Living in Today

Living in Today      I have a daughter who lives on the other side of the world right now.  It’s weird, because wherever she is, she is nineteen hours ahead of me thanks to daylight savings time and 8000 miles of ocean and continents.   Whenever we talk, she is always living in tomorrow, but I am still stuck right here: IN TODAY.   When we Skype, I usually start with, “So tell me, what can you tell me about MY tomorrow that I don’t know will happen yet?”

      I find it interesting that my Monday is always her Tuesday and so on.  So in an attempt to avoid Murphy’s law and various other pitfalls, I jokingly request she give me tomorrow’s headlines for my life as soon as she knows them.

Okay, not really, but it almost seems plausible.

          I find myself having this same beef with God lately.  Could you please let me know what’s coming down the pike tomorrow?

     You see it’s been a challenging year here.  Life situations  (aka “crisis events”) have been too many and too close together.

It’s too much!  I’d say while shaking my fists, as if God had suddenly decided that Job needed a twin sister!  I can’t bear another bit.  Silence.  Other than the sometimes discouraging and fear-inciting voices inside my head .

How many times have I looked at today’s headlines or story line in my life, and then logically predetermined tomorrow’s outcome?

Then like Ty Pennington giving some lucky family a spanking brand new home on Extreme Home Makeover, God who is merciful gave me a Big Reveal moment inside the quirky head that is home to what can only be described as Liz Logic.

Yes, the same brain that is home base to creative pursuits such as writing and photography and imagination of every dimension is also the executive studio of worry, FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real as Joyce Meyer adequately acronymed it!) and as a triple treat: anxiety.

It’s indeed hard to live fully present, in the present.  I haven’t perfected it.  But I have started attempting it more.  It’s a process of mindful letting goPrayer helps.  As does focusing on the positive moments of the day and small victories achieved.

Also essential?  A network of like-minded friends.  Negativity breeds in times of uncertainty.  So does positivity.  Pick one.

But the most important thing is living for today is simply LIVE TODAYNot tomorrow, today.   The bible tells us not to worry about tomorrow because apparently we were designed to have only enough mental storage capacity for worries for ONE DAY ONLY.   That is all the room for worry the human brain can comfortably hold.   We are told God’s grace is always sufficient for the day.  He even knows the number of exact number of hairs on our head (which for some unfortunate souls have diminished to the “less than 100” range as evidenced by comb-over fashion futility).  Yes, God dresses the lilies of the fields finer than kings and cares for the sparrow, how much more does he care about me?

If God’s promises are true for eternity, they are certainly true for today.  But it takes FAITH, an earnest attempt at, not just reading or memorizes promises, but believing them to be true.

Having a crystal ball or magic time machine that could tell me what tomorrow will bring wouldn’t ultimately fix the circumstances that will invariably arise.  But having faith in the God who holds tomorrow will at least help us get through.

SOME PERSPECTIVE ABOUT LIVING FOR TODAY:

Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.  Khalil Gibran

When Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow meet, only Today gets to shake hands twice. That makes Today twice as important as the other two. But it also means that Today must be careful, because who knows whether Yesterday or Tomorrow washed their hands after going to the bathroom.”    Jarod Kintz

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Deviant Roots

Deviant Roots       I am certainly being governed by the physical laws of Murphy these days, and quite possibly the dynamics of String Theory (prior blog).  It’s okay.  I’m still here.

Here’s how it all went down yesterday.  After 24 hours of excruciating nerve pain (a “twelve” on a scale of one to ten), I was fortunate enough to be seen by a student dentist as an “acute” patient at our local dental school.    First call to school:  “I’m sorry we’re booked,” said the male receptionist.  Second call to school (amidst my sobbing) to female receptionist:  “Can you come NOW?”

  Ding, ding, ding—your answer is absolutely correct I think to myself!  Good woman, she was!

So I get in.  I fill out my health history which hasn’t changed—all 4 pages in pica 2 print.  I am introduced to my practicing dentist to be.  Okay, so she hasn’t passed her boards.  I like her anyway.  She sets my heart at ease.  I’m a practicing writer who can relate to the years of free work and time you put in practicing.    I’m okay.  No, I’m actually excited she is the one who will have the honor of piercing my gums to extract my roots.

