The Power of Ants

My kids and I stopped swimming and got out of the pool because something interesting caught our eye and we investigate such interesting things in nature. Well, we saw a large wasp being unable to get away being attacked by a large number of ants. It was incredible. These tiny ants, probably about 1/20th the size of this wasp were working together to prevent this large flying wasp from leaving the ground. They were attacking together and beat down and killed that giant as we watched. It was incredible. And I thought, the power of the ant is not his size, obviously. Yes, they are individually strongish when considering thier size but not strong enough to compare with a wasp normally. So, how could this happen? The strength of a tiny ant taking down a giant is numbers and teamwork. Ants work together and there are a lot of them doing it. How do cities develop? Lots of people working together. How are corrupt governments overthrown? Lots of people working together. How do bullies get defeated? Lots of people working together. The giants are brought down by teamwork among lots of people for the good of the people. One other note: Ants are not hotheads or selfish or narcissistic. They serve the colony. Our early forefathers were like that, many people working together to benefit everyone. They benefitted too of course because when everyone is pitching in and working together for everyone else, there are always opportunities to rise up and prosper, as long as the colony isn’t harmed by it in any way. So, we could learn a lot from the ants.

Childhood Lost

I grew up in the late 70’s and 80’s. Yep, I’m that old. But I had a childhood full of memories, life, horrors, successes, failures, adventures. I played with a pack of three wolves several times in the back of one of my dad’s fields he farmed, was accepted by them. We played in the brook and knew how to remove leaches from our skin. We played on playgrounds with real swings that had no less than 20 feet of chain down from the high pole and metal slides that were steep enough and high enough to be fun and monkey bars that required great skill and no fear of heights to be able to maneuver. We rode bikes all day sometimes, sometimes to meet other kids to go to the playground and take them back home. We practiced starting fires without matches and whittling sticks with or pocket knives. We talked to strangers, gave directions, took home, shared food, shared drinks, talked constantly. We had toys but limited numbers and very simple, things like jump ropes and jumping jacks and balls. Rocks were our chalk. A bucket of water and two dixie cups served as hours of entertainment on a hot day. These were my childhood memories. They were amazing. No one died on the “unsafe” playground. No one I knew was ever abducted or accosted by a stranger. It just didn’t happen. Now, our kids have a very real threat of having their childhood lost in the shuffle of high tech and low living and safety over learning and adventure. More talk is of preventing mishaps or evil than of living life. Kids stay inside, entertained by things they barely have to move at all to do. We are more concerned with bruising their psychies than developing their moral character and there is a wealth of knowledge going unlearned by the majority of kids out of fear. And even when parents are not fearful, they are too busy or too tired from working long hours to pay for all the tech (and of course other ammenities). Our society doesn’t talk much anymore. We don’t stop by the neighbor’s and visit and “sit a spell” over coffee anymore. We barely look at each other. So, the what to do about it is unclear. It is a scarier world than it was when I was a kid, no doubt. However, maybe one approach is to take a day and go together on a hike, a picnic through the week, a visit to a friend’s house, a game day, play some tennis, ride bikes, something, anything without tech and with eye contact and word formation. Perhaps one mini adventure at a time accumulates to as meaningful a childhood as we remember as parents? Just my thoughts.

A Funny Little Story

As a doctor of audiology having my own practice, I saw a heck of a lot of patients on a regular or irregular basis. And since I was a young lady (or looked like it through the lenses of 70+ year olds) and semi-attractive (again to people with glasses and cataracts), I was quite often asked out or asked to meet their son/grandson/great grandson (yes some were quite old). Well, on two separate occasions, a funny thing threatened to happen. Thankfully all is well because of a beautiful little word “No, not ever”. Let me explain. One time there was a man and the second a woman (unrelated and on two seperate occasions) who were complaining about their worthless son. He was a bum, wouldn’t work, divorced two or three times, ate all their food, never cleaned up after himself, wanted his laundry done for him, a real treat. And then they would later say, “You should date my son. I think you would be so good for him”. I would ask, “Oh, how many sons do you have?” “Oh, just one, honey.” And that is where the “No, not ever” came in and as soon as they step out of the door I would laugh and laugh and laugh. Wowzers. The first time that happened was funny. The second time was just plain hilarious. Parents/Grandparents/Greatgrandparents, please don’t try to set up your worthless sons with successful women. It will not make the man better, it will make the woman worse. (Laughing) Just raise them to not be worthless and set them free. lol

