What else can I say? Keep on writing. Just keep swimming. Go Johnny go, go, go. Is there anything else? You go until you feel the momentum shift. The need changes. When the need is gone. Why? Why do you just keep going? Can you do anything else? If the desire is there, if the vision is filling your head, is there any other life for you?
I often wondered why I couldn’t be normal. Why was I not happy or content with just being an average person? Why did I feel the continual urge to move things? To shift things? I hated the fact that I wasn’t content with the house and the car and the children and the dog. I loved those things. I adored being a mom. I loved the feeling of family and nurturing involved with that. But it was always as if I had on the inside of me a pulsating need to change things.
I have a difficult time listening to the news. It’s hard to listen to the idiocy that people debate over. The whole Democrat versus Republican and throw in a dash of the Tea Party, with a splash of Independents on the side. It doesn’t matter what cloth you drape over it, it’s still all in shambles. They still are arguing over the same petty bridges and hills. So I walk away.
They won’t be changed. In the words of Hugh McLeod, Ignore Everybody. “Don’t try to stand out from the crowd. Avoid crowds altogether.” Gaping Void-Avoid Crowds Altogether
There are times when the voices in my head tell me to just sit down. Why am I bothering? What am I trying to do?
Honestly, I’m not trying to do anything. I bother because, I can’t not bother. I have to. Once someone asked why I write. Without thinking it comes out so simply. I must. All of these thoughts and emotions are bubbling up inside of me and the only way to get any peace or calmness is to write them down. When I write it’s like the door opens and the herd of horses storm out of the barn all at once. I write down the main ideas and go back to fill in the middle, because I can’t stand the thought of not remembering something. When I’m with someone and I talk about these ideas I have, these emotions and thoughts, it’s difficult for me to express them with any sensible understanding. It comes out as gibberish. In my head it all sounds right. I know what I want to say, I just have trouble putting order to the words. At least with writing I can do that.
I still think how simple life would be if I were content with my place in life. But then if others were content with their “place” where would society be? No change happens by merely being content. When I was in high school and was running an eight mile fundraiser, my friend said I needed to learn how to pace myself. Surely they knew what they were talking about. So I believed them. I took their critique and tried to pace myself. And I remember it all the time. The funny thing is, it never works for me. It’s not my style. When I worked in the church and Christianity, a different friend said I needed to learn to pace myself again. That Jesus wanted us to walk along beside him hand in hand. Guess what? I believed that person also. And truly I tried. I cried out to God asking why I couldn’t be a better more thankful child of God? But you know what? God never told me to pace myself.
Did you ever go on a walk with children? They are either lagging behind picking flowers and playing with the lizards or running ahead to see what’s around the corner. Exuberance. Alive. Free.
If you have been around on Christmas morning with a couple of kids, you’ll know one thing for certain. There is excitement in the air, whether there are 20 packages under the tree or just a few. They can’t wait to open those presents. My brothers and I would beg my parents a week before Christmas, “Please, just one. Can we open just one now?”
Would you want it any other way? What if your kids were ho-hum about Christmas morning? “Later mom. I want to finish this cartoon first.” Not on your life. As adults we forget exuberance, because friends and experts tell us to pace ourselves. When was the last time you felt that alive? The thrill of a roller-coaster, the mud between your toes, the wind blowing in your face, or the taste of ice cream all cold and sweet. Remember what it was like as five and excited about riding your bike or playing chase.
Do I want to be content? Do I want to pace myself? No! I want to burst out laughing at stupid jokes. I want to run as fast as I can. I want to stand on the bridge and feel the cold wind blow against my body pressing me backwards. I want to live. Sometimes my life’s full of the “just keep swimming” mantras. I’m okay with that.
A funny thing happened to me. I went to a different physician. My insurance had changed and my favorite doctor was not contracted with the new insurance. My new doctor seems fine, but she had her agenda and I had mine. I wanted to get in, get out, and get things scheduled that I needed scheduled. There are medical things that only a doctor can offer so I go through the routine that’s required. Her agenda was to instruct me on eating healthy. Eat 3 servings of dairy a day (I don’t eat dairy). Women are not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in their diet. When I commented on the lack of vitamin D being from working in the office and not going outside, she quickly countered. Sun exposure causes cancer and we need to shield ourselves by applying sunscreen and avoiding long exposure. Somewhere in the lecture my mind shut off.
