A Matter of Faith–We’ll Get Through This

Sad to happy faces, with the emphasis on happy.

Trust. I do believe we’ll get through this.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. My dad once told me that whether times are good or times are bad we believe they’re always going to stay that way. Right now, times are bad. But we’ll get through this.

I’m lucky enough to still have a job, but I’m afraid that may not last. Business has slowed down considerably and we’re not sure when it will pick up again. The company is doing everything it can to keep us all employed, but there comes a point, right?

I have to move shortly, and now I fear the governor may call for a complete shut down, a total stay-at-home order, and that would mean movers wouldn’t be available. Even if I had a friend with a truck (which I don’t), there’s no way we could move all my worldly goods in the back of someone’s pickup.

But these are things that haven’t happened yet and maybe never will. If they do, I’ll have to deal with them then. I’m just a notorious worrier (got that from my mom). I do believe that whatever happens, I’ll get through it.

I’m not someone who has posters with inspirational sayings or Bible verses all over my home, but I do have faith. Lately, that faith has been tested, for reasons that have nothing to do with the coronavirus. It’s just that a lot of people have given me scientific or historical reasons for everything I believe in. Still, I have faith for the unknown. And let’s just say that faith is misguided. If it helps me, I’m keeping it.

These are uncertain times, uncertain in many ways because we’ve never dealt with anything like this before. It’s unclear how to navigate these murky waters.

But we’ll get through it. My prayers are with all those who are sick, all their loved ones, and the loved ones of those who have died.


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Reach Out

Not that I have any imminent concern, just a general one, but I have to say I wouldn’t do well in a quarantine. It’s felt a little like one this weekend. All my normal weekend activities, including church, were cancelled, and I can only watch so many episodes of “The Mothers-in-Law.”

I did watch Bishop Curry speak via YouTube at a service at the National Cathedral this morning, so I sort of got church in. Problem was, at the end of the service I really wanted to go into the parish hall and socialize. For those of you who don’t remember or know who Bishop Curry is, he’s the Episcopal church’s Presiding Bishop (chief mucky-muck), the one who spoke at at Harry and Meghan’s wedding. He’s a gifted speaker and it was a decent sermon, but I wouldn’t want to attend church like that every weekend.

Even as I write this I’m acutely aware of the people for whom an online service is the only way to participate in church. It makes me aware of how much care we need to give to the lonely. In the current climate, that may be difficult, but a card or letter may be an alternative, especially for the elderly for whom that kind of correspondence is familiar. If you know of a shut-in, please reach out now.

Maybe it’s not even a traditional shut-in. I know of a man who’s perfectly healthy, at least physically, but he doesn’t leave the city limits. Anything he can’t buy locally he orders online, with one recent exception. He needed new flooring, so his neighbor drove him to the bordering city to check that out. Keep in mind, these are small cities, each with a population under 50,000, and the city he lives in is primarily a bedroom community with little shopping besides grocery stores. I need to remember him and send a message on his Facebook page.

I know of another woman (and we all know someone like this) who’s caring for her elderly mother. She rarely gets out, in part because her mom mysteriously falls ill anytime my friend has a social engagement. I believe she’s reached her limit and has told her family that other plans need to be made for her mother’s care. Knowing what a challenge caretaking can be makes me wish I’d sent her more text messages.

So I guess there’s a silver lining in this coronavirus situation if it reminds me to reach out to those in need. Let me be a blessing in someone’s life.


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Ah, Moving

It’s happening again.

Nearly four years ago I struck a deal with a woman who has since become a friend. She owns a nice townhome, but wasn’t able to live in it at that time because she was caring for her mother. I needed a better place to live, but had a limited budget. She was willing to rent the place to me at an affordable price if I accepted a month-to-month rental agreement. If something happened to her mom, I’d get a decent amount of notice to move out.

