Monthly Archives: December 2013

A blessed New Year to you all!

New Years Eve, a time for reflection on the past year.  Sometimes it is tempting to put a value on everything and weigh it up and say good year, bad year.  All of this is rather subjective and relative.  Looking at my blog there is a constant theme, the posts that got the most attention were around weight-loss, one of the tags that got the most attention was hope.  I have been thinking about these things both in a personal way, how that reflects on me and how that reflects on society, so first to weight loss.

2013 has been a bad year for me I have gained significant weight, 14 – 16 kgs  (depending on the time of day)at the moment from my low point.  I see this, on scales, in my clothes and in my photos. There are a number of contributing factors to this as I have pointed out in the past but they are only excuses, in the end it is in my control.  I took ownership of this two weeks ago,(yes a real good time of the year). So I have set my goal to get to 80 kgs this year.  A big goal but some big reasons.  I have had a terrible back since 1998, the last year it has been atrocious.  I am awaiting yet another MRI scan, no 4 for the year!!  But this time the specialist says he believes it is my hip and it probably needs replacing.  I am not very keen on that at all to say the least! So I will focus on weight-loss and fitness and see if that makes a difference.

As to hope well that is a mixed bag. The children have dome pretty well, as anyone will  tell you as a parent one often worries for their children, but overall they are doing ok.  I have had almost a full year of employment and have a contract for the next year. It is not perfect as I have nearly an hours travel each way but it is work and I am grateful for that.  I have made some good friends but there is still a significant hole in my life.  I am unsure that such a hole is fill-able in the foreseeable future.  In the New Zealand Herald there is an article about one of the dating websites “findsomeone” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10775973 they provide a list of the most searched for profiles with the 5 top characteristics of what men and woman are looking for.

Women want 1. Non-smoker 2. Casual drinker 3. No kids 4. NZ European 5. Christian

Men want 1. Non-smoker 2. No kids 3. Casual drinker 4. NZ European 5. Blonde hair.

Well even if I was an Adam and Steve man I would be out of luck.  I have children and I look after them week in and week out.  That is my life.  Interesting that a lot of woman who do not want their partner to have children of their own say must like children!  Causes me to scratch my head for sure.  However such is life.   I make 4 out of 5 on the women’s list!  SO maybe hope is their?  In the mean time I have plenty to keep me busy but it is the long term lonliness that attacks me and rasps at my soul like a blunt file, just taking a little bit off me at a time, enough to make me bleed, usually on the inside but not enough to kill me.  The problem with constant wounding is the scar tissue and the desire to protect oneself from wounding.

I wrote a poem the other day for the first time in 12 months, it was a little flicker of recognition that the words are still there but the desire is not in my hear right now.  I continue to blog and hope to do so on a more regular basis over the year and should I find a spare 5oo ( I know you can stop laughing now) I will publish my book.

2013 has not been a complete loss but it has had it’s challenges, left its scars and had a few moments of triumph.

I wont be setting any New Years resolutions as such as I already have them as goals, just the one to continue to live , laugh and love.

I pray that your New Year is a good one!

Paul

 

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Hope deferred Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire is fulfilled it is a tree of life.  I have been thinking about my next blog, and remembered that I was going to continue to write on the theme of rejection, I read the phrase as above, about hope deferred, and it triggered my thinking again. Some days I wish I didn’t think so much but that’s another story.

I guess that I was cognisant of being different from a reasonably early age, my memories of school for the most are pretty negative.  I was always on the outside, skinny dyspraxic and intelligent.  A sure-fire recipe for being marked out for bullying from an early age. Dyspraxia is also known as clumsy child syndrome, often associated with low upper body strength, poor co-ordination and terrible hand writing.

That was me, no gloves for me as I could not get my fingers into them, mittens only,  Shoe laces done up, hah fat chance!  Buttons correct, even less of a show.  I do remember thos things, I am not sure about being a messy eater then but today I can still be found feeding myself off my shirt at times.  With food smeared around my mouth.

I must have been a challenge to my mum (God bless her soul).  I remember her remonstrating once that our boarder ( a filthy paedophile) but that’s another story) who was blind could do up his buttons but I couldn’t.  Now I have talked about being bullied before by my classmates and peers so today I am not going there.  I was marked out by some teachers because of my terrible writing and my lack of co-ordination.  I was terribly un-organised and lost things often, one of the other things which go with dyspraxia is ADHD and whilst I have no formal diagnosis I know I meet all of the DSMV criteria for having this developmental disorder.

