1. Contest begins now and ends on April 15, thereby allowing all of us to focus on something in addition to getting our taxes to the post office by midnight. A winner will be named shortly thereafter.
2. Entries should be in the form created by lovely Queen Heroical at this link . Please number your list like hers, too.
“I have lived..” followed by 10 things
“I have witnessed…” followed by 10 things
“I have heard…” 10 things
“I have lost…” 10 things
“I have found…” 10 things
“I love…” 10 things
“I can…” 10 things
“I loathe…” 10 things
“I hope…” 10 things
“I am trying…” 10 thingsPlease use these categories, though you may rearrange them as you’d like. And though QH is amazingly creative, please try not to plagiarize her any more than necessary.
3. It’s ok if entries were published before this contest began.4. Entries must be posted here. Feel free to link to your blog, but do copy your Things here so we can all enjoy them in one spot.5. Anyone can enter — clergy, laity, man, woman, Jew or Greek, slave or free. Entrants must, however, be human and living on Earth. As charming as it is, I don’t care about the 100 Things about one’s pet. Sorry.
6. I reserve the right to erase any icky entries. Challenging is ok. Vulgar isn’t.
Even without the lovely prize, I would find this game fun, so I’ll give it a try.
“I have lived..”
- … in ten different states, all in the first ten years of my life.
- … in sin, for about six weeks.
- … in a house with six pets.
- … in a house where a pet corn snake had gotten loose.
- … with either parents or husband for all but four months of my life.
- … in Virginia since 1983, which is a long time for me, given #1.
- … with depression longer than anyone should have to.
- … with a person who has been depressed since childhood, for the last 15 years.
- … as a practicing neo-pagan for about nine months.
- … just over 35 years now.
“I have witnessed…”
- … a very painful and contentious diocesan council, when many were asking our bishop to resign.
- … so many baptisms, but they still make me cry every time.
- … my former boss expressing anger with a member of the team only one time in over three years, and it was not pretty.
- … a Lexus driver who insisted on parking on the sidewalk every morning at the store where he stopped for his coffee.
- … more people than I can count who have Christian fishes and other symbols on their cars, but who drive like selfish, entitled weenies.
- … the incredible uniqueness of infants and toddlers.
- … that corn snakes actually possess something like personality. (Still not a snake fan, though.)
- … a loose corn snake, ready to be found, coiled around the laptop in my briefcase when I got to work one morning. (Aaaaaahhhhh!!!!!)
- … the Holy Spirit at work in large groups of people.
- … the scariness, but the amazing effectiveness of electro-convulsive therapy for people who are extremely depressed.
“I have heard…”
- … that people only change when they want to bad enough, or when they hurt bad enough.
- … that at least 90% of the time, it’s when they hurt bad enough.
- … that I am a gutsy broad, and it made me feel great!
- … the most amazing compliments from my children’s teachers about them this year.
- … that I am a unique and wonderful person, made in the image of God, but sometimes I have trouble believing it.
- … Mendelssohn’s 4th Symphony at least a dozen times, because I studied it intensely in college; somehow, I still love it!
- … the music of the spheres, when lying outside at night, far way from light pollution, and seeing all the stars spread across the sky – not literally, of course, but it was incredibly moving.
- … stories and rumors that I will never repeat.
- … a trusted friend repeat confidential news to many different people.
- … live concerts by the Beach Boys, Chicago, Aerosmith, Warrant, Poison, Motley Crue, Journey, Foreigner, Earth Wind & Fire, Carbon Leaf, Trans Siberian Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, and many chamber ensembles.
“I have lost…”
- … the illusion that fairy tale endings are possible in the real world, without a lot of effort.
- … more than 40 pounds in one year.
- … about 10 pounds in the last two months.
- … several friends when I was in junior high and high school, because I had not developed the skills to maintain a friendship for more than 18 to 24 months.
