Disobey? To Obey or Not to Obey?

via Daily Prompt: Disobey

I was once asked at an interview by the person I would be working for if I would do as they told me to.  I answered, “No, not in all cases.”  I knew when I said it that it was not the answer he was looking for. He was wanting a “Yes sir,” kind of response I am sure. I went on to clarify that in my life I had been asked to do things that were against my beliefs by people of authority. That did not help. I left the interview knowing that I would not get a call back.  I’ve thought about that question since and realize now that I could have in fact lied and said I would not disobey his orders at any given time but I would be giving up self for someone in control. Back then I had allowed people in my life to tell me what to do and at times I was very wrong in so doing. I have since learned that setting boundaries is not bad. It is just not always welcome nor suggested.

How many times in your life have you not done as someone has asked you? Does that fall into the parameters of disobeying? I am not sure. If it is an ethical matter does that qualify as being disobedient? What if your ethical standards vary from someone else?

When I was a teacher I had the opportunity to go into homes to visit. At times I witnessed things that I would not choose to do in my home. That was their choice, and it was okay.  In fact, because of that, I used to explain to the young people who visited our home that we did not play with balls in the living room. If it was okay at their house that was the choice of their family. But, I collected pottery from various places we had traveled and did not want any to get broken. It was not an ethical thing, just a personal thing. Yet, one day a young man decided to throw a ball in the living room and consequently broke a piece when he knocked it off of the mantle. He in fact had disobeyed a simple rule and in the end I had to toss a broken piece I treasured into the trash. I bring that up as a simplistic example of how we react to things in the world about us. There are laws (speed limits) we might choose to ignore. We may text and drive. We may even drink and drive. Are those examples of disobedience? Or is it only when we get caught that we disobey? Maybe I could have told that man who interviewed me that I would do as he asked me to each and every time and then just chose the things I wanted to do. People do it all of the time. What is wrong with that?  ??

Disobedience is not well defined in our world. As a child we might have gotten a spanking or placed into a time out chair to aid in teaching us right from wrong. Adults get tickets, are fined, jailed, and more. But most times we really have nothing happen to us when we do not obey a law or a rule. If I could go back in time to that interview I would have liked to have asked that man why he was asking me that question. Did he really want me to obey him every time? I would hope not. I would hope that as an adult he trusted me to know when I would obey and when I would ask questions.  To disobey seems to be a natural thing we all do. Don’t we?

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Are We Sympathetic? Yes Empathetic? Not so Much

via Daily Prompt: Sympathy

Such a relevant topic for a day like today. It is the anniversary of 9-11 and we are experiencing tumultuous weather issues in the USA.  Our television news channels are broadcasting coverage of these events as people unify to send aid, workers, and more into the areas of need.  Being sympathetic to the masses has been something we have all been able to do in the last few days and I assume it will continue for a while.

Sympathy, or the feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune is common during times such as these. We can see the emptiness in the eyes of those who have lost so much and we are pained in knowing that life can be so cruel.  We watch as heroes of the catastrophes rise up and become noted on the screen and in the papers. Those who walk into scary places without fear for their own lives and recue people are those who we want to be like and they give us that good feeling deep inside knowing that they are there and that humans can be so loving and so kind. We cheer on the little guy driving out of harms way with his family in tow. He who is attempting to keep the family safe from harms way are heroes in their own sense.

We jeer and ridicule those who stay behind thinking them to be foolish yet forget that they have their reasons. Perhaps they do not have the money, gas, or a good vehicle to get them to safety hours or days away. We forget about the disabled, those who cannot drive, those who are ill and who are possibly just out of surgery.  We scoff them even when all they want to do is survive the personal storm they are going through and tolerate the rest. Yet, I hear people say how those people who stay are stupid. Are they dumb or are they the true heroes of this whole thing? The heroes are also those staying at the bedside of a loved one who is in their last days. The heroes who those staying to help an elderly grandparent to be sure they are taken care of. The heroes are staying there to get the electricity back on and to put out the fires. They do not ask for your judgement, nor your condemnation for their choices. They would like your respect.

