TToT 23:2 Broken Promises

Once, twice, perhaps many times, I’ve been told “Don’t make promises you can’t keep”

Which perhaps renders me hard of hearing (unlikely), overly optimistic (perhaps) or stubborn, pig-headed and unwilling to listen (most likely)

Because yesterday I promised (fie on me) to do better today – to post some ACTUAL Things of Thankful – ones which properly belong (not that the ones yesterday didn’t ‘belong’ but they mostly weren’t full of joy).

And I can’t. Not the whole list. Sorry.

Thankful I’m not here

I heard earlier in the week that one of the ladies from my church was part-way through a journey to the Philippines to see her family after a close relative had died. And then the storm hit. I only hope that her plane was diverted elsewhere, and that she returns safely.
I’m glad there are organisations like the Red Cross, working tirelessly to help the people there to safety.
Thankful it’s only been like this
Which later turned into this

Thankful for peace and quiet today
The ‘peace’ even went as far as the emotions, and it’s been a day of low-key, doing-nothing-ness. I’ve felt dull, and avoided thinking about the day and all it should have been. I’ve immersed myself in social media and the first chapter of something which may or may not turn out to be worthwhile…

Thankful for life
On this, the weekend I should’ve been having a baby, I’ve heard that my great aunty has died after a fall while out shopping, which left her with a head injury and in a coma. And another elderly relative has now been moved on to palliative care. Death is in the air. 

Thankful for those who died fighting
I really am. Especially for those who were conscripted. For those who had no choice. For those who went young, considering it a glorious honour to die for their country. For those who kept liberty and freedom and peace as their principles.

But this is a subject which conflicts me so much, maybe because I’m so ignorant of it and have never been exposed to it. I can’t bring myself to view ‘them’ (whoever ‘they’ are at the time) as the enemy…

‘They’ are just people. As are ‘we’. Sons, husbands, fathers, daughters, wives, mothers…all hopped up on fighting for the cause and all sacrificed in the name of peace. And so the ripples move outwards to impact on the people who will miss them and hurt when they’re gone. In the meantime videos and photographs in the media show the carnage, the tears, the bleeding, the death and destruction of war, not to the Big Powers, but to the common man.

By accident of birth these people are on the ‘other’ side. By accident of birth ‘we’ aren’t. And whilst it’s easy (apparently) for those in power to act as Nations and sanction air strikes and retaliatory attacks or preventative measures, when I see these things in the media, I find myself saddened and sickened by the ways those in power exert themselves to cause harm. My human brothers and sisters around the world are being hurt by war, and I struggle to wear my poppy with pride, because I am part of a system which enables the ongoing fighting.

I saw a powerful quote about war the other day:


The other quote about war that I think is great (if rather tongue in cheek) is “Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity” Widely attributed to George Carlin, it makes the point with humour and a certain amount of undeniability.

Thankful for the reality check of The Pale Blue Dot
Somehow, only discovered Carl Sagan for the first time EVER today. And had to share – you’ll see why.

Thankful these organisations exist
Although I think that these days, even though people (generally) sign up to join the  forces of their own free will, the tragedy and travesty lies in the way they’re often treated upon their return to civvy street. There are too many stories of homeless veterans (too many stories of homeless anyone) and it sickens me. But this video was inspiring:

Thankful for ‘maybe’sHusby has a job interview next week. No idea how he’ll get to it, or how he’ll commute if he gets the job, but he’s done so well to get to this point, having asked on the offchance whether there were jobs going and being told by the company CEO (who he knows) “Yes, actually, and it would really suit you – please send us your CV”

Thankful for music
Even if I’m not sure whether it’s the melody, the harmony, the message or whatever else, I do love those moments when I realise I’ve fallen for a new (to me) song. I’ll play the heck out of it and eventually move on. This week’s one is particularly beautiful – just listen to those lyrics…

So in spite of broken promises and not a great deal of uplifting, I do hope I’ve made you think.

And to end on a note of fun and teasing – I now know what we’re doing to celebrate our 25th week (two weeks’ time – mark it in your diary) and it’s AWESOME.

