Funk

FUNK. Not that other word. ūüėģ

funk

noun

he was in a funk because his wife ran out on him: A (STATE OF) DEPRESSION, a bad mood, a low, the dumps, the doldrums, a blue funk.

I really do strive for honesty here. If I ever write fiction, you’ll know it. There’s no fiction to the fact that I’ve really been struggling with the doldrums lately, a real blue funk if you will. The reasons for this low can be counted on several fingers:

  1. I miss my mom. I miss her and I regret a lot of things about the last few years she was here. I regret not being as patient as I should have been. I regret wasting time thinking more of myself than her. I regret getting angry when she would offer advice without my asking. I catch myself doing the same thing with my daughter, and I see the same frustration on her face that I felt when I was in her shoes. The fact is, we moms are at loose ends when our kids grow up. It’s difficult to shut off the “mom switch” when our kids grow up, and it’s hard to accept that we aren’t needed as much as we were when they were younger.
  2. I miss the younger me. I miss the legal secretary that juggled the work and phone calls of three sharp lawyers and a very sharp legal assistant, prepared PTO (Patent and Trademark Office) filing packets, managed to squeeze in lunch, and still made all the deadlines on her docket calendar. I struggle to get the laundry done, the pantry stocked, dinner cooked, and my small business running. I struggle to find time for the things that don’t seem important, but are important to ME. Things like organizing my family photos (both mine and those from my mom). Things like spending more time writing, both for the magazine and the novel I started a ridiculous number of years ago. This funk, though. It just sucks the energy out of me and it’s hard to work on those things when so many things are screaming for my attention. (See Reason #1 above ‚ÄĒ I never understood why my mom struggled with getting things done. Now I do.)
  3. I struggle with worrying about the future. I am not a numbers person by any stretch of the imagination, but in more recent years my mind plays a little math “game” that I really don’t want to play. When I hear of someone passing away (dying, if we’re blunt), I immediately calculate how much older they were than I am now. Someone’s Aunt Mabel passed away at 74? She was only 21 years older than me. That’s not that many years, especially when I think of how quickly the last 21 years have flown by. Do I have 21 years left? Is that enough time to do what I want/need to do? I am a Christian and I have put my faith in Jesus. I know others who say the same and say they can’t wait to go on to be with the Lord. I get it. I really do. But I still struggle with wanting to see my daughter marry and have children, with wanting to go on many more road trips with my husband. And then guilt sets in because it sounds as though I am putting my family here ahead of the Lord. Is it any wonder that I’m struggling with a funk, the doldrums, a depression?

A couple of weeks ago I got off to a roaring start, blogging almost every day for a week. And then we lost our golden retriever. And then I had a lot going on and then the funk I’d been running from caught up with me and I’ve had a hard time thinking of something interesting or entertaining to write. I knew if I didn’t write something, the days were going to stretch into weeks and then this blog would be neglected for months again.

I am working on getting ahead of the funk. Of choosing joy. Because the Lord’s joy is my strength. I just have to keep reminding myself of that and keep putting my trust in Him.

Monday Morning Good Stuff

Monday Morning Good Stuff …

Truth be told, I didn’t have anything good to report this morning, and then put off writing anything at all until this evening. Saturday evening our twelve year old golden retriever died. We’d gone to Galveston for the day, first to attend the Greek Festival and then we hung around for ArtWalk. Dinner with the fam and when we got home late that evening, my husband found her in the backyard. He said she looked like she’d been lying in the sun (it felt good to her old joints) where she’d just fallen asleep.

Early Sunday morning, before church, he dug a grave for her next to our daughter’s Chorkie, Evelyn, who passed away in 2016. They are both under the sycamore tree, side by side, which seems appropriate. When Evelyn was still alive, she would climb on top of Hurley and use her for a cushion. Hurley was the sweetest dog ever, and mothered Evelyn, even though they were not biologically related. So I like the idea of their final resting places being so near each other.

I think at some point we are going to put a little birdbath out there as a marker. Or maybe some wind chimes in the tree. But there’s no hurry.

Be joyful, y’all. Even in loss there is joy for the memories.

