Just because I’m breathing…

does not mean it is mine to do.

From an early age (childhood) I learned that I had responsibilities. Not for just cleaning out the dishwasher but to rinse the dirty dishes, load the dishwasher “correctly”, run the dishwasher, empty it and begin again. This duty was not totally my responsibility but a metaphor for my childhood. From an early age, I felt responsible for my mother’s happiness and if pledge and dusting the living room furniture every other day was what kept her mental health intact then that’s what I needed to do.

Fast forward 6 decades. I’m very responsible. I do what needs to be done. I people please. I consider myself an empath and wear other peoples moods and emotions under my own clothes. This is a curse or a gift depending on how I experience it in my life.

A coffee date with a couple of girlfriends (who are like my Siri navigation giving me options of which route to take) reminded me that I need to set boundaries. I need to listen within to navigate what is mine to do. What brings me joy and contentment? What causes me to want to run fast toward or away from experiences….and the best advice….to seek answers from my inner guides before I close my eyes to sleep. So many life decisions are made as we slumber, when the ego is asleep and the deep inner soul has peace and quiet to figure it out.

What is mine to do?

Namaste

Love found in the recipe box

Searching for a recipe, I realized that today was as good as any to make a stab at organization. I have a tendency to pull out a recipe, make the dish and stuff the recipe back in the box in the front or back ignoring the TABS WITH THE CATEGORY written on them. It is apparently a difficult concept for my embarrassingly lack of detail for the small things in my life!

Today I have committed to transferring recipes in that pile in the top left onto recipe cards.

While I started out dreading this process, pretty soon I was reading recipes to him and telling him from memory where I got it or the first time I made it. Like a dessert with chocolate I made the first time I cooked for him in 1978 before I knew he didn’t like chocolate (I married him anyway). But todays blessing for me was remembering the givers of the recipes…family and friends…many not with me anymore….but the memory of the breakfast casserole from Mary or Aunt Frances’ radish dip, my mom’s scalloped oysters and Jane’s grape salad brought them so close I could hear and feel them.

Someday I anticipate my daughters going through my recipe box saying OH GOD REMEMBER WHEN MOM MADE THIS or more gently with a tear, oh god, remember when mom made this. Our memories come back to us in many ways…I cherish the ones that I remember as a tear slides down my cheek!

namaste

Playing with building blocks

Recognizing the emotion. I remember myself and my history as having 3 recognizable emotions and I knew what to do with them…Sob/cry, let it all out laugh, and that feeling in my forehead of rage which I would not normally let out. Everything else (the initial build up) just felt like discomfort…and most of the time I was able to distract myself from that feeling by eating…yes eating….that always felt good….

It wasn’t until I learned and started applying “new thought” “Unity” principles to change the way I think that I began to notice the uneasiness that normally preceded one of the described emotions. The little tickle of laughter as I began to smile was easy because I could belt out a loud laugh that could be heard round the world (it used to embarrass me because it was loud). Second came recognizing the irritation and anger….that was also easy because I carried it around so often and for so long before it burst….but the uneasiness that would make me cry…that was different.

The uneasiness of violence (perhaps because of my mother and the yardstick), witnessing sadness in my beloveds and the world, witnessing murder and death of animals (this is actually the most difficult for me). This uneasiness I felt this morning watching the geese on the frozen pond and thinking…just stop….it’s time to go where it’s warmer…why won’t you go?

It brought that feeling of fear, uncertainty, grief, this doesn’t feel right to my heart. I snapped this picture, stepped back and was grateful that I was actually able to identify the feeling/emotion so that I could stand with it a moment and release it rather than letting it be the first block in the tower of emotional blocks that could/would stack up in my day until I burst free with sobbing, laughing or screaming about something that had nothing to do with anything!

If you are doing the work…working through habits and emotions…you are not alone….sometimes feelings hurt but ignoring them does not make them go away. Eventually they burst forward!

Namaste

The Christmas Oyster healing

When my 92 year old mother passed in 2009, I expected to have instant healing from a lifetime of a dysfunctional relationship with her. That’s not the way in works.

Christmas Season was the good month in my growing up years….it’s what my mother did well. I am an only child and Christmas was magical as my mother showered me with many things from my wish list. I did not realize it at the time but this was the way she showed me that I was loved. This recognition and realization was a huge beginning for my healing…..I WAS loved…because her love did not resemble what I expected in our daily experiences together, I totally missed it.

Every Christmas since 2009, I have been on an emotion roller coaster, of unmet expectations…until I worked through the details of those emotional expectations …. until I figured out that The Christmas season does not mean the same thing …. Love….to everyone around me….until I have my Annual Christmas cry because I miss my mom and dad and Aunt Frances….until I make Scalloped oyster with my mom …. Her recipe anyway….

Making scalloped oysters today, with my mom in my heart and a good ole Christmas cry!

A lesson in kindness from a teenage boy

While standing in the spray paint aisle today, I heard the old man coming before I saw him. Significantly overweight, puffing out with each breath, perspiring and a two pack a day deep cough and of course, no mask. My irritation was well learned and the thought I had was 1] that had better not be a COVID cough you old expletive and 2) do you have any idea how close to death you sound. I make no excuses for my thoughts. They were my thoughts and I own them.

As he moved to the checkout, he immediately started huffing and bitching about the cost of whatever he was buying and then the famous words…Thanks, Biden.

As I moved closer to the checkout counter with my paint, he started berating the polite and clean cut (my opinion) teenage male because he didn’t like the size of plastic bag he was being offered. The conversation proceeded with this story’s hero offering the old man a much smaller bag to which he chose to aggressively shake the now-filled bag around and telling the young hero that he could get even more items in this small bag….SEEEE!