On Hunting Dinosaurs for Health

Dinosaurs are extinct, they happened in the past. Yet they keep popping up all over the place. They are historical figures representing an event or problem or hardship or terror from the past. These dinosaurs died out a long time ago but just won’t stay dead. We revive them to make sense of it. We bring them back to look at them. Sometimes it even seems noble to learn from it or remind ourselves of what we survived. But the truth of it is that each time we resurrect these extinct dinosaurs who should stay extinct, we go against nature, we deprive ourselves of the food we need to live now by feeding creatures that should stay dead. By resurrecting dinosaurs and housing them, feeding them, paying them homage, we worship the beasts which are really dead shadows rather than living the now or preparing for the future. For our health, we must hunt the dinosaurs, kill them again, destroy the beasts before the distraction they provide eats away at our enjoyment of the nature and even God and His blessings and gifts for the moment. So to be healthy, we must hunt and kill the dinosaurs of the past and seek to acknowledge them no more in order to allow God to move us to a new level of living. The dead cannot help the living. The living must be done by people who are alive not clinging to dead dinosaurs. Life must be honored and valued and dead things cannot do that. Death celebrates death. Life celebrates God and live and truth and light and joy and peace and these things are so much better. So do yourself and your health a favor and hunt down your dinosaurs and kill them once and for all and live the way God made you to live- fully, passionately, personally, triumphantly, brilliantly, with joy and peace. Honor Him by living fully.

The Ugly Waiting

The hardest thing of my life, harder than failed relationships, harder than natural childbirth, harder than my miscarriage, harder than dealing long term with difficult people, harder than toxic people that force themselves into work or relational spheres, harder than the death of my beloved pets, harder than recovering from rape, harder than years of criticism, harder than all that. The hardest thing of my life has been hands down the ugly, long drawn out wasting away through dementia of my daddy. His body is still with me in bedridden wounded and lesser form, his words are hard to come by and labored, his mind comes and goes in dream or present states, he recognizes me but sometimes knows why and sometimes wonders why. The waiting is painful, like a torture for me, daddy’s girl. He has always been my rock, my hero, my strength, my constant supporter, unconditionally loving me, showing me that a man can indeed be faithful to a woman, my mom, against all odds, that a man can put much more emphasis on giving than getting, that eternal things matter much much more than temporal things, that strength of will and stealth of mind matter more than what people ever think anyone is or should be capable of, to fight for those things we hold dear, to believe this country is the absolute best country in the world. This man of such high moral value and such incredible strength of character and body is my daddy. The shell of him wasting away in the nursing home sometimes resembles this man and sometimes resembles a knife being thrust right into my heart. Pain was never so real to me that my whole body aches as what I feel with this waiting game. Visiting as much as I can for those moments where a conversation makes some sense, longing to share my world with him and knowing it is a shadow to him, somewhere in a haze. And it makes me wonder why God is waiting to take him home to heaven. Is there something else I need to do for him? Is there something he hasn’t worked out that I need to help with? Is his will stronger than his body is allowing and he doesn’t want to leave us unprotected? Questions stroll in to try to make sense in my mind of what is killing me to see. It is a mental torture to see someone you love so much in a trailing off, descending state. Physical torture would be easier to bear. That I could overcome with my mind. But this mental torture involves my mind which is too distracted to help much of the time. So I wait. I visit. I take the kids to visit. I sneak in his favorite treats. I love this man that reminds me of my daddy. I celebrate good days. I cry bad days, like today was. It hits me hard every time, a reminder of what is gone forever but still hanging on somewhere on the way out. I smile for people so they don’t worry about me. I laugh. I don’t want other people to hurt over my pain. But writing it here expresses it so it doesn’t keep eating me. Maybe someone else needs to cry. I will cry with you. I am crying with you. I am waiting ugly with you. You are not alone. I have to remember I am not alone. Feels like it though. God helps those who mourn. I attest to that. It’s true. So I am not alone. Neither are you.

