Stubborn Persistence

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:33:38 AM

May 7, 2020

I’m old enough to remember life before Common Core math.  When I was learning to add and subtract, it was all about carrying the 1 and adding columns from right to left.  Well, at least that’s what they tried to teach me.  What actually happened was that I was so bad at basic math my teacher gave me an old film canister full of buttons so I could have a visual representation of the math equations.  I’d count out my buttons.  Take away the number of buttons in the equation and count what was left.  So if the problem was 10 minus 3 I could visualize 7 buttons left over in the pile. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Jump In Any Way

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:25:41 AM

May 6, 2020

When I turned 30 (no, I will not tell you how long ago that was) I made a pact with myself.  I promised to reevaluate my auto responses to things that scared me.  So, I told myself, if I come across an activity or situation that scared me, I would take time to actually consider doing it instead of automatically saying no.  My mantra was “if it scares you, do it.”  It didn’t always mean I’d muster the courage to take on new adventures but it did mean I’d take a second or third look at a situation rather than dismiss it out of hand.

Fast forward a couple of years.  I’m spending the summer of 2010 serving as a counselor for The Ulster Project, a summer long peace making program for Northern Irish teens who come to the US to experiment with building relationships and working through social difference.  Every summer the Ulster Project of East Tennessee takes the teens (half from Northern Ireland, half from the US/half Catholic, half Protestant) to Dollywood for a day of fun.  It’s the highlight of the summer!  It was for me too, until a fellow counselor said to me “ride this rollercoaster with me!!!”

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Ripples

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:21:11 AM

May 5, 2020

When I was a young my father tried, to his chagrin and deep disappointment, to teach me how to fish.  It went something like this: Ok son, the first lesson baiting your hook with these earthworms…Why are you crying?  It’s just a worm…it can’t bite you…Ok, so plastic worms it is!  Then, casting…it’s literally just flicking the wrist and moving your thumb…you can do this…ok, hang on to it…why is your pole in the lake, we’ll try again…and again…ok, now reel it in, nice and slow…don’t let it drop to the bottom…well now I have to cut the line off…Ok well, bobbers it is…wait, don’t be impatient…when it goes under pull back hard…Ok…that’s a hook in your leg, it’s ok, it’ll come out!  Let me get my plyers…see, isn’t this fun!!!!!

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

You Will Be Found

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:18:26 AM

May 4, 2020

So, no one told you life was gonna be this way…” Yes, I’ve been singing the Friends theme song while doing dishes and prepping dinner for tonight.  I think it’s a great reminder that sometimes things are hard and it’s just not gonna be your day, your week, or even your year.  Especially this year!  Speaking of 2020, did you hear about the murder hornets invading America? 

Yay May!

I saw a meme recently that said “ Did you know it takes a plastic bag 20-100 years to break down, yet it takes me approximately 1 minor inconvenience.”  I felt that y’all!  I don’t know if all the grief we’ve been processing recently has made me overly sensitive or if everything really is that annoying and I’ve been too distracted by other things to notice.  But y’all, if my upstairs neighbor doesn’t learn how to walk up and down the stairs without sounding like a herd of wildebeest I’m going to lose my mind!!! I mean, dude, really, at 7 am do you have to run down the steps so loudly?

 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Celebrate Everything

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:14:14 AM

May 1, 2020

Well my friends, we’ve survived yet another week.  At least, I think this has only been one week.  I’m pretty sure I’ve lived a thousand lifetimes since Monday.  I know I’ve left a thousand things undone and have failed in more than one.  That would explain how soul-tired I am today.  It’s time for a good weekend of rest and restoration. I hope you find the time to spend a few minutes in the sunshine, a few hours with your eyes closed in a glorious nap, and mouthful of tasty snacks that remind you that life is worth celebrating, always! 

 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Cracks in the Facade

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:11:57 AM

April 30, 2020

I woke up today a little excited.  I have two in-home visits planned today.  I get to see people!!!! Now, as an introvert, that only means I have a fully charged social battery and am ready to interact with humans.  I was also excited to wear real clothes again!  Since my last in home visit was about 2 weeks ago, like many of you, I’ve worn a more casual attire.  I like to call it Greg Norman chic!  Who knew a golf pullover quarter zip could be so versatile?!?!? So you can imagine my excitement when I thought “yay, I get to wear real clothes today!”  You can also imagine my HORROR when I tried to button my real pants…needless to say, I almost needed to use an inhaler! 

 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Through the Looking Glass

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:09:41 AM

April 29, 2020

Ok, so I have had the most vivid dreams over the last few nights.  I’m pretty sure It’s all part of the way in which we all process our anxiety and experiences with the world under a pandemic.  We are all trying to figure out how to navigate the strangeness of our new lives.  ABC’s Good Morning America had a segment this morning about stress dreams.  So I know it’s just not me. 

 

It's no wonder that we are all struggling to make sense of the world.  I mean, if I’m being honest, I feel like I’ve fallen through the Looking Glass and I’m holding hands with Alice while skipping like a fool through the Red Queen’s rose garden.  What even is real life anymore?  Are we all in a collective fever dream?  Have we all gotten lost down the rabbit hole?  It is indeed getting curiouser and curiouser! 

 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Be Soft

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:05:04 AM

April 28, 2020

I can still remember the interview I had before being offered my current position as Chaplain at Four Seasons.  I drove two hours from Knoxville to Asheville for an afternoon interview. For two, long, excruciating hours I anticipated the questions the interview team would have for me.  I practiced answering fake questions.  I smiled. I laughed.  I nearly made myself sick worrying about being on time to a part of town I’d never visited.  I have 1001 visions of how the next hour or two would play out and by the time I got to the Buncombe check point to meet the interview team, I had already been hired 5 times and told “we’ll get back to you” at least 100 times. 

 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Small Kindness

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:02:23 AM

April 27, 2020

Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…Okay, okay, I won’t sing the whole song, but just know it’s playing in the background as I type this.  If you’re wondering what song I’m referring to, then maybe we can’t be friends.  At any rate, before we all go nuts and start looking for the purple bandana, before they put us all in the trucks…don’t let the elevator bring us down…oh no let’s go! 

 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Look for the Helpers

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 6:59:56 AM

April 24, 2020

Dear friends, as the week (finally) ends and you enter into some much deserved rest and restoration, I want to remind you that every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard enough and believe in yourself! It might be difficult, but it’s not impossible!!!

 

 It’s been rough going for many of us the last few weeks.  I began writing these daily emails to you in hopes that each of you would find the strength and resiliency to carry on when you need to, rest when you can, heal when you find yourself wounded, laugh at the absurdity of it all and shed a tear to wash it all clean.  I think, for the most part, we’ve been able to do that. 

 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

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