As the old “duffer” exited the store, I approached the counter with my two cans of paint and dishwashing brush and politely told the hero that it wasn’t important to me which bag he chose and then I shook my head signaling I thought the previous customer’s picture was in the dictionary beside asshole.

The sweet hero in this story grinned at me…and said it’s ok. He was having a bad day….we didn’t have what he was looking for when he first came in!

The comment speaks for itself. I chose not to say anything else to the young, kind clerk. He knows who he is and I am honored we crossed paths today!

namaste

Dear Dad

I was just telling the girls about what a hard worker you were! I told the story about you wanting to firm up the back yard in our first home in the late 50’s by hauling broken up concrete from a parking lot being torn up near our house…all of it in the trunk of your ‘49 Ford. Back and forth…then built up the wall so the back yard would quit flowing down the hill when it rained.

You worked a job you didn’t love for 33 years because you needed to take care of your family.

You were so very artistic and talented and I’m so honored to have your creations to remember you by.

You loved me and were always my silent protector. You loved your granddaughters with the same fervor.

Many times I know you forced yourself out of your introverted personality to be present in social situations.

And my biggest regret is that I feel I did not give you the love and honor you deserved because I could not bring myself to visit you next door because of your wife, my mother. My biggest regret in life is that I didn’t make more of an effort to find a way to just “be” with you and ignore her. But our last moments together in the hospital room when you were still alive and I massaged lotion on your forehead and the top of your head and you closed your eyes. I knew you felt it. My love!

Your energy is with me every day, Daddy! Our energy. Our love!

My Nurses

I challenge you to take a moment right now to list every nurse you have encountered in your life…whether personally or professionally. I’m confident the majority of people do not have a sufficiently detailed memory or a sheet of paper long enough to document the associations!

I hold nurses in my heart with esteem and gratitude …. especially during the pandemic. I see nurses as the angels who are carrying the sick and the families of the sick down this road to recovery.

Being a nurse means you carry immense responsibility and very little authority. You step into peoples lives and make a difference. Some bless you, others curse you. Nurses see people at their worst and their best. Nurses see life begin and lives end. They see humanity’s capacity for love, courage and endurance.

Thank you!

I miss the simpler times

….and by simpler, I mean the last year…

I woke up loaded for bear this morning (not something I need to mention…waking up soft and gentle would be actual news). THIS morning, I went quickly to writing my Morning Pages which has become easier this week because I recognize the need to get “whatever it is” outta my head and down on paper so I may release it! what I learned was….

Last year at this time, I went from traveling Mach speed around the curves with mind numbing constant thoughts and activity which were framed in worry and fret about absolutely nothing TO Oh Holy Shit…what is happening. For the next year and some change, the reality of required solitude and living within the parameters of “just being” was odd….and then it became my new normal….and I was peaceful and comfortable and just felt right. He and I worked on our relationship, we read books together, I went to bed and got out of bed when I wanted. I had groceries delivered, I read without guilt, I didn’t clean house very often and we saved a hefty amount of money ( with the shameful realization that being frugal was not even one of my vocabulary words).

I will not go back to normal. I don’t even have the desire to go back to whatever normal is. Post vaccinations, I begin to feel myself being pulled in different directions, I also realize that those commitment I make now are of my own doing….my choice. My quarantined personality had one of its best years of my life…Now I know what “just being” feels like. My only job here is listen to myself…And do what feels the best for my soul in each moment…with each breath.

Namaste

I had no idea the parents died in the movie

If it weren’t raining for day number 40 of 40 days and 40 nights, I possibly would be in a better mood. Even though we have had a few days….and I mean VERY FEW days…. without rain since our unseasonably cold days, I fear that little scream that has been bouncing around inside my head will somehow escape and scare the birds away from the feeders quicker than my shadow passing in front of the window. *rolling eyes

On a brighter note, yesterday I had a kind nurse poke a needle in my shoulder….my second COVID vaccine. I was mildly concerned that this one might result in flu like symptoms but thankfully I just couldn’t lift my left arm to remove my sweatshirt and I went to bed early because I was either very tired or just felt foggy. I was having some difficulty in comprehending what I was reading.

After a family IMessage with the daughters this morning I think I was just tired last night because it was quietly inferred that apparently my level of comprehension often wanes. Like watching the movie, Frozen, that we watched while visiting our Iowa family a few months ago. Now I find out that I must have missed the point that the parents died in the beginning which would actually be the premise for all of the other sadness, evil and pain of the children’s movie…..I have to admit I was just into it for the music anyway!

So ending this on a grateful note, we need rain to begin the growing season…yay….birds are cute, loud and chirpy, music soothes my soul and I’m now vaccinated and feel the darkness lifting….Namaste

Not sure where this blog will go

Feel like I’m all over the place today. Started off with a Heart 2 Heart relationships class at 10. The instructor is a highly credentialed leader in the psychological as well as spirit driven genres. Seems as though the small group sessions will get us through the end of March working on our relationships…current, future and past. It occurred to me this morning that I may find some healthy, loving forgiveness and peace while releasing the difficult relationships in my life.

Very cold weather forecast for the area in the next few days. I wish someone would communicate this information with the geese. They didn’t leave the pond this year which I felt was an indicator that they knew it was going to be a warm winter here. The pond, which has not completely frozen over this year, was full of geese today…..FULL. The occasional dusting of snow doesn’t seem to bother them. Their gentleness gliding on the pond brings me so much peace!

Super Bowl tomorrow….just the two of us here which is probably healthier. It just doesn’t feel like I could possibly hold onto the kind and gentle image I like to maintain when I’m cursing and yelling. Nobody who really knows me had better be laughing at that!! Go Chiefs.

Namaste