Monday, October 20, 2014

Malaria and Ebola . . . Do I Care?

I read recently that more people die in West Africa from malaria than Ebola - yet because of the panic about Ebola now, efforts to combat malaria (easily preventable) have just about stopped.

Some say it's because America has focused attention on Ebola, because it is now a "threat" to us. People are even making their own "prevention suits".

Nobody here worries about getting malaria, you don't see anyone walking around swathed in mosquito netting.

This makes me wonder about our motives in caring. Do we only care about the things that we perceive to threaten us? And does that constitute caring or just self-preservation? And why does even the idea of a threat throw us into a panic? Do we live so self-absorbed that we only pay attention if something touches (or threatens to touch) us? I would venture to say yes, most of us only care if it's on our front door step.

Does this mean I want to live with the weight of all the world's problems on my shoulders? Should I live in fear of all the bad things in the world? Or should I throw myself into every worthy and legitimate cause around the globe? I would say no, that would be too overwhelming and I would accomplish little to nothing being pulled in multiple directions. I believe in letting God speak into my heart the issues that I need to be actively involved in. But I also believe I should exhibit compassion and understanding to any issue that comes across my radar screen -whether it be domestic or foreign.

Most of all I believe I should not panic about any of it - whether it be Ebola, malaria, stock market declines, changing society values, or even the fact that Christmas is only 65 days away.

I will work my little piece of the puzzle of life, whatever it brings, and it will be enough.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

One Small Change at a Time

Having this great time away has been wonderful. It has been great to spend a significant chunk of uninterrupted time with my husband. We've been able to talk, learn about each other again, and re-energize our relationship.

I am rested and refreshed. With this has come various revelations about myself - some I am ready to address, some I choose to ignore (for now), and others that I am willing to test around the edge.

Going home after vacation is always challenging to me. I go back with such good intentions. I'm going to keep my house clean, I'm going to clean out and live more simply, I'm going to be more energetic, I'm going to learn new things, I'm going to ......

This time I'm not going back with such big and/or all-encompassing goals. I think I'll pick something simple. Something like, I'm going to throw out all the socks I don't like and/or don't wear. Then I can move on to something like I'm going to read a book by one of the Bronte sisters (okay, I might not go that far - I've tried to read Wuthering Heights about four times with no success) or I'm going to try and wash the make-up off my face every night.

I wonder if I'm too old to change. I know in my heart I'm not, but my head isn't quite convinced yet. Fortunately most of the changes I now seek in my life are more subtle, and I'm willing to take baby steps and count each step made along the way as success.

So, here's to going home from vacation and taking baby steps!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Relaxed Planning

I've changed.

I find myself in Charleston (actually we're staying in North Charleston at a very nice Hyatt Place) for a few days for a delayed anniversary celebration. Normally I would have just about every moment planned - or at least a skeleton plan for every day, with a fair amount of flexibility built in.

Not this time. We knew we wanted to take a tour the first day (today) and see Fort Sumter. But I bought nothing ahead of time (except hotel reservations), we decided this morning where we were headed today (a Grayline city tour and hop on/off the free trolley around town), and an idea of where we are going tomorrow (Fort Sumter). On our exploratory trip into town last night we stopped at Hank's and made reservations for Friday night because it's hard to get into.

My life is full of planning and schedules - and frankly I really like that and truly enjoy making plans. But I'm finding pleasure in going along with the flow. With no kids to take care of, my husband and I can go at more relaxed pace. On this trip we chose to stay out of Charleston so the lodging was considerably cheaper - so I don't feel the urgency to fill every minute of our time with activity to get our money's worth.

Does this mean I'll never "plan" a trip again? Absolutely not - if I ever get to London it's going to be jam-packed with plans! But for now,for this trip, this is nice.
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