Sunday, July 28, 2013

Blogging Challenge - Day Seven (and then she rested)

I started yesterday's post about bucket lists by introducing what might be a new concept to you - the idea of an unbucket list. The idea came from a friend who informed me that she never planned to try on, buy or wear a bathing suit ever again in her life. She had one other thing on her unbucket list - sleeping in a tent. 

I must admit I was intrigued by the idea of a list of things I never planned to do ever again in my lifetime. Imagine the possibilities. Now there are a lot of things I dislike doing that I can't put on such a list - for example, cleaning toilets. That is just one of a myriad of unpleasant household chores that can't be sworn off unless you can afford a cleaning service once a week.

On the other hand, as an adult I can choose to do or not do some things that I didn't have any choice about as a child. I could decide, for example, that I never want to eat broccoli ever again.

I also mentioned in yesterday's post that the older you get the fewer things you can realistically expect to accomplish before you die and any bucket list you make will have to take this into consideration. I guess you could add things you'd like to do but know you won't be able to do to your unbucket list (e.g. - I am never going to Bora Bora), but I don't think that is the purpose or pleasure of an unbucket list.

Rather than making a bucket list, I challenge you to make an unbucket list, and rejoice in the knowledge that there are some things you will never again have to do.  Come to think of it, that should free up a lot of your time to accomplish the things on your bucket list! I call that a "win-win", don't you?

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Blogging Challenge - Day Six

Last Spring I was having a conversation with a long-time friend and happened to mention that I had recently bought a bathing suit. My friend informed me that she never intended to buy a bathing suit ever again. In fact, she said that was one of the things on her "unbucket" list. I'd never heard of such a thing but I was intrigued by it.

Of course everyone has heard of a "bucket list" but come to think of it I don't recall if this concept originated with the movie by the same name or preceded it. Anyway, lots of people have started making lists of things they want to do, or places they want to visit before they die. Nobody likes the idea of getting older and realizing that you haven't accomplished all that you want to do before your life is over. 

The other impetus for creating a bucket list is the realization that as you get older your options shrink. For example, at a certain age you may realize that your dream of winning a beauty pageant or American Idol is just not going to happen. (They don't accept contestants over a certain age and you are way over a certain age.) Things that were still viable options in your youth just are not any longer. Or you may realize that you will never have enough money to own that beach house you always dreamed of, or travel to Bora Bora. Most likely you have accepted these limitations as simply the facts of life, but you might have experienced pangs of regret and real sorrow thinking about all the things you'll never get to do.

Even still, there are many things I'd like to do and many places I'd like to visit before I die. I've never made a written list of those things and I'm not sure I want to, probably because I realize that in the great scheme of things nothing on that list would be as important as spending time with grandchildren or teaching children's Sunday School or volunteering in my community. 

I consider every day a gift from God and another opportunity to be a better person than I was the day before.  So I don't think I'll ever feel the need to have a bucket list personally. Now an unbucket list - that's another story, one we'll explore tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blogging Challenge - Day Five

Does it seem like the only things I write about are family and funerals? It does to me. I guess funerals are just a fact of life, especially as you and your friends and loved ones get older. And I can't make any excuses about my preoccupation with family. My family is everything to me. Maybe there are people for whom this is not so, but I don't think I know too many folks like that.

I think you learn the importance of family as a child - from the way your parents treat their parents and their siblings and the way they talk about and interact with aunts and uncles and cousins. And of course from the way your parents and other relatives treat you. I recognize that not all children grow up in homes like that, where family is a priority, indeed, the priority. I am fortunate that I did!

Then you grow up and have children of your own and then grandchildren, and it's your turn to teach the importance and blessings of family. Of course there are other things and responsibilities that compete for our time and commitment - jobs primarily. But to me, there is no excuse for making family feel like they come second in our lives.

And when you get to be my age and you feel time passing so swiftly, you just want to spend as much of that time as possible with the people you love and who love you. So yeah, family is important and we've crammed a lot of family time into this summer so far - the family reunion on the west coast, trips to see my Mom and sisters as often as I can, visits with the grandsons, your grown children, and the nieces and nephews.  Even the trip to SC this week for my Aunt's funeral was an opportunity, however brief, to reconnect with extended family who don't live close enough to see as often as we might like. In that way, funerals become almost like family reunions. Then again, so do weddings and they are a lot more fun!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blogging Challenge - Day Four

Ok, ya gotta understand, we were in the car all day driving to Dillon, SC for my Aunt's funeral, which was this evening. So I've been kind of busy see. Well now I have about a half hour to write something witty, or pithy or brilliant. Let's face's not gonna happen tonight.

