurry to get older, but am I taking advantage of who and where I am right now? Am I enjoying my life today to the degree that some day I’ll look back and say, “Man, those were some good times.”? Or am I too busy worrying about this and that and making appointments and meeting deadlines and paying the bills to stop and think: “I’ll never be a human again. I’ll never be in this type of material body with its strengths and its difficulties. I’ll never live on such a magnificently beautiful planet like this again. I better literally stop and smell the flowers.” It’s true that I don’t know what lies on the other side of the veil any more than anybody else, but I have my idea about that, just as you have your idea about it. My point is, from every place I find myself in the future–whether it’s next week or a thousand years in the future–I want to be able to look back and say, “I took advantage of everything that was offered to me back then.”

We’ve also probably counseled our children not to burn bridges or close doors on our options, because they don’t know what the future holds. The same holds true for us. We don’t know what doors we’re closing on our future when we act irresponsibly.

There are long ugly stretches of my history that I would just as soon forget, but those are long behind me and that is not the way I choose to live today, or tomorrow, or for the rest of my days. I want to be conscious, aware, engaged, happy with who I am and what I’m doing. I want to be able to look back and know that I was present, not pining for what was, nor spending my days daydreaming about what could be in the future. There’s value in some of that, certainly, but I believe that we will some day have the benefit of perspective on our lives that we currently have on our childrens’ lives.

We’re only here once. Let’s do good works, be kind to one another, and be proud of who we are today.

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Filed under Aging, Death, dreams, Dying, Fun, Goodness, Possibilities, regrets, relationships, Social Consciousness, Spirituality, time, years

Race and the Census

I’ve heard all the silliness over the race options on the census form.

First of all, Black is not a race, neither is White. Those are colors. When I was in school, Caucasian and Negro were both races. African-American is a culture, not a race. So what’s all the fuss about?African-Americans are insulted by being called Negro?  Am I insulted by being called a Caucasian?

Here’s the real problem. There is absolutely no reason for the government to be asking such questions. All it does is inflame, incite and breed suspicion. It divides us into factions, rather than binding us into the unity that is, and should be, America. The government should be color blind.

As soon as the government grants special privileges to anyone, everybody else clamors for their fair share.

If private corporations, charities, small businesses or adult-living facilities want to choose who to deal with based on socio-economic strata, age, or demographic, let them.

But the government census needs to count noses, not note what color thoses noses are. No good can come from that information.

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Filed under peace, politics, Social Consciousness

The Power of the Word

I am a writer. The job of a writer is to use the limited universe of word symbols correctly — to employ the word symbols that most precisely depict what I mean to say, and put those word symbols in the correct order so that I can be as accurate in my communication as possible. Communication is about taking what’s in my head or heart and conveying that to you as completely as I am able.

When people consciously and with considered aforethought choose the wrong words to mislead, misdirect and confuse, we call that spin. We don’t like it when politicians spin, and we don’t like it when news analysts spin. Spin is an affront to me, and it should be an affront to you, too. We should demand accuracy from our politicians, who are our employees. We have a right to know the truth, and the whole truth.

I’ve already taken space on this blog to rant about the Pro Life movement, which is really an anti-abortion movement. You cannot be Pro Life if you are pro war, or pro killing anything–even wolves, as we encroach upon their habitat. There’s nothing wrong with being anti-abortion, but let’s not spin it. Pro Life and Anti-Abortion are two completely separate things.

My current heart sickness is over “Childhood Sexual Abuse” by the Catholic priests. Heartsick doesn’t begin to convey the soul sadness and overwhelming empathy for the victims that I feel. Anger and fury don’t begin to describe how I feel about this wretched practice and its decades-long cover up. But here’s what really fries me. The term “Childhood Sexual Abuse” indicates that there is something that is acceptable called “Childhood Sexual Use.” Well, I don’t think so.

Two words that are overused and under-defined are “abuse” and “molestation.” I don’t know what either of those words mean, and neither do you.

I think that this situation would have been handled differently, and could still be handled differently, if every one were as outraged as they ought to be. Did that pedophile monster rape and sodomize two hundred little deaf boys? If so, let’s say it out loud. “Hey! A pedophile monster dressed as a man of God parlayed his power into raping and sodomizing two hundred little deaf boys who thought he was their God.” Put that on the news. To my mind, that goes a lot further than “Some priests committed childhood sexual abuse.”

I’m so angry about this I could spit.

I know that my previous post was about anger and fear. So here I am, angry. Furious. What do I fear?

I am afraid that our journalists have decided to stop reporting the truth and are allowing themselves to use inferior words to soften the harsh realities of powerful men brutalizing innocents. They are spinning, and it is a dangerous precedent.

I am afraid that softening the blow of these awful word symbols will keep the masses from mobilizing into insisting that every single person who knew about this heinous practice be removed from power and severely punished. Now! Right now! 

I am afraid that people will turn away from God as the result of the despicable, corrupt organization that has fostered this cancerous code of secrecy.

And that would be the worst tragedy of all.

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Filed under Evil, Social Consciousness, Spirituality, Truth, Writing