Friday, March 08, 2019

A change of pace

I think I have said what I have to say about grief, recovery and finding life again.

So, a change of pace.

I retire on March 17.  While our home will be graced by a nephew and others, Win and I will be backpacking, at least for a while.

http://ethesis.wordpress.com/ is where my future adventures are being recorded.

Since I will be backpacking I expect my religious/spiritual posts at https://wheatandtares.org/author/ethesis/ will probably slow down as well.

Now that location was originally a WordPress blog I started just to try WordPress and never did any "real" posts.  Then I tried some various trail journal solutions, but WordPress has a great app that allows me to upload pictures and posts from my phone -- which is all I need when backpacking.

I'm taking up from where I left off at

I enjoyed using Blogger.  If I was carrying a laptop on the trail with me, I'd probably consider still using it.  But with only a phone to use as a camera and everything else, the WordPress App works so much better.

Really useful stretches for hiking:  https://happytrailsandwanderlust.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/suggested-trail-stretches/

There are some anomalies using my pre-existing WordPress blog.  My first post was dated September 27, 2005 -- and did not have any content until I updated/started using it in March of 2019.  That is why it has a comment from "Mr. WordPress" that is basically a tutorial on comments.

The url reflects a name unrelated to the blog name.  But since this is just for my personal use and for friends, it doesn't really matter.

Starting March 7, I've started blogging there about our attempts to hike the Appalachian Trail for a sixth time following my retirement.

After that I plan to do some volunteering and take some classes.

Everyone I've met on the path of loss and grief is still in my heart.  I have not forgotten.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

On hope

Borrowed from Tatiana Boshenka
Thought 1: This post reminds me of what Vaclav Havel said about hope:
. . [T]he kind of hope I often think about (especially in situations that are particularly hopeless, such as prison) I understand above all as a state of mind, not a state of the world. Either we have hope within us, or we don’t. . . . Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart. It transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. . . .
I feel that its deepest roots are in the transcendental, just as the roots of human responsibility are, though of course I can’t – unlike Christians, for instance — say anything about the transcendental. . . .
“Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. 
The more unpromising the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is. Hope is not the same thing as optimism.
It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. In short, I think that the deepest and most important form of hope, the only one that can keep us above water and urge us to good works, and the only true source of the breathtaking dimension of the human spirit and its efforts, is something we get, as it were, from ‘elsewhere.’
It is also this hope, above all, that gives us the strength to live and continually to try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now.”
Disturbing the Peace, pp. 181-182

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Grief, recovery and changes

One thing that happened, each time a child died, a coping mechanism that I was using broke with the death.

I used to walk by myself to reduce stress,  I just couldn't do it until last year.  Unless someone walked with me I just couldn't do it.  I started working out with Shotokan again after Courtney died and before Robin died.  I had real problems trying to do that again, even though I loved karate.

But a couple of years ago, that finally started working for me.

Journaling is something I have been able to do again.

In many ways, it is as if in the last two-three years my life has started over.  Heck, about fourteen years ago, when I started losing weight (and could tolerate losing weight) it was obvious that things were still moving.

The recovery from grief and the broken parts of my life has been continuing and steady.

I could wish I were younger but time and age happen to us all.

I'm so grateful for my life, for my children and most of all, for my wife who has stayed with me through thick and thin.