by Kay Lynn Means Darling
Life is so full of ups and downs, but most have lessons to be learned or knowledge to be stored. More times than not at this stage of my life it has become easier to accept change because I realize our Father in Heaven is graciously guiding my steps of which I am so very thankful.
However, I certainly still have moments of fear and loneliness and anger and worry. What do I do when I recognize I am “in a tizzy?” First, I make sure I’ve taken my meds, because I am bi-polar (I lean toward the depressive side, but my illness is on the low end of the spectrum…can still make life miserable though). I have to believe fear is tied into this as well as worry and being lonely.
I was taught many years ago to “change the channel” when the going gets rough. I keep in mind a list of five things that bring me joy so when it’s time to change the channel I switch my thoughts to that list instead of dwelling on negativity.
Also, I’ve not had to do this in years, but another tried and true way to get thoughts out of mind is to write them down. I had one of those really large journals and when things came to mind that bothered me I would write them down. If they were angry thoughts, I may write VERY BIG and press down REALLY HARD as I wrote – that action diffused the unwanted emotion. The key to doing this is to never go back and read the journal which could bring all of the angst rushing back.
Staying busy can be helpful, too, but the problem remains there in the background waiting for you to slow down. I guess I prefer training my mind to switch over for me. It seems to never fail – when I quit worrying about something, the solution then presents itself.
Writing has always been therapeutic for me, as well as photography, and now, my latest venture of working on ancestry.com. In 2012, I became a member because my Dad was orphaned and we didn’t know a lot about his family.
Now I have approximately 2000 people in my tree (which includes paternal and maternal family) that date back into the 11th century and have recently determined that through my paternal grandmother, Daniel Boone (the pioneer) was my first cousin 8x removed. His father was the son of my 8th great-grandfather. And, because of the Boone connection I’ve found where Abraham Lincoln (who married a Boone) was also a cousin 8x removed. My Dad would certainly be amazed at all of this. And lastly, again through the Boone connection I’ve come across another member with many of the same ancestors who has strong ties to Elvis Presley. This will require further exploration though, but is all so very fascinating.
I hope my thoughts may help some…food for thought at least!
God bless you!
Kay Lynn Means Darling was born in a small town in southeast Texas where the townsfolk pretty much all knew one another. Kay Lynn’s most outstanding memories from childhood were: (1) the huge family get-togethers each Easter when relatives from all over the country would drive down for a huge barbecue that began after church services where all were wearing their “Easter best,” (for Kay Lynn that was a fancy dress, Easter bonnet, straw purse, and shoes to match). (2) being a participant in the live nativity scene each Christmas at church. It was always cold outside and each position (Wise Man, Joseph, Mary) required being completely still for 15 minutes, and when that segment was up the kids would run to the Reception Hall to get a cup of hot chocolate that would scald their tongues, but was so good. Good fellowship and good times.
Kay Lynn was on the quiet side, but still loved to joke and smile and laugh. She recalls a pleasant childhood with good friends that remain in her life to this day. From first through eighth grade, her schooling was on a standard level, but in high school, her counselor put her in the “advanced” classes. Mid-way through high school, Kay Lynn joined a group that would go to school half a day and work half a day. Ultimately, she became bored with school and left a few months shy of graduation in order to marry her sweetheart. That marriage last 1 1/2 years and the need for work led her to a secretarial position at the local police department.
Though not all with the same department, Kay Lynn worked approximately 30 years in law enforcement. She held many positions throughout her career, but was so happy to become the first female patrolman in her hometown which opened the door for many more women to follow as the years passed. Kay Lynn also became the department’s first and only Evidence Technician and set that office up for many to follow also. She worked the last 12 years in that position (as well as Telecommunications) and said this is where she found her heart. The work wasn’t easy, required seeing things most people would never encounter in their lifetime, but the teamwork it took to make a case was so unbelievably awesome.
At the time of her retirement, Kay Lynn married again and moved to the mountains of up-State New York where she and her husband remained for three or so years before they came back to Texas to settle in a small town in Deep East Texas, where as a widow she lives to this day.