Revisted this week takes a look at love -- what it is beyond initial infatuation, what it is in relation to God. As it reads, I'm fairly certain I was taking a class on the Catholic sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) when I wrote it. It originally appeared in 2014, the third post ever … Continue reading Revisiting a Similitude of Eternal Beauty
This week's Revisited is as true for me today as it was when it originally appeared in 2014. Since then, I have found that curtailing automatic critique of others has also helped me to find compassion for myself. Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash. For the past couple of years, I’ve been working on minding … Continue reading Still Biting My Tongue and Finding My Voice
This week's Revisited addresses an ongoing question for me. It first appeared here in 2019. This Labor Day weekend has me pondering, as someone who doesn’t bring home a regular paycheck, what is the work that I do? How do I -- or am I -- contribute(ing) to the good of society? Most importantly, am … Continue reading Always Wondering: Am I Doing God’s Work?
This piece first appeared here just under a year ago, before I was posting regularly to this blog. We made our first cruise ever last July, and the feeling lingered long enough for me to capture it in words. I hope you enjoy this week's Revisited. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Photo by Susan Fischbach … Continue reading Revisiting the Peace of Unknowing
This week's Revisted takes a look back at a post from 2016 -- only the seventh post to this blog. It has a more formal tone than some of my writing, which I assume is because I was taking a class at a Catholic theology school and seminary at the time. As a matter of … Continue reading There is Treasure in the Cave of Isolation and Darkness
Photo by Fernando Jorge on Unsplash. One of the benefits of spending years in and out of therapy, processing thoughts through writing, and earning 15 credits taking pastoral counseling classes is gaining an array of tools to help navigate the ups and downs of life -- not only gaining the tools but also an awareness … Continue reading Being Patient with Feeling Stuck
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash It’s time for a deeper-level check-in than a haiku. At this writing, it’s day 46 of me keeping mostly to home, so we’ve had more than a Lent’s-worth of shelter in place; but even though the Easter candy is long gone, it feels more like Lent than ever. The … Continue reading Over It
Photo by Romain Vignes on Unsplash. Thirty-three days ago, when I decided to stick close to home (and just days before we were asked to shelter-in-place), the idea of hanging back, stepping out of the rush of life felt not only like a wise choice for my health, but also seasonally appropriate. For Catholics and … Continue reading Changing Focus
Photo by Nicolas Moscarda on Unsplash. Over-all, I’d say that sticking close to home these last ten or eleven days has been a good experience. Of course, an introvert would say so, and it’s true that my life hasn’t changed in any dramatic way. Yet it does feel different -- more profound somehow. I think … Continue reading Nothing’s Happening but Things Still Change
Photo by Yoksel 🌿 Zok on Unsplash. A 15-minute walk outside -- who knew? Likely everyone but me; and truth be told, I knew. I mean -- I’ve read it, heard people say it, seen Facebook posts with the photos, and even done it a few times. So, yes, I knew that taking a walk … Continue reading Too Good Not to Share: Cooped Up Edition
Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash. Day five of near-isolation. What I’ve noticed to my great joy, and what is not ususally apparent on social media, is that it seems to be human nature to take care of one another. In these times where we’re getting down to what’s real and what matters, our self-important … Continue reading Creativity Rising
Photo from Unsplash.com. My Tiny Editor She nags, wags, frets, flags poo-poos, eschews, says you’re a loser as a poet. She deletes, repeats, never retreats doubts, shouts, thinks about hushes, shushes, says not much is good here and you know it.
Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs. We interrupt Too Good Not to Share Tuesday for a bonus reflection on this Fat Tuesday. Today being the day before Ash Wednesday makes it a good time to spend a few minutes reflecting on how we might make this Lent a spiritually meaningful one. As for me, I’ve fallen … Continue reading Fat Tuesday: Special Edition
Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs. I started wearing my Fitbit again this week. It turns out my awareness needs some help regarding the amount of time I spend moving each day. In the spirit of mindfulness that came from the meditation classes I’ve taken recently and also from my reading about intermittent fasting, I decided … Continue reading Mindful Motivation
My Valentine and me. Not Found at the Card Shop You and IWe twoAre balance and counterbalance You stand securePorous stone, able to absorb meWhen I dissolve into tearsIn your arms I stand on the backOf the lawn tractor while youScoop heavy loads of rockFrom the creek
I'll be writing poetry for a class for the next few months. Some of them will show up here as Saturday Reflections. Enjoy. My cairns. Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs Unread Books The clean, prairie landscape of her coffee table is obscured by cairns not of stones, but of books: The stack of three, from … Continue reading Unread Books
My meditation space. Photo by Susan Fischbach Isacs I am not my thoughts. Thank God. Alleluia! And Amen! Especially in the middle of some long nights, inside my head is a pretty rough neighborhood to get lost in; but since I took my first meditation class two years ago things are improving; I know those … Continue reading Thank God. Alleluia! And Amen!
