Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Something about afternoon naps is so much better than nighttime sleep. It's a dreary day here and I just woke up from a two-hour nap. It was lovely. And I'd probably still be sleeping but I was afraid I'd miss my meeting.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

What happened to my flip-flop weather?

And what happened to the Republican governor I voted for? I mean, he's there in Frankfort, running state government. But bribery isn't the way to the people's hearts. And that's pretty much what Gov. Fletcher and the Senate Republicans did to the Democrats in an attempt to ge their budget proposal passed with the tax planned somehow attached. Today the state senator from Murray told me it was the most partian budget process he's ever been a part of.

This is a bit delayed, but it's something I've been thinking about...
Somtimes I feel like two people. I don't mean like I have multiple personalities. More like multiple perceptions of myself. I never really thought about it until Sunday in church, though. Or at least I couldn't define it in my mind until then. So, God offers grace to anyone to cover our human imperfections. Alright, I believe that. I believe God makes us new. I can be transformed. Rather, I am being transformed. It doesn't happen overnight. It's a life-long process. Grace redeems me, and you, making us saints who sometimes sin. Trust me, I strive for perfection and often get caught up in my human desires to control the details in my life. You'd think I learn I don't have control. God is mightier than any drama I create for myself or any detail I try to tend to. OK, a saint who sins. I can deal with that. That's how God sees me -- on my good days and the bad ones, during my selfish moments and my sweet ones, when I complain and when I love. Still, sometimes that's not how I feel. Other times I dwell on the fact I can't reach perfection. I can't meet these lofty expectations I have for myself. And the thing is, nobody truly meets my expectations. The people I love come close, but, then again, I expect them to. We're all human. And as humans we're a bundle of contradictions. We want people to like us, but we are easily annoyed by others' faults. We want to love each other unconditionally, but we still make assumptions and argue. We plan and organize and look so far ahead in the future, but we forget to live for the moment. Sometimes I get my identity as a saint who sometimes falters confused with a sinner who sometimes does the right thing. I mean, I'm going to fail sometimes so why strive for perfection. Anybody who even half-heartedly knows me knows there are very few moments when I accept less than perfect so easily. I want to please people, especially the people important to me. I want to everything I do well and expect other people to do so too. I like loyalty and commitment. Wishy-washy people frustrate me. (These people would also be milkshakes -- inconsistent and confused about whether it's milk or ice cream or something in between.) I want the real thing in the good moments when I laugh so hard I cry and in the crappy minutes when I tear up and want to cuddle up with my best friend.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Diabetes is a mystery, which is frustrating. It's especially annoying when my blood sugar is so high and I have absolutely no idea why. So, this is how I'm feeling this morning.

And then I went to the American Diabetes Association Web site and read this:
Realize that "he who laughs. Lasts." Yes, diabetes is hard work and frustrating at times. There are situations and events that just cannot be explained or resolved. In tough times, humor can be the great healer.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

I love this weather, even though it's making our house a bit warm. I wore flip flops today and walked outside barefoot.

We went to see "The Ladykillers" this afternoon. It was funnier than I expected. Tom Hanks did a good job. Very entertaining.

I'm glad we don't have any pets of our own, but it's nice having Bailey around. She took a nap with me this morning. (When you wake up at 7 a.m. on a weekend, it's OK to take a nap at 10:30 or so.) She wants to be involved in everything, but it's cute most of the time. The exception would be when I was working on a puzzle and she walked through it. Maybe I shouldn't be working a puzzle on the floor, but I was. Speaking of the puzzle, I bought it for 50 cents this morning at a yard sale. And the money went to Relay for Life. It's called "Yellow," creatively named because everything in the puzzle is yellow. There are smiley faces, toys, crayons, lemons, yarn, Juicy Fruit and Chiclet gum packages...a very little that isn't yellow.

KatieKerns called me today. I write her name like that because it's fun to say quick, letting it all run together. Anyway, I sure miss her. Hopefully she and Brad are going to move from Boston to Nashville next year. That would be so great.

