In the back of my mind, I’ve always known that if I ever became first lady or CIA, my code name would be: Pink Flamingo!
I have flamingo chimes thanks to my friend, Sue. I also have 3 metal pink flamingos in flower beds in the yard right now, as well as totes of the plastic ones which does include Christmas pink flamingos. My next door neighbor also likes them and has a little square in her side yard (my side) where her pink flamingos live along with pink flower pots. One Christmas she started decorating the yard with them and so I bought Christmas flamingos and set them up so they looked like they were headed to her yard. She and I may be the only two on the street who felt giddy about it.
Years ago my late night dispatch partner and I did crafts when 911 lulled. I taught her to crochet and she taught me to embroider. I have embroidered dish towels put away which will last many generations. I pulled out my embroidery hoops etc the other day and then sat with them because I had no idea what I would embroider or on what. I laughed thinking about his face if I started embroidering his underwear #notgoingtohappen But instead…I found this beginning/children’s punch embroidery kit during a late night excursion on Amazon. It came today.
I woke up this morning and before I realized that today was supposed to be different, I had the same “basic” thoughts I did in all the days before. There have been a few of my many, many mornings that I’ve jumped out of bed to music, doves and sunshine. But for the most part, I am grumpy….of course as life would have it, I married a man who wakes up throws the sheets aside and yells “it’s a new day, nothing has gone wrong yet”. A mild exaggeration there because remember, he wakes up next to me who is always on her first and last nerve.
Today is New Years Day….that day when everything begins anew. Today is the day that we are full of new hope for a new body, new health regime, new personality, new job, new relationships, new life. My question this morning is what happened overnight that makes us believe we have finally “fixed” the list of the things we do not like about our life….finally the miracle. For me, the list includes the very same things I have not liked about my life for the last 20, 30, 50 New Years mornings. The message is: We don’t have to make the seeming impossible changes in our life, we just have to change our thinking moment by moment. As a friend of mine reminded me recently…each new breath gives me the opportunity to change the way I think….the decisions I make….and the trajectory of my life.
Hindsight is 2020. I don’t have to make plans to change so that I’m magnificent with the perfect life and friends and body. I have that already. I just need to change the way I think….replacing displeasure and dislike with gratitude and love. The love for myself that I want to receive from everyone else. Nothing outside of myself really changes anything. What matters is how I think…right in this moment. Not with plans for the future or discomfort with the past. Stop right now and ask yourselves 5 things each do I hear, feel or see…this exercise brings us into the present moment….and then ask right here and right now is there anything wrong…right in this moment AM I OKAY!?
Oh the naïveté of life. We make our plans, we think we just keep movin’ on from what we are doing today…this week…this month….we anticipate with gusto tomorrow, next month, next year and we expect them to be status quo. Here’s an excerpt from last years blog from the last day.
“What will happen is lots of life in 2020. Just the way twenty/twenty rolls off the lips fills me with hope and wonder. I won’t make silly resolutions other than I’ll try to spend more time in service to others, I will not focus on the negative but instead I will focus on loving myself and being kind.”
If I take one thing from my dreams for 2020, I did In fact spend more time in service to others. Obviously not face to face but in support. I admit that I TOTALLY went into corona fear and focused on the negative for a couple of months beginning after my birthday in March. To use a phrase I don’t think is too vulgar or overstated for 2020, “shit got real”. Then something happened to me.
I started taking to heart all of the teachings… from the lessons and new thought teachings of Unity Village Chapel and my training in my short time with the Silent Unity Prayer ministry…from Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr, Paul Selig, A Course in Miracles, and the list goes on. I chose to remove Twitter and the barrage of 24 hour news from my life realizing that they are absolutely not the predictors of our future. It all reverts back to money. We are paying with our hearts and souls and peace of mind for their job of delivering fear. Fear always manifests nothing but fear…it’s a circle…..A viscous circle!
I look at the tragedy’s of 2020 and send love and peace and the light of the universe… I will not start 2021 holding onto the fear but I will remember the tragedy’s and the pain and Illness with the deserved reverence. We must move on. Not focusing on what has happened but what is happening right this moment…for each moment in our day, month, year and life. We must love ourselves, love each other and be kind.
Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness or the enduring fear that there is something wrong with me. Allowing authenticity and vulnerability to surface is actually an indication of knowing who I am and making no apologies for who I am. In fact, by being authentic, I save myself that inner discomfort that someone outside of me can define me!
By working through some (childhood into adulthood) triggers in my life, I know I have often hidden who I am with defensive behavior by going on the attack before I am attacked. We live our life assuming that everyone but me has it all together. We see the weakness in someone else which feeds our ego and that sense of being superior bolsters our self esteem by searching and/or finding vulnerability in others…. manifesting unkind words/actions or irrational anger.
By healing the victim mentality within ourselves and by understanding that nothing outside of ourselves has anything to do with our divine nature allows us to be genuine and authentic in our relationships. One moment, one interaction at a time!
The bottom line for me is the quote from the pen of the Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”
When my youngest daughter left for college, I was so excited for her adventure and her success. The next day I wondered what I was going to do with myself for the next 40 years. Most little girls born in the 50’s or 60’s usually know what they are to do. Get married, have kids and then the narrative ends. No one prepares us for the kids leaving home. I started collecting cats…..
Often girls also receive no instruction about the important things to expect after marriage…..like how do you merge the holidays. The options seem to be to give up on your family traditions and find peace with the husbands mother’s traditions, keep your family traditions and force the husband to disappoint his mother or wait until kids arrive and stand firm that you are making your own traditions and let the chips fall where they may.
Then your kids grow up, get married have children and there could be more grandparents than there are dining room chairs. NOW what. It’s possible to buy a day planner and schedule Christmas…everyone is kind of in the mood from Thanksgiving to New Years. That can work, I’ve heard.
But what I have found is you must release attachments about how Christmas is supposed to be. Learning to set aside “but they”…. I’ve always believed there was something special in the air about Christmas but I’ve learned that “we” have made Christmas what it is to us.
…….and I didn’t even want to touch on the religion aspect. Believe it or not, not everyone celebrates the same story about Baby Jesus.
I’ve joined a zoom Strength Builders class that meets on Monday and Thursday mornings. For the last two weeks, I’ve been walking with a slight bend at the waste. I believe this 1) is not natural for most women my age; and 2) this evidence that I accepted the invitation in the nick of time!
After class I opened the door and
He’s getting his exercise too and actually has also been walking with a slight bend. He’s been putting a ceiling in our downstairs family room.
It’s nearly completed….just a few pieces left on my end of the basement then he can begin the reorganization of his art studio. He thinks he can make it cat free….He’s such a dreamer!
While everyone else will be in their warm cars tonight driving through the many Christmas light venues around us, we are meeting the Missouri family at Powell Gardens and losing ourselves in the beauty and mystery of the decorated Christmas wonderland!
It’s really hard to believe the 2020 version of Christmas is a week away.
Sadly I think the geese are getting ready to leave the pond. They’ve all been sitting around on a thin layer of ice today…..I’ve been sending them messages to stay awhile longer…the rest of the week will be warmer
This reads more like a Dear Diary entry but that is where I am in my head…holding myself close, appreciating the friendships and the love and the beauty all around me.
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 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….
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!