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My Adventure

20 November - 3 December 2006

20 November 2006 560 miles. I think Iím behind on my cycling, so Iíll have to up my workout.

21 November 2006 583 miles. Iím tired and stressed. There are odd little clues in my life when Iím not handling stress as well as I think I am. Iím sleeping badly again, i.e., not sleeping but a few hours at night. Iím also eating badly, mostly carbs. Actually, Iíd like to eat better, but itís difficult when you canít get to the kitchen without being told either directly or indirectly that you are in the way.

22 November 2006 595 miles. Iíve been thinking about why I like the novels I do and have come to the realization that the authors I like have the same concept of honor, and the same admiration for it. The heroes are all honorable. I didnít realize thatís what it was because Iím so unfamiliar with it in my own life. Godís power is His honor; the fact that He does not vary or change. If honor is the source of Godís power, then would it not also hold that honor is also the source of ours? So without honor, Man is nothing. Iím endeavoring to cultivate honor more fully in my life. Iím a little behind on the lessons, but blessedly God doesnít care and takes me where I am. Itís just easier if Iím aware of the process, so God does not have to push and pull me but simply lead me along.

23 November 2006 600 miles. Happy Thanksgiving. What a wonderful day it turned out to be. I attended dinner with my sister and her husband that their daughterís home. It was a delight. The warmth and friendliness was soothing and welcome. What a joy.

24 November 2006 605 miles. Iím tired today, but still feeling the comfort of the lovely day I spent yesterday.

25 November 2006 As I begin to plan Christmas, I remind myself of my goal. Iíve got less than 400 miles to go, but only 4 weeks left. I wonder if Iíll make it by Christmas. I do not know, but even if I do not, Iíll come close, and Iím learning the value of making the effort, and perfection does not have to be achieved. Iíll have to see what I can do to kick up the miles between now and then.

26 November 2006 ďWhen what we want is stronger than what we fear, no darkness will be strong enough to hide the light.Ē ~ Stobie Piel - Here Comes Santa Claus

27 November 2006 615 miles. Iíve had to take a closer look at myself, the kind that isnít pleasing to the eye. In a story by Lisa Cach, she talks of a character, a suave fellow, and sophisticated. He makes others laugh telling stories of people he knows, mimicking them. The younger sister in the story confides to the hero that she doesnít like the suave fellow because his stories mock others. They are the kind of story one feels a bit guilty laughing at. Years ago, one of my dearest friends told me that the other employees where I worked (a drug store) were nervous of me. I couldnít believe it. Why? They had watched me with costumers and were unsettled by my ability to cut people down without them even realizing it. At the time, I could not understand what she was talking about. Reading this story, I realized that this is common conversation in my family. Making others seem small or silly or stupid is common. Iíve grown up hearing the belittling and cruelty and always hated it. It frightens me to realize that Iíve made it an art, and have become so adept that I can even do it within my own family, and they donít realize what Iíve done. I donít want to be like that. It is true that I fear leaving home because of the veiled and unveiled threats from my parents of what would happen to me on my own, but there is another reason as well. It was something I realized in England. It was there that I decided my gypsy boots had to come off. I recognized that I got along with my parents when I was far away from home, and when I was home it was completely different. In the mission field, if I didnít get along with a companion, I looked to myself and wondered what I could change in myself. It worked in the mission field. I figured it should work at home. I came home to figure out how to get along with my parents. I believed I could figure out how to get along with them. It is only in my work with Kevin that I finally realize that it isnít me. It really isnít me. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, I can do to make these relationships healthy. Nothing. So now the challenge is to learn to be healthy myself in spite of what I must deal with on a daily basis and do so even as they endeavor to drag me back into the role they have fashioned for me. What a mess. What a nightmare. God help me.

28 November 2006 640 miles. Iíve sadly overestimated my abilities. I can well see that there is no way I can make the 1000 miles by Christmas, but they will still be done. Iíve much to learn about my own capabilities and setting realistic goals that suit my abilities and temperament. Instead, I should have given myself more time than I figured I needed and cheered for whatever I accomplished beyond the goal. Live and learn. Bless Joe; he called to give me an update on Mary, who had called me while I was out cycling to tell me she was going to the hospital. Gave my stomach a nasty turn, it did. Pray God she is all right.