Greg's sitting on the back porch playing his guitar. It's nice to listen to. It's a summertime thing he always does.

That's all my babble for now.
We went bowling last night with Jaclyn and Bryan, Katy and Chad and John and some of his friends. It was fun. I bowled 93 and 101. That seems fairly consistent, but I actually had milkshake-ish tendencies throughout both games.

Friday, March 26, 2004

The bank temperature sign said it was 83 degrees today. Fabulous.

I bought two new pairs of capri pants last weekend at Old Navy. Then my mom gave me two more pairs that she doesn't wear anymore. Yes, that's four pairs of capri pants for the girl who used the complete oppose them. I used to think they were silly -- I mean, choose pants or shorts. But because I can't wear shorts to work, I'll settle for capris. The two pairs I got at Old Navy are comfy. The ones I'm wearing today from my mom are fine. So, I've accepted the fact I own multiple pairs of these trendy pants, but what gets me is that several women at work today are also wearing them. Hence the word trendy, I suppose.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Name almost any social or political issue and I can give you an opinion about it.

Gay marriage. I think God intended marriage to be between a man and woman. Period.

Gun control. I think there should be stricter regulations so that not just anybody can get a gun.

Drugs. I think the problem goes beyond illegal use of sometimes helpful things. I think a poor economy and lack of education leads to drug problems. Sometimes drugs are sold, sadly, as an alternate income. Sometimes government tries too hard on prosecution of drug users and sellers and does do enough for prevention and education. I think Kentucky's drug court is the right approach and maybe others will catch on.

Abortion. I think life begins at conception and aborting a baby is depriving a life. Now, I know there are specific cases, such as rape and the mother's life being endangered, that might be exceptions.

Health care. I know sometimes needs to be done to get more insurance companies in this state. Electronic medical records seem to be one approach to reducing errors in medical facilities.

Education. I know education is the key to so many other things, including the economy and curbing drug use and other criminal activity. And I know education is deprived in many state budgets. Kids need to read and know how to apply other academic principles. But they also need to learn we need each other.

Economy. I believe the economy is a reflection of many other things and when it is failing there are more problems than a tight budget.

OK, so these aren't all necessarily deep opinions. But I can come up with something. There's one issue that continues to stump me: the death penalty.

"Dead Man Walking" showed me as much as I want to see of a lethal injection. I believe people change. Who are we to take their second chance away? But maybe it's somebody's third chance, and where do we stop? Grace is bigger than anyone, larger than any governor or government. Are we playing God to think we can kill someone for committing a sin, an offense in the eyes of God and, in this case, the law? But should we pay to keep people in jail for years and years at a time, sometimes for life? Does knowing they could be executed ever stop a potential crime?

I have tons of questions about the matter, but can't seem to figure out where I stand.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I'm working on creating a soundtrack to my life, which I think sometimes resembles a sitcom. In college my friends and I constantly talked about "Everybody's Looking for Andy," the sitcom we created in our minds. We have had a little jingle made up for the theme song. The show would have been random, because that was the story of our lives, but every episode would have a cameo by Andy, our friend with crazy, curly hair. Sometimes he'd be easy to spot, other times it would be more like "Where's Waldo?"

So, I've thought about the soundtrack to my life before, but I've never made a list and pulled some lyrics, so here's my start, and these are in no particular order:

"Drops of Jupiter," Train
Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking at yourself out there

"Crush," Dave Matthews Band
It's crazy I'm thinking
Just as long as you're around
And here I'll be dancing on the ground
Am I right side up or upside down
To each other we'll be facing
By love we'll beat back the pain
we've found
You know
I mean to tell you all the things I've been thinking deep inside
My friend
With each moment the more I love you
Crush me

"Wood Song," Indigo Girls
... no way construction of this tricky plan was built by other than a greater hand with a love that passes all our understanding watching closely over the journey yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide seems more than all the courage i can muster up inside but we get to have some answers when we reach the other side the prize is always worth the rocky ride but the wood is tired and the wood is old and we'll make it fine if the weather holds but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point that's where i need to go ...

