Counting Down.

I’ve been counting down to our annual beach week. I do that often. Lately, because we have had so much cold and snow and I am looking forward to being at the warm and sunny beach. But mostly because I do that…always looking forward.

And not doing the now.

So I started thinking about…what if I knew the moment I would take my last breath? What if I had in my home, on my desktop, a watch…whatever…what if I had a countdown clock telling me exactly how much time I had left?

Would I…

…spend more time cleaning my home so I would enjoy it more? or
would I spend less time cleaning my home and more time reading a book because I enjoy that?

…put make-up on and something nicer than sweats and a tee-shirt for my husband every single day, because I want to look and feel my best for him (and for myself?)? or
not waste that time on make-up, trusting he loves me just as I am, no matter what?

…let go of the toxic people in my life as soon as I realized it, no matter who they are? or
spend more time and more energy to make that relationship work and embrace that person for himself/herself knowing that I also will be changed, for better or worse?

…spend more time making my world a better place? or
put all of my energy and focus on making my children better people?

…spend less money on cars and homes that are admittedly comfy and safe? or
spend more money on helping others?

…worry more about what is proper and considerate? or
more about the person?

…read and study the Bible more? or
just sit and pray and listen for Him more?

Do not think for a moment that I am judging or suggesting that any one this or that is better than the other. These are all things that I have been mulling over this week. For me.

I have spent way too much of the last few years worrying. Period. And regretting. I don’t want to regret anymore. I just want to do.

During my quiet time today, I realized the reason I haven’t been hearing from God lately. I haven’t been able to because of all of the clutter in my life. Not just the actual stuff. The noise. The regret. The worry. It has covered my eyes. Deafened my ears. Hindered my mouth from saying the things I should say.

Today. I am doing. Today I am returning to the Now. And to Him.

What are some of the things you are doing during this reflective season of Lent?

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You Asked for it…Part 1.

Welcome to my You Asked for it Series. Today’s post is the first in this series. Future ramblings will possibly include: Surviving Your Child’s Senior Year or as I like to call it: The Year I Consumed Mass Quantities of Black Dog and Cried…a lot.

Okay, so maybe not, but today, whilst I enjoy my morning sitting in my second favorite place in the world, The Back Porch, I’m going to reflect on the following post idea suggested by my friend and neighbor, Mrs. D:

If I could change one thing in my life, what would it be? 

My vain and flippant side immediately reached straight for the impossible to attain: my current age. I quickly tossed that aside, however. Not because it is unattainable. Because I actually don’t mind my current age of 45 53. It is true, however, that I am definitely not happy with the current state of my health, weight and stress level at this ripe age of 53. And while that is definitely something I want to change, and I am in the process of changing, that still is not the topic of today’s post. Buckle up. It’s going to get bumpy.

Regret. Not for things I did do. For things I didn’t do and should have, could have done. With each thing I regret not doing, it all came back to one thing: fear. I was, and still am, a big sissy when it comes to new things; to stepping out of my comfort zone. And, trust me on this, my comfort zone is the size of a postage stamp…anything outside of that…forget about it.

There have been periods of my life where I allowed…yes, I…allowed the fear to Consume. Me. Going off to a huge university (pre-med at the University of South Florida) after spending the previous two years in a very tiny DoD school overseas, I was completely overwhelmed by fear. So much so that most days I struggled to leave my dorm room. Obviously, I didn’t last long there. But worse than that, I had no idea what was wrong with me. And clearly, I thought, something was seriously wrong with me, which only compounded the problem. I didn’t know who to talk to about it…couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I mean, it was so obvious to me that I was mentally unsound…no one else I knew vomited at just the thought of trying to make her way across a campus of 23,000 students to sit in a classroom of 600 to listen to a lecture. No one else I knew never went to a single lab class because they got lost finding it the first day of classes and were too afraid to ask anyone for help.

Since then, I have missed out on so many jobs, trips, and even relationships, due to that one thing I wish I could change. Because I still struggle with it. I still fear new situations, meeting new people, and even hanging with people I do know. For example, I went to a neighborhood end of summer party last night. I felt the old familiar apprehension creeping in all day and I chose to ignore it. Periodically throughout the evening I could feel it rise up and I would push it back down again. I caught up with ladies I’ve known for 20 years, but haven’t spent much time with, face to face. I truly enjoyed myself and am so happy I went. Was I completely comfortable while I was there? Nope. Not in the least. But, I did it.

Reading back over this, it all seems so silly…this fear thing. The worst part is that it is so stinking real. Some days I feel like it is an old friend that, initially, wraps comfort around me to warm me and keep me safe, before quickly tightening to strangle me and cut me off from life.

Today, I am choosing to fight back. And, as Mrs. D. admonished me a few days ago: to live…abundantly.

Keep those suggestions coming cuz this one was so very easy to write about…not…

And, oh yes, you can bet it took me quite a long while to get past my fear and push the publish button on this one.