Awkwardly Unexpected

I am a semi-retired (consults only) doctor of audiology who now homeschools my 2 children full time and helps care for a dying father (but now the nursing home does most of the care and my job is to visit and supervise care, etc.) and a mother who wants me as her only friend/servant instead of making friends where she lives. Also I play keys in two bands and write. So, I have a little to do in general on a given day. So, most days are surprisingly busy and I wonder at how I accomplished all of it sometimes and really attribute anything I actually finish to God giving me grace and strength for the day. But an awkward thing has happened to me. My son spent the night at the neighbor boy’s house and my daughter and husband went to bed very early and I am instantly alone with an almost supernatural reserve of energy. It is something that if it happened in the day, I would be a made woman, but at night after dark, it is awkward, a strange break, a moment I wish my best friend lived next door or something because we could chat over a glass of port and enjoy the moment. But as this is impossible at the moment, here I sit typing, wondering what I used to do in my spare time. The house is clean, so that’s out. Well, clean enough. lol I used to paint, either walls or canvases but I do not have paint for these walls yet and I can’t start oils I can’t finish for a while and would be in the way tomorrow with children. People are sleeping, so piano is out. I can read. I guess that is what I will do. I will read. And this entire thought process was unbelievably awkward. There must be some way you retain who you are in the midst of busily taking care of everyone else, which I do love. The danger of caring for everyone is that often you go uncared for. Giving away all the time you never get. And while that is fine most of the time, a sense of identity is often risked in the mix and thought needs to be taken into being the you you were meant to be when God put His breath into your lungs. He made everyone to be someone unique, beneficial, special, with certain gifts to use for His glory. Uniqueness is one of our gifts. And we must struggle to determine a way to retain that while giving and giving and caring and caring. So a goal of mine is to, when a moment of opportunity arises, step right into it without awkward hesitation and pick up where I left off on a goal or hobby or task that matches my giftedness. It should be natural, not a forgotten or awkward thing. Then I can remember what it was God made me uniquely able to do and be and bask in using that to worship Him and enjoy life. Good goal, I believe.

Benefits of Love

When you are loved:
1. You sleep better, knowing that someone cares.
2. You look and feel younger.
3. You are important to someone which is huge.
4. You have someone in your corner.
5. You have reasons to work hard and do your best other than yourself.
6. You take better care of yourself.
7. You have someone to take care of you and you can take care of them back.
8. You are not lonely anymore.
9. You have someone to share with: your day, your food, your thoughts, your umbrella, whatever.
10. You have a share of someone’s heart, which is the most valuable property in the universe.
11. You breathe easier and cleaner feeling that everything is fresher and richer.
12. You take fewer risks for the sake of the one who loves you.
13. You see everything in a more optimistic light so life is better.
14. You have someone to talk to and go to.
15. Life matters more.

Now the trick is to know that not only does or can someone special love you but that God, your Creator, loves you all the time no matter what you do or have done, without conditions or sanctions or negativity or lies. God loves you forever and always. So even if a human is missing out on the chance to love someone as beautiful as you, God never misses a chance to show His love for you and loves you every second, every breath, every smile, every tear. You are treasured by Him. And if you happen to have found someone who loves you too, that person was a gift from Him as well. If not yet, it will happen at the right time. And I love you too (because He loves me).