Sunday, August 10, 2014

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 10

Today's happiness -- Spiritual reassurance.  Went to church this morning. Wasn't sure what I was going to get, since our reverend is on vacation. When we have lay ministers, the quality of the sermons can be rather spotty.

But I really wanted to go today because I've been so conflicted about how I feel about my older sister's health scare. Am I being self protective by keeping my distance in this family drama? Or am I cold? Will I regret not reaching out to her?

I needed God today, and God provided.

In addition to the comfort I get just from being in the sacred place that is our church, I got support from the congregation. For today, the subject was mental health and mental illness. The offering went to support NAMI, and the three sermonettes were enlightening and inspiring. The first two were caregivers, mothers of adult children with severe issues. The third was a very courageous member of our congregation who lives with bipolar disorder.

My takeaway is that it's OK for me to take care of myself in all this family drama. It doesn't make me selfish or bad. It makes me a person who loves herself.

I know this conclusion may seem like a "duh" moment to some of you (I read your comments to my original post and appreciated them more than you know) but sometimes there's a chasm between what I understand intellectually and what I feel in my heart.

Thanks to that hour at church, my head and my heart are in synch. And that makes me very happy.

Imaginative and provocative

Boyhood is a very ambitious and original movie. I've never seen anything quite like it. It was filmed over 12 years with the same cast, so we get to watch the characters age before our eyes.

Especially Mason, the "boy" of the title. He's a first grader when the movie begins and a college freshman when it ends. He goes from adorable to precocious to pretentious -- as we all did as we grew up. I didn't always like Mason, but I always related to him.

Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke are his parents. They, too, age over 12 years. I've never liked Hawke very much before, and didn't at the beginning of this movie, either. But he's matured and become more subtle as an actor, and that really pays off in the later segments.

This movie has no real plot. But then, neither do our real lives. It's a collection of moments, and it"s these moments that make up our lives. Because so much of it is effecting and so much care has gone into it, I felt guilty when my mind wandered. At more than 2 1/2 hours, it's too long.

Sunday Stealing


1. Outside my window… is a big, leafy tree

 2. I am thankful… for my independence

 3. In the kitchen… is a counterfull of stuff

 4. I am wearing… jeans

 5. I am creating… this blog post

 6. I am going… to take a nap and watch the ballgame

 7. I am reading… my first-ever Miss Marple book

 8. I am learning… that I'll never stop learning

 9. I am pondering… the random nature of things

 10. A favorite quote… "Forget your perfect offering/there's a crack in everything/that's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen, "Anthem"

 11. One of my favorite things… Turner Classic Movies Summer Under the Stars. Today is 24 hours of Carole Lombard. She's completely charming.

 12. A few plans for the rest of the week… Classic Movie Meet Up on Tuesday. My cousin visits next Saturday.

 13. A peek into my day… I unintentionally answered this already (see #6).

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 9

Today's happiness -- Sleep. Since I came down with my cold last week, I've been feeling run down. Yesterday, I surrendered to the impulse and dozed whenever I felt like it. The result? I felt more vital and truly awake. I may try it again on Sunday.