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Saturday, August 31, 2013

migraine tracking

When I went to the doctor's on Thursday, I had a migraine. I didn't go there because of my migraine; my appointment and the blasted migraine just happened to occur on the same day. My doctor asked when I last had a migraine and the honest answer was I don't know. I tend to track it in my blog and hadn't looked to see. We concluded that I went at least 2 months without a migraine, a vast improvement from when I had a headache at least 5 out of 7 days for about a month. My doctor informed me that those headaches may have also been migraines, just smaller ones. She said there are actually 3 types of migraines but most people only refer to the worse/biggest ones as migraines. This migraine started Wednesday evening. I blew it off, took Execedrin migraine and went swimming. Did okay at the pool. Didn't get worse, just didn't get better. There was one spot with too much light but other than standing there, it went okay. Wednesday night, vomiting. Thursday, felt horrible but did my norm of pushing myself to go into work with the agreement to work a half-day or stay depending on how it went once I got there. Extremely busy. Stayed all day. Friday morning, couldn't get out of the bed to go to my morning training that I sincerely wanted to attend. Slept about 18 hours on Friday. Today, I finally feel better, though not healed. Today, finally, my symptoms are relatively controlled as long as I take imitrix every 5 hours and don't sit too much under overhead light. Not eating seems like a great way to keep the food down so that's mostly been my strategy these past few days. Bread works well. Noodles. Tried rice tonight but didn't get very far. Popsiclea okay; yea. Ice cream is horrible. I canceled my trip to Memphis for the weekend due to not feeling well. What's the point of driving there just to lay around? It's possible that my food allergy triggered this one. I dined in at a Chinese place ad felt some reactions kicking up. Benadryll kept it from getting bad. So, here's my migraine tracking and a prayer to have it all end rly soon. Tomorrow?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

fictious group planning

The name? Beloved Community Faith Group & Beloved Community of Faith are the current top contenders in my head right now. Other ideas have been Community of Hope-- the day after being inspired with "beloved" I noticed we have a Communities of Hope Church in Jackson; don't rly want to be confused for them. Community of Faith-- okay... Hesitant to be "of faith" 'cause I want so many ppl to feel welcomed in this group and some people may not be "in faith" yet. Also, sounds very generic. At the same time, I want the type of grp to be somewhat obvious in the name. Beloved Community Spirit Group? Beloved Community Spiritual Group? I think of it as a spiritual journey, a faith walk. Beloved because all are welcomed, all are loved. God does not choose and exclude, only mankind. I've also thought about something along the lines of Spirit Quest to honor the idea of the journey and coming from a place of spiritual thirst for me.

Of bigger issue, imo, is the description. I don't know what phrase to use to tell people what this group is. "Bible Study" is not fitting. But jotting down key words while at the doctor's last week, an appropriate statement to put on the meetup page's description began to form. Working with that idea:

[Group name] seeks to be a diverse, spiritual community composed of people of various races, genders, sexual orientations, educational levels, financial statuses, and physical abilities. Our desire is to support one another in our individual spiritual journeys. We seek to grow together through spiritually enriching activities such as book readings, Bible studies, devotionals, conversations about social and economic justice, discussions examining how everyday choices are a reflection of our faith decisions, and through service opportunities. [Group name] is a group of loving individuals that welcomes everyone to show up where they are, recognizing that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).

[Group name] questions, "where does faith intersect with real life responsibility?" Conversation pieces may question:
To what extent, as a person of faith, am I responsible for "giving back to my community"?
Does faith imply that we are to be politically active or politically absent?
To Spotify or not?
Purchase or pirate? Download or go to the store?
Do I have a responsibility to buy or drink fair trade coffee?
Am I responsible for taking care of the environment?
Should my faith influence where I shop or what products I buy?
What does God really ask of me & when is enough finally enough?!

I'd especially like some feedback on the first paragraph.  Feel free to share your thoughts on the description thus far-- positive, negative, what stands out to you?