My diet is not approved by my doctor I guess. And as far as avoiding the sun, not likely to happen. I love the sun. I can’t live my life avoiding life, being super cautious and playing it safe. As I mentioned, I want to live. I want to feel the rain on my face and splash in mud puddles. I love to get lost in a book and forget to go to bed. Those are the moments of our lives. The exuberance of running ahead or lagging behind is what proves that we are human. We can delight. We can be sad. We can lose our temper. We are alive!
I Dare You!
I dare you to dream your impossible dream.
There is no use trying, said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll
So what would you dream? Peace for your country? Healthy family? Neighbors helping each other? I once was hard on myself when I would want to change things. Who am I to think my one little action could help anyone? No more. I dare.
I dare you to dream one impossible thing today.
- oneword365 | dare (maryhess.com)
- Down the Rabbit Hole – Albino Dragon Chases the White Rabbit with their Newest Kickstarter Project (prweb.com)
- ‘Daring to Dream 2′ stories of rural women now available to download from ibooks for $5.99 (nswruralwomensnetwork.wordpress.com)
- Alice: “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.” (tannngl.wordpress.com)
I bumped into a silly belief that I didn’t realize I had. It goes like this, “If it doesn’t last, it isn’t valid.” It isn’t real. Now the funny thing that I’ve noticed about these ninja, super hidden beliefs is that if you look at them in the light of day without distractions, they are ridiculous. Obviously nothing lasts. The supper I made tonight, as good as it was and as filling as it was, processed through my body, pulling out the nutrients needed and the rest discarded. And hopefully, not storing too much excess as fat.
The paycheck I received from working my 40 hours each week is processed through my life, used as needed and then is gone. It doesn’t last. Was it valid? Yes! Valid and wanted. So when that thought came in, I was sitting and talking to a friend. We were talking about relationships and those that have come and gone. Apparently there was a fleeting moment that I was feeling like a failure at relationships. I quickly tallied up my pluses and minuses and my brain handled the rest. It called in the ninja belief to protect me from my evaluation. The minuses, my so-called failures, became invalid. I guess they weren’t authentic. They didn’t last, right? If they didn’t last, they weren’t very strong in the first place. They must have been only superficial, pretty side shows that only appeared as strong relationships. Or so my thinking went. That’s it! My clever self had given me my out. The failed relationships were all just shams! Propped up to look like the real thing.
It seemed so simple. About as quickly as the super secret ninja thoughts went through the exit, the wise Yoda-like came in the entrance. Hmmm..maybe. He rubs his chin. Could be true. Something else might be. Momentary, fleeting, brief, and elusive. maybe not sham at all.
Fleeting moments like the sight of your son on graduation day. Or the moment you held him in your arms for the first time. Brief like the fear before you dive into the swimming pool. Or the elation you felt from actually seeing it through. Elusive moments, like the wisps of cologne from your lover’s shirt. The moment of passion that takes your breath away. And the memory of it an hour later. Elusive like the site of a ray of sun through the clouds. The rainbow that follows. Yes. Fleeting, elusive, brief moments. Anyone have a tissue?
tweet-able- Brief, fleeting relationships are just as real and necessary as lasting ones.
Brief moments and so-called failed relationships are just as valid and real as the longer lasting type. The day with the sun beating down on your back in the August heat is no more real than the short glimpse through the clouds. They both exist. Did the sun fail on the rainy day in April? Of course not. It didn’t take long for me to realize the belief was stupid. But what did take me a day to process was the reason for the incredibly silly thought in the first place. Rather than think of myself as a total failure, making me depressed and gloomy, my mind was helping me. By telling me it wasn’t real, it was a sham, my mind was allowing my to protect myself.
After each failed relationship, I boxed away my feelings of joy, my memories that made me smile and all the beautifully wicked first kisses and experiences. I stored them away on a shelf and they were gathering dust. I didn’t know what to do with the old wedding photos. Isn’t it wrong to look at them and smile? Those days are gone and forgotten. Shouldn’t they be put in the dumpster with the relationships? I failed. I gave up. I couldn’t finish my race. I quit. And that is why my mind was protecting me. It hurts. It cuts deep inside where no one but you can see like bits of glass or shrapnel left inside the tissue. Every time I see a happy couple, every time I’m lonely, every moment that I see my children, I’ve felt the failure.
Seeing the pretend, propped up, temporary relationship was clever. And maybe my mind was even sneakier than that. By allowing me to see the “failures” as shams, it gave me the ability to laugh at its joke. I knew that I couldn’t dismiss temporary things so easily. The shams are real. The moments of good in them were just as real as the moments of good that I haven’t boxed away. Maybe I packed them away in boxes of splinters, but I still have them. And up until that moment I hadn’t realized I’d boxed them away.
