that which was old…

The calendar clicked over, and we are officially in a new year. The December 31 – January 1 year change is sort of artificial, since it isn’t related to any astronomical event, and usually I just ignore it. The year should change at the spring equinox, as it did under the Julian calendar and for millenia before that. If anyone is curious about the change, please look it up and let me know.

But I’m just as happy to be out of 2009. It was good to watch the milestone fall behind on this journey. 2009 was the year that was horrible. It may be the worst year of my life, and I don’t want to get depressed tallying failures and disasters and catastrophes, so I’m just declaring it now. 2009 – the worst year of my life. (Friends and family, please don’t come in with “But 1990 was really bad, and what about 1982, and 1996 was awful…” I really don’t want to think about it.)

So I’m waving bye-bye to 2009 with a lot of vigour. Good-bye and good riddance!

All my native optimism is surfacing. 2010 is going to be good. I’m not making resolutions, because I can’t keep a long-term resolution. Ask me to do something for a week, a month, six weeks – okay, I can do that. A whole year? The rest of my life? If it isn’t something I really want to do, forget it. I’ll backslide. I fail at diets, for instance. My ordinary diet is pretty healthy; I’m not a fast food aficionado. But to restrict my diet is too much. I want to eat what I want to eat, when I want to eat it. I can fast (restriction of types of food and amount) for Lent or Advent, but to give up wine, butter, coffee or bread forever would put me into a grumpy state from which I might not emerge.

I have goals for the year. Find a parish or mission job. Get the truck back on the road, which is sort of starting over from scratch as far as insurance, licensing and registration are concerned. Straighten out issues around my husband’s pension, medical care and financial concerns. And one of my goals is to do a few things for me, to keep up my morale. For instance, I’ve just ordered some Plain cape dresses from the States, and I’m about to order a new black bonnet. When we are in our own household, I’m going to get furnishings that are something other than 2x4s screwed together. I may even take a short retreat for rest and rejuvenating prayer.

My spiritual goal is to get more rest, to take more quiet time for prayer and study. My other spiritual goal is to focus on the work I do as prayer and a gift to God, whether it is writing this blog, outlining a book I hope to write, or washing dishes and folding clothes. That is part of my personal theology: That the work of our hands and the occupations of our minds are offerings before the Lord. In all that we do we should be mindful of His presence.

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7 thoughts on “that which was old…

  1. Yes, we’ve had better years than 2009 too. For some reason I feel really good about 2010. I’m glad to hear you are doing some things for yourself, we need to do that sometimes. I’m not one for Resolutions either, but there are a few changes that I really need to make for the sake of my health, they will help our grocery budget too (we drink too much pop). But nothing drastic.

    Hope you have a very blessed New Year!

    • I put off taking care of myself. Nicholas is beginning to understand that I really do need an hour or two during the week (I wish I could say “day”) for recreational reading or talking to a friend about something other than health care. He’s been so dependent on me to take care of him, to be his eyes and hands, that he was afraid to do things for himself. But he’s starting to venture a bit in self-care, even pouring coffee and putting in the cream and sugar. Yes, it sometimes goes everywhere, but that’s all right, since it means he is trying.

      And really, my clothes were looking disreputable. I’ve taken some steps, but you can only patch and mend so much.

  2. magdelaina,

    I’m with you!! though I’ve not had to face the terrible upheavals that you’ve been dealt this past year, I nonetheless, am glad to see the back of 2009. Not to fall pray to superstition, but its been my experience that years ending in ‘9’ have been pretty rough going… You’re not alone in looking with optimism to 2010; there’s a feel about it…something fresh and clean, imbued with God’s hope (which, of course, is every day we’re granted here, but…)

    As for wine, butter, bread and coffee, well made examples of all four are not on my proscription list either, so I raise a glass to and with you, dear sister, in prayerful thanks, and gladness of heart for the promises of better times ahead. Oh, and add to that list excellent quality chocolate; either dark 70-80% cocoa bittersweet or white 30% cocoabutter…medical specialists reading this, avert thy eyes!! 🙂

    It is my prayer that our Heavenly Father opens up doors for you this year.

    blessings,

    Sarah.

