Courage

Inside my body is a sliver of metal marking where the doctor did a biopsy last year. I forget it’s there because the information isn’t for me. The next time I go for an X-ray, the radiologist who will see it, will look at the sliver inside the lump knowing this one was marked. #benign #harmless

We carry information inside every cell of our body. Each accident and virus remembered.

When I was young, I felt a calling. It drew me, tugging and pulling. I listened, but I was a child and had growing up things to do.

So many years later and a lot of living has been done. I heard and felt it wake up.

Somewhere in my head, the image of myself doesn’t match the picture I have of this gorgeous calling. I’ve revered it in such grandiosity I can never be that person.

And then I remember the instructions given to me in the year 2000. “Take the steps I place in front of you, and use whatever I place in your hand.”

I already know what I need to do. Accept the calling and let my mental picture fall away. No person or plan ever turned out exactly as we expected.

As Greyhound Busline would always say, Go Greyhound, and leave the driving to us.

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Things That Are Lost

  • Socks in the dryer
  • Teddy bears left on vacation
  • Virginity on Prom night (cliche)
  • Money at the casino
  • My hearing after a Thirty Seconds To Mars concert
  • A place in line if you leave
  • Old men sitting in coffee shops
  • Tolerance

It seems we no longer appreciate the obsolete or outdated. While I was pondering lost items, I realized we had forgotten tolerance. This easy to be with attitude is accepting, never strict. Being tidy, as in the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” written by Marie Kondō or the minimalist movement, suggests life is better with less.

Minimalism has been with us through the centuries. It’s been the balancing force used to expose the excesses of Royalty and the Catholic Church hundreds of years ago. Monks lived this way as a lifestyle, but others lived in holy protest.

Collections are not the same as hoarding. There are few items which please me, and I love them enough to collect them, stack them, line them together on shelves long enough to gather dust.

A book that I have read and shelved still brings pleasure. Although this passes the Tidy Up test, usually it fails the minimalist movement’s criteria since I own more books to place than I have shelving

Here’s is my dilemma, I am picking up the vibe from Society that I should pare down more. And more. A clean home is good, but what if I had a sanitary? The holy grail. Paring down might become the current recent alternate religion I rebel against.

Listen to your guidance on this. It’s possible you’re a two pair of jeans person who only needs one good towel which you wash every other day. Or something of the sort. I have two towels, and I can last a week, but only you know your comfort level. I love my books even though they are alone, collecting dust.

Thriving

The flip side of survival and the fear of failure is thriving. Thriving shouldn’t be difficult. How is it so difficult to win? To succeed? Well, the difficulty is when you have achieved, what’s next? You’ve met your goal. Do you coast or do you keep pedaling?

Keep pedaling. This is why slow growth is better than the lottery winning. If you’ve slowly grown a business you got there and grew into your success. Lucky breaks give you false hope.

We are good at striving. Making changes, adjusting, sacrificing, but actual thriving seems so dull sometimes. Oh, yeah we all have the fantasy of buying an island and not having to work for a living, but how long would it be before we would want more? A month? Six months? A year maybe? Somewhere in that time, you start feeling the itchy feet. The need to contribute is too great. Building something even if it’s only a garden is a rewarding experience.

 

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Get Well Meme

My mom had surgery. Watching her deal with pain, watching Dad’s emotions, his helplessness, grief, and feelings of failure and remorse have been exhausting.

The decisions leading to the surgery for my family have been tricky. For years, Mom has ignored her neck issues and pain as well as any arthritis. I didn’t realize she’d been using a heating pad every day as her method of treatment. There was a cortisone shot many years ago. Also, a few significant falls. All of this information, would have been useful for doctors to know, but she denied everything. She believed her recent fall caused her problems.

Decisions are difficult. Cutting is not something to jump to as the first solution. But my parents were so scared of surgery they were avoiding it to the cost of Mom’s enjoyment of life. Her hands were gone. Clasping a cup, the sense of holding a hand or feeling a face was gone. She felt nothing. All was numb. And her grip was based on sight.