I wonder. Is the human psyche really that clever? It’s a delicate pirouette to do. The dance it took around my dusty storage room and then gently prodding me, it did brilliantly. Almost as if it had super ninja skills.
I have 2 videos here. First Linkin Park – Bleed It Out, then Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love. Pick your poison.
I am done
with great things and big things
with great institutions and big
And I am for
those tiny, invisible, molecular
that work from individual to individual
through the crannies of the world
like so many rootlets
or like capillary oozing of
yet which, if you give them time
the hardest monuments of man’s
pride. – William James
From a letter to Mrs Henry Whitman, June 7 1899
A hundred geese propelled their V
across my sky today
I don’t know why they honked at me
I wasn’t in their way – Irene Warsaw
A Word in Edgewise
If you are looking for big events or big changes, small accomplishments mean less. The problem is that life is generally made up of a lot of small positive events and relatively few big positive events. If you ignore the small ones and wait for the big ones you are going to feel unfulfilled or unhappy much of the time. – Monica R Basco, Never Good Enough
Sometimes when I’m in the bathroom my cat will sit on the floor and stare at me. It’s annoying. You may ask why I don’t lock her out. I feel guilty. She is home alone all day so I feel I shouldn’t limit my time with her. So I resent her stare.
Games we play
This is the game we play and you may recognize it. She stares and I feel guilty. I pet her and allow her to rub around my legs, until. There’s only so much I can take with all that attention. We both mean well.
The funny thing about it is, when I am with her overextended vacations, she still meows when she doesn’t see me in the room with her. If I step outside to take out the trash or go run an errand, it’s no different. She still wants the same amount of attention as she did when I’m only home for a few hours. So in my great reasoning, I don’t think it’s because she misses me.
I read somewhere that a cat’s memory is only a few minutes. She doesn’t know how long I’ve been gone.
This guilt I feel is just empty guilt. I am projecting how I would feel in her shoes (paws). So why am I feeling so miserable? What do I really want? I like it when we snuggle up on the couch together. I like it when she greets me in the morning. Even when I come home. The time when I’m in the bathroom and she’s staring at me is my fault. I let it happen. If I really want to be alone at that time I need to close the door. A simple thing really.
How often do we do this? We yell at people unnecessarily instead of metaphorically and physically closing the door. Have you ever told someone “Yes, I’ll do that for you,” when really you feel like vomiting at the thought of doing it? We go along with things when we have other plans. We say yes to their idea even when we disagree. It’s not necessary. We think we’re being kind. All we’re really doing is building up a reason to hate someone who we would normally love. That’s what resentment does. It builds a wall of hate. Get enough resentment built up and what happens? We yell. We scream. We blame. We walk away in anger. Is this what we want? Is it inevitable?
Kids need boundaries
In the study with a group of children on a playground, the children without a fence around them did not play close to the edge but clustered towards the center. The children that were in a fenced area used the entire playground to play. So it would seem that if you place boundaries in your life and those around you, you are actually giving yourself freedom. Ironic isn’t it? I know in my life, I feel freer creatively, if no one is around to disturb me and there are no other pending appointments. When I know my creative time is short I feel pressure, which goes against every creative bone in my body.
Right here and now
I have the right to close my bathroom door so that I’m not stared at by my cat. I have the right to not answer my phone if I’m needing to work. I feel so much freer knowing that I can put a fence around my time and declare that this is my time. I can put up a fence and stick my flag in the ground. This is my time! Right here and now. Kings do it, presidents do it, astronauts do it in the name of their country, and so can you. If it helps, you can make yourself a flag and put it in the middle of your room or outside your closed door. Name your kingdom. Just remember, you are the enforcer. Even if your best friend calls or your mother, you have to let them know that you will have to call them later.
If this has not been a part of your life before, people may not honor your boundary. But if you continually tell them, eventually they will learn to respect your fence. With cats, children, spouses, or parents, it’s no different. They learn what we teach them. If we teach them that it’s okay to call us names and hurt our feelings (by allowing it), then that is what we will get. Some people in your life will need retraining. But that’s okay. Think of it as an experiment. Who is the easiest to teach? How long did it take? How did they react in comparison to a different person? Be firm, but not rude. repeat the same line 30 or 40 times if necessary. “I can’t talk now. I’ll call you at 5:00.” Don’t explain. Don’t vary. I’ve used this technique several times and it’s like magic, but you have to state it firmly and without emotion.
What works for you? Leave a comment.