"Pantala Naga Pampa," Dave Matthews Band
Come and relax now
Put your troubles down
No need to bear the weight of your worries
Just let them all fall away.

"Mystery," Indigo Girls set up your place in my thoughts moved in and made my thinking crowded ... i could go crazy on a night like tonight when summer's beginning to give up her fight and every thought's a possibility and voices are heard but nothing is seen why do you spend this time with me maybe an equal mystery so what is love then is it dictated or chosen does it sing like the hymns of 1000 years or is it just pop emotion and if it ever was here and it left does it mean it was never true and to exist it must elude is that why i think these things of you ...

"Perfect," Sara Evans
Love can be rough around the edges tattered at the seams

"My List," Toby Keith
...Go for a walk, say a little prayer
Take a deep breath of mountain air
Put on my glove and play some catch
It's time that I make time for that
Wade the shore and cast a line
Pick up a long lost friend of mine
Sit on the porch and give my girl a kiss
Start livin' that' the next thing on my list

Wouldn't change the course of fate but cuttin' the grass just had to wait
'Cause I've bot more important things like pushin' my kid on the backyard swing
I won't break my back for a million bucks I can't take to my grave
So why put off for tomorrow what I could get done today

... Raise a little hell, laugh 'til it hurts
Put an extra five in the plate at church
Call up my folks just to chat
It's time that I make time for that
Stay up late, then oversleep
Show her what she means to me
Catch up on all the things I've always missed
Just start livin', that's the next thing on my list ...

"Mrs. Potter's Lullaby," Counting Crows
If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts.

"Omaha," Counting Crows
Somewhere in middle America
Get right to the heart of matters
It's the heart that matters more

"Clarity," John Mayer
By the time I recognize this moment
This moment it will be gone
But I will bend the light pretending
That it somehow lingered on

"Why Georgia," John Mayer
so what so i've got a smile on
it's hiding the quite superstitions in my head
don't believe me
don't you dare believe me
when i say i've got it down

everybody's just a stranger
but that's the danger in
going my own way
i guees it's a price i have to pay
still everything happens
for a reason
it's no reason not to ask yourself

"Thousand Miles," Caedmon's Call
So take my broken offering and make it whole
And set my feet upon the road that leads me home
Let me walk as one fixed upon the goal
Even though I've got a thousand miles to go

Saturday, March 13, 2004

I worked until about midnight last night, thinking maybe I'd sleep a little later than usual. But, no, that would be too easy. Instead, I woke up at 7 a.m. ready to eat breakfast and get moving for the day. The strange thing is I feel rested.

And the thing about feeling rested is I know it's a direct result of controlling my diabetes. Before I even knew I had diabetes but I did, I was sluggish and always felt worn out. I just thought that was life, or at least my life at that point. On the weekends I would sleep and nap all of the time, which I thought was just what I wanted to do on the weekends. Don't get me wrong, I love to nap. But I don't feel like every day when I come home from work I must take a nap before I go on. Diabetes is a weird disease. I haven't a coke with sugar in it since Jan. 28, the day I was diagnosed. And that's OK. Diet Dr Pepper and Diet Coke with Lime are my friends. I have other diet drink friends, but those are my favorites. I had to give Jaclyn about 10 pairs of pants because they didn't fit anymore, which is actually a good thing, although it's frustrating at times. I gained weight I needed to gain because before my body was flushing out the calories I ate, hence the reason I spent too much of my life in bathrooms. I don't even mind pricking my finger to check my blood sugar or giving myself insulin shots in my stomach. The absolute most challenging aspect of learning to live with diabetes is eating. Breakfast is easy for me. But lunch and dinner get frustrating because I eat the same things all of the time. I'm almost scared to venture way out, although I did attempt Mexican food for the first time. In a nutshell, I have to count the number of carbohydrates I eat and eat the same number at the same meal each day. It's not that isn't a low-carb diet, but rather a consistent carb diet. So, while I have that figured out in my head, I don't really like to cook. I don't like the time it takes to prepare something in relation to the 15 minutes it takes to eat it. I don't mind doing some dishes, but when I cook the sink overflows with dirty pots and pans and plates. And, maybe the hardest part, is I just never have ideas of what to cook. I bought some cookbooks and one of my goals this weekend is to sit down and look at them -- and choose some meals. I just need to plan better, but that's a whole new ballgame, considering I'm a person who never paid a bit of attention to serving size and nutrition information before. I ate what I wanted when I wanted. That's not the case anymore.

