Getting Out of Ruts – A Painful Process

Justus concerned? about new dog in room next door.
Justus concerned about new dog in room next door.

I’m on vacation this week. I actually left town with Justus, my American dog who looks like a Doberman until you put him next to a Doberman; then he looks like a really funny Greyhound/Coonhound mix. I meant to go to Eureka Springs, AR but was delightfully delayed by two situations, so I ended up stopping in Branson, MO. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been in what I consider a tourist trap town – and I got trapped. On my way in, I ended up signing up to listen to a timeshare presentation for “only 2 hours.”

Being a people pleasing person, I listened, toured, applied to see about credit, was made a very good final offer but left in tears after over 3 hours. My dog was at my motel. I only had TWO nights away from home; the plan was to not cause any more stress, and yet I did – and so did they.  I find Branson itself stressful – full of tourist signs and neon. Seems this city girl became a country girl in the last 20 years or so.

However, after leaving and being in such distress that several people asked me if I was all right on my way out, I thought to myself, WHY was I so distressed? The last offer, a 2 year trial at a reasonable rate (for them), would have gotten me to Alaska, my Bucket LIst vacation destination. The young closer pissed me off when I tried to discuss how important pet friendly accommodations are to me: “No Alaskan cruise will allow pets….” I know he was just doing his job and I knew later I should have walked away from the beginning. Then the second closer came in and made the best offer. I refused it because I was so stressed by that time (I thought) but really, thinking later, I wonder….am I afraid of committing myself to a vacation, a real vacation, each year? I don’t even have to use a whole week at a time – 2-3 days OR a week. I’m also upset for people pleasing again and upsetting myself as well as the presenters and workers. I’m not sorry I walked away. I’m thinking, though, of checking this place out again next year…waiting for that last offer….and committing to a vacation.

When I stopped at the Branson Information Station, I had no clue it was a front for a timeshare or vacation ownership situation. Naive. Long not traveled. Hopefully, by next summer, I’ll be down more dogs (I’ve stopped rescuing but will cont. fostering) which will give me more leeway. I’m working hard at paying off my credit cards by snowballing them which is another reason I turned down the final offer today. My financial officer and I have a plan and I want to finish working that plan. So what did I do? Took my dog with me for some retail therapy. He did GREAT in the stores :).

Who knows? Perhaps in two years, I’ll have been to Alaska.

Addendum Sept. 27, 2014 – After more consideration, I’ve decided to SAVE the maintenance fees plus most likely others not disclosed for a very good vacation with Justus next year.

Two Yellow Dogs

Russian Yellow Retriever from 1915
Russian Yellow Retriever from 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two yellow dogs sleep on a painted floor.

One fluffy, tufts of fur ripe for brushing or plucking,

Fur not long but dense,

thick, a cozy coat craving cooler weather.

She quivers in her sleep,

gently puffing her cheeks, flipping her paws,

traversing a landscape unknown,

perhaps dreaming of a puppyhood long, long ago.

The other with short fur sleeps full-out flat,

sporadically stretching her limbs straight.

This dog’s fur glistens in the light,

a brilliant gold startling in its reminder of her Weimaraner heritage

gently blended with other breeds,

a sweet yellow gold gleaming girl

in her twilight years, whose days ebb and flow with energy and ennui.

Two yellow dogs sleep on a painted floor.

~ Roberta Beach

Other Worlds, Other Peoples

Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura.
Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In her most recent program, “On Exoplanets and Love,” of On Being, Krista Tippett makes, to me, a startling observation – that, should we find life on other planets, the find would negate our view and reverence for God.

I may need to edit my assertion, but I heard something similar and was astounded.

I grew up a Sci Fi fan (not SyFy!) and a devotee of the original Star Trek series, of which there was a program that, indeed, on an M class planet, evidence of Son worship was noted, but not the Sun, as clarified by Lt. Uhura, but the Son of God. Of course, God would offer salvation to any and all who are in need, or, perhaps, we are the only sinners. How can finding or even the possibility of sentient life on other planets or galaxies threaten our belief in God?

I plan to listen to this program again tonight. Sometimes, I offend people by insisting God is asexual/without gender. A good friend asserted to me “God is a man.” He is also a woman depicted by the creation of Eve and the evidence of the feminine Wisdom in the wisdom literature and the Holy Spirit.

God tells us “my thoughts are not your thoughts nor my ways your ways.” We have NO CLUE of the true majesty of God. I believe – and certainly others, who may look and be very different from us, surely also believe. Jesus had “other sheep.” To me, they were those on other planets. God bringing salvation not only to our world but to the whole of Creation fills me with awe and humility.

What Would You Die For?

 

These three questions have haunted me this week since I listened to Karen Michel on To the Best of our Knowledge via podcast.  Karen grabbed my wee brain, shook it and made me THINK – I continue to think and ponder and think some more:

“What do you live for?”

“What would you die for?”

“What would you kill for?”

Her interview and questions are part of a series by TTBooK on democracy – I highly recommend them esp. in this time of election weariness and advertising slams. Why do we vote? Won’t the candidate with the most money and best political machine win anyway?

And please, please, stop with “the American people” crap. Those in Congress have such a poor approval rating for several reasons:

  1. The Tea Party representatives and Senators won’t compromise.
  2. Few know how to compromise anymore – so, until you ALL get out of your political zones and start to really work for this country and its people, don’t speak for “the American People.”
  3. We are waiting for you to work instead of squabble.
  4. Just because we have almost instant communication these days doesn’t mean you (all of you) can’t say “I need to research and think about this or that.” Off the cuff leadership sucks….and we are tired of it (and I’m not talking about the President alone but all the leaders we have elected to work and THINK on our behalf).

Here’s something else I’m wondering about: basically, we all want “smaller government.” For me, it means giving back to the States many of the rights we have forwarded to the Federal Govt. But what will happen with “smaller government?” I live in Missouri – in a place of extreme drought this summer; the entire state has qualified for Federal Disaster assistance. If we had “smaller government,” are we willing to give this up? how about farm subsidies (though I think some of those are going away soon; don’t quote me)? education assistance? school lunch programs?  Think what you are willing to give up or modify for smaller government.

Back to Karen’s questions: what do you think? How would YOU answer them? There is no right or wrong answer – to me, they are a means to align myself with sound thinking, not bouncing off what society says is the way to go/be/act or my ego/id, etc.