Tuesday, January 26

Most Powerful Organ

First an apology I really ranted last post and a big thank you for all the supportive replies I didn't really deserve after being so down on everyone. Last night I went for supper with a friend and through our discussion we really ended up reflecting on what James wrote

James 3:5-6
The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell

Both of us were reflecting that the things that we regretted the most were the times we spoke without thinking. Somehow the things we say are worse than anything we do or don't do and there's nothing you can do that really will erase those words. A word once spoken can't be taken back.

I remember being told that I had two ears and only one mouth for a reason that we should listen twice as much as we speak. Boy is that hard, I like to talk and communicate I'm good at it but listening is hard. However, we risk hurting people more with what we say than when we listen....very rarely perhaps never have I heard someone complain that someone else listened too much.

This also applies to my faith walk, I'm good at talking my faith and I'm good at telling God what I think. However, I'm bad at listening. Every world religion I've looked at incorporates the idea of sitting and being still and listening. This says to me that this must be important to human well being besides being an important way to connect with a God that can seem distant. The problem is we're all just bad at it, we pack our lives with activities, noise, people, and forget to leave time to just sit and be.

So reflecting on this I'm going to find time in my trip to just sit and reflect. I'm going to use the week on the beach in Egypt as a built in quiet time for me. I'm also going to keep working on keeping my tongue under control to listen more and talk less. I'm going to see what that means for my relationships.

Sunday, January 24

A little rant

So for the most part I try to stay optimistic and upbeat because really no matter what despite everything I have a pretty good life. I also have a fantastic group of family and friends supporting me.

However, there are times when I feel frustrated with things. Tonight is one of them.

So I've been talking with K for months now, we met had a good time but decided that distance was a factor and that we'd just be friends. Things are good, we chat lots, share lots of interests and he's often mentioned moving west to find better work. Well everything kind of worked out and K's going to come here and cat/house sit for me while I'm travelling. This gives him a chance to check out the job situation here in Edmonton, look into a place to live and see if moving west is what he'd like. So all in all a win win situation. There's no guarantee to him or me that if he's here and we try dating that things will work out and this isn't a hey move in with me kind of deal. However, if he does like Edmonton and moves here I'm pretty sure we'll be giving dating a try. So? You're saying what's the problem?

The problem is I am feeling a lot of pressure from my friends and family to not date and this frustrates me. None of them are here each night when I'm sitting at home alone. Most of them have a significant other that they are with. I'm not cheating on Armin, I'm single, I'm not making any promises to K, I'm just going to give dating a try. What's wrong with that? So why can't they offer me a glimmer of support? All I get are blankness, or outright hostility.

I also feel that same resistance as I try to make changes to myself, or my life. I'm sorry if it hurts you to see me moving on. I'm sorry it hurts you to see me living my life with out Armin. This wasn't my first choice, this wasn't what I envisioned but I am going to make the best of this. I can't live like Armin is still here that isn't healthy. So I'm moving on...not quickly...not without hiccups but I am moving on.

This trip is a chance for me to get away from the pressure. To be free to discover me without the pressure and expectations that surround me here. Sometimes we have to go away to find ourselves. I'll miss everyone but this is something I really need. My frustration with things makes that apparent to me.

Sunday, January 17

Trip Planning

Well it's now underway, I'm out of the dreaming phase and into the OMG AM I REALLY DOING THIS phase. In a little less than 3 weeks (eeeekkk) I'll be boarding a plane. Left a bunch of stuff to the last minute so the beginning of this week will be a flurry of last minute ASAP errands. I'm choosing to have faith it'll all fall into place. So the big question is where and when.