Dad took over the cooking and cleaning. This is the role change many families go through. He’s helped her walk from bed to the chair and the table. And in all of this time, there has been this hope she’d get better. Until she didn’t. She kept falling. It was emotionally difficult for both of them.

After multiple attempts to see the doctor and pounding on that door to find out what Mom needed, surgery became the only option. She has rheumatoid arthritis in her cervical spine.

They finally operated early Friday morning. Both of my parents are surgery virgins. And after seeing Mom fresh from surgery, Dad broke down in tears feeling he had harmed his wife, the love of his life.

I keep reassuring them that it will get better. The first days after surgery are the worst, but that might not be true. I’m not sure. At home, there are no nurses to move you or bring you Sprite.

One thing I know is what her doctor said, if she hadn’t gone for the surgery she eventually would have become paralyzed losing the rest of her mobility and dying. Maybe this isn’t as real to her as it is to her children and grandchildren. We got it. We were there encouraging her to see the doctor. My kids were cheerleading her forward.

She is loved. If love can speed recovery, she will fly through this.

#family #pain #loveyourpeople

featured image from The Girl God

Initiations Into Adulthood

When I was a girl, I became curious about butterflies and cocoons the same as many children do. I’m impatient. And I was trying to help when I peeled the extra bits away for the butterfly. Helping.

No one has a perfect childhood. Reading this might cause a few people to cringe or even flash into old traumas. Fair warning. But stay with me, there’s no graphic material here.

At a certain age, sometimes a gang of men will hire a local professional woman for their young member, to initiate him into manhood. Maybe some of you don’t believe me, but it’s a thing, and it’s secret.

Why do they feel the need to interfere? Nature does her work quite well. There are too many violent stories already, and they aren’t trying to be helpful. Most children are beautiful if you leave them be. Please, don’t peel away the last layer of protection.

Too many altar boys are awakened sexually by those who are supposed to be their caretaker. A disgusting abuse of power and violation of innocence.

There are uncles and aunts, grandparents and parents alike who have done not such sunny initiations, the same as those priests, children unprepared, non consensual, and usually leaving pain and confusion on the child’s part.

Who is protecting our children?

Embrace Your Wild

Some of life is without a right or wrong; a should or shouldn’t. Bedtimes can be suggestions. If a lifestyle isn’t working, you can adapt it, toss or edit it, remove the parts that don’t work.

You’re not locked into the same white walls or the same voting pattern of the past. Purple, yellow, or green are the right colors to use also.

For goodness sake, wake up and live a life that is comfortable for you! Let’s not waste another day mourning yesterday’s stupidity. Coffee’s brewing.

Wolf and Woman

Scenery

We mellow. Some of us do, at least. Learn some lessons and apply the knowledge, then over time, we seem smarter. That’s the plan.

In my youth I loved trying to move mountains, making situations change to fit my needs. Except I have grown tired as I’ve gotten older. Dodging fights. Hiding isn’t the answer either.

Yesterday, was a beautiful day for me. I finally let myself be as I wanted to be. All of last week I did actually. I chose actively to be in my own life. I’m choosing to enjoy the mountain scenery, you could say.

Not everyone will understand, but showing up for life is a big epidemic lately. It’s easier to pretend that everything is fine, go to work, but inside you don’t give a damn.

Showing up in our personal life is more difficult than taking a shower and eating food. It’s choosing yourself over your job or the opinions of others.

Showing up requires effort in our thinking. We have to do the challenges life has placed in front of us.

“These spiritual window-shoppers,
who idly ask, ‘How much is that?’ Oh, I’m just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital. What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.
Where did you go? “Nowhere.”
What did you have to eat? “Nothing much. “
Even if you don’t know what you want,
buy _something,_ to be part of the exchanging flow.
Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.
It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.” – Rumi These Window Shoppers, taken from wegotthis.com

Going Solo​

This is it. I’m doing it. A Solo journey. Not Hans, although there could be an adventure. I’ve been feeling an itch to travel since before last year’s trip to France. Thank you to my kids by the way. That was a fantastic vacation. I want more!

