Evening

January 30, 2008 at 12:01 pm (answer, belief, blog, evening, film, health, introspective, journal, life questions, movie, movies, questioning, reflecting, review, sadness, struggle, suffering)

I finished watching this movie today.  It is beautiful.  It was a pleasant surprise to be so moved, especially after having to sit through numerous flops with the past several movies I’ve watched.  It actually stirred me pretty intensely.

This move probably got to me more than it normally would, just because of recently watching my mom deal with her cancer.  In the movie, the main character is an elderly alzheimer’s  patient, remembering her past and reliving certain times.  It jumps back and forth, a lot like The Notebook.

I’ll admit that I’m a complete basketcase right now.  It definitely dug up some emotions I was not expecting to have to deal with on an otherwise normal Wednesday morning.   Life is such a strange entanglement of hope, and joy, and pain.  I hate that so much suffering comes along with aging.  It’s been the most difficult thing in my life this far, just to have to sit back and watch my mom suffer.

I found out this past weekend that my mom’s bloodwork, is again, coming back abnormal.  Which means, the cancer is still present in her body.  What a devastating thing to hear.  Just when she was recovering from her second surgery, having her second round of chemo.  We were all hoping that maybe this would take care of everything and allow her to live her life normally again.  I guess that is too much to ask.  In her own words, we are all just slowly dying.  I know it’s a reality, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

It’s hard for me to process it all.  Hearing my mom talk casually about the end of her life is not something I ever could have prepared for.

So, with all of that said, I have to push forward, with a heavy heart.  I need to head into work and hope no one notices my puffy eyes.

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Beware Blue Monday

January 20, 2008 at 11:12 pm (746, belief, blog, blue monday, christian, depression, god, introspective, judging, judgmental, life questions, nashville, reflecting, sadness, struggle, suffering, support)

read the article here if you’re interested

I’m a sucker behind the psychology of this sort of thing. I wonder how much the power of suggestion is going to play into our feelings about Blue Monday. I know I am going to take some additional proactive steps, just to try and head it off. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Tomorrow is also MLK Day, which means a lot of people are off work (sorry to those of you who aren’t!). Let’s all try to remember the teachings of MLK and the idea of equality that he was so focused on. We still have such a long way to go.

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Reflections on Christmas Eve

December 24, 2007 at 6:45 pm (belief, blog, Christ, christian, christmas, friendship, god, helping, introspective, jesus, journal, life questions, reflecting, support)

I hope most of you are in the company of people you care for, and who care about you.  Something about Christmas makes everyone take a moment to reflect.  Whether they believe in the power of the birth of Christ or not, people are someone taken by the spirit of this season, and all of the good that goes along with it.  We all seem to embrace the idea of giving to those in need, in appreciating the things we have, and of celebrating the relationships we have.  I feel some sort of common ground with everyone at this time of year.  It seems to strip away our differences and leave us with nothing more (or less) than the knowledge that we are human, and in need of each other.

I was on my way home from doing some Christmas shopping the other day.  As I came around a curve on a small, residential road, I pulled up right upon a wreck that had just happened only a second before.   One car (we’ll call this car #1)  was sitting sideways in the middle of the road, while smoke billowed from underneath the hood.  The other car (car #2) had skid across the road, through someone’s yard, and into a tree.  I quickly pulled over and rushed to the cars to see if anyone was hurt.  An elderly African American couple were the occupants of car #1.  The older gentleman was getting out from behind the wheel, limping along with his cane to examine the damage as I came up to them.  Thank God everyone was ok.  I’m so surprised there weren’t at least some minor injuries.  I chatted with the older couple, and finally convinced the guy to have a seat since it would probably be a while before the police would get there to write it up.

Emerging from car #2 was a middle-aged “soccer mom”.  She was visibly shaken up, almost to the point of tears.  She had, thankfully, just dropped off her 4 year old son with her husband and was on her way to work.  She called her husband, who was there in a matter of minutes, with 4 year old in tow.

As all of this unfolded, a few neighbors from nearby came out from their various houses.  One older hispanic looking woman directed the traffic around the car #1 that was still in the road.  A young African American dad  and his daughter came out, bringing snacks and toys to occupy the busy little boy that was much more interested in anything within close proximity to the street.

I started pulling out things I had in my car:  a classroom calendar with little velcro dates you can place accordingly, a counting matching game, and most importantly, marshmellows.

It seemed like forever before the cops actually showed up.  Since I had no where I needed to be, I stuck around and, if nothing more, tried to keep the kids involved in something.  Over two hours had passed before I finally offered to run down the street and pick up some lunch for everyone.  I sped over to McD’s and ordered a sackful of burgers.  As we sat around and ate our picnic lunch, I was struck with a sense of overwhelming gratitude.  Here I was, in the midde of a potentially chaotic situation, but was able to witness people from all walks of life offering all that they had.  I really have no idea what social status anyone belong to… and it really doesn’t matter.  It was quite a site to see everyone come together, despite the many differences that has the ability to separate us from each other.

I think this is how it was meant to be.  This captures the true spirit of Christmas, reaching out to those in need, regardless of whether or not you feel like what you have is enough to offer.  I have a feeling there is rarely anything that is not appreciated.