Laura

Future Perfect

For the word nerds out there, there’s no explanation needed, but for the math geeks, future perfect tense refers to something that will have been completed at some point in the future.

I will have lived a lifetime when I take my last breath.

There’s really nothing profound about that statement, since a life can span any length of time at all, and every lifetime ends with a last breath. The question is, how will I fill up the time that comes before that last breath? How will I squeeze every bit of joy from the time God gives me on this earth, not wasting a bit of it, however long that is?

Recently¬†I became aware of a new YouTube channel called¬†The Journal Worthy Day. Created by Ben and Brittney Nelson, the channel is their effort to encourage us all to live “journal worthy” days. Along with their four adorable munchkins, they are striving to make sure each day is memorable ‚ÄĒ whether it’s something as adventurous as traveling to Rome, Italy, or playing in the backyard on a beautiful spring day. Their videos are enjoyable and inspiring, and I’m looking forward to the next one!

I’m not very video savvy, so you probably won’t see me starting a YouTube channel any time soon. However, I do enjoy words and photographs, and I’m wondering how many journals, scrapbooks, and blog posts I can create of “journal worthy” experiences? People often refer to “bucket lists” of things they want to do while on this earth. Often these things are crazy adventurous, like climbing Mount Everest, or free diving for pearls in the Sea of Japan. These things are certainly journal worthy, but a little adventurous for me. So here are some “journal worthy” things in no certain order that I would like to accomplish on my journey to the “future perfect” ‚ÄĒ

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First image from a series I captured of a lunar eclipse in 2014.
  • travel to West Texas to photograph the moon and stars at night
  • create a scrapbook, or maybe a blog,¬†composed of photographs of the knick knacks I’ve collected over the years, along with the stories behind them ‚ÄĒ I’ll then pass the knick knacks along to someone else to enjoy
  • become more involved in a church fellowship, once we find our new church home
  • drive up Highway 288 to photograph the Eclectic Menagerie¬†along the left side of the road just before reaching the 610 Loop
  • finish the lap quilt I started for my sister probably more than a decade ago
  • tackle a crazy two week long, 3,700 mile road trip with my husband this summer
  • try new things with my camera and share the results
  • go on a photowalk in downtown Houston
  • finish my novel, blogging about the experience as I go
  • see the major Frank Lloyd Wright homes:

I expect that’s a decent list to start with. And certainly¬†journal worthy.¬†

What will you do that’s journal worthy?

My Agenda

The last few days I’ve been engaged in a debate on another blog. I’m not ¬†going to go into the details of the debate, but suffice it to say I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated, and agitated over this social justice warrior’s inability to see the other side of things. When I asked a question that chipped a rather large chunk from her¬†foundational argument, she responded with “This conversation is going in circles, so I’m going to step out. Thanks for the discussion.”

Which basically said to me, “I have no answer for your question, so I quit.”

And that’s fine. But it still frustrated me that so many of this particular generation base their beliefs and actions on¬†feelings,¬†feelings which can change with the wind, because Truth is not absolute in this day and age. There is¬†your truth, and there is¬†her truth, and¬†his truth, and supposedly¬†my truth. I don’t understand how there can be multiple truths for any given situation.

Anyway, while I was feeling frustrated and agitated and irritable about all this, my husband pointed out that he’d been much less stressed the last few days because he’d been consciously avoiding any discussions that hinged on politics or social agendas. Which reminded me of something rather important.

See the title of my blog up there?¬†‚ÜĎ‚ÜĎ‚ÜĎ

Not “A Scribbler & A Shutterbug”

Underneath that.

Yeah.

“Persistently Choosing¬†Joy”

That one.

I think I’ve slacked up a bit in that area. And I need to refocus. On my agenda.

To persistently choose joy.

Because if I’m persistently choosing joy, my focus is on the future.

Not the past. Adios, depressing blog posts.

And not even the present. Au revoir, social justice warrior debates.

My focus is on the future and what I can do, how I can serve, to live a joyful life for the benefit of myself and those around me. Positive actions¬†(not feelings) actually produce positive feelings. Now isn’t that interesting?

Hallo, peace, joy and love!

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Spending time with this guy definitely increases my joy meter.
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These two should be reason enough for anyone to smile! ‚̧