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Sunday, January 7, 2024

One of Those Days

 I started redefining "days" years ago. What makes a good day good? What makes a bad day bad? If a two-minute phone call (with a mean person) can ruin a day, then can't a perfect cup of tea redeem it? How many in-a-rows of stuff does it take to really meet the good-bad qualifier? 

Today had one of those two-minute moments. A moment that can wreck if I let it, or just be a moment that informs and redirects. I'm not sure which way it's going. 

I was fine earlier. As the day progresses, my heart has started racing. This could be hormones. Could be weather. Could be worry. I'm worried it's worry. 

Satan knows when to attack. He's immortal. He's got literally nothing better to do with his time than wait for me to feel weak and exploit it. He finds my frailty hilarious. He has every advantage. He is lord of this world. God gave him that after the Fall. Every physical part of me is under his control, if God allows it. 

I'm in that pre-exhausted moment when I look ahead and see the work to be done and I just can't. I don't want to do it. Not again. 

I don't have to take all the steps. I only have to take the next step. Whatever that is. 

Five months ago, I felt exactly this way. I couldn't see a way out. I didn't think it would ever be OK. But it was. It can be again. One day at a time. One step at a time. We can do this. We can keep swimming. God is here. 

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who mercifully restores my soul within me. Great is Your faithfulness. 

Monday, January 1, 2024


 Logged in this morning and discovered yesterday's post saved as a draft so I missed my goal of 1 more post than the last big posting year. Thanks, life. You suck. 

When the Wolfriders met the Gliders, the two leaders have a powwow about worldviews. Cutter accuses Winnowill of letting her people feed on themselves. They've spend centuries inside the mountain, insulated from the real world, looking only inward for purpose. Little does he know she has retained her vitality in exactly the opposite way. 

My fear-response to loss is to insulate. Every major loss I've suffered in life has led to removing any chance of ever suffering that kind of loss again. Loss of my dad, loss of a potential marriage partner, loss of a rabbit, loss of a home. This makes for a small life, and, eventually, I began to feed on myself. I was starving without dying. 

Enter recovery. Going outside of self to empathize with another. To learn new coping skills. To do different uncomfortable or frightening things because that's what life is. Life is always uncomfortable or frightening. Some people thrive on that. Some people have to learn it the hard way. 

I was ready to give up cats. I've lost enough of them and the pain only gets worse. I think God told me no. I may be justifying my actions or misreading the situation, but I was quite serious when I told Him I was done. If I had to choose between Him and cats, I would choose Him and I'd try to be happy about it. And then He threw two more cats into my life. And I truly started learning about trust. 

Because I can't give up loss and still live. There is only loss ahead of me now unless I expand and seek out new challenges. Find new friends. Find ways to serve. Find skills to learn. Do something instead of waiting for it all to end. It may start with cats because God knows I will try harder to succeed with a cat than I ever would with a human. I hope, though, that I will continue to expand into humanity. Into a broader world with different experiences that I may hate, but will still provide meaning. That's my goal for 2024. 

Keep the faith.  

Goodbye, 2023. You Were...Hard

 I considered other adjectives but hard is probably the most accurate and the most neutral. I can't say I enjoyed 2023. I had moments - weeks, even - where I would say I felt happy. Where I succeeded in living in the Now of Wolf Thought. Looking at my journal and really adding them up, though...it was hard. 

I suffered the worst bout of anxiety I have yet experienced in the first months. Started by a cat, of course. That cost me a friendship, cost me two and a half cats, cost me my health, and cost me a slew of doctor bills while I ruled out heart issues. 

What it did not cost me was my God. This time, I did something different. Something I promised myself I would do the next time life got hard. I asked God to stay with me and thanked Him for bringing me through. No recriminations. No blame. No demands for the pain to stop. Just breathing in the seconds, accepting that life happens and doing my best to swim. 

I guess this was the year of acceptance. Accepting that Jesus isn't coming back anytime soon. Accepting that grief will not kill me. Accepting that living angry is a pit with no bottom. Accepting that life is not and never will be safe. 

The good news is that life eventually ends. I can't go back, but I don't want to. No matter how horrible a day is, when it's done, it's done. Forget it. Keep swimming. 

I also started saying yes this year, to the surprise of my family. If I cannot make life safe, I may as well take risks and do stuff as stay home and not do stuff. I'm equally tired at the end. I could always get lucky and die, but I don't believe I'll ever die. Not until I'm old and crippled and completely alone. In the meantime, risking a bit to help others is a good way to take my mind off my troubles. We'll see how far I can swim in those waters. 

Welcome, 2024. I'm glad you're coming. I'm glad I will be that much closer to eternity. 

Keep the faith.