Sympathy is abounding, yes it is. But, empathy, well empathy is not so strong. The ability to understand what someone else is going through and let them do as they feel they need to without judgement is lacking.   To share how they feel and why they feel the way they do is quite often forgotten. People have reasons. Let’s take two scenarios and look at them for just a moment-

** Within a few days of when my father died there was a massive ice storm. Trees were down and the power was out across our area.  Most of the people could not get to town to the funeral. Safety was first for many.  I applaud that. Yet, some chose to still go as we did not want him be buried alone. In that case some may have thought we were dumb and judged us.  Sympathy was overflowing as many loved my father. But, empathy was not as apparent.  To put yourself in one’s shoes and allow them to choose without the ramifications of judgement and gossip are not a strong suit in the US. I am just as guilty.  I judged many that day and since.  I am trying to change. But we need to go on…

 

**** Another scenario – Weddings occur at all times. Why just this morning I watched the news as a couple told of how they modified their destination wedding and had it locally instead. They redid this all while driving back from Florida via phone calls and texts to various sites. The wedding seemed lovely. The bride appeared thrilled to have just had the ceremony and to be married to the man she loves. That newscast reminded me of our wedding nearly 40 years ago. It was to be held on Jan. 28th, 1978 – but a blizzard came through. (No, I am not making this up. My life could be a TV series LOL) We had one week during a blizzard to redo the entire wedding. Flowers could not get in etc.  We were lucky. Others did not have it so well.

My point is that somewhere someone is having a double issue every time a catastrophe happens. People die, babies are born, people get hurt, weddings and reunions have to be postponed. The elderly cannot get to their medicines, people need to be taken out of their homes on snowmobiles, boats, rafts, and more. I wish that they would show more people who tower over the storms of life and are victorious  on the news. Those brides that save their weddings, those people who rescue the newborn puppies, or stay with a young mother as she delivers her newborn child. Those moments are the ones that are able to strengthen and unite us as a nation. Those are when we can look and say “Wow” I cannot believe that they survived that!”

I have always been proud to be an American.  I am most proud when I witness the people blessed to live in the US help one another and come together to be unified as one. Times when we do not gossip nor finger point but get off our butts and help one another and do so with pure gusto. When we unify we are stronger than ever.

Be that strength that the bride who has to redo her wedding needs. Be the hope that a man burying his mother in a storm needs as he stands against the strong winds of change. You are designed to be able to do such things. Rise up America, it is time that we unify and become brothers. We need to stop dividing ourselves by bickering and picking on little things that do not matter that much in the big picture. Life matters, hope matters.  Sympathy is a good thing. We are good at that one. Now, let us tackle empathy. Understand one another. Love one another. Edify one another. Love all Americans, be the light and the salt. It is on us. We just need to believe and act upon it. We can do it!

 

Will I Overcome? Not This Time

via Daily Prompt: Overcome

 

My fortieth class reunion is tonight. I am not going. I would but the people I held most dear during that time on my life are not coming or have passed away. I thought about going but then realized that with a traumatic brain injury the band after dinner alone would be too much. I picture the reunion in my head and see the tables of people talking and laughing about old times. They are discussing their careers and grandchildren. I have grandchildren. I could discuss them. But my career is over and I miss it dearly.  The multiple conversations going on about me would force me to attempt to focus in on the one nearest to me and somehow attempt to hear what they are saying. That used to be so easy to do. But, now it is frustrating and it makes me quite anxious.  I have overcome so many things in the past forty years. I have lost dear friends, family members, loved ones. I have survived major accidents and more. Yet, this time I cannot beat this thing that has messed up my brain. I keep on trying. I cannot overcome. I cannot be successful with beating this injury. It has literally taken over my life. I cannot even go and enjoy my class reunion. I know I am venting. I seem to need to do that from time to time. I vent because when I looked forward in my life I did not see this one coming.

I sat at my graduation while over 400 students walked up to get their diplomas and pictured my future. I saw a family who loved one another, a good looking dude at my side, a house with the white picket fence, a dog, and I was working as a teacher. That was all I wanted. I wasn’t asking for much. God blessed me with all but the dumb fence. I was living my dream. Then came the accident. It all seemed to come crashing down little by little after that. No more career, no more being able to drive to go family or friends, no more dog. Why no more dog? I get sick if I bend over too much. To care for a dog and have to hook them on a line to let them out would literally make me ill. So, I visit them at the farmer’s markets and swoon over them there. I miss so many things. I miss having a dog to jump on my lap. I miss being able to drive to soccer games and to be at the pool with my grandkids. Yea, I smile and make people think it is all good. I am pretty good at wearing that mask, jacket, whatever you want to call it. Then days like today come along and I come on here and type. I type to let others know how I truly feel. How hard it is to not be the old me. I miss her. I liked her more than I like the new me I have had to become. She would have been able to go to the reunion. But, here I sit and read the posts of the people in town and sulk. I have not overcome. Not today. Some days I do all right. But just like when someone you love dies you have those days that rear their ugly head and remind you of your loss. You cry and move on. It is life.

