Month: November 2021

Giving by Lois Hewitt

My goal with this blog is to be as honest and forthcoming as possible. In life I have found those struggles I have had were not just mine. I would have loved to read about someone who struggled with OCD (and still does) or who lived with the consequences of poor decision making. I always thought it was just me. My hope is to make just one person feel they are not alone. Plus being open about those struggles is healing.

With that being said, I am going to be very honest. I want to be more of a caring person but I have built such a high wall around myself I can’t seem to break free. I want to be more open but, honestly, I’m unsure of most people in general. I hate to admit this but it is part of my struggle.

Lockdown was too easy for me. In fact I thrived not being able to go anywhere. I gained a new appreciation for Amazon. Mike and Amazon were my lifeline to the outside world. I was happy and content.

That didn’t last and that is a good thing. But I am having real trouble assimilating back into the land of other people. In that short period of time, I began to not trust anymore. I began to feel different than everyone else. I leave the apartment counting the hours until I’m back. I make no eye contact. I drifted out to an isolated island and I’m still there but with more people around.

I have always been a loner. Much of my youth was spent alone. I learned to love it. It’s easier being alone. No small talk. No chance to get hurt. I’m not lonely just alone. I have books and Prime for outside influences. Again to be painfully honest, people scare me.

I have always dealt with the fact that if I never left home I would probably be ok. But that’s not normal and I know it. I am not sure I know how to change it. I can for periods of time assimilate but it is exhausting. From what I have been reading that is normal for introverts.

I do want to change a little. I believe we are all lights onto the world. We are placed here to light up our little corners of the world. How can I do that when my battery is always dead and when the wall is too high to climb over?

Another very strong personal belief I have is that things done for others are meant to be done in silence. Doing good for the attention of it is not doing good. Those things done when no one is watching are the game changers. Just my opinion and only for myself.

With that being said, yesterday I was doing my weekly grocery shopping when I saw a man in a motorized cart. He seemed to be struggling with items on high shelves. I said a prayer for him and kept doing. I ran into him again and without thinking and without fear I asked if he needed help. He did and I helped him. Then continued shopping. In the last isle, I saw him again and asked if he needed anything before I left. He said he was good. And I checked out.

Later that night I was thinking about this less than a minute experience. It reminded me of what it means to be human. It’s not the big things, I leave those things to better people than I. It is about the small human kindnesses that seem like distant memories from a different time.

I used to be that person a lot. But then something made me afraid. Oh how I hate being afraid. But I am. Fear has released some of my humanity. Fear has made me less generous and much more jaded. My life is colored not with rose colored glasses but tainted with colors of hatred and discourse. I hate to admit that I am afraid. That fear makes me angry. That anger makes me afraid. And so the cycle is uninterrupted.

I’m not trying to be a downer but this is my current struggle. I would love to change the world with my written words but the probability of that is slim. I have to learn to live with others again. I’m not sure how that will happen. But helping that gentleman in the grocery store seemed to start a smoldering inside of me.

My hope for this blog is to show that a very flawed person can make the necessary changes in life to become that light unto the world that we are all called to be. I’m not there yet. I’m almost 60 and you would think by now I would have gotten it. But it’s still in progress.

To you reading this..congraulations on getting this far as I’m sure it wasn’t easy. But thank you. If that one person is out there and doesnt feel completely alone now I thank you. We really are all in this together and no one gets out alive. We might as well stick together and make it better where we can. That’s what I’m going to try.

Love Letter to a Train by Lois Hewitt

I still can’t believe that I used to work on a train. I was not an engineer or conductor, but a server for guests. It has been a few years since I have done that, but I already look back on the time with nostalgia in my heart.

I always said it was the hardest job I ever loved. If you have ever been a server just imagine doing it on a constantly moving train. Once you got used to it, it really wasn’t that difficult.

History never really interested me until I started working on a train. Some of the passenger cars dated back to the 1920s. The engines were from WWII. I used to imagine train travel back in the day. Slow and romantic.

Since I worked on a scenic railroad, our speed did not top 19 miles an hour. On one particularly difficult bend we would slow to a crawl as to not derail. Imagine going 15 miles an hour in today’s world! It took guests a while to acclimate to the idea of slowing down. Many learned to enjoy the pace.

The idea of slowly moving through the scenery, crossing tressel bridges, following rivers, and stepping back in time were the gifts the train gave to her guests. As I learned more and more about trains, she became a living thing to me and the others I worked with.

Imagine building these gigantic mechanical beings by hand with materials made by hand. The depth and scope I cannot imagine. Every detail celebrated by workers who took pride in providing a new, at the time, means of moving people and products from place to place.