I hope I have the opportunity to do that more.  I want to be able to love in spite of circumstances.  I want to be able to reach out and touch someone in a positive way, regardless of how inadequate I may feel.

May we all have these opportunities in our lives.

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Going back in time

December 24, 2007 at 3:12 am (belief, blog, Blogroll, christian, god, introspective, journal, judging, judgmental, life questions, questioning, rant, reflecting, struggle, support)

Like so many other people around the world, I am visiting my family for the holidays.  They live in a tiny little mountain town in north Georgia.  I actually grew up in Atlanta, but we moved farther north at the end of my 7th grade year (what an awful time for any kind of life transition!  Junior High years are hard enough as it is!)

Is it just me, or does everyone seemingly go back in time when they are around family for an extended period of time?  Suddenly, I feel like I’m 14 again.  All of our silly little neuroses that are endearing and amusing when simply experienced from afar make me want to find the nearest heavy object to bash into my head repeatedly.  The nagging and excessive worry on my behalf nearly sends me over the edge on a regular basis.  I guess I just don’t know any other way.

I’m the first to admit that I have really grown up a lot over the past several years.  It has taken a really intentional effort to take some small steps in, well, any direction really.  It’s not a pleasant experience to be stunted in any sort of way.

So, imagine my horror when all of the steps I’ve taken go out the window, with only the utterance of a single word.   It’s not necessarily the word that brings out my inner adolescent, but the tone and underlying unspokens that go along with it.

Dang, it sure takes a lot to grow up.  I’m still learning, and still messing up.  But, I guess any progress at all is a good sign, indeed.  Though still, it makes it really obvious to me just how much I need the one and only One that’s bigger than myself and my situation.  That repeated realization can only be a good thing.

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I guess it’s time

November 26, 2007 at 6:48 pm (belief, blog, Blogroll, god, introspective, journal, life questions, photo, photoblog, photography, pictures, questioning, rant, reflecting, support, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

First of all… there are some new photos to check out. I did my first pet photoshoot with my cousins’ dogs. Surprising enough, there are some really cute ones. I didn’t think the dogs sat still long enough to get anything at all, but they sure were cute in their little Christmas outfits. Take a look:

You can see larger images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sallykent2006/

 

 

 

 

Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve updated this here blog. I am back from my Thanksgiving trip to the north GA mountains. It was the first time since I’ve lived in Nashville (almost 9 years!?) that my parents haven’t come to Nashville for Thanksgiving. I guess it sort of became a tradition without us really meaning for it to. At first my mom was so anxious and worried about me traveling alone that she didn’t want me to make the drive for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. That was the compromise we came up with.

I am so thankful for so many things that I can hardly put it into words. If I start, then I might not stop. I am constantly astonished and amazed at the good things I have been given in life that I don’t at all deserve.

I think that is what makes me hold back when I am having to face such contradicting emotions. The past couple of years have been difficult, just because of having to watch my mom’s health decline. It is something none of us were prepared for. Yet, still I am so thankful that there are people, and skilled doctors, and believers out there that have had the wisdom and knowledge, and energy to do things when I have not.

So, all of that to say… even when I don’t have the energy to give thanks, I am thankful. If you are out there, and you are a part of my life in any way, know that you are on the list of things I am thankful for.

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the Beginning of the End

November 21, 2007 at 11:12 pm (autumn, belief, blog, Blogroll, fall, friendship, god, introspective, journal, photo, photoblog, photography, pictures, reflecting, Uncategorized) (, , )

Well, we finally made it back around to the holiday season. At this time tomorrow, people will begin their journeys to countless retail stores to get the first pick at the hot deals. This officially begins the Christmas season, as well as the final leg of the year 2007.

Actually this is the first time since I’ve been “on my own” that I’ve come back to Georgia for Thanksgiving. Normally, my parents make their annual voyage up to Nashville for their Thanksgiving visit. This year, due to my mom’s cancer, I decided to come down here instead to save them the trip.

This time of year is always bittersweet for me. This year more so than usual, but I can’t really articulate just why. I will have to take some time and really reflect before I can write much about it all.

As of now, it is time for me to turn in for the evening. Tomorrow morning I will be helping out in the kitchen, trying not to completely ruin Thanksgiving dinner with my horrible cooking skills. My family is known for cooking huge meals. This time will be no different.

I am really looking forward to some great food! I’m sure there will be a football game on at some point. I want to make a point to watch part of the parade, and see the huge tree be lit in NY.

My thoughts feel disconnected tonight. I need sleep. And I need to be able to breathe. That’s always a good thing. For the past couple of days I have felt like I’m coming down with a cold. That always leads to chest congestion and awful breathing problems. I’ve started on some medication and have been trying to drink a lot of water and hot tea. I hope I can keep it at bay. We’ll see how that goes.

