Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Various Good and Bad Things

I went to the eye doctor today. I had suffered a few months ago from a bout of optic neuritis - an inflammation of the optic nerve which may or may not be related to incipient MS. It was a frightening thing, suddenly going from almost perfect vision to 20/400. The immediate problem was resolved by massive doses of steroids, bringing my vision back to some sort of reasonable functionality, but it has not come back one hundred percent, and at this point is unlikely to. So I went to the eye doctor, he tested me out (20/100 in the right eye, 20/50 in the left) and problems with both distance and close vision. No surprise there, so it's time for bifocals. I was glad that my vision can be corrected back to 20/25. Bifocals, though. Ah, well, I am very grateful to be seeing as well as I can, and that glasses will further correct things. Now if I could only lose the 15 pounds (okay, almost 20) that I gained from the steroids, life will be good.

I've been dealing with a friend at our church who is understandably terribly upset about the Hurricane Katrina mess; she's from New Orleans and still has some family who are unaccounted for. She was very unhappy with our rector's sermon on Sunday - felt it didn't do enough to address those who were affected. I will agree that it wasn't a very pastoral sermon - he's an academic and pastoral care is not his forte. She decided to express her unhappiness with a letter to the vestry, plus an email to me ranting about the rector. This, of course, is the rector who is my presenting priest in my discernment process. I tried to point to the lectionary (what he had preached on, namely, Matthew's account of how we should deal with people with whom we are in disagreement). Her response was that she had tried that before with him and it hadn't worked. After church on Sunday, he had cornered me to complain about how she was "going after him." So I'm in the middle of this ugliness, just trying to be supportive of her without getting caught in triangulation. I think she's calmed down a little bit. She is taking that tack that he is the way he is, and won't change, so it doesn't help for her to rant. I know, however, that I'll hear from him about how mean she is to him (he's a wee bit needy...well, a little more than a wee bit, to be truthful) when he really needs to acknowledge the pain she's currently going through, so she at least feels listened to. Needy parishioner + needy rector= bad feelings/paranoia/stress. Our assistant, who is very pastoral, is on vacation this week, so I can't look for her to intervene, so I guess I get a little chance to be pastoral to both of them. He's used me as a sounding board before when he's upset, but the dynamic is very different now that I'm in discernment. Thank goodness for PH, who is always a good source of strategies to deal with such things. This is where having a spouse who is a professional therapist and also ordained clergy really helps.

Strong Opinions made it back safely from her trip to the North Country to her uncle's wedding. I asked her about the ceremony and she was quite opinionated about it, as always. "It only took five minutes. No prayers, no nothing. Very unimpressive." The prayer comment amused me, as she is currently claiming to be an agnostic/Buddhist. Two years ago she claimed to be a Rastafarian, and before that, belonged to the Church of Kurt Cobain. A few years in a Christian elementary school and many years of Sunday School aren't completed washed out of her system, it appears. She drove up north and back with Useless Boyfriend, who cannot drive - I think I'm happy about that - so she did it all, thirteen hours up and thirteen hours back.

Stonemason is still working and doing reasonably well. He hasn't asked for any money from me this month, which is always a good thing. He's trying to sell his little Saab so he can buy a pickup truck - more suitable given his current employment. We shall see if that comes to pass.

Litigator seems to be adjusting well to being back at college. He's continuing counseling for his alcohol use. Please, Lord, take care of the boy.

So should I practice my Koine Greek now, or pratice (eek) my algebra for the GREs? Or should I go downstairs and hop onto the elliptical trainer? Or should I have a piece fo chocolate? Hmmm....

7 comments:

Dream Builder said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mibi52 said...

Another good thing. I got to go cricket shopping, to feed Moses the gecko. Now I have a sealed plastic baggie filled with ten small crickets to feed him. Maybe one of these days, I'll gecko blog.

Apostle John said...

Just discovered your blog -- I'm enjoying it a lot! I grew up in the Episcopal Church, and still feel very attached to it.

cheesehead said...

I say chocolate, then eliptical, then if you feel like it, the Greek will still be there.

Oy. Triangles are a b***h aren't they? So sorry you are in the middle and so glad you have someone at home to support you through it!

I have so enjoyed your comments over at my place...

cheesehead

reverendmother said...

It's interesting what people cling to even when they're in a non-churchy phase. Our office manager's mother-in-law died, and it looks like there won't be a memorial service (for various reasons I won't get into). Office manager's son, who hasn't set foot in a church in years despite being raised in the church, was quite shocked and disturbed by this. "How can there not be a memorial service?" Interesting isn't it.

mibi52 said...

Welcome, Apostle John, and thanks for the good words to you and Revmom/Cheesehead! I do enjoy both your blogs.

Reverendmother, I'm still hoping that StrongOpinions will loop back into church one of these days. She is looking things up in the Bible, and asking if she can go on a mission trip with her step-grandfather, who's a retired medical missionary, so there's hope. I'm gratified that she shows strong moral fiber while surrounded by teens in this neighborhood who have too much many, new cars, and are behaving very badly.

Can't believe I just talked about moral fiber. I AM turning into my mother!

Talked today to the Rector, and encouraged him to reach out with Christian understanding to the parishioner who is trying to triangulate. He's still in defensive mode. Her needs are intersecting with his insecurities. I'm saying a prayer that things will cam down. It appears she went looking for someone from the vestry to support her position, and one beknighted soul did just that. Not helpful. Sometimes email is more a hindrance than a help; folks tend to blurt out their thoughts without meditating on them. My rule around the office is this: no adjectives or adverbs in emails, since that's where the trouble starts.

I'm trying to be supportive to each of them, while trying to defuse the more volatile emotions. Gee whiz, I haven't been trained for this stuff yet! Ah, well, maybe I'll change my scholarship application paper to a case study on this incident. Then again, maybe not!

TellingTruth said...

Chocolate is always the answer.