There are three cats in my house, and they love it when I receive deliveries. We have boxes to jump into and hide. Dot, the rascally kitten probably has the most fun making himself small at the bottom, then pouncing on his sister.
In and out, and the noise continues. Paper rattles from the packing supply. I often forget they aren’t children. All of this play and fun is what they do. This is their life. And I wonder if humans forgot how to play?
After a few days of chaos and I’ve had enough of the hidden cat game, as well as the thudding sounds in the night. I stack the containers, one inside the other like Matryoshka Russian Nesting Dolls. This is my game. It pleases me.
If you have pictures of your crazy pets, I’d love to see them. You can share on this site or on Facebook/ShowUp
Do you get stuck in one gear? Ever wonder about your strange whims? We all have them. Some are more noticeable than others. Many can be hidden or written off as normal behavior, but inside you know there’s a gear that’s broken. A rattling. This isn’t a fracture for a bone doctor to repair. It’s deeper.
I’ve been watching my repetitive behavior for a few years now. I also compared it with my mom’s. It’s similar. Some people drink too much alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Others overeat. I have a name for my continual urge. Nesting. It’s common when you move into a new home or if you have a new baby, but I don’t fit either category. Birds gather feathers and yarn for their nest in the spring. I shop on Amazon. I love my home. Finally, I had to ask myself why I continue decorating?
“I have arrived. I am home in the now. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate I dwell. What a loving place to be.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
The chaos and uncertainty that most of us experience makes it impossible to feel safe. We struggle with our place in society, in the workforce, with our family. We are like a puppy circling to find a comfy spot to sleep. Only we never relax. Circle. Circle. Keep moving.
I don’t feel safe. When I was a child, my home was chaotic and full of anger, so I grew up frightened. As an adult, unconsciously, I’m making a home for myself. My quilts, books, and pictures are only tokens. They are security blankets. Maybe I need them, perhaps I don’t. I’m trying to be patient with myself.
I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
“I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.
Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”
~ Brené Brown, quoted by Peter Freed in “Prime: Reflections on Time and Beauty”
Katharine Krueger ~ Journey Of Young Women
Learn to mentor girls, guide Girls Circles and offer Coming of Age
I’ve admired the European lifestyle for many years. What I’ve watched in a carefree manner began to be the way I wanted to pattern my life. I’ve felt stressed from the uptight expectations of the American society, stretched thin from not enough down time to recharge. I complained that I wanted to move to France or Italy or even Sweden just so I can get away from our hectic ways. Give me siestas and long vacations.
Wine and bread
While I’m working through my lunch cramming down the last bite of food, I’m thinking there’s someone in France sipping a glass of wine with her friend and eating a crusty baguette. Vacation only made this worse.
Somehow, the other side of the pond has always seemed greener. Europe’s healthcare system, vacations, their unpretentious philosophy of life, more liberal politics, all of these were more to my liking. But something interesting happened while I was driving back to work from a doctor’s appointment. I glanced out the car window and noticed there was a flock of geese lounging on the golf course, safe. Only golfers were near enough to chase them.
There’s a lot of talk about healthcare in the states, and you’d think we were all dying on the streets without any care at all. I don’t want Medicaid defunded because this affects everyone, hospitals and doctors included, and of course, the patients receiving care. But that’s a political conversation. What I did realize about my own situation is that I am doing alright. And I came by this truth by changing my inner picture. Instead of seeing bad, I caught a glimpse of what’s good in my life, but this has taken retraining. Rehab for my brain. Neurolinguistics. Read this post. Can you Neuro Lingo.
I was returning from an appointment with a doctor who was helpful and kind. I have good healthcare. My job allows me to leave in the middle of the day for an appointment. Yes, our system is complicated. It needs improvement, not abolished as some want to do. I’m also trying to remember that the grass is pretty damn green on my golf course.
At first I thought you had two faces. but now I see one face is real and the other is just a lie. Do you believe that lie?