- Guilty as Sin (peacefulwife.com)
- How to Ensure Fulfilling Relationships in All Areas of Your Life (atlantablackstar.com)
- Do you need boundaries? (sublimereflection.com)
Do you remember the old televisions from the 1970’s with the picture tube inside? It was before digital, so I’m telling my age. When I was young, we had this television that the picture would start rolling up like the credits on a movie. You’d bang it really hard with your hand on the side to get it to stop. Smack it. Our TV was dented on the side.
A very caveman way of handling a piece of equipment.
Today that wouldn’t work. Our televisions are now electronics, with circuit boards. Hit it like that and you’ll hurt your hand on the hard plastic and knock loose a circuit. Won’t fix anything. You have to know your equipment.
We also had an old Chevy truck. It had a choke that you opened. Just a knob that you pulled out on the dashboard. You pumped the gas pedal to let a bit of fuel into the engine. Then you could start the truck. Oh the joys of vehicles before fuel injection. If you knew your truck, you knew from experience how many times to pump the pedal. If you did too many, you’d flood the engine and have to wait 10 or so minutes for the fuel to trickle out. Too few and the truck wouldn’t start. In these beautiful days of fuel injection there is no worry of this. No chokes to pull. No cranks to turn. Please don’t pump the pedal. Just start your car.
We have to know our equipment.
Whether it’s a car or a television. Know what you’re dealing with. If you have a classic vehicle it will handle differently than a newer sports car or even a normal sedan. You might not break the thing but you won’t be driving it at it’s best. You probably won’t appreciate it for its own beauty.
I would hope you wouldn’t treat a newborn baby like a mostly grown teenage boy. Once when I was teaching 1 to 2-year-old class in a church setting, one of the children came in very distraught. With a red face and tears all pouring out her eyes, she was clinging to her mom. For this little girl it was unusual. Some kids go through this normally but not her. Mom was becoming hysterical herself. She said she didn’t know what to do. That her daughter had started being “rebellious” soon after mom had went back to work. My first thought was Rebellious? The whole thing was so obvious. The girl wanted her mom. Her schedule changed. During the week, she’d been forced (from a child’s perspective) to stay with people she didn’t know and now Mommy was leaving her again. She only wanted the comfortable spot on her mom’s lap. Rebellion requires a much more developed mind than a 2-year-old has. Even the so-called terrible twos are not really rebellion, just checking out where the boundaries are.
If you know what’s normal, it’s easier to know when things are not right. If you know what’s normal for your personality it’s so much easier to help yourself in a difficult time. I was once concerned with being too cocky, too proud. I had it repeated in my formative years that God hates a proud heart. Pride goes before a fall. Me, being the compliant child that I was, tried diligently to not be proud. For a compliant child that meant never bragging or talking about achievements. And loads of guilt for thinking anything positive about myself.
Who of us hasn’t been there? We have to understand who we are. I’m speaking only from my perspective at this time since it’s currently the only one I really know. I realize your perspective is different and I don’t mean at all to leave you out of the conversation. I would like to hear your experience also.
I was sitting on the floor with my favorite yoga lady one day. We were talking about food and books we enjoyed. She remarked that I seemed very Vata-Vata. Basically if you don’t know of the Indian Doshas, Vata is the air-like, ether-like personality. All dreamland and spirituality. My Vata-ness was showing I guess.
I had tried recently and in the past many times to eat lighter. More fruits and raw vegetables. This goes along with the advice of all the super knowledgeable people out there. The diet leaves me cold, physically and mentally. I realize to these experts, lightening up seems right. For me I crave potatoes and cooked carrots. Warm oatmeal with toast and jam. Warm tea. I seldom crave a pop. Occasionally yes it hits the spot but not everyday. Too much activity and caffeine makes my head spin. Energy drinks give me a headache. So when people recommend these things I just nod at them and realize I probably need to do the opposite.
All up in the air.
I often listen to the wrong advice it seems. They recommend that we as people need more spirit. More meditation. So I try. They say we need to visualize. Okay, no problem. Then my head hurts. Suddenly, I understood what my yoga teacher had tried to tell me and what others have said, that I’m wired backward. I need more physical not spiritual training. I’m at home in the temple praying. But take me to the swimming pool or the ski slopes and I’ll run away scared. She said I was all up in here (as she waved her hands in the air). I needed to learn to come back into my body. To live in my body and stay at home there.
So when they say I need to control my anger, I have to pause. Back up and reverse. Me, I tend to hold my tongue too long. I think about everything I say. I think twice or three times about all my silly emails and Facebook posts. Things like holding my tongue? Seriously I really need to speak up more, not less.
So now when you get advice, take it into consideration, but also know your own nature. Is it just adding a gag along with the muzzle? Duct taping over the superglue? Redundant redundancy? Or is it helpful?
