Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lessons Learned

Another snowstorm howls outside my window.  My house is fairly shaking in the strong winds.  However, the predicted 7 inches plus of snow seems to have not quite materialized, and even though it is dark, and schools are closed, I can't see mounds of drifting snow that with this wind, I know are out there.  I have been up since 5, concerned about the weather is doing and listening to the local news, it is a mixed bag.  Rain, ice, snow and blowing, depending on where you are in this state, as my life seems to be right now a mixed bag.

I have a bathroom still torn up, but on the finish line to being finished, at least I hope so.  Two steps forward, as little things erupt just when you think you can make a major swing at getting the steps done to finish this.  Then a step or two back as was the case last night when I peeled some painter's tape only to have it take off the primer coat I had put down and the drywall spackle I had filled in with underneath.  So, re-spackle and let dry, sand and hope its done before I want to paint the walls this afternoon.  Two steps forward and a step back. 

I have a dentist appointment today for an abscessed tooth, I found 10 days ago.  No pain with it when I found it, but the telltale bump was there on a tooth that has had a root canal for over 10 years now.  I called the dentist immediately knowing full well he isn't in on Fridays and finding out from the hygenist that he would be out for the following week also, on vacation.  She prescribed an antibiotic to get me through to today, and I dutifully filled the prescription and took the penicillin until it ran out, yesterday.  While the abscess never did give me pain the lump was still there and after doing some reading, I am not very optimistic that more medication will rid me of it.  The timing of this latest storm has not improved my mood.  Right now I think I can make it out to the dentist's office, but daylight will have to let me know more.

Two steps forward and one back.  Of late it has seemed three or four steps back and only one forward.  Winter has seemed longer than most years.  Is it my age, or the fact that we have had winter this year basically from December through now, officially spring, but hardly springlike here.  Its not unusual Michigan weather as late March storms often bring snow and more of the stuff we have just seemed to get rid of.  We have a day of utter joy with sunshine, moderate temps and we rejoice, hoping that spring has finally had its way with winter, but we know better.  We see a robin and know hope and find the Canada geese have returned to the pond in the back.  We have tulips sprouting gently in the softened ground, just peeking their purple-green leaves above the ground, but we still know better.

We are faced to look at things we didn't think we would face, and while we knew better, we chose not to stare back, as that was not our perception of what our lives would be.  We let depression take us over as ice and snow envelope us just like our moods.  We know spring is coming, the calendar shows it and with it hope and a renewal, but right now its just not here and we endure longer. 

I have been embracing Lent this year, as too often we pass over this season because it is uncomfortable for us in waiting for the joyous time of Easter.  This year I have looked more deeply at the unfathomable suffering of Jesus that Lent is to prepare us for, and I cannot begin to understand the agony of what he suffered for us.  But at times when my personal problems seem to overwhelm me, it is a door to open that many suffer much, much more and in times of eternal winter we become insulated in our misery. 

It is hard to crawl out of those holes.  To think what your life had always been and was inevitably headed for, won't be quite that, and may be something unrecognizable.  Its hard to see the joy of those perfect moments, because they are so fleeting and depression is so omnipresent, but it is what must be done.  We are asked to live no different.

Two steps forward and maybe more back.  I believed I had a certain place in the world, and in that place I could control what happened.  I knew better, but until something snowballs and threatens to overwhelm us do we realize we ultimately have no control but do have the capacity to view our situations in ways that can add depth and meaning to our lives or succumb to the paralyzing fear that our lives will never be what we once thought they would be.

Two steps forward and maybe none back today.  Maybe I can drive carefully and make it to the dentist and maybe there will be something that gives me back optimism after this latest snowstorm has knocked me down.  I now know I can never judge even in my heart, others, and feel even unconsciously superior.  I have learned some kind of empathy and that right now I just must endure until winter's true end here.  That's what I have learned for today, and that is the "lesson learned"....

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