Sunday Matters: Don’t Despair

Sunday Matters

It’s been a challenging week. More heartache and frustration over the state of our country, the Borderline shooting hitting everyone far and wide, more brush fires and entire towns being wiped out north of us. How do you remain hopeful?

Well, it starts and ends with kindness. Be good to yourself and be good to others. Do a little something extra for someone and that dark cloud will dissipate. It’s nearly impossible to stay upset when you are making someone else feel good.

Right Now:

Last Thursday was full of bad news so we attended church that night. It was a nice, quiet service. Exactly what we needed. That means I am free this morning to do whatever I want.

This Week:

My campus is closed on Monday for the holiday so I am going to plan our Thanksgiving menu and figure out what I need to buy. I can’t believe how fast it’s coming up. Later that night, we are working Outreach and I may have to work one of the plays at the end of the week but other than that, it’s just work and rehearsals taking up my time this week.


STILL reading Murakami.


The Walking Dead is heading into a six-year time jump for tonight’s episode. I think it’s a really lazy way for the writers to get these characters into a more interesting story line. The characters are going nowhere. Something has to happen.

On a happier note, American Horror Story is holding up nicely this year. One more episode on Wednesday and this season is done.

I’ve been thinking about Christmas movies and feeling the need to pop one in.

New Things I’ve Tried:

I’ve been listening to podcasts on my way to work and I stumbled across The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. It’s faith-based but in my opinion, loosely so. Jamie invites a female friend to come talk for an hour. They talk about kids, books, marriage, work, etc. But it’s like you are listening to two friends at lunch. I. LOVE. IT. My book list has grown with all of the recommendations she has, plus I can relate to nearly every topic that comes up.

If you check it out, let me know what you think because it’s really good and I want every woman to listen to it.

Grateful for:

I’m going back to the basics here… I am grateful for the roof over my head, the friends I have, the opportunities I’ve been given and the food on my table. We are heading (quickly) into the “gimme” season and I am so over it.

My question to you this week, what special holiday activity are you looking forward to this year? For whatever reason, the holiday events are really numerous and wonderful this year and it’s forcing me to pick and choose what we do. Here are just a handful we are considering:

Holiday Lights at the Reagan Library (new this year)
Enchanted Forest of Light (we attended last year and loved it)
LA Zoo Lights
Festival of Lights
Santa Barbara Christmas Night Market 

I have more to list but you see my dilemma. So much fun and we have a Disneyland trip to work in there too. There are only so many days between now and Christmas and I want to do it all.

33 thoughts on “Sunday Matters: Don’t Despair”

  1. And that ass of a President says he may cut funding to CA victims as the environmental people aren’t doing their jobs!! If they were we wouldn’t keep having fires! Talk about kicking people when they are down😭

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. And they aren’t even forest fires!! We’ve been in a drought for years but global warming has nothing to do with that.

      We’ve had to watch one home after another burn to the ground because there aren’t enough firefighters to fight this.

  2. We attend a Home for the Holidays, Christmas show at a local theatre. The performers are awesome and music gets u in spirit. My birthday is 12/15 so we always do a fancy holiday brunch with whole family as well.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Yes…this has been a discouraging heart breaking kind of week. We have close family in Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley and both families had to evacuate. I would most definitely go to the market and the zoo. What fun! I am not sure what we are doing but I know I don’t want presents…well maybe one sparkly one…then I just want to stay in and cherish the moments!

    1. Today is going to be a rough day at work. I can already tell but the Sip and Shop is this weekend and I am focusing on that and I have a party to go to tonight.

    1. And your hillsides haven’t been affected by fire so your beach walk should still be pretty great. I can’t believe how Malibu looks this morning.

  4. My focus is on surviving one day at a time these days. If I think too far into the future, I get a little panicky. It is not because of all the things that need to happen or all of the holiday to-dos. It has more to do with the fact that the future feels like one more thing that is out of my control. If I focus on the immediate future and present, I can at least stay calmer and allow myself to prioritize the important things. Right now, my focus is on planning and scheduling for Thanksgiving. I feel a little bit like I am a contestant on the GBBO with schedules and timelines and a list a mile long of things I need to do and foods I need to prep before then.

      1. In this day and age, nearsightedness is not a bad trait to have. It’s a way to protect yourself for the grotesque. I have to be on social media for work and I just can’t screen the bad stuff out. It makes me angry which affects me in many ways.

    1. You are not the first person to say that they have to focus on the immediate in order to stay sane. I spent some time yesterday figuring out my shopping list for Thanksgiving. I also committed to making stuff for an outreach meal and signed up for a “adopt a family” thing so I need to get the stuff for those two things too. I have been to the market no less than two times already and I still don’t have what I need.

      I just want to savor it all. I don’t mind the cooking but I want to have a little wine and enjoy it. I know I will once the day comes but I want to be done with the store and shopping by this Friday.

  5. It has been a very tough week for this country but you’re right, kindness can go a long way. I always get more than I give when I do for other people.

    Our son will be out of town for Thanksgiving so it’ll just be the two of us and we’ll keep it simple.

    1. If it’s just the two of you, will you cook? I always want to cook the Thanksgiving meal. It’s not the same for me to go somewhere. I gotta have the leftovers. And I love the way the house smells while that turkey is cooking.

