My friend, Terri, posted this on Facebook this morning
The author understood what so many of us are learning….
I look back at my life and realize how exhausted I have been fighting for everything! I really thought that was how to be successful. Never satisfied, I always felt I needed to do better, to be better. Now I know it was fear. Fear that I would never be good enough instead of understanding that I just need to BE everything I AM.
Thanksgiving this year was just one of those events in my life where I said, Yep…can’t do anything about it…just get through it. Poof…seems as soon as I released my attachment to what it should be, what it’s always been, and stopped ruminating…I began to find some peace, joy and gratitude!
Except for the young hen turkey instead of a Tom….and too much sage in the dressing and not really understanding how much less milk is needed for Yukon yellow mashed potatoes rather than russets, the food was excellent and the 5 ingredient corn casserole was the best one ever and I did not miss the green bean casserole AT ALL (possibly the first holiday in 64 years without it).
I went with a tongue in cheek comment from our youngest daughter that we could just zoom while we all ate our meals in our 3 little units….so we set the IPAD up on the table and everyone zoomed in for our meal…our family time clocks are all different but this way we get to enjoy each other 3 times in the day. he and I have saved dessert for the next daughter’s meal and then we will get dessert the second time for the second daughter’s meal. We did this recipe except put it in a graham cracker crust.
Easy peasy. And our two year old Rhoads rolls in the freezer didn’t rise appropriately for the occasion, I did find that the drawer under the oven was a great place for them to do their best. It gave me the idea that in the future this will be a perfect place to keep food warm as I prepare a meal.
So with gratitude, my friends, we hold you all in love and light as we hold each other up!
I write this with a sticky thumb from the sticky knife I’m using to eat from an old cream cheese frosting container as I goop it on saltine crackers. It all started last night and I knew it was going to be a serious one because I don’t eat sugar…so not only did I know that it was going to be unhealthy, mess with my blood sugar and cause sickening sugar heartburn, I gave in. I was actually rather irritated that I couldn’t use the graham crackers in the cupboard that I bought for a graham cracker crust for Thanksgiving day dessert…..because you see frosting and graham crackers have always been a go-to for triggers. So the story I told myself to make it better was…see…..I do have SOME discipline!
I am learning that triggers are reactions to discomfort within. Something or someone irritates me, or causes me to feel discomfort (sad, envious, hurt) down there in my heart or in my head and I react with either bitterness or hatefulness, profanity or a number of articulate sentences meant to hurt the person who hurt me….and thus “it” (which I believe is instant karma) begins.
I respond…it hits a wall….the response exacerbates already tender emotions and I respond …. and as the volley is returned, it brings with it the memory of another “something” I reacted to which moves even deeper into my body damaging and disrupting everything in its path until, there just doesn’t seem to be any choice left other than removing the lid from a brand new container of cream cheese frosting….
Now that’s not exactly how it worked last night…last night I felt lonely, I felt frustrated because of the pandemic, I felt very sad that I will not be with my loves on Thursday and I felt intense anger that there are people out there too damn selfish to put on a mask to save someone else life.
I went down the dictionary rabbit hole this morning while I was trying to attach a label to a behavior I don’t particularly appreciate in myself. Curmudgeon was the word in my head and defined as…bad tempered and old…and what’s more, the female version is HAG! I don’t really think the shoe fits but..whatever!
I lived nearly all of my adult life in a rural area…on a gravel road in the country among the trees and the deer and rabbits. I grew up a city girl in a neighborhood with all of the utility and community advantages but with only a modicum of privacy. It took me a long while to appreciate the peace and silence living the timber life. Which morphed back to I can’t live another moment in this loneliness and inconvenience once the last daughter left home and I neared retirement.
So…the day we retired…we moved 4 hours away to a small town in another state to a neighborhood…to living amongst people…..and with this came a huge inconvenience.
I thought I was going to lose my mind in the last few months from raps on the door from political candidates, tree trimmers, roofers and now Medicare supplement insurance agents. After a particularly profane cerebral meltdown after two solicitors within 30 minutes, I bought “the sign”.
It’s not lost on me that many of these folks are just hoofing it for business…just trying to make a living…doing what it takes to survive…but it’s also a waste of their time to knock on my door because the answer will always be the same. NO! You don’t need to find me, I will find you….
Because I have nothing urgent to do several hours a day….and I define urgency as drinking too much water in one sitting…I find myself on Facebook….and by “on Facebook”, I mean watching Facebook videos about hair. If we don’t choose wisely, the algorithm insanity states that if we click on one interesting idea that pops up on Facebook, the topic or associated topics become our social media life whether we choose it or not.