I got that notice earlier this week. Catherine is changing the living arrangement with her mom. I’d been preparing for the inevitable, although I didn’t expect it to happen this soon. And I’m really bummed. This is a nice place, and any move that I can afford will be a step down.

I put in my application to some apartments in my price range. Being affordable, there’s a waiting list, so I don’t know if this will work out. All I can do at this point is wait to hear whether or not I qualify, and if so, whether or not there’ll be a unit open in three months. Not that they can know that this far in advance. This complex requires a 30-day notice, so I’m potentially in limbo for awhile.

As with any move, there are benefits. I’m trying to focus on the positive and not think about what the smaller space will mean to my cats. Everyone says they’ll adjust, and I believe they will, but like any pet lover I want them to have the best possible living arrangement, and this townhome is much better than an apartment.

But back to focusing on the positive. I’ll be closer to work, most shops, and the grocery store. If I get into the apartment complex I’ve applied to, it’s in a wooded area, bordering a golf course. I have a friend who lives there and she tells me the management is responsive and caring. I’ve driven through the place from time to time and it seems to be a quiet, settled place with good tenants.

Man Covered In Cardboard Boxes - Moving Concept
Packing! Augh!

I don’t want to move. I like it here. Still, I find myself wishing it could happen sooner rather than later, just to get it done. Packing! Augh! So much to do, so much to think about. I’ll have to sell my dining room table, which I love. I have no idea what it’s worth but I’ve been told it’s “worth a lot.” So what do I ask for it?

I plan to make the most of this move. Yes, it’s disappointing. I live in a quiet neighborhood with good neighbors, and giving that up for the unknown is scary. But I can’t focus on what I’m losing. I need to look at what I’m gaining. I have a strong faith, although I don’t necessarily believe every change is God’s plan for improving my life the way I want. But I do believe change is an opportunity, and I do believe God is in my life.

Yep, every change is an opportunity for growth, right?


Image credits: Header image ©Texelart – stock.adobe.com; Photo of man under boxes © Bigstock

The Bishop’s Wife

Classic for a Reason

The Bishop’s Wife, 1947, RKO Radio Pictures. Starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven. Directed by Henry Koster. B&W, 108 minutes.

Staid Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) has neglected his wife and family in his quest for a new cathedral, and is on the verge of giving in to a value system of greed and selfishness held by certain wealthy parishioners who aren’t afraid to make full use of their influence. He prays for guidance. To his shock, the answer comes in the form of a debonair angel, Dudley (Cary Grant).

The Bishop’s skepticism of Dudley’s claims of divine guidance is soon overcome by frustration with the angel’s growing relationship with his wife, Julia (Loretta Young). Dudley brings back a spark to Julia’s demeanor that has been missing for many years, as the Bishop has become more engrossed in his work and less attentive to his marriage.

Adding to Dudley’s work…

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Attitude, Ahoy!

Wow, getting back into the swing of things–in this case a full-time job–is difficult after so many years of part-time work. On top of that, the last time I had full-time work I was working out of my home, so there was a certain amount of freedom there. Now, I’m at the workplace Monday through Friday, eight hours a day. And frankly, the job is not much of a challenge.

However, I’m at a point in my life where good benefits are just as important as the job itself, and I have good benefits. For example, I get three weeks of vacation next year, not to mention two floating holidays. That’s on top of the 3.33 days of vacation I’ll have earned by the end of December. I’m not comfortable taking those vacation days before my 90 days is up, which will put me smack dab in the middle of December. Instead, I’m carrying them over to the third week in January.

AdobeStock_158786624We get MLK day off, which of course is a Monday. My birthday is the very next day, so I’m planning on taking that entire week off and celebrating or crying, whichever mood strikes me at the time. Actually, I’ll probably spend the week housecleaning and maybe clearing out some of my spare bedroom–a.k.a. the junk room. All that extra stuff weighs heavily on me. Ideally I’d like to get down to just enough stuff to fill a one-bedroom apartment, but that’s a ways off. Still, it’s good to have a goal.

