It’s November. I can hardly believe it. Weeks fly by and yet, in another sense, they drag. This morning I took a look back in the archives of this blog (you can click the links to read the posts) to see what other Novembers were like, and I found a common theme.
One year ago on this day I was struggling with depression and doing my best to pay attention to the good things.
Two years ago I was recovering from surgery and struggling with the sense of vulnerability I felt.
Five years ago my heart was heavy with the burden of things in the world. It’s a good thing I wasn’t able to look into the future and see what was coming!
Ten years ago I was still working and also feeling the weight of current events and made the wise decision to switch off the news during my morning commute.
Thirteen years ago (which is as far back as my blog goes) I was drowning in work and heeding the call to listen for a still, small voice.
Notice anything? There’s always something weighty, be it current events over which I have no control or personal responsibilities and situations that I’m struggling to wade through.
As I reread each of these posts, I noticed something else. I’ve always known that turning away from some things (the news and busyness) and toward others (paying attention to what’s in front of me and leaning into spirituality) is the antidote to whatever is grieving me.
It seems I’ve always known this, which makes sense because that’s the way we human beings were created. For connection: to our Creator and one another. To be still and know. To pay attention so we can see the Divine in the everyday. To be loved and to love.
It’s folly for me to focus the majority of my time and attention on things over which I have little or no control. I can’t know all the answers or foretell the future (thank goodness I didn’t see 2020/2021 coming). Paying attention to what and who’s in front of me is of far more value than wasting energy on things I have no influence over.
Here’s something else. I’ve struggled. In different seasons, at different times, in varying degrees, it’s been a hard slog. But you know what else? There have been times that were glorious and joy-filled. The good and the not-so-good. The beautiful and the terrible. That’s how life is for all of us.
I could, having looked back over thirteen years, feel discouraged by the fact that I’ve carried burdens and haven’t yet found the golden ticket to get me out of a life of trials. Or, I could be realistic—even encouraged—knowing that (as M. Scott Peck said so succinctly in The Road Less Traveled, “Life is difficult” and I’m learning to accept that and turn my heart and attention toward the better thing and trust that, in the end, all will be well.
So now, after all that, should I still do a Friday’s Fave Five post? I think that intentionally looking at good things from the past week is always a good thing to do so here we go.
Reading. I’ve been retired from my corporate job for seven years and I’ve finally arrived at the place where I feel no guilt about spending an abundance of time lost in a book. Sure, there are things I could, and maybe should, be doing but more often than not, in my world, reading is the better thing. This week I read and thoroughly enjoyed Rosemary Keevil’s The Art of Losing It: A Memoir of Grief and Addiction.
Maid on Netflix. Laurinda and I have been watching this series and we caught the last episode last evening. This was an excellent series based on a memoir of the same name by Stephanie Land chronicling the struggle of a young woman fleeing an abusive relationship and trying to build a life for her and her child.
Daughter’s night to cook. This is a sweet perk of having Laurinda living with us for the time being. I’m enjoying it while I can.
The Great Canadian Baking Show. Another Netflix win. I enjoyed watching season 4 and even roped another member of the household into watching a couple of episodes.
Black forest cake. Laurinda and Makiya’s pretty kitty turned two this week. Apparently (according to Gerry) she requested a black forest cake to mark the occasion. We partook in her honour.
That’s a wrap for this first week in November. I’ll be back tomorrow.
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