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Last week I overheard a lady on the bus say:  “It’s terrible, there’s no shadows on the ground from the sun, it’s just terrible!”

She seriously sounded like the world was going to end if the shadows didn’t come back so I, of course, quickly glanced out of the bus window and was able to see the shadow of the bus on the sidewalk…  Whew!  That was close!  To be fair it was a really faint shadow because of the smoggy atmosphere but the shadow was most definitely there so I don’t think she had very  good eyesight.  But like many of the tangents in my life it made me think…

A shadow is essentially proof, in darkness, that something is standing against the light, blocking it from reaching the surface.  Shadows can be very dark or very faint, depending on your light source and the opacity of the object causing the shadow… and, apparently, your eyesight.

A shadow is not good or evil in and of itself, it’s all in how you perceive it.  Some examples are:  The lady on the bus viewed the absence of shadows as something terrible and unnatural, scary even but people under trees in the middle of a hot summer view shadows as a blessing.  At night, when a statue is lit from the bottom the shadows make the face look very creepy and it becomes a wonderful place to sit and tell ghost stories.  When that same statue is lit from the top it appears normal and your ghost stories have less umph.  Walking from bright light to deep shadows can be unnerving because you can’t see anything until your eyes adjust whereas going from deep shadows to bright light is usually quite nice.  Your perspective changes everything, eh?

My musings turned me towards wondering – where the shadows are in my life?  What bad habits are standing up, against the light and causing a shadow on my surface?  Where am I dark?  Is the darkness OK?  Am I providing people shade or scaring them with my shadows?  What I am using for my light source?

For me personally my light source should be my Bible because it is the standard of my faith and I believe it is the written word of God.  “Should” obviously implies that it isn’t… not really.

I had to apologize to God this morning because I haven’t been a very faithful follower of His for the last few years…  I allowed my circumstances, my bad shadows, to drag me down and I’ve just kind of stayed there for quite a while, having elaborate pity parties and pushing away the people who love me.  I’m trying to change but definitely can’t do it by myself, I need God’s help!  Thankfully His mercies are new every morning…

Next weekend, for my 40th birthday, I’m going out-of-town on a trip with my two best friends, (who are finally going to get to spend some time together, whoo hoo!) and I’m just going to bask in the shade of our girlfriend-ness.  We are all believers but my friend from high school has a very strong faith and I really need that encouragement, that renewing right now.  I’m ready to start my relationship with God over and want their support.  I need to reach back to the people at my church who have reached out to me and try to start over.  It’s time to come out of the bad shadows and make a new beginning!

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Our neighborhood is full of these bright-eyed, bushy-tailed squirrels that love to run across the street.  (No, I did not hit one…)  They almost get to the other side and then they notice me in my car.  Some pause before running back to the side they came from (those are usually the young ones who aren’t sure what to do) but most of them turn on a dime and scamper back to safety, back to what they know – you could even call it “the past”.  Unfortunately safety isn’t always on the side they came from because it’s a much shorter distance to the side they were trying to get to originally, but it’s unknown, like “the future”.  More often than not us friendly neighborhood drivers will slow down for them and laugh as they zip back and forth across the streets in front of cars and the brainless squirrels are safe.  But on the main roads our own safety and the safety of others does not allow us the luxury of accommodating a rodent with the Squirrel Mentality and they get… well, let’s just say I see far too many splotches of fur on the road…  😦

How many times have I had that Squirrel Mentality?  Running back as fast as I can to what I know, what seems “safe” rather than darting ahead to the Great Unknown where my goal lies?  When is it better to go back?  When is it better to go forward?

I need more sleep.  I want off my meds.  I don’t want to be married to a 7th grader (in his emotional maturity, not physical age).  I must get out of debt.  I need my body to stop hurting constantly.  These are just a few of my goals – the other side of the road.  But car after car after semi-truck after scooter keeps coming down the road and chasing me back to where I am…

I’m going to start with more sleep.  It’s Mother’s Day and I’m going to stay in bed all day tomorrow if I can.  We’ll see if that works out or not.  I don’t have a solution today, I’m just getting my frustrations out there and identifying with that tiny, pea-brained little squirrel.  I know why they run back to the side of the road they came from, I do it too.

 

Yep, it’s that time again, New Year’s Eve.  Resolution Time.  Time to decide how to Change My Life in the next 365 days…  Hmmm…  Some years I side with the folks who don’t make any resolutions and don’t set any goals because honestly, what’s the point?  If it’s something you’re going to do, you’ll do it anyway whether or not you’ve written it down on a list and set yourself a Must Do By date.  The rest of the time the folks who challenge themselves with a list of things they would like to attain always catch my attention because usually I need all the motivation I can get and sometimes a deadline is helpful.  However, if I’ve ever accomplished a New Year’s Goal in my life it was most likely an accident because I tend to start more projects than I finish, something my mother noted time and time again as a child.  Ooohhh – that’s something I could put on my list this year, finishing what I start!  Nah… where’s the fun in having everything completed?  It just means that you have to start something new all the time whereas if you have several projects going at once you always have something to work on.  Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself…

Okie dokie, here are a few things that have been rattling around my brain and just might be possible to complete in 2013:

One blog finished and posted every week
Lose 20 more pounds
Make more home-cooked meals
Attend a different church
Go spend some time at the ocean
Plant more roses

That’s 6 things…should be a manageable number and each goal is sufficiently different enough from each other to make life interesting this year.  The one I see as being the most difficult to accomplish?  Attending another church, something my husband and I have been “discussing” for over a year now.  The easiest?  Planting more roses, although I am particular about my roses, lol!  They have to be more than one color (not a solid color, red, pink, etc.) AND smell nice because life is too short to plant roses that don’t smell good.  The exceptions are miniature roses, because I’m not sure I’ve found any that smell at all so far, and my Climbing Joseph’s Coat – it’s so pretty I can overlook the lack of fragrance.j  But back to my resolutions…

<thoughtful silence> Nope, that’s it, that’s all I’ve got.  Six areas I’d like to see change in sometime during the next 365 days, although sooner would be better than later.  May your New Year be blessed and prosperous and may good things come your way in 2013!