Yesterday, I took an unscheduled nap. I had plans in the afternoon, but slept right through them. Dreamland is a nice place to go when the muscles are achy from a new exercise regiment, or the brain is tired from continuous concentration. I am not typically a napper, but there are situations that quickly induce sleep. First, is the television or theater. Rarely can I watch more than two hours without nodding off, especially after a large meal. As stimulating as “Dancing with the Stars” can be, I have missed the final dance and elimination almost every time- those commercial breaks are killers. My children will tell you, violence throws me right into an unconscious state, Action and Thriller shows are soporific for me. It must be the subconscious that takes over to protect me from unsavory visuals. The second snooze promoter is transportation. Buses, airplanes, trains or car rides all make my eyelids heavy. Once again it is the element of sitting quietly in one place for an extended period, that has the glazed over effect on me. Third, is reading. If only I could learn to walk and read, I would have been a genius in college. Concerts and sporting events keep me attentive only when we are standing, clapping, or munching on popcorn, otherwise, I would probably catch a few winks. I don’t fall asleep in church. Very smart that the sermons are usually kept under an hour. I have put a few people to sleep with my lectures and stories- I can’t explain that one. Now that I am getting older, I should just plan on a nap every day. There is research that supports the value of a siesta. Einstein and Edison both made a habit of taking a nap and then feeling refreshed. I wonder if I did, would it keep me from nodding off before eight o’clock and then climbing into bed at one in the morning feeling wide awake? It may seem that there is an organic problem with someone who sleeps more than seven hours a day. So, I did have a physical plus blood work done to check my vitamin levels since I am primarily a vegetarian. Sure enough, my B12 was very low and the Doctor suggested I get a monthly B12 shot. She said it would help my energy level and sharpen my memory. That was the appointment I slept through. It is not that I’m afraid of needles, but I do need someone to needle me about the importance of preventive medicine. I would rather watch Grey’s Anatomy than go to a doctor’s office. Some of those harrowing scenes would put me out cold. So, don’t forget that the Lord asked us to rest on the seventh day. If that is not possible; try singing, praying, meditating, and napping two hours a day. Maybe then we could make it to the ten o’clock news report. I cant watch that anymore- too violent. I promise to reschedule my monthly inoculation. And I wish all of you, “sweet dreams”.
Yesterday, I think I met my match. My friend Georgia told a story about driving her car into the automatic car wash. She struggled to keep the wheels between the rails as she moved forward. The front tire was slightly stuck on the top of the track at the end so that the car was leaning a bit to the left. Concerned this was going to cause a problem, she opened the door and got out of the car to have a look and find some help to right the situation. Sure enough, the car wash started and she got a shower. Our lunch mates were laughing as she delivered her story with honest innocence, and we were wiping away tears as she described her dilemma. Her story reminded me how hard it is to stay on track. Conclusive research on adults explains that we are more easily distracted than children. There are so many things that might deter us from completing a task, including our human tendency to be stubborn and contrary. Also, our human weakness that leads to fatigue and illness can most certainly push us completely off the track. Unfortunately, we can be working with great passion on something that is vitally important, and find we are going down the wrong track. Even worse, is when our efforts are making a positive impact and the enemy pushes back, bringing our wheels to a halt. I loved playing with my brother’s electric train set, and clearly recall how the engine would race around and go careening out of control and off the track if we accelerated to quickly. Staying on track requires three essentials: good direction, continuous focus and proper speed. It only takes one of these to be altered to cause a derailment of the project or a motivational crash. I count on the Lord for the direction, and it is rarely complicated because my hubby is a good conductor. Focus usually depends on good health and nutrition to be clear minded. It is speed that often results in my careless clowning around. I am slowing down these days which is helpful. Georgia has always known her clown tendencies and even enrolled to become a professional clown in the circus when she was younger- that is a story we want to hear more about. We may have to team up and form a Clown Alley in Charleston. Sharing our antics is worth a laugh. As we move forward and try to focus on new adventures, I look forward to the giggles and guffaws. Hopefully, we will never need a laugh track.
