Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy and Dark Thoughts

I responded to a Facebook post this morning with this statement: "Sorry to hear you've been feeling lonely and longing for a relationship. Totally agree that it is no fun...Here's something you can try that might open up your thinking. Write the letters A-Z down the left hand side of sheet of paper. Fold it in half. Label the first column happy thoughts and the 2nd column gloomy thoughts. Then try to come up with a word or phrase or even sentence starting with each letter. It's just a way of affirming what you like or long for and also getting the dark stuff out on paper. It's helped me many times. Of course your mileage may vary. But if you give it a try let us know what you think. Hugs and good luck."

Then I decided to take my own advice and here's the list:

a - awesome / awful
b - beauty / bad breath
c - companionship / craziness
d - dependability / discrimination
e - elegance / extreme disorganization
f - funny, fun-loving people / frustration
g - green grass, freshly cut / gangrene, needing amputation
h - hello, people who say hello to you / hell, when it's a hell of a day
i - innovation, cool new stuff / insincerity, fake stuff
j - jelly, jam and buttered toast / junk that's just clutter
k - kin who are kind / kin that don't accept you
l - love, especially the unconditional kind  / leaders who are abusive
m - men who are kind and caring / men who are jerks
n - nature that nurtures, a sunny day / nature that kills, a tornado
o - opportunities that lift / oppression that crushes
p - pretty stuff, see beauty above / petty people who piss you off
q - quality that counts / quality that's just an empty word
r - recreation with loved ones and friends / rejection
s - security / stupidity
t - trust and trees / too tired, the state of being
u - understanding / underfunding
v - victory, when you get a great win / valentines, never received
w - wonderful moments, fresh and remembered / wonderbread, stale
x - marking the spot of a treasure / when you didn't want it to end
y - you make me feel so young, Sinatra / yikes, Scoobee-Doo
z - zoos and z's, snoozing / z's not enough, as in sleep deprivation

Do I feel better? Somewhat. I thought of some positives I wouldn't have otherwise. But the same is true of the negatives. On balance, though, a good exercise in counting blessings and exploring reality. I guess another things that works about this for me is finding connections. It's easy to be black and white and just find opposites. There's a place for that. But it's also great just to riff and have fun with it.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Night of Promise

When I asked her to the dance, I did not know how long the night would be. I promised her father that I would return her safely to her home. The night is not over. We've danced together several times, but not like some couples who seem to be having the time of their lives. So we've tried to make the best of this evening. She's danced with all of our children and grandchildren. So have I. She has danced with extended family, school, career and church. So have I. She has not danced with any other men or women and I have not danced with any other women or men. But I have stood alone and watched so many others enjoying the dance. I have talked with a few other men off the dance floor. We have had some wonderful conversations. Mostly my wife has stood alone. Or helped others. The dance is not over. My wife and I, although both distracted, are still on our date. My promise to return her safely to her father still echoes in my mind. Sometimes overshadowing even the best music I've ever heard.

(This is yet another blog entry inspired by Beck. Here's what he wrote that got me thinking.)