Passing on the stairway

If you know me or have read my blogs before, you know that I was left with boxes and totes full of “stuff” when my parents passed. I’ve experienced many moments of angst wondering why they would hold onto this junk. But I’ve also had many moments of thanksgiving that they held into all of these treasures.

Last month, I spent a week entertaining my quarantined self going through totes and boxes looking at each picture and reading letter after letter from parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents of my parents. It was an incredible journey as I was able to glimpse my parents as young adults and better understand their lives and the lives of all of those relatives who went before me paving the path for me.

I found these two small bottles in one of the totes and placed them on a shelf in my office. I kept them out, mainly because they were old/cute/tiny. Although I have no frame of reference and I cannot read the small print other than Spice…I was thrilled that one of them still holds perfume from the past. This morning I took the cap off of the empty bottle and the scent IS STILL THERE! I realized (with a weird sense of connection) that I was savoring the scent of a feminine ancestors passing me on a stairway in a different place and time.

I am grateful for the blessings in my life!

I went a little bat shit crazy, Dear Diary,

on the phone this morning…..This is really the first time I can remember that I’ve lost control with a business on the phone. But I know it happens after 30 years as a 911 dispatcher.

This business was in charge of sending me medical supplies in June…I received them in August because they were shipped to a different person in a different city who happened to be different gender. A couple phone calls to their business office, I learned that I was wrong because their records showed that the supplies had been sent and received by me because their computer said so. I finally was able to make my case with someone with “service skills”.

But the story does not end there. They send me a bill but had not filed with my insurance….said they had…but my insurance company said nope, no they haven’t. 2 phone calls and 3 emails later, I gave up because their business office told me I was wrong because the computer said so. Ok. Whatever. I didn’t feel this was my problem anymore. I had my supplies, they didn’t have the money and I had kept documentation of correspondence.

Until the phone rang at 8am this OCTOBER morning from the company telling me they were having trouble filing my insurance because they had the wrong information for me.

My kind and professional demeanor moved to the back seat as I let loose unloading on “Tara” what I thought of the company, their lack of public service and my frustration level which seemed like she could probably figure out depending on what her computer told her. The anger just flowed very smoothly from my mouth to her ear and you know what…I felt better. I’m sure “Tara”, NOT wearing HER public service voice, did not go to work armed for rampage this morning. I remember how it felt to start my morning with a yeller, but my guilt is only about a 2 on a 10 scale. And so, I leave the frustration right here, right now, Dear Diary. I don’t need to carry it with me…

The end

…..finally the release

The emotional explosion which has been simmering on a level, I was not even aware of, occurred yesterday around 10:30 AM.

Woke up knowing it was the birthday of one of my best- friends-ever who transitioned in 2010. Felt the first tear on my cheek while searching for a couple of pictures of him to post on Facebook for my yearly birthday reminder to all that love him. We most often spent his birthday week at marching band festivals because he was the high school band director…but most importantly we usually spent some part of a couple these weeks in October with him camping and fly fishing.

In Chapter 6 in the the book Embracing Uncertainty, Susan Jeffers talks about her heros….including concentration camp survivor, Viktor Frankl and spiritual teacher and stroke survivor, Ram Dass. Again I thought of Brett…the person in my life who gave me the courage to just be me. Rev Erin, in her weekly message using the hero chapter in Jeffers book, took the story to a personal level for each of us. Sharing her life experiences with her own heros and encouraging us…the congregants… to become aware of the hero’s in our lives and recognize what we learned and what we honor in those heros. Finally using that wisdom in our own lives… absorbing it into our consciousness sharing it/them with the world.