Oops! I Forgot Myself is here.
I have writer’s cramp. Below is the PDF version only. The Kindle Version will be available on Jan 2, 2013 from Amazon and it will have a free preview. I will let you know. Thanks for playing!
Oops! I Forgot Myself
Well what did you expect to happen?
There’s something both wonderful and scary about expectations. It’s just a dream, a wish in your mind. It floats there taunting you and teasing you making you believe it could happen. It really could. The rainbow’s end and the sunbeam through the window. Like the kitten that is chasing the flashlight beam, we crouch and then pounce. After a while of chasing after the illusive dreams we become cynical if our hopes have been out of reach for too long. We hear of people who have put their hands into the heavy pot of gold. Surely it’s real. Right? What about true love? Is it as false as the Easter Bunny?
I get aggravated when I’m watching a television show and the character – who is definitely in charge – instructs everyone to trust him. Just trust me. I’ll handle this. And it’s always in the high crisis moments and you can tell that he/she expects everyone to blindly follow his sage advice. I cry foul!
I want to know which direction we are going. Yes, it’s scary and potentially deadly, but just let me know. I might want to just jump out of the moving train. Especially if it’s heading for the cliff. Trust me. I won’t let anything happen to you. It reminds me of the chivalrous days. The knight on the white horse shows up at just the right moment, last desperation. He saves the day. The damsel in distress prettily wipes her brow. She knew he’d be there to save her. She expected it. She trusted him with her life.
What kind of game is this? Do you walk out to the edge just to see if they will save you? What did you expect to happen? Would the town be saved and the big scary monster die a bloody death, then we’d all live happily ever after? No more bad things?
If you’ve been around me any time at all, you know that I love a good drama. Movies, books, around a campfire, I don’t care. I want to get lost in the drama. But life is not a movie. It’s not a game that we can play and get to reenter at our last saved spot. There’s no pause or no rewind. We would all like to rewind. And there were some moments that I would love to have just lingered in the euphoria.
I’m probably looking at this whole process wrong. It’s possible I am missing a key ingredient. If I’ve missed something, feel free to email me or leave a comment. I do want to see this all through clear eyes. Are there those you can just blindly trust? Is that a realistic expectation? What about expectations? Can we blindly walk towards the rainbow without looking for the cliff? How do you follow your dreams? Do you keep your expectations in check or let them run wild? I don’t know if I have all the answers now. I want to hear what you say.
A little further on….
I love it when movies do a funny twist. You know what I mean? You might have watched a movie or two like that. The usual story is going along and poof! The story line took a sudden turn. The Sting is one of the older ones, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. And did you expect The Sixth Sense? But I guess we should have. The little boy kept
saying “I see dead people.” If you haven’t seen it, well now you must.
The expectations we hate the most are the ones that leave you flat lined You’re walking along, maybe taking in your groceries, like I was doing one afternoon, then boom, you’re face down on the ground. Speechless. You just lay there for momentarily, your lip bloodied. How did that happen? And even, what just happened? It’s the unexpected phone call in the middle of the night. Your daughter was in a car crash. You need to come to the hospital right away. The look on the doctor’s face. You know the surgery didn’t go well. the call from your boss telling you there’s not enough work for you. Can you clear out your desk? These are the moments that you’d like to fast forward through. Not at all a Hallmark moment.
What do these moments have in common? Interrupted expectations. You got ready for work and expected to do project A and make a few phone calls. Life happens. Doesn’t it. There’s no way to plan or foresee any of the events. Some wonderful and some not so much.
I read in Psychology Today that our anger and disappointment comes from your unfulfilled expectations. You can read about it here Psychology Today. I expect traffic to flow smoothly. I expect good weather. I expect for my children to go to bed without a fuss. So when I’m angry at the creeping car driving in front of me, it is because I expected it to flow at my pace. That’s an unrealistic expectation.
So do I expect anything out of myself? If I lower my expectations about life then I will always be happy, right? I think that would be a pretty pathetic way to live. Low expectations are worthless. My way, I let my dreams float up there in the ether of my mind. Yes, I’m blonde. They are like beautiful butterflies. Not all dreams are flights of fancy though. Growing up is real. Going to college is believable. You can put some feet to your dream of a good paying job, writing a book, and traveling to Europe.
So what makes a dream or a promise just a pie crust promise? Can you take a step towards it? An action you can make? Dreams are wonderful. There are those that I really do trust. You cannot help unexpected events. And you surely can’t stop traffic on the freeway on Monday morning. What’s a girl to do? Dream.