Yesterday, I watched the movie “The Cincinnati Kid” starring Steve McQueen. I love the classic movies on TCM. The Kid was a card shark who could spot the dealers that were trained in the sleight of hand. This was very impressive and dramatic. It reminded me of the new card game that the Barnettes taught us last week called “Phase Ten”. The game is a type of Rummy and we started at 8:30 in the evening so I was pleased to play something simple as it had been a tiring day. I even thought I could slip off to bed by ten o’clock. Well, the first rounds went quickly and I was hooked. I got to level six and was thrilled to get two wild cards, and soon had two sets of four. When I laid them down, Bob was about to record my progress and declared in his Gentlemanly Georgian drawl, “You’ll have to pick those back up, Kim”. I looked puzzled and he politely explained that I just completed phase seven instead of six. Oops! I put on my glasses and squinted in wonder at the little explanation card. I was completely incensed at such a mistake when I thought I was lucky. Bob could not help laughing at my reaction and incredulity. I considered trying to talk him in to letting me record my phase seven, and let me go back to six the next hand. Why argue with the skilled and experienced? I picked up my cards and play continued. Next hand, I was the dealer and was pleased again with my cards. I laid down phase six and Lewis, dear son-in-law across the table, tells me to count my cards. I had twelve and should have had just ten. More laughter around the table. I am a poor excuse for a card shark. Cool Hand Luke was not going to let me off the hook. Thirty years ago, my grandmother would have insisted on a dollar being added to the kitty for a misdeal. We played until Bethany was the first to complete ten phases and won. We got to bed by midnight. Obviously, I should not partake in serious matters so late at night because I am a morning person. I may be competitive, but I never cheat knowingly. Sportsmanship kept me playing instead of quitting and counting my losses. The message may be that having fun is more important than winning, and mistakes can be so funny that they are the best part of the game. This may not be true in the Old West or professional circles, but it should be among friends. I propose to join a weekly game night. If you are looking for laughter; deal me in.
Yesterday, was my sixtieth birthday! All my children were together to usher me into the new decade. They chose a theme for the week that they thought best describes my personality and and life interests, and called it Camp Joyful Noise. This included camp shirts, a beach retreat and the motto, “Promoting Peace Through Song”, and sing we did. There were times each day that were set aside for taking care of job related business that required cell phone or computer connection. Those are the new Norman Rockwell family life pictures in my mind. Bethany, our camp director, brought us back together each day with a craft activity or an adventure in nature. This was indeed a time that revealed our character and some talents that we had not previously discovered. Every day was a surprise, including a party with neighbors and friends from Ohio- even my busy brothers flew in with their sweet wives. Keeping secrets from me was indeed a huge challenge. This of course reminds me that nothing we do is kept secret from God. He knows our joy and our sorrow. He knows the mixed blessings and emotions that muddle our minds. When we make plans to bring others together, it takes tremendous love and flexibility in order to truly promote peace. The most heart warming event was the song the children wrote and sang accompanied by my hubby on the guitar, with music that he wrote and arranged. Sing and pray, eat and laugh, play and talk; it is what I love to do with my family. I feel complete when we are together. There is a natural joy that is woven into our circle of love, like a dream catcher that is carefully and patiently crafted. I went rogue on that craft because the leather strap kept unraveling as I twist it around the metal ring. The message is clear now that I can’t always control what I am given and sometimes the situation may unravel. This is not a failure but a challenge to persevere and ask for direction. My end product was different, but my dreams still came through. Thank you sweet family for giving me a week to remember. It was special and I know the surprises will continue even after you return to your homes. I don’t mean the dirty socks I will find, or the leftover hamburger in the fridge. You surprise me with the wonderful ways you share your lives with others. You have given Dr. Sing A.Song new material for her mission to cheer others. May every song you sing promote sweet peace.