Libraries from my Youth

I’m writing a short story that includes a visit to the public library. My first visit, actually. The librarians were so friendly.

 

Now that I think about it, I remember when they told me to move up into the adult section. I’d graduated from the children’s department. I wasn’t expecting that. I don’t remember a Young Adult section all those years ago.

 

I walked into the separate room. So many choices; where to begin? Mom took me to the library once at night. She got out a book by Dale Evans, wife to the cowboy movie star, Roy Rogers. Dale’s book, Angel Unaware made its way to our home that night.

 

If Mom took me to the library any other time, it’s slipped my mind. I usually walked with my older brother or sister. When I got older, I was the one to escort younger ones. Once in a great while, I’d go downtown to the main branch of the library. What a treat that was!

 

God has been so good to me over the years. You may ask me why I think that way. Because in the New Testament in the book of James 1:17, (KJV), it says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

 

God bless.

Change Hinderers

I have to admit, I like change. Yet, at a conference where my husband and I, as leaders, were being coached to change, I didn’t like it. Anxiety sat on my shoulder, what would this change do to the flow of things back at the building?

Who am I? Why did I resist the ideas for change. When did I, um, change?

After I looked at the resistance to change at that meeting, I decided to take a deep breath, get over the idea that I might not want to look at new techniques, and became more open. I’m sure the instructor appreciated that. If leadership won’t consider anything new, forget implementing anything after the training.

As some may know, I’ve started keeping a time-log. I’m on week two. It amazes me how quickly time flows and how hard it is for me to keep an 8.5 by 11 inch piece of paper with me at all times so I can keep track of the fleeing half hours. So, I’ve cheated and tried to remember. Where did that half hour go between eating lunch and finishing a note to my neighbor, now living in assisted-living quarters hours away? How is it that she’s gone and I rarely made it over to sit and chat? How is it that I didn’t know she was lonely until after she moved away and her daughter told me? And surely, it didn’t take me half an hour to say hi, how are you, I miss you.

The other day, I intended to clean for three hours and write for five. The phone rang. “What time did you say you were coming over today?” After setting up an appointment for the afternoon, I called my friend. “Remember our walk, can you make it this morning?” Oh, man. How many hours are there in the day? Overbooking when I’m actually keeping track shows the tendencies that have sabotaged me in the past, which is what this exercise is all about.

Today, a friend needed a ride to see some people. Her close friend called me to see if I could accommodate her, because she was too upset to drive. A friend looking out for another friend, and I agreed. I wouldn’t want emotional duress to cause an accident. So I packed my computer in a bag with a Bible and a writing book and money for lunch. I’m glad I was available, but as soon as I find my time paper, I’ll have to block out three hours of time for a sandwich and the drive and maybe two verses read.

Sometimes when people know you are trying to diet, or to be less available, or kicking the addictive behavior you enjoyed with them, they’ll give you little hints as to why you shouldn’t even bother. “You’ve tried that before and it didn’t work, don’t worry about it.” Or, “I’ll miss you. Surely you don’t have to skip time with me.” Or “What kind of a friend are you? We always go to the ice cream stand after class? One hot fudge sundae a week won’t kill you?” Etc. Etc.

I’m reminded of what Cecil Murphey said to me, “What are you willing to give up?”

For a person who likes change, I can see that I have some routines that I like. I read a book for a resource for a marriage book I’m working on. The man had Asperger’s Syndrome. If I remember correctly, his wife pointed out that he spent forty-five minutes looking in the mirror in the morning while she got their children fed, bathed, dressed, and then got herself ready for work. I think people can fall into time-wasting habits and not even be aware. This man wanted to help his wife and improve his marriage. His book is: “The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband,” by David Finch.

He altered behaviors for the benefit of his wife, himself and his children. He didn’t allow others to hinder his progress. As I change and grow, I’ll continue to note hindrances of my own making and maybe see some from others. Then I’ll have to decide, “What am I willing to give up so I can stay seated at the keyboard or to avoid a trip to the dr.s office or hospital, etc.?”

People-pleaser or Co-dependent?

I like to figure out what makes people tick. It helps me to appreciate them or understand where they’re coming from. That’s probably why I majored in psychology in college. I’ve been reading about people-pleasing and co-dependency. Co-dependency is taking care of others before taking care of yourself. Sometimes co-dependent people don’t get around to taking care of themselves or their immediate family. They will drop what they are doing and go help someone in distress. Many of their friends are in distress a lot, which makes the co-dependent feel useful. Eventually, the co-dependent may wake up to the fact that they are exhausted, unappreciated, and living in a mess. When they start saying “No,” they may lose the needy friends. That friend will find someone else to be in crisis with.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t help people. I’m just saying that sometimes a co-dependent may get in God’s way of giving someone a lesson. If they don’t learn the lesson, the person will go through another trial and hopefully learn and grow, if the co-dependent will let the person learn by suffering the consequences of their own choices.

Let God be God, I’m thinking. Any comments?