I've had a few hard days lately dealing with this, and diabetes in general. But I hate to let people know that. Very few people know the week before this was probably the worst week I've had since being in the hospital at the end of January. At first there was a fear factor that kept me going, not really questioning anything. Now, I feel comfortable enough I want to know reasons for high blood sugar levels in the afternoon or why my blood sugar sometimes is high after exercising, when it really should be go lower. There are so many variables -- food, insulin, exercise, stress -- that affect how I feel, both mentally and physically.

So Jaclyn told me I should tell people, well, not everyone, but my couple good friends, when I feel bad. I shouldn't just pretend. She just knows that friends are there to build each other up, and sometimes that's going to be that needs some encouragement. I totally see her point, and appreciate having a friend like her. But there's a thin line between saying, "Hey, today's been a bad day. I've had a headache." and whining. I know I've toed the line plenty of times and I know I've crossed the line just as many times.

Still as many bad days as I had two weeks ago, I've had many more good days. Thinking back to a year ago or six months ago or even just two months ago, I feel better than I've felt in a long time. I suppose this is the epitome of how a frustrating, challenging situation became, and I'm sure will continue to become, my saving grace.

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." --Toni Morrison, author

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Despite the sad fact I don't sleep in anymore, it's been a good weekend. (I got up at 7 a.m. yesterday and today. OK, so what if I go to bed at 10 p.m.) I've been productive -- laundry, dishes, cleaning, grocery -- and I've relaxed. Greg and I went to see "50 First Dates." Very funny, random and sweet. We watched Murray State beat Austin Peay, whose fans didn't appear to sport their "Muck Furray" shirts this time. The Racers are going the NCAA tournament. Now, it's halftime of the Kentucky-Florida game now, and the Wildcats are looking good.

Here are some more good quotes. This time they are from the introduction to "Somebody Told Me," a collection of stories by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg.

How journalism at its best is like a family sitting on the front porch telling stories:
"The only think that made it worthwhile was the words, which sometimes made sense and sometimes, once in a happy while, even sounded as if a real storyteller had put them together on some metaphorical front porch."

On journalism as a business:
"Newspaper stories are fleeting things. The thing that makes this business so remarkable, that every day we get a new canvas to paint on, is also what makes it so unsatisfying. The story, almost always, dies with the day, the pages of the day-old paper turning yellow in the sun."

Saturday, March 6, 2004

I've had a headache almost constantly the past week. It's frustrated me because I know it's from fluctuating blood sugar levels. And that's frustrating because I'm doing everything I know to do, and I think I'm doing a good job. I don't want diabetes to control my life. I want to control it. This is the first week I have really felt discouraged by the whole thing. Add to that my emotional nature, and it all made for a long few days. I'm using this weekend to recover, and in doing so I've been reading a lot and flipping through my journal -- the one I keep with pen and paper. Emotional overflow makes me reflective.

So, with that said, I found something in my journal to share. I wrote it about six weeks ago, apparently during a moment of appreciation for my friends. The words combine thoughts and images of many people important to me:

We walked across the yard into one another's lives. We wondered if we'd ever be old enough to drive but settled for bike rides and runs through sprinklers. You knew my secrets about boys and taught me about God. You made me laugh so hard I'd cry and sang along to Alan Jackson. You wet your pants -- apparently literally -- when I told you I was getting married. We never really fought, still, you're like my sister. My excitement becomes your excitement, even 21 hours away.