Well I leave Edmonton Feb. 4th two days later I arrive in Dehli where I'll be on a tour with a group for a month of Northern and Southern India ending in Kochi. http://atcadventure.gapadventures.com/trips/india-encompassed/AHHE/ (the link if you'd like more details)
Then I fly to London where I'll do some laundry and some light sightseeing for a few days then I get on the Eurostar and head back to Paris a city J'adore for lots of art time. I also despite my feelings of dorkiness will probably spend a day or so at EuroDisney. After all that it's back to London for a chance to dig a bit deeper into the city and nightlife for a week.
Egypt is next for me I'll fly to Cairo and then take a quick hop to Dahab a Mediterranean beach area for 5 days of sun, sand and relaxation time. Quick hop back to Cairo where I join my tour of Egypt for two weeks. The cool thing about this tour is that it's put on in partnership with Discovery Channel so we get the advantage of their knowledge and access. I also get to go to the ancient Alexandrian Library :-D YAY for nerds like me.
Finally I head back to London and this is where things aren't completely settled yet. I have three weeks to fill and I'm in the process of trying to book a rail tour of Great Britain, Scotland and maybe Ireland. I'll be making some calls this week and trying to get it settled. I think this could be a fun way to see lots in an easy way.
http://www.myguidebritain.com/railway (yet another link)
After all that it's a short flight home I'll be back on May 2nd. Whew and ready to rest.

I've been very lucky in having a friend who is looking to relocate to Edmonton so he'll be house and cat sitting for me for the whole 3 months. He's excited about it, the cats are blase but I think it'll be good for them to have someone with them but they keep their familiar home and routines. Also the added bonus of the house not being empty helps me feel more at ease with being gone so long.

There's a lot of nerves about going off alone but at the same time tons of excitement about living one of my dreams, extended world travel. This is also a way to tackle some of those things I haven't yet, eating out alone, meeting people, etc. but I think in the end this will be empowering for me.

Whew that's enough excitement to keep everyone happy for quite a while. Keep my in your prayers especially that all the details I need to finalize do fall into place.

Saturday, January 9

Happy New Year

Well many of you have written fabulous year in reviews, that I've quite enjoyed reading. I feel this year doesn't need me to go back over it. So I'm just going to go back and tell you about my christmas and wish you a very Happy 2010.

I actually had a pretty quiet and relaxed Christmas. I stayed at my parents for the whole time and it was really nice to be there and relax. Just lots of time for visiting, relaxing and playing games with the people who matter most, family. Boxing Day with the Ginther family cousins all get together and we had a good time.

Sadly the next day brought the sad news that our Great Aunt Elsie had passed away. She will be greatly missed but illness had meant the last few years had greatly robbed her of her quality of life so in some ways it's good to know she's in a much happier place. She had a gentle servant heart which meant she served for 70 years as church organist and taught Sunday School at least that long. She didn't make big waves or do big things but quietly lived a faith filled life of simplicity. There's a lot of things I'm taking from her life but I'm still processing through them, looking for the ways she's impacted me.

New Year's was a mixed evening, lots of people I didn't expect came and those I would have had different plans. For some reason the new year was harder than Christmas for me. Part of it was seeing so many familiar faces missing brought home the reality that I didn't just loose my husband but I also lost my comfortable life. I once had some friends say they would only be friends with people that were like them. At the time this statement angered and perplexed me, but I think I'm beginning to understand that they were just expressing a ugly truth.

For many years, I've struggled to grasp how come it feels that friendship causes more hurt than joy in my life? Why so often the person you swear is your best friend today will drift away from you tomorrow? I'm realizing it's not because you stop caring for one another, it's because your lives have changed. So the true measure of friendship isn't how often you're together or what you share but what happens when you fall down. So I've realized my feeling hurt because not everyone I expected to see at New Year's wasn't there is silly. What mattered was they were there earlier last year when I really needed it.

The next year brings many changes and that means friendships may drift, people get busy with their own lives, I'll be moving away and in the end that doesn't mean we aren't friends just that life has gotten in the way. No matter what though if any of you fall down, I'll come help pick you up. In the end that's all that matters.

Well it's late, I'm hungry so I'll end sharing my wish that 2010 brings you lots of joy, adventures, time with friends and family and many good memories.

Best Wishes!