Monday, October 26, 2009

Sleeping with Bread: Anxiety & Prayer


That would be my life-draining experience for the week. I have a tendency toward anxiety and this week it has been an issue. I am going out of town tomorrow and getting to my destination requires getting on a plane--for hours. I hate flying.

I am going to a conference where I am going to co-present at a small conference session. It is my first professional conference and I want to do well.

While I am there, I will be working on my masters' project. I am a little (!!) behind and need the time away from home to get a good start on my first two chapters. It is a critical time--a do or die kind of time.

So... I think most people would agree that there is some reason to be anxious.

Except there's that pesky verse in the Bible:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6 (NAS)

And that leads me to my life-giving experience for the week.

I prayed.

That is kind of a wild concept, isn't it? I prayed. I had some things to confess and the anxiety was weighing on me. So I went through some prayers from a book. My own words have been sorely lacking. Dealing with grief and some depression has left me inarticulate in prayer. I rest on the promise that the Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf but I also like using prayers others have written.

It helped.

I woke up early this morning. I made myself stay awake as I will have to be adjusting to a new time zone AND I am getting up early, early, early for my flight. With the morning, I am feeling some anxiety again. There is lots to do to get ready... and the thought of that plane ride hovering at the forefront of my consciousness.

So, instead of spending the day in worry and fear, I am getting ready to pray.

It will help. And I am grateful for that.


Every Monday (well, sometimes on Tuesdays), I host Sleeping with Bread, a spiritual reflection meme, over here. Right now, my participation is a little sketchy. I usually get the host post up--and lately, my friend, Tara has been helping out with that--but I don't always participate with my own time of reflection. I am actually trying to do better at that. The discipline is good for me. If you head over there, you'll find this entry cross-posted and some links to others' contributions.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In which I offend purple-wearing old folks. . .

When I Am Old I Will Wear Clothes Appropriate for My Age!

When I am an old woman,
I shall clothes wear clothes appropriate for my age - -
With or without a hat as long as it goes,
and looks good on me.
And I shall spend my money
on books and movies
(and maybe a trip to Ireland)
and probably more and more skin care products,
because, DANG, it was easier to be holier-than-thou when I was 20 and wrinkle-free.
I shall sit where ever I can find a comfortable seat when I'm tired
and Lord help me, if I am gobbling up samples in shops
without regard to my health
and thinking I can still be as active as a young person,
while forgetting what it was like to be young and stupid.
I won't mind wearing my slippers in the rain but hope that
I only pick flowers in other people's gardens if I have permission
and NEVER learn to spit!
I don't want to wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat a pan of brownies all by myself,
or only bread and butter for a week,
and collect coat hangers
and sugar packets and Styrofoam popcorn.
I have responsibilities now like raising my kids,
and paying my bills,
and not driving while talking on my cell phone,
and setting a good example for the children.
But I enjoy having dinner with friends and talking about things.
And I don't want to be a different kind of person
So that people who knew me are shocked and surprised
when suddenly I am old, and stop acting like myself!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Proof That Twitter Makes You Crazy

I went a little insane the other night. One of the people I follow decided to hold a contest to give away a Google Wave invite. Here is the transcript of what happened. (Note: I use TweetDeck, a Twitter managing application. Sometimes the tweets are posted out of order.)

D. B. Grady, author and tweeter extraordinaire makes an announcement:

dbgrady Okay people listen up! I've got Google Wave invites, but you've got to earn them. The first person to answer this question gets invite #1

dbgrady On my blog, I compare the "water breaking" during childbirth to a scene from this movie. Go!

a_crezo @dbgrady the shining. And it's like that. But I don't want an invite. :)

MaryLUE @dbgrady @a_crezo Give me hers, then. I'm curious what all the fuss is about.

MaryLUE @dbgrady Unless it's the Watchmen

dbgrady The water breaking during childbirth is like that elevator scene from The Shining! @kaosblaze FTW!

a_crezo Yeah, @dbgrady, hand it over to @MaryLUE. I like her. :)

MaryLUE @a_crezo Thx! The feeling is mutual. And the bugger @dbgrady already gave it away!

a_crezo @MaryLUE lol! I bet he's got some more contests up his sleeve.

dbgrady One more Google Wave invite giveaway tonight...

dbgrady First to answer gets Google Wave invite #2: On my blog, I frequently mention conversations a close fellow reader. What's her name?

MaryLUE @dbgrady I DO NOT KNOW!!!!!

dbgrady @MaryLUE Start reading :)

MaryLUE @dbgrady I'm skimming as we speak.

