Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wild Swans

Wild Swans.  By Jung Chang. 
Biographies of three women (grandma, mom, and daughter) in 20th-century China.

Foot-binding?  Never realized how torturous and painful it would have been.  I just thought it was about keeping women's feet "small" -- not deformed-small, as in smaller-than-a-1-yr-old's.

Communism wasn't the real problem.  The big problem was Mao's hunger for power and his vengeful spirit.

Some people think anarchy is okay because it's a way to get rid of the entrenched power/authority that is being misused.  But anarchy is destructive to a vast degree.  Furthermore, powerseekers will fill the void.  Reading this book showed me that even bad government is better than no government.

Introversion was a bad bad thing in China.  If you wanted a little solitude, most people interpreted that as cutting yourself off from the masses and thinking you were better than others.  It must be unbearable to know that your need for a little peace and quiet means people see you as arrogant and aloof.

I knew almost nothing about China or Chinese history.  Until a few weeks ago, I'd never heard of the Cultural Revolution:  wreck buildings, ruin libraries, overthrow religion, destroy stuff.  And now, this week's news tells us of a similar destruction in Mosul.

Friday, February 27, 2015

"Because You're Feeble"

I took something to work today, something that is a little heavy and a little clumsy-to-carry.  One of my co-workers said, "Don't you carry that upstairs!"  I asked why not.  "Because you're ... well ... feeble."  I laughed.  I carried it upstairs.  But the comment touched my heart.

I guess I put on a good front as far as healing.  Friends see me go to church.  They know I go to work.  Apparently I look "good as new."  But I'm not.  I'm limited.  I must rest.  It's easy for me to overdo and then end up with repercussions.  Sometimes I am frustrated by offers of "help" to accomplish something, when the Real Help would be a simple acceptance of my "No, I cannot do that."  I have to beat myself up quite enough to say no to commitments (work or fun!); when people question my "no" it's so much harder to stick to my guns about what's necessary for my health.

So it's all warm-&-fuzzy when people at work make allowances, when they occasionally offer to let me do some sit-down work while they stand and wait on customers, when they try to intercept me before I do something that they think might be too much for me.  Mushy though it be, these simple acts make my heart swell with joy and thankfulness!

Doctors and therapists said to give myself at
least a year before I could even begin to expect
be back-to-normal.  And it hasn't been a year yet.
Besides, as I learned in September, it's  important
to allow for "margin."  If I hover Just This Side of
"too much," one mishap shoves me over the edge.
  And that results in pain and illness that I really
don't want to deal with.

Reading Challenge 2015

How to Respond to Eastern Religions -- finished Jan 7
Crunchy Cons, by Dreher -- finished Jan 13

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You,  by Aron
Let's Roll, by Beamer
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Light in the Dark Belt: The Story of Rosa Young
Wild Swans, by Chang  -- finished Feb 25
On Being a Theologian of the Cross, by Forde
Holy Housewifery -- finished Jan 17
Pioneer Girl (biography of Laura)

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, by Karon 
Beyond the Mists, by Benchley
Cutting for Stone, by Verghese

Harry Potter
Hammer of God

With Maggie:
Anne of Ingleside -- finished Jan 16
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside

Penderwicks -- finished Feb 24
Carry On, Mr Bowditch
On to Oregon
Broken: 7 "Christian" Rules Every Christian Ought to Break

Swallows and Amazon series
or Little House series (again)
or Little Britches series
or Five Little Peppers