29 November 2006 648 miles. Today is the perfect example of how I tend to set goals with optimal conditions in mind. I could have made the 1000 mile goal if I were never sick and it never rained, all right, so I made a few allowances but not enough. We have had a bitterly cold wind blow in. Tomorrow the temps are supposed to be around freezing. I pride myself on biking no matter what, but even I have my limits.

30 November 2006 Temperatures hit freezing this morning, so no cycling.

1 December 2006 Again too cold for cycling. This was something I had not planned for when making this schedule. I need to learn to recognize my limits better. I also should have given myself more time. If I had started counting the miles at the beginning of September or even in August when I decided to do this, I could have made it with miles to spare. Hmmm... maybe what I need to learn is to allow myself to see how far I can stretch, so to speak, inside of trying to force myself to stretch. Actually, thatís a habit that drove my physical therapist crazy. I would do whatever he told me to do, and then notice I was uncomfortable. He would then have to clarify that I was to do it to the level of my discomfort but not pain. It really required me listening to my body. Iím still struggling to learn to do that.

2 December 2006 Cold! Burrrrrr! Itís actually warmer today, but Iíve had enough now. LOL! Iím still reading until late at night, or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it, in the hopes of essentially falling asleep when my head hits the pillow, so I donít have to think of MissB and how much I miss her.

3 December 2006 Mary arranged for me to receive a book by Elizabeth Rolls that I did not own and wasnít available on Amazon. Itís called ďMistress or Marriage.Ē The hero, David, is terrified of love and what such and emotion can do to a person. Then he meets Sophie, the heroine, and in one scene catches her cuddling a baby while the mother was off getting other things done. David seems the longing in Sophieís eyes and realizes that she doesnít believe it will ever happen to her but imagines it might in the moment., He wonders why she sets herself up for so much pain, so he asks her why she subjects herself to the inevitable hurt of knowing her own dreams wonít be realized:

Her hands trembled on the ribbons. What business was it of his how she chose to live? And how could he possibly understand how she felt? She knew it was foolish to pretend, but the joy of holding a baby was too precious to be denied, even if it hurt a little.

But she found herself struggling to explain. 'You see, I love babies and children. Even if it makes me a little sad, why should I lose the pleasure of holding a baby or looking after one? Why refuse little joys because the greater one is denied? That's not living. How can you even know what joy is unless there is some pain or risk of pain to temper it?'

This is the insurmountable barrier between my parents and me. They donít want to deal with the pain, and I believe the little joys more than make up for it. They would rather impose their will on me, than consider what such demands might mean. Itís sad, really, and they are to be pitied. Again and again, lately, Iíve found myself confronted by people who profess concern for me and see outward things they think are damaging to my spirit, and fail utterly to see what truly breaks my heart. They seek to guilt me into doing what they feel is right for me, and have no notion of what is in my heart at all. When I endeavor to express what Iím feeling they brush it aside because it does not fit their concept of how I should behave. Having a headache tends to make me more than a little melancholy. Itís only just this side of a full blown migraine. Yesternight, Ruth and I went shopping, as usual, with a mission in mind. She had some things she needed to finish her wood assignments for class, and I wanted my ďKnight in Shining Armor.Ē Target has some great action figures. I acquired Pegasus and a unicorn last week. Last night I found my ďKnight in Shining Armor.Ē His horse is draped in red with gold fleur-de-lis and rearing. Some of the knights had lances, but I wanted mine to carry a sword, so of the six possibilities there were really only two that fit my criteria. Iím quite taken with the one I chose. He even has shining in armor. At first, I wasnít sure where he belonged, but it only took a moment for him to decide he belonged by my mouse, where he has now taken up residence without so much as a by your leave. His visor covers his face, so.... I must admit, I find him enchanting and have decided that the next piece of jewelry I acquire will need to be a fleur-de-lis, in his honor of course.