I was small and unco so when teams were picked I would be last to be picked, lumped in with the geeky girls it was like, well there is Cronin and three girls left you can have them and I will have the remaining boy.  To make it worse I was a better than average singer and was eloquent as well  A recipe for social disaster.  Now about here you are probably saying what the hey ho has this got to do with hope deferred.  Well essentially hope deferred means being without hope.

There are some times where I come to a point in my life where there seems to be no hope for the things that I wish to have in my life.  On reflection this is really around the issue of relationships and how I view them.  What I need to remember is that there are people whom have their hope deferred by being in a relationship.  Some of these people see the only way out of such a relationship is by death, either theirs or their partners.  There has been the odd time where I have thought it would be better if I simply did not wake up in the morning.  Not an active wish to be dead but certainly not wanting to be alive.

This is usually triggered for me by the emotional reserves being run down by extra occurrences.  I have been struggling with a lot of pain in my back over the last year and recently was told that I may need a hip replacement, their is some basis for a belief that it is my hip giving me the severe pain levels.  I have struggled with this as I am only 50 and frankly am not interested in having a hip replaced. In the end I may have no alternative but to get on with it but in the mean time I will see what I can do.

I got back on my bike the other day and did 10 kms (albeit on the flat) but still I felt good.  I need to crank a whole lot more kms. At the height of it all I just wanted to shut the doors and turn out the lights. The pain levels have been horrendous at times leaving me thinking about that other area of deferred hope, a relationship.  Well I haven’t given up yet on that. It has come close, I doubt my ability to love again, I chomp at my lack of free time.  However I have found I still have hope.

So on this Christmas Eve where the essential message is hope I want to wish you all the very best for a new year and my hope is that you will find a tree of life with desires being fulfilled, not the carnal desires that we all have ,but the very groans of our hearts and souls.

Paul

Persona non grata.

You are not welcome, get lost. Don’t touch me.Image  Many of us have experienced that feeling of being unwelcome.  It comes in many forms and at many levels.  Sometimes it is a consequence that is well deserved, reserved for criminals, predators and other such ilk. Other times it is an outworking of small minds and people who are emotionally illiterate or just plain bigots.  As I move through this blog I must say that at times I am sure that I have been guilty of making people feel unwelcome, perhaps even deliberately.  I would hope however that I have been upfront with it.

Have you ever walked into a room and it goes quiet, people look away, they look guilty, you get the feeling they have been talking about you.  Alternatively, your texts are not returned, emails stop, phone calls disappears.  Even worse is in relationships, touch disappears intimacy is gone and yet nothing has been said, one just gets that awkward feeling and one just doesn’t want to be there any more.  Another version of this is small town syndrome.   You cannot get a job, rent a house, no  one visits or in my case an ultimate humiliation no one turns up for your birthday party.

These are all experiences I have had all of those experiences and a few more besides.  So the theme for my next few blogs will be persona non grata and how that reflects on those around us rather than the one who suffers the ignominy of that experience.  Some of the situations I will share are pretty personal and I acknowledge that they may even embarrass and quite possibly annoy or Imageengender anger.  I will try not to identify anyone and if I do end up being offensive and anyone feels that it is unfair then please feel free to drop me a line or give me a call we can discuss it. Likewise I have been getting quite a bit of feedback from people saying they love my blog but they don’t agree with everything I say.  Well I am pleased that we don’t agree, Ralph Waldo Emerson said “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines”.  I would however love to engage with people where I am not agreed with and to enter into a discussion instead of remaining comfortable in my opinions.

So before I go any further I guess perhaps I should give a little background as to where I am on this subject.  I am not a conformist.  I have never been a conformist, in some way or another I am always bucking some expectation.  As Rita Mae Brown says “I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”  My lack of conformity exhibits itself in many different ways, as a child my non conformity was shown by what some people may call conformity, I took pride in being good mannered and polite.  Some of those things are ingrained in me, I most often hold doors open for people, offer to help in situations and do the right thing and oh and please don’t make me vomit by calling me a “good man”.   From an early age I took the side of the underdog, part of that was influenced by my Father and an Uncle and their emphasis on social justice.  Part of that is also to do with my beliefs and what I think the bible instructs us to do. This has often come at cost.

I have been paying the price for my non conformity in many ways for many years and whilst I would at times dearly love to be seen as part of society, to be included, normal and by some peoples measure whole I know that the cost of such conformity would be immense. Jiddu Krishnamurti said “it is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”  I remind myself of the cost of conformity often by trying to live to the following maxims. I want to be condemned for my passion not my mediocrity and that if I have nothing left in my life apart from my integrity then I pray that God gives me the strength and the grace to know that this is indeed enough. I wish you well in your journey of life.Image