Monday, January 3, 2011

Living Life in Limbo

Ok - if this picture doesn't calm any hopes you had of my artistic career - I'm not sure what will!

Before I get today's post started - I wanted to give you an update on Lawrence Welk.
When it failed to 'get a rise' out of me - the channel was changed to 'Hee Haw'.
Homeboy knows I was raised on 'Hee Haw' and it got quite a chuckle.
But now it was time for serious television watching.
You know?
We settled in on some PBS thing about your brain - I was just half watching it.
All I know was that there was a bald man telling me what to eat and what supplements to take for a healthy brain.  He claims that the higher your BMI (Body Mass Index) is the smaller and older your brain is. 
Holy crapamoly.  I'm pea brained and ancient.
16 years older, and 8% smaller - that's my brain.
Glen's remark 'Thank God.  I don't know what sort of mayhem you'd have going on around here if you had a bigger brain.'
True story.
It sorta seemed like a compliment.  : - /

What I wanted to talk to you about today was my decision to give up worry on December 2, 2010.
I didn't read a book.
I didn't have an epiphany - although I seem to have them every half an hour, on the hour.
It was just a realization that I felt like I 'couldn't be happy' until everyone else was.
I was a chronic worrier.
The line in my heart between care, concern and worry, was so smudged I had no idea where I was standing.

I had decided that I couldn't be happy until Aaron was getting really great grades.
What if he never did?  All four years? 
I wouldn't be happy for four years.

I decided then, what about after school?  I couldn't be happy until Aaron got a good job, and found love, and a nice place to live.

How many years is that going to take?

I decided I couldn't be happy until a loved one drank less.
What if they never did?

I decided I couldn't be happy until I lost weight.
What if I never did?

That's not even the tip of the iceberg of the things I'd lose sleep over.

On the morniing of December 2, 2010, my fleece covered feet hit the hardwood floor under my bed and I realized that I'd set up my life to never be happy.

Perhaps happy is the wrong word.
I'm pretty 'happy' all the time.

Maybe 'settled' is the word - maybe 'at peace' is the word.
It didn't matter - cause I was doomed to never have 'it' - whatever 'it' was.

I was in limbo.

I decided right then and there it was over.
I couldn't keep it up.
I have no control over people - barely have any over myself!
I can't change the world - only myself.
I started turning my worry thoughts into prayers.
I had to shake things off, cut things off.
It was really hard for a week.
I had to capture each thought, and examine it before I let it settle in my 8% smaller brain.

One month later.
It's much easier.
Perfect?  No.
I can't let myself think or talk about certain things just yet.
It's like a dandelion seed head of worry blowing in the breeze.
So there are some things I won't talk about right now.
Some things I won't think about right now.
Seems silly, doesn't it?

I'm guarding my heart carefully.
I'm realizing my limitations.
I'm surrounding myself with positive people, positive reading materials.
I'm taking this very seriously.

I feel 'happier'.  I feel more settled, and I feel peace.

Have any of the things I've been worrying about changed?
I've changed.


  1. Yikes Coop......! Someone, get the Xanax STAT! I liked the art work...It looks like a Windows art pad job...hmmmm...not bad though..

  2. Also....on Hoarders tonight there is a woman that has hundreds (maybe thousands) of chickens in her home.......thought youy should know

  3. Great post Jayme! There is a German saying "Der Mensch denkt, aber Gott lenkt" (meaning you can fret, worry, plan all you want, ultimately it's up to God what is going to happen)and after hearing it from my Grandma countless times, it finally sank in. There are only so many things I have control over, everything else I just need to let go. Whatever is meant to happen, will happen, whether I worry about it or not...
    Take care and be happy. :-)

  4. I am an expert worrier, too. I won't take up space to say why, but several years ago circumstances made me realize that the only thing I had control over was ME and my reactions, my responses. (And my knitting.)Has this realization helped? Yes. Do I still worry? Yes, but not as much.
    All Shall Be Well. Amazing even.


  5. Jayme, great post and close to home for me. I had this same pradigm shift a few years back. All my best friends said I was a “fretter.” I would fret over everything, particularly at work. I was working on developing my leadership skills and reading several books. One thing I read made a huge difference in my life--it came from a Steven Coveyl book. He described the circle of influence and the circle of concern. Very short summary is- there are things that are within our circle of influence. Those things we could actually change or have an impact on are those we influence. We may be concerend about things that are not in our circle of influence--so we can’t do anything about them-like the national debt for example. I know it’s not rocket science but it had a big impact on my thinking. I dont’ worry even half as much as I used to--very little to be honest. I just think about it and say “well, I can’t influence that so nothing I can do directly.” It’s very freeing. I’m happy for you---it will add years of peace to your life!!

  6. Life is just what happens to you,
    While your busy making other plans.........John Lennon. I have always been a big time worrier too before cancer. Now, I still fall back into old habits, but keep on it. It gets easier letting go and be in the moment. BTW I like your art:)

  7. I am so blessed by this post, Jayme! You are a living testimony of what putting Biblical principles into practice can produce...peace and contentedness. You are such a blessing!