I thank you Lord for my family, and my home without the silly picket fence. I thank you for my dude at my side and for all of the things you have blessed us with. I will overcome this day by day one step at a time with you by my side. But as for today, keep me busy and let me feel you near. I overcome only with you at my side. HUGZ

Anxiety Attack

I am having an anxiety attack – lawyer called and he had my stuff on hold as I have not gathered the paperwork he needs. “That is the easy part,” he stated. I need to figure out how to do this paperwork gathering thing as it is supposed to be easy. My head is spinning. I am crying. I am trying to focus to write this. My heart is racing and I think I should just go lie down and pray my mind stops. I cannot keep up the process they are asking me to do for the disability paperwork. I am trying. I have no help and see no end to this. I am not usually this negative but will this ever end? I need someone who can prove what is going on in my head. The attorney says the doctors know and can refer me. That has never happened yet! I keep on having to call to get ideas from organizations etc as TBI is not something most people understand. I feel like I am going to have a full blown panic attack.  My eyes are burning as I type. My neck is aching. I am waiting on a psychologist office to call me back. I need to see if they can just drug me to get me through having no income, not being able to work nor volunteer, and just being a nobody to please the system that might eventually see I cannot work. When will this all end? I wanted to write when I am in this state of mind to show you how frustrating this system is. I hope that you do not ever have to go through this stupid setup of a bureaucratic mess.  Cannot proofread right now. Gotta go. HUGZ to you all —and I care and that is why I write even when I am like this.

Critical – TBI Needs to Have More Awareness / Understanding

via Daily Prompt: Critical

I once lived in a world with the unknowers. Those who did not know about Traumatic Brain Injuries nor of the vast number of people who this, at times life long, issue effects. I used to teach TBI children and in some ways be like those who had no clue. I read a bit about it and I tried to understand as to make the child’s experience in school the best possible. But, I never knew the true impact of the condition on their well being and their being able to learn. As I grow in this field of knowledge I see so many things that I never knew before. I would like to share a few of those with you.

1.  Getting disability is not easy nor is it a given – I have been to so many doctors, therapists, counselors and more. Yet, the proof of my TBI and how it effects me has yet to be completed. I have until December of this year and then I am out of luck. If I do not prove my disability to them I will continue to have no income, and possibly no back pay.

pasted in — {Here in Ohio in past years, OPERS, STRS, and SERS were better disability plans than Social Security Disability. It used to be that an individual would be eligible for a disability benefit if he or she was medically unable to perform his or her job. You did not have to prove you were disabled from performing any occupation in the economy. Beginning January 7, 2013, this has all changed.
A pension reform bill, passed in 2012 and effective January 7, 2013, made obtaining state disability payments much more difficult. You now must prove, after either two or three years of a disability, that you are unable to work at any job – not just your past job. You are also required to attend and receive rehabilitative services if you desire benefits beyond three years. And although your disability might have forced you out of work, disability back payments are cut off for any time period prior to your last contribution date, meaning a longevity payment while you are “on leave” from your job could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.} copied from an STRS attorneys site as to clarify 

Going on in my own words- I translate this as saying that I need to be without an income all the while paying doctors, therapists, attorneys, drivers, and more. Without an income I am sure that some have lost their homes etc all to attempt to prove their disability. Never think this is an easy task. It is not.

2.  Working is not always possible even if you want to do so to make some kind of money – In my experience I have not been able to be cleared by a doctor to work. I can only drive within 20-30 minutes from my home as my vision issues could bring about an accident etc. I have been selling some things online and have gone to a few market events to sell my crafts. But, I make very little. I have been told that even that minor activity could result in my losing my claim for disability. I even went to a state agency to help me find a job and I was told that I would need to wait until after the STRS hearings are complete to be able to find anything. They are concerned that I would not get my disability. The job I was looking at was 3 1/2 hours a day placing dinner in front of the elderly at a local resident care facility. I would only do so four days a week and the owner knew of my ailments. He was going to work with me to help me be able to have some sort of income. The main objective of the job was to be caring toward the residents, serve them, talk to them, love them. I could do that! I have also been told that I cannot volunteer in any capacity. To do so would reveal that I can work. WHAT? To go talk to the elderly would help me to have connections with the world. That is nothing like the job I had teaching. There is no paperwork, no reading with comprehension, no stressors. If not for my spouse I honestly do not know where I would be. I know I am grateful to him for working so many hours to support my livelihood. I cannot work for many reasons. Many of them I had not known about prior to being in this position.

3.  Attorneys are not always the answer.   The attorney for my accident would not believe me that I was going to be unable to return to work. The settlement for the accident barely covered the cost of the a few of the bills I had accumulated in the first two years. I took what I could get and felt angered at the system that tells us that insurance will care for us. They are there “On your side”. On your side is varied from behind your back dear friends. I can stand at your side and hold you up for a while but being behind your back would mean that I would support you and know of your hardships. I would fight for you.