And there it was. The finger was removed from the hole in the dam as I was able to finally experience the grief I have been feeling since becoming aware of the COVID 19 virus. The sadness I had been feeling all week. The sadness and anger I’m feeling about missing the usual activities of spring, summer and fall… missing my family, my children and grandchildren, not seeing friends….the loss of so many opportunities as well as the anger about the division in our country .. the fear I have felt off and on because of the incredible death and destruction in so many lives…

While this explosion of emotion was not pleasant at the time, I recognize the peace that came from experiencing it….letting it come…sitting with the pain in my heart until I was able to become silent.

namaste

….and now we begin the months of mating

Taking the white clothes out of the dryer today, there were two pairs of socks. One ankle pair that belonged to me and a pair of mid calf, thick, robust socks that belonged to him. I sighed realizing cold weather has arrived. For him, anyway. I will continue to wear my Offos flip flops until we have snow. Of course, this year I won’t be going anywhere because of flu/COVID season so perhaps flip flops will see me through until spring.

For as long as I’ve been aware of the washing machine and dryer, I’ve been aware of the urban legends of what happens to 1 out of every so-many pairs of socks. Nothing disappears in the act of doing laundry like socks…I maintain that we can continue to complain as we try to mate socks or we can just reach blindly into the dryer and just mate them as they come out. Where is it written that the person who does laundry must be the responsible adult.

Which brings me to sock manufacturers. Why do they mess with us. Why do they insist on a black logo one year, perhaps a blue one another year. I have several pair of black, gray and white design socks and each one identical EXCEPT each pair has a different color of stripe around the ankle. WHY WHY WHY. Is this really necessary? Socks are stuffed in shoes…and worn during the same season that long pants cover the rest of them. Why make this complicated?

Until next time when we will discuss why food that misses the mouth is only attracted to white shirts!

The endless days

I had one yesterday…My work schedule begins very early in the morning and I am blessed that I am able to work from my office/craft room in the basement…so grateful … so very grateful that I don’t have to be “out there”. But with this convenience AND inconvenience of the virus around the world comes restlessness. While eating lunch yesterday, I heard myself “shoulding”!

From my permanent self assigned seat in the living room, I watched the gentle movement of the leafless tree branches in the breeze. I knew the light breeze, the blue sky and the comforting temperature would lift my soul if I would only take that first step…off the couch and stepping out the door.

But I didn’t!

It seems to be where I am right now. Thoughts of my least favorite season’s rapid approach is freezing the joy right out of me. The politics of the US, my dedication to social distancing because of the virus and all of the other depressing stories I am telling myself are what is keeping me down. AND I KNOW THESE ARE ONLY ILLUSIONS BASED UPON THE PAST and not my life in this present moment. I know that I need to take that first step to pull myself out of my perception of what is ahead …. the winter doldrums.

So this morning I am envisioning my dear friends and family locking arms, moving forward in the street, the wind blowing our hair away from our faces as we throw our heads back and laugh at the pure joy in our hearts and the love we have for each other. We are enough…it is enough. We are all in this together…It feels better to feel the love and joy than the feeling of the dead of winter in my soul!

Namaste

Still a lot of “now” available

I was out on the deck this morning repotting hens and chicks when I heard him walking through the yard from the trail. 60 degrees…nice breeze….lots of sunshine. Exactly the kind of fall day I would have celebrated from a deck chair last year. It just didn’t happen this year. I regrettably spent nearly an entire summer puttering in the house. At first, I started down the long and winding trail of thought and irritation with myself….why did I do that…what was wrong with me?

But this time, I did not accept the invitation to the pity party. I accepted the fact that I spent most of the summer in the house puttering .. obviously, exactly what I chose to do….and I did not should myself.

But today, I decided that I wanted to spend some time outside. I walked around the pond…I felt the breeze in my hair, got a little warm wearing my sweatshirt….and I realized with a lot of joy there is still a lot of “now” available to me somewhere out there appreciating the beauty of one of my favorite months.

Little surprises were peeking through confirming it’s not over until it’s over!

Namaste

it an inner voice thing…

He and I are participating in a Unity Village Chapel sweet experience. As a chapel group, we are reading the same book…”Embracing Uncertainty” by Susan Jeffers. Rev Erin begins our chapter week, weaving the narrative and then we are let loose to discuss our interpretations and experiences throughout the week in small Zoom groups.