The leaves were gorgeous on my drive from TN. Here are a few shots I took out my car window as I drove down the interstate. I will leave you with these:

Until next time…

May visions of turkey legs dance in all of our heads tonight

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when things aren’t what they seem

November 8, 2007 at 11:37 pm (answer, belief, blog, Blogroll, friendship, god, introspective, journal, judging, judgmental, life questions, prejudice, pretending, questioning, rant, reflecting, struggle, support, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Let’s face it… we all jump to conclusions. It’s really easy to interpret something totally backwards, and opposite of how it was intended. Quite often people miscommunicate because they act too quickly on what they think someone meant by what was said.

I just watched a movie called The Reaping. I was skeptical, and it didn’t blow me away. The plot had me intrigued when I read it in Blockbuster. It is about a girl (Hilary Swank) who works at scientifically explaining different myths. She works to find the logic and reasonable explanations to what some think are unexplained miracles. Then suddenly, there are plagues that overtake a small town, and she goes to investigate. Everyone is blaming a young girl for bringing the plagues to their home, and some sort of witch hunt ensues.

Over the course of the movie, I went from mildly interested, to bored and unconvinced. But, as the story continued to go on my interest got the best of me. I watched as the truth about the girl was revealed, and what that really meant for the small town she called home.

Things are rarely as they seem. I always try to remember that, but it’s way too easy to jump to conclusions. It leaves me again realizing my need of a God with infinite wisdom to snap me back into that reality.

So I’m learning to give things a chance. It takes a conscious effort to take a step back when I feel my mind jumping ahead of my heart. It’s something I need to remember to do more often.

I’m also learning that I’m a big fan of Hilary Swank!

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Accepting the Norm

November 4, 2007 at 9:40 pm (answer, autumn, blog, Blogroll, daylight saving time, daylight savings time, fall, god, introspective, journal, judging, judgmental, life questions, normal, questioning, rant, reflecting, standard, standards)

Magically, overnight we gained an hour of sleep.  To me, this is the official beginning of fall.  The nights are longer.  The days are cooler.  The colors are finally starting to peek through the green that is holding on for dear life.  You could even say that it’s the beginning of the holiday season.  It seems like the last couple of months of the year really fly by.  Christmas decorations are being strung at Opryland Hotel.

The idea of longer periods of darkness makes me want to curl up in bed with a book or a movie.  There is something comforting about being able to turn in a little earlier without seeming like a recluse.

I read that Benjamin Franklin is actually who proposed the idea of daylight savings time.  Originally, it was a way to cut down on the cost of candles.  In the grand scheme of things, that really wasn’t such a long time ago.  It was in our not so distant history that people just went on about their lives, without even having to remember to press a button in order to make it to church on time the next morning. (Strangely enough, Arizonians throw caution to the wind and merely depend on standard time throughout the entire year.)

This made me wonder how many relatively newer concepts do we now accept as “normal”.  If you think about it, there really is no such thing.  Things can only be as normal or abnormal as what you compare it to.   There are things that have become the standard over time, but even those were novel ideas at some point.

I’m an inquisitive individual.  That often gets me into trouble, but I refuse to just accept something as truth just because someone thinks it’s a good idea.  (Blessing or a curse?  I haven’t figured that out yet.  It depends on the day you ask)

So, here’s to both the normal and the abnormal… and the novel ideas that are yet to come.  Someday your very own strange idea could be the new standard of normal.

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hanging on

November 2, 2007 at 11:55 pm (answer, belief, blog, Blogroll, god, helping, introspective, journal, life questions, masks, potential, pretending, questioning, rant, reflecting, struggle, suffering, support)

Every now and then I get the urge to be someone really cool;  Someone who isn’t me.  I want to completely reinvent myself, tossing aside anything that makes me who I am and completely starting from scratch.  I have these grandiose ideas in my head of the person I’d like to be.  I even begin to make some sort of game plan to make each thought become reality.

Life has a way of making me want to check out every now and then.  Sometimes I just want to crawl away and hide for an extended period of time, peeking out occasionally just to check and see if the coast is clear.  I don’t know what it is I’m hiding from, but I know it’s scary.  It threatens the light that lies deep in my soul.

I know that these periods will pass.  All I can do is brace myself and hold on tight until the worst is over and I can resume being myself again.

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how much is enough?

October 30, 2007 at 12:46 pm (answer, belief, blog, Blogroll, friendship, god, helping, introspective, journal, life questions, potential, pretending, questioning, rant, reflecting, struggle, suffering, support, Uncategorized)

 

In my line of work, I’m constantly around people that need help.  More specifically, I’m constantly around people that come to me for help.  More often than not, I feel pretty inadequate in my ability to give them what they need.  It’s quite a helpless feeling. The things is, I’m not sure that they really know what it is they need exactly.  They just know that something has to change.

How many of us are in that same boat?  I know I am.  I’m not necessarily looking for a right answer, I just need someone to help me get started.  More than anything, it helps to know that I’m not alone.

I rarely have any answers, for myself or anyone else.  I’m not sure life works that way.  Strangely, I’m noticing that the less I feel responsibility to “do” something, the more helpful I can actually be.

Sometimes its not in having the right answer.  As a matter of fact, there rarely is an answer.  Everything is a process.  What people really want is someone to be with them to walk through that process, or to help them take the very first step that may seem so daunting.

I think if we can get away from feeling such a need to have the right answer, only then can we really get down to what it’s all truly about.

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