Location, location, location? Where shall this group meet? I think frequency should be determined by the group-- weekly or biweekly? One concern I have on location is cost. I don't think it'd be outrageous to collect money to help with room fees or meetup fees as is where this group will begin. I also don't want to pay $50 per meeting to sit somewhere. There are free locations-- coffee shops, restaurants-- but those places lack privacy and I want everyone to be comfortable to share and discuss. I wonder what community centers Jackson has... An Internet search suggests that Westwood Rec, Northside Lions Community Center, and T.R. White Sportsplex are the only ones with meeting space. Some places to call and inquire about availability include:
1. Westwood Rec Center   Their website says meeting space is free to non-profits. Lord knows I'm not trying to make money from this group but I'm also not trying to file for a 501c3. I'll call to see what they'll charge for this.
2. University of Memphis, Lambuth surely has meeting space. Might cost more than the Rec Center though.
        * Wow! I think I just discovered they have a free planetarium:
3. The Lift is our new, fancy gym. I suspect their meeting space reservation is pricy. Or maybe I was thinking of the Jackson Walk in general instead of the Lift Center specifically. Either way, looking at their website I don't think it'd be a good fit.
4. Northside Lions Community Center. "spaces for rent" (731) 425-8386
5. Library (free! :))

Last night at the Jackson Social Meetup, I met a lady that is very interested in helping to get this group going... maybe. I told her I planned to write out some ideas today and would e-mail them to her. We'll see how that goes. She is my inspiration for adding "Service opportunities" to the statement.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

potential reads-- spiritually left

I am thinking of using meetup to start a non-church affiliated, lgbt & other folks affirming, Christian thought meeting group, mostly because the churches here aren't where I want to be. Or the Christian churches other places for the most part. I'm skipping some of the more important issues questions to ask myself, if I do start this group, what will we read?

I was just reading reviews of Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott. I started with the 2-star reviews; maybe that was a bad place to start. First, I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't buy this one; library only. Then I thought, hey! maybe this is a book to consider for that fictitious group.

I think of going to Lifeway to browse their selection in hopes of ideas but the idea of going there excites me about as much as going to a KKK rally or large southern Baptist church, things second only to visiting Westboro Baptist Church.

So here's the beginning of my list of book ideas:
1. Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott
2. Becoming a Thinking Christian: If We Want Church Renewal, We Will Have to Renew Thinking in the Church by John Cobb Jr.
3. Progressive Christians Speak: A Different Voice on Faith and Politics, Edited by John B. Cobb Jr. 
4.Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense. Francis Spufford by

12. If the Church Were Christian  Rediscovering the Values of Jesus  by Philip Gulley
13. Reimagining Christianity Reconnect Your Spirit Without Disconnecting Your Mind by Alan Jones
14. Finding Our Way Again The Return of the Ancient Practices by Brian McLaren- yes
15. The Soul's Religion Cultivating a Profoundly Spiritual Way of Life by Moore
16. Knowing God Intimately: Being as Close to Him as You Want to Be by Joyce Meyer- possibly
17. Secrets to exceptional living- by Joyce Meyer- possibly
18. A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
19. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
20. the Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey-- only as part of a Bible Study
21. How to Listen to God by Charles Stanley
22. The Last Week by Marcus Borg & John Dominic Crossan-- Easter season
23. Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit 
24. The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey

Got any other suggestions for a Christian-leaning group of progressives that meet at a local winery when the weather is nice? lol. My list turned out to be a lot longer than I expected. The last 7 titles are on my bookshelf. Most of the others are books I came across from an Internet search. In the end, I'll probably pick a random bunch to investigate and take those to the first meeting. The others are still listed here and may be selected later.

Maybe for myself

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

practice test 1

I finally finished that practice test from a few weeks ago. Results are in and.... I passed (from what I hear. I haven't bothered to check official sources). I made a 73 on the test 1. 70 is required to pass. That's encouraging as I begin to work towards this test I feel all kinds of ways unprepared to take and a license I feel oh so unqualified to bear. There are parts of the test where I feel grossly inadequate and they reinforce the idea that I don't have LCSW training. Then there were pages were all of my answers were correct. In the end, I squeaked by. I'd like to pop an 80 on practice tests before the real deal and have a good 5 months to get there. Easy!  (?) 