    • I wouldn’t even consider giving up chocolate! If eating chocolate has shortened my life somehow, I won’t miss those years! (I am enjoying some hot chocolate as I write.)

      This new year, if the Lord grants us both to say out of hospital and have a roof over our heads and a wee bit of bread in the pantry, I will consider it the greatest of blessings.

  3. Magdelaina,

    CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) can assist Nicholas with re-learning and how-to’s re daily living skills with poor eyesight; mobs like this are used to working with folk who have stroke-related sightloss and the accompanying disabilities that stroke can leave one with. If Nicholas is fed up using the finger in the cup method for pouring coffee etc, you can purchase a liquid level indicator (a little device that fits over the side of the cup or mug with liquid-sensitive wires that beeps when one is nearing the top of said cup or mug. some have long and short wires to accomodate pouring cream/milk first, then one’s hot beverage. Colour contrasting crockery to benchtops and beverage can also help without making the individual feel like a gazingstock – remember, bigger, bolder, brighter, done with sensitivity. ; additionally electric or stove-top kettles and jugs with flat bottom spouts rather than round spouts I find a little more stable. Pouring from a smaller plunger, teapot or stove-top coffee-pot (think italian or Lebanese style) is also easier and the individual has more control over the pouring than if they are using a larger pot these are just some of the strategies I’ve found that work for me you might also like to purchase a non-slip mat for the kitchen benchtop that will provide a little more stability for cups, mugs, glasses etc. Now you’re living where you are, perhaps consider contacting the local CNIB branch if you haven’t already done so for ideas and workarounds or the equivalent stroke society (though interdisciplinary cooperation between agencies often isn’t the best, putting it mildly 🙂 Working out strategies and methods that make life easier will give Nicholas back his confidence, put less of a strain on you and, if he feels bad for needing so much assistance, will help ease this also.

    Take a look at hadley School for the Blind

    http://www.hadley.edu/

    And check out both their Adult Education section; they offer distance courses for adults learning to cope with sightloss and their families.

    As an aside, I’m signing on for their mathmatics courses in the 2010-2011 Australian summer (give my mind something completely different to theology to focus upon and learn what I never learnt in school…

    Finally, support, materials, lending library, fantastic programmes for persons with partial sight or blindness, brilliant ‘Four Step’ educational programme for churches at
    http://www.torchtrust.org
    there are no fellowship groups or retreats in Australia, and there’s no other organization like this in the world; nothing that Australia or the Western hemisphere has comes close to torch… its free of charge and they’re wonderfully humble and loving people; I have been blessed by them beyond measure; additionally of the eight members on their board of trustees, four have a vision impairment and two of these, last I checked, are ministers as well.

    May 2010 be utterly and wonderfully blessed for you both!!

    I’ll leave you in peace, now…

    Sarah.

    • Thanks – I will look into some of these resources, and certainly try to contrasting cups and counter-top idea. He made a pot of tea the other day from filling the kettle to pouring the water, then was annoyed with me because I filled his cup! So he is trying to gain a little independence.

  4. Magdelaina,

    Just a few thoughts (would have helped to read to the bottom of the article first time round 🙂 I am completely with you re our work, even the most seemingly mundane of tasks, being an offering before the Lord. I can’t remember the book, or even the author, but in class back in 2008, one of the lecturers mentioned a book by a religious brother (can’t even remember his order) who was the chief cook and bottle wash for the monastary; the entire focus of the book was on this – our lives through even the every day work of our hands being an act of prayer. Also, time for ourselves, to revitalize, recharge, to relax and regroup is absolutely essential!! Please please factor this in; so many people who care for others, in similar situations to you, wind up burning out, falling gravely ill themselves, or both. I will pray, even if, as you’ve mentioned in a comment hear, it begins with only an hour or two a week, that you are able to do this, and yes!! a proper retreat will be invaluable.

    Out of interest, from what provider did you source your capedresses? (I’ve got two, in my overall wardrobe; one a navy and white microplaid, the other a cream with darker cream paisley patterning that I wear to church on occasion). If its ‘the King’s Daughters’, their prices are good and the girls are excellent dressmakers, and wonderful help to boot!

    They also make bonnets…

    Sarah.

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