Thursday, June 11, 2009

Life at fifty


Life at fifty is pretty wonderful, despite the fact that the start of this year has been a little on the "terrible, awful, no good, very bad" side, at times.

We're still waiting for DH to land a new job. Gotta say that we didn't think that we'd still be in search mode after six months. Nevertheless, there are hopeful signs, second interviews, nibbles here and there. It's been challenging for our family, but we are getting through this, and we will have learned a great deal about what matters most, how to be patient with one another,living with less, and recognizing that abundance is still a word we use and understand.

I've had six visits this week with members of the church who suffer from dementia/Alzheimer's/other memory loss. It's been fourteen months since my mom died, and the waves of grief persist, especially when I've spent concentrated amounts of time with older adults with memory issues. Much sighing...

One of the most noticeable parts of my healing (or lack of healing) around my mom's passing is the visceral reaction I have to visiting folks in ICU. My mom died in a hospital hundreds of miles from here. I have not visited it since her death and may never visit it again, but I have occasions to visit ICUs with some frequency, and entering and staying is a very great challenge. I hope I overcome this...

We've had some particularly challenging times this winter and spring with difficult pastoral care issues. It's been pretty hard work to think about good news, in light of what I'm invited to know. Perhaps this is a symptom of a need for a vacation. Perhaps it's just the reality of living with the reminder that everyone has a story, and often it is poignant and personal. I need to work on being more of a sieve and less of a vase.

Nevertheless (how I love the hope this word conveys!) it is good to be fifty. All manner of things shall be well, and often are. I am a brand new fan of Teavana teas, thanks to a lovely birthday gift, and I'm working my list of things I'd like to accomplish and enjoy this year. They provide a nice antidote to the stress of sermons and pastoral care and job searches and stuff.

6 comments:

Purple said...

Hope something shifts in the job prospects for DH.

I remember visiting my mom...it always took every ounce of courage and willpower to walk into the care facility. Thankfully, and it will for you also, get better.

Is a vacation in the near future?

Songbird said...

I spent my CPE summer on the two units I thought would be hardest, but the scenes that remind me of my own losses still have the power to bite me sometimes. That's being human. Wish it didn't hurt! (((Jennifer)))

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm enjoying fifty as well.

I'm sorry to read of all the difficulties. Maybe a vacation would be good . . . or at least a Jennifer day.

I love your expression about learning to be more of a sieve and less of a vase.

Rev SS said...

move of a sieve, less of a vase ... great image! (((o)))

Katherine E. said...

I'm behind in reading blogs, Jennifer. Thanks for this update! it's always good to know what's going on in your life.

And I love the logo for the interfaith group!

Diane said...

((Jennifer))