It wasn’t too long ago that my husband and I were living with, “Yes.” And with, Yes, came some fun opportunities. Hollywood parties, cavorting with celebrities. Travel possibilities. In fact, Yes is quite fun to be around. She is very pleasing on the eyes. Her scent is fresh throughout the day. Yes is never tired, she is never boring. She is a grand adventure! The morning was exciting to wake up to, while she made our life her home. But then slowly, one packed suitcase at a time, she began her move away from our world. Oh she was kind about her departure. Never once did she utter an unkind word. She left no abrasive lesions upon us, and even her scent lingered for a while–long after her goodbye was said. I miss her as our house guest. Her presence brought sunshine when the sky provided none. She, was a friend I like to have. “Yes” is good company.
…now we are living with “No.”
No, is not so bad. He, too, is not unkind. Nor is he selfish. But No, is blase. He bears no scent. He shines no light. Being with him provides no adventure. And travel does not seem to be to his liking. And while he is a part of our life, our chores seem more abundant. The spring in our step not so springy. The gray of the day permeates, and sleep does not bring sufficient rest. Though I would prefer to exchange his presence for his predecessor, it seems the good Lord has it in His will for us to entertain the present house guest a while longer (another aspect to No is the end of his stay is occluded, thus leaving us in the dark as to when he departs).
I honestly wouldn’t mind his living with us so much, but while having him here I have picked up certain habits that I’m not too fond of. For instance, while living with Yes, I was motivated to care for myself and invest in activities that provoked excitement. Waking up to No every day, I am struggling to even remember what those things were that used to motivate me. Funny thing is, No doesn’t take up too much space but his stature hovers over much of our life. So much so that I find myself pulling in ear marks of Yes, such as in my clothing, to help offset the drudgery of No. For instance, I have resurrected my 1970’s floral print pants and am wearing them in circumstances of monotony (such as to the Long Beach VA).
I have also taken to wearing a dress while walking the dogs. Who needs exercise clothing when one can sweat in style! I admit, the Nike’s are not the best accessory to my Leon Max creations, nor my Brian Bent’s for that matter. But I am finding a glimmer of joy within the sheer absurdity of how I look as I ambulate, perspire, and shine while ‘Mutt and Jeff’ tag along on leash. 🙂
I even thought I would fool my freeloading boarder by deciding to grow out my hair. That’s right, my hair grows whether No wants it to or not. However, yesterday as I was readying myself to leave the house my daughter shyly asked, “Do you like your hair like that?” To which I answered, “NO.” With a sigh of relief she said, “Oh good.” ‘Oh good’ was all she gave me…obviously the influence of Yes had worn off of even her.
So here I am, living with No. He is a tough guy to be around. And to help offset the heaviness of his presence, I am learning how to use new tools. You know, the ones in the toolbox that are there but one hopes to not have to use. One such tool is the “art of redirecting.” That is right, I am redirecting my thoughts to the time of Yes, when I am faced with another No answer. Another such tool is the “reminder wrench.” The reminder wrench is used when thoughts of abandonment try to ease their way into my soul. I take the wrench and use it to remember the word of encouragement from the Holy Word that says, “I shall never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut 31:6). And, from the 55th chapter of the book of Isaiah:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”
The ‘reminder wrench’…a good tool! I know there are other tools still in the box, untouched. It could be that I will have to peruse the contents and learn, yet another, instrument of peace, motivation, excitement, and elation before the year is through. But for now, the ‘redirector’ and the ‘reminder wrench’ are doing the trick. I have even borrowed a necessary item from my neighbor…the tire pump. Yep, the tire pump is a good tool to have on hand for when No takes a nap. Oh the places to go with just a few pumps of air. More on that next time…