There was a time in my life that if someone told me their aspirations or beliefs, I didn’t look any farther. That was the person, the one they described to me. Now that I’ve had more experience in life, I realize the person screaming obscenities behind the smiling face is the true person.
I believe it was Maya Angelo that said, When someone shows you who they are, believe them. It’s a matter of training, or in my case, retraining my senses. At first it seems awkward. I see the two faces and I hear the voice speak that tells me they are kind and gentle and that I should believe them, and then there’s the punch in the face. Wow, where did that come from? Business leaders will promote new ideas. They’re for progress, the new style of management. Their employees are their greatest asset, they say. The want to allow their employees opportunity to grow. Then slowly, moment by moment, they take your privileges away. You’re called on the carpet for petty things. They look at you suspiciously and monitor your phones. Which to believe? Was it only the flavor of the month?
A spouse says they love you. They want to spend more time with you and can’t stand to be away from you. But they work late most nights and when they’re not working, they hole up in their office reading financial reports or playing video games. Hmmm, something isn’t syncing.
I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I tend to be a bit naive, trusting, accepting. I’m also a fairly adaptable person so I take on too much. I step up too tall and I stay too long. Which is fine if I’m with my friends. They know me and I know them. I feel free to say Not today or I’m not feeling well. And we all understand each other and allow the other person to bow out gracefully.
My problem isn’t that I didn’t see the actions or even know the person was lying. My problem is that I wanted it to be true. My emotions were involved. I cared. And that’s where my conundrum is. Do I not care anymore? I have no wish to become an ice queen. Caring is human. I have learned to isolate my caring to smaller and more trusted groups. I’ve learned to detach from caring if I realize I’ve over invested. With age comes experience and that grows into wisdom.
What does it mean to thrive? What are the ingredients that cause a person to grow and develop at a healthy rate? Does it mean continually learning and improving as I have always believed? Or is it more of developing at a rate that is comfortable for yourself? I have always enjoyed nature and plants. Watching them grow and develop in their own time is fascinating to me. Lack of water or too much water can both stunt the growth, even kill the plant. Insects, fungi or physical damage can harm the plant. If that plant grows in the correct lighting, with good soil, with proper care, the plant can thrive. But it’s not one size fits all. Cacti need a different environment than orchids.
I’ve been interested in self-help since I was a teen, maybe even before. I’m not sure if it’s because I thought I was broken or because I’m a health conscious person. Under the Chinese zodiac, I’m a green (wood) snake. In symbolism green is for growth. I was born in the season, year of growth. Maybe that’s why.
thrive (θraɪv) — vb ,
1. to grow strongly and vigorously
2. to do well; prosper
How do I thrive? I must listen to my needs and meet them as best I can.
Where I’m at right now, I’m wanting to see a more complete picture of the ingredients. I’ve noticed a bit of greed that sneaked in during my survival crisis. I want to regain that calm that comes with satisfaction. Enough said. Enough done. Job well done.
Buddhism says that life is in the pauses. The god is within in the stillness we only find when we get quiet. The Christian Bible states, Be still and know that I am God. Like the fish swimming in the water, that doesn’t know what water is, it’s possible I’m thriving right now and I don’t even realize it. So, what if I thrive? I think I will. You should too.
No, I want to feel safe. I’ve tried many things in order to feel safe. Some have worked, like buying my house, my car and having steady job. My savings and paying off my debts haven’t been as effective.
But even then would I feel safe? No.
Is SAFETY what I need? Maybe I need to get past the need for safety.
Success comes from having a clear goal. The things I have accomplished readily are the things I knew without a doubt that I wanted, clearly and for their own sake. I wanted my own home. I absolutely knew what I wanted. I had the criteria written down.
So, to clearly define my wants is my aim right now.
This need for safety is tripping me up. It may be even in the wrong direction.
So what do I want? To earn a living without giving up myself. To prosper and be in health.