- … many more potential friends in high school, because I was a “reverse snob” who refused to hang out with those who I saw as “popular.”
- … many inhibitions, especially after childbirth. 🙂
- … my patience with incompetence and with intentional ignorance on many occasions.
- … my copy of Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott not once but twice.
- … only one grandparent.
- … my mind! 🙂
“I have found…”
- … much hope in the Resurrection story, even when it’s hard to believe.
- … that when I have trouble believing, but show up anyway, the faith of the others there carries me past my hang-ups.
- … that there is room in the church for people who believe in radical hospitality and the all-inclusive love of God.
- … that visualizing God in ways that we normally don’t can be very powerful.
- … that the love of my friends is a powerful and strengthening force in my life.
- … that trust is rarely misplaced.
- … that laying out worst case / best case / expected case really helps me to evaluate my options and make a decision.
- … that it’s important to have a healthy appreciation for the ridiculous.
- … true love on Flag Day! (Okay, not really. But this was one of the fortunes that Homer Simpson wrote, in his brief stint as a fortune cookie fortune writer. Mr. Burns received this fortune and did indeed fall in love on Flag Day.) But what I have found is that humor and laughter are very, very healing.
- … that faith is not blind belief, but what we choose to place our trust in, mind and body and spirit.
- … being told what to do rather than asked.
- … confiding a problem, and hearing the first words of the response be, “Well, you should…”
- … liver.
- … mayonnaise.
- … hip-hop and rap music.
- … the television, on many occasions, when I think of it by the name Jubal Harshaw gave it in Heinlein’s Stranger In a Strange Land: the goddamnoisybox.
- … 90+ degree heat with 50%+ humidity. Ugh.
- … working on the lawn and garden.
- … filing papers, so they tend to stack up on my desk until I have to spend an hour or two sorting and filing them.
- … hypocrisy.
- … slipping into a warm bed, newly made with freshly washed sheets.
- … finishing my shower, reaching for my towel, and pressing it to my face to inhale it.
- … good music, and even, lots of lousy music, too.
- … eucharist.
- … Diet Dr Pepper.
- … iced tea, with just a little bit of sweetness.
- … working on a really nice meal, having it all come together, and hearing gratitude for it.
- … to surround myself with beautiful things.
- … reading the mystics and ecstatics.
- … the Psalms.
- … play the flute really well.
- … write software, having programmed professionally in at least 8 languages.
- … discern patterns in large quantities of data.
- … show compassion and understanding to others who struggle with depression.
- … observe and recognize a lot more about the dynamics in relationships than I could a few years ago.
- … write passably well.
- … proofread to a very irritating extent. 🙂
- … blush at the very mention of my name.
- … laugh at the most inappropriate times.
- … lose my patience over the smallest things.
- … that I find joy in my new life, after the current discord is over.
- … that my shoulder heals properly.
- … that my diocese is healthy enough to elect a really great bishop next year.
- … that my parish is healthy enough to call a really great rector over the next year.
- … that the spring allergy season abates soon.
- … that Chicago will tour here this summer, and that the amphitheater will have $10 tickets again.
- … that I can be successful in my new job, even though I’m having some problems there.
- … that I never lose my sense of joy and wonder.
- … that my beagle doesn’t eat any baby bunnies in the back yard this year. 😦
- … that when I finally meet God face-to-face, God smiles and ruffles my hair and calls me kiddo.
“I am trying…”
- … to be very intentional about showing the gratitude I feel (hence the title of this blog!).
- … to be more effective in my new job, when the rest of the team is all located in another city 200 miles away.
- … to step back, not insisting on being in control of everything.
- … to live out the two commandments Jesus gave.
- … to better know myself, so that I might better know those around me.
- … to be more patient with the people I care about.
- … to build time and space for self-care into my life.
- … to intentionally bring beauty into my life, in as many small and large ways as I can.
- … to get more flute jobs – especially paying ones!
- … to let the Christ-light shine through me.