This is a Unity experience…Unity keeping us centered during these difficult times, Unity as in the Unity New Thought movement and Unity connecting our hearts and our minds as we embrace our humanity and the unrecognized spiritual gifts inside each one of us. Nothing to obtain, nothing to seek…

In my learning process, I write Haikus and do a cut and paste project as I let my impressions of the book sink in. I have always loved putting words together thus, my intimacy with Haikus but this art thing…creative thing with paper and glue and markers is fun as it allows me to cut and paste while mindlessly or shall I say it allows the other side of my brain to play. Today’s lesson on intuition came together with the author’s three questions to ask my inner wisdom…my intuition.

listen to whispers

In the gap between thoughts

Therein lies guidance

Namaste

Embracing Uncertainty #susanjeffers

I’m learning to opt out of participating in human drama whether it be in my own head or participating with all of my senses with everyone else here on earth. This has actually brought me some peace of mind during the pandemic as I have removed myself from politics. I read the headlines in order keep up on what is going on in the country? What I am finding is when I actually “click” on the occasional news story nothing has changed from the last time I clicked. There is only fear-generating expressions of opinions!

Each fall, members of Unity Village Chapel read the same book….individually, then many of us join together in small groups to discuss the book. This one, Embracing Uncertainty Chapter 3, had me overwhelmed with insight. Thus the cut and paste project I worked on last night. It was a very effective way to concentrate on energetic phrases from the chapter to cement them on my heart and in my soul.

“Expectations create attachments…a hope something turns out a certain way”

Often we are unable to let go of our expectation….

“Expectations carry disappointments rigidity, anger, impatience and obsession”

“The moment expectations appear in the form of hope, desire or a wish, close your eyes, take out the imaginary scissors to cut the cord of expectation. Release it like a balloon drifting away from you.”

Namaste

Healing the mind in conversation

Our Spirit Group facilitator, Mary, helped me through an emotionally challenging, teary discussion by having me switch to referring to myself in the 3rd person rather than as I. Using this process (while cumbersome at first) really works in taking the sting out of words. Later on, during a counseling session, a therapist used the same method with He and I which made honest conversation easier to acknowledge.

Here’s an excerpt from an article I found from Psychology Today:

“When using third person or “non-first-person” pronouns during self-talk, you do not use pronouns such as I, me, or my. Instead, you speak to yourself (either in a hushed tone or silently inside your own head) using pronouns such as you, he, she, it, or your own first or last name. In recent years, a wide range of studies has found that third-person self-talk can improve emotion regulation and self-control by facilitating self-distancing and reducing egocentric bias

Years ago while learning to cope with and live with my relationship with my mother, I began to refer to her in conversations by her given name. While I absolutely did not have the gonads to call her Helen to her face, I recall the feelings of less lethal emotions when I gave myself permission to not refer to her with the beloved name of Mom. Of course, mom wasn’t actually the name she preferred…it was Mother. It’s highly likely that Mother is a loving name spoken from children to their beloved. But in my case it was a “formal” expectation which was another knife wound that separated mother and daughter.

In a FB conversation with a friend this morning, I referred to mom as Helen….and that’s what brought this whole train of thought coursing through my brain like a slow meandering stream. Use it if it feels good. We all have uncomfortably charged conversations

Until next time….

RBG dissent collar necklace

Over the last couple years, I have worn my RBG dissent collar necklace with pride and honor. Occasionally someone would recognize the design and ask about it….but I wore it for me. Quietly honoring RBG and what she represented. I also wore it for the same reason she wore her dissent collar to channel my disapproval and disappointment of the “leadership” in the United States.

Today I’m struggling emotionally to celebrate her life the way she deserves to be remembered all the while mourning my (our) loss.

For this post, I copied the wise words of another strong woman who I love and respect.

Let’s remember to dream today. Even in the midst of blessing Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her freedom form, honoring her longevity, strength, tenacity and intelligence, we lift ourselves up and dream. What a life of service she has lived…
Commitment, endurance, and on and on and on. #StrongWomyn #ruthbaderginsburg …thank you, Rev Erin for the healing words.

Thank you for your service and commitment to us, Justice Ginsberg.