    I just have to say this...when Glenco switched from Lawrence Welk to Hee Haw I would have died laughing! TOO funny!

    Love you, Lady!

  8. Great post -- I'm right there with you. I had a very difficult December and lose 2 loved ones. I would lay awake at night and dwell on things of which I had no control. I made the decision to enjoy every moment, Be in the Moment and stop worrying. Life is too short. God bless!

  9. glad when your feet hit the floor on that infamous day of Dec. 2nd, you had this epiphany/revelation/light bulb come on! What an inspiring vision for 2011. Go For it girl, every day in every way, word, thought, and deed. I want to share these verses written by Paul in Phillipians 4:4-7. ~~ "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Rah. Type that out and put it on your bathroom mirror. That's what I do with verses that I want to impact me and my life. Hugs to you bloggy sister. Rooting for you. xo

  10. Good for you! I gave worry to God quite a few years ago but every once in a while it creeps back in my life. I made a cake for a friends birthday last week (I make my cakes from scratch) it came out wonderful. But I tried a new frosting that you cook and I cooked it too long and it started to turn to crumbles before I finished the sides. I was going to take it anyway the top was pretty the front was pretty, what I call the back had no frosting. I woke up at 3 in the morning and could not get back to sleep. I ended up making a quick cheesecake after work to take to the party. A little worry there.

  11. Preach it Jayme! I hear ya!! Jesus looks at worry as a sin and if that's the case boy am I a sinner! Love this post so much in fact, I'm going to read it again as my brain must be pretty small too:)


  12. I'm gonna comment by quoting someone else, just 'cuz I can and you can't stop me! ;) Actually, your post reminded me of it... "Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway." (Mary C. Crowley). Even if that's the only thing she ever said, that woman's wise...

  13. Love this post, Jayme. You constantly reassure me that I am not alone in my mental state!!!

    Hugs to you....

  14. I want to meet that Glenco someday, Jaymes. Sounds like a funny fella. A dry sense of humor is my very favorite kind.
    Settled. Peace. Those are the key words, aren't they? So much easier said than done to capture those thoughts...they get the best of me before I even realize it! I'm proud of you, Jayme. It's a good path you're walking down.

  15. I am not much of a worrier. 26+ years ago when I had my conjoined twins and the scenario wasn't good, shared heart, not enough heart... bad odds I had to give it to God.The wrong ending... Long story I'll share with you another day. Since then nothing has ever seemed as dire and I just find it easy to let him carry it. I have my moments but I never dwell there. It is just a waste of time and it is time I will never get back. He knows the plan.
    I love Glenco's sense of onery! Too cute!! I am afraid to find out my brain size and age. I know it cain't be good!!Hope you wowed them at the library... I am sure you were super.

  16. Amen, sistah! You have said a book full in one small blog. I, too, was always a worrier...and a fixer...and a doer...I finally gave up because the only one I can fix is ME...and all the worrying in the world won't change a thing.

    I am proud of are going to grow up to be a fine young lady;>) Hugs-Diana

  17. The hardest thing to realize as our children get older is that they have a free will. We have hopes and dreams for them, but they ultimately have the choice as to what they are going to do. We can constantly lift them to the Lord, but we cannot MAKE them do anything. Once I accepted that fact, it really helped me not to feel guilty when the boys make wrong decisions, and to help me not to worry about what they were going to do in the future. Hang in there!

  18. Yup. Now I see that you can write AND illustrate... When's the dern book comin'?!

  19. That right there is exactly what I need to hear - I have the same problem - needing everything to be perfect and everyone to be happy before I can be at peace and I struggle with it daily - but I'm trying to give it over to God. Hard for a control freak to do though. Praying that 2011 brings you contentment and peace!

  20. Jaymie, I've been the same as you- waiting for that 'perfect' moment to finally be at peace and secure. Well, I think I found my sense of direction from the thought that I'm just passing through this great big old planet- not even I am a permanent fixture here! So, I think I'll just take in the sights as i'm traveling through- and hope for the best!

  21. I could have written something similar. I finally had to face the fact that I can't fix everyone's problems.

    I like your art work.

    Your posts make me laugh. Thanks for that.

  22. For some reason the song from Hee Haw is now stuck in my head and little brain. Doom dispair and agony on me...... love that song but.
    Ennaway GOOD FOR YOU trappin those worry worts before they infect yer little brain. Hubby always says, if you can change it do it, if you can't forget about it. Loved your honest post and hang in there kiddo. I pretend to be the blonde everyone jokes about and it is fun being light headed. No offense to any blonde person here or there. Jist sayin is all

  23. Yep! Setting boundaries is a very good thing! That's the way to go. No worries!

    When those nagging or negative thoughts come scratching away at me I take great delight in deleting them. (I have a delete key in my brain.) Works great.

    I have found that telling people who are talking negative stuff at me to Stop! That works great too. At first they are a little or a lot shocked, but when they realize they have to watch what they chose for a topic of conversation I think they realize how much of what they talk about is negative.

    Happy New Year, Jayme!