Attorneys were also hired to help me with my STRS claims. The first lady was quite nice and did talk to me quite a bit about my case prior to the first appearance in court. I spoke mostly that day to defend myself. She spoke some. We left and the paperwork that I had ben denied soon came. I called the office to let her know per her request and was greeted by a confusing response. I was told that she did not work there and that I had the wrong number. Going on to tell them that I had just been in court with her last week they then changed their answer to that she had left her position there. I would need to talk to someone else. Since then I have had very little help. I call and the message boxes are full etc. My spouse and I had prepaid up front for their help – $2,500 to be exact.  Now, I was being told that they would continue with my case if I now offered to pay them their share when we won.  That was not what had been presented before. I would never pay ahead again. We had to take that money out of our savings. It is not right. I pay and I get no help. I am awaiting a call back again as I type this.  My attorneys have not been doing what I thought they were supposed to do. I hope it gets better.

4. Support systems are needed – Living in a rural area I have found a great group online that I belong to on Facebook and I have gleaned much from it. Yet, I would like to see more for those of us in need. I see lots of fund raisers for all kinds of things but I have never seen one for TBI sufferers and their families. I feel invisible at times. I hope for this to change and for my being able to help with this cause.

5. Continued Research is Needed – I have been to doctors who really have no clue. I am not being mean, just honest. It seems as if this topic is not one of great wisdom. I keep on seeking people to go to and they are versed in one area of understanding but not in what I need. I would like to see more research and publication of findings for those in the medical field to have available.

TBI and its effects is now gaining more awareness through the venue of football but we need so much more. It is critical that we all speak out and aid those in need. My eyes can no longer focus to proof this etc. I am sorry if there are typos.

 

Infatuated with Life

via Daily Prompt: Enamored

 

Enamored, a word not often used in day to day verbiage.  Defined it means to be filled with a feeling of love, to be in love with, smitten by, or merely having a liking for something is to be enamored with something.

As a young woman I would have stated that I was infatuated with the love of my life, my spouse, and although that remains true I would not be here to love the man of my dreams without life. Life, a word with only four letters and such a large meaning.  To have life, to breathe, to sustain a way of living is not a given. It is a day to day gifting.

Only yesterday a dear friend underwent an eight hour surgery. She is resting now and healing from the endeavor and she is alive. Alive to be with her family yet another day. Breathing and taking in air, enjoying a breakfast that only a hospital can make. 🙂 She has been given the opportunity as have all of us to reach out and touch people in a new way. As one who is fighting back at breast cancer she is a stronghold of the culture within we live. So many have fought the battle against cancer, so many have won the battle against death with accidents, illnesses, and on and on the list could go.  I have survived a few things myself but today I choose to focus on the fact that I live for a purpose, a reason.

What is that reason? I live to serve. I live to serve God and his church. I live to serve those who long to know more about what it is like to live with a TBI.  I live to love my friends and family.  I am infatuated with life.

This morning as I rose from slumber I came right to my PC to go onto Facebook. I knew that a post would have been made concerning the well being of my dear friend. A photo of she and her daughter greeted me as I slid down the page of entries. In that moment I knew she was okay. Joy entered my heart as I knew I would be able to talk to her again soon. We would be able to come together and make handmade cards for those we love and speak of our lives. We would form more memories and explore our lives. I am thankful for that opportunity.

In a few hours I will venture out to celebrate a birthday with someone who was in the rollover accident with me. We will celebrate another year of life. I will look at her and recall those moments wherein we were not sure we would make it. She will look at me and do the same. Then we will embrace and know that we are blessed to be here. To celebrate yet another year, to be there with those we love, and to serve.  To live, to celebrate life and to be enamored by all of its possibilities.

 

Rhyme and Rhythm is Gone

via Daily Prompt: Rhyme

 

There is a rhythm to life that seems to stand upon the threshold of time. It is one that takes us through the days, the weeks, the years until we meet the maker of our life. Rhyme and rhythm are a part of us. The synchronization of the hours, the days, tick away in a unison of ups, and downs with the syncopation, the sound, of our heart beat ever strong within us. There is a certain rhythm to life. One that goes on for years, or days at a time. Get up, go to work, eat dinner, watch t.v., go to bed – over and over until the rhythm changes and we shift into a new form of life. One without rhyme. One without that familiar rhythm and reason and we scream from within trying to figure out what is going on. The new loss of rhyme and reason makes us yearn for the past and all it entailed. Even if it was no longer what we held dear it was our normal. It was who we were. Grasping onto anything we can we move forward trying to get back into any kind of pattern.  Time passes. We see all others around us yet in their patterns as we once had. We are jealous that we cannot succeed at doing the same. We move on. Time passes and we yearn for some kind of norm. Something that we can predict and draw upon. It is coming. Wait. It will come.