Back to the benefits. The one big drawback is the High Deductible. Fifteen hundred dollars, and that includes prescriptions. That’s a big chunk of change and the out-of-pocket goes even higher, another fifteen hundred. That’s a high percentage of my annual salary, so knock wood and lift up my prayers that I’m never burdened with hefty medical bills.

Still, I’m grateful for the work, as dull as it is, and I’m certainly grateful for the benefits, imperfect as they are. Three paid weeks of vacation is a big deal for me. So, as the song says, I’m going to accentuate the positive.


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Tenacity Rewarded

I did it—I have a job.

It’s not an exciting career job, and I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of room for advancement. But I’m working with a well-established, reputable company, the benefits are great and the people are generous.

I admit I have my moments when I say to myself, “I have a college degree yet I’m doing this menial work.” Those moments don’t last very long, especially since this is a job you have to work at to keep up with, so I’m distracted with the task of getting it done. Not just getting it done, but getting it done right. If I don’t do my job well, it has ramifications for a long line of people.

I realize that, at my age, a lot of people are faced with the same situation, that is, a job that doesn’t take full advantage of their skills, experience and talent. Agism becomes an issue and you take whatever job is offered, regardless of how well qualified you are for higher level work. In my case, a major setback eight years ago kept me away from my career path, and that gap is hard to overcome.

One kind of cool thing is the hours. I’m working noon to 8:30, so I have my mornings to run errands, visit the doctor and write. At least, that’s the theory. It seems I can get myself out of bed at 7:00 a.m., but staying out is another story.

So I have my outlets. I love to write and have three blogs to prove it (although admittedly this blog has been neglected as of late). If you’re wondering, take a look to the right of this post and you’ll see the plug for one of my other blogs, Classic for a Reason—Reviews of Films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. The third is a knitting blog.

Another writing outlet is my writing group. It’s a great group of ladies who have a tremendous amount of experience. We meet every Saturday to share our work. It provides me with the motivation to get up at 7:00 so I can put in a few hours of writing before I go to work, although, as I mentioned before, I’m having a hard time convincing my body that eight or nine hours of sleep is enough.

So I’m doing better these days, and maybe I’ll get back to writing for this blog on a more regular basis. I hope so, because I miss the interaction with all of my blogging buddies (some of you have been very loyal and I am grateful for your friendship).

See you soon in the blogosphere.


 

Shades of Prejudice

Is prejudice so ingrained we can’t overcome it?

I don’t know. I believe we can work past at least some of our racism (or other -ism) when we become aware of it, but is there a residual element that lingers? I was listening to the radio the other day–most likely NPR–and heard an interview where a young man who’d broken away from a white supremacy group still found himself battling the hate. There’s little, if any, support for those who are trying to change their thinking in that situation.

There’s more support for us ordinary folks who sincerely seek to broaden our thinking and become better people. Still, it’s sometimes hard to admit exactly what we are thinking, especially when we don’t the root of it ourselves. Did I dismiss an author because he’s black, or because I thought the premise of his book was trite? Did I think the premise of his book was trite because he’s black? The latter I feel fairly confident is not true. Trite is trite and this was trite.

I’ve experienced a modicum of prejudice in my life because of my Polish heritage. A few weeks ago a friend made some snide remark about how you wouldn’t expect a Pole to have blonde hair. Sitting directly across from us was another friend, also of Polish descent, who is about as blonde as they come. Naturally blonde. She just grinned and I rolled my eyes, but like a game of Mad Libs, I could easily see substituting blonde hair for having a high IQ. I’ve heard that one plenty of times. And it doesn’t take too much imagination to take the Mad Libs analogy a little bit further.

There are shades of prejudice and I don’t know which is worse, the subtle shades or the sharp ones. All I can do is seek the truth and see the shades of difference that make each of us unique and our stories valid.


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