  24. Hi Dame Jaym! Several years ago at a seminar we were told when those negative thoughts entered our brain to say NO, out loud if we must, and turn them into positive thoughts. I try it now and then. I also try giving it over to God. I also lose a lot of sleep worrying {sigh} Right now I'm saying NO out loud to a recipe I tried - Venison sausage - like summer sausage - can't seem to get the inside to look done, and they look like big turds. Anywho - you were in Michigan City? Did you go to Blue Chip? I won't tell if you did. I love the beach there but I imagine it's a tad chilly about right now. And who knew Ma and Pa Barker built a house there? Not me! I'm gonna have to visit that next time I'm there. OH yeah - and the picture thing...I got in troub for taking pics the other day too. What is up with that? And now that I think about it, the woman was about my age....peri-menopausal! Jeez - you'd think they own the place. Maybe they should take a xanax! Cindy

  25. Jayme, I like this place you are in. I admire what you are doing very much. Jim is not a worrier at all and he helps to balance me out as my natural inclination is to worry. I have to fight that urge. Some days are better than others. Two weeks ago I was not doing well with it. Today I am rocking it. I would like that to be a more permanent change like the one you have made in your life. So inspiring. As always.

  26. Amen Amen Amen!!! YOu rock it girl! I think the word you may be looking for is "contentment"?! It is an amazing place to be!

    FTR ~ I am done with made to crave. Not done as in I finished, but done as in I am not putting that much pressure on myself as I plow through looking for a neele in a haystack. :) God has more for me then that!

  27. Amen Jayme!!!! Let Go and Let God is a Wonderful phrase to post somewhere! There is a writing by Robert Hastings called the station.... it is a story how we are not happy till, we buy the right house, buy the right car, land the right job, etc.... really a good story! Wishing you the best in 2011!

  28. Years ago, when Daddy was so sick and I was going back and forth the 100 miles to help the two of them face the last months of his life...I realized that I was slowly but surely killing the spirit inside me. We had teenagers at the time and I don't have to tell you the worry that comes with them. I'd fret and stew over all the upheavels in my life, never feeling relaxed or settled. One day as I was driving I just asked the Lord to help me, lift off this burden I was carrying. I couldn't do a thing about my Dad's condition, I was helpless to make teen angst go away and I was missing out on a happy life by not allowing myself to live it. Just live it. I asked God to help me quit worrying all the time, to open my eyes to the blessings around me. You know what? A miracle happened that day somewhere around Marble, Arkansas and I started living a wonderful life. The problems didn't disappear, but my life from that point on changed for the better. I've had to have that talk with God several times through the years but He fixes me everytime. Glad you are setting on top of the Limbo bar now Jayme!

  29. Oh, you watched Hee Haw too? Dolly looked particularly nice this week. Porter, not so much.

  30. i liked your post. you and your husband seem comical together. i vote for hee haw any day as well. good job on the "worry". this may sound strange, but i think you would get a lot of reinforcement if you read a book on codependency. think you'd be amazed at the similarities and gain a lot more insight. just a suggestion (hey, i'm a therapist - can't help it!)

  31. I love each and every thing about this post, from the kooky drawing to the advice on worrying. I am a worrier and I always need to be reminded of this! I think it is my way to "control" situations....but it just never works does it? And it totally robs you of living in the moment.

  32. Glad you're getting a handle on that worry thing. I've struggled with it all my life but have improve greatly in the last ten years or so. Also love your art. Signed: Another old pea brain

  33. Dear Queen of Whatever: That was the first Hoarders episode that I haven't been able to watch. I had to turn it off when I saw those poor chickens in the boxes. I hope they made her find good homes for all her animals. Some people just need a good kick!

  34. Good for you Jayme. It's very tough to step back when you think that there are things you could be doing to help others. I hope that it works out well for you and gets much easier.

    Take care,

  35. I still love reading your blog! We are of different generations, but I feel like we are very similar people, especially in the way we think! I am inspired by your blog, but also....well, it's just nice knowing that someone else is like me. :) Keep it up! You've got a great thing going, and Happy New Year!

  36. Hey Coop-er,

    Seems to me like you are moving along in the right direction... it's hard to relax the worry muscle.

    Will say a little prayer for you (& me) as you choose joy this year... happiness is easy... JOY is free... yet difficult to tap in to when we are stuck in worry.

    Cute chicken art... sure beats the flat chicken I just saw on Hoarders... I thought of you today when I saw an animal rescuer cradle a dying chicken... made me shed a little tear...

    JOY-FULL New Year to you and yours!

  37. Wonderful post Jaimie!I feel like I have been dealing with the same issues lately! I need to stop worrying and stressing over things I can't truly control! Loved the cute artwork! Hugs, Traci

  38. Where in Sam Hill have I been with this post? How did I miss it?

    Law, Girl. I love this post. Are you tired of me saying that? It sounds so unimaginative to keep saying I "love" this and that, but I do love your new 'tude. And please keep the Glenco stories coming. And just know that whenever I read one, I picture him in a wife beater, swimming the blue lagoon. It could be worse, yes it could.

  39. Smart Pink Chicken! Oh, that was the latest post, OK then, Smart White Chicken!



Thanks so much for leaving a comment!