Ten Things of Thankful
Ten Things of Thankful
 Your hosts

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44 thoughts on “TToT 23:2 Broken Promises

  1. Lizzi, your list is completely uplifting. Because even things like the horrible typhoon remind us to be thankful for our own good fortune.

    Would you like your favorite Pollyanna to sing some obnoxious, uplifting song? You would be thankful that I quit, I can assure you. Here we go, sing with me: Just what makes that little old ant think he can move that rubber tree plant….

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  2. *hugs* seems like it's been a fairly tough weekend for more than just me…

    The idea and the actuality of war make me sick to my stomach. I'm not surprised it's getting to your hubs. What an awful thing to have to work with 😦

    Hey, WOW! Do you still have the books? Got any pictures? You have such a talented family! I love his voice (I assume that's his voice) – I could listen all day.

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  3. So sorry about your aunt, Lizzi. What a tough weekend overall 😦 Hugs.
    LOVE the quote from George Carlin – so true. The whole idea of war just makes me sad. My poor hubs has to see so much of the ugly side of it for his work…I know that it's getting to him more and more.
    Also? Carl Sagan? He's awesome. My uncle was the illustrator for a bunch of his work so we always had oversized gorgeous books at home while I was growing up. Love that you've discovered him, and reminded me how amazing he is! xo

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  4. This is true. And I definitely wouldn't be cool with lying, just felt bad because I'd so wanted to be able to put something a bit more joyful this weekend, but it seems the timing was all wrong.

    However, you're absolutely right – the group who participate in the TToT are so awesome that it's the kind of place where that really doesn't matter. Realness and Truth are expected – the warts-and-all kind. And THAT is something far more special and deep and joy-filled than being able to create a shiny list. 🙂

    I'm glad some of the list was 'thoughtful' 🙂 I like to get back into my 'original' style now and again.

    Thank you 🙂

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  5. I agree with the earlier commenter – thankfulness doesn't always have to be uplifting. I think if we are always positive in our thankful moments we're probably lying to ourselves and everyone else. Sometimes thankfulness is begrudgingly felt. Honestly is OK and if we are real enough to admit that we aren't always uplifted and some days we just have to try really freaking hard to find something to try and be halfway positive about it's really OK. We're human. We're full of faults and weaknesses. But finding a great group like this TToT – honestly, it's a terrific help.

    I love everything you have here – sorry if that sounds totally fan-like. But really this is good stuff. Real stuff. Thoughtful stuff.

    Keep on keeping on, Lizzi.

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  6. If that links me to anything about two sides singing 'Silent Night', I shall cry. I nearly wrote about that, and the way that thought haunts me – that these men, who in the end are ALL just men, put aside their guns to sing the most beautiful Christmas Carol, and held peace for a few moments, united by something so transcendent, and then went back to blowing each other to smithereens…

    We are all the one. Truly. Each person is a person and their humanity, whatever the circumstances, COUNTS. And thank you – I'm glad it hasn't come across negatively.

    Ack. That song. Amazing :'(

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  7. I felt the need to recognise her passing, since I was so appalling at recognising her living. I hadn't been in touch with her for over ten years, and it's shameful of me. And now I'm out of time to reconnect and I shall have to live with that knowledge. She was a sweet and wonderful woman, and reminded me of a more impish version of my much-missed Grandma (her sister). I used to like visiting her when I was little.

    I'm glad I give you much to consider. It's part of the deal – I consider it and then write it out of me for others to have a think about 😉 But that's quite an accolade! Thank you 🙂 You're good for the soul and the ego, my dear ❤

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  8. I am, too. To my shame I wasn't in contact with her, and haven't been for years. I've been rather far out of touch with that side of the family since my parents split up. It's sad though, because I didn't make the effort and really I should have. *sigh*

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  9. *HUGS* Thank you so much Natalia. I'm glad you liked the list in spite of the lack of joy.

    I hope she's fine, too. I don't know her well (to my shame) but I used to look after her little girl in the creche…I worry for her. And for her family. The death toll seems to keep rising, and it's all just awful.