The train saved entire communities by bringing much need supplies during times of distress. It also allowed people to move whether searching for opportunities or enjoying a pleasure trip, the train was the mode of desired transportation.

Close your eyes for a moment and feel the gentle rocking of the train car. Perpetual motion. Listen to the melody of the wheels running along the track, metal on metal yet somehow soothing. Windows down, the smell of smoke from the steam engine, the smell of trees as you slowly move past them fill your lungs and your imagination. It was glorious!

There were several cars and we would be assigned different cars each time we worked. As I worked there longer, I got to know the personality of each car. It didn’t seem possible that could be, but it was. Each car had a distinct character, set of likes and dislikes and set a tone for the days travel.

This was hard work and could be pretty dirty at times. But the people who worked with me loved the train as much if not more than I did. The experience of being in the company of this group of people has forever touched my soul.

My time was too short riding the rails. My age ended up getting the better of me. I do not think a day passes when, even for one moment, I don’t think about my step back in time on the train.

A cargo train runs regularly near where I live and work today. When I hear the distant sound of a whistle blow… I stop for a moment. My heart beats a little faster. I start to feel the ground as it shakes from the raw power of the diesel engine. The sounds get louder and for that brief second as the train passes I am transported back. Oh how I miss you Girl!

I love the train itself, the people who also love the train and I love the idea of it. What this crazy world needs is to slow the pace in which we all live. We need to relearn how to drink in the surroundings and enjoy the beauty that is missed in our daily lives. We need to open our imaginations to a different time.

I know the history of the train system isn’t pretty. Dirty deeds were done and people used to forward the progress. That is a sad fact. But the train also saved people. Saved them from poverty and famine. It allowed people to fulfill their wanderlust and create new lives in new places. The train, literally, changed the world as it was known then.

She forever changed me as a person. Her imprint is a permanent mark on my soul. I will never forget those heady days, those tiring days and those days filled with adventure. Oh how I miss that Girl!

To Be Happy by Lois Hewitt

I want to be happy. But how? These are a few of the things that work for me.

Love…makes people happy! A good partner is one of the truest of blessings. A good friend is a way to love. A pet is a true and faithful love. Loving yourself is a great start to a life of love.

Gratitude..being thankful for what you have not all things you don’t. I used to think if I just had one more trinket I would be happy. I missed all that was in front of me.

Health…without it, life can be unbearable. A life full of vibrancy and energy is a blessed life.

Purpose…too many years were spent just trying to stay above water. Too many years of just getting by (and not very well at that). A deeper meaning to life gives it the color and texture needed to create profound happiness…the kind that lives deep in your soul.

Believing…being able to hold your personal beliefs strong through the storms in life, not wavering when the road gets rocky and staying the course of doing the right thing invoke happiness.

Creativity…being able to create something is core to being happy. I used to think only masters of a subject found their happiness in creativity. But it is the cake baked, a scarf knitted (even if it was meant to be a sweater), a chord played, a drawing, a completed puzzle, anything that adds beauty to life brings with it happiness.

I truly used to think that if I could just get one more book, one more set of dishware, a better car, one more purse…the list goes on…then I would be happy. The reality was that I was so unhappy and ungrateful. Happiness had no place to roost inside me. All the toxicness I held to close did not allow for it

As I look at my life now. I live with a lot less. Owning things can be a burden without the proper context. I used to be surrounded by things that had no meaning…they were just things. Today the things I have, a letter from a friend, a gift given for no reason, kind and sweet memories are the things that create in me joy and happiness.

Maybe if we could all slow down a bit and quit listening to what others think will bring us happiness, then we can find it too. I don’t say losing everything like we did is the answer. Although it was the swift kick I needed. But taking some time to visit with God, play a record, read a book, make a curry whatever it is that nourishes the soul will be a huge step in the progression. We must take time for that endeavour.

My old view of happiness was wrong. I thought I would just stumble on it and be happy all the rest of my days. It may seem fleeting but the sincerest of happiness never fully disappears. It may lay dormant for a time but it will resurface.

Today I’m am grateful and focused. I’m working on my happiness separate from that of advertisers. The little things that I love now have the meaning I need to flourish. Happiness is obtainable, even for someone like me. I still get depressed and anxious but I do now have a store of happiness inside of me that fuels me.

Today I hope and pray that your journey to happiness becomes more true to you and the path more clear. It is obtainable as well as sustainable. Good luck and don’t grow weary for the reward is worth every ounce of effort.