  6. I’ve been thinking about the people in Cal this week, so much awful in one week. I love what you say about kindness, that’s so true. I’m going to check out the Happy Hour podcast, thanks for the rec. I’m all for lights at the zoo!

    1. We used to do the lights at the zoo when we were members but now it’s all redone and much bigger. We haven’t been for years but I would love to go. Hope you enjoy The Happy Hour. I am loving it.

  7. OMG Ti: thinking of all those from the shooting & the fires there. What a terrible week. It must get better from here. You offer a good tip for remaining hopeful in these times. Are you near Thousand Oaks and the fire near there?

    1. We are not near Thousand Oaks but over the weekend it went the other way and that was closer to my work but my house was still nowhere near it. Today is horribly windy and my worst feat is being trapped here since there is only one way for me to go home. This has happened to me before so I really hope nothing flares up today.

      You cannot believe how different the coastline looks. Decimated. Like a bomb went off. Miles of coastline surrounded by charred remains. And what does remain will be threatened by mudslides if there is any rain this season.

  8. It’s been a tough week for our country, but even worse for the state of California. Think you’re right about healing beginning with kindness. We’re flying north Friday, then I’ll be a crazy woman until Thanksgiving… so much to do in less than a week. Hope things are better for you this week.

    1. It’s really difficult to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I keep telling people it’s next week and they don’t believe me at first. All the holiday baskets and holiday meals are all happening this week and early next week for outreach so I am taking Wednesday as my day to shop for what I need and for what I committed to. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  9. I try to stay away from the news when I’m not working since I have to watch it all week. It drains me. I have tons of things on my weekend wish lists for activities, but not sure which ones I’ll get to. LOL

    I haven’t been reading much but I’ve been indulging in Hallmark Christmas movies. I do have to get through Devil in the White City for book club, but that’s a dark one and I’m not in the mood for it.

    1. Devil in the White City is so good. It’s dark and hard to believe it’s based on true events but the events surrounding the murders are fascinating.

  10. I’ve been praying for out country, and California is high on the list. The photos of people and animals running for their lives in so horrifying. Thanks for the info about The Happy Hour, I just subscribed. My oldest son and his family will be out of town for Thanksgiving. I’ll be spending the day with my youngest son, my daughter and her family and her husband’s parents. My top three picks for what to do are the first three you listed. I agree with you that doing for others makes you feel good.

    1. I hope you enjoy The Happy Hour as much as I have been. I’ve really embraced it these past few weeks. The news is just too much for me to handle. And the photos coming in of all the animals affected by these fires breaks my heart. Bands of them just roaming the earth, looking for their humans. And I don’t get into politics too much on here but the things that have been said about our fires of late have really rubbed me the wrong way.

      1. I’m mush when it comes to animals so those photos tear me up.

        I’m not for bashing the president no matter who is in office but wow, some things this one says leaves me shaking my head.

        1. When they show these firefighters on the line, unable to save a house you can just see it in their faces how disappointed they are. But many of these homes did not have hydrants in their neighborhoods. They were not able to connect to water which makes it a very difficult fight when they can’t fight it from the air either because of visibility, smoke or it being night time. Even implying for a second that it’s someone’s fault bothers me. And the few homes that are left standing will be fighting again once the rain hits… mudslides and fires go hand in hand.

  11. It’s heartbreaking! The photos are emotionally devastating to see, so I can’t imagine what it is like for the people and animals who are going through it. Praying this ends soon.

  12. I finished Killing Commendatore a day or so upon our return from Japan. I really, really liked it, and I look forward to discussing it when you finish. I cannot write a post about it, though. That would be presuming I understand all of what he was talking about. Now I just accept that I read it to enjoy his world, whatever it might all mean.

    1. I finished Killing Commendatore but haven’t written my thoughts up yet. I loved it though. Really enjoyed it. It seemed to have more of a linear structure than any of his books have had in the past. It was more plainly told, if that makes sense.

      1. That makes perfect sense! It was more linear, and more in line with typical rise and fall of American literature. And yet…I am pondering the deeper meanings, the areas I’m not quite clear on. An idea, for example, becoming flesh and then needing to be killed. When I translate that to taking one’s thoughts captive, I can begin to grasp it, but is that what Murakami meant? I wish I could have a full disclosure on all the obscure aspects of his novels, and yet the puzzle is one if the things I admire most about them.

        1. I don’t know how honest he is in his interviews but when asked about meaning, Murakami nearly always says that even he is not sure of the meaning. I think he doesn’t intend for it to be interpreted one way or another, he just writes what he feels and leaves it up to us to pull meaning from it. The whole idea of a Metaphor or an Idea taking flesh form was so interesting to me. And the Subaru guy… his portrait and how it just had layers of paint over it and yet it still represented him even though it wasn’t a face, really. Very interesting.

          I know some readers tire of all the descriptive text but I love when Murakami focuses on clothing… such attention to fabric and fit. I also like how he breaks a person down in looks. The dialogue is often almost too simple which I think makes people second guess what is being said.

          1. I remember reading, once, that Murakami wanted his readers to be “wide open to possibility.” That quote is in my mind because it is so indicative of what we must do when we read his work.

            I am “comforted” by what you said about how even he is not entirely clear of what he means.

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