I will share with you a few thoughts about spending time with cousins and other relatives that I only see at funerals or maybe once a year or so. Everyone has extended family like that. If you're lucky, you enjoy being with family that you don't see very often, and you think, gee, I wish we lived closer so we could get together more often. But of course, the reality is that you probably only enjoy being with some family members because you see them so infrequently. If you lived in the same town with them you still might only see them at funerals, right?

Regardless, I feel blessed to have a family that can and does share laughter, tears, memories and a history - even if we don't see each other very often. I don't know how common that is in other families, but I hope you have experienced it and if you have, I hope you cherish it.

UPDATE: I finished this post before midnight on Thursday, July 25th; however Google blogger would not allow me to save or publish my post until after midnight. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogging Challenge - Day Three

Ok, this blogging every day experiment is NOT as easy as it sounds.  Hey, I never claimed to be a pro; I certainly don't make any money doing this like some bloggers do. I guess the reason I do this is for my mental health. I don't do it because I think I have something profound to say, as I'm sure my 3 or 4 readers would agree with.

People blog for lots of reasons.  I follow a lot of blogs. Many if not most of them deal with political and cultural events of the day, but I also follow a lot of "religious" blogs that deal with spiritual as well as secular topics and are written from a Christian perspective. Some blogs have been started as on-line diaries, and I guess that comes closest to describing my blog, although that does sound quite self-indulgent. Oh well, feel free to check out another blog if you like.

My fun week with the grandsons has been cut short by the death of a favorite Aunt of mine.  We are traveling to SC for the funeral tomorrow. But it is important to be there, for my cousins and other family. With her death, I have only one remaining uncle, and my Mother left of that generation. When they are gone, a lot of family history will go with them. That's the thing about the death of a family member or close friend. You lose a part of your own history when they die, because they knew you as no one else did or does. Their memories of you and growing up or your parents or grandparents die with them and so you lose a little part of your history, not to mention your future - in the case of a child. I think I will spend the time in the car tomorrow remembering all the things we did at my Aunt's when we were growing up.  A treasure trove of memories that will make the journey shorter but more fulfilling.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day Two of Blogging Challenge

Yes, I know this day is almost over and I will barely get this post in under the wire. See yesterday's post for my excuses!

As I mentioned yesterday, I haven't wanted to blog at all since my son died in November. In fact, I haven't wanted to do much of anything. I have a number of good books, some on grief, that I should read; I have a room full of Michael's clothes and personal things that I need to go through and deal with; I have a spiritual life that I have neglected way too much (ditto for my husband and my friends and family).  All I have wanted to do is be a couch potato, a vegetable, and watch reruns of NCIS and CSI that I have seen countless times before.

If it were not for my husband, I might have become a total recluse, shutting myself off from everyone and everything. He, and that little girl I keep every day, are probably the only reasons I haven't done that. Walt and I went through a 13 week class called GriefShare at our Church. It was very good, forcing us to deal with our emotions in relation to the loss of our son, as well as our relationship with each other and with other family and friends. It also emphasized the importance of our relationship with God during this journey of grief that we are on. That should be pretty obvious for a Christian, right? 

If I can, and by that I mean if I have the strength and courage, I will try to deal with the relationship between my faith and the experience of losing one of my two sons in a blog post this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Responding to a Blogging Challenge

So, one of my favorite bloggers, Conversion Diary, has issued a challenge to post something everyday for seven days, starting today. Well this is a challenge indeed, for a number of reasons. First of all I have not  posted anything to my blog since my son, Michael, died last November. I hope the reasons for that are self-explanatory. (I would start to post to my blog, but couldn't think of anything worth talking about in light of that life-changing event.)

Oh, I have other excuses: I keep a one-year old every day and this week my three grandsons (ages 12, 10 and 7) will be here as well, and the weather is rainy with a chance of rain, and I need to plan indoor activities for them. . . etc., etc. etc.

But then I remembered that the woman issuing this blogging challenge has six children under the age of 10 and they all live with her ALL THE TIME.  She homeschools, blogs, writes books - and that barely scratches the surface of her active life. Needless to say I am in awe of her. So I decided to participate in her blogging challenge.

One last thing for today's post: not to sound too much like a country song, but my dog died last week, so the grandchildren will help to fill an otherwise empty house.

Thanks for the challenge Jen!