I've decided to ditch the DSM in round II of studying and focus instead on my abnormal psychology book. 2 out of 2 LCSW's agree that the textbook will probably be enough. I wish I had my human development book but will seek one to borrow at some point since I don't.

I can do this.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

another break up

* Full entry posted in livejournal. Sometimes, I just feel weird about all public content. Also feel weird about going to LJ as a primary posting spot. *

My heart aches, even as I know I asked her to leave.  I knew that change would be difficult, be sad, but I didn’t expect it to be so numbing. Words from loved ones have been reassuring but also a little embarrassing. I gave her a lot of time and patience because she asked me to. She said things would get better. She would change. She never had anyone to teach her before and she wanted to learn.  Now I question if it was largely a game to see how advantageous I could be for how long. 

I’ve come to a point where I think over relationships and question what things I can learn. I think I’m getting old, like my next serious relationship has to be the one or it’s over. Hahahahahahaha, right? Anyhow, lessons learned include:
11.       If you hear someone trying to borrow money from someone on your first date, run. Avoiding overhearing this early in the relationship is probably best.
22.      If you finding yourself saying, “our values are different” early on, walk away. Striving to find common ground or reasoning that the differences aren’t really that important isn’t worth it. One thing said to me (by a human) during the period when God was reassuring me left & right that she wasn’t the one is that you can stay with someone whose values are different for a year, but not for 5 years. We almost hit a year when I knew beyond doubt that we weren’t going to work. 
44.       I may need to be tougher on the financial requirements. Not sure how that would look. My current stance is I’m looking for a mate that can pay his or her bills, take care of his/her needs, and have $30 left each month to take me on a date. I think it’s pretty simple but multiple suitors have struck out on this requirement. So maybe I just need to do a better job of checking this requirement.
55.       There are some people with whom I instantly click. Our first conversation can easily be two, engaging hours. If this doesn’t happen with my date, two dates max should be allowed. I suspect the one I can spend forever with will be such a person. I don’t think it’ll be someone I have to get used to and get to know. I think they’ll intrigue me from the start. Maybe I’m intrigued because they’re a Gemini and not because we’re meant to be together but intrigue is a good start.
76.       People aren’t logical and methodical. Trying to end a relationship but be friendly is a challenge that usually isn’t accomplished in my experience. I do wonder if this is more problematic with black women than white women but even my friendship with Cindi ended over time.  I need to move forward with awareness that most people are going to act on emotion instead of logic so me trying to be reasonable, kind, and patient may not really be the best method since it’s not a solo project or experience. 

I don’t really regret letting her move in. I can see why some ppl might think I would or should but I don’t. I don’t know if it’s because I felt sincerely loved or because of some experience we had together. Maybe I just loved the frustrations—lol- but I doubt that. It could be because of the extent to which I opened myself up for this relationship. Maybe I needed to do that. I don’t regret August 2012 (move in). May 2012 (first date) maybe because using my “lessons learned” back then wouldn’t have allowed us to advance to this level. June & July 2013 maybe because I’d allowed some things to go on longer than kindness requires at that point. In retrospect, I realize that I didn’t help her by allowing her not to own up to some of her responsibilities. I question how much damage I did to myself by allowing it but know that no long term damage was sustained (I don’t think). I was more generous than I had to be and I’m grateful to myself for being that loving. Love in vein but loving nonetheless. 

I’m beginning to forgive. When I think about the essence of lying and the potential abyss of things I don’t know, disease grows. But when looking only at what is seen, I am okay. She packed and left without informing me she was going to move at that time. But she didn’t steal my stuff. She didn’t destroy anything. Thus far, to my knowledge, she hasn’t done anything strange online. All of these things can change but for now, nothing unforgiveable has occurred. Love, Peace.