I’ve had very long hair, very short hair and hair of various colors and hues. I started coloring my hair when I was 16… I loved playing with my hair…styling it, coloring it, streaking it, sun-in hair lighteners. I’ve been nearly black, chocolate, purple and one unfortunate, very bright apple red/Sunkist orange before a vacation. I thought about being a hair professionally in the 70’s but didn’t take geometry so figured I would suck at angles.
Because I recently was hooked on a 30 minute video of a stylist cutting an older woman’s hair, I’ve been inundated with videos of stylists and hair and hair color and all of the latest toys for anyone with hair. This morning, I watched a stylist comb and part and ponytail and then form a HUGE bun on top of a women’s head. Before this morning I had no idea working hair into a huge bun was even possible. I’m just letting you know as a caution, if you see this video pop up now that I’ve mentioned it, do NOT click on it.
The thought has occurred to me that I wonder if there really was a Repunzel who let down her golden hair..betraying her beloved which caused his fall and blindness. And seriously, from hair we got peeping Toms as “Tom” apparently broke the rules and watched Lady Godiva ride naked through the streets… But most of all now I want to know why and how Godiva chocolate gots it’s name but there is no way I’m going to google it or click on any chocolate cooking videos because I do not need to be inundated with chocolate. I have enough problems!
I used to joke (ok…not really a joke) that the best way to eat chocolate (like those chocolate stars that used to be available in movie theaters but now may be bought in bulk from a buy-your-stuff-in-bulk-store) was to stuff my mouth full of that melty chocolate until it began to seep out of the corners. I now believe that this theory…while I still believe it to be true…was really just an analogy of the way I lived my life.
Everything was either really good or really bad and I did not have much desire to just float along. I either had to go full throttle to love it/fix it or ruminate. I either really liked someone or something and enveloped my whole being in that comfort or really disliked it/them and then was disappointed when life didn’t play out the way I could accept.
But with age, therapy and embracing spirituality rather than organized religion, I’m realizing that my years of angst had everything to do with my expectations and the stories in my head. Those stories on replay…those stories queued to play my favorite tune when I needed justification for my opinions or behavior. Once I had the “discipline” to stop, drop and roll, I loosened my grip on my need for black and white, hate and love, yes and no.
With every breath we have the ability to change the way we think. We don’t need to breathe in the very same air we just exhaled. We are not preprogrammed to pass or fail depending on what “happened to us” the last time we tried. Changing the way we think changes our life. It’s not how someone reacts to us, it is how we react to our own thinking.
Yesterday I did this! I went for a walk around the pond and just kept following my feet down the path for about 1/2 a mile. It was warm when the sun would peek through, a fall breeze blowing fall leaves…I embraced the smells, the beauty, and wind blowing through my hair. The best part was I stopped several times…there was no destination, there was no goal. It just felt like a walk with my dad as I chatted with him and asked a lot of questions.
So many gifts he handed down to me. For a short time I found myself teary….why didn’t I get out of the house all summer and fall, why didn’t I ask my dad more questions, why didn’t I this and that!
Until I realized I just didn’t. The past is the past and I did exactly what felt right to me in the past. This is now and I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now. Each time I embrace the right now and let go of the shoulda, I find peace. This is also one of the shouldas that followed…why don’t I do “this” all the time? Because its just not what is right for me in that “all the time narrative” that I like to have preprinted for my life. Right now is right now.
I came back and jotted this haiku that had formed somewhere in my soul!
Watching the Biden/Harris acceptance speeches from Wilmington, Delaware tonight, I felt peace! I felt a sense of safety and Unity! I am emotional thinking about what is possible for my grandchildren and especially my granddaughter now that Kamala Harris not only broke through the glass ceiling but demolished it.
I also know that RBG, John Lewis, John McCane and Elijah Cummings were there celebrating with us. Their energy, their love for America, their goodness was there with us in each tear, in each breath.
I had no idea how depressed I was…I had no idea how much of my life had been sucked out of me…I had no idea how I had just given up…..I had no idea how angry I was…
Until the moment President-elect Biden and Vice-President elect Harris were finally affirmed to be the next President and VP! I was overcome with emotion. 100 years after Women were given the right to vote, a woman has been elected Vice President of the United Stated…..Ladies, WE HAVE ARRIVED!
Regular words are not available to me to describe the Hope and Love that surged into my body. I am finally calm and I (we) know I (we) can accomplish anything now! We are here!