Soul Doubt: 05/2008 - 06/2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finding Serenity in Chaos

Once again, I find too much time has elapsed between posts... enough where I'm not even sure where to begin. In fact, at times I wonder if I should simply retire this humble little smorgasbord of thoughts and events and just stick to commenting on HBO. Lord knows I have enough in my life to keep busy- why complicate it with an online smattering of mundanity and miscellany?

I suppose the answer is that I feel driven to record at least some of what transpires in this chaotic jumble of joy and angst, be it once a month or every other day; whenever I feel the urge to type out my trauma or triumphs. I'd be willing to bet I'm not alone in this need- bloggers worldwide probably have similar motives.

This last month has been a mixture of why-me's and what-now's... starting with a theft which occurred at the Valley Mall while I was getting my son's one year photos taken. Laden down with the props (front-end loader, whirly-gig top, Horton the stuffed elephant), a massive diaper bag stuffed with several changes of clothes, Jameson himself strapped into his Jeep stroller, I opted to transfer some of the contents of my purse into a pocket of the diaper bag to lighten my load a bit. So in went my check card/ driver's license holder, keys, and cell phone. Thinking it would be all good as long as I locked up, I then stuffed my purse with its remaining contents under the seat, and headed on in to Penney's.
I returned after a wonderful hour of adorable shots (they do such a good job there) so I could stuff the crap back into the car and browse around with my son and sister while we waited for the photos to develop enough for us to pick out our faves. My first warning that something was amiss was when I noticed the door was unlocked, when I KNEW I had locked it. Next, I dug around under the seat and came up empty, when I KNEW I had stashed my purse there. Next, I noticed there was no ipod converter hooked up to my stereo, and the charger was gone as well. Funny enough, they left the book of cd's which was the entire Old and New Testament Bible collection. I almost wish they would've taken that, too- maybe they would've learned something about the selfish sin of thievery.

After realizing all this, I wasn't so much frantic as I was bummed out... I knew that nothing in the purse was irreplaceable, really. My checkbook was easily canceled out that afternoon, with my checkcard tied to the new account; my business cards can all be replaced. My lone credit card was maxed out anyhow, and a simple phone call solved that problem. The thing which I'm a bit worried about is the fact that my social security card was still in my purse- I had needed it for some forms earlier that week, and hadn't gotten around to putting it back in my files at home. But, like I was commenting on another forum, if whatever crackhead that stole my stuff wants to try to assume my identity, they're in for a big surprise: a criminal record, felony probation, and miserable credit that I'm just now in the long, slow process of repairing.

But I went through the obligatory process of alerting mall security; they said that there had been a rash of slim-jimming car break-ins as of late, and to not get my hopes up for the return of my purse. Or ipod and accessories, of course. Duh.

The upside of all this was how wonderful everyone I called to alert about the theft was... for instance, I had just purchased an area rug at St. Vinnie's, but hadn't gotten a chance to pick it up yet, since my husband's truck was over in Post Falls and I needed a babysitter before I could go pick it up and drive out to get the rug. I needed the claim ticket to do it with, though, and of course that was in my stolen purse. Once I explained the situation to the lady, she was super sympathetic and helpful to the point of even offering to have one of their guys deliver the darn thing, after the rough day I'd had. Now that's enough to restore one's faith in human kindness, don't you think? I didn't take her up on the offer, but it sure made me feel better.
I had also had a Bible study scheduled for that night, but by the time I was done with all the phone calls and other nonsense, I just dropped by the church and told the ladies I was just going to head home instead. They gave me a round of hugs and promised to pray for me, and that cheered me up immensely as well.

All this happened a couple days before Jameson's and my big trip over to the coast, and I was stressed enough about all the preparation for that, that I almost called the whole damn thing off before I realized I was working myself up a little too much, and needed to just give it over to God and calm the heck down. So I did, and after a good night's sleep, managed to get all our bags packed (you wouldn't believe how much STUFF a one-year-old needs just for a four-day trip!) and Tony settled in for a stretch at home alone (clean house, couple frozen meals for him to heat up- since we've been married he seems to have forgotten how to cook and clean).

Friday afternoon we loaded up the car- toys, clothes, carseat, portable highchair, stroller, car DVD player with his Praise Baby and Baby Einstein DVD's, and snacks for me and the mom, aunt and grandma- then hit the road. I mapquested it out to the ferry in Seattle, then the last leg of the trip to the Port Townsend island was only another hour or so; all in all it was only about 6 or 7 hours on the road. We had fun, though. Lots of stops, lots of pictures, a couple good meals... no rush, just good times with family. We made it to my aunt's house over there late in the evening, got a good night's rest, then packed our next two days with lots of trips to the ocean, a barter fair, some street performances downtown, even a ride on Uncle Frankie's Harley (a first for Jameson- he absolutely adored it). Then, a good breakfast and some tearful goodbyes, and what seemed like an endless drive home. We got back yesterday, and I think I'm still car-lagged. One of the best Mother's Days ever, though, I think- both for me, my mom, and my grandma (who is still recovering from her stroke, and thankfully handled the trip well, too).

More and more, I'm realizing that the best things in life are the memories we accumulate with our family and friends- especially when time flies by so quickly. You never know how long you'll have with someone you care about: their time- or yours!- could come before you know it, before you have a chance to say goodbye or to make peace, so sharing good times and cherishing every moment we have is paramount to just about anything else- be it material goods, careers, wasted time staring incessantly at either the idiot box or the computer... there's so much more to life, and why waste it on solitary activities when you could be sharing precious moments with our loved ones?

Why? Petty resentments, family feuds and spats, jealousy or envy of "the Jones's"- all these pale in comparison to the joys and fulfillment we can savor when we find it in ourselves to forgive those transgressions- both real and imagined- against us, and simply love those who love us as well- even if they don't quite know how to show it sometimes.

Think about it. Think about what's really important, and maybe try mending some bridges, if necessary. What do you have to lose? The chance to make some more precious memories, that's what- and those you'll never lose.