You may be asking yourself, What happened to Sheryl yesterday? Or maybe you didn’t even notice I was silent.
Well, the truth be told I was out having fun most of the day, then I came home and scrubbed the bathtub, did laundry, dishes, cooked dinner, endured my husband’s choice of television programming and then went to bed. Such a glamorous life.
But, the most important part of the day was that I had fun! With a friend! I can have fun by myself or with Maggie, but this time it was with a real live human friend.
So, what did I do? Well…
Fabulous Friend & Food
The day started at a delightful restaurant in Houston called Neo Baguette. The interior is so elegant and sophisticated yet comfortable. It definitely has a European flair. Shades of gray provide the backdrop for the gorgeous crystal chandeliers, small square white marble bistro tables adorned with blue-gray velvet chairs. In one corner is a surprise pop of color. One long wall, corner and shorter wall are lined with a bright orange banquette. This is where we like to sit; in the corner so we have a full view of the restaurant. Delicious food, gorgeous environment and thoughtful and attentive service. What more could anyone ask for? We spent three fabulous hours talking and laughing while enjoying a Poulet Classique. It just doesn’t get any better than great friends and delicious food.
Crime Scene Clean Up
I have no pictures of how I spent the rest of my day. The bathtub in our guest bath looked like something horrible had happened in there. A despicable act that should have landed someone in prison. But, alas no…it was the remnants of a hair dyeing experiment gone array.
The oldest of our three grands got permission from mom to dye her hair with one of those “hair makeup” type cream hair color. Of course, she wanted red. We looked at all the videos, read the information on the company website and dove in. It took nearly an hour to apply this stuff to her entire head and then she had to wait, with a plastic grocery sack on her head, for an additional hour. She didn’t want to get into the shower, so she bent over in the bathtub to rinse until the water runs clear. What was left was a vampire blood red stain in the tub, walls, and even over on the toilet. She must have flipped that long hair all over the place.
Now, I take responsibility for some of this disaster. I was so concerned over the outcome, I didn’t want to witness it first hand. I did not go into the bathroom with her. Her younger sister was monitoring the situation for me. When she did emerge the result was as bad as I feared, and suddenly the bathroom was the least of my worries. This all took place on Saturday evening. I was so afraid the stains would be permanent that I made matters worse by procrastinating. My usual method of dealing with difficulty.
Finally by yesterday I knew this was not going to magically go away on its own. When old fashioned Ajax and elbow grease didn’t work I tried the modern marvel – a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. No luck there either. Panic was beginning to well up in my gut. Dydy (that’s what the grands call their grandfather) was going to see absolutely no humor in this at all. My last resort was pure bleach. I filled the bathtub with water and unloaded an entire gallon of bleach into it. As I did this I splashed the bleach onto the sides and top edges of the tube and just let it sit overnight.
I happily report to you this morning that my tub is now cleaner than it has been in years! Chey and I do not have to enter the witness protection program after all.
When I arrived home from my brunch engagement, I had a happy mail day. This book was recommended to me by the artist Denise Greenwood Loveless that I wrote about on Monday.
When I told her about my blog and the goal of finding the good and the fun in the everyday, she said this would provide interesting insight from a spiritual/mystical perspective.
What she didn’t know (but God does) is that I have a fascination with the long tradition of Christian mystics. Often known as The Desert Fathers – although there were women as well – these are people who seek a deeper, more personal connection with God thus they went out into the desert, away from all things and people, to be able to focus on God, watching and waiting for Him to reveal Himself through prayer, meditation and in the world around them.
While this is not a way of life for many today there is value in the practice. There is absolutely no reason why I can’t implement some of the spiritual practices of those who have gone before me. So why don’t I do it?
First…lack of personal discipline. Shameful but true. I am, at my core, a lazy person. I can sit and stare into space for hours; play games on my phone; watch tv; wander around my house and accomplish nothing. Once I am engaged I can work on a task until completion and then it is time to rest.
Next is my mindset that I need the perfect place in nature or a quiet room with just the right ambience in order to set the mood. Just typing this I know it is hogwash. It is an excuse.
Distractions – both good and not so good. Few of these distractions provide the mental quiet I need to empty myself in order to allow God in. My brunch friend spends time alone, in his gorgeous backyard hot tub and has these moments. He sets his alarm to get up really early to experience the sun rise and allow himself this kind of undisturbed spiritual connection. I don’t have a hot tub. My backyard is one big patch of grass; not even a tree for shade.
What all of that boils down to is a mindset. I am not of the mindset to do what I know is good and beneficial to me. It is easier to stay in familiar patterns and just keep plodding along wondering why nothing ever changes. Insert eye roll here.
I used to get up very early to go to work. It was still dark outside and I would come into the room where I currently am writing this post. I wouldn’t turn on any lights, I lit a candle; I just sat quietly allowing my mind to focus on God. Using a very dim little lamp, I read from the Bible and practiced centering prayer. This was the most sacred time of my life. I found a way to connect with my Creator in a powerful and personal way. I need no intermediary; that was taken care of in the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. I went straight to God the Father. As I write these words there is a sadness in my spirit. This all took place nearly twenty years ago. What a tragic amount of time I have lost. Or have I?
Had I not had that experience I would not be able to recall it and have this longing in my soul. We are allowed free will to choose or not to choose a relationship with God. I haven’t lost my relationship but I would say that today we are more acquaintances that deep soul mates. That is my fault. God didn’t step back, I did.
So now I have a choice. What will I choose and how will I remedy the situation? First I must identify the thing that took the place of this morning ritual. That’s a no brainer – electronic devices. Specifically my phone and the television. I no longer turn the tv on in the morning. That was a lifelong habit I broke because it distracts me and fills my head with noise. And I love watching TV, so I must monitor that activity. Next, my phone. The gateway to the world and ultimate idol. God warns about the love of money not because money is bad but because it changes people’s priorities and focus. Greed is a very real problem. We are also warned about “craven images” not to worship anything besides God. I don’t want to sound too much like an old fuddy-duddy but, cell phones are at once a blessing and a curse. I am chief among the sinners on this one. Again, the cell phone is not evil. It is an inanimate object. It is how we humans use it and the importance it has in our lives that is the problem.
For the next week I am going to change up my routine. First thing in the morning will be the time for a nice cup of tea and time with God. Then I will take Maggie for a short walk to get our blood stirring. And finally I will read then blog. I need to set a timer for some of these tasks as I can get so engrossed that I run out of time for all the other necessary stuff. I’ll let you know next Thursday how things went. My plan is that this will be the beginning of a new morning routine and a healthier mind, body and spirit. All of our days are limited and to waste this precious gift is such a tragedy.
What about you? Is there something that you do that has become so routine that you’re not even sure why you do it anymore? It is so easy to slip into these places and they become spiritual wastelands. Just one small change could be the domino that sets a whole new life in motion. Give it a try and let me know how it is going for you.
Until tomorrow, keep looking up, embrace today, and go find some fun.