Whine Mode

Kneepain. Deb’s knee with an ice pack on it.
Ice pack on/off. Stretch. Exercise. Repeat.

I’m not happy. (Just being honest!)

Despite following orders, taking meds, doing physical therapy exercises, acupuncture, listening to my body, using all the herbs and tinctures, following a modified yoga practice, and the RICE protocol… it’s clear that my achy-breaky-knee will need more assertive treatment.

So… I’m having an arthroscopic procedure on March 11th, and will have to take some time off work. I have health insurance, and even disability if I need it! I have great support from family and friends. I have comfy positioning pillows and crutches. I have people already praying for me!

It’s a common procedure. The results will help with a better plan forward and (hopefully) avoid anything drastic.

But I’ve been in “whine mode” pretty much all day.

Even with the loveliness of a March snow falling outside my window. I’m whining. Even with the support and love of my spouse. I’m whining. Even while I had time to do some sewing, some reading, and then a holy nap… I’m whining.

I know all shall be well. This too shall pass. Yadda yadda. I’ll get over myself. I promise. But for right now, I’m whining.

That’s real life. Real struggle. Real feelings. And a very Real Presence walking through it all with me. Even… when I’m whining.

“And When I Die” (Cross-Post)

Today I wrote a piece on RevGalBlogPals about a difficult but important topic. It’s about “aid-in-dying” and it is worthy of your thoughtful reflection and consideration. Here’s an excerpt…

As a chaplain, I have been a part of many conversations with families over end-of-life care. I know from personal and professional experience that they are brutal. While there are great resources and trained professionals to help and support the decision-making process, there is no way to express the heartaches that accompany it.

The scenarios I have witnessed came to mind as I read a recent news story about the recent death of Diane Rehm’s husband. Diane, a public radio personality, shared the details of her husband’s death by dehydration when his doctor could not and would not help him die faster in his end-stage Parkinsons disease. So, despite the best medical support and symptomatic relief possible, for nine days he refused food and drink, enduring discomfort and pain.

The full article is here: “The Pastoral is Political: And When I Die”

I’m grateful for the opportunity to offer my reflections and opinions on the RevGals blog. Please wander over there and check them out!

And… no thanks.

Recently I joined a Facebook page for my high school graduating class. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But after several days of reading and remembering, of reliving the “shooting fish in a barrel” social milieu, I reconsidered. It was about 3 lifetimes ago. Life goes on, and I could too.

I had thought the Facebook page would be a simple way to keep track of folks. Maybe hear what they had been doing, what they ended up in as careers, who they married, kids, etc. I hoped to reconnect with some friends that I’d not heard from in a while. The page seemed to be more of a mutual congratulation society for the clique who ran things in high school. They were known as “The Jets.” Mostly, the page was scanned photos from the yearbook and comments to their besties about how hawt they were back in the day. Puh.leese.

Don’t get me wrong. I had some good friends in high school. But when we graduated, and I went to college (and some of them did not); our lives went in different directions. We didn’t keep in touch.

After a few years of teaching, I moved out of state and never moved back. Buying a plane ticket to attend socials and reunions just wasn’t in my budget, nor a priority on my calendar. (No offense, but if you are plugging a “big reunion” and it’s just a cook-out at a park, I’m not going to travel 500 miles for that. Sorry.)

The thought of putting my beloved Bearded Brewer through it was also not appealing for either of us! (Besides, if I were going to take him to ANYTHING from my ancient past, it would be to an Ohio State football game, where he could experience Script Ohio, and the fun of 100,000 people clapping and singing together. There’s nothing like a Saturday afternoon of Big Ten football!)

So yeah. I looked over the pictures. Thought about my teachers and friends. Remembered some of the less wonderful moments of being in high school, and some of the better ones. Considered how my path had wandered here and there in the years since. And decided that I didn’t need to go back. Maybe when it’s my 50th reunion. We’ll see.

Gray roots, part deux

Yesterday’s blog wasn’t meant to fish for compliments. (Honestly!) I just thought it was hilarious that someone could be so tacky (thank you, Mindy! perfect word!) and I was tickled to be considered in a previous decade, age-wise. But it was that little flare of conceit and vanity which popped up that made me stop and do a little self-assessment.

I’m frequently told that I don’t look my age (and occasionally, that don’t act it either.) I guess there has to be some benefit for having had oily skin as a teen, for staying out of the sun or religiously wearing sunblock because I quickly become sunburned, and for never having been a smoker. All those things play havoc on the skin. I also come from a good gene pool (thanks, Mom and Dad!) with longevity in my DNA. So while I liked the compliment, I realized that I don’t look that young any more. I know that my face has more wrinkles than a few years ago. And as I drove home from the salon, I entertained for just a few minutes the idea that I might get my hair lightened or streaked or whatever you want to call it. While I love my stylist because she listens to me and doesn’t give me a cut that can’t thrive largely on neglect, she is in a business of selling beauty.

But this idea of “selling beauty” gets at a deeper issue. Who am I, anyway? What helps me see my true value, my purpose for living and life goals? It is not what is on the outside. Unfortunately, that’s what is getting pushed on our kids at a younger and younger age.

Last night I channel surfed waiting for the news to return from a commercial break and came upon one of the most dreadful shows I’ve seen recently. (That says a lot.) It was the “Little Miss Perfect”pageant show on WEtv. I think that their advertising executives have chosen to promote the show from the seediest angle possible. Check out this clip which is their promo:

Sickening, isn’t it?

That a girl (and her parents) can only consider self worth based on their beauty, glitz, talent and a “WOW” factor is wrong. Judges and parents keep telling a little girl that she has to present her “total package” yet it is all based on externals… what happened to her intellect, her gifting, her concern for others, her passions and interests, and, ultimately, her calling?  These words from Proverbs 31 came to mind…

 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
      but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
 31 Reward her for all she has done.
      Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
Prov. 31:30-31 NLT

I’m not the perfect parent, and I will continue to make mistakes… but God help me if I communicate to my girls, or any of their friends, that what is on the outside is more important than the character and the heart of the person beneath!

Thanks… I think!

This afternoon, I made a quick trip to get my unruly shaggy head brought back into submission, since in the next few weeks I will be having interviews for a possible summer CPE unit. (CPE=Clinical Pastoral Education, or learning about yourself as a pastor and potential work in hospital chaplaincy.)

The shampoo gal says to me, “Gee, good thing you came in. Your roots are really showing. Time for a quick color touch up, huh?”

Me: “Um… No. This is my natural hair color.”

Gal: “Oh. Well, it’s really REALLY gray coming in. You might want to think about getting your hair colored.”

Me: “Oh, I don’t know. I’ve earned every one of them.”

Gal: “Well, you’ll definitely look old, like you’re fifty or something, if you don’t get your gray covered. And we have to keep working to look young in our forties, don’t we?”

Me: “Well, that’s a thought…”

I’m sure she meant well. (And I did not tell her that I left fifty behind a while ago… )