Image from Opera Mom Says Tragic is not a big enough word to describe the death of an intelligent, creative, curious soul such as Dimitri embodied. We, on this earth, will never find the sense in it -- why a child who grew up with a loving family in a comfortable home in a safe … Continue reading Broken Together
https://wakinguptheghost.com/the-7-reasons-recovering-alcoholics-drink-club-soda/ On New Year’s Eve I posted an installment of Too Good Not to Share recommending a 30-Day alcohol-free experiment I had done in 2014, with the promise, at that writing, of sharing some of the long-term benefits I’ve enjoyed since then. First, because of the nearly immediate positives of better sleep, younger looking skin, … Continue reading Too Many Hyphens: Or My Life-Changing, 30-Day, Alcohol-Free Experiment
Woman and dog; English studio portrait, c. 1900. Photo copyright Mary E. Thurston, Argus Communications, Allen , TX. It’s hard to see my way out when I’m in it Long, impossible weeks stretch ahead, fatigue, disinterest -- in anything; even my favorite foods don’t appeal I know -- because I know -- that there is … Continue reading When I’m in It
https://pixels.com/featured/playfulness-carol-stanley.html I've noticed the idea floated in the last week or so not to bother with New Year’s resolutions (which I never have), but instead to pick a word or theme to guide you for the year. That’s an idea that fills me with excitement rather than dread. There is so much potential in a … Continue reading I’m Making 2020 a Year of Playfulness
Too Good Not to Share This week’s TGNtS is sometimes called Dry January and is touted by the likes of Men’s Health and USA Today, as well as numerous others. While I’ve never done Dry January, I did do a 30-day alcohol-free experiment, which started rather spontaneously in early August of 2014. Because of the … Continue reading The 30-Day Alcohol-Free Experiment
In this calendar year several, major, seemingly-unrelated events spurred me to action despite my fears. In the past I would have allowed these fears to paralyze and protect me, but this year was different somehow. Since this is my last reflection for 2019, it seems appropriate to contemplate these events and see if there is … Continue reading 2019, Upon Reflection
Perhaps the timing is not so coincidental, Advent being almost over at this point, but it occurs to me today that I am not good at waiting. When I wait I tend to “piddle around,” “kill time,” and occupy myself with mindlessness like cruising social media or wandering through a department store. I’m not waiting, … Continue reading Waiting or Anticipating?
Our little, lighted tree on the hill. Photo by Susan Isaacs This morning I woke up early enough (and the sky was gray enough) that I got to enjoy the lighted Christmas tree that we have put up behind our house. It creates a sweet, holiday vignette from my chair in the sunroom, and it … Continue reading Childlike Joy
One of the blessings, I suppose, of living my adult life away from extended family has been the freedom to do things our own way. As the holiday time of year is again upon us, I am renewed in the sense of gratitude that we’re not tied to any particular traditions that will make or … Continue reading Freedom from Traditions
I'm sharing this again, although I first posted it about five years ago and originally wrote it almost 25 years ago. Today is Dean's and my 34th wedding anniversary. Our story has grown in a myriad unexpected ways that have only made us a better couple through the years, but I will never tire of … Continue reading Wedded Bliss: 34 Years Later
*Part 2 of 2 Outside the Tomb of Christ, Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs I met with a friend recently who, in years past, has so adamantly put herself last that I have left our time together with an uneasy feeling about our friendship. She seemed often to be focused … Continue reading Being: Waking Up to Who We Are*
Too Good Not to Share* One of my all time favorite travel products, and one I’ve been using for a few years is a set of folding travel hangers. When sharing a hotel room, whether with my husband or a girlfriend on a weekend getaway, there are never enough hangers in the hotel closet. This … Continue reading Folding Travel Hangers
I’m noticing a trend in the last several weeks where I’m waking up naturally at about 7:00 AM. So far, for the most part, I’ve been rolling over to sleep more -- just on principle. 7:00 just sounds so early. The truth is, though, I’ve been trying to get myself to bed earlier, at about 10:00 PM. I read until I fall asleep, but that’s almost always
This week's Revisited is part 2 of 2, the first of which appeared here last week. Between writing the two reflections, as part of a spiritual formation workshop on prayer I participated in in 2004, we took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and discussed the implications of our scores. Of the Extorvert/Introvert pair, I am an Introvert; between Sensing and Intuition, I prefer Intuition; of Thinking and Feeling, I am Feeling; and between Judging and Perceiving, I tend slightly toward Judging.
Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs We’re thinking about selling our piano, so of course, now I think I’d like to play it. Never-mind that we’ve had a piano in the house for about twenty years, and never in all that time have I mastered a song at the intermediate level. I can read music, I … Continue reading Ideal or Reality?
