Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Cemetary

Within the last week, I lost someone dear to me: my great aunt.  It was sudden and unexpected.  We all assumed that despite her being in her early 70’s, she was in good health and doing great.  Also, her father–my great grandfather–will be turning 94 this month, and he is still pretty spry and healthy.  Death certainly seemed far away.

Losing a loved one is difficult.  However, when it sneaks up and steals life suddenly it is even harder.  We are left wondering why and how we couldn’t see it coming,  It is a disconcerting feeling to know that life can be carefree one day and then stolen away the next–all without a warning.

My first reaction was shock.  I needed to know why and how.  I wanted to try to make sense of it all.  However, I noticed that even though everyone else felt the same grief, they didn’t all share my need for answers.  As soon as I expressed those questions, I was met with a dumbfounded response: “But she was old…”  I could hear the implied continuation of that sentence.  But she was old…it was bound to happen eventually.  But she was old…it’s the natural progression of things.

The more I see death the more I realize there is nothing ‘natural’ about it.  It may be the fate of everyone on this earth.  But it’s not ‘natural’–not in the least bit.  Every iota of my being has always told me that death is NOT how it should be.  It isn’t what should be our fate.  Death causes pain, sorrow, separation, devastation, depression, and a myriad of other negative side effects.  Even when an evil person dies we cannot say that that death can have a wonderful effect on this world.  We may be protected from suffering more evil at the hands of this person, but all the best things in life can’t directly come from the end of human life.  So how could something so negative be considered the natural end?

We are meant for so much better.  We are designed for a higher purpose than to simply live and then die.  That is why no matter how old a person is when they pass away I can never shrug it off as normal or simply the natural end to life.  Death is an unwelcome interruption.  It takes us away from family, love, helping others, making a difference, laughter, and joy.  It creates a rift that cannot be healed…at least for now.  It causes wounds and sorrow that usually can’t be healed in this life.

Death reminds me that God didn’t design us to die.  He created us for immortality–to live a joyful and blessed life always.  When we try to accept death as normal and natural, we risk forgetting that.  Death should always be a reminder that this life is temporary.  Death should instill in us the urgency to make the most of our lives.  Life is so fleeting.  It can be gone in an instant, and then we must stand before God to account for how we used our time.

I know I’m not perfect.  In fact, I’m the exact opposite.  I’m horribly flawed.  I can be selfish, rude, and inconsiderate.  I make mistakes and excuses.  And I’m still ashamed of some of the things I’ve done in the past, even though I’ve found forgiveness and tried to grow as an individual.

Still, I want to leave this life behind with as little regrets as possible.  I want to die knowing I did my best and helped leave something good behind.  I want to be so much more than my wrongdoing and mistakes when I take my final breath.  I want to be able to honestly tell God that although I failed so many times, I always got back up and tried to do better.  I want to start the next life knowing that this life was NOT in vain or wasted.

© 2013 Amanda R. Dollak

Beach Perspective

Tigger Sleeping Under Blanket

Lately, I am starting to wonder if my brain didn’t get the memo.  I no longer can stay up to 2, 3 or 4 am because I’m supposed to be awake by 6:30 in the morning now.  My little princess gets on the bus very early this year, so I had absolutely no choice in changing my schedule so drastically.  We’ve been using this schedule since the middle of August, so c’mon, brain, can’t we adjust here?

After another late, late night again, I’m starting to think maybe it is a hopeless task.  My creative mind is most active at night.  And my energy levels are higher towards my new bedtime (10:30).  I end up feeling like a squirrel on Red Bull when I try to force myself to fall asleep so early–still!

I get ants in my pants.  I can’t seem to stop fidgeting.  My mind gets bombarded with a billion creative ideas and many more random thoughts.  My brain starts spouting poetry.  Words start stringing into sentences in my head.  Story scenes begin to appear as my imagination takes over.  I end up feeling like I have an entire mob yelling, screaming, and vying for my attention within my skull.  Not very conducive to peaceful sleep, is it?

It is certainly a futile battle.  I’m never going to win.  My muse is just far too powerful for little ol’ me.  Of course, I’m going to do everything in my power to turn out the lights by 10:30 every night.  But if the racket gets too, there’s no point in fussing, complaining, and fighting the situation.  It would be fruitless and insane to do!  There was a time–not too long ago–when I was so blocked up with raw emotion from hardships in life that I couldn’t even write a whole sentence. I honestly feared I would never write again.  I thought whatever I had was broken, destroyed by too much pain and grief.  So, even now when I’m running on fumes and running into walls in utter exhaustion, I still keep in mind it could be worse.  I could be up late night after night unable to write, afraid that I might permanently lose an vital part of myself forever.

 

© Amanda R. Dollak 2013
Photo: Copyright Amanda R. Dollak 20

Photo: Copyright Amanda R. Dollak 2013

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Windows Speech Recognition, the program which keeps me writing even when my fingers are cramping.  Let’s face it.  No one likes to be reminded that they have limitations.  I am no exception.  When my fibromyalgia acts up I’m reminded just how weak and fragile my body can be.

It can be pretty frustrating and depressing to have my weaknesses shoved into my face.  But like they always say, nothing can keep a good writer down!  So, here I am with my headset on and talking to my computer like a crazy person.  But, hey, I can’t ignore my muse either, and my work won’t finish itself.

Besides, my inner child adores wearing this microphone headset.  It makes me feel so big and important.  I’m a fighter pilot zooming across a sapphire sky.  I’m a secret agent, high above a bustling city, relaying vital information to my team below.  I’m the head coach steering our home team to a glorious Super Bowl victory.  I know I’m a bit of a dork sometimes.  Still, my imagination comes in handy a lot in this line of work—and in life itself.

I guess in a way my overactive imagination is a survival mechanism.  When life gives me lemons I’ve never been satisfied with simply making lemonade.  For instance, what about lemon meringue pie?  Isn’t lemon meringue pie a thousand times better than lemonade?  I know I would much rather have pie than lemonade!  Thus, why should I simply resign myself to the ordinary any other time?

My life has been incredibly riddled with grief, hardships, and challenges.  The fact is without a little imagination and fun, I never would have made it through the ugliest times.  So, please, excuse me while I allow a little of my insanity shine through tonight to help brighten a drab, dreary day.  It is my way of making the most of my situation.  Until my fingers are back to their happy selves, I’ll be sporting my headset and all the while daydreaming I’m off on some grand adventure as I finish my work!  Want to join me?

When you run into a problem with your writing do you have any creative ways of coping or solving the issue?