My greatest fantasy would be to round up all of my friends and hang out in one location, but that doesn’t work well in real life. And I, oh, I don’t venture out alone. The introvert in me doesn’t even like the grocery store. Exercise outside with people? No, I do my walks early in the morning. Airports? People? Are you kidding me? Someone had better be getting married.

It’s not easy being single and I’ve been alone for quite a while. Hook-ups and two-month flings don’t count. Emotional support, backup for decisions, help with finances, hugs in the middle of the night, or just someone to share a stupid joke, these are the things couples have.

I’ve tried to make each relationship work, but it’s been square pegs and round holes. I guess people who wish to enjoy my company will do so, and they will be at ease. And maybe I have to first be at ease with myself. So I’m going to learn to be alone. Small excursions are first. Eventually, I will venture further. I have always wanted to travel.

Loneliness is an abyss. It will swallow you if you let it. Consume you. At times its grasp is comforting. Waiting for someone to be your friend while you soak in that loneliness is the torment of an unforgiving inferno.

No one holds the key to my hell. I do.

The Jungle of My Emotions

I get caught up in the anger. My emotions of rage, betrayal, and wrongness engulf me. There’s no compassion, only my problem. Monkey mind is in control, and I struggle to make sense of the chaos.

Maybe you don’t have this problem, but emotions are painful for me. I was trying to negotiate a bill with my homeowners association which should have been a logical discussion. But I was PISSED. How dare they say this is my bill. They agreed to pay. With each thought, my temper guzzled a gallon of gasoline before striking a match. I had an ice cube’s chance in hell to win really. I’m one against the organization and the proof I was using was vague. But emotions are the fire in our belly that keeps us fighting even when the odds are against us. Yet, sometimes we win.

This rage is my jungle. I should know my way through it by now, but I don’t. A therapist will tell you to name the emotions. Instead of rage, get down to the baser emotions. Fear. Insecurity. Feeling utterly alone and vulnerable. When I was negotiating, I was taking it personally. She was attacking me and saying I was wrong. Backed into a corner, I felt powerless. So, I defended my territory.

Here’s my thought, over time, if I keep walking back through my jungle, I will have markers on my emotions, and I will see them and their triggers. My jungle will have paths with directional markings. But I have to be brave enough to walk into it with my eyes open. Face my demons. Lose some battles. But, someday, I won’t be walking around blind anymore.

“Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.” #StillIRise #MayaAngelou

Find An Ally

My mom has been trying to schedule an appointment for surgery for months, but she’s been waiting for the doctor to call her. Dad, during the first round of doctor’s visits, said to wait. This is how it always worked. The old insurance operated this way. They’re still waiting.

My parent’s previous coverage dropped because the insurance decided to lower cost. It was terminated according to where you lived. Insurance companies do this to ’shake off the excess,’ and they’ll open to the area again at a later time. It’s a mind fuck.

There are clunky systems in our world and maybe there have been for a very long time. If you’re not paying attention, then you’ll still see squabbling and politics. It is that. But there is an underlying feeling of contrived chaos. Unnecessary red tape.

Why is healthcare so difficult? Expensive? Protocol. A ridiculous amount of hoops to jump through for doctors and hospitals. With each year, restrictions are added for the sake of saving costs. My job is to work through those requirements so the insurance will pay, helping patients in the long term.

We need a better way and I don’t necessarily mean universal healthcare. Our system is inside-out. I am concerned even alarmed. I worry for the people who can’t keep up with the speed of change. I also worry what will happen when I am my parents age? If it’s this bad now, if nothing improves, will I be able to navigate such a Maze?

I work for a company, but who is working for the people anymore? We’ve forgotten to love our people.

Who is watching the Watchers?