We were inseparable. Teachers got us mixed up and everyone expected us to be together. We watched "My So-Called Life" and ate Funyuns. Grape Kool-Aid was our choice drink. You finished my sentences, reminded me life goes on when boys are stupid and knew me sometimes better than I knew myself. I grew up; you regressed. Or I settled while you partied. You changed; I changed.

We bonded over email. You came to visit me once, even though you though Murray was a world away. You shared music and movies with me, and sometimes your feelings. You held a grudge then forgave me. We watched baseball -- Go Cardinals. But your Reds won. We rode roller coasters and I fought with your friend.

We ate ice cream and stayed up all night talking. We fell in love fast but spent years figuring it out. Fear sometimes divided us, but friendship always kept us together. We cheered at ball games, competed at cards and laughed and cried about nothing and everything. Our lives intertwined in a way I never expected.

We became friends from across the room. You made lots of eye contact and talked to me, sometimes with words. You made me laugh with your randomness. We bickered and fought, but I couldn't stay mad. You were intriguing and frustrating all at the same time. We cheered for the Wildcats, but you wait for Patrick Sparks.

You are my friend. Maybe I gave you too much. Maybe I expected too much. Maybe. But joy comes from you. Your life touched my life. We hurt each other; we healed each other. I influenced you; you impacted me. You were my neighbor. You were my roommate. You were my co-worker. You were my friend. You are part of who I am.

I have been reading "A Glimpse of Jesus" by Brennan Manning. He's one of the best authors and speakers I've experienced:

"Feelings that are not expressed cannot be fixed. ... An integral life implies creative listening to our emotions, taking responsibility for them, and courageously expressing them. ... For the Nazarene carpenter, to have integrity meant to be genuine, to communicate authentically, to resonate with his feelings."

"The world does not understand vulnerability. Strength is made to look like weakness and freedom to look like failure. Vulnerability is flatly rejected by the world as incompetence, and compassionate caring is dismissed as unprofitable. ... His ministry was a seeming failure, his life appeared to have no difference; he was a naked, murdered, ineffectual, losing God. But in that weakness and vulnerability, the world would come to know the love of the Abba of the Compassionate One."

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

"Unload all your worries onto him, since he is looking after you." --1 Peter 5:7

"You and I are governed. The weather determines what we wear. The terrain tells us how to travel. Gravity dictates our speed, and health determines our strength. We may challenge these forces and alter them slightly, but we never remove them. God -- our Shepherd -- doesn't check the weather; he makes it. He doesn't defy gravity; he created it. He isn't affected by health; he has no body. Jesus said, 'God is spirit.' Since he has no body, he has no limitations -- equally active in Cambodia as he is in Connecticut." -- Max Lucado in "Traveling Light"

"Relationships change. Health changes. The weather changes. But the Yaweh who ruled the earth last night is the same Yaweh who rules it today. Same convictions. Same plan. Same mood. Same love. He never changes. You can no more alter God than a pebble can alter the rhythm of the Pacific." -- Max Lucado in "Traveling Light"

"People take a measure of your vision, your character. They really want to know how you can affect their lives -- whether they can trust you," Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on people's perceptions of politicians, but maybe more so on life.

All of these other people's words to say I am a more complex person than I like to admit. I hate fickleness but sometimes can't make up my mind. I despise change but grow restless with routine. I have faith God is greater than any detail of my life, yet I strive for perfection. I yearn for simplicity in a complex life. And it is good to know when I have my milkshake moments, God is steadfast.
The sunshine turned to rain. The lovely random weather in Kentucky continues. Of course, today I only worked half a day but don't have the pretty weather to enjoy like I could have yesterday.

Here are some words on words from
"For words are but the images of matter; and except they have life of reason and invention, to fall in love with them is all one as to fall in love with a picture."
�Francis Bacon, English philosopher, essayist, statesman and jurist

"It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature."
�Jorge Luis Borges, Argentinian poet, short-story writer and essayist