X-rays are taken–multiple times.  The drilling starts.  Obliterated is the build-up my student from last year so artfully crafted to look like a real tooth, so I wouldn’t have to purchase yet another crown.   First this build-up is bored out with a standard drill for about 25 minutes or so.  Then for the best part:

The burr drill, or what I affectionately call the Jack Hammer drill, dives deeper still.  This one has a low-toned grumbly noise.  Imagine your mouth being an airplane and you are coming in without your landing gear with mouth open wide onto a runway of rocky gravel.  That’s what it sounds and feels like.

I can’t taste anything because I’m resisting choking to death on the saliva that pools up underneath the rubber dam stretched over my mouth, stretched tight and pinched by two plastic walls on the sides.  I fight anxiety as I remember if I don’t breathe through my nose, life could cease and I wouldn’t be able to articulate this phenomenon to anyone.

    I try and think happy thoughts and inwardly chastise myself for forgetting my IPOD which is my drug of choice during routine root canals.  I try to stop overhearing the conversation in the bay beside me where the patient is complaining about the smell of her tooth’s infection.

More drilling ensues.  A team of curious students finished with their rounds has now gathered to rubberneck.  A light that refuses to stay planted causes the assistant to mutter under her breath as it swings slightly above me.   A tray of instruments crashes to the floor.  Oops!

The dental teacher comes in.  More drilling.  We’ve been going strong for about an hour and a half at this point.  She pulls out what can only be described as push-pins that belong in the fabric tomatoes of our grandmothers.  Long skinny needle-like creatures with colorful round button heads hover hungrily overhead.

How are you today dear?  Plunge!  I close my eyes.

“Urrrggghhh   iiiiii,” I  say.   Translation:  Just fine.  This is the correct answer if you have long needles being put into your oral cavities by strange people.  This is not the time to be defiant or non-compliant.

The dentist adjusts her loops.  These are little micro zoom lenses, about an inch long attached to her regular glasses.  Some are clear, some are white, and some glow a brilliant orange.

     Keep thinking happy thoughts Liz.  Go to your “happy place” now!

     “Well dear!  You have anatomy that defies all textbook cases of standard anatomy that I have ever seen,” she says in a heavy Russian accent.  “You have deviant roots.  You will be referred to a grad student.  Amy (name has been changed), you close her up and send her home and explain all this to patient.”  (I think she just did).

Yeah?  Good thing you’re not a neurosurgeon or psychologist analyzing my brain I think.  There is no telling what deviations from and aberrations of normalcy you may find lurking there!

So with rubber dam firmly in place, purposely restricting all my questions, I patiently wait until my tooth is temporarily filled and dam is finally removed.  A torrent of saliva spills forward like Niagara Falls.  Freedom!!!

“Tho, what doth thith mean?” I hesitantly ask my student dentist.

And here is what I learned:  My roots deviate from standard anatomy.  Most tooth roots grow up straight and branch out slightly.

Not mine.

No, I have deviant roots.  Apparently they start out separate, converge in the middle, and twist a little as they go out their separate ways.   They run amok and they run deep.  They make drilling hard, if not impossible.    Hmmmm….this is so apropos of a life lesson I’m sure, if I could just wrap my head around it.    

       Unfortunately for me, and my student, someone with more experience will have to complete the job.  After Christmas.  After our scheduled Disney trip in two days that we waited for seven years to go as a complete family.

But will I be in pain?”  I inquire—this, my one burning question.  The one I exceeded all speeding laws to get here to have answered.  “Will this ruin my trip?”

Answer?  Maybe yes.  Maybe no.    Kind of like life, huh!  Are you going to have pain sometimes?  Yep!  So?  Are you going to let it ruin your trip?

And though I’ve not only graduated from Murphy’s Law school (after being held back and “repeated” a few times), I currently serve in the role of an advisory position.  I can now advise others with full unsolicited non-restraint who may find themselves seated in the front row of such a scary place.

My advice?    Relax.  Keep your chin up.   Because as we know, Murphy was indeed an optimist (O’Toole’s Commentary).  Things could always be worse.

May you be able to laugh today and find the beam of sunshine meant just for you!

MURPHY’S LAW:
If anything can go wrong, it will.

O’Toole’s Commentary:
Murphy was an optimist.

Murphy’s Corollary:
Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

Murphy’s Corollary:
It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious

Murphy’s Constant:
Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value

Quantized Revision of Murphy’s Law:
Everything goes wrong all at once.

Quotes taken from this excellent blog site regarding Murphy’s Law and other law that may be guiding you today:  http://www.fraserlandia.com/murphy2.html