    Thanks for keeping your fingers and toes crossed – I shall keep you updated when I have any news.

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  10. Hubby's a veteran, and I can attest to how the military is actively lying to soldiers about to discharge about benefits. Our family has been struggling in the past to make ends meet. He has earned benefits by his service that they are simply refusing to give to him (like educational benefits). I remember the day he left a soldier in the morning, and returned a civilian in the evening, without the proper medical procedures necessary for discharge, without the job prep training, the proper counselling on his rights, etc. It is a shame.

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  11. Well of course I am terribly sorry about your aunt… ugh. And about all the horrible atrocities (sp?) that occur daily in the name of war. So much here to think about and take in, I need another hour before I comment. But I will go back later… Your posts are always the ones that I like to soak in for long periods of time, and various spurts of time.

    There is never a need for you to apologize for what you give…. because you give so much to think about, to view, to take in, to listen to, to wonder… to CONSIDER. Deep introspection always… and your powerful voice can pull any soul out of their own and into a bigger picture that is painted with so much vivid color, their resistance is bound and their hearts open to all that you offer.

    You are so hugely gifted in taking in life, and giving it back- with more richness from which it came.

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  12. Well I think your list is great! it's honest and it's refreshing. I really hope your friend from church is fine. I also really hope your husband get that gob, crossing my fingers and toes too.
    I am thankful for you Lizzi, I really am!

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  13. Thanks Collette – I try hard to keep it as Real as possible. The Truth is important, in all its beauty and brutality; its joy and its ugliness, and I want to tell it here.

    It's tough when thankfulness becomes a struggle, and I quite appreciate that there are situations where it's beyond us to even try. I've been there. I know people who are there now. And I'm so pleased that you're beginning to find it within yourself to practice that gratitude again, and to have the head space to focus on it. I really hope that it pays dividends for you, and that your situation improves to allow you ever more things to be thankful for, and time to notice them 🙂

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  14. *MASSIVEHUGS* Sorry to hear it's a tough one for you, too 😦

    An apt weekend though – we will remember them.

    (and bah to you losing your comment – that sucks. Hate when that happens)

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  15. totally lost my comment… shit! Oh well, take it that it was a good one! I just don't have it in me to repeat it today… anniversary for me as well…. sorry….Thanks for Sagan! Love him!

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  16. Wow I love your blog. So real, so raw, so genuine. My heart weeps for your loss and for this weekend for you … I'm sorry.

    I too have been really struggling with being thankful lately but I am doing it again and really focusing on it.

    Sending you much love …
    Collette from ZenithThinkingBlog

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  17. I hate that pent up feeling which can happen when we stopper our outlet. I know it's horses for courses, and other people have different ways, but I have to write this stuff out of me. Have to.

    True, I've often said to people struggling to create a list that “I'm thankful it didn't rain on me” or “I'm thankful my socks match and don't have a hole today” are perfectly valid Things.

    We're imperfectly perfect, and one of the things I love most about this community we're building together is the level of genuine care and concern the members have for each other. That's something really special.

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  18. “Writing is like oxygen to me”… how I love that phrase! When I don't write (and I have stopped from time to time) the emotions of life bottle up inside me until I fear that I will explode… and that would be very messy!

    I agree with what “our small moments” said up there, thankful may not always have to be uplifting. There have been many times in my life that I was just thankful to be alive, or thankful that I didn't act on my urge to kill a coworker or a spouse… you get the idea! I had no problem with your first list, Lizzi, it was honest and you showed up and shared what was in your heart, that was a blessing to me, and I'm sure to the many others who came to read. You are one of us, imperfect as we are… very human, and coming here we uplift each other by our caring!

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  19. Perhaps not. And looking back, I see that I only promised to try (which was rather clever of me – I must be too used to creating an inbuilt 'get-out' clause to my promises, which is disconcerting in itself).

    Writing is increasingly like oxygen to me. To feel, to express, to get it out of my head and affixed somewhere else…just to be heard. It's incredible.

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