Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Who Gets Me?"

Yesterday my little one asked a lot of questions about who would "get" her if her Mommy and Daddy were to get a divorce.

What kind of a world...

I HATE that a child has to even THINK this thought...much less know anyone who has had to deal with this tragic occurrence in their life. Much less, MY child. I want to protect her from all of these things. And to think that MY life has led to some of her questions? Well that's just sick.

Talking with her revealed that she is not overwhelmed with the thought...just morbidly curious. Oh course we all do that on occasion:

"What would happen if I lose my job?"

"What would happen if I lost my house?"

"What would happen if I lost my spouse?"

"What would happen if I got a disease?"

"What if I lose my sense of sight?"

"What if they made a blockbuster movie about ROM Spaceknight and my whole series of ROM comics sold for $5,000,000?"

I try to throw a little wishful thinking in with my morbid curiosity from time to time...

(Yup...I have ALL of them...in little plastic bags...in a box in my closet...(oh no, I'm still a geek!))

Anyway. I think her Mom and I did a pretty good job of helping her understand that we would not do that to her...AND...that there are plenty of people to care for her (Big Brother, Auntie Hill, Auntie LaLa, Auntie BoBo....etc....)

Besides, she used her fears to reassure herself that Mommy and Daddy would indeed fight over her (and she demonstrated for us by having us act this out by playing tug of war with her arms.)

So, until her next bout of morbid curiosity...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why Can't I Fly?

Sitting here preparing to blog, I experienced one of those sudden dream memories. Two nights ago I had a semi-lucid dream in which I was walking somewhere and thought to myself, "I wonder if I can fly in this dream." Low and behold, I spread out my arms and willed myself off of the ground and into the air. Though I wasn't streamlined darting through the skies like Superman, I was certainly high enough to land on buildings and such. I even grabbed my wife by the hand and flew her up to a building with me. It was a really great feeling...a great dream.

So, why can't I dream like that every night? Why do most of my dreams involve random silly things like driving around (at night...all of my dreams seem to involve night-time) looking for a store or wandering through the halls in a school looking for the classroom in which I am supposed to teach? And then there are the worst of the worst, the apparent dreams were I am trying to count to a high number....Really?....That's the best my mind can come up with, counting? How disappointing.

I've studied lucid dreaming or "gaining conscious awareness while in a dream." It takes practice for most, comes naturally for a few. I don't practice....and I don't follow "good sleep hygiene" which means, among other things that I don't sleep 8 hours a night, and I don't go to sleep at the same time each evening. Perhaps that has something to do with the lack of frequency in my lucid dreaming.

Come to think of it, I haven't been flying much at all lately, asleep or awake. (I believe the two are related as well...when feeling burdened by life or self...it is probably difficult to dream about being light, carefree, and soaring like an eagle.)

Along with a host of other issues and burdens I imagine for myself, a main culprit is a lack of "lucid living." Lucid literally means "easily understood, intelligible." That works well for the term "lucid dreaming" as in understanding your dream while you are dreaming and thus, being able to take control. I am learning that, for me, it is easier to be lucid while dreaming, than it is to be lucid when awake. I expect my dreams to be ridiculous and often apparently meaningless. When they start to take on intelligible shape...I wake up and take notice. My life? Well that I expect, and even demand to have intelligible and occasionally easily understood meaning. When it does not, I feel as grounded as

When I looked it up, I was reminded that there is another meaning to the word lucid:

"Mentally sound; sane or rational."

Yup. That fits me to a tee right now. I have been walking around in the doldrums as if the reality I perceive is the reality in which I actually live. That's.....schizophrenia...or at least the illusory world of depression and anxiety.

I was venting to my wife the other night that my frustration with myself has rarely been higher since...things in my life are actually quite good right now. Health, spouse, child, job(s), vacation....all peaches. So what the heck do I suppose is wrong with me?

If God were like my earthly dad, I'd be hearing a heavenly "I'll GIVE you something to gripe about!" right about now...fortunately, I am pretty much finished with the old Pity Party. (It was certainly a nice one though... complete with popped balloons, dark brooding colors, wasted time, and oh the irritability!")

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I (and don't forget ME!)

We're engaged in an excellent study in Sunday school right now about spiritual gifts/strengths. I was struck this morning ONE, that I pretty well figured mine out and TWO, that unless used for service, the gifts lead to total brokenness. For example, for those of us who have a gift of sensitivity (Read with an Eddie Murphy lisp as in: "He's so sensitive.."), when used for service it becomes a tool to identify and build up those who are emotionally broken. When used for self...you guessed it...it leads to self-pity, hurt feelings, and isolation.

I was not designed to be this -

I was designed to be a part of this -- Thank God for His provision for the numerous back-ups needed when I decide to go it alone for awhile!

No wonder I feel useless while serving self....I am.

Lucid living...get plenty of rest, pray, eat right, bad stuff in moderation, spend time with my child, love my wife, and open my arms...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Daddy Cried"

Quite a bit has happened here in this small town since my last entry. Not much of it is really important enough to blog about...but it has been a busy beginning to the summer. I am well into my "summer funk" which lets me know that if/when I retire, my wife will have to kill me to put me out of her misery. You would think that I would be happy that I don't have to work at my teaching job during the summer, but no. Although I am still teaching online, and still see people in the afternoons, I get mildly "depressed." Maybe it's boredom, maybe it's lack of "doing important stuff," maybe it is my genetic link to my father, probably it is a mixture of all of those and more. I know it's not pleasant to me, or my wife. Fortunately, I am a "professional" and know how to fake it.

Unrelated...or maybe slightly related, I turned 42 last Friday. As my wife informed me, I am very easy to buy for but very difficult to celebrate for...as, I like to make my birthday kind of a "week long national holiday, treat me super special" time. She is really good at it however, and I recieved some royal treatment leading up to my special day. My sister arrived a day before and had arranged to have live Maine lobster's shipped to our home. I don't think I have every had a 2 lb. lobster...until last Friday. It was awesome!

Then my daughter got into the act and, without knowing it, made my 42nd birthday more special and more important than any other. She gave me a card. Actually she gave me three cards. She loves the cards that play songs when you open them and so she had been collecting them for quite some time to give to me.

One of those cards, happened to be a father's day card she decided to give me for my birthday, was one which allows you to record your own message prior to the music playing...(have you put this all together yet?) Well, she recorded a message for me. She did it all by herself, worked really hard to get it just right. I had no idea and so, when I opened it and heard her voice, I cried. Not that little crying which you can hide; not the couple of tears sliding down my face cry but a real live total loss of composure. She has never seen me cry before. That's probably not a great thing to admit, but it is the truth. I am as guilty as many other men of hiding that range of my emotional expression.

She probably had no idea what was going on for a short time, then I remember someone telling her that she had just made her Daddy VERY happy and she understood that these were happy tears. Well then she climbed on my lap and held me very tight...which of course touched me even more so I had quite a little cry with my daughter (who by now was crying too).

I was assured after the fact by my sister that Dora Diane would forever remember that day as a wonderful day when she deeply touched her father's heart. Indeed, she has been quite close to me since that time, even more so than usual...and we are pretty close.

I'm glad she got to see that. I tell her I love her all the time. I show her I love her too, but tears like that say "You're awesome and I love you!" in a very powerful way. I knew it would eventually happen...like when she graduates, when she gets married, has a child....oh man, my macho eyes are going to be red.