Today was gorgeous, and I spent the morning outside working on the lawn, garden, and bees. I planted a slew of light blue (maybe purple?) violas. The daffodils, hollyhocks, tulips, and daylilies are all in the early stages of blooming as well. I also dug up another five stupid grape hyacinths and destroyed them. After almost six years (?) of digging them out of the front and back yard, I’m down to the point that I only have a handful each spring.
The bees look really good still. I did not open up the last survivor hive, but they had a strong number out and exploring by mid-afternoon. Before they got out, I sealed up the two dead hives so that they wouldn’t rob them out completely. I do want a touch of honey in them for the packages coming next month so that I don’t have to do sugar syrup.
The last thing I did was a full outside clean. I raked the front and back yards, cleaned out the debris from the flower beds, turned the soil in the veggie garden, turned the compost pile, and gutted the shed. That shed hasn’t had a good cleaning in years, and I took out enough stuff to fill our trash can twice over. It’ll take a few weeks to get it all thrown away a bit at a time, but I can actually walk into my shed now and easily get everything. I also gave myself a nice long work bench for all my bee stuff. I used to keep that inside, but now I can keep the majority of it outside.
Now to the top bar…. Dad decided to go to Langstroths this spring, and he gave me one of his old top bars. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with it. It’s a big hive, and I’m not quite sure where to put it. It doesn’t fit in the apiary unless you sacrifice the space I have to work. I also don’t like that the only comfortable way to position it is to set it up at an angle that has me standing in the flight path to work on my other hives. I moved it outside the apiary, but now I’m a touch concerned that the apiary has expanded close enough to the house that that part of the back yard is more or less closed off from consistent use. Add in that I’m not even sure if I want to do the top bar. Don’t get me wrong; I’d love to do it. But I do recognize that I’m not quite in the mood to run four hives this morning. I’d also need to split my one survivor to populate it or go short on the Langstroths and only have two of those. I’m just not sure what I want to do.
I guess we’ll see what happens (like always).
The rest of life is… life. It’s been a frustrating day in a lot of ways. Being outside all day and working like that was very triggering for me and left me feeling a bit bitter and frustrated. I find that not knowing why and when and how are three things I really dislike, and in this case, it’s all three.
Sigh…. It’s been a long week. Not a bad one, but long nevertheless. I feel the stress in people around me acutely lately, and I can just sense that everyone is kind of in a spot that isn’t as great as they wish. Everyone is busy, everyone is trying to do more. And the empathetic side of me feels just a bit overwhelmed right now and maybe a little frustrated with the inability to do what I wish I could.
We’re going to Idaho in later on this spring, and I’m excited to spend a few days there in that quiet back country. There’s something up there that just makes me feel… safe. Wanted. Strong. I don’t know quite how to describe it, but I’m counting the days.
In the singles ward, we are teaching the temple preparation class, and part of the instruction includes a brief message from the bishopric on the temple recommend interview. One of the things I like to do is discuss the concept of worthiness when it comes to attending the temple. I love the idea that the temple is like a spiritual hospital, a place we can go to find healing despite our imperfections, and that’s just wonderful.
As I pondered the idea of worthiness, I wondered about the etymology of the word. Yes, I’m that big of a dork when it comes to words! One of my most favorite websites is the Online Etymology Dictionary, and a decided to look up worthy. It was a treasure of a discovery.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, worthy has the following etymology:
- worthy (adj.)
- mid-13c., “having merit,” from worth (n.) + -y (2). Old English had weorþful in this sense. Attested from c.1300 as a noun meaning “person of merit”
Pretty cool! So worthy means to have merit. That got me thinking, as you might expect, about the etymology of merit, which led to this truly wonderful discovery:
- merit (n.)
- c.1200, “spiritual credit” (for good works, etc.); c.1300, “spiritual reward,” from Old French merite “wages, pay, reward; thanks; merit, moral worth, that which assures divine pity,” and directly from Latin meritum “a merit, service, kindness, benefit, favor; worth, value, importance,” neuter of meritus, past participle of merere, meriri “to earn, deserve, acquire, gain,” from PIE root *(s)mer- “to allot, assign” (cf. Greek meros “part, lot,” moira “share, fate,” moros “fate, destiny, doom,” Hittite mark “to divide” a sacrifice).
Spiritual credit. And not only that, but also an idea of gaining, earning, and deserving.
When we speak of being worthy to enter the temple, I find it motivating to think of the temple as a goal of merit. A goal of spiritual credit. Of earning, gaining, and deserving to go.
When I read the word credit, my first thought was the credits you get when you drop quarters into an arcade. So many quarters buys you so many credits. With that analogy, I love to think that our individual worthiness to go to the temple is not something we need to have a wealth of righteousness to go and participate in; rather, we need enough credit. We need enough quarters. We need enough of those small, patient, righteous works to get us through those doors where we can experience the joy and happiness of the temple.
I remember as a kid stepping up to those arcade machines with a quarter warm in my sweaty palm. I was anxious and eager to pay. In many ways, the quarter represented much more than $.25. It was the hope of having a good time, the expense of what was then a great deal of money, the expectation of victory and discovery. The idea that I could come back again if I lost. That I could try again and try again after that. That each time was a new adventure and a new opportunity.
When was the last time that we approached the temple with such fervor and desire to be a part of it? I’m half-tempted to carry a quarter in my hand the next time I go….
I’m a word nerd, and a coworker introduced a new word to me today. I’m declaring it the most wonderful word ever.
Kummerspeck (German) n. Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
Grief bacon… Sadness never sounded so happy.
Transference is the unconscious transfer of thoughts, feelings, and attitudes from one thing to another, and I’ve noticed that I seem to experience that a lot lately. Anything that frustrates me right now is transferred to a certain person, and the consequence is a nice roller coaster of spiraling frustration. As those thoughts transfer into an already intense and frustrating situation for me, I’ve also noticed that reason, logic, and the norm of thought are easy to discard. Finally, the whole thing is synergistic. The original frustration and the transferred frustration are not, by themselves, able to drive a person to the point of true anger or rage, but combined they accomplish what neither could do alone.
I’ve also noticed that transference seems to be more or less common to the human condition (of course it is), but perhaps more so than what you and I typically give it credit for. As I’ve struggled with not transferring that frustration and letting it build, I’ve noticed that transference isn’t necessarily bad nor is necessarily human related.
On the human front, how much does it bother you that people group people into categories by preconceived stereotypes? For example, have you ever heard a liberal talk about a conservative (or vice versa)? Both are transferring the preconceived notions of their personal experience from a severely limited viewpoint to paint an entire demographic in a certain light. And yes, did you notice that I transferred my own experiences in those conversations into a generalization of the attitude of both groups against each other?
But the point is that transference in this case is more related to the attitudes we have about something or someone as much as it is about transferring real emotional thoughts onto another person. This is as much about your own attitude and willingness to listen and participate in the human dialog as it is about the actual transference. Optimism isn’t always thinking positively just as pessimism isn’t always thinking negatively. Rather, it is the transfer of negative or positive attitudes to a potential future based on your prior experiences AND–more critically–to the experiences you choose to transfer.
So where am I going with this? No clue. Must there be a point to the rambling?
I guess the goal was to make sure that I’m being open to the experiences around me for what they are–independent, unconnected events that are there for the opportunity–instead of pre-assigning or transferring my past experiences.
In other words, give it a chance.
We can all grow, change, learn, try, do differently, and otherwise experience life in new ways each and every day. Surprise yourself sometime. You’ll enjoy it.