This week's Revisited is Part 1 of 2 (which appears here). I wrote this in June of 2004 at the beginning of a prayer styles workshop, which was part of spiritual formation during my studies at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs My prayer style is so casual that … Continue reading My Personal Prayer Style and Preferences
Apologies to my blog followers who were notified of a new post last night called, “Nite Hood.” I had posted an incomplete piece in error and took it down as quickly as I could after that; but not before you were all sent a now defunct link. Look for the full post tomorrow on Too … Continue reading Rookie Mistake
Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs A few days ago I completed an exercise where I wrote a list of what’s real in my life. It wasn’t until I re-read it a few hours later that I discovered my list is written almost entirely from a positive, or at least non-judgemental, perspective. This comes as a … Continue reading Writing Real
Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs Less than 24 hours ago I received the horrific news that another of my sons’ childhood playmates is dead from heroin addiction. I feel helpless as the parents of these young men wail in untenable agony, their own helplessness now embodied in the corpses of their sons. Imagining their pain … Continue reading Helpless
Space Needle, photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs Sometimes it’s not as important to put your best foot forward as it is to put a foot forward. Take the next step and let it be what it is, even if you wish it were better. Often when we’ve made a new commitment or we’re trying to … Continue reading Just Put a Foot Forward
Photo by Susan Isaacs, taken on the Iowa City Literary Walk, Iowa. Well, that lasted about as long as I expected it would. I’m barely a month into my new commitment to this blog, and I’ve already missed two consecutive Saturday posts -- Saturday being the day I post my most reflective writing of the … Continue reading Putting This Out There
Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs For about the last ten years we’ve owned a fifth-wheel camper, and it still surprises folks who know me to find out I enjoy camping. Let’s say it’s pretty clear to even casual friends that I’m the opposite of outdoorsy and active. It surprises me a little bit that camping … Continue reading Unplugging and Reconnecting
This Revisited was written in the Fall of 1999 as part of the BA degree I would receive the following Spring. It has been edited for clarity. "A Sense of Home" was also an award-winner in the creative non-fiction category in the IUS Writing Contest in 2000 and was previously published in the IUS Review, … Continue reading A Sense of Home
Ahhh...space in which to create. Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs The home office I’ve maintained in my recent years as a student had slowly become over-taken by piles of paper waiting for the shredder, over-filled files of class notes I’ll never look at again, and within the last year, a tall stack of storage totes … Continue reading Creating Creative Space
“Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it mean.” I learned this phrase in an anonymous group, although it may have come from their local tradition. Whatever its origins, it’s been a powerful message in my life. It functions as both a way to check myself and a way to clarify … Continue reading Say What You Mean
Fall is my favorite time of year, and I have always associated that sentiment with my birthday in October; but this morning, in early September more than two weeks before the official start of the season, I realized for the first time another reason to love Fall -- and perhaps the real reason I do. … Continue reading Good Morning, Fall
This Labor Day weekend has me pondering, as someone who doesn’t bring home a regular paycheck, what is the work that I do? How do I -- or am I -- contribute(ing) to the good of society? Most importantly, am I contributing for the good of God’s kingdom? It’s timely that the homily I heard … Continue reading Am I Doing God’s Work?
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Photo by Susan Fischbach Isaacs Part of the joy that lingers in my soul after visiting Glacier Bay National Park on the coast of Alaska is the fact that there were 2000 of us—just on the same ship as I—who stopped our lives, our conversations, everything to watch a … Continue reading The Peace of Unknowing
Recently in dialog with a young man about the age of my sons, he suggested the metaphor of a cave for the darkness, loneliness, and isolation he sometimes feels -- a cave where he feels stuck and that no one else knows it exists. Though painful, he says that he also finds treasure there that … Continue reading Treasure in the Cave of Isolation and Darkness
I'm sorry to see it's been so long since I've been here. Several things have kept me away, not the least of which is you -- or should I say my fear of you -- the reader. At this point I realize that most of my readers know and (I'll go out on a limb … Continue reading Ground Rules for Family & Friends
For the past couple of years, I’ve been working on minding my own business, and what an eye-opener that has been. Several factors converged and convinced me to take a look at how critical I can be. Now, there is constructive criticism, to be sure, and I can be good at that. If someone asks … Continue reading Biting My Tongue and Finding My Voice
Most examples that a person can give about love in regard to popular culture are such clichés that one is hesitant to bother calling these things to mind. In modern usage and thought, love is supposed to be easy. It is a feeling that either is or is not – of its own volition and … Continue reading A Similitude of Eternal Beauty
I received a divine birthday gift, given to me on my actual birth day that I might spend my life giving it away; and instead I found it, just this week, buried in the back of the closet. The sad thing is I hadn’t even realized it had been misplaced. It got set down for … Continue reading The Divine Present