MaryLUE @dbgrady R we allowed more than 1 guess? If so, I'm gonna throw a dart & say @a_crezo. If not, then that's not my guess.

a_crezo @MaryLUE it's not. Lol

MaryLUE @dbgrady K. Rachel Sternbergen-Friedman

dbgrady @MaryLUE Nope, not @a_crezo.

dbgrady @MaryLUE Keep trying.

dbgrady So close! @Synchrome, you lost to @MaryLUE by 10 seconds! Better luck next time! :) Mary, DM me your email address.

a_crezo @MaryLUE yay! Have fun making embarrassing social gaffs with @dbgrady. I'm too self-concious for GWave. Lol

MaryLUE @dbgrady Aaralyn Montgomery

MaryLUE @dbgrady Pamela S. Thibideaux

MaryLUE @dbgrady Angie

dbgrady @MaryLUE You already won! It was K. Rachel! Send me your email and I'll invite you.

MaryLUE @dbgrady Melissa Techman

MaryLUE @dbgrady Your baby.

a_crezo @dbgrady TweetDeck is having seizures. I think she's missing some tweets. Lol

via Direct Message:

dbgrady LOL STOP GUESSING! You WON! Send me your email address so I can invite you! :)

MaryLUE @a_crezo The TOTALLY hilarious part of this is that I really do not even know what Google Wave is or does or WHY I'd want it!

via Direct Message:

dbgrady It was K. Rachel. You won by 10 seconds. :)

MaryLUE @a_crezo @dbgrady And yes, I can see know that I missed a tweet! I blame it on my intense focus in skimming & scanning the blog.

MaryLUE @dbgrady P.S. Thanks!

MaryLUE @a_crezo @dbgrady see "NOW" not "know"

MaryLUE FWIW Twitterverse, I have know been invited to Google Wave. Once I know what it is, I'll tell you if I like it!

None of the names have been changed because they were all on public pages.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reader's Block

I was sitting with my sister-in-law a few weeks ago and we were talking about life, the universe and everything. I told her that I have not finished a book since June. She looked at me and told me that she was the same way after her dad died. (Most of you know that my mom died in July.) I've been thinking about it a lot and wondering just WHY is that the case? Is it just (JUST!) the grief? I've not been all that "efficient" at reading for the last couple of years. Grad school and Web 2.0 seems to have taken quite a bit of my reading energy. The only other time I remember going so long without finishing a book was when my son was born. Back then, I didn't even start a book. Now, I start a book but don't get it finished.

Here's a sample of books I've started:

Three Bags Full
by Leonie Swann

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Lord is My Shepherd by Harold Kushner

by Marilynne Robinson

Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Those poor books! They don't deserve to be neglected like this. I think a need a prescription from the doctor that says I HAVE to read for 30 minutes a day. No matter what. Not that I do everything my doctor tells me to do.

Anyway, I was just wondering have any of you ever experienced Reader's Block? If so, do you know what caused it? How long did it last? Do you remember the first books you read after your reading slump was over?


Cross posted at T-Dot Bloggers Book Club.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adrenalin-Induced Insomnia

For the last couple of years I've had trouble with sleeping through the night. Sometimes it's for pretty benign reasons. However, I think I can attribute most of it to grad school. When the pressure is on and I have an assignment due, it keeps me up at night. I usually fall asleep just fine but then wake up around 3 am, unable to get back to sleep until around 6 am. Anyone who's either got a job or kids to take care of or any other normal responsibilities understands that's just no good.

For months now, I haven't had any problems with it. I didn't really think about the fact that I wasn't having my wee hours-wake ups. And then the pressure to get going on my final push for grad school began. Guess what? More insomnia. It's so frustrating.

Today I worked for hours to get the product part of my project ready to email to my advisor. I finished and emailed it at 11:59 pm. (I'd originally promised it on Friday and then repromised it on Monday.) I was glad to get it turned in--just in the nick of time. I considered waiting to send it until tomorrow (TODAY actually) so that I could have someone look over it for me. But Nooooooo, I was getting to anxious to have it in my advisor's inbox. So I sent it.

I had to unwind for awhile so it was about 1 am before I headed off to bed. And then Marley had a nightmare. (Remind not to let her watch any Harry Potter movies for a long, long time.) I had just barely drifted off when she came in to tell me about her bad dream. (David Tennant as Barty Crouch, Jr. was the culprit.) Great. Now I was awake and trying to get back to sleep. What thoughts drifted in my head? A sudden realization that I maybe hadn't explained aspects of my project. Did I really turn in a curriculum handbook that didn't have all the information in the instructor notes? I think I did.


Yes, I said CRAP on my blog.

Now I can't get back to sleep. It's 3 am. and I'm surfing the internet, playing Word Challenge on Facebook, exhausted as can be. Sleep just slithers right on by me.

So I reckoned, if I had to suffer through it, you might as well suffer reading about it.

I'm probably going to regret this when I get up--if I ever manage to get to sleep.


Morose, possibly inept, seriously sleepy, Mary-LUE